Dilemma... SO recieving SSI, while I work full time? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 42 Old 06-02-2011, 07:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, I have a dilemma here and I'm wondering if anyone here can give me some perspective on this situation, from a financial perspective.

 

I am currently dating a guy who doesn't work, but receives SSI benefits due to a mental disability (he is bipolar and clinically depressed, although this is currently well controlled by his medication.) I currently work full-time as a nanny, making about $800-900 a month, and am planning on attending school in the next month or two for medical coding and billing. We both live at home with our parents - I am 22, he is 26.

 

So, we were talking and I told him that I am concerned about the fact that if/when we move in together, maybe start a family someday (not for a while, obviously) I will pretty much have to be the breadwinner, seeing as he makes only about $670ish from SSI. I feel like I will have to be working all the time to support us/our family and that's not really what I want - I want to be able to spend lots of time with my child(ren), especially when they are young. Not knocking working/student/single mamas at all, it's just something that I've always wanted to do, right now I do the closest thing - being a full-time babysitter. Maybe I'm just having a hard time picturing myself juggling both a career and mommyhood...? Although I certainly know it's possible.. At any rate, I'm certainly willing to work part time or even full time if necessary, I'm really not an office-y career-type girl, but I feel like I'm willing to do whatever it takes, whereas he... feels that he can't (or perhaps won't.)

 

Anyways... my question is, is there anyone here who has been in a similar situation? How do you make it work, financially? Is there anything he can do to make under the table money, perhaps, or a way that he could work maybe part time but still receive SSI? Is there any chance of us ever being more than just scraping by day to day, especially seeing as how to continue to receive SSI he is not supposed to have more than I believe 2k in assets?

Side note... how do you handle the people that keep telling you that he's just lazy and to dump him? LOL. I know, this is not the relationship forum... just venting.  redface.gif

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#2 of 42 Old 06-02-2011, 08:55 PM
 
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I will try really hard to not give relationship advice - but from a financial perspective, it sounds like if this is the man you want to start a family with, you need to come to terms that you are going to be the main breadwinner.  If this is not what you want, then ummmm, yeah. 

 

I really do not think you should even go the route of trying to get under the table work that he can do. 

 

And not having more then 2K in assets . . . well, buying even a 'safe and reliable' car to put the baby in would most likely put you over the 2K mark.  What about owning a house?  Is this the kind of lifestyle you want to create and bring a baby or two into?  OK, trying to not get into relationship stuff.


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#3 of 42 Old 06-02-2011, 09:11 PM
 
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Hopefully someone who is in this situation will chime in.  I believe that you can have one paid off car and one with a loan, you can also have a mortgage.  I would not suggest working under the table as you could wind up in a world of hurt, but you can work a certain number of hours without it affecting your disability. 

 

If you are going to resent him because the stay at home parent role could naturally fall to him you need to figure that out now; $670 is not a lot of money.

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#4 of 42 Old 06-03-2011, 07:31 AM
 
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First off - good for you for thinking about these things now. It's very important.

Second - I'm not really in that situation and I know you were looking for someone who was.

Third - he's bi-polar and depressed but it's well-controlled on medication. That's good. He's 26 and on SSI.  Does he expect to continue on SSI for the rest of his life? Or is there a possibility of overcoming his disability? An awful lot of people with both bi-polar and depression are able to lead productive lives and engage in meaningful work.

 

Which brings me to my final question - does he have MEANINGFUL work in his life? It doesn't need to be paid, but he should be doing something with his time that brings him joy, satisfaction and meaning. This should be part of his treatment for his depression. Is he engaging in some kind of talk therapy in addition to taking the medication?

 

You sound like you have a good head on your shoulders and you may love this guy - but you're very young and believe it or not, there will be more loves. Don't get sucked into saving anyone who doesn't want saving. All of these things would be bigger concerns to me than how much money he made.


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#5 of 42 Old 06-03-2011, 10:26 AM
 
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A couple things I want to mention- and I don't want to offend anyone on here.  Mental health issues are a whole 'nother ballgame.  Just because meds are working this week, doesn't mean that something can't happen causing them not to work next week.  I've been there-sailing right along, great career, meds that worked for years and BAM, everything came to a grinding halt one day.  It took me a very very long time to become functional again.  And no I don't qualify for SSI.

