My feed

to access all these features

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting relationship advice. If you need help urgently or expert advice, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide.


Please be honest - am I being reasonable??

26 replies

susanb · 11/06/2003 22:12

I will try to keep this brief. 18 months ago, dp bought himself a motorbike, we could afford it and he has always loved bikes, selling his first one when we moved for financial reasons. It came in really handy as we only have one car. A couple of weeks ago he decided he wanted to sell it because he's fed up maintaining it (we haven't spent alot of money on it, but he's forever doing stuff to it) and somebody bought it for more or less what he paid so we didn't lose out.

Anyway, over the last couple of months, I've seriously been considering a big life change by applying to go back to University to do a degree which means we'll be slightly worse off than we are now (plus we'll probably have to get another cheap car for dp to use as a runaround). A while back, when we were first discussing this, dp said if ever we needed money for more important things like this, he would go without a bike which I would expect him to say.

Basically, he is now talking about buying a cheap motorbike, so we'll have some extra money in the bank but he still insists he wants some sort of bike. My argument is that its really not necessary; because I'm giving up my job, we may be worse off when I start university so my philosphy is to get as much saved in the bank as possible to fall back on. Dp is convinced we won't be that badly off anyway and says he really enjoys the bike and that its his hobby. I have to say that he spends very little on anything else (doesn't drink alot, doesn't smoke and buys clothes only when his others are falling apart!)

Its not that I begrudge him having a bike, its just the financial implications and I think that £1500 is far better off in the bank at the moment until we know how badly off we're going to be.

To be honest, reading back over the post, it sounds really petty and you're probably thinking whats the big deal?! But I think, its more the principle of the thing, its not that its a bike, its that he seems more concerned with having his precious bike for a hobby than anything else. Whereas I think he should grow up!

Can I also say, that he's totally supportive of me going to Uni and in every other way is very careful with money. So, do you think I should give in? Or am I right?

OP posts:
M2T · 11/06/2003 22:16

I don't think you are being unreasonable at all. You both have no idea what it'll belike once you give up work.
How about a compromise? What about if he waits until you have given up work and started Uni. A few months down the line you should have a good idea of whether this money could be spent on a bike or may be needed for something more essential.

WideWebWitch · 11/06/2003 22:19

Mmmm, I'd probably say to my dp in the same situation "we can't afford a bike, we're going to need the money and how would you feel if I spent £1500 on a hobby, i.e something non essential?" But that wouldn't necessarily be reasonable! Because we do all need something to keep us going and if he doesn't spend money on anything else then why not? OTOH, you are about to be a lot poorer and so in this context a new bike is extravagent IMO. What about a compromise - he can if and when you've proved that he's right, you're not that badly off and you can afford it? So he gets what he wants if you can manage ok as a family but he has to wait a bit for it.

sobernow · 11/06/2003 22:23

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

aloha · 11/06/2003 22:39

I think it's really healthy for people in a relationship to have a hobby/interest that makes them happy - I really don't think it's childish. It sounds as if going to University is your decision which is primarily for your benefit & you are the one who will be reducing the family finances (which sounds like criticism but honestly isn't) and your husband is unselfishly supportive of this (which some men might well not be), and I think it might benefit your relationship if you were to support him when he wants to do something for himself and for his benefit. If you get absolutely desperate he could always sell it anyway. Frankly, a lot of men would just say 'It's my money and it's up to me what I do with it' (I probably would!! I never talk to dh about what I spend on shoes or plants) so I think he sounds great.

StripyMouse · 11/06/2003 22:43

I agree with sobernow - I would take the approach that if he is prepared to support your decision to go to University and cope as a family with the knockout financial implications then it is only fair and reasonable that you help to see if you can support him with his dream of keeping a bike.
Rather than look at possible financial problems, you mustget all the facts and do a family audit - boring but the only way you will find out exactly how well off you will be and stop/start worrying for a real reason. Why not sit down and do the sums as best you can and look at all the options such as second hand bikes, lower spec and older models etc.Perhaps you could also look at options of taking on a part time work during your course to help out. If he sees you are making a real effort to be sympathtic and understanding his needs it can only lead to a more positive situation.

StripyMouse · 11/06/2003 22:44

opps - crossed posts with aloha - you said it brilliantly and far more concisely.

October · 11/06/2003 22:52

Message withdrawn

aloha · 11/06/2003 22:55

No I didn't Stripymouse!

Tinker · 11/06/2003 23:02

Yes, agree with sobernow's and other comments on this, not really much more to add.

Oakmaiden · 11/06/2003 23:31

If he gets the bike, would you still need a second car? Couldn't he have the bike instead of the car - that way he gets what he wants, and there is still a second vehicle for him to use. I know he couldn't take children on it, but I'm sure you could work it out so that it would be workable....

whymummy · 11/06/2003 23:42

let him have the bike,he seems like a really nice bloke

robinw · 12/06/2003 07:29

message withdrawn

susanb · 12/06/2003 09:00

Wow, thanks everyone for your quick replies!! I've taken everything on board, but can I say that firstly we can't really just have a bike and a car because some days it would be up to dp to drop ds off at nursery (and he's too young to go on a motorbike!)

Also, the reason I'm going to University is because I eventually want to go into teaching and get out of my dead end office job. Okay, it is for me, but I'm also thinking it will benefit the family as whole, ie, we should have more money, say 10 years down the line, more prospects, etc. It may sound a bit feminist but I don't expect dp to work his backside off for the rest of his life to support me. And yes, he is very supportive, but on the other hand, I chose my current job to completely fit in with his and his job commitments always come first and any courses, etc he wants to do to better himself come first and my job situation comes second. So yes, he is very supportive, but I am by no means just doing this for myself and all the child care arrangements, financal planning etc has been done by me.

