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Feeling used

  • 25-02-2021 12:10pm
    Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser

    This lockdown is is tough to say the least. I'm losing motivation. I go for a walk every morning and afternoon, I will admit does wounders for me. I am on furlough until further notice. I live with my girlfriend and her parents. We are together 4 years and saving for a house like most late 20 year old couples these days. My girlfriend is still working and leaves the house at 7am and often doesn't return home until 6pm. I'm on my "own" most of the day. In saying that my gifriends parents treat me as their own son which is lovely in a sense but they really don't give me a minute. I don't drive so Ive to walk to do the shopping, I'm not complaining about this but what has infuriated me lately is when I go to the shops I always ask if the parents want or need anything that is always met with a No. I go to the shops and my phone rings and it's parents looking for something, pointless stuff. Being on furlough means my wages have been cut back to the point of nothing and I'm either reliant on my girlfriend or using little bit of savings that isn't for the house deposit. This means, spending money I genuinely don't have much of. My gifriends parents know this and have asked me numerous times to buy them drinks and other grocery bits and never offer to pay me back. We aren't living here rent free and their house is mortage free so I know they are not short of cash themselves. What broke the camels back today was they rang my girlfriend in work and told her that I was in bed too late, it was 9am and they have been waiting all morning for me to go to the shops for them. I don't go out of my way to do their grocery shop but like I said if I am going, I always ask if they want anything. This morning the only person I spoke to was my girlfriend when she woke up but they told her that I woke up and told them I wasn't going to the shops for them. Cue my girlfriend ringing me giving me a right earful until she realised that I haven't even moved from the bed let alone went downstairs. It's nearly 12pm, I'm starving but I'm point blankly refusing to awknowledge them. I heard the dad leave the house which I assume is going to the shops himself. The mother has made her point of annoyance buy blearing the telly and speaking loudly on the phone. I'm pretty sure she's purposely setting the dog to bark at random times (paranioa talking here)

    The last couple of weeks I've spoken to my girlfriends parents about lack of money myself and that I am in no means asking for anything but I am asking them to help in terms of paying me back when they ask for something. I know this sounds greedy and believe me, its not nice. We pay over €500 a month in rent which I find absurd but if it provides a roof over our heads then fine. We also pay our half of the bills which is reasonable as we used the electricity just as much as they do. My girlfriend said she thinks that our "rent" money is going towards helping with a deposit but I firmly belive, they spend this money on drink and pointless crap that I see around the house. It's neither here nor there between us, point being, I simply can not afford to hop skip and jump to shops when they want something they can afford. This also conisides with the helping around the house. I do my fair share and I make sure to never leave mess unattended. When I'm cooking I cook for all of us but the parents always leave their plates in one room and skip off to bed or for their walks, leaving me to clean up. This among the other things they do.

    Maybe it's because I'm out of work and see it more but I feel like it's getting worst as the days go on. My girlfriends parent don't do anything for themselves unless I offer to do something. I try not to offer but I feel that they are allowing me to stay under their roof that I am obliged to help. My girlfriend isn't lazy by any means and will do her fair share when she can. She works 5 out of 7 days but will take up any overtime when she can. When she comes home, dinner is there and house is clean we far as I'm concerned for her. This makes me look like a house husband of some sort but I'm not one to sit around and do nothing. I don't smoke or drink myself and the most adventurous thing I do is go on walks and video call friends. My girlfriend works hard to keep the financial aspect of things going until my job is safe to return. In the meantime I'm going through my days doing small task here and there to pass the time

    Sorry for the ramble and vent. My friends think I'm mad and should just move out myself and let me gifriend stay over from time to time. Renting is really expensive as it is so I couldn't even attempt that one



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,509 ✭✭✭YellowLead

    A couple of questions - do they expect you to do all of their shopping for them? Do they have a car themselves? Are they elderly?

