Shortly before I met my boyfriend (D), I purchased my first home and fully remodeled it. When we met, D had just graduated college and had moved back in with his parents to save money. This meant he was spending most nights at my house and I was starting to feel the financial burden of having a roommate that was not paying rent. Less than 6 months into dating, I officially asked him to move in with me to resolve this issue. At the time, he was aggressively paying off his student loans (I was fortunate to have parents that paid for my education) so we agreed to an uneven split that would allow him to continue paying off those loans.
After we had been living together about a year, I was starting to feel stressed about money. I was paying for about 2/3 of our monthly expenses. What D was giving me basically covered our utilities and nothing more. In addition, I have two dogs that, while D loves like his own, the expenses fall entirely to me. There's also been tension surrounding the fact that I own the house and he is just paying rent, despite me always referring to everything as "ours". We had a discussion to begin splitting the mortgage and utilities equally.
I've always gotten the feeling that D thinks if he had chosen where we live he would be saving money. I believe that, for the value of our space, the cost is very reasonable. For reference - our home is 2bed/2bath on 1/3 acre in a desirable urban neighborhood. The entire house was remodeled so everything inside is brand new. While we are now splitting the cost of the mortgage, this doesn't take into account the fact that I paid for every piece of furniture/linen/decor/kitchen item in the home. What I'm saying is -- if he were to go out and rent the equivalent our home and furnish and stock it, it would cost him a lot more.
Despite agreeing to split things evenly, D still freaks out over having to pay for certain things: home insurance, any home maintenance projects, even the cost of our grocery bill the first month he saw it astounded him. These are the things I have been paying for on my own the entire time we have lived together. I don't want to be one of those couples that fight over finances, but I also feel very uncomfortable whenever I have to ask him to split these costs. I don't think I would feel this way if we were renting a space together or both our names were on the mortgage.
Any advice for how to have these conversations? Anyone been in a similar situation before where one partner moved into a home owned by the other? What costs are fair to split and which should fall to me as the homeowner?
If I was in a situation like this, I would create not an actual contract but a fun event and agreement.
It is the end of October right now, so I would work from now to December 1st on creating an agreement. A document that outlines all of my needs, all of his needs, all the responsibilities, fun things, silly things, serious things….
Then December 1st or the first weekend in December I would have the house cleaned 100 percent, make a wonderful meal and give him the document. I would give it a title like ‘FREEDOM’ and outline that the purpose of this document is to outline all expectations so that you have more time to be free, happy, and in love.
I would leave room on the document for him to write his thoughts, his needs, ….
It is YOUR relationship how do you want it to go? This is just a way of communicating ideas and helping two different planets agree on them.
The key I think is not to make it difficult to follow, or something that you groan at… but something that makes you feel free because everything is clear. You know what is expected of you and you know what to expect.
Then New Years Eve you have final copy that you both agree on… and you walk into the new year FREE.
Your days from there on in should no longer include pressure or disappointment in each other, just love.
You don’t mention if he is working. Does he have a job and what is his income in comparison to yours?
This financial issue may Not be what this conflict is all about. Are there other areas of your relationship where you find him not fair or contributing his share?