Skip

I just want to go home. But not THAT home.
February 7, 2012 2:19 PM   Subscribe

Boyfriend is jobless. I moved in with him anyway. Job hunt isn’t going as planned. He’s depressed. I want to move to a better apartment. What to do?

I’ve been dating my boyfriend for 7 months. He’s a really caring guy who loves me a whole bunch, and up ‘til the last month we’ve been happy. I'm 31 and female, he's 35 and male.

When we first met, he was in a good, yet relatively unstable job. He was laid off a month after we became exclusive. Although he owns his own home (or so I thought – it’s actually his mom’s, come to find out), he couldn’t afford the payments and had to go stay with his mother about an hour away.

He didn’t start the job hunt right away – he wanted to work on a business plan. He spent 6 months doing that, but seems to have lost interest. Meanwhile, this didn’t bother me, because – hey! The economy is shitty and you might as well start a business in the meantime. Why not?

So I stuck by him, going for visits every other weekend and him coming on the alternates. I actually liked the arrangement – I kept my independence, but loved having someone. But I did realize that this arrangement wasn’t truly real, and got kind of frustrated that it didn’t feel like we were getting a real shot.

So, a while back, I was chatting and complaining that I was really sick of my apartment, due the crappy management company and the COLONY of mice living in my home. He mentioned that it might be a good idea if we moved in together – in the studio apartment of his – for a while, see how it goes, and get a bigger place together in a few months.

I demurred, but told him I’d think about it. It did seem fast – moving in at only 5 months. But the more I thought about it, the better idea it seemed. It would let him be in the city for the job hunt while saving money, and I would get out of the infested apartment, and save money. And besides – together! We could finally be together, after doing the back and forth thing! Hooray!

So we both moved into his studio two months ago. And this is where things get muddy. His job search isn’t going as quickly as planned. I know it can take for-ev-er to find a job, and that people get depressed very easily during this time. He’s there right now. He feels crappy that “all” he can contribute is meal-cooking. He’s really let himself go, appearance-wise, which happens when you’re depressed. His libido is low. Dude’s depressed.

Through all of this I’ve been supportive, interested, and have tried not to apply pressure. I don’t want him to feel worse because he feels pressure from me.

However. However.

The apartment. It’s dirty.

The delicious meals he’s cooking turn the kitchen into a tornado of grease and liquid splatter. He doesn’t wash the dishes well, or wipe anything down off after use. (I understand “clean” is subjective.)

He smokes inside – not even out the window, but inside. On the couch. In bed. In the kitchen. The bathroom. (I’m a smoker too, but not in the house.) I’m a big design/interiors/architecture nerd, the Apartment Therapy kind and more, and the place is just cluttered, cramped, dark, the furniture dusty, and the pretty much opposite of my happy place aesthetic. I know how crappy that sounds – and I’m trying to curb it. Trying to let go of the control and just go with it. It’s turning out a lot harder than I planned.

So, considering that I’m the one the uncleanliness bothers, I started doing all the cleaning. Except – he somehow sees it as an affront, or that I think he’s dirty and he can’t clean. (But… that’s true! Ugh.) He also fights me on random upkeep things: like replacing a bedsheet with a four-foot hole in it, buying a broom and mop to clean the floors, at the very minimum smoking out the window. He just counters with “but we’re trying to save money/don’t need a broom/the smoke just comes back in anyway.”

I don’t consider myself a neat freak, but damn! Maybe I am. I really don’t want to live there. Just the apartment alone is making me unhappy, stifled, and oppressed feeling. And not having a move-out date, and the idea that we could be in there indefinitely makes me freak out a little.

---
---

Another issue: the sex. We weren’t having a whole ton before move-in, because we only saw each other once a week – and we were at his mom’s. No go. So I stayed patient. And it gave me another reason to be happy to move in. Sex! Freedom to sex!

However. However.

He told me after move-in that he’s not especially aggressive in bed, and is used to aggressive women. He’s also really turned on by lingerie – not my forte. Lingerie isn’t my thing. It doesn’t make me feel extra sexy, or anything different from what I already am. And I’m not particularly aggressive.

But in the spirit of things, wanting to please my dude, and thinking it would be fun, I spent a big chunk of change buying sexy little things. And started initiating like a fox.

