When An Over-Spender Ruins Someone You Love

couple problems
In the interest of protecting the innocent (and the guilty) in this piece, I’m calling the couple in this story Jake and Joan. They are people I know in real life, but I’m not going to say whether they’re friends, family, or acquaintances. All I’ll say is that I was closer to Jake than Joan and, while not a romantic relationship, I loved Jake dearly. (And yes, I meant to use past tense there.) It’s a cautionary tale with a bit of advice about what to do if you love someone who is being ruined by an over-spender.

The story begins when Jake met Joan. Jake had a slight spending problem before he met Joan, but nothing that was insurmountable. His overspending was mo


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11 Responses to When An Over-Spender Ruins Someone You Love

  1. moneybags says:

    Very sad situation indeed. However, I think the blame should be shared equally. Jake doesn’t get my sympathy vote. Seems to me that the real root issue is the relationship itself: she wants a Dad instead of a husband, and he is spoling this woman (girl) as if she were a child. My biggest advice would have been: MARRIAGE COUNSELING to learn to communicate and compromise.

  2. julue says:

    I agree there is way too much blame placed on Joan. He needs to man up. He is equally responsible.

  3. Thad P says:

    Very sad. We’ve probably all known or know couples like this. No easy answers.

  4. Minny says:

    Yes, piling blame on Joan is grossly unfair – it takes two to tango. Jake was only to willing to go along with Joan, maybe his premarriage attitude to money wasn’t what you thought.

  5. Minny says:

    Now, look at that you got me so annoyed I spelt ‘too’ as ‘to’!

  6. CindyM says:

    The only people I feel for in these situations are the kids from couples like this if someone else along the way doesn’t help them learn right behavior when it comes to money. We have a situation in our family right now, so this article really hits a nerve. And you’re right, you really cannot bail them out, and God help you if you sign any paperwork for them – I was fool enough to sign on a car, believing I would be paid back; didn’t happen. So, yes, now I’m more than ready to look these sorry kinfolk in the face and tell them where to put it should they dare ask me for help again. Actually, that’s what I should have done when approached about it in the first place since the individuals involved have a history of asking for money, but then there were small kids involved. The whole situation is and continues to be damned depressing for the whole family. They’re all adults, ablebodied, younger than me and spend a good deal of time sitting around. Anyway, I thank God Mom (who has Alzheimer’s)made me her DPOA; otherwise, I’m afraid the individuals involved would be pestering her.

  7. Monkey Mama says:

    Not quite at this level, but it sounds like many many people I know. I think a lot of people just got out of control in the boom and don’t want to scale back. This has caused a lot of divorces. A lot of family friends who were not born with silver spoons, but became accustomed to a certain lifestyle – the money became more important than the marriage. Unless these women are really that shallow, and find a rich sugar daddy, I think most of them will come to regret their choices. We were just discussing how many family friends we knew who divorced because of the money, but how broke they were after attorney fees and splitting assets. Kind of a harsh reality check for women who live in la la land. {For reference, in all these cases, the men make REALLY good money. But I think that is the problem – then it became all about the money}.

    It’s just been such a prevalent thing among family friends.

  8. I too agree. Jake is just as much to blame as Joan.
    He new who she was, how she lived and probably expressed her wants when he met her. Married to fast and didn’t stand his ground about the reality of their finances. Someone should have been the grown up.

  9. I know I have. Have offered advice and help that went nowhere. They even get upset at you for offering the advice and stop communicating.

  10. Rosie says:

    Well, Joan could be my sister. My sister has been married three times all three times she has behaved like “Joan”. My sister continues to act like Joan…I feel sorry for her current (3rd) husband who avocates a frugal/thrifty lifestyle and has been thru Dave Ramsey Financial Peace classes. Yet he married my sister!
    I do not understand where my sister got this poor financial mentality as ours was a middle class family.
    I have tried to “change” my sister as I am debt free and live a frugal lifestyle but I found that a futile effort so now I just observe at a distance and thank God every day that there are no children involved.

  11. Gail says:

    I know a couple that went through something similar but thankfully never had a kid and after 2 1/2 years she left him for his best friend (for a month) and so on top of leaving him over his head in debt also ruined a great friendship. But she was mentally ill as was her entire family. Her mother told them before they got married that unless He made $100,000 a year HE would have to pay off HER school loans (something that sure weren’t his responsiblity) apparently if he made over $100,000 Mom and Dad would keep paying them for Her (never were Her responsibility). Never made sense to me. He worked 3 jobs at all times. She got the occassional short term job that she always quit claiming she was being sexually harassed (in her dreams). He would come home from working his jobs and there would be no meal waiting or a clean apartment so they went out to eat or ordered in since he was too tired to cook. When he did bring food home she would throw it in the garabage. 2 /12 years of marriage left them massively in debt. But thank God it is over. He is in a great situation now although still works a lot but comes home to a clean house, a meal and a loving thoughtful wife who is helping him build up his own business. Some times it really is just one person that is causing the debt and poor lifestyles because the other person lies and misrepresents themselves to the other, they get married and then it is too late.

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