• Fri, Dec 6 - 11:00 am ET

Polyamorous Mom: Sex Is Easy, Money Is Hard

53273315Lately, my spouse and I have been struggling with finances.  I work a full time fairly well paying job with decent benefits while my spouse has spent his time at home raising our children and going to graduate school.  This is a decision we made together, though really didn’t know just how challenging it could be.  As medical bills, car payments, and heating expenses rose our ability to cover everything dropped.  Meanwhile, I’ve been dating a man who makes a better income and is in a double- income- no -kids situation.  The disparity between partners incomes whether married or dating is prone to cause issues and strife.

How couples deal with and discuss finances has a big impact on their relationship, how they’re treating each other, their stress levels around the children, heck even how often they’re having sex. I feel like if there is one thing that drives a wedge between people the most it tends to be money.  Who’s making it, who’s spending it, what’s it being spent ON?  And even couples who have been together many years can still have differing views on if you should spend extra on the organic vegetables, or if Billy really NEEDS another pair of sneakers right now.

For me, first there is my husband Allan.  While we both agreed I’d work because I made more while he stayed home, he finds being a stay at home dad less than fulfilling.  It is difficult for him to overcome the age old social indoctrination of the man providing for his family.  The tougher our monetary situation gets, the more he feels like he isn’t “doing his part” and is riding on my coat tails. I value his time with the children, and around the house, but I cannot make him appreciate it the same way.

“I should be DOING something.” He always says.

“You are”, I’ll reply motioning to our three children, and he’ll give me an eye roll while turning the thermostat down on the heat to conserve.

Allan and I agree it’s time for him to look for work outside the home, but it doesn’t stop the complications between us. I have to keep myself from pestering him too much about how many jobs he’s applied to, while also bolstering his ego that he WILL find something. He has to try not to sink into a depression about the lack of work and not resent me for being able to provide for us all while he cannot.  With the first job interview he got we ran into a heated argument, I was feeling frustrated and said he’d have to take it, he already knew that and just wanted a little compassion.  For a long time, I’ve felt like money spent on food could flow like water, because everybody needs to eat.  Allan always felt I shouldn’t be so free with the grocery budget but let me be heavy handed with it.  Here, we’ve managed to compromise and I’ve started to buy non-name brands  (big step for me, its true) and cut down in some areas.  Allan in the meantime, is looking for work and trying to keep a positive attitude, which isn’t always easy.

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  • Kay_Sue

    I can actually, as a monogamous person, kind of relate to this struggle.

    My husband and I went through it when we moved in together. The money wasn’t “ours”–it was “his” and “mine”. Because I had the better paying job for a long time, I kind of resented that the majority of “my” money went to “our” bills, like rent and utilities, while “his’ went to smaller bills and then whatever the hell else he wanted. Any relationship that doesn’t have that “our money” aspect I think is going to struggle with this dynamic a bit before they work it out.

    I know you can’t really respond, but I hope you talk to Jim about how you’re feeling here. You’ve talked before about how important openness and communication is in all of your relationships–and it’s no less true in the financial aspect with Jim than it is with Allan or than it is for Jim and his wife. While it’s true you won’t have any decision making power there, understanding the financial boundaries and such is a big part of feeling secure once you’re deeper into a relationship than the initial “let’s hump like bunnies” stage. And from the way you talk about Jim, I have a feeling that while “hump like bunnies” is probably still fun (hell, my husband and I have been together seven years and it is still fun here!), you guys are well past that relationship stage on the whole.

    Good luck!

    • Andrea

      I’ve been married for 15 years. For about half of that he has made WAY more money than me. Even though the money has always been “ours” I always struggle to see it that way because he makes most of it.
      When I see things like this, it makes me wonder if my husband resents me as a drain on his income.

    • elle

      I really doubt it. my husband also stays home with our son while I work and I have NEVER thought of my husband as a “drain on my income”. We are a family and all our money goes to supporting our family and that is not a drain. If he did feel that way then I think there are a lot more issues at play.

    • Kay_Sue

      I’d like to emphasize that I never thought he was a drain on my income. It was the situation itself I was resentful of, never him or his contributions. It was communication fail, which, as stated in my post, we worked out.

