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BF - issues with unequal spending and my drinking(198 Posts)
Could do with some perspective or advice on this.
(Warning: this has turned out to be a huge rant and I completely understand if I don’t get any responses! I don't even know if it makes sense but has helped to write things out anyhow)
Have been seeing my BF for just over a year and half. Things have been really good, share the same sense of humour, enjoy spending time together, sex is great etc. He met my DS8 in Feb this year and they get on well.
I am older by a few years and earn substantially more than BF, stressful, high pressure job but as a single Mum I’m proud of how I’ve excelled over the years without the assistance of any maintenance/benefits etc.
Over lockdown BF spent a lot more time at my home (was isolating on his own in own home close by when not with me). During this time I shopped, cooked for us all etc and now that I look back I realise he did not really contribute to any of this in any substantial way e.g. Has forgotten his wallet when going to the shop, didn’t have cash when getting takeout, never so much as brought a treat for my son when visiting before or during lockdown. I get that I earn more but my outgoings are also far greater. But I didn’t really dwell on these instances until last week.
Invited him for dinner with me and DS Mon last week. All fine, dinner lovely, played board games, I had a bottle of wine. Woke up early Tues, did my usual morning routine, dropped off DS to his Dads, called to his school for meeting, did full days work, home and did housework etc. Was due to stay with BF that night but when I rang he seemed off, said he was tired so I let him be and stayed home. Seemed off for the rest of the week too so I didn’t go chasing him, did my own thing.
Arranged to meet BF on Sun, was coming to my house for walk, lunch etc. Went shopping for roast lunch bits together, going around the shop he found a particular meat dish that he said was ‘great value’ and would do for his dinner the following day. He picked up a few other bits too and I suggested he pick up a bottle of wine for himself to go with the roast dinner.
Getting to the till and I just knew he would let all his bits go through with my shopping for lunch, cringed, hoped he wouldn’t do it... and he did.
I was pissed but said nothing, was happy to see him and don’t want to ruin my own Sunday.
Get home, I get our lovely lunch on, we pour ourselves a glass of wine and I get ready to chill with the papers. Then he says he wasn’t just tired all week... that he didn’t want to see my after I had drank wine on Mon night previous. That my mid week drinking is now making him uncomfortable. I ask how it makes him uncomfortable, was it something in my behaviour? He said no, my behaviour does not change at all. I ask if it is the fact that ‘on paper’ I drink too much, potentially borderline high functioning alcoholic? He says yes. He also says when I have a glass of wine of an evening he feels alone. He also admits how totally hypocritical this is as he stands with a glass of wine in his hand.
I tell him I hear him, I understand what he is saying, I will take it on board and think about it but not make any decisions or make much comment right now. We continue with the evening and I ruminate more and more. By the time I go to bed my jaw is clenched and I have a headache.
It is true that I drink more than the average person (2 x midweek / 2 x wknd nights on average). I have never denied that I enjoy a drink and he has with me on numerous occasions. However, I am a great mother, daughter, friend, employee. Hugely involved in parents council/local community groups etc. Alcohol does not affect my productivity.
I feel so judged and hurt. I always welcome him into my home, cook lovely meals, keep my home tidy, clean, warm, he runs up my bills warming ridiculous amounts of water for baths etc and he contributes very little. Then he tells me that I make him uncomfortable in my home by having a few glasses of wine which he admits does not affect my behaviour in anyway. Even if he’d said he was worried about me or my health I would understand but it was all about him.
Am I justified in thinking that this is a red flag, that I shouldn’t be expected to change my behaviour in my own home or feel judged for unwinding with alcohol for the sake of someone else’s comfort who doesn’t live here, pay bills, put food on the table etc. I now can’t stop thinking about all the times I’ve paid for shopping/dinners out/greater portions of nights away etc. I know the two things are separate issues but they’re muddling together on my head and I just don’t see a way of coming back from this with him.
If you reached this far, thank you so much and any advice is appreciated.
I would actually tell him...
"I appreciate your honesty, I would like to tell you that I dislike how you don't pay your own way and it's made me feel used"
You will know by his reaction whether to ditch immediately or not.