    Sounds like you are being taken advantage of if you are paying rent and half of bills but are also expected to do all the shopping cooking and housework?
    What they spend the money on by the way is besides the point.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,647 ✭✭✭✭punisher5112

    Can you move back with your own family for a time?
    If yes I would.
    When doing shopping do online if possible especially for bulky items as you're not driving.

  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser

    Thanks for the replies. My parents have passed on and I was brought up my grandmother who pased on 2 years ago. The only family I have is my girlfriend and her parents reliscally. I moved into my girlfriends house soon after my grandmother passed. Her house was a council house and soon after she passed away the council done way to take the house back. I wasn't in any fit state to fight for the home so I packed all that was needed. I have brothers and a sister who live around Ireland and although their offers to help are there, my job is in Dublin. Permitting I can return that is. I have applied for a couple of jobs whilst on lockdown in the hope to secure a small part time job for the time being, I'm not having any luck.

    My girlfriends parent do their food shop online but it's when I do my own shop they all of a sudden declare they actually need something they've suddenly forgotten. Elderly being in their 70s, fit as a fiddle bar their drinking habits in the evenings. Other than that health wise, they can go for walks and do their far share when possible. They choose not too. These forgotten items would be something random like a whole chicken or roast lamb, not a carton of milk. Things you would need if you want to make a full dinner. Funnily they don't forget to buy wine or beer as it's usually their first items on the list following with some grocery bits. My issue doesn't lie on what they spend their money on exactly but the fact that they expect more than needed and then ask for more without giving back. My girlfriend set up a plan to help keep her parents in check in terms of knowing what's for dinner and it's up to them if they want to have something different but alas it's usually me that's buying the groceys and cooking. I know I sound ungrestful and should be thankful I have a roof over my head regardless of the circumstances but I feel like their constant eyes and checking what I am doing day in and day out is driving me demented. So much so that they ask if I am going out anywhere particular and what time I plan on going and if I arrive home later than they expected, my girlfriend has received phone calls saying I havent come home. I want to be under the impression that they are like this because they care but I feel trapped if I am honest

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,681 ✭✭✭Porklife

    I feel trapped just reading your post Op.
    A few years ago I was living in my boyfriends parents house having just returned from living abroad. My parents have also passed away and I was grateful for their help and a roof over my head. I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother, the house being sold must have been really hard on you.

    Anyway, his parents were lovely to me but like you, I felt trapped. My boyfriend was working 9 to 5 and I was alone all day.. well his parents were there..but i felt alone all day job hunting. I was also asked my plans for the day or how my job hunt was going and if i was going to the shops they'd often say oh could you get x, y or z. It's their house and I understand that but like you, I felt really smothered.

    I really think you should move out. It's only going to get worse over time as you feel more trapped and it could impact on your relationship with your girlfriend. Rents have come down considerably during lockdown and im sure you could find a house share with people your own age near by. I think it would be really good for you.

    If that's not a feasible option, try to figure out what the ideal set up in your current situation would be. How can you alter the dynamic to make it work for you and indeed for them?
    The shopping for example. Could you also shop online as you dont drive? They may be less inclined to add things on if you're sitting in front of them doing an online order. It would also only need to be done once or twice a week as its getting delivered so you could order more. That might eliminate that issue.

    I know its frustrating Op but I think those are your options...move out or try improve your current set up cos it will melt your head otherwise.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 30,648 Mod ✭✭✭✭Faith

    Tbh, I'd stop answering the phone to them when you're in the shop. If they don't tell you before you leave, then ignore their calls and texts and pretend you haven't seen them. They'll learn quick enough. Then when they start requesting things before you go, say something like "No worries, what weight of lamb? Grand, a leg that size will probably cost about e15" and just wait expectantly. If they say "Oh we'll pay you back once you get home", say "Sorry, I don't have any spare cash because of being furloughed. I can go back out later and buy it if you need to get money, or you can bank transfer it to me now and I'll wait until it arrives to head off". Just stop allowing them to take advantage of you. You're not being unreasonable!

