My partner of 13 years and I have two kids under age five.
I’m the only one contributing to our home and the kids’ expenses.
He was fired from his job through his own doing (performance issues).
He applied to another job but said he could start a few months later because he wanted to go back to school, which I supported.
When that idea fell, through he applied again but hasn’t received a reply.
The home we purchased last winter is out of the city. Although I’ve adjusted to this change, he hasn’t.
He goes into the city to hang out with his friends, and sleeps at his mother’s house for two to three days.
He expects everything to be fine between us when he comes home, despite my saying this is unacceptable.
I commute to work an hour and a half each way. I have to take the kids to day care, pick them up from the babysitter’s because I can’t get back before the day care closes.
I take them to extra-curricular actives, do all food and household chores, and pay all bills.
The closest counselling services (which we can’t afford) are 45 minutes away.
I’m exhausted, have lost hope, and prefer to let him do whatever he wants instead of arguing.
Incidentally, my “partner” and I have been living common-law (on-off) for the last few years only.
Left Alone and Resentful
You’re so obviously the stronger, responsible partner that I suspect you always knew this.
Now, there’s no choice but to carry the whole load.
Your partner’s less responsible, choosing to avoid facing this difficult time. He knows you hold him accountable for your burden.
But you can’t carry on indefinitely feeling hopeless and exhausted.
Tell him so. Either he comes home, helps out, and determinedly seeks work locally, or you two need another solution.
BUT, if you believe he’s never going to be a true partner, there are online counselling services. Even a few sessions can help you decide your next steps.
I’m worried about my friend, in her late-30s, who keeps having what she thinks are “relationships” with men she hasn’t even met.
After connecting online with a man even just once, she starts believing he’s The One.
She’ll start making long-term plans in her head – and will go to some guy’s apartment and have sex on their first in-person “date.”
Yet most of these encounters also end up as their last “date,” with the guy never contacting her again, especially after she shares her plans for outings and trips together.
She’s nice-looking, a good friend, and holds a responsible job. But she keeps repeating this same self-defeating behaviour.
How can I help her?
She’s appearing desperate, by accepting whatever crumbs these men offer.
She’s also scaring them away when she enthuses about a future together on first meeting. While sex is a give-away they don’t have to work for, most men run from what looks like a trap.
However, she’s an adult and will possibly over-react and distance from you if you stress her own fault in these go-nowhere dates.
Tell her you care about her personal safety, and whether she uses or insists on protection during sex, as STI’s are a painful and long-lasting risk.
Say you worry even more about her going to meet men she doesn’t know in their homes.
Make sure she recognizes that the serious risk of “stranger danger” can be far worse than being single longer.
FEEDBACK Regarding a woman’s attitude about her partner’s adult daughter of an alcoholic mother (July 12):
Reader – “I was shocked at the hate and resentment in the letter-writer’s sweeping assumptions.
“My father was a flaming alcoholic for most of my childhood years. It wasn't until I was in high school when I learned that not all fathers were like mine, and not all families were like my dysfunctional one.
“The letter-writer assumes that her husband's daughter plays the poor-me card.
“She also seems certain that the daughter lacks emotions.
“Well, as a daughter of a recovering alcoholic, I’m full of emotions that I RARELY ever show others because my childhood left me scarred.
“While I cannot know the daughter's mind, I feel utter distrust for the father’s partner who’s made her judgments, never mind whatever facts there may be.
“I suggest she gets to an Al-Anon meeting and find understanding.”
Tip of the day:
If you’re bearing all responsibilities for kids, work and home, you haven’t got a partner unless there’s major change.