And… He’s ignored most of my stupid little undies. Even my overt advances are treated with a “Oh, I’m so tired/drunk/not feeling into it tonight.” I then end up staring at the ceiling, feeling rejected and a little mad because I’m trying and he’s not reciprocating. (Not mad about not having sex right then, but he told me this would work! And that he’d be encouraging! And I’m really putting myself out there!)

Again, I know he’s depressed and that probably has something to do with it too.

---
---

Suffice to say, I’m very frustrated. We’ve talked about all of these issues, but it comes out in little fits. Not fights, per se, but fits. I don’t like talking in circles and escalations without a strategy for making things better, so I try to end each one of these fits/conversations with, “So what I’m understanding is that you need _____. And I think if we both compromised on ___ and ___, that maybe it would work. Can you think of anything that could work better?” (Not verbatim, just the gist.)

But the thing is – he doesn’t seem to like the compromises at all. One of my compromises was the lingerie, and I was nervous but happy to do it. One of his compromises was to at least smoke out the window. He complains about it all the time.

I feel stifled in this apartment. By his depression. By the mentality that “broken, dirty things are good enough.”

I have a bad feeling that I should tell him that I’m going to move out in two months—alone. Because I can't live in the studio indefinitely, and I can't sign a new lease with a guy who doesn't have a stable job.

But, I don’t really want to break up, necessarily.

Ok, so questions:

1. How can I maintain my support for him during his job search, even though he’s depressed?

2. How can I not let myself get sucked in? I feel it creeping.

3. Would you think that “Hey, I think I should move out in order to get some mental/physical space, but don’t want to break up” would atomic bomb the thing?

4. Would I be a huge jerk if I moved out on him? He doesn’t have a job and can’t afford the apartment himself. He’d have to go back to mom’s.

5. Am I crazy and a nag for having such standards for clean? Again, I understand that “clean” is subjective, but wow. I’ve never been in this situation before.

6. I know there have to be a few steps before the “move out” talk. What should I do here?

7. If I do have to give the “move out” talk, what would be the gentlest way to do it?

I really hope I (and this sockpuppet) don’t sound like a jerk. I just feel depressy too, and it’s hard to see the forest through the trees.
posted by hubble to Human Relations (39 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Well, my first impression reading through this is that you're encountering the first rough spot in a relationship and that that there's some compatibility issues. Six months is generally considered to be the "honeymoon period" and, if he's not willing to compromise, you should consider moving on. I would probably have a discussion with him wherein you lay out what your expectations are and the possibility of you moving out. If the situation doesn't improve, then move out.

Anyway..
In terms of helping with his job hunt, I would try to persuade him to see a job counselor and brush up his resume. Wise Resume is a free online resource for this. Beyond persuading him, and possibly helping him network, there's not much else you can/should do. He really needs to be the one to step up and seek out a job. I know it's a really tough employment market out there, but it's still his responsibility.
posted by oxfordcomma at 2:30 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


You agreed you'd move in on a somewhat of a trial basis ("see how it goes"). Now you've seen how it's gone--not well, frankly. You can objectively point out to him that under these circumstances, you're not doing so well as roommates. So the next step for the two of you will be for you to find your own place.

If he freaks out about that, take that as a sign to reconsider whether you want to end this thing entirely.

You're not being a jerk at all. It's sad and unfortunate that his depression makes a poor situation worse, but staying in this situation won't help things, either. Your cleanliness standards are normal. Your apartment sounds disgusting, seriously. I'm sorry.

Before the moving out talk, you should come up with a plan for where you're going to stay. Because it would be much better to have the moving out talk and then immediately move out rather than have the moving out talk and then have an awkward interim time where you're not moved out, but don't know where you're going to live next.


The gentlest way to give the talk will be to tell him matter of factly. You thought you'd give it a try for a while, you're not ideal roommates right now, you've found a new place and you're moving out tomorrow.
posted by MoonOrb at 2:32 PM on February 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


He's not a baby bird you have to take care of forever because you moved into his nest. Fly away. He needs to get his shit together, on more than one axis.

Tell him straight up, "look, this isn't working because of XYZ, and I need to see some change or I'm moving out." If no change, follow through and move out.

