I love my boyfriend deeply! We've been living together for two years, both 28.
He has five days off every other week. But lately, he’s let himself go.
He refuses to pick up after himself. I do a lot of the cooking, cleaning, and caring for our pets.
Periodically, I snap because I'm tired of acting like his mother.
I even have to ask him to shower after working 12-hour days in a factory.
This kills romance because his skin smells and it makes the bed-sheets smell.
He’ll try to initiate. When I say No, he thinks he’ll shower and I’ll be ready to go.
But it ruins the mood because he'll only shower for sex, which also makes him the one who gets to decide if and when.
He also has bad breath from not brushing his teeth any more.
We have sex only twice a month, but his not having basic hygiene is the biggest turn-off for me.
He always says he'll change, with no result.
He’s not happy with his job but he’ll soon be working towards a trade.
I believe he's unhappy about his work and could possibly be depressed.
He does say, “It’s not you, I just hate my life.”
He’s not interested in talking to anyone or taking any kind of meds.
I know he's saving for a ring but I can’t say yes.
I wanted to marry him before, until he changed.
You got two things right – he’s depressed, and you’re acting like his mother (instead of his partner).
You should NOT be marrying him, and he should not be marrying you, if your default position when someone’s miserable is to nag, and make the situation all about your needs instead of his.
He’s at a low point and needs help. Sure, poor hygiene’s a turn-off, but it’s also his alarm cry that he can’t take the situation any longer. Not the job, and not all your demands when he’s down.
You two need a break from each other. He needs to focus on upgrading to a trade and finding more satisfying work, without all your pressure.
You need to consider whether you can actually handle “for better or worse,” and show compassion when a partner’s going through difficult times. For now, you’re not ready.
My daughter, age 23, has a good paying job and savings. She doesn’t want to follow the house rules, so must move out.
Her friend also wants to move out, but has student loans, no job, and no money. They’re apartment-hunting, with the friend saying she’ll get a job when they find a two- bedroom apartment.
Her mom says she’ll co-sign for the rent until her daughter finds a job.
We feel our daughter will be stuck paying all the bills. My husband says let her move out, and learn the hard way.
If she moves with this friend, I don't know if I can even help her move her stuff as it goes against everything I believe in.
You want her out, but still control how and with whom. That’s unfair, with its mixed message, and it’s also un-workable.
If you want a healthy relationship with an adult child, you need to back off.
Your husband has the right approach. Just ask a few leading questions to get her doing the thinking.
Example: Does her friend have the skills needed to find a job fairly soon? And will her mother spot her for at least six months?
FEEDBACK Regarding Curious Girlfriend, who wondered why her boyfriend didn't say "I love you” more (May 12):
Reader – “When my daughter married, I spoke at her wedding about different ways to express love, without words or kisses and hugs.
“When my husband does something caring and thoughtful, like making my favourite supper for me when I've had a long day, I say "thank you, that makes me feel loved."
“Accepting loving actions is as important as giving them.
“If her boyfriend’s behaving in a loving way, moving forward in their relationship, spending quality time with her, attending family and friendship events, not cheating, then he’s showing her his love every day.
“That’s more valuable than any words. It’s time to accept his loving actions.”
Ellie – An important reminder of what are the daily acts of love, loyalty, and commitment.
Meanwhile, she can lead by example by expressing her own love in words as well as actions.
Tip of the day:
A stressed, depressed partner needs more understanding, and less pressure.