It’s commonly advised that couples who are going to get married should have a serious conversation about important life decisions before the ceremony.
Money troubles, sex lives, and the decision to have children are some of the leading causes of divorce, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Dough_Duo was fed up with his fiancée making up stories about being a breadwinner, though she struggled with contributing to their shared finances.
When this turned into an argument, the Original Poster (OP) soon discovered details that would make him look differently at his future bride.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for telling my fiancée she’s not the breadwinner if she’s not footing the bills in front of our families and friends?”
The OP recently moved in with his fiancée.
“My fiancée and I moved in together shortly before we got engaged.”
“Before we did, we discussed how we’d split the housework and bills. 50/50 down the middle with some wiggle room for when the other needs help.”
“When we moved, it was into her parents’ 2-story garage that they converted into basically an apartment.”
“They offered a low rent (700 total), and pitch in for the electric and internet so we could save money for our own place and wedding.”
His future wife wasn’t great about sharing expenses.
“My fiancée earns more than me and that’s cool, I’m proud of her.”
“Before we moved in together, it always seemed like she was living paycheck to paycheck, and I chalked it up to the apartment she had prior having insanely high rent.”
“She stuck to the 50/50 arrangement at first concerning bills, but she missed often, and I had to remind her about it.”
“Post-engagement, she’s back to living paycheck to paycheck, either missing or very late with her part of the rent monthly, the two utilities we pay, groceries, and late with her car payment.”
“Her parents have talked to me multiple times about rent, and I’ve covered her missing portion to get us caught up, and then I would try talking to her.”
“It always turns into her saying we should just move if her parents are going to hound us. I told her we’re lucky it’s her parents because anywhere else would’ve kicked our a**es out.”
“On top of that, I pay my own bills, do about 65% of the housework, arrange and pay for most of our dates and vacations, gifts for her, and pay most towards our pets.”
His fiancée also shared false stories with other people.
“I’ve suggested a financial coach but what kicks me is whenever we’re around others.”
“She boasts about being the breadwinner since she earns more and goes on about the stresses of being the main source of income and all the hours she has to work to ‘pay all our bills.'”
“I was letting it slide until few days ago when we were at a get together. She and her sister started up again about her being the breadwinner.”
“Her sister said something to the effect of her ex-boyfriend had a hard time being with someone who earned more, and my fiancée went, ‘Good thing OP doesn’t mind me bringing home the pay.'”
Problems arose when the OP spoke up.
“I told her just because she earns more doesn’t make her the breadwinner when she blows it all on herself and I’m paying most of the bills.”
“She’s embarrassed now and keeps saying I made her look bad and got her in trouble with her parents because they want to see what she spends her money on each month, but I don’t think I did anything wrong.”
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 didn’t appreciate how disrespectful the fiancée was to the OP.
“She was frustrated that you embarrassed her, but she was willing to embarrass you over and over. You need to point this out to her.”
“Her spending is a problem also. Glad you are solving that before the marriage.” – The_bookworm65
“I think the major problem is actually the way she’s willing to throw you under the bus ALL the time in front of others, act as though she’s the breadwinner and you’re the lucky mooch.”
“I had an ex-husband who was like that… he earnt more but he also spent like there was no tomorrow, and I was left paying for or borrowing for bills and trying to scrimp and going without… but if we were out at a shop or cafe, he’d pull out his card (which I’d put money on) and wink at the cashier, ‘As usual, the man has to pay for everything.’ He’d say stuff like that loudly all the time.”
“It’s only a symptom of a bigger problem. It’s not that she’s spending a lot. It’s her whole attitude towards you in front of other people.” – Eerawai
“It’s the disrespect part for me. Even if she were paying her half, going around bragging to everyone about making more money than him is absolutely disrespectful.”
“The financial issues are so bad here that no one is mentioning this and it should not be ignored by OP.” – jengaj2016
“Definitely stop paying her half of the rent! I’m tempted to say to tell your in-laws you are going to give them your half in a check or money order, and leave her to them, but she is going to be your problem if you marry.”
“I’m also concerned that she is so disrespectful of you in public. Just wow.” – Mundane_Currency5088
“I’m blown away that people just spend money on stupid shit and don’t pay their bills. Like, it’s simple math. My children have more sense than that. What planet do people come from where they think they don’t have to be responsible for themselves? It’s just literally mind-blowing.”
