November 18, 2009 1:40 PM Subscribe
Am I being unreasonable to think that my SO should pay for more things in our relationship just because he makes 10 times more than me?
posted by anonymous to human relations (100 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
My SO and I (I'm a woman) have been together for about 6 months now and we are starting to have money issues. He makes about 10 times more than me. I never thought this would be a problem since I've dated both wealthy and poor men and never had a problem.
For instance, I don't know when I should pay for dinners and trips. At first, I gave him silly, inexpensive gifts and paid for simple dinners – such as eating at home or ordering a pizza and he paid for more expensive restaurants. I am embarrassed to say that I can't afford to pay for both of us to eat at nice restaurants. I can afford to go to a nice restaurant maybe once a week and then only if I pay for just my portion. He suggested that I pay one out of every 3 times or so at nicer places. Thinking about this in a cold, rational sense, I suppose I would come out "ahead," but I don't naturally think about it in this way.
I have to keep a budget, while he doesn't. Going to dinner, I need to plan ahead to know how much I can spend. If we go out, I never know ahead of time whether he is going to want me to pay or not. I feel pathetic asking ahead of time if he wants me to pay. It's taking the spontaneity out of our relationship because we can't just decide at 5pm that we're going out to dinner, I need to know ahead of time. I feel anxious each time we eat out, not knowing if he will want me to pay or not.
He gets upset with me when I tell him I can't afford dinner, but then go and buy big ticket items (which I spent months saving for). He says that if I am going to buy expensive items, then he shouldn't pay for dinner because that's in essence him buying the big ticket item for me. Does this logic make sense to the hive mind?
We're going on a vacation in January, which I suggested because he's been busy with work and it's something to look forward to. I suggested it on a whim even though I have another vacation with my closest friend scheduled for April. I'm starting to get in over my head. I'm ashamed to tell him that I can't afford to go. I feel like a child. I also find myself resenting that he hasn't offered to pay for me at all. He thinks that because I'm going on a trip with my friend (also female, so no sexual jealousy), that he should not help pay for my portion of the trip.
I know he loves me, but I feel like he doesn't think I'm worth spending time with. He could easily afford to pay for the trip and has said he'll just go alone if I can't afford it.
I feel selfish for having these feelings. I'm liberal and think relationships should be equitable. I would never expect him to buy me extravagent gifts or my bills. I am proud that I have money saved and don't have to rely on anyone to help me.
Has anyone else been in a situation where one person is wealthy and wants his/her poor SO to split things equally? How did you work money issues out? I don't want him to think that I'm using him (which I am not), but I still find myself with hurt feelings when he doesn't want to share with me. Am I being unreasonable?