He gave his ex some money

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.

This is also a great time to tell us your love/relationship/dating question. Send your own letter to [email protected] or fill out this form.

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?

– Snooped


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.

– Meredith

Readers? Is it the money or the secret? Are there financial choices you make, while in a couple, that you keep to yourself?