So here we were, planning our lives and talking about everything good we wanted to do. But like most relationships, the longer you are together the more your flaws start to show – those true colours that we so often like to keep hidden away in the beginning of a relationship.
Not always a bad thing, so long as both sides are willing to accept the other, and are willing to make changes.
LOVE & MONEY
As our relationship progressed, more of my spending habits surfaced. It wasn’t always obvious. I don’t usually spend on expensive brand names, or excessively on material things. It was more the way I managed my money and those small impulse spends that were my bad habits.
Spending on my credit cards. Using the credit lines. Not paying back on time. Debt was slowing increasing.
“I don’t wan’t to be with someone who doesn’t know how to manage their finances”
It was one evening in 2017 that we started arguing about my credit card balance, and how I could still be owing so much when we had already come up with a repayment plan. I had no excuse. We had very low rent where we were living, and I was fortunate that my contribution to our shared monthly expenses was very small. Then he said:
“I don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t know how to manage their finances”.
I was gutted.
I got super emotional, started crying and saying that he meant he didn’t want to be with me. How could he say something so hurtful? But at the same time, it was a fair statement. Wasn’t it? I loved that he was so good with budgeting and his finances, so why didn’t I feel the need to learn and do better?
He was only asking me to do better, and become a better version of myself, which is what I want in a partner. I want to be motivated. But it still stung to be reminded of my flaws.
Maybe I felt like Stan could take care of our finances for both of us. I had asked him what was so wrong with him being in charge of the finances, and him allocating a monthly “allowance” for my spending. It seemed like the quickest and easiest fix. But it was unfair.
Stan taking care of our finances and me ignoring them, was not a real solution.
Stanley likes solutions. He doesn’t really enjoy my venting about “problems” if I am not willing to come up with, and IMPLEMENT the solution.
I remember asking him why he couldn’t just let me vent, and why he wouldn’t wallow with me when I needed someone to commiserate with. He would say it makes no sense. What is the point in venting over the same issues, time after time. Why not fix it and move on?
The amount of time, brain power and emotional energy is wasted with venting, if you are not coming up with a solution. He was/is totally right! I mean why did I want to waste my time going over the same annoyances, when I could fix them and move on to more positive things?
So here I was, given an “ultimatum” of sorts. Learn to manage your money, or we can’t be together.
I don’t think Stan meant it to be an ultimatum. Who knows, maybe we would still be married with a baby even if I hadn’t made the changes, but I don’t think that we would be off to a good start.
I knew that if I didn’t actively start making changes, we would be looking forward to years of arguments, disagreements over my lack of money management skills.
This is not the kind of marriage I wanted.