Starting to see the truth?

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-02-2005
Starting to see the truth?
Wed, 01-29-2014 - 1:17am

Hi guys,

This board seems pretty active so I was hoping for some honest opinions. I've been dating this great guy for over a year, he's nice to me and he's loyal. For a woman who used to be married to an abuser who thought a job and working was beneath him, he's a breath of fresh air. Like any relationship, things were great in the beginning, he was taking care of things when a problem came up. For instance, when his truck broke down, he rode his bike to work, because that's what he had to do. Now, we've hit that one year mark, and things are different, something has changed. He had a good job when we met (I worked there also) and granted the job sucked but it paid well. Three months after we started dating, he decided he was going to quit (he was there 5 years) and start his own business with the pension money. He does this, does nothing to start his business, blows through the money in a month and doesn't bother looking for another job until long after the money is gone. I explained to him that I can't afford to pay his bills, and that it was probably foolish to wait to find a job after that money was gone. But he kept looking to me to help him. I gave him small amounts of money here and there, not a lot. I explained to him about my exhusband and that I refused to do all the work. He said he understood.

Now, he's had a new job since August, at a thrift store. Great, now he can afford to pay his own bills again. Now he can stop leaning on his mom to pay his rent. Except now, he keeps finding things that he can buy from the store and sell on ebay. Which would be a great idea, if he would actually put the stuff on ebay to sell. On top of that, his truck breaks down again. Instead of the "gotta do what I gotta do" attitude he used to have, he's got the "laid down and die" kind of attitude about it. I'm thinking to myself WTF? Now, he won't stop talking about this broke down truck and he doesn't know what he's going to do and so on. He seems to be taking this approach (with everyone) because he wants someone to tell him "well, I'll fix it for you" or "I'll lend you the money" and it has once again, worked on his mother. He knew this repair was needed months ago and instead of putting money aside for it, he chose to buy a bunch of crap from the thrift store he works at and let someone else worry about paying for his truck.

He couldn't even buy his 5 year old niece a Christmas present because it was more important to buy a playstation 2 (that didn't work) and some recliners. And this is what he does, "I didn't have the money to buy my family any Christmas presents but I got these great recliners and a playstation 2 for $40!" He doesn't just say this to me in private, he goes to his mom's house and says it. He does not do this out of spite, but it's as if he has NO clue as to why it's a big deal. He doesn't understand that you don't go to your mom's house and tell her that he can't pay back any money he owes her because he's broke, but then proceed to tell her about the great pieces of art he bought from the store. These are things that just happened recently, and the more I see it, the more put off I am. I just have this sinking feeling that I am putting myself back in a situation I got out of 10 years ago.

Sorry this is so long.

So the honesty I am looking for is this, as an outsider, does it seem like he is one of those guys who is happy to spend someone else's money or am I just being a snatch about all this? Because I honestly don't know. I don't know if this is the common sense I was lacking when I was married or if I am being too critical of him.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010
Wed, 01-29-2014 - 2:42am

Yes, it sounds like he is a guy who is happy to spend someone else's money.

What is it you are really asking? If his current behavior is a legitimate reason to break up with him? Yes it is. The guy you fell for a year ago appeared to be a mature responsible adult who was moving forward in his life. Somehow he became an irresponsible man-child who doesn't mind leeching off of others. You don't have to accept the new persona, you can say goodbye and look for someone who has potential as a long term adult partner. If his best qualities are that he is nice to you and is loyal, you can get that with a pet dog. A boyfriend or husband needs to have more good qualities than a pet dog.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 01-29-2014 - 11:29am

I would be thinking about breaking up with him too.  It's one thing to get laid off and be unemployed and be working very hard to find a job, but this is a situation that he brought on himself.  It's dumb to quit your job without another one lined up--he showed that he was irresponsible by saying that he was going to start a business and then doing nothing.  And then he has the plans to sell things on EBay and does nothing there either.  My friend's ex actually did have a side business selling things on EBay but she hated it because it took up a lot of time (but they did make some money)--but he doesn't sound like someone who would dedicate the time needed to do that and make a profit.  And unless he's under 25 he shouldn't be asking his mom for money.  If his truck is broken he should obviously be trying to save up for the repairs and not spending his money buying things he doesn't need from the thrift shop.  So I don't think this guy is good news.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Wed, 01-29-2014 - 11:31am

I'm sorry, but your definition of "great guy" who's "nice to me" must mean he doesn't hit you.  Because otherwise, he is NOT a great guy, or nice to you.   He's lazy, he's a leech, he cannot differentiate between the necessary and the unnecessary, and it sounds like he's a hoarder. 

Back when you first met him, and his truck broke down, WHY DIDN"T HE FIX IT??  I'm guessing because he didn't have the money, wasn't saving, couldn't prioritize...  THREE MONTHS into your relationship, he QUIT a decent job.  These problems are not new, nothing has changed, you just chose to ignore them back then.  

Wake up.  Take care of YOURSELF.  Think about counseling, to help you understand why you choose and stay with, losers, and how to choose DECENT men.

