Dear Annie: I love my boyfriend. He’s a superb partner. He is, however, the laid-back type or, depending on how you look at it, just plain lazy. Since I am a bit high strung, I appreciate how easygoing he is, but when it comes to our finances, I am bothered by his lack of get-up-and-go.
I have always made the bulk of our income. He thinks that we should share our finances and consult each other before major purchases (not unreasonable, I know), but I’m not sure this is fair since the “sharing” is always from my pocket to his.
His employers love him, but they’ve recently cut his hours for economic reasons. Although he says he’s looking for additional work, he isn’t looking very hard. He no longer makes enough to cover his half of the bills.
I want to stay with him, so my question is more about strategy. Do I just have to accept the situation and share equally?
Would it be better to divide our financial responsibilities so he has to face the reality that he doesn’t bring in enough? Am I being unreasonable to think he should earn close to what I do?
My father always supported my mother, and though I know those days are over, I object to being the primary breadwinner and want him to do his part. Any suggestions? — Barb in Boston
Dear Barb: You are being slightly unreasonable if you intend to stay with this man, because he is never going to be the ambitious wage earner you think he should be. When there is a discrepancy in income between partners, it is common to divide expenses accordingly.
If he makes 20 percent less than you, it is unfair for him to pay 50 percent of all the bills. Either accept him as he is, knowing that you will forever be the primary breadwinner, or find someone more suited to your sense of equality.
Dear Annie: My wife and I like to take our favourite wine to our favourite bistro. We are happy to pay the US$15 corkage fee.
However, when it is time to check out, we do not feel that we need to include the corkage fee or any applicable taxes in our tip calculations. Neither amount has anything to do with the server’s performance.
We would appreciate your input. — L.L.
Dear L.L.: The corkage fee does not benefit the server, only the restaurant. You get the use of the bistro’s glasses, decanters, ice buckets, whatever, not to mention the service of the waitstaff to pour the wine and keep an eye on whether or not you need a refill. (Extremely generous patrons will actually tip on the cost of the wine bottle they would have ordered had they not brought their own.)
Dear Annie: Your response to “Kansas Bride,” whose husband kept trying to touch her breasts in public, almost made me laugh out loud. You told her he is a case of arrested development and said he should outgrow it in time.
Here is the fact women need to face: Men do not grow out of juvenile high jinks like this. I am 60, have been married for 40 years and still want to touch my wife’s breasts every chance I get, both in public and at home. She works as a nurse at a nursing home, and the men there still want to touch women inappropriately.
Most men on their deathbeds are still thinking about touching a woman’s breasts.
Sorry to say, he is not going to outgrow it. (P.S.: I love your column.) — Gatlinburg, Tenn.
Dear Gatlinburg: Thanks. A man’s sexual thoughts aren’t as important as what he does about them.
He should be able to control himself sufficiently so he doesn’t actually touch his wife inappropriately in public.
That is the juvenile behavior we mean. Regardless of what is going on in his head, we expect him to treat his wife with respect.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611.