Some people have told me they have today off from work (non-Massachusetts people: it's Patriots Day and, in other years, the Boston Marathon). For those here, we have a short letter with some snooping.
I noticed a text message pop up in my partner's phone. It was from his ex girlfriend; they have a 20-year old son who recently moved back in with her.
I know I shouldn't have ... but my emotions got the better of me and I opened the conversation, and it looks like my partner has been giving her money. The problem is that he is keeping this secret from me. Do I approach him and ask what's going on?
You didn't say how long this partner has been your partner. You also didn't tell us whether you've both agreed to disclose financial choices, or if/how you share money.
Either way, it sounds like you want to talk about financial goals as a team. You could ask him to have a discussion about how you both save for what you want, whether the current setup is working, what you might share, etc.
Before doing that, understand that I don't think it sounds terrible that he is helping his ex support their 20-year-old son! In theory, it's acceptable and appropriate and, well, supportive, especially during a year like this one.
I guess the bigger question is: Can you accept that this "partner" has an ex who counts on him, and a child who should be very important to him? If you can't, that sounds like the real problem.
Readers? Is it the money or the secret? Are there financial choices you make, while in a couple, that you keep to yourself?