Direct Answers – Man-Child


My boyfriend had a climbing accident three months ago. He showed up on my doorstep that night with serious injuries. I got him to the ER ASAP. Then I let him crash while he recovered, and I played nurse until he could get back on his feet.

He’s been back to work for a month and gets a daily paycheck. But I pay for all the important stuff! Not to mention the rent, which I could lose by housing a non-resident! I do not want him on the lease. I want him out! But he has nowhere to go. That’s where I drop the ball and don’t stick to my guns.

I’ve been penalized financially by the leasing office as a warning. And he still didn’t leave! Bottom line, I cannot support two people. But he’s always down for a good time. He’s along for the ride because I’m the one paying for it all! Can I get a “thank you” instead of “that was really fun”?

Just give me a script I can use to tell him to go. I won’t be rude about it, but I’ve been firm and this guy got way too comfortable living with me.

~ Willow

Willow, there are people in this world who will look for you. The less you look like a victim, the less you act like one, the less you feel like one, the less you will have to deal with these people, because they won’t target you.

He’s a mooch. And mooches look for people who can’t stand up for themselves.

Why do you think he showed up on your doorstep before going to the ER? He went through his mental Rolodex of those he could take advantage of, and he stopped when he reached your name.

He set himself up with a support victim first. In your terms, he made you feel like a rescuer, like Florence Nightingale, and you stepped right into it.

Thanks? Why would he thank you? You are in the role he stuck you in. If he thanked you, that would make him beholden to you and he does not want that. He’s high-fiving himself for having picked so well.

Pay his fair share? Are you kidding? Like all mooches, he feels entitled to what you are doing for him.

He is already perfectly aware that he needs to leave. He knows your lease is in jeopardy and you are incurring costs. He’s not deaf. He doesn’t care. You don’t have to explain yourself beyond the obvious. Tell him, I asked you to leave, I am done with you.

You don’t need a script. The first time he is out of the apartment, haul his stuff out and change the lock. Or call the leasing company and ask for help evicting him. Or put his stuff on the curb and involve the police. Or dump his stuff on the curb, print off this column, and put it with his belongings.

Aristotle called anger a point of excellence. Why? Because a justifiable anger protects us from those who would treat us unfairly.

It is painful to say no. It was okay as a child to learn not to be rude, but that rule doesn’t apply here. The rule that applies is honesty. You have honestly evaluated the situation. Now act from that honest understanding.

He is now able-bodied, and able-bodied men should take care of themselves. He wants an unearned benefit that puts you at a serious disadvantage. That’s wrong.

~ Wayne & Tamara

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