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'AITA for "controlling" my GF's money by refusing to marry her until she pays off her debt?' UPDATED

'AITA for "controlling" my GF's money by refusing to marry her until she pays off her debt?' UPDATED


"AITA for 'trying to control' my gf's money?"

I, 29, hate debt. It's nothing but a weight around your ankles to keep you from moving ahead with your life. I was lucky enough to get scholarships for most of college, and paid off the loans I did have to get ASAP. I did go ahead and buy a new car for the increased safety features, but only have a few thousand left on that loan, because again, aggressive paying it off.

I just bought a house because a mortgage is half of what my old apartment rent was, but I plan on being aggressive with this too, and hopefully have it paid off in a fraction of the time. Long story shit, I fucking hate debt. Makes me very anxious and feel physically sick.

My gf, 29, on the other hand, has a ton of debt, and doesn't really care. She has student loans, her car, and her credit card, and is making the bare minimum payments so she has extra money to play with each month.

Because I do love her, and could theoretically see myself spending my life with her, I made her a deal - she could live in my house, rent, grocery, and utility free, until her debts were all paid off.

With her salary, it would take her about 1.5 years to pay it all off if she put the max amount she could towards them. It would then become our house, and she would help take half of the payments so we could be on a more equal footing. She accepted this without question, and we even sat down to look over her finances, budget, pay stubs, everything, so we could make a comprehensive plan.

Well, the other day her cell rang while she was in the shower, so I picked it up. Turns out, it's a debt collector! I confronted her about this when she got out and dressed, since it's been a few months and she should have been able to pay off at least the smallest loan in full, and it turns out she just stopped paying everything! Let everything go into default, since "You'll just pay it when we're married."

I then made it very clear that we werent getting married anytime soon, not until her debt was gone, and she knows my stance on keeping long term debt. This upset her, she started yelling at me, and I made it very clear she had three options - follow our deal and pay off her debt, pay me back for the last few months I've apparently funded her lifestyle, or leave and go stay with her brother.

Huffy, she packed a bag and left, saying we'd talk about this later when I'd "calmed down." I made it clear there was nothing to talk about, and I'd have her stuff packed by morning.

The last few hours, however, her entire family's called, our mutual friends have called, everyone's called to put in their two cents on how I was being too controlling with her money. I see it as her being a freeloader, especially since she knows my anxieties around being in large amounts of debt (parents lost everything in '08, we were homeless for a year, I refuse to do that again). AITA here?

What do you think? AITA? This is what top commenters had to say:


I got down to “You’ll pay it when we’re married” Dude, run. She just told you exactly what she sees you as. Oh, NTA Adding an edit in response to OP’s update: I highly recommend you change your locks if you haven’t done so.


🚩 🚩 🚩 🚩 🚩 🚩 Run. You offered her a sweetheart deal, and she’s treating you like she treats her bank. If her friends and family have an opinion, maybe they can start paying off her debt.


NTA. Originally I was gonna say it's a little controlling, however once you said she just stopped paying, claiming that YOU would pay for HER DEBT when you both got married, the game changed.

At this point, it only seems like she's using you to fund her irresponsible behavior and lifestyle. I don't think at this point it's best to try to "work through it". She's revealed her character, especially with telling every mutual of yours her side to make you seem like the bad guy. Just break it off.


NTA. Wow. Yes, you have different attitudes toward money, and honestly, I thought this was headed toward she's not dedicating every spare cent to paying off her debts and you're TA. But no! I am just absolutely ... gobsmacked. I can't even begin to imagine the thought processes behind being handed an offer that generous and deciding "Screw that, I will just stick him with every bill I have ever run up."

I'm sorry. That was a cruel, greedy, incredibly selfish thing to do. The only good thing here is that you found out now how low she will stoop. Yes, you are on the high end of anxiety about debt, and you might need to be ready to try some mutual counseling to establish a workable approach when you're ready to settle down with someone.

But this girl isn't ready to settle down with anyone. Sorry she's been such a user. Sorry, too, for that terrible experience in '08. So glad you've pulled out of it.

And said:

Okay. This is a weird one for me. I’m a CPA, married to a forensic accountant. We have debt, but at very low interest rates and high credit scores. And I was just about to tell you that your way of living with no disposable income is actually not feasible for most people. In fact, putting all her money into her debt would mean she couldn’t get new shoes if she needed,

or go out to eat on a birthday/anniversary/job promotion/she was too tired to cook/had a craving for indian/whatever. That is not an enjoyable way of living. And you might want to speak to someone about your anxiety, because there is so much joy to be had from little indulgences. Weekends away. A night out. Whatever.

However, she went into default because you’d pay it as soon as you got married????? Hell. No. NTA. But you should still speak to someone about your anxieties. Debt free sounds great, but in the current economy, it’s not necessarily an achievable goal while also being a well-rounded human who has fun.

You’re not being controlling with her money if you’re paying for everything with the understanding she is paying off her debt - in an arrangement she agreed to. It’s weird, and I wouldn’t want a partner that involved in what I can do or buy within reason, but it’s a generous offer.

I think the solid answer was somewhere between “no disposable income, you put all your money to your debt” and “going to collections because my man will pay for everything”. But that’s just my opinion.

Commenters agreed: NTA.

OP added some more info. in the comments:

I would say that her having debt does change my life. That's $45,000 that can drag us down. She wont be able to save for retirement, it might effect our own kid's debts in the future, it's that much money every single month that we cant put towards savings, towards emergency funds, towards fun things living together.

Debt in and of itself is bad, and should be paid off right away. I dont look down on her for having debt, but I am upset that I offered her a way to get out of it and she threw it in my face. I've seen how excessive debt can destroy lives, and student loans are currently the one debt you cant get rid of by declaring bankruptcy.

I got rid of all my own loans and most of my car loan (4 more months and I'll own it outright) by making sacrifices for my future. I tried to make it as easy for her to do the same.

And then, later, he shared this update:

I've got some friends coming over after work to help me take the rest of her stuff over to her brother's house. Been a long night, full of phone calls and people yelling at me and a long voice mail of her crying, but after reading what yall said, this is the right call. I want someone who loves me, not my money. Thanks yall, and good luck to everyone out there. Stay safe!

Sources: Reddit
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