Post # 1
My fiance and I are in the midst of planning for our wedding for Summer 2013. Last night we had a discussion about our future and having kids. Before we got engaged we had a conversation and I said I wanted to start trying right away after we get married…he wanted to be married a year before we started trying so I compromised and agreed to wait 1 year. Last night, however, he made a demand of the “things we NEED to do before having children” which included owning a house (not paying on one but OWNING it, paying off my $40,000 in student loans in full, having 2 new cars so they are reliable, and having a huge savings to fall back on). I feel like these are unrealistic expectations and owning a house and paying off all of my loans are a process and will take YEARS to do. He then made the statement that if we do not own a house by 30 then “i guess” we can start trying. I have compromised on MANY things lately and he will not compromise on anything…he is making ultimatums and said if I can’t handle his “list” before having kids then I should leave him….any advice?
Post # 3
my grandma says if you wait till you can afford to have kids you’ll never have kids. He is being unreasonable, I would get some outside person involved like lets say his mom. Maybe his mom can talk some sense into him.
Post # 4
He may not totally understand your finances.
Before calling anything off make a finance plan. Take what you make/can expect to make and then make a budget for daily expenses, debt payments, and the items he talked about.
Show him how long it would actually take based on REAL numbers, not just thoughts and wishes.
Also work into that budget the cost of children and show how it can be more than suitable to raise a kid and paying on a mortgage.
As for your student debt, it may or may not make sense to pay it off based upon the interest rate (if its low, you are often “better” off using that money to work for you IE invest, or put towards a house etc because of time value of money) and your tax bracket (do you get to deduct the interest?)
Post # 5
ugh so sorry he pulled that! you should try couseling to figure out WHY he did the 180 and is dictating how you will live your life and maybe postpone the wedding until you can figure things out 🙁 has he ever done things like this before??
Post # 6
Usually a ‘compromise’ implies you are both giving something to get a result and from your first example you just gave in to what he wants. Frankly his demands sound a little unrealistic unless one of you hits the super lotto…it almost sounds like he’s just not ready to face the idea of kids so he’s come out with some outrageous standards. That’s just from my 20 seconds of reading into your situation, though. I could be completely out of the ball park on this one.
Post # 7
@FutureMrsStepanski: I don’t necessarily think his list is unreasonable (except for the paying off the mortgage on a house in full), but he shouldn’t be moving the goal posts on you.
Do you think that you could sit down with him to find out what his concerns are? My guess is he’s afraid of getting more in debt, and perhaps that could be allayed if you devise an aggressive savings plan for the next two years.
And of course you’ll need to mutually agree upon the same goals. Not sure what your salaries are, but if the student loan is unreasonable, would he be okay with paying of $10k in 2 years, but refinancing to a better rate (if you haven’t already)? Instead of owning outright, would he be okay with renting until you have 20% in savings to put down on a house? Kids don’t need a mortgage – they do a-okay in an apartment or rented house so it’s okay to start a family without being homeowners.
Be sure to start off with commonalities – acknowledge that debt is a big concern and that you agree with him that you want to start off your lives together and your family on a strong financial foundation.
Post # 8
That is really an unrealistic goal, I don’t know how old you are now, in your 20’s but OWNING a home, having all debts paid off and OWNING 2 brand new cars is VERY very rare for your age, unless you’ve won the lotto or something. Darling Husband and I live in a 2 bedroom apartment, have one not so good car and one car that still has payments but still needs work done, not a lot in savings but we are expecting a baby in September. I was told if you wait until you are financially ready to have kids you will never have them. Sure, I would love to have a house of our own, have all my student loans paid off and own two new cars as well as a huge amount in savings, but that’s living in dreamland…we live in reality. I’m sorry your going through this, as far as compromise there needs to be more coming from his end and it sounds like the whole kid thing goes deeper than finances…maybe he is just nervous all around. I think it needs to be talked about more. Good luck!
Post # 9
@zagora: He is completely against renting an apartment OR house. He says we NEED to own our OWN house before having children because that is the only way he will feel comfortable having children…which to me is very unrealistic since many people do not ever own a house or takes years to be able to afford to own a house.
