I’m almost forty. I am not married but I have a boyfriend. We’ve been together for almost two years now, and we are currently living together under my roof. He has been unemployed half the time we’ve been dating so he doesn’t contribute financially to our household.
I am the sole provider of our home. Food, groceries, toiletries, utility bills, name it. Everything that we need at home, I bear the cost. This doesn’t make me happy. Apart from that, I am not okay with certain things he does. It’s actually more like, things he doesn’t do.
This guy is super quick-tempered. And when he does something wrong, he hardly apologizes. As if that’s not enough, he likes to dictate how I should live my life. “I don’t want you wearing that dress,” he would say. “I am not comfortable with your friendship with this person,” he would complain.
Left to him alone, if he says jump, I would ask; “How high?” If he had his way, I would be a little puppet he controls. This behaviour doesn’t extend to only me. He is always judgmental and highly critical of everything and everyone around him. That kind of energy sucks out the cheer and joy out of everything we do, and every connection we make. Who wants to be with someone this draining?
Although he sits at home wasting away while I go to work, he refuses to help around the house. He thinks house chores are beneath him because he is the man of the house. If I politely ask him to help me take care of a few things, he would do it grudgingly. This guy would murmur until he finishes with the chores. If what needs to be done is staring him right in the face but I don’t say, “Babe, kindly take care of this for me,” it would remain undone. Even if I was not home, he would leave it for me to come and meet it.
Another thing he does that makes me question our relationship is his ability to give me the silent treatment. We would have a little misunderstanding and my man would go for days without talking to me. Sometimes he would even go for weeks. I talked to him about it but nothing has changed. He says that’s how he handles problems.
So I am here asking myself, is this relationship worth holding on to? Every fibre of my being is telling me to let him go. And I wish I could. However, I’m afraid to be alone. I know some people will advise me to love myself and enjoy my own company. Trust me, that’s not my problem.
I have done the whole independent woman thing in the past. For ten years, I lived alone. I was single and I was happy. I enjoyed every bit of it until my ex-boyfriend came along. That was when I realized that although I was satisfied with my life as a self-sufficient woman, I wanted more from life.
I learned that the freedom I got from being alone does not compare to the comfort of coming home to someone. I don’t how to explain it but it is more liberating to belong with someone when you know that they also belong with you. Life gets hard sometimes. It’s just nice to have safe arms to hold you when you fall apart. So I decided that I didn’t want to be alone anymore.
I met this current boyfriend of mine after things didn’t work out with my ex. And just like that, I fell in love with him. I thought moving in together would be a good idea, but now I have seen that I was wrong. I thought I knew him, but after everything I have seen, I have learned that you can’t know someone well enough.
What I am trying to decide is if being alone is worse than being with a man like him. My brain says I should let him go, but my heart wants to hold on to him a little longer. I believe that a part of me is hoping that he would change. I know I should leave my heart out of this and go with the logical thing but it’s hard.
At my age, I believe the quality of men within my age range is not that great. I would have to choose someone and manage their flaws. So shouldn’t I just stay with this guy and find a way to handle his flaws? What if I leave him and it takes me another ten years to meet someone I like? I am not getting any younger. What should I do? Is this man worth fighting for? Your counsel will be highly appreciated.