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Fear of being dependent

Old 08-17-2016, 11:12 AM
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Fear of being dependent

After all my years of becoming codependent in my alcoholic marriage and completely financially dependent upon my XAH, I am finding that I fear becoming dependent on anybody else (especially my bf) to the point where it really bothers me.

I currently live with my bf. He genuinely wants me to succeed, he is my biggest cheerleader. By living with him I've saved about $500 a month in household expenses alone including rent, utilities, cable, food, etc.

Now, he's trying to get me to sell my car and drive his older (15 year old Audi A4) to save me $400 a month ($330 car payment on a 2011 Toyota that I owe $15k on plus insurance). He already has a 2014 Grand Cherokee and my son has a 2005 Lexus that's in very good condition as well. When I balked at driving a small car, he told me we'd share the cars and he would only need the Jeep when he has custody of his kids. He even told me that if I want to sell my car, drive the Audi for a while, and then we'll trade the Audi in or sell it and use the funds as a down payment for a car for me next year or in 18 months or so. We never really set a timeline, honestly.

The offer is tempting. I hate debt. I hate owing more on a car than it's worth and I'm pushing that number right now at maybe a break even if I sold it soon as a private party deal.

My concern is that I live in HIS house. Mortgage is in his name. The cars would be in his name (although my name is still on my son's car), etc. I feel like I've given up some of the freedom that I craved for so very long being in a dysfunctional abusive relationship. Yet, I know that my bf's intentions are to help me. I know his motivation and it does not come from a place of control. He wants to see me get out of debt, he wants to help stop the bleeding and I truly don't have a lot of options here until I build a career and make better money than I'm making now.

I hesitated to move in with him because I didn't want to give up my place, the way I had things arranged, how hard I had worked to be on my own, etc. Yet, it's been nearly 3 months and I'm over that now. I love my new home. I love our family and what we have together. But, I'm not ready to get married any time soon and he doesn't seem to be either. Actually, the word 'wife' nearly makes me sick to my stomach because I hear how my XAH used it in conversation: like I was an extension of himself or that I was his possession. All I hear is ownership when I think of a husband/wife relationship and it pains me to feel this way because I know, in my heart, that marriage can be a beautiful thing. I'm really quite jaded about marriage honestly.

Now, I'm hesitating over this car thing. I'm contemplating writing up an agreement. Not sure how that would read. UGH.......
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Old 08-17-2016, 11:18 AM
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My friend, as someone who has fought living on the edge of financial ruin for YEARS, I say take him up on the offer. If you are uncomfortable with the lack of a timeline, then set one. But unless there is a reason for you to feel like this will all go south in a spectacular manner in the next year or so, then I say let your guy provide a helping hand where he can, especially if it's not going to create a hardship for him.

It doesn't sound like this arrangement would in any way inhibit your ability to walk away from the relationship if something went wrong. In fact, it might actually make that EASIER, because each month that goes by you will just be increasingly financially secure in terms of savings, etc.

But...if you are truly way outside of your comfort zone on this, I suspect your guy (who sounds totally fabulous) would understand once you walk him through the things that worry you. I suspect he would understand that it's not really about HIM, or how you feel about him...it's tied up with your feelings about your past.

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Old 08-17-2016, 11:29 AM
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Yeah, I have pretty mixed feelings about it, too. I think either decision is justifiable and rational--feelings and emotions are not necessarily inappropriate considerations.

I guess the way I'd decide would be to figure out whether the discomfort about the arrangement outweighed the financial benefits. If so, go with your gut instinct. Everything doesn't have to be about the financial bottom line.

If you decide against it, just explain to him that it truly is a generous offer, and from a financial standpoint it makes sense, but that you are more comfortable feeling like you are taking care of your own car ownership.
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Old 08-17-2016, 11:46 AM
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eh, just reading it makes me uncomfortable. i actually DO see some control going on.....he has been trying to GUIDE you regarding employment....wasn't there something about getting a job at HIS place of employment? now HE wants YOU to sell YOUR car to save YOU money, and then you CAN drive HIS and then maybe down the road (if you're a good girl??) "WE" can buy you a new car.

i personally don't need anyone to tell me how to manage MY finances, or what choices i SHOULD make regarding cars and jobs. if YOU want to sell your car, fine.....otherwise look into refinancing the loan...sure it extends the time you pay, but also lowers payments, which you can accelerate when you have the funds. but i do not like the idea of you systematically reducing the few assets you do have in your name and as you say thereby being DEPENDENT on him, or anyone.

