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    Do relationships work when one is wealthy and the other is in debt??
    • #1
    • 12th Aug 08, 11:50 AM
    Do relationships work when one is wealthy and the other is in debt?? 12th Aug 08 at 11:50 AM
    Hi Guys

    As this is the DFW board, then Im assume the majority on this board are in debt?. I need to ask a serious question about relationships in regard to finances.

    Do relationships work when one partner comes into the relationship with nothing (well not nothing - a load of debt) and the other is a home owner, is quite well off and comes from a wealthy family.

    Myself and two girlfriends of mine are in or have been in similar suitations. Moving in with someone to their house, where everything in the house belongs to them. From the beginning it puts you on uneven pegging. It also is difficult when the OH enjoys four to five or even six trips abroad a year for holidays, golf etc. And you just cant afford to go, even if the OH offers to pay for flights, accommodation etc. You still need spending money.

    I am constantly having to turn things down because i simply can not afford it.

    I just want to know has anyone else been in this suitation, can relationships like this really work out? Or should you be responsible and get debt free before you enter into this type of relationship?

    Just need advice please
    Last edited by icka; 12-08-2008 at 1:32 PM.
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Page 1
  • zgaze
    • #2
    • 12th Aug 08, 1:00 PM
    I'd say no.....
    • #2
    • 12th Aug 08, 1:00 PM
    I was in a long term relationship with someone that earned a lot more than me, three or four times as much. He'd take things for granted (expensive holidays, weekends away, food from M&S, nice wine, going out whenever he wanted) and looking back he just didn't bother to take my far inferior financial position into any sort of account....I ended up paying half his mortgage (?? I know, I was young, naive and stupid!!), buying all the food and household stuff....basically making sure I 'paid my way' - and to me that was a matter of (misguided) pride.

    Now I'm out of that relationship (with less than I went into it with) I can see that unless you are with someone who actually has some conception of not being rich, or comfortably off, or even just not scrabbling around for pennies two weeks into the month, it will never work. And I think those people are few and far between. He ended up with all the financial security including the house that I had paid into and worked on doing up, and I just ended up with loads of debt - because I had borrowed to try and 'keep up' with him.

    I know this is just my story but I'm not the only one of my friends who has been through this...
  • Bargainfinder
    • #3
    • 12th Aug 08, 1:12 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Aug 08, 1:12 PM
    Hey Icka, hope you don't mind me posting on here as well.

    I would honestly say (and I think it's the same really as what zgaze is saying) is that it depends on his attitude towards money and your attitude towards money.

    A few examples?:

    My SIL& BIL are getting on fine, he is wealthy, his family are wealthy she came into the relationship with a student loan (which he paid off for her!!) and now just lets her have access to the account, as long as she doesn't spend over a certain amount a month. They have 3 children and a compete disregard for money and how much things cost, but then they are not in debt, so you could say they have a right to.

    My Mum and Stepdad are getting on ok.. she is in debt and he has lots of savings. She insists on paying them off herself, however although he thinks she's proud and wishes she would just let him pay them off, he respects her for doing it, and is a self-confessed 'skinflint/scrooge' himself, he has worked hard for what he has and so respects money and posessions etc.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that if he puts the same value on money as you do, then you can make it work. It maybe that although you are the one in debt, he is actually more of a scrooge? (!) I don't know as you haven't said.

    I would say you need to analyse how you each feel about money, how you treat it, whether he is willing enough to give you money/pay for you without rubbing it in your face, whether you are happy to just accept it because you love him and he loves you, and not feel burdened to him.

    There are so many things to think about and probably lots of other underlying issues as well? I really hope you work it out hon, am sending you (((hugs))) xxxx
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    • (Land of) Maz
    • By (Land of) Maz 12th Aug 08, 1:16 PM
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    (Land of) Maz
    • #4
    • 12th Aug 08, 1:16 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Aug 08, 1:16 PM
    wow what an interesting question....

    my situation was that Big G wasn't wealthy when we set up home together, but it was, and still is, understood that he earns more than me so he can pay for more.....

    we each pay proportion of the bills, me slightly less than him, plus i pay to my own debts.... he's never helped me pay off any debts as such, but he has subsidised me throughout the month when i've overpaid on debts.