    That, or add up the cost of everything you buy them in a month then deduct that from the next month's rent. Make sure you keep receipts if you do that.

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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 158 ✭✭Zebrag

    Hi OP

    Living with parents can be annoying at times and living with your partners parents can be just as worst! I done this myself before myself and partner rented our apartment and there's been talks of us doing it again in order to save. The thought absolutely kills me but I know some sacrifices have to be made. His father is a drinker and a bit of a moosher himself and will happily fed himself off other people if it's offered. I'm not sure if it's an age thing or just something people do after a certain age. He himself sound a bit like your girlfriends parents, would happily sit around and have things handed to him without offering to help

    From previous experiences and frustrations, I empathise with you big time but the one thing I will say is stand your ground. Be firm. You go to the shops to buy the food and other things you need, don't offer to get anything unless their request seemed absolutely necessary. If anything, I wouldn't be offering at all seeing as you've stated that they do their shop online and more than capible to buy what they need.

    Another advice i would give and it's the hardest one, bite your tongue. I tell you this because it doesn't matter what you do or don't do, they will question and report to your girlfriend. It doesn't matter what it is. It seems like her parents are nosey more than concerned from what I've picked up from your post. Your girlfriend might feel the brunt of this as she's hearing your side and their side and is trying to keep the peace, bearing in mind she is the one in work while everyone is at home so I'm sure she might have a dread in going home knowing she has to hear complaints and moans from all sort of angles as soon as she gets in the door. Belive me, my partner had his fair share of my whinging and I told him to be prepared if it happens again when we take up the offer to move in with his father in the future. It's not easy really!

    I want to state about the rent aspect though. If you know her parents are mortage free and you're paying €500 plus extra on the bills, have you questioned as to what exactly you're paying for? I know if it was me, I want to know exactly where my money is going and you've also said you're not exactly in a financial position to be coughing up for things you're not sure for. I would understand if this went towards the upkeep of the house, mortage, rent etc but to say you don't know what it's going towards and you know your bill money is going towards something, I would be inclined to find out exactly what this is for. Mind you, I would like to believe your girlfriend and think they are saving your "rent" to help but I would still ask.

    For the most part I think you're just doing what needs to be done to keep yourself going. The cleaning and cooking, I would keep to a minimum. Cook for yourself and gifriend, and the cleaning. Her parents sound like people that are fairly capible but have relied heavily on you due to their laziness. I don't condone the fact that they are 70s and in most peoples eyes, old, but if they are healthy enough to get themselves up, go for a walk and have a drink or two of evening, they are able to cook their meals and fend for themselves. My grandparents are the same age and wouldn't even dream of asking for anything because they are very capible

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,292 ✭✭✭TheBoyConor

    I guess it sounds a little like they are taking advantage, but at the end of the day you are under their roof so you have to cut them some slack and tow the line to a degree.

    I would tend to agree with them about being annoyed that you are not getting up in the mornings. It is not a good look and gives off a very poor impression in my opinion. They might be worried about their daughter's future being with a man who sleeps in bed until 9am or midday. Even if you haven't work to go to , you should be up and out early , say no later than 8am. Be out looking for work whereever you can get it. Even just causal work, or doing cleaning or odd jobs for people, or a few hours here and there. Do jobs around the house. Do anything to make yourself useful or be productive. Sitting on your arse in no place for a man.

    If they are in their 70s they are probably from a generation who wouldn't think much of a man who didn't have much motivation.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,692 ✭✭✭Xterminator

    Hi Op

    those (entitled) parent in laws really are not going to change their ways. acknowledge that 1st and foremost. your not going to come up with a magic form of words that transforms their behaviour.

    your girlfriend is between a rock and a hard place when their are tensions between you and her parents, and more especially so when you are living with them.

    now if you acknowledge those two facts, the last couple of posters are right, improve your current situation, or change it. modern tools like revolut app make splitting a bill real easy, but is her dad gonna get a revolut card?

