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Ms. Opinionated: My Live-In Partner Spends All His Money On Partying

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Welcome to the latest installment of Ms. Opinionated, in which readers have questions about the pesky day-to-day choices we all face, and I give advice about how to make ones that (hopefully) best reflect our shared commitment to feminist values—as well as advice on what to do when they don't.

Dear Ms. Opinionated,

I am 23 and have been living with my (male) partner for a little over a year, and we've been together for about a year and half. For the most part, our relationship is relatively wonderful: we agree on practically everything and have found great contentment in what is usually a very quiet, domestic lifestyle. I also have clinically significant social anxiety and he has ADHD, but we are very patient with one another. I have never felt anything other than safe, respected, and loved when I am with with him. He was the first person I have said, "I love you" to, and meant it.

My frustration, however, is this. Despite his (severely) limited funds, he stays at least one night a week across town at his friends' house getting trashed (leaving me absent my car for at least 24 hours), and spends money on everything that goes along with that. He justifies this by claiming that he is cultivating creative relationships (which is, in part, true; sometimes something comes of it). I understand that he needs time with his friends, to let loose and all that, but he maybe makes $200 a month working very part time for a local artist, and spends what he does earn on his medication, alcohol, and cigarettes (which I have repeatedly expressed my dislike of, but frustrated/concerned words are of course are nothing in the face of addiction). No money for rent. Or bills. Or food. He is very conscious and apologetic of what the situation is, but he hasn't changed anything. I don't see him as taking advantage of me, necessarily, because I think that we are both committed enough that when I am once again in school in a few years he will, hopefully, have a job and do the same for me. And I don't ever, ever want him to feel that he is stuck, or his behavior is limited, or whatever, just because I'm the one with resources. But as we've come upon one year living together (or rather, him living with me), I am really starting to lose my patience. To me it seems that we live a great life but he sacrifices very little for it.

I understand that that it isn't reasonable for me to expect him to be at the same place I am right now, financially speaking. I spend most of my time working and volunteering while getting ready to apply to graduate school, while he is still working on completing an associate's degree at community college (although he is on summer break right now) in a program he only started this past spring. I have wonderful, devoted parents who are still helping me out with some of our rent and my student loan payments, but while his mom has also been paying for his education, she is reluctant to contribute any more than that and his dad effectively refuses to provide any financial support at all.

I keep wondering if I shouldn't do something drastic (along the lines of asking him to move out for a while, so that he might be forced to make a greater effort to support himself independently) that would send him a more potent message ( i.e., I'm really starting to get fed up with some aspects of his behavior). But when we met he was sporadically employed, camped out on his friends' couches, and living off of burritos from the Plaid Pantry, so I suppose he would just go back to that, I would miss him terribly, and both of us would suffer. Furthermore, I don't want to jeopardize something that I think could be, well, it, at least for a while (young as we are, I know). But quite frankly, I'm not sure what else to do, given what limited effect my words have had on him so far. Do I wait it out as best I can, or do I ask for more from him?

There is, I think, something in many women -- maybe even most women -- that finds it romantic to save someone or be saved by someone. After all, we were raised on fairy tales and damsels in distress and modern stories of broken boys and the good women who set them right, and, in the end, everyone lives, more or less, happily ever after. Of course, less the few feminist photographers like Dana Goldstein, you don't see how every romance eventually has to deal with the mundane realities of life like budgeting, compromise and who leaves the dirty socks on the floor to the other person's chagrin (in my situation that's me).

So, look, in a lot of ways, he sounds great. Respect, patience, mutual interests and love are all fantastic things on which to build a relationship. And I think it's important for both halves of a relationship to carve out friend-time from the relationship-space, in order to maintain a distinct sense of identity and have a support structure outside of the relationship bubble (so I hope you are doing that yourself, even if you don't mention it). It's also great that neither of you seemingly feels emotionally tied to the patriarchal model of the man-bringing-home-the-bacon, since -- especially in this economy -- there are no guarantees of economic stability for anyone, economic stability doesn't equal contentedness with one's job, and any long-term relationship is likely to see its share of swings in economic fortune.

