Searching For Advice

I'm looking for some advice... ha! I'm sure I'll get a lot of responses, but please make sure yours is sensitive and well-thought out... I don't know how many times I see people comment the first thing that pops into their minds, and although it's fun to share your opinion, it's not helping anyone if you don't think about what you are saying.

I am in love with my boyfriend of 2 years. We have had our ups and downs, but there is not a day that goes by that I feel anything but devotion and admiration for him. He is extremely intelligent, witty, charming, humorous, genuine, listens well, supportive, spiritual, etc. Not only to me, but to all his friends. People are drawn to him.

I was married to an emotionally abusive man for a year and a half, after dating three years. Back then I had extremely low self-confidence and did not realize that I could do any better with a different person. After we said our wedding vows, he flipped the switch and I lived in misery until I finally gained the courage to take flight in hopes of something better.

Once I met my current boyfriend, I realized what true love is, and I would definitely say that he is my first love.

I moved to another state four months ago, making this relationship now a long distance one. The reason I am asking for advice is my boyfriend, in all his wonderfulness, does have one major flaw. He is 27 and has never held down a job. When I met him over two years ago, we struck up a friendship, and he confided in me that he really did not know what he wanted to do with his life. If he had any sort of passion towards something at all, it's that he wanted to join the military. He admitted then that, partially because of his upbringing, and partially because of his own free-spirited nature, he needed the discipline and responsibility the military would pound into him.

Before I met him, he attended a couple different universities, studied 3 or 4 different majors, and inevitable dropped out of each one by one until he was back on the couch sharing an apt with roommates, working at a fast food joint 3 mos here, 6 mos there, with periods of unemployment between. The utilities frequently got shut off because of nonpayment, and eventually he and his roommates were evicted. He has had no work besides odd jobs for his family or fast food joints since graduating high school, with honors and extremely high test scores!!

Now for the two years that we've been together, I've been the rock he stood upon. I am 4 years his junior, have a college degree, and have held down steady employment since graduation. He couch-surfed at friends and relatives' places for nearly a year before I let him stay with me on the condition that he follow through with his career goals within two weeks. Well, he stayed two months and somehow charmed his way out of enlisting. I was unhappy with my job and far from my family, and I never intended and extremely disliked supporting him financially because of his lack of motivation, so I moved on, 2000 miles away, near my family. Where I am happy, for the most part. But I miss him, and I want this to work out.

I generally don't trust males, because of my past hurts, and I am extremely introverted, so it is hard for me to connect with new people anyway. I'm not interested in finding someone else, even though I know something is definitely not right here. I'm in love. Reserve judgment please.

Now, to the advice part: I have given him somewhat of an ultimatum. He wants to join the military. He has done a lot of research, talked to several different recruiters, but no action. He has the branch and job picked out, but still does not move forward. We have talked and planned for several months that he would visit me this April. He promised he would be enlisted before he came, and this visit would be a last vacation, a few last memories with me before shipping off for training. He has been procrastinating, has not even started the paperwork. It is now March 21st, less than a month before his planned visit.

Suspecting that he would try to charm his way out of taking action yet again, I told him that I was holding him to his promise. He argued, he wants to come visit anyway, and the process for joining the military is "not as easy as expected". I am admittedly lonely and would LOVE to see him, but at the same time I realize there is a bigger picture here. Still, I reiterated that this is what he wants for his life, and that he needs to get going for both our sakes. The ultimatum: he is enlisted before he comes.

My mom and my brother think I should just let him come to visit and enjoy the time with him. They say I am only punishing myself. I agree that this is very difficult on me, but as much as I love him, I need to know that he is capable of following through on this before I can bring myself to continue this relationship any further.

Anyone experience a relationship with someone like this? How did/do you cope? What suggestions do you have for me?

 

Thanks

Ishana Ishana
22-25, F
7 Responses Mar 21, 2009

Yes actually I have had this experience. My now ex of three years was exactly that way. She lived with me for three years and didn't work a day of it. It was alright by me because she had a son and well I thought it would be best for her to stay home and take care of him and the house while I was away. That didn't work out to well. I would sit down and think about the time you have already spent with your mate and really search for any signs of a follow thru on anything that he has told you that he would do. Even if it is the slightest thing because lets face it this is life and a baby step is better then none at all. I would also think about the times that he promised he would do something like the time you stated above when he lived with you. That must have put strain on the relationship and think how did it make me feel and do I want this to continue for some time. After you have thought about this I would sit down with him on the phone or in person and have a very serious one on one conversation with him about your relationship and how you are feeling about him not being employed and the relationship. I would watch very closely how he reacts to this and be weary that maybe promises will fly to try and keep you in his life a little longer. But, if he doesn't follow through with them then I would highly suggest that you think to yourself do you really want to go back to the relationship like your marriage or is it time to move on?

Keep Us Posted on how You are Getting On,<br />
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Good Luck

Be strong, Life can give us tough decisions to make, his low self esteem is probably something he will have to deal with, himself, he is probably a good man, but his attitude will wear you down, you are a good person and have came through a lot, from your previous relationship.<br />
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when you experience abuse in a relationship it damages your spirit but it will get better. your current boyfriend will have to deal with his issues himself first, if he doesn't then he won't change, and he might not want to. I wish you luck

Update, as requested by mum2hannah:<br />
<br />
I had a talk with this beau of mine, letting him know that I needed to step back from this situation. I broke up with him, gently, although we have agreed that we're both open to communication...<br />
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Surprisingly, I haven't felt the need to speak with him.. it's only been a week but I hope I can stay strong. It's not benefiting either of us for me to remain in his life.

As you have requested I reserve judgement, I will.<br />
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My advice to you though is to not let him come visit you until he is enlisted. As much as you want to see him and be near him, you have to hold your ground on this one.<br />
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Good luck! Post an update when you can!

Thanks Shellfinder.. that was very well-thought out.

I am going to try to answer this as delicately as I possibly can without scaring you. <br />
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My dear, there are loads of men out there that would find this man very distasteful. It seems he truly lacks any ambition. As long as he can keep find a sucker to "take care of him" he will never work. He will never have any stability to offer you. I assure you there are men out there who want their woman to be the caregivers and the breadwinner, while he sits on the couch and sucks beers with his charming friends and complains there arent enough snacks in the fridge, and why didn't you mow the lawn?<br />
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You seem like a very kind and giving person, a little less confident that you are desirable. You are a mark for such a man as this one. Do you really think you can make a man out of him? You cannot, unless you are willing to be the man and female. Isn't that alot of management in one lifetime? Isn't that a huge platter of punishment? <br />
A real relationship requires giving and taking - both contributing. The question is, do you want to be his Mommmy all your life? Do you really think that by having his children, will make him a man? It will not.<br />
You will have to be Mom to both him and his children.<br />
All the charm in the world will not hold up at the end of your day, because working and then coming home to be the only adult is just way too much to ask. <br />
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Sure he can visit you, have a good time like two puppies in the park. But I would make it all too clear that you arent interested in a long term relationship because man, we are not equals. In order for you to have a serious relationship, you must respect one another. Respect can crumble away when one is doing everything while the other does very little. <br />
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The thing is, there is no rush for marriage, and there is nothing at all wrong with being single. In fact, enjoy it.<br />
Girl you have it all going for you right now. You are deserving of a man that is grown up enough to give to you all that you yourself have to offer. So your shy, there is a shy guy out there just like you waiting for someone just like you to walk into their lives. I hope you truly reconsider this man. I see misery. Gosh your going to question yourself for years to come if you pick this puppy up. My advice is, let him go.