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I started dating this guy in August. He's definitely the best boyfriend I've ever had. We live about an hour away from each other, but since he gets Mondays and Tuesdays off instead of Saturday and Sunday, he usually comes to my place on Sunday nights after he gets off and stays till Wednesday morning and leaves for work from my place. I don't go up to his place on the weekends when I'm off because I have lots of stuff planned usually (second job, family stuff) and also because I have a big dog who is not very easy to travel with. This arrangement has worked out pretty well for us.

Obviously, I did want to see where he lived, but whenever it seemed like our schedules would allow it, he said he didn't want me to see it. Finally, he took a weekend off and I took a Monday and Tuesday off and we had a very nice, long weekend in the mountains and on the way home, I insisted we go by his place. I told him it didn't matter what his place looked like, I wanted to see his room, his stuff, so I could imagine him there when we weren't together. Reluctantly, he agreed.

When we got there, I could see why he didn't want me to see his place! He lives in a run-down trailer that his roommates own. His roommates are total rednecks. The guy doesn't work at all, the lady has some kind of job, their 20year-old daughter just got out of jail and is not working or paying them rent. There was dog poop all in the front yard (which had been half mowed and the lawn mower just sitting in the middle of the yard) and up the walk, the place smelled like dog and cat pee, the animals all had fleas, the bathroom was HORRIBLE... I'm telling you, Jeff Foxworthy ("You're Might Be A Redneck If") would have a FIELD DAY with this place and these people!

My boyfriend said he lived there because it was cheap (he pays them $200 per month) and because when he needed some place to live when he and his former girlfriend called it quits, they let him move in.

I was mortified, but did not let on to my boyfriend or his roommies that I was.

Our relationship has continued to grow and we are discussing moving in together in April when my lease runs out.

Yesterday my boyfriend told me that his roommate didn't pay the power bill and he owes almost $500 and they turned the power off! It is COLD right now! My boyfriend went and rented a generator so they had power from that last night and today he is giving his roommie extra $$ to get the power turned back on. He made a comment to me that even though having roommates is nice because living expenses are so much cheaper, these kinds of things always happen. I responded that these kinds of things may happen because of the people he choses to live with, because I have had countless roommates and this kind of thing has NEVER happened to me.

I am beginning to get worried about living with him now. He has a good job and makes good money and is very responsible, but it worries me that he would even get into this situation. I would NEVER live in such a place and have never had utilities turned off, etc.

On the other hand, he is not a redneck, and we have discussed getting a house with a yard for my dog, etc., so he knows I am not going to live in such a place as he lives now. Like I said, he has a good job and is responsible about his job and his money, and I believe him when he says he had no idea the power bill had gone unpaid.

I'm not even sure exactly what I'm upset about, other than the fact that he would even live in such a place to begin with, but these are his friends, and he says they were there for him when he needed a place to live.

He treats me better than anyone I've ever dated and we have a very strong connection.

Am I just being a snob?!
Yes you are being a snob.
I disagree with the last poster..I do not think you are being a snob at all...that sounds totally disgusting!! I would have ran..and FAST! I can't imagine living under circumstances like that. I feel that how we take care of ourselves and our homes is a reflection on us. For example having good hygine a clean home, clean clothes etc... all a reflection on our self image and self respect.

I would be concerned that he tolerates living that way and that he is so unaware of things like the bill's being paid. How would you feel if he moved in with you and took no responsibility for paying his portion of the bill's or cleaning up after himself??? There is cheap living...you can be spartan in your living and keep cost's down but still be clean and responsible.

Perhaps you should get to know him a bit better before you take this big step and definately lay down some guidelines as far as your expectations. Good luck! Paige
I agree with Paige. I need to ask you: how long has he been living with these friends of his? I could understand if he had nowhere to go, and this was a total temporary fix until he found a suitable place to live. But if he's been there for a while and has no intention of moving out any time soon, I'd be concerned about his values when it comes to an acceptable living situation. I mean, if he can stand to live in such squalor, well...if you guys ever lived together, I don't think he's going to "see" when things need cleaning.

The fact that he didn't want you to see his place indicates that he KNOWS the trailer is a dump -- but yet he does nothing to better his situation. Now I would wonder about his motivation.

You are not being a snob. You are being smart to just keep your eyes open.

