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How to Cope W/ Financially Damaged Partner

PandaGirl77
Regular Contributor

How to Cope W/ Financially Damaged Partner

I love my bf of 3 yrs and he will never be more since I've always been anti marriage-  mostly over being protective of my $ and assets. We are midlife and I'm commited  but will NOT commingle any finances with him.  I tried just cell phone and that was a disaster. When we met he never had any credit beyond car loans and I helped him get a Disco, AMEX, and Cap1 around 1.5 yrs ago to help build. Between all three the total CL is 10,500.  They are maxed and he keeps them almost maxed all the time.  If you see my siggy my relationship w/credit is opposite. I feel guilty because I helped him get the CCs. He's been stubborn about letting me help and I've tried to withdraw myself since I get crazy wanting to dive in, fix and micromanage everything. I think he's come to the realization he needs help.  He asked me to cut up his Disco today. I don't know what to do now.  Should I fix this? Should I tell him to figure it out himself? Are any of you in a relationship with someone who is terrible w/money and credit but youre the opposite? 🤷‍♀️ Thx for reading.





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19 REPLIES 19
Horseshoez
Valued Contributor

Re: How to Cope W/ Financially Damaged Partner

@PandaGirl77, I'm thinking you're in a difficult place, but then again, I'm rather sensitive to the whole comingling thing as I had comingled funds with my wife, who had a small business failure and my (former) business partner who started another small business which failed as well.  The result; even though I was the only one bringing in any money, and rather a lot of it I might add, it wasn't enough to feed the credit beast and I had to declare Chapter 13 (which was finally discharged early last year).

 

So, whaddya do?  Yikes, my inclination would be to stay out of it completely; if he wants his Discover card cut up, hand him the scissors and walk away.  If he wants the card deactivated (assuming Discover or any of his other cards allow that), point him to the web site, and once again, walk away.

I categorically refuse to do AZEO!

Message 2 of 20
KatSoDak
Frequent Contributor

Re: How to Cope W/ Financially Damaged Partner

It's not uncommon for one spouse/partner to manage the other's finances including credit, to a degree. If you both think you should handle it and he gives you access to his bank account so you can make payments on his cards, set up Auto pay etc. I see no reason not to do so, especially if you like fooling with it.

 

 

FICO 8:

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EX FICO 9 - 758

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Message 3 of 20
PandaGirl77
Regular Contributor

Re: How to Cope W/ Financially Damaged Partner

@Horseshoez Thank you for sharing your experience! I went through a bankruptcy 20 years ago and became a different, educated, and continually learning person with credit as a result.  I refuse to make my profile vulnerable for anyone. That said I'm wrapping my head around how to "detach with love" from this problem. 





Message 4 of 20
PandaGirl77
Regular Contributor

Re: How to Cope W/ Financially Damaged Partner

@KatSoDak I wish it could be that easy. I believe he thinks I'm trying to control him if I manage his $ and my approach is likely too intense and impatient. That was a big surrender for him to want the card cut up. It's hard to think about getting into the power struggle about all this again. I don't think he'll figure out how to climb his way out of it. 





Message 5 of 20
SoCalGardener
Established Contributor

Re: How to Cope W/ Financially Damaged Partner


@PandaGirl77 wrote:

Are any of you in a relationship with someone who is terrible w/money and credit but youre the opposite?


I was! Note the past tense. I even wrote about it here....

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Message 6 of 20
800scoreplease
Valued Member

Re: How to Cope W/ Financially Damaged Partner

I think you should keep your finances separate but certainly help but only if he asks. My husband and I have been married 13 years and we do not comingle finances totally. We each contribute to an account to pay pay bills and add to savings. No joint credit cards or auto loans. 



