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Cher, Relationship Enthusiast
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 21422
Experience:  Extensive experience as Educator/Teacher, M.A., Counselor, Spouse, Parent, Psychic Advisor
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Dear Cher I have gotten myself into quite a snit and

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Dear Cher:

I have gotten myself into quite a snit and as much as I scream and outcome is not happening.

I started dating a man about 3 years ago. At that time he had bought a home (really a shack) way out in the country. Since we were dating, he just always said how much he hated to drive to his place. Also he was "green and off the grid" so it was a hassle to live in it. Of course, I said well, just stay here. That happened for about a year.

After that he had a melt down and I truly was afraid for him due to what I thought were suicidal tendancies. I have a guest quarters and said he could live there and work off the rent. He has lost his job in Construction as many have. My feeling was I would give him work or he could work off the rent. This has not worked and it's always an argument. I'm in a rut and very unhappy with him here, however it's always my fault. I'm a Cancer Patient and also early widowed...first time in 15 years I've become dependent and hate it
Hello, and thanks for your question. Also, thanks for your patience, as I was not online when you posted.

My heartfelt condolences on becoming widowed; how long ago did this happen, 15 years?

I have a few questions for you first, so I can better understand your complete situation.

What are your ages?

The man you were/are dating has been living with you for about 2-3 years?

What kind of work did you want to give him (around the house or elsewhere?) in exchange for rent?

Has he not done any work for you in all this time? Are you actually supporting him (buy groceries, paying all the bills) with no participation from him at all? Do you work?

Does he receive unemployment or any income from other sources?

What do you argue about, the fact that he's living in your house rent-free, and/or other issues?

Have you actually asked him to leave and he refused, or are you afraid for him to leave, because you don't want to live alone at this time? In what ways are you dependent on him?

You said you're not happy with him living there, so I assume you don't 'love' or care for him too much, anymore?

What is your desired outcome?

Thanks for all your additional detail, and once you send it, I will get back to you as soon as possible. Can you tell me where you're located, so I know if we're in the same time zone?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

1, He is 46 and I am 50

2. We dated for about 6 months and there just wasn't any chemistry. He lost his job/home so I said he could stay (in my guest cottage and do projects in leui of rent or run errands for me. He's got ADD and nothing ever gets done. His deal was to fix things, build things, run errands, kill pesky animals (mice) etc. He's an expert carpenter. He starts and takes months to complete only because he doesn't concentrate on finishing the job

3. Yes, I am putting a roof over his head, paying utilities food, some travel, clothing, etc But in according to him, If I can afford to do it for me, then what's a litle extra for him. He's not thrown any money in the kitty so to speak very often. And I guess for practical reasons, I am supporting him except paying his truck payment or any other personal bills he has.

4. I do not work -he scrambles for work which is few and far between. He normally charges $45.00 and won't work for anything less.

5. I have asked him to leave and the issue of why always comes up and my answer is that he does nothing...and takes forever. And that we don't get along. His answer to that is that we do get along and it's all in my head and I keep coming up with this screaming match. By the way, he does not listen.

6. No, would like for him to go but he has no where to go..I doubt his family would take him in or friends, etc. I just found out he jas $40 in his checking account.

7. No I never did love him but by living with him, we do not co-habitate well even though he's in a part of the home I do not even see.

8. When I bring up these issues, it's my fault, I'm doctor Jeckle/Hyde. I hate the person he's made me become...always screaming. OH...he told me he did contribute...he brought grocerys for a period of time. It costs about $10,000 a month to keep this place up monthly and he bought grocerys.

9. I want him out, however he will not leave as he does not have anywhere to go. He also has a dog who I love as does my dog...would you believe that's a factor also? Dumb huh. His brother is a sleezy attorney, and I am sure he would get involved because no one in the family wants him on their shoulders as I'm sure it's happened before. ALSO major controlling. If male friends stop by, his hair strands on ends. Always wants to know where I went and and what I did. I tell him it's none of his business.

10. While I've opened up my home to him during a very hard time in his life, I'm the bad person. It bothers me when I even know he pulls up in his truck. He's started so many projects that only he can finish....I feel so so stuck...maybe because of the illness and just dealing with one medical issue after another. When I try and talk too him, his response is "I'm sory." He's attending a group called Breakthrough and this must be the standard issue answer.

I'm in California

Hi again, and thanks very much for your reply with helpful and additional information about your situation.

I completely understand your frustration and being upset with this situation. You are a very kind and patient person, to provide him with a nice place to stay, because he has nowhere else to go, even though you don't really want him there, anymore.

