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    Former MSE Lee
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should I help out my ex?
    • #1
    • 27th Sep 10, 10:14 AM
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should I help out my ex? 27th Sep 10 at 10:14 AM
    Please give this MoneySaver the benefit of your advice...

    Should I help out my ex?

    Last year I was made redundant and my boyfriend (who lived with me) gave me money to pay the mortgage (it's my house) and bills. Earlier this year he left me and bought a house. I was/am devastated about the break up and am stuggling with the guilt over the money he gave me. His house has a pretty grim bathroom and kitchen, and he doesn't have the money to replace them. We have remained friends and I feel I should be paying him back for the money he gave me. He has told me not to worry, but I think by working extra hours I could afford to take out a loan so to give him money for work on his house, but I'm worried about stretching myself too far. Is it a good idea?

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    Last edited by Former MSE Penelope; 28-09-2010 at 7:59 PM.
Page 1
    • emidee
    • By emidee 28th Sep 10, 9:06 PM
    • 71 Posts
    • 133 Thanks
    • #2
    • 28th Sep 10, 9:06 PM
    • #2
    • 28th Sep 10, 9:06 PM
    No - don't do it! He left you, his current situation is his doing.

    Apart from that he didn't need to buy a house with a 'grim' bathroom & kitchen, I'm sure there were plenty of other houses with nice kitchens & bathrooms available!

    Don't make yourself struggle for somebody who's rejected you already. The past is the past, leave it there.
  • inicholson
    • #3
    • 28th Sep 10, 9:23 PM
    • #3
    • 28th Sep 10, 9:23 PM
    1. Don't take out a loan even if you do decide to pay him. (see 4)

    2. If he was living in your house it was only reasonable made a contribution to the mortgage & bills; so stop feeling guilty.

    3. He's bought a house with grim bits, but he'll do it up over time and the money he spends will be an investment not a cost (his investment, not yours). It was his choice and giving him money to sort it is like saying you don't approve of his choice. So don't.

    4. Start a savings account, put some money in it regularly. If you continue to feel guilty about the money he gave you then you'll be in a position to do something about it without getting yourself into debt.
    • pickledonionspaceraider
    • By pickledonionspaceraider 28th Sep 10, 10:20 PM
    • 1,264 Posts
    • 3,402 Thanks
    • #4
    • 28th Sep 10, 10:20 PM
    • #4
    • 28th Sep 10, 10:20 PM
    No. Free your mind from the shackles of the past. I agree with the above poster, his situation is of his own doing - he chose this house. He has clearly moved on, and you should to which will be difficult if you are paying off a loan. It is great that you two have remained friends however, but you don't owe him anything.
  • NickC
    • #5
    • 28th Sep 10, 10:24 PM
    • #5
    • 28th Sep 10, 10:24 PM
    No, it's not a good idea. He gave you money, so you don't have to return it. It's only fair that he paid when he was in your house anyway.
    Getting a loan when you are not sure you can afford it is a recipe for disaster.
    Fortuna caeca est - Fortune is Blind. It's certainly not looking in my direction! (how do you say that in Latin? )
  • sismith42
    • #6
    • 28th Sep 10, 10:25 PM
    • #6
    • 28th Sep 10, 10:25 PM
    DON'T get yourself into debt for someone else!

    Take the extra hours, then set up a standing order to him so he gets it back over a period of time, with a fixed end date. Basically, treat it like any other loan, because it's clearly weighing on your mind. Or do what another commenter suggested and save monthly, then decide what to do once you've saved as much as he gave you.
    • RuthnJasper
    • By RuthnJasper 28th Sep 10, 10:42 PM
    • 3,615 Posts
    • 8,638 Thanks
    • #7
    • 28th Sep 10, 10:42 PM
    • #7
    • 28th Sep 10, 10:42 PM
    No, sweetie. If he needed your financial help I'm sure he'd be man enough to ask. Please don't get yourself in a pickle for him, you will end up suffering more as a result (and he seems to have made it clear that he doesn't want you to compromise yourself financially for him).

    There is plenty you can do - as a friend - to help him without getting yourself into a debt-trap. Listen to him when he's struggling and be a shoulder to cry on. Offer to help with painting and decorating if he gets his kitchen and bathroom sorted on a basic level. Make him a lasagne or a casserole and take it 'round, so he's got something nice, wholesome (and free to him!) to eat. Treat him with a home-made cake or a bag of biscuits.

    He has told you not to worry about the money. Do him the credit of believing him to be sincere - it's bad enough that one of you is in a bit of a spot - I daresay he'd feel really guilty if he thought you'd got yourself into financial difficulty in order to ease your conscience over him. Just do what you can without putting yourself through a debt-grinder.

