Another Deadbeat Boyfriend…and the Saga Continues

Posted by: Fri, Nov 14, 2008
Posted in category People, Relationships

An article I posted some time ago called “The Deadbeat Boyfriend” has had an overwhelming response of people that can relate or are in a similar situation. My heart goes out to all the people who have posted a comment here venting their  story. Below is a comment that was posted a few days ago. After reading this I felt that it deserved to be a post on the front page. Maybe someone, somewhere will know who this guy is and let him know he is a true piece of dirt….

Comment posted by Girlfriend of a Deadbeat:

I’ve spent the last week seeking solace in the stories of others who have been in my predicament. I think the next step in finding my cure is to share my own saga.

I met my boyfriend almost 2 years ago through a mutual friend. He was a kitchen manager/bartender at a neighborhood sports bar who talked about opening his own place. The night we met (much to my horror) was karaoke night and all the neighbors were sharing their talents. My friend knew he could sing and she sent him to the stage. 2 verses into Fly me to the Moon, I was hooked. Things moved quickly and before I knew what happened I was introducing him to my parents . Then all of a sudden it was Valentines. He loved to come over and make dinner for us so I thought it would be the perfect occasion to give him a key to my place and his own drawer in my dresser. Ignorance was bliss.

I knew a lot about him by then. He was divorced, had married too young but had a wonderful son to show for it. His son lived 2 hours north with his mother but he drove up to see him whenever he could. He wanted to make sure things were really right between us before I met his son which I was extremely happy to hear. I felt like we could talk about anything, share everything… it was wonderful.

A few weeks later I found myself in a familiar conversation with him. “Why don’t we ever stay at your place?” He told me that he had his own place and I assumed in the great tradition of men that he had no clue how to pick his underwear up or clean his bathtub. That would be enough to cure me of overnight guests. We had lunch one cold and nasty winter afternoon and we had planned to stop at his place after to pick up a few things. Finally, I was going to see the behind the scenes of my new found love. We pulled up to an older apartment building and he was very quiet. “I need to tell you something. I DO have a roommate.” It made me smile for a minute that he had been this embarrassed over something so minor. Then he said, “… and it’s my Mom.”

A few thoughts raced through my brain. “I’m supposed to walk through the door and meet his mother.” Yikes. Panic #1. Not mentally prepared for that.. check lipstick, am I dressed okay?.. .holy crap what did he say her name was again? Then came Panic #2, “Oh my God, he’s slept over HOW many times in the last few months?” I’m a tramp, this is so inappropriate. I’m 33 years old and could never slap my Mom with something like this. He must have seen my face because he explained that after his parents split up that she needed a place to stay and had been too depressed to be on her own. (Heart tug but still mortified that this woman would see me as a total whore.)

We walked into the apartment and it took about .05 seconds to recognize that this was his Mother’s home. I sat at the end of a sofa cushion with a plastered smile thinking, “I’m so done, what a liar.” He obviously was living with his Mom, not the other way around. The rest of the visit is a blur but the conversation and tears on his part when we got back to the car still remain clear. “I thought you wouldn’t understand. I was embarrassed. I’ve wanted to tell you for so long, it’s been killing me. I’ll never, EVER lie to you again.” Oh if that only could have been true.

Hind sight. What an atrocity that we cannot see what’s right in front of us, only what’s behind. You forgive, that’s what you do.. you ignore that feeling in the pit of your stomach that something is wrong. You think, “he makes me smile, my Dad and brother like him, he taught me to golf, he likes to make me dinner and calls me beautiful in the morning.”

A few months later he started talking more seriously about his future. He decided that working in the restaurant biz might not be the best long term plan. I couldn’t agree more but found using the terms “getting a big boy job” didn’t go over well. He found a position through a temp agency, 40 hours per week, Mon – Friday. PERFECT. Only he gave his notice and left his job at the restaurant before signing any paperwork or finalizing the contract. Guess what, NO CONTRACT. I was out of town on a vacation with my family when he called and said he got the job. I asked questions about the position and contract but he seemed to have a grasp on what was going on. I should have asked more questions of him. I was recruiter straight out of college and nothing is set in stone till the paperwork is signed. I should have known then that he didn’t know how to take care of things or of himself. I chalked it up to inexperience and chose to believe in him instead.

