Dear Moneyist,

My fiancé — or should I say eternal fiancé because he never wants to get married — recently shocked me when he flatly stated that he wants me off the mortgage and deed to our newly purchased waterfront home. We have lived there for a year and pay 50/50 on everything. He didn’t want to debate or talk about buying me out, he was more insistent and will not budge.

This happened following a conversation I instigated and in which I suggested we see an attorney to have a will drawn up, in case one of us passes away. The house is appreciating in value daily due to its location (it’s worth $50,000 more already) and he wants his children to inherit it. He wants me to pay rent, which essentially leaves nothing for my children.


‘I moved from another state and sold my beautiful home to be with this man. He sacrificed nothing.’

I didn’t want out prior to the conversation. I still love him, but I wanted to live a committed life where we were building a future together living in the same home. I feel like it is a slap in the face. I am shocked and brokenhearted and he is making me feel that I am making it all about me. I already gave up my dream of marriage.

He said that if I don’t want to pay rent, we can live in separate houses and continue to date eternally, which to me sounds completely like a huge step backwards. I am a hard-working person with a very good credit rating, and I always pay my half of the mortgage a month in advance. He thinks I am unreasonable.

I moved from another state and sold my beautiful home to be with this man. He sacrificed nothing. If I buy my own home, I doubt if he would stay overnight at my home. I just feel that his decision was influenced by money. I hate the way he is making me feel emotionally unstable and insecure because I disagree with him.

What should I do now?

Fiancée

Dear Fiancée,

Asking you to both quit-claim your share of the property to your boyfriend and take yourself off the mortgage — assuming the bank would even allow that, which is far from a given — is unreasonable. Using a wedding ring and your clear desire to get married as leverage is despicable.

I disagree with you on one salient point: not getting married to this man after such a long engagement would be a huge step forward, as long as you take one more leap forward to freedom, with exactly 50% of this home that you purchased together.


Let me introduce you to the sunk cost fallacy.

Let me introduce you to the sunk cost fallacy: You spend an hour waiting for a bus so you wait another hour rather than taking a taxi. Or you sink $100,000 into a bad investment so you spend another $100,000 to keep it afloat because otherwise that first $100,000 would be wasted.

This is the dilemma you face with your fiancé. Let’s start with dropping the term. It doesn’t mean anything, except the promise of something happening that has not happened and is unlikely to happen and, I hope, with the right support, you agree would be a disaster for you if it did happen.

If this is how he treats you and your relationship now, imagine how he would treat you if you signed over your half of the house? Imagine how he would treat you if you did get married, heaven forbid. A girlfriend or wife who pays rent on a home she used to co-own?

Whatever social contract you signed up to by becoming engaged has now been broken by his indecent proposal. If this house is rising in value, I suggest you both rent it out, live separately, and show him that what he thinks you want you don’t want anymore. Or else sell the home.


Whatever social contract you have signed has been broken.

Did he need you to co-sign this mortgage, or is this just a random change of heart? Either way, stop calling him your fiancé for the purposes of this dilemma, and just view him as another human being who is offering you a bad deal, and using emotion to get it over the line.

If he tries to woo you back, remember this is who he is. People don’t change. A partner who would make such a suggestion won’t change who he is, he will merely put up a different type of wallpaper and move the furniture around to make you think everything is shiny and new.

You stayed with this man not because you wasted years but because it took the amount of time it took to learn what it was you were supposed to learn from this experience. Among the lessons: You deserve a good relationship, and you are able to face life on your own.

You can email The Moneyist with any financial and ethical questions related to coronavirus at [email protected]

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