I went to Chuck’s house to make him a lovely prime rib dinner for Christmas after I had already purchased him a new Keurig coffee maker. I walked into his kitchen and it was filthy! Things lying all around. I had to clean it in order to prepare the dinner. Other issues: He doesn’t bathe every day, he doesn’t brush his teeth, and his
breath is disgusting.
I retired when I was 62 as we had discussed traveling and seeing the U.S. I am now 73 — soon to be 74–and we have not done that traveling. My bones and body are giving out on me. He has his own business but doesn’t retire as he has to keep his alcoholic/drug-addicted son working. I’m tired and I don’t know what to do as I do love him and he has helped me out when I could not pay for something. My heart is tired and it is breaking all the time. The other children (he has three) are worried. His youngest daughter called me one night saying her older sister, who is executor of their dad’s will, is mad that I have been put in the will. The older sister apparently said, “That fucking bitch doesn’t deserve a thing!” I told the youngest daughter: “Don’t worry, I’ll probably die before your Dad.”
Chuck’s oldest daughter has done some very terrible things to me, and Chuck doesn’t do anything about his deceitful, lying children. They are in their 40s. Do these people ever stop? Do they ever grow up? My two children (whom I’m so proud of, especially since I raised them alone) have always been respectful and kind and have always asked about Chuck. I have never seen a more dysfunctional family that his. I’m tired and feel so alone with everything.
What should I do? I’m so close and so involved I can’t see the light of day. — Bone Tired
You both sound depressed, and for as dysfunctional as you say Chuck’s family is, your relationship with him sounds just as dysfunctional. At this point, you’re probably with him out of habit and co-dependency more than anything else. You talk about loving him, and about his “helping you out” financially when you couldn’t pay for something, but these things — yes, even love — are not enough to sustain a relationship. You sound miserable, and so does he. What’s the point?
What’s the point in continuing this charade? So you don’t have to embrace being truly alone? Haven’t you felt lonely for a very long time already? Being lonely in a sham of a relationship is so much worse than being lonely but free of the shackles that have held you in a dead-end, unhappy, deeply unsatisfying relationship for decades.
You’ve been so dependent on this dead-end relationship that you apparently have suspended your dreams of travel for well over a decade. First, you wanted to wait until you retired (as if one can’t travel during time off from work while they’re younger and maybe in better physical shape and health…). Then, you retired but decided you had to wait for Chuck to be ready to travel before you’d go anywhere? All the years you’ve wasted, waiting! Waiting for what? For someone to hold your hand? For someone to book the tickets, read the map, drive the car, fill the gas tank? You raised your kids alone! You don’t have to have me tell you how much fucking work that must have been — what a daily struggle it is to raise kids, even with help, with a partner. And you did it alone. And you think you need someone to go to see Seattle with you, South Dakota, the Empire State Building? There’s a whole world out there waiting for you and you’ve already wasted so much time not seeing it.
Where are you friends? Why can’t you travel with them? What about a sister, a cousin? What about your kids? What about alone?! Who and what is your world outside Chuck, the significant other who doesn’t bathe or brush his teeth or buy you a birthday card? Have you also been denying yourself the joy of connecting with anyone else — even with yourself — when your partner of 30 years has denied you the joy of connecting with him?
You’ve wasted so much time, but it’s not too late to start living now. It’s never too late. But you aren’t going to do it with Chuck. Chuck is probably depressed and his kids SHOULD be worried. And maybe if you and he had a genuine relationship, you should be worrying too. But you’ve already wasted so much time. You’ve already given so many years of your life to this sham you call love. Love yourself. Give yourself the biggest gift you can and leave this relationship and start living. Start doing the things you’ve always wanted to do but told yourself, for some reason, you needed a man — you needed Chuck — to do with you. He’s never, ever ever going to travel with you. Spring will be here before you know it. I’ve heard that the cherry blossoms in DC are beautiful at the end of March. You have two months to plan your trip. Don’t waste any more time.
From the forums:
I feel so hurt and dismissed. I planned for this trip over and over again last year, and was wanting to materialize it this year with him on his birthday so we could see this place for the first time together. Now, he’s invited me to join him in his final week there as a resolution. I couldn’t bring myself to accept the invitation. I know the whole process of getting there is going to remind me of how he actually planned for this trip for himself only.
It seems like no matter the talking or resolution, I will always be on my own feeling hurt and sorry for myself for being completely dismissed in the beginning. What do I do? — Feeling Hurt
You wanna be 70-something years old still waiting around for your significant other to show up for you, still waiting to travel to the places you’ve always dreamed of traveling because you will only go with your partner and he’s already gone by himself and doesn’t really want to go with you? Pardon my language, but fuck that shit. This guy doesn’t care about you. I mean shit, I feel bad even watching a TV show without my husband if it’s one he really wants to see, and here’s your guy completely planning a vacation without you — and in secret! — to a place he knows is the number one spot you want to visit, with zero intention of including you at all. AND! AND! He’s going to stay with a woman he’s met online!! Oh, fucking HARD NO.
What do you do? What do you do?! Tell the motherfucker to have a nice trip and a great life and MOA. Do it now — don’t waste another minute.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.