24 Sad And Shocking Stories About Money Issues Breaking Up Relationships
Get ready to have trust issues.
Handling conflicts with a partner, friend, or family member can be tricky enough, but when money's involved, things can get heated really quickly.
1. "I broke up with a now-ex because I wanted to go back to school. He was supportive until I realized I miscalculated how much I would have to borrow. Once he heard that amount, he showed his true colors. I was suddenly 'not smart enough' to pass my classes and 'would never be able to find a job' and pay off my loans. He even asked how much money he would have to give me to make me forget about going. So I dumped him, went back to school, and never looked back."
2. "I’d just had a baby, and my then-boyfriend told me that an airline was having a huge sale and the flights to Japan were stupidly cheap, so what did I think about going for a holiday? I was like, 'You're kidding! I’d love to,' but I'd just gone back to work after being on maternity leave. Money was tiiiiiight. He said it was fine, he’d organize it all, pay for it, the lot."
"He sorted out childcare; he arranged flights and hotels. And when we were on the plane, he presented me (and his best friend, who I didn’t know was coming and who shared the room with us!) with an itemized bill. Huge red flag."
3. "When my dad died suddenly, his sisters came to my parents' house to 'comfort' me, my mom, and my sister. I overheard them whispering to each other about how much money they’d get from his will, and then they had the audacity to be upset with my dad because he left everything to my mom. It’s been almost two years, and my sister and I haven’t spoken to my aunts."
4. "An ex made a ton more than me (I'm a teacher, so...), but he never paid for anything. We went to a zoo for his birthday about eight or nine months into dating. I paid for both our tickets. After a while I started feeling faint, so I asked if he could go buy me a banana or something to get my energy up before we continued walking."
5. "I’ve been shamed and questioned by a friend for buying a car. Because I was paying my car off and couldn’t afford to go out every weekend night to get wasted, she stopped including me. When I worked long hours to get ahead with my own business, I was accused of shutting her out. For years I questioned whether my behavior really was that disgraceful. I know now that she just had issues with my life choices because they weren’t the same as hers. We aren’t friends anymore, and I don’t miss her."
6. "My then-friend/roommate and I were looking for a new apartment. We worked for the same company, at the same level, and received the same salary. She insisted at every place we looked at that she pay less per month."
"I did all of the work finding listings that suited her strict budget and never received a thank-you. She would say she was broke and had no savings.
"I continued to be as accommodating as possible until one evening when, with a group of friends in casual conversation, over a game of Monopoly, she announced that she had €40,000 in savings. She proceeded to make fun of a fellow coworker, with two kids, having seen his bank account savings at only €7,000 while looking over his shoulder in our company lunchroom.
"Monopoly (and money) really brings out the worst in some people! I sat her down the next morning, said we couldn’t live together, found an amazing apartment, and completely cut her out of my life."
7. "When a friend at a film school learned my family doesn't observe Christmas, she invited me to stay at her boyfriend's to experience three days of Christmas. Nice of her! When I arrived on Christmas Eve, they said we needed to visit a supermarket to buy food and drinks."
8. "My mom and stepdad made the mistake of renting a house from a family friend. He almost immediately started acting like a slumlord, charging way more than the place was worth and never making the basic repairs that the house needed. And if he did make repairs, it was grudgingly, and he’d usually do it wrong."
"He was a contractor, which would make you think he’d be able to do at least a competent job. He also screamed and swore at my grandmother in the middle of the street because she told him he’d installed a new screen door upside down. When they moved out, he made up a bunch of lies about how they were terrible tenants so he could keep their security deposit, and they had to take him to court to get him to give it back. We haven’t spoken to him since, and last I heard, he was trying and failing to sell the house for way more than market price."
9. "I used to earn more than my ex and had been a single parent for years when I met him. We rented a place together, and eventually I got pregnant. We bought a house, but because of bad choices as a teen, I had no credit. I was very trusting, so we got a mortgage in just his name."
"I had a high-risk pregnancy and he had a new job with better pay, so he talked me into becoming a stay-at-home mum. Over time, he told me I was terrible with money and gradually took more control, to the point where I had to give reasons why our daughter needed new clothes or shoes.
"He cheated and I refused to take him back, but I had nowhere to go, so I had to live with him for another year before getting my own place. I got absolutely nothing for my contributions to the house or anything in it. I've been away from him for nine years now and have never had a financial issue. I will never, ever allow someone else on my lease on my house, or get a joint account that somehow becomes just his. I will never let someone control me by using financial withdrawal."
10. "My older sister stole our mother’s identity, not once but twice, and racked up tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt. That was nearly 20 years ago. She is still paying off the credit cards, minimum payments only. This caused such a rift in my family that our other siblings and I have nothing to do with her. I don’t even remember the last time I spoke to her."
11. "I had a friend who, looking back, liked to use me, but I'd pay for food and stuff so that we could hang out sometimes when she didn't have enough money to do stuff. One day she joined an MLM and asked me to buy stuff. I said no because I refuse to support any pyramid schemes, and she got mad, saying I should be supporting her. She got quiet when I said, 'I do support you, and that's why I use my money to make sure we can hang out.'"
12. "Lived with my then–best friend. Her dad owned the place, and I just gave the rent and utilities to her each month. One time, some of my money that I kept in the drawer went missing. I always knew exactly how much I had there, so I noticed."
"I gave her that much less that month and told her I deducted the money she took from me. She said OK; in my head, that meant her admitting she did it. No apology, nothing. She started being mean, in terms of 'You cannot use the plates in the kitchen because they are mine' and 'Buy your own toilet paper' (we used to go halves on everything), and stuff like that. It got to the point where we didn't even talk anymore. I moved out eventually and never spoke to her again."
