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Just had a horrible row with DP

(37 Posts)
RoseC Tue 28-Jun-11 22:45:59

I think I need a little bit of sense kicking in to me. At some point I do need to apologise for not listening to him in the beginning but I'm so upset at the moment I can't even be in the same room as him.

Long story short, we moved in together at the end of Jan and I set up nearly every bill, partly because I'd never lived with a boyfriend before and (I see now) I was modelling on my parents where my Mum does everything as my Dad is 'incapable'. DP works in IT and recommended a new broadband provider I had heard bad things about. I wanted BT. He said he didn't care about the package & wanted a cheap one.

Every month we have exceeded our download limit and I upgraded last month as it was so bad. This month we have twelve days left and (at least) will get a bill of £110 excess. It's all his downloading - movies, tutorials for work, god knows what.

To me £110 is a phenomenal amount of money to waste when he has access to good computers and free Internet at work. He comes from a very comfortable background (I really don't) and doesn't see the problem but he's being made redundant at the end of next month and I don't think he has a clue what the work situation is like - we live in the NE, he's from Germany and has got his previous jobs through family contacts which don't exist here (current job was part of PhD).

He says he shouldn't have 'let' me sign up for something I know nothing about. I told him he should have said 'I want unlimited downloads' instead of 'cheap'. He says I should have been monitoring the online account every day (have just emailed him the passwords - it's his problem now) and I told him that I don't understand how any intelligent adult can't figure out that they've downloaded more than 40GB (our limit), especially when the total is closer to 150GB. He doesn't even watch half the stuff he downloads and the reason I am so upset is that he's sitting in the living room right now and still downloading. We are stuck in the contract for sixteen more months.

Sorry, this is quite long. Does anyone have any advice on how I can suck it up please? I know he won't apologise - he never does sad I don't have much experience with relationships.

FabbyChic Tue 28-Jun-11 22:50:10

Tell him to pay it! Thats a ridiculous sum of money. I would never go with a broadband provider who limited my downloads! You can ring BT and upgrade!

thisisyesterday Tue 28-Jun-11 22:53:56

he sounds like a twat

yes, you should have both discussed your needs properly before deciding which package to go for, but as you have kept going over your limit and he KNEW this then he should have either stopped, or asked you to upgrade it, or upgraded it himself

to say you should have been monitoring it is ridiculous. you aren't his mother. and i would suggest that if he wants a mother then he moves back home

if it were me i'd seriously contemplate cancelling it altogether and leaving hm to sort it out.

if he is sat there downloading more stuff now then go and pull the plug! what is he, 15???

RoseC Tue 28-Jun-11 22:55:27

Thanks, I've calmed down a bit now. He'll certainly be paying it! He earns more than both my parents put together and I (just) cover half of the inflated bills we have and am living out of my savings (went back to study). I think I'll sit down and work out if the excess charges are more than unlimited downloading packages and see if I can upgrade again and also if I can switch to his name.

ChazsBrilliantAttitude Tue 28-Jun-11 22:58:27

He is behaving like a spoiled brat. He didn't tell you what he wanted and then criticises you for the fact that he won't control his behaviour. He is not a child, you have a download limit; if he is not willing to stick within it then he has to pay the difference.

Why do you have to suck it up? He needs to reduce the amount he downloads. I can live with someone who isn't good at verbally apologising (like my DH) if they change their behaviour when you point out something isn't OK (which my DH will do).

How old are you both?

RoseC Tue 28-Jun-11 22:59:51

If I pull the plug he'll go ballistic. He's working at the moment. He tried to explain very slowly that the cumulative effect of what he's downloading right now isn't more than 1GB, but in my head it all adds up to more than if he didn't, IYSWIM?

I told him I wasn't his mother to be monitoring it all the time - have now sent him a link to the page where you can see the exact usage (I only got an email saying it was near the limit on the 11th and didn't check until today).

bubaluchy Tue 28-Jun-11 22:59:51

It is easy to upgrade and doesnt cost that much more per month.
its funny my DP has been made redundant and is an IT teacher he seems in no hurry to find work either, seems we're in the same boat, good luck with yours smile

RoseC Tue 28-Jun-11 23:02:47

I'm 24, he's 40. He does change some of his behaviour (for example, he sorts the laundry and - after an epic row - no longer empties the coffee grounds straight into our tiny plughole leaving the sink to block).

