Red Responds: Money Isn’t Happiness

Mary in Flower Mound writes:

My boyfriend and I have lived together for just under two months now and have been dating for almost five. We both have alot on our minds here lately, but the biggest problem we’ve been facing together is his financial situation — he already owes me $200 from past expenses that I’ve helped him with. One of those expenses was his certification course to become a forklift operator. Now it seems that the harder he tries to pay me back, find a new job and help me with our bills, the further away our hopes for a better financial future are. I just want to know when this rut we’re in will finally lift and when we’ll ever be able to depend on his income in a consistent manner instead of just hoping and praying that he makes 20-30 hours pay per week. I already know that he’s not the one I’m supposed to be marrying but I dont see anyone else who is willing or able to take care of me (and I have special needs due to my disability). I know that he’ll be the one I marry… I just don’t know when. Help!

Dear Mary,

Your boyfriend loves you, and wants to make you happy, but happiness to him doesn’t revolve around finances. Sure, he’d love to be bringing in more money and working steady, but it’s going to take time for him to find a better job. Looks like money will ebb and flow throughout the winter months, but a better opportunity will come about this spring.

Sit down with your boyfriend and talk with him about your joint financial situation. The two of you can work out a budget that maximizes both of your incomes. It will take time before he is able to pay off his $200 debt to you, but he can pay it down while helping with the shared expenses. You may have to consider accepting low payments from him, but collecting $15 – $25 once or twice a month will pay down the debt. Eventually, your boyfriend is going to be making good, steady money. I would advise you to work with him and be supportive of him during these more challenging times if you expect him to be financially generous with you in the future.

Since you seem to be resigned to marrying someone you don’t feel you are supposed to marry, I really want to encourage you talk to someone about that. Just because you are disabled doesn’t mean that you can’t find true love. Furthermore, your special needs shouldn’t be a handicap to your boyfriend — he deserves to marry someone that actually wants to be with him. But, if you are going to stay in this relationship, try to be happy with what you have and work with what you’ve got. If he keeps thinking he’s a failure in your eyes, your chances of marrying him will grow thin.

I’m sorry if this comes across a little harsh, but this is your life — and I really want you to think things through. Our actions, not our wants and wishes, are what influence how our future unfolds. Sometimes happiness boils down to choosing a happier state of mind.

Good luck!
Ext. 9226

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