Boyfriend quit job and is borrowing from me.. I feel so anxious

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    My boyfriend of 3 years quit his job in early 2023 and still hasn’t been able to find a new job. He has been borrowing money from me since then to a total of over $6,000 so far. I believe he owes others as well. And he has credit card debt now. I feel very anxious about this because of our future. We are both 27.

    When he was working, he had a provider mentality and always tried to pay for me (although I would pay too). He never borrowed from me. He was generous even though I had more money than him. I’ve known him for almost 4 years and he never borrowed from me until now.

    I love him and he’s perfect in every other way but this is giving me a lot of anxiety. I’d like to think this is just a rough patch but it’s been 8 months of him being jobless. He treats me well and tells me how in love he is with me, and that he will propose after he finds a new job but I feel scared about my future with him now. Before, I dreamed about a future with him. Once he finds a new job I think I will feel better but right now I feel awful and scared. If he never quit his job and went into debt, there is no doubt in my mind that I would want to marry him.

    I grew up poor and have saved up a good amount of money, but this is triggering a childhood fear of being poor again…. I feel very anxious about the future. Things are so expensive and I feel a lot of pressure on myself now that he is in debt. Many of our friends are getting married now and I fear we will fall behind because he needs to pay off his debts. I have always been a little “money-crazy” because of how I grew up and have $80,000 saved up. I have a good job also. Still,
    I feel triggered and annoyed when he asks me for money, but I always give it to him. I want to feel taken care of by my partner, like I used to, but he doesn’t make me feel like that anymore.

    I don’t know what to do. I used to wake up and cry out of fear about my future. I’ve worked so hard to get in this position and I feel like my chances at having the life I wanted are over now. I have had thoughts of wishing my life was over because I feel like I have “failed” at life. Even couples who have both saved up struggle to pay for a wedding, house etc. and I am just one person who has saved up and he is in debt. It’s hard because he is my best friend but how can we start a life together and when he is in this state.

    please help.


    Dear Neha:

    I think that you’ve been a very good girlfriend for a long time, but for at least a few months he hasn’t been a good boyfriend to you because either he doesn’t notice how much suffering you’ve been going through since he quit his job, or he knows.. and doesn’t take it seriously enough to do something about it.

    I think that you should not loan/ give him any more money. Think about the possibility of asking him to take 6,000 out of his credit card account, or accounts, and give that money back to you.

    So, there are two items I am pointing to: (1) his lack of awareness/ caring about your emotional suffering for so long (2) the money topic.

    (I will be back to the computer in about 8- 18 hours from now)



    Hi Neha

    It seems like this experience with your boyfriend has been an emotional trigger for you. Do you want to talk about the experiences of poverty that you grew up in? I can understand the direct parallels between your current and past experiences and that this is causing you a lot of pain.

    Can you explain a little more about the situation why your boyfriend quit his job? There are some valid reasons to quit a job. I’m curious what his reasons were.

    It’s good to hear that you do still have financial stability with a good amount in savings. It’s also good to hear that outside of the money issues he is treating you well. And it gives me some faith that he was always generous when he had a job.

    I can understand the concern with money issues affecting the relationship. A trait people look for in a partner is the ability to build a future together and with him accruing debt this calls into question this future.

    It is a fact though that at some point in every relationship everyone goes through similar circumstances. It sucks being unemployed and it can take a year to find a new job. Is he putting in the effort to actively look?

    I think hard times are the best time to actually understand the nature of your partner. It’s easy for people to be kind when things are going well.

    I hope that he finds a job soon and pays off his debt so that you can both recover from this experience and put it behind you.

    I would also suggest being clear that you don’t plan on marrying him while he is still in debt. He does need to show you that he is capable of building a future with you again by paying off his debts.

    I went through a similar experience with my now husband. He wasn’t unemployed but made some choices and had difficulty managing his finances and ended up getting into debt. I just told him that I couldn’t marry him until he sorted out his finances and in time, (when he got a better job) he was able to pay off his debts. He also learned to become better with money during this process.

    As for the money he owes you, it’s ultimately your decision how you want to proceed. I know that you’re not yet married and everyone has different perspectives of how they would like to handle things. Do you have any thoughts about how you would like to proceed?

    Wishing you all the best! 🙏


    Forgot to add that I was also in debt at the start of my relationship due to health issues. I didn’t ask for money, my now husband just gave me some out of the goodness of his heart for groceries, so I could eat. I told him he was crazy and shouldn’t try to help strangers because you never know who is a scammer and who isn’t. I paid off my debts and paid him back.

    Also recently, we’ve been going through financial difficulties because of various things happening. I supported us through that with my savings. These things have an ebb and flow in a relationship. People take turns looking after and supporting each other. But ideally, you hope that you don’t need it.

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