Category Archives: Living Together

Advice about living together.

Don’t Feed His Dependency!

Hi Rob,
I would love some advice please.
I have known Woody since we were 13. We went to school together, went to different universities and since returning to our home town we have again become friends. In the past few months though I have realised that I might want more than friendship.

Normally I can tell if a man is interested in me but his actions have me totally confused. He came to my birthday party in January and spent most of the night by my side. At the end of the night after everyone had passed out and found a place to sleep we went to my bed and SLEPT together. No sex. No touching. But in the morning we were mucking around and started play punching each other and playing knuckles! I don’t know why. I thought it was odd for a guy to lie beside me all night and not make a move.

A month or so later we were out on the town with a group and by the end of the night he was walking me to a taxi then asked if I wanted to come to his place for a drink. I went and he poured his heart out to me about his pressures at work and family relationships etc. He told me some very personal stuff. Then we again shared a bed though this time we lay in each other’s arms all night. That’s all. In the morning he was strange and would not walk me to my car. He later apologized for rambling on about his problems all night. I told him I was happy to listen anytime.

Since then whenever we see each other out we are always friendly and he stays by me most of the night. Once again the other night we started mucking around and playing knuckles. My hand was quite sore the next day! I realize how ridiculous this sounds. We are both 26 for goodness sake! How embarrassing!

I never really see him chat up other girls. I know he respects me and I know I respect him. Maybe we are just meant to be friends but I can’t stop thinking about what it would be like to kiss him.

I am such a chicken and am unable to tell him how I feel. I don’t want to embarrass myself by making a move only to be rejected. If I knew he was keen I would though.
We share a lot of mutual friends and people like to talk… Do you think he likes me as more than a friend? Why hasn’t he made a move on me? I know you will tell me to tell him how I feel but I am seriously too scared to. What is your opinion and how can I tell if he is interested in being more than friends? Please help.
Thank you, Nat.

Hi Nat,
I bet this guy has a haphazard relationship with all the females in his family. He was the ‘good kid’ that treated everyone with respect but didn’t form relationships well as a youth.

Now, he’s got you to be the ‘nurturing type’. And you’re feeding this dependency by how you’re treating him.

He won’t make the first move, ever. He doesn’t know how. Unless in anger, which I bet he’s slow to boil too.

While this might feel good to you, you get to teach him how to be, he’ll end up using you because of his dependency and weakness in relationships.

You need to wait until he matures a lot more before going into a romantic relationship with this guy, unless you want to ‘mother’ him for the rest of your life.

Give him room to grow, keep as friends but back way off of any romantic feelings or you’re setting yourself up for a lot of disappointment.
Best wishes,
Rob.

Husband’s Controlling Behavior: A Success Story

Dear Rob,
I just want to confirm that I am in a controlling relationship.

I have been married to my husband for 14 years. Dated him for 6 years before getting married, so we’ve been together for 20 years. We met in high school and he had always been a jealous guy. He was jealous of some of my male friends, not all of them. He would choose which ones he didn’t think I should be friends with anymore since I was with him now, especially my ex-boyfriend. He would expect me to ignore or be mean to my ex-boyfriend if we saw him in public somewhere to prove my loyalty to him. If I would go out with friends, he would ask me all kinds of questions like did I meet or dance with any guys.

I accepted all this because I thought we were young and he was just immature and would change as he grew up. So, we got married, had kids and everything was fine because I was home all the time with kids and working. Didn’t have time for anything else.

As the kids got older, I started having more freedom to be able to go out with friends again. It seemed like his jealousy from high school started again. He would call my cell phone at least 20 times while I was out. Or, call my girlfriend’s husband’s to really find out if I was out with the girls.

He did this all in subtle ways. Let me explain: when he called my cell phone several times, he would make excuses for calling, so it wouldn’t seem he was checking on me. Like he would say he couldn’t find something or tell me a friend called and he was giving me a message or wanted to know if I was safe and he was worried. When he called my friend’s husbands he would talk about other things with them and then gradually bring up something like “so, the girls are at so and so tonight, huh”? This way he would find out if I was really with them. He only called my friend’s husbands when I was out. Otherwise, he wasn’t friends with any of them. He would call me this much even when I was at the grocery store. I felt like I was being stalked. I felt creepy like I was being watched and he said he was just being a worried husband and I should be glad that he cares. If I came home late from work, he would call my whole family to find out where I was and make my family seem like I was irresponsible for not checking in with him. I only went to buy milk on the way home. He even had my 4 year daughter catching on to his behavior. She would wait by the door for me to come home from work and check the digital clock if it was after 5:00 and start crying if I was home past 5. He is very subtle in his ways. What I mean by this is he’s not loud or demanding toward me. It’s the things he would say, like “I’m a caring husband”, or maybe you’re clinically depressed and should see a doctor”, or “this is just the way I am, I worry too much”.

