My partner earns far more than me but wants me to pay a half share

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Sarouel
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My partner earns far more than me but wants me to pay a half share

Post by Sarouel » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:59 am

Article and following discussion in the guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyl ... -101681113

IlliniDave
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Re: My partner earns far more than me but wants me to pay a half share

Post by IlliniDave » Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:59 am

The mortgage part aside, a 50/50 split of the "bills" is perfectly fair. The partner in debt made their own bed and shoveling out is their responsibility, and yeah, it can be painful. If the property is not jointly owned then the owner should pay the mortgage 100%. Whether or not "rent" is charged to the non-owning partner is up to the owner (and I suppose rent is often a de facto paying of part/all of someone else's mortgage). It's then the option of the partner to accept the arrangement or terminate it. Fair is not a synonym for kind or generous.

ffj
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Re: My partner earns far more than me but wants me to pay a half share

Post by ffj » Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:53 am

What he said^

The problem is that we are only hearing one side of this discussion. How much of the 10,000 pounds did he bail her out for? What is his interest rate, or any, for that amount versus what the other lenders were charging her? What is a fair market rent for his residence and how does it compare to "half of the mortgage"? The author is using a lot of loaded statements which kind of annoys me and I don't like the implication that because he earns more, he needs to subsidize others more, namely her. He's already bailed her out once. She compliments his sensibilities regarding money and then wants to penalize him for his competence.

The comment section was pretty good for the article btw. Lots of good advice.

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Re: My partner earns far more than me but wants me to pay a half share

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:52 pm

I don't like the emotional appeal to third-party jury of peers, but...to put the shoe on the other foot in a manner that might also raise ire, I might suggest that she agrees to his terms with proviso that he pays $200/hr for sex. IOW, it's not rational to view this as just a two-party negotiation that is closed to open market realities and/or opportunity costs. I mean if she simply asked me the question "Do you think it is possible that I could find another boyfriend, who was otherwise just as attractive, but more likely to not demand rigid division of finances?", my experience of the market would allow me to answer "Oh, yes, absolutely you could. A lot of men exhibit their control mechanisms at different levels in other realms."

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chenda
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Re: My partner earns far more than me but wants me to pay a half share

Post by chenda » Fri Jul 07, 2017 5:05 pm

When my b/f almost moved in, I told him I would charge him £400 a month all bills included - which is exactly what the spare room would have rented for. The market rate feels the fairest price to charge; the respective incomes should be irrelevant.

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Re: My partner earns far more than me but wants me to pay a half share

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Jul 07, 2017 5:35 pm

I am contributing a camper for which I paid $800 so that I can vacation on my BF's lake access acres for which he paid about 50x more. Do you guys think that is fair? Would your opinion on the matter change if I mentioned that I think it is highly possible that he will make me clear trails and/or sharecrop ginseng?

@chenda: I would say that whether or not that is fair depends on who gets to decide how the silverware drawer is organized. My BF even made me change the way I tie my shoes. My rule of order is "You say. You pay."

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Re: My partner earns far more than me but wants me to pay a half share

Post by NPV » Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:43 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:52 pm
I don't like the emotional appeal to third-party jury of peers, but...to put the shoe on the other foot in a manner that might also raise ire, I might suggest that she agrees to his terms with proviso that he pays $200/hr for sex. IOW, it's not rational to view this as just a two-party negotiation that is closed to open market realities and/or opportunity costs. I mean if she simply asked me the question "Do you think it is possible that I could find another boyfriend, who was otherwise just as attractive, but more likely to not demand rigid division of finances?", my experience of the market would allow me to answer "Oh, yes, absolutely you could. A lot of men exhibit their control mechanisms at different levels in other realms."
Unappealing as it is to much of the male audience, this is (statistically) probably true. If we treat it as a negotiation which is open to market realities, generally a woman of the same percentile of attractiveness has higher value on sex market which spills over into more favorable (for the woman) financial arrangements.
For this particular case I am not as convinced: if the author's BATNA was as strong as 7W5 suggests, she could pursue a stronger "take it or leave it" negotiation strategy rather than appealing to third parties to create psychological pressure on her partner. There is something she values more in this relationship than some financial concessions if she is not willing to just walk away, meaning her BATNA is not as strong.

