My Fiancé Has Money and Treats Me Well, But He’s Soooo Cheap! What Should I Do?

My Fiance Has Money and Treats Me Well, But He's Sooo Cheap, What Should I Do?
Evan, what should I do?

I am engaged to a guy who I have been dating for 4.5 years. I love him but I have so much anger and resentment towards him. He is a good person and we have a great time together and I enjoy his company/companionship. He always is happy to see me and be with me. We have a lot in common, but I feel we have some major core differences. He is extremely selfish. He is wealthy and I think this has affected his outlook on money. I am very generous with a big heart, but I find that I am always disappointed. I don’t expect to be spoiled by someone, but he spends a lot of money on his (our) house, cars, gambling when he can, but if I need $200 to go to the store, he makes me feel awkward and here we are supposed to be getting married in December. All our finances are separate, I would be fine even with a pre-nup which I know is coming, but I am not fine with having a husband who puts himself that far above me because of his money. I do expect my husband to help with car payments, medical insurance, basic stuff, I am not even talking about shopping and material things, and this is a guy who is a multi-millionaire, and I made $100k up until last year because of the economy and now until I do something else, am only making about 45k. I am worried about marrying someone who would watch me struggle and not offer to help or was that spoiled that he doesn’t have the “right” consideration for me. HELP!

Lara

You know what they say about rich guys, right? The reason they’re rich is because they don’t spend any of their money

Dear Lara,

You know what they say about rich guys, right? The reason they’re rich is because they don’t spend any of their money! Ha! I kill me.

So first of all, let’s get one thing out of the way first: he’s definitely selfish. There are plenty of people who have issues around money – including yours truly – but your multi-millionaire takes the very expensive wedding cake.

As I’ve said before, many women don’t appreciate the difference between being cheap and being poor. If he makes less than $50,000, pretty much ANYTHING he does for you is generous. However, your guy isn’t poor. He’s rich, and yet you don’t feel he is generous of spirit. That really sucks when you’re facing a lifetime together.

But if you’ve been seeing him for 4 ½ years, I suspect you knew about this trait all along, but dealt with it as just one compromise you had to make in the relationship. It didn’t suddenly surface out of the blue. “He USED to throw me $10,000 birthday parties, but now he only has the Pizza Hut staff put a candle in my calzone!”

I’m not going to defend his penurious ways, and I’m not going to suggest that you don’t have the right to be frustrated. I am, however, going to try to look at the other side – something that you may not have done yet.

So let’s recap: you love him, he’s a good person, he’s super-wealthy, you have a lot in common, you have a great time together, he’s happy to be with you, and you’re engaged to be married in December. Sounds like a promising start, no?

But there’s this one thing – this big thing – you don’t get out of him. It’s a definite character flaw: no generosity. Yet he probably pays for the bulk of the house, car payments, medical payments, vacations, etc. He’ll buy you things and provide a nice life. The only thing he doesn’t want to pay for is you, spending the money that he earned. And since you’re now making less, you expect him to make up the difference.

At least that’s HIS perspective.

I think two things: he’s genuinely cheap, and he genuinely loves you.

Your perspective is that it’s not his money, it’s your money – together. And even though you have everything you want in your life, you can’t get over the fact that he’s so stingy that he won’t let you spend what he considers “his” money. In your mind, it’s not about the money, it’s about the principle! I hear you, and I’m sure a number of readers do, too.

The real sticking point is that his take on “his money vs. your money” is not changing any time soon. It’s deeply ingrained in him. Which gives you two choices: leave him because you feel like you can’t spend your life with a rich man who is cheap, or stick around and appreciate that you have a super life, filled with love, companionship, fun, and tons of material possessions – but your husband is simply a skinflint.

Life is about tradeoffs, y’know?

I also think you may be equating his lack of generosity with a lack of love. He can provide for you in 100 different ways, but because he’s hesitant to give you $200 to go to the store, he doesn’t truly love you. Do you believe that? I don’t. I think two things: he’s genuinely cheap, and he genuinely loves you. If he didn’t love you, he wouldn’t be marrying you. In his mind, he just doesn’t want his wealth to be taken for granted.

Just the other day I was talking with a semi-successful guy – not a millionaire – who took care of his girlfriend when she was unemployed and couldn’t afford to pay rent. The problem arose when, one year later, she STILL didn’t want to pay rent because “he could afford it”.  Ironically, the same way that she feels that “it’s not about money, it’s about principle”, so does he. You think he should pay for you because he can. He doesn’t want to pay for you because you assume he’s supposed to.

Another thing: your boyfriend may be cheap, but I’d have to guess he’s better than the rich guys who equate money with love. Their theory is: “If I buy you a Jaguar, maybe you won’t notice how emotionally distant and abusive I am!”  These type of wealthy men  make the worst husbands because they think that they can buy your affection and don’t have to actually, y’know, listen to you.