That’s when the part time work started. Actually he was living off his savings for 2 months and then the part time work started. I was getting a little frustrated at this point. He was technically living with me but obviously in no situation to split costs. I told him something needed to be contributed and we decided that he would cover utilities. This was basically $200 per month. I also asked if he would take over trash and recycling duties as it’s my least favorite household chore. Happy to dodge bathroom cleaning, he agreed. And since he would be out in that area I gave him my mail key so he could bring that in on his way back. (Hindsight, never give away control of any form of communication. )

He was working a few days a week and started talking about going to school. GREAT!! LOVED the idea. He was in the military and never had cashed out on his GI bill. Because he could claim his son every other year and due to his income, I knew grants would be coming his way. With all the funding he would MAKE money by going to school. He signed up and got on board.

We told his son that he was going back to school. His son was now living in the area and spending every other weekend with us. Now I hate to sound old fashioned but there were some things that bothered me about this. First of all, we weren’t married or engaged and living together. What the heck does his son/parents/family think of this? How much were we confusing this kid? The second reason was much more selfish. One of the things I love about my apartment is my extra room… my computer, my guest bed, … call it my feeling of normal. I wanted the bigger apartment so I had that extra space. Not a huge goal or accomplishment but something that made me feel good. Not so much after that. The duvet I made was thrown in the closet so a boy friendly comforter (courtesy of the boyfriend’s mother) could be used. Boxes, toys, cars, Playstations took over. Okay, I know that’s the best thing for him. I kept thinking “Quit thinking of yourself and grow up. Let’s make him feel wanted and that he has his own place in his Dad’s home.” (Hindsight, when did this actually become “Dad’s”place? Did we have that conversation because I don’t remember it. I remember giving someone a key and a drawer and a few post-cocktail, pre-coitous flirtations with the idea, but NOT an actual plan or conversation)

3 or 4 weeks later I jumped on my computer. He had left his email open and there was a note from one of the instructors in his program. “I haven’t seen you since the first day of school. Are you officially dropping my class?” (Panic attack) I asked him what had been going on. He said he didn’t like the classes and it wasn’t the right program. Obviously the thought of speaking to a councilor or checking into another program hadn’t crossed his mind. I asked him what he had been doing all day when he was telling me he was in school. He was mortified. I dug for a while and finally got an answer. “TV.” “Computer.” Funny, he was always caught up on the TiVo list and I never seemed to notice. He begged me to forgive him, swore that he loved me and that he would do anything to make it right. (Hind sight, when that funny “something’s wrong” tickle hits your tummy, it’s okay to ask questions)

I had long discussions with my friends and family. What do I do? Some said boot him, some said try to see if there is any way to save it. They knew I was happy with him. They all said they had seen a change in me. I bit my lip and went home that night prepared to give him an ultimatum. Better job, go to school or move out. What a plan!!

He chose school of course and I asked him a ton of questions about what he liked to do, jobs he might like, working with people or alone… everything I could think of. I dug around through the school’s website trying to find something that might work for him. (Hindsight, never be more interested in your partner’s future than he is)

Mechanical Design. He was going to be a drafter. I knew some things about the program and the job that followed. My future sister in law was in admissions for the school and filled us in on the program details. My brother had taken a similar program years ago and was now managing a drafting/programming department. We were all happy for him that he found something that he wanted to do. I honestly never cared what program he was in, I just wanted to see him do something with his life. A job or career that gave something back to him… vacation, benefits, something. He was 29 years old when I found him living with his mother, working in a sports bar without so much as a bed or a TV to his name. Not exactly the high end of success. If he thought that was okay, truly believed that there was nothing wrong with that, why did he lie to hide it?