I have to say I can't bear people that are "tight", I don't mind careful but he has been miserly and I think mean with money, mean with love.
Ugh he sounds awful OP. The drinking thing aside, he sounds like a tight-fisted cock lodger. Cut your losses and get rid.
He sounds rubbish. You're his girlfriend not his mum, no way should he be putting his shopping on the conveyor for you to buy.
I think you need to try to think about the two issues separately if you can. If you really are 'borderline alcoholic' ( it wasn't completely clear in your post) then I'm not surprised he feels uncomfortable; I think in his position I would too. If he has lost people he loves to the clutches of alcohol (even if none have actually died) he will be especially sensitive on this issue.
I can also understand by your irritation about his apparent stinginess. But would him paying his way more somehow give him more 'rights' to a view about your drinking?
You however have a right to gently raise your feelings about money, just don't link the two. I really don't think they're related (unless of course you have good reason to think he is linking them deliberately - not that you implied this at all )
I say gently because its possible that he's embarrassed about not being able to 'keep up'. Of course, he may just be stingy!
I don't think him complaining about your drinking is the big red flag here. I think him being a sponging miser is the big red flag.
Take time yourself to consider if you need to cut down on the wine though
I know @candycane222 I should be able to separate the two issues. I think that I was peeved with his assuming behaviour in the shop before he raised the conversation with me and I have now taken a stance of "well how dare you judge me in my own home when I provide so much and do my best to make you feel welcome and comfortable"
I also think if I raise the issue of unequal spending at this moment he will see it as defensive and in retaliation almost at the conversation around my drinking.
As I said, I do drink too much per week, approx 4 bottles of wine, I'm aware it's not healthy or normal but I don't believe it is a problem at this moment, I come from a family who enjoys wine with dinner and when socialising and he has gladly indulged in this with me on more occasions than I can count (at my expense as well mind you!)
Am I right to feel hurt and judged?
Your feelings are totally in line with the behaviour he's exhibiting. He's an arse.
@hushabusha thank you, I do continually keep myself in check when it comes to my alcohol consumption, if it ever started affecting my life of my family's then I would reassess, I do also engage in regular counselling and discuss my alcohol consumption with my therapist so I do monitor and am aware. I suppose it's a comfort, glass of wine after a long day can ease the soul a bit
Sounds like the relationship has run its course.
I can't believe he punished you for drinking too much (according to him) of course he was fine to not contact you, he had enough food to keep him going !
I would get rid OP. Yes you drink more than the recommended amount but so do many of us. The relationship is not balanced financially and he seems to have been randomly punishing you by being distant.
He seems too young, immature, tight or skint for you. Not a bad person but i think you should move on.
How do I come back from this? I have told him (by text) that I'm glad he spoke to me as this is obviously how he feels and I respect honesty but that I feel judged and hurt and need time and space to reassess. I do love this man and I know lockdown has put a strain on so many relationships but I don't know if I can be with someone who I feel I need to change my behaviour for or who will come into my home and judge me.
With regard the money issue, I'm more than capable of paying my own way and it's the principal as opposed to the money completely. I just keep thinking of things like, how lovely would it be if I was with a man that said at the till "I'll get this, you're cooking dinner for us and have had a long week already"
Yes, you are being judged and have every right to feel hurt. How much you drink is your problem. You acknowledge that. If you feel that you should reduce, then do so. Your choice. He is being a miser.
Perhaps time to reduce, your time with him, and enjoy a jerk free drink.
There’s two very seperate issues here.
He sounds like a stingy bastard. This will not improve and would be a dealbreaker for me (I recognise it wouldn’t be for everyone but one of my ex’s was a stingy, miserly prick to the point of expecting me to pay him back half if he bought milk and bread while we lived together, and it’s a trait I cannot abide now). It is also very unlikely to improve.
The drinking though - 4 bottles of wine by yourself a week is a lot. And I think that your statement that you keep your drinking in check but that you are also possibly a borderline high functioning alcoholic, are mutually exclusive. Perhaps he hit a nerve with his comment about your drinking?
