My Ex Was A Cheapskate

When you care about someone and they’re cheap with you financially and emotionally, it'll do nothing but bring down your self-worth and self-esteem. We learned valuable lessons about equality in relationships and what NOT to put up with. Thanks to all the cheap pricks who made this site possible. We may not have gotten a lot from you, but what we did get is a good laugh. At your expense! Send your story to excheapskate@yahoo.com

Friday, May 27, 2005

Cows? Milk? What?

Book Recommendation: The Bitch In The House, Edited by Cathi Hanauer

This collection of essays on motherhood, marriage and relationships has a nice chunk of writing on the negotiation of living situations and financial relationships with boyfriends who don’t pay the rent. I found it, for the most part, a well-written and insightful book overall. Worth checking out. Here’s a sample:

From Veronica Chambers “Getting the Milk For Free”:

“For all intents and purposes, we were living together. But he never paid rent or contributed to the food bills or utilities.

In retrospect, I can see how it might seem that I was blatantly being bamboozled. But the fact was that my boyfriend was very sweet and not the least bit conniving. He could barely pay the rent on his own apartment; his parents frequently chipped in to prevent eviction. So how, I asked myself, could I ask him to contribute to – much less split – my own sizable rent? I love him, I would remind myself. I was him to eat my food and spend each night with me. So I offered everything and asked for nothing and told myself that I was being the perfect girlfriend.

The truth is that I never knew how to ask him for what I wanted, for what was fair. The only thing I knew to do with a man was what I’d learned from my parents: to fight or not fight. I had no idea how to craft a partnership beyond that one basic thing. What’s more, discussing finances of asking for help around the house seemed very minor compared to the Important Things. My boyfriend didn’t hit me, he didn’t yell at me. What more could I ask? The only thing taking a beating was my checking account.

Of course, after a while, it all came around; by underwriting our relationship so drastically, I wasn’t giving my boyfriend a chance to be my partner and I began to resent the imbalances…He reminded me that our living together, as it was, was my idea. He said he wouldn’t clean my apartment because he had his own apartment/studio to worry about. He wouldn’t pay for risotto and top of the line Parmesan; at his apartment, he reminded me, he ate Kraft Macaroni and cheese and that was just fine….If I wanted to enjoy certain things, I had to pay for them…”

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