“My Boyfriend Is Charging Me Rent, Unexpectedly”

My boyfriend and I have been dating for a little over a year. He recently purchased a tri-plex and we moved into one of the units two weeks ago with our puppy.

The first mortgage payment and utilities aren’t actually due for another month, but the tenants just paid rent to him on the 1st. We were thinking, “Sweet! Extra money!” I figured I’d be paying my portion of the expenses when he pays his, which is once the utilities and mortgage are actually due on the 1st of the next month, but he wants me to pay my portion now. This makes me feel like I’m a tenant (or roommate) and not his girlfriend. I’m happy to pay my portion once they’re due, but in this case I’m paying a whole extra chunk that really isn’t going towards a payment of any sort.

I can’t help but feel hurt that my boyfriend would want to take an extra payment from me when he knows how helpful it would be for me to use it towards my credit card payment/debt. I feel like I can’t complain because my expenses are quite low ($500/month) due to most of the mortgage being paid by the renters. For what it’s worth we’re splitting our portion 50/50. Do I have a reason to be bothered or should I just let it go and make the extra payment to him? Somehow I can’t imagine collecting extra money from him when it isn’t necessary, but maybe there’s another viewpoint I’m missing. — More Than a Tenant

You didn’t talk about this before you moved in? You just assumed you’d get a month free housing? And you thought you’d use that month of free housing to pay off a little of your debt, but you didn’t discuss that with your boyfriend? What else did you not discuss with him before moving in together? Maybe you also didn’t discuss what expenses your boyfriend has that your $500 rent money for the month would go toward? You say that your unexpected rent (which didn’t have to be unexpected if you’d discussed beforehand when your first rent check was due!) “isn’t really going towards a payment of any sort,” but how do you know that for sure? Did you ask your boyfriend? That’s probably a good place to start. You could say:

“Hey, it caught me by surprise that you wanted rent from me for this month since I know your first mortgage payment isn’t due until next month and I assumed that that’s when I would start paying you rent as well. Obviously, we should have communicated about this before we moved in together, but I was wondering if there are payments I’m not aware of that you need the money for. I was appreciating the idea of having a month to catch up on some outstanding debt, which would benefit us both since we’re living together now and merging our financial lives a little more.”

It may be that your boyfriend had the same idea you did — he might want to pay off some outstanding debt, too, and was counting on rent from you to do just that. Or… he may see your rent payment as a chance to make a little money off you, which, I agree, is kind of gross. You may, understandably, look at his expecting rent from you when “no payment is due” as treating you like a tenant or roommate rather than a girlfriend. But if charging you rent vs. allowing you to put money toward your debt is how you define the difference, what does it say about your perception of him/his role that you’d prefer putting money he was counting on to potentially put toward his debt toward your debt instead (IF that’s what he was planning… and you don’t know, because you didn’t discuss beforehand, apparently)?

At any rate, you two need to sit down and talk about your financial goals, both as individuals and as a couple, and about how you can help each other reach those goals. These are topics that should have been addressed in detail before your boyfriend bought a home and invited you to move in and help pay his mortgage, but since that didn’t happen, you need to do it now, immediately, before misunderstanding and resentment grows between you.

My boyfriend and I moved in together almost two years ago. We met six years ago through work and became very good friends. He was married then and had an unusual relationship with his wife. He gave her everything, but he seemed unhappy. I had the opportunity to meet her, and she was extremely critical of him. She complained about him with anyone and everyone. She wasn’t very liked by many and was what people would call “high maintenance.” Well, years ago, when we were just friends, he began to confide in me about his marriage issues. At that time, I gave them both advice on making their marriage work.

Years went by and he continued to be miserable. She gave his children a hard time when they visited him, and his parents were unhappy with her as well. So he went out and had a short-lived affair with another woman. Two years later he confessed feelings for me, and I also had feelings for him, too, but I didn’t like the fact that he was married. He separated and we began to date. He said I am the best thing that has ever happened to him. His kids, parents, and friends love our relationship; we are amazing together.

Although he’s with me, I feel he still cares for his ex. He pays all her bills and gets nervous when she hears my voice because it upset her. It’s been two years and he still helps with her bills, including medical insurance, and he has left her the home and two properties that he manages for her (they have no children together, fyi). He says something inside of him tells him it’s the right thing to do.

He tells me every morning how much he loves me and that if he wanted her, he would have returned by now. Sometimes I feel like I may be overreacting. I’m feeling depressed and can’t sleep. But lately I’m beginning not to care anymore. I’ve had this feeling before, and soon after I move on. But with him I have held on. He treats me like a queen and loves my family and I love his. But why can’t he let her go??? Please advise? — Can’t Sleep

You mention that he separated from his wife and you began to date, but you don’t say anything about his divorcing her. Are they still married? If so, that begs even more questions, not the least of which is: why haven’t they divorced yet? If they ARE divorced, what kind of settlement was made? Maybe your boyfriend is legally bound to support his ex-wife for a certain duration of time. It’s not unusual for one partner to continue financially supporting an ex-spouse for the first few years following a divorce. I assume you’re familiar with alimony, right? Paying some bills and health insurance for some time and giving up a home in a divorce is pretty common and could be the “something inside his head” that’s telling him it’s the “right thing to do.”

If, however, your boyfriend is divorced and they have a clean break and he doesn’t legally owe her anything but is paying her bills for some other reason, then, yes, that reason is probably in direct conflict with the stability of your relationship. Whether he feels guilty for cheating on her and dumping her for another woman, or he still has feelings for her, or he is holding on to a little nugget of hope or possibility that they’ll eventually get back together, none of that bodes well for you and your place in his heart and life. But without more details, it’s hard to advise you beyond telling you to talk to him and continue pressing him for what that “something inside of him” actually is that’s telling him that supporting his (ex? estranged?)-wife is the “right thing to do.”


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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.


  1. LW1: Is he building a cushion of Rent? If he gets money from people at the beginning of the month but also has to pay his mortgage at the beginning of the month, then that doesn’t give him any cushion if people are late. If he gets the money from the tenants (including you) then he has the money for the next month’s payment whereas if people are a week late, then he has to front the amount. In fact, depending on your state (like New Jersey) there is a mandatory wait time of a few days for a check to clear so he would always be fronting the money. This wouldn’t bother me at all.

  2. dinoceros says:

    LW1: I’m having trouble seeing a side of this where it makes sense for you to get to live rent-free for a month. On one hand, you seem to want special treatment as a girlfriend (the other tenants pay and you don’t, and that he should consider your other bills, which true landlords don’t do), but if this were your place that you owned with him as a partner, you’d be on the hook for a lot more than rent (insurance, tax, maintenance, purchasing costs). On the other hand, if you say that stuff isn’t your responsibility as a tenant, then as a tenant, you don’t get a free month of rent, and most tenants would not know the particulars of when payments are due, etc., and would not feel burdened by having to pay to have a place to live. If you truly think it’s unfair to pay for rent this month, then that also means you’re fine with taking advantage of the other tenants, which is icky in itself.

    1. Yes — insurance and taxes are tied into the mortgage payment.

      I don’t see how it’s icky to have tenants pay rent nor is it taking advantage. I assumed in my case he’d want me to pay when he does. I see now that maybe I was being a brat about it and have since paid half of the mortgage and half of the estimated utilities.

