*This article is a work of nonfiction based on actual events recounted to me by a friend who witnessed them firsthand; used with permission
Having the person you love living with you every day can be very fulfilling, and it's one step closer to getting married and having your own family. But what do you do when you see bills keep adding up and you're the only one earning money to pay for groceries and every other expense, including rent?
Is it ok for someone to expect their love will cover everything else and it won't matter if they make any money or not because they care so much about you?
My friend Lorna has been dating Josh, her boyfriend, for three years. During this time, they went out to different restaurants, met each other's siblings and parents, and went to family parties and birthdays in Phoenix, Arizona.
"Mom and dad like Josh a lot and how helpful and attentive he is. My brothers also think he's great, and they watch games together. His parents were happy to meet me, and I felt like his mom thought I was the right kind of girlfriend for him. I was so lucky I didn't get to have some unpleasant in-laws always criticizing me for anything. I'm looking forward to spending even more time with them," Lorna said.
Even though most people assumed they would get married in a few months because everything went so well, Lorna and Josh wanted to be sure about their goals.
"We didn't feel like rushing to get engaged or planning a wedding before we knew clearly what we both wanted for our future. Raising a family and having a nice home also means good jobs, so there was no way we'd get married too fast," Lorna added.
As time went by, they realized they missed each other and didn't want to be away anymore. Josh asked her if she'd like to move into a new apartment together, and she agreed to look for a place to rent with him.
Unfortunately, they didn't find one that they liked or that was available as fast as they needed it, so they decided Josh should move in with Lorna.
"I was happy to have him in my apartment. I didn't want to waste so much time looking for a place or constantly checking availability. I was already paying rent, and I could add him to the lease. So, once we did that, he packed his things, and we finally began seeing what it was like sharing the same space all day, every day," Lorna said.
Josh was also keen on figuring out whether Lorna could be a housewife when they eventually got engaged and married, so he felt it was a good chance to see her cooking and doing other house chores.
As it turns out, he didn't feel like sharing in any housework, and the dishes got left in the sink for at least two days when Lorna didn't get the time to do that.
And Josh wasn't busy with work or overtime. He was watching TV or playing games. The last job he had was part-time, and he gave up on it one week after moving in with Lorna.
"I thought it was temporary, and if he wasn't happy doing that work, I encouraged him to look for something else. But I didn't realize he would just stay home with me and do nothing. I keep asking about interviews and applications, and he always finds an excuse. I can't get him to find something and start contributing to costs," Lorna said.
Several weeks passed with no change, and Lorna was starting to lose patience. She wants to try and be positive, and she still cares about Josh, but she's confused about the way he's behaving. And on top of it all, now he's started to criticize her because she's not cooking or cleaning fast enough while he's watching her.
"I don't understand any of it. He moved in with me; I pay bills, cook, and work. He complains I'm slow. Why did he come to live here if he can't earn anything and dislikes the way I do things? It would be so much faster if he actually got up and helped. I told him so many times, but no effect. He couldn't care less, but he will shout when his dinner is late," Lorna said.
Her parents advised her not to renew the lease and move as soon as possible. They no longer think Josh would be a good husband for their daughter and are doubtful he could ever want or be able to support a family.
What do you think about this situation? Is it fair for Lorna to be the only one paying bills, groceries, and rent when Josh's name is on the lease too? Should he be more responsible and find a job to do his share while supporting his girlfriend and avoid any further criticism?
Comments / 164