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Okay, I'll do my best to make this brief:


Been living with my BF for 3.5 years. Both in our mid-fifties, both divorced, no kids. For our first couple years together I was trying to find good work (I'd relocated to the area) and he had a decent job, though during those years he was downsized twice and took cuts in pay each time to find new work. As his first job loss loomed at the beginning of 2015, he purchased a home ("while he still had the chance") and two cars (one to replace the company car he would soon lose and one to replace my ancient SUV, though this wasn't anything I asked for and I had my doubts about the advisability of doing so). He asked me to handle both car payments and my pre-existing personal debt, and he'd handle all other bills. My name is not on ANY of the financial notes, nor on the automotive registrations OR the house deed.


I had lost everything during the recession a few years back and was starting over from zero. I worked low-paying temp jobs while trying to find permanent work at a good salary but it was taking longer than anticipated. He was only out of work for a month (he got a good severance package, too) and then took the first job offered, at a pay about 20% lower than he'd been making. It was still a reasonably good salary. I paid him what I could when I could but my paychecks varied and there were times when I didn't get 40 hours per week. He knew all that when he made these financial arrangements, so it wasn't a surprise or anything. But he argued with me about money, and tied all ideas of responsibility to money. So if I wasn't getting full hours but I busted my hump around the house and spent extra time sending out resumes but I couldn't deliver the $$$ in a given week or month, I was "irresponsible" in his eyes. Drove me nuts!


He had a lot of shifting elements in his job, so I'm sure there were times he felt like he lacked control, and as a result he tried more and more to criticise and control ME to compensate. Our relationship became more like a business/roommate arrangement and less like a romantic partnership. That drove me nuts too. In hindsight I think we were both depressed by the situation -- he over his job and money issues, me over my job issues, money issues, and the withdrawal of his affection toward me. Yet given that I was making not very much money and we live in a very expensive part of the country, I didn't even have the resources that would let me leave. Time after time he'd even lament how we were fighting over stuff and he thought we'd get along better if I moved out and we just dated rather than living together... I had to remind him that this wasn't financially possible for me at that time and that if I had to go live in some boarding house or shelter I'd be too resentful to want to see him anyway so we'd be through if I moved out. He didn't want to be through, so we stayed together and I remained living with him.


The middle of last summer (2016), he got downsized AGAIN. Right at that same time I was starting a permanent job with a good salary. Not so good that I could live particularly easily as a solo act given local prices for housing (even rentals) but definitely more money than I'd ever made before and ALMOST enough to live reasonably well on my own. Of course, I didn't want to move out and in any case he was suddenly on unemployment and looking for work. A couple of months later he took a low-paying job just to have something, and wound up hating that job because he was constantly being micromanaged. I was making nearly twice what he did, and he asked me to contribute an amount to our household budget that was just about equal to the cost of his mortgage. This represented almost 75% of my take-home pay and left me a bit short of being able to easily cover my own personal obligations but I figured it was only until things got better for him -- he was still looking for a good-paying job. So I paid that much in, out of loyalty and the sense that I was helping to build a stable future for us because now I was in a position to actually be HELPFUL with that and I figured he'd appreciate me for it.


Well, we kept on fighting because he became more and more controlling and domineering (he actually admitted to "being deliberately domineering" at one point). I think he was reacting to feeling like he had little to no control over what was going on in his life and to finding himself somewhat dependent on me. Doesn't excuse it, of course, but I can sort of understand the motivation. Mind you, he's normally a nice guy but these past three years have twisted his mind something awful. Anyway, he drew money from me and used his own small paycheck, drew down his savings, and drew out from his retirement fund just to keep everything paid, yet he still fell behind on his mortgage and everything else.


Well, in the middle of THIS (2017) summer he finally got hired for a better job. It pays maybe half of what he was making when he bought the house and the cars, and only a little more than I make. Between the two of us we'd actually be okay financially, able to pay everything and begin to slowly build up a cash reserve perhaps. But as soon as he got the job offer, he decided to tell me we were through!


He said he still wants to be friends and that he "loves" me but isn't "in love with" me, isn't happy, thinks I'm the cause of all his problems, etc. I reminded him that he can't really afford his house and everything on his own (even not counting the car I drive, which I would keep and pay for) but he swears he can. I also said there is no way I could afford to move out anytime soon since I have no cash reserve (remember, I've given him most of my income for the past year), still need to improve my credit rating to be able to get a decent rental, and the terms of my employment contract prohibit my taking a second job. I suggested we seek counseling together -- something we'd discussed before -- but he said he'd only do it "to create a peaceful roommate coexistence".


