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How to handle procrastination without nagging? #2222597
03/01/09 09:00 PM
03/01/09 09:00 PM
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annasnewlife Offline OP
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I've been married for 5 months and for the most part it's going very well. I knew my husband was a procrastinator before we married as I'd find piles of unopened mail and unpaid bills at his house; however that problem was fairly easy to solve after we got married. He agreed to have his paycheck direct deposited in a joint checking account and I'm responsible to pay the bills; and so far that's worked well. I think he was even relieved not to have to deal with the money and I enjoy doing it.

He procrastinates on household jobs too; but I"ve learned to be patient and he does get them done within a few days of me asking, so I just work on myself not to be impatiant. However, we have one situation that is becoming a problem and I need ideas on how to deal with it. When we married, we each owned a house. He decided to move to mine to keep my kids in their school and because he likes it better. We agreed to put his up for sale. He procrastinated for weeks on getting his house cleaned out until I finally insisted we go there (about 75 miles away) and get it done. It was an unpleasant weekend, but we got it cleaned out. He then procrastinated about getting a realtor, until I finallly contacted one myself. Meanwhile, the utility and mortgage bills have been piling up because we really can't afford two homes. I had hoped he would have started on the selling process while we were engaged; but he didn't. Then, fortuately, a neighbor of his called about buying the house for his son. That was great, but they were very vague about when and how much and still my husband procrastinates on calling them and asking for a down payment, when they can take over utilities, etc. I hear they have been doing some work on the place; but we have no legal agreements and my husband keeps putting it off. Meanwhile, the utility companies are threatening to shut off utilities and the bank threatens to foreclose. When I ask my husband to call the people and get arrangements made, he gets irritated and tells me not to nag. Suggestions?


3rd marriage to an awesome wonderful man since 2008.

3 children from first marriage, ages 16, 18, 20
Re: How to handle procrastination without nagging? [Re: annasnewlife] #2222607
03/01/09 09:15 PM
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Are these things you would be willing to handle yourself? Deal with the people who want to buy (have they already moved in?), draw up a lease agreement or get with the realtor to push purchase papers through? I don't see any upside to ignoring it just because it was not your house, and if you can solve the problem by doing it yourself and only requesting signatures from your H, then why not?

There is a downside to doing it yourself, and that is setting yourself up to be the one who handles everything in the future. But you knew you married a procrastinator, so I imagine you sorta expected that. \:\)


Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.
(Oscar Wilde)
Re: How to handle procrastination without nagging? [Re: CWMI] #2222613
03/01/09 09:27 PM
03/01/09 09:27 PM
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annasnewlife Offline OP
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The guy buying the house is a high school classmate of my husband's and I don't even know his name or phone number. I haven't directly asked my husband for them as I think he'd be a bit sensitive that I would be insinuating he can't handle it. I have offered to get the lease or contract agreement once he and the buyer/renter decide what exactly they are going to do. He just needs to talk to the guy! I think he procrastinates because he doesn't like making decisions; such as how much money he wants and when; and then making them accountable to that.

I do expect in the future that i"ll be handling any legal/financial matters that come up for us as a couple and I'm ok with that. We're actually very compatable that way as he's the easy going people person and I"m the one who's more driven to have everything done right, paid on time, etc. He does appreciate me for that as I've paid off several past due accounts he had in just the last few months.


3rd marriage to an awesome wonderful man since 2008.

3 children from first marriage, ages 16, 18, 20
Re: How to handle procrastination without nagging? [Re: annasnewlife] #2222620
03/01/09 09:39 PM
03/01/09 09:39 PM
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Unfortunately, you are stuck with a procrastinator. They don't change. And you can't afford to 'teach' them on the important issues. Either you agree to be the 'adult' on important issues, or you split up. There is no other way.

Re: How to handle procrastination without nagging? [Re: annasnewlife] #2222688
03/02/09 12:27 AM
03/02/09 12:27 AM
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Hi Anna,

When my husband procrastinates about something its usually:

- he likes the idea but lacks the energy to follow it through right now
- he's afraid he won't be able to do a good job
- he thinks it needs to be done, but its a soul-suckingly boring task

If selling the house is a task that you think you wouldn't mind undertaking, the thing to do is to offer to do the job without destroying his pride.

