My Boyfriend, his debt, and his ex wife....

sunflower34June 21, 2009

I have been seeing my boyfriend for almost a year now, he is 10 years older than me and has been married and divorced. He has 2 great kids from his previous marriage. We waited a couple months into our relationship to introduce me to the children. Even now on his days with the kids we don't see each other much. I stayed at his place the other night and in the morning heard his daughter ask him why I was there and he told her that I had just stopped by in the morning. This is just one of many issues I have dealt with concerning the kids and his ex wife. His ex talks bad about me to the kids all the time and lately it seems as though their attitude has drastically changed towards me.

Anyways my boyfriend recently suggested that we move in together. He wants me to move into the house that he lives in, however he doesn't own it. His mother owns it and a lot of her things are still in the house. He also has a substantial amount of debt and is constantly paying his bills late. He doesn't pay his mom rent but asked me if I move in how much I would be willing to pay her as well as splitting up costs around the house. I have my own place, work and go to school full time. Is moving in with his a bad idea? I feel like it is but its hard to say no to someone you love. However it seems that since he still has a hard time telling the kids the truth about me staying over night and his debt I am getting myself into a bad situation. Any advice would be great! Thanks

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How old are the kids? It's possible that him saying that you stopped by in the morning, rather than that you spent the night, is him trying to be age-appropriate and discreet. It may say more about his values as a parent than it says about his relationship with you.

However, I would think very carefully about continuing to be involved with or deepening a relationship with someone who is living rent-free, didn't have to pay for most of the stuff in the house, has substantial debt, and continues to pay bills late. What is he spending his money on, if he isn't putting it towards living expenses? How did he get into this financial situation? Is he doing practical things to clean up his act (not just talking about it)? Is he planning on paying rent to his mother (not just you)? Are the "costs around the house" being split normal things, like the electric bill, or could they also include maintenance/home improvement things that would be 100% the landlord's expense in a more standard rental?

If the answers to those questions went the wrong way and if it were me, I could see his approach to finances as being a disaster for the relationship. It would drive me crazy every time I saw him spending money on something that I didn't think was essential when I knew that there was an unpaid bill. Maybe you're different, and maybe it's not as bad as it sounds. But if you're much like me and if it is as bad as it sounds, I would say: break up. If his financial habits and situation are such that it would be a disaster if you lived together... why continue things in the hopes that he'll straighten out someday? When instead, you could be looking for someone who's emotionally great AND not a complete financial mess?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 3:29PM
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He doesn't want the kids to know you stay the night...
but he wants you to move in???

He lives in his mother's house rent-free & wants you to pay???

Love is a decision, & decisions don't always work out;
you can change/reverse your decision to love an unworthy, opportunistic, selfish person.

As long as you're involved in this mess, you won't find the one who'll cherish you & treat you with respect & care.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 3:42PM
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Someone else wrote this, but I think it is good

Yes, it is only money, but it is YOUR money, sister. If there is one thing I have learned in my time as a second wife and as a member of SWC, it is this:

Watch your back.

I don't mean just in the general sense, I mean in every sense. We all know to keep a car key between our first and second finger when we walk through a dark parking lot alone. We know that someone who is aggressive on a first date should not get a second. We know not to give money to someone who claims to have a bridge to sell us. We do not know, however, how to say no to someone we love. We are generous to a fault most of the time, putting our assets and resources at their fingertips because we believe we are making a family.

My friend Anne spent $65,000 in less than 6 months and there is nothing anyone can do about it. Because she voluntarily sold her house, voluntarily paid for things for the man she married, voluntarily paid the down payment for their house, voluntarily paid for their honeymoon and wedding, voluntarily paid off her husband's credit card, she has no legal recourse for repayment. Unless her husband, who she is now divorcing, feels like reimbursing her for what she and he spent, Anne will spend the better part of her 40s working two jobs and trying to save as much as she can before her daughter starts college in 2012. Her attorney, a shark who has the reputation for making other attorneys cry and settle, told her that it is throwing good money after bad to even try. Anne has voluntarily-ed herself into near bankruptcy, and is left with a mortgage she cannot afford and a lot of debt she will struggle to pay, while her husband can walk away with his life intact and exactly the same. He doesn't have to reimburse her for anything, not even the credit card debt Anne paid off, because there was no agreement that he would ever repay her.