We've been to some counseling together and I'm trying to keep us going to more, as well as each of us individually. I want to get him to examine the things that went wrong between us (necessary even for closure if nothing else) and maybe see that he is wrong about things. Meanwhile, we still live together and we can even enjoy each other's company... until he picks fights if I say anything that's too much of "us". So it's kind of like he has his cake and expects to eat it as well. Mind you, nearly all of my local friends are his friends too, as he lived here first. That doesn't help much.


He seems to think I should still be paying him the bulk of my income as long as I live with him, and conveniently forgets that doing so would mean it would take me several YEARS to position myself to move out without having to live in a bad neighborhood and literally paycheck to paycheck and panic every time I have to get the car serviced or pay a dental bill or something. I'm too old for that. He says he cares about what happens to me though he sometimes wishes he didn't, but then he forgets how to do math and insists on getting my money. It's like he wants me to move out but he doesn't REALLY want me to move out.


I've stopped giving it to him. Frankly, I'm fine with paying the money that goes to pay for "my" car and my share of the cellphone bill and cable/internet. But I draw the line at paying any part of his mortgage (he claims I've never paid any part of that, and I asked him then what did he do with the money I was giving him for the past year because it sure as hell was a LOT more than my half of anything else and his personal debts aren't my responsibility either -- he didn't answer me). He says, "You can't live here for free" (he was fine with my doing so three years ago) and I remind him that I can't move out if I give him all my money. He simply doesn't connect the two concepts.


I love him and think he's just in need of mental help. But regardless of that, even if we got back together as a couple, after this I would no longer be willing to contribute toward the mortgage, HOA, and other costs directly related to a house in which I have no equity. Utilities, cable, other stuff -- no problem. But not the house.


What would you do?

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Oh, boy. Both of you have no concept of money, your responsibilities or anything.


Firstly, he was incredibly irresponsible to go out and buy a house and TWO CARS out of the blue. That's an incredible burden and you shouldn't have to shoulder the responsibility of having to pay the loan on these vehicles.


Secondly, you're being irresponsible by thinking you can live there for free. Don't you realize that these days rent could be anywhere from 25% to 50% of someone's paycheck? Food can easily be 25% to 33% of a paycheck. Utilities such as electricity, gas, cell phone, cable can eat up hundreds of dollars more. In some cases, we might be talking about 100% of a paycheck just to live! Has someone taken care of you for your entire life? Saying that it would take years to position yourself to move out, you sound like a rash that just won't go away. Find a roommate situation on Craigslist and just move out! Your bf can fend for himself. And, yeah, you might have to live in a "bad neighborhood" for a while (although I doubt it -- rents are high all over), but it would teach you how to stand on your own two feet.


And, by the way, I think the relationship is already over. You need to move on.

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It isn't about living for free. You can't spend the same dollar twice. If he wants me out, I have to be able to afford to leave, which I can't do if I'm giving my money to him. He has to choose which he wants more, my money or my absence. Right now I'm still paying him half the utilities and cable, which no one would be paying half of for him if I were already gone. I also pay for one of the cars. If I were giving him $1300 rent ( that'smore than half his mortgage!) I would be able to move out in maybe 5 years. Frankly, paying him any rent slows my ability to leave.


You don't sound like you have much experience with money or with adult life. I won't live in an unsafe neighborhood for safety reasons (rape survivor) and as far as "learning to stand on my own two feet"... well, I've been doing that since way back in the 1980s when I first lived on my own. I've had responsibility for others as well (nursed both parents through illnesses... they're long dead now) so please don't talk to me like I'm 20 years old.


Anyone with any sense knows that paying for a property in which you will not build equity and on which you don't even have a lease and won't get any kind of rental history is stupid. I'm not into being taken advantage of.

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What would you do?


I would move out and get my own place, even if that means taking a cut in my standard of living. That's the decent thing to do. It's not your house, and he doesn't owe you anything. He shouldn't have bought you the car.


definitely more money than I'd ever made before and ALMOST enough to live reasonably well on my own.


I am surprised by this!!

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Please move out. There are a lot of women looking for roommates - i found a few where it was a divorced mom of one who got the house in a divorce but things would be easier with a roommate. There are women older than you who are widowed and there are younger women. There are also small apartments. if you are the roommate who pays half the utilities, find a place, give him 30 days notice and move. Live within your means

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