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Re: My partner earns far more than me but wants me to pay a half share

Post by ffj » Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:51 pm

@7
Well if she wants to make that proposal than I would assume the man would start shopping around for a good quality prostitute that wouldn't ask him to pay off her credit card and a place to stay. Or more than likely he would start shopping around for another girlfriend after making sure the original contract for the 10,000 pounds was legal and proper. Plus you are marginalizing the fact that women enjoy sex too and I'm sure the boyfriend is happy to oblige. Win/win for both.

If some men would like to be a sugar daddy to women than that is their choice, and this particular woman may be able to find such a person, but I find little wrong with this guys actions so far. It would be nice if he wouldn't charge her rent but maybe he is feeling her out on the responsibility scale after bailing her out of previous debt.

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chenda
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Re: My partner earns far more than me but wants me to pay a half share

Post by chenda » Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:54 pm

@7wannabe5 I would say that's fair as the land isn't going to depreciate or incur higher costs with you been on it, unlike a house.

TBH, he wouldn't haven't been allowed to change anything outside the spare room, where he wouldn't be sleeping anyway...so probably an unfair deal for him, though that's my 'don't fuck up my stuff I've got it just the way I like it' attitude. I prefer living alone...

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Re: My partner earns far more than me but wants me to pay a half share

Post by IlliniDave » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:34 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Fri Jul 07, 2017 5:35 pm
I am contributing a camper for which I paid $800 so that I can vacation on my BF's lake access acres for which he paid about 50x more. Do you guys think that is fair? Would your opinion on the matter change if I mentioned that I think it is highly possible that he will make me clear trails and/or sharecrop ginseng?
Fair is irrelevant as long as the two of you are in agreement, or I suppose you could say if the two of you are in agreement, it is fair. Really, discussions about fair usually only come up when one party is dissatisfied with what they feel they are getting out of a situation.

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Re: My partner earns far more than me but wants me to pay a half share

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:13 pm

@NPV: I agree with your assessment that her BATNA is not that strong, but this might be due to market ignorance, sunk cost fallacy, low self-esteem or some other irrational evaluating factor. It is definitely true that a woman of same percentile attractiveness has more value on sexual market than her male peer, and this differential increases dramatically as percentile rank increases to the extent that females that are judged to be above the 95th percentile can generally achieve higher standard of living though relationship rather than career. IOW, the sexual capital of a woman at that ranking is worth more than the average income of $40,000. This is obviously due to the fact that many men who are not very attractive are willing to throw all sorts of money into the pot if that will allow them to land a female who is higher rank, because men are as happy to be validated for their earning capacity as their looks and charm. Women are still acculturated to seek validation within relationship mainly for looks/charm/goodness. Therefore, part of what is likely making the female writer feel squeamish about the deal is that the male (perhaps unknowingly) is signaling that he doesn't find her "all that" with his rigid insistence on 50/50 split. Maybe she was engaging in covert contract and hoping he would be the guy who would throw down on raising a family with her, and now she is thinking that is less likely.

@ffj: I would note for the record that if I were to make such a proposal to my BF, he would likely laugh and say something that might hurt my tender feelings such as "Ha, you wish. Not even if you were Taylor Swift*. " It is also likely that he is somewhat better looking than me on objective scale. It is also more than somewhat likely that I am more of a sex fiend than him. Yet, he still pays for everything when we are together.

@chenda: Hear you. I have developed the bad habit of trading my agreeable nature for cheap or free rent. This really isn't a good deal for me because due to the fact that I don't work very much I will lapse into being too much at my partner's beck and call. Like it seems kind of churlish to say something like "No. I can't sign for delivery of that item for you because I might prefer to be lounging around reading a novel at a cafe rather than in your living room.", but if I am available/flexible to do all sorts of things like that, then it really isn't fair if I chip in 50/50 on expenses with somebody who is not as available/flexible because engaged in high-demand/high-pay career. Also, it has been my experience that men for whom money is no longer primary limiting factor, highly value having a reasonably attractive female in close proximity in relaxed, sexually receptive mode on their schedule/demand/desire-cycle.

