I make about $40K a year. She makes $115K a year but moved to our area in July of 2013 and built a house and needed to save a lot of money for closing, the move, etc. Note: she has a dog and, because of that, I’ve done all of the commuting to her apartment, and now to her house, since October. She’s been to my apartment twice in eight months because of the dog situation.
So, you can see I’ve made enormous strides in taking financial burden away from her knowing that it won’t be forever.
So, my lease is up in June and she asked me to move in, which I agreed to. But I only agreed to pay what I currently pay for rent because honestly that’s all I can afford. Remember, she makes over twice what I do.
When I move in, she expects me to “toilet” her dog almost 85% of the time. The dog isn’t my responsibility. As it is, the dog stops us from doing anything after work until we drive home to let her out of the crate to use the bathroom. She’s been in her crate for 12 hours by the end of the work day. I feel bad for the dog, but I tell myself she’s not my responsibility. My partner gets angry and bitchy with me when I don’t take her out most times. I feel used and frustrated. I feel that, because she’ll be charging me less rent than half of her mortgage, she’s holding the dog responsibility over my head.
Side note: I will take 50% responsibility in all household chores, cleaning, laundry, groceries, and utilities, starting end of June.
I’m feeling used and held emotional hostage where the dog is concerned. She requires an enormous amount of attention, and I have to curb my whole social life, etc., because of it. If I go out with friends when I get off of work, my partner gets mean with me because she has to drive 45 minutes to let the dog out before she can do anything.
Please give me advice. I blew up with her this morning because, in less than eight hours, I took the dog out five times, cleaned up copious amount of vomit, made dinner and breakfast. — Feeling Used
Oh, hell, no. First off: don’t move in with your girlfriend yet. You’ve only been together for seven months (not eight months, like you said earlier in your letter, if you only met in October). The end of a lease is NOT a good enough reason to move in with someone, especially with someone who has never treated you to a date despite making over twice what you do and who would expect you to basically be the dog-sitter as part of your payment for the privilege of helping her pay off her mortgage. Hell, no.
There’s a reason you feel used here. It’s because you are being used. And you’re allowing it. As long as you enable your girlfriend to take advantage of you, she will. Three things may happen if you get a backbone and stop enabling your girlfriend to use you: 1) You will have more self-respect and find that your relationships in general improve; 2) Your girlfriend will respect you more and your relationship with her will improve; 3) Your girlfriend will realize she can’t get what she wants from you and will move on because she never really loved you for who you are but only for what you would do for her. If the latter happens, that will hurt, but it will be better that you see your girlfriend’s true colors earlier rather than later (and certainly before you move in with her and start paying part of her mortgage).
Here’s what needs to happen: you need to tell your girlfriend you aren’t ready to move in with her yet — that you are uneasy with some things in your relationship and want to work out those issues before you take the big step of cohabitating; then, re-sign your lease (or find a new place); next, suggest that your girlfriend hire a daytime dog-sitter because 12 hours is too long for a dog to spend in a crate, and having to rush home to let the dog out is interfering with your relationship and your social life; tell your girlfriend that, until you become live-in partners, her dog is solely her responsibility and, while you are willing to dog-sit on occasion and to help with some of the dog-care when you are staying over, you will no longer be responsible for any of the dog duties unless you feel like it; let your girlfriend know that if/when you move in together, your agreed-upon rent will be your payment and that any dog-care on your part will be from the goodness of your heart and because you love her and love the dog; STOP PAYING FOR EVERYTHING; before you move in with your girlfriend, discuss what, if any, stake you will have in the property you would essentially be paying part of the mortgage for.
Finally, you should take a look at my list of 15 things couples should do before moving in together. Pay close attention to numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, and 15. Now I kind of want to edit the list to add a 16th tip: establish and agree on respective pet duties and costs.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].