    • Rachel Sea

      I am the sole earner while my wife goes to school, and while I do sometimes resent that she gets to sleep in, and I have to get up and put on pants, I don’t resent her for anything having to do with money. That she is able to be home enough to care for our elderly, and dying, animals takes such an enormous weight off my mind I actually prefer that she not work at present.

    • Kay_Sue

      When our son was an infant, my husband stayed home and I worked. I never resented that situation a bit–I had the better earning potential, and I was glad to have someone I trusted implicitly with my son.

      Our problem was that when he returned to work/school (he received a GI Bill stipend every month, so going to school paid), we failed to revisit and look at our financial situation, and that situation was what my resentment stemmed from.

      Chalk one up to a learning experience for us! :)

    • Kay_Sue

      You shouldn’t. I never resented him, personally–just the situation. We did not discuss the financial aspect closely enough, and when we did, it became apparent that it wasn’t that I resented paying bills. I just hated that at the end of it I was the one with nothing left for “fun stuff”. When we got down to the issues and sorted it out, it became apparent that there were glaringly obvious things that we could have done to fix the financial balance.

      I spent most of last year still making more, still paying more of the bills, and perfectly happy with the arrangement.

      When we decided I would stay home, we were much more careful to discuss the financial aspect this time around.

      I highly doubt your partner resents you or you staying home. Staying home is a viable contribution to the family. Don’t let my experience get you down! We were two young and dumb uns and we learned a valuable lesson in the importance of communicating–and doing so regularly–about your financial state, even if you aren’t married.

    • Andrea

      I hear ya. And it’s not like I haven’t made any financial contributions to the family (in actual money I mean). At first, I was the main breadwinner. But still, you know, sometimes you do wonder.
      I sometimes makes little comments, like when he asks if I think it would be a good idea for him to buy something like a camera. And I shrug and say “it’s your money”. Just to see what he says. Of course, he always snaps: NO IT ISN’T, it’s OURS!. So it’s not anything he does or says, it’s just my insecurity.

    • Kay_Sue

      I know the feeling too. We’ve flip-flopped also–he makes more now than I would working. I have that niggling feeling in the back of my mind sometimes too.

    • Sri

      I know that feeling so well. I have a low paying career that isn’t known for having a lot of income growth potential. My husband, on the other hand, has a fairly in-demand career and makes more than 3x my income with the same amount of experience and less education. If I leave my career temporarily to raise kids or he goes back to school to get a graduate degree, his income is going to make mine seem like a drop in the ocean. Whenever he wants something expensive that he knows I think isn’t needed and the money could be better spent on something else, I can’t tell him that. I just can’t. Part of me worries that he’ll get mad at me because I did something like buy a new pair of slacks for work without asking him, but I objected to him buying a tablet when we both have home desktops and work laptops. Of course, if he was the kind of person that did that, I would’t have married him in the first place. It’s just a constant source of worry for me.

      So yeah, you’re not alone in that feeling. Not at all.

  • T

    Stop wasting your money on spending time with your bf and take care of your family?

  • darras

    I read these articles with intense fascination. As a staunchly monogamous person I have yet to see a poly or open relationship that actually works for all partners involved. One thing I AM very curious about regarding finances is how Polyamorous Mom feels/felt about Allan using money that she earnt to date a girlfriend.

    • JPen

      Very good point! I would like to hear more about this as well.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      I would like my husband to give me a dating budget for me to take myself on dates and buy myself delicious food

    • jane

      Now that’s a plan I could get with.

    • CMJ
    • Aldonza

      I was wondering about that myself. If finances are tight, having a “dating budget” to be balancing with multiple couples must get complicated.

    • moonie27

      One of my friends gives her husband an allowance every month (unless money is exceptionally tight) and that’s his money to spend or save as he likes. It’s in the budget, too, so it’s fairly easy to work around.

      They’re not exactly rolling in the dough but this seems to work really with them.