First do NOT allow him to make you feel like the bad one. You are his 'savior'; you have provided him with shelter, food, and other necessities which he couldn't provide for himself and his dog. In a way, I think many of his behaviors stem back to the ADD, and this is what I suggest: because you're aware that he has this condition, you need to be very specific with him, regarding what you need him to do. For example, don't just say, "the garage door needs fixing"; concentrate on one unfinished job at a time, and break that job down into smaller portions. Tell him and show him specifically, that [whatever] needs to be done, and check on him in an hour, to see if he's finished, if he's working on it, or what he's up to. I know this seems tedious and will take a toll on your time, but it's necessary to get the jobs finished, which will lead to having him finally move out. Stay with him while he starts working, help him organize whatever tools he needs--ask him to make a list of tools he needs to do the particular job, and help him find them in the garage, or wherever. Set an 'advanced' time limit on what he's doing, with a 'reward' at the end. For example, tell him when he finishes that portion of the job (or the whole job, however you set it up), he can come in to have lunch, and you're making [a favorite food]. This will help him visualize finishing the job, and enjoying something he likes, afterward. It's his 'incentive'.

Try to do this with every job he needs to finish; divide it up into time manageable/acceptable 'segments', to help him focus and finish. Don't keep yelling at him about what he's NOT doing, but encourage him about what he HAS accomplished, afterward, so he feels 'positive' about his work and will not fight you on moving onto the next task.

As a man, he subconsciously feels quite emasculated, not earning a living, not being able to finish the jobs he starts, and knowing he's disappointing you, that's why he tells YOU, you're acting like a Jekyll and Hyde, to help himself feel better. He obviously thinks he's doing nothing wrong and just can't understand why you would be so mean to him, yelling at him to finish jobs, contribute something to the household payments, etc. He does that as a 'defense mechanism', because deep down he knows he's wrong, but due to his 'disability' (ADD), he can't help his behavior. Seeing a doctor and perhaps getting medication to help his condition, might help him be more productive, but that's up to him.

If he's a master carpenter, he should be able to find a job, but due to the country's economy and his ADD, he may not be able to work. Perhaps he should apply for SSDI (social security disability insurance), and at least he'd be contributing more to the household expenses, if he's approved. He also might be able to find himself a place to live, even if he were to rent a room in someone's house, if he has some money coming in.

You need to set a timeline for him, with a specific date in the future, that he has to be out. Hang a calendar in a common area, like the kitchen, and circle the day you need him out by (I would say giving him about 2 months is reasonable) and 'X' off the days as they pass, reminding him nicely, each day, that he's going to move out on that day. He needs to find another place to live and needs to make money to afford a low to reasonable rent.

If he feels he can't take proper care of his dog and/or can't take the dog with him, when he leaves, tell him not to worry about that, as you'll keep the dog, since your dog loves the companionship. Don't tell him you love the dog and that's why you'll let him/her stay, or he might counter with something like: 'oh, so the dog can stay, because you care about him/her but ME, you'd turn out?' Just say it's for the good of both dogs, as they've bonded, etc.

If HE won't do it, YOU start looking at rooms for rent and/or jobs available in the area, make phone calls to get more information, and then pass the written information on to him. Tell him 'nothing personal', but it's time for you to move on and I'm trying to help you do that. Try NOT to get emotional, stay calm and just tell him matter of factly, that it's time for him to find his own place. He can do it with whatever little money he has, and also find a job doing 'anything' for the time-being, to support himself. Encourage him and tell him, I'm sure things will get better for you soon, once you're on your own and working, making money. You'll feel more 'independent' and better about yourself.

Be strong, stick to your 'plan', and remind him every day what he needs to be doing to find a job and a place to live. He HAS to know someone else besides you, to stay with, if he can't find a place to rent. It's unfortunate that he has no family or friends, but if he was working construction, he has to have known other people, through work. You don't know for sure he has nobody; you only have HIS word on that, so he may have relatives or friends elsewhere, that he can impose upon, instead of you. I don't know how you would find that information out, besides asking him, but I'm just pointing out that it's possible.

If it's more important to you to have him out, than for him to finish the jobs he started, you can always hire someone to finish the jobs, so you don't have to keep him around for that reason. However, if you ARE so kind as to give him about 2 months to straighten himself out and find a job/other place to live, he might as well work on some of the jobs, to complete them. If he doesn't, then his 'full-time' job at this time, is to find a job and find a place to live.