Common sense would tell us that when we go into business with someone else, we make sure that our assets are protected and our best interests guarded from the start. A second marriage is no different. Our men have prior financial obligations to ex-wives and children from their first marriages. Many are carrying marital debt from a marriage that ended before the last presidential administration. We wouldn't invest in a company that had a history of being irresponsible, why should we invest in a man who is irresponsible? Child support is a moral obligation, of course, but a man who puts himself 8K in debt for GI Joe dolls and Subway sandwiches should be avoided like the plague. Or like COBRA.

There are many ways to make a new family out of 2. Some couples combine money from the start and don't mind that one person contributes more. Some couples keep separate accounts their entire marriage. True story, one of my friends from high school has been married for 15 years to the same man. She and her husband keep their finances separate and always have. He has no ex-wives, no children other than the children Renee gave birth to and they still keep their money separate because, in Renee's words, "It is one less thing for us to fight about." That wisdom has stuck with me through my first and second marriages and it has been the best advice I ever have had about finance.

With more and more marriages being second marriages, we have to be smarter about our money. Here are some tips for protecting YOUR assets.

* A smart woman will not acquiesce to unreasonable requests from their partner. If you have to move 30 minutes further from work, sell your home and live in their home for no reason other than they don't want to move, even to a new home, chances are it is a red flag for the relationship. In marriage, most things are up for discussion and compromise. If he will not compromise before marriage, chances are he will also not compromise after.

* Agree on a budget before you even move in. Don't promise to pay half when you don't even know what half means. Spell it out clearly. You will pay half utilities and mortgage, but his 4 wheeler payment is not in the deal. You will pay your own car payment and he will pay his. His generosity to his children will come from his savings and not household funds. Or maybe you don't really care. Either way, know what you are getting into before you get into it.

* Women sometimes make less money than men on the surface. However, when you deduct child support, alimony and mandatory life insurance payments, the second wife may find that she is kicking in more than her partner. Make a budget with all deductions (child support, past marriage debts, etc) so you BOTH know how much you have to work with. Know exactly what his obligations are before you marry him so you will know what you can live with.

* Child support that you receive for your child is just that... For your child. Do not use it to finance a home. It isn't household income beyond your ex-husband's portion of what it costs to raise the child you share. It isn't to pay your husband's child support or to pay for a boat he has to have. It is for YOUR child, not his. Resist the urge to pay his support for him or give more to your stepchildren to try to level the playing field based on an increase you get for your children. They have two parents, too. If you don't "need" the money for your children, put it in the bank for their college education. That will come sooner than you might think.

* Do not empty YOUR child's college fund to pay for anything short of a major medical emergency. If your partner promises to help the child with school if you just let him use the money you have saved for college to buy a truck for him or foot the bill for his older child's college education, tell them they can help most by honoring your request that the money not be spent at all. It isn't your partner's money, it isn't your money. It is your child's money and should be protected. If you feel you cannot say no to your partner, put the money into a certificate of deposit or into a trust for your child that prohibits withdrawal for any reason but college expenses. If you cannot say no to your partner, he is probably also the wrong man for you.

* Look before you leap when it comes to having more children. If your dream is to be a SAHM to your children, be aware that your husband's financial obligation to his first family may very well mean that your 8 week old infant is in daycare because you have to work full time, while your husband's ex-wife is sitting at home when her kids are in school. Oh, and YOU have to pay all the costs for your child, because your husband doesn't make enough to pay his part of household bills and child support/alimony. If your husband is overpaying child support because he agreed that he wanted his kids's mother to be able to stay home with them, you will pay for that choice. And so will your child. In many states, having another child doesn't affect an existing child support order.

