I’m not the only jerk that did it…check this out…

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.


2 thoughts on “I’m not the only jerk that did it…check this out…”

  1. Lots of people will try to live at the expense of others, shifting as much of their costs onto another person as the other person will tolerate. It is depressingly common. I’ve had boyfriends want me to relocate to places that were convenient for them, but that were much more expensive and inconvenient for me, and female friends who wanted me to support them “for a while” because they had fallen on hard times that were of their own doing and I had extra space, as they saw it, and they wanted to bring ALL their stuff.

    I’ve often said that feeling sorry for someone gives them an advantage over you, because it often gives you the feeling that you owe them something, probably because you are more capable then they are. It’s what I’ve come to think of as a competence penalty. I’m expected to take care of myself and them, with not a lot done for me in return for the work that I do. Those are relationships that I’ve learned to avoid.

    It’s hard to accept that you’ve been a sucker or have been taken advantage of in some way. Until you get to that acceptance and are willing to make the necessary changes, it’s hard to start saying “no” to the unreasonable requests and making your “no” stick. You have to be willing to be uncomfortable no longer doing things that you once did, and having the other person lay a guilt trip on you or worse for no longer being so accommodating.

    The article that you posted appears to put the writer in a strong position economically, because she owns the apartment, but the cost of kicking out the significant other is the end of the relationship. Many people get in trouble because they don’t do well alone.

  2. This hits a raw nerve. Once upon a time I started a business (modeling agency) that was doing decently. It was still in the early days but getting there. I met a guy who claimed he would help me and claimed to have money. Like the idiot I was I agreed and moved in and put his name on my account. He drained my account, he took my rent money then kicked me out. I tried suing but he said/she said. Changed how I viewed relationships and why I am a bit skittish both about starting a business and dating,

Leave a Reply