Does your possible mate have meaningful 'work', does he volunteer, does he like to paint,etc- is he actively involved in therapy?(both med mgnt and 'talk therapy')

Is your possible mate happy with SSI of 670/mo for the rest of his life or does he want a change, a job, a career etc?   I would say if he doesn't have plans of wanting a career etc then you really need to think about the whole scenario.

 

But to answer your original question- working under the table is a huge no-no.

 

 


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#6 of 42 Old 06-03-2011, 12:08 PM
 
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well i have a friend that gets disability  and also works 25 hours a week answering phones.  he owns a home and a nice vehicle too.  between his part time job and his benefits he makes about as much as an able bodied person would.

 

it is possible to be a WOHM and have a spouse that SAH.  that is what x and I did and DH and I do.  i love it


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#7 of 42 Old 06-03-2011, 02:50 PM
 
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Scraping by SUCKS. And can challenge even the strongest of relationships. DH and I ended up here "accidentally". It is not something I would ever walk into intentionally.  I know you are asking for financial advice, and not relationship advice.  So I will back off, but my able bodied DH slipped into a deep depression when he was out of work, so the questions about whether he is doing something MEANINGFUL with his life is an important one, bcs that can help his mental health. ANd financial advice aside, all you need to do is read the parents as partners forum to realize that living with someone with depression and bipolar issues is a huge undertaking. Oops. I'm approaching things from a relationship standpoint, aren't I?  SOrry.

 

Listen, when I was 22 I was very idealistic and a hopeless romantic and told my friends that I'd be happy with a cigar band for an engagement ring if I loved "him". So I get where you are coming from and it's good that you are thinking about the logistics of what a life together will look like.

 

Me? I married a guy that has the ambition to take over the world but got a swift kick in the pants when the economy crashed. We are living in debt, underemployed, we qualify for WIC, state health, fuel assistance.  It's not a life that I would ever want for my kids when they grow up(I have three daughters). So proceed carefully. You get to choose, to a certain extent, the life you will lead. Mine didn't turn out the way I thought it would, but dh finally got work in his field and things are starting to get better. I know the potential is there, and there isa huge sense of relief in that. If I thought/knew we were going to STAY like this....ugh.

 

It sounds like you know what your priorities are...are you willing to give those up?

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#8 of 42 Old 06-03-2011, 03:15 PM
 
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Sounds like a tough situation! I just have one thought for you -- have you thought about skipping the medical coding training and seeing if there's a field you could get into that would allow you lots of time with your children? I'm thinking of things like starting an in-home daycare, since you love kids, or some other kind of small business... There are options that would allow you to be home and be the breadwinner at the same time, and you might be able to work this out even better than I did since you have so much time to plan accordingly. I work from home and DH does work (well, not at the moment, he's laid off, but usually he works!) and I have been the 'main' breadwinner for a while now because DH's field just doesn't pay well at all. I stay home with DS and do lots of fun things with him, so I get the best (and worst!! lol) of both worlds. I do wish we had done some things differently (perhaps not bought our house, for example) because it would have eased the financial strain a bit, but of course I did the best I could with the knowledge I had at that time, won't get into my personal reasoning here!

Sorry I do not have more info on how SSI works... though I wouldn't recommend working under the table, that could really backfire and I believe it's illegal...

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#9 of 42 Old 06-03-2011, 04:24 PM
 
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I agree with what the previous posters have already told you.  I'll add this:  The choice of whom you marry is just about THE MOST SIGNIFICANT FINANCIAL DECISION THAT YOU WILL EVER MAKE.  Does your SO even want to have a family and have a home-as-much-as-possible wife??--not clear from your post, but it's definitely something you should be talking about with him.  You want someone who shares your values and goals, and you're young enough to have plenty of time left on the biological clock, if things don't work out with this guy.

 

Things will be much simpler, financially, if you marry (whomever) before moving in together or entangling your finances or having children together.  I also strongly recommend premarital counseling--finances is one topic that is covered, along with other issues that are best faced sooner rather than later.  (Clergy often provide free premarital counseling.)

 

You'll generally be in better financial shape to have one parent stay at home with the children if you base your budget on a single income from the start (any other income can be saved or used for extras).  Not easy in a two-income world, especially with low income, but worth it.  I suppose SSI could considered part of the primary income, in this case.