How about "I know you have a lot on your hands with the job and everything you do for us. I know that you will get the house sold, but I'd really like to help. I feel like we are both in this together, and I'm pretty good at this sort of stuff. Would you mind if I called your friend to see if he's still interested in the house?"

If he really doesn't want to do it, he might let you take over the task. The thing is, he doesn't want to feel like an idiot for not getting it done.

If the above doesn't work then I would let him know that he's taking a chance not only with his income but with yours if he doesn't sell the house, or get some renters in there. Catperson can tell you a horror story about that situation.

You guys are in the early married stage and it takes a while I think before you start pulling as team instead of in two separate directions financially.

Re: How to handle procrastination without nagging? [Re: annasnewlife] #2222760
03/02/09 07:05 AM
03/02/09 07:05 AM
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Lucks Offline
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 Quote:
they were very vague about when and how much and still my husband procrastinates on calling them and asking for a down payment, when they can take over utilities, etc. I hear they have been doing some work on the place; but we have no legal agreements and my husband keeps putting it off. Meanwhile, the utility companies are threatening to shut off utilities and the bank threatens to foreclose.


Wow. Contracts and money exchanged should have occurred before they started working on the house. Is the house still insured? If they get hurt, it's your H's responsibility.

The bank threatening to foreclose and utilities at shut-off point mean some pretty hefty fines, and good credit becoming BAD credit.

 Quote:
When I ask my husband to call the people and get arrangements made, he gets irritated and tells me not to nag.


Ugh. Tell him honey, even if I never mention it again, these problems are only going to escalate. I am willing to orchestrate it since it appears you don't want to deal with it. So which will it be? You get this done within [certain amount of time] or I take care of it? I don't mind doing it, but the doing nothing while the situation gets worse for both of us is intolerable to me....HELP me by letting me do it....

Foreclosure means his friends probably won't get the house. Then they will sue him for the work they've done. Lost house, lost friends, upset wife.


Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you'll understand what little chance you have in trying to change others.
Re: How to handle procrastination without nagging? [Re: Happy2CU] #2222799
03/02/09 08:57 AM
03/02/09 08:57 AM
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 Originally Posted By: Happy2CU
Hi Anna,

When my husband procrastinates about something its usually:

- he likes the idea but lacks the energy to follow it through right now
- he's afraid he won't be able to do a good job
- he thinks it needs to be done, but its a soul-suckingly boring task

If selling the house is a task that you think you wouldn't mind undertaking, the thing to do is to offer to do the job without destroying his pride.

How about "I know you have a lot on your hands with the job and everything you do for us. I know that you will get the house sold, but I'd really like to help. I feel like we are both in this together, and I'm pretty good at this sort of stuff. Would you mind if I called your friend to see if he's still interested in the house?"

If he really doesn't want to do it, he might let you take over the task. The thing is, he doesn't want to feel like an idiot for not getting it done.

If the above doesn't work then I would let him know that he's taking a chance not only with his income but with yours if he doesn't sell the house, or get some renters in there. Catperson can tell you a horror story about that situation.

You guys are in the early married stage and it takes a while I think before you start pulling as team instead of in two separate directions financially.


Anna...I think Happy has a good assessment and solution to your situation. I think it's worth reading again and giving consideration. \:\)

The objective is to get this done while allowing him to still retain his dignity and pride. I would try to gently oversee this but involve him with choices.

Last edited by Soolee; 03/02/09 09:03 AM.

Sooly

"Stop yappin and make it happen."
"The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you."

Me 47
DH 46
Together for 28 years.
Married 21 years.
Re: How to handle procrastination without nagging? [Re: catperson] #2222864
03/02/09 10:57 AM
03/02/09 10:57 AM
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 Originally Posted By: catperson
Unfortunately, you are stuck with a procrastinator. They don't change. And you can't afford to 'teach' them on the important issues. Either you agree to be the 'adult' on important issues, or you split up. There is no other way.