    Good luck to you (both).
  • niccatw
    • #8
    • 28th Sep 10, 10:53 PM
    • #8
    • 28th Sep 10, 10:53 PM
    I understand how you feel; the debt that I worry about most is the one I owe to a friend. He loaned me it when I was in a much worse situation than I am now and he understood it might be 4 years before he got it back. In fact I kept saying no to his offer until he physically handed me the money and told me to take it to the bank. It was an extremely generous gesture and offer on his part and I am eternally grateful.

    I know he knows I'm working my !!! off to pay off my debts and he knows what debts I'm working to pay off next... but I daily have to remind myself that that's the sensible option given the interest rates on them. I'd much rather get his money back to him sooner rather than later.

    I have toyed with the idea of putting money away monthly to repay him... and have compromised with myself... I will do just that when the Northern Rock loan has been paid (it's linked to my mortgage). It sure does help keep my motivation for paying off my debts though!

    Don't feel you need to give him money back right now and certainly don't take out a loan to do it. But if it's concerning you, do as was previously suggested and set up a savings account so you can give him what you owe him when you are able to.

    And please do ignore scotsbob. Extremely harsh and unfair judgement.
    Jan10: 28,315.81 Jan11: 18,015.32 Jan12: 7,682.58 Jan13: 2,987.73 Current debt: 1,225.55
    HFC 1896.10. 225.55 SLC2 5123.34 0 Others 2085 1000 Bcard 1172.60 0

    Mike's Mob

  • mummyspoppets
    • #9
    • 28th Sep 10, 11:03 PM
    • #9
    • 28th Sep 10, 11:03 PM
    There again, the fact you have to think about it let's us know why he dumped a person like you. You sound like you always take but never give. He is better off without you.
    Originally posted by scotsbob

    What's with this comment? If you want to make sweeping, judgemental comments, you want mumsnet.

    Unnecessary and unhelpful.
    • RuthnJasper
    • By RuthnJasper 28th Sep 10, 11:03 PM
    • 3,615 Posts
    • 8,638 Thanks
    And please do ignore scotsbob. Extremely harsh and unfair judgement.
    Originally posted by niccatw
    I agree. Sometimes, Scotsbob is extremely prescient and helpful. Sometimes, he just comes across as overly-harsh. I'm sure he means well. But I don't think the OP in this case is a free-loader, so the simple 'straight payback' option doesn't necessarily apply here.
    • pennypinchUK
    • By pennypinchUK 28th Sep 10, 11:09 PM
    • 382 Posts
    • 732 Thanks
    If your situation had changed and you now had the money to repay him it might be the decent thing. However, you say that you'd have to take out a loan, which would stretch you.

    Added to this, although his new house has a grim bathroom and kitchen, whether it is at all pleasant there are 2 factors here. One, he bought the house in full knowledge of what the bathroom and kitchen are like, and two, they are functional, if not pleasing to the eye.

    If you really have remained friends, you've probably already talked about the money he paid to you for the mortgage (which was, I presume, his contribution to the maintenance and upkeep of the house and other bills). Doubtless at the time he willingly gave to the money as he didn't expect to live in your house for free.

    If he'd given you the money last year as a gift to spend on frivolous things I would suggest there's more of a case for you to repay the money. But, on balance, you are under no obligation as you've received money from him in good faith for all the right reasons.

    Don't put yourself at financial risk, but maybe offer to help him with the donkey work to install a new bathroom, or make his current bathroom or kitchen more tolerable. If he remains a true friend he'd not want you to put yourself at financial risk.
    Last edited by pennypinchUK; 28-09-2010 at 11:12 PM.
    • NatFeerick
    • By NatFeerick 28th Sep 10, 11:22 PM
    • 86 Posts
    • 106 Thanks
    Absolutely 100% NO! When he gave (not loaned) you money he was investing in the relationship too. Don't invest in the memory of what once was or the dream of what might have been.
    Dedicated disciple of and Savvy MoneySaver
    Mortgage Free ahead of schedule November 2008!

    Calvin (to Hobbes) - "Sometimes the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere is that none of it has tried to contact us."
  • mr-tom
    When you're together, you share, when you're not, you don't.

    I can well understand why he wouldn't accept the money - I wouldn't either (in the nicest of senses - who wants somebody getting a loan just so that I can have a nice bathroom?)

    Suggest you buy him a gift instead. Maybe a nice hamper or something. And a rubber duck.
    • matchmade
    • By matchmade 29th Sep 10, 7:46 AM
    • 57 Posts
    • 41 Thanks
    You don't say whether you normally split all the costs equally while you were living together, or whether you split the costs in proportion to your incomes: you should have had an agreement when he moved in about how to share the costs. However it does sound doubly unfair on him: he paid after your redundancy to cover your share of the costs, and he also "paid" because he was contributing to a capital asset (the house) in your name, which over the long term means you will make money on the rise in value of the house. He effectively allowed you to keep living in the house even though you couldn't afford to live there. He's also had all the costs of establishing a new home to bear, whereas as far as I can see, you've got out of the relationship for free in financial terms.