But! (There is always a but in these things.) The problem is not that your partner's parents don't help out with his living expenses -- if that is even an economically viable thing for them, which it might not be. It is great that your parents can help with the rent and your student loans, and that they have the money to essentially support your preferred lifestyle (living with and totally supporting your partner with no roommates to deal with, etc.). But it's entirely possible that your partner's parents don't have the same ability -- or that they're simply unwilling to support their 23-year-old son's preferred lifestyle of, as you describe it, working sporadically and spending all his money on alcohol, cigarettes and medicine while living rent-free with people who care about him (you or his friends).

I mean, in a certain way, your partner kind of has it made: he spends his money on the meds he needs and the alcohol and cigarettes he wants, he has a car to use that he doesn't have to pay for, a place to live for which he doesn't have to be responsible, and has electricity, meals and (presumably) Internet access and zero financial responsibility for the maintenance of any of that. You say "I don't see him as taking advantage of me, necessarily," but it's really hard to see it any other way when you also mention that he's on a summer break from community college but is only working "very part time" to earn enough money to keep himself in ADHD meds, tobacco and booze.

And while I appreciate that he might even really believe that, as you write, "we are both committed enough that when I am once again in school in a few years he will, hopefully, have a job and do the same for me," he has actually done zero to demonstrate his commitment to that plan. He is cognizant that the current situation is economically untenable, at least for you, but does nothing to change it. He argues he needs to spend his money and keep your car to go out partying "at least" once a week to "cultivate creative relationships," and yet he doesn't feel the need to spend money on Nicorette or Internet access or even paper on which to print résumés to hand out while looking for a more steady job on his school break. Does he even gas up your car when he takes it out party?

I mean, yes, lots of people grow up and get responsible but, right now, his only incentive to do that is not having to deal with some marginally uncomfortable conversations with you when you are frustrated. And you're building kind of a big life plan -- graduate school -- on the hope that he'll get a job by which he can support both of you some time in the not-so-distant future when he's thus far proven himself either unable or unwilling to really support himself (i.e., couch-surfing and burrito-eating does not count).

I am sure I'm not telling you anything you haven't heard from your friends here. And I'll admit to my own bias here, having done a lot of emotional caregiving and provided more-than-a-little economic support (much of it when I couldn't afford, either) in a relationship with a frustrated creative type who was happy to have it and didn't seemingly notice the toll it took on me or our relationship when so much of that was one-sided.

But, look: Issuing ultimatums is not going to help him take responsibility for his own situation (and I suspect others in his life have already tried it). Yes, if you kick him out, he will probably go back to couch-surfing and burrito-eating and taking the bus to party with his friends instead of your car, and you will probably miss one another (which is natural, but not necessarily the best reason to restart a relationship that failed in the first place). But what you need to do is decide about what you want out of a relationship in the here and now, not about whether he'll get a job to support you when you go back to graduate school, or whether you are jeopardizing some future (in which he has a job and contributes more to the household than understanding and love since, frankly, spending all the little money he makes on partying and smoking isn't exactly respectful of you) because of the untenable nature of the present.

You are not asking unreasonable things of him when you ask him to contribute as much to the household as to his own entertainment, or to find more work than "less than part time" when he is not in school. It's not unreasonable to ask that he cut back on the partying that, were you not paying almost all his other expenses, he would not be able to afford, nor to do more than just be cognizant that his unwillingness to contribute more to your supposed partnership than love and agreeability is a problem. And it's not unreasonable to want to forgo your parents' financial assistance, kind though it is, to live a financially independent life with the man with whom you are cohabitating to which you both contribute in ways both concrete and emotionally.

You have things that you want out of your life, including a graduate education. And you love this dude. So the conversation you need to have is what he wants out of his life, how he plans to get there, what his back-up plan is and how all of that is compatible -- or not -- with what you want. But be honest with yourself in and about that conversation: this can't be about saving the relationship or the living situation for now, but it needs to be an honest, even painful, look at whether the relationship is what you both want it to be, whether you both agree about where the relationship and your lives should go, and what compromises each person may need to make to get there. And then there needs to be action on whatever you decide individually and collectively.

And, if that gets you nowhere, find some way to get yourself (and him, if possible) into therapy. If money is a problem or you lack insurance, there are often low-cost resources available to women (and some men), many of which you can Google based on your particular location. But if you can't go on this way forever, and you can't seem to change the dynamc, a professional can often help you see what patterns you are perpetuating in your own life and in the relationship that hold you back.


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Comments

15 comments have been made. Post a comment.