if it were me, which it's not, i'd pass on HIS offer. it is after all, just an OFFER right??
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Old 08-17-2016, 11:53 AM
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Okay, this is the first time I will have to disagree with Anvil - I think he's just being nice and trying to help.
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Old 08-17-2016, 11:54 AM
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kidding........
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Old 08-17-2016, 11:56 AM
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First disagreement in 4 years - not too bad!!! Maybe it will be 5 until the next one!
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Old 08-17-2016, 11:58 AM
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Well, not every impulse to control is malicious or nefarious. I DO see him as a bit controlling, in the sense of wanting to persuade you that he has the solution to all of your problems. That doesn't mean he's abusive or thinks you're an idiot, but it does run the risk of not allowing you to experience the good and bad consequences of your own decisions--which is how we learn to be confident in managing our own lives.

So I really do get what your concern is--it may be coming from a place of love but it might not be what you need for yourself.
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Old 08-17-2016, 12:01 PM
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I'm with COhD. I also completely agree with Lexie that it's important to follow your gut, and if you're not comfortable with it then you're just not comfortable with it.

It was very difficult for me to understand and accept that someone would just want to help me simply because they cared about me and they were in a position to help. I had very, very little experience with something like that until quite recently. It's always important to check someone's motives (and our own motives), but sometimes a cigar is just a cigar--sometimes help is just help.

I can't say with any certainty whether that is what is going on here, because we only have a portion of the story, none of us have ever met Liz's guy, etc. Liz, I certainly trust YOU to trust your gut. Because even if all this is, is straight up 100% non-controlling help, you still need to be comfortable with it.
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Old 08-17-2016, 12:06 PM
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My thoughts are similar to Anvil's...I wouldn't like it if it were me. How about if he sells HIS, put the proceeds towards yours, and helps pay it off sooner?

The level of caretaking/controlling/urging is raising some hairs on my neck... Maybe for no reason, but it doesn't feel healthy.

It could be "innocent" codependence, not setup for abuse down the road, but that still seems like a recipe for danger.

This is coming from someone who has offered similar help out of love before (of course I want to give!) and realized it wasn't the healthy thing to do, especially in building a partnership.
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Old 08-17-2016, 12:07 PM
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I relate to what Anvil says, also. And, I am not saying that he has any conscious intentions of control.
It just sounds like some shades of him being the admired spearhead of Project to Enrich and Improve Lizatola. It sort of has the "flavor" of "parental" written on it.
Like when young people go through the dependence/independence stage of development. The normal parent doesn't have anything but the best intentions for the child and will bend over backward to be helpful (often too much)..
The child, craving independence, resents any ties to the parent....even ties of the parents expectations......They want to accomplish ON THEIR O WN...so that they can establish their feeling of independence and establish their own identity.

I think, Liz, that I sometimes, hear, between the lines....your desire to please him--for him to admire you--to validate your talents and accomplishments ...for you to feel of value. to see all of this good stuff mirrored back IN HIS EYES.

I will just say that you are already enough and good enough and you don't need anyone else to validate that , so that it feels real to you.
I think that the more you stay independent...the more your own self esteem will have a chance to continue to grow......

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Old 08-17-2016, 02:01 PM
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I can see everyone's perspectives here.

I also know that my guy is constantly telling me that I have a choice to not take his options, to choose a plan b or c, or whatever. I do not believe he has bad intentions nor do I think he takes a parental role with me. Any decisions made regarding our home are joint decisions even to us figuring out which tile to use for the kitchen backsplash. He wants my opinion and I feel that he values my input and my decision making.

And, I'm not sure what's wrong with pleasing your partner as long as it doesn't go into people pleasing doormat mode. I'm pretty aware of that default of character in myself, lol. But, I love to take care of other people and I can finally accept the fact that I am a nurturer by nature. I like myself that way. My bf's daughter told my son that my bf told the girls that he felt that I was 'kind hearted'. I'm glad they see me that way.

Back to the car, lol:
He also is thinking of selling his car and giving me the money for a down payment on a car in the future to help me and, of course, putting the car in my name. We were thinking of putting the money towards my car but it's an SUV and it costs me a ton of money in gas and the ride is really rough so I was hoping to drive a sedan next. Hence, the reason he offered me the Audi and a chance to get out from under the debt.

the other option he came up with was to sell my car, sell the Audi, and then use the Audi money as a down payment for me to get a much less expensive sedan ( a used Camry or Accord).

