Are His Girl's Problems Also His?
Q: My girl wants to move in, but I'm not sure. She has money problems and stays over almost every night anyway. She's had some bad breaks in life, and her family treats her badly and doesn't help. She just lost her job because her boss was a jerk.
But now I'm beginning to wonder what's up. She lost two other jobs before that and she always complains that her manager is mean or doesn't understand when she's out sick a lot. She's a lot younger than me and kind of immature. I'm afraid if she moves in, she might just stop trying to get work. I'm not sure how much she's trying anyway. But I don't want to be cold and not help her. I want to tell her no but won't that make me seem like a bad guy? What if we break up because I won't let her move in and she doesn't have anywhere to live?—Jay, 28
Dr. Susan: Whoa, Jay! You may be taking on a lot more responsibility than you need to. Let's get this clear first: Do you love her and want to marry her? If so, then helping her get on her feet makes sense. Otherwise, her pattern of job problems and immaturity aren't actually your concern. You have way too many qualms about living together with her, so I recommend not doing it. That's not being cold, or a bad guy. It's being cautious and self-preserving. If the two of you break up because you won't let her move in, her living situation will work itself out as it did before she met you. She needs to take responsibility and stop blaming her bosses for all her work problems. Good luck.
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Advice for Her
Advice for Him
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.