I have been in a bad financial situation without steady work (I’m applying like crazy for jobs that would fix it all), whereas she is doing well financially, earning way more than I am. She owns the house we live in, and I can’t really afford to pay any cost of living right now.
So she said I could live with her rent-free but that, if I do that, I have to be the maid of the house, doing all the cleaning for her. She said as part of that I have to wear a maid’s uniform, a black and white maid’s dress and tights, so that I really understand that this will now be my role until I can be a man and pay her rent. She says if I don’t like it then this will motivate me to get a better job and do better financially.
I had to agree to do this and have been her maid for about a month now. On weekends she’ll order me to put on my maid’s dress and tights and go around cleaning everything top to bottom. She just laughs and watches me clean the whole time, giving me cleaning orders while she relaxes. I feel so humiliated, and I have lost all self-respect since I’ve done this, but I can’t afford to help her pay her rent. Is this a bad situation? — Maid to Order
What do you want me to say? That it sounds like a wonderful situation? That at least you have a job (as a maid) and a place to live? Or do you want me to say that it’s a terrible situation — that your self-esteem is worth more than you’re selling it for and that you should be less discerning in the jobs you’re applying for. I don’t know what your skill set is or where you’re applying, but most menial or labor-type jobs don’t require more than a high school diploma and would pay you more than the free rent you’re making as a weekend maid for your girlfriend — or at least enough to cobble together rent if you found an apartment to share with a couple of roommates.
I suspect, if this letter is actually real (and I’ve certainly received stranger ones that I could confirm were authentic), that part of you might enjoy the humiliation, and if that’s the case, I don’t really have advice for you other than to continue looking for a job so that you aren’t financially dependent on your girlfriend. You can still dress up like her maid and clean her house top to bottom without relying on her for your bread and butter.
I am debating whether he is confused due to his long relationship before me and whether he may still have feelings for his ex as he has stated he thinks about her every day and that he and she are still friends. He says everything he does reminds him of her. I am worried he still might be hooked on something from the past that won’t let him move forward and give me the chance.
I might take a break from him — maybe a week or two max — for him to see if he realizes anything different or comes to his senses on some aspects of our relationship. I prefer for him to tell me that this relationship will not work out as it would be easier on me to hear it from him and move on. But he says he’s happy with me and wants to take it one day at a time. Should I take it day by day with him? I am in no rush to get married or have kids, but just knowing that he is unsure in our relationship is unsettling.
Any thoughts you might have would help a lot! — Day By Day?
Yeah, um, it’s a little too late to “take it one day at a time.” You moved in with him, started thinking of him as The One, and are picturing your future together. He is literally telling you that he is so obsessed with his ex, whom he was probably rebounding from when he started aggressively pursuing you, that everything he does reminds him of her (more than a year and a half after breaking up with her). That is not something someone says when he’s in love — or even in moderate like — with someone else. You were nothing but a distraction for him — something he hoped would help him move on from his ex. He has realized that that isn’t the case. Or, he may simply be wrestling with his lack of love for you and whether, how, and when to end things with you. Clearly, as someone who was in a single relationship from like 16-26, he probably doesn’t even know how to be alone, and it scares him. You are something of a safety net for him. But, that’s like it.
He doesn’t feel real love for you, he doesn’t see a future with you, and taking it “one day at a time” isn’t going to change shit. I’m sorry. You made a mistake moving in with this guy so quickly, but the good news is that you can get out of this relationship, take a few months to heal, and hopefully be smarter about how you pursue your next relationship (i.e. take your time getting to know a person before moving in together, and if a guy seems hung up on an ex, don’t be so fast to picture your future with him).
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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.