I Love My Boyfriend but He Values Money and Freedom More Than Me.

head portrait of unhappy mature lady

My marriage lasted for 26 years and was ultimately a very lonely place. I met someone new and exciting who I had a lot more in common with. I ended my marriage as soon as I realized what was happening, and there was no overlap.

However, I walked away from a lot of security to be with someone who is rich but has made it clear that he doesn’t want to get married and that his money is his and mine is mine.

Despite earning 5 times what I do and having no mortgage or loans, he still wants me to go halves on everything. Because of his circumstances, he actually doesn’t really have any household bills and I buy nearly all of our food. I do love him very much, we have a great time together, in a way I never did in my marriage. I also gave up my own business in order to help out with his ‘charity’ – hence low earnings. He has other income apart from work. I have left a few times, but he has always come and begged me to come back and cried.

But the finances are a sticking point, which makes me feel that this is the most important thing in his life. I am not materialistic or greedy, I just feel that for this to really have a chance, I need to be the thing that he values most or it won’t get off the starting blocks.

I am 50, he is 62. I am not afraid of being alone, or having to find another job, but I don’t want to throw away something that feels very good when it is good. But I worry about whether there is enough substance behind it.

I just want someone to tell me what to do, this has been burning a hole in my head for so long now.


Thanks for your question, Jackie. Sounds rough. And while I’m well-aware of the limitations of giving important relationship advice to a stranger after a 400-word email, I’m going to do what you requested and tell you exactly what to do.

But first, allow me to point out that you have fallen victim to one of the oldest dating traps around: the false dichotomy.

Allow me to point out that you have fallen victim to one of the oldest dating traps around: the false dichotomy.

You left your lonely marriage for a more exciting relationship.

Your more exciting relationship was doomed from the start because he TOLD you he doesn’t want to get married and his money is his money.

And yet you pose this question almost as if these are your only two choices in the world.

They’re not. There are an infinite number of men besides these two. And I would highly encourage you to explore a bunch of them in the not-so-distant future.

You traded comfort for passion, as many do, not accounting for the fact that there are often significant tradeoffs that come with passion. Namely, the LACK of comfort you’re currently experiencing.

That doesn’t mean you should remain trapped in a bad marriage, but it does mean you should re-evaluate what you actually want out of life.

If you’re like most people, it’s not an either/or, it’s a both/and.

You need more attraction and fun than your first marriage.
You need more security and comfort than your current relationship.

But that means you’re going to have to exit this “relationship” pronto, instead of getting seduced by how good things are when they’re good.

Great relationships are consistently good. They consistently make you happy. They provide a foundation that undergirds everything you do in life. Your man either can’t do that or won’t do that, and frankly, it doesn’t matter which.

Great relationships are consistently good. They consistently make you happy.

You put your life on hold, left your marriage, and quit your job to pursue this high-chemistry affair with a selfish, successful guy who doesn’t want to be your husband.

Now it’s time to undo that and start your next act, at age 50, with a roadmap to unconditional love. The clock is ticking and the ball is in your court.

And to any of our other readers, if you’re in a relationship where your needs aren’t getting met, you need the confidence to know that YOU CAN DO BETTER.

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  1. 21

    “I always thought that love and time were about desire – being with someone, holding someone, feeling someone. But it isn’t necessarily. Love can come in lots of different ways and lots of different guises.” That’s the British artist Tracey Emin in a May 2012 BBC interview. She’s talking about her experience as a single woman artist nearing 50, but it’s a great reminder for all of us, no matter our relationship status or age. Not only can love be found everywhere – in an idea, an experience, a lover, a friend, etc. – but it’s like compound interest: the more you have the more you get. As Emily Dickinson wrote, “The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.”

    1. 21.1

      What a lovely thought. Thank you for sharing. <3

  2. 22

    I’ve dated “that guy”. He was a comfortable man who had done well in the dot com days. We had a blast together. I had an awesome job and made great money. Yet, he had a hard time sharing and he would not commit.

    I strong armed him and threatened to discontinue the relationship unless he was willing to commit to marriage. We spent months trying to negotiate a prenup. During that time, he proceeded to expand on the prenup to make sure that I clearly knew that he would NOT be spending money in the following directions: If we had kids and the kids needed braces, he would not pay for braces. If we had a child that got into Harvard, he would not pay for Harvard.

