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I'm fed up with my boyfriend! How much longer do I give him and how far does “for better or worse” really go?

Tagged as: Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (10 November 2017) 9 Answers - (Newest, 13 November 2017)
A female United States age 26-29, anonymous writes:

I’ve been in a relationship for 7 years, engaged for 6. I’m at the end of my rope and I know what I need to do but lack the ability to do it. I’m 28, a recent college grad, and have a job working at a hospital which supports me completely. He’s 34, and has been unemployed for 6+ months. He’s held very few jobs and most last only a year. He has no savings and nothing to his name. We’ve been living with my mom for about 3 years now (she’s retired). My mom was supporting both of us for a while, but now my fiancé gets money from his parents doing odd jobs around their house for $500+ a week for only a few hours.

He has aspirations for working with computers, and recently took a certification exam which is supposed to open up his options, although he doesn’t have a degree. I come home after work, and find him still in his pjs, dishes in the sink, and a dirty room. I’ve told him repeatedly that he has to step it up if he expects to continue living here and having a relationship. But it’s gotten to the point where he won’t even go out to buy the dogs food when he’s completely out because “no one asked him to...and he didn’t want the dog in the first place”. We’ve had the dog for 6+ years.

He recently has gotten some interviews but I don’t even think he has enough clothes to last him a week working at a new place. Most of his clothes have holes or are wrinkled from taking them out of the dryer and throwing them in a pile on the bed. I’ve tried so many times to get him to understand how lucky he is that we’ve put up with this for so long and that his time is running out. But he just calls me over emotional or a bitch and hides out in his room. I know I can’t put up with this anymore, but I’ve held up hope because our personalities were such a good match I could see ourselves lasting til old age. He does pay for things when he has money..but it’s just not enough. Even his car insurance ran out months ago but he lacks the funds to restart it. I lost my ability to see a future with him because of this financial and personal ruin he’s in, but I’ve gotten so attached and used to him being here as a companion. I want to hold out to see where this certification gets him and how the interviews go...but this ungratefulness for everything is making it really hard not to kick him out on his ass right now. How much longer do I give him and how far does “for better or worse” really go?

View related questions: engaged, money

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A female reader, femmenoir Australia + , writes (13 November 2017):

femmenoir agony auntYour bf may not be a bad person and i know you still care for him, however, in order for him to learn to stand on his own two feet, he must do this alone.

You should sit down with him and be totally upfront with him and let him know that it's over, because you've put up with his shortcomings for long enough and you can't go on like this.

You've got goals and ambition and he isn't meeting you, nor making any effort to meet you halfway.

I'm gathering that his Mother never taught him how to be self sufficient, nor responsible and now, you're stuck with playing the role of his Mother, rather than his partner.

You're a responsible partner, but your bf is not.

My ex of 7 years was pretty much the same, however, he did clean up and do pretty much everything and he did work part-time, but it was never for the long term and he was totally co-dependant upon me.

We have remained dear friends, however, as he really is a wonderful soul, but i had to make the big decision to break it off, because i wasn't too excited about playing the role of Mum, i knew i deserved better and with him, i wasn't really moving forward.

It's funny though, because many people didn't think we were ideally suited, as i worked 2 jobs, whilst he hardly worked at all.

A few mocked him behind his back to me, or i heard about it and i didn't like that at all, because regardless, i did care for him and we were dating at the time.

We connected on some level and maybe that was the attraction.

I could see him, i could understand him and i could actually feel for him and he me.

Others couldn't and he's never re-connected with another woman since.

Still, in the end, we didn't have the sexual chemistry, i was never truly deeply in love with him and i left him and carved out a better future for myself.

You should do the same and know your own self worth and not tolerate a man who won't budge and make things better for he or for you.

You can't change nor control what your bf does, but you can take full control of your own life.

You sound like a truly caring person and you obviously care for your bf to the degree that you don't wish to abandon him, but you won't be doing that.

I suspect he knows he's not making enough effort both for himself and for you, because despite appearances, he isn't that naive and ignorant.

If you would like, you can break up and still remain good friends, provided he understands and accepts that the relationship is to remain strictly platonic, especially if/when you meet Mr Right.

If you're looking to meet a responsible, life long partner, i'm afraid that this guy isn't the one.

Best of luck!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (12 November 2017):

Dump the loser and marry a rich doctor.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (11 November 2017):

Honeypie agony auntYou have tried to carry your BF or fiance for 7 years hoping he would somehow morph into the man you WANT him to be and that you THINK he can be - but it hasn't happened.

Because? You are dating a guy for his potential, not for who he is. Sure he has a get personality and you two get along well - except for XYZ. These issues XYZ have been discussed and nothing has changed. Which means you KNOW you can talk until you are blue in the face but nothing WILL change - because he has NO intentions of changing. He doesn't think he should. He knows you will "nag" and then he will call you a bitch or whine and you let the subject go until you get fed up again.

Simply put.... “Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.”

THAT is what you are doing.

You keep making excuses for him. Like " I want to hold out to see where this certification gets him and how the interviews go"... WHY? He might get a job, but will he keep it? Will he start helping out around the house? Will he take responsibility for anything pertaining to the relationship?

Sorry, you are dating a "man-child" who has gotten away with this so long it's now his standard "setting".

You know you can't CHANGE another person.

So you have two choices.

1. SUCK it up.

2. END it, set yourself free from this co-dependant relationship and move on.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (10 November 2017):

This is the original poster. I apologize that I didn’t clarify that we don’t have a date set or anything. I’ve just been waiting to get “all our ducks in a row.” I don’t think marriage will change him at all or make all our issues disappear. I asked how far “for better or worse” goes because although we aren’t married, I want to make sure I took the commitment seriously and didn’t give up just when he’s about to (possibly) succeed.

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A male reader, BrownWolf Canada + , writes (10 November 2017):

BrownWolf agony aunt

So he cannot look after you now, or be your support now..after more than 7 years.

So if you marry him...POOF!!! Magic happens and he will all of a sudden be successful, have clothes, and be the kind of man you always wanted.

Lots of marriages break up over the things you have been going through for years. But you want to marry into the thing that causes divorce, with the hopes of what???

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A female reader, YouWish United States + , writes (10 November 2017):

YouWish agony auntDid I miss the part where you talked about marrying him??

"For better or worse" is a MARRIAGE vow, and since you refer to him as your boyfriend, you're under no obligation to tolerate anything like this from a partner! Even if you HAD married him, "for better or worse" isn't a get out of life free card for the lazy!

This guy's behavior is the very reason I make sure my son cleaned his own room and made his own bed since he was small. A partner isn't supposed to take over for "mommy" who did everything!

Time to put away childish things. Get rid of him, or he'll ruin YOUR finances.

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A female reader, mystiquek United States + , writes (10 November 2017):

mystiquek agony auntIt will go as far and as long as you allow it to go. Time to stop the train, kick him off and chug on down the tracks without the extra weight. He isn't going to change and you are wasting your time. Demand for yourself my dear. You deserve it.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (10 November 2017):

You are not married so why worry about the for better or worse? You are now on trial period with him for that is what courting period is, so you have every right to reject him. He has run his test period and failed and kicking him out is long overdue. I am sure you will find a good guy where you are working now so don't waste your life with this irresponsible being.

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A female reader, chigirl Norway + , writes (10 November 2017):

chigirl agony auntThis is long overdue. Kick him out and break it off. He is not a man, but a child.

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