This man must be drop-dead gorgeous or extremely charming. Otherwise, I don’t understand for a minute why you would fall for him. He is so concerned about being in control and keeping everything even that he has entirely lost sight of what relationships are about – kindness, caring, generosity, being each other’s greatest fan, and trust. You’re right: Gifts are just that – gifts. What we get back from giving is the joy and appreciation of the receiver, not an immediate monetary return.
My kindest interpretation of his behavior is that he was taken advantage of so badly at some time in his life that he vowed it would never happen again. And, if that’s the case, he’s letting whoever did it to him have control over his relationship now. You certainly shouldn’t be treated like this. You have done nothing to deserve it.
Since you do think you love him, it’s time to have a serious talk with him about just why he is so worried that you will take advantage of him or hurt him. If he can’t tolerate the difference in your financial status, then you have a painful decision to make. Unless he can make a shift in his attitude and behavior, things aren’t going to change. I know. It’s hard to let go of love, especially in mid-life. Only you can decide if the stress and being pulled down so much is worth it.
I wish you well.
This article has been updated from the original version, which was originally published here on October 28, 2010.