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Perspective please

(87 Posts)
everynameseemstobetaken Mon 04-May-15 15:12:29

Hello. To start with, please bear with me as my own thoughts are not very clear. I genuinely don't know if I've just lived alone too long, if I'm intolerant or if things aren't right. My partner moved in a few months ago. We each have one child still at home. My 17 year old lives with me, but works about 60 hours a week so is rarely home. His 14 year old is here about 50% of the time. Nice lad. We have very different parenting styles, but both completely accept that and don't directly parent each others children really.
Earnings - I earn a good amount more than him. I also work relief in other jobs if I need additional money. I worked very long hours indeed for about 18 months to pay off house debts. He doesn't have any interest in working any extra hours at all. My mortgage is far less than his rented flat coat and my bills are low in general.
He is lovely, tolerant and peaceful. But...I feel like I have to lead everything. I feel that he looks to me for guidance on every little thing. He has no social life but me, except for a hobby he is passionate about. I showed him a job with much higher earnings that I thought he would be great at - his reply was 'fuck that' as it would sometimes clash with his hobby. We each have £100 per week 'fun' money. I easily live within that, it's plenty! He has maxed out the overdrafts on the accounts in his name that we paid off from my account when we got together (both have our names on my account now so I suppose he paid them off from his own account if that make sense). I really couldnt guess where that money goes as he doesn't drink, smoke or ever buy clothes. We went shopping when we were first living together from the joint/my o riginal account to get him lots of new clothes as he had been on a tight budget for a long time due to high rent, child maintenance, not massive wages etc - don't resent that at all. But I can't fathom how he's spent £100 a week and maxed out his overdrafts of about £900 (in 4 months) which I only know because he has spent another couple of hundred from the joint account and had to tell me he had no money. Some goes on his hobby, but it's not a terribly expensive hobby. One part of me thinks - not my business and the other!
He does cook. I've put on a lot of weight from being very slim. I loved being cooked for at first. Somehow now I feel quite controlled by it but I have no idea why it makes me feel that way. He also does the food shopping.
He doesn't do anything else round the house unless I instigate it. Then he does a slow slow job...I could clean the whole house in the time it takes him to do the bathroom. He does it well though! DIY is all 'later' and I'm starting to wait till he goes out so I can just get on and do jobs myself. No fussing, takes me 5 minutes and they actually get done. Then I get told 'I was going to do that'.
Lots more, but mainly passive behaviour which is driving me mad. But I lived alone for years and wonder if actually I'm impatient and intolerant. Before I get flamed for suggesting he got a new job, he complains about his wages and makes reference to me being a higher earner. I don't care who earns what as we have one pot for money.
This is very long so I'll post. Please be kind!

pocketsaviour Mon 04-May-15 15:29:56

But I lived alone for years and wonder if actually I'm impatient and intolerant.

Does that really matter if you don't work well as co-habitees?

It sounds like you have completely different approaches to more or less everything in life, which makes living together frustrating for both of you.

Perhaps it would be better if he moved out again and you had a relationship that allowed you both to live your lives the way you prefer?

How long have you been together in total?

wickedwaterwitch Mon 04-May-15 15:34:07

What are the positives? Are there some?

But mainly I'd say, keep your finances separate, he doesn't sound reliable.

Can you hire a cleaner and he pays half?

somethingmorepositive Mon 04-May-15 15:50:12

What could he be spending the money on? OP, this is really worrisome. I'd be concerned about potential gambling issues that he's hiding from you. I strongly suggest you keep your finances separate.

paxtecum Mon 04-May-15 15:52:58


Rebelwithacause Mon 04-May-15 15:57:03

I assume you have asked him what he has spent the money on. What does he say? Surely he can explain it.

It doesn't sound a match made in heaven I must say and reminds me why I live alone.

Vivacia Mon 04-May-15 16:04:06

How long have you been together?

Is your joint account (previously just yours) your only account? I.e. do you have a separate account or savings?

