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Other Should I stay with my girlfriend?

Discussion in 'General' started by stuartwood89, 21 Feb 2011.

  1. stuartwood89

    stuartwood89 Please... Just call me Stu.

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    Ok, so usually I would never put a question like this to a community of people I don't know in person, but it is important that I get impartial advice on this matter.

    So I've been with my girlfriend for over two years now. We're engaged, we've got our own flat (rented) and a seven month old baby, in that order. Lately it's becoming so bad that I'm seriously considering leaving her, but because we have a child together, I really don't know where I stand. Maybe I should explain.

    I could list quite a few reasons why I don't feel I can stay with her, but I'll try to keep it relevant. Now I know that I'm not perfect, and I can wind her up a fair bit sometimes, but there are times where I'm driven to madness. She doesn't seem to have any respect for our bank balance, we don't have well paying jobs, and we're trying to save, but she keeps on spending money and we've nearly been in the red a few times. I tend to have some financial discipline, so even on a crap wage, I can save a decent amount. She just pisses hers up the wall most of the time. She does buy me nice things, and I'm extremely grateful for them, but I'd rather I saved up for them, instead of her buying them in January, the slowest month of the year. It seriously puts our cashflow down the creek and I can't approach her about it because I get my head bitten off.

    Another thing is that she doesn't seem to understand the concept of 'working to pay bills'. I'm quite happy to go out and work all hours to bring back the money, but she doesn't seem to care. She'll complain at me if I don't have enough hours one week, but when I approached my boss and told her I needed more hours, she said I should work night shifts, which I agreed to. So now my girlfriend is complaining about me always being at work (only about 38 hours p/w mind). Because of the shift pattern I work now, I don't usually hit the sack until about 3am, and I'm still expected to rise and shine at about 8am, when my daughter wakes up. Any resistance and I get the lecture that I don't care about our daughter and that I'm lazy. She's actually in bed now, I've had to get up after about 5 hours sleep and she's staying in because she's ill (the same illness that I had for the past week, but never justified me getting a lay-in after a night shift, might I add).

    All of this is driving me mad, and I'm getting so stressed lately, work doesn't help, and neither does our daughter, but she's just a baby. Case in point: my girlfriend used to work saturdays and I would look after the baby. It was during those times that I felt my happiest. My day had a sense of structure, I got housework done, baby would still winge sometimes, but it never bothered me even a fraction compared to when my gf is at home for some reason. Since I got with her (well, after a few months anyway) my patience has just grinded down to nearly nothing and I don't know what to do. We have argurments regularly and we usually make up, usually by me apologising, before having another arguement a day or two later. I'm concerned that it's projecting on our daughter.

    Do I stay with her, or do I just go? I have every intention of being involved in my daughters life, and I'll pay my way if necessary. But I can't stay under the same roof with my gf anymore. I'd like some honest opinions, I'm not afraid to be told I'm being stupid.

    Thanks for reading.
     
  2. specofdust

    specofdust Banned

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    Sounds like your girlfriend ain't handling the setup too well either. But you're committed buddy, you've got a daughter and so you owe it to her to be there for her every day for the next 17 years 5 months.

    Make it work with her, would be my advice. If you want to be a good father then you can no longer be the most important thing in your world, your daughter has to be. You've got to put her first, which means her growing up with a mummy and daddy who (at least appear to) get along.
     
  3. M7ck

    M7ck Ⓜod Ⓜaster

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    Yes I agree with spec that you have to be there for your daughter but you don't have to be with this selfish bitch for that to happen. If I was in your position I would leave her, but would do my utmost to spend as much time as possible with my daughter.

    You are obviously not happy and if you stay in this relationship then it will continue to eat away at you and you will more than likely suffer for it in years to come (I have seen it happen with a friend of mine).

    If you are not happy with your girlfriend it will only be natural that you argue more and THAT is not a good thing to happen in front of a child. This could screw a child up more than her parents living apart.
     
  4. Da_Rude_Baboon

    Da_Rude_Baboon What the?

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    No way!

