I lost my job: question about living together

posted 2 years ago in Relationships
Post # 31
5886 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

andromeda99 : First of all, very sorry for your job loss.  That’s really tough.

I think the right answer depends on the paramaters you guys set up when you moved in together.

Do you consider your finances to be at all joint?  Or do you have more of a roommate “split it all down the middle” approach?  Prior to this, were you earning similar amounts, or did you have a signifigant disparity?  It also sounds like you’re both in sales, so you probably both have super variable incomes, which makes this more complex.  I think a lot of it also depends on how serious your relationship is and where you see yourself going.   Are you practically engaged and clearly headed for marriage or are you not yet that committed?

If you have the “roommate” style approach, I wouldn’t expect him to give you a break or pick up the slack.  I mean, your roommate wouldn’t start paying your rent if you got laid off, right?  If you’e income isn’t joint it’s not really fair to think that your job loss is his to support.  But I would expect him to be supportive by not encouraging unnecessary spending or picking up the tab himself for any dates he wants to go on (dinners out, tickets to events, etc).  And of course, being supportive of cheaper alternatives and general cost cutting as you work off a smaller budget (cut the cable, downgrade the groceries, etc).

If you guys always had a more joint approach to money, then I usually think it’s fair to split expenses based on income percentage.  So if he earns $50k per year and you are now suddenly earning $25k based on unemployment income, then he’d pay 66% of the household bills and you’d pay 33%.  This would get re-adjusted when you find a new job with higher pay.

Post # 32
11 posts

I would agree with many of the bees that living together before marriage is a good idea. My SO and I are currently living together (and not engaged) and while it was an adjustment it was helpful to see that we can work together and made me more confident in my choice that he is the one. 

However before moving in together we sat down and had a discussion about the future of our relationship. We have been together almost 4 years now but half of it had been long distance due to me finishing school and him getting a job in a different state. So I wanted to feel confidant in moving to a brand new state jobless to be with him, and we were able to come up with a timeline for our future so I knew that this wasn’t just a “test” and he couldn’t just string me along (as I wouldn’t be able to afford to live alone if we didn’t work out). 


However i I can understand also wanting a ring before living together (as his family is quite conservative and felt that is how we should have handled things). I would say it didn’t matter to me because I knew that step was coming and when I can expect it so moving in together and engagement could have been switched and it would have been fine. I think the most important thing is to have that timeline conversation and lay down your expectations to him and hold him to them. 

Post # 33
669 posts
Busy bee

Well I would do what he is comfortable with.
I am not sure how serious you guys are about getting married but it was agreed by me and my SO by around 4 months of dating. Moved in fully at 6 months. For me… he has agreed to take on all bills and almost everything until I pay off my school loans. He is fine and dandy about it. He and I talked about it before I moved in (sold my house) and I have since cut my loans in half.

If he were not comfortable with it, I would understand, but if your guy knows you are not free loading him then go for it. But after a thorough talk.

I always remind my guy, though, that loans can be paused very easily if he ever were to need me to do my part.

Post # 34
381 posts
Helper bee

If I lost my job and I am living with a boyfriend (so that would presume that it’s a pretty serious relationship), and he does not offer to help out until I could get back on my feet, I would DUMP him. I find it super gross that someone you’re with would not consider your circumstances,and especially if they are able to help.

Post # 36
965 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: City, State

andromeda99 :   Past is prologue. I’m sure his ex thought she didn’t need to protect herself and then got whallopped. 

If he’s all about money, he won’t lose here, either.  Don’t assume he isn’t going to keep tabs of what you “owe” him.  Be careful of any bills you put in your name.  Yes, it’s his house… and yes, its a relief.  Not wearing a seatbelt is also freeing. 

Post # 37
2802 posts
Sugar bee

I think one of the major difficulties with non-legal partnerships is that when you’re sharing your life with someone that often means splitting up ways that you contribute to your relationship – he may cover more of the finances, while you cover more of the home and life care for example. Then, if you split up he will still be able to get used to not having someone helping him at home, but will you be able to survive on your earnings alone?

Even when it’s not a stay-at-home situation, if you’re living your life as part of a partnership it’s natural not to set yourself up properly for independence. You may ease off on pushing your career forward only to find yourself playing catch up 10 yrs down the line. 

I’m not saying you need to get married, but if you’re not going to enter some kind of legal partnership it’s better not to fall into a situation where you’re dependent on them in any way that isn’t immediately reversable. 

Post # 38
6227 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

coffeecakez :  THIS- all of this you’ve said.

Love is great and so is verbal support and encouragement in the midst of hardship but making practical decisions for our own stability and financial well being is also wise. Bottom line- women are the ones most likely to end up living in poverty in our senior years and a lot of that has to do with poor planning, being overly generous when we should not and trusting people when we should not.

Post # 40
1231 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

coffeecakez :  I completely agree with everything you’ve said. And I don’t think that people should move in together until they can have that hard conversation and work as a partnership. I’m married, but I know couples who have been living together for may years, and while they may not have all the same legal protections (I think most of them can be drawn up by a lawyer, though), they consider themselves a partnership and a unit and behave that way. They may not be married, but they are committed for sure.

What I was trying to say in my post is that I think it’s unwise for two people who are in a romantic relationship to live together if they cannot have hard conversations about fiances and emotional labor and do not consider themselves a partnership. Because a lot of people hit a rough patch like this, and then things can turn really ugly.

Post # 41
965 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: City, State

andromeda99 :    You already know the truth.  The Ex says he’s calculating, but you aren’t sure she wasn’t being dramatic.   He wants you (unemployed person) to change your cash into NZ dollars. You already know that when you get there, he’ll say he doesn’t trust their credit card machines, or ask for cash “since you’ve already changed it” to pay for the small things on your trip.   He also wants you (unemployed person) to buy a car that’s pricey to help HIM tow an item, while he gets a cute sedan for himself.  

He isn’t thinking about you two as a unit, but as you (individual) as a sucker. 

It sounds harsh, but I don’t see what’s confusing here.  You’ll be paying less up front for housing and financing the same (or higher) costs down the road to subsidize his choices. Net net, he isn’t helping you nearly as much as it might seem from the initial offers of support. 

If you break up, you’ll have car payments for a more expensive vehicle, less emergency cash and probably a bunch of other little things here and there. 

This man lacks the generosity of spirit that trust rests on.  You should trust him to do what he has done for a while: use women who love him to make decisions that aren’t in their financial interest. 

I’m not saying women who live with men they aren’t married to are making bad choices. I’m saying that when love and money mix, protect your heart AND your wallet. 

Post # 43
1595 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

andromeda99 :  At the end of the day, it’s what he is comfortable with. You need to discuss with him and set clear goals and understandings. “In 3 months, I will 100% have a job”. Etc. If you have a timeline to go by, it will make him feel better ‘letting you off the hook’ as it were. Remember, as sh*tty a this is, it wasn’t his fault that you lost your job, so he shouldn’t feel ‘forced’ to help you out, if he can’t. 

Good luck!

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