September 9, 2023 at 2:00 pm #421937
My boyfriend of 3 years quit his job in early 2023 and still hasn’t been able to find a new job. He has been borrowing money from me since then to a total of over $6,000 so far. I believe he owes others as well. And he has credit card debt now. I feel very anxious about this because of our future. We are both 27.
When he was working, he had a provider mentality and always tried to pay for me (although I would pay too). He never borrowed from me. He was generous even though I had more money than him. I’ve known him for almost 4 years and he never borrowed from me until now.
I love him and he’s perfect in every other way but this is giving me a lot of anxiety. I’d like to think this is just a rough patch but it’s been 8 months of him being jobless. He treats me well and tells me how in love he is with me, and that he will propose after he finds a new job but I feel scared about my future with him now. Before, I dreamed about a future with him. Once he finds a new job I think I will feel better but right now I feel awful and scared. If he never quit his job and went into debt, there is no doubt in my mind that I would want to marry him.
I grew up poor and have saved up a good amount of money, but this is triggering a childhood fear of being poor again…. I feel very anxious about the future. Things are so expensive and I feel a lot of pressure on myself now that he is in debt. Many of our friends are getting married now and I fear we will fall behind because he needs to pay off his debts. I have always been a little “money-crazy” because of how I grew up and have $80,000 saved up. I have a good job also. Still, I feel triggered and annoyed when he asks me for money, but I always give it to him. I want to feel taken care of by my partner, like I used to, but he doesn’t make me feel like that anymore.
I don’t know what to do. I used to wake up and cry out of fear about my future. I’ve worked so hard to get in this position and I feel like my chances at having the life I wanted are over now. I have had thoughts of wishing my life was over because I feel like I have “failed” at life. Even couples who have both saved up struggle to pay for a wedding, house etc. and I am just one person who has saved up and he is in debt. It’s hard because he is my best friend but how can we start a life together and when he is in this state.
please help.September 10, 2023 at 11:29 am #421966
I think that you’ve been a very good girlfriend for a long time, but for at least a few months he hasn’t been a good boyfriend to you because either he doesn’t notice how much suffering you’ve been going through since he quit his job, or he knows.. and doesn’t take it seriously enough to do something about it.
I think that you should not loan/ give him any more money. Think about the possibility of asking him to take 6,000 out of his credit card account, or accounts, and give that money back to you.
So, there are two items I am pointing to: (1) his lack of awareness/ caring about your emotional suffering for so long (2) the money topic.
(I will be back to the computer in about 8- 18 hours from now)
anitaSeptember 10, 2023 at 10:37 pm #421983
It seems like this experience with your boyfriend has been an emotional trigger for you. Do you want to talk about the experiences of poverty that you grew up in? I can understand the direct parallels between your current and past experiences and that this is causing you a lot of pain.
Can you explain a little more about the situation why your boyfriend quit his job? There are some valid reasons to quit a job. I’m curious what his reasons were.
It’s good to hear that you do still have financial stability with a good amount in savings. It’s also good to hear that outside of the money issues he is treating you well. And it gives me some faith that he was always generous when he had a job.
I can understand the concern with money issues affecting the relationship. A trait people look for in a partner is the ability to build a future together and with him accruing debt this calls into question this future.
It is a fact though that at some point in every relationship everyone goes through similar circumstances. It sucks being unemployed and it can take a year to find a new job. Is he putting in the effort to actively look?
I think hard times are the best time to actually understand the nature of your partner. It’s easy for people to be kind when things are going well.
I hope that he finds a job soon and pays off his debt so that you can both recover from this experience and put it behind you.
I would also suggest being clear that you don’t plan on marrying him while he is still in debt. He does need to show you that he is capable of building a future with you again by paying off his debts.
I went through a similar experience with my now husband. He wasn’t unemployed but made some choices and had difficulty managing his finances and ended up getting into debt. I just told him that I couldn’t marry him until he sorted out his finances and in time, (when he got a better job) he was able to pay off his debts. He also learned to become better with money during this process.