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,743 ✭✭✭✭Purple Mountain

    Could you and your gf both move into a double room house share?
    For what you're paying the parents in rent and bills, you might actually save money in a house share.
    Explain your frustration and claustrophobia to your gf.
    She should understand really.

    To thine own self be true

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,292 ✭✭✭TheBoyConor

    I don't really think things like revolute are going to help. The mechanics of the situation are not the issue.

    Maybe they would be willing to give a few quid for shopping and the like if he was to have more motivation and offer to do things around the house . Do a few repairs, or clean up the garden or what not.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,029 ✭✭✭SusieBlue

    I don't really think things like revolute are going to help. The mechanics of the situation are not the issue.

    Maybe they would be willing to give a few quid for shopping and the like if he was to have more motivation and offer to do things around the house . Do a few repairs, or clean up the garden or what not.

    Why should he? He is paying rent, covering his half of the bills and cleaning up after himself. Yes, they are very good to allow him to live there but considering he’s covering his own costs and then some, he doesn’t owe them anything else.

    He is not their servant and shouldn’t have to do up their garden or repair their old crap just to win their approval, or get back money they owe him. I doubt they’d have the same attitude if the roles were reversed.

    I would also argue that sleeping in till 9am when you aren’t working doesn’t make you a waster.
    I was unemployed for some time after the first lockdown last year and the days where I got up early to be ‘productive’ were absolutely endless when I had very little to fill them with, and ended up making me feel mentally worse than I did on the days I slept in a bit.

    Respect and boundaries go both ways and I don’t think they’re holding up their end of the bargain. Being out of work and living in lockdown during a pandemic is stressful enough without having to deal with stuff like this.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,681 ✭✭✭Porklife

    I don't really think things like revolute are going to help. The mechanics of the situation are not the issue.

    Maybe they would be willing to give a few quid for shopping and the like if he was to have more motivation and offer to do things around the house . Do a few repairs, or clean up the garden or what not.

    To be fair to the Op, he has said he cooks for all of them and cleans the parents plates away when they leave them in the room and go off to bed. He cleans and does jobs around the house and offers to pick up shopping when he's going to the supermarket. He is not unemployed and lying around in a hammock demanding pina coladas. You're implying that he's lazy and he sounds far from it.
    9am is hardly a long ly in. He said he's up at that time most days and stayed in his room till 12 today out of frustration.
    Give the guy a break!

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,858 ✭✭✭Church on Tuesday

    Anonlad wrote: »
    My friends think I'm mad and should just move out myself and let me gifriend stay over from time to time. Renting is really expensive as it is so I couldn't even attempt that one

    Your friends are dead right. For the love of God man, if you can at all with the situation the world is in, try find a houseshare or something.

    Mammy and daddy have a nice handy arrangement for themselves here. You are being taken advantage of. At the very least ask your GF to stick up for you (she should already) and have a word with them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser

    I guess to respond to a previous poster about waking up on time and giving the impression that I'm an unmotivated person. I wake up around 6am when my girlfriend wakes up for work. I might stay in bed until half 6 if I'm feeling adventerous. In that time I make myself breakfast and do a clean around to keep the place going. Herselves parent don't wake up until around half 8, 9am themselves. I'm not one to do nothing like I said that means I wake up early so I can be up and doing things. If by keeping maintences in the house as in attending things that need to be fix, I guess I should of added that into my original post. I stressed out that when I do everything, I pretty much do everything even though my girlfriends father is more than capible to help me fix things as well. Apologise for not informing that. I have not once gave any impression that I'm not attempting to look for any part time work. Her parents know I'm on furlough and know I'm under no circumstances going to be lazy due to this fact. My upbringing has never allowed me to be of the sort to laze around and my girlfriend knows this. I feel her parents know I do more than enough, but slightly take the piss in knowing this which is added to my annoyancy. For the purpose of the bills, I pay them into their own bank accounts and for the rent, it's the same. I suppose going for a mortage in the future, this could look good as upkeep of payments but for me, its a bit hard to understand what it's going towards.

