Tuesday, December 1, 2009

YOU make the call: Is my brother's girlfriend getting the shaft, er no?

Welcome back to YOU make the call!

This time, we examine the life of my brother's girlfriend. But before we begin . . I must say I miss blogging and commenting. I have loads of ideas and loads of responses to all your comments. But, alas . . . Just know I read every comment and am so thankful you wrote ;)

SO!! My brother and his girlfriend cohabitate in a house my brother owns. Her name is not on the mortgage. They are both teachers. They have been dating about 10 years. I doubt they will get married because my brother's an idiot. And, most likely, they never have children.

Which is fine. I am a bit judgey about the whole thing. I mean, I don't understand this "living together without a ring in sight" business. It irks me if I know the girl wants a ring. And she does want one. I know this. But, it's not my life. It's hers.

What irks me more, no, what makes me hang my head in shame, is that my brother charges her rent.


Was my first thought when I heard she pays rent. And half the utilities. I was really, really offended by this. I mean, she is getting the shaft!!!

I mention this at T day dinner last week to my two sister in laws. All of us, at the table, college educated women. Educated and bossy types too.

My big sister in law drops her jaw, shocked at my being shocked. Literally does a double take. Offended at my notion that no rent should come out of my bro's girl's wallet.

I see her get flabbergasted and all feminist about it. "This isn't 1840 ya know, when men just kept women as chattel. Why shouldn't she be paying half of the mortgage?", she says.

And by the way, on a personal note, I love getting people riled up like this. Such fun!

I retort:

"Because THERE IS NO PROMISE OF MARRIAGE! He's not gonna pony up a ring! He OWNS THE HOUSE!!! He should paying ALL THE MORTAGE!!"*

Again, the sister in laws and I exchange looks. I stare at them. They stare back. Disbelief is shared betwix the three of us.



Should my brother be charging his girlfriend rent? And should she be paying it? And is she or is she not getting the shaft?

Leave your answer in the comments ;)

*fyi-when Mr. Hall and I were living in sin, you bet yer sweet bippy I never payed one dime for rent!

23 Left a message at the beep:

Life With Dogs said...

I guess I'd have to see a picture of her to make the call.

Ok ok, I didn't mean that at all but if you like to get people riled up I'll play along. ;)

Mrs. Hall said...

OH!!! Life with dogs comes swinging out of the gate!!!

Good one LWD, good one ;)

the queen said...

I never thought about how live-in couples manage their money, but if she has an income she should be contributing. Not contributing to the mortgage; if I were her I'd be paying an amount equal to the "rent" that went to the utilities and such. Of course, that's semantics. My guess is the term "rent" is used for shock effect. Specifically to shock you.

Mrs. Hall said...

Ok, maybe I can see her contributing to the utilities but not to the mortgage or 'rent'.

Because here's the thing. If they break up, she has no legal right to the house. A house she has been helping pay for for how long now?

10 years!

gah! no good, no good!

Poindexter said...

In all honesty, this was most likely their agreement when they decided to share the house. She has the option to renegotiate the terms at any time. Married or not married, they are sharing a residence and contributing to the cost of living in that residence. If sharing the rent was not involved, then I would imagine she would feel merely like a house-guest. No sense of belonging at all. That would suck even more.

GeologyJoe said...

Whats the phrase about buying a cow for free milk? I think this may apply.
My bother just bought a house. Then had his girlfriend with 3 kids moved in. She is paying rent, but they will more than likely be married soon. Plus 3 kids.

Verdant Earl said...

Well, Gia and I share a home without a ring and we are happy. And we split all household expenses right down the middle, including rent. We don't own, by the way.

If he's calling it rent then I don't agree with it. That implies...well, something. But if she is paying a portion of the monthly mortgage on the house she is living in, then I don't have a problem with it.

Mrs. Hall said...

Poindexter: Welcome again and what an interesting take on the situation!

I don't think they 'talked' about the terms or negotiated anything really. I think she is an indepedant women who said, "I'll pay my fair share". Which to me- is total bullshiz.

Real estate is an investment. She is contributing to his estate with no guarantee of returns. It's like she is a border or something. Which for me, would be even more isolating.

I think she needs to rethink the terms here.

Geo-Joe: I think you are right about that expression Joe . . .

But your brother's situation might be a bit different. I am assuming they have at least TALKED about marriage. And if your brother has bonded and or started to assume a father type role with the kids . . and if they've been dating a while . . these are all indicators of a solid commitment.

A woman can tell if a man is a solid, commitment type guy versus a man who won't ever be a proper husband. And it starts with the cohabitation process really. A man who is husband material puts his wallet where is mouth is.

Yet houses are expensive and if she is paying half the mortgage her name needs to be on said mortgage. Protecting her part of the investment.

Your brother sounds like a good guy Joe, prol'l just like his brother ;)


Keep it going!!

Mrs. Hall said...

Earl: I think the difference is that you and Gia don't own. Also, you and Gia may have different ideas of what you want for your future.

But, some women plan and plot out what they want for their future. Having a boyfriend pay the rent is a way for him to show her that he is serious, that plans of the future is not just pillow talk. Again, putting his wallet where his mouth is.

But, some couple don't plan and plot. They are just fine letting it all happen and enjoying the moment.

