To think moving in with DP is at the detriment of my children?(270 Posts)
The £900 per month thread made me think about my situation.
My DP of 2 years wants to move in after Christmas. He earns £38k. I work part time as I have a 2, 3 and 6 year old and earn little. I receive some housing benefit, tax credits etc and without the tax credits to help towards childcare my job isn't worthwhile. I am studying for a degree and my job is experience for my career. At the moment I work 3 days in school hours so get to do all drop offs and collections and eldest ds gets to do extra curricular activities. When DP moves in I will be working for no money as will receive no tax credits towards childcare. I can either continue doing that or get a full-time job (which DP expects me to do immediately after my degree is finished in April) - in which case my outgoings will increase massively due to childcare and I will barely see my children, extra curricular activities will have to stop etc. They like him but I feel they will really resent the change in their lifestyle bought about by him moving in. My eldest hates the after school club and the youngest two would struggle with going to nursery more. I made it clear from the beginning of our relationship that I believe children should have a primary carer around the majority of the time until at least 7/8 - we discussed this in relationship to potentially having children of our own. However now he has different expectations and I feel him moving in will be at the detriment to my children. AIBU?
I would do up some spreadsheets:
1. Your current income and outgoings.
2. Your income and outgoings if everything stayed the same except he was living with you so you lost whatever WTC and HB you are getting. Assume a 50:50 split of the bills but allow for an increase in council tax, water (if you are on a meter), electricity, gas and food bills.
3. Same as number 2 but with you working full time. Don't forget to take into consideration that you will end up spending more money on transport, work lunches, work clothes etc. You're food bill might also go up because you won't have as much time for food shopping and cooking dinner so could end up relying more on convenience food - rotisserie chicken is more expensive than roasting your own, frozen rice is more expensive than dried, ready chopped veg are more expensive than doing it yourself, being too tired to go shopping and cook so getting a takeaway more expensive than cooking etc.
While it seems like he's making all the right noises now, he could well just be trying to shut you up. You could easily slide into a situation where you have to ask him for money every single time you need to buy something. If you sit him down and make him look at the numbers in black and white it is more likely to actually sink in.
That's unkind and unwarranted Mewli. Dairylea's partner has had two years to drip, drip, drip his influence over her. And "can't see the wood for the trees" is a cliché for the very good reason that most of us can't. Since the rest of us nest of vipers are at arm's length, it's easier to see the OP's 'big picture'; while her vision is natually obscured by detail and emotion. That's why it's so important for MNers to be able to come here and run their concerns past other people - something they are less likely to do if they expect to be met with unwarranted judginess.
It seems the desire to play happy families sometimes blinds one to reality. OP probably just wants a man around the house. Any man...
I think BoB has spoken a lot of sense throughout this thread.
I think it is possible he has taken on board, the facts, when they had their serious conversation. But I think it is now time to prove it.
When his debts have been paid off, then he should continue to put that money aside and save for the future. I think they should be working together to make the move in perhaps, a years time. To all extent and purposes, nothing need change. He can continue spending weekends there but pay his way with regards to food and entertainment expenses.
In a years timeish, then they as a couple will have money saved and a clearer view of their relationship. If it doesn't work out, he will have money in the bank and the ops position will be the same as it is now.
Doing it that way, will show commitment from them both, as they are working towards the same aim, but gives them time to ensure they are not making a huge mistake.
Don't put all your eggs in one basket op, on his words, not actions.
That's OK dark. Your ex sounds awful, of course you don't want the OP to have the same miserable experience. I do agree with everyone who says the op should be very careful- been agreeing with that in all my posts. Glad things are better for you now [flowers|.
I don't get the "we can't move because of his job" bit OP. Surely if he is working away that much it doesn't matter where he is based. Plus as a PP said his ex has no control over where or when the army posts them.
For a court to have recently restricted his access that much (and I'm guessing with the proviso that he sees them at his mother's) there must have been very strong causes for concern about his parenting ability. Does he ever have them for extended periods of time i.e. for a holiday? Have you met his dcs? How are they with him?
I learnt the hard way that men who are crap with money stay that way. His debts were either enormous if he hasn't been able to pay them off in two years with that amount of diposable income or he hasn't actually been paying it off at all just spending it whilst claiming to be paying it off (my xh's approach). I would want to know the exact amount of debt, how he had incurred it and be shown statements to prove it was being paid off.
You are right to have doubts and it is hard when you love someone to question their motives. A genuine man would understand what a big step this is and would be prepared to answer all your questions and wait until you were both ready and happy.
Basil - your post is spot on. If this man wants to prove himself he should do so with actions not words.
I see no benefit to your or your children gained by this man moving into your home.
If I were you, I would not do it.
Of course he doesn't have more contact with his kids. Here's a dad who can't even be bothered to do something as basic as have a permanent address to take them to at the weekend. That's about as uncaring as you can get, OP.
