Okay, maybe “defending” is too strong of a word, but explaining sounded a little too wishy-washy for a title. (So sue me, I like strong titles!)
Obviously I think this sharing method is fair, but just because it works for me, it doesn’t mean you have to do it too.
The main reason why I split everything 50/50 in my relationship, is because of the following reasons:
1. NO ONE FEELS RESENTFUL OF THE OTHER
Say what you will, someone, somewhere in a relationship where they are paying more than 50% will feel a tiny bit of resentment, especially if they’re paying for an extravagant lifestyle that the other is profiting from.
I have been on both sides — being paid for, and paying for someone else, and I resented this expectation that I had to pay for everything deep down inside (even while telling myself and everyone around me that I didn’t).
I resented having to worry about bills, rent, groceries, clearing debt, making sure everything ran smoothly, and most of all, I resented feeling like a mother to an otherwise grown adult.
Looking back, I hated it. So why would I expect someone else to be put in the same position because of me?
Where I got annoyed the most, is where I’d be busting my hump working more than 8-hours a day, and I’d come home to someone who hasn’t even bothered to look for a job to help out because of ..[insert stupid reason here].. and basically spent the day playing video games and doing jack squat.
Does that sound fair to you?
Maybe for guys it’s different — they like feeling like the breadwinner, the MAN, and the provider for their family, but for me, this was a little more than I could stomach.
It’s not that I wanted to be taken care of, but even having someone just pay 50% of the bills would have been nice.
Instead, every time there’d be a suggestion to “order takeout” or to do something fun, I’d feel my hackles rise at the cost because I’d have to pay 100% for it.
Even gifts to me, came out of “our” chequing account (read: my bank account), which meant it wasn’t really a gift to me at all. I just bought it for myself.
Now, while being paid for is nice, the other problem is that then you feel like a slave.
2. NO ONE FEELS LIKE A SLAVE TO THE OTHER
I’ve seen this on so many shows like Princess, Til Debt do us Part, Money Moron, and a whole host of other money-related shows where the person who works outside of the home, either unconsciously or consciously treats the one who works inside the home a bit like a slave.
How it normally plays out is that the one who brings home most of the bacon, tends to treat the other one at home a less than fairly and respectfully.
Even if it’s just $10,000 more in gross pay.
For many people, money equals power.
They feel like they should have more say if they pay more because “cash is king” (or queen).
I see this in relationships of casual acquaintances and friends as well, where this one girl pays maybe 15% in the relationship and her boyfriend pays the other 80%. He doesn’t call her a slave, but he makes her:
- walk, feed & pick up the poop of his dogs (she hates dogs)
- cook for him all the time
- cook fancy celebration dinners for friends he invites over to the house (like us)
- clean everywhere and everything
- run errands
It’s not that she hates the arrangement, I daresay she’s the one that pushed for such a domestic arrangement where she does it willingly because she’s exchanging the equivalent of work in the home for not having to cover the other 35% of the household finances.
She could work and pay 50%, but she doesn’t want to (she’s kind of admitted this, even going to the point of saying that she desperately wants a baby so she can just stop working).
This seems to work for them, and seems fair… until you hear that they had a huge fight over who should put their name on the deed for the house.
See, he fronted 100% of the down payment and also pays the mortgage and pretty much all the bills.
She only pays for her cellphone, the house telephone & TV, and gives him nominal rent as part of the 15%, and as that rent money was going to the mortgage, she wanted her name on the house deed for 50%.
He laughed in her face and told her that he paid the entire down payment, so she’d have to pony up the 15% of THAT, but not only that, she wouldn’t have her name on the mortgage, which means he’d be responsible for 100% of the debt, and have to give up 50% of the house asset if they split?
Huge fight, but eventually it worked out because she gave in and decided she liked her low-key living arrangement too much to leave him. She accepted it and seems happy, but this is not the kind of relationship I want.
MONEY ISN’T EVERYTHING – TASKS ARE SHARED TOO
Those are my two main points why I pay 50/50, don’t feel resentful doing it, don’t think it’s unfair or “roommate-ish”, and am happy to do so.
It isn’t just 50/50 in money that we share either, it’s also 50/50 in household tasks.
For things like gifts or treats, we don’t split it 50/50. It’s a gift or a treat, and it’s given willingly.
Look, it isn’t like I am going to ever tell him to get out (or vice versa) if either of us needs to lean on the other for help, but this arrangement at the very least, eradicates any discussion, resentment or hurt feelings about the other “paying their fair share”.
We just don’t have those problems.