LIFE

I Asked My Ex To Move Out 1 Year Ago. Now, I Regret My Choice

becca by Rebecca Endicott
Becca is a writer and aspirational dog owner living in NYC.

They say that every rose has its thorn, and that’s true of life too. We all go through ups and downs, and the low moments just make the high points that much more meaningful.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that dilemmas just go away on their own! That’s why we started Ask Becca, a weekly advice column for tackling life’s problems, big and small.

I’m Becca and I’m here to help! If you have a question of your own, send it my way, to AskBecca@LittleThings.com!

I get a ton of questions in my inbox, and every Friday I pick four to answer. Readers are also encouraged to add their own advice in the comments!

Last week, we covered everything from family money troubles to addicts who won’t get help.

This week, we’re discussing a sexist partner, parents who bully, saying goodbye to an ex, and the merits of staying single.

Scroll through below for my very best advice!

**names have been changed to protect privacy

Photo Credit: Flickr / Steven Depolo ; Wikimedia Commons

Fiance sits in front of TV while Marie continues to do household chores
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Hello Becca!

I have been with my fiancé three years, he is 14 years my senior. (I am 25 and he is 38.)

We have a beautiful baby girl together who is 18 months old, and he has two older boys (9 and 11) from a previous relationship.

I love my fiancé, but [sometimes] I really can’t stand him….and I don’t know what to do.

I find him unfair most of the time. He will get mad if the house is not clean, supper is not ready, etc, but he NEVER helps me out.

I am expected to work, take care of all the house work, all the animals, all three kids, get the groceries, and make all the appointments, including his.

I just feel overwhelmed, so much so that now I need to navigate through extreme anxiety and depression, which I have NEVER had before.

I spend my days trying to get [everything] done,  not because I want to, but because I don’t want to be told how much of a bad housewife I am.

When he gets home he sits in front of the TV and that’s it… [His view?] He works hard and deserves to relax.

Does he ask me to fix the brakes on my car or fix the bathroom sink? No — then why should I ask him to put away his clothes that I just washed and folded?That’s my job!

And to top it all off, my depression is too hard on him, and I should get help because my mental issues are not his problem.

I don’t normally ask strangers for advice but I don’t want to talk to friends or family because I don’t want them to see him in a negative way, and the only person in my life who could have helped me passed away 1 month before our daughter was born…(My mother)

I just want to know if I am being ridiculous like he says or am I right to get mad at his lack of participation in everything.

Thank you,

**Marie

Becca's Best Advice

Dear Marie,

You are absolutely not being ridiculous. I can’t think of a single good reason for your fiancé to sit on his keester while you wait on him hand and foot.

Partnerships require balance, with two people sharing the work equally. 

Now, I haven’t visited your home or tracked your man down to his job to be sure, but it really doesn’t sound like he’s doing as much work as you are.

You’re both employed, working paying jobs, and yet it sounds like he is responsible for…what? Fixing the breaks and dealing with clogs.

Meanwhile, you’re raising three kids, running a household, and making sure dinner is on the table every night when he gets home from work. Doesn’t sound balanced to me.

It’s no wonder that you’re experiencing anxiety and depression from the intense stress of keeping everything in the air.

It is absolutely your right to draw a line in the sand and demand a fair division of labor.

It sounds like he might be holding on to an antiquated idea that the man works all day and comes home to a happy housewife, but he might need a not-so-gentle reminder that it’s 2017, and he needs to pull his weight at home.

If he listens and really starts to assist in the house, I wouldn’t be surprised if you experience a dramatic uptick in mood too.

Domestic stress can be a very strong trigger for episodes of anxiety and depression, and alleviating it can have an incredible impact on your mental state.

It’s also worth scheduling an appointment with a therapist to help develop additional strategies for dealing with emotional upheaval.

Warm wishes for a happy household,

Becca

Mom shames 15 year old daughter for weight gain
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Hi Becca,

I am a fifteen-year-old girl; I gained weight and I am happy about that but frustrated at the same time.

Because I have cellulite on my waist, my parents and brother say hurtful things to me like “you eat like a pig,” “eat less or you’re going to be a fat*ss,” or “I am ashamed of you.”

Those words feel like a knife in the back. It makes me want to run away from home or kill myself.

I tried to eat less and do a workout but I am one of those people that starts a routine halfway through and then gives up…

I just don’t know with to do to stop hearing those hurtful words from my family.

Sincerely,

15 year-old in need

Becca's Best Advice

Dear In Need,

I am here to tell you one thing, and one thing only: you are beautiful.

I’m not generally in the business of telling 15-year-olds to stop listening to Mom and Dad, but seriously, stop listening.

