Boyfriend Thinks I Take Him for Granted

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

My boyfriend believes im taking him for granted. We both moved from our place in AZ to chicago(him) and boston(me), due to economical issues. Our priorities are different, his is money mine is school. Im currently unemployed looking for a job and im in school fulltime, he is working and taking care of both of our needs, he feels im taking him for granted because my main priority is school and not work and he is working for both of us. he is asking me to quit school so i can find a full time job and move to chicago with him. i dont want to quit school, and i try to show him i appreciate what hes doing for me, but its not enough for him, he feels the only way for me to show him i care is by getting a job, and quitting school, but i dont want to do that, school is important to me, were both young, 22yrs old and i feel now is the time to go to school, he doesnt want to go to school and have a job, he thinks its impossible. HELP!!

A: I’m not at all sure that you and your boyfriend can bridge these differences. Your priorities in life are so different and he is supporting you in something he doesn’t believe in. You two don’t have mutual goals or a mutual understanding about how to meet them.. I worry that your boyfriend is giving you an ultimatum rather than working with you to come up with a mutually agreeable solution.

You are not “taking advantage.” There are many couples where one is working on education and the other is working for pay. Some of these couples take turns going to school and working to support the couple. In couples where one person is more invested in school, some working partners see their doing the paid work as “investing” in the future of the couple. Presumably your education will eventually result in a higher salary for you. The problem in your relationship is that your boyfriend can’t expand his vision to see your education as a contribution to your mutual future.

Your financial dependence on your boyfriend is confusing the issues between you. I think you need to find another way to support your schooling. Talk to the financial aid counselor at your college. See if there are work-study options or grants to help you. If you are attending a very expensive school, you might want to do your freshman and sophomore years at a community college to cut down expenses. Boston is a very, very expensive city to live in. You might want to consider going to one of the community colleges that is in central or western Massachusetts and take a part-time job to manage your living expenses. Many students manage with school loans and part-time work.

Once you are financially independent of your boyfriend, you could see if the two of you can make a go of it. If he isn’t your biggest fan in your pursuit of your goals and you don’t respect his choices, he may not be the guy for you. If, however, you can each be in loving support of the other as you both launch yourself into full adulthood, you may be able to make the relationship work.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 17 Apr 2013

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2013). Boyfriend Thinks I Take Him for Granted. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 18, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/04/17/boyfriend-thinks-i-take-him-for-granted/

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