Summer Holiday: I just can't afford what she wants

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2010
Summer Holiday: I just can't afford what she wants
13
Mon, 01-20-2014 - 11:04am

I took my girlfriend of 4 years and her 12 year son on a holiday last year to Salina. It was expensive (close to £10,000) and meant going into some money I was lucky to have saved during some years when I was a contractor. Note: I gave up contracting about two years ago so that I could take a permanent job and never have to travel away; therefore spending all my evenings and weekends with my girlfriend. This also meant taking a significant cut in pay. I now can not save anything. Some months, I'm spending more than I earn.

Simply put, I just can't afford to go away on an expensive holiday this year. In fact, I'd rather not go away at all. I'd rather take time off work and spend the time together going for some days out somewhere. Of course, I realise this is just not going to sit well with my girlfriend who is already setting her sights on a holiday to Corfu that will cost me a minimum of 4,000-5,000. We live in Germany so I'm thinking that as a compromise we could do something in mainland Europe, for example rent an apartment and spend some time in the country or seeing the sights. I already know that my girlfriend will flip out when I suggest the compromise. 

What do you think?

Is it unreasonable of my girlfriend to expect a holiday? If she truly loved and cared for me, would she be prepared to not go away for a summer holiday? etc etc. 

EDIT: What about I talking about. Even 4,000-5,000 is too much! 2,000-3,000 is a stretch but I'd do that to compromise. I've just come home and I'm shaking at the prospect of engaging in a discussion about this because I know how she reacts. I should change my login name from alwaysaknight to alwaysadoormat. I know that money is a frequent topic of conflict in a relationship but this situation is just terrible. Hope someone can help me find the way here.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-21-2003

I think if your gf is demanding/expecting lavish holidays from you when she knows you can't make ends meet then you need to move on to someone who doesn't act like a two year old when they don't get what they want. I notice that you don't say she offered to put forth any money but was happy to let you pay the entire bill last year. The way you describe her she doesn't sound like much of a gf or much of an adult. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010

"Is it unreasonable of my girlfriend to expect a holiday? If she truly loved and cared for me, would she be prepared to not go away for a summer holiday? etc etc."

I agree with this statement. It is unreasonable for her to expect an expensive get-away every year, especially when she knows (or should know) that you cannot afford it. If she thinks that you should go into debt, or even not be able to meet your financial commitments, just so she gets a holiday then she needs a reality check. Like you said, instead have a "staycation" where you make day trips around your area, or go somewhere that you can afford. Why does your girlfriend think that she is entitled to a holiday at your expense?

I had to look up a currency exchange site to see what your last holiday cost in USD. $16K?? That's a LOT of money for a vacation, especially for somebody who sounds to be living from paycheck to paycheck. I have never spent close to that much on vacation. Many years we did not take a vacation at all because it wasn't in the budget, or some years we went car-camping or something economical.

I saw your reply to the post about gaming. While you and your gf sound to have some interests in common, you seem to be far apart on big issues like money, trust, how personal time is spent, etc.---the issues that can break a relationship. If you two cannot come to agreement on those issues then the relationship will continue to be rocky. Have you and she discussed the financial issues, does she understand that you (personally and as a couple) cannot afford that kind of spending? Is there a connection between her irrational thoughts regarding jealousy, and her attitude towards other areas of life? Like some psychological condition in which she doesn't move in the same reality as most other people? In that case, the part about "if she truly loved and cared" doesn't quite count because that would apply to a rational person. It sounds like a very challenging relationship.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2010

Well, I just spoke with her again about it. She had not offered to put anything toward it so I said that before we start booking flights and accommodation I'd like to work out a budget of how much we could spend on it. Over the last couple of months we've been looking at holidays for the summer as she's been pushing to get it sorted (to which I agree it's better to do early than leave to late). I've already mentioned that last holiday was wonderful but very expensive and that I had to be careful this time.

She hadn't offered to put anything toward it so I just took the step of asking her how much she could contribute. She asked me what I expected and I responded by saying that I didn't expect any particular amount, I'd just like to know what she would like to put towards it. She said 400euros. I then said that I couldn't afford more than 2,000; 3,000 at a push. She then asked about Corfu and I mentioned how the flights and the accommodation already push us over the max (flights are 1,000 alone). She that it's really sad.

