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Can I help the man I love, or will he never change?

Tagged as: Big Questions, Dating, Family, Health, Troubled relationships, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (7 April 2020) 8 Answers - (Newest, 8 April 2020)
A female Australia age 30-35, anonymous writes:

Dear Cupid,

I 26 am seeing a man who is 29 whom I have known for 10 years. he does nice things for me, he does his own washing, cleans up after himself (present) but here's the thing...

10 years ago when we were younger I was still in school, I didn't have a job. He worked full time, took me out on dates etc.

fast forward now...the guy is 29, with a 6 year old he barely sees from a previous marriage, has been in and out of jobs (lost due to anxiety and not turning up to work) has debts...getting his car fixed, child support, debt to me of just over 4k for 3 years (which he pays when he works or gets money from centrelink)

I normally stay on weekends, but I'm staying for a week and so far his routine is; leave computer running, get up after 4 or 7 hours sleep, go on computer, back to bed, get up..computer...make coffee, eat, computer....

he doesn't shower very often and like never brushes his teeth?

From what I can gather he is on medication but only the tablets for when you are having an "anxiety attack"

I send him jobs to apply for, he says he applies but isn't getting calls back? he's a butcher by trade.

He's a good worker when he does work.

He wants to live together, wants a family and has said all these things he will do, but am going to be the one paying for everything forever (I work in childcare), Would I actually be happy or miserable with a baby?

He says he did everything for his child when his child was a baby/toddler. would he do that now?

I look at how he is currently living with his male friend and I would like things to be different living together?

I honestly always have loved this man, I just want some advice on how I can help him.

my dad says this man is a loser and has no future, dads partner says I'll be paying for everything and I'll be a single and miserable mum if I stay?

Can I help him or is he never going to change?

View related questions: debt, money

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (8 April 2020):

Honeypie agony auntThanks for the update.

So if the money lending was a few $ here and a few here, why did you never say no more until you pay what you have already borrowed? WAY before it got to 4K?

I makes no sense to keep giving someone money who hasn't gotten a steady job and who apparently doesn't really pay you back.

Saying NO is OK. It might perhaps have encouraged him to FIND a job instead of mooching.

I see that you think you can fix him if you just love him enough. I don't think you can. HE has to WANT to fix himself and to ACTIVELY work at it. He really doesn't seem to do that, correct?

He can promise you the moon, OP

Doesn't mean he will be able to deliver, right?

HE can say ALL kind of sweet things that he KNOWS you want to hear, but talk is cheap OP. Action is not.

To quote you:

"he has said previously "I can and will give you everything"....how do I go about his in response?"

Have you asked him - simply.... WHEN? HOW?

He is seeming very good at daydreaming and spinning pretty "yarn" to reel you in with, and he got you, hook, line and sinker.

Instead of asking WHAT can I do?, ASK yourself WHAT do you need in a partner? Articulate that and CONVEY it to him. He can then decide if he WANTS to be the man YOU think he CAN be or not. And you can then decide if you want to be with someone who mooches of you and promises all kind of empty dreams.

It's your life, if you want to waste it on him, that is on you. Your choice. But unless he changes, you ARE wasting your time.

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A female reader, Aunty BimBim Australia +, writes (8 April 2020):

Aunty BimBim agony auntIf he ripped up the contract for repaying the loan, if, when you try to discuss the issues he says you are being condescending, if he isn't doing anything to help himself, if he doesn't recognise he is already a "loser dad" then there is no hope for this no hoper and you would be better off calling it a day.

Don't waste one second more, your dad's partner is bang on when she says you will end up miserable and single.

So, the weekend is nearly here, take the opportunity to collect everything you might have left there, and while he is ignoring you and playing on his computer instead just leave.

Block him on all social media, and leave him to it. Let him become some other poor bstds project and count the money you lent him as the cost of a hard lesson.

Don't hang around there please, you deserve so much more than this. Pack your stuff up and rescue yourself, he is past rescuing.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (8 April 2020):

I can’t imagine this guy changing much . Not unless he were to get serious intervention and help , like perhaps a live in type therapy fir a year or so . He sounds depressed and like he needs qualified therapists and programs to help him out of it . This takes time and commitment and of course the desire to do it . Also what does he do on all that time on the computer , let me guess , porn ? Probably yet another problem hiding possibly

If you really love this guy perhaps tell him how you feel . That yoh really care about him but you can’t see the relationship going anywhere with circumstances where there stand but that you would be prepared to stand by him if he were to seek solid and sustained help . Perhaps you could even have a few options available for him to call and then you will know

How serious he is

I really don’t see there is much more yoh can do without the support and help of professionals here

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (7 April 2020):

Youcannotbeserious agony auntHe already has one child he hardly sees (and I am assuming, based on what you have written, doesn't support); why would you want to create another one with him? Can you cope with having TWO people dependent on you - your child AND this man? Even if you CAN cope, WHY would you?

He may be a lovely person when he is "on form" but he is not reliable, he can't hold down a job and he is in debt he struggles to repay. I understand he has mental health issues and that there but for the grace of God any of us can go but ask yourself, do you want a partner who will shoulder and share the cares and burdens of life with you, or do you want a project who will add to your cares and burdens, leaving you as the sole provider and carer for any children you may produce together?

Until he sorts out his mental health issues, he should not even be thinking about producing more children he cannot support. He can't even look after HIMSELF at the moment so how do you think he will cope with the pressures a child brings? You need a healthy robust relationship to cope with adding a child. A child is not a plaster to fix someone.