* When you combine assets, you give your husband's ex-wife access to your financial information. You may black your name off the tax return that she requests at a child support review, but if she knows that your husband made 50K last year and your tax return is for a total amount of 150K, she will know that you are earning a 6 figure income. If that is not acceptable to you, make sure money never combines until the day child support ends. A clear division of money has saved many men from an unfair child support increase.

* Do not buy a home with someone to whom you are not married, particularly if they are still married to their first wife. His wife, though she has contributed NOTHING to your home, can be granted a portion of the equity in your home because it becomes a marital asset in her marriage to your SO. Many women have found themselves in the not-so-unique position of a nasty breakup with a SO and found that the only right they have is as a co-owner of the property, not as a partner, even if they have lived with their partner for a decade. Many women have also found that they must take a HELOC or refinance a property to pay off the first wife. Don't put yourself in that position.

* If you pay off his debts, get a signed contract stating that he will repay you, that he acknowledges it was a loan and has a stated schedule for repayment. If he will not sign, do not give him the money. Do not fall for tears, manipulation or threats that he will break up with you because "you don't trust him." Nor should you. Someone who has no intention of repaying you, very often will resort to manipulation. And we women fall for it. We don't think like loan sharks and sometimes, sadly, we need to.

* If you have sold your home to invest in his or to buy a home together, make sure your investment is protected with an agreement that states in the event of a divorce, you get your initial down payment back, plus half the equity in the home. If you make improvements to his home, insist you be added to the deed. You do not need to refinance in many states to do this. Keep careful track of what you spend and make sure that YOUR name is on work orders and materials purchases. Pay for those improvements out of your account as well. If possible, make him sign a promissary note for each improvement so that it is acknowledged that YOU paid for it.

* When you are planning your retirement, make sure that your IRA and any investments prior to the marriage remain in your name only. Any inheritance from your family should remain in your name alone. And make sure you have a will that clearly and concisely states what you wish to be done not just with your grandmother's ruby ring, but with your assets. While you may be fine with everything going to your husband, trusting him to make sure that upon his death your children receive their share of your estate, his heirs may very well feel differently. And if you have no will, you have no say. There are options, such as leaving property to your partner and a life insurance policy equaling your share of the property to your children, but you must speak to an attorney in your state to know what your state will require. No will is a recipe for disaster.

* What you buy for your partner's children is a gift. You will not get it back, you may not even be thanked for it. Cashing out your retirement, mortgaging your home or selling a vacation property to pay for a stepchild's college education, first car or wedding is likely to not result in anything but you being less a cabin by the lake. If your partner throws a fit because you don't feel like refinancing the house to pay for his daughter's wedding, your partner is taking advantage of your love for him. Their desire to provide generously for their children is a good thing, but it should not come at the expense of your own future.

And for the love of G-d, ladies, remember that NO is not a dirty word. If you cannot afford it, you feel you are being taken advantage of, you see that your husband or boyfriend is spending you into oblivion... Speak up and say no. Don't wait, as my friend Anne did, until the day you notice that your child's college fund is drained and the money you got from the sale of your home is spent. While it is "only" money, it is only YOUR money.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 3:50PM
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Great advice KKNY and the only part I can disagree with is the tax return.. if you are married and file a joint return, there really is NO way to keep the ex from seeing it at a child support review. A joint tax return, no matter how finances are handled, is subject to review at a child support proceeding.

But, good post. All very true. The most important thing to remember... know what you are getting into. I have chosen to help DH pay off his prior debt. I do so, knowing that if things don't work out, I will never be repaid. But, it's very important to listen to your gut, say no when your gut says this isn't right or it's not what I want. Too many people ignore their gut feeling.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 5:08PM
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I can't take credit for it, I copied if from someone else. I agree though, the most important things are FULL DISCLOSURE to each other of all assets, income, debts, committments, and beign able to discuss what to do. There are no right or wrong ways to handle money, but honesty and that gut feeling are critical.