Stripymouse, it is very sensible to do the financial stuff which we are planning to do later today (can't wait!!) and we are also going to the bank today to sort out a separate account for spending money as we're currently losing track of what we're spending.

And then dp is going to look at (another) second hand bike......

OP posts:
M2T · 12/06/2003 09:09

I'm actually quite surprised by the responses you've had susanb!

I think it's a bit strange to buy an extravagance like a motorbike when you really don't know how you will cope once at Uni.... with the expense of books etc as well as the drop in income. I think it's his duty to support you in going to University to further your career and better the family income! AND I think getting a degree is FAR more important than a bloomin £1500 bike!

M2T · 12/06/2003 09:11

And another thing. A hobby/interest is great for him but I really think it's not going to jeapardise his happiness if he waits 6 months until you really feel that the £1500 is spare.

Good luck with your degree and good on you for taking the huge step to do this.

beetroot · 12/06/2003 09:17

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn

susanb · 13/06/2003 20:22

Hi M2T
I'm a bit surprised as well!
I'm also surprised that a few posters basically said how great it is that he's supporting me. Wouldn't your partner's do the same? (I'm not being argumentative, its just that I would expect my partner to support me in whatever career I decided to pursue and vice versa!) Some of you sound quite surprised that he is. Maybe I didn't realise how understanding he is.

Anyway, he's still looking at bikes but is yet to get my approval, so who knows??!

OP posts:
Twink · 13/06/2003 21:48

Why don't you take your bike test then on days when your dp needs to do the drop off, you could take the bike ?

It's not very expensive, you just need to take your CBT (compulsory basic training, which can be done in a day) then within the next 2 years take your full test. Once you've done CBT you can ride a bike up to 125cc with 'L' plates or ride under 'official' supervision on anything up to a 400cc. If you pass your test on a 400cc bike you can ride any size straightaway but if you stick with the 125cc (as I did, wimp !!) you have to wait 2 years to start riding bigger bikes.

October · 13/06/2003 22:46

Message withdrawn

susanb · 14/06/2003 08:28

Hi October

I do appreciate my partner and he has always been very supportive of whatever I want to do. I do work at the moment and we share childcare/household stuff as my hours fit around his so he is used to doing some domestic stuff.

With regards to university, the reason I am doing it, is to ideally further my career prospects and I really want to go into teaching. At the moment, I'm quite limited in the jobs I can do and the money's crap. I don't just look upon doing it myself, it would be to have greater earning prospects in the long run and just as importantly, a worthwhile enjoyable job = happier me.

My partner's reasoning is, that yes, we may be worse off in the short term, but in the long term it could be so worth it. Also, compared to many families, dp earns about average money and my wage is peanuts so we're quite used to living on not too much. Also, dp is due to get a decent pay rise in November, which means that along with my Student Loan we will only be a little worse off - thats the idea anyway!

OP posts:
ninja · 14/06/2003 12:34

couldn't you agree to sell the bike down the line if you are worse off then you think?

M2T · 14/06/2003 14:27

Good idea Ninja!

I have spoken to a few friends about this. It intrigued me to think that it was unusual to expect a partner to put his own little interest on hold for a few months in order to support their partner whilst they work their a*rses off getting a degree to help the family.

None of them said that it was an unreasonable expectation! I just couldn't imagine the justification for saying "actually NO! I will leave you if you go to Uni"?

Very weird.

StripyMouse · 14/06/2003 15:23

M2T - I am not surprised that your dh is supportive - so is mine. However it isn?t something that I would take for granted or not take into consideration when considering options. I never take my husband?s goodwill and supportiveness for granted and neither does he take my desire to support his dreams lightly either - it is a two way street as far as we are concerned (not suggesting it isn?t like that with you). I just feel that your dh is supporting your hopes and dreams, aware that it would be for the long term benefit of the whole family, and I just think it is only reasonable for you to consider his hopes and dreams too as this is what I consider being an important part of marriage and family life. If he were asking to fly to Florida for 6 weeks touring around it or buying a really expensive hot air balloon it would be different, but this seems a fairly sound request - and cheaper than a car. It needn?t be expensive and if it fits into the budget then why let the money sit in the bank for "just in case...". I really do believe that I would do my sums first to check that it is financially feasable, work out the cheapest options to finance one and help him out on this one. Sorry if that isn?t the answer you were expecting but at least it is my genuine 100% honest one. Whatever you decide, good luck.

susanb · 14/06/2003 19:27

Well, we have decided to compromise. Dp has decided to get a bike that's alot cheaper than the one he sold (once he'd talked it over with me) and he says of course he would sell it if we needed to. So basically, it is some extra money in the bank and he's still got a bike.

It still narks me a bit though, that his 'hobbie' seems to feature so highly while I'm trying to make a life changing decision hoping to benefit us as a whole!! I also have to say, that financially I am very careful; when we were planning to move 4 years ago, I found out I was pregnant with ds and I instantly thought 'there's no way we could afford to move now' even though I really wanted to. Dp said we'd be fine, and we moved and were; I guess I always look on the black side!

Dp has been pretty good - yesterday he sat down and went through all our finances (which actually looked quite good) and set up a new account to help us sort our money out in the future.

Thanks for all your helpful replies.

OP posts:
whymummy · 14/06/2003 20:54

im glad susan ,is not that his hobby features so highly but is not just a hobby a motorbike is also useful and like you said he doesnt spend a lot on himself,mine spends £500 on his season ticket every year and he doesnt even go to most of the matches,now that to me is wasting money but i wouldnt stop him,it`s what he loves!!

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.