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Mortgage-free friends

(89 Posts)
Nogoodwithgoodbyes Wed 08-Apr-20 12:28:14

Hey there. I hope you're all doing ok during this lockdown. I know all of our health is the most important thing.

Two friends of mine are mortgage-free. They are in the same group of friends. The thing is they both confided in me about this separately (one over fifteen years ago, one recently) and they pretend to the rest of the group that they're the same as the rest of us. I have to go along with their pretense even though I have never had any financial help myself from a parent or partner. I'm going through a separation at the moment and it's been very difficult to find a place to live without any financial help with prices as high as they are. Meanwhile, one of them is garnering maximum sympathy from the group because her work hours may be reduced! Little do they know, that she is mortgage-free and this doesn't have the same implications for her as it would for the rest of us.

I wish they hadn't asked me to keep a secret I don't want to keep! I wish the others in the group knew. I'm tempted to tell one of them. What would you do? Also, I feel awful for envying them their good luck but I think what bothers me the most is the artifice around it. One of them forgot she had confided in me once and starting moaning about her mortgage!! I gently questioned (because I'm a gentle sort, not confrontational, so the solution is definitely not a confrontation with either of them) 'do you have a mortgage?' and she looked like a deer caught in the headlights as it dawned on her that she had confided in me years previous.

Why all the pretense? Why pretend to be the same as the rest of us when they clearly are not? Why swear me to secrecy? There are numerous examples I could go in to of them moaning about money etc in a way that others don't and meanwhile, I'm always the only one in the room who knows how good they have it, financially! angry

Advice welcome.

Nogoodwithgoodbyes Wed 08-Apr-20 12:29:52

P.S. They're mortgage-free due to financial help from parents and inheritance, not from their own hard work!

DonnaDarko Wed 08-Apr-20 12:32:05

Next time they have a moan in front of people , just blurt out "it would be so much worse if you had a mortgage"

It sounds like they don't want people to know how lucky they are, but they should have just said nothing instead of lying about it.

MarieQueenofScots Wed 08-Apr-20 12:33:49

They confided in you and asked you to keep it quiet.

That is what you do however unpalatable you find it.

Pelleas Wed 08-Apr-20 12:35:45

Being mortgage-free doesn't make you immune to financial difficulty.

burnoutbabe Wed 08-Apr-20 12:36:16

they are the same as the rest of you. I am mortgage free, doesn't mean i can't complain about stuff like cutting work hours same as everyone else would - i still have plans for that money, be it rebuilding savings etc or my pension.

Would you prefer they sit there saying HA HA WE ARE ALL GOOD in a smug way? that would be terrible unbritish.

Rollercoaster1920 Wed 08-Apr-20 12:36:26

Talk to them privately and ask them to stop the artifice because it makes you uncomfortable going along with the lie. They can just stay quiet in these conversations.

If they don't? Then you should stay quiet, steer the conversation away / go make a cup of tea.

If they continue it and you can't stand it then get new friends. Don't let the secret out though, even out of spite.

Nogoodwithgoodbyes Wed 08-Apr-20 12:36:35

@Pelleas It certainly bloody helps!

Pelleas Wed 08-Apr-20 12:38:38

Yes, it helps but, for instance, they might have non-mortgage debt.

Nogoodwithgoodbyes Wed 08-Apr-20 12:40:35

Would you prefer they sit there saying HA HA WE ARE ALL GOOD in a smug way? that would be terrible unbritish

No, I would simply prefer if one of them didn't invent a fictional mortgage and the other didn't garner sympathy from others without them knowing the full situation. I pay £1200 per month in rent. They don't and we have similar incomes.

If they continue it and you can't stand it then get new friends
They are my oldest friends and we are a long established group, so we won't be parting ways. This has been at the back of my mind for years and this is the first time I've let it out. I love them in many ways but I needed to let this out.

Don't let the secret out though, even out of spite
You're right. I'm a secret-keeper. One other more distant friend found out about one and told me and I pretended not to know. That's how well I keep secrets but god, it's tough.