And, to be honest, just DTMFA if he can't get it together. I don't see what moving out and staying together accomplishes (unless you're happy to have the remainder of your relationship with him be in different domiciles). If that works for you, great--but most people want to live together with their SOs.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 2:34 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


We'll take these in order:

1. How can I maintain my support for him during his job search, even though he’s depressed?

Use your own emotional energy to build on what he puts into the job search. You don't take the lead on this one, you let him take the lead and you gently add to what he's already doing.

2. How can I not let myself get sucked in? I feel it creeping.

You're living in a dirty apartment with a depressed boyfriend who fights you on some basic issues and doesn't seem to be attracted to you (right now?) Nobody would blame you for feeling depressed about this.

3. Would you think that “Hey, I think I should move out in order to get some mental/physical space, but don’t want to break up” would atomic bomb the thing?

It might, but that might not be the worst thing for either of you. It might work, or he might feel abandoned / rejected. The question is, what are your alternatives?

4. Would I be a huge jerk if I moved out on him? He doesn’t have a job and can’t afford the apartment himself. He’d have to go back to mom’s.

No. Seven months of dating is not signing up for richer and for poorer. You are bringing a lot to this relationship, and that's okay if it's what you want to do, but if it's not, it's not.

5. Am I crazy and a nag for having such standards for clean? Again, I understand that “clean” is subjective, but wow. I’ve never been in this situation before.

You're not crazy. He might not be crazy either, though. You might need to have a conversation about what nagging is.

(Story about me: my mother used to motivate us to do housework by screaming at us. My wife is both cleaner and more tidy than I am, although I do not think I'm a total slob. Whenever I see my wife cleaning, I expect some screaming about how I'm not doing my share of the chores. Such screaming has never taken place. Seeing somebody else doing housework that I feel guilty about not doing makes me brace for impact, so I get up and start helping. Your BF may have similar feelings except for the part where he gets up and starts helping.)

6. I know there have to be a few steps before the “move out” talk. What should I do here?

I'm not sure how much more you have to do. So you soften the blow. You try to make it clear that the living arrangement is not working, rather than the relationship. Then you set a firm but fair date for you to move out. You talk about what's fair in terms of maybe finding him another roommate or breaking the lease.

7. If I do have to give the “move out” talk, what would be the gentlest way to do it?

See above.
posted by gauche at 2:35 PM on February 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


Oh my god. Move out. You're not a huge jerk for not wanting to be stuck in a studio with someone who gets mad at you for cleaning (WTF?) and smokes everything up all the time without any consideration for you.

Sharing a studio apartment with someone else is an artform that he has not mastered. At all.

Not to mention the fact that the point of a relationship isn't to be the most accommodating and generous person possible (although a lot of women seem to be socialized this way). The point of a relationship is to be happier than you otherwise would be, while also making the other person happier than they otherwise would be.
posted by the young rope-rider at 2:35 PM on February 7, 2012 [68 favorites]


Ugh, this sounds horrid. I think you really need to prioritize you and get out. You're being super kind and super understanding (and don't we all wish someone would do that for us when we're the ones in a jam!), but this guy is unlikely to pull out of his funk while you are kinda-sorta enabling it and in make-things-better mode. At worst, he likes the feeling of being cared for and milks you for it, or resents you for not giving it.

Nah, move out. One of you should be happy and healthy. Talk to your guy about continuing the relationship with the two of you no longer sharing a residence. That talk should tell you plenty about where he is and what his expectations are.
posted by griselda at 2:40 PM on February 7, 2012


What do you like about him? You don't mention one single thing. Your question is not "he's a really great guy, but there are some problems..." It's "here are all the problems." That kind of answers itself, no?
posted by desjardins at 2:41 PM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


So your two options appear to be to stay together, you provide all the financial and emotional support in the relationship and hope he changes... or move out and see if that changes anything. Sorry, but this relationship is very, very young and there are a lot of things stacked against it. Unfortunately, the only person who can make a difference is your SO. Moving out doesn't mean you have to break up but it will give you a bit of distance to see how the relationship feels.

