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JR, M.A.
JR, M.A., Mental Health Professional
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 184
Experience:  I have a master's degree in clinical psychology and am currently finishing my doctoral degree.
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I am a mother of four boys, 6, 9, 14, and 17. Two oldest ...

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I am a mother of four boys, 6, 9, 14, and 17. Two oldest from my 1st marriage and the 9 yr old from my second marriage and whom is deceased. My youngest son I have with a man that I have been living with and in a relationship for the last 8 yrs. We are not married. He is afraid to get married partly because he doesn't want to share anything he has acquired in case things didn't work out. I am frustrated that he feels that way but also because I dont feel very secure. He has a good union job and makes close to 100k a year and I pay most of my own bills except for when I get into a bind and need a loan he will help me out a bit. I pay for groceries clean house do laundry and cook, all the "household chores" I also work part time for myself doing residential cleaning. In addition I help him to clean up and maintain his rentals and help with remodels. He carries no med insurance for me so I have none and neither does my 9 year old. Iam feeling short changed
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  JR, M.A. replied 9 years ago.


I would be happy to help you with your situation. Please answer these questions first, so that I may better answer your question.

What are your ages?

What exactly are you getting out of the relationship?

What exactly do you think he is getting out of the relationship?

How often do you bring up the subject of marriage?

Do you have problems being without a man?

What do your children think of this man?

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I am 40 he is 39. I did break up with him for a period of time and moved into my own home for a couple of years. We did end up still communicating and continued the relationship. The main issues before was that he would not ever help me financially and I felt I was doing everything that a wife would do but wasn't getting the benefit of being a wife. He didn't help take care of our youngest son and I was feeling unhappy unappreciated and overwelmed. We talked alot and he began to start buying some of the groceries helping with our son and we finally decided to officially move back in together. I really thought that we would eventually get married but that hasn't happened and even if we didn't get married, I want to have things arranged so that I am getting the benefits just the same. I want health insurance for me and my 9 year old, I think that I should be listed as a co-owner on the home we live in so that if something happened to him I would have our home. Right now he has everything going to his mother and he says to me that his mother would make sure I was ok. I disagree I think she would think"if he wanted her to have anything he would have given it to her" and I would be in a position that I would be at her mercy. We have had issues in the past and I know how she is.He makes me feel like I get so much from him a home to live in (he pays the bills) I pay for my personal bills and car, insurance etc. I work only part time right now because our youngest isnt in school yet and he would expect me to pay for daycare, and I cannot afford that. I dont make that much and even if I worked more it wouldnt make alot of sense.My nine year old was very upset when we moved out because he had never known his real father because he died when my son was 5 months old. I was left widowed with 3 children and $600 to my name. I have struggled and worked for myself cleaning homes to make a living. I was heartbroken thinking that I was taking the only dad my son has ever known and felt like I was being selfish, that I should try as hard as I could to make things work but I get so frustrated because I still really feel like I am all alone. He has plenty of money to take care of us but I still feel like I am always struggling he wants me to get a full time job which I am looking into when our youngest goes to school. But since I don't work a 40 hour a week job he thinks I just lie around read books and do nothing all day and I feel like I am a slave to him trying to do all the things he requires, that I cannot do the things I enjoy without him thinking I am not doing anything important! I have no enjoyment to my life. He expects me to wait on him hand and foot every evening and he will NEVER cook. He never sets foot into the kitchen except to sit down to eat and I always have to make his plate He thinks I am asking way to much to expect him to get his own drinks and put his food on his plate, when he works and pays the bills. My whole evenings exist of waiting on him getting his snacks and rubbing his back and feet. I dont mind now and then but it is beginning to get very old!!!! am I wrong to expect him to do those things for himself? He even has our boys expecting me to do everything for them and I have become the full time cook, maid and slave. I put my foot down with the boys and have began to make them do for themselves but the boys still see their father demanding having things done for him and it doesn't seem right. As far as what do I get out of the relationship? I guess I get companionship someone to help alittle, I guess I am so used to being short changed and having the men in my life treat me as if thats all I deserve that I am afraid to ask for more. I know that if do that our relationship would be over and I dont know if I am ready for that and I would really enjoy being in a relationship but I just want more. I think I could leave if I had to but how should I approach that will the kids? That would turn their lives upside down and I dont feel I have the right to make that decision for them.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I get a nice home to live in and I know if I was in a really big pinch financially he helps me out. I dont know if leaving is the answer, He is the kind of person that is very into responsibility and he thinks everone should work very hard for what they have the same as he has he is not lazy he does not drink do drugs cuss go out to bars He is a good dad to the boys He just expects me to work harder and get the things I need for myself. I dont disagree but I also feel that I do work hard and I do alot of hard work for him on his rentals and remodels I am always available to help him when he needs it. I help him hauling off brush moving furniture clean up and mowing and weed eating 10 yards and 10 acres. I jump anytime he asks me to and I just still feel unhappy with the arrangement because I feel I cannot set my own boundaries as to what I will and won't do and I cannot ask for what I really want . He just looks at me like "what more could you want?"Like I have no right to ask for anything.
Expert:  JR, M.A. replied 9 years ago.


