Post # 1
I have been with my fiance for about 3 years. We’ve been living together for a little over a year. Lately I’ve been feeling angry at myself and having second thoughts about getting married. I feel that he’s selffish and that our romantic relationship has turned into a business one instead.
A couple of years ago my fiance was laid off and instead of looking for another job, he started his own business. I’m a bookkeeper and business advisor so I was able to get his p/w filed and all the business related items taken care of…tax returns, payroll, website, marketing, business filings, etc. These are services that I usually charge $$ to clients for doing. I don’t charge my fiance because he’s my fiance and I’d feel uncomfortable. That was how I felt in the beginning. His business has grown and it increases my job ten fold. It’s now taking away from my business and I’m not able to make as much money as I was before. He and I split everything down the middle…rent, utilities, food, everything. If this continues, I won’t be able to pay my bills and it upsets and angers me. I’ve spoken to him about it and he dismisses it and lets me know he doesn’t want to pay anyone to do it for him and that I’m being selffish for wanting $$. He isn’t willing to bargain my services instead of paying rent, stuff like that. I need to stop doing so many things for him and start taking care of myself so I don’t find myself in a tight spot. My fiance says he’s willing to lend me $$ if I need it, but I don’t want to borrow it. I just want my time back so I can work for myself again and make my own $$.
Money has always been a huge problem in our relationship. He has lots of it and I don’t. I used to live pretty comfortably until we moved in together and paying half my share living with him is more than I was paying when I lived by myself. I love him so I tell myself that this is what I have to do to be with him. I’m seriously thinking about calling off the engagement, find my own apartment, and going back to my old life. It was much easier to be by myself. I find myself very angry and we get into fights every day about something.
Has anyone ever gone through this before? Am I being selffish or immature? I’m 36 and he’s 46. We do not have a wedding date set at all. He wants to get married out of the country and I don’t. No matter what the topic is, I end up having to compromise and I just don’t want to anymore.
Post # 3
@weddingkate36: Do you both agree on what the money situation will be like once you are married? Or do you have differing opinions about “married” money?
In the meantime, needs to hire someone to take over bookkeeping and advising or he has to pay you. The current arrangement looks really crazy to me! He’s getting more than his fair share of your money and time. Why split bills 50/50 went you aren’t able to get paid for the work you are doing for him?
Post # 4
@weddingkate36: I would not put up with it. I’d straight up tell him he needs to pay you or you will adjust your contribution to the bills and rent accordingly. Period. Full stop.
This “lending” money to you dosen’t sit well with me either. What do you mean lend? Are you two not getting married? There is no such thing as lending money with my FI and I…what we earn separately belongs to the both of us equally. When it comes to money we are a team. And we are the only two people on that team. And everyone on the team looks after everyone else on the team.
Post # 5
@weddingkate36: He is being selfish. I would really lay it out in black and white as to what you cost per hour and how many hours of your time he is taking. Spread sheet that out. Sometimes people need to the visual to understand what it really means.
After that, I would lay down the law on him paying you either in streight money or in kind (reducing your half of the bills) or you not doing the job anymore. Explain to him that setting him up was one thing, but that can’t last for ever.
My FI’s father is a writer and calls his wife the “best editor he has ever had,” they have been married for decades and he still pays her a set portion of what he gets paid. I have another friend of the family that pays his wife for the book keeping she does for his company. This is not uncommon for these sorts of arranagments, and is almost needed for a happy marriage.
Post # 6
This is why it’s important to sign legal papers as common-laws if you’re not getting married anytime soon. If you break up, you won’t get anything, and it’s unfortunately what happens to many common-law women who help their SO building their company by basically working for free. No papers = no legal recognition of your work, unless you want to battle with a lawyer. A wedding would protect you, because growing business would be considered a partnership, and therefore a 50-50 share in case of divorce. At least where I’m from. So please, get a contract signed ASAP or tell him to pay you or hire a professional.
I don’t think you should pay 50-50 either if your incomes are not equal. My parents never did that, and I won’t be doing that with my FI either. We will split expenses according to our incomes, and if it means I pay 40% and he pays 60% then be it. I can’t create money that I don’t have. And I don’t have to get debts to pay my share if he can afford it and knew it when we rented the appartement, bought a car, etc.
I would definitely try to talk to him as calmly as possible. I assume you keep a spreadsheet or budget for your expenses somewhere since you’re working in that kind of environment ? Show him the numbers ? Maybe he doesn’t really have an idea of how much of a burden this represents to you. Then try to work on a budget that works for both of you : compromise is key in a marriage. If he still doesn’t want to compromise, I’d seriously reconsider marrying him. A marriage is a partnership, but he clearly fails at being a good partner (and acknowledging you are one too) right now.