    • Lackadaisical

      My husband puts money in my personal account monthly so I can buy things without feeling scrutinised, but I also have a card for the joint account and a credit card in my name attached to one of his for big interernet purchases. I can spend freely on those as it is “our” money (but i do spend carefully) but have to let him know as I do so he can budget for it (hence me liking the privacy of my own account). He knows he can be a bit controlling and that is how we handle that financially while I am a stay at home mum. I prefer a one pot system but watching his father ask his mother what each individual purchase is on her account regularly we decided to do it this way.

    • moonie27

      Yeah, her husband is a “see-it, spend-it” with money and she’s a “we’re-broke-without-two-years’-in-savings” so he definitely needs a play money account so he doesn’t spend everything left after the bills are paid.

    • Andrea

      This would be another reason why poly would never work for me. Our money going to another person? Hell no. Our money is for US.

    • Andrea

      I was going to ask something opposite: how does the husband feel about the wife getting all these fabulous dates that he himself cannot afford for his wife, let alone a girlfriend?

    • Kelly

      My husband and I have had a great open marriage for 13 years.

      But we have none of her problems and I wouldn’t even be able to write a series of articles because it’s really not that interesting. It doesn’t cause issues for us at all because it’s a good fit for us.

    • Polyamorous Mom

      Kelly, i get your point…but trust me, i am starting to struggle to come up with topics. I pick out little pieces to write about, for the most part being poly doesnt have a great deal of daily effect. We’ve also only been doing it for under a year :)

    • Polyamorous Mom

      doesnt bother me, i see it as our money. i value his taking care of our children greatly

    • Andrea

      I guess we are all wondering how Allan feels about you getting to go out on fabulous dates that he can’t afford.
      We understand it doesn’t bother you that Allen stays at home with the kids.

    • Polyamorous Mom

      well I was addressing his using “my” money to date. I want us both to be happy being poly, so our money can go to either of us dating. Jim pretty much always pays for he and I. Anyway, I asked Allan how he felt about the money thing telling him enquiring minds on the internet wanted to know. :p He said he it sucks, but it doesn’t make him mad at me nor does he hold it against me. Allan and I like to see each other happy, and he’s glad I get to go out and do things I like to do. he is also much more of a homebody than I am, Allan s happy to get a night off playing video games and guitar, those things don’t cost money.

  • jane

    I’ve been giving these articles a chance for a while now. Unfortunately, the situations described just keep getting worse. You ask Allen how many jobs he’s applied for? You say that Allen’s been wanting to work outside the home for a while now, and not just because of your financial situation. Can’t you just trust he’s doing everything he can. Out of all of you, he’s getting the shortest end of the stick all around.

    • moonie27

      I feel like a lot of people ask similar, if not the same, questions, to their loved ones when they’re applying for jobs.

      And I imagine that spouses do talk about very important things, like job searches, on a fairly frequent basis.

    • jane

      Of course they do, but there are better approaches to it

    • moonie27

      Well.. to be honest, I don’t think you can actually get a picture of the approach from the 2 sentences she wrote about it in an article focused about something else. It seems like she’s finding it frustrating and trying not to take it out on her husband which is understandable. I didn’t get that she’s giving him the 3rd degree or not trusting him.

    • jane

      “I have to keep myself from pestering him too much about how many jobs he’s applied to” says enough.

    • moonie27

      Okay, as someone who can be anal about things and has a tendency to micromanage when I get stressed – no. Some of us have bad urges, especially when we’re stressed, and we have to work to suppress them, even with the people we love.

      I’m sure in her situation, even if I trusted my partner, I would be suppressing the exact same urges.

    • jane

      Yeah, but you care enough to try to suppress them.

    • moonie27

      “I have to keep myself from pestering him…”
      It seems polymom does too.

    • Kay_Sue

      My husband and I had this conversation many times. I also helped him by typing up his resume (I’ve got a background in HR, he knows how to use his resources). I don’t think this is inherently a bad thing in a relationship–it probably has a lot to do with timing, tone, and frequency. The topic itself is kind of an important one to me.

    • Andrea

      It’s such a tricky situation. On one hand, you want to be supportive and understanding. On the other hand, you get kinda pissy if you don’t “see” him make the effort you think he should.
      I feel for anyone going through that.