    I suppose if one person were from a really monied family then it might be hard for them to understand where the other was coming from in having no money at all for luxuries...

    big g had been in debt with his ex wife, so he knew where i was at financially, altho' he comes from a relatively well off but working class family, his dad owned a business so they had money but worked all hours for it..... He never had any credit cards until about 6 months ago when he got one to try and build a credit rating...

    OP, if you were with a really rich person who wanted to/was able to spoil you - would you be able to let go and have everything bought for you? i'm not sure i could if i'm honest... it would still be important to have my own money.

    I haven't answered any questions here have i? just musings, how interesting though, i'm going to subscribe to this thread and see what others think!
    I'm just a seething mass of contradictions....
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  • icka
    • #5
    • 12th Aug 08, 1:29 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Aug 08, 1:29 PM
    barginfinder you are always so supportive and kind you are such a little pet. Thank you as always for your kind words.

    But I think its very similar to zgaze suitation. I was just getting myself into more and more debt by trying to keep up. Although he is very generous and offers to pay my tickets and accommodation to events. Like overseas weddings in Marbella and Italy etc. He cant understand how I had to say no. As with these 6 day trips, away with his posh, well off friends. I know this sounds stupid and vain, but girls need outfits, there are the clothes and the hair and nails and tan that needs to be done and I understand you can do alot yourself. But I just dont have that kind of money.

    With him there is always some event, always some little weekend or three day thing we have to go to. And the fact is luckily for him he has never had to understand the concept of not being able to afford something. Like if I said I couldnt afford to go he say's ill pay for flight accommodation etc so it should be nothing. Anyway Im getting myself al worked up and upset.

    This causes major rows as he has invited me to at least three things this summer I had to decline over money. Because before the summer I would just go and borrow money to pay for it. But had my LBM and realise there is always going to be some event and I just couldnt afford it. And it was ok to actually say sorry I cant afford it. It took alot of courage to say that as I was really embarrassed.

    My point is he has bought the 3 day camping ticket to Glastonbury this year and I couldnt go. I had 28 to my name for the month and I would have had to buy a chair and wellies, rain coat, beer etc etc. He didnt get it and thought I was just being a wet blanket.

    SOrry for the long rant I just needed to get it out I guess
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  • secretspender
    • #6
    • 12th Aug 08, 1:31 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Aug 08, 1:31 PM
    my OH earns twice what I do, has a brand new car every year and has just bought his first house. He is crap with money and we argue over it all the time unfortunately. He leaves the TV on standby, he spends money on food and doesnt eat it, he leaves lights on constantly....but I love him! x It does upset when he expects me to go halves on certain things. (I work around 40 hrs a week in my main 9-5 job and this goes on bills and rent, I also work 20 hrs of a weekend and evening to help pay for petrol and food)

    His parents are quite well off too and I think he has just grown accustomed to them paying for him. He has moved into the new house, whilst I am staying in our old rented till I have tried to clear my debts.
    • Shineyhappy
    • By Shineyhappy 12th Aug 08, 1:36 PM
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    • #7
    • 12th Aug 08, 1:36 PM
    • #7
    • 12th Aug 08, 1:36 PM
    When I met my OH I was in debt and although I had my own place it has a big mortgage. My OH earns 2.5 times what I earn and has a mortgage thats half of mine, he has a lot in savings and has a lovely company car compared to my lovely battered old banger .

    We have been together 18 months and yes money has been an issue. He is used to going abroad 3 or 4 times a year for 3 week holidays or city breaks to European cities. Last year I was lucky and won a holiday to Morroco so that did help, he paid for the spending money as I provided the holiday and we spent around 350 pounds in total as it was cheap out there. I think the thing to do is discuss things and come to compromises.

    OH got fed up that I would never agree to go out for meals as I couldn't afford them or that I wouldn't let him buy me new clothes as I couldn't afford to return the favour. I was very stubborn and he got very annoyed. We did reach a compromise and he takes me out now and treats me to things but it isn't as often as he wants to. When he buys me clothes they are usually bargains and in return I have saved him a fortune.

    We go food shopping togather and get great bargains and he pays but he says he would have gotten half as much for what we spend. He loves spotting whoopsies now He is a natural saver and so likes having more to stash away. I bought us National Trust yearly passes through Quidco and we go out on lots of lovely days out to some gorgeous places and he will pay 15 pounds for lunch or we take a pic nic and it doesnt feel like a cheap day out.

