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dear friend at crossroads....

(18 Posts)
tralalasunnyday Thu 23-Jul-15 10:38:13

dear friend of 45 years at a crossroads.

Lets call her Lisa.
Always been a kind,calm and peaceful person, a perfect friend.

Married at 21, to a man who turned out to have serious mental health issues.
She did her best, supported and cared for him, to no avail.
They eventually divorced.

With two dd to support, she worked hard, putting a roof over their heads.

Married again at 42, yet again it turned out he also had passive/aggressive tendencies,mental health issues, and was totally unfaithful through their marriage.

Eventually Lisa lost her home and was forced to live on benefits due to arthritis and thyroid problems.

Lisa also has two dd's in their 30's...who it appears have serious mental health issues , possibly genetic???Both unable to work/function, paranoia and feelings of fear of the world.
They receive constant care and support from the professionals.

Anyway, six years ago, Lisa met a man, we can call Henry, who was/is a long distance lorry driver.
He seemed okay at first, but as the years are moving on, nothing is as it seems.
He sleeps in his cab through the week, and spends the weekend at Lisas'.
This has been going on for years, but now she doesn't know which way to turn.
A comfortable flat, where he spends the weekends being waited on hand and foot.
Henry has a fair amount of money stashed away in his bank account (only disclosed when Lisa was charged with "cohabiting), yet Henry refuses to commit.
She asked him if they could get a place together, but he "doesn't want commitment", obviously preferring the present arrangement.
He is able to raid his pension pot...£50/60k....and plans to buy a top of the range car.

Years ago Henry could have taken the stress from Lisa, but chose not to.
Yet here he is, still happy to descend on Lisa every weekend.

Please, what would you do?

I will show your replies to LIsa when she comes here today.
I have told her...TO GET RID OF HIM...he is just a user.

ShadowFire Thu 23-Jul-15 10:41:02

Does Lisa know that you're posting this?

tralalasunnyday Thu 23-Jul-15 10:46:05

yes, Lisa knows, we talked about it yesterday,

I told her that I had put threads here before for myself when I had issues I needed to address and found it really helpful to receive different and honest opinions from others..

HPsauciness Thu 23-Jul-15 11:27:55

I think this very much depends what Lisa wants and gets out of those weekends. If she is happy to have company, entertain him and spoil him (some people like to do this) and he pays his way, I don't see the issue. If he's not a nice person, or doesn't pay his way, or she doesn't want to see him every weekend, it's different.

I can't say from the story you have told what Lisa should do, because there's no right or wrong here IMO, it's not like he's abusive. He may be a 'user' in the sense that he doesn't contribute much but he's not a liar, he's made his level of commitment clear which is he is happy to be together, but doesn't want to live together.

Only she can say if this is enough after all those years (for most people I would guess not).

tralalasunnyday Thu 23-Jul-15 12:06:44

thank you for the replies.
Lisa said that he just comes and goes, and wonders if he is just using her for somewhere to sleep and relax, after spending the week in his cab.

yes, he has made his level of commitment clear from the outset,but even when Lisa had horrendous issues re benefits etc, Henry didn't suggest/support her.
Henry said when he retires in 9 years time, he will rent somewhere and they can live together.
But Lisa wants to buy a small mobile home now, so they can live together, but he wants to buy the expensive car.
She is at the crossroads of her life, wanting security and a permanent relationship, but Henry doesn't.
After a difficult life, Lisa simply wants some peace and security.

TinyManticore Thu 23-Jul-15 12:09:42

Somebody needs to tellLisa that she is being used as a convenient stopover on weekends and this man has no intention of giving her anything back or committing to her. What a horrible man.

tralalasunnyday Thu 23-Jul-15 12:26:19

Poor Lisa, she said to me that she feels he is using her for his own comfort at weekends.
But after the decades of problems, not least with her two dd's and their serious issues, feels beaten down emotionally, and just wants support from her "partner" but it is never forthcoming.

Just writing this down, puts it in perspective a little more.

Maybe at her age, retired through ill health, she is looking for a release from the pressures, and maybe feels that she would not find someone else.
I will talk this through with her later, and maybe between us some resolve can be achieved.

FenellaFellorick Thu 23-Jul-15 12:40:53

She isnt going to get what she wants.
he has been very clear on that.
she either has to accept what shes getting or say no i dont want to have this.
its about her choices.
is she going to accept this because she needs the illusion of love or is she going to say no this isnt enough and accept that means he wont be at hers over the weekend.

HPsauciness Thu 23-Jul-15 12:45:56

It does sound rather like he is using her as a convenient place to lay his head on the weekend. Perhaps though they both like the companionship, though. Otherwise what is she getting out of it.

This man (unlike many on these boards) hasn't lied, he's said he doesn't see them living together right now, but in nearly a decade's time when he retires. If that's not what she wants, the solution is to leave him. There isn't another solution as he's not going to change his mind. He isn't going to run in, sweep her off her feet and buy a place together, he's offering part-time companionship for the foreseeable future.

The question is, is this enough for your friend. I really don't think any of us can answer that.

tralalasunnyday Thu 23-Jul-15 12:58:53

to be honest, I thought there would be many replies saying he is simply a freeloader, and has been for many years , just a haven to stay at the weekends, and is quite pleased with the status quo..

But, the rational perspective that it is/has been part time companionship for the foreseeable future puts a different slant on it.

