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Old 03-22-2013, 09:50 PM
BlazenBurn BlazenBurn is offline
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Default Lessons in Poly Family living- money

We moved into the next door house, as a rental right now but Darling will be buying it. Now, it seems Everything I do is wrong. Ok, that's a bit of an overstatement but that is how I'm feeling. What I'm feeling is that I can't be me. Even though we split the houses, I feel like Darling's wife is keeping tabs on us. I have not been allowed to hang family pictures, etc in the new house. so as to not upset her. She seems quite content for me to be involved if I'm doing the family's laundry or cooking for everyone but then I need to leave her house.

Then there are money issues. When Darling proposed that I move here with him, he told me to not worry about support. It is significantly more expense to live here. So, I made financial decisions based upon that only to find out that his wife is keeping a tab of every cent he spends on me and my children. I am looking for work but there is no way I can support us right now. It makes me very uncomfortable to know that I every thing I purchase is being scrutinized. Darling and I are going on a trip soon and she has made it known to me that she is keeping an accounting of what we spend and that I should keep him in line.

I don't like being in the middle of this and have told him so but I don't see much changing. I feel trapped. I mean even at this time if I wanted to move out on my own, I would need his help and his wife would have veto power. So know I have to be a "good little girl" and keep my mouth shut. I mean what choice do I have?
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:55 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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Sigh.
Sounds like it's time to sit down as a group of three and lay ALL of that out on the table.
Exactly what he has told you, what she is doing, what it makes you feel like and where it needs to go from here.

Negotiation time.

The three of us live together (I am the hinge in our case). It is/was Maca's home with me before GG moved in.

HOWEVER-it is OUR home.
GG hasn't hung a lot of things up on the walls outside of his room. At first, that was because he was afraid of offending Maca. But-we finally got past that (Maca didn't actually care-it was all in GG's head).
He has helped with choosing colors/design choices in the changes we've made on the house (lots of remodel the last couple of years).

Money goes into a "family fund". Maca and GG's checks are auto-deposited into the bill account. Once the bills are paid-the balance is divvied out from there.

If you don't speak up now-it's only going to get worse. Because EVEN if things settle down-YOU will have this inside of you.
You need to speak up-and you need to do it with both of them present.

She may not know what he told you.

(My sister suffered that experience when she moved in with a couple. He promised her stuff he didn't tell his wife. It blew up in their faces with a big huge dramatic disaster. It's been another year now of "clean up" with her in her own apt because of the lack of three way communication. Ironically-had the wife KNOWN, none of it would have been a huge deal-she just didn't KNOW)
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:58 PM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Your house is your house. You can put up all the family photos you want. What's she going to do, come over and tear them down? She's got her own house, she doesn't even have to come over. I thought the whole point of this was she didn't want to be in the same house as you. So why is she coming over and scrutinizing your wall hangings?

Now the money is a separate issue. Who earns the money? What agreement has he made about allowing her to control the money? What kind of discussion and negotiation did they have when he decided to start giving half of it away?

In our household, my husband earns about 90% of the income, but he's absolutely horrible at budgeting and finances in general. So I hold the purse strings. He keeps his per-diem from work and lives & plays off that, and I have various budgets (my "envelopes"). Neither one of us micromanages the other's finances. We tried that in the very beginning, it was awful. It took time and discussion, trial and error, for us to reach a point where we were both happy with how all that looked. That's not to say we don't still have our conflicts over it, but it works. We both have both accountability (staying within our budgets) and liberty (having separate budgets to stay within).

When you say she "keeps tabs," does that mean she holds the purse strings, or only that she keeps track? If they're both drawing from the same well and she's responsible for making sure that the budget is balanced, then of course she's going to keep tabs of every penny he spends. It would be financially irresponsible for her not to. But maybe they need to discuss a different model. For example, you and she each get an allotment to spend on your respective households, and she doesn't have any oversight of the money once it's in your hands. Of course, this is assuming he's making all the money. If she's earning her own income, then it's a lot more complicated.

Speaking of earning "own income," you really need to get on that. Your kids are teenagers, so childcare is not an issue. Start anywhere for now. I'm always astonished when people say they can't find work. What they mean is they can't find meaningful work that is satisfying for a lifelong career, or they can't find work locally that pays enough to support their whole family. Since he's willing to support you, that's not a concern. For now, you just need "a job." That will give you the experience and references required to get a better job.

