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Is it 'normal' to always have to pay everything for a woman, even in a relationship?


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Hi, I'm in a relationship with a Ukranian woman. She's a refugee. I met her about a year ago. I'm from a western European country, so with an entirely different culture.

At this whole time, from the moment we dated until now, I paid for everything. And I mean everything! Gifts of course, that's normal, but drinks, food, any type of groceries, tickets for museums, travel costs, holidays, etc. Now she has now basically moved in with me now. I even let her mom stay in my apartment, because the refugee studio they both had, is extremely noisy and her mom would otherwise be alone, missing her daughter, and wouldn't be able to get any rest, so now they can be much more together, which helps heal them considering their home country's situation.

Anyway. Being in a relationship with a woman, for the first time in your life, at the age of 38 is already a challenge due to my lack of experience. But I really like her. I want to be with her. Even though I have a decent salary, providing for three people on one income, stresses me of course. It's not that I don't have any money left at the end of the month, it's just that it's not that much.

So here's the thing. From the start, my girlfriend has never offered to pay for anything. She took it for granted that I always pay. I live in a western European country where women work almost as much as men, and costs seem generally shared if they both work.

I searched the internet here and there, but I never got a definite answer if it's 'normal'. Maybe it's expected in Ukranian culture that men always pay for everything, without question? I can't help feel unappreciated. I don't like my job, so it adds to the frustration. Of course she does stuff in my apartment, sorting, cleaning, washing, she even scrubs the toilet so sparkling clean you thought it was new. 

She transformed my apartment from a dirthole, to a clean and tidy place to live in. Dang, I really appreciate that. Also, she taught me about hygiene etiquette. Threw out all my old, dirty overly used towels, sheets, even my blankets and scrubbed my mattress cover clean by hand. I paid for replacement of course. Written notes are starting to appear in my apartment to remind me about hygiene etiquette. I guess it's good, though I have difficulties transforming myself from a 'dirty' man to a normal 'clean' man with good manners.

Anyway, I notice I have to keep convincing myself she is not 'using me' financially. I keep comparing and thinking, is she really spending the same hours maintaining my apartment that I spend hours making money at work? Is it balanced like this? Is it fair?

She isn't officially registered in my rental apartment. So she doesn't officially live here. This means she doesn't have to do this all. But this also means she gets to keep her monthly allowance from my government. She does watch every penny I spend, and she's good at it too, She knows where and how to find quality stuff for a good if not cheap price. But I can't let go of the idea that since I'm paying for everything and have perhaps a hundred Euros left for savings at the end of the month, she is saving almost three times the amount every month, because she doesn't need to use her allowance anymore, but still receives it.

So in summary, I'm working 4 days a week, despite having a decent salary, but I actually have less money left at the month to save than her. I don't like my job, so it hurts me when I imagine her doing a few hours of chores a day at my apartment, and after 'relaxing' the rest of the day, while I come home frustrated, and have less money in my own pocket every month than her.

She wants me to appreciate the things she did at my apartment that day after I come home. But she never thanks me for working every day to provide for her, and her mom. It makes me feel bad. It drives me crazy. Added the fact she saves more money than me, with seemingly less effort. With her mom here too, it even halves the amount of effort need to clean etc, but it doubles my costs. Sometimes I feel my girlfriend is letting her mom clean more, so my girlfriend is doing even less.

I feel I am perhaps whining too much about money. Of course I would like to provide and help both. But I don't feel appreciated. Thanking me for working, paying for a holiday etc, I need words, that's all. I shouldn't have to ask for appreciation. I initially didn't thank her for doing stuff in my apartment, but started doing it because she felt unappreciated. I assumed it was normal as 'trade off' that's why I didn't say thanks. It was for me like, I'm working at my job, so you're doing stuff at my apartment.

I haven't really got anything to compare with. My brother and sister both work and have a working partner. I don't know how it is in Ukranian culture. Often I feel used, and find myself convincing myself she's doing things for me, that cannot be expressed in Euros. She waves me with grand smile goodbye when I leave for work, and wishes me good luck and a light working day. I leave happily to work. But dang it, as soon as I drive home after a work day, bad thoughts come to my mind again.

The whole 'dialogue' about my and her work, the 'trade off' thing starts again in my head, I return home frustrated and almost upset (at her). I don't tell her why, and I try to hide it. But it's a terrible burden in my mind and it starts to make me feel suspicious of her intentions. Is she using me to get ahead in life? Letting me pay for everything to have a good life, while saving all her money, only to leave me after and perhaps move on to the next guy? 

