I’m depressed and alone, fighting metastatic breast cancer and cervical cancer and he does whatever he did. And to put it as simply as I can, I stay because I don’t want to die alone while, at the same time, I don’t have sex with him since this incident because I’m so afraid I’m going to catch a disease and I just can’t take any more health issues. Please be honest but not too tough on me right now. I’m looking for an understanding response but also an honest one. Thank you for your time. — I Don’t Deserve This
Your man cheated on you, point blank. Bad things happen to people even when they don’t deserve them. Good, kind, and loving people get cheated on. They get cancer. It sucks, life is unfair. Bad things happen to the best of us, and I’m sorry you are really in it right now. I can’t promise you all will be fine, but I can promise that things will be a lot better if you choose to surround yourself with people who genuinely love you and care about you and your well-being, and kick to the curb anyone who doesn’t fit that description, including your lying, cheating dirtbag of a man who isn’t a man at all but a sleazeball who isn’t emotionally and physically capable of giving you the kind of tender care you need and deserve.
Right now you need to summon all the strength you can to fight your cancer. You can’t afford to dispense any of your energy on some cheating loser. Stop focusing on having a body — any body — next to you in case you die, and focus instead on surrounding yourself with all the very best people in your life to continue giving you strength as you fight to live.
If you move in with your boyfriend at 20 years old and after less than a year of dating, the likelihood of things not working out between you are extremely high. I would advise you to wait two years before moving in with him. That time would allow you to mature a little more, continue to get to know each other, and build your relationship. What is most important though is fostering your independence, and you aren’t going to get that moving from your mother’s house directly in with your boyfriend. Why not move into your own apartment? If you’re financially stable enough to afford a studio apartment or a 1-bedroom, go that route. You can still spend loads of time with your boyfriend while maintaining your own space. If things don’t work out with the two of you, it’s so much easier to end things when you don’t have to worry about breaking a lease and moving. If you can’t afford living alone, advertise for a roommate or ask around about a room available in a shared space. Moving out on your own/with a roommate at 20 years old is a totally normal thing to do and will give your mother less to freak out about than if you moved in with your boyfriend of less than a year.
The point is, there are lots of options besides living with your mother or living with your boyfriend, both of which do not help you foster the independence you need to build the most healthy and functional relationships. You’ll know when you’re ready to move in with your boyfriend when you’ve done these 15 things. Until then, slow your roll.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.