Monday, February 19, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Dear Prudence: Men trouble: moocher and a much-older man

Q: I left an unhappy 15-year marriage to a man who made me miserable for a man who adores me. I am still with the man I left my husband for, and we are happy — except for one thing. He is unemployed. I have not been too concerned because the job market is tough, and he has made a little pocket money pet-sitting and tutoring. He also handles a lot of household chores. I can make ends meet on my own (though things are tight), but he lives with me and contributes virtually nothing. He goes to bed late and sleeps late. He does not seem to think finding a job is a priority, but what can I do? I feel so lucky to have a man who is into me! My best friend says I am being taken advantage of. Am I?

A: So you left a louse for a leech. It's one thing if you make enough money so that you would be happy with a partner who didn't work and could run the household. It's another if in exchange for being treated nicely and having sex, you are supporting someone who lives like a teenager. You're right, there's really nothing you can do about your boyfriend's lack of desire to be gainfully employed. Frankly, if he's a skillful tutor and has a way with dogs, he could be applying himself to these enterprises and making more than pocket money. But it sounds as if he just prefers hanging out. But you are only being taken advantage of if you start looking at your situation from the vantage point of your friend and end up agreeing with her. If all you want in a guy is someone who's nice to you, then tell your friend that he may not be working, but the relationship is working for you.

She's 20, he's 46

I am a 20-year-old female student in a relationship with a successful 46-year-old man. We are very much in love and I want to spend the rest of my life with him. With this being said, I sometimes feel like I'm not good enough for him. I feel when he goes on his trips to give his "talks" to big companies that he's going to find someone more on his level. He says that he's never felt this love with anyone before. How can I know this whole thing isn't me just kidding myself?

You're 20, so it's perfectly understandable you've never felt this way before. He's 46, so I'm guessing he's felt this way before lots, only he's enjoying regressing to a more juvenile state where it seems appropriate for a middle-aged professional to be dating someone who lives in a dormitory.

Despite your great love that will last forever, you feel insecure and self-conscious with him. That's not a good sign. It's one thing to have a fling with an older guy and learn some new moves in bed. It's another to plan your life with someone who's your parents' age.

So I'm going to speak for your parents and tell you you're kidding yourself. Break up and start seeing the promise in the boys your age who like you are just trying to figure things out.

Slate.com

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