      1. dinoceros says:

        I just meant that if you feel strongly that no money was owed for living there for a month and you guys weren’t expecting their money and thought it was “extra,” then he could have told them they didn’t owe money yet and given it back. I think it makes sense that they’d pay because they are living there, but you’re the one who was saying it was weird. I was just going off that.

      2. Anonymous says:

        She should keep in mind that she is paying but not getting any equity in the home. That’s okay for a while, but not indefinitely. And, if they get married, she should make sure either her name goes on the deed or there is some formal financial arrangement for some portion of it.

    2. wobster109 says:

      I see LW’s view though. She’s not a tenant. She hasn’t signed a contract to rent one of the units. She wasn’t invited as a tenant either, but rather as a girlfriend, so I can see why she’d expect to go by “buying a home together” rules instead of “landlord-tenant” rules.

      If I bought a house with my bf, I would share in the real, actual costs. I would pay half (or whatever we agreed on) for mortgage, utilities, and household purchases. (LW sounds ready and willing to pay half of mortgage and utilities too.) If it were way more than $400 in a really bad month, I’d happily pay that. But I would not want to pay my bf if the mortgage were paid off or not due yet. We’re in this together, same as if we bought a car together.

      1. ele4phant says:

        So I don’t think it’s off-base at all to assume if you move into the home your partner just bought that you are more than a roommate and that you as a couple were moving towards something more serious.

        The thing is though, you’d still have a conversation before moving in to clarify and confirm those assumptions, right? You’d first discuss how much you’d be contributing and you’d clarify that there was a future there and that it was in fact, something you were in together.

        I’m pretty sure Wendy has written *multiple* posts about conversations you need to have before moving in, you should never just assume and move in without doing your due diligence.

        If your partner owns the home you’ll be living in and has some financial and legal control of the home you don’t have, the necessity of that conversation is doubly important.

        Ultimately though, I think the rent is a red herring for the fact that he’s jerking her around as far as his his long-term commitment to her in general, and so far, she’s been so passive and afraid to force him into a candid conversation about where things are going.

  3. LW1: you are right, I wouldn’t pay either in those circumstances.

  4. I don’t see how what he does with the money has anything to do with the situation. I mean does it matter what money he uses for the mortgage? He can use her money or the tenants, it shouldn’t matter. He bought the house to make a profit I assume, not break even. The thing here is basically the LW wanted to live rent free for a month, because she found out when her boyfriends mortgage is due, but that really isn’t how life works, one has nothing to do with the other, unless otherwise talked about, which in this case it definitely wasn’t.

    LW2: So you moved in as soon as you started dating? Now your stuck in a situation that you are uncomfortable with because you blindly moved in without asking questions, or setting up a life plan? Maybe start getting definite answers so you know where you really stand.

  5. ele4phant says:

    So…you were expecting to pay half, right? Your issue is just a matter of timing?

    I understand why you’d assume you’d pay in your portion the same time he pays in his, but I can also see from his perspective that you would pay in like his other renters.

    Everyone else is right, you two should’ve had a more thorough discussion laying out and clarifying your assumptions and financial authorities BEFORE you moved in together; but that ship has sailed and it’s not too late to have the conversation now.

    Although, for this month you will need to eat it and pay him rent for the first month.

  6. LW1: WWS, you should have talked about all of this before moving in. Since you didn’t, it’s more than time to have the discussion about finances.

    You’re stuck in a place between tenant, roommate, and partner, and you need to settle what you’re paying and when, as well as what kind of financial/housing protections you have. Because if you don’t have a lease or written agreement like his tenants do, your legal rights may be tenuous (or at the very least, less clear than if you had a written lease). He may be happy to have you pay less than his tenants (you’re sharing hosting with him after all, it’s not like you’re renting out a duplex of his) and not want the hassle of a lease, but you need to decide where you stand on a while host of things. Are you also going to be splitting taxes, HOA fees, insurance, etc? And because you’re not also on the mortgage/deed, you’re helping him build equity, which you’re not getting back. It could be a trade off for having cheaper rent, sure, but you need to at least have that discussion (or multiple discussions) and come to an agreement.

    While the question at minimum needs to be, can you come to a full agreement on how much is paid and when, and you need to talk finances in general, and other issues about living together in his house.

  7. Bittergaymark says:

    LW1) You’re a mooch.

    LW2) You’re just clueless. Your letter is too vague to properly respond to — so why bother?

  8. I’m LW1…as far as discussing finances — I tried, often, to get an idea of what I’d be paying. He always said he wasn’t sure yet but that he wouldn’t be relying on me heavily to pay the mortgage so I wasn’t too worried about the actual amount.

    He’s been off for a couple months to deal with moving in and making updates to the home but his income when back to work is $2,500 to 3k a week while mine is $1400 every 2 weeks yet I’ve agreed to pay half of everything (which includes all utilities for the tenants as well) I’m really not trying to simply get a free place to live. I’ve spent almost every night after work and my weekends working on his home and the other units “for free” while two other friends were paid $20 an hour and I’ve also unpacked all of our boxes. Again, he said he wouldn’t be relying on me heavily on expenses to help me get caught up on some recent large debts that I’ve incurred. Which I understand is generous. But yes, it was surprising that he’d want an extra payment from me which would be half of the mortgage and half of the expected utilities when those specifically aren’t due until next month. The mortgage I can maybe understand but not the utilities. I also do most of the cooking and cleaning by far. So that should count for something…

    1. ele4phant says:

      I’m LW1…as far as discussing finances — I tried, often, to get an idea of what I’d be paying. He always said he wasn’t sure yet

      This is a red flag. He won’t even discuss finances with you? And you just moved in based on a vague statement that “he won’t be relying on you heavily”?

      You shouldn’t have committed to anything financial with him (which sharing a household is) until you had worked out a clear plan for what you would owe and what would “count” as contribution. If he refused to discuss that in detail, you should’ve taken that as a bad sign.

    2. RedRoverRedRover says:

      You’re paying for half of the total utilities of the whole complex? What the hell? Why would you agree to that? It’s a red flag to me that he’d even expect you to. He should be charging his tenants the appropriate rent to cover their fair share of the utilities, not counting on his girlfriend to help him cover it. That’s fucked. And if he IS charging his tenants the appropriate rent to cover it, then he’s taking advantage of you because he’s effectively getting that money twice, once from his tenants and once from you.

      Not to mention that in my opinion, when there’s such a disparity in wages, a 50/50 split of expenses isn’t really fair. That’s what roommates do, not partners. I don’t think he sees you as an equal partner, sorry. I can’t imagine making my partner pay for half of everything if I made like four times what he made. That’s messed up.

      1. RedRoverRedRover says:

        But to answer your specific question, yes you should go ahead and pay him when the tenants do. I don’t see why you’d expect a month of free rent. Especially from someone who clearly doesn’t see you as an equal partner.

