Financial issues end many relationships. It’s difficult to merge finances and expectations without one partner feeling they are getting the short end of the stick.
One woman came to Reddit wondering if she was wrong to be upset after her boyfriend only offered to pay 60% for a vacation his whole family was attending.
As it turns out, he was forcing her to hold the bag for far more than the vacation.
Financial Disparity Between the Two
The Original Poster (OP) explained that her partner has two children from a previous marriage who stay with them regularly and makes more money than she does but expects a 50/50 split of everything.
“He earns 65% of the total income,” she explained, adding that for “the last four years, he has insisted that we pay 50/50 into household bills despite the fact he earns far more than what I earn AND his kids stay with us regularly. I pay half the rent, bills, and grocery, which is expensive for someone on my salary.”
He Wants Her To Pay So He Can Save
She also shared that he gave her a reason for the 50/50 split.
“He wants to buy a house near his ex-wife so he can be closer to his kids, so he says it’s important that I pick up 50% of the costs now so that allows HIM to save more of HIS money for “our” future,” she said, stressing the “our” because she doesn’t believe it.
“The money he isn’t paying into bills goes straight into his own savings account, not a joint one,” she added.
It Gets Worse – OP Paid for Everything at First
Although it’s 50/50 now, OP admitted it wasn’t in the beginning, and her boyfriend doesn’t acknowledge the initial disparity.
“He does not really acknowledge he has underpaid the bills the last four years. I’ve calculated he’s underpaid between £16k to 19k,” she explained, adding, “I paid out over £8000 in rent and bills. He paid around £1100 towards food.”
The Problem at Hand – The Family Vacation
All the financial information was the critical backstory that applies to the problem at hand.
“Not long ago, he asked if I wanted to go away for the following weekend. I said sure,” OP related, adding that after they talked, he went to his parent’s house and decided he wanted his entire family (four more people total) to join the vacation.
OP graciously allowed the family to hijack the trip, but only after her partner agreed he’d pay more to accommodate them.
“He asked if his family could come, and he said he’d pay more than 50% if I agreed to them coming,” she said.
But when it came time to settle, he got greedy. “He wanted to settle the vacation bill and has offered to pay 60% of the total,” OP related, adding that she was not thrilled with this arrangement.
“I’ve kicked off stating the obvious – there were 7 people in that lodge, and 6 of them were his family. My portion of that bill is 15%,” she argued.
She doesn’t say how her boyfriend responded, but we can only assume that it wasn’t positive, as she came to Reddit wondering if she was wrong.
Was OP Wrong?
Reddit saw what OP couldn’t. Her partner was waiving giant red flags that might even lean toward financial abuse.
“You don’t have a Partner; he has an ATM,” stated one user. “He seems to be very free with your money but not of his own. Major red flag in my book.”
“This guy is just using you to prop up his life because he wouldn’t be able to afford what he wants with his life without you subsidizing it,” explained another. “He’s also manipulating you into agreeing to this because you have come to believe it’s a lot more reasonable than it actually is.”
Who is the House for?
Many others shared OP’s concern that he wasn’t saving for them. He was saving for himself.
“You realize he’s not going to put your name on that house, right?” asked one. “If that house was really for YOUR future, he would set up a savings account with both of your names on it. He’s just using you to pay enough bills that he can save up for a house and (more than likely) dump you once he’s purchased the house,” they predicted.
“How long has he been stringing you along with this house business? There’s never going to be a house. Or there will be, but you won’t have your name on it, and he will still make you pay towards his mortgage. Don’t let him continue to dangle the cookie in front of you; it’s not happening,” added another.
What Do You Think?
One comment in the thread said OP was selfish and relationships should be 50/50, seeming to ignore that OP is subsiding her partner’s children.
Everyone else saw the red flags and advised OP to run.
What do you think? Do you think OP is justified in refusing to pay for the vacation, and do you think Reddit is right that she should re-evaluate the relationship?
What would you do in her place?
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.