We’ve all been through one of those times when we had to work too hard or too much, and we can appreciate wanting to do something nice for ourselves to lighten the load.
But not every onlooker will feel the same way, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Burnedout2377 was shocked by just how much her boyfriend disagreed with a recent purchase she made when she decided to congratulate herself on a job well done.
When he went so far as to call her “ridiculous” and “selfish,” the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she had made a mistake by buying herself a gift.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for making a big purchase with my bonus check and angering my boyfriend who went through my bank statements?”
The OP and her boyfriend came from similar financial situations.
“I (26 female) recently started a well-paid job in finance. My family had little money whilst I was growing up, my mum worked several jobs, some involving domestic labor for richer families whose kids I went to school with.”
“My boyfriend (24 male) and I had a similar background, we both got scholarships to prestigious schools and universities and had the privilege of growing up around money, but neither of us had much of it.”
The OP began to advance in her career.
“We now share a house and expenses, his career is in the town I spend my weekends in, and I pay double rent throughout the week and commute home from the city to see him. It costs me a lot but I want to make it work.”
“My job is extremely difficult, I’m talking 16-17 hour days with high stress.”
“I landed my bonus and cried at the money in my account. To many people, it might not be a lot, just an ordinary paycheck, but to me, it meant for the first time in my life, I saved enough to have some money at the end of the month to buy something nice for myself.”
The OP decided to treat herself.
“Tonight I decided to buy my boyfriend a round at a bar. Since he was sitting closest to the bar, I handed him my phone (we both know each other’s passwords) and told him to get the next round.”
“What I didn’t know, is that my Apple Pay showed my recent purchases when he paid for the drinks.”
“I bought myself a really nice dress I wanted, it was probably the most expensive dress I had bought myself, but it was my signing bonus, and I wanted to buy something nice and treat myself.”
Her boyfriend didn’t appreciate her spending choices.
“My boyfriend got extremely angry with me. He couldn’t believe I’d spent so much on one thing and said he thought I wanted to do something good with the money I earned.”
“He said it was a ridiculous purchase and no one needed that.”
“I have offered to take on more of the rent and expenses, I already pay double rent so we can make a life together (he couldn’t afford the place in the town alone as we share a room).”
“He doesn’t want any of that other than splitting equally, and I accept that.”
“I also explained to him that I still saved 5/6ths of my bonus, and he replied, ‘Good for you.'”
“I tried to treat him, too, but I think I’m just not going about it in the right way. I just really regret that he saw the payment history flash up on my phone.”
“AITA for making a lavish purchase with my bonus and pissing off my boyfriend who took my phone and went through my statements?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some said the OP could spend her money how she wanted as long as the bills were paid.
“Sharing expenses is different from pooling income. Sharing expenses just means you each put in a share on the bills, what you do with the rest of your money after the bills are paid is your choice.”
“He has no say in that. Nor should he unless he expects you to have a say in how he uses his money after the bills are paid.” – Hazelwood38
“I dated a guy who loved to tell me how to spend my money. If it wasn’t on him, it was ‘stupid’ or a ‘total waste.'”
“On my birthday I bought myself a really expensive sweater that I absolutely loved. He had many things to say about it. 14 years later, I still have the sweater.” – Rich_Restaurant_3709
“Your bills are paid this month, your rent is paid, you have most of your bonus saved, what is he complaining about?” – merryschmetterling
“You don’t have to explain anything to him cause this isn’t about what he’s arguing. He’s mad because you make more money than him and he feels emasculated.”
“His focus on you spending your bonus is because he wants to feel like a ‘man,’ and if he isn’t making more money, he’s gonna be in charge of it.”
“Put this dude’s mind right that this isn’t 1955. If he needs to make more money to feel like a man, then get a better job. Your money is your money you earned.” – Hazelwood38
“‘Good for you’? That seems incredibly condescending.”
“I may be in a minority because I don’t think couples need to be fifty-fifty for expenses if there is a wage gap. And also I don’t think the lower warning partner should ‘shut up and be grateful.'”
“But it sounds like you are pulling more than your weight.”
“It also seems like he wants to decide what to do with your money. And you two are only dating?”