As for the money he owes you, it’s ultimately your decision how you want to proceed. I know that you’re not yet married and everyone has different perspectives of how they would like to handle things. Do you have any thoughts about how you would like to proceed?
Wishing you all the best! 🙏September 10, 2023 at 11:28 pm #421984
Forgot to add that I was also in debt at the start of my relationship due to health issues. I didn’t ask for money, my now husband just gave me some out of the goodness of his heart for groceries, so I could eat. I told him he was crazy and shouldn’t try to help strangers because you never know who is a scammer and who isn’t. I paid off my debts and paid him back.
Also recently, we’ve been going through financial difficulties because of various things happening. I supported us through that with my savings. These things have an ebb and flow in a relationship. People take turns looking after and supporting each other. But ideally, you hope that you don’t need it.September 13, 2023 at 6:25 am #422038
@anita Thanks for your reply. I haven’t told him how it’s been making me feel because I don’t want to put additional stress on him and because I don’t know how to address that topic. He is in credit card debt too so he won’t be able to take out money to pay me back right now.September 13, 2023 at 6:40 am #422040
@Helcat thanks for your reply. It is definitely a trigger for me. I grew up low-income and living in subsidized housing. I also lived with an alcoholic, violent father which made me want to desperately escape my home. I think I developed an “obsession” with saving money so that I could escape. I am also very afraid of being poor again… which is maybe why this triggers anxiety for me. I’ve worked very hard to get where I am today and have always been focused on my future and succeeding in life.
My boyfriend quit his job because it was affecting his mental health. They were making him work in the morning and into the evenings which was making him feel depressed (his words) since he couldn’t play sports with his friends after work anymore (which he loves doing). He also had to drive a lot for work which he didn’t like.
He has been actively looking for a job but no luck. I think because when I look for a new job, it doesn’t take me long to find one, I expect it to be the same for him…. But we have different experience/ are in different fields. But I do think “are you trying hard enough?”
Thank you for sharing your experience. It’s comforting to hear others go through similar things and I like your perspective on it of taking turns taking care of each other. I know I won’t find a love like this again and a partner who deeply loves/accepts me like this. Money comes and goes but real love is hard to find.
Our parents are pressuring us to marry soon. I also want to get married soon. And we are planning to get engaged next year. Im just hoping the money part will solve itself by then.September 13, 2023 at 9:31 am #422050
You are welcome.
“I haven’t told him how it’s been making me feel because I don’t want to put additional stress on him“- it is loving of you to not want to put additional stress on him, but you have to love yourself too: to address your own heightened stress level and lower it.
You shared today that you grew up poor and with a violent, alcoholic father, which made you want to desperately escape home, and that you developed almost an obsession’ with saving money so that you could escape. I can understand why lending him so much money would be especially distressing to you, being that for you: saved money = freedom from entrapment in a bad situation.
“I love him and he’s perfect in every other way.. I know I won’t find a love like this again and a partner who deeply loves/accepts me like this” – will he not deeply love you and accept you if he knew how you feel about the money he borrowed from you?
“Money comes and goes but real love is hard to find“- but for you, when money goes, especially when it is unnecessary for it to go, it is a very distressing situation.
“ We are planning to get engaged next year. I’m just hoping the money part will solve itself by then” -seems like he is comfortable borrowing money from you and is not at all desperate to repay you. What if this becomes a marital pattern that he quits jobs and uses the money that you save? Notice: you are already feeling annoyed (meaning, slightly angry) about the topic (“I feel triggered and annoyed when you ask me for money“); anger will not disappear once you are married, not if the problem behind your anger continues.
