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The Moneyist: My boyfriend agreed to go part-time to look after my teenage kids. I paid him $650 a month. We split up — and now he’s crying foul

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Dear Quentin,

I would like your perspective as to whether my perspective is off.

I have been the primary earner in the household. A few years ago, I received a job offer in another state. My partner, from whom I am now separated and is not my children’s father, agreed to go part time so I could take this opportunity; we agreed that he would be present for the teenagers. I am truly grateful for that.


‘We have since separated, due to emotional indiscretions on his part. He now feels that I owe him money to get his life restarted.’

However, our agreement was that he would work part time, and I would also give him $650 a month. I paid all the bills, car, insurance, groceries, gas, etc. All of the children’s expenses I also paid separately. He never got a part time job and was always unhappy with the “stipend.”

We have since separated, due to emotional indiscretions on his part. He now feels that I owe him money to get his life restarted. True, I had committed to him while we were together, but I was not anticipating that he would engage with someone else.

Since we have separated, I gave him a car, paid for his phone, paid for his car insurance and his health insurance. I don’t feel I owe him more at this point, but would appreciate your perspective, as he did enable me to make a beneficial career move.

Awaiting Your Reply

You can email The Moneyist with any financial and ethical questions related to coronavirus at [email protected]

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Dear AYR,

Not. One. More. Red. Cent.

He had promised to be a full-time partner who worked part-time. Instead, he became a part-time lover who stayed home full time. You did not even owe him his bus fare when he walked, or was gently shoved, out your door.

You are both adults, and you came to a financial agreement that was mutually beneficial, and your relationship and agreement was broken based on an indiscretion on his part. He is out of cards left to play.

It was not a case of you asking him to look after your kids and when the job was done, the relationship was done. He decided to break your social contract, the one every couple makes when they agree to be monogamous, and he paid the price.


‘He was supposed to be a full-time partner who worked part-time. Instead, he became a part-time lover who stayed home full time.’

Perhaps crowing about being done wrong helps to put a gleam on his own moral failings. Or maybe the bickering over professional sacrifices and cell phone bills maintains a certain intimacy in your relationship. Neither is productive.

I’ve no doubt he had his own reasons for going part time. If he loved his job, I feel sure he would not have accepted your offer. (Did he even have a job?) He was quite willing to put his feet up, and he’s keen to keep doing it, thank you very much.

He should be off the family cellphone plan, and pay for the car that you generously gave him. He needs to take accountability for his own actions, and stop blaming other people for his own troubles. Your bill is paid in full.

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