So you put on a few pounds. So what? You’re 15; I can promise that your body is going to change every week for the next five years.

You might gain some weight here, lose some there, and then wake up at 18 realizing that your whole body has rearranged itself.

As long as you’re healthy and your doctor isn’t concerned about your weight, you shouldn’t be either. You don’t need to diet or exercise excessively unless it’s medically necessary.

Also, I’d like to point out the most important part of your question: “I am happy about [gaining weight.]”

Honestly, that phrase is all that matters. If you feel better with a few extra pounds, that should be the end of the story.

As for your family and their bullying, there’s really no excuse. Calling your daughter or sister “fat pig” is totally out-of-line and inappropriate, even if they say it’s a “joke.”

Tell them how hurtful it is. Tell them that you like your body better now and you’re happy with how you look.

If the comments don’t stop, I would recommend talking to a trusted teacher or guidance counselor at school about the hurtful environment at home.

Also, if ever you have suicidal thoughts, be sure to reach out to someone at the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can call them 24/7 (1-800-273-8255), or chat online with them here.

You’re beautiful; don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise!

Becca

Confused Mama looks at ex's moving boxes with regret
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Hi Becca,

I’m having a really rough time right now. My son’s father is moving out of my house. We have been separated for almost a year and I have been trying to get him to leave for almost as long.

Now that he is actually leaving, I’m having very mixed emotions. I’m ecstatic that he is finally leaving but I’m devastated at the same time. We have lived together for over six years and I’m terrified about living alone.

What is going on with me and what should I do?

Very confused Mama

Becca's Best Advice

Hi, Confused.

What you’re going through right now is totally, 100 percent normal. The end of a long relationship is always a painful and troubling time, even if it’s really been over for years.

It’s natural to feel scared and to get cold feet about your decision, but you’re brave and you will get through this.

Your ex is an “ex” for a reason, and you already did the hard part by asking him to leave your home and make his own life separately.

There will always be something between the two of you, because you share a child and a history, but clearly the relationship was no longer working.

It’s also not your fault that he delayed moving out for a year. That long, drawn-out goodbye just makes it more difficult to finally cut the cord and get the distance you need from one another.

I won’t lie to you; you might feel very lonely for a little while. He’s been a presence in your life for years, and there will certainly be a feeling of a emptiness at first, but once it’s just you and your kiddo, you’ll slowly develop a new way of being a family. You’ll fill your home with new memories and warmth and happiness.

One day, you might even invite a new significant person into your household.

For now, just focus on staying strong. Don’t lose your resolve; having your ex move out is the healthiest thing for everybody, and you just have to stand your ground and remember why the relationship ended in the first place.

Stay strong, Mama!

Becca

Girlfriend is frustrated with boyfriend's lack of personality and initiation
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Dear Becca,

I have always been one of those girls who is always in a relationship. I recently got out of a relationship of over a year that wasn’t my choice. I have since moved on and am dating a really nice guy.

The one issue is he has no personality or gumption for life!

All my previous relationships I was head over heels in a matter of weeks/months and felt like I was dating my best friend. With this new guy at times I feel something but most times I don’t.

I feel like I have to initiate everything and it gets very exhausting. It’s been 4 months and I just wonder will this feeling change, will he open up more, or am I settling?

He does have a good foundation that has potential but I’m worried I’m working on a endless cause. Am I just being petty or just need patience?

Sincerely,

Petty or Patience

Becca's Best Advice

Dear Petty or Patience,

My first instinct? If you don’t like your boyfriend’s personality, your relationship probably doesn’t have legs.

I think you already described the real issue here when you explained that you’re “one of those girls who is always in a relationship.”

Being single is totally new to you, and trying new things is not easy. It’s simpler to stick with your pattern and keep coupled up. That’s your mistake.

Your description of your boyfriend is pretty lackluster. The impression I’m getting is that you think it could be a great relationship, but that you just need a little time to change everything about him.

I sound critical, but I’m not; I am speaking from experience. It is really tempting to fall in love with the potential of somebody, without actually enjoying who they are as a person.

My recommendation is to break things off with this guy, whom you don’t seem so into. “No personality or gumption for life” is a pretty strong indictment.

Here’s the thing: when you break things off, you can’t just immediately jump into the next relationship that floats your way.

I recommend staying single for awhile, maybe six months or a year. Try to take care of your relationship with yourself, then figure out what you are looking for in a partner.

When you’re ready to start dating again, you’ll know who you’re looking for, and you can be selective and careful before settling into a long-term relationship.

There are plenty of fish in the sea; enjoy them!

Becca

LittleThings Writer Becca
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

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