Hello,I have been dating the same woman for 7 (-1) years (we were broken up for a year).I do indeed love her, and want her in my life for the rest of my life.We get along great, have lots of fun together, and compliment each other well. Even better we both love each other.The only few arguements we ever have are over money-- usually her lack thereof.However, I am not sure if I should ask for her hand for a few reasons.I will list them from greatest to least-- with a financial point of view.1. She is in debt and is going to file for bankruptcy (against my better advise). How would this effect my credit if I married a bankrupt person? My credit is so stellar it has its own solar system!2. She is horrible with money. She takes home as much as I do, gets better tax deductions (earned income, 2kids, etc.), and has a more stable career path, but she cannot hold onto her cash or save at all.Still has not opened a 401k, even though she now has a very good paying job in health care that provides all sorts of benefits and a 401k.3. She is very stubborn to take advice on monetary issues. She will ask for my opinion, and I will give her the Foolish answer, but she will not follow through and spend off anyway.4. I make good money (for now) and am saving substantially, trying to set an example. (When I quit smoking cigarettes, she was not far behind me to do the same)5. She buys a lot of shoes. 6. She indulges her chilfren way too much. Its ok to reward for chores and good deeds, but a movie and xbox game a night from blockbuster, every night of the week, for a kid who doesn't lift a finger around the house is a waste of money and not very responsible.I could go on, but here are the minor details...both mid 30sboth take home 35k+ me- no debt, 50k mortgageher- won't divulge debt, rentsme- non-custodial father, minimal child support paymentsher- two kids, won't ask for child support from her ex, spends money like mad on kids. Also 3 cats and a mother.me- small emergency fund 2k+her- empty pocketsme- frugal $12 a month electric bill, walk when I can, ride scooter, motorcycle.her- computers, lights, xboxes, wii on all day $100+ month electric bill, drives kids all over, doesn't maintain vehicleTo do this right, I would have to be able to support her, her two children (1 in HS, another Freshman in college on grants and student loans) 3 cats, her mother, my daughter and myself. I feel I cannot count on a dime from her were we to live in the same house and be together and that I would have to assume all bills, mortages, and debt.I love her, the kids, mom, and the cats. But I just can't work out the numbers to a positive side with my current income to see myself in a marriage.I feel I cannot count on her for any money, and the bankruptcy plan of her's really leaves a bitter taste, seeing as the debt is minimal and could be paid off with diligence on her own income if she were just Foolish about it. (aside from that, a lot of the debt, or the cherry on top was a savage burn from her ex on a credit card he charged after the divorce in her name that she refuses to go after him in court for, let alone alimony and/or child support-- she should have burned him on the alimony when she first got divorced-- hes scum)What to do? What to do?Any advice?More questions?How do I approach someone who gets very angry when talking about money and tell them "Hey, I want to marry you, but you have to balance your books and budget yourself into the black, save up an emergency fund and assure me you will be responsible with your money before I make that sort of commitment"???Signed,Floundering in Folly and FooldomakaSlakk
How do I approach someone who gets very angry when talking about money and tell them "Hey, I want to marry you, but you have to balance your books and budget yourself into the black, save up an emergency fund and assure me you will be responsible with your money before I make that sort of commitment"???Signed,Floundering in Folly and FooldomakaSlakk tell her 'Hey, I want to marry you, but you have to balance your books and budget yourself into the black, save up an emergency fund and assure me you will be responsible with your money before I make that sort of commitment'.don't forget to mention you love her and her kids.if she gets angry, well, she has an anger problem. don't be a wuss, just be blunt. if you can't communicate in a relationship, the relationship will fail anyway.
How do I approach someone who gets very angry when talking about money and tell them "Hey, I want to marry you, but you have to balance your books and budget yourself into the black, save up an emergency fund and assure me you will be responsible with your money before I make that sort of commitment"???Signed,Floundering in Folly and FooldomakaSlakk If you marry this woman then your credit will be ruined and you will be legally responsible for her debt.As far as I'm concerned you're just being suckered. If she really loved you she wouldn't want to screw you over like that. Sorry but that's the truth. Don't be stupid.6
Are you sure she wants to marry you?If she did, I'd think she'd want to discuss these things just as much as you do.
