My Live-In Boyfriend Doesn’t Contribute Equally To Our Joint Expenses, And I’m Starting To Resent Him

Living together with your boyfriend can be great if you’re on the same page and willing to share financial responsibilities. 

It can be exciting to build a life as a couple: setting up a joint bank account, taking out credit cards together, and planning on how to save money in the future.

But, as you well know, love, marriage, and living together don’t mean a happy ending. This is the point in your life when you have to agree on sharing your finances in a fair and equitable way.

Table of Contents

Facing Financial Struggles With Your Boyfriend
Should You Just Keep Paying and Just Let Him Pay What He Can?
How To Make Sure Money Doesn’t Come Between You and Your Partner
What To Do if You Date a Man With No Ambition?
How To Avoid Arguments and Resentment Down the Road
How To Handle Financial Problems in a Relationship

Facing Financial Struggles With Your Boyfriend

It’s common for people to cohabitate in order to save money. But that shouldn’t be the primary reason you move in together.

Moving in together should be a prelude to marriage – a trial run where you see how compatible you are under the same roof. And once you’re under that roof, some questions will begin to arise, like:

  • Do you split expenses down the middle?
  • Does the person who makes more contribute?
  • Is that contribution based on gender roles or ability to pay?
  • Do you maintain separate bank accounts?

Without the right money management strategy – and healthy, direct communication – you could face great financial and emotional stress. This brings us to the most challenging problem of all:

  • What if your partner refuses to pay his fair share in the relationship?
  • Is your relationship still worth it?

If you let things slide, the worst might happen. In fact, it may lead to resentment.

Should You Just Keep Paying and Just Let Him Pay What He Can?

Here’s a real-life scenario:

My boyfriend and I have been together for 2 years. We’ve decided to rent a place together. We have been living together for 4 months. He previously rented a room in a house, and I rented a small house with my two children.

Now we are renting a small house together. His child support, truck payment, etc., leaves him only $600 to contribute to the household. That leaves me to contribute the rest, about $3000 for rent, food, and utilities. I work two jobs, and he works one.

Overall, this man shows me his good attitude and actions outside of money matters. But despite what good he has been, he still has drawbacks in our relationship.

 

Advantages Disadvantages
He is the nicest, most wonderful man I know. He says he wants to help but is unable.
He treats me nicely. He doesn’t cook or clean either.
He never expects anything from me. He says he will pay a third, but not.
He tells me every day how much he loves me. He is treating me like a roommate and not his woman.
He brings me flowers when he can. He is trying to find some extra jobs on the side, but not very hard.
He never yells at me or criticizes me. He really doesn’t have enough.

 

Ready for Lasting Love?
Ready for Lasting Love?
Ready for Lasting Love?
Ready for Lasting Love?

I am starting to resent him, though. I don’t know if I am right or wrong to feel resentful. Even if he made more money, he says he won’t pay half because, in all fairness, I get child support, and he shouldn’t have to pay half. He says he will pay a third. 

He treats me nice, he never expects anything from me. I am starting to resent him though. 

I can’t help feeling he is treating me like a roommate and not his woman. If he is a real man shouldn’t he want to work together to build a life? He tells me everyday how much he loves me, he brings me flowers when he can. Should I just keep paying and just let him pay what he can? He never goes out or spends foolishly on himself. He really doesn’t have enough. Help!

Lisa

How To Make Sure Money Doesn’t Come Between You and Your Partner

Money is a big topic on this blog.

We’ve talked about how some women take advantage of good-hearted low-earning boyfriends.

We’ve talked about how some women expect men to make more money, even if they make a good living independently.

We’ve talked about how some women refuse to even reach for a check.

These are all arguments I’ve made for equality. With women earning more college degrees and master’s degrees in this day and age, it’s anachronistic to expect men to pay and ALWAYS earn more.

What To Do if You Date a Man With No Ambition?

Lisa’s question cuts to the heart of women’s issues around money. 

What happens if you’re dating a man without ambition, skills, and the desire to be a better provider?

This is my client’s worst nightmare — even though I can’t see any of my clients dating a man with a truck payment and $600 to spare each month.