 

I did date and marry and have children with someone that has had some serious financial and mental issues (not bipolar) , and I don't regret it--he is a good guy, and he has done a lot of growing up in the last few years.  But I was older (29), and we had known each other for years before we became interested in each other.  I also am used to living on a lower income, and somewhat enjoy the challenge of meeting financial goals, and I mostly don't mind being ten or more years behind my peers in terms of goals met (buying a home, etc.).      

 

 

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#10 of 42 Old 06-03-2011, 04:40 PM
 
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This is my mom's situation exactly. She works full time, and her husband recieves SSI. When they got married, they lowered the amount he gets due to her income. I'm sure if she had to do it over again, she would not choose the same path.

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#11 of 42 Old 06-03-2011, 05:58 PM
 
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#12 of 42 Old 06-03-2011, 07:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kristandthekids View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by weasleyx View Post

I am currently dating a guy who doesn't work, but receives SSI benefits due to a mental disability (he is bipolar and clinically depressed, although this is currently well controlled by his medication.)
Well controlled by his medication, but not controlled well enough that he can work?

I can't give you any advice on how to handle the people like me who would tell you to dump him. smile.gif
Seriously, there's 7 billion people on the planet. You can find someone else. zebra15 is right. Controlled now does not mean controlled later.

I have similar views to the above. If this man's illness is good enough on medication, then why doesn't he get back to work? And if its not.. do you really want him raising your kids? That is the part that makes me worry.greensad.gif
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#13 of 42 Old 06-04-2011, 09:54 AM
 
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I agree with the others in that just because meds work now, doesn't mean they will always work or that he will be willing to take them. And that if they are so well controlled, why doesn't he work? Is he perfectly happy to just receive SSI and not have to work? If so, what else is he perfectly happy to get by not doing? I dated a guy with severe bi-polar, he was my high school sweetheart, and even though I loved him, it was awful and his bo-polar really took a toll on the relationship. I eventually left him for a healthier guy and I am so happy I did. I feel bad for my ex that he has to deal with that in his life, but I was so young and I was not willing to deal with that, too, for the rest of my life. It would have negatively affected me forever. I couldn't even imagine having kids with him, because he didn't work or at least not very steadily and my dream was always to be a SAHM so I needed to be with someone who supported that dream for me, too, both financially and emtionally. Not that I only wanted to be with a rich guy by any means (because my DH is NOT rich LOL!) but a guy who would be willing to work a little extra harder and sacrifice a little more of the "extras" so that I could stay home. I agree with the PP who said scraping by sucks and it makes for a very hard life, in addition to the bi-polar, sounds like a tough road. If all your bf wants to do is sit back and collect SSI, then perhaps you should not get married because they will lower his amount and then you will have to work even harder. And medical billing and coding is hard to do from home in the beginning and even once you are lucky enough to land a WAH job, you can't do it with little kids around. So will your bf be up for watching the kids?

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#14 of 42 Old 06-04-2011, 11:50 AM
 
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When I was 19-21, I was engaged to a guy who sounds like he had some things in common with your SO.  My fiance had bipolar disorder with substance abuse issues and suicidal tendencies.  He was on disability, but did work part-time, under the table, as a bartender (not a great career for a guy with alcohol issues).

 

Honestly, I dumped him.  His grand plan was for me to drop out of college, get a full-time job, and have lots of babies as soon as possible.  Then he would be a SAHD/rockstar musician, and I would support the family.  Even though at the beginning of the relationship I was so head over heels in love with him that I promised him I was "sane and responsible enough for the both of us," I realized that I wouldn't be able to have the future I wanted if I married him.  I knew I wanted to be a stay at home mom when my kids were young, and I knew that some measure of financial stability was/is really important to my sense of well-being.  I knew I would resent him if we had a family together.  The other big issue for me was that my fiance stopped taking his medication every few months and would sink into a deep, paralyzing, can't get out of bed for weeks on end type depression.  I just didn't see how it would be possible for him to be the full-time parent in that situation.  If you do choose to marry this man, I would think seriously about how you would handle the situation if for some reason his meds stop working or he stops taking them.

 

I don't say this to scare you, but in my situation, I'm relieved we didn't have kids together.  My fiance ended up committing suicide the year after we broke up.  I knew that was a real possibility, and figured heavily into my decision not to have kids with him.

