High-Earning Man Sparks Backlash for Asking Girlfriend to Help Pay for 'Expensive' Trip

As the world slowly opens back up—bringing travel, dining out, and other expenses along with it—couples are forced to navigate re-emerging fiscal conflicts that might threaten their relationships.

To address these issues, one man turned to Reddit's "Am I the A**hole" forum, detailing a recent vacation, taken with his girlfriend, parents, brother, and sister-in-law, and its financial toll on their relationship.

For context, he wrote: "My brother and I were the ones who did most of the planning of the itinerary although we did ask everyone else for input. For background, I make around [$150,000] as an IT consultant, my girlfriend is a teacher making [$45,000]. My parents are pretty affluent as well as my brother and sister in law."

He added that he and his girlfriend have split expenses 50/50 for the duration of their two-year relationship, and that she "took on a second job waitressing on the weekends for several months" in order to save up for the trip.

Once on vacation, he noted that his girlfriend skipped certain outings—like "wine tasting" and "scuba diving"—and "would only eat 2 meals a day, simply stating that she was on a budget." He added: "My parents thought it was very strange that she only eats 2 meals a day although normally she eats 3."

After returning home, the Reddit user reportedly asked his girlfriend about the missed outings and meals, and specifically, he "mentioned how [he] heard her stomach growling one night and…was concerned about her having an eating disorder."

"She got teary eyed and said that 3 meals a day wasn't fiscally feasible for her," he explained. "She doesn't know if this is going to work long term if she is expected to go on vacations…with people who make so much more than her."

"I feel bad that I did not pick up on her discomfort sooner. But we did agree to split everything 50/50 and I don't know why she agreed to come if the cost was an issue," concluded the Reddit user.

On Reddit, responders overwhelmingly agreed that the man was in the wrong for his behavior and attitude toward his girlfriend.

Reads one top-voted comment, posted by @Sleepy_felines: "You make three times what she does," they wrote. "Don't plan for your budget when you know she makes so much less than you." They added: "I think it's safe to say she didn't enjoy the holiday at all. She probably found it stressful to work out what she could afford, and embarrassing to have to skip meals."

Not everyone, however, believed the story in the first place. "This has to be fake," commented @The_Noirbot. "No one is this obtuse to let their partner starve when they know they can't afford food."

Newsweek has not independently verified the claims made in the Reddit post—but, regardless, the post appears to have struck a chord with viewers, amassing over 20,000 reactions on Reddit and tens of thousands more on Twitter.

AITA for inviting my (29M) Girlfriend (28F) on an expensive vacation and expecting her to pay all of her share? (I make a lot more than her) https://t.co/bFad8kfOIV pic.twitter.com/UEhi991yMk

— Am I the Asshole? (@AITA_reddit) June 28, 2021

The strain of splitting expenses is no new obstacle to couples—but for many, the pandemic has likely amplified tensions involving money. In relationships where one person makes more money than their partner, like the Reddit user and his girlfriend, many experts advise splitting expenses proportionally—especially if the one who earns more wants to live a more expensive lifestyle than their partner can afford. However, as financial expert Paula Pant notes, "One of the keys to this system is to pledge complete honesty up front."

In the case of the Redditor and his girlfriend, however, it appears that many weighing in felt the couple was better off parting ways, as their differences may be irreconcilable—as one commenter put it: "Hopefully the next decision she makes will be to end her relationship with you."

Dollar Bills
A man posted on Reddit that that he and his girlfriend have split expenses 50/50 for the duration of their two-year relationship. Above, a stack of U.S. currency, 2004. Alex Wong/Getty Images