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I dumped my boyfriend for sponging off of me but now I feel guilty

Tagged as: Big Questions, The ex-factor<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (11 September 2018) 13 Answers - (Newest, 13 September 2018)
A female United States age 26-29, anonymous writes:

I’ve been dating this guy for 9 months now. Things started off great and though we have had a few issues I feel like they can be worked through. The latest issue though is surrounding money.

He lost his job a few months ago and has been having a hard job finding a new one. I have been basically supporting him in the meantime. I have my own place so he would come over all the time, share meals, etc. in turn my grocery expenses have gone up, and so have my utilities.

I don’t have much money as I am a single mother that does not receive child support but I make due. I also have a second car that I let him drive under the premise he look for work.

He is currently living with his mom and she pays his phone bill. I am having to put gas in this car as well as the one I use. This is really taking a financial toll on me so I broke up with him.

How could we be together and I not help him in any form or fashion whether it’s cash, food or basic necessities? I feel bad and he says I’m basically abandoning him and kicking him while he’s down.

He states he has no other help and if I cared for him like I said I did I would be there “through thick and thin. I honestly don’t think we should be together until he gets himself afloat. I can’t help him while maintaining my household it’s just not feasible to me.

Am I wrong? Or is there a chance we could be together and I not help him?

View related questions: broke up, lost his job, money

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (13 September 2018):

I'm glad you've come to that realisation. I know it's hard to feel as though you've 'abandoned' someone you care/d about, but think of it like this. He doesn't care about YOU. He is perfectly happy to put you under a lot of pressure to keep you supporting him, making you feel bad, because he knows you're a nice person and that this is how he will manage to manipulate you. If he cared about you he would NOT be putting you in this situation.

Good luck for the future.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (13 September 2018):

Its very important to look after No 1 and little No other 1. Never allow a man to walk all over your good will lady! I think you've had some helpful answers and I really hope that the head you have on concerning your welfare - sticks! Rooting for ya x

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (12 September 2018):

You did the right thing dumping him, he’s an adult he can look after himself! That money your wasting on him can be spent on your children instead, my nan always said never show a man the bottom of your purse especially a guy who is going nowhere in life and wants to take and not give anything back

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A reader, anonymous, writes (12 September 2018):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Thank you all for your responses. I allowed myself to be manipulated due to my compassion and desire to help someone I got close too. I see now this was the best decision and a lesson learned! As a parent I have to ensure the decisions I make have no impact on my child and clearly in this case they have. When I broke up with him I asked for my car keys back so at this point we have no reason to communicate anymore. I won’t be dating for a while and when I do I will take it slow and ensure whoever I’m involved with understands I’m a parent first and that they add value to my life not necessarily financially but for sure not taking advantage of me in that aspect.

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A female reader, CindyCares Italy + , writes (12 September 2018):

CindyCares agony aunt You've gotta be kidding !! Of course you are not wrong . If any you were wrong before !, because supporting an able-bodied adult male is something a single mother should not even consider to begin with, unless in absolutely exceptional circumstances. You admit yourself you are struggling a bit to make ends meet, but even if you had more money ( short of being a pluri-millionaire , of course, a Kardashian or something ) when you have a child you are not supposed to lavish your hard earned cash on MEN. If you really have extra money that you don't need right now for yourself or your kid- just put it away for those dental braces, or remedial classes, or whatever else may crop up when she is growing up- because something will probably crop up. Nothing crops up ? you can use that money for her college education or to help her launch her business or buy her first apartment etc. Yeah sure, technically you don't HAVE to, once she is 18. Guess what, your bf, or ex bf, is over 18 too and he too is not entitled to your financial support , just in force of having warmed up your bed for a few months. If you really want to / can pamper a bit somebody, make their life a bit easier… it's more sensible and loving that you do it to your own flesh and blood, rather than to some guy you have been hanging out for a few months !

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A male reader, N91 United Kingdom + , writes (12 September 2018):

N91 agony auntIt’s not your job to support him at all, is there a Jobseeker’s Allowance in the US? I’m not too sure how it works over there but in the UK you can get money from the government every 2 weeks I believe if you can prove that you’re actually trying to locate work. If he’s genuine in his search then maybe there is a similar scheme?

He should only be using your car for job related activities, what else is he using it for if he has no job? Where could he possibly be going? Sounds like he’s just having some leisurely time off.

I’ve had many friends turn round periods of unemployment in a matter of days, there’s tons of jobs out there depending on how hard you look, this guy sounds like he’s not too interested in it and enjoys the hand outs so he can sit on his backside.

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (12 September 2018):

Youcannotbeserious agony auntYou owe him NOTHING. You have been in this relationship a matter of months. You do not have vast amounts of spare money. He is not helpless or destitute. You do not have past history of him supporting YOU. Keeping a roof over your own and your daughter's heads is your priority, not supporting some immature bloke who has no problem with guilt-tripping you into mothering him. You have already done a lot more for him than many would have done, hence why he is not trying to make you feel guilty, because the free bus ride has come to an end.

While I can accept that it might not be EASY for him to find a job, how hard has he actually been looking? Is he one of these people who pretend to look for work while dismissing every job that comes along as not being right for them? If someone really wants to work, they will try for anything that is going to see them through.