    I think you need to talk about things. OH loves to do nice things like going to the National Trust places or going for weekend breaks but I keep my eyes out for offers and then we make the most of those.

    I would agree an amount of rent to pay and I wouldnt go halves on everything. It is his house and he probably would be warry of you contributing too much in case you split and sue him for the appreciation costs arisen whilst you lived there.

    I have learnt that OH likes treating me and whilst I wont take advantage and I won't let him do it as much as he would like it upsets him if I don't let him do anything nice.
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  • **MissL2**
    • #8
    • 12th Aug 08, 1:40 PM
    • #8
    • 12th Aug 08, 1:40 PM
    My OH earns 4 times as much as me and is a really high earner, when I met him he had his own house. I'd only been out of uni 2 years and in loads of debt. I admit I tried to keep up with him at 1st and then realised a) he wasn't thick b) I couldn't afford to keep on and c) if he loved me he would still love me without the £80 worth of food shopping, expensive clothes, meals out etc we were going through a week.

    We moved in together in his house but soon moved to 'our' house. He pays the bills but he's never ever made me feel as though I live in his house it really is our house. I contributed as much as I could whils I was working but when I got pregnant he said to spend the money on things for the baby and save it for once she was born.

    Since been on maternity leave i've become really thrifty- total opposite of how I used to be so I've changed vastly since he 1st met me and..... he LOVES it! He says he can't believe how much money he wasted before.

    I really think it depends on the couples and their relationship. I have felt very inferior at several points of our relationship but then I realise its "only" money that makes me feel that way and I bring so much more to our realationship (well I hope I do anyway). I'm very lucky I know but I am commited to repaying my debts myself without troubling him and he respects that a lot.

    Last edited by **MissL2**; 12-08-2008 at 1:42 PM.
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    • Skint Lynne
    • By Skint Lynne 12th Aug 08, 2:07 PM
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    Skint Lynne
    • #9
    • 12th Aug 08, 2:07 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Aug 08, 2:07 PM
    This is a hard one, and I'm going to get shouted at once I write all of this down.

    Before I start, I have come an awful long way with my DH. We have been together for 12 years, married for 1 of these. I do love him but he can be a complex, miserable and selfish character, (he does have good points as well though).

    For the first 6 years we were together, I had my own flat which I paid for myself. Whilst I scrimped and scraped, he would enjoy the high life, designer clothes, fancy cars and splashing cash on nights out. He worked on the basis that he would pay for holidays and entertainments, I paid for everything else as my name was on the mortgage. His argument also was that as he works away from home, he does not use the facilities there to his full advantage, so why should he pay for them?

    We then moved to another house which was in his name. He paid the mortgage, I paid everything else. He drove me mad, saying this was his house etc and we had big arguments re: this.

    Then we split up, and I re-mortgaged the house so that it was in my name only, then we got back together. Since this time, I have paid the lot and it is a real struggle. I am married, but single in the sense that I pay all the bills. He will do some things, like pay for holidays, he bought me a new car and the occasional meal out, but does not think he should pay any bills because he does not live with me full time. He says that when he does, he will pay half of everything. Meanwhile, I scrape along trying my best.

    I have had big arguments with him about this, but he won't budge. I know it's not right, but what do you do? I have made this situation I guess by letting him away with it. Money is a problem for some and a joy for others I guess.

    SL x
    • Horace
    • By Horace 12th Aug 08, 2:08 PM
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    My OH comes from a wealthy family plus he earns a fair bit as well, whereas I on the other hand earned a mediocre wage and am now unemployed. He did help me out with some rent which I am saving to pay back. Basically, we share although he does like his holidays - at least 4 ski trips a year Only last week we went camping (we both like it) and he paid for everything including meals out and petrol because he knows that I am skint. He also knows that he can stay at mine for free - he can watch my cable tv and play on my internet and use my hot water.

    At some point, we will fly off to Spain where his family have a place but we will use my Monarch flight voucher that I won off Skoost (remember them? they were only around for a while and all of a sudden stopped sending emails).

    I have my money and he has his - I don't expect him to pay for everything either, although he will give me odd bits of money and will occasionally fill my car with petrol. He knows that when he comes to stay that he will invariably get a hot meal - sometimes a full roast dinner or lamb chops.