You seem to have put a lot of effort into the relationship (why were you always visiting him when he was the one with free time to visit you?); try decreasing your effort to see if he picks up the slack or if the relationship dies a natural death. Put all that extra energy into you. Ideally, you should be his partner, not his mother.
posted by saucysault at 2:42 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also...what is the deal with the house you thought was his, that is actually his mom's house? That sounds sketchy. It might not be, but it sounds that way.
posted by the young rope-rider at 2:42 PM on February 7, 2012


What do you like about him? You don't mention one single thing.

Yeah, sorry. The damn question was wordy enough as it is. He's one of the most understanding people I know. He's hilarious, in the way that I think is funny. We're like muppets together. He loves kids. He's a fucking fantastic cook. A zoology nerd. Ridiculously empathetic and supportive of my cool ass career. I try to remind myself all the time of these things. But... all of this is kind of turning gray lately.

Also...what is the deal with the house you thought was his, that is actually his mom's house?

Yeah. I know. He told me months and months ago that he bought a house a few years back. But when the 31st rolled around, he reminded me to cut him a check so he could send it to his mom for the mortgage. Questions ensued. I thought it was weird too.
posted by hubble at 2:48 PM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


1. How can I maintain my support for him during his job search, even though he’s depressed?

Be kind and encouraging to him, ask him if he needs any help and then do what he asks.

2. How can I not let myself get sucked in? I feel it creeping.

Either develop your own life, say nights out with friends or class/hobbies that require you to leave the house.

3. Would you think that “Hey, I think I should move out in order to get some mental/physical space, but don’t want to break up” would atomic bomb the thing?

Probably.

4. Would I be a huge jerk if I moved out on him? He doesn’t have a job and can’t afford the apartment himself. He’d have to go back to mom’s.

Based on what you've written here, the only huge jerk is him. Look, you can feel yourself getting sucked into this abyss. You k

5. Am I crazy and a nag for having such standards for clean? Again, I understand that “clean” is subjective, but wow. I’ve never been in this situation before.

Your standards sound very reasonable. If he's fighting you on a mop and broom, which are basic household items, then really, it's time to go, because he's dangerously depressed.

6. I know there have to be a few steps before the “move out” talk. What should I do here?

A come to Jesus meeting. Lay it out, that you're unhappy, you feel as though you're doing all the compromising etc. You lay out what you need and/or want and bring up ways you can both compromise to make things better.

But you've already done that.

7. If I do have to give the “move out” talk, what would be the gentlest way to do it?

It sounds like you're worrying too much about him and his feelings, instead of your own. Look, you're unhappy because you're living in filth, getting into fights when you try to clean the filth and you're not even having sex after compromising on the lingerie issue.

Get the new apartment first, then sit him down and tell him you're moving out in a month. Tell him you're doing it because you're unhappy and don't see things getting better. Say that you don't blame him, but that doesn't change the fact that you're unhappy. Be willing to answer questions and be honest in your answers, but be firm in your decision. If he wants to drag out the discussion, don't let him. You've made up your mind, period. Get your things and go, give him space to cool off and/or cry it out, whatever. Let him know when you'll be back to the apartment to collect the rest of your things. Then go.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:57 PM on February 7, 2012


So, who exactly were you paying, and for what? Were you paying his rent for him...? Sorry if I'm being dense.
posted by the young rope-rider at 2:58 PM on February 7, 2012


50% of the rent to his mom. We decided to split it.
posted by hubble at 3:01 PM on February 7, 2012


the place is just cluttered, cramped, dark, the furniture dusty, and the pretty much opposite of my happy place aesthetic. I know how crappy that sounds – and I’m trying to curb it.

Oh my god, it doesn't sound crappy and it doesn't sound like anything you have to curb. It is not incumbent upon you to live in a dark, filthy place that makes you unhappy in order for your boyfriend to be able to afford his apartment.

We often get the message that compromise is important in relationships. This is true. However, it helps to know what compromise really is and isn't -- and it isn't denying and disregarding our own basic feelings, needs, standards, boundaries, prerferences, or desires for the sake of enabling the other person to carry on doing whatever they happen to be doing.