How do I approach someone who gets very angry when talking about money and tell them "Hey, I want to marry you, but you have to balance your books and budget yourself into the black, save up an emergency fund and assure me you will be responsible with your money before I make that sort of commitment"???You say, "Goodbye. You're a wonderful person, and I wish you the best, but we don't have a future together." Your aleternative is to forget the prospect of marriage and just enjoy her company. You make your choice based on your personal desire to get married.In either case you owe it to her to make it clear that marriage to her isn't a prospect.Phil
Flee. Don't look back at the hornet's nest you almost walked into.Anyone who is secretive about money, yet you know they are headed for bankruptcy, is bad news on several levels.Flee. Get out. Exit. I know the words are easy to write and the action is hard to take, but please give it serious consideration.
her- won't divulge debt, rents...the bankruptcy plan of her's really leaves a bitter taste, seeing as the debt is minimal and could be paid off with diligence on her own income if she were just Foolish about it.Hi Slakk,This does sound like a conundrum. You love her, she's great, but the money problem is not a small one.Just wondering, how do you know that the debt is minimal? Maybe she's hugely in debt, to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars. It happens to lots of people, some of whom post on the Credit Cards and Consumer Debt board here on the Fool. Maybe that's why she won't talk about it and is thinking of going the bankruptcy route--maybe it's really, really bad.I have my own prejudices about marriage: I think that living together creates the opportunity for a lot of conflict, and totally merging finances and everything can add even more stress. When you have your own separate households, you can visit each other and enjoy each other, and you probably won't be fighting about whose turn it is to do dishes, or all the other things you have to coordinate as two people sharing one space. And when you have separate financial lives, her money problems don't have to be your problem.Keeping two separate households is usually more expensive than merging... except for in a case like yours, where it could be like you shoveling your pile into her pit. Unless there's some legal way to keep your finances separate while married? Consult a local lawyer for the answer to that one. Here in California, whether or not you have "mingled funds" makes a difference.For whatever the opinion of an Internet stranger is worth, I vote for keeping things as they are. She sounds like a great girlfriend, and it sounds like she could really use a good boyfriend like you. Good luck!
Slakk, I'm sorry you're in such a conflicted, difficult position. I don't envy you. For me, it comes down to these factors. Are you going to be okay being married to her for 50+ years, and her giving money to her kids, grandkids (future), and mother, for this amount of time, particularly not knowing if she is sneaking it from the household budget, retirement monies, or putting it on credit cards? Past behaviors predict future behaviors, and this is probably what she will do. Are you okay with never being on the same page as her, financially? You will also need to be willing to accept these behaviours from her, in the future, without admonishing her for them, as you will have known what you signed up for, before marrying her! I mean, if you sign up for the ride, you have to not complain when this part gets bumpy, and it will ALWAYS be bumpy financially. She will never be a full, responsible partner to you....someone you can fully trust with all of y'alls financial affairs. Are you willing to marry a financial "child"? Are you willing to never be able to discipline her children, teach them character and delayed gratification? If you have children together, and you try to discipline your mutual children, are you willing for them to point out, repeatedly, that steps get away w/ X, Y, or, Z; but there's a double standard for them? Love is such a wonderful, precious thing; but sometimes it just simply is NOT enough. You need to come up with a list of character traits you MUST have in a spouse, and compare that list to the person you are dating. I promise you, it will make such a profound difference in the quality of your marital life! The pain you might experience now, will be nothing compared to the pain of marrying foolishly! I am NOT advising you one way or another; I am advising you to step away emotionally enough to examine what your needs are, and to see if she can fulfill them.All the best,F2RP.S. If you would consider letting us know the outcome......
