Is it time for a break up or a make up?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 07, 2010 3:40 AM GMT
    I need some advice! Here is my situation in a relatively small nutshell. I have been in my current relationship for 12 years now. We have so many things in common, and really get along very well. We have many similar likes, dislikes, and overall seem like a match that can stand the test of time. We have had good times and bad times together, but have managed to stick it out. However, with that said, there are some recurring and persistent the problems that I just cannot seem to let go of. Despite the fact he is three years older than I am, he is irresponsible. He just filed for bankruptcy after years of me trying to help him and guide him in his finances. I do all the finances, and pretty much am the financial rock. I gave him my vehicle and bought another one, just so he would have something nice to drive. His job sucks, and he does not make shit for money nor does he have medical insurance with his job. Yet, despite this, he says he is happy with his job and I should be more understanding. I pay all the bills, except for the groceries, which average about $125 per week. We live very well on my salary alone, but I feel like I carry the burden of the entire relationship financially. I have goals and things I want to do, like adopt a kid, travel more, and really start living life more after spending 20 years in my current job. He expects me to pay for his way on any vacations, which I have always done. However, I just have a problem with that when he does not do enough to contribute or even try to better himself. Here lately, he has pretty much stopped doing his “chores” except when I ride his ass to get them done. We have divided the chores up, and without fail, he always seems to forget something all the time. I work full time and I am working on my PhD, so I have little time to take up his slack. I have tried to talk to him, but it does not work. He will correct the problem for about a month, but then he is back to his regular routine. He has promised to get another job repeatedly, but he never fulfills the promise. At what point, after all these years, do I call it quits and move on? My best friend, who knows the whole story, but is biased, has said for years I should have broken up with him. I am very strong, and an excellent decision-maker in my profession….but in my personal life I simply fail! Am I not appreciating what I have, or is what I have not appreciating me?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 07, 2010 3:45 AM GMT
    perhaps he doesn't change simply because there is no reason too.. I mean, your not going anywhere and he's obviously happy where he is.. so why should he bother.
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    Jan 07, 2010 3:55 AM GMT be together that long I know you must really love him to put up with all of that for so long. Any advice you get on here will be from those of us that only hear one side as I am sure you are aware and also, its easy for anyone else to say leave his ass but you guys have built a life together so that makes it so damn difficult for you to make a decision, otherwise you wouldn't be asking for advice right?

    So that said, and believe me I have problems in my relationship so I am no professional, but it sounds like to me you already have a child....him. He doesn't have to change jobs because he has you paying the bills. He doesn't have to do the chores he doesn't want to do because he knows you will do them. He doesn't have to be responsible with finances because he knows you will do it. It sounds like he's just along for the ride or something.

    Its great that he has a job that he loves but loving your job doesn't necessarily pay the bills. I hate my job most days but I make good $, it pays the bills and affords me some things in life I normally wouldn't have in my circumstance, its a trade off.....being "responsible", you know that thing that you are but doesn't sound like he is?

    I used to be married to a woman years ago. She was similar in the way that I was working two jobs to provide for us, she was staying at home. Even though we had just had a baby, the baby slept most of the day and she did nothing all day! Honestly, I would come home from working and there would still be her breakfast dishes on the table that I had to cleanup. As you can imagine for these reasons and obvious other reasons, haha, I left. I am so glad I did because you know what? She is still the same today. She works but doesn't do anything at home. Her husband has to do it all.

    People are people, we can't change them. I think 12 years is long enough for you to know this guy and what his goals and capabilities are. Its just hard to make a decision based on that if you want to live your life with him like this, or live your life without him.

    I would NOT adopt a child and bring it into this situation because you will be the parent, not him, trust me.

    No one is perfect thats for sure, we all have our quirks and stuff, but if it were me in his shoes I would feel really guilty by you putting out all this money, time and effort and I wasn't contributing more. It bothers me that it doesn't seem to bother him.

    I am not going to tell you to leave but when we raise kids there has to be consequences to their actions to teach them our expectations, if not they will run all over you....this is whats happening to you. He is doing these things because he knows he can and you will let him.

