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To say we can’t afford to visit DF’s family at Christmas

(294 Posts)
Ambivalence Thu 06-Dec-12 14:48:19

My DF ( fiancé) is pretty hopeless with money and so I have been nagging him for ages to prepare a list of his incomings/ outgoings so that we can prepare a joint budget. I have also been nagging him to check his finances before committing to things, rather than just spending the money and asking me to bail him out. He is not good at living within his means, which I realise is unlikely to ever change as he is 46!

He has now just texted me with the conclusion that we should not go to Holland for Christmas as it would be cheaper to stay at home ( he doesn’t get paid time off anyway).

I have texted back to say we will discuss it tonight. I feel really mean to agree with him, and let him spend Christmas without his family and friends but it would be a lesson to him about working out what you can afford before making plans ( we just went to Holland a week ago for his birthday – he booked the wrong flights and so lost 2 days wages as a result, and spent £200 hosting a party in a bar for his friend).

I am a bit annoyed with him about money anyway as he has been in a low paid call centre (£9/ hour) job since he moved to London in the spring – despite promising to look for something in his field and at a professional salary comparable to the job he left ( her hasn’t put much effort into this), and he is disorganised about giving me money towards the bills ( no rent as I pay the mortgage on my flat) and I have been asking him for months to set up a weekly standing order/ direct debit to me, as he is paid weekly and his budgeting skills are poor.

I feel really mean saying we can’t afford to go to see his family, but in the end I think this might be a lesson learned for him. He never saves anything for a rainy day. I have just had to spend my rainy day fund on some unexpected building work and so don’t have funds to bail him out. Should I agree with him we can’t afford the trip at Christmas or be kind and pay for it?

Whocansay Tue 11-Dec-12 11:41:38

OP, did you come on here wanting people to go "There, there, he's lovely really, tut men!"?

The fact that you are going to send this to him when you have clearly stated that ultimately you will put up with his behaviour, is astounding!

I really hope you don't bring a child into this car crash of a relationship.

wildfig Tue 11-Dec-12 12:21:22

OP, did your mother enjoy having to whip your dad into line financially? It sounds like an exhausting way to live. Whether she did or not - and I imagine she'd find it hard to admit that she didn't - you're not her and your fiance isn't your dad.

I disagree somewhat with those saying that going to Relate before getting married is a Sign of Doom. If, as a couple, you're not good at constructive discussions, learning how to negotiate your way around small problems can help you deal with them before they turn into bigger problems. But that only works if you're both prepared to take on the responsibility, and not just use the counsellor as a substitute Mum to tell off one party while giving the other a gold star. It sounds, from what you've written, that your DF isn't listening to anything she says, and that you're determined to hear that as long as he makes this budget it'll all be fine. As others have said again and again on this thread, it's not about the budget itself, it's about the fact that he doesn't respect you enough to modify his behaviour in any way.

Ambivalence Tue 11-Dec-12 13:21:38

Offred - This is nothing to do with you or him, this is you proving to your mother she didn't make a massive mistake with her marriage. yes, sometimes I wonder this.

Wild fig - it's not about the budget itself, it's about the fact that he doesn't respect you enough to modify his behaviour in any way. This is the crux of it

He behaves in such an entitled fashion and is being so disrespectful to me that I can see a trial separation as the only way to move forward. Phoning his mother and telling her to stop bailing him out is hopeless – his family don’t do confrontation, so she will just say we need to sort this out between ourselves and it is nothing to do with her.

I have concluded that he loves booze and fags more than he loves me, and I can’t live with someone who is not being honest with me.

Yes, I was hoping that people on here would say I am over reacting - that is what my friends and family are saying – be patient, he will learn in time – but he won’t . He hasn’t grown up and has no intention of doing so.

KellyEllyChristmasBelly Tue 11-Dec-12 13:26:28

it was because that relationship not working out was my biggest regret. but you have come back to the same problems so it isn't going to work out again. You were apart and had rose-tinted views of what the relationship could have been and now you are back in it and facing the same problems. This situation with the way he controls his finances is a sticking point for you, but he won't change at his age - especially if he has a mother who still facilitates this, you will just take her place. You have either got to move on from this relationship or just fully accept this side of him and stop posting on MN about it going round and round in circles. Good luck OP genuinely. You'll need it.

Arithmeticulous Tue 11-Dec-12 13:29:00

You've wasted 14 years (if my maths is correct) on this man-child. What's that saying: if a man tells you who he is, listen? He's told you for the last 14 years that he's an entitled baby that needs bailing out by you or his mother. And you've told him that you will stay with him, whether or not he ever grows up or starts being honest.

