Lana had been dating Ashton for several months before he asked her to move in with him and share the expenses of an apartment. They split everything equally for years until Lana discovered that Ashton had lied all along.
“It’ll be great. We’re both recent graduates, so living together makes more sense. We split the bills 50-50, and both of us win,” Ashton told Lana. She wasn’t sure moving in together after eight months of dating was the best idea.
“I don’t know, Ashton. It’s a big commitment. As you said, we both just graduated from school,” Lana said hesitantly.
Well, it’s the only we can move to the city and find jobs together. I have some money already for a deposit and everything. I’ll go find the apartment and handle all that stuff if you let me,” Ashton continued, urging Lana to say yes.
“Ok, I agree. It makes sense because living in the city has become pretty expensive. Once we find jobs, it’ll be fine,” she finally accepted.
Ashton moved to the city and found an apartment quicker than Lana expected. He set everything up, and Lana packed her stuff, moving in with him only a few weeks later. Rent was pretty reasonable, and it was better to split it down the middle.
You can send the rent money to me. I’ll send it from my account to the landlord directly,” Ashton told her when she asked about it.
Does it cover utilities and stuff? What about the Wi-Fi?” Lana wondered.
“How about you pay the Wi-Fi from your account?” Ashton suggested. Lana agreed immediately because Ashton had been in charge of so much, but she also wanted to be helpful.
This arrangement worked perfectly for several years until Lana wanted to stop renting and get a house with Ashton. But they needed to talk about the future before that.
“Honey, we’ve been living together for several years. Do you see us going further?” she asked one night.
“Of course, Lana. But I wasn’t sure you wanted to get married anytime soon,” Ashton said sincerely.
Well…I’ve never been into weddings that much. We could have something simple. But I asked about it because I thought that it might be time to find a house,” Lana explained. “I’m tired of paying rent every month. I would rather use that money towards a mortgage.”
That sounds like a great idea. But I don’t know if we’ve saved enough for a down payment,” Ashton said, suddenly hesitant.
“Oh, I know that. I have some savings, but I just wanted us to start thinking about moving forward together,” Lana finished.
“You’re right. Let’s plan it,” Ashton agreed, but whenever Lana brought the subject up again, he distracted her with other things. Maybe he doesn’t want to buy a house together or get married, Lana thought.
One day, Lana cleaned their room while Ashton went to pick up their dinner at their favorite Italian restaurant. They ate there or picked up food every single Saturday since they moved in. It was a lovely little tradition.
Suddenly, Lana saw that Ashton left some of his documents in disarray in the closet. She picked them up and started arranging them in his folder. She had never seen what he kept there because that was his business.
But then she saw something with their apartment address. Was this our rental contract? Lana wondered. She got curious and looked further. But it wasn’t that kind of contract. Ashton’s name was next to the word “owner.”
She didn’t understand a lot about property deeds or titles, but the document stated that Ashton was the apartment owner. He lied to me all these years! Lana realized in horror. How did he use the money I paid towards “rent” then?”
“Honey, I’m here! The food smells amazing today!” Ashton called from the kitchen. She wanted to march into the living room and yell at him. But it was best to maintain a calm attitude first.
“What is this, Ashton? You own this apartment or condo or whatever?” Lana asked him with the documents in her hand. Ashton’s eyes flared.
“What are you doing going through my things?” he asked, trying to deflect.
“No. Don’t change the subject. This is clearly an ownership deed, and you are the owner. Tell me the truth right now!” Lana said, not managing to keep her cool in the end.
“Ok, Lana. Calm down. It’s not that bad. Yes, I’m the owner of the apartment,” Ashton started but didn’t go on.
What about what I paid in rent?” Lana asked, exasperated.
“I used it to pay the mortgage. Ok, listen. My parents gave me money for a down payment after graduation and saw this great opportunity. But the mortgage to this place would’ve been too much from my initial paycheck,” Ashton explained.
“So, you lied all these years?” Lana asked coldly.
“Yes, but it’s not a big deal. It’s as if you rented from me,” Ashton justified.
“But a mortgage would not have been as high as rent. We ‘split’ everything in half. Was your mortgage $1,600 a month?” Lana questioned.
“Well, no. The mortgage was a little more than what you paid in rent,” Ashton admitted. “I’m sorry, Lana. I’m so sorry. I didn’t think you would agree if you knew I owned this place.”
YOU LIED TO ME!” she yelled and started crying. “I could have saved so much money if we had actually split things in half. But no! You made me pay your entire mortgage for years! What did you do with your money?!”
“I…I saved it,” Ashton said.
“For yourself, right?! You don’t care about me at all. I’m going to talk to a lawyer! I’m going to sue you! But I’m moving out first!” Lana screamed and moved. She packed her things while Ashton begged her to stop.
“Please. I’ll send you the money. Just don’t leave. I love you. We’re getting married!” Ashton pleaded.
Goodbye, Ashton. I don’t care what you do with your life,” Lana added. “I’ll be back for the rest of my stuff soon.”
She left and went to a hotel. Soon enough, Lana found a great apartment in the area. It was smaller than Ashton’s place, but at least, no one would lie to her. She might have threatened him with a lawsuit, but the truth is that she didn’t want anything from him. She wanted to cut ties and move on.
Ashton called and begged her to come back, but Lana refused every time. Eventually, he stopped. But one day, Lana received an alert from her bank app informing her of a deposit of thousands of dollars.
Apparently, Ashton had given her back what she could’ve saved if they really split things in the middle. It was a nice gesture, but too late. Lana was over him.
What can we learn from this story?
- Lying can destroy a relationship. While some couples might repair things after a huge lie, other people can’t tolerate it. Don’t lie to your partner.
- Ask to see documents before agreeing to big commitments. Lana didn’t ask to see their rental agreement and discovered the truth in the worst possible manner. Don’t let your partner handle everything because you never know what could happen.