My husband regularly contacts his married college girlfriend and tells her when things aren’t going well with us.
He says she’s still in love with him. I’m hurt that he confides our personal issues to an ex-lover. But he defensively says he can talk to whomever he wants.
I agree. But being so attached to his ex seems inappropriate. He reminisces with her about their time together, including sex.
A Red Flag?
They’re playing with fire – she, by indicating she still loves him; he, by confiding your personal relationship issues.
He increases your marital difficulties by seeking solace through her, instead of working things out privately with you.
Re-hashing their sexual past together crosses the line enough to question trusting him. Say that you, too, can share your marriage problems and sexual memories with a past lover… but you don’t because it’s disrespectful, hurtful, and emotionally dangerous.
My boyfriend of five years and I moved in together 18 months ago. He was in school for the last year, so I paid all our bills until he got a job.
My parents developed a lot of consumer debt because my father’s horrible at handling money. I saw how that affected my mom after my dad took sick.
So, I’m a control freak wanting to know where all our money is and where it’s going. My boyfriend is also terrible at paying bills so I constantly remind him to check his credit card, pay it, etc.
It’s getting on my nerves making sure we’re on top of the bills! A year ago, I helped him pay $1,000 to repair his car, since he was still in school. I've had to beg him to give me payments, still owing me $250 from June 2017.
He also needed money later for another car repair and half of our down-payment on our apartment. So, he borrowed $1600 from his parents and hasn't paid back anything in months.
When I say we need to pay our debts, he says he will "when he can.” His full-time job in his field doesn't pay as much as my job, but I feel he could be making a better effort to pay off his personal lending debt.
He was never taught how to budget. How can I make him see the importance of paying debts and bills in a TIMELY manner?
Our relationship is great otherwise, but money makes most couples break up.
Either you figure this out now, or your “otherwise great” relationship will include arguments and stress indefinitely.
Issue some now-or-never statements. He either gets counselling from a bank’s financial advisor, an accountant, or a course – now – or you live separately again, where he’s totally responsible for his own bills and debts.
Yes, it’s an extreme threat if you love each other, but how long will your affections outweigh your frustration?
You’re not your parents, he’s not your dad, so the constant comparison isn’t fair. But the fact that you’ve adopted your mother’s role in anticipating the worst outcome is what’s adding to your stress.
If you want to stay together, you also have to change somewhat. Example: What he owes his parents is their business, unless they’re people likely to be in imminent need. Unfortunately, the more you hound him, the less he’ll learn on his own.
Try a new budget conversation together, whereby, you both restrict spending on any extras - dining out, new purchases – beyond what his salary can afford for his share.
FEEDBACK Regarding “Heartbroken” whose best friend hooked up with the woman with whom he was “deeply in love” (November 8):
Reader – “I had a different take on this situation. Being “in love" isn’t always the same as being girlfriend/boyfriend. It could’ve been a one-way crush on his part.
“In my bachelor days, I had a similar experience - except I was the friend. The woman whom my friend introduced me to and I hit it off with sparks.
“But before we got romantic together, I asked her about her relationship with my friend. She was resolutely positive that she had zero romantic interest in him.
“I did lose my friendship over it. I also lost a mutual friend who never wanted to hear my side of the story.
“However, I have no regrets. I lost one delusional and self-righteous friend, but I gained a lovely new friend and experience.”
Tip of the day:
Hot correspondence with an old flame when both are married, is playing with fire.