Does his pay go in to this joint account?

sakura Mon 04-May-15 16:15:53

The cooking stood out for me.
My mother lives with a bloke I don't much respect. He doesn't pay rent on her home but he "contributes" by shopping and cooking (mostly using money from their joint account).
Now, if he shopped and cooked properly i.e regular meals on the table at a reasonable time, things my mum liked to eat then this would be a substantial contribution to the household, similar to that of a housewife or SAHM. However, in reality it goes like this. He only buys "deals" and reduced food. This ends up being any old crap-- deals on food are usually stuff that nobody else wants anyway. Or it'll be things that go off literally that same day and he'll insist that the use by dates are "just a guide". Because he wants these deals he shops late, and ends up cooking for my mum at about 9pm. She ends up eating at 10:30pm or so! She feels she has to eat it because he's cooked it for her and he doesn't contribute anything else so if she doesn't eat this food he'll be contributing a big fat zero to the household. Sometimes he goes to his mothers. On these nights my mum gets herself a takeaway. She doesn't do this when he's here because he thinks it's wasteful hmm My mother is 60 and works full time, earns a good wage and yet can't even control what she puts into her mouth and when she eats!

Your situation is not as bad as this, perhaps but food is so important.
Also, men and women eat very differently and prefer different foods. It's impossible for a man and a woman to each eat the same meal every night, in my opinion. There needs to be variation and input from both parties.

In short, I can completely understand why you feel controlled by the fact he cooks for you.

everynameseemstobetaken Mon 04-May-15 16:19:47

We've been together a year. Living together since January. I did ask (politely and trying not to be intrusive as our £100 a week is our private monies) where the money has gone when he took money from the joint account. He talked about his hobby, but that really couldnt account for it all.
All our pay goes to the joint account. Then £100 per week is paid into our sole accounts.
I'm starting to think this relationship can't go anywhere. But I think it might come as a bolt from the blue to him. I'll also feel awful for his son. He's very settled and happy in the current arrangement. What a mess. I'll never want to live with anyone again after this.
I've seen no sign of any gambling at all since I've known him. No drugs, no bad habits at all that I see. He's also either at work or at home. Doesn't often go anywhere other than his hobby without me. It's a bit suffocating - but again, maybe I feel that way because I've been alone for 5 years.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 04-May-15 16:30:17

How long have you known each other and when did he move it with you?.
I do not think you know what he is really like, dating put him on his best behaviour and now you are seeing the "real him". He perhaps simply wants someone to look after him.

What do you get out of this relationship now?. What needs of yours is he meeting here?.

Personally I would be telling him now to move out because you are not happy and this is really not working.

Re your comment:-

"He has maxed out the overdrafts on the accounts in his name that we paid off from my account when we got together (both have our names on my account now so I suppose he paid them off from his own account if that make sense)".

That's a red flag right there amongst others as well (no social life, you have to lead him, not wanting a better paid job because it would interfere with his hobby, you feel rightly uncomfortable with his control over the food shop and cooking).

So he basically added his name to make your sole name account a joint one. He then used this joint account to pay off his overdrafts on his sole named accounts.

His complaints too about his low wages are just that, a complaint as well as an excuse.

I think you need to find out where this money went because £900 is a fair old chunk. Make it your business rather than look the other way.

I do not like this man at all particularly now he has his feet under your table. He will not be easy to get rid of.

sakura Mon 04-May-15 16:33:45

I'm sure the 14 year old is happy with this situation, but I feel that somebody has to stick up for you!
This may get worse. You know after 10 years, I don't think my mother could ever get rid of her partner even if she wanted to because she would be making him homeless. I've read on MN about one woman whose mother wanted her father out and social services wanted to prosecute her for making him homeless! Such ridiculous situations can arise. Even if there was no legal reason preventing her from throwing him out she would be forced to keep him out of pity. Also, my mother has "invested" a lot into him, just like you, and has sunk a lot of money into his business, which doesn't seem to be showing any returns at all. The only reason I keep making comparisons between your relationship and hers is because the cooking situation stood out for me. My mother used to be a bit of a lentil weaver and was a dab hand in the kitchen. He has de-skilled her somehow! All she can manage nowadays is ordering a takeaway on a Monday night when he's out.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 04-May-15 16:39:12

I think you do not really know each other at all and he and his son moved into your home after only a year of being together. He moved his son also into your home so it is his responsibility primarily; you simply cannot afford to be soft hearted here. Where is this boy's mother?.

Who instigated the moving in with you; he mainly?. Where were he and his son living prior to being in your home?.

He also cannot (or equally will not) tell you where this money has gone. Another red flag along with this comment from you, "He's also either at work or at home. Doesn't often go anywhere other than his hobby without me". You feel suffocated because it truly is suffocating.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 04-May-15 16:44:11

He may not be easy to remove but this is not a father/daughter relationship that is being referred to here so such concerns are unfounded in this case. Also the residence belongs to the OP.

Many people remain in relationships that have long since been at all healthy because of the "sunken costs" fallacy (I've invested so much time/effort into this so I cannot be seen to "fail" here at relationships). That certainly causes people to make poor relationship decisions.

