A reader describes a complicated relationship and asks what to do about it.
I recently moved back to the area where this guy lives with whom I’ve had an on and off again friendship (not a romantic relationship). He has made it very clear he wanted a relationship with me, and I made sure on many occasions it wasn’t going to happen.
When I was making good money and he was doing me favors around my property, it was clearly financial on my part, and physical help on his part. He continues to be BROKE and I pay for groceries, while he does nothing. What do I do? I have told him time and again if he wants to eat he needs to pitch in but it goes nowhere. The worst part is I am recently disabled and rely on him for dog walks and trips to the store.
This complicated relationship doesn’t sound like a friendship, per se.
In the past, the two of you worked out an arrangement that was mutually convenient: You paid your “friend” to help you with chores you needed done and he did them. (Complicating matters, however, you had to keep his romantic advances at bay.)
But now, circumstances have changed. This guy no longer helps you and you have less income than you had in the past. So why should you feel responsible for buying his groceries? It has to be frustrating to be in the position of nagging someone to look for work, and to feel as if the person is just as happy freeloading off of you.
If you have recently become disabled, you probably feel vulnerable and need more support than you did in the past. But it’s important that you clarify in your own mind whether or not this is truly a mutually supportive relationship; whether it is one you want to maintain; and, if so, on what terms and at what cost.
You may be better off hiring someone else to help you walk your dog and to take you shopping–someone who comes with less baggage. If you were to do that, would there still be a basis for a friendship between you and this guy?
I assume that you have not taken him in your home and you should be very cautious about doing that. Although it might be tempting to have extra help around, it sounds like the emotional and financial toll of doing so wouldn’t be worthwhile.
Hope this helps.
My best, Irene