“Whether it’s his jealousy or his desire to control or his moral philosophy about money that he’s imposing on you, some serious and uncomfortable conversations are in order.”
“How does he think you should have celebrated your win? Is it the same way you want? Like in your heart of hearts want, not in order to keep the peace want?”
“Personally, I love that you celebrated yourself snd still kept 5/6. You are a rock star.” – itsnotamnesia
Others felt the OP deserved better than she was getting.
“Why are you so desperate to buy this guy’s love?”
“You need to have a serious think about why you are spending so much extra, were willing to pay even more, to make it work with this guy and keep him happy.”
“You need to go find an equal respectful partner, not someone you seem to think yourself subservient to or unworthy of.”
“Your over-eagerness to please, and to sacrifice, basically drips off your post. It really reads like you have little self-respect, and you thinking your BF is at all justified in his comment just supports that as well.”
“You ‘tried to treat him, too,’ and you ‘regret he saw the payment history.’ So you need to hide things or he’s disappointed in you, or angry with you, and you are continually concerned about keeping him happy.”
“This really REALLY doesn’t sound like a healthy relationship for you.” – Ok-Beginning-5922
“Him looking through the OP’s account was what I was caught up on. I would have dumped his a** for the violation of my privacy alone.”
“I will be so glad when we all understand that dating a person doesn’t automatically need to open all the doors to your kingdom. Until/unless you and this person are going to definitely build a life together, you need to retain your autonomy.”
“My SO (significant other) and I only see one another on weekends due to his working night shifts, he lives about 23-30 minutes away from me. He has his house and I have mine. I am growing to trust this man, and I do believe that we will eventually make a life together. But I’m not rushing it and neither is he.”
“He is responsible for the bills in his home, I am responsible for the bills in mine. We often split groceries/food costs at whichever house we are at. We have verbally exchanged some information about our finances, but at no time have I nor he, snooped through paperwork or statements. And I would be ready to leave him if he so much as hinted at this level of control.”
“People, dating someone may or may not work out. It’s great if it does. Happy for you! Woohoo. But keep some of your business to yourself.”
“Keep your eyes open during the relationship. See things objectively. While love is a heart matter, the business of a relationship requires just as much logic and common sense as you can muster.” – Moew4974
“Girl, this is not the guy for you. He should be thrilled for you! Celebrating with you! Instead, he’s pouting and trying to shame you because you made a choice he couldn’t control?”
“You are bending over backwards to be with him (two rents?!? That’s INSANE!!) and he’s treating you like you’re not doing enough.”
“Meanwhile, what does HE bring to the relationship? What sacrifices is HE continually making to be with you? How often does he ask your permission before HE buys something with HIS money? You’ll surely save a h**l of a lot more money when you stop paying half his rent…” – Kathrynlena
“Girl, you’re paying double rent (a burden he doesn’t seem to give a f**k about nor want to share with you) but he’s willing to nitpick your success and the things you purchase? And he’s not even your husband or fiancé???”
“Ugh, I really dislike this for you. Please think long and hard about what he actually contributes, besides a penis. Some college relationships (dare I say most) run their course in the transition to the real world.” – the_orig_princess
“No no no, do not feel bad here.”
“He’s a massive jerk who has zero say in how you spend your money outside splitting costs. What he’s doing is absolutely not ok.”
“Do not under any circumstances start any joint accounts with this man, and change your passwords now and never let him have access to your account again.”
“He’s acting possessive of YOUR money and if he can rationalize that now, it definitely has a strong chance of escalating.”
“Please put your foot down now about this and set really clear and strong financial boundaries. It will save you a lot of grief down the road. You have to protect yourself from people, including significant others… there are a million divorced couples who experienced financial nightmares because they thought they didn’t have to.”
“You can do it respectfully, but he needs to learn to back off like yesterday.” – East_Deer7419
While the OP was doing everything she could to make her boyfriend more comfortable, the subReddit insisted she was doing too much as it was.
She was paying likely double the rent and bills that her boyfriend was, and she was only celebrating herself after a tough work period.
That sounds like the time for a partner to be supportive, not financially critical.