My husband and I have a special arrangement. It’s a blowback.

Pay Dirt is Slates’ financial advice column.Have a question?Send it to Athena and Elizabeth here.(It’s anonymous!)

Dear Pay Dirt,

Joe and I dated many years ago and the relationship blossomed into a deep and loving platonic friendship. We were both in our late 60s and weren’t interested in finding other partners. We never shared finances or lived together, but we got married a few years ago so he could benefit from the insurance provided by my employer.

Joe was laid off months ago and unemployment benefits have run out, so his only income is Social Security. He is diligently looking for a job, but the prospects are not good for someone his age in his field. Therefore, I help support it, which is a financial hit for me. I send him money every month, with no strings attached, and I know he is deeply grateful. The problem for me is that he is NOT good with money. For example, instead of installing a mousetrap, he hired an exterminator. We’ve never interfered or commented on each other’s financial habits, and I’m not comfortable telling him what he can spend money on now. It would be a radical change in our relationship. Joe is already deeply depressed and struggling, and me becoming a wife now would really hurt our relationship. He desperately needs to become independent again, but none of us have a solution. No advice?

I don’t want to support him; Doesn’t want to be taken care of

Dear, I don’t want to support him,

You already know that you don’t have to go beyond what you’ve already done for Joe, and it seems like he’s aware of the problem as well, so it’s good that you don’t have to to someone who doesn’t appreciate your generosity. I think you’re right about not controlling how he spends his money, especially since you don’t live together and don’t have joint finances. If you want to help Joe beyond what you already do, I think you can try to help him with his job search and show him what good spending looks like, but resist the temptation to send more money than you already send. This will only make you more anxious about your own finances, and even angry.

You’re close enough that I assume you also know and have relationships with some of the other people in Joe’s life, and supporting someone who is depressed and struggling shouldn’t fall on you alone. Many people don’t like to ask for help (because they find it embarrassing or it’s a blow to their ego to admit they need it) but nothing stops people around Joe to offer support, and emotional support is just as important in this situation. as financial support. Depression affects the way we make decisions and our ability to motivate ourselves, which can make it difficult to spend responsibly or continue a job search that has yielded no results so far. You’re already going above and beyond Joe’s expectations, but if you’re determined to do more, focus on his needs that aren’t financial.


Classic Prudie

I recently learned that my husband is $20,000 in debt. I’ve known him to dabble in sports betting here and there, but otherwise it was a complete shock to me, it’s totally unlike him. After much discussion, we decided to work on our marriage while he paid off his debt. He promised not to gamble anymore, even though he felt like he was in control, and to never lie to me again (he lied to try to cover up the debt when I first found out times). Last night I came across some information

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