The One Where the Cheque Bounced



Dear Dharma,

I am sharing an apartment with my boyfriend. Even though we have been together for quite a while and live together, we decided to keep all financial matters separated. Our landlord was fine with that, and we each gave postdated cheques for our half of the rent.

Last week I got a call from the landlord and he said that the last 2 cheques from my boyfriend bounced and that he isn’t returning his calls.

I am feeling betrayed on so many levels! First of all, there is no money in his account for rent? What happened to his salary? We had no huge expenses, so where did it go??

And he knew he didn’t pay rent for 2 months and didn’t bother to talk to me about it? Did he think I wouldn’t find out?

I paid his share quickly but am waiting for the right moment to talk to my boyfriend. I am too angry and will probably say something I’ll regret.

Please tell me if there is any reasonable way to address this!



Dear K,

Oh boy, this is not good.  This is something you already know, but I had to say it anyway.  Not good at all.

A number of things have happened here.  Trust has been breached and communication has completely broken down between you and your boyfriend.  And that’s actually not the worst of it, since whatever has caused him not to pay rent for two months and avoid the landlord is probably not going to be good news.

Your anger is completely justified and it’s okay for you to express that – I’m not saying you should fly into a rage and chuck things at him, but in no way do I think you need to be sweet and conciliatory when you address him.

Obviously the next step is a conversation where you present your boyfriend with the facts as you know them and allow him to give you his side of the story. This needs to happen sooner than later, as it’s only then that you can start making decisions as to how you will move forward, either together or apart.

And, I’m sorry, but I would have to say that apart is a very strong possibility.  Unless he’s been spending his money feeding the homeless or on efforts to save drowning kittens, there is no excuse for what he’s done.  And even if that was the case, the fact that he made this life impacting choice (not to pay rent and put both of you at risk) without any discussion says a lot about his character.

Sending strong and hopeful thoughts your way…



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