 

(This was mostly relationship advice and not financial advice, and I apologize for that).


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#15 of 42 Old 06-06-2011, 08:02 AM
 
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I watched a similar situation with a good friend and her family for over 6 years and it was a hot mess, to be honest.

 

Never enough money, her DH was not a good and functional caretaker for their young children, and she didn't want to leave her babies, so she worked from home, but didn't make enough to support them without relying on a ton of social services. Several of their kids have special needs themselves, which has added to their overall burden. And they just keep on having more of them (on baby #5 at the moment.)

 

Nothing about their situation is going to improve with time: her DH will only become more disabled (he has a progressive medical condition), their expenses will only increase as the children get older, and since they are continuing to expand their family, that only further delays her return to full-time work that might pay enough to support them. Not to mention the psychological and emotional toll all those burdens takes on both partners in the relationship.

 

Looking at it objectively, it's not a life many of us would deliberately choose.

 

Guin

 

 


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#16 of 42 Old 06-06-2011, 11:08 AM
 
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Everyone has made good points. You need to carefully consider the future. It doesn't sound like you are so head-over-heels that you can't. We have a good friend who is bi-polar and also has depression. In the last 20 years I'd say she has had 11 good working years (Harvard-trained attorney), five years of in-patient living, 1 year of living on the streets when her family couldn't find her,two suicide attempts and three years of working but being really unstable. She has the best possible support system (loving educated parents, brother who is MD, financial support). Like others said, controlled now is not controlled in the future. But it could be.

 

[Edited to add: She has chosen to not have or raise children because she has a strong genetic component to her condition (6 close relatives with bi-polar; five suicides in the family as well), takes strong medicine, and isn't willing to take the risk of become an unstable parent as her family ages. She also thinks that needing to care for another person will make her less able to care for herself, thus suffering a relapse.  She has had many serious relationships but her unwillingness to have children has always had the biggest issue. She has never been on SSI; her parent's have always provided financial support when she has needed it. When she is well and working, she provides for herself.]

 

As for finances, it might not be what you want but sometimes we have to accept what the people we love can bring to the table financially. If this is the person you want to love and have a family with, you may need to be the primary breadwinner even if you don't want to be. And no, I would not advocate finding under the table work.

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#17 of 42 Old 06-06-2011, 11:29 AM
 
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I agree with the others, and I wanted to share a friend's story because it's similar to the scenario that OP posted about.

 

My friend's dh has a back problem, had surgery, and is limited by the type of work he can do now. He was trained and was working in a job for years where he had to use his back but can't now. He has been searching for 2 years for an alternative type job but so far he has struck out. 

 

My friend (spouse of above dh) was working a good professional job, then decided to go back to school. She got full scholarship and just finished school, and just landed a job (yeah!). While she was in school they applied for gov't help and received food stamps, and family helped with rent.

 

Now she's about to start her new job which pays enough to support the family, but not enough to set aside savings and really be comfortable. But now they may not qualify for extra gov't help except for her dh's SSI if decides to apply for that finally. She will always be the main breadwinner and that's a lot of pressure on her. She will be working long hours and missing the kids, and watching her spouse take care of them. He is not a SAHD in his heart and is always trying to find a job, but having seen this pattern, not sure if he will ever really find one that he can do or likes.

 

My friend has good spirits but I can see this being a source of resentment over time. I am wondering the same thing about your situation. Love can only go so far, and then when the honeymoon is over you start to feel resentment and the realities of the life you both chose start to manifest and wear on you. Especially if that's going to be a permanant situation. If you can trust this person to be a good SAHD then great, but if his mental issues are going to sometimes affect the family and he's not one you can totally 100% rely upon, it's going to be really hard.


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#18 of 42 Old 06-06-2011, 12:16 PM
 
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I live with bipolar disorder (II). However, it was recognized very very early, and I have not needed meds to treat it.  I have never been hospitalized.  I have made choices to enable me to live productive life despite having to deal with it.  I can't fathom not deciding to be in control enough that I would ever qualify for SSI.  In my case- that would be a choice, it would mean waking up and not following through with the things I need to do to stay healthy in an emotional and physical sense.  Sure, I can see myself sliding down that hill if I wasn't careful, but that is precisely why I am careful. 