Financial planners always say, "pay yourself first" - meeaning put away savings and retirement money.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 5:13PM
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Thank you all for your responses. Deep down I know I shouldn't even be considering moving in with him, especially due to his financial situation and the fact that he still doesn't tell his children the whole truth about our relationship. His financial problems exceed far past not being able to pay his monthly bills( Im talking back amount of money that may possibly take the rest of his life to pay off). If only he were taking action to correct his past mistakes. I just don't know how to tell him no.

KKNY: I would be moving thirty minutes out of town...away from work and school.

Thank you all for your responses, sometimes you have to hear it from people you don't know in order for reality to really sink in.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 7:48PM
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Sun, I wish you the best of luck. Depending on the ages of the children, he may just want to tell them you are his special friend. This is a tough conversation, even with teens. Dad may not want a teen to know all the details -- but IMHO, the money/housing situation has no excuses.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 8:01PM
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Who ever wrote this, yes, it is Brilliant..You wouldnt invest in a financially irresponsible company, why invest in an irresponsible husband,simple, but true..Sun, also dont like, mom gives free rent, what are you willing to pay? But I love him, or am I being taken advantage of?Stay where you are, love will die with this finacial oppression....

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 10:23PM
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I know not everyone will agree with this,
but I'll say it anyway because I firmly believe it to be true --

Love is not that hard to find.

But a great life-partner is.
And as long as you're hanging out with this guy, you may be experiencing love, but you'll only delay finding a great life-partner. When choosing a life-partner, you need someone who is honest, fair, and capable of managing money -- plus other qualities. This guy has already struck out, which means you're wasting your time with him.

Which you know --
which is why you wrote.

You may love him, but don't chain yourself to a sinking ship.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 10:50PM
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Be afraid..... be very afraid.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 12:30AM
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you absolutelly do not need to move in. it is not his house, he pays no rent or mortgage, he pays his bills late, he wants you to pay rent (he himself pays none), you aren't married or even engage to him, you will drive further to work, his children do not know you stay overnight and so and so on. why would you want to move in? make it more dificult on yourself? what for?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 8:25AM
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I agree Sweeby!

Too many women think they have to settle because they might be getting older, not as good looking, have weight issues and overall have self esteem issues. Then there is the declining supply of men... and then when they want a younger, prettier, etc...

Sometimes it's a blessing to be alone than be with the wrong man.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 9:38AM
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Coming from a man I would advise that his interest in your monetary contribution is a huge red flag. There is nothing wrong with contributing to the household. In fact these days 2 incomes is almost needed. BUT, in this case he is not expected to pay rent so why should you? He is the poor money manager and he will manage your money poorly too. Further, he seems to limit your exposure to his kids. Why? Is he really interested in a serious long term relationship or just having a temporary one that does not get too much in is his way AND adds an income stream?

My sister-n-law married a guy who seemed like the right answer. She fixed his debt and they both comingled their families. Now, she too is broke and ready to lose here home that he moved into. He is debt free now but still wastes his money the same as always. Money, credit ratings do count and have torpedoed tons of strong relationships. Would he invite you to move in and not make all these payments?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 10:56AM
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He wants me to pay $450 a month in rent plus half of all household bills as well as half of the groceries...I think that is a a red flag maybe he just needs someone to move in and pay the bills!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 4:26PM
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"I think that is a a red flag maybe he just needs someone to move in and pay the bills!"

Not to mention cook, clean and provide free sex on demand.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 4:29PM
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his mom probably asked for rent, so now he needs you. If you are going to pay 450 a month and half of utilities for a place that is not yours and is not his either, then you might as well rent your own apartment and pay rent to a landlord.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 4:42PM
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Sun, please just ask yourself what you would be getting out of the deal. I am not saying break things off with him necessarily, but trust me, until there is a ring on your finger, a date for a wedding set, you have built a relationship with his children and he is out of debt and demonstrating responsible fiscal behavior, I really don't see what you would get out of this. You are in a good position - stay there. Or else your leverage will be gone. Please trust me on this. It is hard to say no, so don't think of it that way - think of it as saying yes first to yourself and your goals. You should like someone who knows where they are going, so the only question should be, who is going with you.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 5:28PM
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What is next . . .

