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Money Issues and Relationships

Spend-y Spouses Drain More Than the Bank Account

While women are usually the first to cut spending during tough economic times, we hear more stories about shopaholic women who seem clueless about the state of their finances than of men with a similar addiction. However, an article in the Wall Street Journal explores the affect that out of control spending can have on relationships — and this time it's the male half who has trouble keeping his credit cards in his pants. To read about one guy's harmful spending habits and what to do if yours is blinded by the gleam of new goodies, just

Christie and her longtime fiancé earned a healthy combined income, but his messy money habits made it impossible for them to have stable financial lives. Things were so bad that she explained, "I dreaded him having contact with outside human beings, because he'd come home with some harebrained idea." Examples of these ideas? For starters he went through 15 cars during the course of their decade long engagement, and one car he kept only for a week. Then there was the condo he bought on a whim because a friend was into real estate.

Christie's fiancé actually made her feel like the bad guy and said that he was spending because she was making him miserable. That engagement never turned into a marriage, and Christie's advice to anyone in a similar situation is to throw in the towel. She says that trying to take control of the finances will just create resentment and won't actually fix anything. A couple's counselor says that the situation may not be hopeless, but that counseling is imperative and to use separate accounts until the financially flawed partner has cleaned up his habits.


Join The Conversation
Lindira Lindira 9 years
My husband and I take our turns with compulsive "gotta have it" purchases, but we're a lot better about it now. What helped us was pre-marital counseling, which I highly recommend. We didn't have any problems with our relationship (it was mandatory for a Catholic wedding), but it really helped us communicate better and not avoid difficult topics. Now we don't make purchases over $50 without consulting one another first, and when we do feel those urges to spend frivolously, it's easier for us to stop and think "How else could this money be used to benefit *us*?" We still hit a few rough spots, but it's so much better than the money troubles we hear a lot of couples go through.
sweetpeabrina sweetpeabrina 9 years
This is my exhusband! I'm so glad we're divorced now because I actually know where money is going! He always wanted in on some get rich quick scheme. He always wanted the biggest and best trucks. He got credit cards and maxxed them out within a month. He was HORRIBLE! If I ever get married again, one of my major requirements that he is good with money.
nancita nancita 9 years
15 cars in 10 years? that's beyond being bad with money. That's seriously compulsive behavior!
cvandoorn cvandoorn 9 years
My boyfriend and I both like to spend money...ugh
ktownpolarbear ktownpolarbear 9 years
i got myself into a lot of debt and with no financial help from the parents, so I've had to learn to be financially thrifty and smart really quickly and am paying off loans. my goal this year is to pay off at least 1 major credit card out of 4 that i am indebted to. i also don't make much money and have student loans. the boyfriend on the other hand, doesn't have any debt, has a mom who helps support him, he makes impulsive purchases, that i just don't get, ie blu-ray DVDs that he watches once. he complains about being dependent on his mommy, but then doesn't take steps to become independent. it's annoying.
tiff58 tiff58 9 years
I'm also the "saver" in my relationship with my boyfriend. Luckily, he is becoming more and more concerned with his/our spending, after many money-related arguments.
melizzle melizzle 9 years
Luckily, hubby and I are on the same page financially. Though each of us has our "I gotta have that!" moments.
DreaAST DreaAST 9 years
I totally agree with this. I might spend more on a daily basis but that is for necessities for our family such as food and supplies. But, my husband definately spends more on the larger things that he just wants that we have no need for. I get so upset about it because he just has no clue and he thinks because he goes to work everyday and works hard that he can just get whatever he wants in life. I feel stressed out thinking about it!
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
Oh, I am the cheap one in our household. Luckily, his rents pay for everything for him but thats another story... Me, I can pinch a penny like theres no tomorrow. It feels good to be cheap, not only do I like getting a bargain but I also like to look at it as being environmentally conscious because I am not creating extra waste :) Kinda a stretch but its still encouragement for me! ;)
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
i think it's interesting to see this turn of events. with myself and my boyfriend - he spends more than me - becuase i'm smart enough to never use a credit card - only my debit of my amex which has to be paid ASAP - and if there's something that i want - i find a means to get it w/o personally having to pay for it. the other day my boyfriend went eBay crazy and bought like 6 things...granted it wasn't a lot of money - but he still bought a ton and he didn't NEED to.
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