Couch Conflict

SCL and I were having a lovely time at the National Mall, walking through the sculpture garden with iced coffees in hand. We decided to have a seat and just enjoy the people.

That's when he decided to say something that I found really, really offensive. I can't remember how it came out, but he basically asked me to give him back the money that he used to help pay for the couch. I flipped my shit. Seriously. I could not believe it. Just moments before I'd been offering to help with getting sheets and a comforter for his new place, and he had the nerve to ask me to pay him back for the couch!

Let's not forget that he was the one who broke up with me, he was the one who wanted to get back together, he was the one who wanted to find a new place. And now he wants me to pay back the stupid money he put in for the couch? I'm sorry, but this seems awfully petty. And fucking cheap. I may have told him that several times.

It's not like we're just two roommates who decided to buy a couch together. It's not just a practical, logical thing. It's not a business deal. No, his asking me to pay him back says to me, "I'm not even going to throw you a fucking bone." All of this adjusting and having to be understanding of him, and he wants a lousy few hundred bucks back? If that's the game we're playing, then give me back that $300 I spent on your winter coat, you cheap-o.

If you couldn't tell, I was steaming.

We sit silently. I hurl some biting comments at him. I tell him he's being ridiculous. Then finally he confesses, "I don't have much money right now, and I want to buy you a birthday present" (my birthday is next month). See how much different that sounds vs. 'I want you to pay me back for the couch, even though I'm the reason we won't be using it together anymore'? I still think it's weird for me to pay him so that he can buy me a gift. This is something a parent does for a child--here's $10, go get Mom a Mother's Day gift.

Sometimes SCL really sucks at saying things in a way that won't hit a nerve, though I get now what he was trying to say. I'm still not sure how I feel about giving him the money back though. What would you do?

15 comments:

  1. Wow! I seriously shook my head at thos post! I cant believe it....You guys bought that together everything in the apt should just be sorted out as far as like who gets what but paying the $$ back!? Thats ridiculous! Its not like you're getting it back brand spankin new! HELLO property value has gone down! But aside from that thats a personal blow. I cant really believe SCL needs a few hundred dollars for your gift...I would just say no. With the way things are going a thoughtful inexpensive gift would go way further than a pricey gift that YOU basically are buyong for YOURSELF! Good Luck missy! and keep us posted.

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  2. Well, he did say he didn't want all of it back. His share was about $300--and he said he wanted $200 back. Still seems like a lot for a used couch. But yeah, it's just an awkward situation. I'm sorry his financial situation is tight, but he's the one who signed up for this student life.

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  3. I've noticed, at least with my husband, that guys can be proud and have a hard time admitting when they're low on funds. Hubby actually went out and bought me this gorgeous printer that I wanted but then he couldn't afford gas for his car.

    As sweet as it was, I told him that getting to work is probably a smidge more important than a fabulous color printer.

    Men.

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  4. I imagine he needs the cash for other things as well, not just a birthday gift.

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  5. Well....I have to take his side on this. A little. Which doesn't mean I don't understand your feelings, because I do. But...the couch isn't very old, from the sounds of it (can't remember when you bought it), and it was purchased by both of you. It's not like you can take a saw and cut it down the middle. Well, I guess you could, but why wreck a perfectly good couch? Actually, that would be kind of funny. But, seriously, it was purchased by both of you so technically, you both own it. And he isn't asking you for the full amount. For this reason, I have to take his side. Now, I know you've paid for some things for him, but, again, technically they were gifts, so you can't include them in this particular issue. You give gifts freely and without strings. Should he be taking that into account now? Yes. But my guess is he's looking at this as strictly a business thing, and you can't ignore his cirucumstances. He IS a poor student, so that money means a lot to his livelihood. Even if he were to spend it on you for your birthday, it wouldn't be you spending it. He would be using the money you paid him back for his share of the couch, so it would be his money. If you took this on Judge Judy, I think she'd be telling you that you have to pay him. Honestly, I think it's only fair. He paid for half, he should get his share back, minus depreciation. I understand your feelings, too, because I do think it's a little tacky for him to ask knowing that you have given him some nice gifts. But I think he's looking at it practically and without emotion. If it were me, I'd just give him the money because it wouldn't be worth the battle. In the end, you still have the couch and you love it.

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  6. There are two situations at play. One is the equity in the couch (wow, that sounds silly). The other is his financial situation, which I am not responsible for. I don't appreciate him using my birthday as reason for me to cave and pay him. The problem I have is that he is forgetting about how generous I have been with him, for instance, the use of my car (he helps with insurance, but is not responsible for the car's upkeep). Am I just supposed to stop that? Start keeping a record?

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  7. From a man's POV....he is being ridiculous. The fact that the couch has to go "somewhere" other than an apt. that includes both of you is his fault. He should quietely concede all mutual property to you if you need it and will use it. You owe him absolutely no money. He should not even be asking you. I understand that he has been stressed and confused during the last few months but now he has simply lost it. If the relationship works out will he give the money back? It all just silly. Also, if the wallet is a little thin right now, which we all understand then he doesn't need to spend $300 for a gift. And if he feels the need then get it from somewhere else. It sounds like he made that up at the last minute to explain why he wanted the money back and to diffuse the question.

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  8. Brian, I think you're right about the last part. He's used to me conceding to his needs, and using my birthday as an excuse was lame. I've been a little low on cash, too, so I've been selling stuff on eBay. He could do the same or now that school is out, get a job on the weekend. There are plenty of options for earning a little extra cash.

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  9. Now that you mention that he uses your car, I am now with you 100%. Does he not understand that cars require upkeep and since he isn't paying it, then he's basically using the car for free, because let's face it, the insurance is to cover his ass, too. Now I would just tell him you will consider his half of the money as reimbursement for using your car. I mean, if he's going to get picky, then so can you.

    Don't pay him.

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  10. ya no i wouldnt pay him anything for that couch either.

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  11. As someone who is ending a 17 year marriage to someone who gave signs like this in the very beginning, I would say no, please do not pay him back. One of the things that ruined my relationship is that we weren't a team. Team players don't do things like this. Also, I didn't stick up for myself. It doesn't mean he has to like everything you ask for but if you compromise yourself and your values like I did, it will only get worse over time. You will end up paying a lot more than that. Your gut instinct is a lot sharper than mine when I was your age.

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  12. Thank you, Anon, for your wisdom. I'm sorry to hear about your marriage, but I appreciate your insight. The thing is, I don't know if we're a team right now. I don't know what we are, and I'm not sure how much patience I have left to figure that out.

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  13. hmmm this all seems kinda of strange to me, especially since he said he wanted it to buy you a birthday present. I'm not sure what to think

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  14. Yeah the birthday present thing is the icing on the fucked up cake, IMHO.

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