You are too kind hearted and he has been taking advantage. Stop allowing him to use you in this way. If you don't prioritize your own survival, the three of you will sink together because you simply cannot afford to support another person.

For me this shows a not particularly pleasant side to his character, so I would not even think about taking him back - under ANY circumstances. You are worth better.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (12 September 2018):


"Suggest that he sign-up with a temporary job-placement agency."

"f he wants to feel too prideful to find help through a charity; living-off his mother ought to make him feel more ashamed."

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (12 September 2018):

He should only borrow the car for job-interviews; or to go in and fill-out job-applications. Then bring it right-back!

Go from point-A to point-B, and you should SEE it parked shortly thereafter!

He should also be signed-up with every job-search engine on the internet. If he doesn't have internet-service; all unemployment agencies and public libraries offer computers for public-use.

Suggest that he sigh-up with a temporary job-placement agency. This will keep him busy, close any gap in his employment; and keep his skills primed and ready when a full-time position comes along. Often, temporary-assignments become full-time jobs as a reward for exceptional job-performance.

Sweetheart, it's generous and kind of you to help a friend in need. However, a single-mom with no help; struggles more than anyone.

He should feel terrible about putting a strain on your budget; and draining what limited financial-resources you need for your child and yourself.

He has to be a man about this. It happens to all of us sooner or later; but you do your best not to become a burden on anybody. He shouldn't be too proud to get groceries from a food pantry; before taking food out of mouth of a child. Your hard-earned money is to support you and your baby!

If pride is his problem; then think about how sorry it is for a grown able-bodied man to be mooching off a single-mom! If he wants to feel too prideful find a charity; living off his mother ought to make him feel more ashamed. As well as taking advantage of such a kind and giving-person, such as yourself. When you have children, you have to draw the line; to be sure all their needs are met first. How many times did you go without; because you made sure your child had whatever he or she needs? Why should you feel any guilt?

You are correct to put the relationship on-hold; until he gets his act together. For all the reasons that you cited in your post. You did the best you could under the immediate circumstances. God will reward you, and He knows the situation.

Now boyfriend has the motivation to push even harder to find honest work, if not extended-employment. Take whatever honest and gainful-employment comes his way; until something better comes along. I've been there, and I've done that!

You've proven yourself as a good mother and girlfriend; but don't you feel one molecule of guilt!

You have a good heart, and he should be ashamed of himself to say what he said to you after what you've done for him so far. Your child comes first, you next, and he can go stay with his mama. Women like you make sacrifices everyday; and the last thing anyone can say is you're letting them down!!!

Please don't feel bad for doing the right-thing. God bless you, and provide for you. May He help your boyfriend find work.

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A female reader, mystiquek Japan + , writes (12 September 2018):

mystiquek agony auntYou did the right thing for yourself and your daughter. He was basically taking food from your daughter. Its not like he is out on the streets, he has a home, a mom (feel sorry the mother though unless she is an enabler). It isn't your responsibility to get him through. Its HIS. He's trying to guilt trip you. Don't let him. As the other aunts have said, block him and move on. Your child must come first, she needs you. He just seems to want to use you. There's a difference.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (12 September 2018):

I don't see why if he is living with his mother, why she isn't feeding him?

It most definitely is NOT your place to look after this adult (so called).

You and he have only known each other a short time. The fact that he is comfortable to mooch off you like this, does not show him in a good light. He is not only comfortable, he seems to see it as his RIGHT to be looked after by you!

Would you EVER behave this way yourself? I'm sure you wouldn't and neither should he.

Well done in getting rid. We all have bad luck and it's a shame he lost his job, but it is not your duty or your role in life to look after him. And shame on him trying to emotionally blackmail you. That also shows what a piece of work he is!

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (11 September 2018):

Honeypie agony auntI agree, you DID the right thing.

This guy is TAKING food and money from YOUR child. An ADULT. YOUR first and biggest priority should be making sure your kid's needs are taken care off. NOT taking care of a BF. And also not a BF you have only dated what? 6-7 months before he lost his job? I can see if you two were more established and living together for a lot longer that you might try and help him out, but NOT at the expense of your child.

He isn't your husband, so NO you don't OWE him to take care of him while he is unemployed.

I think it's a pretty low blow when he says that if you CARED you would be there for him. No. That is emotional blackmail to make YOU feel bad.

YOU did try and take care of him and did he put in a lot of effort? Apparently not. Since he still doesn't have a job.

I think the best you can do is let him go. Even if he does find a job and get back on his feet he WILL resent you for not "taking" care of him. And he will use that as ammo.

Date someone who is more stable. Financially and otherwise.

Yes, crap happens and someone loses their job. But that doesn't mean that everyone around them who cares for them OWES them financially.

I also agree that I hope you got that second car back ASAP.

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A female reader, Ciar Canada + , writes (11 September 2018):

Ciar agony auntYou did the right thing.

He's a con man. He has no overhead and apparently has no problem sponging off of women, at least one of them is a single mother (maybe both?). He's a bottom feeder and well done, you, for cutting him loose.

I hope you got your car back. Now change your locks, then block and delete him. Don't ever take him back, not even as a friend. Sever all ties forever. He's toxic.

Don't look back and don't second guess yourself. You did the right thing-now enjoy it!

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