Colourbox photo illustration “I work full-time, cook dinner, tend to the baby, and clean up all on my own… How can I talk to him?”
Q: I’ve been with my boyfriend on and off for three years. We have a 5-month-old baby, and just moved out of his parents’ place into our own.
He hasn’t lived on his own for 10 years and has never lived with a woman. He’s dependent on his mother. If he needs something done, she drops everything and does it.
He still has her on his bank account. He refuses to do a change of address to our place and had the house phone listed as his number, not ours.
I’ve said he needs to be more independent, but he just brushes it off. I work full-time, cook dinner, tend to the baby, and clean up all on my own.
I recently stated that I haven’t had time for a shower in three days, and he didn’t even offer to let me go first. It’s like he’s selfish.
I get up with the baby every night and get us both ready in the morning, while he stays asleep. How can I talk to him without him thinking I’m mean or badgering him?
He’s No Help
A: He’s selfish and immature. Unless you straighten your spine, you’re stuck with being like his mom …. doing everything.
It seems you’re so afraid to lose this guy (some prize!) that you make weak suggestions that’ll change nothing.
I strongly urge you to not have another child until something changes in this set-up.
Focus on important stuff only: Have your own cellphone, and forget about the home line. Drop the bank account issue. Keep your money separate for now.
But looking after his child must be shared, or crucial child-father bonding takes longer. Appeal to his fatherly pride.
As for the household and meals, manage your own needs. Take your shower before dinner; he can wait.
Make meals ahead and get healthy deli meals, so dinner takes less time on workdays. If you earn enough to get cooking or cleaning help, do so.
Do not do his laundry and his other chores … tell him how to use the machines. This isn’t being mean; it’s self-preservation. You need energy and time for your child as well as your job.
Q: I’ve been seeing someone flaky for several months. We share similar interests, but he’s very detached.
When we started dating, he kept a photograph of his ex in his room. After several months the picture disappeared.
I’ll soon be attending school two hours away, and don’t know how to proceed with this relationship (he has no cellphone or internet, and is very busy with work).
I care about him, and I know he cares about me, but I haven’t even heard him call me his girlfriend though I’ve met his family and friends.
Now with school looming, awkward silences about this, and limited contact, I’m unsure if I’m into it anymore. A long-distance relationship would be unfair to us both.
Complicating things, I reconnected with an old friend who attends the same school. We talk easily and have so much in common, I feel a stronger connection than with the man I’ve been seeing.
I know that I have to break off the current relationship, but how do I go about this?
A: That was a lot of buildup till you got to the point: You’ve already switched interest to someone else.
The current guy may be even more remote because he already felt you pulling away.
There’s been no “girlfriend” word, so unlikely any talk of “forever” either.
Be kind, be clear, and be honest … you’re moving on.
TIP OF THE DAY
When your partner’s selfish, manage your responsibilities, not his or hers.
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