I can’t help but feeling that too much stuff has happened between me and my boyfriend for us to go on. I feel like his mom. Since he’s practically dependent on me I worry about dumping him; I don’t want to be responsible for making someone homeless. Here’s my laundry list of stuff he’s done. Please I can use all the advice and insight I can get, thank you.
In the beginning we were care free lovers. I always wanted more commitment out of him but we had such a good time so I let it go. It all started when he was experiencing some trouble with his family—he lived with his family and I offered to let him stay with me for a while. Once we started living together which seemed to be more out of necessity than romance he wanted to be exclusive. Now a year-and-a-half and four apartments later, he still needs my help and a place to stay, although I’m sure he could manage to manipulate another girl for a place to stay VERY EASILY.
During the time I was helping him and “exclusively dating him” he hooked up with my best friend whom I had know since I was 13 in a hotel room I was paying for in the bed next to me. (More than once.) His excuse for that was that he didn’t like her and wanted her out of my life. Turns out they still talk on Facebook. He used my car while I was at work to go hook up with his baby’s mom and would pick me up an hour late. (I work graveyard.) He also had another affair with this girl who thought that my car was his and to put the icing on the cake was older and not as attractive as me. He said the only reason he did it was because she “made him do it.” Yeah, right. He’s 6’2 and she’s probably 5’3; and did I mention she supplied his weed habit. (Probably better than I ever could UGH).
I wish this was the end of the story, but after all of this he had a mental break down (very hard for me) and did some stupid stuff that ended up getting himself and me into some legal trouble. Being the responsible adult of this relationship I made sure all of the legal stuff got taken care of and continued to give him all that I could to make sure he was okay.
It’s been about a year since he lost it and he’s totally fine now. I think he appreciates and loves me more for what I’ve done for him now than he ever has which makes it harder for me to dump him. After I gave him everything and put up with him cheating in very hurtful ways now he seems to respect and love me the way I always wanted. I’ve given him so many chances why now does he have to finally start to get his shit together after everything he’s put me through? It just feels like the classic too little too late. We’ve been through so much I feel more like his friend and less like his girlfriend. I would love to stay friends, but taking care of him is killing me; I feel like he’s sucking up the best years of my life.
The worst part is getting him to understand how everything he did just made me not love him like I used to. Haha did I mention that after a year-and-a-half he finally just got a real job for the first time today.
Thanks for your question and your donation. Wow, that’s quite a story. If you’re looking for encouragement, or even permission, to move on, you certainly have ours. He’s either a narcissist—someone who unknowingly takes advantage of other people—or completely self-centered—someone who knowingly manipulates and takes advantage of others—or some sort of combination if that’s even possible.
You’ve supported him throughout these years, but you’ve also enabled him. In a way, you are kind of like his mom. And many parents face this same dilemma: Their child can’t seem to get their shit together so they keep falling back on their parents to bail them out. Think about that. Parents react in different ways. Some parents continually bail their child out. Some parents finally stand their ground and say “enough is enough” but still try to offer some support. And some parents lay down the law and take away all support. (With much sadness, and sometimes anger.) It’s not a great position to be in that’s for sure. And we’re sorry you’ve somehow gotten yourself into this. Now you need to extract yourself.
It’s easy for us to say, but you certainly don’t owe him anything. In fact he should be forever grateful to you, and he probably is. But Stephanie, you’ve got your own life to live, and you need to look out for yourself. You don’t need for him to understand WHY you’re not in love with him anymore. You need to keep the emotion out of it as hard as that may be. Because the right approach is to simply be straightforward, honest, and succint. Have you seen the movie “Moneyball?” There’s a scene where Brad Pitt’s character explains to his assistant GM how to tell a player he’s been traded. You should watch it. He says you just need to be short and sweet and say it with no emotion. Example: “(Name), you’ve been traded to the Chicago Cubs. (Hands him a card.) Here’s the name of their player development guy and he’ll be able to help you out. Thank you for your service.” (He might say a little more and that’s it. No emotion, no long explanation.) The assistant GM is kind of surprised at how cold that seems, but when he actually has to implement it, he realizes it’s the best approach. Clean. Quick. Done.
And that’s how we think you need to approach this. Say something like this: “I’m glad you’ve finally found a job and are getting yourself together, but I’m not in love with you anymore. It’s time we went our separate ways.”
You might be shaking your head and saying to yourself, “There’s just no way I can do that. I owe him more than that.” And we say, “Actually you don’t.” You’ve already said what you’ve needed to say over the course of your relationship. There’s no more that needs to be said. If you truly want to extract yourself from this relationship, you need to do it fast and clean with little explanation. And then he needs to move out. Or you need to. Yes, you’ll feel guilty, but understand it’s best for both of you. This is about trust. You need to trust him enough to know he’ll be able to take care of himself without you.
And finally, the kicker: We also don’t think you should even be friends with him. You’ve got to build a new life for yourself, with a supportive partner that’s going to give as much as you give, and support you as much as you support them. You can’t do that with him around. And we can tell you, that when you find that new person—and we know you will—you’re going to be shocked when you look back at all that you put up with in this relationship. And you’re going to be angry with yourself. (Of course, we’d advise you not to be. Every human on this earth looks back and wonders why they did what they did. But most of us, make the best decisions we can at the time they’re happening.)
You seem like a strong woman, with a good head on your shoulders. It’s time to start applying that strength to your own dreams and aspirations. You can do it.
Thoughts? Feel free to ask as many follow-up questions as you’d like. (In the comments’ section below.)
Take care and good luck,
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