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Dr. Michael
Dr. Michael, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2177
Experience:  Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
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I am living abroad and Ive had a man living with me for a

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I am living abroad and I've had a man living with me for a year. We met walking our dogs in the neighborhood.
I am an observant Jew and he is anti-religious. I go to religious events on my own and he smokes outside and does what he wants to with his free time.
I never had anyone live with me before and I was never married so I do not know what what issues I ought to accept and which I have a right to be disturbed by...
His new puppy is precious and I take care of her but she is destroying books and items in my apartment every day when I am out of the apartment. He will not pay for training.
He has been speaking in a disparaging way about religion daily--that it is a waste of one's life and I am brainwashed like all the others.
Since I am 50, should I accept him and accept the relationship as it is?
Hello. I believe I can be of help to you with this issue. I'm a guy about your age so I can give you man's perspective on this.

You have companionship but most women your age want someone they share common values and core beliefs with. In a healthy relationship where there are religious differences, each partner HAS to strive to support the other's values, beliefs and core interests in their religion. That is, his criticism of religion is actually his intentional, calculated way of trying to get you to change your mind about your religion---his comments would not be spoken if there wasn't an INTENT to try to persuade you to adopt his point of view. So this is what he WANTS and these are his INTENTIONS.

Now, in a healthy relationship with religious differences, each partner may have opposing, or even negative views about the other person's religion, but they take care to abstain from making disparaging comments about religion, knowing that it offends the others' deeply-held, personal beliefs. This is the ONLY way to get on in a relationship with serious differences in value, core beliefs, religion, etc. So he is saying, "I'm not happy with you the way you are and I want to put considerable effort into changing you."
Your companion sounds as though he is 'taking' more than he is 'giving' to the relationship and is actually acting somewhat disrespectfully to you when he quietly, subtly tries to undermine your religious faith.

Also, you are NOT with a man who is extremely bright and accomplished. Extremely bright and successful men who have truly 'been around' are smart enough to not do the above things, and they don't continue smoking at around age 50 because they understand the cumulative effects smoking DOES invariably have on one's health; and they are COURTEOUS enough to not harm or do damage to friend's property by bringing a new puppy into the relationship. What I'm noting is all about respectful behavior toward self and others, and nothing you've mentioned shows a deep level of respect for you.

Your initial post certainly doesn't expound on all of the benefits you are getting from being with this man over the past year but so far, the benefits must outweigh the costs in this relationship, or you'd have left him. I don't mean this unkindly, but based on your post, I would wager that most women would have to be very lonely, fairly insecure and emotionally 'needy' to trade off what you are putting up with in this guy, the level of his character, to have this companionship permanently. I'd wager, based on your initial post, that this man doesn't sound like much of a 'catch' to most women, as a permanent companion. What do you think?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Dr. Michael,

I really appreciate your carefully thought out response. I also appreciate your feedback, not only as a professional, but as a male around my age.

You are right that this man who is 61 has far less education than I do and he was actually married to and divorced twice from the same women. He is also bankrupt from a family large business disaster and I am independent. I had recently moved to Israel from the United States and was feeling vulnerable.

I would certainly turn to you again! Thanks
Thanks. You can and must follow your 'wise' rational mind on this one, not your emotions.

Let me know if I can be of further assistance. Please click on the green Accept button at the bottom of the page.
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