Virginia Ironside's Dilemmas: Money issues split us up and now I miss him so much

I brought up my daughter and supported both of us single-handed, but two years I ago I met a wonderful man. He moved in and we agreed on everything – except money. He's self-employed and gave me money when he had it, but I asked for a regular contribution each week. He agreed, but never bought me treats, and I paid for all wine, holidays, etc. He the asked me for a loan of £2,000, which he showed no sign of returning. Because of this, we've separated. He promises he'll pay me back, but am I a fool in thinking he will? I miss him so much.

Yours sincerely, Jo



There are some men – and no doubt, some women but I've never met them – who seem to have a completely blind spot about money. It's as if they appear to understand about a lot of things – love, affection, kindness, jokes – but when it comes to money there's a blank. It's as if a money-gene is missing. It's as if they don't actually connect the fact that money is a representation of something that has been worked for, something that has actually been given. They see it, it seems to me, as if money is just something in the ether – if you're lucky to grab some as it floats by, fine. And, ergo, if you've got more of it than them, then you should share it. It should, they think, be available to all, just like air or water.

You, on the other hand, having worked so hard all your life and managed to bring up a child as well, single-handed, know exactly the value of money. You are probably someone who, while you might be generous enough to give a friend a pound coin to park their car, for instance, and not expect to receive it back, will never be able to forget that it was given. You, like most people, have an invisible cash register in your mind – although I'm sure you, like most people, are at pains to keep it hidden from view.

Now you could take your boyfriend back, and argue to yourself: this man is like a cracked Ming vase. He's tip-top and invaluable in every respect except for this one flaw – the crack, or the money-flaw.

But then comes the terrible crunch. If you take him back you will never know whether he is interested in you because he loves you or because he knows you're an easy touch. And that is when you will start to question all the things that you do love about him – his humour, kindness, perceptiveness and so on. And I'm afraid (and I know this from experience with more than one man) that then you will never be able to trust that what this man appears to give you is real. Behind every apparently spontaneous gesture will be this bitter question: "Is there a hidden agenda? Is he really kind and sweet or is that all part of the charm to disguise what is really a way of enabling him to get a free lunch?" Or, in your case, supper, breakfast, tea, and bed at the same time.

It is terribly painful, I know, but I'm afraid it would be best to keep this man simply as a friend – and don't give him any money. You will soon find out whether he is interested in you as a cash-cow or a person. If he constantly says he loves you, and puts himself out to mow your lawn, fix shelves and so on for nothing, then you might think again. But if, as I suspect, you get nothing out of him except entertainment and affection and no real, tangible input, then you will know that, however sweet and charming he may be, he is not someone to cultivate for the long haul.

I'm afraid you may well find that pretty soon he meets another delightful, generous, self-sufficient woman who will take him in. But don't worry. It won't last.



Readers say...

He won't change

You are being naive if you think you are going to get your money back. Your ex obviously doesn't love you because if he did he wouldn't have put you in a situation where you had to lend him money. Even if he does repay you, do you really want to go out with someone like that? If you do get back together just remember that a leopard never changes its spots. Don't expect him to be a renewed man who will shower you with gifts and spoil you rotten.

Naomi

Birmingham

Money isn't everything

What did he need the £2,000 for? To help his business and pay off debts? If he has money worries then he is not going to feel inclined to spend it on treats or luxury items like holidays. I do think you are judging the relationship on merely on the financial aspects. In many strong relationships one partner often earns more and contributes more financially than the other – but in a loving relationship this isn't really important. What matters is that you both love each other and work together as team, combining your assets for the benefit of both. Forget the money aspect and what he paid for – just ask yourself honestly what type of man he is.

Linda Acaster

Leicester

Stop mothering him

Your problem is so very familiar to me! This "wonderful man" recognised you as a nurturer, and needed you to look after him, to take care of all his practical needs. If you were his banker, it would be very easy for him to agree with you about everything else! He does not see your relationship as any form of a partnership. He is the greedy second child that you could not afford. He'll never make a proper financial contribution to the family or give you the presents and holidays you so richly deserve. Dry your eyes, move on – an independent woman will always be loved. All this could almost be my own story: been there, done that – and he never bought me the T-shirt, not even in the sales.

Dee Frith

Derbyshire

Try splitting the bills

Oh dear. How many relationships have foundered over money? It's an awkward subject to discuss, but you both need to find a workable solution to these financial issues before you can move forward as a couple. You don't say why your man friend borrowed £2,000 from you. Was he having difficulty obtaining credit elsewhere for work purposes? Or was it for a frivolous reason, in which case you might question his sincerity, and your own decision to lend him the money in the first place?

You do say that he is a "wonderful man" which indicates that, despite the money issue, you enjoy being with him and that he enriches your life. As a short-term solution, why not go halves for all the essentials of living together and do without the treats and holidays?

Anna Fry

Bedford

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
News
Actor, model and now record breaker: Jiff the Pomeranian
Video
News
REX/Eye Candy
science
News
i100
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
Arts and Entertainment
Amis: 'The racial situation in the US is as bad as it’s been since the Civil War'
booksAuthor says he might come back across Atlantic after all
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
Google Doodle celebrates the 200th birthday of Irish writer Sheridan Le Fanu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
News
i100
News
In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Jim Carrey and Kate Winslett medically erase each other from their memories
scienceTechnique successfully used to ‘reverse’ bad memories in rodents could be used on trauma victims
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Pixie Lott will take part in Strictly Come Dancing 2014, the BBC has confirmed
tv
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    C# Developer (C#, ASP.NET Developer, SQL, MVC, WPF, Real-Time F

    £40000 - £48000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C# Devel...

    C# Swift Payment Developer (C#, ASP.NET, .NET, MVC, Authorize.N

    £45000 - £60000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C# Swift...

    Front-End Developer (JavaScript, HTML5, CSS3, C#, GUI)

    £55000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Front-End Deve...

    Graduate C# Developer (.NET, WPF, SQL, Agile, C++) - London

    £30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Graduate C# De...

    Day In a Page

    Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

    Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

    Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
    Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

    Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

    The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
    America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

    America’s new apartheid

    Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
    Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

    What is the appeal of Twitch?

    Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
    Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

    How bosses are making us work harder

    As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
    Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

    Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

    As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
    Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

    A tale of two writers

    Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
    Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

    Should pupils get a lie in?

    Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
    Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

    Prepare for Jewish jokes...

    ... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
    SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

    A dream come true for SJ Watson

    Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
    10 best cycling bags for commuters

    10 best cycling bags for commuters

    Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
    Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

    Paul Scholes column

    Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
    Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

    Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

    A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
    Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

    The science of herding is cracked

    Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
    Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

    This tyrant doesn’t rule

    It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?