Who should get the house?

As a long time lurker here at the Dope I’ve read and learned a lot of interesting things. One of the most useful of those is the incredible perspective that you folks are able to give to just about any situation, and that is why I find myself now writing this post. Sometimes world shattering discoveries demand multiple perspectives.

To cut to the chase, I found out that my girlfriend of 3 years has been cheating on me. Not for too long, but she has admitted it just the same. 3 years might not be a long time to some people, but there’s still a lot invested in that time. Obviously the relationship is over. I’m not even about to attempt putting trust into something that has been so completely broken.

MY problem now is this, we have a house that we rent and the only people living here are her, myself and her 5 year old daughter from a previous relationship. The lease doesn’t end for another 6 months and we don’t want to try and deal with the property manager to get out of it. We’re really faced with 3 options but I can’t logically or emotionally figure out which is the best.

  1. I can kick her and her kid out. I can afford the house by myself, but then I feel like crap for kicking her out and her 5 year old who’s just started school and done nothing wrong.

  2. I can leave myself but she’s a full time student and I know she can’t afford the house even though she attests otherwise.

  3. We can live together and just separate the living areas. I’d move into the basement and she’d stay upstairs. They’re about equal size but then we’d not only have to see each other on a daily basis, but I’d have to deal with whatever guy she starts bringing home.

Option 1 was my initial decision, but even though the relationship is over I still care about her and her kid and I don’t want to just boot them out.

Option # 2 might seem more honorable, but I can’t help but see it as accepting defeat when I’ve done nothing wrong. She’s the one who was unfaithful, why should I put myself out for her mistakes?

Option # 3 is just a temporary solution until we can figure this out. I really can’t see us living together for another 6 months under these circumstances.

I’ve already had my private pity party with a couple friends over drinks last night and they all agree that option 1 is the way to go. I just can’t help but feel its wrong because I’m not just kicking her out, but her kid too.

Sorry if that was long and disjointed, but as anyone who has been in a similar situation can attest to, you’re never quite in your right mind after stuff like this. So what say you folks. Where do I go from here? All sagely words to help resolve this situation are greatly welcomed. I want to figure this out, I just want to avoid feeling like the “bad guy” at the end.

There is no easy solution to this. I feel for you. My son went by a similar situation a few years ago, and he tended to drag things out because he felt bad for his girl friend’s two little boys with whom he had bonded. Dragging things out just made the final separation harder, and my son suffered a great deal. Sometimes it’s kinder to be cruel, goes the adage.

In the final analysis, the daughter is the responsibility of her mother, not yours. Let the mom solve the problems caused by her own actions. I get a feeling that the reason she feels she can cope with the rent on her own is that she has someone pretty serious who’s able to back her up.

You are well rid of this faithless woman. Just hope that her network of family and friends can help her through this. It’s not your responsibility.

Good luck.

First, my sympathies. Seriously.

In my opinion, option 3 should be right out. That’s not where you want to be.

Beyond that, can I suggest two things? I notice that the way you’ve presented the options speaks to a particular perspective that might make this an unwinnable situation:

Option 1 can’t work, because you feel like you’re kicking her and her kid out. That feels like crap, and you’re going to feel guilty and bad. You’re being punished.

Option 2’s no good, because you’re accepting defeat, and you’ll feel like crap because you’re losing. You’ll feel guilty for accepting the loser’s share when you didn’t do anything wrong. You’re being punished.

You can’t win, you know? I’d offer the perspective that no matter what works better for you, you aren’t doing anything wrong by pursuing it. You can’t be forced to stay in a romantic relationship when there’s been infidelity; that’s your prerogative. You do have an option, but you are not in total control of the situation. Your girlfriend shared and shares control of your mutual and separate lives. If it is the case that you wish to remain in the house, and it is in your best interest to remain in the house, stay in the house. You don’t have to answer for your unwillingness to work out some kind of unbearable compromise.

If you really and truly think it’s in your best interests for her to stay, that’s reasonable enough as well, but I don’t think you do. It seems to me that your only reason why you wouldn’t stay is misplaced guilt about the five year old. Stop holding yourself to an unattainable standard. Something is going to change, due to circumstances that you ought not to let yourself feel responsible for. The only question now is which of the realistic options is best, and I’d just caution you not to make that decision based on anything but a rational consideration of your responsibility to yourself and your own happiness, as well as hers.

i’m not a legal anything.

if you both signed the lease: neither can kick the other out, both are responsible to make the rent no matter if they live there or not.

you need to renegotiate the lease or come to an agreement with each other.

option 3 is the easiest because you both pay and get and don’t have to trust each other.

Option one.

If you can’t stomach that, Option Three, but she moves into the basement.

I am very sorry this is happening to you, I’m sure it must be very painful to be betrayed in such a fashion.

My advice: Leave.

If she says she can handle the rent alone, take her at her word.

Pack up your things and go. Make her sign something or get your name off the lease.

You don’t put out a single Mom with child in school. She can get her shit together or not, which isn’t actually your problem, don’t hang around and watch. The 5 yr old demands the honesty of a clean break, I should think.

Rent another place next weekend. Move the following weekend. Don’t look back. Maybe squeeze in one more drunken pity party. Then, give yourself permission to move on.

Unfortunately the only way through it is not pleasant, whatever you choose.

Good luck to you, please let us know what you decide!

I think the number one consideration has to be the child and what is best for her. Not that your decisions have to be about her for the rest of your life, but your discomfort pales in comparison to her needs.

