Should I have been paying the bills?

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I'm a middle-age mother to a 10-year-old daughter. Two years ago I moved in with her father after becoming unemployed. I sold my home a few months after moving to his home. We had already been back together for about four years before I moved in. After I moved in he told me we were going to give it a try for six months and see. That made me think twice about things, since I wanted commitment and was thinking that we would be together indefinitely.

Finances have been a big dilemma. He wanted me to contribute to bills. I did for a while, until he started kicking me out of the house every time we had argument. That happened at least seven times – so eventually I stopped contributing to any bills. Although I do not pay any bills, I do buy all the groceries, toiletries, clothes, and other necessities. I also pay over $400 in our daughter's extracurricular activities, tutoring, etc. We enrolled our daughter in a school outside of our district – an hour round trip, which means I pay for her transportation, gas, etc. That's an additional $350 in gas per month.

Anyway, I feel that I do my part financially, but he does not see it. And I will finally be moving out with our daughter as things are pretty bad. Am I wrong for not continuing to make additional contributions to the household?

– Lost

It's good you're moving out. You don't want to stay in a place where you're kicked out after random arguments. That doesn't feel like home.

You're asking me to decide whether you should have been contributing more to household bills. The thing is, every home works differently. Some partners do more physical or emotional labor around the house, but leave the finances to someone else. There are couples out there who split everything 50/50. You have to come up with your own system, one that's comfortable for everyone involved. You and your ex (if that's what he is) couldn't find a compromise – one of the many deal-breakers here. (For the record, it does sound like you were paying for plenty of things.)

Don't spend too much time thinking about math. Instead, focus on what it will take to build a more secure home for yourself and your daughter. Do you need help from others to create a better living situation? Who's in your inner circle for moral support? How will your child's father be involved, if at all?

You're right to find a better home. Use all of your brain power for that. The rest is just history.

- Meredith

Readers? Was the LW contributing enough? Can you help make sense of what happened?