All of this begs the unfortunate and delicate question: is it possible that you take your boyfriend’s money for granted? Maybe just a little? After all, you may have taken a pay cut, but you probably still live in a big house with a nice car and have everything you need. So while I’m not going to defend your fiancées behavior – cheap is not cool – I’d have to ask you one really tough question:

Would you be marrying him if HE made $45,000?

And, if not, are you also equating love with money?

It’s not that I’m not sympathetic to your plight, Lara, but it’s my responsibility to point out the side of things that you may not have already considered. Please let me know what you choose to do.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Mr_Right

    It kind of makes me wonder if there’s been a conversation between the two of them about this issue, or has she let this fester and ferment all these years.

    If nothing is said, how would he know anything is wrong?

    1. 1.1
      Mikko Kemppe

      I agree with Mr. Right. I think there is not enough information given by her to make a proper judgment in this case. This issue could be a simply misunderstanding in her part in interpreting his actions or that he really just does care about himself, or a little bit of both.

      It would be helpful if she would give an example of their communication together.

      In either case what makes this worse is her feelings of resentment and anger because as long as those feelings are clouding her judgment no matter how she will approach the situation she is most likely going to end up feeling like he is just selfish further validating her beliefs, which may be erroneous from the begin with.
      .-= Mikko Kemppe´s last blog ..Feeling Guilty For Making a Mistake? Feeling Used or Unworthy of Love? =-.

  2. 2
    Robyn

    Major red flags here, folks.

    Yes, he spends money on the house and cars and gambling – but those are his “pet things” and projects/activities.
    Note that when it comes to something that she wants which is just for herself, one of her “pet things” or activities, he won’t part with a dime. Hello, Houston, we have a problem here…. This is a huge signal/message that it is all about him and, when push comes to shove, her individual needs are very much secondary.

    By the way – has the pre-nup been discussed yet????
    If not, better have that discussion ASAP. Because then you will see the true and complete picture re: his attitude to money and what he will or won’t share.

    1. 2.1
      Me

      You got it right, Robyn! After marriage it will only get worse. If he doesn’t love me enough to care for me why should I even think about marrying him?

  3. 3
    Sam

    Interesting letter and great comments Evan.

    I’m a $50,000 a year guy and girlfriends have called me cheap too, yet I always feel that I am misunderstood. Yes, I have a reluctance to spend more than $35 on a dinner, I hate spending $10 on a cocktail, and flying to the other coast for a weekend seems extravagant to me, but it’s not like I’m spending the money on myself. My personal spending is limited and all my savings will one day benefit my wife and me in the form of a smaller mortgage, cash purchases for our cars, summer camp for the kids etc.

    Maybe some people will still consider me cheap, but I just consider what I’m doing to be deferred spending.

    1. 3.1
      Robyn

      If your girlfriend is not your fiance (future wife) then your saying to her “I’m saving for my future wife and kids” is not exactly heart-warming. It almost verges on a slap in the face.

    2. 3.2
      Selena

      I’m all for deferred spending, but doubt I’d be interested in a guy too cheap to spring for a cocktail.

      I’m curious, what kind of dates do you create?

      Do you explain to the women your deferred spending plan and the reason for it?

    3. 3.3
      juan

      Iagree with you I am in the same money bracket as you.

  4. 4
    Jennifer

    We all know that money is fraught with all types of emotions and feelings, some practical and rational and most not. He is not going to change on this point any time soon. If you can’t see yourself being happy with this guy when he is *exactly* the same with money 10 years from now, don’t get married. If the prospect of losing you makes him want to consider trying to make changes, cool. If the prospect of losing him makes you want to consider trying to make changes, cool. But attitudes about money (or anything really) are very hard to change unless people truly feel driven to, and nothing will improve between the two of you unless someone changes.

    Life is too long to live with your teeth set on edge. Whatever you do, make sure you don’t put yourself in a situation where you have to learn that the hard way.

  5. 5
    Simone

    I don’t know whether this guy is selfish or not with his money, but one thing stood out to me, and really pissed me off: “…I do expect my husband to help with car payments, medical insurance, basic stuff, I am not even talking about shopping and material things…” (as if those material things were normal expectations, too!

    Girl, we are living in the 21st century, and unless you are willing to do his laundry, make his bed, cook his meals, clean his house, bring him his slippers, and be his “woman”, what right do you have to expect anything but what you’ve already said he gives you? You’ve specifically stated that he treats you well, covers housing and car costs for both of you, is a good person and always is happy to see you and be with you…sheesh! What more do you really think you have a “right” to?!

    How are we women supposed to truly break through that last mile of inequality in the workplace, when people like you are holding on to decades of antiquated thinking and feminine entitlement?

    THINK EQUALITY.

    1. 5.1
      Steve

      Simone;

      Next time you are in Washington D.C. I am buying you dinner!

    2. 5.2
      vino

      Simone, I agree with most of what you say, bu I don’t see the workplace inequality point. Ava below mentioned the 72 cents vs. 1 buck for men.