Party Boy + No Rent = Stress-ola

I was in this situation. I brought it up several times and then when he adamantly would not pay his share or contribute to food and bills, I asked him to move out and then he broke up with me. At the time I had shit self-esteem and felt it was my job to be his care-taker (it is never anyone's obligation to mother anyone aside from your own children and maybe your pets) and was pretty broken up over it, but looking back and considering what a horrible, whiny, self-indulgent abuser he was, I'm happy and have no regrets. Something I've learned is that there are a lot of people (too many actually) who will take and take from you as long as you'll let them.

If it get's to the point where communicating your needs doesn't work, ask him to leave and change the locks. If it gets bad (violent and you feel unsafe) and he won't leave except by force, call the cops and have him escorted out. This happened to my sister. And then change your locks. Don't throw his shit away IF you are the landlord of the place (I live in Canada and don't know what the laws are where you live but in Ontario, you can be sued as a landlord for removing a tenant's property before 72 hours after they are escorted out of the house) is still in your place after the cops take him out, keep it for a reasonable amount of time (whatever the law states if there is such a law in your area/state/province) and allow him in only when escorted by the police for your own safety.

Good luck!

Great response

I spent 4.5 years living with someone (longer in the relationship) living with someone who didn't want what I wanted. He was and is a great man. He even had a job (at a convenience store). Yet he would not move forward with his life. I wanted to land a job in my chosen field (and was working on doing so) and someday have property of my own so I wouldn't be under the thumb of a landlord, have kids, be married. He wanted these things, too. At least in theory.

But time went on. And on. And he did little to improve his situation. Much of the time we were together, he was a student (finishing college after having failed out initially) and I overlooked the job thing. I was working a pair of crappy jobs myself. But when he graduated and time stretched on, and he still didn't do anything to find a better work (he complained a lot about his job)... it was disheartening.

Our relationship failed in multiple ways, but the stress of being with each other when we were looking for different things in life (at least at that time) was what broke it. I really regret how long we stayed together because of the cancer it created and the effect it had on us. We lost a really incredible friendship because of it.

Just really ask yourself if you're happy right now. The future doesn't matter... honestly, you can't predict it. What matters is, right now, without thinking of some potential future, is he really respectful of your needs and wants? Is he really giving you what you need in a relationship? Are you really ok with supporting someone who indulges in habits (smoking, which is expensive, for example) that you disagree with? Is it really ok to be with someone who doesn't want to contribute financially (and it doesn't sound, since you didn't mention it, as if he is keeping the apartment up or taking care of pets or whatever - he doesn't even volunteer time to a creative organization - another way to "develop creative relationships" - or at least you don't mention it).

We should be with the people who help us be the best versions of ourselves. Does he help you achieve that? By you supporting him, are you helping him achieve that? Don't lose your 20s to this person if the answers are no.

I just had to say something.

I've been in this exact situation. And it lasted for 7 years. It took all of my 20's to figure out that he would never change, he wasn't going to take care of himself, and I was only enabling him to continue down a deadbeat path and he was dragging me down with him.

You say he respects you, but he clearly doesn't when you've repeatedly asked him to be more responsible for himself and contribute to your relationship and yet he does nothing. I know I don't know you or him personally, but I am going to go out on a limb here and say that he probably loves you, but nowhere near as much as he loves himself. And that's not going to change.

Seriously, I must repeat: It took me 7 years to figure this stuff out, even while I could see the evidence right in front of my face. I really did just love him that much and wanted it to work so badly that I was in denial. All my friends had been telling me this stuff from the very beginning and they were right. That is time I will never, ever get back and I have so many regrets because of it.

Please, please, PLEASE do some hardcore soul-searching and look at what he brings you, mentally, physically, financially, spiritually (if you're into that) and decide whether or not this is a sustainable course. Best of luck and love to you.

Yay!

Thanks so much for this response. So well written and thoughtful. I love it.
sar

WOW!