That was the fall of 2007. My brother and his wife got married in Mexico that October. We all flew out for a week at beautiful resort to celebrate with them. My boyfriend of course was in no situation to take care of his own trip. He told me 3 weeks before the down payment was due that he had been trying to save but there was no way he could come up with the cash. I thought about it for a few days and decided that if we were going to end up together, I didn’t want to look back and think that he missed my only sibling’s wedding because of $1400. I wrote up a contract and asked him if he would be willing to sign it. I told him that based on things that had happened and because it was a tidy sum of cash that he had to give me some guarantee that he would pay me back. He was happy to sign. He told me he would make sure it was cleared through all of his instructors and that in most of his classes he could work ahead so he wouldn’t be behind when we got back. (Hindsight, don’t be a sucker!! It might have seemed like your idea but he’s been planting that seed for months!!) (Did I mention that I found out he was $500 behind on his child support before we left? Of course he had a plan to take care of that as soon as we got back)

Of course Mexico was WONDERFUL. We had plenty of time to sneak away for romantic moments. The night of their wedding our group of 20 or so ended up in a bar on the resort. It was kind of a dance club/karaoke bar. He took me by the hand out on the dance floor and danced with me while he sang, “Fly me to the Moon.” There were tears in my aunt’s eyes when he brought me back to the family. “Oh you HAVE to marry him!!” I heard from several people that they thought he was going to propose while we were on the trip. I had almost hoped so too but I knew if he didn’t have a grand for a trip, there was no way he could swing a ring.

Then things started to change. It was Nov. 30th, the night before my brother’s wedding reception back here in the States when something happened. I couldn’t tell you exactly what it was but I saw him snap. We had been out with my cousin for the night. She had flown in from AZ and the martinis were flowing. We got home safe and sound but he and I were arguing over something stupid. She went to bed and we kept arguing. That’s when I hit the floor. He didn’t hit me, but he pushed me and I ended up with a bloody rug burn on my knee. I told him to get out and he started freaking out even worse. My iron barstool flew across the room, my favorite clay dish smashed against the wall. I found him in the garage, in my car, garage door closed, engine running. Tears, apologies… I bought it all. I know part of it was trying to save face in front of my cousin. Part of it was the impending family reunion the next day. Regardless, it was a terrible night. The appologies folloewed and promises that it would never happen again. He said he new it was cliche but he would never touch me with anything but tenderness again.

We made it through the holidays and he was charming and a tad remorseful. He still wasn’t working full time so I helped to make sure we had gifts for everyone, his family and mine. I wanted everything to be like it was… so it was. I chalked our bad night up to too much alcohol and let it go. I played “Suzy Homemaker” and made a nice Christmas for us. The tree, the gifts, starting our own traditions, more gifts. Everything felt better.

Fast forward to this Summer. I couldn’t tell you what was going on in our relationship but something had changed. We talked about being more affectionate and why we didn’t cuddle like we used to. He mentioned that I had gained weight. Not my favorite subject. Yes it’s true I packed on some pounds in the last year but I tried to tell him there were better ways to approach me on the subject. He told me I drank too much. Ouch… and probably true as well. I did notice that he always offered to drive… which to me felt like a free pass. (Hindsight, True, I was using the free ride home to my festive advantage. I think too that I was using booze as a crutch to avoid those pesky feelings of something being wrong because after a glass or two of wine, I didn’t think about it)

We had a nice Summer. He was still working part time but was planning on going back to the original restaurant that we had met for a full time position in August. We golfed with friends, spent time with my family and his. Music, we saw a lot of live music which I hadn’t really done in years. We made plans with my brother and his wife to go back to Mexico in December. I talked to him about it at nauseam to make sure he wanted to go AND could pay for it. We agreed and I put down the initial deposit and started getting excited about our trip. His school schedule started up late in August. He worked his classes around his hours at the restaurant but that meant full days for him Mon-Fri plus an extra shift on Saturday. I was proud of him for making things work and busting his butt. Finally it seemed like he was getting it, that “big boy” life and that you have to work to make things happen.

Yes we had other fights. Most of it was verbal but I ended up pushed on the ground at least one more time. One wasn’t so much physical as emotionally draining. One night brought up the idea of getting full time custody of his son. Great idea, but not in my apartment. He needed to get his own place and work out his own situation. I didn’t know how to explain it without being horrible. I felt claustrophobic at the idea of 2 dependent guys in my home. I make a decent living but not enough to support the 3 of us. I don’t know why this was my first instinct, assuming that I would bear the burden. Probably because he was in school and couldn’t work full time. Someone had to cover and I knew that it would be me.

