This relationship has been a nightmare


I am 36. Because of the nature of my work, I rarely meet available men. Two months after my breakup from a bad relationship, an old friend contacted me and we started seeing each other. He is my age, from another country, and works in business here. We always had a spark but we never explored it. When I reconnected with him, I was lonely and needed love. The sex was amazing, but the rest of the relationship has been a nightmare.

He lives like a selfish bachelor and smokes and drinks every day. We've had fights over it and decided to split up, but then the loneliness was just too much for me, and I missed him.

It turned out he had unpaid debts. It's actually so bad that he can't afford to pay for a studio apartment, even though his salary is 50 percent higher than mine. He begged me to move in with me for two months until he sorted himself out. He is giving me a few hundred dollars a month for food and rent, but no one knows about his problems, not even his parents, who are trying to find him a wife because they believe in arranged marriages.

He goes out drinking with work pals and comes home drunk at 2 a.m., throwing up after spending money he doesn't have on alcohol. He never helps out at home; he just comes home and throws his stuff everywhere. He does cook sometimes, but he tells me he does it because I'm a bad chef. We fight frequently and he is never at fault; everyone is unfair to him. I asked him to find another place to live, but now we are four months in, and he is still around.

What should I do? I'm lonely, but this is too much. I'm ashamed to tell anyone about what's happening with him because I'm portraying myself as a strong, ambitious woman who would never accept a man pushing her down. But ... look at me now.

– Nightmare

It's time to break up with this person. You already know that, but I'll say it anyway. You get nothing good from this relationship (even the comment you made about sex was past tense). It's time to disclose what's happening to the people in your life. Telling those who care about you will make it easier to walk away.

I understand why you feel uneasy about admitting that things have gotten bad, but a strong, ambitious woman knows when to ask for help. There's so much courage in that kind of honesty.

You say you coupled up with this man because you were lonely after your last relationship, but it sounds like you're ready to deal with that pain on your own. Please know that the feelings that come with a breakup do get better over time. The cure to loneliness is to be around people who really understand you. This guy doesn't.

I wish I could say there was an easy way to do this, or a good day that would make the separation less complicated. There really isn't, which means that you might as well end it now. Get your friends ready, and get going.

– Meredith

Readers? Thoughts on the LW's next move?