      2. It seems like she is paying half of the remaining mortgage, and then splitting the utilities because all of the apartments are probably on one bill, and included in the rent. He’s just using the rent to pay the mortgage off first, and there portion to pay the rest. He could easily just pay off the utilities, and then use the rest for the mortgage, and then they pay the unpaid portion of the mortgage, but she is still going to have to pay the same amount any way you word it. Basically she is paying $400.00 a month everything included for her place, no matter how the split it up, and so isn’t he. Doesn’t sound like such a bad plan. Hopefully he is taking some of the tenants money for any problems that might come up though.

        Also I don’t think their disparity in salaries really is a problem with how much they are paying a month. I think it would be a problem if he wanted to live in a much more expensive place and she didn’t. But this seems like a situation where she gets to live in a nice place for minimal money, because of her boyfriends ability to buy a this place because of his higher salary.

      3. ele4phant says:

        “Not to mention that in my opinion, when there’s such a disparity in wages, a 50/50 split of expenses isn’t really fair.”

        Eh – that’s subjective, not a hard and fast rule, and couples who choose to split finances that way do not necessarily see each other as unequal partners, *assuming* they both agree to it and the partner that makes less isn’t getting stretched too thin.

        Before we got married, my husband and I had the strictly 50/50 set-up. I made substantially less, but I got to set the parameters for what I could and could not afford. It worked fine, we were both happy with it, and I didn’t feel like I was being taken advantage of.

      4. ele4phant says:

        Yeah – also to echo bagge – the renters’ utilities are probably “included” in their rent in that they are charged more than just the share of the mortgage for their unit.

        I assume what Britt pays is substantially less than they do because of this, but then she and the BF split the utilities. She still probably comes out way below what the renters pay. Seems fair to me.

    3. Yeah, this is starting to sound less generous on his part. You’re doing work on the place for free, while he paid his friends. He makes substantially more than you (3 times more at least, if I’ve calculated it right). And you’re contributing to his equity. Without a lease and therefore no tenant’s rights. This is even seeing aside that he basically wouldn’t talk to you about finances and what you were agreeing to pay before you moved in (a tenant would have that all hammered out first).

      Please stop at least doing free work and most of the cooking and cleaning until you figure this out. This house is his responsibility, and if he is going to treat you like a tenant or roommate, that’s what he should get until you’ve nailed down your terms. If he wants a clean house and food, he can share that work or pay for it. If it were me (and it doesn’t sound like you’re necessarily like me, so this might not be the way you go), I’d start subtracting the market rate for the extra work I was doing from my rent. You’ve got bills too!

  9. Anna Luddite says:

    LW1: check the closing document. You will see that the first mortgage payment was part of the closing. That’s part of the closing costs and his lawyer sent the first mortgage payment to the bank.

    1. SpaceySteph says:

      Yeah this was my first thought, too. You don’t really get a free month of mortgage, it’s just rolled up in the giant pile of money you drop at a closing. He is still paying April’s mortgage, just not by a check he wrote on April 1st.
      It’s foolish for either of them to think of April’s tenant rent as “extra cash” or free money.

  10. I’m a planner and he tends to deal with things as they happen which doesn’t really work in these situations. He was stressed about the move and getting tenants in and I knew that my portion would be less than if I got a place on my own so I let it go until we were settled. Stupid of me, I know.

    1. But it isn’t really next month, right? The mortgage is due the first of the month. So he will need the money before that. If you give him the money when it is due, then he will have to float the money before that.

      1. No, it’s due May 22nd.

      2. ok, may 22nd, I am changing my answer. I agree with Ron below.

  11. This business about whether or not you pay the first month’s rent before the month or after is so trivial. If you were renting, you’d pay the first month plus security deposit upfront.

    You have FAR bigger issues in play here. You have no agreement on finances. You have no agreement on division of household work. You are doing refurbishing of his properties for free. Your happiness in this relationship seems iffy. I think you should bite the bullet, move out, and rent your own place, with a roommate if that is what you must do to make the finances work out. You are working free to renovate his investment property, for which he will obtain 100% of the benefit, in a relationship which, pardon me but, sounds like there is far too much aggravation, noncommunication, and lack of cooperative spirit to come close to going the distance. Maybe your relationship has a chance if you move out and stop being a source of free labor, who feels exploited. That sort of resentment will quickly kill your relationship as will the inability of the two of you to discuss finances and the mechanics of living together. Having not had those discussions, and certainly not having them progress to a mutually satisfactory conclusion, the two of you were not ready to move in together.

    1. RedRoverRedRover says:

      Totally agree with this. And as part of the finances discussion, there needed to be a component of “what are we moving towards?”. Because if your plan is to be married or long-term committed, then all of this is pretty much moot. In fact in that case the two of you should have planned your finances jointly because depending on what the interest rates are for your debt, it may make a lot more sense for your $400 to go to your debt instead of the mortgage. It might even make sense for him to put extra money toward your debt. It would also make sense for you to help refurbish a property that would eventually be partly yours, and possibly to do extra domestic work if he’s working extra hours to bring in the higher income, or to keep the property in shape, or whatever.

      But clearly that’s not where you’re at. And if that’s the case, that the plan is not currently to be committed partners, then you *should* treat it more like a roommate situation. But as Ron and Portia said, if you’re paying 50/50, then you shouldn’t be doing all this other work above and beyond. Not refurbishing his property. Not doing extra housework. The property is his business and he has to care for it. The housework is both of your responsibility, just like the expenses, and you should split them. Why are you doing all this free work? Unless it’s part of the deal for your cheap rent, then it’s just extra work you’re doing that benefits him and not you. Where’s his equivalent work that benefits you?

      1. I guess I didn’t really see it as extra work and I didn’t expect to get paid because as you mentioned, I assumed the long-term plan was to be married and build a home together. I love him so I’m happy to help with whatever. Back in November he mentioned looking at rings but now it seems to be uncomfortable to him when I bring it up. Which I rarely do but I’ve checked in on him and he said we’re moving towards that direction.

        If I bring up not doing extra work because we’re splitting things 50/50, he’ll mention how often he’s paid for dates and dinner. Which, he knows I can’t afford to go out 3-4 times a week. I thank him and express my appreciation but I simply can’t contribute 100% the same monetarily. I’m 25 and am paying for mistakes in my early 20’s (credit cards…around 10k) which he’s known from the beginning. He’s 38 and established in his career with no debt besides a student loan that he doesn’t seem to be worried about aggressively paying off.

        When talking about finances he did point out more than once that we aren’t married and he has things to work on personally and I pointed out that I’ve never asked for any money and if he’s going to feel resentful about taking me on dates I’m happy to stay at home (which is genuine). It’s not fair to do nice things unexpectedly but then be resentful later.

        He’s was engaged a couple years ago to someone that moved here for him and wasn’t happy in her job so she quit and he paid for pretty much everything while she stayed at home. He felt taken advantage of but that is truly not what I’m doing.

        Not that it matters much but the amount is now $550 — he low-balled what half would be in our short discussion yesterday.

        I was a bit confused about paying and DID feel like just a tenant, not someone he loves…but I do understand now and have paid him the $550.

      2. dinoceros says:

        Yeah. My friend was living with her boyfriend who had bought a house and was paying “rent,” but she knew they were getting engaged sometime that year. So, to her, she knew that it was her paying toward her soon-to-be home that she’d raise a family in.

