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He's still depending on me...

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A little over two weeks ago, I ended my relationship with my boyfriend of three years. I'd tried to break it off several times before that, but he had always dissuaded me, saying that we'd work out whatever I was having problems with at the time and that it would get better. Obviously, they never did. The lease on our apartment ends September 1st, so I took that opportunity to take my leave -- so that he would find something smaller and more affordable on his own, and I would move back in with my parents.


It was also mentioned to me that it seemed my relationship with him was founded on codependency. I can see that very clearly now. We did have dependency on each other, but it was mostly him depending on me. For example, when he didn't have a job, I'd lie to my parents saying that he had something (usually whatever it was he was doing before he was unemployed) so they wouldn't think badly of him. I'd lend him money whenever he didn't have enough to buy whatever he wanted... he'd say he'd pay me back, I trusted him, and now he owes me a few thousand. Things like that. I'd say it was mostly financial dependency in our case.


Anyway, about a week ago, we shared feelings on the subject of our break up. We agreed that we made good friends, but our relationship was always strained because of our own problems (that, and I also believe that we had clashing ideas when it came to communicating about what was wrong -- I like to have my time alone to cool off, and he wants everything to be solved immediately and would never leave me alone when I was angry).


Even though we've both agreed that we'd do best as simply friends, he's still relying heavily on me for support. I can understand that much. His situation is a little difficult right now -- he's still looking for an apartment and needs to move out of the current one in a week, he's having difficulty getting one because he can't pass a credit check (he filed for bankruptcy a few years ago), he's not working right now so that puts strain on his money situation, and, as if that weren't enough, he had to go to the hospital last night because of a very, very bad toothache (bad enough to make him lose consciousness). He hasn't seen a dentist or doctor in years and isn't taking very good care of his body.


Obviously, I want to help him, as he has nowhere else to really turn at this point (he moved accross the country with me and doesn't have any friends here yet). He doesn't have very much family (his mother has passed away and his father won't answer the phone when he calls). His grandparents (still on the other side of the country) have told him once that he wouldn't be able to live with them... they did change their minds now that it's closer to the end of the month, but the stipulation is that he'd have to give up our cats in order to live with them -- keeping the cats is something he won't budge on, though, and I can understand. The cats belong to both of us, and I would be furious if he gave them away (I can't have them because I live with my parents and my dad is very allergic). At the same time, they're also pretty much his only comfort now that I've left.


I realize that I'm still allowing him to depend on me, and it only makes me angrier every time I talk to him, because I feel all of the stress he's under to find a new place to live, find a new job, and heal all at the same time. (Though, some of my friends have offered to let him stay on their couch for a few weeks while he finds somewhere to live, so that's one problem temporarily solved.)


He knows I get upset when he tells me about all these things he's going through, and then I feel bad for being upset in the first place. It's enough to make me wish I'd never met him in the first place so I wouldn't be dealing with his problems. Life isn't like that, though, and I can't ignore him when I know that he's having trouble.


I'm starting to think that going NC is the best way to force him to rely on himself, but the idea that something could happen to him and no one would know about it for weeks -- especially now that he's been in the hospital once -- is preventing me from doing it. I mean, who's going to check up on him when he has no friends here and no employer to call and make sure he's going to work every day?


It's just a really bad situation for me to be in, and I hate it.

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Why don't you help him and be there for him for now, considering that he is alone in the world and moved out with you. He's agreed to let you go. You obviously do care about him, just don't think the relationship works.


I understand that you are feeling angry sometimes, and that you want to end this relationship. This does happen with some people in some relationships. It does not necessarily mean something is wrong with the relationship..it means that you get angry, and feel like ending things. That may be something you want to look further into, in yourself.


But, it would be nice for you to be there for him right now and wait until he has gotten himself together to make your exit. You will feel better about yourself. You must have cared about him deeply at one time, and it sounds like he needs somebody and there is no one else. That does not mean you are making a commitment to be with him, just be clear with him about that. To go NC with him at this time is going to do even more damage, it will not help him or you. I would offer NC to him as an option considering you are leaving, and let him make the decision, knowing that things are going to end at some point.

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