Husband Charging Rent
So this is a long story, and please bear with me as I tell it.
My DH and I have been married for almost 7 years now. We have been living in an apartment that has afforded us fairly cheap rent during our marriage where we have gone through layoffs, etc.
Lately, my DH has been on a homeownership kick, but this is where our friction has pretty much begun. He is the type that looks at homeownership as a status symbol and not something that is buying a home for the fact that it is a place to live and a long term investment with a lot of responsibilities.
Personally, I love where I have been living since I have lived here for about 12 years. The apartment provides for our needs and we don't have major heating or cooling bills since those are paid for. Also, I have a concern with homeownership in this economy because my husband's company has just gone through a round of layoffs where some of his coworkers were let go, and I work in a government funded non-profit. It hasn't been affected by the shutdown yet, but it still makes me nervous about the future.
My husband has pretty much ignored my pleas that this is not the time for buying a house, but he has become determined and I tried to support him the best I could. I tried to find houses that we could compromise on that would be near the neighborhoods I liked and love. Unfortunately, my husband has this ultimatum that he is getting a house built later than 2000 with 9 foot ceilings everywhere and nothing else.
He found a home which is 1/2 of a duplex in an 'up and coming' neighborhood that costs a lot of money that is brand spanking new with the 9 foot ceilings he has been looking for. In fact, the mortgage payments with taxes and insurance are amounting to 1/2 my DH's salary. This is not including bills which he is grossly underestimating heating and cooling costs for a place with ceilings that high (he is estimating that it is only going to be $110 a month to heat and cool a place like that), and we live in a part of the country that sees it's fair share of snow and cold temperatures.
Once my DH found out about how this place on his own would be 1/2 of his salary, he wants me to basically pay rent to him and share the bills. The rent would amount to the same as if I were to pay for a smaller apartment in the same area which currently live.
We currently have it arranged where we pay each our share of the rent and bills. We have separate bank accounts mostly because my husband wants to keep his money and I don't want my money going towards his very expensive guitar hobby. Unfortunately, my husband made me keep this arrangement of sharing the rent and bills up while I was unemployed for a year last year and I was living off of my savings. I did not get any help with the rent or the bills during this time. I was also a student in college throughout our marriage until I graduated school this past May, and I didn't get any help during that time either.
My name is not on the house at all because I am afraid of something happening with my DH, like being unemployed for an extensive amount of time, that I would be sought after for the mortgage and I cannot afford any of it now in my salary. I have a pretty significant student loan, and I know it is better to make sure I keep making those payments on time.
Also, my husband does not fully understand the responsibilities of homeownership since he grew up in a place where either his dad or hired help would take care of things. He has not done a single chore in our apartment since he has been here because his excuse is," I don't like where I live." It has been exhausting on my part to work, go to school, and do all of the chores, and I hate to think what things will be like if I were to move into that house.
When I talk to people about all of the arrangements, they immediately say that is not a marriage and I should just get out now.
I do love my husband in some respects, but I think this is the last straw for me because I really don't feel like this house will ever be mine in any sense. I would just be contributing to my husband's investment without really getting anything out of it myself other than shelter in a place I don't really want to live. I just feel like I am being taken advantage of to support his dreams of owning a house.
My DH has tried guilt tripping me saying he has compromised living in our apartment that he has hated for 7 years, and now it is my turn. He also tells me things like he would be contributing to chores and all of those things, and that I shouldn't worry about the house. He says things like this is a step up, we need to move forward in our lives, etc. I don't think something like this is a step up when you have to become house poor in order to do it.
He says he wouldn't kick me out if I couldn't pay rent, but I don't know what things would be like if push comes to shove.
I would figure in a normal marriage that we would be in a house that we would both call home, and not just one of us. Also, that we would support each other during times of difficulty and we would make sound financial decisions in case something were to happen.
I am broken hearted over this situation, but I don't feel it's right what he is doing on many levels.
We're at an ultimatum where it is either he goes through buying the house and I end up moving in with him and helping him with the mortgage, or we get a divorce and then he moves out to buy a condo that is more in his price range. I have to decide this really soon because he is supposed to be closing on this place on Wednesday.
I don't know what to do at this point.
Any help or advice is greatly appreciated.