    • Polyamorous Mom

      Thanks Andrea :) wasnt disparaging him, its just a tough thing for both of us

  • Bad Writing Makes Me Nauseated

    Your grammar and punctuation skills are atrocious. And please, for the love of all that is holy, stop using all caps.

    • Crabby Guest

      “Feel badly”?! That one (which showed up twice) had me grinding my teeth. The average 7th or 8th grader understands linking verbs and that they require adjectives not adverbs.

    • jane

      Now to be fair, it could very well be true that she might have some condition causing numbness in her fingertips and does indeed feel badly.

    • Justme

      As dearly as I love my 7th and 8th graders…I would venture to guess that many of them would be stumped if you asked them to distinguish a verb from an adjective.

    • Sarah

      I feel very stupid now. What’s wrong with feel badly?

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      Ya know, get mad at ME about this, I’m the editor. I change any misspellings or glaring grammar mistakes, but I leave style choices alone etc. I’m sure I miss things on occasion, I am BUSY, but you can’t get pissed at poly Mom for this, it’s MY fault.

    • Polyamorous Mom

      I give Eve much credit she HAS to edit it. I’m in finance by day, writing isn’t my bailiwick. or however you spell that ;)

  • CMJ

    It would suck if I was turning down the thermostat to save money and my husband was going on fabulous dates with someone else. Suck so hard.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      It would, and it would also suck because I would kick his ass so hard

    • Katia

      It’s late. I read that as suck his ass so hard. Eww

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      considering he is my nephew NO :( the ass kicking remains

    • Andrea

      I KNOW!!!
      Right now I am insanely jealous that my husband is at his company’s Xmas lunch at a fabulous restaurant and ate a sandwich for lunch. Imagine how I would feel if it were on the dime of another woman he was screwing.
      No fucking way.

    • CMJ

      I’m still grumpy about my husband’s company having “Waffle Wednesdays” as I sit in my office where they won’t even provide coffee for us. We’re on the same page :)

    • Andrea

      OMG Waffle Wednesdays sounds so insanely awesome!
      I work for my myself, but I go to clients’ offices (usually home offices) once or twice a week. One of my clients has Taco Fridays, but I am never at his office on Fridays! I told him they should be Taco Tuesdays (since I’m there on Tuesdays).

    • jane

      And Taco Tuesdays sounds better anyway.

    • Andrea

      That’s what I said!

      We should have something here: Mommyish Macaroon Mondays.
      Cookies for everyone!

    • Tinyfaeri

      I want Waffle Wednesdays! Especially if someone else is making them for me, and they aren’t Eggos.

    • CMJ
    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      Damn, woman! You find a GIF for everything. We need to challenge you with some really bizarre phrase…must think of something one of these days.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      OK, tell Chrissy we need more info on this. is it like when you stay at a mid-level hotel and they have a waffle machine with a batter dispenser or do they go somewhere else and have waffles. WE ALSO NEED PICS OF THIS

    • CMJ

      I asked him about it: Someone makes the batter and they have two waffle irons and all the feeeeeeexins (like whip cream, fruit, syrup, etc). Lately they have been having pumpkin waffles. Sigh.

      http://i.minus.com/iVj7LtIHvRily.gif

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      tell him he is an asshole

    • Kay_Sue

      Why the fuck have I never worked somewhere that has Waffle Wednesdays? I did not even know that was a possibility…

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      This is making me angrier with every passing moment

    • Andrea

      Well you are in charge now aren’t you? Macaroon Mondays!!!!
      Tequila Tuesdays! Truffle Thursdays!!!

    • Kay_Sue

      Waffle Wednesdays should be considered a basic right in every workplace…

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      My husband gets to eat lunch OUT every single day and I am a teacher, so I get 23 min. (5 of which I spend escorting kids around) and I have to bring a shitty lunch in a lunchbox. Then I beg to go out to eat at dinner and he’s like, “Meh….I ate there at lunch yesterday.” Grrrrrrr.