Look, it is very simple, you are the one with the problem. I lived with a guy like this for EIGHT YEARS! For my late 20s and most of my 30s... my last ovary days are gone! And he said we had the same goals, but when it came down to it, his actions showed me differently. We finally went to counseling together. The first few sessions were the getting to know you sessions with the therapist. Then he was late getting to our last appointment and I had about 15-minutes alone with the therapist. During our conversation I half heartedly said that I was glad that we were going to counseling because I needed a third party to make clear he wasn't participating int he relationship like he promised. I was excited for his change to happen. She said "Maybe it is you who needs to change." Inside I went berserk. I thought "Was she not listening to our stories these last few weeks? Does she not remember that after 8-years the excuses for his being lame keep coming?!! What the hell is wrong with this therapist?!" I went home later and slept on it, then it hit me. It is very narcissistic of me to think ANYONE needs to change to make me happy. No matter how many flowers and sun stars will come of it... and kids and picket fences. He was ALWAYS the guy he was. I left him shortly after that and going forward I made sure to just be alone for at least two-years to figure myself out and get over my ridiculous waste of time. What happened? He is still partying and trying to be an actor, although he gives it a lot less attention than his cigarettes and beer, I remember one day when he was looking in the mirror and said "I can't understand why I haven't been discovered yet?" He was truly perplexed, but he NEVER worked at his career like a career... anyway, I am now married to an AMAZING man who came that way from day one. There is nothing I would change about him, NOTHING. If it was the right relationship, you wouldn't be writing the letter you did. Now the question is, how long will it take you to leave? Hopefully it will be before you waste another second. Hopefully it will be before your eggs dry up like mine.... unless you don't want kids and don't mind wasting your time... but it sounds to me like you enjoy the mothering thing, just do it with your own kids, not someone else's.... it ruins the sex drive to be messing with your dependent....

Yes to this statement...

"It is very narcissistic of me to think ANYONE needs to change to make me happy."

I had a similar problem/realization. It takes a lot to realize that. And then I had to learn I can't change to make others happy in m next relationship... And now I'm in one where I've figured that out.

I'm in a similar situation

I'm in a similar situation right now, but with some very key differences, and I really wanted to comment to let you know that this doesn't have to be the end, if your partner can front up to the issues and try to change.
My (male) partner and I have been living together for almost a year, and have been together for 2 years. During that time, I have loaned him money on numerous occasions, wracking up quite a debt.
At the moment, although he pays rent, I pay more than he does, and there was a period where I was buying all of the groceries, paying for petrol, and footing the bills.
I finally decided that this was going to be an issue if I didn't address it, so I sat him down and had the tough conversation. I had to really be clear about how upset and used I felt when he expected me to pay for things, and (although he works two jobs, I earn more than him) when he spends his own money largely on his own stuff.
He was pretty shocked that I felt so strongly - I guess he thought we had an unspoken agreement that once he got a full-time job he would pay me back and redress the balance. When I said that that wasn't good enough, he did a total 180 - now he pays me an extra $150 a fortnight on top of rent money to go towards the debt that's building up, and pays half of groceries ever week. I still pay more rent, but I don't mind doing that when I earn more at the moment, and he really can't afford it (plus I only pay $20 more a week).
I guess my point is, you wont know how your partner will react until you have a really serious conversation with him about how this is affecting you. And it isn't an ultimatum if its true - if you genuinely don't think you can stay in this relationship without him taking on more financial responsibility, that's not a threat but how you really feel.
Good luck with it, and stay strong!

I, also, was in the same boat.

Wow. I always wondered if I was the only woman who had experienced a boyfriend who never paid rent. I now feel less alone in the world.

The day I asked him to move out was the day I broke up with him. I told him I couldn't be with him if he was going to blow all of his money on drugs and partying; that I had had enough and I had no more patience. Years of disrespect can really wear on a girl. I thought he loved me, but he only loved himself.

He moved out, but didn't take his belongings. He thought I would ask him to come back! I demanded continually that he move his stuff out. It dawned on me at one time to throw his stuff out, but the thought of doing that made me feel so guilty... So one month after we broke up, fed up at looking at his stuff, all of it taking up MY space, I packed up my car (it took about three trips) and delivered his belongings to the backdoor of his workplace! AND IT WAS SO LIBERATING. He called crying when he came into work. He wasn't mad at me for moving his stuff over, he was sad that it was over.

And he never said he was sorry for never paying rent. What a jerk.

dump him!

Dump him plain and simple. Go find a guy who is ready to be a grown up. You can't live on what can be. You have to work with what is, and what he has to give, which isn't much.

Similar situation here too.