And, I have not agreed to do anything yet and he won't push me once I tell him I'm done talking about it. I honestly believe he's trying to help but I also feel like I'm giving up some of my own 'credit building and ownership of stuff' by doing so. I may just wait it out and try to trade my car in for something with a lesser payment. I can't refinance as I already have a VERY good rate and the banks can't beat what I have already. Best I can do is extend the payments but that only saves me about $40 a month.

Whatever happens, I know it will work out. I just think I need to talk to him about my hesitations and explain why I feel the way I do. He'll understand....he always does!
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Old 08-17-2016, 02:05 PM
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Just to be clear, I"m not suggesting I see any red flags in what he's suggesting. I think he sounds like a truly good guy who only wants to help.

I'm just saying that I think your hesitation about it is well-founded, too, and equally valid, even if it costs a bit more. There's something to be said for managing your own finances, even when someone else is willing to help.
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Old 08-17-2016, 02:07 PM
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Oh, and you might run by him your good friend Lexie's foundation problem. Just in case he wants to help.
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Old 08-17-2016, 02:33 PM
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As someone who's in the car business, I would stick with what you have.

15 year old Audis do not have a good reputation for reliability. I'd keep your Toyota. It's a known good reliable car.

Why not sell the Audi and pay that loan down?
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Old 08-17-2016, 03:25 PM
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Liz.....I would like to express my previous post more clearly.
I was just trying to say that, SOMETIMES, the cumulative effect of one person doing a lot of helping, over time, can leave the other person feeling "beholding" to the helping person......especially if the situation dynamics should change...down the road.....
I was offering a certain perspective for your consideration.......

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Old 08-17-2016, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Txjeepguy View Post
As someone who's in the car business, I would stick with what you have.

15 year old Audis do not have a good reputation for reliability. I'd keep your Toyota. It's a known good reliable car.

Why not sell the Audi and pay that loan down?
Yep, that ideas on the table too. He said he's going to cover the costs of Audi repairs if they come up AND we are only planning this as a temporary solution....think 9-12 months. At that point, I'd like to get myself a Camry.

Honestly, the more I think about it....I think I'm going to head to the car dealership and just inquire about a nice used Camry and see if I can trade in my Venza. I haven't had 1 thing....not 1...wrong with my Toyota so far and I had a Highlander and few Lexus vehicles that never did me wrong over the years either.
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Old 08-17-2016, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by LexieCat View Post
Oh, and you might run by him your good friend Lexie's foundation problem. Just in case he wants to help.
HAHA! He's not a very hand guy, though, lol!
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Old 08-17-2016, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by dandylion View Post
Liz.....I would like to express my previous post more clearly.
I was just trying to say that, SOMETIMES, the cumulative effect of one person doing a lot of helping, over time, can leave the other person feeling "beholding" to the helping person......especially if the situation dynamics should change...down the road.....
I was offering a certain perspective for your consideration.......

dandylion
I understand. I just see the whole picture. The man who got up at 3 AM with me last night when my stomach was upset and put his hand on my shoulder and gently rubbed my back, and offered his concern and 'whatever I needed' to help me feel better. The man who made me breakfast this AM and brings me my tea every morning. I see the whole relationship. We both give because our primary love languages are acts of service. I give him a massage, he drops off my court docs and pays my $25 filing fee for me. I do the laundry, he does the dishes and so much more around the house. I honestly believe we have a good partnership.

So far, neither one of us has expressed contempt or expressed resentments because of perceived imbalances in our relationship. There's a lot of give and take and sometimes I take more than I give and vice versa.

Hey, the man cooks dinner every weeknight. Right there it tells me he's a keeper, LOL!
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Old 08-17-2016, 04:24 PM
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I know for me having my own car gives me a sense of independence, even if I am dependent on other matters. Itīs like a symbol - I can go anywhere I want whenever I want to. Of course, this is just a feeling but I found I dreamed a lot about having car trouble when I was stuck in the dysfunctional relationship with xabf. A lot was about the brakes not working when I realized I had no control whatsoever in that situation, that there was nothing I could do.

So yeah, I would be very reluctant to give up my own car! Maybe itīs because I spend a lot of time driving every day, itīs probably different for others.
But perhaps you could look into what your car means to you? It could shed some light on your own doubts.
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