He was an AMAZING boyfriend until the two of you moved in together. Now he treats you less like a hot girlfriend and more like his personal maid. Not only that, but he’s back in touch with his ex. How did this happen? And what can you do about it?
Hi, Claire. I really love my man with all I have, but since we moved in together a lot has changed. If I ask him to help around the house like putting his dirty clothes in the washing basket, or to keep the bathroom clean, it only happens that day and never again. I just feel like I’m looking after a teenage boy who wants to be taken care of all the time.
And what do I do in a situation where he texts his ex-girlfriend and says he really misses her? I don’t want to lose him and I don’t want him to look at me just as a friend or just a booty call. Please help. — Noreen
Noreen, girlfriend, you have a lot on your plate, but these two items are actually connected, and very solve-able. Nice, right? You can get to an AMAZING relationship IF you’re both willing to do the work it will take to make it through this first frustrating struggle.
So let’s do the laundry issue first, then the ex…
1. A QUICK, AWESOME solution for the laundry (slash personal maid) issue:
I did everyone’s laundry for years. I nagged and begged and bitched but nothing changed. It made me furious.
Then one day, I went out and bought separate laundry baskets for each member of the family, and THEN… I quit doing everyone else’s laundry.
It was amazing. I was no longer responsible for everyone else! I got my happy back.
I highly recommend this approach.
2. The Ex-Girlfriend Issue:
The reason he ignores you in favor of his ex is because he’s no longer with her, so he’s thinking “SHE would never annoy me in any way, or pester me to put my dirty socks in the basket.”
It’s EASY to have a great relationship with a fantasy.
This is a boundary issue for you. And if the two of you are in a mutually agreed, committed relationship, it should be. So you have to name the boundary. You have to say,
“The two of us have agreed to focus exclusively on each other, on building our relationship. It’s a very painful thing for me that you are renewing contact with your old girlfriend. That’s out-of-bounds for me, and it breaks with our agreement.”
Just like with the laundry issue, if you ALLOW this to continue, it’s on you. So make your plans for either fighting for and working toward what you want, or allowing it to drift away.
It will be hard. He’ll get irritated, and defensive, and he may try to make it all your “fault.” Refuse to be melodramatic, or mean-spirited. Take the high road and do your best to keep the issues clear and your attitude calm.
This is not one of the fun things about a relationship, but it’s something that all couples go through at some point, and you can get through it, too.
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