        When you are “paying rent” to someone you’re dating and have no agreed-upon plans on your future, then you might be paying into a money pit or you might not. (Regardless, though, you’d be paying rent SOMEWHERE, so I don’t see why it matters that much.)

      3. dinoceros says:

        OK, I didn’t see your reply before. I agree that there are bigger issues. It sounds like there’s some compatibility issues in terms of where you each are in life, and that’s causing some resentment. It also sounds like it’s keeping a certain amount of distance between you because maybe he’s a little skeptical of where this is going?

      4. ele4phant says:

        So need to stop making assumptions about where you and he stand. And you’re giving out a lot of mixed signals here.

        You don’t see all the housework as extra work and don’t expect to get paid, but you also said you think it should count as something. Which is it? Do you think your labor counts towards your household contribution or not?

        You can’t run your relationship on assumptions (particularly when you yourself are not even clear on where you stand).

        You need to sit down and have a conversation with your boyfriend about the whole state of your relationship and your finances. Where do you stand, where do you plan to go, what do you both think is a fair and equitable to split the shared burdens of the household.

        If he’s not willing to engage in this conversation with you – that’s a sign to you he’s not serious about you. Full stop.

      5. Right, I get what you mean.

        I completely figured he was serious about me considering he just got us a puppy (which he knew would make me happy), he put us on a 2 year phone plan together, and recently said to my dad “If Britt decides to have kids with me…etc” Those may seem like silly, small things but to me they were signs of commitment.

        I never thought that we weren’t serious until he pointed out many times that we aren’t married when talking about finances. I don’t really know how to bring up where we’re going in a non-pushy way.

      6. ele4phant says:

        “I don’t really know how to bring up where we’re going in a non-pushy way.”

        It is not “pushy” to ask directly about his intentions. It is not pushy to ask for clarity and to clearly lay out what you want.

        It’s direct, but if it puts him off he was never there in the first place. I mean, if you’d been dating six months or some absurdly small amount of time, that might be too fast too soon. But you’ve been together awhile, you are living together, there have been vague overtures in the past.

        Call him on it. Just open that conversation, and accept you may not like the answer but knowing is better than wasting your time and money for the next few years, patiently waiting for a proposal that will never come.

      7. RedRoverRedRover says:

        So he chooses to spend money on you, then he unilaterally decides you have to do more of the work to “pay” for it? No, that’s not how it works. Honestly he’s starting to sound like kind of an ass. Work needs to be split equally, and that includes both paid and unpaid work. You should have roughly the same amount of free time. It doesn’t matter that he gets paid more, he still needs to contribute the same amount of work.

        Think about being married to someone like this. Who values your time less because it’s worth less. Who makes you “pay” for nights out that HE chooses to have, by doing extra work at home. Imagine what will happen when you have kids.

        This goes way beyond the rent question you asked about. You need to have a discussion about your future with him. Because honestly someone who keeps insisting that you’re not married while you’re planning your finances, doesn’t sound like someone who’s planning on being married anytime soon. It seems more like he’s happy to just live together, and talking marriage may have been a means to that end.

      8. ele4phant says:

        Even if you did just live together and weren’t interested in having the where are we talk, it’s a bullshit excuse to use that as an excuse to brush off a talking about the shared costs you now have together just by moving in.

        Like, if you were a real tenant, you would never move in somewhere without knowing what the rent is. You would never move somewhere without knowing when rent was due.

        You don’t have to open a joint bank account together, but he owes it to you to be clear on what his expectations over shared expenses are going to be.

  12. When my wife and I moved in together we had a written agreement regarding financial obligations, even though we were engaged and married six months later. I would insist on something like that.

  13. If he is committed he would flat out say it. Simple. He said he isn’t. Puppies can go to either person and you can change someone off your phone plan with ease.

    1. Yeah, it sounds like he’s conning you here. He may have seen a future with you before, but his present words and actions say that he know longer does. He likes your physical and financial help, likes living with you for now, but he isn’t behaving like a guy who sees himself married to you in future. He is not acting like half of a committed team. You know this, which is why you are afraid to push for an answer. Trust me, it really is best to know exactly where you stand and be able to act and plan accordingly. And yes, a puppy doesn’t seal the commitment deal. It does make an enjoyable smokescreen which allows you to go on believing what you want to believe.

      Part of the problem is that this guy is too old for you. You are at different stages in your lives and that by itself is causing conflicts. However, at his age he should be ready to marry you if that really is his intention. For your sake, I’m afraid he’s decided that you’ll do until someone better/more appropriate comes along.

  14. Skyblossom says:

    How does he suddenly go from $400 to $550 per month. That isn’t right. He knew what the mortgage would be from the time he signed the papers. He knew what the monthly payment would be. Suddenly, overnight, your payment jumps $150. There is something seriously wrong here.

    You tried to discuss this before moving in together and he wouldn’t. Now you have higher costs than expected. I agree with Ron above, you need to move out because the two of you are unable to have basic, essential conversations. A relationship without the essentials doesn’t last long term. The two of you need to discuss everything before you would move back in. I would also want both partners to feel fully committed.

    I’m guessing that instead of moving out you’ll keep paying up and doing what he wants because you love him and he’ll keep treating you as a second rate, unequal partner. Sooner or later you’ll get very tired of that and your frustration will grow and you’ll love him less and less until one day you will look at him and you won’t even like him anymore. Then you’ll move out and regret the years you wasted on him. Consider saving yourself those wasted years. Spend some time thinking about what you need in a relationship including the way your partner treats you. Think about it and then start looking for a place of your own, even if that means getting a roommate. Don’t ever move in again, with him or anyone else, until you have a solid agreement about how things will work. Having a partner who refuses to have the difficult talks is a huge, red flag. He will respect you more if you don’t let him take advantage of you. He might break up but he would do that sooner or later anyway.

    1. RedRoverRedRover says:

      Yeah that sudden change in the amount is very strange. He’s known for months what the expenses were going to be. An extra $300/month that he didn’t know about is quite a bit.

    2. Rosacolleti says:

      With our interest rises I’d be delighted with only a $150 increase on a month

  15. Skyblossom says:

    Did he discuss getting a puppy with you? Did he discuss the shared phone plan? Did he give you the choice to opt in or out? In many ways it sounds like he’s treating you more like a child. Parents get kids a puppy because they know the kid will like it and parents choose phone plans in an effort to get the best deal. I’d assume, that unless he tells you differently, he found a phone plan that saved him money.

    You are searching for commitment in his actions because he refuses to be committed with words. You need to hear words that tell you he wants to be with you for the rest of his life and a general timeline of when he would like to get engaged, assuming everything continues to go well and a general timeline of when he would like to get married. Again, all of those statements would be based on the assumption that everything would continue to go well.

    1. OK so I asked if he sees marriage for us in the near future —

      He said “Babe, I’ve told you how I feel about marriage. Nothing has changed. I love you very very much. You’re my beautiful partner and I believe you were placed in my life for a reason.”

      OK…no real answer.

      So I said, “I guess I don’t really remember how you feel about marriage somehow but you know what I’m getting at…”

      He said, “I’ve never cared for another woman like I care about you. And yes, I could see that for us in the future.

      1. RedRoverRedRover says:

        Did he say he “could” or he does?

