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Warning bells or sheer paranoia?

(75 Posts)
stirling Wed 29-Nov-17 12:09:13


Just need someone external perspective on this - my head's going round in circles.

Briefly, separated from ex husband 5 years ago (serial adulterer) , met someone I loved very much in the past couple of years but who was persistently elusive - did the disappearing act regularly but he loved me intensely when we'd see each other (once a fortnight). I always wanted more so kept leaving him, to save myself from pain.

Fast forward to today - met the most incredible man about 2 months ago, it's been wonderful getting to know him. He seems to be the considerate, thoughtful, attentive person I've been searching for all my life. I feel completely relaxed (had numerous relationships in the past with men who were always playing the field) with him and don't incessantly worry about the whole game playing ordeal. He's keen to meet my children (I've said not yet) and takes a huge interest in me.

Problem: he's struggling financially. Severely. He's a carpenter by trade and is nearly 57. Apparently he's not got anything in terms of house /savings because of his divorce where he left with nothing. Looks like he's never considered saving till now. He gets work daily through Gumtree but it's apparently insignificant.
He talks a lot about this, he sounds worried particularly in light of the fact that we've met and are falling in love. He says he understands women require financial stability in life etc and he has nothing to offer ...he lives in another city but travels up to London to see me every week. Apparently, the room he's renting becomes unavailable soon.

I'm just managing ok ish on my own. Got house and savings I haven't told him about. Been through my own divorce hell this year with an ex husband whom I married when he was financially bankrupt and pretty much in the gutter. I built up my ex husband, trained him, got him a great job, he's on a high wage now but even so he fought me ruthlessly for money. So my fingers are badly burned.

Therefore I just don't know what to say when this new guy starts to talk about his situation. My heart says - help him, let him stay with you - you can both help each other. My health has been poor, I've struggled with childcare, have no family support and friends who just spk on the phone. My heart says, we can help each other - this is the exact relationship I've been searching for all my life.
My head says "you must be joking, not this sh#t all over again"

Any thoughts? Can it work?
Thanks in advance

Shoxfordian Wed 29-Nov-17 12:14:46

Definitely listen to your head

You've only known this man for 2 months! You definitely shouldn't be thinking of asking him to live with you yet. Please concentrate on your own life and finances and don't invite him to live with you when he has nothing to contribute.

Notamorningperson84 Wed 29-Nov-17 12:29:12

Listen to your head not your heart!

It's only been 2 months. He seems to be hinting at you helping him out even if he hasn't said it outright. Don't offer, if he asks say no. I think his reaction will tell you everything.

HebeJeeby Wed 29-Nov-17 12:32:38


bluescreen Wed 29-Nov-17 12:37:45

Leave it for him to raise the question specifically. He might not raise it at all. Good for him. If he does, his reaction when you tell him you aren't ready to think about this sort arrangement will be very telling.

But in any case, listen to your head.

VivienneWestwoodsKnickers Wed 29-Nov-17 12:40:24

Carpenters are a trade currently able to name their price on many of the larger sites, so I don't buy the claim that he can't find enough work. He could knock the door of hundreds of developers and offer his services. If his room is up soon, he should consider whether he can afford to live in an area that apparently hasn't enough work to sustain him and move to where the work is, given he's having to move house anyway.

Do NOT subsidise this man's life, you've known him 8 weeks.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 29-Nov-17 12:41:22

Listen to your head rather than your heart here. You should never act as either a rescuer or a saviour in any relationship; neither approach works and you may want to rescue and or save him here.

Look at what you have learnt about relationships to date and unlearn all the crap you have learnt through counselling if necessary and enrolling on the Womens Aid Freedom Programme. Your relationship radar needs some more fine tuning I think and your boundaries seem a bit blurry.

RB68 Wed 29-Nov-17 12:46:07

At 57 the developers are not interested I bet but as an odd job etc - different story esp in London.

I would keep him arms length, maybe give him some advice re his business - more professional set up with web page and contact and advertising in right places for better quality and better paid work (lets face it gumtree fb and the like want it cheap as chips) then let him drive it himself and build his own funds. If he is living in ldodgings and stuff he won't have a workshop or anything which might be difficult for storage of tools etc but I really wouldn't be letting him move in etc just yet its too soon

W0rriedMum Wed 29-Nov-17 12:52:11

Carpenters are a trade currently able to name their price on many of the larger sites, so I don't buy the claim that he can't find enough work
Agree with this. I've been trying to get a carpenter for months but they're so busy, they won't come over to quote for the job!

Is he on mybuilder? Does he have a workshop/tools?

Have you been to his home town to see his set-up, e.g. lodgings, friends, haunts?

Proceed very slowly indeed - this is moving very quickly.

VivienneWestwoodsKnickers Wed 29-Nov-17 12:58:05

At 57 the developers are not interested. Definitely not the case. A competent worker won't be judged on age. They just need to turn up and get on with the job.

RaininSummer Wed 29-Nov-17 12:59:00

Keep seeing him so long as you are enjoying it but definitely do not let him move in or give/lend him money.

ptumbi Wed 29-Nov-17 12:59:53

He is a 'carpenter'? My BIL is a carpenter and sister a SAH and they go on holidays 4-5 times a year. Even over christmas. They aren't rolling in it but very very comfortable.

He's either not a carpenter (lying to you) or he's not a very good one. Maybe he's a labourer? CIH? Day to day?

Yes financial stability is a good start, but not lying is even better.