He was single for ten years before we dated and has never lived with a girlfriend. He will pay the difference but can't understand that £110 is a LOT of money and will soon mean a lot more to him that it does currently.

RoseC Tue 28-Jun-11 23:03:44

Thanks bubaluchy smile I will laugh if I have to support us waitressing when he has a PhD <eyeroll>

ChazsBrilliantAttitude Tue 28-Jun-11 23:14:35

Maybe he's got used to doing things the way he wants and so it takes quite a shove to switch him on to a new track. He sounds a little selfish possibly because he has never had to plan or budget in the way that you have. You will need to work a bit to get him to see things from your perspective as he may have got used to only considering things from his point of view.

One technique that can work well to get the message across whilst keeping the emotional temperature down is the

When you did this; I felt like this and if it happens again this is what I will do pattern
When you go over the download limit and we get a large bill I feel worried about the cost and concerned that we may get into financial difficulties and so if the next bill is large I will expect you to cover the excess.

That way you get your message across without "attacking" him as a person.

bejeezus Tue 28-Jun-11 23:16:35

does he do other 'stuff' like this?

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Tue 28-Jun-11 23:18:35

40 years old.

Has never lived with a partner.

Will never apologise.

Oh dear. I know this is only a tiny snapshot of your relationship but Rose, those are two massive red flags right there.

RoseC Tue 28-Jun-11 23:25:07

Verbally, yes, but I think that's due to his translating directly from German to English - he speaks in a very direct, absolute 'do it now' manner. If I query his vocab/manner (which I have begun to do recently after some good MN reading smile ) he says he didn't intend it that way and I believe him. He's a very honest person.

I do think he finds it hard to adjust to my desires and his when it comes to the bigger stuff but then so do I. I have always worked at least two jobs and have always (because I'm careful) enjoyed a reasonable quality of life and independence. The only thing we (still) have this much tension over - although I'm sure other things are waiting! - is his phone charger, which he leaves plugged in and switched on 24/7. Aside from the money I think it's a ridiculous waste of resources and used to switch it off until he didn't notice a few times and his phone died at work. Then he went ballistic and said I wasn't to touch it again.

I turn it off when he leaves for work and set an alarm to turn it on at 1630 every day, before he gets back. Unfortunately I forgot the other day and he got cross again.

RoseC Tue 28-Jun-11 23:30:35

TBH holdmecloser I don't think he's had that many girlfriends. I did hmm when he said he'd lived at home until 29.

He has tried to apologise-ish... I went back in and told him, as of tomorrow, he is in charge of the Internet and he smiled in a soft way (not victorious) and patted the sofa next to him. I refused politely and came back here (bedroom).

There are many wonderful things about him and I don't think he means consciously to upset me. If he knew how upset I was he'd be upset himself. He is a kind and generous person, I just think we're both very stubborn and don't have much experience. He doesn't have a Mumsnet to ask (nor, I think, would he - very very private person) so I thought I'd ask for some experienced advice smile

Lucyinthepie Wed 29-Jun-11 07:47:18

Oh dear. You're being moulded aren't you? He's just rewarded you for giving in to him and telling him he's "in charge" of the Internet.
One thing leaps out at me here. You earn a lot less than him, but you're just about managing to pay half the bills. I think many would find that completely unreasonable and suggest that there should be some fair apportionment based on who earns most. So, if he earns twice as much as you maybe he should be contributing 2/3rds towards bills. This doesn't sound like a kind and generous person to me.
What's the future then? Can you see it turning out to be a place where you feel happy, loved and cherished?

davidtennantsmistress Wed 29-Jun-11 08:18:48

this is the very very least of your worries op.

from my POV what you have is a selfish controlling manipulative 40 year old who likes having a young girl about - wouldn't mind betting he's fairly emotionally immature as well.

niceguy2 Wed 29-Jun-11 08:37:36

Well firstly here we have the MN massiv again jumping to conclusions about someone's relationship based upon a few snippets.

