Home › Forums › Advice & Chat › Should I leave my fiancé over a small(ish) issue?
- This topic has 81 replies, 7 voices, and was last updated 2 years, 5 months ago by Andrea Letsen.
I’m an engaged woman in my 30’s. My fiancé is a little but younger and is a really great guy who I love very much but he is immature in a lot of ways. He’s really not good at managing his money and because we’ve recently joined our finances his issues are affecting me more and more. Like most people (at least I think) I vent my frustrations to my friends. On more than one occasion my friends (all of them) have suggested I simply end the relationship. When it comes down to it my fiancé and I are very compatible except when it comes to finances and cleanliness and while I agree both are big things I don’t really think it’s worth leaving the relationship instead of just trying to work on our issues. We have only been sharing an account for a year. I feel like there are many more options beside “throw the whole man away”. Am I being naive? For the record my friends are all from different backgrounds some are married, in relationships or single and they all seem to say the same thing. My fiancé isn’t abusive or manipulative. He’s never cheated or severely hurt me emotionally. He very obviously loves me.. he’s just really immature about some things. Are my friends being rash or am I missing something? Any insight would be good.FYIGuest
Did you “recently” join your finances, or have you had a shared account for a year? Which is it? How old is he? What do you mean by “not good at managing his money” — overspends? has debt? embezzles? what?
You have to be more specific in order to get proper advice.Ready to mingleGuest
Money issues can be enduring and can undermine a relationship. You should have some serious talks about this with him before you get married. See if you can come up with some solutions. One idea – don’t have all your money together. Open an account just for shared expenses. Don’t share a credit card either. You have to decide for you how this may feel to you if these problems persist for years.HelenGuest
Does he think he has a money problem? Is he committed to changing? Without this nothing will change. How bad exactly is the problem? Depending on that I’d advise keeping your finances separate or dumping him. How bad is the cleanliness problem? You really need to be compatible in those areas. Make sure your eyes are wide open when it comes to your finances/credit. Especially given the state of the world currentlyKarebear1813Participant
Based on what your wrote in, I would say your friends aren’t really listening nor given any solid advise. They just say the most convenient thing to say as if they would follow through with their own advise if they were in similar situations. What they probably should be saying is you guys should separate your finances until things got under control and the issue was addressed. Maybe both of you but esp. him should look into information that helps with managing one’s income. Look into what courses are available for him to take to learn how to manage his own money. He could be spending more because of stress factors or because he isn’t realistic and irresponsible. You both could take a budgeting course on how to mange each others finances before and after marriage. If saving and having money is important to you then you need to address that now, not after the I do’s. You both have to respect each other and have boundaries and limits when it comes to money. Sometimes having your own allowance helps when one over spends. My husband and I put anything over $5,000 a month (checking account) in our savings account and we can spend down to a certain point but if it gets below a certain point in the checking we might not be able to save for that month, which is not good if we cant save. We budget our groceries together and our bills. I think it would be good to take a martial class before getting married. Regarding cleanliness, well you aren’t specific but you both have to work together on chores and have to accept that one might not be as clean as the other but need to have some boundary of having a clean space to live together.BlabQueenGuest
For more info he is 29. We have had a shared account for a year which I consider recent but maybe that’s just me? I have always managed our money since the accounts were joined. I pay all our bills from the account. The main issue is he never looks at the account himself, he just assumes there is always money in there. There have been several times he has bought things I didn’t factor into our budget and caused us to overdraft (we don’t make a ton of money and basically live paycheck to paycheck) recently we bounced our rent check because he made a big ticket purchase without consulting me. Even though he returned the item after I explained what he had done wrong the damage was done. We are now in the hole a rental late fee, several overdraft charges and have lost good standing with our landlord. He’s been apologetic and said he won’t make these mistakes again. I have suggested I give him a preloaded debit card with his expendable income on it and when it’s gone, it’s gone. But my friends think that’s what you would do for a child and that I am going to spend my whole life taking care of him like a child. The cleanliness thing is similar. He is not a filthy disgusting disaster but he is messy and isn’t bothered by dust, piles of laundry on the floor, or a crusty countertop and all of those things drive me insane. I usually just clean up after him because part of me thinks that my OCD cleaning is kinda my own issue. Hope that helps. Thanks again.ronGuest
As a general rule, no you should not dump a fiance over a small(ish) issue. that would be immature on your part, as is basically polling your friends on whether or not you should dump him.