He will ask you to purchase things for him. Maybe put them on your credit card or sign for them outright, while he convinces you he will pay the bill each month. Don't worry....he'll sweet talk you into it because you have already convinced yourself "love" is reason for considering his request to move in. So, it will be reason enough to grant any other outrageous requests. So goes "love" and so goes your good credit standing. There is a sucker for love born every day.

or . . .
I sure would like some kind of indication that you are on to him and absolutely will not move in with him. So far you have offered nothing to that effect, so I fear you are still considering it because you considered it in the first place but still asked strangers for the obvious answer and have difficulty refusing him in the name of "love." You can tell us whatever you want, as we have no way of knowing what you actually do. I just wish I could know when someone makes the logical decision. Out of so very many threads I have read on this board, the confusion and questions like this one are astounding, but I get no satisfaction in knowing the final decision or outcome. Humor me, please.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 5:29PM
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Sorry - my last sentence should have read: You SOUND like someone who knows where they are going, so the only question should be, who is going with you.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 6:15PM
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You are a self supporting, independent woman, so you have to be pretty smart. I don't think you need advice you know it would be a mistake. He needs you financially.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 9:08PM
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It may just in the DFW area, but there's a tv ad in which a young woman says she used to have good credit, but then she got married & the guy turned out to be a snake, & now here she is, single again, no money, no car, bad credit...

It's an ad for a car dealership that'll finance cars for people with bad credit.

wonder what interest rate she'd have to pay?

The key word here is "pay".

Once you have paid everything he can extract from you, this guy will move on to the next host, I mean relationship.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 12:03PM
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My friend went through this with a guy.

The guy stole her identity and ran up massive amounts of debt in her name. She also found up after the split that he had set up a fake Ebay account in her name and was ripping people off! Customers would pay for computers and he'd take the money but he'd never send the merch.

He turned violent towards the end because when she started wising up he he relized joy ride was over. He got MAD MAD MAD. He abused her and isolated her for months before she was able to get in touch with family members who had to physically remove her from the guys custody. She had to sneak away to use a phone and called her brother.

He has done it to other women since. The same things. Running up debt. Applying for credit cards. Buying vehicles, motorcycles, car sound systems. Opening fake Ebay accounts....all in girlfriends names and using their Social. My friends credit is still screwed up since it takes YEARS to get the aftermath of identity theft cleared up.


    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 12:24PM
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I sat down and had a serious discussion with him about everything. I told him that it makes no sense for me to be paying rent when he isn't paying rent at all especially because I am one person and he has 2 children. It doesn't matter that they are children and can't pay for themselves, he is responsible for them and they are occupying two of the four bedrooms. I also told him it makes no sense for me to move in and pay 450 plus help with the household bills. He and his children would then be living for free and he would only be responsible for half the bills. It just makes no sense.
His argument was that it benefits everyone financially. He would be paying less in bills, my monthly costs would go down, and his mom would be getting a check. However, I told him that the couple hundred I might be saving is not worth having no security. I would not be signing a lease or contract so I would have no legal binding to the home. I could be kicked out or even locked out. Also, in the rental I am in now if something breaks they fix it for free. With the small amount I would be saving monthly I don't feel as though I would feel secure.
Overall I basically told him that I felt as though he was taking advantage and using me to contribute to his financial needs. He insisted that I was taking it wrong and that the reason he doesn't pay his mom is because he is her son and she is trying to help him out.
Either way I think I need to spend a lot more time around the children so they are comfortable with me moving in. Also, I think he needs to get his financial situation in order and then we can talk about moving in together (not in his mom's home).
It's a frustrating situation because I would really like to start moving forward with him...but I know moving forward will only set me back in the end.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 2:47PM
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If he really thought it would "help" you, when you said you don't want to do it, he'd say "okay".

