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Relationship Health Message Board

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My boyfriend and I have been together for a year and a half. I expect we will get engaged soon and buy a house, etc and this issue will be over once our finances merge. However, in the mean time, we are faced with the dilemma of me making more money than him. It's not really that much more, he just has more expenses. He pays a large amount of child support for his daughter, lives on his own and leases a car. I already paid off my car, live at home for the time being and have few expenses. I always have more money to spend than he does. At one point, it was a problem in our relationship because he felt he couldn't give me what I deserved. It made him feel very insecure and like less of a man. We got past that and now he's more accepting of the fact that I don't care. I don't need him to buy me things or for us to go on trips or do expensive things but once in a while the issue comes up. I went to Italy with a girlfriend last month and although it wasn't a very expensive trip, he could not afford to go with me. I know he was really upset about it although he tried to be happy for me.

Christmas is coming up and I already bought the presents for him. I want to spoil him because I feel like no one has ever done that for him before and he deserves it. We agreed on a 100 dollar limit and I went way over.. probably triple that if not more. I don't even want him spending that much on me. I would rather he spent that money on his daughter so he feels like he can get her everything he wants to. He of course refuses to discuss it. He wants to buy me xmas presents.

I guess what I'm asking is whether anyone has any advice on how to handle this sensitive issue of one person making more money than the other. How do we go out and have fun and not spend a lot of money. What are some ideas for dates that are cheap? It's almost winter here in Canada now so the oudoors are going to be pretty much off limits soon.

Last night we were looking through some flyers and I saw a great deal on skis. I mentioned that I should buy new skis this winter since my old ones are useless. He said that I should wait since we can't go together anyway... meaning skiing is expensive and he can't afford it. He has the equipment but the trips or even the day passes are out of budget. Sometimes it makes me sad that we can't go on trips and do things together that are fun but cost a little more money but I don't dwell on it because I love him and I know that eventually this won't be an issue anymore...

It's also hard when we're together with my friends who are quite financially secure and they are constantly urging us to go on trips with them, whether it's the Caribbean or the French Alps. I would LOVE to do those things but I know he can't and it's kind of awkward talking about it knowing we can't do stuff like that. I wish my friends would stop talking about trips around him. I'm sure it only makes him feel rotten.

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