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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?

Glitterknickaz Tue 11-Dec-12 21:29:54

Therapist sounds incompetent.

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

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

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

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.

AKissIsNotAContract Tue 11-Dec-12 20:09:06

How was the relate session today OP?

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...

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

StuntGirl Tue 11-Dec-12 11:35:24

I agree, you have two options:

Accept this is how things will always be and marry him.


BadLad Tue 11-Dec-12 08:39:35

It was a long time ago in the thread, but a few posters have asked how on earth an adult can be crap with money and need a bailout from their parents.

Well, it is not at all uncommon - have a gander at the moneysavingexpert forums. And there are plenty of success stories there about people getting out of their mess.

But you can only help those who want to be helped, and the OP's DF is sounding like quite the opposite of that. And why should he want anything to change? The status quo is his having his cake and eating it.

Seeing as you aren't going to leave him for anything, you don't have any ultimatum or consequence for him if he doesn't change his behaviour. How about a trial separation, until he gets some sort of sense into his finances?

You'd be doing it for him as much as for yourself.

I think I'd also be tempted to get on the phone to his mother and ask her to stop bailing him out. Short term hassles for long term solution.

FellatioNelson Tue 11-Dec-12 07:04:23

Completely and totally agree with what Hec said at 20:30:30

After 11 pages, she's managed to sum it all up on one small paragraph.

Either accept him as he is and stop wringing your hands over it, or leave.

I am actually quite alarmed that you busy planning to marry a man you need to go to Relate couples counselling with. confused

That's not normal.

Offred Tue 11-Dec-12 06:50:12

You didn't get over him because in the interim period you did not do any work on overcoming the crap imprinted from your childhood or the crap being taught to you now from your mother. 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.

ZZZenAgain Mon 10-Dec-12 21:55:29

try to sort big things out before you get married. I don't know if you two will have a happy marriage or not because we don't know all the good sides but it doesn't sound to me as if you are entirely ready yet.

CaHoHoHootz Mon 10-Dec-12 21:49:35

Would you have been so eager to rekindle this relationship if you had known that he had not matured during the time you were apart?

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