He's happy - he's not going to change. Why would he? You can't make him change - you can only change your reactions to his behaviour.

GoldQuintessenceAndMyhrr Tue 11-Dec-12 14:05:59

"A lifetime is a long time to be missing someone"

Now you are just being melodramatic.

Accept him for who is is then, if you missed him so much, rather than try change him.
Marry him. Whatever.

Offred Tue 11-Dec-12 14:16:52

Fig - surely going to relate before marriage is doomed because there's no reason to marry someone you find it hard to communicate with. If it is a problem with one person rather than the relationship then relate is inappropriate.

Offred Tue 11-Dec-12 14:21:34

If you were to waste spend your whole life missing one person I'd tend to think the problem was with you, not with you losing them. You should be able to be on your own and you should not be so desperately attached to this one man. Do you think it is because perhaps your mum attaches her entire self-worth to your dad and having "turned him around"? Are you falling into the same trap? Do you feel so desperately attached to him because of this?

Weissdorn Tue 11-Dec-12 14:33:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Tue 11-Dec-12 14:53:24

OP, would you leave if he abused your child? Yes? Then the love is not unconditional.

I'm glad you are seeing some of what is being said. I hope you don't find yourself in 10 years still babysitting a middle-aged man.

It might be worth doing some work on yourself to find where this fairy-tale, Disney, love will conquer all, attitude comes from. I thought like that as a child but didn't after about 21. You are quite mature to still think of love in these black and white terms.

wildfig Tue 11-Dec-12 14:54:24

Well, no, offred I don't necessarily think so. Not everyone has the communication skills to deal with sensitive issues in relationships. Some people come from families who 'don't do confrontation' - like the OP's fiance - or they associate disagreement with terminal relationship decline, and just ignore problems, hoping they'll go away. My DP and I understand each other pretty well, but persuading him to talk about anything emotional is like wringing blood from a stone. Getting an impartial counsellor to guide you through tricky conversations isn't a sign that you're incompatible, it's just a sign that you or the other person might need help in learning how to express yourself.

Whether you then decide that you're not compatible, having fully understood how the other feels, is a different thing! Particularly if one party's using the 'you don't understand me' line as a way of doing whatever they want, or making all the right noises in the sessions, but then doing nothing about it outside. Counselling shouldn't be about the counsellor fixing the problem, but equipping you with the skills to fix it yourself, or to decide it's not fixable.

givemeaclue Tue 11-Dec-12 15:43:50

Somehow don't think today's counseling is going to go that well

ilovesooty Tue 11-Dec-12 19:43:22

I would still like to know why they are working with a counsellor who seems to have no understanding of the role and boundaries of the therapist in couples work.

Offred Tue 11-Dec-12 19:58:09

But fig if the other person needs to learn how to communicate that is not a relationship problem that requires couples counselling. It is an individual problem which needs individual exploration otherwise it becomes about taking dual responsibility for an individual fault/incompatibility which is unhealthy. If you aren't married, you dont have children and you have a problem with the way you each relate to each other in the relationship why bother to work on it? Why not just split up? Plenty of people never work out issues they attempt to fix in relationship counselling...

How was the relate session today OP?

LisaMed Tue 11-Dec-12 20:16:18

Nearly posted a bitchy comment.

OP - if you marry this man you will live in poverty and so will any children you have. The only way that you will not do this is if you work out ways of protecting your own income, maximising it especially on maternity leave, and working round his spending habits. You will need to do things like go to CIFAS and get financially disassociated, never have a joint account, never have joint financial products etc. You will need to learn how to deal with his creditors and detach from the hassle. If you forsee bailiffs then it is a good idea to keep receipts of big ticket items to prove that you paid for them.

The above is the nice version.

I think it is time for him to prove himself to you and to prove that I am wrong. In this case, proof is in actions, not words. Good luck.

Ambivalence Tue 11-Dec-12 20:32:51

Well our therapist. did not read this thread. against relate rules apparently. she was unhappi had issued an ultimatum and said if i was to continue with thatwe needed to see a mediator instead.
he has committed to resolve the loony financial ssues. by setting up direct debts.

Will post more later as we are still talking

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Tue 11-Dec-12 21:02:51

Good luck Ambilalence. Sounds like you need a new therapist and a new boyfriend.

Therapist sounds incompetent.

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