As I just wrote that, it doesn't make any sense to me. Exactly how would she get ahead in life saving a few hundred Euros every month? I know she has worked many months full time here though. She once told me she wanted to save money to buy a home for herself in her country. She really, really doesn't like my country, but loves hers because of the natural beauty. This adds to my suspicion she is not here to stay. We did discuss though, I would not move to Ukraine I think, certainly not now.

So I notice a lot of distrust and uncertainty on my side. I want to be with her of course. Sometimes I feel like asking her to marry me. To finally attach her to me. Giving me peace of mind she won't leave me and stay with me forever. I find myself in doubt though. Maybe she says no? What if I find out she never wanted me? I feel though, I am actually leaving her in uncertainty. I am a man who needs some alone time a day, heck, I am not even used to being this much with a woman, being much with a woman at all. I find myself scared and doubtful bringing up marriage. This paying for everything thing made me distrustful of her.

I am still not really an as assertive and confident man as I would like to be. Sometimes I feel she wants to decide every thing. When I don't decide something she can get upset about it. But when I take the lead, I notice her becoming less confident, and I feel bad for her, and in turn, about myself. But I also don't want to go back to pleasing 'yes man' mode. I have spent in the beginning, more on her than I could afford.

She did tell me back then though, if I didn't have money for something I simply shouldn't buy it. But I didn't want to lose her, or make her feel limited in what we can do and she can get. I don't want to come across as a poor man, and I certainly don't want to lose her because of it. Maybe I have always thought women want a man with money? I drive a cheap simple car. My apartment isn't big. Neither is my income. And she stayed with me the whole time. But she never acknowledged that I am the one paying for everything. I just want to be appreciated for that.

But I'm scared she will get upset about it if I bring it up. She might find out I have had suspicious and distrustful thoughts about her. It could really hurt her if her intentions were never bad. It could ruin the relationship, though I feel it already has a large impact now as you could read. She many times she told me she wanted to live in a simple house in nature. Work a bunch of months in a foreign rich country, and relax in her country of origin, where everything is so much cheaper you don't need much money.

Meanwhile, have entrepeneurial intentions. I feel I am materialistic. Maybe that adds to the 'balance trade off' problem I have in my mind. Now. She has worked many months full time, in my country. Her costs at the time were basically only groceries. It's very likely she's got a fat savings account. I am worried about this. If she decides to leave me, I will have saved almost nothing, while she lived for free and saved money even, to finally move to that house in nature, alone, and would be able to afford it. It feels unfair to me. At any time, she can take her bags and move somewhere else with this kind of money. Though she hasn't though. So why am I so worried? It all feels very double to me.

I go back and forth all the time in my mind desperately trying to find balance. I just can't let go of the idea she is 'using me' to put it simply. Am I being paranoid and too distrustful of her? How do I find out she isn't using me? How do I even begin to find out? How do I get this thinking out of my mind? What should I do?

Thank you so much for reading! 🙏

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Calmandfocused

You openly and honestly tell her that you can’t afford to keep her on the wages that you’re on. Suggest she start contributing to the household income by finding herself a job! 
 

However what’s good for goose is good for the gander. If she finds a full time job you need to help with the housework. Equality works both ways. 
 

You need to handle this very sensitively. Ukrainian woman are culturally influenced to look after their men and gain minimum education.
 

She may not know/ understand that you expect something different from her. I think this is more likely than her purposely setting out to use you. 

Meanwhile stop paying for everything. She does claim benefits right? 
 

 

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introverted1
4 hours ago, ST05 said:

this also means she gets to keep her monthly allowance from my government.

What does she do with this money?  Why isn't some of going toward your shared living expenses? 

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d0nnivain

Finances ruin a lot of relationships.   You need to start talking to her about money.  Suggest she pay a bit toward rent or chip in for groceries.  

Given that she's a refugee in a war torn country she is probably saving every penny because she's terrified about what could happen next.   Be gentle when you open this discussion but if you are going to be a team, she has to contribute.  

Edited by d0nnivain
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Alpacalia

Have you asked her if it is a cultural difference or if there is a specific reason why she doesn't contribute financially? Ask her directly why she doesn't offer to pay for anything or contribute financially. Sounds like she does contribute in other ways with the cleaning...but you're not happy with that division of labor.

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I agree she is saving up every penny to return to her country after the war. She said clearly she wants to return so why are you in this temporary relationship burning money.

