Post # 1
Hi Bees –
I’ve posted here once before, but I’m mainly a lurker. I look around hoping that one day soon I’ll be able to share my engagement story, but unfortunately I don’t forsee that happening any time soon..
My boyfriend has been together for 4 years and have always had a great relationship. Our problems started once we were far enough in the relationship to realize there was a huge money issue. I have always made more than him, but in the past year I’ve moved up substantially and now make $25,000 more than him – and this apparently is a big issue.
To backtrack – I have always been an extremely motivated person and worked extremely hard through college and graduate school to make sure my future would be successful. Boyfriend on the other hand was more lax, and after 2 years decided to drop out of college to “just work and make money”.
Once we met and began dating he would complain that he didnt make enough so I encouraged him to go back to school to pursue something he would be more interested in; and so he did. WORST DECISION EVER.
He has gone from a happy-go-lucky, fun person to being cynicial and miserable every single day. Every single day he complains about how I make so much more money, and I’m “so lucky to be done with school”. Anytime I have a bad day at work and complain I get so sympathy from him. Instead he gets nasty and tells me not to complain since I make so much more money. However, it is “my job” to make him feel better every single day that he complains.
We now fight every single day. The reason being – I have ran out of sympathy. I cant pretend to be sympathic when I’m fed up with his pity party. I feel guilty for having a degree. We split meals every where we go because I make more and it’s my fault he doesnt treat me because Im unsympathic. And the kicker – all this complaining about money and he goes out and leases an extremely expensive car. His reasoning – it makes him feel better about making so little.
How does this logic work?! I seriously do love him, and I have always seen a future together, but he is being so closed minded I dont know how to handle this any more. I suggested that he speak to someone and maybe get mediciation and I swear my life flashed before my eyes. He became so mad and upset I wished I could have eaten my words.
Does anyone have any advice. I am devasted because I feel like this is breaking us apart and althought Im trying very hard to keep us together, he feels that Im not helping at all.
Please help 🙁
Post # 3
Okay, you asked for advice: I don’t think you can fix this. And it’s not for lack of trying. And it’s not a straight money issue either. He is a bitter, complaining, pessimist who is going to continue to drag you down. He’s also demonstrating financial irresponsibility while you seem very together.
There is nothing stopping him from finishing school and getting a better job. Except himself. He is not good enough for you. At least right now. Maybe he can grow up, who knows? But you need to be with someone who is at least as successful as you are. And also someone who is not negative and passive aggressive.
This is a tough situation, I know. But you really need to put yourself first in any relationship. You are not responsible for his unhappiness and failure.
Post # 4
I’m sorry to say, but a man with this kind of mindset can’t be changed. It belittles him that you make more than him. And pushing someone back into school *never* works out, unless the person had a desire to go back to school to begin with.
I don’t have a solution for you, but I can say that I know people in this situation, and most of the time they just have to let the guy do what he wants to do. If he doesn’t want to be in school, he shouldn’t be.
Post # 5
I don’t think you personally are able to fix this. It is clearly self esteem issues and those are hard if not difficult for someone to fix, especialy since he seems to be jealous of you.
Do you ever say or do anything to make him feel worse about him being in school and not making as much as you are? Because if not, he seems to be way too worried about it. I don’t think that it matters who makes more money in a relationship at all. My mom makes a lot more than my dad but then again she has a degree and he does not. My mom is also very driven and my dad is sort of a goof ball and has worked at his job since he was out of high school. It has never bothered my parents at all. They have been together for 29 years and they never mention anything about it. I don’t even remember them arguing over who made more and what not ever.
So if it doesn’t bother you and very obvioussly bothers him, there m ay be more going on to it than that. Society has us thinking that the mamn should always make more and I think that is silly. You really need to try and sit down and talk with him. That may be difficult to do, but I really wouldn’t mention him needing medication. In all honesty that might have set me of too. Medication does not cure immaturity.
You really need to think if you can live with this for the rest of your life. Him being negative and mean to you for something that you worked very hard to get. Hopefully you two can have a much needed conversation and work this out and he can learn to get rid of the pessimistic attitude and finish college.
Good luck to you!