    • Andrea

      Call me up, I’ll go with you! I get to eat shitty leftovers (there are pitfalls to working from home)

    • Lackadaisical

      Yes, but is the husband in the article turning the thermostat down because he has to or because he feels that by scrimping and saving unnecessarily he is contributing (or even has more control financially then he would as a stay at home husband). It sounds like they have to watch the pennies but aren’t wondering if they will make the mortgage next month.

    • Andrea

      I think CMJ was trying to point out that it can’t be a lot of fun to watch your wife go off on a fabulous time with someone else that you yourself cannot afford; no matter how open the marriage is

    • Lackadaisical

      I agree totally but wonder if it isn’t more that he feels he should be the one to treat his wife the way her boyfriend can, and as he can’t his pride is hurt and he is trying to assert control. Not so much jealous of his wife for having a good time as resenting the fact that he can’t give her the fancy nights out.

    • Andrea

      Either way it would suck balls and I wouldn’t subject my husband to it.

    • Lackadaisical

      I agree totally on that one. However if he is upset because not being the bread winner unmans him then even ditching the richer boyfriend and trying monogamy would never fix the issues. If he thinks that his wife is flitting off for expensive fun in a life outside the family, leaving him and the kids to deal with the reality of straightened means without her then maybe he isn’t as comfortable with the terms of their polyamorous relationship as he used to be. Either way, if my breadwinning husband enjoyed an expensive social life (even with friends and not lovers) while the kids and I stayed frugally at home I would resent him as an insensitive boor.

    • CMJ

      She said they were “struggling.” That being said, it would still suck to see my spouse living the life with their other partner while we, as a couple, were watching our pennies – regardless of who is the higher contributor monetarily.

    • Lackadaisical

      I agree totally. However I raised the point because the author seems to talk about her husband’s wounded pride than actual hardship when it comes to her married lifelife, and while that can make the issue just as bad for her husband it is in a different way. It then isn’t about him suffering the effects of poverty while his wife swans off to nights of luxury, but is instead that he can’t provide for her in the way he rightly or wrongly feels he should but another man throws the money he doesn’t have at her. Both miserable feelings that make for a strained home life but in different ways.

    • CMJ

      Either way – it’s not a good situation. And one that can only breed resentment.

    • Lackadaisical

      Agreed

    • Polyamorous Mom

      right, watching the pennies but we can pay the bills :) i didnt intend to make us sound dire

    • Tinyfaeri

      Thank you, I was trying to figure out what bugged me about this, and you hit the nail on the head.

    • Polyamorous Mom

      I was mainly using that as a story point, we both agreed to try to save on heating this summer. yes our entertainment budget is low, but the bills are all paid and everyone is clothed and fed.

  • Rachel Sea

    There are few things as soul destroying as looking for work in a down economy. Sometimes all talking about it does is reopen the wound. Trust that he is doing his best, and know there is a really good chance that it could take 18 months before he gets a job, and that he’s more likely to get work from a friend referral than anything. Going on interviews is good and all, but you all should put a copy of his resume into the hands of every person you know.

  • Meg

    This article just doesn’t sit well with me. While I try to keep an open mind, how would this inequality be anything but frustrating and hurtful to your family? I understand you don’t need to spend money to have fun, but how will these kids feel when there’s been no family outings for weeks, maybe meals have been kind of crummy, and they can feel their parents’ tension (and we all know kids feel that tension!!!)…but mom gets to dress up and go out for a meal, a show…while dad stays home? Or vice versa? I may be incorrect but it seems that you’ve consistently been in multiple relationships with little to no breaks. Is the consideration of taking a break from outside relationships during rough times crazy in this world? Eh, another reason why polygamous relationships are not for me! Wishing the author (and her kids and husband) all the best with the rough patch; wish I didn’t see this as totally selfish and unnecessary, but I feel totally judgy. :(

    • Guest

      “Eat your Safeway brand mac and cheese kids! Mommy has to get to French Laundry!”

    • Andrea

      LMAO.
      It reminds me of that flashback scene from Orange Is The New Black where Daya’s mother tells her to order the kids a pizza “or something” because “I’m having oysters bitches!”

    • Kay_Sue

      Just some technicalities, but I do think she pointed out in an earlier piece that they only go out after the kids are in bed? Usually? I think I remember that.