First off, I have to just say "WOW!" You are one strong woman for putting up with his abusive behavior for so many years. He sounds afraid to make any real commitment to you and is comfortable in the current situation. From his perspective, why should he bother marrying you when you put up with the current relationship? You "jump" whenever he needs you, which is a wonderful thing for a WIFE to do for her HUSBAND. He is getting the kind of treatment a great wife would provide without providing you with the type of secure support that he should be giving you and your children. If this man were your husband, I would suggest that you seek marital therapy for support and attempt to keep a positive attitude because you would be doing the right thing for your husband, even if his behavior towards you was unloving. However, given the status of your relationship with him, you are certainly not obligated to put up with such treatment. As a side note, If I treated my wife this way, she wouldn't even look back to see if the door hit me on her way out. It sounds like your self-esteem is quite low, and your boyfriends' behavior towards you has been contributing to your low self-esteem. You mentioned a history of putting up with abusive relationships. Given this history, your perception of your relationship may be skewed. He is taking advantage of your submissive subservience that stems from your desire to be loved. You seem like you are aching to be loved unconditionally and he is stepping on the air hose that leads to your "love tank." Although this example is silly, I think that it illustrates your situation well. You are giving and giving out of your "love tank" and you are getting nothing back in return for your giving. You are a unique and strong woman for putting up with his abuse and continuing to give for so long. He may not drink, use drugs, or beat the children, but his attitude and treatment of you is abusive and ill-willed. Additionally, his behavior towards you is setting a terrible example for your children. They will learn that it is ok to be abusive in relationships, and they will likely struggle to make commitments in their adult relationships. At this point, I understand your financial situation, but I must stress that "money does not buy happiness"....I'm sure you have learned that from this situation. A "real man" takes care of his family and is willing to sacrifice himself for the well-being of his family. His behavior is not characteristic of a man with integrity, which is certainly not uncommon in our society. He will probably continue with this pattern of behavior until something dramatic happens to stop it.

BotXXXXX XXXXXne: If you wish to remain in this relationship, you absolutely must get him to agree to couples therapy with a Clinical Psychologist. If he was really concerned about you leaving him and taking his money, you could simply sign a pre-nuptial contract that would sign away your rights to his property in case of a divorce. His excuse seems very poor and may not be the real issue. He sounds like he has commitment issues that stem from deeper issues in his past. You are still young enough to pursue other relationship opportunities. Your difficult as it may be for you to understand...are more concerned about their relationship with you than they are about having his money. You need to protect your children from this man's abusive behavior. I understand this will be very difficult for you, as you are probably scared of losing what little love and reassurance your receive from him. Many GOOD men would be happy to have a woman like you. Again, if you cannot bring yourself to leave this relationship, you need to get into therapy. You must ask yourself: Can I live for the rest of my life with him treating me like this and feeling like this? I suspect that your answer is NO! Please feel free to follow-up on this with me. I will do my best to help you make the right choice.

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