Listen to your dad and his partner. They are looking out for you. By all means give this man time to try to sort himself out but hold off having children together.If you decide to have a child with him, be prepared to shoulder all the responsibility yourself. He MAY be great with babies but children don't stay babies for long.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (7 April 2020):

A few years back he messaged me out of the blue asking if I could help him, he had just lost his job of seven years...and that's how I ended up in the money situation with him. It wasn't "oh hey he's 4 and something K" it was money that accumulated over time (money here and there) he at the start said he would pay me back but he has only paid $500 so far...

I have tried writing out a personal "I (insert name) owe (insert name) (the amount of)….but he never signed it and ripped it up.

how can I be firm with him about a job, his hygiene and everything else without him being like "you are being condescending" etc etc…

he probably doesn't brush his teeth cause he has a chipped front tooth.

he has said previously "I can and will give you everything"....how do I go about his in response?

I believe he's a good person, a good man that's just fallen on hard times.

thank you for your advice.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (7 April 2020):

Honeypie agony auntI think you are ABSOLUTELY 100% wasting your time on this guy.

He doesn't ADD much to your life. He is a financial drain on you and dragging you down. OWING you 4,000? Why on EARTH did you lend this guy (who doesn't have a regular job and ins't try all that hard in finding one) money in the first place?

And THAT much money too?

I hope you have that loan in writing, so you can hold his feet to the fire to still PAY it back regardless of whether you date or not.

Having kids with him or moving in with him would be a disaster! He doesn't even look after himself, his first child or even you! He can't keep his OWN personal hygiene! You think he would change if you moving in together? NOPE. Or if you had a kid with him? NOPE?

You don't OWE him squat for taking you out back in the day when you dated. He made the choice to take you out and to pay.

You dad is right. And your dad is looking out for you and wanting what is best FOR you.

And CodeWarrior is correct that this guy isn't some old building that you can "restore to glory" with enough money and love.

The guy you THINK you love is the gay you dated a DECADE ago. He is no longer that guy, he quite frankly, sounds like a loser.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (7 April 2020):

You love the person and the man that he used to be. He is now somebody else.

Will he never change? Who knows? For sure, he will certainly change your life; and not for the better!!! He is your one-way ticked to hell!

Now use your common-sense. How long would you get along in a relationship with someone who practically does nothing all day? You've indicated that he doesn't even take care of his anxiety-disorder, and can't hold-down a steady job. He won't shower or brush his teeth? He's a walking petri dish! Fungus and bacteria flourish on bodies like his!

Sweetheart, you've described a loser. A man who has given-up. A bum! We don't like to think of people we care about in those terms; but it is what it is! He's not even motivated to change for the sake of his own child! Why would he do it for you?

This is not what happy-romances are made-of. Trust me, I have been through something similar with a friend whose girlfriend got him hooked on heroine. I knew the guy he was, his sweet personality still hasn't changed. He's funny, loyal, and very handsome. To look at him, you can't tell he has a serious problem. His Russian-model ex-girlfriend turned high-paid hooker; introduced him to hard-partying and the night-life. That's all she wrote! He finally got-away from her, and that's only because she got a new rich boyfriend!

He's now a liar, takes advantage of people, and lies to people that he kicked his habit cold-turkey. He hustles rich old gay-men for money. He used to be a model, and learned to use his looks to charm people. It was confessed to me he even talked a good acquaintance of mine into paying-off fines he got for some minor skirmishes with the law; and some legal-fees he owed his immigration attorney. There was a time he would give you his last dollar. He was very kind, and a sensitive person. I still care what happens to him; but he is not a charity-case. He has a great mom, but hates his stepfather. They have strict house-rules, if he lives with them. He is a person with a capable brain. He has the education, and the ability to turn his life around; but he has to do it. No one can do it for him. He showed-up on my doorstep, but was out within a week. Not after all I've learned about what he has become! Back in the day, he let me crash at his place a few times to save a long drive; so now we're even. I am not letting a heroine addict room and board in my house!

You must show compassion and kindness to any human being. You don't get romantically-involved with men like that; and think your love is going to fix him. Surely they can be quite pitiful when compared to whom they used to be. That's the snare you do not want to step into!

I will put it bluntly for you. He is not a rescue pet. That kind of thinking is stupid and delusional. You can urge him to take better care of himself; but he's a grown-man, and a father. Why should you have to? For now, he would only be a burden on you; and he would drag your life into the pits! Stop giving him your money!!!

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A female reader, Aunty BimBim Australia +, writes (7 April 2020):

Aunty BimBim agony auntIt doesn't sound as if he is managing his "anxiety" properly, it sounds more like depression to me, not that I am a qualified medical professional or anything.

You might need to be firm with him, he needs to be properly diagnosed and treated and there will be no improvements until AFTER this happens. He should also be getting some sort of regular counselling, a GP can usually set this up, but with the current world situation it could be more difficult that usual.

If he cant take care of (spend time with and be involved with) the child he already has what makes you think he will be a better parent to any children you might have, especially in his current state.

I can certainly understand why your father and his partner have concerns. Maybe you need to be straight with the man, he isn't a total lost cause (yet) but he needs to be proactive, and that wont happen unless you lay it out for him, straight down the line. Otherwise you will be wasting your time, sorry.

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