Well, I moved. During the first week I landed a great job, and though he had not pushed me to find a job, I was happy I landed one. Then my car died going to work my second day and I lost my job/resigned (which he encouraged me to do, ensuring me again that we’d be okay). But then he right away started pressuring me to get a new job, and he started mentioning how I needed to make half of the $705 rent and half the utilities by the first of the month! That only left time for two paychecks if I found instant work! And by this point I had paid my car bills (towing and repairs), bought us a lot of food, bought him a winter jacket, paid $100 into a shared living room chair he begged for, paid for my own gas, bought us a sheet set, etc. — all with no income. I’d thought I would be keeping my new job!
I did get an instant new job with a temp agency but at minimum wage. On my first day of work my boyfriend broke out the calculator to figure out my average paychecks and what I’ll clear. He even calculated all my basic bills such as car insurance, phone, gas, etc. Then he tacked on rent. He wanted me to use my first (weekly) paycheck to cover half of the next month’s rent, which would be my entire paycheck. Well, then I got injured on the job on my fourth day, I finished the week in pain, and I ended up being out work for a week after that. He still wanted rent!
I put my foot down and said that I’d lose my new job if I had no gas to get to work. He finally agreed I could wait to pay rent until next month. Meanwhile, however, he expects us to halve everything, and he stresses me out over money every night as soon as I get home, talking about how bills will be overdue and how he had been anticipating having my help this month (during my first few weeks living with him).
He’s sweet to me in a lot of respects, don’t get me wrong. He puts up with my recurring depression and anxiety and does little things for me. But the money issue is kicking me while I’m down. Even if I had a month to bring in money, it’d still be hard on me (factoring in electricity, rent, car insurance, my phone, my gas, my food (which he eats some of), toiletries, and the $500 medical bill I incurred when I had to go to the ER for treatment of an allergic reaction to a specific contraception he insisted we try because he didn’t want to use a condom).
I feel taken advantage of. He expects all this help from me and yet he never treats to a date — I have to pay for my own meal and sometimes part of his even — or ever buys me little things to make me feel more of a lover than a roommate. This is not even taking into account the lack of intimacy between us (he’s a selfish lover) or his lack of personal hygiene (he has to be reminded daily to brush his teeth and, at times, even to shower).
Am I being unreasonable when I tell him he is asking too much of me? Is it overreactive of me to want to leave him over money alone? — Stressed to the Point of Breaking
A few questions:
Has this come as a total surprise to you?
Did he never show any indications that he was cheap before you moved in with him?
Was he taking you on dates before — buying you meals out and that kind of thing?
And when you talked about how you were going to split expenses when you moved, he was very clear about you not paying rent? And he said that could be for good? Not just until you found a job?
When he said he was “behind payments,” did you ask how and when he planned to get caught up?
I don’t expect to freeload, and I’ve helped out a lot. Aside from what I’ve paid for, I’ve cooked, cleaned, done his laundry, helped him with gas money, bought him a jacket, gone in half on a chair I didn’t want, paid for us to eat out twice ($40+), etc., all while using savings. He knew this too.
I feel taken advantage of and unhappy. Aside from the money issues that cause me mental breakdowns, he hardly brushes his teeth (needs reminding because he never brushed before I moved in), he’s selfish in bed (no foreplay and it’s all about his needs), and I’m constantly cleaning up after his daily messes.
To top it all off, he used to talk of marriage (up until the day I moved in) — how much he wanted it and how he wanted it with me and before having any children. Now he says marriage is just a piece of paper, that having a child shows more commitment than getting married, and that he would have a baby with me right now but is not ready for being engaged.
I just don’t know if I’m overreacting. I’ve never been good at love or had good boyfriends. He does nice things like share holiday bubbly he buys or specialty chocolates. He also has seen me cry a lot over everything and still loves me. And he didn’t stop loving me when I raised these concerns.
Ok, so what I’m hearing is that you saw tons of red flags before moving in with your boyfriend and you ignored all of them. You were off and on for less than a year, your boyfriend was living with friends until very recently (unable, I assume, to afford his own place), he had been behind on bills because of “a massive car payment” and also “mail mess-ups causing delayed paychecks,” he always expected you to come visit him and never reciprocated or offered to help with travel expenses, and you talked “only slightly” about money despite all the signs that he had financial trouble, and I assume his hygiene problems and selfishness in bed aren’t brand new issues. And, yet, you still moved in with him, leaving your home 250 miles away.
Where’s your sense of responsibility in all this? You were given so many signs to wait on moving in together, but you ignored them all and now you’re wondering if you’re overreacting over your boyfriend behaving exactly the way he’s behaved over the past year that you’ve known him (cheap, selfish, bad with money/financial planning, shady about details)? Well, yeah, you kind of ARE overreacting. If his behavior were a surprise and you’d never seen any indication of it, then I’d say a freak-out on your part would absolutely be warranted. But to have every indication before moving in with your boyfriend that he was cheap and stingy and selfish and shady, and then have “mental breakdowns” because he’s *shock* acting cheap and stingy and selfish and shady is… well, yeah, it’s overreaction.
Obviously, you need to MOA. Go back home. Get away from this loser. And do some self-work to figure out why you are so desperate for a relationship or tiny crumbs of love that you’d not only settle for, but actively chase, a guy who has never made you a priority (never mind that he doesn’t shower or brush his teeth regularly and doesn’t care about your needs in bed, gross). You’re better than all that. You deserve more. Leave this guy, go home, get some therapy, or at the very least focus on yourself — be the partner you want. Take yourself on dates. Buy yourself flowers. Train yourself how to receive the love you want from a partner and don’t ever again settle for less than what you are able to give and what you desire in return. Life is too short to waste it on losers who don’t even come close to meeting our needs. And it’s certainly too short to try to turn someone into who we want — especially when they’ve given every indication of being the opposite.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.