Wow-- lots of great replies...Thank you everyone!Really! Thank you so much!Its hard to find honest opinions and flat out good advise on the net, except at the Motley Fool.Most (all?) these replies mirror the internal monologue and/or debate I have with myself quite often.I like the seprate houses idea. Its an idea I have had before.It sort of works now, but we barely get to see each other since we live about 20mis apart and work schedules have us coming home at different time.Cripe, if we could live around the corner or across the street from each other or something like that, it would help ease my heart a bit more.Honestly, the points about her witholding information is well put.There obviously IS a trust issue or full-disclosure situation there.I am making an effort at due-diligence aren't I?I think what I will do is sit down and have a serious talk with her.One of those "don't say anything until I have said I am finished" talks and let her know everything I feel and want and what I hope for her to get her out of the mess she is in. but she has to want it and do it herself. I'm not in the habit of paying off other's debts. My name ain't Uncle Sam.I have NO CLUE what her entire debt is, but if it is under 10k, there is no reason at all for her to file bankruptcy.Keep the ideas, replies, support coming.I'm really in a bind.I guess I am the kind of guy who wants hearth and home, lawn and garden with the kids running in the yard and a loving hand holding mine back.Someone to grow old with, knowing what the other is thinking just by looking at each other.Also, for health reasons, and just plain flat BOREDOM, its not good to live alone. I'm really gone too long during the day to get a dog. Maybe I'll pick up a fish on my way home and let you guys know how that goes.Feng Shui says placing a goldfish by the frontdoor will bring wealth and prosperity. But I digress.I won't be able to really talk to her about anything until this weekend, and to be quite honest, really to scared too. Maybe I ought to just be happy there is someone who loves me and let it be at that.She does love me, I know that. Why ruin what's there?But still-- I feel I need to move into a deeper expression or some romanctic one-soul share-our-lives together junk like that.Further Floundering,Slakk
If you do marry her, do consider separate finances and a prenuptial agreement (actually, you should insist on a prenup). Separate finances will help you keep your high credit rating and insulate you from her bad financial choices. The prenup will allow you to keep your assets should the worst happen, and will also require her to divulge hers. I see prenups as insurance policies, not as plans for divorce (as many people seem to think they are). You don't plan to get into a car accident, yet you carry auto insurance. And life insurance is hardly a plan for an early death, is it?
I guess I am the kind of guy who wants hearth and home, lawn and garden with the kids running in the yard and a loving hand holding mine back.Someone to grow old with, knowing what the other is thinking just by looking at each other.Also, for health reasons, and just plain flat BOREDOM, its not good to live alone. It's better to live alone than to wish you did.I'm going to revise my earlier advice now that you've told us you are uncomfortable being alone and want a picket fence so badly you're willing to settle for someone who's financially incompatible with you. Regardless of what Big Momma says in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, I think most foundering rocks in a marriage can be traced to the bank.Have your weekend chat if you wish, but make it clear that if she hasn't gotten her financial act together by July 1 you are history. I'm retracting my prior choice of your being friends with benefits because of her children. It isn't fair to them.Phil
Hi! I'm haunting Phil tonight and his posts led me in here.There are two basic ways we humans find ourselves drawn to another. One is our internal set of values, the foundation which shapes how we view the world and react to it. The other is more outward, how we spend our time on a day-to-day basis. Some couples match up on both fronts. Some individuals don't want to match on both, and make their own decision whether they want someone who shares their values or their hobbies. From your initial post, I gather that this woman shares your day-to-day but not your values. This stranger on the internet votes that you have a long discussion with yourself before you bring up any of this with her. What do you want? Put away images of picket fences and concentrate on the time together. I'll even throw in a hard-learned lesson:Someone to grow old with, knowing what the other is thinking just by looking at each other.is less likely with someone who does not share your core values. There are always at least two sides to every story; if the two of you do not start from the same basic viewpoint, you will most likely go through life together generating two different thoughts for every look on the other's face.