    The longer we dated, the cheaper he got. If we travelled, he did not want to pay for a hotel. He wanted to stay at a youth hostel or couch surf. So I ended up paying for the hotel. And on and on and on… He insisted I pay for half of everything. If I ordered one glass of wine, he would complain. So I ended up paying for my own glass of wine.

    And then I finally believed what he had told me from the beginning. He didn’t want to get married because he didn’t want to risk a divorce and potentially lose half of everything. Even signing a pre-nup wouldn’t convince him.

    I burned through the ages of 38 – 42 hanging out with this loser. Can’t get those years back. Can’t get that time back. Wish I had listened to my intuition from the start. A voice inside me told me that this man was not a good person and that we didn’t share the same values. He was never meant to be more than a friend.

    I love Evan’s advice and I couldn’t say it any better:

    Now it’s time to undo that and start your next act, at age 50, with a roadmap to unconditional love. The clock is ticking and the ball is in your court.

    Good luck, Jackie!

  3. 23
    De Elle

    Dear Joy,

    I do not know when you wrote this and I hope you see this: Thank you for sharing your experience. I have been in an eighteen month relationship with a man who seems to be getting more and more penurious as our relationship progresses. I understand the EMK would say that I should exhibit and exercise the strength to end it immediately but I will not.
    A few months ago, we made reservations, paid deposits and bought plane tickets for a cycling and winery trip that starts in eleven weeks. We shared the costs equally. We get along quite well and the sex is good. However, his growing parsimony coupled with his lack of wanting to be more than “great-travel-buddy-with-benefits” has clarified for me that I will break up with him upon returning from our already booked trip. No, he does not know of my plans. I am not interested in anyone else, I do not want to ruin our trip by trying to go as “just friends” nor do I want to lose all of my money by bailing. And though I am metaphorically setting fire to the next eleven weeks of my life, I have learned a great deal about myself. I am looking at these almost next three months of my life as similar to that last part of my senior year of college before I found meaningful employment is the career of my choice.

  4. 24

    First of all, I don’t know how to find out when the post was written, commented and if people are still following it. Anyway, I will leave my opinion here.
    1. When you say marriage, are you refering to actual marriage or any other form of commitment? If it’s about marriage, why is this the dealbreaker in a relationship? Does everybody think that civil union or just having a relationship for life is unnaceptable and marriage is the only way to bulletproof a relationship? Can’t you divorce or what? If another person says that he/she loves you and wants to spend the rest of the life with you as a couple, does that mean if he/she doesn’t marry you he’s not commited and serious about your relationship? I understand that social programming has ingrained in our brains that marriage is the ultimate purpose of life, but …. i am following this blog for a month now and i really think there are some very clever and socially/emotionally mature people here….;
    2. You said ” relationship was doomed from the start because he TOLD you …. his money is his money”. That means that both parties keep their money and share some expenses right?
    And why is that a bad thing? Why would that be a deal breaker? If I, as a man (but i don’t think it should matter) had a girlfriend who made more money than me, it would not even cross my mind to ask for anything money related. I would be ashamed beyond anything to say “your money is our money”. What is the problem in both people keeping their hard earned money to themselves and only share some expenses that are “couple related”? In my opinion is healthier that way because they can spend their money hovewer they see fit. Why would i care if my wife spends half of her earnings on misc. stuff? I am talking here about a scenario when both people have their own properties and no children together let’s say.
    Does being in a relationship mean giving up on everything and make the relantionship your sole purpose in life? High value people have life goals, dreams etc. A couple should be happy for each other having goals and should help each other to reach those goals. I am fully aware that for some people relationship and marriage is everything in life, but that doesn’t mean everybody is like that. In my opinion a relationship should be a life objective ( a true and good relationship) but that does not mean i should renounce my visions and my dreams and my life principles for a relationship that might not be a perfect one or a permanent one. It should be and i would love to be in one, but things can change. If that is the case, i would get depressed and feel trapped and have no reason to live, actually. A person who really loves you should not try to change you and put herself/himself as the sole purpose in the life of the other one…..

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