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Hi all. I just moved in as roommates with a fellow graduate student a month ago. I am just editing this to simply say that I think I am taken advantage of financially. At the same time, we go to the same school, work with the same people and have the same professional cycle. As a matter of fact, I had felt kind of manipulated into accepting this arrangement. My original plan was to move in a different apartment in the same building, and live alone. I could afford it and still can (his situation is more complicated), but he asked in a way that implied that my continued admission in this professional cycle was contigent on my acceptance -he has been here longer, and I am a female academic with little (but increasing) confidence in my ability to fit in... But I do not even have that now, as throughout the month he goes off and meets these colleagues in hiding -then tells me he forgot to tell me about it. He also is bringing me down by being condescending, telling me my research is uncritical and of no value, my paying work in the department we study at is worthless and entry-level etc. I have, in the meantime, heard more enthusiastic feedback from my professors that he has, so this does not sit in, but I realize that this roommateship all comes in a very toxic package and stopping it (without professional damage) is going to take delicate work.

 

Any advice?

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My original plan was to move in a different apartment in the same building, and live alone. I could afford it and still can (his situation is more complicated), but he asked in a way that implied that my continued admission in this professional cycle was contigent on my acceptance -he has been here longer, and I am a female academic with little (but increasing) confidence in my ability to fit in... But I do not even have that now, as throughout the month he goes off and meets these colleagues in hiding -then tells me he forgot to tell me about it. He also is bringing me down by being condescending, telling me my research is uncritical and of no value, my paying work in the department we study at is worthless and entry-level etc. I have, in the meantime, heard more enthusiastic feedback from my professors that he has, so this does not sit in, but I realize that this roommateship all comes in a very toxic package and stopping it (without professional damage) is going to take delicate work.

 

What sort of position of authority does he hold, OP?

 

He seems to assign himself a lot of clout and power. Why does he get a say in who lives where, and what professional damage will it do if you move out? It seems to me that he's praying on your vulnerability and perhaps (forgive me) naivety. Unless you are leaving out some critical details, I am not sure why you believe him that your choice of accommodation will affect your career.

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Ask another colleague you get along with to keep you informed about meetings. Do you have any lease agreement that you signed? If not, give him notice of when you will be moving out, giving him time to find another renter. I'm sure you must have an adviser or someone higher in authority you could speak to about the uncomfortable environment. Bullies will continue targeting prey they consider weak. You need to start having your own back and speaking up to him and higher-ups so he'll know you'll know longer be putting up with his BS.

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Are you involved romantically?

 

No. There was never nor will be any romantic involvement. As a matter of fact, his boyfriend stays with us for most of the time. He is a very nice guy, we get along well. He has even called my roommate on his abrupt ways at times. But, it is partly the reason why I mentioned the financial aspect. They practically both live here, but expenses (like groceries and home supplies), and effort (like cooking and cleaning) are split in half, not three. I am hospitable, but if this is to be normal, the expenses would add up. It was not part of our deal.

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Ask another colleague you get along with to keep you informed about meetings. Do you have any lease agreement that you signed? If not, give him notice of when you will be moving out, giving him time to find another renter. I'm sure you must have an adviser or someone higher in authority you could speak to about the uncomfortable environment. Bullies will continue targeting prey they consider weak. You need to start having your own back and speaking up to him and higher-ups so he'll know you'll know longer be putting up with his BS.

 

There is a lease, yes. I can't just leave.

As far as talking to other people. I am an introvert, I do not mind the meetings, I minded the effort to hide where he was going, while he always asks where I am going. But he also knows everybody, including my advisor, longer than me. This is a personality of his that is not visible to many people. I had known him for a bit, before this and would never have imagined he was capable of such condescending behavior. So, before I talk to someone, I need concrete proof. In the meantime, I need some strength and peace of mind, to keep doing my work, which has suffered the last few days after this abuse.

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What sort of position of authority does he hold, OP?

