By: Revanche

In which your heroine foolishly takes a leap of faith

July 14, 2010

Continued from the last post … 

For the last ten years, I learned painfully, repeatedly, not to trust anyone about money. My family’s track record meant that I had to take control or lose my mind. Or the house. I was darned if I’d let any more bad things happen to me again. *shakes fist a la Scarlett O’Hara (Did she shake her fist? Or is that unladylike?)*  Since then, it was always my effort that put food on the table, kept the lights on, the water running.  Not for me the bad roommates, dealing with shared rent and bills, cleaning up after people, or any of those popular horror stories. 

More importantly, while I don’t judge anyone else for their choices to or not to cohab, I can and do judge myself. For many years, cohabbing was never on the table and it’s been distinctly weird saying that… I … live … with … PiC.

But while this choice, more unguided than misguided, went against my decision never to live with a significant other before marriage, it cut to the bone of my philosophy about trust and people. Namely the part where they don’t go together.

By choosing to cohabitate, I depend on PiC. I rely on him to pay his bills, to provide my home, to support me.  (Heartburn.)  It’s not that he doesn’t earn a decent income or that he’s a bill-evader, he’s just not deathly allergic to debt like I am. Oh, and he’s a spender. (Aneurysm.)  I’ve always known that about him but figured that by the time marriage was on the table, which was the only time I’d allow myself to enter into financial co-dependence, we’d have found a compromise.

So this whole moving in thing? Can we say whole system meltdown?  

Funny thing, though. After three weeks of (mostly repressing) angst/anxiety about it, I began to discover that it can work.

I wrung some concessions out of him for my own sanity.  We keep spreadsheets on the things that my living here will increase like groceries, eating out, utilities and roughly split those.  I pay for groceries because my credit card gets better grocery cashback.  He pays for gas because he gets better prices (Costco).  I get to manage the monthly spending limits and I cook a LOT to keep bills down.  After three months, we’ll sit down and review our spending together and decide how to build a reasonable side by side budget.  I’d like to contribute more one way or another.  We’re not combining finances, but we’ll make them cohabitable.

We compromise a lot. We’ve had our spats but they were mostly about misunderstanding the other person’s motives. We step on each others’ toes because we try not to.  Once we talk it through, it’s fine.

He’s been amazingly supportive about my health issues. (Though, his supportiveness isn’t really amazing for him. If you knew him, you’d know that’s just the way he is.) We giggle a lot. We have the dumbest jokes and snipe at each other until it gets so ridiculous that we crack up.  He lets me grouse; I nudge him when he’s winding himself up. I can’t recall why I thought cohabitation was such a horrible idea now that I’ve experienced it.

Not only am I out of a toxically worrying environment, I can just sit in the living room and relax. In my entire adult life, I’ve never done that. Not in a safe, my-home kind of place, and definitely not with any sense that I can trust someone else to take care of me if I need help. How luxurious!

And because of all this weird and good stuff, the thought of marriage no longer causes anxiety.  That’s some serious progress.  Yes, my family still needs my help and yes, I still feel very responsible for their health and safety. No, I have no idea where I can afford to move them and no, I don’t feel at peace about them. But I can, for the first time, look at the future and think about making plans with a sense of purpose instead of panic.

Perhaps I need to start a courthouse fund.  Because I still think eloping’s the way to go. 🙂

21 Responses to “In which your heroine foolishly takes a leap of faith”

  1. Red says:

    What a great post! I’m so happy that you’ve been able to mostly overcome your anxiety with PiC. I always planned to live with a significant other before marriage – kind of a “taking the car for a test drive” thing. It’s kind of like with friends. You can be the best of friends, decide to be roommates and end up hating each other.

    Trust is such an important thing. I’m glad you found someone you can trust. 😀

  2. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like you’re in love. It’s a wonderful feeling, isn’t it?

  3. Ruth says:

    I think eloping is totally the way to go. Then small celebration of some kind when/as you feel like & up to it. If people object to it being so quiet, you can point to the health issues (which people are more likely to accept w/less griping that “I didn’t want to”). *hugs*

    I’m glad that you’re learning to trust PiC and I hope he doesn’t let you down. Sounds like a very good guy.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I read your blog almost everyday. You are an amazing young woman. I know you would never move in with a SO unless he was as accomplished as you. Enjoy those “giggle” moments and the sense of being “home”.After 35 years DH still makes me giddy as a school girl.Life can be rough, but sometimes we turn a corner on our path and see the wonderful part of being alive. Best Wishes from Best Bun.

  5. I think this is great! I was hoping you’d be shown that not everybody will let you down. WOOT! Congrats and enjoy!

  6. Yea, this is just beautiful.

    There’s no point in fretting about what could happen. You should enjoy the blessings you do have, and it sounds like you are incredibly lucky right now.

    I think you just know if it’s right.

  7. Serendipity says:

    I’m so excited for you. This was such a feel good post. And I’m happy you found someone to be your partner. Because while having a relationship is one thing, having a partner is much better. 🙂

  8. psychsarah says:

    What a thrill to read this post. You sound genuinely happy (and genuinely surprised to be genuinely happy!) It’s great to know that your partner in crime is allowing you to feel trust and comfort. When life gives you bumps in the road, it’s great to have somebody by your side with whom you can ride them out. 🙂

  9. Yay!!! So very, very happy for you. 🙂

  10. eemusings says:

    Yayyyy! I am so happy for you; you deserve peace and happiness. And now I understand why the more frequent talk about PiC and marriage etc 🙂

  11. Sounds like someone is in love! 🙂

    I’m so happy for you!

    Finding someone you can trust is so beautiful, and I’m so glad you have that in your life!

  12. Awww, this is so cool. (70s lingo)*(sorry)

    Really, why not? One of the nice things about cohabiting is that your assets are not mingled with his as community property. Neither are your debts (unless, of course, you cosign on a debt). That means you need not obsess over his financial habits.

    It also gives you all the time you need to decide whether this is someone you WANT to commit to for the rest of your life.

    It’s smart, very smart. And also sweet. 😀

  13. David Stern says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. YAY FOR YOU! I am sending you 683 internet hugs. I’m so glad to hear that you are . . . what’s that called? ABLE TO RELAX. REST. CHILL. And all of those things.

  15. Shelley says:

    As long as you still CAN support yourself, then I don’t think you’re dependent if you LET him support you. It’s great that you’re feeling relaxed. Given your spending styles are much different, suggest putting the courthouse thing off a good while. Divorce is ridiculously expensive, not to mention painful. What’s the hurry?

  16. Jimmy says:

    I hope it continues to work out!

  17. This is a great post. I’m glad you’re starting to overcome the anxiety and somewhat being able to relax a little. Enjoy it 🙂

  18. Revanche says:

    You’re all so supportive, thank you! Each one of you gave me a warm fuzzy.

    @Red: He’s a car guy so I’m guessing the analogy won’t hurt his feelings at all 😀

    @Shelley: no worries, I start saving for insane things long before they come to pass – just because the courthouse is cheap doesn’t mean I’ll actually be rushing to the … er, judge? all that quickly. Just saving! 😉

  19. Jersey Mom says:

    You sound happy. =)

  20. Karen says:

    Enjoy having someone who is willing to step up and help out.

  21. Lovely post; I’m so happy for you 🙂

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