Relationships on the Rocks

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 19, 2007 6:20 AM GMT
    My partner and I are doing very well, thank you.

    But we just heard last night that a couple of our friends - another couple that we had sort of looked up to because they had been together 10+ years - broke up.

    The primary reason for them was apparently because of arguments about money. In their case there was a disparity of income, but that had been true for years.

    It seems to be one of the most common reasons I see for breakups.

    I admit we have had problems about money too, but so far we have managed to resolve them pretty well, and been pretty adult about the whole thing.

    Why does it seem to be so difficult for gays to balance the financial side of things? Or is money just an excuse for other problems?

    How do you handle it? Do you keep things totally seperate, or have you mostly merged? Any special stories or tricks that make it work for you?

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16308

    Nov 19, 2007 8:56 AM GMT
    Well money can be a major issue and it leads to other problems.

    While there is currently a wide disparity between my income and my bf's income, we have a pretty good understanding of what we are trying to achieve together and what responsibilities each of us has in doing so. It can be challenging at times, especially when, um, one of us is a spend thrift... lol.

    I think it does back to the nature of each party with spending and how practical it is in setting those goals. If each individual approaches his responsibilties in a way that isn't natural for him, the whole thing might not work out and may lead to other issues as well.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11648

    Nov 19, 2007 11:36 AM GMT
    Money is an issue in many str8 divorces also
    and it can be representative of a lot of things in a relationship
    it has much to do with
    and the ability to have some things that are separate from one another
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    Nov 19, 2007 1:53 PM GMT
    Do you all have one checking account that both pay checks go into?
  • MarkX

    Posts: 101

    Nov 19, 2007 3:27 PM GMT
    Excellent point, tylerjock

    We've got separate checking accounts and are considering a joint savings account.

    I handle all the shared bills and he writes me a single check for his half. Just because that's the simplest way to do it.
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    Nov 19, 2007 4:02 PM GMT
    Been together 13 years. we have a joint account, plus separate checking accounts. I handle the bills from the joint account.

    If I think we need more money, I just present the facts. Like with winter coming on, we're going to need a little extra to cover the heating oil. Come April, we can each give a little less.

    Sure we can get into heated discussions about how to spend the money (what project needs to be done around the house, how much should we save for vacations), but we keep it civil and only about the issue at hand. It also helps that we both earn similar salaries, so at least there is no income disparity. I agree with others, when there is a big income disparity, there is a source of tension.
  • Laurence

    Posts: 942

    Nov 19, 2007 4:19 PM GMT
    My partner and I earn very different amounts. But we both pay the same towards mortgage and bills.

    We keep our money separate, but the one who earns more will pay for more things like meals out and trips away, though this isn't taken for granted and the one earning less often pays for treats too.

    The secret of keeping this sort of relationship going is communication (isn't it always?). If one person feels taken for granted then they should voice their concern. I believe a relationship is a partnership and that both people are working together towards the same goal - happiness, it shouldn't matter what each earns.

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    Nov 19, 2007 4:38 PM GMT
    In my 16 yr LTR, we had the yours, mine, and ours checking accounts. We each put the same amount of money into the joint account each month for bills, and also had a separate book for joint expenses (groceries, etc.) that we paid out of pocket, and we then tallied it up occasionally to settled. We never had any real issues with money even though for most of the relationship we made radically different amounts (and after 9/11, when we both lost our jobs and we were then making 50% of what we were earlier.)

    I would agree that it's mostly about communication. You can agree on just about anything if you want, but you can also have disagreements about anything too.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Nov 19, 2007 5:19 PM GMT
    We have a joint account for mutual expenses, but we each have our own checkings and savings accounts.

