Is my girlfriend taking advantage of me?
We’ve been together for 1.5 years and we have been living together for about 5 months in my place.
I have a good situation, I live in the flat above my business which I can’t rent out because it doesn’t have a separate entrance. So I live here, rent free, and no bills. (Bins, electricity, water, Internet) and food is taken care of as well, (I own a restaurant) although we do like to cook our own meals regularly. She’s 20 and I’m 28. It’s a very successful business, but I like to keep the finances of the business solely with the business, in order to re-invest and I only keep a small wage for myself.
My girlfriend dropped out of college twice but is a very talented writer, and she said she was going to concentrate on her writing whilst living with me. She did this for about a month, writing a screenplay and lyrics for a song which is going to be in a Hollywood movie. I was very proud of her.
Her mum has always been a thorn in our side. Firstly, by not giving her an ounce of freedom when we first met and then forcing her to go to college unwillingly, (which she did, even though she wanted to take a year out) and it ended really really badly, resulting in her dropping out of college for the second time (I won’t get into that).
Her mum also had a major issues with her moving in with me. After the really really bad incident, my girlfriend and I decided that we wanted to live together, but after one month, her mum was getting increasingly annoyed and demanded my girlfriend stay in the family home ONE DAY A WEEK! (Can someone say “pointless!!?”) It was a compromise which my girlfriend came up with which her mum accepted.
Fast forward to today, and the issue at hand… my girlfriend is now working for her mother in her (desperately failing) business. I advised my girlfriend before she took the role to make things black and white about ownership, roles, future etc, or else I wouldn’t support it. (I have a huge amount of experience in familial-business relations, and know the issues that may arise down the line). My girlfriend keeps saying that she is going to “get” the business down the line, but this is too vague for my ears. My girlfriend didn’t heed any of my advice and is now on the cusp of making a success of the business, which I am proud of her for doing, but her mum is still in control of the business and any success that comes from it will only benefit her mother (Who is 55, unable to work, and financially irresponsible – hair, expensive car, clothes, jewellery).
Not only this, but my girlfriend was using money she made in another job and pumping it into the business!!!!!!! All the while not contributing anything financially in our home. Not to mention the fact that she’s not at home as much at all, and when she is, she doesn’t do a whole lot because she is too tired.
Final problem, I gave my girlfriend an iPhone to use last year cos I got the newer one. Within a month, the front screen was completely shattered and the back had a big crack in it. She had always maintained that she would get it fixed before giving it back to me, but a year later, it still wasn’t fixed and my aunt wanted to buy an old iPhone, so I asked my girlfriend to get the phone fixed. I badgered her for a month before she went and got it fixed, but only after a huge argument because I was getting hugely frustrated my aunt kept calling me about the phone. The killer point is that I ended up having to pay for it myself because “she had no money” (was pumping it into her mum’s business) and a month later, she still hasn’t paid me back.
During all of this, her parents thought it wise to go on a 10-day holiday as well, while she looked after the business. (Without pay)
She didn’t consult me about pumping money into the business and I feel she is overall too secretive with the discussions that go on in her family and I don’t want the situation of her living under her mother.
I asked my girlfriend to move out today because I can’t deal with everything that she is doing and me not feeling that we’re in it together. (She is very resistant toward leaving)
She says that she is doing it for us, that she wants to be financially independent like me and that she is going to own the business one day, but I can’t cope with her working for her mother.
Anyway, my point is that the girl I’m with now is not the same girl I fell in love with, although it can be argued that we are not defined by our profession, I feel her actions and her new life has drawn a chasm between us and even though what she is doing is similar to what I’m doing (business), it’s not what I really want.
Running a business is stressful, and for both of us to be in the same (separate) boat is not healthy and I only see a future fraught with these stresses.
Am I being totally unreasonable? Or is she taking advantage of my stable financial position in order to help out her mum? And if she is, should I be feeling so down about it?
Please help :(
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