She is in debt and is going to fileShe is very stubborn two kids, won't ask for child support from her ex, spends money like mad on kids.Also 3 cats and a mother.Do you guys ever talk?Even better we both love each other.Wait, I see, Love is BlindGo ahead and have your talk with her, but you could save time and walk away now. You two are on different wave lengths and don't communicate. I'm willing to say there is a Lot you don't know about her beyond how bad her debt is or how much she spends on the kids.Either you are convenient or the sex is great but I don't see her looking to marry you at all. Has she said so much?You are on your way to being a responsible divorced father and you want to take her on. She is an anchor. And with her mother there you will always be wrong, never mind her kids.So talk with her. I think you will find she sees the relationship quite differently than you do. jC
...both mid 30sboth take home 35k+...me- non-custodial father, minimal child support paymentsher- two kids, ... and a mother...her two children (1 in HS, another Freshman in college)...savage burn from her ex on a credit card he charged after the divorce in her name that she refuses to go after him in court for, let alone alimony and/or child support...(1) She's mid-30's with a child who's in college? And how old is your daughter? It sounds like you both started young and messed up. Individual and/or couples counseling might be useful before either of you gets into another mess.(2) She's supporting herself, her mother, and 2 children:- on 35k/yr,- with no incoming alimony or child support, and- with a deficit due to her ex.You are supporting only yourself. You pay no alimony, and only minimal child support.No wonder she's bankrupt, and you're not.(3) ...She indulges her children way too much...a kid who doesn't lift a finger around the house ... not very responsible...So, you don't like her children, and you (a non-custodial parent) disapprove of the way she's raising them. You also disapprove of how she handled her divorce, and of how she handles money.She'd be nuts to marry you. You say you love her, but you neither respect nor admire her. How she loves you, with your constant criticism (regardless of how much of it is justified), is a mystery to me. This marriage would be a disaster for both of you, and worse, for the children.
Phil,Friends with bennys is ok, her kids are in their later teen yrs.
Without writing a BOOK and life story, so responses showed a lot of misunderstanding.1. I was never married. My ex and I are cool. We were 24 when we had our child, but she decided she still wanted to fool around (with my neighbor no less) so that relationship ended. My kid is 12.2. She had her first when she was 15, got married at 16, and then divorced 10-11yrs later. Her kids are pretty much grown. I showed up while the divorce was going on. Tried to explain alimony and child support. Advice not taken. 3. She is not supporting everyone all on her own. Her mother works, and for almost 2yrs, she lived between my house and her fathers (where the kids were, my house is too small to put all of us in)---geez I guess I could go on, but it would take forever. Also seems like round two responses were the negative blast, instead of trying to be helpful/rational.4. Most importantly, this is a matter of the heart, but unfortunately the way our society and world is set up, everything is mingled in with money.Ill let you guys know how the "talk" goes next week!Thanks!slakk
The best marriages I've seen have been those where the couples are not just lovers, but also friends. From your posts it sounds like you may love her, but there's a whole lot of things you don't like about her. If you didn't love her, would she be a friend? Somebody whose company you'd seek out?As somebody else said - do you want to spend decades of your life trying to change her? If she's not willing to change, for herself first, then all of this would fall on you, and that's potentially huge strain.One of my aunts fell in love once with a fellow who had a good job, saved money (so did she) and had a great reputation in their little town. But he had a lot of nervous habits - he did things like swirl his spoon in his tea cup 5 times in 1 direction, 5 times in the other, then tapped it 3 times on the rim of the cup. My aunt said this was one of many things he did that irritated her no end. She said no when he proposed. She said her family told her she was an idiot for turning down such a reliable man, but she said she couldn't spend her life being annoyed by such things. A few years later she met a man who had a good job, realized she saved money better than he did and encouraged her to teach him, and who made her laugh. They were married for 57 years.Slakk - it's good you're asking for opinions to help you sort out your choices, and you know that you're the only one who can make this decision. Good luck!sandytravis