    A child needs stability and staying in a relationship 'for the sake of the kids' is emotionally damaging to everyone involved. M7ck got it spot on that you have to play an active part in your daughters life but that does not mean you have to live with her mother.

    First of all tell your girlfriend exactly how you feel. If she realises your relationship is on the line then she might change. Your both adults (and parents) so engage with each other and try and work out the relationship.
     
  5. mvagusta

    mvagusta Did a skid that went for two weeks.

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    You bet your baby girl doesn't like to see or hear her parents fighting, but it she'd really hate it if the both of you weren't a daily part of your life anymore :waah:

    I hope you guys work this out somehow, do you still love your girlfriend? Don't forget that she's still kinda crazy from being pregnant, I think it generally takes women a year or so to calm down a bit, so you've gotta cut her some slack.

    You say you can't approach your girlfriend about not wasting money because she bites your head off....

    Maybe give us an example of what sort of discussion happens here. Does she also bring up you wasting money?
     
  6. nukeman8

    nukeman8 What's a Dremel?

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    Is communication a problem in general? Does she even know you feel like this?

    I sense you 2 need to sit down and have a serious chat.
     
  7. TSDAdam

    TSDAdam Beard!

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    You obviously got together for a reason, and had a baby for the same reasons, so don't necessarily go for the most drastic option first.

    First off you're going to have to have a serious conversation with her, so see if you can get someone to baby-sit at the time; you can't do it with distractions or excuses for not doing it. It doesn't have to be a Witch Hunt, tell her how you feel. Explain just how bad it's got, and at least suggest some kind of couples counseling. Have a look at Relate.

    As others have said, she's going to be all over the place mentally still, you too probably (especially with the lack of sleep). This is your life you're talking about, help's available so use it. You're no longer the most important person in the other's life any more, it's going to take time and work.
     
  8. SouperAndy

    SouperAndy To Bumble or not to Bumble?

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    Serious chat time I think.

    If that doesn't provide a mutually agreeable result, counselling as Adam says. An impartial 3rd party does help in getting to the factual causes. Discussion (a.k.a. arguments) just between the 'warring' parties, are by definition emotional.

    Regarding finances, may be you should create a scheme where you both have separate accounts and pay your share into a joint account for bills (rent, utilities, food, etc.). If your gf then blows her money mid-month, then it's tough! :) Obviously, this has to take into account baby essentials, etc.

    You obvioulsy love the girl, so I suppose the question is 'Am I willing to put in the effort to improve things?'... If you give it your best shot and the situation doesn't improve (and could potentially effect your child), that's when you have to reassess the relationship as a whole.

    Cheers,

    SouperAndy :worried:
     
  9. greypilgers

    greypilgers What's a Dremel?

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    If it's any help at all, I havebeen married for 8 years, with a daughter of 7 and two boys of 6. I broke up with my wife in November last year because we couldnt make it work (for a number of different reasons, but it all came down to the fact that we just couldnt make it work). I now have little to no money at all, and some difficulty in seeing the children properly due to some obstinance on behalf of their mum. However, despite this, I am happier around the kids, I am happier around people in general, I have a better outlook on life, and I feel less stressed and more able as a person. I think that either option has its great difficulties and its potential big positives, but no one can make a decision for you except for you. I went one way, and at the moment, it does feel like the right answer. I hope to be very good friends with my ex for a very long time, and continue to enjoy a brilliant relationship with my kids. Yes, your children have to come first, but by the same token, you will only live once, and if you arent happy in yourself, how do you expect to be able to make them happy?

    Good luck bud.
     
  10. VipersGratitude

    VipersGratitude Multimodder

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    First thing....separate your bank accounts!
    Create one exclusively for direct debits which you solely control, and one for each of you.
    She is not automatically entitled to the money you work to bring home. Give her a monthly allowance. Yes, she'll probably bitch about it, but put your foot down, she'll get used to it...and afterall what can she do?
    Finally I get the sense that she's trying to "fill a hole" through shopping and unreasonable demands on your time. It's probably social. Many new mothers feel a sense of isolation as they're tethered to their new born...So seek out new social circles for her, and encourage her to join them.
    If that doesn't work, leave her.