 

BPD does not generally mean that someone can't work and should qualify for SSI.  If it is very extreme, maybe, but I would not be in a relationship with someone that ill because it simply wouldn't lead to any semblance of a healthy life for anyone involved, and I sure as heck wouldn't choose to have a child with someone who was that poorly controlled. 

 

If your boyfriend wants to, he can get off SSI and contribute to society.  At this point that isn't the choice he is making. Do you want to be with him even if he decides never to be that kind of person?  Can you envision your life with someone who says his illness is well controlled, but still won't DO anything to effect positive change within his life for the long run?  

 

Yes, if you stay in this relationship and this man chooses to remain dysfunctional, you are setting yourself up for a very challenging life journey. 

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#19 of 42 Old 06-07-2011, 05:01 PM
 
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I have to agree with the other posters.  If he can not even hold a regular job, I would not trust him to be the primary caregiver of any children.  You are young.  I would walk away from tnis if I was you.


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#20 of 42 Old 06-07-2011, 05:31 PM
 
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I agree with the above posters....the person you choose to marry will have a huge impact on your financial life, and your personal life.

 

My first husband was not a very motivated person. We started dating in college. It should have been a big clue when we had been living together two months and I was working 16 hour days and he wasn't working, or doing any household chores. When we got had children, I had a difficult first (and second) pregnancy. I had to stop working, so we decided I would stay at home. It was very hard. For a long time, he worked two low paying jobs, we only had one car. I was trapped at home because I couldn't get out with the babies, and I didn't have anywhere to go anyway. The stress from financial insecurity really drove us apart (we had other problems too, but his lack of motivation was a large part of it). I was always pushing him, pushing him to get a job, pushing him to get a promotion. It was hard on me, and hard on him. No part of it was quaint, or cute. I enjoy being frugal with my money, and finding good deals. I did not enjoy counting change from the change jar to pay for the things we really needed. It was stressful - constantly stressful. The stress was exhausting. We racked up massive (to us) debt, and it was unlikely we would ever be homeowners.

After we split, I got to be very good with my money. I had to be, I was supporting the same household, on half the income. Surprisingly, it was easier and I was able to pay off about $14K of it in 3 years (I have less than 10K to go). But, it wasn't an easy road.

 

I would not chose to have a family with someone who is not financially stable. When it came time to find Husband #2 (DP for now...) I specifically looked for someone on good financial ground. I asked questions. I chose someone with no debt, a good job (tenure even), who shared the same goals and values I do. I want to stay at home with my babies, for a while at least. That was a huge factor when we decided to have child #4. I worked, as a single mom to 3 kids...it was so hard. OP, I think that given the scenario you laid out, it would be a similar experience. I worked long hours, barely saw the kids and had to rush around trying to get everything done. I waited tables and bartended, most days I was so exhausted, that as soon as I got the kids in bed I would just pass out as soon as I sat down. I didn't look forward to the next day, even if it was a day off because there was always something I needed to do....dishes, laundry, errands, kids activities. I wouldn't go back to it unless I had to do it to support my kids. I was much more careful choosing my second partner.

 

 


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#21 of 42 Old 06-08-2011, 02:02 AM
 
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“What is evil? Killing is evil, lying is evil, slandering is evil, abuse is evil, gossip is evil: envy is evil, hatred is evil, to cling to false doctrine is evil; all these things are evil. And what is the root of evil? Desire is the root of evil, illusion is the root of evil.”
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#22 of 42 Old 06-08-2011, 06:20 AM
 
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One of the other posters brings up an additional good point (beyond the financial) -- does your SO's condition have a strong genetic link?  If so, is that something you are comfortable potentially passing on to your children?

 

My DH and I discussed our finances in detail before marriage, but also discussed family health histories too (he has close family members with Crohn's and certain related illness, my family has scoliosis and high blood pressure), we both really wanted kids but wanted to have some thoughts around what would be genetically passed on.

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#23 of 42 Old 06-08-2011, 08:37 PM
 
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I"m sorry, but I"m another person who says walk away. I was engaged to someone w/ BP, and the dating was great, the living-with was awful. If you really think love can carry the day, move in with him and see how it goes. My ex's disorder was "controlled" and he was able to work and made a good living so there was no money stresses, and it was still a hellish period I wish I'd never experienced. I would definitely not even consider kids until you spent a couple of years together 24/7, and even then I would really think about the ramifications of potentially passing BP to your children.