I kind of disagree with this. I don't think it's a completely unchangable situation, but agree that you can't let issues of this importance fail because it's a teaching situation.

My W and I are/were similar to the two of you in them in that I was the one who was on top of things financially, while she was disorganized and didn't typically want to deal with it. On the other hand, she was more outgoing while I prefered to be more antisocial. When we got married, we recognized this but wanted to be able to help each other grow in the areas where we were weak. It didn't work out that way as we didn't put enough effort into it, and the result that we both resent each other in various ways, both for having to carry the load for the other and for having the load carried for us. We felt both taken for granted and that the other didn't have any faith in us.

The reality is that both of us can be and should be competent both socially and financially on our own and shouldn't use each other as a crutch. Marriage shouldn't be an excuse for not being a complete person.


Me 38
Divorced 8/09
DS 10,6
DD 4
Re: How to handle procrastination without nagging? [Re: annasnewlife] #2222917
03/02/09 11:52 AM
03/02/09 11:52 AM
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Lucks Offline
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Anna - Maybe he doesn't know what amount is appropriate. Afraid to ask too much/too little?


Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you'll understand what little chance you have in trying to change others.
Re: How to handle procrastination without nagging? [Re: catperson] #2223128
03/02/09 04:53 PM
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annasnewlife Offline OP
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 Originally Posted By: catperson
Unfortunately, you are stuck with a procrastinator. They don't change. And you can't afford to 'teach' them on the important issues. Either you agree to be the 'adult' on important issues, or you split up. There is no other way.


I'm not trying to change him.....as you said, it's not possible. I'm looking for ways to approach him that will work positively for our relationship, not degenerate into a fight or cause resentment. In this issue, it's a little more difficult for me to just take over and do it myself as I think alot of his ego might be tied into this house....it was the first house he owned and he's had it for 7 years. I don't want to step on his toes, nor do I have any legal rights as far as signing papers, making deals, etc.

As to splitting up, this is nowhere near a deal breaker. We'll get through it one way or another, but I'd rather it didn't turn out to be a legal and financial mess. My husband has a thousand good qualities for this one bad one.


3rd marriage to an awesome wonderful man since 2008.

3 children from first marriage, ages 16, 18, 20
Re: How to handle procrastination without nagging? [Re: Lucks] #2223142
03/02/09 05:05 PM
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Hi Laura!

I think part of it is that he's too nice.......we had another person interested in renting it and my H told him $350 a month (for a 3 bedroom ranch on 1.5 acres). I was sooo upset, the house payment is $466 plus $44 a month insurance. Fortunately, the renter backed out and my H and I were able to discuss it. He agreed we at least need the house payment. I also want a deposit or down payment and my H doesn't want to ask his old high school buddy for money. It would be better if I handled it as I don't have any connections to the guy. I think he also doesn't want to pressure his friend into buying, but I told him he needs to make it clear that there will be nothing to buy if we lose the house.

I guess I may have to just sit down with him and be very blunt and insistant and deal with the inevetable negative fallout. I really hate conflict, so that's where my flaw lies.


3rd marriage to an awesome wonderful man since 2008.

3 children from first marriage, ages 16, 18, 20
Re: How to handle procrastination without nagging? [Re: annasnewlife] #2223200
03/02/09 06:03 PM
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That sounds like a boundary problem more than procrastination problem. It's not so much about being too nice as it is not wanting to disappoint others. He might want to take a look at the book "Boundaries" by Townsend and Cloud.


Me 38
Divorced 8/09
DS 10,6
DD 4
Re: How to handle procrastination without nagging? [Re: annasnewlife] #2223474
03/03/09 07:18 AM
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 Quote:
I think he also doesn't want to pressure his friend into buying


(Hi Anna!) Then I think he's overly concerned to his own detriment - if they're working on the house no doubt they're planning and ready to buy it.

How much is the mortgage (and any late fees)? Have the two of you set the asking price? Any equity? What will he do with the equity? Pre-marital, therefore his...or is he willing to pool it into the "our" money pile?

