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psychlady
psychlady, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 6886
Experience:  I have over 16 years experience in treating adults presenting with a variety of relationship issues
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My question just may be too long and perhaps I need some serious

Customer Question

My question just may be too long and perhaps I need some serious counseling, but for now, I will just start here. I am 57 yrs old and have been with my 55 yr old "boy" friend for 8 years. He and I have a serious physical chemistry with each other and we are best friends. I cannot imagine my life without him. However, I know that we are from different classes and I work with attorneys in my career. He is a blue collar worker, which I swear does not bother me in the least. I'm happy that he has a good job with medical insurance, etc. The problem is, his list of what I (and most normal people) would perceive to be serious flaws gets to me more and more as the years pass by. I've become intolerant, overly critical and most importantly, unable to see through these flaws to the good and loving heart that this man has, which attracted me to him in the first place. (The passion came months after we met and became friends.) Here is his list of flaws that drive me crazy. His place is a disaster including his kitchen which sometimes has months worth of dishes etc piled up in the sink. Gross. I can't maneuver through his apartment, so he visits me at mine. His vehicle is trashed inside. We usually ride in mine. He drinks more beer than I'm comfortable with, but claims that he just likes it and is not an alcoholic (because he doesn't shake when he stops drinking). His hair usually needs cutting, his fingernails aren't kept up and get longer than a man should have, he lives in superhero comic shirts instead of "grown up" clothing. The reason for this is that he owned a comic book store for about 20 years until the market crashed in the last 90s. Since then, he has about a quarter million dollars in inventory that he chips away at to sell, but he rest of it is stored in one warehouse (pay $1,000/month) for that, another storage facility (that he pays $150/mo for), a garage that he rents for $100 mo, and his apartment that he pays $1,150 mo. This is also why his apartment is such a mess. Stuff is piled up everwhere include an attached basement that is filled to the brim. Because of the rents, He never has money, so he cannot afford to do the things that I would like to do at our age, like travel, dine, etc. Talk about a lot of luggage! I have tried and tried to get him to make some vital changes, especially with respect to his apartment or with liquidating so that he doesn't have to pay out all of the rents and could improve his finances. He lives check to check and is always borrowing from a good friend, but basically robbing Peter to pay Paul. The frustration this causes me is incredible. On the other hand, he truly loves me - a love that I haven't felt from anybody else in my entire life. Having said that, if he REALLY loves me, why won't he do at least one of these chores (like cleaning his apartment or cleaning his car) to make me happy? I'm so confused. He is such a dear sweet man and he adores me. I don't know what to do. I feel like he is the love of my life, yet I can't respect the lifestyle that he has and the choices that he makes that hold not only him back, but me too. Please help me!
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  psychlady replied 3 years ago.

His problem cannot be fixed by promises or by ultimatums. He could be what we call a hoarder. He has these possessions that he cannot part with but yet he lives in filth . That is a lifestyle not bad habits. He actually needs therapeutic intervention. He cannot part with this things because he thinks they are valuable. Hoarders are often dirty and cannot see clutter. They pass by it without even noticing and it does not bother them. This is a form of OCD. His house is a collection of valuables but only to him. They become anxious at the thought of cleaning or ridding themselves of anything. This can overtake their lives. Everything becomes cluttered even having poor hygiene themselves. You can not fix this and probablu neither can he. He needs help. I would be more than bothered about this. But try to move him toward on this even if it is to call a collector and remove 2 books at a time

 

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
This is a good answer but only a partial answer. I don't believe that hoarding is the main problem. I feel that the alcohol is equally a factor. Do I give up on him and move on, and, if not, will I have to deal with this for the rest of my life?
Expert:  psychlady replied 3 years ago.

That could be true. Especially since hoarding can be an impulsive habit and so is alcohol. If he is drinking beyond what is social then this is called binging. It leads to alcoholism. It is true that there aren't any shakes or blackouts. That comes later. But this is just as dangerous especially for his liver. It also has other consequences because the person often feels they don't have a problem. These people often can hold a job and feel they are fine. Eventually there will be problems especially in relationships that are impacted by this problem. This will trickle down to everything.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
How much chance of a successful relationship do we have with these problems if we are having so much trouble already?
Expert:  psychlady replied 3 years ago.
Relationships survive worse all the time. With communication and dedication yours can survive too. You both just have to be two committed adults who want this relationship badly enough to survive this
psychlady, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 6886
Experience: I have over 16 years experience in treating adults presenting with a variety of relationship issues
psychlady and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you - that's exactly what I needed to hear.
Expert:  psychlady replied 3 years ago.
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