“I haven’t told him how it’s been making me feel because… I don’t know how to address that topic“- you can say, or give it to him typed on a paper, the following (the italicized are your own words in your original post, with pronouns edited):
(name), I love you so much and I care a lot about how you feel. I know that you care about how I feel too, so I want to tell you how I feel about the $6,000 I loaned you: it makes me feel very anxious about the future. Things are so expensive and I feel a lot of pressure on myself now that you are in debt. Many of our friends are getting married now and I fear we will fall behind because you need to pay off your debts. I have always been a little ‘money-crazy’ because of how I grew up (and) I feel triggered and annoyed when you ask me for money. What do you think or feel about what I just shared with you?
* “He is in credit card debt too so he won’t be able to take out money to pay me back right now“- I meant that he can borrow more using his credit card, if he didn’t maximize his line of credit yet, so to pay you back.
anitaSeptember 13, 2023 at 11:03 am #422060
I’m so sorry to hear that you grew up not just in poverty, but also in a violent home. That must make this a very intense trigger for you since it was such a traumatic experience growing up.
As an adult you know it’s not the same situation, but I can understand why it still makes you so uncomfortable.
It sounds like you and your partner have different styles with handling money and decision making. Did he discuss this important decision of quitting his job with you first?
It sounds like you’re very cautious with money being careful to save. Whereas your partner is less cautious as he is willing to leave a job without another one lined up.
I can understand him leaving a job because he was being overworked and feeling depressed. I personally wouldn’t because like you, I’m cautious. But some people definitely do that because they have different values. It sounds like he prioritises wellbeing over security.
Has quitting the job helped his depression? I’m curious because for some people being out of work can make depression worse.
I do think it’s important to discuss the situation with him because borrowing $6000 and being in additional credit card debt is definitely concerning. At this point you both need to figure out what to do next.
Everyone is different and has different preferences. Do you have any ideas for what you would like to happen?
Personally, I would consider his usual salary and figure out how much it takes him to repay things this can help you understand the implications of the situation he is in with repaying debt.
And you need to consider your finances too because you don’t want to put yourself in a difficult position either. Realistically, you’re fairly comfortable at the moment with the amount of savings you have, but you don’t want to keep burning through them like this. It’s important to set boundaries and expectations before things go too far. You’ve been really patient and supportive, but I think you recognise at this point it needs to be discussed.
You’re right, depending on his field it can take longer. IT for example is difficult at the moment to find a job in because there are massive layoffs in that sector. Competition is intense.
Lower skilled people can also have a lot of difficulty finding a new job, again because of all of the competition.
I can tell that you love your partner. I can understand why you don’t want to stress him. However, I think you can have an empathetic and calm discussion about finances. It’s ultimately what every couple has to face. It wouldn’t hurt at this point for him to kick his search up a notch because the financial situation is becoming challenging.
It’s okay to discuss being stressed about finances in a relationship. This is something that you both can empathise with because he is no doubt stressed about it too at this point.
I don’t know if you live together or what your situation is but he may want to consider scaling down his spending. He may actually need your help going over and planning all of this stuff because you are quite good at this stuff, whereas he might not be as good with it.
I had to help my now husband, at the time fiancé with reviewing his finances because he wasn’t really aware of some of the problems he was facing.
You mentioned that the relationship is too good to lose. Is part of you afraid that he would be upset to talk about this situation? Or afraid to lose him because of it? Do you think he would be receptive to it?
Have you had any experiences in the past where people have had difficulty with discussing things like this?
I think getting engaged is fine, I was quite happy to get engaged but it is a good idea for the situation to be resolved before marriage. You have to be careful for your own future. Someone who has financial issues now, can easily find these issues reoccurring throughout the relationship. How he manages this situation now reflects how he will manage it in the future. Different couples have different ways of navigating these issues. You both need to find a way that you’re both comfortable with.
Wishing you all the best! 🙏September 21, 2023 at 8:17 am #422322
How are you? Has there been any progress in the communication between you and your boyfriend?
anitaSeptember 21, 2023 at 8:21 am #422323
How are you, Neha, and how is applying empathy for yourself working out?
anitaSeptember 21, 2023 at 8:24 am #422324
* Sorry about the second inquiry post, the one right above. Please ignore it (it was meant for another member on another thread).