     
    Last edited: 21 Feb 2011
  11. Highland3r

    Highland3r Minimodder

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    Just to echo what's been said above - joint bank account sounds like a good idea.
    Both pay in at the start of the month (to cover bills, food, things for the baby) and both agree to use the account for ONLY specified purchases.
    You may find you have to work out how much you each pay in based on a % of your wages - that's kinda how myself and my finance work - I pay a little more each month due to higher wage.

    Whatever you each have left over is for you each to do whatever you want with. Might well make her happier as you're not stressing that she's pissing away her wage on stuff you don't feel that you need. (I get how you feel on this front btw, while we're ok financially, we do both have different ideas about money - the "join account" approach works nicely.)

    Sounds like you need to review your working hours too - 3am finishes with a baby is probably not sustainable - try and get a "regular" 9-5 shift and just manage your finances a little better between the two of you.
    If you're constantly tired (due to nights + getting up to help with the baby) then the little things will annoy you even more. You'll also get more quality time with your family....
     
  12. logonui

    logonui Minimodder

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    You really need to sit down and talk to her dude, if she tries to turn it into a fight, just calmly sit there and ASK her to calm down and state that you want to talk. If there is an argument brewing and you don't react then there really isn't an argument happening, it takes 2 to tango. For any serious conversation to work both parties need to be civil to each other and take it in turns to talk.

    You may find that because you haven't confronted her, she doesn't realise why you keep getting angry. No relationship can work without communication and by the sound of it there hasn't been any of that in a while!
     
  13. Otis1337

    Otis1337 aka - Ripp3r

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    like some others have said... have a serious talk with her, make it clear how you feel, if she does love you, she will understand.

    If she flips and bites your head off yet again, then sorry but i would leave and support and see your girl on a regular basis.
    I was raised by a single mum, and i turned out fine, and without help from my dad.
     
  14. stuartwood89

    stuartwood89 Please... Just call me Stu.

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    We have a joint account already. There's my account (where all the bills come from), her account (which she sometimes pays money into mine to cover bills). The joint account is supposed to replace those two accounts, so that both wages go in and the bills come out of that. The two separate accounts will be used for savings and spending. In theory this will work, but it's never that easy.

    As far as working goes, I'm hourly paid, and my pay is solely dependant on how many hours I'm scheduled. When my daughter was born, I changed to daytime shifts, which were sociable, but I had no money due to lack of available hours. Last month we nearly ran out of money so I had no choice but to change to night shifts, where the hours are available. I wouldn't do it if I didn't have to, but for the sake of keeping a roof over our head, I have to. It's hard getting her to understand that. I'm very good at managing finances. I had a spreadsheet that recorded every (yes, every) penny we spent. I said she could spend what she wanted, as long as she kept the receipts and let me record it in the spreadsheet. Within a few months, we had over 1.5k saved up, but then she got bored of co-operating, saying that it was sad, and just stopped. Since then we've been nearing zero once the bills are paid. It's driving me up the wall, and putting more stress on our relationship.

    I do love her a lot, but it's wearing me right down, and it's not doing her any good either.
     
  15. BRAWL

    BRAWL Dead and buried.

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    I have to agree with this buddy. The idea of the billing account gives you both that satisfaction of knowing EVERYTHING is paid for in advance for the month and then you know you've got the cash to buy and spend as you like on yourselves and each other.

    My friend is tragically in the same position but there is just the two of them. He works bloody hard 0500 - 1400 six days a week, and she works part-time and is a lazy little slob who cares more for her rodent pet than for what her fellah does for her. I've had words with him about it... but he won't put his foot down despite knowing full well that this would solve all the issues. So put thy foot firmly down squire!

    There was also a comment on here somewhere about priorities. In this relationship there is the beauty that is life now (woot for you dudes) and as it always goes the child becomes the focus of the love of both parents and the other has to deal with that fact... some people don't do that to well, but it might be an issue like that? Have a look into it buddy.