Your feelings and needs count, too.
posted by scody at 3:07 PM on February 7, 2012 [8 favorites]


Yeah, sorry. The damn question was wordy enough as it is. He's one of the most understanding people I know. He's hilarious, in the way that I think is funny. We're like muppets together. He loves kids. He's a fucking fantastic cook. A zoology nerd. Ridiculously empathetic and supportive of my cool ass career. I try to remind myself all the time of these things. But... all of this is kind of turning gray lately.

It's turning gray lately because that's not a lot. You have a few things in common, he likes kids (most people like kids), he's a nice guy, and you think he's funny. There's a guy who works at my local coffee shop who's nice to kids, is pretty funny, and a nerd about some of the same things that I'm a nerd. But he's not my boyfriend, and this guy shouldn't be your boyfriend, either. He's a slob, not honest about his finances, bad with money, and sounds like a mooch. Oh, and he smokes inside even though you don't want him to.

And the sexual incompatibilities . . . I've been there, and it's bad. It feels bad, I know. But when I was dating someone who didn't make me feel very sexy and who didn't want to sleep with me, I stopped dating him. I didn't move in with him. Being sexually rejected feels like shit, and you shouldn't have to feel like shit, you know?

I think you came to AskMeFi looking for permission to dump this guy, and we are all screaming that permission back at you. Take care of yourself, and stop letting this guy drag you down.
posted by ablazingsaddle at 3:11 PM on February 7, 2012 [17 favorites]


You kind of lost me at no money for expensive mop, but plenty of money for sexy undies. I don't know, it's perfectly alright to not want to live that way, and it can't be you making a bunch of compromises while he whines about having to make any at all. If it was me, I'd move out in a heartbeat. But then, if he is depressed and miserable and stuck in a bit of a misery rut...but how people deal with difficult circumstances tells you everything you need to know about them, in my opinion. Can you afford to move with him and his mess into a nicer place? Hmm, I just read back, you say you moved into his studio place (not his mother's place) - how did he get it? Presumably he can afford it without you as well?
posted by thylacinthine at 3:11 PM on February 7, 2012


Yeah, move out. The biggest problem is that he's not open to compromise, and he whines.

Now, with the cleaning, did you talk about it, or did you just start cleaning up after him? I ask only because I could see if you two hadn't had a discussion about what was and wasn't working, and you just started cleaning up after him, that could come across as passive aggressive. But I'm guessing that you talked to him and he had all kinds of excuses why he didn't want/shouldn't change how he was doing things.

Move out. It'd be one thing if he were trying, willing to discuss and work out compromises, but he's not. Some distance will also help you determine if this is just a situational funk or if those behaviors are part of how he operates in the world.
posted by canine epigram at 3:12 PM on February 7, 2012


Can you clarify the apartment/house situation 'cause it's confusing.

His mom has house he lives in.
His mom also owns a house, which he said was his.

After getting laid off, he went back to live with mom. But he has a studio apartment that he wanted ya'll to move into, which would put him in the city and closer to job hunting, right? And that's not in the house that mom owns but doesn't live in?

But he asked you to write him a check for the mortgage on a house you're not living in?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:36 PM on February 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


-- Although he owns his own home (or so I thought – it’s actually his mom’s, come to find out)

-- He didn’t start the job hunt right away – he wanted to work on a business plan. He spent 6 months doing that, but seems to have lost interest.

-- The delicious meals he’s cooking turn the kitchen into a tornado of grease and liquid splatter. He doesn’t wash the dishes well, or wipe anything down off after use.

-- “Oh, I’m so tired/drunk/not feeling into it tonight.” I then end up staring at the ceiling, feeling rejected and a little mad


You know what, this guy sounds like a thirty-five year old man-child, not a man.

So -- to answer your questions --

1. How can I maintain my support for him during his job search, even though he’s depressed?

Jesus, he's a grown man looking for a job; this isn't complicated, nor does it require an abundance of "support" if he's a normal functioning person. Continue living your life, listen to him if he wants to talk about his job search, but above all, EXPECT him to be looking for a job. That's the best support you can give. If he continues with half-measures, reconsider your relationship.

2. How can I not let myself get sucked in? I feel it creeping.

Stake your claim to your independence. Do not let his problems drag you down. Be an example, for him, of an efficient, responsible, on-top-of-her-life person. And move out.