      I’m not trying to argue with either of you, but if the inequality mentioned is the same as Ava’s 72 cents point, the facts indicate you are not accurate. There have been several studies that debunk this myth (see Warren Farrell, or google the topic). The reality is that women do get paid for the same work as men and in some places (NYC, for example) actually get a bit more.

      The differences occur in the choices that women make in the workplace that account for the difference. For example, well-paying dangerous occupations (think oil rig in the Gulf of Mex) are almost entirely men. Women often choose to leave the workforce to have children, often returning only part-time or in lower paying lower stress jobs.

      Sure there is a difference in pay, but not due to some discrimination. It’s actually due to the choices women themselves make in the marketplace. If the facts indicated otherwise, my analysis would be different, but I try to let the known facts lead my conclusions, not just what I’ve heard.

      1. 5.2.1
        Michael

        If female labor costs 28% less than male labor, there would be almost no male labor.

        1. vino

          Exactly

        2. Nisha

          Michael, I call B.S. on this. Workplace diversity initiatives, hiring within “networks”, men possibly majoring in different fields than women (more math, business, and science), and many other factors contribute to the gender make up of many businesses. It doesn’t always boil down to hard economics.

  6. 6
    Helen

    Like Simone, I think this woman is expecting far too much. She sounds like a gold-digger, frankly. So Evan, I’m not sure I’d be as certain as you are that the fiance has a character flaw of stinginess.

    1. 6.1
      Dating Down Under

      Maybe, she thinks spending too much on “Gambling” is a bad idea and she may make better use of money herself if she gets that money from her man. It looks to me that she thinks she can spend her man’s money better!

  7. 7
    JimmyE

    Has the OP ever been in a relationship with a man who earned significantly less then she did? If so, how was expenditure split?

  8. 8
    A-L

    I’m with Simone on this one. You both contribute toward housing, cars, etc, but if you want to do some personal spending then use your own $200 that you’ve worked for. Especially since the two of you aren’t married yet. But get the prenup done and discuss how you plan to handle finances when you’re married. If you can live with it happily, go on and get married. If not, don’t.

  9. 9
    Ava

    What EMK says about rich people getting rich because they don’t want to spend money has some basis in reality. The most common car driven by those with very high incomes isn’t a luxury car, it’s a Toyota Corolla. Multi-millionaires aside, the reality is that women still make something like 72 cents to every dollar that men make.

    When the LW says she needs “$200 to go to the store” does she mean to go clothes shopping or grocery shopping? On the other hand, I don’t see anything wrong with expecting a wealthy spouse to help cover car payments for a jointly-owned car, or medical insurance, especially when the wife-to-be is struggling.

    Have they considered having a joint account for things like household expenses? Maybe he contributes 80% to this account and she contributes 20%, or whatever?

    Maybe a few sessions with a coupes therapist to sort out these issues prior to the wedding are in order?

    1. 9.1
      Steve

      Ava;

      That bit about Corollas is fascinating. Do you remember where you read it?

      1. 9.1.1
        Sara

        Steve — What Ava says about Corollas is technically inaccurate. The most common type of car driven by millionaires in the United States is the Ford F150. You would probably be interested to read The Millionaire Next Door, which examines, from a sheer statistical perspective, characteristics of millionaires in the US. Here is a link to the book: http://www.amazon.com/Millionaire-Next-Door-Thomas-Stanley/dp/0671015206

      2. 9.1.2
        Steve

        Sara;

        Thanks for the link! That book looks fascinating. At this point in my life I think I am going to get more wealth though I never will be wealthy. I think I will still enjoy reading that book. I’m not cheap, but I strive to be frugal. The difference between the two is that a cheap person avoids spending money as an end in itself. A frugal person tries to minimize spending money on things s/he will not appreciate on a lasting basis.

        Getting back to dating and the topic, I like to be frugal with other expenses in my life so I can go on more enjoyable dates. I view positive experiences with people as being one of the things that will make me feel like I have lived my life. I don’t think people need to go on balloon rides for every date to generate a happy memory, but many modest shared pleasures can’t take place if one’s finances are too tight from sloppy spending habits.

        Based on what I read on the Amazon page I have similar attitudes about money to some of those rich people. I don’t consider my car to be who I am ( go Honda Civics! ) and I don’t like living at the edge ( or beyond ) my means. That makes me a bit of an odd ball among the people in my life so I think at the least I will enjoy that book for a feeling of validation :)

        1. Sara

          I think you will still like the book. It’s a good personal finance book, and if anything, it’s anti-consumerism. Most of the characteristics of US millionaires are different that you might think. They tend to own their own businesses, have smaller houses, place emphasis on families, lead more frugal lives than you would expect – the type of people you don’t even realize have lots of money. They’re practical. Okay, this is way off topic so I’m going to stop now. I’m don’t want to come across as someone to whom lots of money is important (since I’m not at all that way), but I couldn’t be in a relationship with someone who wasn’t financially responsible or had lots of credit card debt or something like that, and as a single woman, my own personal finances are important to me since I don’t expect someone to take care of me :)

    2. 9.2
      JL

      “the reality is that women still make something like 72 cents to ever dollar that men make.”