There are plenty of calls/situations that my H would prefer I handle - conflict avoidance. Same in reverse - we've learned each other's strengths and weaknesses. You and your H will operate smoothly as a team in time too. But yes, your situation is time sensitive, definitely sit down and have the figure-it-out discussion.

I'm concerned that he blocked you with the "nagging" card. Do you think you were pushing disrespectfully? Has he said that before?

I'd love to hear about his good qualities. LOL, you may remember several complaints I had about my H, but I can list a zillion sweet things about him too. Barring extreme negatives, as long as the scales tip with positives we (meaning you and me) can work out the rest.


Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you'll understand what little chance you have in trying to change others.
Re: How to handle procrastination without nagging? [Re: Lucks] #2223866
03/03/09 03:35 PM
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annasnewlife Offline OP
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Yes, that's what I told him; if they are tearing out the crappy old 1970's carpet, they are serious about buying.

Last night I think we made some progress. I asked him when he thought he'd be talking to the guy about the house. He looked a little disgusted, but answered "I don't know what to say to him, I just want the house to go away." I asked what exactly they had discussed so far, and he said the guy wants to "rent to own". I asked "you mean buy it on contract?". My H said yes. I then said He could call and talk to the guy about the contract, ask for 10% down so we can catch up on payments (we're 3 months behind, but the bank is working with us.), and get everything in writing. I asked if it would help if I wrote down all the questions to ask and he said it would, so I did that and gave it to him. He said he'd call.......so now we'll see. But I did think it was a fairly positive conversation.

The house needs some major work, such as new shingles, new built in appliances, new carpet, and new sheetrock in the basement where it got wet. So, we are asking for what he owes on it rather than it's most recent appraisal value. We won't make any money, but our goal is just to get out from under it.

ON the nagging........I don't think I was being disrespectful, just bringing it up alot. And he didn't want to hear about it. He is well known for procrastination in his family and at Thanksgiving his brother asked me if he was doing anything about the house. His mom also took me aside and told me he was just like his dad and she had to take care of all the finances or nothing would ever be paid. (BTW, his dad is also a hardworking, friendly, loyal kind of guy. Just doesn't like to be bothered with details.)

My H's good qualities? For example, a few months after we started dating I got a flat tire in my front yard. My son tried to change it and the jack failed, the axle landed an inch from his head. I called my church as I knew that there were meetings going on there and the associate pastor told me "nobody here knows how to change a tire". (a church full of farmers! but the church thing is another story). I called my H and I was so upset and he drove 70 miles here to change it, and back home. That's the kind of guy he is; he will do anything to help others.

He has lots of friends, from way back when they were in high school. He's loyal, kind, giving, affectionate, hard working (he's an electrician), likeable, has the same offbeat sense of humor I do, gets along really well with my kids (tho he has none of his own), and is just a fantastic guy. Definitely a keeper.


3rd marriage to an awesome wonderful man since 2008.

3 children from first marriage, ages 16, 18, 20
Re: How to handle procrastination without nagging? [Re: annasnewlife] #2223907
03/03/09 04:30 PM
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First of all, I can't believe you are already married again so soon and for the third time. Your financial problems should not be something your H inherits. He should be able to take his time selling his house and your pressuring him is going to cause the same kinds of resentments in him that damaged your second marriage. No man wants to feel like an ATM card, especially when he is expected to subsidize another man's children.

Back off and let him do this on his own. People procrastinate because of Fear: fear of failure, fear of unpleasant consequences, fear of missing out, etc.

If your H is afraid of messing stuff up--if he hides behind a perfectionism frame: "If I do it wrong, I will be judged," Then he is vulnerable to criticism and consequently failure.

The best way to deal with his fears is by building him up. Tell him you love him, are lucky to have him and are confident that he will make the best choices for the family in all matters, not just the sale of his property. And then back off and let him handle it. Treat him like the hero you want him to be.