3. Would you think that “Hey, I think I should move out in order to get some mental/physical space, but don’t want to break up” would atomic bomb the thing?

Heeeeeell no. You SHOULD do this. And if he reacts like it's an "atomic bomb," then there is your conclusive proof that he is a man-child whom you should dump. You simply moving out and maintaining some independence should not devastate him or be a huge thing.

4. Would I be a huge jerk if I moved out on him? He doesn’t have a job and can’t afford the apartment himself. He’d have to go back to mom’s.

No. He's an adult, he's been living off of his mother's largesse already anyway, so LET him go back to his mom's. You didn't take him to raise.

5. Am I crazy and a nag for having such standards for clean? Again, I understand that “clean” is subjective, but wow. I’ve never been in this situation before.

No. Especially if he is unemployed, the house ought to be spic and span. SIX MONTHS TO PREPARE A BUSINESS PLAN and the house is unkempt? This is a guy who's got his priorities seriously effed up.

6. I know there have to be a few steps before the “move out” talk. What should I do here?

No, there are no steps before the move out talk. Go ahead and have it.

7. If I do have to give the “move out” talk, what would be the gentlest way to do it?


Don't worry about gentle. People need to stop being gentle with him. That's how he got to be an overgrown child in the first place.
posted by jayder at 3:36 PM on February 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


I am not trying to be mean, but I really am failing to understand why you thought it was a good idea to move in together in the first place. He's unemployed for months and was not even looking? He's a terrible housekeeper? He has a house/he doesn't have a house? You weren't having sex/aren't really sexually compatible? He smokes like a chimney/you prefer to smoke outside only?

All of these were issues before you moved in together. And the answer to all of them is for you to move out. This isn't working for you, and he needs to get his shit together before he can even really think about the two of your moving forward in any way. “Hey, I think I should move out in order to get some mental/physical space, but don’t want to break up” would only destroy the relationship if he actually thinks this is working for both of you, and if he does, that's an even bigger problem you should leave him to deal with -- alone.

Not to mention, your living situation sounds shady - the whole house/rent/money to his mom thing? No bueno.
posted by sm1tten at 4:04 PM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


He told me months and months ago that he bought a house a few years back. But when the 31st rolled around, he reminded me to cut him a check so he could send it to his mom for the mortgage. Questions ensued. I thought it was weird too.

There are some things I've learned are such big warning signs that I think they should be deal breakers for most sensible people. Lying about something that is trivial for no apparent reason is one of them, because I've personally found that people who lie about nothing are usually people who lie about everything.

I'd wonder what other lies he's told you, in other words.
posted by winna at 4:22 PM on February 7, 2012 [10 favorites]


Over and over again in your question, you express an incredible level of compassion for his situation. You recognize his depression. You put blame on the depression and the general situation, not him. That is incredibly nice of you, and it shows a wonderful aspect of your personality. But then you go a step further: you move from "He is not blameworthy" to "It must not be reasonable of me to be upset."

That final move is the problem. No matter what the cause of the situation is, the result is the same: you're miserable, you feel trapped, your needs are not being met.

Compassion is wonderful, in its place. But compassion should never keep you from addressing your own needs. Every human, being human, has the right to stand up and say, "This is what I need. This is where I draw the line." You have the right to do that. Doing that is a statement about you, not him. He can be as blameless and an angel, and it would still be okay for you to need to leave.

He probably won't be happy to hear that your needs involve you moving into your own place. But, again, you need to do what you need to do. Give yourself the opportunity to act in your own interests, and deal with the reaction when the time comes. A nuclear explosion, if it happens, may not be fun... But know what's equally unpleasant? The slow, permeating poison that would be totally ignoring your needs for his or the relationship's sakes.
posted by meese at 4:32 PM on February 7, 2012 [11 favorites]


The thing about his owning a house was a deliberate lie. It was to present himself as more together than he is. It will not get better. If you move out he will go back to his Mom. He will be fine.
posted by cairnoflore at 5:48 PM on February 7, 2012 [8 favorites]


DTMFA. This sounds terrible, and two people living together in a studio apartment is already going to be cramped, but since you have a huge list of things you don't like about him, and frankly he sounds awful, just get out. Yeah, yeah, depression, blah blah blah, etc. It's not your job to fix him. It's your job to find happiness for yourself, and this is not going to contribute to it in any way.
posted by Slinga at 6:08 PM on February 7, 2012


Look, I'm not sure about the house thing. I know people who have bought a house (in the sense that they selected a house, made a down payment, and make payments on the house in order to one day own it outright) and had their parents act as the lending bank rather than taking out a mortgage with a bank- until we hear otherwise that is still a possible scenario here, and if that's what's going on it's not a crazy thing to do if you can.

