I have been with my boyfriend for over 10 years since we were in high school.
He is the first and only person I have even been with in terms of a relationship and intimately. We have 3 children together. We are not married nor engaged. During this time, I worked and attended school full-time. I have since accumulated 2 Bachelors, 2 Masters, and now I am working on my PhD. Meanwhile, he gets and stays high (marijuana) all day with my money and talk to girls on social networking media. He has only worked 5 minimum wage, part-time jobs for a day or up to a week, at best. I assume it is due to his drug addiction, but he always has some other nonsense excuse.
Nevertheless, I have tried to suggest and even force him to get his GED, work, and quit his habit. He complains that this drives him to cheat. Mind you, he has cheated throughout our entire relationship (even when I was pregnant), which he denies despite the evidence (texts, e-mails, pictures, conversations, etc).
Now I know that I should leave and I have left in the past, but for some inexplicable reason I always go back. It is irrational! Logically, I know this, but illogical thoughts keep running through my head that either he is going to change (obviously this will never happen) or I should stay for the sake of the children (again obviously he is not a good father if he is a bad role model). Please help me leave this loser once and for all. – Dumb Educated Bird
PS. The sex is not an issue. In fact, the sex is downright bad.
Dear Ms. Dumb Educated Bird,
I don’t know what you want me to tell you to do in order to leave him. You’ve said that you know he is not going to change, and he is obviously not a good father and he’s a bad role model. He doesn’t work. He doesn’t contribute to the household, or to your marriage, or your children’s well-being. He isn’t educated, or desires to do anything with his life. If you know all of this and you still refuse to leave, then stay.
But, whatever this hold is that keeps you in the relationship it takes precedent over the reality that he is not good for you, or will ever be good for you. He is doing nothing but destroying you emotionally and mentally. The question you should be asking yourself is what am I gaining out of this relationship in staying with him? What keeps me here, and what is truly my breaking point?
It’s obvious that you don’t mind being his doormat to wipe his feet on. You don’t value yourself, or your children. You don’t have a problem keeping them exposed to his destructive, and bad habits. Until you identify what is your breaking point, your “enough is enough,” then you will not leave. You will continue to put up with him and allow him to treat you the way he does. You teach people how to treat you. And, he is not going to change because you’ve trained him to believe it’s okay not to work. It’s okay to cheat with no repercussions. It’s okay to sit at home all day and smoke weed. It’s okay to not pursue an education and not be a man. You keep babying him, and until you grow a spine, and a backbone, he will continue to use and abuse you.
You’re so caught up in your degrees, and over-arching achievements that you are neglecting one of the most important aspects of your well-being, which is your own life. All these degrees you have, and school learning has not given you the tools and resources on how to operate and live in the real world. It’s obvious that you’re escaping into the world of education to avoid the reality of your life.
So, take a moment to re-evaluate why are you immersing yourself into your educational career, and not your own life, or your relationship. You can demand a commitment from yourself, and from your educational pursuits, but you won’t demand or have your man commit to you. Why? What are you hiding or running from?
And, don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with educating yourself, going to school, and advancing yourself, but you are doing the most. You have 2 Bachelor degrees, 2 Master’s, and now you’re working on your PhD. Yes, Ms. Thang, you’re obviously avoiding something.
So, who does your boyfriend remind you of? He is the image or representation of something that you replaced in your life. What is it? Or, who is it? And, you’re not oblivious to the fact that you’re not married, or engaged, and you have 3 children together over the span of 10 years. Do you even want to be married? Or, is he someone that you find complacency with, and you’re afraid to move on because you don’t want to invest in someone else? Therefore, you stay in this relationship because it’s familiar. He’s like an old blanket, so why get rid of something you know, someone whom you know their faults, and idiosyncrasies.
But, let me address this bull-ish he said to you when you mentioned, “Nevertheless, I have tried to suggest and even force him to get his GED, work, and quit his habit. He complains that this drives him to cheat.” Uhm, no! He cheats because he is an insecure low-life bum who needs to have his head cracked! Don’t let allow him to make you the excuse for his illicit childish behaviors. He’s an a**hole who needs to have nuts clipped.
What I noticed is that perhaps you like routine, and structure, therefore, it explains why you remain in school, and with your boyfriend. School provides structure and a routine for you. At the same time, it gives you the escape from your relationship, and ability to have something you can have of your own. It’s something you have control over. Unlike your relationship, though it is routine and has structure, i.e., he doesn’t work, he has no ambition, smokes weed, and cheats. It is still something familiar for you. You can work around it and him.
Answer my original questions of why you’re there, and what benefits you’re getting out of this relationship, and you will get to the root of why you won’t and can’t leave. When you’re honest with yourself, then you can move on. But, until you tell the truth to yourself and about yourself, you will continue to live in denial and in this destructive relationship. The same energy you’re investing in your education is the same energy you should invest within yourself. – Terrance Dean
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Make sure to order my books Mogul: A Novel (Atria Books – June 2011; $15); Hiding In Hip Hop (Atria Books – June 2008); and Straight From Your Gay Best Friend – The Straight Up Truth About Relationships, Love, And Having A Fabulous Life (Agate/Bolden Books – November 2010; $15). They are available in bookstores everywhere, and on Amazon, click HERE!