“My Girlfriend Makes Me Dress Like a Maid and Clean Her House”

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I am a man and have been dating a woman whom I love so much, but I fear that she doesn’t respect me and never will.

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.

My boyfriend and I have been dating for a year and a half. Prior to being with me, he was in a 10-year relationship. I am 26 years old and he is 28. So those ten years made up practically almost all of his 20s. After three months of dating, he asked me to move in, and I did. I came back from a trip a couple days ago, and I couldn’t help thinking something was wrong. I see him as The One; I have pictured my future with him many times as I have never felt a love like this before. However, he told me that he is unsure and confused as to if he sees a future with me or not. This is concerning and hurtful.

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.


  1. OMG people. STOP MOVING IN WITH SOMEONE WHEN YOU BARELY KNOW THEM. I cannot even comprehend why this isn’t common sense.

    1. Because LUUUUURRRRVE.

      1. Someone I met the other day asked me why on Earth I moved to where I just did from So Cal. I replied “the same reason anyone ever does something stupid”. No further explanation was needed hahahaha

    2. AttacKitten says:

      Thank you! I did the same moronic thing many moons ago when I was 21. I’m super glad I learned that craptastic lesson so very young, because I never made that mistake again.

  2. Avatar photo Skyblossom says:

    LW1 Your girlfriend seems to get a lot of pleasure out of humiliating you. I can’t imagine wanting to spend time with someone who enjoys humiliating anyone, let alone me. This is your wake up call. Take any job you can get at this time. The unemployment rate is low so you should be able to get a job even if it isn’t exactly what you want. You can work a coffee shop or grocery store job while continuing to search for a much more preferred job and keep your dignity and dump the girlfriend who seems to make a sport out of humiliating you.

  3. Avatar photo Skyblossom says:

    LW2 Your trip was a break for him. During that time he became “confused” and uncertain about your future. The reason he feels that way really doesn’t matter. All that matters is that he is beginning to doubt that the two of you will be a long term couple. This happens in most relationships. Someone realizes that they don’t see a future in the relationship and sooner or later they break up. It is much more rare to find the right relationship that does last. That’s why people have a first love and then a second love and then a third love.

    I think it is common for a partner to compare their current relationship with any previous relationship. If they compare it to a former relationship and find yours to be better that is good and if they compare it and find it lacking then you are in trouble. You compare how you love him to your previous relationships. He’s comparing your relationship to his previous one and he’s feeling confused because he doesn’t know how to tell you that he thinks the previous one was better.

  4. LW1: While there are men out there who participate in this type of role-playing, they do it because they enjoy it. You don’t sound like you do. Your girlfriend just sounds mean. Get a job, any job, move out and reclaim your dignity.
    LW2: WWS.

    1. Ya, I suspected this is a dominant thing she likely finds sexual pleasure out of. Likely. Plenty of men do enjoy the humiliation, etc. that goes with that. LW doesn’t, so stop doing it and/or leave. She could just be a sadist but it struck me as a sexual thing. I also wonder what person would dress up and do that ONE time if it isn’t something they are into, let alone keep doing it. Why not have just said “ya Barbara I am so happy to help any way I can while you are supporting me but dressing up in fishnets is not going to be part of that”.

      1. Derek Brown says:

        What a wonderful situation. You have regular and stead job and you get to wear a semale uniform and obey orders. With any luck she will find another boy friend invite him to dinner and have you wait at table

  5. LW1: So stop being submissive if you don’t like it (anymore).
    LW2: I wouldn’t buy blindly that he is still so hung up on his ex. It could be an excuse, if he simply doesn’t love you enough. But he is done with you. A break of a week or two won’t change anything: face the facts. Recover your dignity and get out.

  6. *squints at title* *considers going back to bed*


  8. dinoceros says:

    LW2: You’re not in a rush to get married and have kids? Then why did you move in with him so fast?

    If you’ve been together for a year and a half, and he’s still not over his ex, then it doesn’t look goo. I wouldn’t even start dating someone who wasn’t over their ex, much less live with them and be contemplating a long-term future with them. I mean, really, you’ve got to admit that it’s a little silly to be mentally committing yourself to someone for a lifetime when they are still fixated on their ex. If you had followed a more responsible timeline, you would have probably found all this out PRIOR to moving in together and PRIOR to expecting marriage with him. And honestly, maybe he would have been less likely to hide this from you or more likely to break up with you (if it’s what he truly wants), because breaking up with someone you live with is a lot more unpleasant than telling the nice woman you’ve been seeing for a few months that you’re not ready to be in a relationship.

    You can’t just wait for someone to tell you they don’t want to be with you. Not everyone is that self-aware, not everyone is brave enough to turn their lives upside down, and not everyone likes conflict/causing hurt. It’s also a little sad to hinge your entire future on whether someone “wants you” or not. Do you want this? Do you want to be with someone who can’t decide between you and his ex? I wouldn’t.

  9. anonymousse says:

    What would a week or two break do? You were just away on a trip, and when you came home, you knew something was different.

    He thinks about his ex everyday? Even now? How long was he broken up before you started dating?

    You did move in too soon. It sort of seems that maybe you were a rebound…and now things aren’t working too well. I’m sorry. That stinks. But I would agree it’s time to move on. Take your time next time you meet someone and you want to get serious with them. There seriously is no rush. Even saving money on better rent should not come before taking a littlest bit of time to really get to know someone really well first (which takes more than three months, IMO.)

  10. LW1-Go register with several employment agencies and maybe a few catering services. (Here we even have places you can work day labor jobs for cash) They will put you to work. You aren’t trying hard enough and it is causing her to disrespect you. You should be online sending resumes on indeed,at the DOL or walking the streets looking for a job all day. She resents you. You are obviously sitting on your arse all day while she is bringing home the bacon. She doesn’t want a house husband. (That works for some people, but obviously not your situation.) Take the hint. Get your self respect back. Then go get your own place and tell her to piss off.
    LW2- You are probably just being used as a space filler, so he isn’t alone and a roommate to pay half the bills. He was probably in a hurry because he needed help paying the rent. MOA and slow down next time. Don’t be so desperate for llllllluuuuuuvvvvv.
    Been there.

  11. I can’t believe the first letter is real. I know…it could be, so for the sake of argument let’s just say it is. Unless you’re getting off on it, why would you allow it? Obviously your girlfriend doesn’t respect you. What new lows can you stoop to once you’ve gained a job? If you’d do that, you’ve proven that you’ll do a lot more, and she’s proven that she’ll expect it of you. MOA!

  12. Autumnrose says:

    LW1 – ( if LW1 if legit) never EVER would I belittle my husband in the way your girlfriend has done to you. It would be one thing for her to suggest you clean and cook while looking for a job but to dress like a female while cleaning. That’s a whole level of psychotic behavior playing off as “humor” on her part and you should run and not breed with her.

  13. Autumnrose says:

    I should also point out that many serial killers, males with mommy issues were forced to wear dresses by their moms. Which is why your girlfriend appears psychotic to me based on your letter which is why you should run and not breed with her.

  14. Stillrunning says:

    LW1- no, it’s not a bad situation, it’s a horrible one. Get a job, any job, find another place to live, and leave this relationship. Don’t even look for her in your rearview mirror as you drive away.

  15. Just need to say I absolutely Love Love Love the pic you picked for this post !!

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