    He doesnt have a new car and always wants to know the cost of everything which is irritating especially when I have given him a present - its always how much? Guess that's how his family got money by being tight and miserly. Mine are comfortably off whereas these days I am a tad skint but hey ho that's life.

    I can't say that I have ever felt inferior either.
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  • icka
    Oh Lynne I would never ever shout at you in a million years. What a difficult suitation, to be honest I admire your bravery. I can have a firey temper and I dont think we would have lasted as long as you. you are a very patient lady. But you must be in love so at the end of the day as long as it works for you, and you are safe and able to look after yourself that what matters right?

    Horace thank you for sharing your story and every one else. I guess my problem is the family I come from although we are not middle class and wealthy. My parents have a fantastic marraige to this day after almost 40 years and everything is shared. There is no such thing as mine and yours they have all joint accounts and everything is dealth with together.

    But I think life is so much more complicated and more difficult from when they were together. I know you should not feel inferior and he doesnt make me. i think I make me feel inferior. But I think when I clear my debts and get fit maybe Ill be more able to deal with the whole thing.

    He goes to the local garage to buy some bits and pieces and ends up spending 40 on some pizza, milk, cheese, the papers etc. Where I could do a week gorceries in ASDA or Lidl for that. Its just a different world I guess. I need to get my head around.
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  • mizzbiz
    What a really interesting thread. With my relationship, my partner and I earn the same at this moment in time but when we met I was on more than him. As we work away from home, he pays his mortgage and I pay our rent and council tax. We share the bills on the rental. When we go back soon we will be going back to his flat, but he refers to it as ours and I get told off when I refer to it as 'his' flat.

    Moneywise, we share everything. We call it 'the same pot'. When we go back I may not get as good a job as him straight away (he has already secured one), but he's not bothered by that. Ultimately, we are a team, and the money is 'ours', not his or mine. I am free to buy whatever I want as long as we can afford it, and there would never, be talk of one of us afforing a holiday and the other not, either both of us go or neither. But then, we are like an old married couple lol
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    • Shineyhappy
    • By Shineyhappy 12th Aug 08, 2:25 PM
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    Don't forget your parents are at a different stage in a relationship than you sound to be.

    Finances have changed over the years, women work and earn their own cash and we live together without marriage and children much more than our parents and grandparents did.

    I think you should talk to your OH and compromise. If he wants to spend his money on junk then that is his choice at the moment. I was shocked that my OH spent 600 pounds on a camera but he got it reconditioned and saved himself loads but 600 pounds is a lot of money to me. If OH and I marry and have kids then I expect our finances to merge more.
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  • KTjazz
    a bird and a fish may fall in love, but where will they make their home?

    Sometimes a big difference is the wrong place to start from. But in most cases if the feelings are strong enough people won't be able to fight them.

    Every situation, every couple is different.

    I guess what i'm saying is I'm on the fence with this one.
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  • IWantToBeFree
    When I first met my OH, he earned significantly more than I did, and obviously in the early stages of our relationship, we always kept our money seperate, paid our own way, and paid our own debts etc.

    When we got engaged, a few months down the line, we got a joint bank account, despite the fact that he still earned more than me and that my debts were higher than his, meaning I was contributing far less to the pot than what he was, but he was happy with this and said it would even out over the long term.

    Now, I only earn about a grand less than him and come Christmas, and then next July, I will earn significantly more than him and will do so for the rest of our careers. I have asked him several times if this bothers him, and he couldn't care less, he isn't one of these men who thinks that only he should be a breadwinner which is quite refreshing.

    I am quite glad that once we knew we wanted to be together forever, there has been no 'thats mine, thats yours' attitude, we are in it together, everything is shared.

    He just leaves me in charge of everything money and trusts me not to waste it
  • icka
    I wish our problem were the difference in earnings.

    He doesnt work and does not need too . I on the other hand have in the past had to work 3 jobs and some times like 19 hour days between all three to keep my head above water.

    So the difference is so massive its hard to comprehend. Trust fund baby I think the phrase is. If you get my drift
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    • KiKi
    • By KiKi 12th Aug 08, 5:46 PM
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    As many others have expressed here, I think it really depends on your own perspective and pride around finance, and the type of relationship you're in.

    I personally prefer to keep all my finances to myself, but then I've never been in a very serious relationship where I would contemplate anything else.

