JYMCat's picture

S/O and I have been together for two year but aren't married or living together yet. Neither one of us are in a hurry but we do talk about the future.

Today's discussion was about finances. If we get married, I want separate bank accounts. S/O thinks that we should have joint bank accounts. He and BM had separate bank accounts when they were married and she never contributed to the finances. She would spend her money on booze and whatever else she was doing while she was running around on him. So, S/O feels that having separate bank accounts means that we're not a team. He thinks that when you get married, your debts become a joint responsibility. I don't agree. I have a student loan and I don't think that it would become his responsibility just because we got married. My father is the co-signer so if something were to happen to me, I assume they'd go after him and not my hypothetical husband. S/O's idea includes his daughter of course and I don't think that I should be considered financially responsible for her just because we got married. He REFUSES to make BM pay child support. He says, "I don't want anything from her". I always tell him that child support, it's for the CHILD. She squeezed her out but he doesn't want any support from her. Yet he has this idea that I would be financially responsible for their kid. I don't want joint accounts and I'm not going to kid myself or anyone here by saying that's not because of FSD. I don't dislike her but I don't feel that she is my responsibility nor do I WANT her to be. I feel that her parents should be responsible for her. All of his reasons against it stem from the things BM did to him while they were married and probably now too. The ONLY thing she pays half of is the preschool tuition and she is THREE months behind on her half. She pays for nothing else and FSD lives with S/O full time.

I feel like this is really a matter of opinion and on the flip side he feels like this is a right or wrong scenario. I'm not sure what a compromise would be.

We've talked about this before but this time I decided to ask everyone here how they handle their finances with their spouse.

JYMCat's picture

Thank you for your advice. I like the idea of one joint and two separate. Hopefully that would make him happy. Otherwise I foresee fights over finances and I'm not about to marry someone who can't compromise.

JYMCat's picture

You're absolutely right he is projecting. He behaves like a wounded animal any time I say anything about not being her mother. I know I will never be her mother and I have no desire to be anything other than an aunt-like presence in her life and I have told him so. True, I may grow to love her. I care about her now but I'm not her mom. I've had this conversation with him before. I've had him read experts say the same thing. We've listened to the Step Family Central Podcast together where they of course, do their best to drive home the point that WE ARE NOT YOUR KID'S PARENTS. He doesn't understand. I'll tell you why I think he doesn't get it. FSD is not his biological child. BM cheated on him, told him she was raped, and he agreed to raise her as his own. Thanks to a matter of DNA he will never understand why I can't love her like my own. He feels that if he can do it, so can I.

I think separate accounts and one bill account is a swell idea. I'll run it by him but my gut tells me he'll poo poo it.

Thank you for your advice.

JYMCat's picture

I knew I couldn't be nuts. I mean my parents didn't set the best example so I don't always know when my opinion is or isn't based on some dysfunctional ideal ingrained in me but the idea that my debt becoming his and vise versa is something that I just don't agree with and neither do creditors. I also don't know why he expects me to pay for his child when he doesn't require it of her mother. He says he can't "make her pay" and I'm like no but court can. There's no point in discussing it with him any further with him because it'll just blow up and it really isn't my decision. I'm just not going to get hung on the line that he refuses to throw out for BM.

Thank you for your advise. IF we get married I'll just have to hope that he'll be okay with two separate and one joint. He uses his parents as an example of a couple who have a joint account and I said, "yeah well your parents don't have any children from previous marriage to take under consideration". He loves using his folks as examples and I just think in a lot of ways we can't because they aren't in a step situation.

Disneyfan's picture

He may be using BM's past actions just to guilt you into doing what he wants.

Turn the tables on him. Tell him you will be willing to open one joint account as soon as he takes BM to court and force her to pay CS. If he ever decides to drop the support order, you will close the joint account.

Orange County Ca's picture

When I first moved in to her condo I paid a flat "rent" to my girlfriend. When I purchased a nearby larger condo she rented out hers. We listed all expenses for a year, including mortgage and taxes. We determined each of our incomes as a percentage. I.e. if I earned $100 a year and she $50 a year then I paid 2/3 of the annual bills and she paid 1/3.

We did that by taking responsibility for several monthly bills, she paid electricity, water, etc. I paid mortgage, insurance, etc. so I paid 2/3 of the bills and she paid 1/3.