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Wed, 01-29-2014 - 12:56pm

He sounds just like two of my ex-BILs, who are exes for a reason!  My older sisters' husbands were wonderful examples of what NOT to settle for in a spouse.  I learned from them, believe me.  When my 21yo then-BF was happy to live at home without a job, I started dating someone else, who had an education and a great-paying career, and I told my BF about it.  My BF soon realized that if he wanted to keep me, he'd better get up off his butt and get a job - which he did.  Then he realized that if he wanted to get a real job that meant a long-term future with me, he'd have to go back to school - which he did.  Then he realized that if he wanted to marry me, he was going to have to move to where I had been transferred to for my job (as previously agreed) - which he did.  How did he come to these realizations?  Because I TOLD HIM.  I learned from my sisters not to sit back and let someone cruise along on your hard work and think he can do nothing. We've now been together for 31 years, married for 23.  DH still works hard every day for me and our family.

BTW look at the ages here - DH was 21 when he first woke up to the reality that if you want a decent woman, you have to prove that you're a responsible man.  Your guy?  I'm guessing he's a lot older than 21.

Ultimately, your guy is selfish, self-centered, and happy to live in the moment for as long as anyone would enable him.  And I don't know how you can possibly respect him, or how anyone can be with someone they can't respect.  I sure couldn't.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Wed, 01-29-2014 - 1:00pm

I'm with everyone else.  This guy is NOT a great guy.  He probably learned early on that his mother would enable him, and you're doing it accepting his nonsense......making excuses for him, and saying he's nice to you.  Of course he is, you're allowing him to get away with nonsense.  And, really, how great a job is working in a thrift store?  This started way back, you just didn't want to see it.  His truck broke down so he rode his bike to work?  Unless the bike was for one day, that should have been your first red flag.  A "great paying" job but no savings for emergencies.  Grandiose plans that he doesn't follow thru on?  Start his own business, sounds good until he fritters the money away on nothing!  Sell things on ebay?  Great, if you actually sit down and SELL them?  Someone else mentioned that he has signs of being a hoarder....he sure does.  He spends money he doesn't have on things he doesn't need, and then those things sit there.  That's a hoarder.  Like most women, you don't like to admit you picked a loser, so you make excuses for him......over, and over, and over.  But he's nice to you!  Get rid of one should need a man so bad that they allow themselves to be used the way he uses you. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-02-2002
Wed, 01-29-2014 - 7:17pm

If you are possibly feeling remotely guilty of leaving this guy, I can tell you this:  Surely he will move into his motherr's basement and play video games all day.  Leave him and don't look back.  He is a user and he is lazy.  And a job in a thrift store?  Really? You can do way better.  

Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Wed, 01-29-2014 - 8:18pm

 This is not his time.  One never knows what will happen in the future.  I suggest moving on with your career and not looking back.  Many people do not launch on time.  Who knows what will happen.  The world and it's humans are a wacky bunch. 


iVillage Member
Registered: 02-13-2006
Sat, 02-01-2014 - 1:04am

Look I know it will be hard for you to do this BUT you need to end the relationship IF after you have a serious sit down talk with him about him needing to get his act together and he doesn't...then you need to should give hime 1 month.If you don't see any changes in him by then..then you have to go because the thing is...if he can't see what he needs to's not YOUR responsibility to be his mother.You will begin to resent him,,,..IF you haven't already felt those feelings.The things is..he's a MAN and he as a MAN needs to act like a REAL one and take care of business...which he isn't doing.

Good luck. I hope you work it out the best for YOU.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-02-2005
Tue, 03-04-2014 - 12:34am

Thank you everyone for your honesty. I guess I wanted to know what other people would do if they were in my position and thank you again for sharing. So, for the past month, I've been soul searching and trying to see things differently and objectively. Two days after I wrote my post, I had panic attacks. There were a number of things that contributed to my panic attack but I have now noticed that he is contributing to them as well. He was with me when they happened, and he was so awesome and sensitive during that time and I love him for that. But the same behaviors continue and I have become distant because of it.

A few days ago, I was with him, he just got paid the day before and he says, we should go to a movie. I said ok, but when movie time came, he decided he didn't feel like going so we rented a movie instead. We get to the video store and I asked him if he would pay for the movie and I would pay for the pizza. He looks at me and says I don't have any money. I knew for a fact he had money in his wallet. So I said, so how did you plan on getting in to see a show? He says, I don't have any money, you know I don't. So he expected me to pay for our entertainment for the evening, even though he had money in his pocket. He would rather spend my money than his. I didn't persue it any further. I wasn't going to make a big deal about it because I guess I wasn't all that surprised. I was and I wasn't.

Even when Valentines Day came, he didn't get me anything because "it's a marketing trap and I won't be forced into spending money because the calander tells me to." I expressed my disappointment about it. I didn't expect diamonds, but how about a card or a fricking flower? Something! Instead, I get some BS excuse.

So the next morning (after the movie thing) he started talking about a better job, and doing things differently, and living life differently. I've heard all this from him before, and I didn't say anything for him to bring all this up. I didn't even act mad the night before, he brought it up on his own. So it tells me, that he's just telling me what I want to hear, and that he's probably been doing it all along.

I don't know if I was ignoring the obvious, if I was too dumb to see it, or if he was pulling the wool over my eyes. But in my heart, I feel that I'm done. Because I feel that I haven't made myself as clear as I have on this board to him, I am going to explain it to him again one last time. I have had the talk with him before, but it seems like he wants to do the bare minimum. It seems he doesn't want to put work into the relationship, which shouldn't surprise me because he doesn't put in work to anything else in his life. He just wants things to magically happen. Anyway, I'm going to give him time but I admit, I don't have hold much faith that he'll change.

Just wanted to give an update and thank everyone again for their input.