My Man Is Stingy

My Man Is Stingy

Dear Agatha,

I have been in love with this man for over two years. I actually enjoyed being in a relationship with him for a while until I discovered his true nature.

Before this, we had gone through the process of visiting each other’s family.

Just when I was really settling into the relationship, I discovered aspects of him that will definitely become a huge problem for me in the future. For instance, when it comes to money he is absolutely miserly. Since we started dating, he has never given me a dime. It isn’t just me he is stingy to. He does the same thing to his family members.

His ‘tightfistedness’ extends to the way home appliances are used. He doesn’t allow us to put on the fan, no matter how hot the weather is. He also puts off the fridge when nobody is at home.

He stops any visitor from visiting unless the person makes a commitment to him to pay his or her way to and from our house.

Some few weeks ago, I had to undergo an operation. Despite earning more than 300,000 Francs a month, he was unable to send money for my treatment. He gave his usual excuse of not having money. I’m hurt at the way he is treating me. Though I resolved to henceforth regard him as a room-mate, but it still doesn’t lessen the pains I feel in my heart at his callousness towards me.

Agatha, I’m tired.


Dear Grace,

If it’s any consolation, you are not alone in this kind of relationship. We are all not wired alike. While some people are generous to a fault some are also parsimonious to a fault. It is in their nature. Any attempt to change who they are always complicate things between them and their partners, especially if such persons are too much in a hurry to make them do things against their nature.

Consider yourself lucky that you are finding out about his true nature before marriage. At least, you still have the choice of whether to continue with him or end the relationship.

Also the definition of stinginess is subjective. What you consider frugal may just be an application of common sense. He may also consider you too extravagant and unreasonable. For instance the issue of switching off the fridge when nobody is at home isn’t a function of being stingy but more of common sense since an electric spark or malfunction can occur anytime. It is best to err on the side of caution than to be sorry. It would have been a different thing altogether if he insists on the fridge being off even when people are in the house.

Yes, the issue of him disallowing anyone from operating the fan may be a little odd, but rather than take it as a crime against him, why not enquire of him why he doesn’t like the idea of you putting on the fan even when the weather is extremely uncomfortable. You can through superior argument make him change his mind. By nicely explaining to him that his attitude negates his decision to equip his home with a fan would make him realize his foolishness, or at least offer an explanation.

On the issue of insisting that intending visitors take responsibility of paying their transport to and fro isn’t really out of place. You don’t know the different experiences he has had with people who just pick their bags to visit without considering whether their host/hostess is in a position to fund their desires, while still expecting enough money to cover their transport cost. Opening his doors to who can pay his/her way, doesn’t present him as one who is as tight-fisted as you make him appear to be.

What I think he is out to achieve is weeding unnecessary visitors and distractions from his home. This way, only persons who have genuine reasons to visit him will come. Again, it will be good to ask him reasons for his decisions.

Being his woman, you have the right to ask him why he appears always broke when he earns a reasonable salary. He could be involved in projects you don’t know of. Rather than come to the conclusions that he doesn’t care about you or is deliberately withholding his money from you, let him know what you feel and how pained you are at his attitude towards money.

It is important in the interest of fair play that you tell him you didn’t like what he did when you went through an operation. Make it clear you weren’t expecting him to pick the entire bill for your operation but you expected him to at least demonstrate some financial commitment to it.

 There is a fine line between obnoxious and reason.  Understanding the other person entails setting our personal outlook on neutral. This way, we are able to see and reason without sentiments. To you, he is stingy because he fails to live up to your expectations of what you think is right. This could be why you are unnecessarily being judgmental of his person and getting all hurt.

Oftentimes, the hurt, resentment and disappointment we feel towards our partners come from our own inability to be broad-minded about our perception of life. Just like you have the right to do things your way, so does your boyfriend.

A perfect relationship isn’t defined by the number of years a couple has been together, but by their ability to bridge individual differences.

There must be concomitant will on your part as well as your boyfriend’s to find a common ground for the sake of your relationship.

But this is all about you and what you want to happen in your life. If you feel you cannot cope with him, no need continuing in the relationship. End it before you hurt yourself any longer but if you think there is a chance for both of you to make things better, initiate a dialogue aimed at finetuning all the grey areas in your relationship.

Always have this at the back of your mind, nobody has it all. It is from the ashes of our imperfection; that our perfection is given life.

Good luck.