There’s a lot more but this is just some of the examples. We have money issues too which I think is part of his controlling nature. When I told him we need counselling, he would tell me to go alone and that I am the one with the problem because I can’t accept him the way he is. He thought my unhappiness was brought on by something medically wrong with me and even made my mother believe it. They both wanted me to go to a doctor to find out why I was feeling the way I am. She thought I was depressed. When I tell him I want to separate, rather than trying to make things work, he would threaten me and say he would keep the kids and that I shouldn’t try to find someone else because no one will accept me with all my kids.

Well, that was 4 years ago. We are divorced now and I am remarried. I never felt so much relief in my life after leaving him. Even though he never hit me or called me names, it’s the jealousy that made me feel creepy towards him. However, I am still feeling so guilty about the fact that my marriage failed and I let my kids down and my oldest (the one that would wait by the door when she was 4) thinks I left because I cheated on him. His whole family believes that even though I met my new husband after all this. I need to find a way to get over my guilt for getting a divorce. He makes me feel sorry for him for leaving. Is my guilt the result of staying in a controlling relationship for too long? I started to believe what I’ve been told all these years?

Thanks in advance for any encouragement you can give,
Ruth

Hi Ruth,
Yes, he was controlling you. His subtle ways became more obvious over time to you.
His jealousy and insecurity that you were too good for him led him to a level of jealousy that has it’s only output as control of the person you are with.
Control of where you are, who you are with, who you are allowed to speak with and even be friends with. Control of money, spending and even gift buying.

I am happy that you had the courage to endure and face the reality of your situation and end the abuse you suffered from your teen years until now. You have no reason to feel guilty about the divorce or how he tricked your family into believing the worse of you. That was all part of his control. His abuse. His uncontrolled jealousy.
You didn’t let anyone down, you did the best you could under the most difficult of situations.

I hope that your letter will bring encouragement to many other women out there in similar situations of abuse.
Thanks for writing me!
Best wishes,
Rob.

The Selfish Husband

Hi Rob,
I have a question. I am a married woman… married for 3.5 years, and my husband and I are like no other married couple. We have sex about once every 2 months. (and I am the type that LOVES sex.. lots of sex lots of ways).

My husband is more conservative. I feel that sex is a huge part of a marriage, or any real relationship for that matter. We have talked about our lack of intimacy and we make lots of promises that are not met, (both of us, not just him). I lack daily compassion, apparently. He wants me to hug on him and be excited to see him everyday and give him lots of kisses, (he doesn’t do this stuff very often, mind you.
But he wants me to. To be honest, I HATE the way he kisses. Mouth WAY to far open.. open so far it blocks my nostrils. He also breathes through his mouth while doing this. What type of person would want to kiss someone like that. My problem is, we are married.

I do not desire a divorce. We have 2 kids, 2 cars and a new beautiful home and it would be a huge hassle I think to divorce. But I can’t live like this. I have only told you the tip of the iceberg…

My question is, how do you deal with something like this? And how do you tell a sensitive man that feels that he is a good kisser, that he is a bad kisser? A horrible kisser! Help please!!
Chris

Hi Chris,
It’s a fact that marriage does not mean you have great communication. You are not instantly the ‘best lover’ simply because you’re married.

You need to be open, communicate, show affection and be reasonable about the demands that you place on each other.

You cannot ask without giving and this is applicable in marriage, the bedroom, in all facets of our daily lives. There is no room for selfishness.

Since you have attempted to open these lines of communication by talking about what you feel are shortcomings on your husband’s part and you realize where your own shortcomings are, I’d suggest looking to get some tips on opening communication through other ways.

Get some “love cards” that are notes you can leave each other every day or two.
Get some adult games that allow you to be instructed on what to do in the bedroom.

And, most of all, be honest with your husband. If you don’t like his kisses, teach him how you want to be kissed. If he’s so self-conscious about being told what to do, sexually, you’re in for a long haul and counseling should be started ASAP. If he won’t go, you need to start alone. But I hope that he’s willing to learn, for your sake and his.

Guys that want to make their partners happy are willing to learn what it takes. Guys that are selfish aren’t willing to accept that they don’t pleasure their women and they should be left alone. Cut off from sex until they can accept that what they do isn’t what you want, sexually.