“Don’t marry this woman. She is probably a very nice person, but she’s also a financial toddler who says MINE and GIMME instead of taking care of her business. That’s not going to change.”
“Do you really want to be married to someone who’s willing to put your financial future at risk? AND shame you for her own weird insecurities? That would be a deal-breaker for me. You can’t eat love, and love doesn’t pay the rent or the medical bills.” – chickenfightyourmom
Others agreed and thought putting a pause on the wedding planning was a good idea.
“You should not tie yourself to her financially until she CONSISTENTLY demonstrates improved money management.”
“Preferably a year at the least, with her being able to meet some joint saving goals (honeymoon and wedding fund would be a good start) so you can see if she’s able to turn herself around and work with you as a financial unit.”
“I’d also be curious if she has some debts or stuff she’s not telling you about if she earns more than you but can’t even make 350 dollars a month.” – FlahBlast
“All I’ve got to say is you are right to pause wedding planning, but please quit while you’re behind. She prioritizes her whims over paying essential bills like rent and utilities? And you have to fight with her over that?”
“It would be one thing if she were an 11-year-old burning through her allowance, but she’s supposedly an adult. Mate: bounce. This advice would have saved me years of stress and a really ugly divorce.”
“If you mistakenly move forward, get a prenup and completely separate your finances. Good luck.” – xasdfxx
“Symptom of a bigger problem: her parents demand to know what she spending her money on.”
“This has been an issue in the past, guaranteed. My hunch is that her parents have bailed her out in the past and were hoping that getting married to OP would change things.” – notrunningfast
“I’m gonna hop on here and give you insight as someone who married into that exact situation.”
“My ex-husband financially DESTROYED us. By the time we divorced, I was over 12 grand in debt on one credit card alone. He made over 120k a year and couldn’t help pay bills. At the time I made 32K. You can see how this would be stressful.”
“It caused us to absolutely tear each other apart. Took me YEARS to straighten my finances out. Never again. Never ever marry someone who has zero money management skills. It sounds like you’re very aware and making the right decisions.”
“If she absolutely cannot stop spending the way she is you may need to cut her loose. Money is one of the biggest factors in divorce.” – Ok_Goosers
“Look, OP. I’m a 20-year-old woman who, 10 months ago, went from having everything paid for me and being able to buy myself whatever, whenever, to having to pinch pennies to afford bills.”
“In the beginning, there was a lot of struggling with not being able to buy impulsively anymore, but you know what? You learn when you can buy things and when you shouldn’t.”
“If in a financial emergency, your partner cannot wise up or attempt so to secure your stability, she is just going to run you dry for every penny and leave you out in the streets when she no longer has a place to live.”
“What would she do if she didn’t live with her parents? Just bounce around apartments until they evict you for not paying on time? This is not sustainable long-term and if she refuses to at least try to be more responsible, you will end up worse off. NTA, good luck with your situation.” – artificialif
After receiving feedback, the OP shared an update.
“At 11 last night, I was ready to just postpone the engagement, but as of this morning after a lot of talking and things coming to light, we are broken up.”
“Here is a quick summary:”
“She felt a joint account would impede her financial independence.”
“She insisted ‘we’ could afford her purchases based on our total incomes.”
“Her parents were under the impression she was also paying off my student loans, my car, my phone, and paying for our vacations.”
“She didn’t get evicted from her last apartment but she was late with her rent often enough that they weren’t going to renew her lease, so she didn’t suggest us moving to a bigger apartment at her building.”
“The biggest ‘Nope, I’m out’ moment was, the monthly take home amount she told me was what she earned BEFORE wage garnishment kicked in, in addition to mass debt. She’s been doing some online stuff to make up for the money she loses due to that.”
“Yes, I got the ring back. Now I’m going to go take some time for myself and get s**t figured out.”
Though it’s unfortunate the relationship had to end, the subReddit was likely relieved on the OP’s behalf, given everything he had uncovered about his relationship overnight.
Such behavior would take a long time to change, if it changed at all, and it likely would have seriously hurt their relationship in the process.