I read your book twice and I am trying to figure out if I am a chump even though I don’t believe I have been cheated on, your advice resonates with me, so maybe I am with a cheater?
Here’s the scoop, I am 44 years old and I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for 9 years. In that 9 year span we took a break twice. Usually the reasons were geared around me not feeling like he was connecting with me intimately. He doesn’t like to communicate his needs and instead gets flustered at my need to talk things out. This usually results in him saying that our relationship is immature and that at his age (49), he shouldn’t have to deal with this. Our lack of intimacy has been so frustrating to me — we have not had sex in TWO years. When I ask him about this, he tends to deflect and brings up situations where he felt I wasn’t trusting towards him. For instance, on two occasions he said he was going to spend the night at a female friend’s house (she is married and has a kid) to make music in her makeshift studio. I expressed my resentment at this and instead of showing empathy, he listed all the reasons why I should not be so controlling of him and his desire to hang out with his friend and make music.
I pay all the bills, because he didn’t have a job, but now he has one and he has not really offered to help. And I know that makes me a chump. About a month ago I just blew up and asked him if this is really what he wants. This stemmed from multiple accounts of me visually seeing the disgust in his face whenever I brought up an uneasy topic, or actually just any topic. I’m sick of bringing up the no sex topic and I’m starting to feel like a big fat loser chump and that maybe I am destined to be a chump forever. He gets to live free off me and not have a partner he is accountable to, so I guess he is winning the chump game?
For the love of all that is holy, DUMP THIS LOSER.
He isn’t a boyfriend, he’s a barnacle. Scrape him off your ship and sail away.
I don’t know if he’s cheating, or not. Maybe he and his married friend chastely ring handbells while singing Ave Maria. I have no idea. It doesn’t matter. He fails at all the other boyfriend criteria.
Mutual support? Hell no.
What is he DOING IN YOUR LIFE?! Why do you think you need this creature there to reject you every day and SUCK THE LIFE FORCE OUT OF YOU? He is using you. And you don’t have to take it!
Alone is better than him. Much, much better. Honestly, you could craft a boyfriend out of cardboard, prop him up at weddings as your plus-one with less mortification than a single moment with your current whatever-he-is. At least Mr. Cardboard wouldn’t roll his eyes at you with contempt — and you could recycle him.
A vibrator is a better boyfriend! A vibrator doesn’t have grocery bills. And a vibrator is exactly where you left it and isn’t out “making music” at odd hours. (Well, unless you accidentally turned it on and its humming in a drawer somewhere. But it’s not trying to HURT YOU!)
Elle. Elle. Elle.
He doesn’t like to communicate his needs
Fuck his needs. Who cares? You’re done catering. Do you really want an uncommunicative, sullen person in your life? (Mr. Cardboard and BoB have no attitude problems.)
we have not had sex in TWO years
You realize that there is a great big wild world out there with men who will have sex with you? Now, not all of them are relationship material, but it’s best to heal up and fix that picker lest you have another non-paying roommate. But sex, Elle? Sex can be had. Why are you staying with someone who doesn’t want what you want (sex, friendship, mutual support)?
he said he was going to spend the night at a female friend’s house (she is married and has a kid) to make music
Uh huh. And you’ve read my book twice. I’m thinking you suspect he’s cheating on you. You don’t need proof of that to know that this relationship is a non-starter, right? I was mentally dumping his shit on the sidewalk at You Pay All the Bills.
he listed all the reasons why I should not be so controlling of him
Okay, be free little fuckwit. Fly away home. Oh right, you don’t have a home. Well, consider that on the cold, cold sidewalk. Buh-bye.
I’m starting to feel like a big fat loser chump and that maybe I am destined to be a chump forever.
No, this is an entirely curable condition. Know that you deserve better and start acting like it. He’s the big, fat loser. Don’t accept that. You have the POWER not to accept it.
He gets to live free off me
No he does not. He only does if you allow it. Stop allowing it.
and not have a partner he is accountable to
You can’t make someone be accountable to you. They have to be an adult who can hold themselves to account. You cannot demand respect. But you can always respect YOURSELF. You don’t deserve abuse. Recognize that he does not respect you. What you do next is your choice.
so I guess he is winning the chump game?
If you mean getting all the kibbles and giving none? Yes, he’s winning. And why would you want to stay with this zero-sum loser? Who cares what sick game he’s playing?
Leave. Stop being his chump.