If I can be honest, and I hate to even say this but I also have some concerns with his son. I don’t know exactly what it is, but something is not right. He’s 11 but very immature for his age. He’s withdrawn, almost sullun and makes everyone I’ve introduced him to uncomfortable. He won’t engage. The whining and pouting put me on edge and my guy didn’t see it. He never saw a problem with his actions. I started asking questions within his family to see if anyone else saw these issues, if there was some history or pattern. Maybe I was just wrong but I needed someone else to confirm it. I felt like my hands were so tied because he wasn’t my child and it wasn’t about wild, horrible behavior… it was like he was broken inside. I questioned everyone I could in his family and all of them said that the son was and had been a difficult child. I was so busy trying to get my guy going that I didn’t know how to take on another person. I felt that this was his responsibility to acknowledge and help with. (Hindsight, his family also alluded that my guy’s “history” with his son had something to do with it. I assumed abandonment issues from the divorce but I don’t think I dove enough into that. Yet another a phenomenally wise decision)

So now it’s November and I’m looking back on the events of the last few weeks. My birthday was at the beginning of last month and my cousin flew back again from AZ. We were bonded single sisters for years when I lived in AZ and she felt the need to cushion the birthday blow with her presence. We had a nice day of golf and then met up with the family for dinner. It was wonderful. My parents came up with tickets for a Packer game the next morning as a surprise. Yes I live in Wisconsin and yes that’s a huge deal. Only problem was that they only had 2 tickets and they were originally slated for me and my guy. Since the cousin was in town and an avid fan, he had relinquished his ticket for her. My Mom had called him the previous week, explained the situation and he said, “no problem, I’ll go next time.” Something about that gesture without any fan fair touched me. If you’re not a sports fan it probably doesn’t make sense but watching the games on Sunday afternoons was our thing. He worked on Saturdays so Sunday was our only day off together and we LOVED hanging out watching football. Packer tickets are few and far between so it felt quite selfless of him to be so generous with what should have been his ticket. (hind sight, Why didn’t I question the motivation? To look good to the cousin who didn’t trust him, to kiss up to my parents or me?)

The game came and went and my cousin flew home. A few days later I had a seminar to attend near home. I commute to work about an hour each way so it was a nice change of pace to be in the area in the middle of the afternoon. I decided to stop home to grab a quick lunch before the training began. I knew in my gut why I didn’t call him and tell him I was coming home. He was supposed to be in school that day till 2 and then come home and get ready for work. I got there at Noon. I knew what he was going to say before it came out of his mouth. “I was in lab this morning and got my work done.” With anyone else I would think this could happen but based on his first attempt at school I didn’t believe him. I told him how important it was for him to be honest with me. That I hated this sick feeling in my stomach that he was lying. He pulled me close, looked me in the eye and said with every bit of integrity that he could muster, “I was in school today. I got my assignments done early and came home to eat something.” (hind sight, those tickles in the tummy that say something’s wrong, listen to them)

I started looking more closely at the patterns of our routine. His day always began at 9, for class or for work. On work days, he hustled out the door a lot more quickly. I didn’t like the idea that he wasn’t as concerned about being in school on time. That’s not like him. He’s a stickler for punctuality and I drove him nuts because I’m always running late. I also started wondering about the mail. I hadn’t seen anything in a while and I knew I had a medical bill coming, in fact I thought it should have been there already. (hind sight, those tickles in the tummy that say something’s wrong, listen to them)

The day came for the final payment on the trip. I remember talking to him that afternoon about paying it off. That was a bigger chunk of cash than he typically had and I know how good it feels to work for something and make it real. He saved the money and this was his turn to pay. He sounded giddy on the phone. I got home that night and he had cleaned up the apartment and had dinner cooking. He also had a belated birthday/Sweetest Day gift waiting for me. I figured he had been saving for the trip and couldn’t afford something this year… not a biggie. I opened the box and found diamond earrings. I was shocked, thrilled, PROUD to say the least. “Finally!!” I thought. “He’s getting his stuff together. He’s been saving!! He gets it!!” I don’t care if those earrings were $200 or $2,000,000, they looked up at me and said, “He’s going to be okay, he’s planning, he’s growing.” (hind sight, symbols don’t mean anything. The proof is in the day to day)