Post # 6
I agree with PP. Only he can help himself, but instead of helping himself and bettering himself and maanging his finances better, to (for lack of better words) “get up to your level”, he seems to just resent you for your accomplishments and drag you down. He is lucky to have someone like you that is so motivated that would have been a great partner and lead to stand by him as he catches up… instead, he’s wallowing in a self pity party and dragging you there to join him. Sometimes love just is not enough. You should not be the single force keeping relationship going and working at it… he needs to put something into it too. Can you put up with this forever? Or are you looking for more in your life partner?
Post # 7
@bitemytounge:I think women should be careful about dating someone who lacks financial stability. Often men combine their ability to provide financially with their manhood and are often jealous of their mates success. I think its best to marry someone on your level. It makes for a more cohesive home. Money is not everything but it is something that causes a lot of stress and fights if the couple does not see eye to eye.
Post # 8
Thank you for all your comments. I agree with points from all of you. I guess the problem I’m having is that I know deep-down he doesn’t realize how his actions are affecting me. I truly believe he is depressed, which is why I suggested the medication (although, I agree – if it were me, I would have flipped to).
He and I are going to have to sit down and have a long conversation. Any time I have tried in the past it turns into a screaming match because he is so insecure he takes anything I say to the highest offense. Do you think writing down some notes would help? Or does that look insensitive to have a pre-written list?
Also, just to clarify, I didn’t force him to go to school. After the economy crash he was looking to switch jobs companies and realized that almost every place he was interested in required a bachelors degree. So I mentioned to him that if he was really interested in pursuing that career long-term, it would be beneficial to go back to school. I was always extremely careful how I worded those things because I knew it was an insecurity he had.
And – yes, there is more than straight money in the equation. I believe another part of the problem is that a few of my close friends are engaged and he envies the fact that their finances and families are showering them with money for their weddings. They are extremely lucky to be in that situation, however I have told him numerous times that when we get married, I am not trying to compete with my friends, we will have a beautiful wedding within our means. But he still upsets himself thinking about it.
Deep down, I think he feels he needs to prove his “manhood” to everyone, including me. And I know it’s easy to say I deserve better, or should just leave, but I know that wouldn’t make me happy either. I am happy with him, however, I need to figure out how to bring him up from this rough patch. It’s just that school seems to be the root of the issue right now. 🙁 hmph
Post # 9
Part of spending your lives together is getting through really rough times. Good for you for wanting to try everything you can to make it work. Men’s egos are so difficult to handle that I think regardless of what you say or do and how nice and sincere you are, it will turn out to be a fight. But hopefully you can drill into his head how all of his is really affecting you negatively and you both can work it out!
How long has he been in school and how long does he have left? He may be just super stressed with money issues, insecurities and school work. Maybe helping him to manage his time and priorities will help.
Post # 10
I agree – I feel like it is something I want to work through BEFORE we get engaged. I feel like we’re a strong couple and I want to exhaust all option presented to me..
He has been in school about 2 years now. He hasn’t been going full-time because of his work schedule. Recently he was able to take on more classes so he should be finished in about 3 years.
Post # 11
I just wanna say that you sound SO sound minded and mature and it really seems like you have the right mindset about all this. Im glad you recognize that it is his issue. I USED to say i would nevr marry a man who made less than me, but right now my FH is unemployed and was unemployed when we got engaged. i could care less. My ex had major issues with money and I felt I demasculinated him by forcing him to give me all his money for me to manage, yes i paid off his 23 K debt in 3 months AND saved hella money for us too but when my FH was laid off and was spending $500 a week on eating out, i said nothing. Eventually of course he didnt need to do that to make himself feel better and we went through the whole keeping up with the Joneses weddings too. You sound like a wonderful and supportive gf btw! I do wanna say I understand why people say you gotta marry your level financially, i was that same person not too long ago. sounds like all you can give it is time, since it is such a touchy subject with him right now. No pity parties for him though!
Post # 12
Thank you. I truly feel like who makes more shouldn’t matter as long as we both are working hard to do the best that we can. I’m going to give it time and try to work though it. Thanks again for your kind words.
Post # 13
You sound like a great woman, I have nothing else to say other than to wish you great future.