      As far as taking breaks, she did express that she and Jim had been seeing each other for a while. It’s kind of like if a single person has been dating someone for a while, and they lose their job. Would they break up with that person? There’s still an emotional attachment.

      I don’t think I could balance it. Thus one of the myriad of reasons that I am happily monogamous myself too. ;)

  • manderspanders

    So, let me get this straight… Allan stays home all day to care for 3 children and take care of the house. He is worried about the budget and his ability to financially contribute. The wife doesn’t see a problem, doesn’t want the heat turned down, or God forbid to eat some “Great Value” items instead of General Mills. But she gets to have a wealthy boyfriend, a job away from the daily menial tasks of life, and then feels guilty for not being able to foot the bill for awesome dates with wealthy boyfriend??
    WTF?
    She should feel guilty for taking time away from her children, her marriage, and her husband. Talk about an emasculating situation.

    I just don’t get it…if you still want to date, then why bother being married?

    • jane

      I almost used that exact M word earlier when I was posting.
      Every time I read one of these articles, I dislike this woman more and more.

    • manderspanders

      lol, I didn’t even see your post, Jane… I’m just glad to know I’m not the only one who thinks there is something seriously wrong here. Usually, I feel that I’m told I’m just not open-minded enough. I’m trying to “live and let live”, ya know, but when the author puts this stuff out there to be judged by the rest of us, I can’t help but be disgusted and pity her family.

    • jane

      Back at ya!
      I meant to say the E word, not the M word.

    • Polyamorous Mom

      I have no issue with store brands or turning the heat down, both my ideas. Allan also feels badly he cant spend more on dates, just like I do. You make it sound like I chain him in the basement, he goes out just as often as I do, just with less money.

  • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

    When money is tight, the entertainment budget is often the first thing to go. How easy is it for Allen to date outside the marriage with no money to spare? And to know his wife is being wined and dined by a man more well-off than himself? While he stays home with the kids all the time?
    I know I’d be stewing in resentment and would be entirely unable to live with it. I’d love Allen’s perspective on this because I really can’t comprehend his ability to go along with this.

  • brebay

    Just because you found a man with low enough self-esteem and mommy issues to consent to being used, doesn’t make you any less an asshole for using another human being.

  • FF4life

    After my divorce I never really saw money as “ours” with anyone again. My daughter and I moved out of the home with only the clothes on our backs and I had to rely on my parents for even the most basic things like diapers until I finally went to court for child support. Even then I got harassing phone calls from my ex demanding that I return a portion of the money I received every week because he felt it was an unfair amount.

    I guess my point is that it’s hard for me to have that level of trust with someone again where I feel I can share financial responsibilities and merge bank accounts. I have an intense fear that if I do, one day the bank account is going to be cleared out and I’m going to be knocking on my parents door again.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      Oh man, that sucks so so very hard. I know that feeling, I know that fear, and it was the worst

    • Andrea

      I don’t blame you!

    • Polyamorous Mom

      oh that’s just awful :(

  • thebadlydrawnfox

    Money disparity affects all relationships, even friendships and family ties, I find. With my partner, he has more money than me and has always likes to ‘treat’ me, but I feel like I am letting down feminism when I don’t insist on splitting stuff, and that I am one of ‘those girls’ who is only with someone for the money. I always make him something for Christmas to show I appreciate him even if I can’t afford gifts half as nice as what he gets for me.

    My mom makes less than me, and has huge issues allowing me to pay for stuff, even just for myself (never mind for her). Once, she bought me a meal, and I bought my own dessert afterwards, and she still told me off for not letting her pay. Because she’s the *mom* and it’s her job. Even though I’m in my 20s.

    And with some of my friends still living at home but working full time, they don’t seem to understand how much of my budget goes to rent and bills, so keeping up with them socially is sometimes tricky.

    My point is, people + money = complicated. I can only guess that more people means more complications…

    • Bethany Ramos

      I think that is a wonderful quality in your mom, and that’s how I want to be with my kids. Both my husband and I grew up with cheap parents, and my parents made me pay for everything by the time I turned 16. There’s something to be said for responsibility, but there’s also something to be said for feeling like you’re out there on your own and aren’t “cared for” by your parents, even with something as small as dessert.

