real life

So the PM had a dodgy ex-boyfriend. Hasn't everyone?


So it seems the Prime Minister may have had a dodgy ex boyfriend (more about that shortly).

I will go out on a limb here and say she is not the Lone Ranger here.

As Director of Ipsos Mackay Social Research, Rebecca Huntley tweeted this morning:

“Every woman in Australia has had a dodgy ex boyfriend … The PM had one too, big deal.”

Is there anyone amongst us who has never had a questionable ex-partner? I’ll go first.

My dodgy ex-boyfriend used to ‘borrow’ money from people.

It started off at $40 or $50 and he always pledged to return the money by the end of the day. Then the end of the week. Then… longer.

It took him months to ask me to cough up the funds the first time but after his mum and dad got sick of him failing to properly manage his finances it was my turn I suppose.

I will never forget it.

We spent a lovely day together and he dropped me home. He was half-way down the driveway before he did the whole… “Ah, by the way, can I borrow $50 for tomorrow and I will pay you back?”

It got worse. The sums of money kept increasing and it wasn’t long before the money wasn’t returned as promptly as before. I explained I didn’t want to be his go-to person anymore and he shrugged it off as though he didn’t care.

It wasn’t long before I received a call from a mutual acquaintance asking if I would be so kind as to ask my boyfriend to cough up the almost $2000 he had borrowed months earlier.

Why was he calling me?

By this stage our relationship was hanging on my a thin thread and I was quickly planning my exit strategy but we had been together long enough for people to assume we were getting serious.

When I asked this person why he was calling me he said, “You’re together. My money is supporting your lifestyle.”

Um, yes but I shouldn’t have to be the one to chase it. I didn’t borrow the money and I didn’t want any part of my almost-ex-boyfriend and his irresponsible financial habits. I suppose some of that money paid for the movies and maybe some dinner but I didn’t know. Was I responsible?

Detectives are investigating alleged union fraud by a former boyfriend of Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

There are news reports today that detectives are investigating alleged union fraud by a former boyfriend of Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

While the Prime Minister has denied that she had any knowledge or involvement in her former boyfriend’s alleged wrongdoing, there have been calls from parliamentarians today that she make a statement about the matter and that there be an investigation.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said yesterday the Prime Minister’s former boyfriend was of  “legitimate media interest” and that “the ball is now in the prime minister’s court.”

What ball? What court? She dated a guy 20 years ago. They broke up. The Prime Minister’s denied knowing anything about it and if that’s the case, whatever he did or didn’t do back then is his responsibility, surely. Surely.

Imagine for a moment that you were in the public eye and someone used the character of one (or several) of your ex-partners to suggest you’re not up to your job.

I watch a lot of Real Housewives shows (hanging my head in mock-shame) and I will never forget something Gretchen said when asked if she wanted to marry her financially-challenged boyfriend.

She said, “I’m in love… I’m not in love and stupid.” I agree honey and since that relationship I have kept my finances well and truly separate.

All I can say is that I am happy I am not a woman in politics this week because I am pretty sure that the $2000 was never paid back.

I have another ex who was once jailed for traffic offences and another who lost investor funds when his business went south. We all have friends who have gone out with guys they’d rather forge: guys who grew marijuana in the backyard, guys who cheated, guys who ended up living less than perfect lives.

My point is, it can happen to all of us – dating someone who just didn’t cut it. We shouldn’t be held responsible for the sins of boyfriends… past or present.

Jo Abi is the author of the book How to Date a Dad: a dating guide released by Hachette Livre Australia.  You can read more about her many and various exploits here.

Have you got dodgy ex-boyfriend story to share?  Or ex-girlfriend. Shoot.