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Woman wants to call off wedding due to fiancé's 'odd financial behavior,' 'I don't CARE that he was ABUSED in his last marriage.' AITA? UPDATED 2X

Woman wants to call off wedding due to fiancé's 'odd financial behavior,' 'I don't CARE that he was ABUSED in his last marriage.' AITA? UPDATED 2X


When this woman is concerned that her fiancé is being cheap, she asks the internet:

"WIBTA for calling off a wedding because my fiancé is extremely frugal?"

I 31F struggle with my fiancé’s 32M frugalness and not sure if I want to marry him anymore after 3 year relationship.

I met my Fiancé 3 years ago. He came out of an abusive marriage just 2 years before we met. One of her absolute abuses was financial. She bled him dry.

Made him buy expensive jewelry only to give it away or break it after an argument. Designer shoes, clothes, big house cars… Caribbean trips. you name it she made him pay for it. She also took him to the cleaners in the divorce.

However. My Fiancé is very well off. He makes far over 6 figures almost 7. On top of that he inherited a few millions from his grandfather and his parents gifted him and his siblings also a few cool millions.

So yes the financial abuse was bad but he does not suffer financially. He has more money than he will ever need.

So last year I moved into his house. I do not pay rent but I split the bills and buy food. I pay for my own clothes and jewelry. I have a good job and I can take care of myself. However things have been taking a turn for the worse and I feel miserable.

His house was empty when I moved in. He had hand me down furniture. Maybe 3 forks and 2 knives. He wouldn’t put on the heating so the house felt cold and moldy. He has no curtains, no decorations. His ex took everything not bolted down and he was too cheap to replace it. Just imagine a million dollar house like that!

I am grateful that I can live in his house. It is something I could never afford myself. But I didn’t want to live in squalor!

So I bought some kitchen supplies, some furniture… but at some point I realized I was dipping in my savings all the time and he did nothing. I looked into curtains but those things are expensive. His house has so many windows it is crazy. I didn’t want to pay for this anymore.

I told him I needed a fund to furnish his house. He blew up at me that I was just with him for his money. I pointed out all the money I spend on his house. The gifts and the trips because he pays for nothing ever.

Because he wants to be sure I am not here for the money. The fact is, if we break up I have nothing… the house is not mine. If I spend all my savings on his house I will be left with absolutely nothing! He wants a prenup and I am fine with that but I can’t help but feel used.

Next to that I am jealous of his ex wife. I feel like she got treated like a princess and I am neglected. He proposed to his ex on a cruise with a 10.000 dollar white gold diamond ring. I got the rhodium plated Swarovski stuff that might cost like 100 bucks.

The proposal was at a picnic in the park I organized, payed groceries for and slaved in the kitchen for. I almost said no out of pure disappointment .

However I am afraid to bring it up and to be called a golddigger. I don’t want to be funding a millionaire’s lifestyle. He loves everything as long as I pay for it. As soon as he has to pay it is frivolous, unnecessary….

I can live like a poor person by myself. At least the fact there are literal millions lying around doesn’t hang over me to bum me out.and I would just be paying for my own lifestyle.

WIBTA for calling of a wedding purely for financial reasons. Because I love this man, but I imagine our cheap wedding in contrast to his ex her extravaganza, will our future kids be able to have some luxuries? Or only if I pay for it? What if I ever become a stay at home mom? Will I have to beg to put the heating on?

Before we give you OP's updates, let's take a look at some of the top responses:

huggie54 writes:

NTA. You may want to put the wedding on hold permanently. My sister had a similar situation. She married a very wealthy man. She worked a regular job. He lived off his trust fund in his fully paid for home.

He was divorced from an abusive ex wife. After they married he never spent a dime on anything. She replaced the oven, paid for their trips and evenings out, etc. He even went on her health insurance, increasing the cost to her.

He only bought her cheap gifts. Eventually she stopped doing the trips and evenings out because she got tired of paying for everything. When they divorced he took everything from her that his wealthy family had given her, and she got nothing for the improvements she made to his house.

