He controls me through money

Solve your life dilemmas with expert advice from Maura O’Neill
Do not stay in a controlling relationship.

Do not stay in a controlling relationship.

Dear Maura: I'm not happy but I'm not unhappy either in my three-year relationship. I'm stuck here and don't know whether to say goodbye or to move forward. The problem is I feel my partner is controlling, but in such subtle ways.

Money is his god and I'm hopeless with it. I end up having nothing the day after I'm paid and have to go begging. This is my first gay relationship and I really want it to work. But I met a friend recently and he was genuinely shocked that I was still with my boyfriend.

His reaction got me thinking. I do feel if I had money, I would have left him a long time ago. He's not interested in anything I like, except tennis. We have a laugh and share a sense of humour but, at 32, I want more than that. He's 27. He makes me feel so uncomfortable about the money issue.

Yet I was the one who had the deposit for our apartment and paid for our first holiday together. See, that's me - when I have it, I spend it. But he never thinks of that. It's the put-downs that are finally getting to me. But I'm trapped and he has me like that. It's like I've to convince myself to end this relationship. What's that all about?

Answer: How have you lasted three years? Why persevere here? Because you want to prove to yourself and others that you can have a relationship?

That idea is keeping you in a dysfunctional situation because you feel you have something to prove. Through mismanagement of your finances, you have created a situation where you are financially dependent on him, so start managing your money better. Have a chat with someone in your bank. Aim to control that part of your life to give you confidence.

Do rows make a couple stronger?

Dear Maura: Me and my boyfriend never argue. We do have differences of opinion but that's about it. We talk stuff through and leave it at that.

But lots of my friends think that we'll never last because of this, that our relationship isn't real or strong if we're always in good form together.

That got me thinking and then worrying that maybe our connection is more friends than anything stronger.

We're hoping to go to the same college next year, which I'm looking forward to. What do you think of us?

Answer: Every relationship is different, just as every person is, and each brings some quality or energy to the connection that works for both of the people involved.

Don't listen to others and focus on your gut feeling and what that's telling you. Whatever you do, stop yourself from doubting what you have with your boyfriend.

Maybe others are jealous of what you've created together? Who knows or it could be just that they're making a comment without thinking of the impact it's having on you? If both of you are comfortable and happy, then nobody else matters.

Get in touch with our team of top professionals:  Email your problems to

  • Dr Angela Brokmann dr.angela@sundayworld.com
  • Maura O’Neill maura.oneill@sundayworld.com

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