    • thebadlydrawnfox

      Oh, don’t get me wrong. I really appreciate the thought from my mom.

      But when I know that her treating me to a meal out can mean that she has to give up good quality food for herself for the rest of the week, it makes me wish that she would let me pay. I have a full time well-ish paying job. My mom pretty much lives in poverty and won’t accept any help.

      I think it is important for parents to continue to, well, parent for the whole of their child’s life, but obviously that can come in different ways than money. I’m sorry your parents stopped providing for you when you hit 16, and it sounds like you’ve turned this to a positive learning experience.

      I was just expressing that people all have very different and sometimes quite fraught relationships with money borne of society’s and their own expectations.

    • Bethany Ramos

      Very true – and I didn’t get negative vibes from you at all!! That’s a tough situation, like you said, but I still love your mom’s attitude! :)

    • Andrea

      I agree with Bethany.

      As a parent, I can sympathize with your mom’s feelings and my parents are the same way. Never has my father allowed me to pay for anything, and it always feels good to have parents that still want to take care of you. I will always want my children to feel that way too.
      My FIL is a cheap bastard and I hate it and it embarrasses my husband too.

  • http://www.benwhoski.com/ Benwhoski

    I find this article interesting, because it’s an aspect of polyamory I’ve not really dealt with directly, In large part due to the fact that I tend to be a non-primary in my relationships (by choice. In fact, the idea of interweaving my finances with another person is a big part of why I prefer it that way). If I can afford to pay for myself, I usually do. If they want to pay and can afford to, I’ll let them. If one of them is too broke to go out and I can’t afford to offer to treat, we stay in and watch movies or something like that.

    So, I’ve never actually given a lot of thought to my partners’ “dating budgets” with their primary partners and am now a bit curious about that end of things.

  • J

    Wowza. I’m trying to figure out what to say. IMC, mom was the stay at home — I coin that loosely — “parent.” She was using dad’s money to fund her dates, and I now know he had a problem with it. I’m sure her dates never asked about her “date budget.” I’m not sure why he kept quiet, but he spelled it out and he has shut the bank down. Dad’s gearing up for a divorce, so I’m not surprised.

    I’m sure Allan is trying to find a job, but change your perspective. He’s saving y’all money because daycares and nannies aren’t cheap. Being a parent is like hard and OD rewarding. He’s probably a little envious. I’m sure he’s not happy knowing your rich boyfriend is like wining and dining you with tickets to the opera and Michelin star meals overlooking the ocean or whatever the case is. It’s very…emasculating. Like have you asked him how it feels? He has a girlfriend, right? It must suck like majorly that he can’t treat you both the way you “deserve” to be treated. I’d worry less about Allan finding a job b/c it’s coming off like you feel guilty for not being able to contribute to these dates with Jim and not so much like you’re oh so worried about him being discontent w/being a stay at home dad and not feeling like a “man” b/c he isn’t taking care of his wife and family. The asking about the # of applications just seems selfish and more beneficial to you and your secondary relationship than helping your family’s struggle or even lessening the burden on either of you. Do you know how long it takes to get on at some of these jobs? Like fed employees like at VA hospitals can expect months to multiple years. I’d be more worried about putting money in savings and landing on stable ground than fancy OTT dates.

    My suggestion? When Allan starts working again, each of you should set a date budget/allocate funds/create an account just for dating expenses…after household and kids’ expenses are taken care of. :-)

    • jane

      Yes! Thank you.

  • Polyamorous Mom

    Thanks for all the comments. So just to fulfill some curiosity here, Allan is not mad at me nor resents me, and we use more of our entertainment budget for him to date than for me, because Jim does have more money than us and often pays.
    Im finding it slightly amusing that a lot of people are making it sound like Jim and I are flying to Paris on the weekends. The things I was referring to him covering were dinner and a movie, or a local concert. Not dinner at Carmen Anthony and a trip to Louis Vuitton.
    I really wanted this article to be about how people handle money and differences, and not just my two guys and how they feel, but since I write as PolyMom it is what it is.