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Please help me find the willpower to leave this man

(61 Posts)
MustStayStrong Sun 17-Dec-17 19:34:45

I need some help.

I’ve been in my relationship for almost 2 decades. No children and we are not married. He is a nice guy and the first few years of our relationship were fine, but for many years I’ve felt I wanted out. The relationship is dead. There is no physical contact - we haven’t been sexual for almost a decade. It seems also that we’ve grown in different directions. We seem to bicker about almost everything and stuff is taken up the wrong way by one or other party and there are frequent arguments. There are other things but the simple truth is I just want something else. I’ve questioned this many times and I’ve challenged myself but I always come back this: the relationship is just not what I want. We got together in our early twenties, we are now much older, different people and I have to say that he certainly is NOT the kind of man I'd choose now.

I feel like my life is on hold! I’ve tried to break up many times but I keep backing down and saying “ok, let’s try again”. But this is honestly NOT what I want and each time I do give in, I feel a deep sense of defeat / entrapment within me as I feel I just cannot leave. Whilst he earns his own money and would be able to look after himself unfortunately I’ve created a situation of ‘entitlement’ here and I’ve enabled him into emotionally blackmailing me every time we have this argument. I am the chief breadwinner by a long shot here and let me just make this clear to everyone - this is because of my own hard work and sacrifices - however because he earns so much less than I do I’ve felt guilty and allowed him to live with me for free - essentially with him using his own earnings for whatever leisure activity he wishes. Obviously this has now come back to bite me because there is absolutely no incentive for him to go at all. He is living for free - why would he give that up? I do not believe for one minute he is living this existence (because that’s what it is) because he loves me so much: this is convenient and easy for him - plus he has all his cash! He is earning well above the average London wage and should quite easily be able to support himself. But he starts crying and making me feel guilty every time I try to end it. it’s happened so frequently that he now actually doesn’t even take me seriously. He suffers from depression too, which I find he uses to get me to back down. He talks and discusses and just doesn’t give up until I end up saying, “ok, let’s try again”. I REALLY REALLY REALLY do not want this anymore though! I don't want to die having regretted spending the better part of 15 years with a man who I am not in love with.

I feel trapped! Unfortunately we live in rented accommodation and both names are on the lease, meaning that we both have a right to live in the property - however I am paying 100% of the rent. There is no break clause in the lease and it is set to run for another 18 months at least. But I just cannot face another 578 days of this. Every year I say I am going to leave and every time we go around the same pattern, with me giving in. I know I enabled some of this. I shouldn’t have let him live for free. But he talks and breaks me down and I feel sorry for him and then I give in. I feel weak and just cannot stand up to his crying. I feel incredible guilt, which is why I stay.

What can I do to get out of this? I cannot break the lease on the flat without paying a massive penalty (given 18 months left at least - it will run into the 10s of thousands!). I cannot kick him out because he has just as right as me to live there as he is on the lease. I cannot move out myself because a) I have absolutely nowhere to go and b) I am paying the rent on the property, which if not paid will leave me far worse off because it will affect my credit rating and possibly therefore have a knock on effect on my ability to win contract work and c) because I cannot afford to rent another place for me whilst still putting him up in our existing rental until the tenancy expires.

I am in such a bind and I feel like life is not worth living if I have to continue in this miserable existence. What options are open to me here without me having to fork out thousands to get this man to move on? I need to break up and not give him the chance to fight to stay. All existing options I see right now mean I’ll have to stay around him which gives him the opportunity to persuade me to change my mind. Please please help.

Barmaid101 Sun 17-Dec-17 20:21:32

Try contacting the landlord and offer to stay until another tenant is found and offer to cover advertising costs etc. A friend of mine got out of a rental that way and it was better than the penalty clause. No harm in asking. Good luck on getting away

Marveldc Sun 17-Dec-17 20:21:45

What a very difficult position to find yourself in. Have you a friend or family member you could perhaps stay with for a week or two? Or go on holiday with someone for a few weeks? Maybe some time apart will help you to see if this is what you want for good. I am sure you have thought very long and hard about your decision but sometimes having time apart will help you see what you really want with no influencing circumstances.
I haven't had the same circumstances as yourself but I have left relationships I was sure I didn't want to be in and regretted leaving.
What kind of relationship do you have now? If you don't mind me asking. Are you civil, talk, sleep together or do you live separate lives?

Pinkitis Sun 17-Dec-17 20:27:35

You can end a relationship whenever you want. I don't know where you stand re the tenancy so you might need advice on that. Would he leave if you were adamant it was the end? You can obviously afford the rent alone.

A lot of separated couples have to live in the same home while they divorce. It is horrendous (I did it for two years) but needs must sometimes.

You are not responsible for him financially btw. You are not even married.

I think you need a firm plan and stick to it. Plan what to do/say when he is crying and putting pressure on you.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Sun 17-Dec-17 20:30:32

People break up all the time. Landlords are often very understanding about people needing to move out sooner than expected.

You implied that you are living in London. I shouldn't think your landlord would have much trouble finding a new tenant.

When you break up this time, don't talk, don't discuss, that makes it a negotiation. An actual definite break up is a statement not a discussion. You have to close down all talk of what went wrong etc. Walk away, be out a lot, or anything like that.

WickedLazy Sun 17-Dec-17 20:39:04

Write him a letter, and tell him the contents are non negotiable, your final decision and not up for discusion? After he's read it, if he brings up you getting back together, you could just walk away from him/go out for a walk. Don't share a bed with him, or give him any money. Buy your own food, let him buy his. Go on a few dates?

"Try contacting the landlord and offer to stay until another tenant is found and offer to cover advertising costs etc"

^This. Hopefully you get away from this sponger soon.