It doesn't sound like there's anything good here. Get out and get your own space. Try dating again for a while and see where it goes. You can't fix his depression for him and your presence isn't making it better - it's just dragging you down.

It sounds like he's a nice enough guy but you are an awesome person, functional, essentially happy, essentially healthy, and ready for an adult relationship. I don't think he's there with you and doubt that will change overnight. You can try the "I need the following things to change by May or I'm out," but please be prepared to follow through instead of deciding that maybe you didn't need those things to change that much after all because you're more afraid of being on your own. Seriously, "having someone" isn't enough to make up for all the misery you're being asked to bear - that is not even your own misery.

Maybe the timing isn't right for him to be in a relationship. Maybe he'll do better getting on his feet when he lives alone and really has to look at where things are for him. That can happen and, while sad, it's not the end of the world. If the timing isn't good, it isn't good.
posted by Miko at 6:42 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Regardless of the house ownership situation, I suggest you find a place, get your stuff organized, and tell him that the movers (or friends) are coming over on such-and-such day and that you'll be moving out. Your question makes me worried: you seem to have made yourself solely responsible (financially, emotionally) for him after 7 months while he's not required to do anything.

You need to get out before you wake up in 5 years and wonder what the heck happened. I have some experience in this (with boyfriends and relatives); feel free to MeMail me. You can get your life back; go!
posted by sfkiddo at 7:38 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


The lazy job search is bad, the smoking and not-cleaning is annoying but reasonably trivial, but the sex thing is a dealbreaker. It won't get better when he has a job, if he ever does. The amount of sex you're having now is the amount of sex you will have, forever, if you stay with him. If that amount of sex is ok with you, then fine. But clearly it isn't. Someone upthread called him a man child. That's exactly right. Cut and run. Visit if you must, but don't stay.
posted by clone boulevard at 9:37 PM on February 7, 2012


This relationship sounds like a nightmare. He won't let you buy a broom? But he has money for cigarettes? Which he smokes inside your studio apartment? You should stop spending all of your time worrying about what's best for him, and move out as quickly as possible.
posted by Ragged Richard at 9:40 PM on February 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Although he does sound fun, he also sounds dishonest (mom's mortgage thing, sex thing) and overall it really comes down to the fact that it sounds like you're being used. Depression is an illness but it's not an excuse, and this is too much for you to have to deal with in a relationship of such short duration. You never even got a honeymoon period and instead during what should be a really enjoyable time you sound absolutely miserable.

I too think you should move out and explain to him that you'd like to stay together, just not living together. If he can't handle that then you have to ask yourself why you're walking on eggshells and unable to have a serious discussion with this guy without him getting angry and blaming everything on you. At this point he should be the one willing to do whatever it takes to keep you in his life. If he isn't willing to do much of anything at all, then you may have to face up to the idea that it's just not to be - at least not right now.
posted by hazyjane at 10:42 PM on February 7, 2012


Just for a bit of contrast...

My husband gave up his one bedroom in a crappy neighborhood when we first got married to live in my studio in a GREAT neighborhood because I LOVED IT SO MUCH.

This was the BEST year of our marriage, since this year, when we welcomed our first child!

My neighbors, who are in their 60's and 70's, have been married since forever. They lived across from us in a studio for their first year in this building waiting for a one bedroom to open up. They live here most of the year for their daughters and grandchild. They own a home out of state. They loved their time together in that small space, even though they were used to a spacious and luxurious home most of the time.

----

This is not working out for you. I knew my husband was a "keeper" when our first year together was so blissful BECAUSE we had no space space apart. I've been married before (only once!) I know what I am talking about.
-----

Sort out your new accommodations, then jump. This living situation sucks.