Post # 10
@Jamie42003: We waited a couple years after getting married after we bought our condo to try for kids. When we got married and bought our condo 6 weeks after the wedding, we didn’t have a lot in savings, didn’t take a honeymoon, and didn’t really nest our new place. So, we took two years together to get ourselves in order, earn some savings, take some trips, and then start trying. I’m currently pregnant with our first when we started trying after our second anniversary at the ripe old ages of 31 and 33. I don’t think your grandma is entirely right this day and age.
@FutureMrsStepanski: I can see where he’s coming from of wanting to pay down some debt and establish yourselves in a home you own. I would do a financial plan first and decide what’s most important and how to save. Also, student loan debt typically has low interest rates, so it doesn’t make a lot of sense to try and pay down quickly. I’ve been paying mine off for almost 7 years and have less than $2,000 left on it. I’m tempted to pay that amount off completely. Even with my student loan debt, we managed to buy a condo with savings. Definitely talk to a financial planner and get a plan in place before you think of calling off the wedding and your future.
Post # 11
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
Maybe you two should talk to a financial planner. While owning a house would be an unrealistic goal in our area, housing prices may be much more affordable where you are planning to settle down. So it may or may not be an unreasonable goal. I don’t know without more information. I certainly don’t think that paying off student loans is an unreasonable goal, nor is owning a car or 2 baing unreasonable. If he wants to own a top of the line Lexus and a BMW outright, that may be unrealistic. But owning a Ford and a Kia…. maybe that is realistic. Again, without more details, I don’t know.
As it creeps ever closer, the idea of parenthood and all of the responsibilities that it entails, may be freaking him the eff out. It’s not bad that he wants to be financially stable before taking on that new (and very expensive) responsibility. I think he’s being pretty smart, really. You two need to have more discussions about what your expectations are related to the standard of living that you want to achieve, and work with a financial planner to establish a strategy for achieving those goals. Keep communicating until you are on the same page. You’ll get there eventually.
Post # 12
@FutureMrsStepanski: I’m with you on owning a home. If my parents waited until they paid off their mortgage to have kids, they would have never had us. It took them until they were in their 50s to pay off their mortgage. That’s why there are things called budgets and safety nets.
I understand his need to want to be in a home that he owns but pays a mortgage on, but to insist that you have one paid off is just unrealistic. I think you need to let him know that you’re compromising everything in this relationship, and it doesn’t seem as if he’s willing to compromise on anything. And that’s unfair and isn’t what marriage is about.
Post # 13
@Jamie42003: Your gramma is a smart lady. I occasioanlly feel like I’m not wealthy enough to have kids even though both Fiance & I have good, reliable, permanent jobs. I feel like maybe it’s not my “right” to have kids yet since we don’t yet own a house & also have a fairly large amount of debt (school & FI’s old business tax debt).
But then I remind myself that people all over the world have the “right” to have kids, even unemployed people in third world countries & though there are some people who believe that poor people should not reproduce, most civilized people would agree that it’s a basic human right not to mention a huge human need. So if the rest of the world can have children & raise them without ever owning a house, why can’t I have a baby before I own one.
Post # 14
@FutureMrsStepanski: Hrm. Do you think the sudden ultimatums are a cold feet tactic? I don’t know your fiance, but my ex- would move the goal posts, so to speak, when he didn’t want to have to make good on his promise. E.g., we’ll do THIS, but only after you first do THAT. (And then when I got close to THAT, it of course was changed to something even further away.)
Are you doing pre-marital classes or have another place where you can explore if he’s really on board with having kids?
Post # 15
@FutureMrsStepanski: Sorry I don’t have any great advice other than sitting down & having a realistic conversation with Fiance about what it will take to reach HIS goals. Maybe enlist the help of a financial planner who can realistically set out the very long timeline….
Good luck with everything, ultimatums suck! And your FI’s expectations seem a little unrealistic. I can’t see that all happening within even a few years unless you already have large savings, you are both pulling in 6 figure salaries and/or have massive $$ support from family.
Post # 16
@zagora: Good point about the cold feet. Although having goals is great, it all just seems so extreme.