If l am right some western european country have the minimum garanteed revenue around 2000 euro/ per month. That means her and her mom bring in together 4000 Euro a month. Soon they'll have more savings than you.

It's time for a conversation yes, but it's also time you ask yourself what you're doing in this temporary relationship.

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It's all about her culture. So if this doesn't work for you just tell her. She can then make the decision to pay up or buck off.

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I don't know anything about Ukrainian culture. But let's say it's Ukrainian culture for the guy to pay for everything. You're not Ukrainian. So if your relationship is to work, it should incorporate aspects of both your cultures that you can both live harmoniously with.

I feel like you're doing way too much, probably because this is your first serious relationship and you don't have a sense of what is appropriate and you're trying too hard to please everyone apart from yourself. That's one of the reasons why you're resentful. You are doing way too much.

You had her move in too early in your relationship. And I know for a fact that it was too early because you're not comfortable talking frankly with her about finances and about what you want. These are basic conversations in any relationship. They shouldn't automatically cause two mature people to break up.

Allowing her mum to move in too was rather extreme. It would be different if you were a married couple because then her mum would be your mother-in-law. But you're still just getting to know each other. 

Anyway, you need to open up to her and talk frankly about stuff. 

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Nawidimaq

Hard to say, really...

It sounds like she really upgraded your standard of living for someone 38 years old.  That on its own is priceless.  She's proving free maid service, free chef service, free cleaning service,  free s*x service, she freed you from a life of no dating.  Now, was it wise for you to have let her into your home in the first place? No, it wasn't, but we're here now. "What if's" don't matter at this point.

Oh, and that money is her money.  About the most of what you put in will be $.78.  You're not the only person in your country being taxed.

Invasion and war tore her country apart.  That's the only reason why you have a girlfriend right now. If all was quiet in her country, she'd be there with a clean man.

If you want them out of your place, tell your management that they're there so they can tell them to move out. But be prepared for karma when it lands on your head.

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Ami1uwant

I don’t know the rules in your country on those from Ukraine able to work. Can she at all?

I would have great hesitancy in doing such a relationship if their long term plans were to return to home country.

 

the culture where I am from, in USA, would be different where there is an expectation of both working.  It’s rare to have one be a stsy st home and not work and was not raising/ caring for children.

 

Finance is a big issue in relationships. It’s what cause my divorce.  She had a medical issue come up and I supported her in this.  When she got better she didn’t want to work.

 

have you talked to her about her work history? What sort of education she has?

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Alpacalia

What do you expect? You've put yourself completely on the line, voluntarily, b/c you fell in love with this woman.

You've helped her and her mother as much as you could, now she's got the support she wanted, and now she has a place in Europe where her mom can stay - practically for free, without the pains of living in unknown places. And yet she cleans your apartment and taught you how to take care of yourself without paying for new towels and new sheets...

Either you're nuts or this girl is some kind of saint.
Either you're a great provider, or she's an ungrateful user.

So what do you want? You want her to pay some portion of your salary? You decide on your complaining tone. If it's not enough or too little or you're not grateful or she's using you.

Sometimes, signs are too obvious. You have two working hands and feet, and she does not. You with your million euros would, and should have given to your 'love' fairly paid work. It is clear to me why she made you loyal, you pay for her free time. Oh you were not mindful of that... You were playing stupid but you knew this.

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ShyViolet

This woman is completely using you.  It very much sounds like she is using this situation to save up and eventually leave and go back to her country.  And you are allowing it.  Your gut is telling you this is a completely imbalanced situation.  Why are you letting her mom live with you too???  That is completely weird.

And why is this your first relationship ever, at age 38?

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The back and forth thoughts you're experiencing, one minute angry and feeling used, next minute convincing yourself that her housework constitutes a reasonable contribution, is a battle between your heart and your head. Your heart wants the companionship, but your head's telling you that basically you're paying for her company. Listen to your head, hearts tend to make stupid decisions. While I'm compassionate towards what she and her mother have been through, it doesn't excuse them free-loading off of a lonely and vulnerable guy. They're taking full advantage of your kindness and generosity. What's going on with their refugee studio?  Have you been there since the mother moved into your place? Is it possible they're renting it to someone else illegally? If she's working now why isn't she contributing to the household expenses? She's stashing away thousands while you feed and house her and her mother! The nerve of her! Ask yourself what sort of person does that. Regardless of what their cultural background is, unless they're deaf, blind, and stupid they know very well that they're sponging off of you. Doing housework is a contribution, but if you boil it down to dollar value, you can hire a cleaning lady to come once a week and it would be vastly cheaper than hosting these two. I suggest that you explain to her that she must start contributing to household expenses, for instance she buy all of the groceries and pay half, (at least), of the utilities. If she starts gas-lighting you by telling you that she's saved you money with her cheap-skate shopping tips and improved your life by polishing your toilet, evict them on the spot, but if she readily agrees to contribute and tells you all you had to do is ask, part of your problem's solved. The other part, where you worry she'll leave you - I'm guessing yes, she would if you insisted she pay half of everything. As for wanting to marry her to keep her with you, never marry a woman whose company you have to pay for because you'll end up having to pay to get rid of her. 