I just think it's hilarious that he sulked all week because you drank a bottle of wine on Monday, then got you to buy his groceries before telling you why he'd been off with you...
He made excuses not to see you, but was happy for you to pay for food and wine he'll be taking home?
He's a user OP. If anything he should have been paying for all your shopping. He's had a free lunch, free food to take home and stood in your kitchen (with a glass of wine in his hand) complaining about your drinking.
If he really cared about you and was bothered about your drinking, he'd have tackled this very differently.
Time for a very frank conversation with him about his free-loading.
As an aside; 4bottles of wine a week is a lot. You know that. Try and find another way to wind down when you get home from work.
I'm not the best person to give a dispassionate view on his remarks about your drinking. My dh probably drinks around the same and tbh it does worry me. And it is hard with alcohol to separate concern from judgement - I doubt I can do it myself so yea, perhaps he's judging you and legitimately concerned at the same time.
If you are clear that you have no desire ro cut down your drinking then he has to decide if he can be live with that. If it still makes him uncomfortable your relationship may not last anyway.
Rehis stinginess, perhaps justask 'oh, aren't you going to pay for yours' or 'I reckon its yout turn isn't it?' next time you are in that situation, and see how he responds. That would probably be the time to raise it, but clearly you must. You can either both learn to be comfortable with each other as you are, or adapt your behaviour till you can both be in a comfortable situation that way - or realise someone is going to be permanently uncomfortable unless you split.
You're not wrong. If it hasn't had any impact on him in any tangible way, your drinking is your own affair. He, however, has had an impact on you and damaged your 'respect' for him by being a complete bludger. I don't think he has any right to be the one criticizing you. Think I'd bin him TBH,
I think they are two separate issues.
Obviously drinking 4 bottles of wine a week is in excess of what is deemed safe. You're drinking over two and a half times what's recommended, so he's probably got a point.
But, it's not on that he's expecting you to pay for his shopping, buy his food and so on. Are you annoyed that he got to air his grievance first and now you feel like you can't challenge him about his stinginess without it looking like tit for tat? I can understand that. I don't know how you address that. Could you challenge him the next time he does it, at the time?
I was poised to type the "c" word (cock lodger) myself , but see others got in first!
Am I right to feel hurt and judged?
I think the question of you being judged is unrelated to him not paying his way - put it this way, I could be with someone who was paying me full board and buying me breakfast in bed, every morning but if they said "sorry Tossa, but the fact you like to do the ironing in front of the TV means you're actually a Nazi", then I'm going to feel judged.
Whether I'm hurt by said judging depends on the rationality of the judgement, I guess, rather than whether the person has failings elswhere. If they're a complete hypocrit - like, telling me this whilst they're ironing a shirt, wearing jackboots, whilst EastEnders is on - then I'll be peed off with them about that. But I guess that's more from them being a hypocrit than the actual judgement per se.
No he is mean. You have paid for his sole shopping for a time when you are not with him. He is not a generous sort is he?
Alcohol intake is another thing - mine has also crept up during lockdown (Single parent here as well). I think you and I are drinking too much each week. I totally function OK but time to cut it back.
OP I think he’s feeling inadequate, it’s his self esteem & view of himself. He doesn’t feel good enough for you & there’s nothing you can do about it. I’d say he’s used to dominating people & can’t operate as an equal - you can cope just fine without him & it’s making him so defensive he’s come out & started attacking you. He should be thinking he’s loved by a totally capable woman but can’t see it that way. His fault not yours & unfortunately it won’t get any better. Your drinking is a red herring. Start pulling back as there might not be a future for you. He’s supposed to add to your life & being with him isn’t bringing you joy - Kondo him - bin
I completely understand where you're coming from. It's as though he's speaking to you about your alcohol consumption as though he's your equal, but not behaving like your equal when it comes to money. I agree with the PP that it now makes it difficult to bring this up with him as it would seem like tit for tat and your actual point could be lost if he thinks you're saying it just out of retaliation. With that said, I think you need to have a proper conversation about finances if this relationship has a chance of continuing as if not resentment will continue to build.
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