But… is it really a small(ish) thing. You seem to not see it as at all a small thing. Financial incompatibility has sunk many a marriage and financial difficulty is as big a cause of marital problems as infidelity. So, as asked above how different are your financial perspectives and comfort zones? What is he doing that you disagree with? Is it seriously bad, or mainly not the way you prefer to handle finances.
You say he is generally immature. How else beyond finances (you said immature in a lot of ways). How much younger is he? What life experiences have you had, which he has not had thus far. Be honest, was his immaturity something that initially attracted you and now you see the downside.
Have you discussed the standard big items with him and reached basic agreement on your outlooks, or agreed to accept differing views? How much detail have you gone into regarding financial incompatibility. You say you find his approach to be immature. Does he agree with your approach?
Halfway through your post you switch from smallish(concerns) and then label finances and then add differences regarding cleanliness as things you recognize are big issues. Which is it. What about his approach to cleanliness do you disagree with. Does he perpetually stink, never contribute to housework, or does he disagree with you that vacuuming and dusting must be done daily?
To sum it all up with one question: are you opposed to dropping him because you are basically content with the man you see in front of you, or because you have confidence that you can remake him into the man you want. If your answer is the latter, then you should do him a big favor and dump him.ronGuest
Reading your response, it seems like you are doing too much. He should have shared responsibilities for housekeeping, with the expectation that he does his share well. You could split days/weeks or divvy up chores so that neither of you has a big load any day. You should not be 100% doing the budget and accounts. At a minimum, you should mutually agree the budget and sit down at a prescheduled time to review account balances and deviations from budget. He should understand and agree how much $ is available to spend in each category, but shouldn’t have to come to mom for permission to spend any more than you need his permission to spend, for a not large expenditure. The issue that you hadn’t expected his purchase and that blew the budget could be either that the two of you don’t have an agreement of how much is available to spend in specific categories, that he has no discretionary spending and you expect to approve everything, or that he is just not financially responsible.
So just a one-year age difference. That shouldn’t be a big deal.ronGuest
Oh wait, I read that you’re 30, not in your thirties, so you could actually be 10 years older. That would be a lot.Karebear1813Participant
My husband and I don’t make a ton of money but if it wasn’t for him teaching me how to save I’d probably be living pay check to pay check too. Both of you should invest in time learning money management skills and budgeting skills. Both of you take responsibility in paying bills together and budgeting house hold essentials and if enough is left other give each other an allowance to spend and save for the big ticket items together. Both of you need to be learning the fundamentals of saving and growing your money. This is something you can grow together in.
How can you call him immature if you aren’t any better off than he is and you are much older. Neither one of you are saving money.
I refuse to let my husband not help manage our bills. God forbid something happen to me because he would be in the dark on what bills we have. All bills should be out on the table. You each need to know what debts you owe.BlabQueenGuest
I just wanted to come back and clarify I never “polled” my friends about wether I should leave my fiancé. Leaving him has never been something I’ve even considered because I’ve always been more inclined to work through issues that I don’t consider dealbreakers (cheating, abuse etc). I’m 35 if it matters and probably have taken on too much. I like to be in control of things and I honestly thought managing the finances and household would be something I could easily take on. I see my inability to do this as a personal failure and I reached out to my friends to vent frustration and they all immediately blamed my fiancé. From their perspective he is using me and taking advantage. I don’t see it that way but it was a little jarring to hear it from some many different people.MaltaKanoGuest
If you’re happy in the relationship, don’t let others define what that relationship is supposed to look like. Maybe you are fine taking charge in the financial and housekeeping areas. Are there other areas where he takes charge? Where you respect his judgment?
Basically, if he never becomes more financially responsible, will you still be able to respect him and partner with him through life’s big decisions?
If the answer is yes, then great – get that man a debit card and don’t worry what your friends think. If you’re hoping to see some significant growth before you will feel like you can relax or exhale, then you need to get some counseling ASAP and reconsider marrying him. Good luck!