Following are leftover questions from my online chat “Self-Esteem: Love Yourself” (Sept.2):
My friend says I’m letting my boyfriend walk all over me, which is hurtful to hear at age 40!
I met him online and we hit it off. He stayed over so often – including six whole weeks this past summer - that after six months of dating I asked him to help with my rent.
He blew up saying I’m just after money. But we both work, so I didn’t get why he should have a free pass.
He still “officially” lives with his dad and doesn’t pay him anything, either.
I really care for this man and don’t want to lose him. My last relationship ended badly.
Should I just let him stay, and ask again in another few months?
Too Old For Games
No. He’s a taker and you’re a giver… a bad combination over time, as you’ll end up letting him use your goodwill till he’s giving nothing in return, not even affection or honesty.
This relationship will also end badly if you don’t insist on equal responsibilities for making it work.
Since he works, and doesn’t pay rent elsewhere, there’s no reason why he can’t share expenses.
If his problem is debt or gambling, those are his problems. You didn’t contribute to them and you mustn’t take them on now.
If you do, they’ll be your burden for years to come, possibly even after you split up, if he gets you involved.
Tell him he must come up with a plan to share expenses or live elsewhere. If he leaves, do NOT let loneliness change your mind… he’ll be waiting for that.
Get out with friends and supportive family, and do not see him until he has a plan that you can believe and live with for the future… and afford to accept.
The woman I’ve been dating for two years and love earns more than I do.
I divorced four years ago and split all our financial assets with my ex-wife.
I also still pay my two daughters’ university fees, and a portion of my salary to my ex, who only worked part-time while raising our kids.
I can afford to pay for my own expenses and our dates, but it’s clear that for the foreseeable future I can’t pay an equal share for a life together.
Yet, she loves me and wants me to move into her house, without helping pay the mortgage or for trips, which she can afford for us but I cannot.
I feel very conflicted. I want to have a future together, but I worry that I’ll feel like a kept man.
Talk this out together on practical terms. It’s not about you being “kept.” It’s about realities.
If you only focus on your “manly” image (in your eyes), you might lose a wonderful partner who truly loves you.
Show her the details and amounts of your financial situation. She needs to see how long this current situation is likely to last.
She might have ideas about how you two can manage better – a less expensive lifestyle, a move to a more affordable home to share, etc.
Meanwhile, what you now pay for your “own expenses” (e.g. rent, food) can help towards your joint costs.
Also, your university-age daughters won’t require support forever, once they’re out in the work force.
Give this “thinking-through” period some time, so she’s not being unrealistic.
But forget about your image as part of this decision. You’re already manly by supporting your family responsibly.
My mother’s upset because she noticed some bruises on my arm.
I told her it’s from wrestling, which my boyfriend enjoys doing. He’s a big guy who doesn’t always know his strength.
But she’s threatening to call his parents.
I’m sure he’ll be furious with me if she does.
She wants me to stop seeing him. What should I do? I’m 18, living at home.
You’re old enough to stop fooling yourself.
Big strong guys who leave bruises are thoughtless and worrying. Some like exerting physical power over those who are less strong, especially women.
Living at home means you’re still responsible to your parents for what you allow to happen to you.
She’s urging you to SPEAK UP and protect yourself.
Tell him you do not want to wrestle.
If he tries to convince you, say you won’t see him again. If he gets physical, RUN!
Tip of the day:
Without self-esteem, no relationship is truly equal.