She had to go to her sons parents evening so we couldn't finish the conversation but I could tell she was unhappy and I'm expecting things to heat up later.

This is the girl who said to me--in the earlier days of our relationship--something like "money isn't important to me, it's spending time with you". Of course, this doesn't really seem to be the case. Technically I could afford to go to Corfu. I have a savings account but I don't want to keep taking from it because it's meant to be for a house (we live in a small rented flat which is barely big enough for us). I don't have a car, though we often talk about how we'd like one.

So going into the savings account is something that I don't want to keep doing. I agree with your comments. Yes, she understands the financial situation, I've made that crystal clear to her. In a discussion she often refers to the fact that despite my paying the full rent, the rent is cheap for the space and that I also have a decent job. But for me, that's not relevant because despite the low rent, I still don't save anything each month. I don't go out, I don't pay out for any hobbies of mine, all my money goes into the relationship. She's unreasonable and unable to empathize with the man she is supposed to love and care about. I think I finally need to get out of this.

Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010

You cannot afford her.  You made a mistake.  You gave up a good job for a lesser one.  This is a person who is destroying you.  She is very insecure, a child woman.   IMO dump her.   Dump her now.  Do not worry about anything more that getting her out of your life preferably tonight or is it tomorrow in Germany. 

    Do not beat yourself up many men have made this mistake.  The sit down and think of what you can do to put your life back on track.

dragowoman

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

Well your last sentence really summed everything up perfectly.  In my entire life, I never had a man pay for an entire vacation for me, nor would I expect it unless the guy was a very high earner.  Before I was married, I'd expect that we would each pay 1/2 of the vacation expenses.  Your GF is totally unreasonable expecting you to pay for the whole vacation and not contributing and/or expecting you to go into debt or dip into your savings to treat her to the kind of holiday that she wants when she knows your financial situation won't allow it.  Sure I'd like a nice trip to Europe at someone else's expense but it's not happening, so what most people (even in relationships) have to do is work and save up their own money if they want vacations.

Remember the expression--no one can treat you like a doormat if you don't lie down (or something like that).  Practice saying this "I can't afford to take you to Corfu this year.  We can have a nice vacation staying home and doing day trips."  Or really the better idea is to get rid of this person who doesn't seem very nice at all.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010

It easy for me to sit here and tell you to "just break up with her" because of course it gets complicated after 4 years and living together. But this woman seems to take you for granted and expect that she should get her way even if it is unreasonable, and she subjects you to a lot of selfishness and unnecessary drama. From what you have told us, her bad points outweigh her good points by a wide margin. I agree with those who advised you to break it off with her. You need to get your life rearranged to where it works for you. Then, when you are ready to enter another relationship, you will find that there are women who will appreciate a nice caring man and will reciprocate for a balanced relationship. Be strong, and good luck to you!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009

Please read all the replies carefully.  This woman is bleeding you dry, and you are so afraid of losing her that you will LET her emasculate you completely.  The best thing that could happen to you IS to lose her and find a woman who cares about YOU, not what you can provide for her.  You can't afford any kind of summer  holiday, and if she can't understand that, then shame on her......she's a heartless moneygrubber.  You have to come right out and tell her that you cannot afford a holiday, and if she gets up and walks out on you, you'll be the luckiest man in the world.  Man up and tell her there will not be a holiday.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Music, I've mentioned a few times, my Mama used to say, "You can't get walked on, if you aren't laying down!" Very apropos here!! The OP should find his spine, and pull himself up on his hind legs.
Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999

When your gf stamps her foot and says I WANT, tell her,  "People in hell want icewater".

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009

I was looking at the newest replies you have, and it struck me what your "screenname" is......Always Knight?  So you feel you need to be her knight in shining armor, and give her what she want, no matter that it will break the bank.  We see insecure women here all the time, and now we have a man who looks at himself and values himself thru the eyes of an "adoring" woman.......and he can't see that this woman adores no one but herself, and feels that the world (you) owes her whatever her heart desires.  And you feel you aren't worthy unless you give this woman what she wants.  Personally, I'd think you more of a man if you told her you're not a money pit, and you're not going into debt for her........because she doesn't value YOU, she values what she can get from you.  If you won't give her what she wants, you'll see the back of her, and you will be a very lucky man.

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