And it looks like you all are having a very good time ;)

BTW-I am not sure if she ever called it rent. BUT I DO. Cause really, she gives the checks to him. It's not like there's a landlord to drop the check off to. . . . .BOOH!!

Bruce Johnson said...

I would say she it getting the shaft, but not for the obvious reasons.

She should be contributing to the household. In essence, she should not be living their for free if she is gainfully employeed. So she should be paying utlities and paying something for the shelter that the house affords.

Where I think she is getting screwed, is that if there is some sopposed mutual affection and caring between the two, she is getting the shaft, because she builds no equity in the property and your brother does, at half the cost.

If he dumps here next week for a newer shiner model, she is left with nothing and has has gotten half his mortgage paid for free up to that point. Seems sort of selfish. But then again, I have known a lot of selfish women that would do the same thing to a man if given the opportunity.

Mrs. Hall said...


I can't believe this, but we are in complete agreement here. For all the reasons you noted above.

So the lesson here is that no matter how crazy in love you are, a partnership is a partnership. That includes the finances!

But you are right about selfish. My bro is really, really selfish. Not a giver really.

Which explains why he moved her dog in THREE FULL MONTHS before she moved in.

ok good discussion guys! :)

Susan Higgins said...

She's being shafted for sure. Didn't read all the comments but I would start to charge him for sex and any house work that is done. Geesh. Either that or dump him and find someone who isn't such a damn opportunist!

Mrs. Hall said...


James said...

some disfunctional relationships can carry on for years. If it was a proper relationship they would just pool their money.
And he would marry her if she wanted to.

Mrs. Hall said...

The odd part of this, between my brother's life and mine, is that I was the non traditional one growing up.

And yes, I believe that if a marriage were to occur, it would have happened by now.

crazy families anyway ;)

Bonez said...

I think your brother and his "girlfriend" should check out your state's laws on "Common Law Marriage" and you most likely will find that if she wanted to do so she could lay claim for half of his estate anyway just as if they were "legally" married with a ring and piece of paper. Dems da breaks. Also, most couples (married or not) in this part of the country are now "sharing expenses" of the household and have separate bank accounts as well as a family joint account that pays out the "family" expenses. Things just are not like they used to be back in the good ol' days of purity and sanity. Gone are the days when a woman's primary contribution to the family was her home care, childcare and occasional sexual favors. OBTW, I don't think they call it "dating" after ten years of shacking up :)

Mrs. Hall said...

Tony? is that you? GOOD lord man! How have you been!?

But yes, I was waiting for someone to mention the common law angle. Did you see how I planted several keywords in the post like "ten years" to spread different threads of debate?

And is there a more sad, sad term than 'common law wife' SIGH.

That was funny what you wrote, about a women's (former) contributions . . . hee hee hee

So yeah, common law may trump all of this ;)

Thanks for stopping by Tony (it's been too long)

The Dental Maven said...

The girl has to live somewhere and she'd have to be paying rent or a mortgage to live "where-ever." Why should she get a free ride? If the situation were reversed - would you expect your brother to live rent free?

Big Pissy said...

I would have SO many questions for the "girlfriend".....

#1 would be: why the hell are you STILL the "girlfriend" after 10 freakin' years?!?!?!? That is TOTAL b.s.

After I heard what she said to say I could offer an opinion.

But yeah, common law....

Mrs. Hall said...

La Maven: If the situation were reversed and she owned the house . . . if he were paying for half the mortage he should have his name on the mortage. Otherwise he would be getting the shaft :)

Pissy: I knew you'd come through Pissy!

10 years and no ring...

Sadly, a few years ago all of us attended my cousin's wedding. WHILST we were there, my brother's girlfriend described the kind of dress she would like if they every got married.


She described the ring she would like.

So she does want to be married cause women just don't think about these things, we plan them :)

sad really. So, now she can qualify for common in law status. Which counts for something ;)

Poppy said...

When you said "he charges her rent" that offended me, but... if she didn't pay her way she'd be a freeloader. And what does it do for him to pay all the mortgage if she's living there too? She's not his dependent, so I guess it makes sense for her to pay her way. The first 3 months I lived with Dawg I was jobless but I dipped into my savings to keep it equitable and keep paying my half. I just... need equality.

How does SHE feel about it? :)

Poppy said...

Oh, and it keeps her credit established to pay things on time, right? Or is it not reported that she pays it?

Mrs. Hall said...

Poppy: Interesting take on the whole thing. Did you rent/own with Dawg? Cause that is the key to this.

I hold true to my original assessment. She would be a free loader if she was living with a friend or a cousin or a stranger but she's not. She's living with her boyfriend. Who owns the house.

Unless her name is on the property (or on the lease or mortgage) then really, it is like she is paying to stay there and not being treated properly. Because she is the girlfriend.

Girlfriends are special and awesome creatures. If they are moving into an established house and start paying their way . . then they should get equal credit.

I don't think one can claim paying rent to a he bf as part of a credit rating. It's not like there is a signed lease or anything.

And as far as she feels . . . I am sure it was prol'l her idea. Cause she's all feminist. Which is biting her in the ass cause I don't think any of this is to her benefit money wise.

BUT good input! Well stated Poppy!

Rock on with your bag blogger self!

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