The Great Pretender

Relationships should be based on mutual trust. Otherwise, I believe that there is no future possible. Finances are important. Same values are essential. Mutual chemistry is necessary. But when you break trust, you break the bond between you, don’t you?

Main characteristics of The Great Pretender: he showers you with gifts: designer bags, fancy jewelry, mind blowing shoes and exquisite perfume. He takes you out to expensive restaurants where you taste meals you cannot pronounce. He tips so generously that you secretly start considering a new career as a waitress. For your birthday you get an unforgettable trip to Paris or Rome, or Tokyo.

You live in a fairy tale. You are afraid to wake up in the morning and find out that he exists only in your dreams. Unfortunately for you, he is as real as he can be. Your relationship is getting serious, you move in together and that’s when the reality hits you.

First, you find out that his house is couple checks away from going back to the bank. Second, you find out that his truck is leased. Third, you find out that he is in debt up to his eyeballs. All the meals you had with him, all the trips you took together, all the gifts he gave you, everything was financed on his countless credit cards.

You are horrified. You are not sure if you can build your indestructible future together based on mistrust and uncertainty. You ask him (your voice is shaky, you eyes are teary) how much he owes. He waves his hand carelessly, saying that he doesn’t owe that much. He assures you that it is all manageable. You listen to your inner voice that says that something does not add up. Your last trip together to Asia, or Europe, or Antarctica was not cheap. A bracelet, or a ring, or a designer bag he gave you last month costs a fortune.

You decide to investigate on your own. Because you work at a bank, you can access certain information. Carefully, not to get caught, you bent some rules and pull a credit report on the love of your life. What you see is your worst nightmare.

Numbers flash at you from the pages of his credit report, making your head spin like during a never ending roller-coaster ride. The total balances of his seven credit cards add up to $75,000. “Not really that much” takes a terrifying form. You realize that his words do not match the message.

Do you bail out or do you stay?

My friend stayed. She did ask him why he never said a word about his debt. He innocently explained that it never occurred to him that it was THAT important. He lived in debt, using credit cards to finance most of his life and never had any problems. He promised to change. He promised to pay off the debt, find a second job. They decided to forget the past and focus on the present.

I don’t know where they are going to be in five-ten years from now. But right now they are working on his financial problems. Together.

15 thoughts on “The Great Pretender

  1. iamtheworkingpoor

    I hope he really appreciates the financial help. Is she managing all the money at this time? Sometimes people just need to learn some hard lessons.

    1. Aloysa

      What kills me is that she is NOT managing all the money. She trusts him to change his habits and get out of debt. They have one checking account where they put money for their common bills (mortgage, utilities). They have seperate accounts for everything else.

      1. iamtheworkingpoor

        That could be a recipe for disaster. I’ve never understood the seperate checking account thing but it works for some couples. I guess you have to make more money to be able to seperate it, ha ha. In this case though the seperate accounts are a bit worrisome.

    1. Aloysa

      Haha! I did not realized until I read your comment and roundup description that it is a good Halloween story!

  2. Roshawn @ Watson Inc

    Calling quits on a relationship is a big deal, but this certainly would warrant such action. It’s is great there was enough there to look past this. However, this would be a major violation of trust and hard to get past. It’s not about the money though but rather the trust breach. That also is a big deal

    1. Aloysa

      True! Everything was a lie. But she looks at it that he was just dating and living his life the only way he knew. Does he know better now, I am really not so sure. Is there a future. I don’t know. People don’t change. Usually…

  3. Lisa @ Cents To Save

    Old habits die hard. She should be more involved in his financial picture. Just saying you are going to do better and change…. well, that is the easy part. Actually making the changes… no easy task.

    1. Aloysa

      She should be involved. But she doesn’t want him to know how much she is making and saving. I can understnand that – she is protecting herself and her finances. Which brings out another point… she doesn’t trust him that’s why she doesn’t want him to know. Can they build future together with no trus? Time will show…

  4. Robert @ The College Investor

    I agree with Roshawn. You can’t call it quits right away. However, as the relationship progresses, their finances will become more and more entwined. If they are not getting on the same page quick, they will be in for a rocky ride. The statisticians say that the most common cause of divorce is finances.

    1. Aloysa

      She needs to take control over his money. Unfortunately, it is not happening. She does love him and that’s why she is not calling it quits. Their finances are entwined already eventhough they both still are trying to keep them seperate.

  5. Suba @ Wealth informatics

    They need to sit and talk about goals. Common goals. I agree with Shawn, calling it quits is the most difficult thing to do, esp. if the only problem is money. But if they are not in the same page and he is not willing to change, it won’t work ever. So the sooner they figure out what works/what doesn’t it will save a lot of heartbreaks for everyone. People who don’t acknowledge they have a problem won’t change, if they won’t change it is going to be a life long struggle for both people involved.

  6. Kellen

    I am so scared of falling in love with someone that just doesn’t get it with money. Unless they let me control all the money. Even then, they have to get it a little bit.

    Especially all the stuff I am learning these days about how bad *everyone* my age seems to be with the credit cards and the lack of saving, I’m getting worried here!

    1. Aloysa

      LOL Just watch for the warning signs. I believe that there are always something that seems wrong, or too good to be true. People like to ignore these signs.

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