MustStayStrong Sun 17-Dec-17 20:42:04

Unfortunately the landlord is overseas so I'm having to deal with the agent. The agent so far has not been great and I really expect they'll just rip me off because it means more work for them. I cannot see an alternative though, seems the advice so far is to speak to them.

Our relationship is civil. We speak. We do have a laugh sometimes. He's a nice man and I do not want to hurt him. But I am absolutely sure: this is just not what I want. We sleep in the same bed but there's no affection. We eat together sometimes. I cook his food, do his laundry, buy his groceries, pay the bills, etc - all things making it really very easy for him. How stupid have I been!?

MustStayStrong Sun 17-Dec-17 20:43:29

Thank you WickedLazy - a letter is a good idea.

Marveldc Sun 17-Dec-17 20:51:27

I didn't realise you could sign a lease on a property for longer than a year at a time.
I wish you all the best in your situation. Just remember the routine you have now will completely change and you will be alone this may be appealing but when you have had someone around for so long it will be a hard transition.
I hope you other half and come to understand and respect your decision

MustStayStrong Sun 17-Dec-17 20:55:26

Marveldc thank you for you encouragement. I am already 'alone' in this relationship. I have never felt lonelier.

Marveldc Sun 17-Dec-17 21:04:21

I am so sorry to hear that. It's a terrible feeling, loneliness.
What's the longest you two have spent apart in your relationship? For example away on business or with friends etc
It sounds like you have a lot of resentment built up towards your partner especially over financial matters and understandably so

MadhousMom59 Sun 17-Dec-17 21:19:30

Must. You need to move on are wasting yours and his life. You have no future together.get urself a life Hun.xx

lilybetsy Sun 17-Dec-17 21:27:55

Just leave. The worst thing is that you lose 18 months rent. Leave, don’t SPEAK to him again, communicate via email ..

Life is much much too short...

WickedLazy Sun 17-Dec-17 21:34:30

Just thought, if you do write him a letter, maybe tell him in advance, that's there's no point in writing a reply, as you'll just rip it up without reading it (and do if he does!).

WickedLazy Sun 17-Dec-17 21:35:25

Actually no, he's probably just rip yours up then. Tell him that after he read it?

RandyMarsh Sun 17-Dec-17 21:35:29

Firstly, he doesn't sound like a nice guy. He's a freeloader and massively taking advantage of you. Please remember this if you think about giving it yet another go.

Could you move out into a cheap house share for the next 18 months and continue to pay 50% of the rent on your current place? Not ideal at all but I sense that he won't do the decent thing and leave. This setup is far too cushy for him.

If not then you really need to get tough. Tell him he must start paying his share - I cannot believe you pay 100% of the rent! You can break up with him and cohabit if there is really no other option, you can make yourself busy and literally just go back home to sleep.

The thing is, he knows full well that if he turns on the waterworks, you will cave in. You really do need to be assertive and strong here. This is your life and you're wasting it! You have every right to break things off and then you will need to give him 2 options. He leaves or he stays and pays 50% of the rent. No further discussion needs to happen.

WickedLazy Sun 17-Dec-17 21:35:34


RandomMess Sun 17-Dec-17 21:53:15

Do you have a spare room to move into? Tell him it's over and start living an even more separate flat mate situation.

Cricrichan Sun 17-Dec-17 21:59:12

Kick him out and rent a room out to cover the rent. Otherwise tell him he's got to pay his half of the rent. Do not do anything more for this man. He's taking you for a fool. Live separately even if you're in the same house. You're your own woman and don't need to answer to him. he earns his own money. You're not married nor have any ties together. This is easy. Do not waste more time on him.

mummmy2017 Sun 17-Dec-17 22:13:52

I hope you have a second room, but if not. pay the rent and then tell him he has to pay half of all bills and give notice to the Landlord NOW, even if they take the time to find a Tenant, you will have already set a date at the latest for your break up.
This way no matter how much he cried, you will know your going to leave.
Also stop buying food, go out, and eat out, it will be for a month but he will see you mean your going to leave him. Also he will have to put his hand into his pocket, and buy and feed himself, and even if he won't wash up, you won't be worried as you won't be using the kitchen. Maybe you should book into somewhere for christmas, just so you can have a break.
Don't do his washing, not your problem.
All you can do is cut the ties, that bind you.

CharisMama Sun 17-Dec-17 22:18:33

you have to accept that it will be change. it will be adjustment. there will be awkwardness, explanations, and discomfort but you'll feel a bit more alive because suddenly anything could happen.


i once ended a relationship like this and althoguh it had taken me such a long time to work up to saying it he just instantly snapped ''what took you so long?'' -although he hadn't said it either, so confused

BubblingUp Sun 17-Dec-17 22:19:32

Can you pay him to go away?

CharisMama Sun 17-Dec-17 22:22:38

Could you get a male friend he dislikes to move in, just to 'challenge' his entitlement. He thinks he can win you over and change your mind but if there were somebody else there changing the dynamic it might make him accept you really mean business.

I agree with the others, eat out. Cancel the internet? or put a password on it. stop buying toilet paper!

MammaAgata Sun 17-Dec-17 22:25:09

So sorry to hear about your situation. Sounds utterly horrendous and I can’t imagine living in that situation a moment longer if it were me. Not, because he’s bad guy, but more because you need out. For me, once I’ve made a decision, I’ve made a decision and I can’t do the ‘poker’ face pretending etc to string something out. However! What I don’t get is the ‘lease’ arrangement. I’m obviously not up on current rental arrangements. But surely any rented property has a notice period? What am I missing here?

Quartz2208 Sun 17-Dec-17 22:26:42

Stop doing stuff for him move into another room and ask for money. You have nothing to feel guilty about

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