Dear Gems from Jen,

My boyfriend and I have been together for over five years. We are living together. We have kept our finances separate, so I had no idea what his situation was. He works, makes a good income and I assumed it was ok. I don’t want kids, and I did not think marriage was terribly important.

Recently I thought it may be a good idea to buy a house, and that is when I found out that he does not have any savings at all, and does not qualify for any loans because of bad credit. He is 42 years old and has lived with his parents most of his life, but has always had a job. He has never traveled. I don’t understand how he can have no money. He does like to spend; as he has all the latest electronics and has to have what he wants right away.
We were still shopping for a house, and the mortgage and the downpayment would have to be in my name.  He gave me such a hard time, anything I liked was not good enough and he wanted a more expensive house. He was saying that my savings was not really that much and now that he is out of debt he will pay for most of the mortgage. I said that the only way I would do that is if he lets me manage all of the money, but he does not want to do that. Now I decided that I don’t want to buy a house and I would prefer to wait in order to save more and have him contribute to the downpayment as well. He does not want to do that. He wants a house now, or he does not want it at all. He is giving me ultimatums.

Now he is depressed and sad because I don’t want to buy. He even said that I have way too much control. Now he changed his tune, and wants a cheaper house or any house as long as it is now. If I don’t like a house, he gets upset and says that I am too picky. He behaves like a pig one day and is really nice the next day.
He tells me he loves me all the time. He is really sweet and easy to be with most of the time.

Now I am thinking of leaving him. I personally don’t mind if the guy manages all the finances, but he is incapable of it and will not let me do it. He can’t even pay his phone bill on time. How can we have a future together?

Dear Money And Love,
I think you have already answered your own question. It sounds to me as if your boyfriend lives more for the immediate gratification rather than achieving long-term goals. My first question to you is: How can you trust this guy to pay the mortgage, even if you do handle the finances? You stated that he has all of the latest electronics, he’s picky with what sounds like your money, can’t pay his phone bill on time and has no savings.  Do you see a future with this guy?

He’s giving you ultimatums, behaving child and pig-like when he does not get his way, and he’s now sad because you don’t want to buy a house with your money. It is apparent to me that you need to sit down and think long and hard about making a purchase of this magnitude with someone who cannot manage their own finances.  This situation has the potential to end up as a complete disaster financially for you. His behavior and issues with financial responsibility do not appear to be that of a man who is mature enough to make this type of purchase.  I would consider very strongly not delving into this arrangement with him.  As for your relationship, only the two of you can decide how to proceed once you make your decision regarding the house purchase. For the time being, take some time and really weigh your options. I wish you all the best with this very important decision!

Gems from Jen