I love beautiful things. Sometimes they are expensive (such as an Hermes Birkin) and other times they are cute outfits at H&M. I splurge and I save and then I splurge again. I'm never in credit card debt, and I spend my own money, making sure all the bills are paid, I've contributed to my retirement accounts, and I have put some money away for savings and emergency funds.
My boyfriend also has a well paid job; we live together and he saves most of his money. He doesn't have any habits that require money, we don't go out often to eat, but we have fun and we love each other deeply. However, he always argues with me and gets upset over my spending of my money. Whether it's a new pair of shoes or a new handbag, I sometimes want to just lie and not tell him I have something new or how much it cost. He says it's not the amount of money I spend, but the fact that I love to spend money on expensive things that are materialistic and excessive. I've tried budgeting and making changes so I don't end up spending an entire paycheck, but I can't give up my Louboutins and Chanels. They are who I am and I love fashion, beauty, style and glamour.
Can our relationship work? Are there solutions for both him and myself to make it work? We talk about it every few months when I purchase something, getting upset and then getting over it. I'm tired of the cycle, and I wish there was a way to change this! We come from different backgrounds and he is against materialism and strives for simplicity and happiness in the smallest things. Help! — Shopaholic Sophie
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Dear Shopaholic Sophie,
Clearly this cycle of arguing goes a lot deeper than your spending habits. Since he views material things differently than you do, you're going to have to make some choices if you want to save your relationship because it's pretty clear that it'll suffer if you continue to spend the way you have been.
Have you discussed the future of your relationship? Your boyfriend could be worried about being able to support you and your expensive taste if marriage and children is in your future. Since I don't know exactly what it is that upsets him, the best advice I can offer you is to talk about it. You don't want to get to the point where you have to lie to him to avoid an argument so I suggest you lay everything out on the table asap.
Compromise is key in every relationship, but I also feel it's very important to be the real you. Since you like the finer things in life and he enjoys a more simplistic lifestyle, you guys are going to have to figure out a way to accept each other for who you are. You don't necessarily have to see eye to eye in every aspect of the way you live you lives, but if your spending habits are putting a wrench in your otherwise seemingly good relationship, something gotta give. You can either limit your spending in order to salvage the relationship, or you can go your separate ways and hope to find a man you care equally for who will accept you for the person you are. I like the finer things in life too, but Sophie, make sure you aren't masking a deeper issue with your need to have new things because at the end of the day, you're boyfriend is right — material things really are just that. Good luck.