        If I were you I’d decide how long I’m willing to stay in this without a real answer. And personally I would need a more equitable split of labour, valued in time not dollars, to stick around even with a real answer.

      2. This guy has really mastered the art of the bull shitty non-answer. It doesn’t need a lot of translation or further effort. You asked him, you pushed a bit, and he just continued dancing around the question. If he was able to honestly give you the answer you wanted to hear, he would have clearly given you that answer. He can’t honestly give that answer and doesn’t wish to lose you right now, so he went into his dance routine. Move out and work on your relationship or the end of your relationship from a comfortable physical distance.

        This is not the time to fall into the trap and try to convince yourself that maybe he meant what you hoped he would say.

      3. SpaceySteph says:

        Let me guess? He thinks its an outdated institution and that he doesn’t need a stupid piece of paper to say how much he loves you. I think his lack of a clear answer is a clear answer… and it’s not the one you want.

      4. ele4phant says:

        Yeah, these are not answers. And that is not a conversation. You asked him a specific question and he gave you a vague but feel good answer.

        Ask for specifics. Timelines. Milestones he wants you as a couple to meet before moving onto the next phase.

        And you need to talk about shared expenses, right now. You may “not be married yet”, but you are sharing a household. You have a right to know what you are being asked to pay (both financially and non-financially) and by when. If he doesn’t like it, don’t share a household with him anymore.

        And what about stuff like groceries and stuff? How are you splitting that? What about the cost and care of the dog? How are you splitting that up?

      5. ele4phant says:

        I mean, at the same time, I don’t want to push you to have a conversation you yourself are not ready for either. If you’re not sure about marriage with him, or you don’t see it anytime, don’t push it because internet people are telling you to.

        But you for sure need to push him on how you are divvying up the life you *do* share right now. As you are cohabiting, you do share certain things, and they need to get clarified and need to be agreed upon.

        You need to know what your budget is. You need to know what is going to count as contribution. You need a f*cking chore chart (or otherwise explicitly stated way you will be divvying up housework).

      6. Rosacolleti says:

        Um, isn’t this meant to be a 2 person decision? Why are you being so subservient?

  16. Basically he can’t give me an answer…I said saying “you could” or ” you do” see that for us is two different things.

    He said he didn’t know what answer I wanted and that he isn’t going to propose to me right now.

    I said that I probably need to take a step back and maybe moving in was a mistake and then he responded, “I have to propose to you or you’re moving out?!”

    “Ew, no….that’s not what I’m saying”

    “You need to sort out your feelings”


    1. Skyblossom says:

      He knows what answer you want but he can’t give it to you. He’s tried to give you the impression that you want but he can’t actually say he wants to marry you.

      Definitely take a step back.

    2. Ugh what an awful answer.

    3. RedRoverRedRover says:

      Yeah, that’s pretty bad. I’m sorry things aren’t working out the way you wanted, but at least now you know what you’re working with and you can make your decisions based on all the info. Good luck.

    4. SpaceySteph says:

      He sounds like an asshole. I think you have a couple choices, depending on what you want.
      1) You move out. If you do this, don’t let him give you BS about how he only bought the place because you were going to help him with rent and he can’t afford it without you. If that’s true he’s an idiot, because you guys could break up or a tenant could move out or any number of things could break that end up costing a bunch of money when you own essentially 3 homes… and hopefully he has enough cushion to get him through those instances. It’s probably not true though, it’s more likely manipulation.
      2) You don’t move out, but you document your arrangement and you make it fair to you. As others have said, your part of the rent is low so maybe it is a really good deal for you to keep living there and maybe while you love him you are ok with not being sure you’re committed for life at this point in your relationship. If that’s true, you could stay, but you should definitely have a formal agreement in writing as to when/how much rent is due so this doesn’t happen again; and should also address what will happen if you move out (due to a breakup or other circumstances). Additionally, you should have a discussion about labor divisions that takes into account that you are contributing to his home equity by working on the house (not general cleaning, but actual home improvement) and that this is a benefit to him that you do not reap. Does this sound like a business transaction? Because he’s not just your boyfriend, he’s also your landlord, so it IS business.

    5. HeartsMum says:

      13 year age gap? Massive income disparity combined with dickishness about money? By the time you have kids, walk dog(s), cook, clean, shop, pack, renovate properties, and be the details person, he will be getting over 100k a year free labour from you. But you’ll never get there as he will move on to the next 25 year old—and be even richer thanks to not having to pay out for it. No amount of discussing can fix this: he can’t admit to valuing what you bring.

  17. I’ve read all of the comments and I really do appreciate the insight! It was very helpful — thanks everyone!

    1. Britt:

      I want to add one quick story here which is important. I had three friends that moved into homes that their boyfriend owned. One got married and two didn’t. Here is what I will say about the two who didn’t. They lived with their boyfriends for years. They shared lives together. These women put serious money into these homes including paying the mortgage, doing projects, paying for groceries, cooking, cleaning. The whole thing. After these relationships ended, the men had equity in these homes and the women were left with nothing. Basically, these guys got a tenant that gave them sex and food. it sucks.

      On the flip side, your rent seems low compared to my area of the country. So low rent compared to your own apartment might still be a good deal. Just think things through and make sure you are saving for yourself.

      1. Yes. THIS. I don’t know why, but it always seems to be the woman who takes a financial hit when two people move in together. I have a feeling your financial precariousness and naïveté plays a lot into this, you mention credit card debt, maybe a not so great credit card score, and it’s nice to just move in with your boyfriend and have him take care of it. But it’s only a month in and you are already realizing the true cost, amirite? You work for free, he can just throw unexpected rent hikes and expenses at your feet, and you do more of the housework. I’m not saying you have to move out, but I do think you need to take control over your financial future. Make a clear concrete plan to pay off your debt. (I will pay x amount and it will be paid off in y months.) get SOMETHING in your own friggin name, because guess what? You aren’t building any sort of rental history with this dude since you don’t have a lease. If you are ever on your own again, you need to be able to show you are a reliable person to creditors. You need to look for out for YOU, especially since your boyfriend doesn’t want to be a “we” anytime soon. Your boyfriend is looking out for himself, that’s for sure.

      2. RedRoverRedRover says:

        The reason the woman always takes the financial hit is *because* men tend to look out for themselves. Women, on the other hand, seem to be more likely to think about “us”, and think that the man is doing the same thing when he’s not necessarily. We need to get used to making sure that even if we’re building an “us”, we’re still making sure that we’ll be financially secure if that “us” disappears. And this includes for married women, especially if the man is the main breadwinner. No one wants to think divorce will happen, and maybe it won’t, but what about serious illness or death? How will you get by? What if you have kids, how will you handle everything alone? We all need to think about these things and plan as well as we’re able. For example my husband and I would each struggle to carry the mortgage plus childcare for two kids by ourselves. I told him I wanted to take out enough life insurance on each of us to pay off the house if the other one dies. Because it would be bad enough if my husband died. But to have to then move the kids out of our family home right after? Ugh, even worse.

