Stop Being The Sugar Mommy

Hi Rob,
I can’t tell my family and friends about my problem so I decided to email you.

Let me start by describing myself. I am 28 years old and very successful in my career as manager in a multi-national company. People say I look more than ok and have a number of admirers and followers.

My problem is with my boyfriend. He doesn’t seem to know the concept of responsibility. We’ve been together for almost 6 months now and ours is like a whirlwind romance. I didn’t get to know him first before we became an item.

You see, my problem is like this. I feel as if I’m his sugar mommy. Whenever we go out, we normally split the bill. I really do not have any problem with that except that its not a 50-50 split. Its more like me paying 75% or more of the bill. And we go out every night… we always eat dinner together…. and not just eat anywhere… we usually eat in expensive restaurants. I also share with the gasoline expenses. The funny thing is both of us have cars but I frequently gas up his car more than mine, sometimes 2-3 times a week full tank. He’s into sales so he uses his car everyday to get around and he can reimburse this with his company, yet he asks me to pay for half of the expense every time. Yes, it’s his car we use when we go out but the places we normally go to is just within the vicinity and would not consume that much gasoline. Not only that, he also expects me to split the bills when he buys personal stuff like shirts (not just any shirt but the expensive kind), monthly medications worth 2k+, shaving cream etc.

We both have good paying jobs but he always complains that he has no more money left. He’s an only child and has no obligations at home. He gets to keep all his earnings to himself yet he’s always broke. He is an impulsive buyer, he loves branded and very expensive clothes, shoes and accessories. I, on the other hand, am earning more than him but I have many obligations at home. I am the breadwinner in the family. I am currently maintaining 2 houses, our house in the province and our apartment here in Manila, by which I take care of all the monthly utility bills, food, rental etc. I am also sending my 2 brothers to school in reputable colleges in Manila. I am also paying a monthly amortization (roughly 30k) for the condo I bought.

With our situation now, I’m having difficulty balancing my finances. I tell him in passing that I’m having difficulty with my cash position but he’s so insensitive, he still expect me to share in ALL the expenses.

I am not very good with confrontations that is why I tolerate the situation. I do not know what to do anymore, ever since I met him I don’t get to set aside any personal savings anymore. In fact, I use up the savings I was able to set aside in the past years as my current earnings are not enough anymore to sustain me, my family and HIM.

I don’t have the heart to ask my family and friends for advice because I don’t want them to get angry at him. I love him but sometimes I couldn’t take it anymore. I can only take so much. I know he loves me too but sometimes I doubt the reason why he wants to see me everyday…. so he’ll have somebody to share with the expenses? I know sooner or later I need to talk to him… but HOW? What will I say? He’s very good at twisting things, I’m afraid he’ll make it look like it was my fault in the very first place.

I know he has these flaws yet I myself can’t explain why I stick with him. It’s not a matter of being afraid to find another guy because like I said I’m not hard on the eye and there are a lot of guys waiting on the side.

Sometimes I just think I’ll tolerate it until such time I leave for Australia. You see, I have a pending application for Australia and he doesn’t want me to leave. I want to migrate because I feel I can support my family better if I go there. I’ve been processing my papers without his knowledge, and I’m expecting my visa to be released before the year ends. I know its a cowards way out but I am desperate. Please help.

Thanks so much in advance, Troubled Heart

Hi Troubled Heart,
It’s time for you to make some changes to your life because, obviously, how you are being treated by your boyfriend isn’t working.

From what you’ve told me, he’s using you for your money.
He gets all the benefits of your relationship:
– His bills are paid
– He can spend his money on whatever he wants
– He gets gifts from you whenever he wants to get something new
– He can tell himself that he’s being fair to you by contributing his small amounts to pay large bills that you pay

In your position it’s time to end this behavior and if need be, end the relationship.

Save your receipts and write down what you’ve paid and what he’s paid.
Pull out your credit card statements and mark down what you’ve purchased for him.
Have a sit down talk with him about how much you’re spending, the financial pressure he’s putting on you, and that this (your paying the majority of shared bills and spending money on him) has to end.
If he doesn’t promise to start paying back the gas money and clothes money that you’ve spent on him…. it’s time to end the relationship.

I hate to say it, but financial behavior like this is a one way street, he gets what he wants and you are left to deal with the consequences. Whether money, possessions, or simply ignorant behavior, you have to put an end to being the “sugar mommy” and the “victim” of his selfishness. If that means ending the relationship, then do it.
Money and finances are one of the cornerstones of any enduring relationship. Often one partner will earn much more than the other so bill payments aren’t shared equally. This does not mean that both partners don’t share the same financial responsibilities for expenses in the relationship. What it does mean is that you need to be upfront about each others financial responsibilities and needs. Who pays for what and when. How money is saved as well as how expenses are shared. And this should be put in writing before cohabitating.

As far as your coming opportunity in Australia, don’t just slink away to another place, what if he decides to follow you? You’ll never be rid of him and his ‘me first’ money demands.
Best wishes,
Rob.

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