Ask Wendy

How Can I Deal with His Financial Problems?

Friday, October 27, 2017
makes him want to stay
Hey Wendy,

My boyfriend is having financial problems, serious problems. He won’t accept any support from anyone. I feel he doesn't want me to feel he cannot provide, but for me it’s not the money, it’s the feeling of having a partner. He is always worried, unhappy, confused, not with me and when I try to pay a bill he gets so angry and we fight.

We don't go out because he can’t afford to and he won't accept me to pay for things like movie tickets or dinner or etc... If he doesn't accept any kind of support or even to sit with someone who can guide him on what to do, we are getting nowhere.

I feel distant from him, and this is effecting our relationship a lot. I don't know what to do. I was open and honest, he knows I can help a bit financially until he is back on his feet. Help please!

CS – Dubai

Boyfriend’s financial problems cause strife in relationship.

Dear C,

It may feel like you have one problem, but you have two. The first is your boyfriend’s financial problems, which may come and go throughout your lifetime as they do for almost all of us. The second, however, is an even bigger problem, and that’s the fact that someone you love won’t receive from you. What’s with that? What happens on his birthday, no presents?

I see two options: Your first is to express to him what really matters. If there’s a film you are dying to see, instead of saying, “Let me pay for the movies,” try, “I am so excited to see The Mountain Between Us! Will you come with me as my guest so I don’t have to see it alone?”

Your second option is to get creative and do free or relatively inexpensive things in Dubai. Both Du and Etisalat offer 2-for-1 movie tickets on certain days of the week. If he won’t take it because money is involved, you can watch under the stars at Wafi—sit on beanbags and take in free movies every Sunday at 8:30 p.m. at the Rooftop Gardens, Wafi Pyramids, or snuggle up at home, make some popcorn, and watch what’s streaming.

This is your time to explore alternatives. Have fun in the sun; get a free app and learn a new language together; go to one of the free museums near Al Fahidi Historical District; cook together at home; sex is free; you could walk around a dhow yard; climb to the top of Jebel Hafeet and take in the view—the sky is (literally) the limit!

It shouldn’t matter if you make more money than he does from time to time (or even all the time), but his financial problems and your income combined could affect things. So let’s address his anger. If him getting angry about you offering to pay escalates, all bets are off. That anger is a cue for you to question whether you’re right for each other, because that’s not acceptable (says me)!

Good luck!

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