I had planned to write a post talking about some of the changes I'm trying to make in regards to our FLR, and the good things I see coming out of our flr dynamic, but I just read the mail and I'm pissed.
Somewhere around April of last year my knight started classes for his his Master's in emerging technology. He decided to go back to school for a Master's degree after being laid off from a big national company. He thought having the higher degree would make less likely to be laid off in the future.
"Go for it," I told him.
He started classes in April, shortly after we moved. By June, he decided he wanted to quit. He hated the program, and didn't see the relevance to his job, his career goals, or his writing. Plus he really resented the time it took from the kids. On a side note.. I respect and adore that about him --anything that "steals time" from me or the kids just is not worth it to him. Knight was having to skip family activities and time with the kids, and he was really upset about that. He started talking about quitting school.
I told him, "If you resent the time it takes that much, and you want to quit, then quit. The kids won't be kids forever. Do what feels right to you.."
Two days later, he emailed the college and formally withdrew from the Master's program.
Enter the student loan people. Before knight started the Master's program, his student loan payments were based on his income with deductions for the the kids and basic expenses. Payments were something we could manage without doing without. When knight started the Master's program, his loan payments went on hold. When he quit school we knew we'd have to start making payments again after 6 months. He's making less now than he was before we moved, so we expected payments to be about the same amount.
Back in October, we received several letters from the company who holds his student loan. The letters made no sense because they contradicted each other. One week, we got three letters. Each said something different to the one before it. I checked his on-line account and that said something completely different than any of the three letters. I told knight to call them and get it straightened out.
He went to his on-line account instead, and reported back to me what I already knew, "The online account says X."
I patiently explained that I knew that already -- after all, I set up the on-line account -- but that the letters they sent said something different and it needs to be addressed.
He called them, or at least claims to have called them, and told me they said to "disregard the letters , because they were wrong."
Okay.. now, that made no sense to me. I asked knight to call them back and speak to a supervisor. He told me he didn't need to.
I asked again... and again.. and followed up a fourth, fifth and sixth time. He caught hell for not doing as I asked, and I handed down a punishment.
Then.. in November, we got more letters saying that if we wanted to sign up for the income based payments, he needed to log in to the account and submit the paperwork. I put this on his list.
His answer, "I've already done it.. The letters are wrong."
I told him to sign in and check.. make sure because his payments without the income based plan would be over 900$ a month. We can't do that.
Again, he insisted it was fine, the letters were wrong. "The woman on the phone told me the old application would still apply."
I pointed out that the letter said differently and that I wanted him to sign in and take care of it.
He never did. When I called him on it, he argued and said that I was wrong.. or the letters were wrong because the chick on the phone said differently.
Two days ago, we got a bill for PART of his student loan payment for January. It was almost $300. The bill was very clear that this was only a portion of it and the rest of the bill would be sent within a week. Today, I got that bill. It's for over $700 So. between the two bills, they want almost $1000 by Jan 21. Yeah... not going to happen.
So.. I emailed knight at work and told him to deal with this mess that he created. They told him that he was supposed to submit the application for income based payments back in November. They said he can submit them now, but it's likely to take a couple months to process. The person on the phone canceled all payments due until the paperwork processes, so we don't have to make the almost $1000 payment this month
BUT.. I am sitting here wondering why in the hell we're trying to operate under an flr, if he won't follow my directions. Granted.. we took an flr break for awhile and part of this mess was during that break... and granted, he has been doing better lately, but these kind of screw ups were exactly what I was trying to prevent when we started flr. Yes, I'm partially at fault here for enforcing the flr inconsistently, I know that. But the root problem there is that I don't believe I should have to enforce it all. I expect him to do as he is told because he agreed that he would. He agreed to flr, therefore he agreed to do what I tell him whether he agrees or not, with certain, very specific exceptions. So.. if he's going to blow me off then why, exactly, am I putting the time, energy and effort into flr?
Would it have made a difference if I had punished him more harshly? Maybe.. I suppose. But, again, it comes down to .. I feel punishments should be completely unnecessary. He should do what he's told simply because he agreed to flr, and asked me to take and maintain control over his daily life.
I mean.. get real here.. nobody has to threaten or punish me in order for me to do what is expected of me. I'm an adult. I am responsible to my kids, and I do what's needed because I have a responsibility to them. Done. He has a responsibility to me..the responsibility to do what I tell him. He has this responsibility because he ASKED for it.
Punishment should be unnecessary.
And yet.. there is this stupid student loan mess to deal with because he did not do as I told him.