This morning, Domino begins to tell me all the problems she’s having with her boyfriend. She’s not complaining, since she’s paying me for the call. She and I have had this conversation several times through the 15 out of 18 years she’s been with him. I stopped her from reciting her long list of his faults and transgressions and asked why she doesn’t move out and be done with it. “I can’t afford it. He pays the bills.” I understand, but you’ve been telling me this for 15 years. As soon as you choose to take control of your own thoughts and do something about it, you’ll be on to happier times.
She said their relationship isn’t like it used to be. They used to go out and do things together and she liked to dress up and be seen. Now they never go anywhere “because it costs too much.” She feels like a maid and mother, picking up after him. I told her to stop doing that. She said she couldn’t stand looking at the mess.
She said even a roommate would have more respect for their surroundings. They haven’t had sex in years although there is the occasional cuddle. They used to consider themselves “married.” Now she doesn’t know if they are boyfriend and girlfriend or roommates or what?
I asked her what she wanted the two of them to be. I told her it doesn’t have to be just one label. When she feels like a roommate, she should enjoy the privacy and emotional detachment she perceives. When she feels like a lover, she should enjoy expressing herself that way. When she feels like a maid, she should choose a better feeling thought and either be happy or be out of there.
The better feeling thought is that this man for 18 years has paid all of her bills and put a roof over her head. She’s had free rent and groceries for 18 years. You have to honor a man who is willing to do that. A little cleaning up is not a big price to pay. If she grumbled less, he’d pout and isolate less. If she made up her mind to stay focused on finding enjoyable things to do without him, that would be taking her attention OFF the problem and giving the time and space to let a solution unfold. Not to mention once she stops nagging, either he’ll feel more cuddly more often or she’ll attract someone who will. Either way, everyone wins.
Or she can simply chose to complain to everyone about her sad and sorry plight and do nothing to take herself out of it and remain there another 15 years. The beauty of it is — it will be her choice.
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