Similar situation here too. However, I'm not going to tell you to dump him because I don't know about the dynamics of your relationship. I've been financially supporting my partner for 8 years, he's a musician. I knew what I was getting in to - i.e. living with someone with unpredictable income. I earn a fair income now, but I didn't when I was 23, but still paid the lion share. It was a conscious decision of mine. He is an awesome person, his art inspires me, the people he connects me with through his art makes my world brighter and more interesting. I'm able to support him/us financially, so I do. However, and this is a big however, I needed to know I wasn't being taken advantage of. So we had 'the conversation' and we agreed to split the bills. He pays a significantly lower proportion, say 20/80, but he PAYS something. I think that means a lot to both of our self esteem. And we're working on increasing that proportion to a more even split over time, but I doubt it will ever be 50/50. But this does mean he's had to look for regular part time work and make a fair compromise on the time he dedicates to his art.

So i wouldn't say necessarily 'dump the loser' but decide if he/the situation makes you happy and get an agreement in place so you feel that you're not being taken advantage of.

p.s. i recently married my broke musician :) i decided having him in my life was more important than living with someone who could pay 50/50

questions

Ouch. That's a painful situation because I do get that you love him. I can't tell you what to do (and wouldn't want to) but if you'll allow, maybe I can suggest some questions you can ask yourself (and him eventually). I'm a fair bit older than you and have kids etc, so that's my perspective - but I do remember being in my early twenties.

The premise here is that it bothers you that he doesn't pay rent (otherwise you wouldn't write..) - so that raises 3 questions to me:

WHY is he unable or unwilling to have an honest conversation and act on this with you?

Is he UNABLE to pay rent?

Is he UNWILLING to pay rent?

I hear you when you say that you feel loved and respected with him. But, as an old woman let me offer the perspective that love and respect is more than ..conflict-free compatibility. Respect is precisely what most needed and precious (and hardest to grant) when it pushes us out of our comfort zone. You seem to be the one constantly living out of your comfort zone, so that your boyfriend can stay in his. On some basic level, I guess the fairness of that is something to ponder?
I'm not so sure respect can be zoned off in a relationship, as in "we get along swimmingly, except when he's drunk" or "we can talk and agree on everything (morning cereal, favorite shows and annoying pets) - except how we survive and put food on the table".

Now, if your boyfriend is UNABLE to pay rent, this is a serious implication. IF you truly think he is actually utterly, truly unable to do ANYTHING that would earn cash that he could contribute to the household, then that shatters your future assumption that he'll take care of you when you're in graduate school.
However, it's better to know now and take stock that reality, if that is what you think it is. Weigh your options. Have an honest conversation about it with him. Is the premise of your relationship that he never will? If he can't now, what makes you (and him!) think he will be able to when you're in graduate school?
Is the assumption that he'll support you in graduate school explicit? Or it something that perhaps is more implicit on your part? Ask him.

If he can't be honest about these things, then you are looking at something else entirely, which is dealing with someone with a condition that they haven't come to terms with and whose consequences for you they are refusing to fully acknowledge. This is much heavier shit, and not, I fear, perhaps so easily compatible with your dreams? You mention that you both are very patient with each other's issues- that's good (of course) but there must also be transparence and accountability, otherwise those conditions can become crutches, and relationships can become enabling. I say this as someone who has her own issues.

If your boyfriend is able but UNWILLING to pay rent, that has implications for your idea of what love and fairness and respect is. You can change those ideas and you can change your standards so that they fit your current situation ("I am okay with paying for everything and not talking about it and this is the amount of respect and honesty I am okay with") but what you can't do is tell yourself you have one kind of situation ("We're so agreeable and respect each other so much and in the future I just know he'll change everything about this situation that he's refusing to even discuss now and I know this because we are so agreeable and respectful and committed") when really you have a different situation - that you are not okay with it. Whittling yourself down to a size where this current situation won't bother you is probably a bad idea.

Other posters have rightfully mentioned that a 50/50 split financially is not necessarily the only way to do it, but I think the key thing from their examples are that there was an honest conversation, their partners were capable of critical self-assesment AND they started to contribute what they could.

You seem like a very capable person. That doesn't mean you have to be capable on other people's behalf. Or be afraid to protect your own needs. I can't really put my finger on this and I might be totally wrong and if so I apologize but I reading this letter I got this crazy hunch that perhaps you have a sliver of guilt...or feel awkward about being so much more capable or lucky (in terms of parents) than your boyfriend. That you'd like for you two be equal but since you're not in these key areas of life (which will only become more important), you ...have made up for that by allowing this situation to unfold. Does that make sense?

