Boyfriend vs Purses


Happy living
Mar 15, 2006
This is long, and I'm just sad, lonely, and ranting.

My bf hates hates HATES my adoration of purses, shopping, and materialistic desires for expensive things. I do have the money to buy these things, but I am not contributing max to savings and retirement.

Everytime I mention a purse, he gets upset. When i want to buy a bag, he gets angry and makes me feel bad for even wanting to spend a certain amount on a bag when I can do better in the world with the money than to feed this material desire of mine. Once I bought a bag in secret but he found out, and made me feel like I cheated on him-- tears and days of disagreement.

I even go on the PF whenever he isn't around because I just don't want to see his disapproving looks and go through another argument about better spending of time.

Other than this anti-purse attitude, he is a great guy. I love him. He is so sweet, caring, generous, and kind to me and others. He just doesn't get my spending. I have sold some bags, and got a few new ones, but have definitely cut down on my spending since I'm w/ him. And I feel that if he were not around, I would be spending more, maybe beyond my own means. However, because of the conscious realization that he really disapproves, I don't do certain things I crave or urge to do. Which can be good. But I may be sacrificing some of my happiness and needs to make sure he is happy.

So a few days ago he gave me two days to do whatever I wanted, regardless of what he felt. He saw that I sometimes didn't voice what I wanted cuz I wanted to make him feel happy and to avoid conflict. So he wanted to unleash me to see the "true" me. I just got excited and started to shop for things I have been craving, and took him to a yummy restaurant and ordered foods I wanted. He encouraged me to always be this way even after this "free period", and he noticed that my behavior was something he really was disappointed in, which was the shopping. I've spent over a year working on cutting down on spending, mainly because of him, but since I was "free", I shopped again. He said that I haven't changed.

While I know and voice how my spending can be dangerous and bad, I often have a hard time holding back from purchases. So I can be hypocritical regarding saying I want to give up shopping, then buying a new purse or whatever a week later.

I just feel awful. I love him, and he loves me, but can this work out? He hates a materialistic side of me, so can he truly love me completely since a part of me is so loathful to him? We have been together for 1.5 years and are living together. We agree generally about everything else in life: foods, vacations, weekend getaways, movies, date nights, etc., but this purse thing is really tearing us apart. We talk about marriage, buying a house, raising kids, and we are excited about these things.

I feel as if I am having to choose purses over a boy, and if it may mean selling/getting rid of all my purses so that he can be happy? He really does get upset-- he does not get it at all. Do I want to be with someone who cannot respect what I want? But are purses something so serious to fight over? Can I just let it go?

Do any of you have the same issues where your SO disagrees about your purses and how do you resolve this?



Looking for Evelyne
Apr 3, 2006
Land of the Long White Cloud
Whoa. That's a tough one. I feel for you, but if you feel that apart from this one thing, he is the man for you, there has to be a willingness to compromise from both sides.

What about a budget? If both he and you sign off on how much you can spend on purses (make it do-able, no point making it so limited that you won't be happy at all), and stick to it for one year? Say if you normally spend $5K, sign off on $3K. If you stick to the budget, it's proof that you can prioritise your spending, and he can trust you. Make sure that you don't spend it all in the first 3 months!

All the best with whatever decision you make.


May 4, 2007
You may not like the sound of this but....he sounds very controlling. My boyfriend will air his concerns if I've spent too much but at the end of the day I'm an adult with my own income and my own bills which always get paid so if I want to buy something then I will. If you were spending like a Hilton then maybe he'd have something to be worried about but it doesn't sounds like that to me.

It doesn't sound great that you are made to feel guilty for buying things either, does he buy nothing for himself?


Dec 11, 2006
hm, that is difficult because there is some stuff that I can follow and some that I find totally out of order, to be frank.

i will share my own experience to highlight: i like to spend, and I have over-spent at times. hubby is not crazy about it but we both earn money, and we have an agreement that i have some play money so that we can save the rest and spend on house, our child, etc. we have a child so I can't just go and blow the budget, and neither can he. but I am not keen on 'asking' when I want to buy something. both my mum and my brother's wife tend to discuss their purchases beforehand (not always of course) and in case of major expenditure i agree. but if I want to spend $50 on a t-shirt etc I don't want to discuss it. hubby is one for big purchases - say a fancy suit, fancy car etc, so it evens out. sometimes it is his turn, sometimes mine. I would address this, tell him that you respect his choices but that he has to respect yours. if it comes to marriage etc, be honest and open because it is the only way forward IMO, or you set yourself up for disappointment, on both sides. agree on a budget for spending, and manage within that, for both of you. btw, maybe you wouldn't care so much if he didn't make it such a big deal - kwim,like the forbidden fruit? might be something to think about for him...

however, letting you 'feel free', only to check whether you have 'changed' is off. it is ok to look after money, make sure there are savings, have an idea of what is coming on and going out, but wanting to change you and check up on that? to me that is off. you aren't hurting him, like emotionally etc so I think he is a bit over the top there.


May 4, 2007
^^ You put into words what I was struggling with.