Then, last weekend. It happened. I couldn’t tell you why it became so ugly. I remember telling him that I felt like he was lying to me. That I didn’t believe he was in school. Then it turned. I just remember a lit cigarette hitting me near my eye and then screaming at him to get out. He packed up most of his things. They just happened to be all the things I bought him. All the clothes, the belts, the suit, the ties, he even packed my clothes hangers. I felt nauseous watching him, thinking about our trip, our future, the fun that we had together. I asked him why he couldn’t just be honest with me. He said I was too demanding. I asked him how he could lie to me. He said he didn’t know. He called me a drunk. Ugly things were said and then he flew at me. I was on the ground and he was slapping me. One of the diamond earrings ripped out of my ear and flew across the carpet. I clawed and kicked and tried to get a way. There was a big red mark from my nails on his neck when I got back on my feet. This happened on the floor in front of his son’s room. His son saw it happen. I thought about telling the police that when they knocked on my door 20 minutes later. One of my neighbors called. I could see it in their eyes, now I’m “that” girl. That girl who is in an abusive relationship. That dumb girl who doesn’t know when to get out. That foolish girl that gets used and ends up being just a meal ticket. I was so ashamed. I told them nothing happened.

He was right about the drinking part. I can see that now. Hiding my feelings behind cocktails did neither one of us any good. I swallowed those feelings until I had just enough to feel bold and confront him.

I stayed home the next morning until maintenance could come and change my locks. I was like a zombie that first day. Panic attacks. Asking myself what happened. Not believing that any of it was real. I made it to work in the afternoon and kept to myself. He called and emailed, he wanted to meet to talk. I told him I was far too exhausted to talk. I told him, “Maybe tomorrow.” The next day was Tuesday I tried getting in touch with him, but he was busy going out with his brother. It was his brother’s birthday. I got home that night so depressed, so full of anxiety. It could have been the final kicker that drinking with his brother was more important … could of, but I was up for more humiliation then that apparently.

The maintenance guy was supposed to change the lock on my mailbox as well but he must have gotten busy. Then I noticed a note tucked in my door. It was from the post office. He had received a certified letter and they were holding it for him at the post office. It was from the credit union down the road. He opened an account there about a year ago. I remember that he mentioned an overdraft protection policy that he had taken out. It was basically a $500 loan that you could access if needed. Why would they be sending him a certified letter unless he was overdrawn? Panic attack. I couldn’t get in my mailbox. I started making phone calls. Was he sending checks from that account to pay the utilities?

My cable bill was 2 months behind… but the last payment was a triple payment.. that’s how far he had been letting it slip. Then I called the power company. The bill hadn’t been paid since August. I had to wait till morning to find out how bad this was going to be on my credit. The woman was very kind and helpful but she couldn’t make any promises. He knew I was saving for a house. I have money set aside but it’s not going to help if my credit drops 100 points.

Who does that? Who pays for a trip and buys diamond earrings but lets the utilities fall off for 3 months? Who deliberately destroys the credit of someone they supposedly love?

I was in a state of panic for the rest of the week. It was not-sleeping, not-eating misery.

His Dad contacted me by email over the weekend. He had my ex’s son for the weekend and the son was acting funny. After digging in a bit he told his grandpa that we had gotten into a fight and he saw his dad hit me. Let’s just say Grandpa is a really good guy. He has been nothing but great to me since the first day I met him. I told him everything that happened and he was incredibly supportive. I could tell he wanted to see if this was something that I could work through or if it was over. Even after all of it, I couldn’t answer the question.

Yesterday was Monday so I went to work but I still couldn’t focus. I was stuck in a haze of questions that I wanted answers too. You might have guessed already but I had to make the phone call. It was my last grasp to save the memory of this person that I loved and still wanted to believe was real. It was supposed to be the final proof that even if it had failed, it wasn’t a con, it was love. It ended up the final nail in the coffin of our relationship. I called the Tech where he was going to school. He wasn’t enrolled this semester.

Since August he’s been going through the motions, getting up every day and pretending to go. I keep thinking about all the lies, all the times he looked me dead in the eye, mustering up all the integrity he had and telling me he was in school. I think about the day I took off when my cousin was in town and he left for 3 hours and came back and told us about his class. I never saw a text book, he said he had a locker and kept everything there. I never saw him study, he said he got everything done in his labs. He never talked about friends or people he met, he said he kept to himself. I asked to see his grades and he came up with some odd conversion of a print out on a computer that even he couldn’t make sense of.