He wants this to help *him*.

"I would really like to start moving forward with him...but I know moving forward will only set me back in the end."

Read that as though someone else had written it.

Do you see how infuriatingly irrational it is?

Men are drugs, & we're all susceptible to addiction.

The best, the only, way I know to restore rationality & a sense of self-preservation is to quit cold turkey.

For at least a month, don't see him, don't talk to him by phone, don't open his emails.

Don't think about him, don't think about "love" or "us" or any of that other addictive stuff.

Don't listen to "our song", stay out of the restaurants you've gone to with him.

Remind yourself that all that stuff is poison.

Keep yourself as busy as you can be, take a dance class, volunteer to chaperone a group of kids or elders on a trip, etc.

At some point, you'll be able to think about this episode with your logical brain, & you'll be as outraged as the rest of us are at this guy's bald-faced exploitation of you & your good heart.

As long as you're tangled up with this guy's needs, you can't meet & recognize a man who will want the best for *you*.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 3:12PM
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Now he is telling me what if I just pay his mom 300/ mo. That is what his last roommate paid her when he lived there and I would only pay 1/4 of the bills around the house (gas,electric,cable, water). It would be saving me 400/month of the rent I am paying now...and would decrease my household bills. He is saying he didn't mean to make it look like he was screwing me out of money in any way. I would really be saving money but in still worried about not having a contract. I can't risk not being sure I have somewhere to come home to. Is it reasonable to ask for some sort of written contract?

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 3:39PM
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"Any advice would be great! Thanks."

Bless your heart, Sunflower. You do not want advice; you want affirmation. There are about 21 different posts here from a variety of people and not one has suggested that moving in with this fellow under any circumstance is likely to be in your best interest...and yet you write, "Is it reasonable to ask for some sort of written contract?"

Aside from the fact that any written contract you might draw up and sign would be worth the piece of paper it would be written on (i.e., not much), it appears as if you do not really want "advice." It seems what you are looking for is more in line with some sort of affirmation or permission, something that would allow you to be able to pretend that "moving forward" with this guy (who is clearly exploiting you)is somehow OK.

I think it is clear the opinion of the folks who have responded to you is you would be making a serious error to continue in a relationship with this guy, let alone move in with him, contract or no.

If you want to move forward with this fellow, go ahead. But don't fool yourself with bogus contracts that somehow it will be a good choice, one in your long term best interest, to do so.

Best of luck to you. You're going to need it.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 4:28PM
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What wry said. Sun, I almost wish I was you, just so I could go home to my own place every night and be totally gleeful that I don't have to put up with someone else's financial nonsense. When in doubt about making a decision, don't - and let things play out until your mind is clear.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 4:50PM
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"He is saying he didn't mean to make it look like he was screwing me out of money in any way."

OMG! Of course, he didn't mean to make it look like he was screwing you out of money --
you recognized that he was screwing you out of money and didn't agree. Now he's screwed. If only he hadn't made it look that way...
OK - So he's improved the terms. BFD. Now you only get screwed a little bit and can tie yourself up with slightly less financial damage.
(Possibly. Since you're not paying it in rent, he'll find another way to guilt/charm/persuade you out of your money.)

Sunflower - How old is this guy? You say he's 10 years older than you, and still sucking on Mommy's financial teat.
Yet you are mature enough to support yourself, live independently, and cover all of your own bills.

Why can't he manage to do that?

Of course, if you ask him, I have no doubt he'll have a million reasons why none of this is his fault. Yet look around! Look at all of the other people in this world who manage to pay all of their own bills despite having two kids, an Ex-wife, not as much education as they'd like, a health problem or two, a job that doesn't pay enough, bad luck here and there...

Other folks manage to pay their own bills - why can't he?

The real question is -- Why on earth would you want to get involved with a guy who's a financial leach?
Don't you want a life partner who will be an asset to your team instead of a liability?