      *the reality is that this is because women take time off to have babies that men dont. Adjusted for seniority and experience, women’s salaries actually outperform those of similarly situated men.

  10. 10
    Steve

    penurious

    I have not seen that word since college. My writing and vocabulary is getting worse as I get older, so I really appreciate someone who writes well.

  11. 11
    Steve

    Lara wrote
    I am engaged to a guy who I have been dating for 4.5 years. I love him …
    He is a good person and we have a great time together and I enjoy his company/companionship. He always is happy to see me and be with me. We have a lot in common

    That is the LTR jackpot we all hope for and you have it. The only catch is that you as an adult have to be responsible for your own finances — which you would have to be responsible for anyway, whether or not you *had* that LTR jackpot.

    Evan Wrote
    I also think you may be equating his lack of generosity with a lack of love.

    Bingo!

    Evan Wrote
    The real sticking point is that his take on his money vs. your money is not changing any time soon.

    Tape that to your wall everybody.

    Incompatible styles of handling money is one of the classic relationship busters and adults rarely change their money handling style. Expect religious conversions and late life circumcisions first.

    Either you can live with his someone’s style of handling money or you can’t.

    1. 11.1
      Selena

      “Either you can live with someone’s style of handling money or you can’t.”

      Yep.

      And after 4.5 yrs. she knows what his style is.

      He’s not going to change it, so evaluate marriage to him accordingly.

  12. 12
    Steve

    Useful thought experiment:

    Reread Lara’s email to Evan, but imagine she is a man ( “Larry”? ) who is complaining about his wealthy fiance not being willing to give up more of her money to subsidize his finances.

    Notice your reactions.

    If you are a woman, imagine you are engaged to a man who is the love of your life, but he expects you to pay for things he *wants* ( not needs ) when his own income falls a bit short.

    Notice your reactions.

    It is the year 2009.

    All adults, male or female, are expected to be responsible adults.

    Unless of course you a member of the US government spending other people’s money :)

  13. 13
    vino

    Hmmm lessee here.

    Gems from the OP (in order they appeared).

    “He is extremely selfish.”

    “I am very generous with a big heart, but I find that I am always disappointed.”

    – Notice the accusation (selfish) coupled with the unsubstantiated martyrdom (I’m generous). All I ask when I read this letter is WTF does she do that is generous in the slightest? Never hear a word of that though.

    – Holy S*&t. She’s living in his house. Nice use of the ‘our’ in parens, though. We know where her mind is. I guess he’s selfish for allowing that too. Wonder what it’d cost for her to live comparably on her own dime… Oh that’s right, she can’t.

    – Thing to remember is this is his fecking money. Not hers. He can spend it as he sees fit. And why is it that so often that guys with lots of $ who don’t want to give it away to women are ‘selfish’ yet women with money who won’t give it to guys are ‘prudent’ and ‘responsible’ with their finances? Hmmm

    – I had an old uncle who once told me “Vino, always remember than when it comes to women the whole system is rigged so that you pay for it.” Sage advice.

    – This dude should boot her out pronto.

    1. 13.1
      Curly Girl

      Your uncle calls you Vino? I didn’t think that was your real name.

  14. 14
    Karl R

    Lara said:
    “if I need $200 to go to the store, he makes me feel awkward”

    To echo the question that several people have asked: $200 to go to the store for what? Groceries? Clothes? Birthday presents for your best friend?

    I’m guessing that he isn’t deliberately making you feel awkward just out of spite. He probably feels equally awkward when you’re asking him for money.

    Let me reverse the situation and see if it makes sense. Let’s say you still have your $100k/yr job, and you’re engaged to a wonderful man who only earns $30k/yr. He’s reasonably responsible with his money, and he was able to support himself without assistance before you started dating.

    Since you’re planning on getting married, your separate finances are about to become your joint finances, and that includes the spending he does just on himself. Maybe he likes to spend $500/month on comic books. Maybe he spends $400/month on fencing lessons. Maybe he likes expensive cigars. Suddenly you’re in a situation where he might be wasting your (collective) money on purchases that you would never make.

    But I’m sure your situation is different, right? The hypothetical boyfriend doesn’t need comic books. You need shoes (or something similar). Shoes are a genuine necessity.

    Try explaining to a man why you need to spend $100-$200 per month on new shoes … when he can wear the same $50 pair for two years. To us, your shoes (after the first couple pairs) seem as frivolous as comic books or fencing lessons.