Post # 7
The way I see it you’re a partner in that business and you aren’t being compensated. His mine mine mine mentality would concern me too… I wouldn’t marry a guy like that. Stop your gratis services ASAP.
Post # 8
@sillysillybee: Same here
I don’t understand the yours and mine mentality here. And he’s expecting a lot from you but not giving anything in return. Lending you money is hardly a payment or gratitude for doing him FREE services!
And as PP’s asked, what happens after you are married? More 50/50 split except you doing your 50 AND spending a bunch of time on his so he can earn more and you earn less? None of that makes sense.
I guess if he can’t compromise with you you need to stop doing so much work for his business for free.
Post # 9
SO, you work for free for him and live like a pauper while he lives like a king? That would not work for me at all! I am way more broke than FI and not once has he judged, complained, or felt like he deserves more because he has better finances. We are a team, and he even considers my loans “ours” to pay and not just mine. I’d have a serious problem with anything resembling financial control from my future husband. Surely he knows he has it good, and you don’t.
Post # 10
@weddingkate36: I really think this money problem has got to be figured out prior to marriage…if there is to be a marriage.
Post # 11
He’s definitely being selfish. If I were you, I’d tell him to go find another bookkeeper; as is, you can’t work enough to pay your bills.
It’s also bullsh*t that everything is “split down the middle” if he is in a better financial position than you. It basically means that moving in together was a great deal for him and a horrible one for you. What kind of partner wants their SO to feel that way?
Before moving in with my FI I was living with a few roommates and paying roughly $300 a month per rent. My FI makes a gazillion times what I do and thus his living expenses are higher. There is no way in hell I would have moved in with him under the pretense of splitting his $1500 rent and more than double my living expenses. I couldn’t afford it. And you know what? He doesn’t make me feel like I “owe” him because, as a previous poster mentioned, we are a team. He knew when we began dating that I wasn’t financially well-off and he chose to be with me anyways.
Your fiance just does not sound like he has your best interests at heart. Have you tried to propose that in lieu of paying you actual money, he make it up by paying for more of the bills? For example, if the services you offer him would normally cost $400 a month (I have no idea how much bookkeeping services cost so I am totally making up a number), then he should pay $400 more per month of the rent/mortgage/utilities. And this is at the bare minimum.
Post # 12
@weddingkate36: Why are you splitting bills 50/50 if you’re making significantly less? that’s really not okay. Let me get this straight: he knows you make less, he knows you are struggling, he still insists you pay half, and you’re doing bookkeeping work for him that he doesn’t want to pay you for? and he says YOU are selfish? No no no.
I’m sorry, but you’re being taken advantage of. He needs to hire someone to do this work and pay them a fair wage. The fact that he doesn’t care that you are struggling while he and his business thrive financially is not a good sign.
Here is what I would do: tell him I cannot afford to pay the bills and I need to move out and live someplace I can afford. And then I would go and live on my own budget. I am not sure whether I would want to stay engaged to someone who doesn’t care about my wellbeing – but it is your decision.
And just to clarify, right now I earn more than my fiance, and he moved into my condo, which cost more than his old apartment’s rent. I built a spreadsheet breaking out income and expenses, and we split the bills by percentage according to our incomes and are both comfortable financially. I would not want to put a strain on him just because I want (and can afford) to live in a nicer neighborhood.
Post # 13
Money is one of the top reasons for divorce. I would sort it out now before you get married and its too late.
Also, you should never mix business with pleasure… pleasure of course in your case, means helping your FI out with your business skills.
If you do decide to marry this guy, definitely have a prenup!!!!
Post # 14
Sorry but I would leave him for this. Money issues are a sore spot for me.
Loaning you money? Is he f-ing kidding?
He’s a jerk. He is using you. He wants to have you do an insane amount of work for no payoff.
Just ridiculous… this his/hers expenses are not something couples in serious relationships heading to marriage think about… they think about their finances collectively (even if the accounts are not combined).
The rent part pisses me off as well. This whole situation… wow.
Post # 15
Time to stand up for yourself. You two need to make an appointment with an accountant/financial planner together. It might even be the case that he will pay less taxes if he pays you a salary.
I would tell him that from now on you will be paying the home expenses proportionately to your income. If he doesn’t agree with this, I suggest you propose financial counselling. If he refuses, you have some serious thinking to do about your status in this relationship.
Post # 16
@weddingkate36: Relationship aside, you’re his business partner and he isn’t paying you and that’s BS. You deserve to be paid for your work.