Showing affection on a daily basis should not be a hardship. A hug, an “I love you”, a special treat purchased for your partner when you go shopping… all of these are small tokens of affection that go a long way in keeping love alive.
Best wishes,
Rob.

The Man-child

Dear Rob,
First off I think your a great guy doing what u do! I browsed through your web site and think its the best thing that happened for anyone to get advice on and seeing that others have the same kind of situations their in.

Well I’m sort of embarrassed to talk about my problem in what I’m having with this on and off relationship that I have. I’m 30, my so called bf is 37 and we’ve dated for 2 years. We have a 8 month old daughter that’s involved. Neither of us are married.

He does have 3 sisters and 1 brother that has kids. Well I don’t understand why he would want to constantly be there for his relatives kids that are the ages between 5 and up and not his own! It seems that he’s always there for his relatives, especially his mother, ignores my daughter and I with no phone calls or seems like he fell off earth, then when he’s done taking care of them that’s when he has time for my daughter and I. It’s very hurtful that he considers his 1st daughter last, only supports her when he feels like it. We used to live together but now separated due to arguing all the time and also would just constantly be running to his relatives and mother.

I know it’s ok to help family out once in a while or when there is a bad crisis but this happens everyday with him. Even when we lived together he wouldn’t come home to us first he be going to his mother’s house. It started to make me feel annoyed, and that I wasn’t the main priority to him. I feel as though he’s so attached to his mother and family that he doesn’t even know how to deal with his own here!

Another thing is when he’s in the wrong I get the blame! He calls me ” nuts, I create things in my head, that I need mental help, etc. I know I’m being verbally abused by him! I’m trying my best to keep up my self esteem and not to let him bring me down. I fear that if I take him to court that when he gets his visitation rights that he’ll abuse my daughter the same way, that’s why I don’t have anything to do with the court, we make plans for him to see his daughter but at least I still have more of the say so.

I don’t know what to do about the relative/ mother thing? He’s 37 and wants to move back in with his mother instead cause he knows then he wont have to work, sit in front of TV, cook, clean for his mother and babysit his sisters kids instead of working things out with us as a family! I’m confused cause I don’t want to be alone with our daughter but at the same time I’d rather be alone cause I can’t take the verbal abuse anymore.

There is so much more about him that I could write a book and continue to ask for help! I really do have more of a little boy here then a real man!!! Real Men take care of their responsibilities and always care for their family!!

But this was my main concern. I did read one of your articles about controlling guys and all the 12 statements match him. So I’m keeping my eyes out for someone that’s going to treat my daughter and I like their first priority! I no longer feel cared for or loved by this person! I wonder if this is still going to continue on and on with his nieces and nephews when my daughter get older to understand more things. If so i feel so hurt that she’s going to see her dad care more about the other kids then her! I would hate to see my daughter run and cry to me about him.
Looking forward for your advice~ ~ ~
Sincerely,
Susan

Hi Susan,
You’ve met a “man-child”. Someone that doesn’t need to grow up, take responsibility, make decisions that affect anyone but himself.

He won’t change, it’s really too late for him.
Blame his mother for being so protective of him that he never had to stand on his own two feet. And blame him for not having the courage to be a real man and shoulder the responsibility of his own life.

He’ll keep his family ahead of the one he’s created with you because:
– they aren’t his responsibility
– he can have all the good times and none of the hard times with his family and nieces/nephews
– they will take care of him but if he’s with you he has to take care of himself, you and the baby

You need to start thinking of yourself and your child first:
– get a court order for child support
– get a court order for supervised visits because the guy can’t be trusted

And realize that your relationship with him, outside of the responsibilities he has for your child, is over. He may try to protect himself by making small gestures of support, of visiting you and your child. But they will quickly end if you let him off the hook of the responsibility he now has. It’s time you made him prove himself. And you’ll see him attack you with anger. He’ll say that you don’t understand the pressure he’s under. He’ll work you from every angle to make everything your fault, not his. Don’t let him off the hook!

Get a lawyer, protect yourself.
You may need counseling to get over the coming rough spots, do it. For yourself and your child.
I wish you well,
Rob.

Stop Being The Sugar Mommy

Hi Rob,
I can’t tell my family and friends about my problem so I decided to email you.

Let me start by describing myself. I am 28 years old and very successful in my career as manager in a multi-national company. People say I look more than ok and have a number of admirers and followers.

My problem is with my boyfriend. He doesn’t seem to know the concept of responsibility. We’ve been together for almost 6 months now and ours is like a whirlwind romance. I didn’t get to know him first before we became an item.