You also need to consider that your H may be slow to sell the house because part of him doesn't really want to. He might be dragging his feet because he is afraid he will be left out in the cold if the marriage doesn't work. After all, you kicked the last one out.



Me: 56
H: 61
DD: 13 and hormonal
DS: 20

Oldest son died 1994 @ age 8

Happily married 30+ years
Re: How to handle procrastination without nagging? [Re: pieta] #2224502
03/04/09 03:29 PM
03/04/09 03:29 PM
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annasnewlife Offline OP
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Pieta,

I don't have any financial problems. I own my acreage, my car is paid for, I have a good job. My H isn't inheriting any financial problems from me. Whether I remarried too soon isn't the subject of my post. I would love to let my H take all the time in the world selling his house, but he doesn't have time. He has actually said he'd be fine with letting the bank foreclose as he just doesn't want to deal with all the hassles of selling the house; however he isn't realizing the long term ramifications of doing nothing. Yes, I knew when I married him that he was living the life of a bachelor, all fun and no responsibility. I discovered that he had a history of procrastinating and "taking care of it later". And he always did, although sometimes with the help of a small claims judgement against him. He has taken on the responsibility of a family and being a husband in a wonderful way; has a good job with little chance of being laid off, and has many hopes and dreams for our future. He appreciates that I'm good at stretching dollars and paying off bills. We recently attended Dave Ramsey's 13 week seminar "Financial Peace University" and learned alot about managing our finances in the future and have already paid down several thousand dollars of HIS debt.

As I said previously, he just doesn't like dealing with hassles; and I'm willing to do that because I don't mind. I'm looking for positive ways to approach him when he procrastinates and I can't do it for him so I don't LB.


Regarding your nasty remark at the end of your post; yes, I did ask my ex husband to leave. I didn't appreciate him looking at pornography in front of my 15 and 12 year old sons while he was home unemployed and I was supporting us, and after he pushed my oldest son down the stairs I had the choice of making him leave, or letting the department of human services do it for me. Had he been willing to work on the marriage I would have. Instead, he chose to find another woman so there was no chance of reconciliation.


3rd marriage to an awesome wonderful man since 2008.

3 children from first marriage, ages 16, 18, 20
Re: How to handle procrastination without nagging? [Re: annasnewlife] #2224556
03/04/09 04:47 PM
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Geese, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to be nasty. H#2 deserved to be tossed out--my concern for you is that H#3 might be reacting to it and dragging his feet on selling his house on purpose. My guess was that he might be hoping to sell the option rather than the house to the neighbor to keep his foot in the door. But what do I know?

I'm confused though about your financial SIT. You posted over and over about your financial problems both before and after your second divorce--how you owed H #2 money for his share of the house and how you were having trouble getting all your support payments from H #1. When and how did this all change so quickly? Win the lotto?

So if H#3 isn't inheriting your financial problems and subsidizing you and someone else's kids, then why does he not have $$$ to meet his mortgage and utilities and not foreclose. Wasn't he doing this before he met you? Paying his bills? And you paying your own?

 Quote:
We recently attended Dave Ramsey's 13 week seminar "Financial Peace University" and learned a lot about managing our finances in the future and have already paid down several thousand dollars of HIS debt.


Sound's like you are doing all the managing. I hear that you don't mind doing his business for him and cleaning up his messes, but you cannot mother a man and have have him act like one for very long. He's already called you a nag. Good luck!!!!




Me: 56
H: 61
DD: 13 and hormonal
DS: 20

Oldest son died 1994 @ age 8

Happily married 30+ years
Re: How to handle procrastination without nagging? [Re: pieta] #2225274
03/05/09 10:28 PM
03/05/09 10:28 PM
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annasnewlife Offline OP
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Yes, you're right, I was posting about all kinds of financial problems just a year ago. It was awful. I didn't win the lottery, I just kept working two jobs and selling off my collections on ebay and praying alot and I paid off alot of debt. I raised my FICO score by 50 in just 3 months and it is steadily rising as I pay off credit cards. I was able to work with my banker to make my house my own. And, with the help of my new husband we heated with wood this year instead of LP, which saved us over $3,000. My monthly salary pays all the household bills (mortgage, insurance, utilities), so his can go to food, gas, and his house bills and debt.


