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Suzanne, Therapist, LCSW
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 919
Experience:  Experienced in treating trauma, relationship issues, co-dependency
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I have been with X for 25 years. He is catholic and did not

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I have been with X for 25 years. He is catholic and did not and will not get a divorce. We dated and then moved in together about 15 years ago. I then built a house and paid for it and he is here with me. He had heart trouble and wanted to receive communion again. He now goes to church is a Eucaristic Minister( not allowed to have romance anymore says the priest) He is a good person but he helps everyone and not really me. I am his landloard, driver, gardener, proofreader, cook and social partner. He tells his wife she looks nice (at family gatherings)but it has been 2 years since he has said anythng about how I look(which is not too bad :) He is now reaching out to every women who needs help in our village. My brother said the least he could do is clean up his rooms(can't even walk into them)
What shoudl I do? I do love him but I fell really bad about the situation. We are in our 70s.

Thank you for writing to Just Answer.


I think your friend may be using his role at church for an excuse. There is NO requirement for Eucharistic ministers to be celibate.


Perhaps you have made things too easy for him---he feels as if he doesn't even have to clean his own room--- and now you are in the role of the taken-for-granted wife (even though not married). It sounds at this point that you may be being taken advantage of.


Sometimes, after a medical scare like a heart problem, people will try to make up for lost time. If he came to you straight from his marriage, he may be thinking this is the last chance he'll get to sow his wild oats. It is worth noting that the medical scare did not renew his commitment to your relationship.



From what you wrote, it doesn't seem like you are getting much out of the relationship anymore--no romance, no compliments, no attention. You have to decide if what you have with him now is enough.


At this point, if he gets sick and you end up having to take care of him, will you feel used or resentful because he seems to have stopped loving you? If the answer is yes, then it may be time to ask him to find somewhere else to live.


If you still want him with you, then it is time to set some boundaries with him: he has to help around the house, keep his room clean, etc. Don't put yourself in a position where you are askingfor his affection. If you are not feeling loved, then you most likely are not being loved.


This is a very big decision after 25 years together. Ask your brother and people you trust and who know you both how they see things. My answer is only based on what you wrote...there may be more to the story.

I hope this has helped give a new perspective on your situation. If it has, please click Accept.

Best Wishes,









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