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Thread: A tight family and a boyfriend who can't say "No".

  1. #1

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    A tight family and a boyfriend who can't say "No".

    This is my first post on here so sorry for how extremely long it is, but I have a lot to say.

    So, let me start this off by saying that I am dating what people may consider a “Mama’s Boy”. I didn’t realize this when we first got together, I just thought he was a very generous guy who didn’t mind helping his mom or his siblings out… every once in a while. This is still true, but I have come to realize they take his money without him knowing, ESPECIALLY his mom and one of his two siblings. His parents and his siblings all have joint bank accounts, meaning they can access each other’s funds very easily. What this also means is that they take HIS money without him knowing for stuff that they need, and stuff that they DON’T need as well. For example, a couple months back, one of their very important household appliances went out (I don’t want to be too descriptive because my luck, his mom would see this and confront me. I'm not afraid of confrontation, I'm afraid of finally popping off and saying things I don't mean). Anyways, their appliance went out and they “didn’t have money to pay for it”. My boyfriend and his mom make the same amount of money: roughly $10.80 an hour. I don’t know how much his dad makes but I know it can’t be much more than that because he works at a grocery store. I do as well and I don’t even hit $10.10 for a couple more months. Well, needless to say, they ended up getting a “new” appliance, and not even a month later, I see on my boyfriend’s sibling’s Snapchat that they bought a brand new $400.00 TV. My boyfriend was with me at my dad’s house at the time, and he is aware of how vocal I am about “money issues”, so I showed it to him and asked, “Umm.. do you know about this?” He responded with, “Yeah! I helped pay for it! Isn’t it nice?!” I just sighed. It’s not like they had a bad TV to begin with, it was at least a 50 inch TV as well, this new one is easily 70 inches. They just bought it to have it, their “older” TV is now in my boyfriend’s bedroom. That’s just one example. Another time, I was with one of his siblings (whom I am very close with), and every time they bought something, they would take money out of my boyfriend’s account into theirs so they could buy what they wanted. This sibling does this all the time and laughs about it. I’ve brought it to my boyfriend’s attention and he said, “Well, *their name* usually asks me every time they need money?” I said, “Well, they haven’t been. They take money out of your account whenever they need be”. He got silent. This is also very annoying to me, as both of his siblings are in college, and are PERFECTLY capable of getting a job. I, too, am a college student, yet, I work a full time job? I make my own money? There is literally no excuse, especially since they struggle with money so much, wouldn’t you want your other kids to get a job as well? Also, this past Spring, we went on a trip with the band. His mom and sibling went as well. Guess who’s account they took $300 from to have spending money? My boyfriend’s. His mom giggled and said “Shh.. he doesn’t know we took spending money. He obviously wouldn’t mind but still”. I guess he doesn’t seem to mind because he thinks he is doing good by helping his family (which he is, don’t get me wrong), but at what point does it become to where they are just taking advantage of his income?

    Another thing that irritated the mess out of me was something else financially. As I have already mentioned, they don’t make a lot of money. His mom makes less than $25,000 a year, and my boyfriend makes about the same amount. Her husband? I have no clue how much he makes but I know their combined income has to be less than $50,000. Anyways, we were planning on taking a trip to a very famous amusement park in Florida. They have payment plans to where you can pay a certain amount monthly until it’s paid off (obviously). Well, that’s what they were planning on doing, because they don’t have the funds to pay for it all upfront. Well, I thought they were all going to pay their ways, and I was going to pay mine. I get a text one day from his mother, basically, in a nutshell, saying that the only way the six of us would be able to go is if my boyfriend and I paid *x amount* for nearly a YEAR. I’m sorry, I may be crazy but I don’t think it’s fair that my boyfriend and I would have to pay for four other people to go basically for free? I obviously told her no because that definitely wouldn’t be happening. How is a full time college student going to pay for her boyfriend’s family to go on a trip? How is that fair in any way?