    I'll definitely take on the advice for the shopping, ignoring their calls and text and saying I didn't see them seems like a better idea. I will also add in the price of anything if they need it. The reason I don't do any online shop is because going to the shops is my way of heading out for an hour or so from the house. Beside my walks it gives me a reason to go out so I'm not constantly stuck inside. They seem to leave the house for their daily walks and do everything else from their home online, which is fine. They are more than capible of buying online and aren't in need to be shown. Funny as I write this, a friend is looking for a house share where he lives. It's a single bedroom and he said he will have me as first refusal so I've to chat to herself later on and see what the plan is. I think the relationship side of things, my girlfriend knows how much pressure I am on with her parents. She sees the frustrstion and knows that I'm doing all I can do keep on their good side and keep myself going but there's only so much I can take myself. Like I said, I've no motivation due to being on furlough but I will keep the house clean and do what needs doing.

  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 158 ✭✭Zebrag

    I don't really think things like revolute are going to help. The mechanics of the situation are not the issue.

    Maybe they would be willing to give a few quid for shopping and the like if he was to have more motivation and offer to do things around the house . Do a few repairs, or clean up the garden or what not.

    Cue eye rolling here

    There's always one! Find the one thing that's not even part of the equation and turn it into something else.

    OP has stated that he's had to declare he's on furlough and the parents haven't gotten the hint to pay for their foods. OP cleans and cooks, whether he does the gardening or fixes the press doors really shouldn't be classed as showing motivation. If anything the parents should be telling him that they are appreciative of his presence and thankful that he's willing to cook. Not a lot of in laws will agree their childrens spouses would do the same.

    Give the chap a break and stop trying to find the negative in something else

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,145 ✭✭✭StevenToast

    Get out op...get out now

    "Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining." - Fletcher

  • Registered Users Posts: 770 ✭✭✭munstergirl

    Next time your in the shop and they want a leg of lamb buy some lamb mince and say that's all they had or you could say you already bought something else for dinner & cook for everyone.

    They are being very mean & stingy asking for expensive things, just buy cheaper version if you want and or say you can't afford it. Or come home empty handed and say you forgot. Make no apologies for not buying expensive things.

    Tell your girlfriend how your feeling and what's going on while she's at work, it's not easy being stuck at home. Save your money for the end of lockdown if you can.

    I agree with the above poster, don't answer your phone in shop or leave it at home.

  • Administrators Posts: 13,029 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Big Bag of Chips

    I think from what you say your gf's parents are becoming resentful of your presence in the house. Why else would they make up lies to your gf?

    If you are not working at the moment, and your family have offered for you to stay with them, I think it would be good for your own sake to get a break from where you are for a few weeks. You seem to be paying a lot and it's not a constant amount for a house share. You and your gf are likely to get a house share together cheaper.

    It might be something worth looking in to at least.

    You are living under their roof, and they are very unlikely to change dramatically. So you either accept them as they are, or you maked changes yourself.

    These past couple of months since Christmas are proving incredibly difficult for people. You need to take care of your own head. Living in that house for the foreseeable future doesn't seem like a good option for you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser

    Thanks for all the replies I have received. To answer a couple of things my girlfriend understands exactly how I feel. She is under no illusion that her parents are anything but perfect. She herself experiences a lot of their demands and so far to say that when she finishes work, she has to ring them to double check they want anything from the shops, even though I've been and went and they have been inside all day. It's a really strange dynamtic and one would say, controlling. Their behaviour has no excuse or concern as from a young child my girlfriend has enver brought an ounce of trouble to their doors and from the moment they met me, I've been nothing but courteous so their behaviour is extreme in a sense. I could say that their parenting is lazy but it's hard to pin point why they are the way the are.