Meanwhile she was forced to keep him on her insurance for three years! At least yours is showing his true colors before you've tied the knot. Even if you love him and sympathize with his pain, don't you deserve to be with someone who treats you well? Just the way he throws nasty accusations at you should be a reason to leave.

creepalish writes:

NAH. I think you guys need to consider pre-marriage counseling with someone who specializes in marital finances, as finances are one of the biggest reasons couples divorce and relationships dissolve.

I notice you make specific mention of comparisons between what he spent on his ex and what he spent on you for specific things. It also seems, based on what you’ve shared, that his emotional trauma from his surviving abuse has affected him pretty deeply.

We tend to lean towards giving grace to women on Reddit who have undergone these things. It’s only right that we consider the same approach for men who’ve been the victim of the same types of abuse, as well (imo).

You deserve an equal (whatever that means) partner, and so does he. You deserve to feel a meaningful and ongoing emotional investment in your relationship, and so does he. You deserve to have a sense of trust and security in your relationship—and so does he.

Neutral ground structured conversations with a third party in the form of a therapist or counselor present may help you both achieve this.

prueparwt writes:

NTA. He has been tainted by the ex to the point that he is unable to show you any kind of love language. He's taking out his feelings on you and if you go against him, he will scream and cry that you're a gold digger when he's the one acting like one, and the cycle of abuse will continue.

Because that's what it is, abuse. I know some people said it was entitled that you would decorate buuut, you were getting married. He told you he was depressed and didn't know were to start.

As a life partner, it becomes your home too, especially once marriage is on the table. It's honestly the natural next step. Except it should have been a journey together, and funded by both. Or, you fund one he funds something else.

I think you need to think long and hard about whether you really want to spend the rest of your life with him. And if you do, are you willing to work for it, is he? Because he seems to have a lot a trauma he needs to unpack before he can really function in this relationship properly.

He needs to address his lack of being able to show affection to you. You deserve to have the bare minimum, a date name planned. Or if he wants to be frugal, plan a date night in. Just, something.

The fact that you had to cook and plan your own proposal is abysmal. To me, he's not even trying. And that's not even you being a gold digger. That's just you wanting a partner who cares. He's not trying. And will he really try? How long before he reverts back to his ways?

If you go forward, make sure you get a lawyer. Anything you buy, goes with you. If you don't marry, make sure you take your furniture with you. Including the bed. He didn't pay, he can not freeload and buy his own stuff.

...I lowkey hope you end up showing him this thread so he sees all the people telling you to dump his ass, ngl. but that is very nuclear.

poandreaaa writes:

YWNBTA. Can you imagine having children and arguing with him about every. single. expense? Do you want to fight for clothing that fits, dance and music lessons, sports fees and equipment? Orthodontia? And then college tuition--omigod, the horror.

I dated a man like this almost 30 years ago, and it was miserable. We got food poisoning (and I still say frostbite) on a weekend trip to see the Packers at Lambeau because he thought staying at a hotel and eating in restaurants was too expensive. It would be just fine--in December!--to sleep in his work van and eat food cooked at home and stored in a cooler.

He believed indoor temperatures above 60 in the winter or below 90 in the summer were indulgent and wasteful. He never attended weddings or any celebration usually involving gift-giving because he didn't want to drop a coin on "something stupid".

It was when he asked me "Are you sure you need this last chemotherapy treatment? It's pretty expensive, and you seem fine now" that I realized there was no future with this man.

I couldn't imagine having children and fighting for new Easter dresses, baseball shoes, music lessons, and orthodontia for the next 20 years. I couldn't imagine spending the rest of my life--or even another hour--with someone who has more regard for his money than my happiness, not to mention my well-being.

claim23 writes:

NTA. I'm sure he has real trauma and trust issues, and I have a lot of sympathy for him. But if he can't get over them- which does take time and work so I am not saying he should just get over it right away- then you shouldn't get married.

You don't want access to his millions, you want to be able to put up curtains. You want him to help pay for a couch and a comfortable bed, and he should want to do that.