Every day you spend living under his mother's roof is a day you DON'T spend moving forward with your own life.
"Moving forward" with him means moving yourself backwards -- or at best, a stall.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 4:51PM
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We don't know him do we? We cannot imagine what a wonderful man he is. We don't know how loved and special he made you feel last night. We weren't there when he sincerely apologized from the bottom of his heart for giving you the wrong impression about the financial situation. Everything we have stated to you is based on some erroneous sense we have that it will be a huge mistake to move in with him. We are so very wrong and I beg your pardon for saying such awful things about your guy.

kkny, I had such hope that your post, be they your own words or not, would surely be helpful. How could it not? Oh well, maybe someone else. On to the next one.......

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 4:57PM
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I am not saying you have to break up, i am saying you don't have to move in. wait until both of you either buy property or rent together. do not live in moms' house. if something happens in that house, like something breaks, mom will ask you to pay for it. if he trully wants two of you to live together why don't you guys rent an apartment or part of the house? why live at moms?

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 5:17PM
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you will not be saving anything. it costs much more to keep house in a good shape, stuff breaks, toilets, roofs, garage doors etc breaks, leaks, floods, gardening in a summer etc. You will be paying and paying for fixing things that aren't yours.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 5:20PM
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I am so sorry Sunny, but there are more red flags here than May day in Moscow.

Why did he first try to get you to pay 450 when his last roommate was paying 300? Rents everywhere I know are at lows for the last few years? You should be getting as least as good a deal as old roommie? 1/4 of the bills? This seems like it it destined for fights. You'll be at work, and who will be running up utilities.

My opinion -- its bad enough when a man has to juggle his kids and his wife -- add his mom to the picture. At best, he will be trying to be fair with all. In between, he will be saying to himself, oh sunny can take of herself. The worst I do not want to think about.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 6:11PM
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I have to agree with the others: don't do it. You know that this is a bad idea, and the very fact that he's trying to renegotiate to get you to say, "yes," is just the first step on the slippery slope if you go through with it. If you say yes, I would be willing to bet that while you live with him, he's going to try to negotiate you into paying for all sorts of things with all kinds of promises of paying you back. And I very much doubt that he'll do so with any consistency. After all, he's not paying his mother for using her house or possessions, and I wouldn't be surprised if he owes her money, too. She's letting him treat her that way because she loves him. Do you really want to get on that ride, too?

If you're determined to do this, then yes, you should have a lease with his mother and a contract between him and you about what bills will be split and how. I would also not allow any household bills to be put in your name, and would insist on receipts for any monies you give him to cover your share of agreed-upon expenses. You should also insist on IOUs for anything he asks you to put on a credit card for him/the kids, as well as any other funds you give him that are loans and not gifts. The legal agreements won't actually make him pay you back, but at least they'll give you something to refer to when you end up taking him to court.

That said, it still sounds like a bad idea, and I still don't think he sounds like someone that anyone ought to move in with.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 9:12PM
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It appears you want the answers that only support you staying with him. Quite simple really, make 2 lists. One list for reasons to make the move and the other reasons NOT to make the move. I came up with one reason you would probably list of wanting a relationship with him. The other list of why NOT to move in is much longer. You keep coming back with new offers!!!! Just move in, sign a slave contract, put him on all your accounts so he can ruin your credit like he has his own. Momma doesn't charge him rent because she knows he's sorry and doesn't pay his bills -- he finds someone to do it for him. This may be harsh but you need to wake up and stop the giddy, "oh, I'm in love" scene and look in the mirror. Is "doormat" stamped on your forehead? Don't do this to your self, you deserve better. Just curious, how many girlfriends has he had and how long did they last? I'm sure his children have met a lot of so called "friends". He just hasn't convinced any of them with his charm????? Lynn

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 9:51PM
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You're right he sounds like a keeper ... all the men and women who are giving you advice you do not seek should just mind their own business.

Let us know when the big move is!!!

And how wonderful he is in 6 months .... especially since you will be saving tons of money moving in ....

Why did the "last roommate" move out if $300 a month was such a bargain?

and 1/4 of the bills?? wow ...