Message 7 of 20
PandaGirl77
Regular Contributor

Re: How to Cope W/ Financially Damaged Partner

@SoCalGardener  I read your story, thank you for sharing! Sometimes I think about the stress of responsibility and catch myself feeling resentful at times since I feel that style of living doesnt come with much feeling of responsibility! But that stress has to take a toll eventually for sure.  I do have to wonder though what your ex would due in a major financial emergency.  It's like he's flying on a wing and a prayer.  Kudos to you for doing your best while managing the health considerations





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SoCalGardener
Established Contributor

Re: How to Cope W/ Financially Damaged Partner


@PandaGirl77 wrote:

@SoCalGardener  I read your story, thank you for sharing! Sometimes I think about the stress of responsibility and catch myself feeling resentful at times since I feel that style of living doesnt come with much feeling of responsibility! But that stress has to take a toll eventually for sure.  I do have to wonder though what your ex would due in a major financial emergency.  It's like he's flying on a wing and a prayer.  Kudos to you for doing your best while managing the health considerations


Thanks for that! Smiley Happy

 

I can tell you--from past experience--exactly what my ex would do when faced with a major expense: borrow the money from family...including me.

 

A few years ago, one of his brothers, the one I'm very close to, had come to visit me and while he was here we made a pact: don't lend the ex/brother any more money! Smiley Very Happy  The ex is older than both of us, and we just decided, you know, enough is enough. He had decades to plan for this, but CHOSE not to, even with me harping at him for 30 years. I'm just glad I was diligent about saving/investing for the future; those choices I made have served me well.

 

Your story really struck a chord with me! I don't think I have any actual advice to offer, other than--for your own sanity--stick to your "do not co-mingle finances" plan. I'm telling you from experience that that can lead to a LOT of angst and worry and anger. Maybe keep your finances separate, let him do as he will, and if things work out great for him along the way, great! If not, you're not financially tied together.

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Message 9 of 20
calyx
Super Contributor

Re: How to Cope W/ Financially Damaged Partner

I've been on both sides of this coin, but I don't know how much help I can be.


In my first life, I was financially responsible, kept a ledger, didn't do anything crazy. Then I married someone I thought was responsible, but really, he was not.  Since I was the only one with a steady job, I left home making to him (cooking, cleaning, and managing the money) and it ended in disaster (for me).   Fortunately for him, his parents are wealthy and they bailed him out of things like losing his car, but we were married (and then divorced) in a community property state, and I was stuck with the negatives of all of the credit he took out (without my knowledge).    He still lives in a shoddy apartment without a steady income, and his parents periodically bail him out, and if he's happy with that, it's fine.  That's not the life for me.


So, for about a decade, I didn't care about finances.  I actually had to cash in what retirement I had saved just to start fresh (nothing like starting from scratch later in life!) My credit was shot, I didn't make a lot of money and with depression and everything else, I had kind of given up on my finances.  It didn't matter.  I lived within my means, had enough to scrape by with bad credit (since renting an apartment or doing anything would cost extra deposits).   

A few years ago, I had a bit of a personal wake up call (nothing traumatic happened, I just decided to pull my head out of my butt) and I got better at budgeting (instead of wasting money up to the point where I could get away with it), cleaned up my credit (how I found MF) and now I'm hyper vigilant re: finances.   I don't think I could ever comingle things the way I once did, but my partner and I do share expenses and it's not a disaster since he's pretty responsible.

 

All of that was to say, I would be willing to help a partner like yours, but as you say, not loan him money.  Help him get better at managing his finances and credit, yes.  Bail him out - no.    If he wants his credit card cut up, he needs to do it himself.   He needs to learn to budget his money (and you can show him how you do it, or point him to resources, since not all budget systems work for everyone).    Help him set/understand his priorities (not give him yours) and gentle nudges would be best.   I always want to help those who are asking/ready for it, but don't let him push the burden onto you.     As mentioned, sometimes one partner does take on the role of the main finance person, but that doesn't mean you should take on his finances - in my case:  I offered opening up a joint checking account so we can have a household account he or I manage or we can just decide to split the bills and chat about it occasionally - luckily we took the second option and we're both happy with our splits, a coworker actually has a "business dinner" with his wife where they discuss it all and reaffirm their divisions/choices.   

You need to decide what will work for you and your partnership, but there are so many options, I'm sure you'll find what works best.

F8 EQ: 804 | EX: 781 | TU: 782 | Accounts: 2/6 3/12 7/24 | Reporting: AZE10
Happy practitioner of AZE7or8or9or10 | Team Finances > FICO
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