Thursday, May 22, 2008

And More Boundaries.

"I want an MP3 player. I'm going to work really, really hard the next couple of days, and I want to spend some of the money on an MP3 player. I just really want something fun for myself," he has been reiterating for the last several days. I don't know what put a MP3 player bug up his ass, but it's a mighty annoying bug.

Our present financial arrangement includes a set amount of money that he needs to give me each week in order to be paying half of our household bills. He has never, not one single time, given me that amount of money. The most he's ever given me has been a little over half. After his last relapse, however, he asked that I handle all of his money from now on. The relative for whom he works transfers his daily money directly into my account. For weeks now, he's been paying off a debt to this relative that he accrued with a series of astonishing lies during the February relapse and making only enough money to pay for his methadone. I was patient and kind and forgiving through that part. It seemed like the right thing to do for him to pay his debts off and get back square.

He's square now, and he's making money again...enough to pay for his methadone and some surplus. So far this week, he's given me about a third of what he owes me for bills, and he has been growing increasingly adamant about this MP3 player business. I have been obsessing about it because it's the first time we've been in this situation. The money is in my bank account. I can choose to pull it out or not pull it out. I've chosen that I won't give him any money until he has paid me the full amount. I don't trust him to go to work and earn the rest of the money if he is able to get his new toy before the end of the week.

And that's good, right? I'm standing up for myself, setting boundaries, and making sure I get my needs met. Still, however, I'm feeling conflicted about my decisions. It feels like I'm being controlling. I don't know how I feel about this level of entanglement with our finances. I want to make sure that I get the amount of money that it costs for him to live in my house (finally), but I don't want to feel like I'm attempting to control, to change, to manipulate him into acting the way I want him to act. I'm not sure about what's right.