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#24 of 42 Old 06-09-2011, 05:47 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kristandthekids View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtsyMomma View Post

I agree with the above posters....the person you choose to marry will have a huge impact on your financial life, and your personal life.

After we split, I got to be very good with my money. I had to be, I was supporting the same household, on half the income. Surprisingly, it was easier and I was able to pay off about $14K of it in 3 years (I have less than 10K to go).


Isn't that the truth.

I immediately started doing better financially after leaving my ex. We went from dual income and never having enough to my single income but being able to put $1,000 in savings every month. Suddenly money wasn't going to cable and video games and Hot Pockets and there was way more than enough. He was blowing through at least $2200 a month because of his poor impulse control due to his mental illness.

I loved that man with all my heart, I still love him, but I would never go back.


Same thing here: the cable bill dropped by $200, no new dvds or video games, grocery bill went down (I rarely eat meat, he was a meat and potatoes guy), no more expensive day trips, car insurance went down quite a bit. We never felt like we were lacking when we cut those things out of the budget - he certainly would though and still spends money the same way.


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#25 of 42 Old 06-09-2011, 06:04 AM
 
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I once lived with someone with BP and 3 kids (split from his wife, we were roommates, not in a relationship).  He was well-controlled when we met, and a good father.  He ceased to be well controlled after a few months, and honestly i would not have a kid with someone with this illness, as harsh as that sounds.  I listened to him tell his 4.5yo, who was crying because he was finding his first ever week at school hard "When you cry like a baby, well, you're going home now anyway, and i guess i should say i love you, but i can't honestly say that to you when you're crying like this" it was DEVASTATING, both for the child and, when he was back to his well-medicated self (after 3 months in hospital) the father.  And it was constant, he was wonderful one minute and just devastatingly awful the next and he couldn't help it, he was ill.

 

In addition i have had a child with someone with different metal health issues (anhedonia) which interfere with his ability to work and support us.  We split up.  It's a harsh reality but it's reality nonetheless that someone who isn't well enough to commit to paid work is usually nowhere near well enough to commit to being the SAHP.  

 

BP CAN be stable for many years, it can also be very unstable.  He might be fine for the rest of his days, or he might be incredibly unstable for the rest of his days.  Look up the suicide stats on BP.  For the rest of your life with this man you will be partner/carer.  Your kids will be kids/carers.  i know you love him, i am sure he is loveable.  But is this what you want?

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#26 of 42 Old 06-09-2011, 09:13 AM
 
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I think it is important to note that BPD can be controlled- particularly when it is identified early and treated early, before those patterns are burned into the pathways in the brain.  However, if this guy is 26 and not working, he's either not well controlled, or a lazy sloth.  Your pick. 

 

The commitment to live a functional life with BP is a huge one, and you have to make it each and every day.  I am the SAHP and I work PT from home as well.  I have to be very aware that I need to remain in control of my moods, and that I will tend to overreact.  To do differently is a constant effort. 

 

I do believe that people who are bipolar can be wonderful partners, caring parents, and great employees, but you'd better be aware that that's a small percentage of the people who live with this problem, and they have to have gotten very lucky along the way and chosen really positive life choices to pull it off.  I was lucky in that my crash and burn period was when I was an older teenager, and I had great support to get myself back on track.  Well over a decade and a half later, I have not allowed myself to slip- ever.  I have a standing discussion with a couple people in my life that if they see that I am slipping, they are to force me to get help immediately.  

 

If you do want to have a long term relationship with this man, first encourage him to live independently for at least a couple years.  He needs to be responsible for making his life hat he wants it to be.  If he can't do it for himself, he sure as heck won't do it with the added stresses of a partner or family. 

 

 

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#27 of 42 Old 06-11-2011, 12:21 PM
 
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Lots of good points have been made. I would be especially concerned about the unstable "secret" spending others have mentioned.  I have one more area of financial risk for you to consider:

 

Say you marry or partner with this guy and have a child together, and he stays home to take care of the child, while you work full time to support the family. Maybe the relationship fails at some point down the road, and you don't think he is a safe/stable stay at home parent. You could very easily end up in a nasty custody dispute where your partner expects spousal support and is awarded primary custody PLUS child support... even though you don't feel he is a safe parent. It can be very hard for one parent to prove to the court that the other is unstable.