    I have so much more to say but I know this is already extremely long, so I’ll just add one more thing. This may just be the fact that I’m already annoyed with his family, but whenever him and I are at my dad’s, it seems they can’t go more than a few hours without calling or texting him… for NO reason. It’ll be the littlest or stupidest stuff that they could obviously wait and tell him for when he got back (side note: we usually only spend two days at my dad’s, so it’s not like we’re gone for an entire week). Like, his sibling will call to tell him about how they just bought a new game (it’s no quick phone call either, they’ll sit on the phone for 20+ minutes), or his mom will call and let him know how his siblings are doing (who are GROWN as well).

    I just need guidance on how to assess this situation. I’ve read other people’s questions on here so I know I’m not the only one who has to deal with this kind of mess. I’ve read that I shouldn’t be the one to talk to my boyfriend’s mother, it should be him. May I also add that we’re trying (he’s trying, I HAVE) to save up money so we can both move out of our houses and get an apartment together. I have done all the research and math that is necessary to make sure we would be in an apartment we could afford. I am afraid that with how things are going, we will not have enough funds to pay our OWN bills on time if he’s more worried about paying for his PARENT’S bills. I also know this situation should be fixed before we get engaged or married, because if it’s not fixed now, it won’t ever be fixed.
    Thanks so much!

  2. #2
    Platinum Member j.man's Avatar
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    His money isn't your business. If you want to move out, then move out. Find an affordable place for yourself or get a roommate. Don't wait on him. I'm not saying the dynamic is one I'd get romantically involved in, but it is what it is. Accept that things are what they are, not what you think they should be.

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    I don't want this to come out in a rude way, because I'm definitely not trying to be rude in any way, but at a certain point, his money is my business. We've talked about the apartment and have agreed to split the bills halfway. How would it turnout at the time rent is due, I have my half, yet he doesn't because he helped his mom get something else she didn't need?

    We have talked about marriage and he has thrown out the idea of us having "joint accounts" (once we're married) more than once. I would not mind this, but knowing how his family takes his money, I am not okay with this. I do not want my hard earned money to be given to people who have opportunities for advancement, but choose not to because they're "happy where they're at", yet complain that they don't have enough money for anything. At some point he has to realize that he will have to start taking care of his own family (as I have stated, we're very open about marriage and kids, we've talked about it) rather than his mother and unemployed siblings.

  4. #4
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    Your boyfriend is the problem. He lets them do this.

    Unless and until he puts a boundary there, there is no way I would move in with him, let alone consider marrying him and combining finances. He evidently knows how you feel. And thus far, nothing has changed. Financial incompatibility can be a deal-breaker. If he is not willing to put a stop to this, you're out of luck, OP.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member Andrina's Avatar
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    Don't expect a partner to change in a major way, because it rarely happens. What bothers you in the honeymoon stage will bother you triple fold as time goes on. He will always be overly involved with his family and his money will be their money. If it were me, I'd tell him I'm not comfortable with their family dynamic involving money and how you're tired of your time with him constantly being interrupted by long phone calls. When you are upset and frustrated in a relationship on a daily basis, it means it's not the right relationship for you. Free yourself to find someone who will be a better match for you. Take care.

  7. #6
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    I agree that you aren’t the right fit. He will likely always support his family in some way. If it’s bothering you now, it will bother you forever (even more as time goes on)

    Here’s the thing, though. Does he pay rent to his parents? Because if not, he kind of needs to do some of this, IMO. Otherwise, I don’t know how his parents can support at least 5 adults (you said siblings with an “s”) or even teenagers on $50,000. Nevermind rent (or mortgage) and utilities and FOOD for all those people... they probably have nothing left over. So - maybe that’s their deal. That he doesn’t have to pay “rent” - but he pays for the luxuries. So - the fridge (or whatever?). That was his duty to pay for. The TV does not sound unreasonable either especially since he took the older one. And maybe he has it setup that way so that they don’t have to ask every time.

    I would not try to get in between this. Money fights are one of the major contributors of divorce and getting between him and his family is also unwise.

