Facebook Pixel

The Relationship Corner Join this Group

New Boyfriend & Not Feeling Equal

By July 23, 2014 - 7:30am

Hi, I've been divorced for over 2 years and have 3 older kids from my first (only) marriage which lasted 18 years. After years of being single, gone on a few not so great dates, I finally have met a nice guy and been dating for almost a year. My boyfriend who is loving, fun, great with the kids, energetic and hard-working. However, he doesn't make a lot of money (not sure he ever has) even though he works hard. After almost a year of dating, he now stays at my house almost every night, and basically lives with me even though he still has his condo that he rents. He's also been divorced for 5 years but never had any kids as his wife couldn't have kids which he was fine with. I don't expect him to pay for much regarding my house but he doesn't pay for anything...groceries, utilities...and now I find myself cooking, cleaning, doing his laundry, buying his toiletries, food, etc while Im at the market...basically, doing everything for him while he works. I'm starting to get resentful and feel like he's not pulling his weight. I feel like he should either be helping pay for things around the house or help more around the house if he's going to stay here as often as he does. I realize he still has to pay for his other residence but feel that if he is going to stay here as often as he does, he needs to either help pay for things, do more around the house, or pull his weight one way or another. Am I correct to expect this? If so, how do I talk to him about it all?

I know he can't afford to pay for half of the expenses at my house nor would I ask him to but even if he paid 1/4 of bills, groceries or helped more with the cleaning, laundry, etc. He rarely goes to his place anymore. I realize that I've gotten myself into this predicament but I'm not used to this kind of relationship. I do love our time together but lately these things have been frustrating me as I fold his laundry and pick up his shaving cream that he wrote on my list of things to pick up at the store.

I'd appreciate any advice. As you can see, this is all new to me as my last relationship with my ex our roles were very clearly defined. I stayed home with my kids and took care of the house while he worked and did help with the house and kids when he wasn't working. Now I'm working part time, taking care of my high school/college aged children. I don't have a lot of extra money but have money from my divorce that I have to be very careful with as those are limited funds.

Again, I'd appreciate any advice or help. A frustrated but still in love mom.

Thanks everyone!

By HERWriter July 23, 2014 - 8:31am

Hi Singlemom3,

Thank you so much for your post. Your frustration is completely warranted and clearly building. There is only so much you can do out of kindness before your love begins to feel like a job (or sometimes another chore!). Since the relationship is good, I suggest a few ways of approaching this situation:

- Sit down and have an honest conversation. Relationships are about communication. If you don't feel like you can open up to him about your feeling, then we may be talking about a larger problem? Start by explaining your feelings in the relationship (he's loving, great with your children, fun, energetic and hard working). Remember that you need to keep the conversation positive - don't make it feel like you are approaching it like a problem, rather a step forward. Make him feel like he is becoming a part of the family rather than just a boyfriend and a guest in your home. By becoming a part of your home, this means lending a hand. Let him know how much you would appreciate it (and how much more relaxing you both could do if you weren't always tidying up and taking care of everything!). From here you can begin asking him to stop by the grocery store once a month and contribute this to the household he is now more involved in (or something similar?)

- Make him a permanent part of your home. Think seriously about your boyfriend's role in your home. Maybe it's time to invite him to live there permanently? Have a talk with him about this - since he is spending so much time there anyway, he may be open to moving in after his lease is finished at the condo. This discussion should also include a contribution to the rent or mortgage and bills you are currently paying. 

- Begin asking for it! By no means do we suggest you hand over a list of chores, but many times we women will not ask for what we want (I do this all the time!). Maybe start by calling on your way home from work and asking to unload the dishwasher or start a load of laundry, vacuum the house or mow the lawn. Maybe you had a stressful day at work? Begin by saying that you would love to come home and relax on the couch, see if he would mind taking care of a chore or two so you can do this. 

Often times men do not consider the frustrations in our lives. Sometimes we need to make these frustrations clear (in the form of suggestions or positive conversations) for men to realize that what they are doing is seriously stressing us out! I wish you luck!

I hope this helps, and I would love to hear your thoughts (and all abut what you decided to do!)

July 23, 2014 - 8:31am

Group Leader

Related Topics


Ask questions, get advice, share your stories! Welcome to our relationship corner! Just like a conversation with your best friend, the Relationship Corner can help you weigh in on everything in your love life! Join the conversation today!


This Group is Open to all EmpowHER.com members