 

If you are going to stay in the relationship for now, use good birth control.

 

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#28 of 42 Old 06-12-2011, 07:22 AM
 
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I would want to look at his history. He's 26. Has he ever lived on his own? Has he worked before? How much schooling/training does he have? Has he always been stable or were there any dark periods in his life? When was he diagnosed, how "bad" was he leading up to it etc. What are his parents like? (enablers? or genuinely helpful/hoping he'll spread his wings? Will they be there as a "united force"/someone to lean on if things start to turn bad? 

 

Just because he's on SSI now, doesn't mean he has to STAY on it. $600 whatever isn't really a lot of money. It helps, but I wouldn't NOT do anything else just to make sure you keep it, you know? Does he have any interests, something he can do at home to make money? Either a home business or working from home? He could also look into seasonal/contract work if he wants to do something but finds the 9-5/Mon-Fri grind a bit unbearable. 

 


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#29 of 42 Old 06-12-2011, 07:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello, OP here. Thank you all very much for your thoughtful responses, I appreciate them so, so much. I'm going to respond to your questions and then follow up a little bit at the end.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

Sounds like a tough situation! I just have one thought for you -- have you thought about skipping the medical coding training and seeing if there's a field you could get into that would allow you lots of time with your children? I'm thinking of things like starting an in-home daycare, since you love kids, or some other kind of small business... There are options that would allow you to be home and be the breadwinner at the same time, and you might be able to work this out even better than I did since you have so much time to plan accordingly.

 

I have thought of that. I actually have thought that if say, I took in 4 kids for $125/week, each, that would be $2000 a month. And maybe I could even do a little work on the weekends or in the evenings for some extra money, combined with his SSI, could be close to say 3k a month which I think would be reasonable to live on although that would be tight.

 



Quote:

Originally Posted by Vaske View Post

Does your SO even want to have a family and have a home-as-much-as-possible wife??--not clear from your post, but it's definitely something you should be talking about with him.  You want someone who shares your values and goals, and you're young enough to have plenty of time left on the biological clock, if things don't work out with this guy.


He has said that he would like to have kids someday, but I think he thinks more that they would somehow be in daycare or something, not that he would be the SAHD taking them on playdates and such. I would trust him with kids like, say I was going out with friends for a few hours, but I don't think day-to-day childcare is really a strength or passion of his, like I would say it is with me.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kristandthekids View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by weasleyx View Post

I am currently dating a guy who doesn't work, but receives SSI benefits due to a mental disability (he is bipolar and clinically depressed, although this is currently well controlled by his medication.)


Well controlled by his medication, but not controlled well enough that he can work?

I can't give you any advice on how to handle the people like me who would tell you to dump him. smile.gif
Seriously, there's 7 billion people on the planet. You can find someone else. zebra15 is right. Controlled now does not mean controlled later. My ex is Bipolar and I thought everything was fine. I had no idea the financial problems he was hiding from me until my phone got cut off mid-conversation with my boss. That was no fun to clean up.


I think it's currently fairly controlled by his medication, but he thinks it's easier to just receive the benefits and not have to work. His mother tells him all the time that between the cash he gets and the medical care he receives from SSI, it wouldn't be worth it finding a "Walmart job" so he shouldn't bother working.

 



Quote:
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If your boyfriend wants to, he can get off SSI and contribute to society.  At this point that isn't the choice he is making. Do you want to be with him even if he decides never to be that kind of person?  Can you envision your life with someone who says his illness is well controlled, but still won't DO anything to effect positive change within his life for the long run?  

 

Yes, if you stay in this relationship and this man chooses to remain dysfunctional, you are setting yourself up for a very challenging life journey. 


Yes, I guess what I am starting to realize is that even though he loves me, it's not enough for him to want to become a... functional person. I guess I was hoping that that would change. He says that I shouldn't try to change him, I say it's not that I want to change HIM as a person, not his personality, but I think he could perhaps make better choices that would improve his life. Yet, he does not currently want to do this. Sigh...