    Good luck to you both and I hope you guys can work it out. 12 years together is nothing to sneeze at and I hope you can make it 12 more!!

    Posts: 545

    Jan 07, 2010 5:30 AM GMT
    locker_69 said He will correct the problem for about a month, but then he is back to his regular routine.

    there is your problem
    u taught him to take advantage of u

  • PipHop

    Posts: 439

    Jan 07, 2010 5:48 AM GMT
    I'm not going to tell you to leave, since you must love the guy. But you have to have a serious talk with him; and then one with yourself. I was in a long relationship myself, where reoccuring problems kept rearing their heads. Our problems were different than yours, but in the end I had to ask if I was satisfied with the way things were.

    You can't look at your relationship through the lens of length of time, but amount and quality of happiness that you two have had. If those things you mentioned pale in comparison to the joy he brings you; then maybe you should try a different motivating tactic to get him to do things, like stop buying certain items or forgoing trips, until he realizes what a big financial burden you carry.

    Either way, best of luck to you and he both!icon_wink.gif
  • oookellyooo

    Posts: 116

    Jan 07, 2010 6:13 AM GMT
    The fact that you are seeing all these defects now tells me that you are now becoming critical of him and this is a bad sign. Trust me all these are going to pile up and every single thing that is bad about him is all you that are going to see unless you find for yourself other reasons why you are keeping him still. Money is an important aspect of a relationship and must have been considered from the get go, way before you decided to shack up with the guy.

    What you can do right now is reassess yourself and your values and what's important for you at this stage in your life and weigh in all the sacrifices that you are willing to give in order for you to be happy and be content. If your partner with no goals and direction bothers you now, it will bother and irritate you in the future and you will grow wrinkles really fast. Good luck and all da best!
  • Latenight30

    Posts: 1525

    Jan 07, 2010 11:59 AM GMT
    My folks who have been married for 40 some years have said this. Relationships aren't 50/50 they are 100% from both parties.
    He has become apathetic. I have shared similar frustrations by having a husband who is a flight attendant. That industry in the 8 years we've been together has been rocky at best.
    He needs to pick up the slack. Yes 12 years is a long time, but unless you are 80 it's not the last 12 years of your life.
    Break the finances down for him and make him pay his part or do his part.
    If he wants a Daddy he should have stayed at home.
    I am not great with money, but I have been made responsible for our bills because I am home. If he sees it with his own eyes it might be a wake up call.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 07, 2010 5:07 PM GMT
    Similar to what the last poster said...

    I suggest changing the rules, and see how that goes. There's always a certain amount of give and take in any relationship. And you'll always have to 'put up' with certain things you don't want to from him.

    Why don't you tell him that you're no longer willing to pay his way when it comes to vacations, but you're still going on them? So if he wants to come, he'll have to figure it out.

    Another way to handle chores around the house is to suggest that he pay for someone to do the cleaning if he doesn't want to do them. That seems pretty reasonable to me. Basically communicate that you don't want to nag him to do the chores (it's not your job) and that if you were roommates, you would've moved out by now if he was that lax in doing his part, so either he needs to do his part (without nagging) or he needs to pay someone else to do it.
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    Jan 07, 2010 5:12 PM GMT
    Two words couples counseling! You are in need of a mediator.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13999

    Jan 07, 2010 5:35 PM GMT
    Here's my take. Being in a couple means being in a partnership. Obviously everything cannot be 50/50, but people in a relationship need to support each other.

    Financially, this is the model we use. We take our shared monthly bills and total them up. We take our combined monthly income and figure out what the percentage is based 100, so it may be that person A makes 35% and person B makes 65%. Then each shared bill gets split that percentage and the money to pay for it goes into a shared account. Whatever is left for each person they can do what they want.

    I think chores should basically be split based on who has time based on work/school and skill set.

    If he's not willing to do that, then I think he's taking you for a ride.
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    Jan 07, 2010 5:37 PM GMT
    I also suggest that let him plan the next vacation for the both of you something that he can afford to fit the bill for even if it's means it's a day trip.
    Cleary he can't afford to do the things that you can. With my one of my exes he made way more money than I did.

