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How do I deal with a cheap boyfriend

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Question - (22 November 2008) 4 Answers - (Newest, 25 November 2008)
A female Canada age 41-50, *iavancouver writes:

I am at a loss. I have been in a relationship with this guy for 3 years. We lived together for 1.5 years and then moved out but decided to keep trying our luck at making the relationship work. The main issues (according to me!) were 1. money 2. lack of communication 3. unrealistic expectations 4. anger issues/selfishness. There were many others, but these were the main ones. We agreed to go to counseling after we left the house and to my great surprise the anger issues have seriously diminished and we are capable of opening up and communicating much more. UNLESS of course I bring up a topic that he does not want to talk about, then we are back to HIS NEEDS and all the things he had to go through because of me, blah blah blah.

But the main reason I came on, the question I have is with regards to the money issues. We don't do anything, we don't go anywhere. IF we do I either end up paying everything or it is 50/50. Everything has to be FAIR everything has to be 50/50. Everything is calculated on his part and it is driving me absolutely nuts! I don't remotely feel like a woman, because there is no romance, there is no taking me out. Thing is that I know where it comes from - his mother was a greedy "b" who did not take care of her children properly, kept any money she did receive from the father (divorced) for herself and gave little to the boys. The fairness issues are partly that and partly because his brother was favoured over him, and nothing was evened out or fair, his mother did not deal with that issue properly either. THEN his father got divorced the 2nd time after 30 years because the woman he was with apparently did not want to be with someone who was going to be retired while she still worked (I question that one, but that is the story I got), so my boyfriend say that as she took advantage of him. I think his belief system is that woman take advantage of men financially - how can he not - look at the role models he has had. He does not know what a real or true relationship is like. He keeps telling me that he will not be a sugar daddy (I laugh since he makes less than $50,000 a year - that is not a sugar daddy) and that was because he paid a little more than I did while in the house. From what I know that is usually the way it works. If one person is making 4 times more than the other you can not expect her to pay the same amount and have no money at all - but that is the way he sees it. I think he just does not want to be taken advantage of in any way. BUT it is at the point of cheapness and frugality. He has plenty of money to spend on himself but zip on our relationship. IF he does then he will tell me how much and go on and on and on - what I like to call "you better be grateful" - his mom does the same thing.

My question technically is - we have not addressed this in counseling yet, but I do not feel as if he values me or our relationship at all because of these issues. Has anyone gone through this, and if so can you suggest a way to deal with it. I care about him, but I don't think I can stay in a relationship with someone who I feel will not be there for me later on in life if something would happen to me because he does not want to be left "holding the bag" or "its not fair".

View related questions: cheap, divorce, money, moved out

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A male reader, eddie Canada +, writes (25 November 2008):

eddie agony auntDon't count on your parents money, get yourself up and running. It sounds like money is a huge issue in your relationship. At this point you don't have enough and he seems to have some extra. You resent that he won't spend it and he resents that you want him to spend it. What is it you like about him? It sounds like you feel trapped or perhaps you're a little needy and can't get out from this situation. Unfortunately you can't make demands he is unwilling to give in to. In my world I'd have no problems carrying more weight because my relationship is hopefully forever. I think I mentioned before, my wife earns more that I do at this point. It used to be the other way around. I see the big picture though and becasue I valued our relationship more than how much money we had, I had different priorities.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (25 November 2008):

Ask yourself this question: Is this the way I want to spend the rest of my life? Do I always want to be asking questions like "Is my boyfriend cheap?" Aren't you worth more than that? If you are having money issues and you are not even married what do you think is going to happen if you were married? Its only going to get worse. You need to analyze the situation -- are you being extravagant? -- do you need to cut back? Do you follow a budget? All of these type practical questions need real answers. Once you figure all this out, then ask yourself whether or not the other person is cheap. If you still get the feeling that he is -- go find someone else because you are not going to change him. A leopard doesn't change his spots unless he wants them to change.