Option 3, with serious focus on making sure that what happens at the end of the 6 months is a good thing for the child.

Actually, the basement is finished and has about the same square footage as the upstairs does, just no kitchen. That and most of my stuff is already down there and hers upstairs.

Our lease has a nifty clause where one of the initial renters (me and her) and leave with ourselves removed from the lease provided we can find a replacement with proof of income. A bit of a pain, but not too hard to work around.

Thats very true too. I’ve really presented myself with a lose/lose situation due to my way of thinking. I know I need to do what is best for me, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want the best for them too. She may have done stuff to the point that I don’t want to be in a relationship with her, but I still care about her and her kid.

It’s not his kid.

Correct, although its close as I’ve been in her life since she turned 2 so she has grown up around me. It makes it tough because I love her like my own, but I don’t actually have any long term commitment to her.

A good friend was in a similar situation, except that they were married. She couldn’t afford her own place (and he didn’t want the marriage to be over) so they both stayed in the house, even after she brought a new boyfriend home. He said listening to them having sex was the kick in the head he needed – he knew it was over.

I second elbow’s excellent advice. Make sure your name is off the lease and leave.

And if I’ve learned anything from Judge Judy, it’s don’t leave any of your personal property behind. Don’t “loan” her your computer or your TV etc. – you might have to go to court to get it back.

If the landlord refuses to take your name off the lease, you might want to talk to an attorney.

You don’t want to live together, she can’t afford the place, and your lease has an escape clause if one of you wants to leave? Sounds simple to me. You stay, she leaves, and you get everything squared away with the landlord and with her making it all legal, removing all her rights and responsibilities regarding the place.

Either the landlord accepts you alone because you can afford the place yourself, or the landlord makes you find a new roommate. Either way, the bigger problem is solved by getting her and the kid out of your life so you can both move on.

Talk to the landlord and get a time frame going. See if you even need a roommate. Then, go to her and come to an agreement, in writing, with all parties, making it all happen.

You can’t kick her out, so if she can afford the place with a new roommate and she insists on staying, then go find her a new roommate and you leave.

If she can have sex with someone else, why cant HE take her and the daughter in???

Really, if this was supposedly a commited relationship, maybe you should let her face the concequences of her decisions.

I do admire you wanting to be a stand up guy (re her kid), but in reality you are not going to be a part of her or her childs life anymore, and prolonging the inevitable wont be in anyones best interest.

Men and women alike should realise if the “grass is greener”, dont expect the other party to foot the bill for the neighbors water.

I am sorry she is a liar and a cheat, I am sure you deserve better…

When the lease is up in six months, would she be moving out at that point if you’re the one to leave? What about you - do you plan to remain in this place and renew the lease if she leaves? I’m asking because if she plans to move out when the lease is up after you are the one to go, why would you feel bad for uprooting the five year old? Whether she has to move now or in six months, she’s still going to be out of there. This isn’t your fault, it was her decision to cheat.

If you have no intention of renewing the lease when the six months is up if she leaves now, than make a clean break of it now and find a new place.

I’m sorry this happened to you. She’s an idiot.

Thats actually a really good thought. I’ve been so caught up in everything else I didn’t even consider if either one of us was considering staying past the lease expiration. The initial plan was to stay, but that was when we were together. I’ll have to find out from her what she would plan to do. Thanks for the idea!

If you can’t get a new roommate or otherwise get around the current lease, then try to make an agreement with her and perhaps with the landlord where she moves out and you stay. She loses all right of possession of the property and you will pay the rent yourself. If anything goes wrong with your paying rent on your own, then the landlord can come after her for the rent… BUT you agree to indemnify her for any amount she ends up owing to the landlord if you failed to pay rent.

Whatever happens, don’t move out and trust her to pay rent herself with your name still on the lease.

This is good advice. She says she can handle it, let her handle it. You think she’s wrong? Maybe you’re right. It doesn’t matter though, it’s not your problem at this point.

Also, for what it’s worth, I’m sorry you’re having to go through this.

Option #2. Option #3 shouldn’t even be a consideration.

It might feel this way, but I think the other options will cause you a lot more grief and require a lot more effort than just moving into a new place. Through no fault of your own, someone else just made a mess of your life. The best way to straighten it out is to take back control of the situation. And the best way to take back control of the situation is to reject her behavior by moving out, finding a new place, and building a new future. It seems unlikely you’ll want to stay there after the 6 months are up anyway, so you may as well start investing your time into your new place.

In any case, sorry this happened and good luck.

Either 3 if you can deal with it or 2 with an offer to help out if necessary and possible for you.

I have 2 ex-wives. The first one and I had no kids. I left with some records, books and clothes. We are still friends 30 years later.

With the second I basically followed 2 and kept paying some joint bills as well as giving her money for the kids (she earns far less than me) up to our final settlement a couple of years later. She remarried recently and I bought them a wedding present. I still see the kids every couple of weeks.

Neither breakup was easy at the time but by not taking the “make a big shit fight about the whole thing” approach, I am not in the position of other people I know whose whole lives are poisoned by energy wasted on relationships that went wrong. You know them I’m sure, people who can give you embittered chapter and verse about some ancient domestic breakup.

So, why do you imagine you have any right to kick her out even if you want to? As I read this either of you can leave own, given certain conditions. There is no seniority, both names ore on the lease. Is there some other clause? Does she have some equal right to throw you out?