Thanks Sandy.Yes, we would be friends and hang out together.That is one of our strong points.There are a lot of "little" things I suppose, but I accept such things. Hey, I'm not perfect either (you ought to see my bathroom, yikes!)My main concern, and overriding question is:Will marrying someone with awful credit and filing bankruptcy adversely effect my credit?I think the answers are:1. Yes2. No, not if you keep finances seprate and get a pre-nup (think of it as insurance)I am not sure if those are correct answers, but they are answers.The question does pose further scrutiny though. It leads to further questions...Why do you want to marry someone who is not as responsible as you?Are you sure you want to spend the rest of your life changing someone?(I learned a long time ago that you can't change anyone, but people seem to change on their own, no matter what-- for the good or the bad)So this is quite the quagmire....I'm thinkin I shalln't stir the pot and just let sleeping dogs lie and forgo any hopes of getting married in the near future.I HAVE let her know, on occasion, a lot of my concerns about financials, and as I post before, it leads to an arguement (she takes it as a criticism instead of a genuine loving concern).One last tidbit about her finanacial irresponsiblity...(will also show, that she IS a kind soul and has good intentions...but...)She invited me to volunteer for Meals on Wheels on Christmas day, and since I cannot do it any other day of the year (10am-1pm I am at work and weekends fo MCCSA are always booked) I jumped at the occassion to brighten a shut-ins Christmas day.We loaded up my truck with coolers, grabbed the kids, picked up the meals at the hospital and had a lot of fun meeting some very kind and grateful seniors. Since it was Christmas, i figured the least I could do is toss in a $1 scratch off to boot, hoping some might get lucky.After we were done we had a few scratch offs left and I gave her one.She won $30!She was so excited, seeing she never buys them and never wins if given one. I told her to cash it and keep the money.Instead, she kept it in her wallet, which she put behind the ward desk at the hospital last week (never cashed the darn thing) and got robbed while she was at lunch.Who the heck leaves their wallet with cash, ID, winning lottery ticket and other personal information in it unattended?My girlfriend obviously. I told her lesson learned.I really can't be upset about it, but its just a sure-fire example of carelessness and disregard for financial freedom, stability, and security.Hmmmmm, maybe I ought to flee....yet love tugs at the heart strings.Slakk
...negative blast...LOL! Try posting on the Credit Cards and Consumer Debt Board:http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?mid=27329760&bid=100...
HAHA yeah...I see what you mean.I'm fromt he old BBS/UNIX servers days when "online social networking and commentary" didn't even have that title...man some folks were plain brutal back then.
Does she even listen to you?It sounds like she really doesn't think your advice has merit.If you stay you will be responsible financially... and at some point you will feel resentful. It just happens when one partner carries the weight of an issue in the marriage...Run, pal...
Ok-- this will be my last post on this thread-- for now-- I hope.I'm just leaving things as-is.Lots of good points here, and advice well taken.Even if I was a crazy-nuts rich and sneezed $100 bills, why should I be bailing out somone so irresponsible?I'll continue on my own financial path, which is planned with the help of The Fool, and she can go on her's, which is pretty much avg. american.So, thanks for all the help. I'll be ok. Even if single life starts to suck in 3 or 4 yrs. Oh well.Thanks,slakk
A contrarian perspective: I was in the same position as your fiancee.I was in over 20K in consumer debt. At a particularly low point, after finishing grad school, it was closer my annual income (working $15/hour, 35 hours) than I'd like to admit. Was still quite in debt when I met my fiancee, who is the most responsible person you could imagine. He is actually a lot like you, extremely frugal. Such a good saver that he was able to secure a 20% down payment for an urban duplex, right out of college! You could scour his credit card statements (which he uses to pay off all his bills) and count the number of charges on one hand for months, and never see anything more discretionary than the occasional fast food meal. That's how frugal he is. His example, and that of his in-laws, quite frankly, shamed me even more than I was already shamed. I got off my collective ass and changed myself. Then when the cashflow started reversing from negative, to positive, I joined Fool.com to know what the heck to do with it and started researching investing like crazy.I finished off the consumer debt before our engagement. We've been happily married since last year. He was initially horrified to learn of my consumer debt and greatly worried, but my attitude and habits have done such a 180 that he now trusts me to be in charge of our money and investments (though he's frugal, he hates anything else to do with his money for some reason--his father was still doing his taxes, for example). We save well over 50% of our income--gross, not net. All our accounts are joint except for his mortgage, which existed before the marriage. He even put me on his credit card.I still have 10K in student loans but at a 2.12% fixed rate, it just doesn't make sense to pay them off. Plus I can now pay them off, quite a few times over even, if such ever struck my fancy. If I'm salvageable, she may be. Do talk to her, and insist on having her address her debt before marrying her.
