We are told that it is a societal rule to not discuss our salary with others.
There is some debate over the relevance of this.
On one hand, it can be embarrassing to talk about how much you make. On the other hand, keeping silent might only keep you blind to not making what you're worth.
It also is a touchy subject in a relationship, as Redditor lyingbkyfriend found out.
She went to the popular subReddit "Am I The A**hole?" or "AITA" to suss out whether or not she was right to be upset:
Our original poster, or OP, found out her boyfriend had way more money in general than he was letting on.
"My boyfriend and I have been together for 3 years, and we live together. He told me he made 90k, which is around what I make. We split most stuff evenly. Yesterday he said he had something to tell me and said that he actually makes 150k, and also has millions in inheritance."
pay me kim kardashian GIF by GQ Giphy
It wasn't so much the money that bothered her, but the fact that he hadn't told the truth.
"Now that doesn't in and of itself change how I feel about him and I would still split stuff equally."
"But the fact he hid something so big for 3 years? It made me pretty upset that he didn't trust me even after moving in together."
And now she wants to know if she is in the wrong for how she's reacting.
"I told him this and he said I was overreacting and that it was just to protect himself. I didn't talk to him today until dinner and he told me again that I'm overreacting and that it's not a big deal."
Redditors showed up to decide where blame belongs by declaring:
- NTA - Not The A**hole
- YTA - You're The A**hole
- ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH - No A**holes Here
"NAH. I understand why you're upset - being lied to by someone you love, even if it's for a good reason, feels bad."
"But his actions make total sense. When you first met, YOU knew you were trustworthy - but he didn't. I'm sure you can understand why he chose to keep the fact he is very wealthy a secret from you in the beginning."
"And it's not like you found out by accident - he actively decided that he does trust you now and chose to tell you. Sure, maybe he should have told you sooner in an ideal world, but he trusts you now and is telling you now."~aitchbee
"NTA, he's NTA either. Money makes a lot of people go nutty. Obviously he has experienced this before. He trusts you and wants to share his secret with you. You are not the only one he hid this from. Look at all the posts from people who unexpectedly get a windfall or make a lot of money and "friends " and family use them or expect them to support them. It's not unreasonable for him to want to protect himself."~salemonadetea
"NAH. I would never divulge my yearly income to a girlfriend."
"Fiancee or wife? Absolutely. But I don't care if she's been with me 5 years as a girlfriend. It's not need to know."
"Good on you for saying it changes nothing. It shouldn't. Perhaps his concern is that maybe it would. If that's his stance, his concern is probably rooted in the past where it did change something. Significantly."~AFarCry
"NAH. I would also be hurt if my partner didn't trust me enough to tell me his real salary. But I also understand why he was worried. Money does change people and he wanted to be certain that you loved him for him. The only reason I might say he's an asshole is that it took him so long to come clean."~Wyrd_byrd
Some others, though, thought OP's boyfriend was fully in the wrong.
"NTA - while I don't think you necessarily need to know the details of his inheritance, not sharing salary when you live together and presumably see a future together is pretty major in my opinion. That's a pretty big lie he's been living."
"Also perhaps my perspective as someone on a lower income than you guys but 90k/150k is a pretty big income disparity and I think you should be splitting things percentage wise rather than 50/50,, this man clearly wouldn't see it this way however."~josie-95
"NTA. I get and understand why he didn't discuss his salary but he should have at least had the decency to admit it upset you and apologised for that. Apologising doesn't mean you're automatically in the wrong."~Outside-Question
"NTA. 3 years is a long time to be lying to you. Not 'I'd rather not say how much I make' but straight up lying. You thought you were equals and on the same team and now something feels wrong. Like the person you trusted was just testing you this whole time because being rich makes them entitled to do so."
"We're far past the 'getting to know you' stage here. Your discomfort is real and reasonable. Now instead of apologizing for lying and offering reasons why he instead feels entitled to tell you how you're supposed to feel?"
"If you ask questions about his wealth is that going to freak him out? Do you have to walk on eggshells now every time financial stuff comes up? Is he suddenly going to put everything you do or say under a microscope to see if you've 'changed'?"
"I think some of the other responses here suggesting that it's ok to lie and misrepresent yourself if you're rich are pretty disconcerting. There were ways to tell you about this when you moved in together that would have established boundaries but kept you informed. He made a conscious choice not to do that and I think he owes you an explanation."~Lashing_out
"NAH possibly NTA."
"I don't think he is necessarily an a**hole but you absolutely are not. You are hurt he lied to you for three years. Totally understandable that you would be upset."~Samwise3214
But as finances are a difficult topic and it's possible his heart has been broken before due to money, most were more sympathetic.
"NAH. Finances are a difficult topic. He lied so could be the asshole, but personally I don't think my earnings are any partner's business, and I like to keep finances separate at all times. Guess it depends if you plan on marrying or having kids? That changes things."~ishitinthemilk
"NAH, if he hadn't told you that would be one thing lying is something else entirely... I get not telling you about the inheritance, knowing someone has that kind of money can change how people sees them. 90k is a pretty respectable income in most of the world, and it's not like he was pretending to be poor and that you couldn't afford for splitting of the bills. He shouldn't have lied but I understand why he didn't divulge the full extent of his financial situation."~apochere
"NAH. Money changes relationships."
"Was with a woman for about a year and a half. Everything was quite equal, splitting the cheque at restaurants, etc., usually punting in a bit more, or me paying completely for things like travel I suggested, etc. It all fell apart when I invited her to a nearby beach resort area. She offered to pay part of the 'hotel,' so I corrected her and said no, I own the resort apartment. So suddenly she became really interested in my finances when it was never a question before. I make roughly 9x her salary, and her eyes lit up."
"From that day forward, not only did she completely stop contributing to say, pay for part of lunch or bring a bottle of wine over when visiting, she started making demands. Demanding we eat at a nicer restaurant, buy the more expensive bottle of wine, stay at the nicer hotel, and asking me to buy things for her. Not small things like gifts, larger things like a new Mac note PC or larger television. Her interest in our relationship stopped being about me about about what I could do for her."
"The breakup finally came when she started complaining about how small her apartment was and how it would be nice if she could get a place with a shorter commute closer to work, but was thinking that maybe I could 'help her out' with the rent considering that it would also put her closer to where I live."
"I'd trusted her, but her reaction showed she could not be trusted, that the money changed her perception of me and what sort of relationship we should have."
"So, OP: this is actually a huge green flag on the relationship!"
"He's telling you because he trusts you.
He's telling you because he no longer feels the need to 'protect' himself.
He's telling you because the longer you're together, the more those finances are going to become intertwined.
He's telling you because he wants you in his life."
"This is wonderful."~takatori
"NAH. Finances are very personal even within family. If you felt taken advantage of ie. paid more than your fair share of expenses, then he would be the asshole, but that wasn't the case. Perhaps he wanted to feel as though he was on 'equal' ground with you and over time just forgot to tell you. It happens and why do you think as his gf, you should be entitled to know his finances anyway?"~MyLilPiglets
It was a difficult situation for both OP and her boyfriend, but with no a**holes in the situation, it opens up the door for conversation.
Hopefully a productive conversation in which all parties are heard and respected is on the horizon.
*If you enjoyed this article, you can read more like it by clicking on the AITA link below.*