Okay, let’s start off by saying that however agreeable I seem, I am NOT someone who likes teamwork. Here’s an excerpt from a blog I kept for a class I was taking (creative non-fiction) a few years ago regarding my dynamic with Ex-Husband:
We are tethered together. When one of us falls, the other follows. I hate this. He thinks it means we’re close. I’ve never been a team player. Always kick people out of my groups in school. Go off at my own at work. I get the work done and then let other people take the credit. I hate that his problems affect me. He hates that I blame him.
I was speaking of my experience in the class the blog was for, creative non-fiction. I had wanted to take the class online – Ex-Husband had signed up to take it with me. He’d fallen very far behind, and in my efforts to help catch him up, I fell behind a week myself. My marriage to him in general always felt like that. Thankfully, I caught up in the class and ended up getting an A grade, and work reimbursed me for the cost. Ex-Husband just stopped writing, gave up, and failed. Never retook it.
This was a pattern in our relationship. It happened with our finances. It would happen when we’d diet together. I’d work so hard trying to be motivation for both of us, but without fail, he’d lose willpower and screw up and drag me along with him. It’s notable that the one time I was successful with my weight loss was when I turned to him and, “You’re on your own. I’ll give you information and emotional support, but I can’t be your conscience anymore.”
So imagine my surprise when I love working with Skyspook on things. When we can do projects together, make plans, set goals, and instead of one of us sabotaging the other, we hold each other accountable, strengthen our resolve, sharpen our focus.
He’s not just my Dom. He is an excellent diet/exercise buddy. He keeps me honest and accountable and works damn hard.
And the other night, we sat down to discuss finances, nitty gritty, came up with a joint (!!!) budget. We’ve been pooling our resources more and more, splitting expenses, etc. We ran numbers, figured out ways to get ahead, cut costs, plan for a better future together. We came up with salient numbers for limits on discretionary spending, strategies to have more money, debt reduction goals.
It was kind of hot.
I came to terms with the fact that I’ve frittered some money away in the form of the roughest of retail therapy, something I can still continue to do but hopefully on a much smaller scale.
Having access to each other’s finances is a big step. A huge step. This is the third relationship I’ve ever taken it in, but even so, it feels monumental (especially with the trauma of how fucked up things got financially with Ex-Husband and my marriage), and really with my ex-boyfriend K, he just took my money and did whatever with it (very controlling, and I didn’t know any better, really). And though Skyspook has been engaged before and lived with a different girl for about a year, this is a step he’s never taken.
So it’s scary. Really scary. But I think just like dieting together has made us more accountable that managing money together will have a similar effect. Especially, since we are eerily alike in the way that we think about/manage money and have the same life goals (truly, our short lists were identical).
Holy fuck. Here goes nothing.