This article from Well-Heeled about a couple that divorced 25 years ago, really annoyed me.
Long story short, they divorced amicably, and signed papers saying they would waive all future rights to alimony from each other.
The husband re-married, and 25 years later, the ex-wife took him to court to get $400/week payments of alimony from his retirement cheque because she had no savings, no retirement fund or health insurance…….and and she WON!
The judge granted the $1600/month alimony. 25 years after they had signed the papers waiving all rights.
Most of the comments on Well-Heeled’s posts said things along the line of:
Why didn’t she get her act together in the 25 years they were separated?
She had more than two decades to save, become frugal, say “I’m on my own now!”
Why did she even think about taking her ex-husband back to court, 25 years later?
In my personal opinion, that’s pretty low. She wanted to milk the only cow she saw available, and she went after the ex-husband as a result. Even though they had parted on good terms.
Why did the judge even GRANT that request?
They waived all rights to any future alimony at the time of their divorce, 25 years ago. WTF?
They were even divorced LONGER than they were married!
Married: 17 years. Divorced: 25 years.
Which brings me to my next question:
Why the hell does it seem that guys always get stuck with having to pay for everything?
I am not saying this is a general rule, but it is a prevailing attitude that I am getting from some of my girlfriends that bothers me.
Some of my girlfriends think that just because they’re girls, they should pay as little as possible.
The guy should take care of them.
He should pay for all dinners out, all trips, treat them to gifts, spoil them with flowers, all in exchange for being with them.
It isn’t even really a question of them making less money than their boyfriends that changes attitudes.
I know a dentist who is dating another dentist, and she still feels he should pay for EVERYTHING.
She doesn’t even reach for her wallet when the bill comes at dinner, and she complains if he doesn’t buy her a gift once every other week.
I also have another friend who says “That’s just the way it is“, having lived with her father who paid for everything in the home out of his pay, and her mother who just squirreled her own paycheque away, not forking out a single cent.
They own all the assets together, 50/50, and the parents both own and work at the same family business!!!
And of course, other girls who don’t work at all, and just stay at home sponging off their boyfriends or husbands, who bring home the bacon.
Or you read other posts like this eye-opening one by Retire by 35 talking about pre-emptive lifestyle inflation:
Yesterday on Facebook I was scrolling through a friend’s post and he was being giddy about some new toys that he bought.
He wouldn’t reveal what it was, so a number of his friends started guessing what he bought.
A new camera? No. A new laptop? No. A new car? No.
She started naming off the “stuff” that she wants him to buy her: the new iMac, a new car, a jetski, a house, and other big-ticket items.
She asked him when he would buy it for them.
I know both of them (the boyfriend and girlfriend) and they each make around 40 to 50 thousand a year while living with their parents. Both are older than me. Both travel more, buy more, and eat more extravagently than me.
The girlfriend has been pressuring the boyfriend for marriage and to buy a house for both of them to live in. She wants to start a family.
She wants the white picket fence and 2.5 kids.
She wants the shiny new toys and the hobbies to match.
I don’t believe they have much savings since they complain about being broke.
Lest you think I stayed silent…
I HAVE brought it up to them, stating that I didn’t think the guy always had to be on the hook for everything.
I also stated that 50/50 seems to be the fairest compromise to me, so one doesn’t feel resentful of the other.
But I don’t want to push it, because I’m not their boyfriends.
If he’s happy paying, and she’s happy taking everything, then all the power to them.
But what if he gets annoyed one day and says: “Enough is enough”?
It just isn’t fair..
I don’t think these girls are necessarily stupid for taking their guys’ money.
I think the guy is stupid.
But regardless of who’s taking advantage of who, the bottom line to me, is that it just isn’t fair.
Barring circumstances such as being a SAHM with kids to take care of, a woman should always have control of her own financial destiny.
Being a girl myself, I feel strange, “So why does a guy have to buy and pay for everything for the girl? Why can’t the girl step up and do her own thing?”
And so what if the guy makes more money?
I still pay my half, because he shouldn’t feel punished for making more money.
And vice versa. Trust me, I’ve been there where I was the one paying for everything.
So I cannot imagine that anyone (man or woman) in a relationship who pays more, doesn’t feel the slightest tinge of resentment.
I felt A LOT of it.
So much, that I started resenting the relationship and feeling punished for being in a relationship where I had to fork out way more of my pay just because my partner was not doing his fair share.
So how can it be that a guy would not feel any sort of resentment or regret?
My new attitude as a result was:
We either pick something smaller and within my price range so the percentage stays at 50/50, or he makes a CONSCIOUS, thought-out decision to pay MORE than his fair share, so that he can get the loft he wants.
And if the guy has to pay all the food, utilities, eating out, trips, gas bills, etc.. then the girl has no right saying she ran up the credit cards into the red, shopping to cure her boredom of staying at home alone all the time.
GET A JOB!
And the girl, has no right to say that she can only afford to chip in $200 a month, when the bills are $2000 a month, and then goes out to buy a designer purse for $500.
To me, it just isn’t fair.
In my case, the guy bought new gaming systems at $500 a pop, but couldn’t afford to fork over money for food and rent.
Whassup with that?
You definitely MUST have some play money, like $100 a month, but if you can afford a $500 bag each month, you can afford to give $400 more towards the bills.
Edit: To be fair, I feel this way now because…
I’ve been there and done it on the other side of the fence, and I am just trying to shed some light on how a person might feel in that situation.
Male OR female.
As for the situation now, BF and I earn about the same kind of cash.
If we are both working full-time on contracts, we earn around the same amount ($16k – $20k/month)
We may only work for 2 months out of the whole year, as the case was for 2009 (I didn’t work at all, having made the cash last year and BF worked for only 3 months).
But generally speaking, we earn around the same kinds of rates (him of course, getting more contracts and earning more money per hour) when we work.
I guess I am trying to say that I don’t hold it against him that he has more experience, gets more contracts, and gets more money per hour.
He earned it, and deserves it.
Even if I don’t have that kind of money making clout, I just save my money and live off it for the year or two that I need to, because I am forced to manage my own money instead of relying on him to step in and save me.
But I think some girls in the same position might feel resentful of that fact, that they have to really watch their money more, if they earn less.
I should also say that our basic expenses are very low, so we bank a lot of cash when we make it.
With everything included: rent, food, and home stuff, we pay around $800 a month each.
And I am not trying to dispute what works for some couples: 50/50 in our case, and proportionate payments in other cases.
I am trying to point out that SOME women (clearly not all) seem to have an entitlement issues with money from their parents or their boyfriends just because they are women.
Their self-centered attitudes are what I have the real bone to pick with.