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He Doesn’t Pay His Share

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From the U.S.: I have been seeing my boyfriend for 3.5 years now. We just officially moved in together a few weeks ago and are on the way towards an engagement. Let me first start by saying that I do love him, very much. He is my best friend.

Despite all of that; however, I still am having doubts. I have gone through minute periods of time in the past where I’ve become overwhelmed and stressed about the future of our relationship but have always come back to him and the fact that I do love him and I want to be with him. We’ve never broken up, but we have taken a week apart from each other with no contact. He is currently looking for a “big boy” job (he graduated college in December) and is working at a restaurant for the time being.

We just had to pay “our” rent for the first time and he was responsible for a larger share because I paid a larger share upon move-in. The problem was that he didn’t have that money, so I had to pay for it. Then the next day, he accidentally cut himself and had to get stitches. We are on separate insurances, obviously, but I had to pay his copay because he didn’t have the money. My biggest concern is that he is going to become complacent where he is and this will always be an issue.

I do not mind things being 50/50, but I cannot and will not cover his side on money all the time. In college, I lent him money multiple times and have paid for more dinners and dates than he has throughout our relationship.

My parents have been married for over 25 years and I have seen them at their best and at their worst. They were both married before they met each other and that has caused me to be terrified of divorce. I am worried that we will not make it and that I am looking past major issues because I am scared of life without him and starting over. Recently, I have found myself thinking “what if” and thinking about other men and other possibilities. Please help me! I do genuinely love this man and I do want things to work. I don’t want to have doubts or question things, I want to know I am making the right decision.

He Doesn’t Pay His Share

Answered by on -

A.

I think you need to listen to your wise self. You have doubts because there is reason to have them. Throughout the history of your relationship, he has “borrowed” money or not paid his share. Why do you think it will be different now? That is not to say that all marriages need to be alike in terms of the division of financial responsibilities. But for a marriage to last, there has to be a clear agreement and reliable follow through by the people involved — and there has to be an understanding of how you will handle things when circumstances change. (Will he step up, for example, if you need to cut back your contribution in order to get more schooling or to take a different job? How will you divide responsibilities if you have a child?) You and your boyfriend don’t seem to be on the same page.

I worry that by not paying attention to your doubts you are setting yourself up for the divorce you fear. However much you love this man, you can’t count on him to do his financial part. That is going to get old real quick. You and your boyfriend need to come to an agreement he can stick to and you can live with.

That may mean taking a step back from living together. You both need to know that you are serious. If you can’t negotiate a real agreement on your own, it would be advisable to go to see a couples counselor for a few sessions to work it through. Please do this work before you get engaged. If you don’t it will likely become an issue that will erode your relationship.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

He Doesn’t Pay His Share

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). He Doesn’t Pay His Share. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 15, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2015/06/07/he-doesnt-pay-his-share/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.