I checked the computer history.. sure enough he found time to surf porn while he told me he was at school. I checked the Wii memory… sure enough he found time to pack in a few hours of games while he told me he was at school.

Who is this person? Who would do this to someone? How could he look at himself every day in the mirror and know that he was building a world of lies around himself. I know this man’s family, he wasn’t raised like this.

My friends and family are in disbelief… as am I. We spent so much time with them and they believed it when he said he was looking for a ring for me. Even now they say that they believe he really loved me. They thought his feelings for me were genuine, that he was genuine… unmotivated but real.

His Dad thought I was a good influence on him, that he was finally getting his act together. He was impressed that my guy had gone back to school and was working so hard. (Yes he lied to his parents too.)He was shocked about the hitting, but he didn’t seemed surprised about the school or money. He told me he had been let down in the past by my guy as well.

I still can’t figure out what he did with the money that he DID make and the time he had on his hands? I know it wasn’t drugs. And I dont think it was strip clubs. Was he gambling? Thats the only thing that makes sense. Wouldn’t I have seen it if he had a gambling problem? I know he liked the video machines in the bars but to blow everything on them?.. that just doesn’t make sense.

I want my dignity back. I want this aching to go away. I want to have familiar thoughts and sounds comfort me, not send me into panic.

I want him to know what he did. That it mattered, that I mattered. I want him to feel embarrassed for his actions. I want him to look into the eyes of someone he respects and see that look of disappointment. I want him to know that lies stick to your soul like tar, staining you, congealing like a scab on the inside. I want him to know that people will see it in his eyes. I want him to know that the person he believes himself to be doesn’t exist and all he has is the guy in the mirror, the liar, the coward, the child buried in his own insecurity and failure. I want him to see himself though his son’s eyes, his father’s eyes. I want him to be ashamed.

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3 Responses to “Another Deadbeat Boyfriend…and the Saga Continues”

  1. Eric "Speedcat Hollydale" says:

    Nov. 20, 2008

    This has happened to me more than once, but by women that just wanted me to take care of finances. I don’t think the relationship was anything more to them then a place to stay and money to spend … easy to see with 20/20 hindsight, right?
    It is really strange to hear the story in reverse. I hope this does not sound politically incorrect (it probably is) but supporting a guy sounds so strange. Of course, the truth from the start would have made ALL the difference.

  2. Niki says:

    Jun. 17, 2009

    I feel as though i am having a similar experince to the woman above. My boyfriend, who i met my senoir year of college, seems to have no intrest in finding a job.

    When we met he was working full time and living with his parents. I thought that was a little strange since he wasn’t in college but i knew plently of people who were in that situation.

    After a year into our relationship his brother was tragically killed. It’s been really hard for him to deal with. He quit his job and has sort of floated around since.
    His parents got a divorce and went bankrupt.
    He went to South Carolina with his brothers father in-law to remodel a house. When he came back, he had no where to live. His dad moved in with someone else and his mom had a tiny one bedroom apartment.
    So he moved in with me and a friend of mine.
    Our relationship is good except he’s made no effort to find a job. A friend got him a job delivering pizzas.
    Fine but he only works about 20 or so hours a week.
    I guess I just can’t figure out why he doesn’t grow up and get a 40 hour a week job.
    He’s always broke and it’s driving me crazy.
    Last month he didn’t have the rent. He finally paid me today. But it’s just so frustrating.
    Anyway my point with all this is I can’t understand all these guys who are pretty much dead beats. Our lease is up soon and we arn’t living together again.

  3. Miranda says:

    Jul. 13, 2009

    Many years ago I had a few encounters with someone like this lady’s boyfriend. I think that the boyfriend has a mental disorder. I believe the term is sociopath. She needs to move on and find a decent, hardworking man.

    My daughter has a boyfriend who doesn’t want to work. Many people have found jobs for him but he always ended up getting fired or quit.

    These kind of men are deadbeats. Ladies, just leave them alone. If you’re with one now, get away from him.

    Miranda

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