Also, there is just no way in hell I am going to chip in more than $10,000 max towards any lifestyle. So, for instance, if my BF wants to go to a baseball game than he will either have to pay for my ticket, go with a friend who is willing to pay, go by himself, or find a new GF who is willing to throw down 50/50 for that sort of lifestyle. However, his experience has been that most women he dates want him to chip in more than 50/50 on stuff like going on a cruise, so I am overall the best deal he is likely to get in modern America.

*Why I persist in dating a man whose sexual ideal is Taylor Swift remains deep mystery yet to be resolved.

NPV
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Re: My partner earns far more than me but wants me to pay a half share

Post by NPV » Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:01 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:13 pm
@NPV: I agree with your assessment that her BATNA is not that strong, but this might be due to market ignorance, sunk cost fallacy, low self-esteem or some other irrational evaluating factor.
My point is that if a market transaction is the final criteria of fairness ("supply and demand have voluntarily intersected hence the transaction/contract is fair"), to what degree these factors have played a role is irrelevant as they are all priced in each party's assessment of the value of the transaction/contract to themselves, rationally or irrationally. In a free market everyone is responsible for their own decisions, rational or otherwise.

Not saying market is a bad benchmark to judge fairness at all, I think it might be the best one available actually, but it is important to then take this logic to its conclusion.

You could say a market transaction could be unfair in case of fraud (willful representation / omission of material non-public information), but this is again something you can include in the contract (that its validity is subject on certain provision being true with the party who has been provided with this information having the option to terminate on favorable terms if the information turns out to be untrue) without exiting the "market as the criteria of fairness" framework.

Hence my thinking would be that under this logic whatever voluntary agreement they reach is by definition "fair" as this is where supply and demand have intersected.

James_0011
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Re: My partner earns far more than me but wants me to pay a half share

Post by James_0011 » Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:31 pm

Yeah it's fair, good on that guy for not being a pussy.

If she is in her late twenties, she is going to hit the wall soon and experience a drop in her sexual market value. Assuming he is the same age, his sexual market value is going up. There is no reason he has to put her on a pedestal given that she only has a handful of years left before her looks start to fade.

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Re: My partner earns far more than me but wants me to pay a half share

Post by halfmoon » Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:15 pm

This entire discussion of market value in a relationship is depressing. Firstly: this person is not her partner. They are individuals negotiating expectation of reward in a transaction. I have little hope for their future.

Secondly: why on earth did she borrow money from her "partner", and why did he lend it? This is a recipe for disaster. Either you are a single combined force against the world, financially and economically, or you need to get your individual sh*t together before joining your lives. Trying to retain the benefits of autonomy while enjoying the benefits of interdependence doesn't (imho) work. I don't see the commitment here.

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Re: My partner earns far more than me but wants me to pay a half share

Post by James_0011 » Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:06 pm

@hafmoon

Why does it have to be black and white? Autonomy vs interdependence

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Re: My partner earns far more than me but wants me to pay a half share

Post by halfmoon » Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:18 pm

@James_0011, it feels black and white to me though I can only speak from my personal perspective. My husband and I are truly partners in everything and have thrown our full physical and financial efforts into a shared pool for 37 years. This worked for us in dramatic ways. If we'd wasted time hedging our bets and weighing our respective contributions over the years, we would be in a very different place now. To each his own; we're all or nothing kind of people.

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Re: My partner earns far more than me but wants me to pay a half share

Post by Felipe » Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:11 am

+1 on not caring about market value of relationships. Life isn't all about finance. Relationships in my life have a higher value than money and they even tend to save me money since almost everyone I associate with is frugal. We wouldn't charge each other or keep track of this.

I get that some people approach relationships from that manner but I'm not going to start keeping track of (or charging for) the difference in sexual value (charge older girls, pay for younger girls-amortize cost of std risks), massages, driving, how much we feed eachother, drive to other's home, labor to build a fire or carry up a flight of stairs, etc... Sounds exhausting. Plus, both my lover and I enjoy everything so why would either one of us charge the other or care about this? Everything is mutually enjoyed.

James_0011
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Re: My partner earns far more than me but wants me to pay a half share

Post by James_0011 » Sat Jul 08, 2017 6:40 am

@halfmoon

Okay I understand, but I don't think that approach works for most people. Either person in a relationship can obviously change at any time and often such a change causes the relationship to end. In fact, the majority of relationships end up this way ( hence the high divorce rate). Knowing that the relationship you're in will end at some point it hardly makes sense to give up all autonomy.