You see, my problem is like this. I feel as if I’m his sugar mommy. Whenever we go out, we normally split the bill. I really do not have any problem with that except that its not a 50-50 split. Its more like me paying 75% or more of the bill. And we go out every night… we always eat dinner together…. and not just eat anywhere… we usually eat in expensive restaurants. I also share with the gasoline expenses. The funny thing is both of us have cars but I frequently gas up his car more than mine, sometimes 2-3 times a week full tank. He’s into sales so he uses his car everyday to get around and he can reimburse this with his company, yet he asks me to pay for half of the expense every time. Yes, it’s his car we use when we go out but the places we normally go to is just within the vicinity and would not consume that much gasoline. Not only that, he also expects me to split the bills when he buys personal stuff like shirts (not just any shirt but the expensive kind), monthly medications worth 2k+, shaving cream etc.

We both have good paying jobs but he always complains that he has no more money left. He’s an only child and has no obligations at home. He gets to keep all his earnings to himself yet he’s always broke. He is an impulsive buyer, he loves branded and very expensive clothes, shoes and accessories. I, on the other hand, am earning more than him but I have many obligations at home. I am the breadwinner in the family. I am currently maintaining 2 houses, our house in the province and our apartment here in Manila, by which I take care of all the monthly utility bills, food, rental etc. I am also sending my 2 brothers to school in reputable colleges in Manila. I am also paying a monthly amortization (roughly 30k) for the condo I bought.

With our situation now, I’m having difficulty balancing my finances. I tell him in passing that I’m having difficulty with my cash position but he’s so insensitive, he still expect me to share in ALL the expenses.

I am not very good with confrontations that is why I tolerate the situation. I do not know what to do anymore, ever since I met him I don’t get to set aside any personal savings anymore. In fact, I use up the savings I was able to set aside in the past years as my current earnings are not enough anymore to sustain me, my family and HIM.

I don’t have the heart to ask my family and friends for advice because I don’t want them to get angry at him. I love him but sometimes I couldn’t take it anymore. I can only take so much. I know he loves me too but sometimes I doubt the reason why he wants to see me everyday…. so he’ll have somebody to share with the expenses? I know sooner or later I need to talk to him… but HOW? What will I say? He’s very good at twisting things, I’m afraid he’ll make it look like it was my fault in the very first place.

I know he has these flaws yet I myself can’t explain why I stick with him. It’s not a matter of being afraid to find another guy because like I said I’m not hard on the eye and there are a lot of guys waiting on the side.

Sometimes I just think I’ll tolerate it until such time I leave for Australia. You see, I have a pending application for Australia and he doesn’t want me to leave. I want to migrate because I feel I can support my family better if I go there. I’ve been processing my papers without his knowledge, and I’m expecting my visa to be released before the year ends. I know its a cowards way out but I am desperate. Please help.

Thanks so much in advance, Troubled Heart

Hi Troubled Heart,
It’s time for you to make some changes to your life because, obviously, how you are being treated by your boyfriend isn’t working.

From what you’ve told me, he’s using you for your money.
He gets all the benefits of your relationship:
– His bills are paid
– He can spend his money on whatever he wants
– He gets gifts from you whenever he wants to get something new
– He can tell himself that he’s being fair to you by contributing his small amounts to pay large bills that you pay

In your position it’s time to end this behavior and if need be, end the relationship.

Save your receipts and write down what you’ve paid and what he’s paid.
Pull out your credit card statements and mark down what you’ve purchased for him.
Have a sit down talk with him about how much you’re spending, the financial pressure he’s putting on you, and that this (your paying the majority of shared bills and spending money on him) has to end.
If he doesn’t promise to start paying back the gas money and clothes money that you’ve spent on him…. it’s time to end the relationship.

I hate to say it, but financial behavior like this is a one way street, he gets what he wants and you are left to deal with the consequences. Whether money, possessions, or simply ignorant behavior, you have to put an end to being the “sugar mommy” and the “victim” of his selfishness. If that means ending the relationship, then do it.
Money and finances are one of the cornerstones of any enduring relationship. Often one partner will earn much more than the other so bill payments aren’t shared equally. This does not mean that both partners don’t share the same financial responsibilities for expenses in the relationship. What it does mean is that you need to be upfront about each others financial responsibilities and needs. Who pays for what and when. How money is saved as well as how expenses are shared. And this should be put in writing before cohabitating.

As far as your coming opportunity in Australia, don’t just slink away to another place, what if he decides to follow you? You’ll never be rid of him and his ‘me first’ money demands.
Best wishes,
Rob.