As I said, my H was not diligent about keeping up with his bills before we married. He tended to ignore them, until he got threats of having things shut off or being sued. I don't know why he procrastinated on those things, he just did. I was well aware of his unpaid dental and car repair bills and we are working to pay them off; it's not an issue between us. I guess he just ignored the bills and bought cd's and dvd's and did things with his family.......it doesn't make sense to me, but he's more than willing to get stuff paid off so we don't have any issues about his debt. We'll get it taken care of.

The only issue I have is why he is procrastinating on taking care of the house. He agrees that we can't afford two house payments and his utilities, but he can't seem to move forward. I guess maybe I'll ask him what he's afraid of. We have a fantastic relationship and I don't want it to detiorate because of one easily resolved thing.


3rd marriage to an awesome wonderful man since 2008.

3 children from first marriage, ages 16, 18, 20
Re: How to handle procrastination without nagging? [Re: annasnewlife] #2225594
03/06/09 02:08 PM
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I'm so glad to hear you have worked your way out of that financial nightmare you were in. And I am especially happy that this man is such a good person and kind to you and your children. He sounds like a catch and I would hate to see anything happen to mess this up for you AND your kids.

 Quote:
We have a fantastic relationship and I don't want it to deteriorate because of one easily resolved thing


You are seeing it from one perspective and me from another. Money is not analogous with a "fantastic relationship." Respect is--especially where men are concerned. If he feels disrespected by anything you do concerning the liquidation of this asset of his, then he will dig his heals in bray like a donkey. This is the kind of thing men do.

The glitch here is that you have already assumed responsibility for helping him out of his personal debt. This is especially tricky business because you are in the bonding stage of your relationship. This is a time when it is most important to be finely tuned into a man's level of emotional awareness--a very different level than the "honeymoon stage" one. All this is further complicated because there are kids--your kids in the household.

When you do these financial things for your husband, be very careful. Don't treat him like a child, don't talk down to him, don't give him unsolicited advice, don't cast judgment or try to control him. Where his money and assets are concerned, let him see it as he is the boss and you are a good secretary looking out for the boss's interests.

Make certain that you tell him everyday how lucky you and your children are to have him as part of the family, compliment him for his contributions to the family, be it a weekly pay check, chopping wood or making repairs to the home. This is the kind of thing that will motivate him to do more.


Me: 56
H: 61
DD: 13 and hormonal
DS: 20

Oldest son died 1994 @ age 8

Happily married 30+ years
Re: How to handle procrastination without nagging? [Re: pieta] #2225777
03/06/09 06:28 PM
03/06/09 06:28 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 715
Iowa
A
annasnewlife Offline OP
Member
annasnewlife  Offline OP
Member
A
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 715
Iowa
Thanks for the advice Pieta. I have been very appreciative. And I didn't jump in and say "I'll save you from yourself". When we were dating I realized the extent of his ignoring bills by the piles of unopened mail in his house. His brother and best friend also told me. I said we need to talk about this if you're planning our life together (I really wasn't thinking marriage at that point, but he was). He said he just really didn't like dealing with budgeting and money so he ignored it. And he really wanted help with it and didn't know who to ask. So, after he proposed I asked him how he wanted to handle money and he said he just wanted to hand over his paycheck and let me handle it; as long as he could buy some movies and cd's now and then. We haven't had any conflicts about that; and when he gets paid I figure out how I think it should be budgeted and then ask him if he agrees. Sometimes he doesn't; usually because I'll pay off stuff I don't even need to until we're down to our last penny because I hate debt......so he balances me out.

On the house......he called the buyer and they agreed he will buy the house on contract, no money down, no interest, just a monthly payment for 2 years and then he'll get a loan for the balance. I'm not happy, but it's H's house. And I guess at least we won't have to make the monthly payment and utilities ourselves.


3rd marriage to an awesome wonderful man since 2008.

3 children from first marriage, ages 16, 18, 20
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