I'm quite near to you in age and I want to club you over the head, quite frankly. You're SO young and there is NO reason to subject yourself and your dear little kids to this person who has already demonstrated himself to be irresponsible, feckless, dictatorial, ungenerous, exploitative and an unloving father to the poor children he already has.
Im sorry if i was wrong beast I apologize A man i once had a relationship with showed similar sighns and it ended up with him screaming and ranting at me for taking longer than 3 mins in the shower. It cant half make you feel vulnerable having a bloke rant at you like that anyway but its even more intimidating when you are naked.
dark I'm sorry you think I have an opinion on benefits, I can see why you might do, but you're mistaken.
It's just there are so many threads here where people get very set in their views, often saying LTB from their own painful experience, and repeat this no matter what the OP comes back with. This did seem to me to be happening here. I am in agreement with the risks that people are raising, just wanted to point out that the OP has come back with some pretty reasonable stuff which everyone seems to be discounting.
Anyway, I don't think she needs to hear my thoughts again, and I am sad to think you have read that into what were meant to be thoughtful and reasoned posts by me, so ill be off.
BoB are you quite sure you havent let your opinion on benefits colour your view of this situation.
I think you are the only one to mention it in eleven pages.
If the stuff being pumped out on benefits by media and politicians is going to influence the advice that someone gives out in a situation like this i find that very worrying.
The OP is risking financial abuse which is blindingly obvious by her initial post.
And the consensus on here agrees with that fact.
Hear it for BasilBabyEater! Your last paragraph is absolutely spot on.
BoB, but acknowledging that it might work out isn't quite good enough to actually take the step is it? When deciding whether to take a step that's going to have a massive social, financial and emotional impact on your life and that of your children, the bar to whether you do so or not has to be set as high as you can get it.
The OP is already set up quite well. She lives, not richly but reasonably. She manages her money, she has a good relationship with her kids, they're happy and stable, she's building on her training and education for a career. All this is something some people with formally better domestic set-ups might secretly envy her; so to risk it, it's got to be for something dazzlingly good and absolutely unambiguously better.
But that's not what's on the table here. This guy, even after the talk and the taking on board some of her points, doesn't look like an unambiguously better prospect for her. He's still got a long way to go to prove to her that it's a good investment of her time, energy, money and focus and in the best interests of her and her children, to live with him. He's nowhere near the point where it would be worth it.
I think that's why people are being quite vociferous about urging the OP to be risk averse. At 26 years old, she is incredibly young and has masses of time to decide whether to commit to this guy or not. And masses of time to find someone better tbh.
No one has to live with someone else. The problem is that it is the default mode of living so too many people ask themselves why they shouldn't do it - and in this case, there's a list as long as her arm - and don't ask themselves why they should do it. It shouldn't be something they do because he wants them to; it should be an active choice because not doing it would be unbearable for the OP and her children and she'd regret it for the rest of her life if she didn't. That should be the bar. At the moment, the bar's just nowhere near that.
You already have an independent life of your own whereby you are in total control of your living space, your finances and your children. You are working towards IMPROVING your future lifestyle on your own from what you already have.
Here is a man who has no home of his own, makes no meaningful emotional contribution to the upbringing of his own children, is saddled with debt but has these fantastic ideas of how you should live your well managed, solvent, planned out life.
Whatever your feelings for him you are in a far stronger position than he is and he knows it. If he can manipulate you now to his way of thinking, which subtley removes a lot of your independence, then he can do it forever.
The whole happy family forever may sound appealing and you may feel this man can help make that happen but if you pick somebody who begins their life with you by reducing you in many ways then it will only be a matter of time before you are sitting in front of a solicitor trying to get him out of your house.
I allowed somebody to do that to me and the damage they did to myself and my children within a very short period of time financially and emotionally was shocking. One of my children still bears the emotional scar ten years on and I blame myself for that every day.
I should have listened to my friends when they said to me "He has nothing Sparkle, no home, an ex with kids which he rarely sees and a load of debt."
BoB, that's why I suggested that the OP should ask for some contribution right now and see what his response is.
It should be telling.
(although it is a red flag that he's been partially living off her without offering to contribute...)
somehow I think dairylea is going to go for it, whatever we say...
but if you do, just dont have another baby. you have 3, he has 2, do you really need another one at this stage of your life? sounds like you are getting everything together for your future career - do that for a bit, you can have a baby in 5 or 10 years if everything is good.
I would be suspicious of any man that promises to "provide" for a woman.
You will be extremely vulnerable if you fall into the trap of "not affording" childcare, and end up a sahm to 4 kids, with no career to fall back on, and tied to this man with another baby.
Thats true as well, always.
I do think cocklodgers exist, for sure. Just trying to put another POV which is that good relationships also are possible sometimes, these guys may work it out.
BoB - good post but lots of men talk the talk but fail to follow up with their promises.
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