    Hope this sorts itself out for you *sniff* goddamn manflu...

    Brawl
     
  16. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    At first glance your girlfriend sounds immature; unwilling to accept the realities of adult life and parenthood. At second glance she sounds somewhat depressed.

    Parenthood is always a demanding and difficult time. You both sound young. You were together for, what, 4 months before she became pregnant? You haven't even had time to work out the kinks in just the two of you being together. You haven't even had the chance yet to establish a career to provide for your family. Was this child planned?

    Needless to say like yourself, your girlfriend may feel trapped in a life that she had not imagined for herself. You try to escape that trap by (sensibly) working and saving hard and striving for a better life, but that also provides a distraction. She is stuck(!) at home with the baby so she has no distractions: she is trapped, trapped, trapped in a small flat with little money and a demanding baby and no clear prospect of a better future. So a depressed her engages in escapist spending. In response, an angry you engages in escapist fantasies about divorce.

    Sit down with her in a neutral territory with the child looked after by someone else for a few hours and ask her first how she feels about marriage, parenthood, the financial worries. The answers may surprise you. Then tell her how you feel. It may surprise her.

    Then see if you can come to an idea of how you both would like life to be and how you can both work towards that. If you can't, it is time to visit RELATE to help you do so.
     
    Last edited: 21 Feb 2011
  17. EvilMerc

    EvilMerc Minimodder

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    I think the general summation here is this: talk to each other about it. If she refuses to even do that then you have to look at the other options presented above.
     
  18. markbrett64

    markbrett64 thanks to denial I am now immortal

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    First... buy a safe.

    Then, on a more serious note, time for a long, CALM, talk... if possible, do this outside of your home, somewhere you can sit and chat for as long as it takes and as fraught as it gets you need to both commit to getting to a point where you both agree how you are going to go forwards... and set a time to talk again to see how it's going.

    The most important parts are... be calm no matter what the provocation, focus on the three of you as a family, get her buy-in to whatever you agree as the way forward (that's the hard bit)....

    At the moment you're in a repetitive cycle that restarts every time you apologise... you need to get her to accept that you're a team on everyone is on the same side... that way she may start to appreciate that your funds are more important.
     
  19. DeadP1xels

    DeadP1xels Social distancing since 92

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    Do you love her?

    Seems to me all the things you have said COULD! be trivial if you still loved this woman.... if sounds to me you have fallen out of love with her and its just not working for you anymore i agree about the bank situations that everybody else has mentioned

    Ultimately if you still love her you would fight over anything to stay with her including some of the worst situations but to me it does sound like the situation has taken its toll

    sit her down and explain what you are feeling don't make any indication you have thought about this just tell her how her spending is taken its toll and how its effecting you and potential relationship, stress and unhappiness be brutally honest so she understands the effects

    Staying because of the kids will never work and it will only effect them later on in life if your daughter is young it won't effect them whether they might have been 3 or maybe 4 my sister broke up with her partner when there daughter had just turned 1 it was almost a good time because it has'nt effected her and she goes about her daily business

    she knows when she is going to daddys and when she is going to mummys and both ways she gets massive amounts of effection even more than they gave when they were together, imagine your daughter growing up to knowing your argument patterns and what you argue about

    You got to tell yourself is this worth fighting for, think about the effect its going to have on you your girlfriend and ultimately your daughter
     
  20. C-Sniper

    C-Sniper Stop Trolling this space Ądmins!

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    I would agree with a lot of what has been said above but here are my 2 cents.

    1. it seems like there is an imbalance between each of you and the thoughts on the money situation. Unfortunately the only way to go about correcting this is either by sitting down and talking it out, making a plan, and setting up safeguards to ensure the plan is executed, or by going and seeing a counselor like the one Nexxo posted.

    2. Start planning out monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals. Surprisingly enough, once most people have something they are are trying to achieve they are more willing to ensure that they achieve that goal.

    3. Be there for each other. I know you may already think you are, but sit down and talk like what nexxo recommended, and find out what each of you really wants.
     

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