I have been in a relationship for nine years with a man I have never stopped loving. We recently had our first child who is the centre of our universe. We are a young couple and we moved in together a little before I got pregnant. But lately, I have been so bitter towards him. He does the bare minimum for us. To make things clear, we both work so I don't expect him to take care of me and I don't need his money. But he is stingy. He counts every penny he contributes to our son — and only pays for half his month's basic expenses and I have to cover everything else.
In terms of running our home, we go half and half on all the bills, but somehow I pick up all the miscellaneous expenses. He goes to the supermarket by himself, he doesn't allow me to spend his money, and he never asks for a list. He wants our family to be ”traditional” so he expects me to wash, cook and clean, but he does absolutely nothing for me.
He is most times emotionally unavailable. He is only kind and loving when he wants sex. Apart from that there is no value placed on intimacy. I just feel like I am losing myself and I don't want to waste another year. I am fed up and I am falling out of love with him. While I wish I could raise our son with his dad, at this point I am really close to calling it quits because I would prefer to move on and have my son see his mother happy, than stay with this man and be unhappy.
When a couple decides to live together there are some critical matters they must discuss, chief of which is finances. It must be decided beforehand how the household and shared expenses are going to be administered so that both partners are clear as to how to proceed.
In your situation it is evident that there was little discussion regarding finances and things were just allowed to evolve, which obviously resulted in resentment on your part as there was perceived inequity.
What is also evident is a lack of effective communication that compounded the issues. Had you both sat down and had a civil conversation about the challenges you were experiencing with the allocation of funds things could have been better.
As the financial situation negatively impacts you, your resentment and discontentment increases, and you've now begun to disconnect emotionally from your partner, especially as he, too, is emotionally absent.
As you contemplate your next move, I suggest that you sit with the gentleman and have a conversation — not an argument — about your concerns regarding how money is spent in relation to the child and household expenses. Discuss what you believe would be a more equitable arrangement. Allow him to indicate his concerns as well, and then arrive at a mutual understanding and plan going forward. It is important that whatever is decided, both partners remain committed to holding up their end of the deal.
In that conversation express your concerns regarding the gender role expectations and share your ideas as to how this issue can be best addressed. Maybe you need to indicate that you would appreciate if he could help you by sharing some of the household chores.
The longer you take to confront these issues, the deeper the divide will be. Ignoring the current situation will not make things better.
If after having this vital conversation with the gentleman he refuses to cooperate and insists on making your life miserable, the next option would be to try counselling intervention. Let it be said that you explored all options before you walk away.
At the end of the day your happiness and that of your child is ultimate.
Wayne Powell is a relationship counsellor. Write to email@example.com. Check his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MFTCounselor/.