Hi Dr. Buckingham,
My boyfriend and I have been in a relationship for 6 years. We haven’t had the best 6 years but have done counseling and worked through his cheating. When I found out I was pregnant, our whole relationship changed for the better. He was everything I ever wanted in a man. We had a daughter 5 months ago. Then 3 months ago, everything changed. We started fighting everyday and I kicked him out. He was hanging with his “homies” every night until 2 or 3 in the morning and not helping enough with the baby.
I tried talking to him a million times about what was going on and why he never wanted to be home anymore. He claimed he felt lost and didn’t feel like a man in our family because his job cut his hours to 2 days a week. In addition to he wasn’t making enough to pay the bills. Being that I was so much in love with him, I helped him apply for jobs and did his resume, not for the money but because I wanted him to feel like a man.
Well, about a month ago, he started working full time at a great job, but he still hasn’t come home. I asked him if he wanted to come home and try again. He said he didn’t know, because he is tired of fighting with me and hated threats that I would always kick him out. I feel like his answer on why he left has changed. First, he didn’t want to come home because he is trying to find himself. Now, it is because we fought so much.
Being crazy and insecure that he might of met someone, I pulled up our phone records. I noticed that he has been talking to his old coworker every day, all times of the night and day. I confronted him and asked if anything was going on. He got upset that I went thru his call logs. He claimed she was just his friend and she even had a boyfriend. I wanted to believe this, however I’ve never met her and I feel like it was too many calls. I have male friends too, but he has either met them or heard about them. I feel lost, confused and hurt. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know if I should move on or continue to wait on him. I do love him, but my patience is running thin and I need to set a good example for my daughter. Honestly, I want a full time partner for me and her.
I asked him does he mind if I started dating, his response was “Do what you feel you need to do but I would never let us get to that point of dating other people.” He is a good father and sees her everyday. Although, I feel like I do all the hard work with my daughter and he just plays a cameo in her life. I don’t want my daughter having the same horrible relationship with her dad like I did. I have no respect for my abandoning cheating father. I just want and need more in my own life. Should I continue to work thru our problems with him or should I move on?
Dear Young Lady,
Your willingness to support your boyfriend is noteworthy. Women like you make this world a better place to live. However, one of the most challenging things for good women is to recognize when to pull back. Giving of yourself is a great thing, but when your generosity is taken for granted you must learn to cut your ties.
You do not owe your boyfriend anything and do not allow him to manipulate you. His manhood should not be based on how much money he makes, but by how well he takes care of you and your daughter. Yes, it is true that a man’s ability to provide for his family does impact his view of himself.
However, a man who is emotionally secure and has a healthy self-concept does not allow the amount of money in his pocket or bank account to deter him from performing his manly responsibility as head of household.
You are probably better off to cut your ties now. Some people are conditioned to run spirits and some people are conditioned to run marathons. In order to have a healthy relationship that last forever, you need someone who is willing and conditioned to go the distance. Hold out for your marathon runner. Your boyfriend appears to be conditioned for spirits and unfortunately is not fit to be in a committed relationship at this time. You want to be with someone who is disciplined and will do what is needed to make your relationship work through both the good and bad.
A man who makes excuses is not reliable and should not be placed on a pedestal. If you truly want what is best for your daughter and want to be a great example for her, stop chasing a man who does not understand or value your worth. You can continue to work on yourself and allow someone to find you. I often remind single women to meditate on Proverbs 18:22 which states, “He who finds a wife, finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.” I do not believe that a man who has “hoish” tendencies will ever receive favor because this behavior is not pleasing to God.
Establish expectations and stick to them. If you know what you want and need, do not settle for less. You get out of life what you allow in your life. Tell your boyfriend to man up or move on. For additional insight about how to cope with your boyfriend, secure a copy of my lastest book – Qualified, yet Single: Why Good Men Remain Single.
If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.