Nogoodwithgoodbyes Wed 08-Apr-20 12:42:20

@Pelleas Trust me, they don't! I know them both very well and we are very close.

BumbleBeee69 Wed 08-Apr-20 12:42:56

Strange that they both choose to garner sympathy for something neither are enduring... whilst others are genuinely in fear of financial crisis...
I would question the integrity of such friends not the financial security.. it's almost the opposite of boasting... in the hiding of financial security.. but the woe is me bollocks would annoy me.. next time it is raised I would suggest a sharp.....
"What the hell are you talking about ? you don't even have a mortgage... so why are you seeking sympathy ?"

how would the group as a whole react to this information ? flowers

FaFoutis Wed 08-Apr-20 12:45:14

I have a similar friend. What I do to stop any lying in front of others (which has happened) is occasionally refer to her situation when we are alone. That reminds her that I know about it.

I understand the wish to keep it private, more wealthy people are judged differently, but then the risk of losing your home is absolutely not the same as the risk of not being able to add to your savings.

Spidey66 Wed 08-Apr-20 12:46:22

I don't know why it has to be a secret. I'm mortgage free after my mum died and left me some money. I don't shout it from the rooftops but if it comes up in conversation I'll say it.

Nogoodwithgoodbyes Wed 08-Apr-20 12:47:35

Thanks @BumbleBeee69 I think you get what I mean. I'm on lockdown with my ex-husband because I can't afford to move out right now and meanwhile they're in these glorious positions. I can't say anything because all of our conversations are 8-way conference calls these days but it is galling. I've always been someone who counts my blessings and it'd be great if they did too.

People are different when it comes to money. They are both amazing people otherwise!

notanurse2017 Wed 08-Apr-20 12:47:52

They are probably worried that people will judge them as you do.

MayFayner Wed 08-Apr-20 12:48:22

We call it the poor-mouth here in Ireland.

Shortfeet Wed 08-Apr-20 12:50:58

I can see why this might bug you but really you have no idea of their financisl situation. They may have remortgaged since the previous discussion about not having a mortgage. They may have other loans.
You need to stop thinking about this.

Nogoodwithgoodbyes Wed 08-Apr-20 12:51:44

Good point, @FaFoutis, I never bring it up with either of them. I think that's why one of them forgot she had told me and lied to my face! I'll take that on board and start bringing it up occasionally. Thanks.

You're dead right on both counts.

TheEndIsBillNighy Wed 08-Apr-20 12:51:48

Their behaviour is odd, especially if one of them referred to a non-existent mortgage!

That being said, we are mortgage free and I have told no one because it just hasn’t ever come up. I would hate to come across as smug, so I definitely would never mention it outright!

FaFoutis Wed 08-Apr-20 12:52:13

I like that phrase May.

Nogoodwithgoodbyes Wed 08-Apr-20 12:52:46

I won't go in to immense detail but trust me, I know the details. They are spoken about. We are very close and neither have ever had and will never have a mortgage and they don't have other debts either. I know that to be true!

BumbleBeee69 Wed 08-Apr-20 12:52:52

They are probably worried that people will judge them as you do.

But OP is judging them due to the dishonesty they are displaying and sympathy sought ... not because they are mortgage

Nogoodwithgoodbyes Wed 08-Apr-20 12:53:32


I agree with you. I wish they had never told me!

suggestionsplease1 Wed 08-Apr-20 12:54:17

If you're seeing outright lies then challenge that person on it.

Otherwise do nothing - it is not your information to reveal.

Of course people can be genuinely and legitimately upset by potentially reduced hours even if they don't have a mortgage. They may have other financial commitments you don't know about, their job may be very important to their sense of self and well-being and they might be concerned that it might not just be lost hours, but a lost job altogether in the future, with all the difficulties that may bring.

Everyone is fighting their own battles that you know nothing about. Unless you have the full picture of their financial, personal, mental, and emotional health you can't really call them out on how they express they are being affected at the moment.

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