What does your 17 year old son think of this man?.

Vivacia Mon 04-May-15 17:16:40

I think some important aspects of your relationship need to seriously change. I would extricate myself financially for a start and re-organise some of the chores for seconds.

magoria Mon 04-May-15 17:19:31

I agree with the others.

Split the finances out. You cleared his debts once and he hast just rung them up again.

That is £400 a month since Jan + £900 overdraft, so close to £1.5k on god knows what.

Lurgano Mon 04-May-15 17:32:59

He sounds quite unpleasant - irresponsible, withdrawn, lazy and possibly deceitful. What happened with his other relationships?

Any of this ring any bells..?

Handywoman Mon 04-May-15 19:23:10

I don't think you are being intolerant, OP. I think you should nip all this in the bud: split the finances ASAP, renegotiate household chores, go out a bit more and eat what you want, sometimes. Tell him you aren't sure moving in was right. Tell him you'll be reassessing whether this live-in arrangement is viable, in three months.

pocketsaviour Mon 04-May-15 19:38:14

OP said his son was there about 50% of the time so I'm guessing her DP has shared residence.

I don't think him spending wasting £100 a week is necessarily nefarious - he could be just really shit with money. If you go out for drinks on a Friday night with colleagues you could easily end up spending that.

I do think his passive approach to life rings a death knell for the relationship, though.

LineRunner Mon 04-May-15 19:41:23

Where did he move in from? I'd suggest he moves back tbh.

Goodadvice1980 Mon 04-May-15 19:54:40

OP, I fear you have gained a cocklodger sad

AlternativeTentacles Mon 04-May-15 20:19:57

If I were you I'd back the fuck out of this relationship - sounds like you have adopted a complete waste of space.

everynameseemstobetaken Mon 13-Jul-15 23:17:09

Well...I'm now trying to end this relationship. I'm finding it very hard, as he's a really nice guy. He's just not for me. The fact that his son will be unsettled is sad as he's really happy with the current arrangement. His daughter is due to start uni soon, and the funding is going to end up being paid in no small part from my wages. I wouldn't mind doing this if my partner was making an effort to earn extra by working the odd additional shift here and there, just to show willing really!

Anyway, we've had several discussions, I explained some of my concerns and he really is doing much more around the house. But other than that we are just being very polite and closed off to each other. This has gone on for about 6-8 weeks. I haven't directly asked him to leave, but have said clearly that I am not happy living together and was much happier living alone. I really hoped to let him make the decision to leave, as there's such a power imbalance with me owning the house. I hoped he would take some power back by making the choice to find somewhere. Does that make sense? Hard to word what I mean exactly. Anyway, it doesn't seem to be working and I don't know how to approach this. I've never asked anyone to leave before. Any advice regarding the kindest way to go?

AskBasil Mon 13-Jul-15 23:36:57

Please stop prioritising being kind and nice and thoughtful and considerate of everyone else above yourself.

This guy is a glorified cocklodger, sorry to be brutal, but he really is - there are loud, loud alarm bells coming from his direction and it's sad to see that you're twisting yourself in knots trying to let him down gently, rather than protecting yourself from the danger of getting entangled with someone who will just leech and leech and leech the energy out of you if you don't disentangle yourself.

Tell him it's not working, he has to go. You might be happy to carry on seeing him, to have a relationship where your finances and homes are separate, but he's not a partner. Anyone with dignity and self-respect would have sorted out going by now anyway, he's hanging about because he's relying on you relenting and just letting him stay after all. He knows you're a nice woman and he can play on your guilt and your kindness and your wish to be a decent person. But he has no reciprocal feeling of obligation to you. He doesn't even have to communicate clearly about money with you.

Stop feeling guilty. You have the right to put your own needs first. You are not responsible for his children, he is. Get out of this, he'll bleed you dry.

cozietoesie Mon 13-Jul-15 23:37:20

I'm not sure that kind (ie gentle) is going to work here. Has he ever, for example, asked you if you wanted them to move out? (In the course of these discussions you had - it would be a natural question to ask as part of such a conversation.)

cozietoesie Mon 13-Jul-15 23:49:27

By the way, this may sound dreadfully cynical but before you ask/tell him flat out to go - which I think you'll have to without dancing round the subject - I think you should quickly box up any good jewellery or smaller valuable items you have and store them at work or in a friend's house for a few weeks. He sounds to be in straits, financially, and without much concern for you - so better safe than sorry.

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