You also should be able to ask for these things without it being a fight. He can say- we don't need curtains, so no, I won't be paying- but he can't call you names and accuse you of things.

So I think you should just tell him: I can't do this. I get what happened with your ex was terrible, and I will sign any prenup or financial protection that you need.

But, I need a partner, emotionally and financially. I don't expect you to fund my lifestyle, but I expect you to split costs with me, like vacations, curtains, and other home stuff.

Some of this is necessary, some of this makes me comfortable, and some of this is fun stuff I want to do WITH you. But if you are going to accuse me of being a gold digger when I ask you to SPLIT the cost of curtains, this isn't going to work.

franda writes:

NTA. He isn’t frugal. Frugal is when you shop for the best deals, food prep, repair instead of buying new if it is feasible. He is CHEAP. And cheap people tend to be cheap emotionally as well.

My former BIL was like this. He and my sister bought a house together and he refused to make repairs on said house.

I mean, refused to have the heating fixed upstairs so that my nieces had to sleep on a sofa on the first floor, refused to have a bathroom leak repaired and instead just shut the water off to the 2nd floor, refused to fix the other bathroom that was foul smelling due to mold, refused to repair the concrete steps so that they had to jump down from the porch.

After coming to all of our houses every Sunday for elaborate sit-down meals for a year, someone finally suggested that he and my sister host. They had a huge fight because she wanted to serve a nice meal and he refused.

There was enough food for 5 people but the head count was 20. What an embarrassment. My sister finally got tired of living in junk and being financially abused and controlled by this idiot. She left him and Thank God. Together they made $200,000 a year but lived like paupers. He was a stingy person and stingy people are cold-hearted.

Maybe your fiance’ is not this cold but this is a huge warning to you. He isn’t going to suddenly change.

And now, OP's first update:

I know the abuse is not made up. His family and friends told me seperate stories of the abuse they witnessed. Not only did it confirm it, it showed me she was way more terrible than I thought.

Like stealing heirloom jewelry of his grandma with alzheimer right after she was widowed. Pretending she was gifted these things even though every one knew grandma hated her guts.

I did not realize or see he is doing the same to me as she was to him and he is (subconsciously) punishing me for what was done to him.

I am not trying to force a lifestyle in him where he was previously happy in. He told me prior to moving in that he left his house like this because he was depressed after his wife took everything ( even the curtains) that it makes him sad and he wants a cozy home. He just didn’t know where to start.

His house is paid off, thanks to grand dad. He isn’t actually spending much on utilities either, house is very well isolated and has solar panels. It is weird to see how cheap being rich really is.

I am not asking for designer furniture. Ikea all the way and I have refurbished second hand furniture myself. I am actually pretty thrifty.

I see where my jealousy over the ex her lifestyle might have triggered some people. Let me explain. A 10.000 dollar ring is insane and stupid to me. I do not want that because I would fear for losing it every day.

I don’t need an over the top wedding … however, it almost feels like for her he did effort. Wanted to give her what made her happy. Put effort and thought in it. With me it almost feels like he wants to prove how little he can give me.

He talked about how he would see the wedding and it is cheaper than my actually financially struggling cousin her wedding. I can’t help but feel he wants to demonstrate how cheap he can treat me!

And I already feel embarrassed about the family that would have been to both and I will feel like the discount wife. I don’t like to say it but it feels like he gets of on it to some extend. We are almost talking washing paper plates at this moment.

Yes I did discuss selling the mansion I really don’t need and move to a more modest house. Especially knowing this is the house his ex picked. He doesn’t want to do that. He loves this house… but I feel really intimidated living in a house I could never afford anyway. And so many large windows… tjeesh

I havn’t talked to him yet but pause on the marriage and counseling is a must . I already am looking for IC because I realized I might indeed be too much of a people pleaser allowing him to control me with the ghost of his ex.

I also am going to seperate for a while. I am looking to rent something for a few months so I can get some space.