--------

I believe my other anecdata tells you where this relationship is heading. Get prepared,
posted by jbenben at 11:29 PM on February 7, 2012


1. How can I maintain my support for him during his job search, even though he’s depressed?

You don't really have to because you do not seem to be in a committed relationship with someone who is respectful of your needs. You can suggest he seeks therapy and help look at his resumes and applications but beyond that it's up to him.

2. How can I not let myself get sucked in? I feel it creeping.

Apply the oxygen mask to yourself first before helping other passengers.

3. Would you think that “Hey, I think I should move out in order to get some mental/physical space, but don’t want to break up” would atomic bomb the thing?

If there wasn't anything real there.

4. Would I be a huge jerk if I moved out on him? He doesn’t have a job and can’t afford the apartment himself. He’d have to go back to mom’s.

In most people's eyes, no. In his eyes, maybe. He needs to get a job. If he can't get a job he needs to move back to his mom's. This is not really your problem.

5. Am I crazy and a nag for having such standards for clean? Again, I understand that “clean” is subjective, but wow. I’ve never been in this situation before.

No, you're allowed to have basic standards for how you live.

6. I know there have to be a few steps before the “move out” talk. What should I do here?

I'm not sure if there are. I think you just need to move out.

7. If I do have to give the “move out” talk, what would be the gentlest way to do it?

You just really nicely tell him that you need to move out. And then move out.
posted by mleigh at 3:05 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


You don't mention him being in therapy but I have developed the rule that no one can use depression as an excuse unless they are actively taking appropriate steps to address the depression (therapy, exercise, diet, meditation etc). It doesn't sound like he is using it as an excuse as much as you are though. You clearly care a lot for him but please don't have a conversation where you tell him you are moving out only to have him convince you to stay "because things will chamge". Believe it or not, I guarantee things will get even worse and leaving the second time will be harder and messier.
posted by saucysault at 3:51 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm also confused by him suggesting you two move into his home "to save money" and then him suddenly asking for rent on the 31st on a home he owned. How were you supposed to budget for an expense you didn't know about? And why are you paying half and he is paying nothing? There was an askme a few days ago where everyone thought asking a gf to pay half towards the bf's mortgage was unfairly enriching the homeowner. Are you buying all the food, paying utilities, transportation AND also rent while he gives nothing? Is he getting unemployment/food stamps/welfare? If not, why not?
posted by saucysault at 3:58 AM on February 8, 2012


And please don't wait two months, it sounds like there is no lease or security deposit to forfet. Get a place now and just move out.
posted by saucysault at 4:02 AM on February 8, 2012


I try to remind myself all the time of these things.

If you have to remind yourself, that's not good. The good stuff should be in your face, and the bad stuff should drift into the forgotten. You got it backwards.
posted by fuq at 5:47 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Blah, blah, blah.

He lied, and he's acting like a jerk. Move out, move on.
posted by ellF at 6:34 AM on February 8, 2012


Money, sex, and what constitutes a civilized standard of housekeeping--big unresolved differences about any one of those areas can make living together extremely difficult. You've got all three with no willingness to work on any of them by a man who lets all this be your problem and who also tells lies. Get out of there and work on having a bright, clean place of your own where you can have peace about two out of three of these things and not have to live with a liar.
posted by Anitanola at 7:33 PM on February 8, 2012


Sounds ghastly. I'd leave.
posted by ead at 10:33 PM on February 8, 2012


I know I'm late to this, and everybody has asked you to consider what you're getting out of the relationship.

What is he getting out of it? He hasn't worked since the first month you were together, and four months after that he asked you to move into "his" place, and then to pay the mortgage on it. It turned out, also, that he isn't really attracted to you, but might be on condition you tried spicing it up by doing something you had no interest in doing. When you called his bluff, he still wasn't really attracted to you.

Meanwhile, he can afford alcohol and cigarettes. He loves to cook, but doesn't do the dishes. Who pays the other 50% of his mom's mortgage? Are you definitely sure it's him?
posted by tel3path at 4:46 AM on February 10, 2012


« Older My SO would like advice on how...   |  Ethical everyman shoes?... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.


Post