OK, there's a considerable age gap there but the problem here is not age related at all. And who are we to suggest it won't work because of that?

Once you take that away, what do we really know? An argument over broadband and an issue over a phone charger. Hardly grounds to question the future of their relationship.

OP, if I remember correctly BT also offer an unlimited download package rather than their standard 40GB cap package. So whilst I think you did the right thing putting the ball in his court, you may want to find out about it in case the ball comes right back at you.

Oh and lastly, if it's a modern quality phone charger rather than a cheapo ebay fire hazard then unless his phone is actually plugged in, it will be drawing virtually no charge. To the point where it wouldn't even register on a power meter. I really wouldn't sweat it for the 1p it might cost a month.

MilkandWine Wed 29-Jun-11 08:47:47

lucyinthepie You have just asked the very same question that was on my lips. OP, if your partner has been earning so much more than you then WHY are you splitting all the bills 50/50? I'm sorry but that is utterly unreasonable on your partners side. If he has been able to easily contribute more than you then the bills should have been split proportionate to your earnings.

A 'kind and generous man' would not happily sit back and watch his girlfriend pull money out of her savings to pay household bills he could easily cover. A selfish one who ultimately doesn't give a toss if his partner ends up financially crippled or not would however.

I agree with davidtennatsmistress The broadband issue is the least of your worries. There are many other issues swirling under the surface here.

I lived with a guy for 2 years who was 16 years older than me and had never even lived with a girl before me (He was 40 when we moved in together). He turned out to be selfish, set in his ways to the most horrifc degree (he had a never ending list of quirks and things that had to be done 'his way') and utterly emotionally immature.

The incidents you mention about the mobile phone and clock are huge red flags as well. They both spell 'Immature, set in his ways man who does not like the little women tampering with his routine'. It is NOT healthy and it is not normal. The thing is men like that are very good at making you think you are in the wrong, they have to in order to keep the status quo.

I think you should think long and hard about continuing in this relationship. He sounds so much like my ex it is scary and I would say mine ruined a good part of my twenties and left me emotionally scarred to this day. You are only 24, this man is 40 and still acting like a child. Your twenties should be a time of growth and discovery. Not a time of running up the arse of some stupid man!

MilkandWine Wed 29-Jun-11 08:55:38

Niceguy2 So you think a guy asking his girlfriend to use her hard earned savings to pay half the bills, when he has been earning a substantially higher wage is acceptable do you?

Would a loving, caring partner ask his girlfriend to needlessly financially cripple herself do you think? surely these things should be worked out proportionate to earnings?

Sometimes 'little snippets' reveal a lot. The guy who is controlling and akward over the little things often turns out to be the same with the major issues. It is indicative of the underlying personality a person has. My ex would only let me use 1 single spoon to stir the tea and coffee, then the spoon had to go back on the tea caddy instead of the sink. It sounds utterly trivial but he, like the OP partner, 'went ballistic' whenever I didn't do it.

It is not so much the behaviours themselves that matter as much as the guys reaction if his 'rules' aren't followed. The guy who shrugs his shoulders and goes 'Fair enough' may be an ok bloke. The one who flips out and implies you have done something dreadful in not following his mantra is to be avoided at all costs imo.

RoseC Wed 29-Jun-11 10:08:12

Thank you for all your replies. It's certainly given me something to think about. We still haven't apologised to each other for shouting. I want an apology but I'm not going to be the first one to break. I'm no longer furious but I am annoyed and I'm not happy with him. He kissed me goodbye when he left (I was asleep so didn't pull away in time) and I've a feeling he wants to sweep it under the bridge. Not happening.

To answer a few of your points:

- the age gap is not an issue for me as my parents have a much larger one and, TBH, he acts much younger anyway!
- I pay half of the bills but £50 less rent per month at my insistence. He tends to pay for 99% of additional spend (restaurants etc.) and will compromise if I insist on a picnic/flask of tea instead. I pay that proportion because I am not comfortable with him paying most and introducing more inequality into the relationship.

