Do I Fix My Boyfriend’s Money Mess if He’s Dealing With Trauma?


Expensive Penny,

My companion and I’ve been collectively for 10 years. Throughout that point, we’ve got each had many psychological and emotional struggles. It got here out that he skilled sexual trauma as a baby, and through that point he additionally had a detailed childhood buddy die from a drug overdose. I had struggles of my very own and bought sober throughout that point. 

Now, we’re recommitting to our relationship. Proper now, we’re in a long-distance relationship of three,000 miles. We used to stay collectively, however I moved again to our hometown. Nonetheless, his psychological well being is getting worse, and it is impacting his funds.

He’s paying hire at two locations as a result of he can’t decide to shifting to 1 place. His job would not pay him properly. He would not finances for meals and simply goes out to eat day by day since he feels too unwell to cook dinner. 

We had a visit deliberate to Europe. Now he cannot afford to go, regardless that we’re staying with associates without cost and solely should pay for our $600 tickets. He will not get remedy as a result of he is scared, but in addition I feel he thinks it is too costly. 

We’re each in our mid-twenties and equally financially unstable in terms of day-to-day duties. Neither of us is actively paying off our bank cards. Nonetheless, I’ve some cash from a belief fund. 

Ought to I be extra understanding? Or, how might I counsel he strikes dwelling to economize once I do not perceive his monetary struggles since I’ve a nest egg? How can we’ve got a future when he’s so financially unstable? 

-Ok.

Expensive Ok.,

Your dilemma isn’t, “How can we’ve got a future when he’s so financially unstable?” The actual query is, “How can we’ve got a future when he’s so unstable?” And I’m undecided which you could, a minimum of proper now.

You say your companion’s worsening psychological well being is affecting his funds. I’m guessing it’s affecting each different facet of his life as properly. Cash troubles are sometimes only a symptom of a a lot larger illness.

Generally, specializing in monetary issues is best as a result of they’re quantifiable. When your companion is barely treading water as a result of he’s paying double hire and consuming out every day, you may calculate precisely how a lot of a shortfall exists. And you’ll soar in with options as a result of they’re so apparent. However when you understand in your coronary heart that somebody’s life is imploding and cash is solely Exhibit D or E or F? That’s a a lot more durable difficulty to handle.


You may’t make your companion get the assistance he wants, however you may take cost of your individual well-being. I’d urge you to speak to a psychological well being skilled, given the seriousness of this example.

Remedy was once cost-prohibitive, however there are much more choices now for locating inexpensive psychological healthcare. Telehealth choices like BetterHelp and Talkspace are sometimes less expensive than assembly face-to-face with a therapist. The Open Path Psychological Remedy Collective affords diminished charges of $30 to $60 per session, based mostly on monetary want. An alternative choice is the Affiliation of Psychological Coaching Clinics, which affords lower-cost remedy with somebody who’s coaching to be a clinician. You can even name the United Approach’s 211 hotline to be related with psychological well being assets in your group.

Please inform your companion that these assets can be found to him when he’s prepared. However know that that is his determination, not yours.

I hope you’ll talk about with knowledgeable whether or not it’s wholesome so that you can keep on this relationship in the interim. You’ve been together with your companion for 10 years, but you’re solely in your mid-twenties. The concept of letting go of a relationship that’s spanned practically half of your lives is little question daunting, but it surely must be on the desk.

No matter you do, although, you should stay your life, even when your companion is caught. Go to Europe with out him so long as you may afford the $600. Inform him you perceive that he doesn’t have the cash proper now. If you return, begin tackling your bank card debt, even when your companion has no plans to pay down his stability. Maintain your funds separate. Don’t attempt to rescue him.

You may be understanding. You may inform your companion you’re sorry for the way a lot he’s hurting. However you may’t be answerable for his life choices.

Robin Hartill is a licensed monetary planner and a senior author at The Penny Hoarder. Ship your difficult cash inquiries to [email protected].




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