 

He seems to assign himself a lot of clout and power. Why does he get a say in who lives where, and what professional damage will it do if you move out? It seems to me that he's praying on your vulnerability and perhaps (forgive me) naivety. Unless you are leaving out some critical details, I am not sure why you believe him that your choice of accommodation will affect your career.

 

He is some sort of union leader and our area of studies glorifies this type of activism. I also know how union leaders shun whoever threatens to bring down their activist image, by pointing out the discrepancies between political message and actual personality/life.

 

It does sound naive, but he himself presented it as a good 'networking opportunity' for both of us -I won't go into the details of how he demonstrated the message without raising red flags, but he did, I realize now, masterfully. The problem is that now, like I said, he sneaks out to meet his friends -our colleagues. I do not make a special effort to be there, granted, and I do mind that much except in the general context. And he has known people for longer than me.

 

But when I leave, he will always catch me at the door and ask where I am going. If I meet friends he has not met (new network opportunities), he will ask to meet. I have friends, not a professional network. I have aligned academic interests with many of my friends. But when I meet them, I want to have an honest, relaxed conversation, not have someone there who is already raising my anxiety.

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This sounds a little unstable, and quite frankly, creepy.

 

Do not enable his invasive and controlling tendencies. Don't tell him where you are going and who you are meeting. He does not need to know. Start keeping a record of every time he tries to cross these boundaries. I would be very concerned about his controlling behaviour as it seems he zeroed in right on you and manipulated you into living with him. Has he tried to make any romantic advances toward you? I just get such a bad vibe from this, OP.

 

Can you break your lease, even it means paying a penalty? It would be worth it for the price of freedom from this weirdo.

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This sounds a little unstable, and quite frankly, creepy.

 

Do not enable his invasive and controlling tendencies. Don't tell him where you are going and who you are meeting. He does not need to know. Start keeping a record of every time he tries to cross these boundaries. I would be very concerned about his controlling behaviour as it seems he zeroed in right on you and manipulated you into living with him. Has he tried to make any romantic advances toward you? I just get such a bad vibe from this, OP.

 

Can you break your lease, even it means paying a penalty? It would be worth it for the price of freedom from this weirdo.

 

Thank you for understanding... I get a bad vibe too. I do not think he would ever make any romantic advances: he is an openly gay man in a relationship [although he does seem to have these communication problems with his boyfriend too] and I am a heterosexual female [my partner studies in another city]. But it is still weird. Gives me the impression of him looking for an outlet for steaming out abusive behavior, both verbally and financially.

 

I will try to keep a record of everything. And yes, if it comes down to it, I will move out. Thank you MissCanuck.

Edited by rrovertherain
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Gives me the impression of him looking for an outlet for steaming out abusive behavior, both verbally and financially.

 

I will try to keep a record of everything. And yes, if it comes down to it, I will move out. Thank you MissCanuck.

 

Is he trying to get money from you, too?

 

I would strongly encourage to leave. I highly doubt he can wreak as much havoc on your career as you fear.

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Is he trying to get money from you, too?

 

I would strongly encourage to leave. I highly doubt he can wreak as much havoc on your career as you fear.

 

He has not asked for money. But I realized the last couple of days, as we are settling this month's bills that he added to the common grocery bill a lot of things that he bought for himself and that I do not use, because of special dietary needs -alcohol, candies, snacks etc... I buy my own drinks, snacks etc and paid them for myself -made sure to let him know that I did that too. He also expects to split grocery bills in half, while his boyfriend spends most of his time here and consumes most of the things we buy. That said, it is not an insane amount, but it would account for a good vacation trip at the end of the year. This was the icing on the cake...

 

I am seriously considering the alternatives right now, because this all is very very unpleasant. Yes, I will probably leave.

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You need confidence in yourself. This guy knows you are doing really well, so much so, he finds you a threat. He's manipulating you to think less of your abilities to hold you back. I am quite sure nothing will happen to you professionally if you do a job well done.

