Today marks seven years since I’ve been with my boyfriend, but it hasn't all been good.
He hasn't had a steady job for a full year (usually, it’s the market situation), and we can't do as many things together as in the past, for financial reasons.
I'm approaching 40 and would like to have kids, but this situation and another have had me re-evaluating the relationship.
Recently, he borrowed my car without my knowledge, and got stopped by police. Did I mention he doesn't have a license right now, either?
He’s actually a really great guy, loved by all around me, and doesn't have a bad bone in his body; but I wonder if we can have a future.
I feel less attracted to him physically, and seem to look at him more as a friend. I told him I needed time to think things over, but he says he has nowhere to go (we’re living together) so it’s an awkward time in the house.
Do you think the relationship can be salvaged, or is it time to say goodbye?
He feels more like a friend, and less attractive as a boyfriend, because he’s not behaving as “the man” in your life.
Even if he can’t find a job in his field, sharing a home with you requires a sense of equality.
Yet instead of taking any interim job, and keeping up his driver’s license, he plays the “boy” who just takes the car without asking, drives illegally, gets into trouble, likely has an expensive fine, and says he has nowhere else to go.
Seven years is a major investment of time, but it’s time for grown-up decisions.
Tell him straight – you want kids, and they need someone who can be a father. He either gets responsible, fast, or gets going.
Give him a couple of months to come up with solid changes, or find a new place to crash.
Meanwhile, you need to see a lawyer, since seven years’ living together may have financial implications for you to help him get set up elsewhere.
I’m sending a simple note of gratitude to you and your readers for giving consideration to my question about my late brother's love letters and mementos from his youthful romance with an amazing lady.
(Note: the question was published August 1, 2013, readers’ commentary ran August 31. See www.ellieadvice.com, click on Archives.)
I had sealed the entire collection of letters and mementos, with no real direction in mind, but I do now intend to find the original sender.
In attempting to find my brother's former lover on the Internet, I discovered some intriguing details about her late husband – a man who was the adoptive son of an influential US politician, and later a senior state official himself, devoted to a humanitarian cause he pursued and accomplished over years.
My own brother’s life's work was at a different level, but no less remarkable to all whom he touched, in his too-short stay on this planet.
Ellie - Readers and I were touched by your devotion and sense of mission regarding your beloved brother’s saved memoirs.
You still honour him years after his passing, not only by carefully considering what he would’ve wanted, but also clearly feeling pride that his former love later chose a fine man as her husband.
You can take pride as well in this much-expressed feeling from my readers:
“What a wonderful brother he continues to be.”
My son, 18, is a basement-dwelling pot-smoker, living with his girlfriend in my ex-wife’s house.
Both women boss him around to do all the housework. He turns his meager earnings - from odd jobs for me - over to his girlfriend, mostly for buying makeup or marijuana. He panics when she demands more money.
He’s confided tearfully that she’s assaulted him. He’s losing his self-respect, missed his last school year. I want him to move in with me, but he refuses to break free for himself. How can I best help him?
Stay closely connected. Propose a weekend away… camping, anything you did together when he was a kid.
Suggest you go together to a career counselor, look at his skills, interests, and what’s needed to improve his life. Also, join an addiction support group for ideas.
Report any next assault. Police intervention may be his wake-up call.
Tip of the day:
When a partner gets stuck in dependency, call a deadline on making changes.