VeganIan Wed 29-Nov-17 13:07:05

Apparently, the room he's renting becomes unavailable soon

Sounds fishy. As for work -add my name to the large group of people in the SE looking for a carpenter/handyman.

Have you seen where he lives?

mindutopia Wed 29-Nov-17 13:20:44

I think you need to be careful and keep him at a safe distance because certainly all that smells of being taken advantage of. My dh is a tradesperson. He runs a successful business and is drowning in work. I find it a bit suspect that he is 'finding work on Gumtree.' That doesn't sound like something that anyone who is serious about earning an income in a trade would be doing. Fair enough he lost money in the divorce, but at 57, there's no reason he couldn't be earning a decent salary either working for someone else or by being a bit more entrepreneurial than getting a bit of work through Gumtree.

I think you need to say that it's too soon to be thinking about entangling your finances and moving in together (it is), but you care about him and want to be patient and give the relationship time to develop. If he disappears, then you'll know he was just using you. If he sticks around and continues to get to know you and your children eventually, then it may be the real deal.

Lovemusic33 Wed 29-Nov-17 13:23:06

Apparently the room he rents becomes unavailable soon this would worry me the most.

I just dated (briefly) a man in a similar position, wife had left him with almost nothing but he had paid off all his debt and was back on his feet, he was also about to be made homeless as the room he was renting is soon to become unavailable. He was very full on with me, came across as being lovely, caring, bought be flowers and told me how he really liked me. He was obviously not that into me because one day I forgot to text him back and he vanished (I wasn’t too bothered so I didn’t message him). I had already been in a relationship with someone who suddenly became homeless and moved himself into my house and wasn’t going to risk it happening again.

Just remember, you don’t really know him or his intentions, how ever nice he may seem, make sure he doesn’t expect to move in anytime in the near future.

Cricrichan Wed 29-Nov-17 13:29:45

I know lots of tradespeople and they all have more work than they can cope with and we live in a small place.

Carry on seeing him but don't let him move in with you or tie yourself with him financially in any way.

springydaffs Wed 29-Nov-17 13:40:14

I built up my ex husband, trained him, got him a great job

Woh! What's all that about??

You trained up an adult man? Built him up, got him a great job? Seems to me you're the one with the issue here. What's with making a project out of your partner/s? Who made you god?

I'm on my uppers at present and I would loathe someone trying to 'better' me: so deeply patronising. There could be any number of reasons why he's currently not very flush or foreward-thinking (depression? Life knocked the stuffing out of him?). But the very last thing you need to be doing is taking him on as a project. Passion killer apart from anything!

It's not your job to make what you consider to be a viable human being out of him, as you have done with a previous partner. That's his job, and for you to stand respectfully by.

stirling Wed 29-Nov-17 14:42:20

Thanks everyone for these very helpful replies. Looks like I needed grounding.

Hmm. So head was right.
He lives in Brighton. Says the work with 'companies' is incredibly hard on a physical level - very long stints, you need a younger body apparently.

Springydaffs, my ex husband was cleaning bar floors when I met him and up to his neck in debt. He tried to be an artist and sell paintings but never could. I'm not God, I'm just practical - I train teachers for a living and got him into teaching Art at secondary. He's now the head of 2 departments and on a significant salary. If I take the credit for that, I believe, given the atrocious way he's treated me throughout the marriage - that I have the right to feel I got him to where he is today.

Thanks to everyone else for your replies.

stirling Wed 29-Nov-17 14:44:59

That's what I thought too - it's fishy because I recently needed a carpenter and couldn't get hold of one. He says he can find day to day jobs but nothing 'big ' to significantly be able to have a relationship with. He sounds embarrassed to be honest.
I haven't visited yet...I'm really stuck in terms of childcare.

WhatALoadOfOldBollocks Wed 29-Nov-17 17:39:40

Either he's bullshitting that he's a carpenter, is a crap one (so he's not getting regular work through word of mouth), or he's lacking in motivation to set up properly on his own. As others have said there's a need for good reliable tradespeople and I find it odd that he's having trouble getting work. Anyway, regardless of that, 2 months is way too soon to be worrying about his housing situation. That's entirely his concern not yours.

WhatALoadOfOldBollocks Wed 29-Nov-17 17:41:59

Just reread your last post and noticed he does get jobs day to day just not big projects. Why is that a concern for him? Does it matter provided he finds he has enough work to live comfortably?

AngelsSins Wed 29-Nov-17 18:20:44

Listen to those warning bells OP, he could be lovely and genuine, he could be a cocklodger, but after 2 months it would be very hard to know one way or another.

thenightsky Wed 29-Nov-17 18:56:34

My sister lives in Brighton. She waited months on a waiting list for a carpenter to build her wardrobes, as did my mum when she moved into her Brighton flat... 6 months she waited.

Bumshkawahwah Wed 29-Nov-17 18:56:48

Head, definitely. Just keep asking yourself the question ‘what if?’. what if he is not what he seems? What if you having to come and live with you in August completely pear-shaped? You don’t know enough about him at the two month mark. He may seem lovely, but honestly, if you weren’t struggling, would you be asking him to move in with you? If the answer is no, then it should still be no. He could really be anyone .

Bumshkawahwah Wed 29-Nov-17 18:58:44

Sorry, I use the dictation thing to dictate this message and it’s come out completely jumbled up. I hope you get the gist anyway!

It should say‘ if he weren’t struggling’, not you. Also ‘ what if he were to come and live with you and it goes completely pear-shaped ‘

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