(by the way - I had to laugh out loud at your descriptions of the "house". The Jeff Foxworthy comment had me rolling!)
Wait a minute here!
Paige-
What do you mean "I would be concerned that he tolerates living in that way"?
Sometimes a person is just trying to survive! If you suddenly found yourself with no other choice, trust me, you would tolerate it too.
Also I think he was trying very hard to make a good impression by not letting her see his place, which means probably isn't used to living that way. Use your brain!
She didn't say that he was unaware of his bills. She said that he was in fact paying all of his own bills plus helping his roomate out.

ChinaCatSunflower-
He sounds like a really great guy from all I've heard, so don't be so quick too judge him.
He has been living there at least a year and a half.... In the beginning, it probably was an "emergency" situation, i.e. "I need somewhre to live, and fast". But, obviously, after a year and a half, it is not an "emergency" anymore, and like I said, he considers these people his friends, he enjoys living with them.

I have to at least address this situation with him, but I am not the best at communication. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

More comments, please! This is an unbelievable help!

Thanks so much!
I would say you are not being a snob but just grossed out at his living conditions.
A year and a half is a long time. First I would see if he can help you with the housework when he comes over. Not too much, but from time to time you could get him to do some task with you, but be casual. See how he handles that first. He might not know how to clean at all, but if he's willing to learn then there's hope. More importantly how is his personal hygiene? I met this guy once that didn't even brush his teeth, but I taught him! He even went to the dentist and repaired all the damage! It can be done. But, he has to want to change! Also you have to decide if you're willing to help him for a while and that's totally up to you! Remember: Some guys you can sort of train, but some are really hopeless! Don't move in with him until you solve this problem. I personally think you should wait a bit to open up a conversation, like after you've gotten to know this side of him just by your observations. Good luck!
Something just doesnt sound right. You say he has a good job? But has to live like that? It just doesnt add up.

I do not make a lot of money but I live in a halfway decent place. I don't think you are being a "snob" as much as I think there is something not quite right with the guy...
Thanks so much for all the feedback, everybody!

OMG, I can't believe you mentioned dental probs and oral hygiene!!

My boyfriend mentioned having a toothache because he knew he had a tooth that needed pulling, but he hasn't gotten it done...

And he has admitted having a bad breath problem, so he always uses mouth wash.....

I gently told him that tooth decay does cause bad breath, and he should go to the dentist! He said, "I know"....but he hasn't done it.....

That did bother me, but I didn't push that issue any further because I have to go to the dentist for a cleaning in January and I figured I'd bring it up again then and maybe suggest we go at the same time....
It sounds like you will always be having to take care of this guy (making sure he gets to the dentist?!). Something doesn't sound quite right to me either. Maybe he's living with those friends because it's the easiest thing to do. Are you really sure he has a good job and is responsible? I'd think long and hard before I went any further with him.
He does sound like he's willing to change and with some motivation he can. Sometimes everyone needs a push in the right direction. Maybe between work and breaking up he sort of neglected himself. On the bright side if he's been living like this for a year and a half, he must have some savings that will help him get back to a decent standard of living.
IMHO, if he's been living there for a year and a half, then obviously it doesn't bother him enough to want to move. Even though he "knows" it's not exactly the nicest place to live, he does nothing about it. Just like even though he knows he has tooth problems and bad breath, he does nothing about it. Again, the question of motivation comes up.

If he just needs a little push now and then...hey...some people are like that. And yes, people can learn....to a point. It's funny because I recently ended a two year relationship with a man who was similar in these ways. When I first met him, he lived in a DUMP. He also had dental issues which caused bad breath and he KNEW it (he carried around a bottle of Scope with him) yet it took me actually making the appointment for him for him to go to the dentist! He moved in with me, and although I could "train" him, his cleaning habits weren't exactly up to par. He did clean, but his definition of clean was very different than mine. In the end (and it took a long time for me to see it clearly) I realized that although he was a sweet, sweet guy who would do anything for me, I had lost respect for him due to his laziness and lack of...well...class.