    Instead of an even split, we looked at our incomes and figured out the percentage we each contribute to the total household income. Then we made a budget based on our total mutual expenses and we each put in our percentage to cover.
  • cowboyupnorth

    Posts: 264

    Nov 19, 2007 7:28 PM GMT

    I think in order for a relationship to work it has to be based in equality. People who fight over money are usually living above their means.
    I made significantly more money than my partner. I asked him to come live with me so I never asked for money for the house payment, electric etc. I was happy to have him there. We had a joint account and he paid all of our bills, kept the house, and worked the horses. I worked two paid jobs. He did have a side job and he used his money for gifts and his cloths things like that. So things for us I paid for and things for him or gifts from him he always paid for with his money.
    When he messed up on paying the bills we separated our accounts to keep from having conflicts. He was more important than money or late fees, and I did not need the bitching rights if I thought he did it wrong.
    Each couple has to discuss money up front. Both partners have to have access to money and not feel controlled or indebted to the other. I am a social worker so I am not rich yet we have never gone without.
    I could see issues coming up even in the best of couples if someone had an addiction to alcohol, drugs, gambling, shopping or whatever. Luckily for me that has not been the case. In my idealistic view we should all be able to live without our partners money and visversa.
    Money issues would be drastically reduced if we were not so materialistic. In America we do not own things our things own us. You know the saying "Who is your God"
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    Nov 19, 2007 7:57 PM GMT
    I agree with almost everything "Cowboyupnorth" had to say. My partner and I use to fight over money all the time and it was because we were living above our means!! Once we stopped doing that and paid off all our unsecured debt (credit cards) and swore to each other to never be in credit card debt again our fights stopped. We only use credit if it is an absolute emergency and it is paid off at the end of the month. I am not talking about the mortgage. We still have a mortgage but that is secured debt. We just bought a new vehicle and opted for the 24 month pay off instead of 60 months. We are paying a big car payment but it will be paid off in just a few months. We figured the money would go somewhere if we didn't spend it right?? We also made a big decision to have ourselves paid first with each pay check. We have money go into an on-line savings account from each pay check. We never see the money and we haven't missed it so far. It is earning 5.05% but it is liquid if we need it.

    The fighting will stop when the out of control spending stops and the debt is paid off. I know it first hand!! icon_wink.gif
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    Nov 19, 2007 8:43 PM GMT
    If only it were that simple...

    Most of my partners and my disagreements over money have been because we were both established and in our 40's when we met - but living quite different lifestyles; primarily due to a disparity in income.

    Getting my partner to accept that 'What's mine is his' has been ... difficult.

    He was well established, owns his own home in Scotland, and has a large amount socked away as savings. But he is currently a student again, with at least another two years to go.

    I own a lot of 'things', 'toys', and I have people who work for me. He had a bit of a mental adjustment to make.

    I may enjoy a ploughman’s lunch at the local very much, but later in the day, I may also put on a jacket and tie to have dinner with someone at the Ritz on business. And yes, I frequently want him with me.

    It bugs the hell out of him that I don’t balance my checkbook or pay my own bills.

    Recently it bugged the hell out of me that he loaned some money to one of his fiends and didn’t tell me.

    There have been ups and downs - we are working on the communication thing; and so far its mostly up.
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    Nov 19, 2007 10:22 PM GMT
    One night when I couldn't sleep I stumbled upon the Suze Orman show, and she was discussing this topic Suze took the opportunity to explain her method for this issue. The couple comes together and adds up their common bills (mortgage/utilities, anything they agree to share), and then each person contributes the same %age of the annual income to the common pot. So say a couple has separate incomes of 39,000 and 150,000 a year, and their shared bills are 5,000 a month. They'd both put in say 35% of their income, and at the end of the year what whas left over was spent either spent on something they would share like a vacation, or was divided up and returned to the person who contributed it. That way both person is contributing an equal amount of what they bring to the table, and the rest is kept seperate and is their own to do with what they please. Seemed like a good plan to me.
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    Nov 25, 2007 5:46 PM GMT
    Either gay or straight the two things that will split up a partnership are disagreements over sex and/or money.
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    Dec 01, 2007 1:55 AM GMT
    Sex and money aren't everything, my guy split up with me because of him being a Democrat and me being a Republican. I was perfectly happy with the relationship. The only time we ever had an argument was about Bush and Kerry.