Then the rest of the money was our to spend as we pleased, I paid my child support, she received child support (which wasn't included in the calculations) and took care of her kids, food, clothing, school expenses, etc.

When the mortgage was paid off we soon sold both condos and purchased a home in both of our names without a mortgage. We continued the same bill paying method.

Stick to your guns, if he can't trust you enough, and that's understandable, then you two should not get married.

Generic advise: Studies have shown that children of single parent homes do better in school, home and social interactions than children living in a step-parent home. You two would do better if you didn't marry until all the kids are out of high school.

Even on this web site you here stores from step-mothers and their step-children and you can tell that if a step-parent didn't exist the problem the kid has would go away. Meanwhile the child is way off track, hates their step-parent and getting into whatever trouble they can find.

Also a BM often loses it completely when her ex gets married, something in the female gene I guess, and causes all sorts of trouble. Since your BF has custody that may not be as much of a problem.

hereiam's picture

My DH and I have been together almost 18 years and we do not have one joint account. We each have our own checking accounts and savings accounts.

All the utilities were already in my name and came out of my checking account so we left it that way, and the mortgage is in my name. My DH puts money in my checking account every month for his portion of the bills and his half of groceries, toiletries and household stuff, which we put on a credit card (and I pay in full every month). Whatever we each want to buy with our own money is our own business. It works for us.

It should not be money that makes you feel like or be a team.

I would have a serious problem with your FDH's viewpoint, especially given that he doesn't push the CS issue with BM and the kid is not even his. He wants control over YOUR finances but won't make BM take care of her own child?. It's not your fault he put up with BM not contributing and that he agreed to raise her child (with her not contributing to that, either). Must be nice to be BM.

Second marriages, first marriages that involve previous children, or later in life marriages, are just different. It's not like you are both straight out of school, debt free, baggage free, just starting your lives, and accruing debts together.

Do not marry him until this is agreed upon (and frankly, I'd still be leery). Finances and children, are two of the biggest problems in marriages. And not only is this child not yours, she is not even his.

Delilah's picture

Do not marry your DF with the "hope" he will accept your wishes over joint finances and possibly how he views you as a stand in mother, because that hope is destined to crash and burn! He is informing you NOW of his views on both subjects and you yourself admit that he is unable to understand your view that fsd is not your child, not your financial and moral responsibility. That is not suddenly going to miraculously change and deep down you know that, if you marry him anyway while ignoring these massive warning signs then you are going to encounter problems which will cause resentment to grow not to mention cause arguments between you and DF. Been there and done that.

Now is the time to resolve these rather large dividing issues prior to marriage and Moving in, because otherwise you will feel trapped and your relationship with fsd will be put in jeopardy due to fdh forcing you on her and visa versa (if you cant resolve this for yourself before marriage then at least consider fsd welfare, as it will be unpleasant for her if her dad makes all sorts of promises -verbal or implied- on your behalf and she has excited expectations that you and she now have thay sort of mother/daughter relationship. I would imagine she has felt enough disappoint over her own relationship with BM without being placed in the middle of fdh unrealistic expectations!).

I suggest you and he find a stepfamily therapist and work through these challenges before you wed,jimpo.

JYMCat's picture

Thank you all for your advise.

I spoke to S/O over the weekend again and he is fine with two separate and one joint for bills.

As far as his views as my role in FSD's life, my POV presented in my original post were from conversations I've had with him in the past. He now seems to just be happy with us being friendly. I've expressed that I have no desire to be a babysitter and he asked all these ridiculous questions about it. Ultimately he seems to accept the fact that I'm not comfortable with being left alone with FSD and as things are right now, I can't foresee any reason why I should be. S/O is self-employed and makes his own schedule. FSD is almost in Kindergarten and we don't live together nor do we live close enough to each other for me to be an option for pickup and drops offs or babysitting. So by the time we get married (if that happens) I think it would be completely unreasonable for him to think that JUST because we live in the same house, that means he has to stop doing all the things he does now to be a reliable parent to FSD. Obviously when she's older and more self sustaining there will probably be times where she comes home from school and I'm there and he isn't but while she's young, I see no reason for him to have to rely on me to be a stand in mom.