The most important lesson I've learned from getting married, having a kid and raising my husband's child as well is that it's what you do when things are shitty that's really important. It's when things are hard and you have to admit bad stuff about yourself and bad stuff about your partner and from those painful truths cobble together a solution you both can live with, that's when you find out if you are compatible. Most everything else is really...taste preferences. And that's sort of the process you're in now, figuring out how much truth your relationship can bear.
Whatever you do, don't swallow your own feelings to protect a relationship with someone else.
You can't just be having this conversation with us and yourself. It's very hard to have a serious relationship if the other person expects to just press "Hold" and "Mute" on a major issue like how to survive. And frankly it sucks that your words have had limited effect, as you write.

You can be with someone who's poor, who is in a crazy-ass field ("Interpretive Global Mime Puppetry") where they'll never make much but if that person is hard-working, responsible, honest, sits down with the spreadsheets and figure out a budget with you and gets up and look for a day job to help out, I'd say you've struck gold as much as the person who's with a wealthier person.

All the best and I'm sorry if I got too old-lady on you. It's amazing what changing diapers in the middle of the night will do to sharpen your sense of fairness. Also - if this doesn't work out, trust that you are a wonderful person who's just beginning your journey. Really.

ex-pat, thank you for your

ex-pat, thank you for your lovely, thoughtful response (this is the author of the letter, by the way). and thank you to everyone else who has also given a kind, intimate response. you, though, really hit this on the head: I *do* feel guilty, and in some ways I wish I had made it more clear in my original letter that a part of me also feels like this is about class, and opportunities, and that's what makes it not quite so clear-cut. it's not so much that I feel more capable than he, not at all, it's that I feel like people have invested in me, generously, and I want to pass that along. I guess I'm just not sure anymore if he's a worthy recipient... and I still haven't made up my mind how to handle this! again, thank you all <3

NEWP

Well, it sounds like not paying for rent or food was his MO before you were even together, so I think it's pretty safe to say that he has no intention of changing (I mean, why would he when everyone in his life seems pretty content to just let him rest on his laurels? Must be nice!), and basing your future plans on his employment is not something to expect. If you really want grad school, breaking up is the only thing you can do, because he's not going to do anything about it.

Oof - Been There Too

Wow, SO many women in this situation. I am going to add my voice to the mix: I have been there, with a very sweet, very dear boy who was living in the library because his father kicked him out. We dated for two years, with me paying all the rent, buying the food, paying the utilities, all of it. I felt like a mother to him more than a partner, because I was keeping him in food and with a roof over his head because I loved him, and I wanted to take care of him. I didn't break up with him because I was afraid of what would happen to him. When we finally did end things, he squatted on couches in the big house we lived in together and didn't take responsibility for himself. It was so hard to watch him spiral even further but I had reached a point where I knew I couldn't rescue him and when I realized that he was an adult and he made his own choices. I realized I was taking his power away from him by assuming he was too broken to be his own person.
It has been almost four years since we broke up and he is still doing this. He has had two girlfriends since me and from what I hear he has done this to them as well.
His life and our relationship both make me terribly sad, because his life had been difficult. But I had to see that it wasn't my fault or my responsibility to take care of him. Four years later seeing him continuing this lifestyle, with us both well into our twenties at this point, makes me realize that this was not a matter of "could" not, it was a matter of "would" not. There are always people who are running into this wall of their own making, and it is sad, and it is unfortunate, but it isn't impassable.
Whether or not he means to be this way, he is taking advantage of you and allowing you to support him far, far more than he supports you. It's not entirely about the money, either - supporting another person financially takes a major emotional toll too, as you undoubtedly have to work more or, in your case, rely on your parents. He may not even realize how selfish he's being, as people like that so infrequently do (to realize it fully and continue, I think, would be indicative of some minor sociopathy) but he probably has an inkling that this isn't quite fair. But he isn't stepping up to take ownership of his own choices and you are not stepping up to hold him accountable. Empower him to take control of his own life by insisting upon a fair share of responsibility. Take control of YOUR own life as well by doing this. You are not bound to care-take this person and he won't be better for it in the long run.
Good luck! It's a tough one. I wish you both all the best.

Uplifting

This is one of the few threads where I am willing to read the comments, because I know they will be positive and constructive. It's great to see so many women supporting each other and participating in a conversation, rather than criticizing and tearing down. Best of luck to you all!