The "free" days he granted you just sounded like he was testing you which I find quite cruel
Aug 11, 2006
Your bf sounded like mine in the beginning. My BF loves to shop for things that are high quality ( suits, cars, shoes, electronics ) and is willing to pay a high price for them especially if he thinks it's worth it. We don't share an account or anything since we're not married yet but we've been together for 3 years. I didn't start out iwht a bag obssession but it grew while I was with him and when I found TPF. He noticed and kept saying bags are a waste blah blah i have a closet full sitting there collecting dust. BUT after a while, he understood that made me happy and I don't ask HIM to buy me bags. He gradually accepted it and finally started buying me LV and now a Chanel for birthdays and anniversaries. I think your BF should accept that you like expensive things and I mean you could always set a budget together in the future. Plus, it isn't like he is the one buying everything for you. But I think it is really sweet that you try to hold back to make him happy, however, if you are unhappy or as happy as you can possibly be then I don't really think it is fair to you.
Jan 29, 2006
Chicago, IL
You have to ask yourself why he would set you up that way? What was the purpose? A person who really loves you would not set up a "free" day only to tell you later how much you disappoint him. Aren't you disappointed in him as well?



Hopelessly Addicted!
May 17, 2007
Everywhere but Home!
I have a husband that is like that but he won't hesitate to spend money on electronics. I would just tell him that this is what you enjoy because you can't lose yourself. I agree you must make sure you budget and put money aside for your future but in the end you must make yourself Happy! Happy! Happy! not someone else.


Mar 20, 2006
Houston, TX USA
You may not like the sound of this but....he sounds very controlling.
Exactly. Purses are not even the real issue. It's the element of control. If it's not purses, it will be something else later on down the road. It's one thing if he commented on your spending every now and then, but that whole "test" and then making you feel bad about it - that guy sounds like a nut. I would really reconsider this relationship.


Nov 1, 2006
I think you love your BF a lot, and he also loves you, BUT money (and how you spend it) makes big, big problems in a relationship if you aren't on the same page.

I have a feeling that your bf thinks you are over extravagant in terms of your purchases even if they are yours, and thinks your spending may somehow impact your life together. I don't like this 'test' thing. I was once upon a time a not very tidy person, and my ex decided on a 'test' for me too. I spent lots of time trying to adhere to his strictures about pants having perfect knife pleats etc. It stressed me out no end.

In the end, you should be able to strike a balance. Either you should be able to not spend as much and keep him pacified if you want to be with him, or he should allow you a set spending limit a month and not question it, or both. Otherwise you'll both be very unhappy.


Mar 31, 2007
Hopefully over time, if you remain together, he will grow to understand how important bags are to you and how there's nothing wrong with YOU spending YOUR money as you see fit. It's got to improve, though, because money strains, as merika said, can ruin an otherwise healthy, happy relationship. Good luck!

Aug 20, 2006
maybe he's worried about your spending- when/if you get married, your spending directly affects the rest of his life- and he may be concerned about that. the budget idea is a good one- or put a % away from each paycheck for 'fun money' which means you can do with it what you please- no comments. maybe you'll need to save for a few months to get what you want (a new purse), but it's 'free' money. if you both sit, talk, and make some compromises and get on the same page, maybe that would work.

i had saved $ from presents, christmas, etc. to buy one big thing- a piece of jewelry. my dh flipped when he saw that i was buying a ring (why did i need more???) he said that my $ could go towards savings, bills, etc. i said- fine- then so can your 'extra' money- which means no more golf, etc. all that $ to savings. he quickly realized my point and i got my jewelry and a quiet dh.


Are we there yet?
Mar 31, 2006
D.C. suburbs
A couple of things -- I found your descriptions of the "free days" extremely distressing.

This may not be the way that you meant it, but to me it sounded as if you have been forcing yourself to comply with his views of the way that you behave at the expense of your own individuality.

Then he said, OK be yourself for a few days. And at the end of a few days said "I don't like the real you."

If that is not the way that it occurred, I apologize, but it sounded like that to me.

And I do NOT like a person who tries to force another person to change.

My SO periodically gives me little "lectures" about how it is bothersome to him that I claim to be concerend about poverty and equality, yet spend a ridiculous (and I know it is ridiculous) amount of money on shoes and handbags, two things that he thinks should be practical and utilitarian.

Point being, he might not agree with how I choose to spend discrecenary income, but he does not attempt to coerce me to change.

And it seems to be more than just the purses, you mentioned something about picking restaurants and foods you wanted, it really sounds as if his control issues concern more than just purses.

I hope this does not come off as being too harsh or judgemental, I am trying to respond to your posting in a helpful way, but it is hard on a screen with no inflection or body language.


Dec 27, 2005
He allowed you to be the real you on your FREE days???? This goes beyond control, that is SICK. I don't know what other mind games he plays with you. Does he tell you how to dress, how to wear you hair? Does he tell you what to cook? He sound like he is the one with issues. You are not married, you have the right to do what you want with your money, as long as you are paying your bills and not carrying a credit card bill to support any purchases and he does not have the right to monitor you. Does he look in your closet for new purses?????? Does he not talk or give you the silent treatment if you bought a purse--maybe a two year old does that with a temper tantrum.
If this is what he is like when you are not married I would think of what life would be when he feels he has total control because you are married. I think counseling for both of you may help. I would never allow a man tell me what I can do. Control freaks get stranger as the years pass.