        But basically just look out for situations where your partner is benefiting financially to a much greater degree. Sure, your rent is cheap, but he’s effectively getting an extra $550/month of disposable income, right? Because if you didn’t live with him, he’d pay $1100/month, and that money would have to come from his “fun money” or investment money or something. Plus he’s building equity on top of that. And he’s demanding you do the bulk of the domestic work to “pay” for not contributing as much financially? Fuck that, seriously. I don’t know what rents are like where you live, but you might be able to find a place with a roommate or two where you can live even cheaper, and be able to build up money to buy your own place. You should at least be investing in something, if you can. Sort out your credit cards, give yourself like a year or two of living tight and paying them off extremely aggressively. Then you’ll have that monkey off your back and you can plan your financial future. I spent two years spending basically no extra money so that I could buy a condo. I made maybe a little more than you at the time, but not much, and I live in an expensive city. I did have some saved already when I started this. But I saved a ton in those two years by not buying any new clothes, bringing lunch to work, not going out much, not getting takeout for dinner, etc. I spent a lot of time having friends over, I’d cook and we’d watch a movie and open a bottle of wine. It was fun actually. And at the end I had a condo! Now is the time to “squeeze” yourself, live lean, while you don’t have a husband and kids to worry about. Focus on your career and your finances. Get all that sorted out, and you’ll be in a great position to plan your future, whether it ends up including marriage or not.

      3. I just want to add that focusing on your finances and financial health doesn’t mean you are not also focusing on the future you are building with your boyfriend. So if you work on your credit and nest egg, then you get married, well you are a stronger pair. If you want to split chores in traditional ways, that is no big deal as long as you feel like it is equal. For example, if he is mowing the lawn and you are cleaning, that seems the same to me. I tend to cook to show love and that works for me. I like it. These things can both coexist. I would say you should read Mr. Money Mustache blog. There are great ideas about cutting costs and focusing on lifestyle instead of spending money on stuff.

      4. When I moved in with my boyfriend (now husband) in a condo that he owned, he told me, “I’m not your landlord.” We split groceries and internet, and I used what would have been my rent money to pay off my student loans and build savings so we would start our marriage in good financial shape. If you want to continue living with him, but aren’t on the same page about your future together, you need a written lease. I’m curious to know what the actual total monthly mortgage payment is. You said it’s a tri-plex and you and your bf are splitting your “share”? So that’s 50% of 1/3 of the total mortgage payment. From what you’ve said, it wouldn’t surprise me if he were asking you for more than that amount and paying less than 50% himself.

      5. dinoceros says:

        Yeah, moving in with someone who has a home already is a sticky situation because they are building equity and have a stake in it, and you are a tenant, the same way you would be if you rented a random apartment. That’s fine, but I wouldn’t put any additional money into the home until I was on the deed. Because if you break up, then you’ve dumped all this money into a house that isn’t yours.

        I’d agree about how women approach relationships and money. I think women do assume they’ll be with someone forever, even if it’s not likely, and think that any money they put in will benefit them in the future. If you look at all the women who write in and think they found their soulmate after a month — imagine how many start ACTING like that person is truly their “soulmate” financially.

    2. The rent is quite low. We live in Alaska and I’d probably be paying 1k total for a crappy 1 bedroom apartment on my own.

      When he’s working it’s usually on the North Slope so he’ll be gone for 3+ weeks at a time, he made a joke about me being the stand-in landlord while he’s away and I said, “yes, but I want a credit on the rent for those weeks.” He said, “you do get one…you only have to pay half.” I asked if he really thinks I should be paying MORE than half. He jokingly mentioned the rental value of this place, what I’d be paying elsewhere, etc…

      We had been talking about us living in this home a year and then me purchasing a 2 bedroom condo for us to live in awhile (to eventually rent), and then the property after that being the “dream home” that we purchase together. So I pointed out that my mortgage will probably be $800/month but I will make sure to charge him $750+utilities since I could easily rent it for $1500/month. That shut him up about it.

      And as a follow-up on the marriage convo…

      I felt he was being quite insensitive and said “There’s really no reason to be harsh with someone who’s saying I love you enough to get married soon, do you feel the same?” and he said, “Yes, I do feel the same.” So…unsure how to feel about it.

      He’s 38 and I’m his first real live-in GF. He was engaged a few years ago after a couple months of dating, she moved from out of state and didn’t work and he basically lost a ton of money. Which is his fault as well. However, he seems to have trust issues with women using him or their intentions in general. That’s not really my problem though. I’ve been a strong and steady partner so he’s got to get over that.

      Idk, I was thinking maybe give it 6 months and bring it up again?

    3. I posted a long comment…unsure where it went.

      Follow-up to the marriage conversation. I told him that there’s no reason to be harsh to someone who is saying, “I love you enough to get married soon, do you feel the same way?” and he said, “Yes, I do feel the same way.”

      So that was kind of confusing.

      Idk, thinking I might give it 6 months and bring it up again…?

      He’s 38 and hasn’t had a real serious live-in GF. He was engaged a couple years ago after dating someone for a few months and lost a ton of money. He says that was a mistake and he never really loved her. That he just thought it was what he was supposed to do at his age and she was pushing it. So, maybe he’s hitting the brakes a bit due to his past experience? I don’t know.

      Last night he jokingly said that I’m the stand in landlord while he’s away. We live in Alaska and when he goes to work it’s on the north slope for weeks. I replied that I’ll be expecting a credit on my rent if so. He made a comment that I am getting credit by only having to pay half and I replied, “do you actually think that I should pay more than half?” He was joking but brought up the rental value of the place, etc…(basically I’m getting a deal).

      Our plan has been to live in this place for a year, and then me purchase a condo in my name to live in for a year and then rent, the home after that would be the “dream home.” I said okay, my mortgage will be probably $800 but I’m going to charge you $750 + utilities since I could easily rent it for $1500. Then he shut up about it.

      He told me that I can pay him whatever I think is fair. I said I’m happy with half. Any less and I think he’d be resentful later.

      Sorry if my original comment ends up posting, this one would be repetitive!

      1. SpaceySteph says:

        I’m still going with “asshole.”
        What does it mean to be “substitute landlord” anyways? Do you have to go over and deal with ruptured pipes in the middle of the night? Do you have authority to call the emergency plumber of your choosing and know that he would back you on the cost of that? This sounds like a horrible deal for you and could end up making your debt way worse if he sticks you with the bill because he doesn’t like how you handled the situation. I would say a big hell no to this and tell the guy to contract out to a property manager instead.
        Also why is it a good idea to buy a condo for you both to live in if you still have other debt? You should focus on living cheaply and paying down your debt vs incurring more debt because this guy basically has told you to.

      2. He means collecting rent, depositing it, and yes possibly dealing with issues but no he’d never make me pay for any of that.

        The plan was to pay off debt, which I could in 6-8 months and then look at purchasing a condo next spring.

      3. Do you know what a “stand in landlord” is? A property manager. That is a paid position. A quick online search says that a property manager in Alaska usually makes between $90,067-$119,352. If he’s going away for a few weeks a time and sticking you with that role, he better be paying you market rate. You really need to stop agreeing to unpaid labor for property you don’t own. And is he expecting you to cover the cost of emergency repairs while he’s away? Or is this something that you’re just assuming he’ll take care of? Emergency repairs aren’t cheap and you usually need to pay for it right then and there, which it seems like it would be difficult for you boyfriend to do if he’s far away.

      4. ele4phant says:

        So, you are either his tenant, or you aren’t.

