(Closed) Should I pay his debt, am I being used?

posted 7 years ago in Relationships
Post # 437
Member
575 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I’m a little late to this game, but I want to tell you MY story as I was in debt.

I moved abroad in 2008 and immediately met someone great! We began dating and it got very serious, we started talking about engagement/marriage, but I knew I had a BIG secret to tell. I was $60K in debt, 40K consumer/20Kstudent loans. During college and until I was 26, I maxed out credit card after credit card, all the while making minimum payments. I was pretty sure he wouldn’t want to marry me if I told him and we both had very good paying jobs and he had already saved around 100k himself.

In late 2009, I told him. I felt guilty about it. It didn’t bother him at all, he still loved me and wanted to marry me, but he helped me budget so that in a year and a half I had paid it ALL off myself. I wouldn’t never asked him to pay it off. I continued to pay my share of living expenses as well, so he had NO help in paying off my debt, other than drawing up a plan for me (which sounds stupid, but it worked). I can now say I have converted to a “SAVER” and we have over $400K in savings! I’m kicking myself for not beginning saving sooner.

Anyway, you paying off his debt will TEACH HIM NOTHING. I’d move in with him and pay half his mortgage, which he should pay directly to his debt. Then after you are married, I’d probably still not pay off his debt, I’d maybe pay more on the mortgage. I also don’t see how he can support you if he can barely pay all his bills currently. And as others have said, of course he doesn’t want a pre-nup if he has all that debt and you have all that cash. It could be a deal breaker for me. Please just keep your eyes open as you stated in your first post that you thought you were being USED. If you think that even a little…trust yourself and really consider.

I also just want to add, that it has taken YEARS for me to change my spending habits and my DH still lets me know if my spending gets out of control, as it still does, so keep that in mind, he needs to show you he can change his spending habits over a period of time not just a month.

BEST OF LUCK!

Post # 438
Member
522 posts
Busy bee

I guess I don’t understand why you are rushing down the aisle when you still have questions.

If I were you I’d completely shelve the idea of marriage for a while and get to know this guy (actually I’d break up with him and find a guy who isn’t angling for your money but I don’t think you’ll break up with him so the former is the best option in your case).

Yes, there are people who get married quickly because they just know. However it seems like you have A LOT of questions right now. Serious, important ones that need to be addressed while you are able to walk away with little problem.

Post # 439
Member
121 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

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@crystlrox:  I think this is really great advice. I think you have more than just the debt to work out with this guy – he needs to give you what you want romantically, you both need to take your time to do what’s right. But theoretically speaking, if you were head over heels in love with him but he still had this debt, I think this would be the way to handle it.

I remember reading something somewhere, which I can’t for the life of me find, about a girl who had a whole bunch of debt who got engaged to someone who didn’t. He helped her find ways of bringing in extra cash, odd jobs and such, and they both worked really hard at not spending money. She paid down her debt, herself, very quickly – and while she was doing that, he worked just as hard at saving money. Once she was debt-free, he’d saved up a nice downpayment for a home they bought together. She did all the work of paying off her own debt, but he was still able to help them as a couple with their own financial goals.

The lesson sticks this way; she learned very good budgeting lessons and learned how not to fall into the same place. She also demonstrated, to him, that she was seriousl about it, and about their future, by working hard to take care of it herself. He also demonstrated that they were a team, by going through the same budgeting and saving with her, so that they’d have something exciting to look forward to. She wasn’t alone in being thrifty.

OP, if you do love someone, and you have this wonderful nest egg stored up, my suggestion would be to think forward with it, and not pay off the stuff he bought ages ago. (How many of the clothes he bought during this spree do you think he still has, even? Are you willing to pay for beers he drank five years ago? Because that’s what you’re doing, if you pay off this debt. Goodness, you might even be paying for dates he went on with other women, how awful.) If he’s serious about you, he’ll find a way to show it by taking care of this himself. And if/when he DOES show that he’s changed, and he’s serious, and he TAKES CARE OF THIS HIMSELF, then you’ll have this wonderful savings to use towards some of your other goals together. I would feel much more comfortable sharing my money with someone AFTER seeing that kind of commitment and dedication, to pay off that debt.

Of course, this is all theoretical, if you were truly head over heels in love with him. Which, it sounds like you’re not. I’m fully in support of you taking your time with him, making sure you feel REALLY GOOD about it before going on, and making sure that you’re not afraid to demand better. Because so far, he really doesn’t sound like husband material. :/

Post # 440
Member
13722 posts
Honey Beekeeper

If you insist on marrying him, which I hope you don’t, you also need to keep every dime of your money separate from his.  Nothing commingled, one of those “modern” relationships.  And I say this as someone who normally agrees with This Time Around that once married, it’s “all in, what’s yours is mine and what’s mine is yours.” 

I wouldn’t consider marriage with a person with whom I didn’t feel that sense of trust and willngness to do that in the first place. But if for some reason you were to move ahead, and again, I hope you don’t(!),  I think you’d be crazy not to keep funds in separate accounts in your name only and not to insist on the prenup. 