Also, I don't see being realistic as sad.

I don't even see how the woman can want to mooch off of him without feeling guilty. If she was raising his kids that would be one thing, but she isn't even doing that presumably.

@felipe

There's a huge difference between a regular large expense like rent and a small infrequent expense like buying someone a meal though, no?
Last edited by James_0011 on Sat Jul 08, 2017 6:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

7Wannabe5
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Re: My partner earns far more than me but wants me to pay a half share

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sat Jul 08, 2017 6:43 am

NPV wrote:Hence my thinking would be that under this logic whatever voluntary agreement they reach is by definition "fair" as this is where supply and demand have intersected.
Well, "fair" sometimes means "equitable" and sometimes means "lovely." ;) There is a reason why economics is known as the dismal science. However, I would note that I find financial analysis of crop failure in poor regions and/or how to benefit from the election of a petty tyrant more depressing than discussions about sexual negotiations between individuals.

The female in the article seems very young to me because she does not reference her current living arrangements. I am in a similar predicament because I was recently forced to vacate my residence due to my sister/housemate experiencing severe psychiatric incident complicated by ingestion of various post-cancer prescriptions, medical marijuana and alcohol, and then forced to vacate my camper due to lack of environmental foresight on the part of local building code enforcement officials. Since I am the sort of extremist who hangs about on this forum, I am loathe to sign contract that would require me to pay more for shelter (rent/core-utilities) than the $300 I was paying my sister, so I am bouncing back and forth between staying with my mother and my BF. I could choose to live with my mother for zero rent forever because she needs some assistance with various tasks, but is financially well-off due to large government pension, but she lives 40 miles away from my garden space. I can't officially move in with my BF because there is a morality clause in his custody agreement, and I would hardly think it was fair to pay half the rent on his apartment in a situation which would require hiding all my belongings once a week and go hang out in a coffee shop while his son visits, and he lives 10 miles away from my garden space. Perusal of Craigslist informs me that I could rent a room from a young woman who runs an airbnb near my garden for $350/month, or I could rent a house-share with two young men in their 30s for a similar sum plus utilities, or I could rent an efficiency for $450 plus utilities, or I could rent a room (with lockable door) from a SWM who only wants a female housemate for $100/month. My BF is reasonably frugal, so the $900 including heat, he pays for his 2 bedroom apartment in decent-enough-for-custody-purposes neighborhood is a very moderate percentage of his six-figure income, but even if he had the custody agreement altered, I highly doubt I would choose to throw down $450 to share an apartment with him vs. $450 to rent my own efficiency. Given my likely irrational commitment to sunk costs in my urban permaculture project, I will probably choose the $350 room in the airbnb, because it also has the advantage of being month-to-month, and I might not want to be in Michigan for the whole winter.

Anyways, I was imagining that the young woman was a friend of my DD26 and she was asking me for advice. A former BF once told me that anytime a man offers a woman a 50/50 deal he is trying to rip her off. What he meant by this is that if a man is insisting on rigid 50/50 contract this is a sign that he is insecure in his ability to otherwise exhibit leadership or exert dominance. IOW, it's kind of like going to the trouble of telling your girlfriend that you will call the police if she ever chooses to throw a dish at your head. IOW, it's kind of like you are signaling that you aren't your own man, but rather somebody who lives in rigid allegiance and reliance on 3rd party code and enforcement.

James_0011
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Re: My partner earns far more than me but wants me to pay a half share

Post by James_0011 » Sat Jul 08, 2017 6:48 am

@7w5

He's exerting dominance by not letting her mooch off of him.

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Re: My partner earns far more than me but wants me to pay a half share

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sat Jul 08, 2017 7:41 am

@James_011:

You may be right. It's hard to judge without being in the same room with the two parties. And, I am not necessarily advocating the male-led relationship model to which my former BF subscribed, but I would note that insisting that other party behave like an independent peer does not meet the requirements of exertion of dominance. If a proven buck rabbit is put into a cage with a nervous female, he will bite her shoulder and flip her into receptive position. It seems to me that this guy is making this woman feel more nervous and doing little to prevent her from bolting. I'm not recommending that he make a career of following her around the mall carrying her purse while she makes use of his charge card, but it seems to me that he either doesn't really very much want to keep her, or he is just subconsciously looking for an excuse to be alone and continue to complain about women.