    My mum and dad, on the other hand, share everything. Money doesn't belong to any one person, regardless of who earned it; they have one joint bank account, joint savings, everything - it's irrelevant to them where it comes from. They don't have any of their 'own' money at all, as they don't ever see it as belonging to either of them as an individual.

    I think that's partly the culture they grew up in, partly their relationship (completely 'what's mine is yours' in every sense), and partly that neither of them sees money as something that should ever be a barrier in their relationship, so personal pride around who earns it just isn't there.

    Completely the opposite of me - but then I'm probably too independent for my own good!

    Fascinating topic, though, and some really interesting replies.

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    • Lucifa73
    • By Lucifa73 12th Aug 08, 6:15 PM
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    Hi, thought I'd pop on with my twopenn'orth!

    Hubbles and I are now on similar salaries but I have more debt at the moment. I also like to have 'my own' money although if he needed anything it would all be his.

    When we moved in together we decided to have a joint account for house costs into which we put the same proportion of our individual salaries. To start with I contributed significantly more but, since I moved to a smaller firm, the scales are gradually tipping in the other direction. In addition we each have our own current accounts where the balance of our salary sits and we can spend as we please. A lot of mine is repayments but they were my mistakes.

    This way we are both happy we are contributing to joint expenditure (mortgage, utilities, car finance (although Hubbles pays petrol and insurance as he gets a lot back on expenses from work), council tax, Sky etc) but have the flexibility of our own money too.

    This is a system that works for us and accommodates our attitudes to money. (I think after seeing my Mum left with nothing but for the goodwill of my Dad when they separated I need the security of knowing I've got my own respoources). If you can sit together and talk rationally about money it helps. Edxplain what you need to cover your personal costs, work out how much you can contribute to the kitty and explain that it leaves you with x which means you can only go to 1 or 2 things a month. See how he reacts to that (entirely reasonable I think) solution and take it from there.
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  • Jacks xxx
    I think that money can be an issue in relationships but money is not the issue.

    Bear with me - I know that doesn't make sense!

    Some people find it really hard to empathise with people in a different situation to themselves, and they need an intensive training course! Their problem can show up in the area of money but money itself is not the problem. Their unwillingness to put themselves into someone else's shoes is.

    Some of us have a lot of pride and don't like to feel that we're "sponging" or obligated in any way if they take more than we give in financial terms - but a relationship is so much more than a financial quid pro quo.

    Some people just can't give wholeheartedly. This will be as true emotionally and sexually as it is with money.

    My hubby paid the lions share of everything for ages when we first got together because I was a student but I painted the walls, sewed the curtains, fitted our kitchen and cooked him meals - and I did it all with just as much love as he paid for stuff with!

    If he wanted me to come on a trip he understood enough to know I couldn't afford to keep up with him financially - and he paid for me. He found ways to buy me things and send me on Spa Days in preparation without offending my pride.

    Previously I'd had a boyfriend who had an earthernware jar in the kitchen stuffed with £50 notes (and this was in the 80s - cos I'm old!) If I needed to get a cab home while he was sleeping because I had a class, or I needed to buy booze or food for the meal I was cooking us I was told to take money from there.

    He said he didn't want me to ever feel I had to ask him for money, or for money to ever be an issue between us. If I needed anything EVER and I couldn't afford it I was to take money from there. That money was mine for the use of. End of.

    To begin with I felt a bit like a !!!!!!

    After a while I realised that this was his way of never having to have any disruption because he had loads more money than I did. He'd had all the rows before and this was his way of dealing.

    The actual money itself was unimportant to him but all the feelings and unpleasantness it caused had killed off relationships for him in the past - so he'd come up with a solution.

    It wasn't ideal, but the fact that he'd tried to solve it counted for a lot with me. I decided to see the money not as him paying for my needs but as him paying for his own need for less friction in a relationship- and for me to look nice and be by his side at all those expensive events - and we were together for quite a while.

    Ooh I'm feeling all nostalgic all of a sudden!

    Love Jacks xxx
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    • ceebeeby
    • By ceebeeby 12th Aug 08, 7:38 PM
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    I guess it's a fairly small percentage of relationships that ever start out with both parties having exactly the same amount of money (unless it's none!!!).

    If the relationships meant to be a forever one - then both the debt and assets would be shared equally until you both had exactly the same ... and each other.
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