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 10:33PM
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Just to warn you about things that happen in the house and need to be taken care off: just in the past years my brother's house was struck by a lightning very bad-yeap sounds unreal (all appliances were ruined and whole electric circuit because everyone was home and every light and every applaince was on), then major flood ruined his basement completely including things that were in the basement, after he redid his basement, toilet upstairs busted and basement was flooded again and more things, just in one year. So you do not know what you'll be fixing in his mom's house as soon as you move in.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 10:37PM
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Ha, FD, go over to the Home Disaster board. Doesnt even mention some of the ones I have had. Skunnks in window well outside basement -- they crawled in and couldnt get out. My latest -- water in my oil tank. Fortunaely I have seperate insurance in case teh tank is leaking oil -- but that wont cover new tank.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 11:01PM
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talking about house disasters and of my colleague's family had to go to a hotel for 2 days. they had a skunk sneaking in and stinking up the house so bad that it took two days to clear the smell off. hahahaha

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 11:48PM
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Wow, I thought I was the only one with a skunk problem. We had to pay someone to trap them. Guess what -- not many want to do that.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 8:55AM
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Im sure you will all be happy to know I decided to stay where I am at for now. I told him I want to get to know the kids better that way we are all comfortable around each other completely before we all live together. I also told him that he needs to take this time to get all his bills caught up and once he can prove to me that he is being financially responsible we can talk about moving in together. I also told him that I want to get a place together but I won't be willing to co mingle anything until I can be sure he has his act together.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 2:55PM
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Good for you Sunflower!

I've been thinking about your situation over the past few days, and had an epiphany a few minutes ago, and wondered if that might apply.

You seem like a sensible and reasonably mature (though young - under 30) person who's goal-oriented. All good. And you talked about moving forward with your relationship -- and I get that. Moving forward in a relationship is generally what we like to do. It's the normal and logical progression of life: High school, some high school boyfriends, college, some college boyfriends, graduate, get a job, set up life with an apartment, career, more boyfriends. Then you find a BF you especially like who especially likes you, and you move forward -- maybe live together, then get married. Then you have kids, raise a happy family, etc., etc.

You spoke of moving in together as 'moving forward', and I'm wondering if in your mind, is somehow is. Like it's 'advancing to the next stage of life' -- moving your game piece forward, or 'growing up' another degree. And in a sense, it is. It is moving to another stage of life. But viewing it from that angle makes it sound like it's automatically a good thing -- a step ahead, a move forward. And in reality, it isn't at all! (Does the teen mother who marries her high school baby daddy somehow 'win' by going through her step-forwards quickly?)

It certainly can be a move forward -- with the right guy at the right time in the right circumstances.
But it can be every bit as much the learning and growing experience to say "No" as it is to say OK and move in together.

Laying out your ground rules -- the way you did by specifying that he had to get his finances in order -- That's a very empowering thing you did! If it turns out we were all wrong and he is a reponsible guy, then he'll respect you for taking a stance now. And if he's a weak link, that'll become evident too, and probably a bit sooner now.

You're doing the right thing Sunflower!
And that's really a step forward.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 3:16PM
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Thats for the support sweeby! I truly appreciate it!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 6:29PM
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I think its a good thing you decided to stay where you are. Too many red flags here.
i think when you do finally decide to move in together, make sure its not at his moms place for one.
And financially..i would suggest you do not mingle your finances at all. He has his kids and you do not want to feel resentment down the line if he starts dipping into your funds for things you will not agree keep the finances separate.
I do with my husband. Even when i moved into his place, i kept finances seperate even after marriage....

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 6:48PM
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I also suggest if you are young and have no children and haven't been married before, you marry someone before moving in. older people wiht grown children could be a different story, but you have no reason to live wiht men not being married.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 6:50PM
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You don't see it, but all of the replies were in support of you. Not just that one.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 7:57PM
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Sunny, we are all rooting for you. Best of luck.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 9:11PM
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