Sharing Living Expenses With Girlfriend

My girlfriend and I have been on and off for 5 years and have recently started taking marriage classes. We are talking about moving back in together so we can save money for a wedding. I pay $400 a month where I'm at. She pays $878 in rent plus another $500 in car and utility bills.

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I have a son who wants to move in with me this summer. She is aware that I want custody of both of my kids. If we get married I expect us to be a family. She has a decent relationship with my kids, but had never wanted to take them anywhere or volunteer to bond with them.

Now I have been looking for places to stay for us, but I expect her to pay half the rent and utilities if we move in which will be less than what she pays now and it will be more than what I pay. She says that she shouldn't have to pay half because they are not her kids and she is not financially responsible for them. I didn't ask her to be financially responsible for them, her saying that makes me very nervous. if we get married she will be the stepmother and it doesn't seem like that's the title she wants. I'm not asking her to pay for their clothes, meals, or the collage fund. Please give me some insight.

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By RA

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April 15, 20150 found this helpful

Why are you asking perfect strangers about your concerns instead of addressing them in your "marriage class"? Isn't the marriage class the venue for you both to discuss concerns?

What you describe now is not a good base for liviing together or marriage! Your girlfriend either does not or prefers not to understand that you come as a package-with kids, and she will be their stepmother. If she has not seemed much interested in bonding with them by now (5 yrs!), you do have a huge problem that will only worsen. Living together and marriage will not magically change her position and behavior.

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Then, of course, there are the finance questions re what you both should pay toward expenses. She raises a valid point about having one or both of your kids live with you eventually and those expenses. However, both of you can come to an agreement with the help of an accountant.

Unfortunately, it is very clear your girlfriend does not intend to be part of "your family" now or in the future. If you still want to move forward with your marriage plans, I strongly suggest that you both see a relationship/marriage counselor to address all of your issues.

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April 15, 20150 found this helpful

It kind of sounds like she isn't ready to be a step mother. That being said, there will be more of your family than of hers there, so therefore you should be paying more rent and utilities. Yes, she would also be helping to pay for their meals, because I'm sure she would be buying some of the groceries, and who would be doing their laundry, etc.

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My opinion is that as long as you have kids that are dependent on you, it isn't a good idea to get into relationships, because the kids should have more of your time than the significant other, and most of the time that just won't work.

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April 15, 20150 found this helpful

You already know she does not want to play mommie to your kids. Being that she is not willing to pay half your best bet would be to live on your own. Your doing what you need for those kids but she is not in any way keeping her feelings a secret. You should respect her and her honesty and leave her to pay her high bills alone.

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April 15, 20150 found this helpful

Personally, I do not think that you should be contemplating marrying someone who is not interested in being a family with your children. The sharing of the finances is simply a symptom of the bigger issue. Since you are taking marriage classes, hopefully this is an issue that you will discuss, although I think you know the answer already.

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The age of your children is also a factor. If they are very young, you will have them in your charge and in your "family home" for many years, and they deserve to have a loving step-mom, someone who does bond with them and who will be mom to them, even though they will also have a biological mom.

If they are teenagers, they may not be interested in another "mom", but they should be friends with your new wife, and she should be willing to assume some responsibility for them since she will be a responsible adult living in the same house with them. She will want them to treat her with respect and politeness, but she will have to be willing to accept them as part of her family.

The financial arrangements depend on many things. If it is you and your two children, you should likely pay a larger share. However, it also depends on how much you both make. If there is a great disparity in your salaries, then the one who has the larger salary would pay a greater amount.

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This is all stuff that you need to discuss and come to an agreement on before you begin co-habitation. If you can't solve it now, you will never solve it, and your marriage will not have a chance of succeeding. Money problems are the cause of most marriage breakdowns. Stepchildren are also a cause. If you can't come to an agreement before moving in together, it is unlikely to get any better.

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