On another note, I’m still flabbergasted that you two have never gone out on a date.  Not even when you first met?! Have you ever suggested doing something other than “hanging out?” If not, why not?  

One more Q that I’m not sure has come up.  If it has, I apologize.  Given your age and lack of dating experience, and the protective family, are you religious and/or  are you “saving yourself” for marriage?  Could that be part of the reason why both of you seem to be in such a big hurry for this courthouse wedding?  Or part of the reason he’s pretending to be,  as the case may be? You don’t have to answer if this is too personal. 

Post # 443
Member
552 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

@spiderluv:  hmmmmm. $35,000. ok. i, personally, struggled with credit card debt. i had around $25,000 of it. and from all of my research that is A LOT. i was living in new york city spending, spending, spending! and it was hard work getting to that. i cannot IMAGINE how he got $35,000!!!!!!!!!! that is a lot more work. so i would be very weary of his situation. he may make it sound like “oh it all adds up” but i mean. i was putting everything from bar tabs to louis vuitton on my cards. ( i was young and stupid… ) 

 

disclaimer:  i very much so learned from my mistakes and will NEVER put myself in that situation or have credit card debt (unless an emergancy). so make sure he has learned from it. i told my now Fiance of my past before we were engaged. i know longer have the debt and i’m thankful i’m not bringing it into our marriage…student loans on the other hand….

 

just BE CAREFUL!

Post # 444
Member
164 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

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@crystlrox:  wow, impressive! How did you manage to save that much???

Post # 445
Member
121 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

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@amandasouthcarolina:  $35k is pretty remarkable. I felt bad when I got up to ~$4k CC debt after college. I have one friend who’s struggled with consumer debt before; he’s about $12k in the hole and that blew me away. $35k is really a remarkable amount of debt to be in.

Post # 446
Member
781 posts
Busy bee

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@weddingmaven: 

 

“ETA:  I second the PP who wants to know if you’ve ever even seen proof of the debt.”

 

 Great advice in general, and yes, this ^^.

 

I would be *really* surprised if this guy isn’t hiding more “surprises” from OP. The rush for the courthouse wedding is VERY suspicious, even if he managed to already get a 35k check from her. I think there’s more to this story. This guy is bad, bad news. 

 

 

 

 

Post # 447
Member
841 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

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@spiderluv:  When you say he will be supporting you do you mean you’re quitting your job? I don’t know if you mentioned it cause there’s too many comments to read through lol. Anyway I highly recommend not doing that if you’re not married. He could break up with you and what if you can’t get a job right away?

When Fiance and I get married I may have some student debt still and we will both have car payments. However our finances will be combined and we both have jobs so it’s not a problem to be helping each other. I wouldn’t be doing that if we weren’t married though.

Post # 448
Member
1309 posts
Bumble bee

@spiderluv:  Really happy to hear about your progress but at this point, I really want to emphasize – DON’T MARRY THIS GUY!!! DON’T DO IT! A few moments of discomfort now will save you a lifetime of misery AND the depletion of your savings!!!

Honestly, at this point I wouldn’t even bring up the pre-nup.  If he makes you feel guilty about not doing HIM a favour, that’s terrible.  If he gets offended that you’re getting advice from your family, that’s even worse – once he’s successfully isolated you from all your friends and family you will have no support system and be completely at his mercy.

Just get rid of him, OP!!!  You’re 25 – you can get a better man, a better dress, proper dates, a proper proposal, the whole 9 yards!  DON’T DO IT!!!

Post # 449
Member
1309 posts
Bumble bee

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@This Time Round:  LOL!  I actually really value my mom’s advice and frequently ask for it but she would totally agree with you – there’s been MANY times where I’d come to her after speaking to someone made me feel better/get a better idea of which direction to go in and she’d screech. “DIDN’T I TELL YOU THAT ALREADY?!” 😛 

Post # 450
Member
337 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

thinking of you OP and praying that you dont marry this guy. if you dont feel you can completely cancel the wedding at this point, please at least postpone it

we are all here for you

good luck

Post # 451
Member
1153 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I would not pay off any of FI’s debt until he was your husband. I went into my relationship with a little debt plus student loans (also debt but more of the “good kind”). I paid my own bills, student loan payments, car payments, cell phone bill etc, DH (Then FI) at the time took care of household expenses. We do have a pre-nup & DH did eventually pay off my student loans (about 10 months after the wedding) but we were married first. I’m a tv junkie and love shows like judge judy and stuff. Worse case scenario you pay off his debt and you two break up, I bet you can’t even sue him for the full amount in small claims courts because most states have a statute max between $5,000 & $7,000. It sounds to me like Fiance needs some financial counceling on how to better manage his money and to cut up his credit cards. If he can’t pay cash for it he doesn’t need to buy it. 

Post # 452
Member
269 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I have not read the whole thread so my bad if this has already been brought up….why dont you tell him you put your money in an accout that can not be touched with out a penalty but are willing to help him monthly towards his debt.  See his reaction and then take it from there.

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