    You also don't say why he moved out: other replies are assuming he "dumped" you, but for all we know, you had an affair and he moved out for that reason, leaving himself out of pocket. Perhaps your behaviour after your redundancy made you difficult to live with and he couldn't stand it any more. Or perhaps the two of you simply fell out of love, which means there should be no blame on either side.

    Anyway, judgments over who was to blame in ending the relationship should not affect your responsibility to deal with the money issue. It sounds like he was covering your share of the costs because he cared for you, and still does at some level, as friends, but that should not absolve you from paying him back. You had an implicit agreement: you weren't "sharing everything" like a married couple, you were living together and covering the costs in equal shares. I think therefore you should do the extra work and arrange to make regular payments to him. What if he now loses his job and is in danger of losing his house? No-one "needs" a new bathroom, but everyone could do with some extra savings. He was there to help you when you needed it, so you should help him back now.
    • toffeecoated
    • By toffeecoated 29th Sep 10, 7:59 AM
    • 109 Posts
    • 33 Thanks
    I can't understand why you split up. You sound perfect for each other. But you should never borrow money to give to someone.
  • Jacks xxx
    Don't borrow, but start saving for money to offer to him if you like. When he refuses it (and I think he will) you'll then have a little nest egg.

    If he was just contributing to bills as all sharers and cohabiters do then I don't think you owe him anything.

    Maybe you need to see him less and focus on your own life. Once the feelings about the breakup subside the feeling that you owe him anything will subside too I expect.
    Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted. Einstein
    • gaily
    • By gaily 29th Sep 10, 8:57 AM
    • 188 Posts
    • 157 Thanks
    My view is that however badly off his house is, he's not asking you for money. Most of us move into new homes knowing we have work to do in the fullness of time.

    If you are friends - and can be secure that you will not need more from him than this - then RuthnJasper has it licked, offer to help him decorate and renovate, offer food parcels whilst he's decorating, but don't hand over any money.

    It's amazing what a good bit of paint will do to a place when you can't afford to change everything yet.

    But, here's where I would fail... if I had issues about the relationship, then I would steer clear. I'd end up taking a bottle of wine to go with the food, get drunk, and make a pass at him - and that could kill the friendship.
    Last edited by gaily; 29-09-2010 at 9:03 AM.
    Always on the hunt for a bargain. :rolleyes:

    Always grateful for any hints, tips or guidance as to where the best deals are
  • Ms.Manage-meant
    Making financial sense of your experience
    Hey there, ( my first post, warning: strong views )

    Sounds like you got a whole heap of stuff to work through including what should happen to any money you might make / save / spend / return / think you owe etc.

    This can be a really difficult thing to do if the relationship was hard to end had no problems and did not end badly.

    On the other hand it can be sometimes difficult for some women (and men) to NOT feel guilt about money within relationships. Or indeed, have been so deeply manipulated (myself included) financially that they don't know which way is up!

    The subtleties of financial abuse in relationships can be at times soooo subtle and rely on our emotions, guilt , our sense of what is right, just and equitable, that when financial abuse occurs, it is done with great planning, psychological dexterity and expert precision, that it ends up simply 'making sense' to the abused.

    I'm sorry I have gone on a little here about what may NOT have been happening or is still happening to you, but It screams off the page, 'emotionally and financially confused' ( as was my experience) and very readily triggered me in this reply.

    hope you make sense of your experience.

    best wishes

    Last edited by Ms.Manage-meant; 29-09-2010 at 9:43 AM. Reason: spelling errors
    • BNT
    • By BNT 29th Sep 10, 9:30 AM
    • 2,679 Posts
    • 4,203 Thanks
    As a general rule, I think it is reasonable to help friends, or anyone else for that matter, when they are in need and when you are able to. But that doesn't create a reciprocal obligation to repay or put the recipient in debt to the giver. You should help out your boyfriend if he is in need and if you are in a position to do so, but not out of a sense of debt to him. My reading of this is that his need is not that great and, if you are talking about taking a loan, I don't think you are in a position to help him right now.
  • Pellyman
    If he says "not to worry" then DON'T (worry).

    At least there doesn't seem to be a 'baddie' in this dilemma - which makes a change! Two apparently 'nice' people treating each other with some respect and courtesy. Only Lee knows the situation of their respective contributions when they were living together in her house and if the partner's contribution was excessive, whilst he was helping out, then she may feel morally obliged to make some repayment. That's fine, but not to the point of getting herself into debt again.

    Of course, if he wasn't contributing his full share of their joint living expenses when they were together that may explain his laid back approach to Lee's offer of repayment. His bathroom and kitchen are not really her concern - he must have known what he was getting into when he bought his house and presumably has plans to improve both in the future in his own good time and, hopefully, without getting seriously into debt.

    Lee's made the offer and they are still friends so it appears the matter can be left there and, if either of them get into trouble again, they can talk about it then. Let it lie Lee.
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