As for this trip, the three of you could sit down and set a trip budget. Then that's that. She'll know what to expect and she won't have to keep tabs on it. If he's the type to just spend money all willy-nilly, then yeah you'll probably have to keep him in line. If he's not willing to stay within a budget, then that's between them. Not your problem.
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Last edited by SchrodingersCat; 03-23-2013 at 12:05 AM.
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:19 AM
BlazenBurn BlazenBurn is offline
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I had quiet a chunk of money (an inheritance) and was comfortable. In order to get custody of my kids and to move them out of state I basically had to give it all to my ex. Yes, I had to buy off my ex husband. Darling told me to "drain your account" and I'll support you completely. I kept asking him if he understood what that meant. Fast forward and apparently, he didn't give his wife an idea what it would cost. So, here I am broke and seeking work but having to depend on them for everything from food to shoes for my kids. It is humbling. When my daughter's medications came up I thought she was going to lose it. They are quiet expensive. It's something I had been explaining to him for months. It's difficult to go from financially independent to having all your expenses evaluated by a third party.

She even went so far as to tell me that when they do divorce she will get half of all assets. Of course she will. Oh, and she expect reimbursement of whatever he has spent on us, I guess.

As for the house, since they will purchase it with community assets, she feels it is going to be "her house" even if we are living in it. She expects compensation later and she expect free in and out rights. So, it's not really my home after all.

Just getting tired of all the "discussions" that I was assured happened that apparently did not. Ready to bail on this who situation except I'm trapped.
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:39 AM
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She sounds abusive, not to mention in violation of most residential tenancy laws I've ever heard of. Do you have some kind of lease arrangement for the house you're living in?
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlazenBurn View Post
I mean what choice do I have?
Honestly? If he can't keep his side of the bargain you could move in with friends or family for a while until you find work and can live independantly. If you have no friends or family locally you could look into your options with a shelter.
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Old 03-23-2013, 02:39 AM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
I'm always astonished when people say they can't find work. What they mean is they can't find meaningful work that is satisfying for a lifelong career, or they can't find work locally that pays enough to support their whole family.
Please don't assume and put words in someone else's mouth. This is something that really irritates me. Unless you're there in that same geographical location, you have NO idea what the job market is like. I don't need meaningful work. I don't even need to support my family. I need to be able to pay for daycare and gas, so I don't LOSE money by working, but that's it. I'll work at Target or the grocery store. Or go back to waitressing. Or do any sort of retail or food service in lieu of being a teacher. But with how competitive the job market is here, I've never even gotten a response from any of the applications I've put in.

To BlazenBurn, I'm so sorry you've found yourself in this situation. I agree with the suggestion that all three of you need to sit down together and discuss arrangements. She needs to know what he promised. You need a proper written tenancy agreement. And write it all down, because it sounds like his word is not worth much, and what he says may not be a reflection of what he actually does.
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Old 03-23-2013, 11:53 AM
FullofLove1052 FullofLove1052 is offline
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I am quite sorry that you are in this very unfortunate situation. I decided to go back and read some of your other posts to actually respond to what is happening now.

First, you and your children were supposed to be there for x amount of time, and HE decided that he wanted you all to stay. He never bothered to ask his wife and child how they felt even though they lived in the same house. That issue was resolved by him/them buying the house next door, which enabled you and your children to move in.

Fast forward to now, and in essence, the wife is helping to support you and your children. Is she employed or is she a stay-at-home mum? Even if it's indirectly, she is taking care of you like a parent takes care of a child. Funds that were in their home are leaving to take care of you and your family. If I were here, I would track every pound spent. It is exceedingly hard to balance the finances in one home. Let alone in two. She has went from helping to run her household with one child and her husband to possibly helping to support you and two more children. Put yourself in her shoes. If she just about lost it over expensive medicines for your child, that alone indicates that the finances are an object. She would be irresponsible to not track what was spent. In that sense, I understand. Their budget probably had to be restructured to expand to include three more people to support. For all we know, finances could have already been tight.

What if he never told her of his plans to support you 100%? Chances are she found out after you had moved into the house, which is why she casually mentioned divorce. I would suggest getting a job, earning an income own your own, and standing on your own two feet. I realise you had to buy off your ex, and that really sucks when you have the two teenagers. You are probably accustomed to being independent, so this is hard.