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeatherAtHome View Post

I would want to look at his history. He's 26. Has he ever lived on his own? Has he worked before? How much schooling/training does he have? Has he always been stable or were there any dark periods in his life? When was he diagnosed, how "bad" was he leading up to it etc. What are his parents like? (enablers? or genuinely helpful/hoping he'll spread his wings? Will they be there as a "united force"/someone to lean on if things start to turn bad? 

 

Just because he's on SSI now, doesn't mean he has to STAY on it. $600 whatever isn't really a lot of money. It helps, but I wouldn't NOT do anything else just to make sure you keep it, you know? Does he have any interests, something he can do at home to make money? Either a home business or working from home? He could also look into seasonal/contract work if he wants to do something but finds the 9-5/Mon-Fri grind a bit unbearable. 

 


To answer your questions, no he has never lived on his own. He has had one job, at Walmart, a few years ago. He worked there for about 3 weeks. He has a high school diploma. He went to college for about 6 weeks and quit. He has had dark periods in his life; he was hospitalized twice for attempting suicide at the ages of 18 and 21. I know as a child, he was diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, and I think he may have... not exactly sure what, but he stims (hand flapping/arm waving) when he is particularly excited or anxious, and I don't know what that could be a sign of except Autism or Aspergers, which he doesn't really have a ton of other symptoms for but... I digress. His parents love him but they enable him, coddle him, and think that he should basically do whatever is easiest for him (and them.) He has the attitude that everything is either too hard or too scary to attempt, so he's not even going to try, because it's likely he'll just mess it up. His mother once told him to "let mommy help you" while we were playing Scrabble, so they clearly don't trust him to do anything even semi-productive... Not sure what you mean per se as a unified force, I think they support him emotionally, but will want to just dig him out of things get too hard. If you mean financially, then they don't have a ton of money and I wouldn't count on them to financially help in any way. He does have interests; he is great with computers, very skilled and knowledgible, and he could do a ton of different work from home if he wanted to, but I don't think he wants to right now. He always talks about how his Dad works so hard at his job, and he doesn't want to have to do that.

 

Anyways. Not long after I posted here, I talked to him about about a little bit how I was feeling... I told him that if he wanted to be with me, he would have to learn how to drive. I now realize I didn't even mention this part about him, but yes he doesn't drive at all, due to A) money B) his being anxious/scared about it and now I realize, C) he doesn't want to do it because he feels I am forcing him to change. But, at first he agreed because he said he loved me, he didn't want to lose me, I was too good of a girlfriend to lose, so even though he was scared, he would try to learn how to drive. Now, tonight, he told me that he actually doesn't want to learn how to drive, maybe in a few years, but not now. And that if I would break up with him over that, I was crazy, because he loves me how I am and I should love him how he is. And I do love him, so, so very much but... I just don't think I can be with a person who refuses to learn how to drive. (not even talking about the job yet, one step at a time, was what I was thinking) ...  I guess I thought I would be worth it to him but apparently not. So, that's where we left our conversation. I am not very happy about this at all, I am in fact very upset and have been in tears over this tonight, and he's not very happy either but... that's where it is right now. Thank you all for your responses, I've been reading them over the past couple weeks and I appreciate them all very much. You all brought up so many good points and even though I love him so much... I don't think that unless he makes changes, it's going to work out, and he doesn't want to do that so... yeah... :(

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#30 of 42 Old 06-12-2011, 08:18 PM
 
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I know it's hard when you hit the point you've hit, but ultimately you have to choose what is best for you in the long run, and from the additional information you've posted, this guy isn't THE guy for you. 

 

Oh gosh- the driving thing!!!!  My ex was the same way- and in the military!  I had to drive him to work (at like 4 am with our daughter!!) and pick him up- again often after 10 pm- and often, I would sit waiting for him in the parking lot singing any song I could think of to keep my daughter from crying as we waited.  It was awful.  After I finally got smart and left, he did get around to getting his license- but only because he was ordered to. 

 

Don't tie your life to a man who's main goal in life is to bring everyone else down to his level of function.  It's so much easier to leave before your lives are entangled, and better for you both.

 

 

I know it hurts, and you feel like you are being the bad guy, and I know he's GOING to play on that and try to make you feel like crap for it (just look at the manipulative behavior you cited above!) but please do what is best for you. 

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