LOVE SCENE INVESTIGATION
Larry is a fine upstanding citizen. A 9/11 first responder Fireman. A member of the Presbyterian Church and of the 4-H Club. But Larry’s got baggage. One ex-wife Gemma he married because he was young, dumb & full of c**. The second one a Dominican named Idalis he married for $10,000 so she could become a US citizen. And he’s got one kid with each wifey. So when we met on that Christian Singles website, we discussed all that and we hit it off. Within parameters, of course. Cuz I’m not looking to get serious with someone who can barely afford his current family situations — in terms of time or money. When I made clear to Larry there was a cap on the kind of relationship we would have, Larry became furious. He felt entitled to call the shots. Started talking very inventively and aggressively about not “if” but “when” we are married, we have our first child, our children’s names, how I’d sell my house and buy one with him. The hard, hard sell. LIke he was crafting what he imagined was my dream scenario. I’m like, slow your roll, Cappy. So then he hits me with what he imagines is his nuclear missile of persuasion: “You’re old – you have to marry me. How else are you gonna have kids?”
I’m a graphic designer from Sao Paulo, Brazil. I met my boyfriend Cesar through mutual friends who are in graduate school working on their Ph.D.s. Cesar is very progressive and doesn’t believe in marriage. He says it’s an archaic system to control wealth inheritance. Unfortunately, Cesar is none to traditional about sexuality and so I am pregnant with our first child. He has no intention of marrying me. Not even to assist with my Non-Resident Alien status. He’s always been very separate about us being together. We each maintain our own apartments, bank accounts and pay separately at dinner. He has even gone so far as to make his niece and nephew the beneficiaries of all his insurance policies and such. For my mental health and the sake of my child, I need to make changes. If he doesn’t want to be a partner to me, I’ll make other moves. Cesar is adamant: “You can’t afford to live without me.” I say I do already. Cesar insists no man will want a woman with another man’s child. So I should fear of being alone when you won’t be with me? So Cesar cajoles: “You are too busy; you cannot find someone new to love you. Remember? I found you. Not the other way around.” Honestly, this half-a-man makes me feel worthless and now I fooled around and am carrying his child. I’m overwhelmed by feelings of low self-worth, or even self-loathing. Now he’s so concerned about what friends and family will say. Smug to the end, Cesar insists my financial jeopanrdy will worsen with a child: He mocks: “You’ll never leave me ’cause you can’t even afford your own car nevermind the gas.” Am I a coward for trying to work this out with my child’s father?
You say clearly what your limits are and your man ignores you. You say very clearly what your needs are, and your man ignores you. You set him up for the heave-ho and he fights you on it. He won’t step up and yet you are not supposed to step down.
Truly, a man who wants to stay together may not let you go without a fight. Not a physical fight – though you know your partner best. I mean emotional blackmail, psychological manipulation, and even spiritual pressure. He’s preaching the Gospel he defines and precipitates as an inescapable crisis. And he positively salivates and revels in having you trapped.
When you stay in a relationship like that, you enable every negative behavior your man possesses. You become the martyr.
You must get honest and ask yourself, “Am I better off with or without him?” Remember, you can do bad all by yourself. And be freed from the psychological oppression. He may love you the best way he can but it may still not be enough.
If single, keep looking.
If pregnant, give yourself a financial check-up and get prepared to take steps if you do decide to leave dude. Do you have enough money for medical expenses, rent, bills, and unexpected expenditures? Can you support yourself for at least a month (preferably at least nine)? If not, can you stay with family or friends? If you don’t have a job or money saved up, contact the local churches, social service agencies and shelters in your area.