Am I Wasting My Time Again?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

My boyfriend is a year and a half younger than me so i knew going into it that i might have issues with him being a bit immature in certain areas of our relationship, but when we first started dating he was my perfect guy. After two and a half years he’s still an amazing guy but there are things that are ruining our relationship and I’m not sure if I’m just being impatient or if its just not going to work.

He was engaged when he was 20. Obviously way too young and it didn’t work. I was in a 7 year relationship with a guy that treated me amazingly but never tried hard enough to get me a ring, though he promised for years, and towards the end I was paying for everything because he just wasn’t responsible and unreliable. I fell out of love and now am wondering if I’m wasting my time yet again.

My boyfriend now of two and a half years goes to school so I appreciate that because I can’t seem to get that part of life together. I just hate school with passion due to severe social anxiety. So I don’t mind being the one who helps pay for most of the bills since I bartend and make a good amount of money. Knowing that in the future he’ll have a good job is a wonderful feeling.

My problem is that he works but doesn’t bring in enough to pay for much plus he’s been saying he wants to buy me a ring and I can’t see that being possible anytime soon. I know I shouldnt care what people think but I don’t want to look like an idiot again and people are always asking why we aren’t engaged yet. It makes me feel like people think no ones ever going to want to marry me.

So here are my main issues. His credit is terrible because he’s so irresponsible with bills. He’s like a child I have to check up on to make sure he’s paid things on time. The few bills he does pay he has a hard time paying on time. He got a new credit card to build his credit again and doesn’t seem to care about it because he says he forgets and is busy with everything else. I can’t be in a relationship with another guy that doesn’t take me seriously even though he says he does.

He gets upset when I get mad at him and has even punched holes in doors because he gets so mad. He’s a quiet guy and keeps things bottled up and every once in a while when I get mad he just goes crazy. It’s disturbing because I can’t have children with a guy that acts like that. Ive threatened to leave him if he ever does it again and he has been much better about controlling himself but the irresponsible behavior with credit and trying to get me a ring is driving me nuts!!

He’s so great in every single other aspect of our relationship. Hes genuinely just a good soul. He’s so unbelievably attractive and adores me. I love this man and can’t imagine life without him but I can’t look like an idiot again with no ring on my finger and his irresponsible behaviors. Is this normal for people to go through things like this in a relationship and how long should I wait for a ring. I know there’s no perfect guy and I don’t expect him to be perfect. I know I’m not perfect but I feel like if he really cared I would have a ring by now especially since he knows how important if us to me. With no credit it’s gonna be impossible for a loan and he’s not bringing in enough money to pay straight cash. Am I bring selfish?

A: If you were sure about this guy being marriage material, you wouldn’t care if he made a ring out of a paperclip. It looks to me like thinking about a ring is a great distraction from some much more important issues. He’s not a “bit” immature. He’s a lot immature. At 25, he’s still being irresponsible about such adult responsibilities as paying his bills and managing his credit. When he gets mad, he throws tantrums. He sounds like he’s about 14 years old and you are being put in a mother role. Please. You deserve far better.

Many couples take turns making the lion’s share of the money for the two of them so each can pursue school or some other goals. But it can only work when the person who is on the receiving end of the financial support is appreciative and shows it by doing as much as she or he can to contribute. That includes being careful with the money that does come in. Your guy doesn’t even manage paying his own bills on time!

However charming he is, I do suggest you take a big step back. Move out, stop paying his way, and let him fend for himself so he can experience the consequences of being so disinterested in how money comes and goes. Otherwise, how is he ever going to learn? If he cleans up his financial act, then you can enjoy his other qualities without putting your financial future on the line. Same thing goes for his temper. If he is only controlling himself because you’ve threatened to leave him. He has some personal work to do. He needs to learn self-control because that’s what adults do.

You aren’t being selfish to want him to man up. But I do think you are fooling yourself if you think he is mature enough to think about marrying.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 28 Apr 2013

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2013). Am I Wasting My Time Again?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 26, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/04/28/am-i-wasting-my-time-again/