Update 2:

Okay I hope this update makes sense because I am very confused and not really doing that well at the moment.

Thank you so much for all your ideas and insights. Honestly I don’t think I would have had the courage to do what I did without you guys. I went to therapy Took the day off just to get my racing mind to calm down.

Therapy has confirmed things you guys suspected. I am a people pleaser, I wanted to “save” him and I have internalized the idea that any effort and every penny I want him to spend on me makes me a gold digger. I will have weekly sessions to work on me.

I realized I would have never taken this treatment from any of my exes. Even though I made more then them. The idea I had to proof myself “ worthy “ to be with a millionaire and not be in there for the money got in to my head pretty early.

I called one of his siblings I am pretty close with and just told her everything. She was not surprised but just sad about how unhappy he was making me. She told me that from the day we started he had this idea that “ I was out of his league”.

He struggled to understand why I wanted to be with him and he probably just thought : it must be my money. She told me she already talked to him in the past to treat me better. She was furious about the proposal.

This information confused me a little. I was a little hurt she never discussed any of this before but she thought it was none of her business. She also explained how she and her husband organized their finances. He also doesn’t have as much as her.

I took the opportunity to pack a bag. I haven’t n’t found a place yet but I am going to stay with my parents. I made up my mind that I will at least want 6 months apart to get myself in order. I made sure my stuff was in the car because honestly I had no idea how the conversation would go.

so into the most difficult part. The talk. I waited for him to come home. He was pretty late but I didn’t want to sleep another night on this. Pretending I was fine while I was contemplating all this just ate me up.

I had written down what I wanted to say. I have never been so scared before. I didn’t want to hurt him and I didn’t know how he would react. I took some advice from here. I opened that I was moving out and that I wanted to pauze our engagement. He was very quiet and just sat down.

I told him he really hurt me by calling me a golddigger and that I am done walking on eggshells and feeling guilty for just wanting basic things. I told him I was unhappy and felt neglected. I also told him that after 3 years of me showing up for him he still doesn’t think I am here for him, it is not going to happen.

He was just quiet. He didn’t say anything. I told him that the constant comparing to his ex was unhealthy and unfair.Punishing me for her sins was abusive. I told him comparing her to me all the time has triggered me comparing myself to her and starting to feel like she was worth more than me.

One of the things about her was mostly ungratefulness. He would do nice things for her but it was never enough. The thing is, he doesn’t do nice things for me and I have to be grateful for the pleasure of picking up the bill.

I told him he was not ready for marriage. That I dreaded having kids with him and live like this. That is didn’t trust he would take care of me if I would become a SAHM. And at that point I just called him abusive and a user. I was getting pretty angry saying all this out loud. Losing my composer and script a little bit.

He remained quiet with almost no emotion on his face. I stayed quiet but nothing came out so I decided that I would just leave. Only when I got up to go he said please don’t go. He asked me if I was pausing the wedding or calling it of. He wanted to know if it was over or if he still had a shot.

I told him I wanted out of this house. I honestly don’t want to live in his ex her palace of sadness anymore. I needed him to go to therapy and especially financial therapy. I needed a separation. I told him I was open to couples counseling if he went into IC.

He begged me not to do the separation but honestly I really really wanted it. I just told him to think about it and I left him. He was finally showing some emotions. He was crying at this point.

He sent me a very long text somewhere in the AM. Told me he was a wreck and couldn’t sleep. He made all kinds of promises. He would go into therapy, sell his house, buy a smaller one and make sure I am taken care of whatever happens.

He said he would help me decorate and we will make a home. He again asked me to please come “home”. But to me it doesn’t feel like home there anyway.

I feel very empty and tired. I have been sleeping most of the day. I feel guilty but also a little bit relieved if that makes sense.I don’t know if I actually want back if he does all that. Idk I am a little unsteady right now. I need some time to process.

I will go back for the kitchen supplies and my tv. I won’t take anything else of the furniture. This for the exact same reason I was unwilling to buy everything: his house is huge so the couch is huge … I can’t take it.

Sources: Reddit
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