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What can I do about my partner, who I cannot afford to keep and who does not work or contribute?

heart to heart Question
I have been divorced for 15 years. Since November 2009 I have been in a relationship with my neighbor, whom I have known since 2003. I moved in with him in April 2010. I am 15 years older than him. I have 3 grown children, two married and staying abroad.

I really love this man and he is a wonderful partner, future husband and father. His two sons, aged 12 and 10 are also living with us.

My problem is he lies to me about money and he's currently not working. I cannot afford to take care of all the financial obligations facing us. The stress makes me feel incompetant and I want to cry all the time. On the other hand it makes me angry and I want to move back to my own place. Since our relationship is deeper than just physical, it is killing me emotional, spiritually and financially. I need guidance in how to deal with this situation.
Reply by Coach Phil Evans
Phil Evans It certainly is my privilege to do my best in helping you to answer your question about what to do with your current situation. There are a couple of critical points which need addressing: firstly, if you know that you are being lied to, and you stay, then have shown your partner that he can get away with it and you won't do something about it. You must own that (if you can). In other words, you have taught him that it is okay to continually lie about money (probably out of embarassment - but that is not the point here). Here is the Principle on which it is based: We teach others how to treat us!

If the first time that they do something inappropriate, we don't actually 'do' something about it, then we have given them permission to do that thing again (whatever that 'thing' may be!)

Secondly, you must ask yourself this question: "Does this relationship really 'serve me'? Or, am I stuck here feeling disempowered due to a fear of some kind?"

The anger and frustration which you are feeling will certainly manifest in your body as pain and/or dis-ease if not attended to with urgency. In your own words: "this is killing me"!

Could you have a fear about being alone perhaps? You also mentioned that you are feeling incompetent in regards to the financial situation and the 'burden' which is placed upon you to be the provider for all of you. I feel that you are faced with asking yourself if this is about 'love' or 'rescuing somebody'? Love is empowering for both parties; rescue is disempowering for both parties, because it leaves you feeling used and abused, and it allows the other person to use you and abuse your good nature without actually doing something useful for themselves. And only you can really answer those questions about your situation.

Maybe the physical relationship on it's own was good for you both, but the rest of the situation is now destroying you. Please remember this major principle of life: "To thine own self be true" !!! .... and that principle in itself may help you to look at your situation a little differently. Sent from my heart to yours - with love and respect - and best wishes for a brighter future.

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Read more questions on this topic


Anita comments, June 2010:
From my personal experiences, if you have to ASK the question "How do I know if I (really) love ...?" then the answer is.... you don't love them. Move on. Ta da... matter solved.

You don't have to ask that question if there is a true FEELING of love for someone. You just KNOW you do, for whatever reasons, regardless of the little annoying things they do (and we all have these). The matter of love is not one for questioning... it just IS. If you have an affair, that is just another outward sign that you are not happy, let alone in love with your partner. It is only fear that keeps people in relationships that are not beneficial in the end.

12 years on in a happy and 'ever growing' marriage, the thought of actually sleeping with another man has not entered my mind. Is this love? Who really knows... everyone has their ups and downs... but the heart knows what is most important: RESPECT of each other's choices and opinions.

By the way, no one can actually give you a definate answer. No one can TELL YOU how YOU feel. Only you can do that.

P.S. This is my second marriage. I actually DID sleep with someone else whilst married the first time. I realised (for myself anyway) that this was a huge sign of no 'love.' He never found out and it took a month to leave my husband at the time, but I knew I could not waste any more of his or my life, on something not truly 'felt.'

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