My advice depends on whether their home is one-income or two-income. Possibly three if the teenager is old enough to work and has a job of his/her own. Definitely talk to both of them. Controlling what you hang up on the walls? Was there any type of agreement on paper that included your name and your rights as a tenant? If not, what would happen if the wife decided to put you and your children out or to take over the home as hers? Would you have a legal leg or an agreement--outside of a verbal one--to stand on?
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Old 03-23-2013, 07:34 PM
BlazenBurn BlazenBurn is offline
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I talked to Darling about the situation last night. He told his wife that he would be supporting me and the children months ago. At the time, she understood and was agreeable. She even agreed that I should pay my ex a large sum of money in order to finish my divorce, saying they would replace it for me (apparently that will not be happening now).

Darling is VERY comfortable financially. His wife is not employed nor has she ever had to work. He is surprised at her sudden obsession with money and did not expect this at all. He says the money issues are between him and her. I agreed but said that I am part of it because she is constantly reminding me how much they are spending on us. Even to the point that if he takes me to dinner, she will ask me what the cost was.

The issue of divorce has been on the table for awhile, it's not a casual discussion. They are both ready for it. She wants to make sure that she gets half of everything and that her lifestyle doesn't change. I believe that is one of the reasons right now for the money issues. The reasons they are still legally married is because of the money and she feels it would be too traumatic to their child. She is due half of everything, completely. I understand that. I just don't think she needs to keep telling me.

I have thought about what would happen if Darling had an accident. I think that my children and I would be given a little time but then we would be left on the street. Darling put me on as a beneficiary to one of his retirement funds but she told me that she never signed off on it because she wants cash reimbursement for her half of it.

As for the house. I just give up. This will never be my home. She is not going to let it. It's just a roof over our heads.
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Old 03-23-2013, 07:45 PM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatGirlInGray View Post
Please don't assume and put words in someone else's mouth. This is something that really irritates me. Unless you're there in that same geographical location, you have NO idea what the job market is like.
That's why I specified "locally."

I know that job markets vary by location. Right now, Canada is facing a crisis of skilled labour. If you're willing to learn a trade, the government will pay for your training. Saskatchewan has a graduate retention program that will repay 100% of your tuition if you stay in the province for 7 years, no matter where in the world you did your education, whether it's university or trade school.

CN will hire anyone who can swing a hammer, and give them full benefits and a substantial union-protected wage.

My step-daughter's boyfriend, at the ripe old age of 20, is making $150k working in the Alberta oil sands.

I know there are oil and mining jobs in the US that are in the same position. Yes, you have to relocate. Yes, the jobs are tough. When you have a family, you do what you need to do to survive.

There has never been a time in human history when people didn't relocate to find resources. From tracking the bison across the plains to settling the new world to moving to the oil sands, you go where the opportunities are.

... Does this mean I think any of this is a good thing? Hell no. I fucking hate capitalism, and it angers me that so many people in the world are put in this position because of it. That's a separate issue entirely. But it's the system we have right now, so you work with it.
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Last edited by SchrodingersCat; 03-23-2013 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:00 PM
FullofLove1052 FullofLove1052 is offline
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Perhaps they need to get a postnuptial agreement and make any pending separations a little easier. (We have pre and post. If we were to part ways, I would not have time to be fighting about properties, finances, cars, and everything else. I have no desire to be in and out of divorce court for years. In our agreements, certain things are off-limits for both. Cuts down on the confusion.)

If things continue on this path, they will get worse, and you will feel even more miserable and uncomfortable. It sounds like she does not want funds from their home going to you because she feels like they may infringe and cut into "her half." I do not know if that is feelings as a result of knowing the divorce is coming, feelings of resentment towards you (like you are her replacement/have taken her place), or if she is just being cold and hateful.


You said you talked to Darling, and he says the issues are between him and her. Thereby an extension of you. He has no idea why she is acting like that, so I think you should find it. Have you talked to her one-on-one? Not relayed messages through Darling. If you have not, I know I would ask what was going on, and why she suddenly reneged on the original agreement of helping you and your children out? Why is it such a big deal when he takes you out to dinner? She has the issue with it, so she needs to be the one answering the questions. It does not sound like you have done anything to her to warrant her behaviour or her treatment of you. Who knows what is going on in her mind or even in their marriage?

I hope it gets better for you. Hang in there.
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