        If he wants your money to come to him like a tenant, at the first of the month, then your responsibilities to the home should be that of the tenant. In that, you pay your share and that’s it.

        If he wants you to take responsibility above and beyond that, you guys need to work out a different deal.

        Sure you may be getting a deal – but you guys need to codify exactly what it is you will pay, when you will pay and what you will be responsible for.

        What he has in his head may be totally fair and a great deal, but you should get him to explicit and make sure you are both on the same page.

      5. RedRoverRedRover says:

        I really think you guys should sit down and hammer this out. Just the finances at least, the relationship can wait if you don’t feel like pushing it right now. But you do need to get in writing what your responsibilities are, and assign some value to them. Because if you’re a tenant (which you essentially are, you’re a roommate to him since you’re splitting half the rent), then you shouldn’t be expected to also be a property manager. The first condo I lived in, the property manager got free rent every month plus a salary. It’s not a small job. Now, you’d only be part-time, but still. How much is that worth?

        You also need to work out a process for how you’d access money if there was a problem. He needs to leave you the company chequebook or something. You shouldn’t be expected to front the money for any emergencies that come around.

        Until you’re in a committed relationship where you own part of the building, this needs to be the deal. Because right now he’s treating you as an equal partner when it benefits him (free work on the complex, free property management), and as a roommate when it benefits him (pay half the expenses regardless of your respective financial situations). I also still think he’s being a huge dick about making you do more domestic work because he pays for dates. If that had been your agreement and you discussed it and you were 100% ok with it, that would be one thing (although I still don’t think it’s fair, but people have different opinions on this). But that was HIS decision, you already brought it up as an issue, and he shut you down. That’s a problem.

      6. Ele4phant says:

        Also it’s a bit telling that a man has made it to being nearly 40 and this is the first he’s ever lived with someone…

        Generally reason someone has never seriously coupled has to do with them and not their past partners.

      7. RedRoverRedRover says:

        I reread what I wrote and while I stand by it, I do think you don’t have to come at it quite as business-like as I laid it out (although as someone pointed out, this *is* business).

        I think you can come at it as “I was caught off-guard by the increase in the amount, and by the idea that you’d like me to take some responsibility while you’re gone. And now that our original deal is gone (400/month, no landlord duties), I think we should discuss it again and sort out what you need me to do (and how) and whether that has any value.”

        Something like that. Because while to us on here it seems inherently unfair, that he raised the rent plus dumped more unpaid work in your lap, he might not realize that. He might figure the rent is no big deal because he was so wishy-washy about it (and maybe this is why), so he might figure the 400 wasn’t the “final” amount. And he might think being an assistant landlord is no big deal, but the fact is that once you start collecting rent, the tenants will see you as a landlord. If they see you in the hall, they’ll tell you their problems. If your bf isn’t around and they knock on the door, you’ll be the one dealing with them. Even if it’s 3am. What will you do if a toilet overflows and it’s flooded their bathroom? That’s what you’re signing up for. Even if you don’t sign up for it, you’ll get stuck with it if he doesn’t hire someone to replace him when he’s out of town. And point that out to him too, that if it weren’t for you he’d have to hire someone to cover him while he’s gone. Find out what the market rate would be for that, so you have an idea of how much money you’re saving him by being there. It’s not a small thing to take that responsibility, and you shouldn’t have to do it for free.

      8. SpaceySteph says:

        Here’s a fun little stand-in landlord scenario, based on an actual house problem a friend of mine had:
        Tenant calls at 3am to say the water heater burst in their home and is spraying water everywhere.
        You have to figure out how to turn off the water until you can get a plumber out, in order to limit the amount of damage in the meantime.
        Oh, did you just shut off water to all 3 units? Now you need to inform the other tenant that they are without water due to an emergency. I doubt they will be pleased, so now you have to hear them bitch about it.
        Then you get a plumber out. You are told that since it’s an emergency call, there is a $200 fee just for the house-call before they do anything. You put that on your credit card.
        Plumber comes, gives you a quote for $1000 to replace the water heater, and they need half of that paid in advance to order the part.
        Now you just put $700 on your credit card to fix the broken water heater in your boyfriend’s rental property, and you haven’t even fixed the problem yet. And you have 2 irate tenants with no running water, and one with a flooded house.
        And now you need to deal with the flood– maybe rent or buy some of those big fans to dry the area. Hire a contractor to come rip out the damaged drywall and carpet before it gets moldy, and replace it. He’s gone for weeks so you can’t just leave it.
        By the time you’re done, I’m pretty sure you’ve shelled out a few thousand dollars.

        You see how this can get tricky? Property managers make a bunch of money because people pay them to deal with problems they don’t want to or can’t deal with. Your boyfriend wants to put you in charge of this, it’s not a small task, it’s a serious responsibility and should be compensated. As others have noted, on-site property managers usually get free rent without having to sleep with their landlords. He won’t even afford you that courtesy and he IS sleeping with you.
        Will he get you a credit card he pays for that you can use for these emergencies rather than shell out of your own pocket? And if not, can you honestly say after all the existing drama you have talking about money, that you trust him to pay you back for the $3000 you spent fixing this fictional plumbing problem?
        Or now that you’re thinking about it, is it more likely that he would be mad because you hired a plumber while he would have installed the new heater himself? Or he’s mad because you didn’t get three quotes before hiring someone? Or because the replacement carpet you picked was too expensive? And now he’s found a way to nickel and dime you down to he only owes you about $600 and the rest is on you because you weren’t responsible and why should he have to pay for that. Yeah, that sounds more like it.

      9. Skyblossom says:

        I would also consider what happens if you have to choose between going to work or taking care of some property crises. Because it isn’t your property and because you aren’t getting paid to take care of the property and because you are making no profit off of the rent and because you are building no equity you should go to your own job in that situation.

        I’d only pay for something if he leaves you a credit card that you are authorized to use and if it has an appropriate credit line to cover the emergency and if he promises not to second guess any decision that you make.

        You should also get free rent for the three weeks that he is gone. Each time he is gone you will be working for him and deserve compensation.

        I think you should consider that he is trying to keep you as his girlfriend so that he has you there to handle emergencies and collect rent without paying you anything. I think you must consider that he might be using you or at the very least maintaining the relationship because it helps his bank balance. Not only does he have you paying rent, which he jacked up unexpectedly, he wants you to work for free and he wants you to do the cooking and housework because he chooses to eat out and you can’t afford that. I’d ask to see the mortgage and see if your share of 1/2 of 1/3 of the mortgage is $400 or $550. Are you paying your fair share or is he making extra profit off of you? You should also only be paying 1/2 of your own utilities. He shouldn’t ask you to pay 1/2 of the utilities for three units. You should pay 1/2 of the utilities for one unit. Do the three units have three electric meters? I would assume they do because a triplex can be sold as three separate homes and they should be wired separately.

      10. I’m at a point where I’m puzzled constantly regarding certain scenarios. After any unpleasant encounters I’m left wondering if I’m too sensitive or if I did something wrong when deep down I know he’s the abnormal one. His reactions to things are so unreasonable (in my opinion).

        Overall, I feel emotionally exhausted and know that I should just leave.