Ultimately, if you want him out and he flatly refuses to leave and also flatly refuses to do anything about finding work and/or another place, you might have to take legal action. If it's YOUR house, you have no legal documentation regarding a written 'agreement' or arrangement with him, re: him living there, etc., he has no right to stay if you want him out. You could enforce this with the local police dept. or sheriff, etc., but you'd have to find out how to go about it; I'm not a lawyer, so I can't advise you on the specifics of that.

It would be best for you both, if you didn't have to resort to any legal action, but I know the sense of relief you will feel, once he's out.

Try some of my suggestions, and take it from there. I wish you much good luck, hope you're able to accomplish this, as soon as possible, so your life will return to a more relaxed and happy state! Keep me posted on how things are progressing? Thanks!

I just noticed that you edited your reply with more information while I was typing my answer, but before you had a chance to read it. What type of group is 'Breakthrough'?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Hello Cher:


Breakthrough is a program for men to help them mostly with "Mother Issues" as he has alot of...he stayed with living with his mother until he was 35. A men's focus group. I know he has severe "Mother issues" as he and everyone will admit. I was oprhaned at 6 weeks old and my dear sweet Grandma took me in. She was first generation immigrant and somehow all the women got married and if the boys didn't well, they stayed home and let mom take care of them. They also have a Break Now for women but I don't think I can go until he's out of my life as I am so angry. I think these programs might have resulted from LifeSpring...but the only owners of these programs live in Carmel, CA


I've tried the outline procedures above and to be diligent on saying I want it done "NOW" but to no avail...but I will try again. "This I will try again" seems to be my mantra.


I hate the yelling (that's all I grew up with in a home of alcholics) and now I am the one doing it. I've lost a self=of sense. Between the Cancer, last year I had a terrible outbreak of Lichen Planus. Autioimmune disease leaving 300 leisions on my body. So I understand my vunurability on this one also. Alls I want is my peace back, my puppy to be happy with his puppy and not have the continual disgregard for those who surround us.

Once again, you were very right on. Oh, he does have family and friends to boot...but I and that's a strong I believe this is his pattern and they aren't going to help him out again...they saw me coming and said Hallijulah! Best to you

Hi again, and thanks for your reply with more information re: 'Breakthrough' and his 'mother issues'.

Please give me a short while to type you a detailed response, based upon your new information.

Hi again, and thanks for your patience.

I'm so sorry you have to contend with this emotional upheaval in your life, along with your medical problems. I hope your cancer is in remission and the lesions are not painful!

I think you're absolutely right, re: his family and friends seeing you coming, and figuring 'better you, than us!', but you know what? You're NOT his family, and you haven't known him for that long; you only dated for a short time before he became homeless and you did him a very big favor--well you really saved him from the streets, if no one he knew would take him in. His family and friends who have known him much longer, and have a 'blood' connection, have much more of an obligation to help him, than you. If they don't want him in their houses, let them all chip in and pay his rent for a rented room in someone's house. That's probably the least expensive route he can go right now.

I'm not surprised you said he has 'mother' issues. When you yell at him to do something, who do you sound like? You're acting like his mother, telling him what to do, when to do it, and although he has 'issues', he's loving it! Someone is providing for him, 'doing for him', and instructing him on how to live his life. He feels safe and secure, just like he did, when he was living with mom!

I'm glad you've 'resolved' to keep trying to get the unfinished jobs done, but as I mentioned, just saying you want it done NOW, won't move him to action, he needs close supervision, and if you can't do that because it's so tiring, break up the jobs into smaller jobs, so he feels he can tackle them. People with ADD simply cannot focus for long periods of time, so break up anything he has to do, into smaller 'blocks' of time, so he feels it's manageable, and not impossible to do.

If you say to him, "look, as you must know, this is just not working out; I need to have my house to myself and you're going to have to go. I'm willing to wait as long as 2 months (if this is the time period you're comfortable with, or make it shorter, if you want to) for you to get yourself together, and find another place to live. There's NO negotiating on this. I've made up my mind. I'm not feeling well and I need my place to myself. You'll have to move out. I'm sorry you've had a hard time of it, over the past few years, and I'm glad I could help for THIS long, but life has been no picnic for me either, and this is the decision I've made, so I'm expecting you to honor it, after I've given you so much over the years. I wish you well, but it's time for you to move on and move out of my house."

The unfinished jobs are secondary to him moving out, in my view of things, and how I think you want things to be. As I said, you can hire someone to finish the jobs, at less of an expensive to you, monetarily (supporting him), and definitely, emotionally.

In addition to going to meetings of Breakthrough, he should be attending meetings of a support group of adults with ADD, and that should also help him get his life together.


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