    For this reason, I think it’s sensible for couples to keep a certain amount of their money as separate personal funds. That way you only need to agree on how much you each get for personal use. After that you no longer need to worry about how your partner is spending his personal money, and he no longer needs to worry about how you’re spending spending your personal money. And your (collective) money can be spend on sensible items that you both benefit from.

    1. 14.1
      Selena

      Amen Karl.

      Agree. Everyone should have “personal money” they can spend without having to defend their choices.

  15. 15
    Donna

    I’m sticking up for the guy on this one. Sounds to me like he needs the assurance that you are with him for who is is alone, not for what he can provide. You already live together and have a nice home, etc. Anybody with that much will probably always be insecure about it. He needs to know that you WOULD be with him if he made only $45K, which is why he doesn’t shell over money anytime you need it. I once dated a very wealthy man who was also my best friend. We dined in the nicest restaurants and traveled some, all paid for by him. But he would not buy me gifts, or very nominal ones, because he did not want it to be about the money. I thought that was very wise, because you know what? I would have gotten spoiled and expected it….

    1. 15.1
      Meli

      I absolutely agree. I once dated a very wealthy guy too and he was the same as yours. In fact, when I first met him he would come to pick me up in an ugly little car, it was only after our fourth date that he came up with his brand-new convertible. My reaction was “Whoa. Who’s car is this?”.
      He started to show his money litlle by little, as he got to know me. We ended up in a 9-month relationship in which he spoiled me taking me to the most amazing, expensive restaurants..and on trips all over the continent. But he never bought me anything in stores, it was all paid by me (jewelry, clothing, beauty products, etc), and despite I was just an intern at the time, I used to pay for some dates too (movies, dinners in cheap restaurants ). I never asked for money. He ended up falling in love with me because he felt I was with him for who he was, and wanted to marry me, to buy me the beach house of my dreams, he wanted me to quit my job and start my own NGO.. FUNNY THING IS, I left him because I wasn’t in love with him, and it doesn’t matter how good and luxurious the life he could provide me was..I could never marry someone I didn’t truly love.

      1. 15.1.1
        hunter

        I am wondering what other women thought of your post.

      2. 15.1.2
        Diana

        I also could not marry someone I truly didn’t love. I know that a lot of people view marriage as a business decision. But for all the dining and traveling, I think a simple, personal gift would have spoken volumes more. He was entertaining himself as well when he paid for the red carpet treatment. It’s nice that you showed him through your actions and not just words that you weren’t interested in his money. I haven’t been in such a situation, but I don’t think I’d feel comfortable dating a man with wealth.

  16. 16
    Sally

    I have to go with the guy here as well. Her entire letter sounds like she feels she is entitled to his money. I’m surprised he has put up with this for 4.5 years. My boyfriend of 3.5 years and I do not live together, so our situation is not exactly the same. He does indeed make more money than me.. probably 4x as much. He does tend to pick up more tabs than I do, but I always offer. Always. And on our recent beach vacation, it was sweet to see the grateful look on his face when I handed over my credit card to gas up the car.

    I have been on the opposite side of this coin… living with a guy who was jobless. (He did indeed turn out to be a user/mooch but that is another topic.) And I did feel resentment when he just expected me to pay for whatever he wanted. It took away my spirit of giving out of caring when it became a demand.

  17. 17
    Monica

    I dont care if I sound old fashion, but I think she is not expecting too much..I believe that a man should take care of his wife and family, i think it is his job as a husband and father and yes i believe that a woman should do the cleaning and cooking and make her man happy.. I think that she needs to communicate with her fiancee and tell him how she feels and maybe he can change his ways… of course if the man wants to help the wife then that is good too but as far as equality is concerned.. i do not want to be the one who mows the grass or make sure the cars have their oil changed, Ill stick with the indoor work.. bottome line.. a man should provide his woman with the things she needs AND wants…

  18. 18
    JuJu

    I remember reading this advice column a couple years back in which a woman was complaining that while her husband makes ten times as much money as she does, he insists on splitting all common expenses equally, and while she has nothing left for herself after that, he has expensive hobbies and goes on luxury vacations (without her).

    Perhaps my thinking on this is so categorical because I originally come from a country where separate finances in a marriage are unheard of, but still, how can two people IN A MARRIAGE have differing standards of living, and be both okay with it??

    The man in that marriage was obviously able to enjoy all the extravagances that leave his wife out and not be bothered by her misfortune (which already seems bizarre to me), but, more importantly, the wife – she wrote that letter after some years of being married to him! So, that tells me, for quite a long time she’d been trying very hard to justify his conduct as legitimate!

    For what it’s worth, yes, if the woman in the couple makes much more than the man, and yet chooses to be with him, I would expect her to contribute proportionally, too.

    1. 18.1
      vino

      There’s 1 assumption underlying what I’m about to say – that she wanted (as did he) to have the home/cars/etc. that take her income. If she wanted to have extra $, then she could/should have argued for something more modest within her budget.

