|09-03-2007, 06:28 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2007
Advice needed: Problematic Situation
I'd like to ask for your help and feedback on the following scenario - the more ideas, the better. If you need clarification on something, please ask away.
I know this is a bit lengthy; I thought trying to describe verbosely would make it easier to feel what the situation is like. I've to add it is probably a bit different from the actual real life situation, mainly because, while I've been involved in the situation I don't know every little detail. Another thing is that I only know one side of the story. So, while it may not be completely exact, I guess it's more about the one or two core problematic situations that I'm asking about, so it shouldn't be a problem when I did estimates and the like.
I don't need a perfect solution - I've thought about it myself for some time and I've come up with something that might work (and as you will see something will probably have to happen). However, I don't think it's a very good solution (and I don't think there's a lot of ground for experiments - which doesn't mean creative or out-of-the-way ideas would be bad, just that there's not a lot of room for trying out a large number - rather than a wide spectrum - of ideas).
Imagine the following situation: You live in an apartment with your girlfriend. The apartment is owned by the girlfriend's parents, who are ok with you living there for free.
The girlfriend and you are students, with different financial backgrounds - the girlfriend's pretty well off on behalf of her parents both being successfully self-employed. You're fine financially, but comparably far less abundant in resources (as students, your main focus is to study, not to generate income, therefore the financial background is primarily created by the parents; you're actually working for the money you've got, while the girlfriend's not working).
As an example, let's say the girlfriend's parents could easily afford to buy apartments (plural) for every one of their children (while living in a house themselves), while your parents manage to own a flat but couldn't afford to pay housing for you should the need arise (neither buying or renting).
This already points in the direction this is going, although it's a bit more complex. Every now and then there's strife between the two of you about something (as an example, say going someplace in the evening). I use the word strife describing a situation where there's shouting (to demonstrate to what intensity it goes) and things of each other getting damaged (not generally beyond repair but with obvious damage marks) intentionally.
The problem I'd like your input on arises not out of the arguments per se (they aren't about where to go, whether to go or what to do either), but the fact that whatever the strife is actually about there's a peculiar thing the girlfriend does regularly (so in other words it's not only about the strife itself but the methods used): She threatens to throw you out of the flat (minus your stuff, which you could probably collect broken and in amounts of her choosing at times and dates convenient to her sometime in the future).
This has been going on for weeks, if not longer with the only development being that you've stopped shouting (you haven't damaged any material things). You remain calm and try to talk about things. You've also offered to move back in with your parents, as for you it's not a good place to be where you've got to wager your values against the fact that you'll be thrown out of the apartment over standing up for e. g. not wanting something to happen (which amounts to things like time spent with each other). Since you've got more than a large car's load of things at the apartment (including furniture like a desk), you decided that you'd move at least the things you'll need rarely back to your parents. However, when you want to do that the girlfriend denies you doing that (to the amount of standing in your way and denying you to leave the apartment, and, if you did that you had to return your key and if you didn't do that she would file for theft of the key and replace locks and do as described above with putting your stuff on the floor outside the apartment, possibly damaged, piece by piece and over time.
Aside of this there's other things going on: The girlfriend's telling lies. Obviously it's not clear to what amount, but in some instances it was clearly verifiable. Confronted with this she denies it being a lie but having said something unintentionally. Now, of course, it's not a lie if you're asked for the time and say "It's 10:39." while it's 10:49 on your watch and you mistook 39 for 49 etc.
Her lies are different. One example: Associated with the apartment is a garage which needs a separate key to be accessed. In your car you have a copy of this key so you can access it when returning home. On instances when there's strife she takes the key from your car (as a similar statement of throwing you out) without telling you. While that doesn't provide too big of a problem in general (there's plenty parking space elsewhere nearby), there's the fact that she takes it and denies having taken it. Now, obviously reporting a theft therefore to the police isn't a good idea. ;-) Also, confronting her with the fact that she has taken it, produces either denial or the same 'it-was-unintentional' excuse.
Finally, a core problem that I think exists in this, is the fact that she cannot or will not confess to problems created or added to by herself. There's not so much ground to cover as far as saying sorry out of politness goes, but more in fact as far as actually and just acknowledging that she did something wrong.
So, summarized: I'm looking for (in order of importance from top to bottom)..
- How you would (re)act if you were in that situation?
- How would you hold up in the situation where it goes against your values, your hopes, your aspirations, goals, dreams etc. not to stand against something she plans, does, wants etc. vs. being thrown out of the apartment for not dropping your plan, goal, hope, value, aspiration?
- How would you react in the garage key thing?
- How would you go about trying to get her to confess/acknowledge that she did something wrong when she (very clearly, rather than when it's not so clear) did?
Again, any and all advice is welcome; I might not be the best person to coach other people in relationships but to me it seems that the boyfriend in this case has not only run out of ideas but also run out of time before a resolution to this in some way will force itself on the situation.
The boyfriend hasn't lost hope for the relationship totally but after a lot of talking and a lot of thinking sees that he can't continue like this (especially when there are other things that meanwhile seriously seem to get dragged into it, like studying neglected etc).
P. S.: Even on impulse, I do consider 'Dump her.' as advice, but it'd be a lot more helpful if you wrote a bit more of what you think (as moving out doesn't work as planned).
I've tried to come up with a good idea on what to do and it's more so complicated that as a friend I don't want to recommend something which wouldn't work out or, just say 'This is too complicated, go ask someone else for advice'.
P. P. S.: I've considered recommending Mira Kirshenbaum's 'Too Good To Leave To Bad To Stay', but since I haven't read that myself (and although there are many good reviews of it), I'd say it would be good and nice advice in general but in some way also feel like I was trying to evade the situation myself.
|09-08-2007, 03:14 AM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: May 2007
I am not normally a fan of avoiding confrontations but in this case if the boyfriend wants to try and work thru the relationship issuses with the girl he needs a 'place' of more power where he is not vulnerable to threats.
Pack as much stuff as he can and get out when she is not home (cut a class if you need to). Leave a note and say when you will be back to have a talk about it, leave the keys with the note. Make that a day or 2 out so both have time to cool down a bit.
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