He’s manipulating me

My boyfriend says he’ll only stay with me if we carry on living together – but things need to change. 

They sure do, says our elder. It’s time to save yourself.


Dear EWC

I’ve been with my boyfriend for about three years. I’ve known him since I was about nine (I am 21). We’ve been besties for a while and I truly do love him. We’ve been staying in this motel since January and we’ve struggled and failed to save money to get out of the situation we are in. 

I don’t want to abandon him but I need things to change. I’m scared of what the change will be because he’s made it clear that if we didn’t live together, we probably wouldn’t stay together. Sometimes I get so frustrated and want to just give up but at the same time I know I would miss him so much. I just want what’s best for us in the long run. I’m still so young and want to build a life instead of staying in a rut. I really don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to go about taking a break or if that would help or hurt up. I just don’t know, he’s the only real couple relationship I’ve ever been in, took my virginity whole nine yards. He says I’ve never been happy a day in my life and I only focus on the negative but I feel I’m just being realistic. An example is I had surgery this past Monday and the week before we practically argued every day about him keeping the car (my parents suggested I just bring it to their house while I’m recovering). And the end result was him getting the car for a week. Everyone says he’s manipulating me but I just don’t know. Advice please.


Mrs.G replies

I can feel your frustration, and agree that you do need change. Your life sounds like the two of you are just stuck in a pattern whereby nothing is really happening. It’s like you are stagnant.

I know you say you love him, and that’s important; but you have your own future to think about. Since you are 21, you need to be free to choose a life that you need and want. Staying in a motel and not going anywhere just because you love someone doesn’t make sense to me. I, frankly, think the two of you need to split up for now.

Apparently, he’s holding a threat over your head that if you do separate and live apart, he won’t stay with you. Is that what you call love? Sounds to me like he is quite comfortable where he is and has little desire to improve anything. And it sounds to me like he is not even appreciative of the love you have for him. I have to agree with your friends – I think he is manipulating you. He is playing on your emotions in order to keep you around. Don’t you deserve more than this?

Change is scary, but it’s worth the risk when you are unhappy. You really need to think of yourself, and quit trying to hang on to this relationship. Yes, you gave him your all; but that doesn’t mean you have to stay with him forever. That doesn’t mean you won’t ever find someone else who will love you, either. You need to begin anew and age 21 is the perfect time.

I really hope you can quit trying to save this relationship and instead try to save yourself. I know it hurts after being with this guy for three years but acknowledge the pain and then move on. You tried; you did everything you could; but it just didn’t work out. It’s definitely time for change.

I wish you luck, my dear, and hope you can begin getting excited about a possible new future for yourself. Take care.

Article #: 462737

Category: Dating/Relationship

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