Ask Joey: Don’t show me the money

Joey Garcia

My boyfriend refuses to tell me how much money he earns. At first it was a joke, but we’ve been together over a year now. He says he doesn’t understand why I make such a big deal about it. After a recent argument, he said it’s because he doesn’t want money to get in the way of our relationship. I get that, I really do, but I feel like he is keeping secrets.

If your boyfriend withholds financial information, it’s because he’s afraid. When you pressure him for details, it strengthens his belief that his noncompliance is necessary protection. Why does he need to shield his paycheck from you? He imagines that letting you in on his earnings will corrupt your experience of him. Either you will settle into the commitment more comfortably because you trust his ability to be a provider, or you will cycle in and out of uneasiness because he doesn’t quite earn what you expected.

I think you need to let this issue go, with one caveat: a deadline. Tell your boyfriend that you hope he will share the details of his life completely when he is ready. Let him know that if your dating relationship turns toward a serious commitment, like marriage, you must be privy to his pay stub. After all, you cannot be expected to enter a deeper union without some notion of what you are getting into. If your boyfriend uses the caveat to avoid a committed partnership with you, don’t hesitate to end the relationship.

I dated a guy I really liked for a few months, but he disappeared from my life eight months ago with no explanation. Last week, he showed up on my doorstep to give me some 12-step apology. I called him yesterday and learned he is dating a woman from his Alcoholics Anonymous program. I am surprised at the anger I feel. He was a keeper. Why didn’t he give me a chance?

Oh, sweetie! Why are you taking this personally? Refocus your heart here: You briefly dated an addict who abandoned you. He sobered up and dropped by your home to make amends. Be happy that the world has one less person behaving badly. Then investigate your anger. It’s not really about this man. He was barely a blip on the love line of your life. You are angry because you were ditched without explanation. Now, after learning this man is dating someone else, you are using her to make negative judgments about yourself. Stop, please. Give yourself a chance to appreciate that you have been saved from a relationship that is not right for you. How do we know? You are free—except in your head, of course. Fearlessly cleanse your mind of self-harming thoughts. It’s time to begin appreciating yourself.

I lost my job and have been networking to find suitable employment. People often ask for my email address, presumably so we can follow-up with job leads. I give them a business card with my name, cellphone number and email address. Unfortunately, they sign me up for blogs and other promotional stuff. How do I let them know I am not interested in being on their marketing lists without risking the loss of a lead?

List your preference on your business card. Simply include your email address followed by “Job leads only, please.” When you hand someone a card, smile and note the preference clearly. Be bold: State that your primary intention is to find a new job. You might also consider printing your intention, skills or dream-job description on the flip side of your business card. Being decisive is key for job seekers.

Meditation of the week
“Everything happens for us, not to us,” says the sage Byron Katie Mitchell. When you believe that people are trying to control you, harm your reputation, act out in jealousy and unkindness or lie to you, trust that you will succeed. Goodness is its own reward.

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