well thank you Desty...I try to talk, but she is way to defensive and takes it as criticism.I have told her about the fool, but again, too stubborn.Last night I brought up the recklessness of leaving the wallet out for someone to rob the $30 lottery winnner (see post above) and it turned into a huge arguement.She is dead set on filing bankruptcy and theres not no one in the world that is going to tell her how to run her life.nice huh?oh well...but thanks anyway...wish she were a little more open minded about things like you are...sounds like your husband is a lucky man.thanks,slakk
Wed, flee or flounder?Flee.And her personal financial habits is the second reason.The first reason is the way you say she is raising her children. I have several guy friends who either married or are in a long-term relationship with women who raised their children in a similar manner. It's a constant source of grief & frustration for those guys - even years after the children reach adulthood.ShelbyBoy
What ShelbyBoy said.Run like the wind.
well, everyone seems to be quite unified in saying that you should run away. yet, 7 years is a *long* time, and if you're still in love with her after all that (and her children are soon to exit the picture)... the answer's a lot less clear-cut. more questions to ask yourself: Are you concerned about the impact of her financial decisions on yours, or are you concerned about trust/openness issues? Would you consider giving her an ultimatum, to see if she loves you enough to change?
I am very concerned about her financial decisions effecting mine.Matter of fact, long ago, when i was stupid, she wanted a new car...she could not finance one, so i financed it for her, and so she could feel better I allowed her to co-sign.The car is gone and paid off now, but the fact that she was a co-signer on a loan I had scares the crap outta me that it will screw up my awesome credit if she files bankruptcy....also concerned about trust/openess issues since she will not discuss financesultimatum? umm-- yeah-- she'll love that...I think the Flee people are spot on--- but I DO lover her...however, I am the kind of guy who can love another...I'm actually starting to feel sory for her, and I'd be pretty sorry for her if i left her too, and I'd feel really sorry for the next sucker that came along...Its reall yhard to talk to her-- but I will try.slakk
and her children are soon to exit the pictureThey will physically exit the picture, maybe, if they move a few hundred miles away.But they are not going to exit the picture.ShelbyBoy
she will be supporting those kids for years to come. refuses to teach them how to take care of themselves. the "how come my clothes aren't folded and in my room" comments coming from her 18yr old amuse me...in my house the answer would be "because you are an adult capable of taking care of yourself"...so-- yeah-- flee...or just flounder, but pretty sure wed is out of the question after bouncing this off of everyone...will my credit get hit if she files?she was a co-signer on a car note, now paid off and closed, 5 yrs ago...
will my credit get hit if she files?she was a co-signer on a car note, now paid off and closed, 5 yrs ago... I am not a lawyer or finance professional, and I'll be happy to be corrected by one of those if I'm wrong, but I don't see how on Earth her filing bankruptcy could have any effect on your credit. You cosigning a loan linked your finances together only for the purposes of that one loan. If the loan were not paid off, and if she were not paying it, you would have to pay it (sounds like you were the one paying that one off, anyway). You didn't form some greater financial link with her by cosigning a loan.
here is what I am thinking. if I am too late in saying this, I'm sorry, just hit "next".if you love her and want to have her in your life for always, tell her so, tell her why.If you are considering marriage, maybe you could get counseling first? Perhaps when it comes to the money stuff she would be more inclined to listen to someone else, who is maybe more of an expert.Does she come from a much less well off/lower class background than you do? Maybe she is ashamed of her situation? It sounds like it is difficult.BTW people can change, if they want to and if they have some idea how to. This was a different situation, but my mother tells me that when she and my dad first got together, she was kind of spoiled & into spending money on clothes & stuff. My dad was not, having grown up in a family where his dad's business got wiped out in the Depression. And I get the really strong impression that it was Mom who adapted, and became much more practical minded. 59 years later, they are still together.You might wind up learning & changing too. I wish you both the best, whatever you decide to do.
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