      With that assumption, if they live in a place and have overhead expenses that leave her little left over why should he pay more for her, subsidizing her life? Don’t just say “Because they’re married.” Marriage is a contract voidable at either party’s discretion. So, if he pays to subsidize her increased standard of living for some years, and she later decides to leave, he has nothing for that time. But she has more than she otherwise would have had due to her own efforts. In effect, he’s paid her for her time.

      Cold, I know, but that’s how it works.

  19. 19
    Paul

    This is just my opinion, but from experience, when 2 people get married, it should all go into one pot regardless of circumstances…what’s yours is mine and what’s mine is yours. As a man, wouldn’t I want my wife that I love to have all the best I could afford? Of course I would if I truly loved her. But I am wondering if her fiance even knows about her feelings on this topic? I really think this is most likely situational and there is another side to it. If not, if the guy really doesn’t have a good spirit, she should move on regardless of the life she is promised because it is all material anyway, so won’t be fulfilling most likely if the relationship and respect isn’t there.

    1. 19.1
      Me

      “As a man, wouldn’t I want my wife that I love to have all the best I could afford? Of course I would if I truly loved her.”

      You got it right, Paul! 

    2. 19.2
      Socrates

      “what’s yours is mine and what’s mine is yours.” I think that would probably work in a situation where both parties make similar incomes but sadly, women have allowed progressive communist ideals to infiltrate their views of relationships. Allow me to demonstrate. A typical woman dating a man who makes more money than her will assume that the man should cover more bills and pick up the tab more as he has more money to spend than she does. It doesn’t matter whether she saves all her money or blows it frivolously, the man should pay more regardless. In addition, even if the man makes less money than her, she believes that the man should support her and pay all the bills as this is the man’s “job” and that is his proper role in supporting his wife or girlfriend. Every argument is in the female’s favor. 

  20. 20
    Honey

    I also wondered what the $200 “shopping” was – if it’s groceries, pony up (though not for all of it), but if it’s your own spending, well, it’s yours.

    The BF and I divide rent proportionally to income and most other bills half (since even if I did live on my own I wouldn’t spend 1/3 less on trash collection or cable…oh, and to clarify I bring in 1/3 the money and he brings in 2/3 or so). It works for us now.

    If there’s going to be a prenup, then she has a say in what it contains. Why not have a prenup that says that they will each contribute proportionally to household expenses? Or that they will have the exact same amount of spending money? It’s not as if she doesn’t get a say on what goes in that document.
    .-= Honey´s last blog ..Is Your Love Style Blowing Your First Dates? =-.

    1. 20.1
      Socrates

      what’s with this proportional spending nonsense. Each of you are equal members of the relationship so why should one party have to contribute more?

  21. 21
    Honey

    Oh, and my understanding of the LW was that he pays for numerous cars that are his, and she pays for her own. Maybe that’s not the case, but I think it’s not especially clear from the letter.
    .-= Honey´s last blog ..Is Your Love Style Blowing Your First Dates? =-.

  22. 22
    Jonsi

    Paul,

    Really? I get your general point, but it does not resolve conflicts. I don’t see how, if a man makes a lot of money and is married, that his wife can just go out and spend whatever she wants for her own pleasure as long as they maintain positive cash flow. There would still need to be boundaries on her lifestyle and what she can and cannot spend.

    I don’t think we have enough information to pass judgment; if her fiance wrote in, I could just as easily conclude “she’s not independent,” not that he is cheap. There is a big difference between saying “it would be fun to learn how to sail together. Let’s look into taking lessons” and “Suzy is learning how to sail and I want to take classes with her. Can I have $200?” From the author’s tone, it sounds like she asks for the latter. We have no way of knowing without more information.

  23. 23
    casualencounters.com/blog

    Object to this sentence and its implicit equating of success with wealth:

    “Just the other day I was talking with a semi-successful guy – not a millionaire – who took care of his girlfriend when she was unemployed and couldn’t afford to pay rent.”
    .-= casualencounters.com/blog´s last blog ..LiveJasmin.com review =-.

  24. 24
    sjz

    I have gone out with two men who were millionaires. I am currently unemployed and expected nothing of them. They were the cheapest men I have ever met on earth. One bitched because I wouldn’t buy an ice-cream for him because he didn’t want to pay for it! Any money that was spent on me, I heard about it. Its true what they say, if you marry for money you pay for every cent of it!

    On the other hand I dated a man for 4 years who made $35,000.00. He paid for what he could and truly understood what the reason for making money really was. He paid for the expenses he had, saved and had the kind of fun he could have by watching what he spent. Two totally different attitudes. It all comes down to seeing the world as one of scarcity or as one of abundance. No amount of money in the world will change somone’s mind when they think they will never have enough.