 

Move out, and ignore this guy. If he threatens you in any way (hopefully through text) you show it to your HR or your boss, and place a harassment complaint. If there is a close coworker, please let them know what's been going on. There might be some history about this guy running amuck with others.

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Don't agree to joint grocery bills. Simply buy, cook and eat your own food. Only split rent, utilities etc. Only run your own errands and do your own chores. Only clean up your stuff. That's what roommates do. You are unfortunately agreeing to a lot of nonsense that you don't have to agree to. Try not to be "liked" so hard.

 

You signed a lease, so you claim you'll have to deal with the situation. In order to do that you need much more independence. That means your own friends, your own social circles, your own life away from him and his BF. You need to stop acting like a couple with all the intertwined bills and social activities.

But I realized the last couple of days, as we are settling this month's bills that he added to the common grocery bill a lot of things that he bought for himself and that I do not use
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Just because someone expects something, doesn't mean you have to comply. When I moved to another state for a new job, I rented a room from a co-worker and I had my own shelf on the refrigerator and my own cabinet for dry goods. We did not split a bill for groceries and did not eat each other's food. Tell him that's your preference until you're able to move out.

 

You also don't have to tell him where you're going. It doesn't matter what you answer: Out--tango lessons--demolition derby--that's info I prefer to keep private. You can also point out that his bf is there 5 days out of 7, so that the water and electric bill, etc., should be split 3 ways, or you can move out and his bf can split the rent, etc. with him.

 

Teach people how to treat you.

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Correct me if I'm wrong it sounds like you fear him because of your studies and his influence in your field? Why can't you make your own connections in the industry or field and to heck with him or where he scurries to in the dark of night or day or whatever. His behaviour sounds odd and silly. People eventually see the truth in others whether it's their actions or words or what they're about. If you're dedicated to your work this is probably a crossroads for you on whether to stay motivated to continue and push forward regardless of the weirdos and bullies in the field. Agree with the others on not mingling your bills and activities.

 

When is the lease finished?

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Correct me if I'm wrong it sounds like you fear him because of your studies and his influence in your field? Why can't you make your own connections in the industry or field and to heck with him or where he scurries to in the dark of night or day or whatever. His behaviour sounds odd and silly. People eventually see the truth in others whether it's their actions or words or what they're about. If you're dedicated to your work this is probably a crossroads for you on whether to stay motivated to continue and push forward regardless of the weirdos and bullies in the field. Agree with the others on not mingling your bills and activities.

 

When is the lease finished?

 

Well, this actually helps in a weird way, as you talked about commitment: I do have my own professional network and my own connections, and it is much more extended and meaningful than this pettiness. Hence, his insistance to live together. It is just that I do not hang out with my network. We share work and ideas, and eventually that's not too bad, no matter how nice it sounds to drink beers with your colleagues on Friday nights. My impression is that his network will blame me, if I move out, even if I do present my side of the story. But eventually, I won't lose too much. Thank you. I would like now to close this thread.

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Just because someone expects something, doesn't mean you have to comply. When I moved to another state for a new job, I rented a room from a co-worker and I had my own shelf on the refrigerator and my own cabinet for dry goods. We did not split a bill for groceries and did not eat each other's food. Tell him that's your preference until you're able to move out.

 

You also don't have to tell him where you're going. It doesn't matter what you answer: Out--tango lessons--demolition derby--that's info I prefer to keep private. You can also point out that his bf is there 5 days out of 7, so that the water and electric bill, etc., should be split 3 ways, or you can move out and his bf can split the rent, etc. with him.

 

Teach people how to treat you.

 

Thank you. I guess I did not have prior experience with things like that, so you sharing your experience helps. I had never had a roommate before, and I come from a non-Western culture, so he presented it as this being some sort of social norm. As I started researching, I found out that it is not.

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You need confidence in yourself. This guy knows you are doing really well, so much so, he finds you a threat. He's manipulating you to think less of your abilities to hold you back. I am quite sure nothing will happen to you professionally if you do a job well done.