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Re: My partner earns far more than me but wants me to pay a half share

Post by IlliniDave » Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:45 am

It is interesting how this conversation is gone. I guess here, I shouldn't be surprised. :lol: It certainly makes me more okay with having settled on a accidentally mostly celibate semi-reclusive personal life. My dog is pretty easy to negotiate with, and best of all the requirement to negotiate is almost nonexistent. Of course, I don't ask her to contribute to the maintenance of the property or household aside from the requirement for her to use the big toilet in the back yard.

To me fairness is a continuum of unique solutions. Splitting bills 50/50 can be fair, not splitting bills 50/50 can be fair. What defines the bounds of what we see as fair (insofar as we would find a situation adequate for ourselves) is our values. If there is enough overlap in values between parties something that is at least fair enough can usually be conceived. There may be exceptions when transactions show up high in the value hierarchy. For example if the values include a high weighting on always getting the better end of every bargain in every sense, there can sometimes be problems. Same can be true if there is insistence on a "perfect" single-point solution to every transaction. There's the old adage that a sign of a good compromise is that no party feels like they completely won out over the other(s). Otherwise, I would venture it is usually a case of incompatible values when no solution can be found that does not end with one or more parties feeling the result is unfair.

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Re: My partner earns far more than me but wants me to pay a half share

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:00 am

@scriptbunny: What is your plan for self-improvement to maintain equilibrium in the power dynamic if/when your BF finds success in his career pursuits?

@IlliniDave:

I am only being ridiculously provocative because I am on Day 2 of Warrior-like Diet and I MUST seek distraction.

Seriously, I agree with what you are saying, but it occurred to me that one of the known problems with forming new relationship for older individuals is that our values are no longer floating around in vague abstract form, but have solidified into concrete anchors. I mean, given the opportunity, what is the possibility that you would choose to reside rent-free in your retirement years with some attractive partner on her small, lovely farm in France, rather than on your own wooded retreat relatively near to your family? In any circumstance where money is no longer the primary limiting factor to achieving ideal lifestyle, money will also no longer be the primary limiting factor when it comes to merging lifestyle. So, it seems to me to be a mistake to get in the habit of functioning as though money will always be a primary limiting factor.

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Re: My partner earns far more than me but wants me to pay a half share

Post by jacob » Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:10 am

One side has a "good career" but GBP10k in consumer debt and says thing like "bills" and "struggle to get by". There's "respect" for being "sensible with money" but also the idea that the other person's money is "just additional number on a spreadsheet".

The other side earns 3x as much and has a mortgage and an actual spreadsheet to keep track of money (likely perceived as a very real thing (sweat equity) and not just a number in a spreadsheet) and wants to charge 50/50 on housing costs and mortgage. Also enough surplus to lend out surplus to partner.

Clearly very different Wheaton levels when it comes to handling money and very different values when it comes to what money represents. I never extended the table to negative levels, but the letter-writer is about -1 or -2 here while the partner is +2 or +3, so what we/they have here ... is a failure to communicate [about money]. Transactional solutions will not help because one person sees money as something that is for spending and the lack of it as an obstacle/struggle to doing whatever they want, whereas the other sees it as a quantitative measure of value and a thing to accumulate.

What fraction of divorces come from failure to agree about money ... or having everything fall apart eventually after pretending to agree? It's pretty high, right?

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Re: My partner earns far more than me but wants me to pay a half share

Post by Tyler9000 » Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:18 am

My immediate reactions after reading the article and some of the comments from that site:

1) If the gender roles were reversed (boyfriend owed her $10k after she bailed him out of huge CC debt and he expected her to carry the financial weight for their shared lifestyle) I think many people would be advising her to dump him.

2) I'm very lucky to have married an economic equal happy to pool and responsibly manage resources without the need to keep score.

3) I'd be interested in hearing his side of the story.

@Jacob - I think you nailed it on the Wheaton level issue. They might as well be speaking completely different languages.

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