Thanks niceguy for the info about the charger. It's an iphone one (from ebay I think) so I will leave it switched on.

I feel as though I'm being unreasonable. It is, surely, his money and if he wants to pay £100 extra a month then he can. The big 'but' is that I'm worried about our future, if he doesn't find a job and what happens then with his attitude to money (also now BT have me down as a maxi user when I am so careful - was even preselected by my bank for a special rate because I'm good with my money). He says he has absolutely no plan in place and gets uncomfortable/cross when I want to discuss it. We are only living together because I asked whether he liked me at all (he rarely compliments me, although v physically affectionate, and has never said he loves me) and he said 'of course' and I said, well do you want us to stay together or live together, answer: 'of course'. I feel like I've pushed him into this as well, although his reaction was that I should always have known he wanted to live with me and this was where we were headed. He hates talking.

MilkandWine Wed 29-Jun-11 10:24:18

Yes it is his money but it is impacting on you already with the BT issue, your previously excellent record now has a blemish against it thanks to him. You have to ask yourself what will be next.

I'm sorry OP but the more you write the more worrying this gets. This is a 40 year old man with an appalling attitude to money. He gets uncomfortable when you want to discuss what he is going to do for money when his job ends? Well let's see how 'uncomfortable' he is when he asks you to pay all the bills when he has no job. I bet he will get over his sense of akwardeness when he's asking you to stump up the cash!

I don't want to sound horrid OP but why are you even living with this guy? He has never even told you he loves you and sounds as if he only 'let' you move in because you asks. He sounds immature, bad with money and emotionally stunted. Saying he you should have known he wanted to live with you is utter bollocks. I don't know a single woman who would assume a man who has never even told them he loved them wanted them to live together. He is 40 years old ffs!!!!!!!

Relationships are hard enough even when people are able to openly and fairly communicate and talk. If you can't do that then it's doomed imo.

May I ask how long you have been together?

MilkandWine Wed 29-Jun-11 10:25:07

asked, sorry.

RoseC Wed 29-Jun-11 10:34:12

Since Nov 2009. Our first date was actually my parents' wedding anniversary smile (makes it nice and easy for me to remember!).

Aside from the money, the future and his smoking (whole other thread and admittedly he won't smoke in front of me or in the flat) everything is fantastic. He treats me very well - generous with his time and splits household chores 50/50 despite me being at home all day (although I am at home to work... in fact I should be working now!). I think he has an unhealthy attitude from his mother, who is a real piece of work (tries to emotionally blackmail him all the time, this I think is the reason for him being so private and not talking about anything). I'm meant to be meeting her this summer and not looking forward to it at all. He has told me, after getting upset, that after thirty years of being told his opinion wasn't worth anything he just shut up. I am also not the easiest person to live with - a bit OCD about where household things are put (which he isn't bothered about) but messy with my personal belongings when he is very tidy. It drives him nuts although I am trying hard to be tidier.

Sorry for offloading all of this - all my friends here are his friends originally and also our neighbours so I can't really talk to them. Thank you very much for 'listening'.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 29-Jun-11 10:52:19

"Aside from the money, the future and his smoking (whole other thread and admittedly he won't smoke in front of me or in the flat) everything is fantastic"

Really re fantastic (you also write he never apologises) or are you really trying to put a gloss on the cracks?.

The money, the future and his smoking are not issues that are going to go away of their own accord; they either get tackled or left.

I am wondering what you are getting out of this relationship now?. The benefits to him are obvious (he has you to fetch and carry for him and you in his eyes can carry on where his overbearing mother left off) but whats in this really for you?.

Where do you see this going ultimately?. You really do not want to waste your life like this.

jester68 Wed 29-Jun-11 11:05:35

God why do people think that they have a right to judge a relationship due to an age gap????

I was 18 when I got together with my partner who was 16 years older.

He had always lived with his dad though paid his way, did own laundry and cleaning etc.

We moved in together when I was 22 with our daughter, I will be 27 this august, he is 43 and have been together nearly 9 years. We have 2 daughters.

We get on great together still and are happy.

So that age gap has not effected us in any way

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