  25. 25
    starthrower68

    I had to read the letter again after reading Evan’s response, and I think Evan has a very valid point. I’m always troubled by the “I love him/her but….” sentence. If I’m reading this correctly, the gentlemen in question provides for pretty much all of her needs. I’m not sure it’s unreasonable for her to provide for some things. I’m only speculating based on what the OP wrote but he sounds like a man in love, even if he is cheap, as she says. If he truly is not generous, then that’s another story, as two people are supposed serve one another in love in a relationship. But I wonder if he is truly as stingy as he’s made out to be; after all, would he not have dumped the OP when she went from a $100K income to $45K? Only a guess, I dunno.

  26. 26
    Curly Girl

    I want you to read the letter again, and this time, imagine that the guy is writing the letter and instead of talking about money, they’re talking about sex……

    “She won’t give me what I want….”
    “I think that in a marriage the woman should take care of her man…”
    “My sexual needs are greater than hers…”
    “I ask for it and she won’t give it…”
    “Can I marry someone who is so selfish about sex?”

    Ha!!! :)

    1. 26.1
      Enlightened

      Most men would agree that marrying a woman known to be stingy with sex would be foolhardy, assuming that it is important to the man. Therefore, if a woman is dating a man who “makes her feel awkward” when she needs money, she would be a fool to marry him. He isn’t going to change.
       

  27. 27
    Sara

    I’m most concerned that they are 6 months from marriage and don’t have a worked-out financial arrangement that they can both live with (i.e., putting 80% of both salaries in a joint checking account to pay bills with, save for a new house, vacations, etc and 20% to spend on themselves, or whatever they come up with). HOW they divvy it up is not my place to judge, and ultimately kind of irrelevant to this discussion.

    Clearly their expectations are not aligned, and that is a big problem. Have they not sat down and hashed all this out? They are planning a wedding and she’s expecting a pre-nup talk but they haven’t had it yet? She should ask for that conversation, immediately after she sits down and sorts out what she needs and expects from him financially. A pre-nup is not just about protecting a wealthier man from a woman. Hopefully they can figure this all out openly and honestly soon, or I fear for their marriage’s longevity.

    1. 27.1
      vino

      “immediately after she sits down and sorts out what she needs and expects from him financially. A pre-nup is not just about protecting a wealthier man from a woman”

      – The cynical bastard in me says it’s about paying her for her time….

      As an adult she should not NEED his help financially. Nor should she EXPECT it. Even after marriage. Unless they work out some arrangement vis-a-vis kids (& only for that). Otherwise, she’s already benefiting simply by moving in & raising her standard of living well beyond what she can afford.

      1. 27.1.1
        Sara

        When I said “expects from him financially,” I actually meant what they both expect financially from their relationship. Does he expect to pay certain things for her but not others? Does he expect not to pay for any of her expenses at all? Does she expect him to pay all their joint expenses? What their expectations are don’t matter to me, but they should already have this figured out. Since they don’t, she is resentful, and he may be as well.

        Finally, you sound a bit cynical. They aren’t dating; they are getting married. While she comes across as whiny in this letter and I don’t agree with her immaturity in addressing the issue head on, you seem to be implying she should be grateful that her standard of living is increasing at all, and shut up. Is that really how marriage works these days?

        1. vino

          “you seem to be implying she should be grateful that her standard of living is increasing at all, and shut up. Is that really how marriage works these days?”

          First, they are NOT married. Not yet. She’s didn’t even give an approx. date. So the assumption of marriage “what’s mine is yours & vice versa” does not apply. His stuff is his and hers is hers.

          Secondly, She SHOULD be grateful AND stfu. He is doing her a favor by letting her live with him prior to marriage. He need not do that at all. She is getting a GIFT of living in a place she cannot otherwise afford. And, since she mention he spends a lot of $ on his (our) house and no contribution from her (remember, she’s ‘generous’), I’m surmising that she ain’t paying for the house either. He’s under no duty or obligation to do any of it.

          And, let’s face it, part of the reason she is with him IS the $$. ‘Cause if he’s so good to her & she STILL resents him due to money, you know where her head is at ($$$).

          Simply put, she wants the benefit of his already earned (or inherited) money, without having earned it herself. Worse, she seems to feel as though she’s entitled to it. That’s sick.

          So yes, it is about paying her for her time, since I don’t see what else she is bringing to the table.

  28. 28
    girl-with-glasses

    I don’t know what she needed the $200 to go shopping for, gifts, clothing, grocery, etc…Either way, it sounds terribly tacky.
    He’s not her atm, it doesn’t paint a pretty picture of her mental state and expectations.

    Yes, he does come across as responsible but a bit on the stingy side. But I expect she’s hardly the big-hearted, fun-loving gal she imagines herself to be. I don’t imagine she’d be deludged by better offers if she left this relationship.

    To the op, if after a 4.5 year relationship, he still wants to marry you, I’d count my blessings. With the current economy, having a thrifty mentality won’t kill you. If you’re still not satisfied, I’d wait to see the prenuptials, and hammer away from there.

  29. 29
    LK

    Wow. They’re not even married yet. Why isn’t she covering her own expenses?

