Whether or not it is fair for a boyfriend to ask his girlfriend to contribute to the maintenance cost of a cabin that she may never use again depends on the following factors: the cost of maintenance, the girlfriend’s financial situation, and the boyfriend’s expectations.
He asks on the forum, “Am I wrong for expecting my girlfriend to pay for her stay at my family’s cabin?”
Here’s the whole story.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The original poster’s (OP) grandparents own a big old cabin where every generation after them has enjoyed annual family vacations. Due to the cabin’s age, constant maintenance needs to be done. Every time they’ve replaced, fixed, or repaired something, another thing needs fixing. The family also started slowly renovating the cabin as the interior has become quite dated.
“These costs have become too much for my grandparents to handle alone, especially since their age means they can’t do much of the work themselves, and they need to hire professionals instead. This has caused them to implement a fee system,” says the OP.
WHAT IS THE FEE SYSTEM?
The fee system rule is as follows; every person aged 20 must pay an annual fee to be allowed to stay at the cabin. The size of the fee varies as it is calculated according to how many people plan on using the cabin and how high the upkeep costs were the previous year. “I’ve happily paid this fee ever since the rule was implemented, and so have my parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins,” says the OP.
IT IS ALSO THE VENUE FOR ANNUAL FAMILY VACATIONS
Every summer, the OP’s extended family tries to find a weekend during the summer when most of their vacations overlap so that we can all meet at the cabin and catch up.
The OP invited his girlfriend along as he wanted to introduce her to this tradition. “She is someone I imagine spending many future summers at the cabin with,” he explains. His girlfriend was ecstatic about meeting my extended family and going to the cabin, as she’s very curious about it after hearing OP talk about it a lot.
“Naturally, I sat her down and told her about the rule and how she needed to pay, as everyone else paid, and it was only fair for her to do so as well since she would be using the cabin when coming with me this year,” he explains.
Fee is Around $200
This year’s fee is around $200-400 (depending on how many people use the cabin) due to a big roof leak and substantial water damage.
The idea of paying this fee upset the girlfriend, and the two had a big argument, which she concluded by saying she would make other plans without the OP this summer.
This upset the OP, and he said, “The rule is straightforward and made completely fair on everyone. I don’t understand why she thinks she should be exempt from it. My brother told me I should pay her fee as my extended family would like to meet her, but I don’t think that’s fair for me to pay double the fee when she’s completely capable of paying it herself. Am I wrong?”
Most people agreed that he was wrong. Here’s what they said.
SHE HAS NO EMOTIONAL ATTACHMENTS TO THIS CABIN
“She’s perfectly within her rights not to want to spend 200-400 dollars for a weekend at a shared, broken-down cabin. It’s not her family’s property, she has no emotional attachments to it, and she may never reap the benefits of fixing it up.”
WHAT IF THEY BREAK UP?
“If she pays the fee and only visits this one time and OP and she breaks up, is she entitled to use the rest of her “contribution”?”
THIS IS AN INVESTMENT IN HIS FUTURE
“I think OP has forgotten this is an investment in his future. They are maintaining and renovating a property I assume is to be handed down, and his parents will become co-owners one day. It is an investment. Even if it is sold, the asset is still just converted to another form to be inherited. He wants her to contribute to an investment she will receive no benefit from.
Plus, they had previously used this all their life. So it is fair they give back to their grandparents. But she certainly hasn’t. It is just too much money to ask for a shared accommodation.”
SHE HAS A RIGHT TO DECLINE YOUR OFFER
“Investing their future! What a stupid sales pitch! Is this a timeshare? It feels like she just got invited to a timeshare – don’t sign up, is my advice!
She’s your guest! You invited her. She should decline the offer you sat her down to discuss this. If she were my friend, I would tell her to pass on the whole thing, including you.”
THIS IS ABSURD
“It’s like if your friend invited you to spend the weekend at their house, and the family gave you a bill for “your share” of the bills and maintenance/upkeep costs for the year. Both are absurd.”
IT’S TOO MUCH
“Food and maybe 10 or 20 dollars for utilities would be reasonable for a weekend.”
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