    We used to go to dinner often and he would always pay. I finally told him we need to equal this out because I won't allow you to pay every time we go out. So we went to resturants where I could afford to drop 60 to 75 dollars for the meal.

    Lean and tight is right in a relatioship both parties give 100% but his 100%may not be the same as your 100%. That what you two have to sort out.
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    Jan 07, 2010 5:39 PM GMT
    Yea, a relationship needs to be closer to 50/50 than it sounds like yours is. But it's really more complicated. There are two issues here, that I can see.

    1) The money thing. It sounds like you two have different goals. You need to get on the same page, and it requires compromise. If you are feeling you are always the compromiser (including not doing the things you want to do because you have to pay both ways) and he doesn't want to find a higher-paying or a second job but STILL demands that he go on all your trips with you, then you're not on the same page and you need to make some selfish decisions.

    2) The laziness. Using my relationship as an example, I make substantially more income than my boyfriend. But he works no less hard than I do. I put in more hours, but he puts in more effort with housework. I am neat and tidy, but rarely have to do housecleaning at home. If I ever felt like he was home sitting on his ass doing nothing while I was busting my butt AND being the breadwinner, I would have a problem. This isn't about MY money vs. HIS money, it's about a 50/50 relationship in which it's OUR money just as much as the chores and responsibilities at home are OUR'S to share. It has to be that way. Is it always perfect? No, but at least we both understand this and do our best to keep up our own ends.

    You have tough decisions to make. You are not his parent, you are his partner. I would be feeling the same way you do if I was feeling taken advantage of. And that's exactly what's happening.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 07, 2010 6:22 PM GMT
    There isn't always equality in a relationship but there should be equity. A partnership is taking the best aspects of what both parties bring to the table and making their shared future better for it. There are obviously many reasons why you stay with him but it sounds like you have let this issue fester far longer than you should have.

    You've invested 12 years in this relationship, I would suggest you do an emotional cost/benefit ratio analysis of why you're in it.
    - When does the cost outweigh the benefit? (sounds like it might be close)
    - How long do you try to fix it if you haven't already?
    - Are you prepared for the emotional turmoil you will go through with a break-up?
    - Are you prepared to spend the next 2 or 12 years like this?

    Try your best to fix it, but be realistic. There is nothing worse than looking back and thinking, "What if." You obviously love him and care very much for him.

    Having been in a similar situation, I would suggest committing to an aggressive six month plan that includes establishing goals for you getting the things you need from the relationship, maybe:
    - both of you research together $$ & timeline for adoption
    - require he take a budgeting class
    - give him a deadline to get another/2nd job of ANY type to show the sincerity of his intent
    - once weekly couples therapy
    - once weekly individual therapy for you so you can start sorting out how you want your life to look. You deserve to be happy and so does he.
    - Most importantly, think about how you will need to proceed on day 1 of month 7. Detail your unmet or met goals, are you hopeful or still bogged down? Is it time to make new plans or can you move forward with the progress you've made.

    At his age he should be able to take care of himself and be able to contribute to your relationship with equity, enabling his inability to do so (which is what you are doing) is doing him and you a great disservice. Sorry this is so long, I really do feel for you and I can only imagine the emotional turmoil you're going through.
    Take care of you, and don't wait another 12 years to address this... you both deserve better.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 07, 2010 6:48 PM GMT
    I'm in a similar situation.. I just decided to give the boyfriend the ultimatum. There's a %90 chance that it's going to end in me leaving him. It sucks because I'll be without someone I really love, but it's the only thing that will either force a change in him... or free me from this torture, and maybe give way to better opportunities. It sucks but.. gotta do something, right?

    Good luck.
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    Jan 07, 2010 11:33 PM GMT
    Thanks for all the great advice, ideas, and suggestions! THANK YOU ALL!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 07, 2010 11:39 PM GMT
    locker_69 saidThanks for all the great advice, ideas, and suggestions! THANK YOU ALL!

    Good luck and take care of you.