In our society men get the impression from television shows etc that women are just out there looking for money. In many cases, this is true. His first instinct is to protect himself--be a manly man and not be that guy who is laughed at by his friends because his woman has him wrapped around her little finger. All of this must also be factored into your analysis.

But don't make excuses for him. If the bottom line is: "Yes, my boyfriend is cheap!" then dump him because no matter how much you love him, he is not going to change.

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A female reader, Tiavancouver Canada +, writes (25 November 2008):

Tiavancouver is verified as being by the original poster of the question

I guess I did not write everything in there - I am also trying to get my company up and going, and trying to get a job as well (that is now). While we were living together I was also working on my company BUT I was also quite ill from the amount of stress that I was dealing with from the emotional and verbal abuse that I endured from him. IF I were the only person he had ever been like that with that would be one thing. This summer I had another job and did alright. Whenever we were out, I paid for everything, he would walk away from the cash register wherever we were - I don't mind paying once in a while, but I also knew that if I got into a situation where I had no money he would not offer. We just had our 3 yr anniversary - he bought me some jelly bellies because they were conveniently at the store - don't get me wrong I like bellies. I was upset about something that happened with my parents so he tried to cheer me up. Don't know if he was planning it or not, but we went out for dinner. It was nice UNTIL (as always) it was 3 minutes out the door and he said "I tipped the waitress $14, the bill was $68". Without fail every single time he will let me know how much he spent - like "you should be so grateful!" - he does not say it but it is implied, it ruins the whole thing. I know where it comes from, his mother does it! He hates when his mother does it to him, yet he does it to me, I don't know if it is because he hates spending money on anyone but himself, does not value the relationship/me or that he just does not feel that anyone can thank him enough that he has done such a great thing. All I know is that I do alot regardless of how little money I have. The little bit I have extra doesn't get spent on me. I have been irresponsible with money and sometimes have passed on paying bills to buy him something small because I would rather try to make someone I care about smile or happy - which is near impossible with this person because it seems like nothing is ever good enough. That part has gotten a bit better with time (since counseling). AS FOR ME WANTED HIS MONEY - NO!!! My parents help me out (sad, but true), and I will not have to hang onto him for that down the road, as god forbid this happens anytime soon, but one day it will, when they pass I will have my inheritance. I am not out to sponge off of him, but as I said, I see where he sees that - his past and my not having paid MORE THAN that. Other thing, that is what we had agreed upon BEFORE we moved into the house (the split $ wise and he was fine with it until 2 weeks in and changed his mind).

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A male reader, eddie Canada +, writes (22 November 2008):

eddie agony auntHe may sound a little focused on money but I have a question. Cheap is defined as someone who is stingy. In other words, someone who doesn't like to spend their money. Hmmmmmm....that describes you !! He wants to pay his part and you don't want to pay your part. That makes him cheap? I guess you'd prefer he pays his part and yours. If he did that, he'd get the benefit of making you happy because of what his money bought you.

You laughed at him because he said he didn't want to be your sugar daddy and making $50,000 a year doesn't exactly make him sugar daddy material. You also said he makes 4 times more than you. That means you earn $12,500 a year. He has good reason to be guarded with his money because he knows you want it. You also said he pays more that 50% of the household bills. Perhaps you're not paying enough and giving him reason to feel like he has to remind you of just how generous he actually is. Don't forget, if he wasn't willing to pay part of your expenses, you wouldn't be able to afford the lifestyle you have.

My suggestion is that you earn enough to keep yourself at the standard of living you'd like him to provide. Maybe if you showered him with things he'd get the hint. If you feel you deserve better, provide it for yourself.

I understand your concern. I've been married many years and made more money for most of them. It's reversed now. We're were married and raising kids though. We made our choices based on what was best for the family. We spent our money out of the same pot. The difference is this though. When my wife wasn't earning so much, she was home with the kids. I made all the money. I never gave it a thought. The problem he might see is that until you have a marriage and family you earn your keep.

Some people are cheap. Some people need to control the money. Some couples have separate accounts in the bank. There are many ways to split things. The truth is though, if you examine what every one brings to the table in the relationship, he has more to lose financially.

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