    I have family that are scattered around Ireland and my job is located in Dublin. As much as I would love to take up on their offer, travelling wise it wouldnt be possible. My previous post stated that a friend contacted me to say a room in his house share is available. It's a single bed. I spoke to my girlfriend about this and she is 100% on board for me to take this room. She doesn't feel hard done or that I'm leaving her. She knows that for my mental health and sanity, staying in this house isn't doing me any favours and it certainly isn't help us on the best days. My girlfriend said she will speak to her parents later on about their behaviours and see if we can all come to an agreement. This I feel won't do anything and potentially make the behaviour worst now that it's been called out. My girlfriend knows I have two options and will support either and I've agreed to take up the offer of my friend. My girlfriend has agreed to stay over and visit once restrictions are gone. I will miss her, especially after living together for so long and it will be strange but I've told myself it's not forever and in the meantime I can save more and so will she.

    Thanks to fellow posters for their advise and my girlfriends support, I've made a pact with myself to save as much as I can on the side and get an engagement ring for her and propose during the summer when restrictions are lifted and we can go on a mini break (don't worry she's not on boards) If it want for the positive advice and kindness from posters and their help in making me realise that I should of done this last year, I will still be in my room now starving. So thank you all. I hope you all keep healthy and safe =-)

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,743 ✭✭✭✭Purple Mountain

    Dont bother speaking to them about their behaviour, just move out.
    They might try to dissuade you, just move out.

    To thine own self be true

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,292 ✭✭✭TheBoyConor

    How will you handle the gf if she freaks out over you moving out?

  • Registered Users Posts: 56 ✭✭Sevenup79

    You are better off not to get your girlfriend to talk to her parents. They want your rent money but they don't want you. They could probably attack you for raising concerns, and turn it back on you. This could create a black cloud long term. Just say you don't want to be under their feet and take the room. I would be afraid they could say things will change, then when your friend has given the room away, they could go back to their old ways.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,858 ✭✭✭Church on Tuesday

    OP, I'd take the room your friend has going basically right now and make some kind of plan with your GF regarding the future, you have her blessing and support which is vital.

    You will be glad for the independence.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,310 ✭✭✭Loveinapril

    How will you handle the gf if she freaks out over you moving out?

    The OP responded above and said his girlfriend is grand.

  • Posts: 0 Jovanni Eager Pea

    You should turn night into day and avoid them. Stay up till about 6am and sleep on till 4pm. By time you are up then your girlfriend will be back from work.

  • Administrators Posts: 13,029 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Big Bag of Chips

    TheBoyConor, can you please make sure you read posts properly before replying.

    All posters are also reminded to offer advice to the OP in their replies.

  • Don't buy a house anywhere near her parents.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,743 ✭✭✭✭Purple Mountain

    Also, when restrictions ease again and inter house visits are allowed, you and your gf will have a lot more privacy in your house share when she visits.

    To thine own self be true

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,681 ✭✭✭Porklife

    How will you handle the gf if she freaks out over you moving out?

    Firstly, the Op already said she understood and is supportive.
    Secondly, why would she freak out? You have a tendency to jump straight to the negative even when none exists. It's not helpful.

    Really happy you've decided to take the room Op. Exciting times planning to get down on one knee too! Happy times ahead:)

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,919 ✭✭✭Bob the Builder

    Also OP, I assume you are claiming PUP welfare supports during your period of furlough. If so, contact your local Intreo Centre and ask about rent allowance/rent supplement. As you're a tenant, irregardless of circumstances, you should be entitled to rent support.

    There'll be a CWO (Community Welfare Officer) that can help you out financially in the short term too if you need to pay deposit etc to move into the single room.

    Whilst there's generally at least two/three sides to every story, it sounds like you're trying your best and are self-aware and attentive. Difficult situation to be in and I wish you all the best.

This discussion has been closed.