Yes, he has been straightforward from the beginning.
Yes, he has never promised Lisa more than that.
Yes, he doesn't want more/less, but it is Lisa who wants more.

So, I will show her this later today, and hopefully it will help her decide how she wants to move forward.
As she has said many times over the years, all of her relationships have turned out destructive and stressful.

WickedWax Thu 23-Jul-15 13:02:42

is she sure he's not married?

HPsauciness Thu 23-Jul-15 13:11:30

Don't get me wrong, he doesn't sound like Prince Charming, and he may well be a freeloader, it doesn't say who pays for what on weekends and if he expects her to pay for all food and doesn't contribute anything, then he certainly is a freeloader.

It's just that I don't get a sense of what their relationship is like, if it's full of fun and friendship and doing things together, then perhaps she would prefer this to being on her own at weekends.

He could be married though!

HPsauciness Thu 23-Jul-15 13:12:49

And- whilst it is very sad that she has had two awful previous relationships, this guy isn't actually responsible for solving that by moving in with her and providing the Happy Ever After. I get that this must be very disappointing, I would suggest to your friend she consider whether she would like to carry on for a few years, or whether starting afresh and perhaps finding someone who would want a fuller, more committed relationship would be better.

Bubblesinthesummer Thu 23-Jul-15 13:22:04

Henry has a fair amount of money stashed away in his bank account (only disclosed when Lisa was charged with "cohabiting), yet Henry refuses to commit

Sorry but I fail to see that just because he has money it means he should have to commit.

It seems that he has been honest about what he wants and it is Lisa who is wanting change.

tralalasunnyday Thu 23-Jul-15 13:35:42

I'm so glad I posted this today.
He is divorced, and the hundreds of miles away.
Lisa has met his ex-wife, and knows for sure Henry is divorced.
He does contribute to some food at weekends, but nothing else.

Henry has told her that in the future if they live together, when he retires, he would have to join golf club/ etc as he wouldn't want to spend 24/7 with her...honest again.

It's just that Lisa is struggling financially and thought as they were in a relationship of sorts that he would help her.

Yes, the bottom line is that Henry is honest that he is okay now, but it is Lisa who wants to change, and that would mean financially it would be easier for her.
But, if that isn't what he wants, she will have to have to think exactly what she needs and wants for now and the future.
Thank you all for the honest replies

goddessofsmallthings Thu 23-Jul-15 16:53:08

What address does Henry use for his bank/savings accoounts, credit card statements, insurances etc? Where does he store any of his clothing/possessions that won't fit in the cab of his lorry?

Regardless of whether he maintains a separate establishment in his own name elsewhere or Lisa was found by the authorities/benefits agency not to be co-habiting with him, Henry has effectively been living with her for the past 6 years and their situation is no different to that of other couples where one works away during the week and returns home at weekends.

At the very least, Henry should pay his fair share of the outgoings of Lisa's home and, in a relationship of such long duration, I would expect him to help her out if she was temporarily in dire fianancial straits just as I would expect her to dip into her purse if he was strapped for cash and she was flush - unless, of course, the difficulties were caused by repeated profligate spending by the impoverished party.

It seems Lisa's expected to wait 9 years for jam tomorrow the sight of Henry strutting his stuff across the green but, as the key word is 'if' he decides to live with her after his retirement, I suspect that when that time rolls around the only woman watching him tee off on a Spanish golf course will be his Thai mail order bride.

There's no shortage of retired 'Henrys' and their much younger wives living on the Costas del Sol and Blanca and it's a shame Lisa won't be accompanying hers as living near the sea in a warmer clime would do her arthritis a world of good.

HPsauciness Thu 23-Jul-15 18:53:55

Goddess you may not be far wrong, unless of course Henry has a heart attack before he leaves Lisa, in which case she will be doing all the caring and looking-after of a man who was never really interested in living with her or marrying her, but simply seeing her when convenient. Neither prospect is that tempting. I just don't think this can be the relationship she wants it to be.

Anon4Now2015 Thu 23-Jul-15 21:24:20

I think what she should do depends on what she wants.

What Henry is offering is clear. He wants someone to have a bit of fun with, socialise with, have sex with, see at weekends. In the future he wants this type of relationship to continue but with them sharing a home - probably with Lisa still waiting on him hand and foot.

Some people would enjoy that type of relationship - it allows independence to have friends, hobbies, holidays, etc without having to think about someone else.

However if Lisa wants a commitment and supportive emotionally-engaged partner, then Henry isn't the man for her. If she (for example) has a serious illness and needs someone to care for her, hold her hand, put her needs first, take her to medical appointments, then that is not Henry (though I'm prepared to bet good money that if Henry had the serious illness he would accept this level of care and support form Lisa, and then would be back to normal once he has recovered) If she wants to be part of a family and go to family weddings, parties etc. Henry is (probably) not going to invite her to these. If her daughters need someone to be there in an emergency and Lisa is not available, Henry is not going to step in and do that. If Lisa's finances hit the rocks, Henry is not going to help her out no matter how much he has in the bank. When they are living together if he can afford a holiday and she can't, I suspect he will take the holiday without her and expect his dinner on the table when he returns.

If Lisa is happy with that then she should stay with him. And some people would be happy with that. But I suspect (from the fact you were discussing it) that deep down she's not happy with that, and nor would I be. But her choice is clear.

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