    I understand having a single income family if one partner stays home to care for children. And if there is a large income discrepancy in a relationship, then I could understand splitting common expenses — and splurges — on a somewhat proportional basis. But engagement or not, I don’t understand feeling entitled to someone else’s money just “because”.

    This is FAR from a dealbreaker, but I would really prefer to find someone whose income and ideas about fiscal responsibility are in a similar ballpark to mine (e.g., within a factor of 2 in either direction). I think it would simplify a lot in terms of compatibility and expectations.

    I really feel uncomfortable making relationships about money. (I would also not want to date someone who had severe money issues and was unable to provide for himself.) I try to take turns with paying when I’m dating someone to avoid the appearance that I’m just there for the free meal. Feminism has its faults, but in my opinion the opportunity to take responsibility for myself is a positive outcome.

    1. 29.1
      vino

      “Feminism has its faults, but in my opinion the opportunity to take responsibility for myself is a positive outcome.”

      I agree, but in a dating & marriage arena, most ‘feminists’ still clamor like hell for the patriarchy’s (*gag*) shouldering the financial burdens of dating & marriage. Kinda hypocritical.

      And you are right about dating closer to one’s income bracket. I think guys shouldn’t date anyone who makes less than them (within reason). These issues then reduce considerably.

      Of course the outcry that would ensue….

      1. 29.1.1
        Steve

        Playing both sides of the fence is human nature and is not peculiar to feminists or women.

        I think part of the cause is that many intelligent, ethical and fair women are truly unaware of the “female privilege” they have. Men crave any amount of positive female attention they can get, even just a smile. Men will cater their words to women with the result of women having a false impression of how men/the world works. A few feminists and really sharp, contemplative women see through all of this, but most women do not.

        Being able to smile, weep, or emote your way out of getting a traffic ticket isn’t nearly enough compensation for the negative sexism out there, but that and other examples of female privilege do exist. Like Simone, I think ultimately it works against the creation of a more egalitarian society.

        1. Jennifer

          So true Steve, so true.

  30. 30
    Janet

    Heavens. There seems to be a lot of unfounded assumptions going on here. We have no idea what the financial arrangement is regarding their household, and yet the assumption is that she is some kind of gold-digger getting a free ride and that the reason he is so “stingy” is because she is usurious. The woman was making $100K before she got downsized (or whatever caused the change in her income). Hardly sounds like a free-loader to me.

    Further, we don’t know anything about his wealth or how it operates in his life. Is it family money? Did he make it himself? Is she calling him a “multi-millionaire” because he owns and lives in a $2 million house in a Connecticut suburb (pretty ordinary there) or because he can invest $10 million in commodities? These are all very different situations that go with a different way of managing wealth and a different mentality on his part. We just don’t have enough information to jump to all the conclusions that people have been jumping to.

    She is wise to think about all of this before marrying him, especially if she is feeling so angry at him. She is not without risk in marrying someone with more assets. If he owns the place but she contributes to its upkeep and pays him “rent,” so to speak, she is not building equity in her own place and he is getting a subsidy — tax-free money going toward the maintenance of one of his assets. If he has more money he may want to buy pricier things and expect to split the cost 50-50 with her — proportionately to her income, she ends up paying more. Or she may have given up a good lease to move in with him. She may have to commute farther to her work to live with him. She may be doing more housework than she would were she single. His career may take precedence over hers when it comes to decisions regarding their personal life. If he needs her to go with him to social functions that benefit his career she may be spending a lot of time and money to be outfitted appropriately, money that she wouldn’t otherwise spend in that way. The list goes on….

    In short, there are many situations in which his wealth may be great for him, and her living there makes his life easier, but it doesn’t necessarily go in the other direction. Bottom line is that they need to have a deep discussion about money before they get married.

    1. 30.1
      girl-with-glasses

      Janet, that’s a great comment. Sometimes, a wiser and cooler head does prevail.

      If it were only a discussion about money, or divison of duties, your solution would work flawlessly. Underlying everything though, I get the impression that the op doesn’t feel she’s loved , or loved enough, by this man.

      I still think the examples cited were tacky, and don’t paint a good picture of her character or maybe just her maturity with respect to a relationship, BUT, as a woman, I do somewhat get where she’s coming from. As grownup as we want to talk about money, it *is* tied up with the psyche. Money is a form of love too…how else do you explain how much parents shell out for college educations, etc… A woman might not need a man to pay her way, but being occasionally spoiled doesn’t hurt. I don’t feel she should have asked for money for shopping, but maybe she did it only pressed as a last resort because she felt he was never going to make a generous gesture toward her. If she feel he’s stingy with his money in respect to her, it might just mean she feels he is stingy with his emotional affection as well.

      Yes I know she mentions that they have a good time together, but how much does it really take for two adults to be polite in each other’s company? Maybe facing the prospect of a life time committment, she’s wondering what she’s really signing up for.

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