I am guessing by “partner” the writer of the letter is romantically entwined with this deadbeat. How oh so familiar this scenario is:
Dear Amy: I’m struggling with how to address financial issues with my partner. When he first moved in with me, I was assured that it would be a partnership.
He made no efforts to contribute to the monthly maintenance costs and only after arguing about it did my partner take over paying for the cable/Wi-Fi.
While I endure stress to save and manage bills and real estate taxes, my partner clearly stated that this wasn’t his problem.
Yes, I own the apartment, but how did I suddenly get stuck with 99% of the responsibility for living in a home, and how is this considered a partnership”
If we were renting somewhere, would I get stuck with the majority of the bills? I feel taken advantage of while I spend every day working to make sure that at least one of us has the fiscal health to keep a roof over our heads. When I try to discuss this, he argues and complains about how I make more money than he does. Mind you, my “lifestyle” includes wearing the same two pairs of jeans and sneakers that are 10 years old, spending on bills first and saving for occasional dinners out.
I just feel like I’m enabling someone who can’t get his finances together, and then I get attacked for being a jerk when I bring it up. I can’t win this argument and my partner sees nothing wrong with it.
How should I bring this up? What can I do? — Frustrated Enabler
Dear Enabler: Before your guy moved in with you, you say you “were assured” it would be a partnership. Who, exactly, assured you? Was this an assumption on your part? And how do you each define a partnership?
You would gain clarity by seeing an accountant together. You should each bring your pay stubs, monthly bills, expenses, and a credit report. There should be transparency regarding income and debts and he should contribute in proportion to his income.
I assume he would refuse to participate in this process, because making you feel bad makes economic sense for him, enabling him to kick the problem down the road until this boils over again.
Your real issue is not financial but relational. If you are not able to work together to arrive at an equitable partnership, you should consider finding another roommate.