So let me begin, Lisa, by expressing my admiration and sympathy for you. You fell in love with a man based on what’s in his heart and not in his wallet. And that says a lot about your character.

The question is whether it’s enough.

My answer to you will be a gender-blind one because that’s the way we need to begin to look at financial issues. This is not about who earns more. This is about two things: what’s fair and what you’re comfortable with.

This is not about who earns more. This is about two things: what’s fair and what you’re comfortable with.

How To Avoid Arguments and Resentment Down the Road

Objectively, this arrangement isn’t fair. But then, in a gender-blind society, who said things had to be fair?

I made about four times what my wife made when we met. Would it have been fair for me to ask her to split our rent in half? No, it would not.

We split it based on our means to pay. I could have resented that I made four times more than her, but I chose not to. I wasn’t with her for her money or ability to split costs. I was with her because of how I felt in her presence.

These days, my wife doesn’t work at all. She stays at home with the kids and goes to Mommy and Me classes, swimming classes, MyGym, and Disneyland, all of which I pay for.

Do I resent her?

Not one bit because I believe that:“This is what she wants to do, and I’m fortunate to have the means to allow her to do it. This is the bargain we struck as a couple. This is the bargain any woman can strike with a man, as long as she doesn’t resent him for earning less or being a stay at home dad.

DO YOU WANT TO FIX YOUR BROKEN MAN-PICKER?

I’m guessing every reader here had the same initial reaction to your email, “Lisa, you poor girl! Dump him!” I can see where that impulse comes from, but I don’t think it’s acknowledging your deep feelings for your boyfriend. You’ve spent two years with him. You say that he’s the “nicest, most wonderful man” you know.

In order to salvage this relationship, a few things have to happen.

How To Handle Financial Problems in a Relationship

It’s pretty stressful to have personal finance issues with your man, especially if you’re paying a disproportionate amount of the household expenses. But that doesn’t mean all is lost.

Money issues are common in relationships, and couples with a strong foundation can often weather them together. Presuming you and your partner value your relationship equally, you can find a way to compromise and develop a plan that works for both of you

In order to salvage this relationship, a few things have to happen.

Have an authentic conversation with him.

You need to start by acknowledging how much you love and appreciate him. Then you need to acknowledge that you’ve been feeling a little bit of resentment. You’re not proud of it, but you own it.

Break it down for him.

You contribute five times more to the household than he does, even though you only make X dollars more. Even though you appreciate his pre-existing payments, that’s imbalanced and is a serious burden for you to carry alone.

Get his acknowledgement of this fact.

What you’d like to do is sit down and do a budget of how much each of you makes and would like to pay the rent and bills proportionately, whatever that means. This would include how much money you make from child support and exclude how much he pays in child support.

We’re talking about take-home pay only.

  • If it still comes out to $600 for him and $3000 for you, you can suggest a workaround. He can sell his truck and buy something cheaper if that’s possible. You can go to Mint.com and look at how to balance your budget better.
  • Additionally, one thing that will have to change is how much he contributes to the household in non-monetary ways. He has to do 50% of the cooking and 50% of the cleaning at a bare minimum, to ease your burden as the primary breadwinner.

Make it clear that you don’t resent him because he makes less than you.

Not everyone can have a high-paying job. This feeling is building up inside because you feel taken for granted.

And if the roles were reversed and he was paying $3000/month then doing all the cooking and cleaning, he’d probably feel resentful, too, no?

His reaction to this conversation will tell you whether you have a relationship worth preserving. There’s nothing wrong with marrying a poor guy if you have the means to support him. There IS something wrong with marrying a poor guy who doesn’t have a sense of fairness and appreciation for your efforts.

There’s nothing wrong with marrying a poor guy if you have the means to support him. There IS something wrong with marrying a poor guy who doesn’t have a sense of fairness and appreciation for your efforts.

Please come back and let us know how that conversation goes.

Want to gain confidence, attract quality men, and create lasting love fast? Click here to fix your broken-man picker and learn more about Love U.

DO YOU WANT TO FIX YOUR BROKEN MAN-PICKER?