      11. Viewed from the outside, it’s very clear that you are being taken advantage of, that he isn’t committed to you long term. You and he had total disagreement about the due date of your ‘rent’, because he ducked this basic discussion. If he can just, seemingly at a whim, raise your rent by almost 50%, it’s quite clear why he doesn’t want a written agreement. As long as you are the happy, or even unhappy, sap he has no reason to change.

        His story about his broken engagement is all too convenient. Likely she split when he pulled the same crap on her as he’s now pulling on you. An engagement ring is not the same thing as either loving, respectful treatment or actually marrying in the near future. With you, he’s actually lowered the ante. You have just a quite long past reference to interest in ring shopping. That’s way short of an engagement, and given his past history, even farther short of marriage. Why are you such a push-over?

      12. Skyblossom says:

        I’m guessing, just a speculation, that one of the things he found appealing about you is that you are so much younger than him. You have less life experience than women closer to his own age. A woman his own age would be much less likely to put up with the things he does because she’s seen it all before. A woman his own age wouldn’t agree to move in without knowing all of the specifics. A woman his own age would question why he is dumping the management on her without asking her if she would like the job and would expect to be paid.

        He should ask you if you would be willing to manage his property each time he is gone and if you agreed the two of you would then discuss how it would work. He has put himself into a position where his job keeps him from managing his own property so he sees you as the perfect fill in. Free management and you are still expected to pay rent and half the utilities. He is demanding a lot and giving little. When you question anything he wants or does he acts like you are the problem. You aren’t the problem. Any responsible property owner would work out the specifics of how their property would be managed in their absences. Any responsible property owner would make sure you knew what your rent would be before moving in and wouldn’t raise it after you moved in. He doesn’t treat his renters the way he treats you.

  18. Stillrunning says:

    You’re a renter and should have a written agreement . You need it not only to keep your boyfriend/landlord from passing on unexpected expenses to you (as he would not to any of his other tenants), but to establish a renter’s history if you decide for any reason to move out.
    Don’t work on the building for free and quit doing all the cooking and cleaning unless this is part of your rental agreement. Really think about if the cheaper rent you’re paying is worth the work you do,
    You’re unhappy which is good, this means you’re waking up to the fact that you’re allowing yourself to be used. His compliments and vague reassurances. “You’re so beautiful, you were put in my life for a reason,”…are his way of dodging your very reasonable questions about your future together.

  19. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:

    From LW2:

    And yes he’s still married. He keeps prolonging the deadlines of his divorce. It’s been over two years he’s saying that. And almost two years he moved in with me. Worst yet today I spoke to him heart to heart fearing the answer of what’s holding him back of letting her go while claiming he loves me. Keep in mind Wendy She’s financially set. Four homes generating passive income a new car paid in full and a small business all under her name. And he’s also pays her bills as I previously mentioned. His response ” with some irritation to his voice ” continues to be it will happen soon!! And something keeps telling him it’s the right thing for him to help her. He doesn’t wish her ill will….Believe me nor do I. I didn’t break their marriage. I kept away and he found me after separating from her. He tells me daily that he only loves me. He also repeated nothing is forcing him to be with me if he wasn’t in love with me. He also mentioned that she has hope he will return to her that she knows he loves her still and she’s will change. She asked him to please forgive her and things will be different. She will never mention my name to him ever. But he told her he’s not returning to her. And that’s why we moved six hours away from her. Because she wasn’t making it easy for him. I asked him how long ago did she say this and he said not so long ago. He repeats he loves our life together. I just don’t understand she couldn’t stand him then. He was miserable. So why he doesn’t let her go. She won’t move on if he doesn’t cut those strings. Right?! But the truth is Wendy something in my head keeps haunting me about them. I do love him. And only accepted to move away with him when they separated thinking it was over between them and we have a wonderful relationship until his shadow calls with an issue. I hate the way I feel about all this I don’t want to be selfish or inconsiderate. But if it were me and I end it with someone else and began my life with him I wouldn’t hold on to the past. I would respect my now relationship. That’s how I feel. Am I wrong?

    1. LW2 – I think there are two things you need to think about here. 1.) what do you want out of this relationship long term? 2.) how long are you willing to wait for it?

      Here is the thing, I have a coworker who separated from her husband 10 years ago and they never divorced. She lives with another guy and basically it doesn’t make sense to break up some assets so they just coexist this way. It seems to work fine for everyone. Could you live this way and for how long? Do you want more security in your relationship? What would make you really feel that way? I would write out a list of what you want your life to look like in 5 years/10 years like Debbie Millan recommends. See how you can build that life and be active in it and not wait for your partner to allow you to build that life.

    2. This is f*cked up.
      You’re not being selfish or inconsiderate, this is just messed up. I think you need to move on, like yesterday, your BF isn’t going to give you what you want.
      It doesn’t matter if he tells you daily that he loves you, he is not SHOWING it.

    3. wobster109 says:

      Hey LW2, I think you should stop thinking about what he does for his ex. That’s all a red herring because then you two talk about the ex but not about your needs. Instead focus on your needs.

      For example: “I need you to contribute $300 to our rent.” Not “you shouldn’t pay bills for her,” where he might respond “it’s my money and I do what’s right”, and this gets you nowhere. He might say anyway, “I can’t afford that because I pay for ex”, and you follow up with “I’m working overtime to make rent and it’s tiring me out.” Not “she’s got it made” where you two will argue about whether she really has it made. Refocus the conversation on your own needs.

      If it turns out he can meet your needs and still pay for his ex, and it doesn’t interfere with your day-to-day life, then I’d say drop it. But if he chooses to prioritize the ex over you getting rest (for example), then I think you should dump him and find someone who puts you first.

  20. RedRoverRedRover, Thank you for the advice! It’s been my plan to get this debt taken care of.

  21. I need to check but a friend mentioned that in Alaska there’s no legal lease agreement for someone renting a room. That doesn’t really seem right though. I know that even without a lease he wouldn’t be able to kick me out without a 30-day eviction notice though. AK is pretty strict on that!

    1. Avatar photo SavannahAnna says:

      Right, he supposedly cares about you but treats you far worse than his renters of the moment?! They know what their agreed rents is, and YOU pay for half their utilities? Uh, uh… and he doesn’t get to volunteer you for a property management job you didn’t agree to. He knew he’d be gone for weeks at a time when he bought this income property, didn’t he? It’s his job to figure out how to arrange to pay someone, pay for any needed repairs, agree on steps to be taken with emergencies, and so forth. He is way out of line.

  22. Holy Moley! Let me guess.
    You are working for “free”, while others are paid, because of your “partnership”– or why?
    You work EVERY night, EVERY weekend? He sees your time as a worthless commodity.
    I bet you do MOST of the household chores, too. (like dishes, laundry and clean up – women STILL do 75%- 80% of domectic chores – but now pay more equal amounts.).
    You are not on the lease. You never will be.
    He won’t give you a straight answer. THAT is your answer.
    Ma’am, he’s a cut and run.
    ****Do not play coy (thinking if I leave him, he will chase me down and marry me!) because, even if he does he will acutally resent you in the future for “trapping” him, and will always use that as excuse for his crappy choices.
    Cheap rent is not worth this. You deserve more. More answers, more time for yourself. There is no futue here.

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