Harriette Cole: I think my boyfriend is gaslighting me about his financial situation

DEAR HARRIETTE: Every chance he gets, my boyfriend says, “I don’t have any money.”

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He works in the fitness community, whereas I am employed in a corporate setting. I earn significantly more than him; he has a more robust savings account. I also have more responsibilities within my family, so I tend to spend more money.

Occasionally, when my boyfriend sees me purchasing necessary items, I feel gaslighted when he mentions his own needs.

Being the oldest in my family, I naturally grew up with a provider mindset, and I feel responsible for my boyfriend’s needs. I acknowledge that this may be an internal issue on my part.

My question is, do you think I am being taken advantage of in this situation?

— Shared Responsibilities

DEAR SHARED RESPONSIBILITIES: Just because you earn more money does not mean that your boyfriend should expect for you to pay his bills.

What the two of you need to do is talk about your relationship, including your finances.

Think about your expectations of a partner in a relationship. What do you hope for in terms of what your partner will handle financially? Ask the same of him. Yes, you earn more money; that does not automatically mean that you should pay for more of the shared costs associated with your relationship.

Pause for a moment and assess the situation. Some relationships remain financially uneven. That can be fine if the two partners have an agreement about how resources will be managed.

What level of commitment do you two have? Does this feel like a permanent relationship — marriage or otherwise? If so, what level of financial contribution are you willing to accept from your partner? What are you willing to contribute?

Talk it out and make decisions based on what you can live with comfortably. Otherwise, each of you could end up silently seething in the corner while secretly wishing the other were handling the situation differently.

DEAR HARRIETTE: Is …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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