I'm just sharing my personal experience -- not to say your situation is the same. You say you really have a connection with this guy. I would say don't throw in the towel just yet. Just see where it goes. Has he ever said anything about where he lives, like, "yeah, I know it's a mess", or "I really don't like living like this, but I just haven't had time to think about moving", etc., etc. In other words, does he express disapproval of his living situation at all to you and indicate that should he have his own place, it would be a LOT different?
oh dear, please don't listen to what these people are telling you...its JUST a living situation, he obviously spends not much time there as he works, and is with you on his days off. What the hell does him living in a dump have to do with how you love each other?? I know lots of wonderful people, people that own a lot, but don't want to INVEST in a place to live because they want to settle down in this place....not just live in it. You obvoiusly trust this guy, and you said he was responsible, please remember that and how happy you will be when you live together!! I think you just sound worried about him living there, I would be too. I wouldn't want my loved ones to live like that, in fact, why don't you get him out earlier? I think he sounds super loyal to the people that let him move him with them...its a GOOD thing people...I can't understand how material possessions can get in the way.
Key word, loyal.
its a wonderful quality
ask him why he has never moved out
it really doesn't sound like ANYTHING bad, espeically if he was helping them out in financial troubles and getting a generator and what not...he sounds like a GREAT guy.
blue
Firstly, no you aren't a snob. If it had been me walking into a place like that, i'd be in such a state of shock and lucky not to be throwing up. Secondly, i'd not write him off too quickly as you have mentioned some good qualities about him and the fact that the two of you really do have a connection.

A lot of males just don't notice mess whether it be big or small and he has likely become used to living there and doesnt notice it. When he spends time at your place, does he pick up after himself, wash up without being asked, offer to help with the cleaning?

I think that since these people took him in and helped him out, he figured that if he went about cleaning and rearranging how they do things that they would think that he was ungrateful and showing them that he feels that they aren't good enough. Kind of like "When in Rome.....".
I don't think you're a snob, either. I don't think I have any really useful advice per se, but I can relate a personal experience.
I dated a guy for two years who was really struggling financially. He hated his living situation, hadn't been to a dentist in years, gums were receding, let his roommate take care of all the bills, allowed a new roommate to move in and didnt' bother with references or anything. I didn't like the looks of him and didn't trust him (which I think I had a right to have some say since I was at his house alone with this weird guy waiting for my boyfriend to come home from his gigs on the weekend). About a month later the sheriff came to pick up this guy. He was a wanted pediphile. Though my boyfriend did have the guts and character to address a neighborhood meeting regarding this guy and state his case. But anyway, it bothered me that my boyfriend tended to let others sort of take care of things. We went to an outdoor concert and I had to bring the umbrellas, rain ponchos, blankets, he bought the hot dogs and cokes and bitched for 10 minutes about how expensive they were. I was a paralegal at the time and it was my job to spend 45 hours a week taking care of every little detail at a law practice, then I had to come home and deal with an ill brother and taking care of things there, I wasn't up to wiping anyone else's hiney, or so I thought. Anyway it affected our relationship, and he moved on to someone who doesn't nag at him as much and who doesn't mind taking care of the details and who loves him like he needs to be loved. Once he got rid of me, his career did pick up, now he has a home, a loving wife and two beautiful step-daughters, and I'm alone, single, childless and miserable with nothing but my pride to keep me warm at night. You can take whatever lesson you want from my story.
It's Just my opnion of course but I have to say that most people do not change unless THEY want to. As far as "training" people goes...well I wouldn't bet on that either. The only living things that respond well training are dogs..and please consider one if you want to "train" something. I have an amazing dog who is well trained and provide's an amazing amout of unconditional love!! I know I would not respond to being "trained" by another person and would never try to do that to someone else either.

If this man adore's you and understand's you and your need's he will want to make you happy and please you..this would include good oral hygine and tidy habbit's...at least when you are around. Often the more you push and shove people the faster then run. If you love him then you may have to face the fact that this is him and love him and his mess. I personally have very high standards and couldn't deal..but that's me and not you.

To the last poster..that is a sad story but perhaps both of you are better off and there is a man out there who is just right for YOU ...timing does have so much to do with life. Just keep an open mind and an open heart..life has a funny way of suprising us! Paige
I still stand by my opinion that ChinaCatFlower is being a snob in this case. First of all, it's not his place, so he is probably not allowed to touch (re: CLEAN) anything there. If he had no class he would not have been ashamed to bring her there, so he IS aware of the place being less than his girlfriend's standards. I would worry more about him being a cheapskate than lacking class -- I suspect that he refuses to move because he can't find a cheaper alternative.

Second, anyone who refers to that Redneck show is being a bit snobby I think. I don't think that kind of thing is very funny for some reason (maybe because my mother's family is from what they used to call "Shanty Irish" and less than "Classy.")





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