13. "My ex and I moved in together after college. He made at least twice as much as I did but also said he had way more student loan debt. I believed him, and we split everything 50-50 because I thought our debt-to-income ratios were the same."
14. "My very first roommate was an ex–best friend. I knew she was always a little shady, especially when it came to money (she's milked accident injuries to make them seem worse off to get an insurance collection), but for whatever reason, I didn't think it would extend into our friendship. She was already living in an apartment with her then-boyfriend, but they broke up and she found herself struggling to stay there (they also had a baby)."
"Thinking I was being a good friend, I moved in to help her afford the place. It only lasted about three to four months because she was constantly acting as if nothing in that place was mine. Another friend of mine had a room available at her place, which made more sense for me to live at, since it was closer to where I worked. After I discussed this with said roommate, she became extremely hostile because I was no longer her built-in babysitter. We split the rent for each of the months I lived there, but she expected me to pay a security deposit?? Even though I was technically not on the lease and you get the deposit back.
"She went around telling anyone who would listen that I never paid her, even though I split everything with her, let her borrow my car on multiple occasions when hers was in the shop, paid for my own food, cleaned, and babysat when she would have to work. We occasionally run into each other now, but it has never been the same."
15. "I dated this guy, and about three months in, I realized he was way more well off than I was. I was struggling at a job I loved that shadily paid women like $10,000 less than their direct counterparts. Anyway, he was earning six figures, as well as income off a second condo he rented. I absolutely didn't expect him to pay my way, but he'd get weird about money."
"Like, we'd go out to dinner and basically order the same meal in terms of cost, but he'd have a Diet Coke and I'd have a glass of wine, and he'd refuse to split the bill. I'd invite him over for a home-cooked meal (which, you know, still costs me money!) and he wouldn't contribute, but he asked me for half if he got takeout. He had a car and I didn't, and he expected gas money if he drove me home, so I ended up mostly taking the bus two hours home (a 30-minute drive). It just seemed weird to me that I was making like 60% less than he was and he couldn't give me a ride home without demanding payment."
16. "My ex and I lived together, and he decided one night to wake up at 3 in the morning, go into my purse, steal my debit card, and drive 45 minutes away to a random ATM to take out all my money. He came home and put my card back, and when I checked my account and noticed it was very negative (I had bills that were automatically taken out), he acted like he didn’t know how that happened. I only found out when I was on my way to the police and his dad (a police officer) asked me not to press charges because it was his son who did it. I regret to this day not following through."
17. "My ex didn’t have a job and wasn’t looking for a job. I paid for food, dates, even gave him some money for rent once. I worked a full-time job and did everything. The tipping point was when we got in a fight and he said that he deserved to be treated like a king!!!! Like, excuse me, YOU haven’t done shit. Long story short, we broke up and he moved back in with his parents."
18. "An ex of mine accused me of only being with them for their money, which wasn't the case. They messed with my head so much that I ended up paying all the bills and not having a penny left for myself. I didn't buy a single item of clothing in the last three years of the relationship."
"I also didn't eat breakfast or take anything to work for my lunch because I couldn't afford to pay for that much food. The relationship ended well over 10 years ago, and even now I still have hang-ups about money and will never let anyone pay for something for me. My parents give me money for Christmas and birthdays, and it's always a game of bank transfer hockey as I try to give it back to them.
"If someone shows you who they are, then believe them and get out before you lose yourself."
19. "I worked at a minimum-wage retail job, no commission, part time. My boyfriend worked full time at a restaurant that his mother managed, and he made a good wage. He would buy me gifts for birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries, or 'just because.'"
20. "I had a friend, and we were close for more than five years. Toward the end, she got really weird about money. She was starting her own business, so I figured she had money problems. I once borrowed about $20 from her, and she called me multiple times for it, made me leave my office, and drove me to an ATM to withdraw and give her the cash immediately."
"I tried to justify it in my head that she must really need the cash. Cut to three months later and we're talking about something, and she revealed that her dad (who funds the business but usually was a miser) also gives her about $800 every month as pocket money. In addition, she goes to a 'psychic' for 'aura reading and cleaning' every week. And she made me feel so petty about borrowing $20 for two days before she pestered me about it. After that, plus a thousand more challenges with her, I decided to break off our friendship!"
21. "My grandma left me some money, and when one of my best friends needed a loan for school stuff, I helped her out. She stayed at my house and said she would help me out over the summer. Shortly after, my mom and I lost our jobs at the same company. Money got tight, and I had to watch my friend constantly spending money on takeout and not paying me back, when my mom and I were scrimping and scraping money to keep the roof over our heads."
"When we lost our house in the end, she didn't help us move even though she was living with us. All of my other friends were there long hours, helping us move, and she just sat on the sofa with some dude playing video games and not helping us."
22. "My boyfriend (now ex) really wanted to go to Peru on vacation. Always been a dream of his. I didn’t have the funds to purchase a $700 plane ticket to Peru, yet he really wanted to go, so he offered to purchase my ticket. After I stated several times that he didn’t have to do that, he still wanted to. Jump to months later after the trip, and he brings it up in conversation how he wants me to pay him back. Excuse me? You offered to pay for it! We didn’t break up solely because of this one incident, but it was one of many in a long list."
23. "Our dad died suddenly without a will. The woman who had been living with him freaked out. Her son-in-law (a cop) punched a hole in the wall at my aunt's house and made threats. We changed the locks, let her collect her stuff, and never saw them again. Our other relatives tried to put the squeeze on us, so we stopped talking to them, too. It was super sad. We were grieving, and we needed people to be decent to us."
24. And finally, "My ex used up all my savings with constant lies about an emergency or some other issue and never paid me back. He totaled my car, and I had to get a new loan for a car. I was financially unstable for years after dumping him. I am careful now with money around men."
Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.