    My advice to you is similar to what j.man said. Don’t focus on him, but focus on yourself. What do you want? To move out? Cool. Save your money and move out with roommates or whatever. Your boyfriend isn’t ready (even if he wants to be). He needs to become ready on his own - and seeing you move out and do all the things you were talking about may motivate him. And if he wants to move in with you? Set your own boundary that you won’t move in with him until you can have confidence that he’ll have the money to pay his part of the bills (however he wants to handle and solve for that - whether that’s giving them fixed amounts or whatever he wants to do).

    I think you are premature to worry about marriage and babies. Neither of you are in that place right now and I think this situation will naturally evolve over time. But yes - I think he will always support his family in some way (it sounds like those are his values) - so if that bothers you, you are incompatible and should probably leave now.

  8. #7
    Platinum Member indea08's Avatar
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    I agree with Andrina and MissCanuck. These are his habits, you've voiced your concern, his habits continue.

    If you want to have any kind of financial success in your life, it wont be with this guy. I would've taken one look at that family dynamic and immediately taken off running in the other direction.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by anonymous209
    We have talked about marriage and he has thrown out the idea of us having "joint accounts" (once we're married) more than once. I would not mind this, but knowing how his family takes his money, I am not okay with this. I do not want my hard earned money to be given to people who have opportunities for advancement, but choose not to because they're "happy where they're at", yet complain that they don't have enough money for anything. At some point he has to realize that he will have to start taking care of his own family (as I have stated, we're very open about marriage and kids, we've talked about it) rather than his mother and unemployed siblings.
    Talking about something isn't the same as actually acting on it. As you are learning his words don't match his actions.
    I heard a lot about how much this bothers you, but not once did you share any of his concerns. I will assume that this dynamic is normal to him and I don't hear him complaining.
    Can you live with it? Because unless HE is uncomfortable with it and has what it takes to go against the entire family dynamic and the strength to do so, I wouldn't wait around for him to change.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by anonymous209
    I have come to realize they take his money without him knowing, ESPECIALLY his mom and one of his two siblings. His parents and his siblings all have joint bank accounts, meaning they can access each other’s funds very easily. What this also means is that they take HIS money without him knowing for stuff that they need, and stuff that they DON’T need as well.
    Originally Posted by anonymous209
    Another time, I was with one of his siblings (whom I am very close with), and every time they bought something, they would take money out of my boyfriend’s account into theirs so they could buy what they wanted. This sibling does this all the time and laughs about it.
    Originally Posted by anonymous209
    Guess who’s account they took $300 from to have spending money? My boyfriend’s. His mom giggled and said “Shh.. he doesn’t know we took spending money. He obviously wouldn’t mind but still”.
    That is an impressive lack of boundaries.

    Originally Posted by anonymous209
    I’ve read that I shouldn’t be the one to talk to my boyfriend’s mother, it should be him.
    Well, what would you be fighting for? Do you really want to spend your life pushing and prodding and propping him up, fending off his family? It really has to be him who lays down the law. Otherwise you'll live your life as a guard dog.

    Originally Posted by anonymous209
    I am afraid that with how things are going, we will not have enough funds to pay our OWN bills on time if he’s more worried about paying for his PARENT’S bills. I also know this situation should be fixed before we get engaged or married, because if it’s not fixed now, it won’t ever be fixed.
    It's a very valid concern. He has a bank account like a sieve.

    Originally Posted by anonymous209
    I also know this situation should be fixed before we get engaged or married, because if it’s not fixed now, it won’t ever be fixed.
    Yep... I'm surprised you're still considering marriage, to be honest.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    That's great!. Now you can move out of your parents house and get a place of your own or with roommates. Clearly this group account and over enmeshed family is not consistent with your style and since he and his family live as a financial group, you can't wait around for him to get out of your folks house.

    He seems to enjoy the status quo living at home and sharing monies with his family. So he just can't won't and is not motivated to join you in getting out of your parents house. You seem to be rushing this forward based on talking. However he has made no effort to move out and in with you.

    You'll have to manage your own finances and come up with a better plan than depending on him for your departure from your parents home.
    Originally Posted by anonymous209
    I also add that we’re trying (he’s trying, I HAVE) to save up money so we can both move out of our houses and get an apartment together.

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