 

Move out, and ignore this guy. If he threatens you in any way (hopefully through text) you show it to your HR or your boss, and place a harassment complaint. If there is a close coworker, please let them know what's been going on. There might be some history about this guy running amuck with others.

 

thank you for helping me see this. I think you are right, nothing will happen as long as I do my job well.

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My impression is that his network will blame me, if I move out, even if I do present my side of the storyQUOTE]

 

Why would anyone’s network care where you live? Has he got you thinking this is an important issue for people?

 

Because I can nearly guarantee that nobody but him really gives two hoots about which apartment you choose to live in. Unfortunately, I think he knew immediately that you are unfamiliar with such social norms in Western culture and is trying to sell you a very skewed version of what the expectations and customs actually are. He’s manipulated you because you (understandably)don’t have a frame of reference to know that his behaviour and demands are not normal in this part of the globe.

 

Good for you for recognizing that something is off. Get out as soon as you can.

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It would be best to act like roommates. That means stop cleaning up after him, stop sharing groceries.

 

Don't act like a maid or a wife. Obviously that's not part of being roommates.

 

You're not on trial so what do you mean "your side of the story"?

 

I had never had a roommate before, and I come from a non-Western culture
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It would be best to act like roommates. That means stop cleaning up after him, stop sharing groceries.

 

Don't act like a maid or a wife. Obviously that's not part of being roommates.

 

You're not on trial so what do you mean "your side of the story"?

 

I asked for this topic to be closed, but you insist on doing this, and you have already misrepresented and responded on this misrepresentation in another forum (at least this username). You even interpreted in that other forum my initial post that I slept with a superior to get my way, and you did not apologize when corrected. You seem to enjoy to make it sound like I am throwing this whole thing out of proportion [as if I am on trial] at times, while others, you enjoy pretending I do not understand how bad I have it [like playing 'maid' or 'wife' without knowing it].

 

So, let me tell you. Where in my posts did you see that I am acting like a maid or wife? I said we were splitting cleaning up [NOT after one another] in half, and I thought it should be in three, since three people live here. I did not just decide to start cleaning up after a third person. I treated them as a friend/guest, which they were (in between leases), without knowing that this was a permanent thing.

 

In addition, you say that I am not on trial... did I ever claim I was? Is that the only time, in a court-house, when people say two different sides (each their own) of the same story?

 

Let me make it plain and clear in regards to my situation then: I am not playing anyone's maid or wife, and I am not acting like one. In less than a month, in a culturally new situation to me, I know this is off and I am trying to correct it with the least possible friction.

 

Your responses are not helpful. They are frustrating, because you make the OP feel like they cannot communicate enough to represent themselves. By telling me 'stop paying, stop doing that' when I have come here to ask how I can do that in a diplomatic way, you are just contributing to my stress and making me feel this is all my fault -it is not. You may think you are telling me to 'get a backbone' but you are also showing a*** that they can keep being a*** -and that's not okay. People do have a responsibility to take care of themselves and guard their boundaries, but this does not give others the right to keep attacking said boundaries all the time. And your reaction, your constant victim blaming and your comments imply that this is what the world is like. It is not.

 

If there are moderators, I am kindly asking that they close this topic. And until then, I will politely ask you to just leave this thread alone.

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You need to contact the the site to ask if they will close your thread.

 

A quick course in polite behavior in your new culture could help you get along with people and not put people off with rude arrogant attitudes, that may not be winning you any friends.

Edited by Wiseman2
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A quick course in polite behavior in your new culture could help you get along with people and not put people off with rude arrogant attitudes, that may not be winning you any friends.

 

One more misinterpretation. I said I never had a roommate in this culture, I did not say I am new to it in any setting. Second, you acted rude and arrogant to me, you misrepresented MULTIPLE times what I said, and then, yes, I responded in kind. Isn't that what you suggested I do in the first place?

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