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It’s not normal in my relationship - we both contribute to the cost of the mortgage, living expenses, and we take turns paying for meals when we go out. 

I don’t think either of us would be in a relationship where the expectation is that one of us would be financial responsible for anything. My soon to be husband found himself in a similar situation in his first marriage - which pretty much lead to his divorce. 

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Lotsgoingon

There is another issue here. Have you been acting as if you could afford to pay for her? 

It's very easy for guys to get hooked into (hooking themselves) acting like they can afford treating women in ways that they can't really afford.

You got to get honest with her. 

In addition, you got to be more real--on a range of topics-- earlier. I wonder if there are other ways you're hiding key information from her. 

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I think the nature of the situation is pretty obvious. This woman is willing to live in an apartment without any legal right to be there-no name on  lease, not an official occupant, nothing. This speaks to desperation. The way you describe your physical grooming and the state of your home prior to the relationship also lead me to think she is desperate. She has her station in life, her viewpoint. She is a person in desperate need of a place to stay. Even, as you referred to it, a "dirthole" is good enough for her. She is not going to prioritize spending her money for the sake of proving some concept of "equality." She has more pressing concerns.

You seem to be coming at this relationship from a different station in life, a different viewpoint. You are a middle-aged man who has never been in a relationship. Your priority seems to be not rocking the boat, lest she leave and then who knows when you'll get a woman again. Realistically, I think that if you tell her to go get a job and produce income and split bills, she will start looking around for a man who won't make those demands. And if that happened, you would have to decide if it's worth it to maintain your physical grooming and hygiene as well as the cleanliness of your living space without her assistance. If not, you will likely be single again for a very long period of time.

Nothing about your relationship is "normal," at least not to me. Sure, most women earn money and help with bills, but most women aren't refugees living in an apartment they have no legal right to and leaving post it notes to remind their man about "hygiene etiquette." It sounds like you are both the best each other can do.

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This is unfortunately part of how things are if you are dating a refugee. Considering that you can't even put her name on your lease, can she even work legally? And if she does work full time and split the bills, are you going to be splitting the housework with her as well to keep the apartment in a reasonable state of cleanliness, or are you expecting her to regress to living in a pig sty like you previously did?

Realistically, I don't think that you are being "used" but rather that there's a trade going on here. You're a 38-yo man with terrible housekeeping skills who has never been in a relationship. You're dating a presumably young and attractive woman who is willing to overlook all these things and spend time scrubbing a house that she has no stake in whatsoever. I don't think it's a stretch to assume that yes, the finances are part of the equation. If she was to pay 50/50 for everything, I think it's safe to assume that she probably wouldn't be with you.

So at the end of the day, the question is do YOU feel like this relationship is worth it? If you don't, then break up with her and end the trade. It's fairly straightforward.

Also, FYI, marriage doesn't "attach" anyone to you, and it's concerning that you think it does. Anyone can leave you if they choose to, even if they are married to you.

Edited by Els
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12 hours ago, IrinaM said:

leaving post it notes to remind their man about "hygiene etiquette."

Right?!? I'm just sitting here trying to imagine how and why a 38-yo person needs reminders to not use a filthy towel... and honestly my imagination is falling short.

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To be fair, you're 38, have never had a girlfriend and up until now, have had unacceptable living and hygiene standards.  Perhaps paying for her is worth if for the lessons in how to be a boyfriend, and in future, be the kind of man who may be able to attract a woman 

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I think some of the comments are quite interesting and for what its worth I have been on dates with people from Russia and Ukraine (tourists) and not once has any of them ever offered to contribute toward the dinner, which is fine because I accept that. I have communicated with a lot of more ladies from these countries and yes to a degree it is seen as culture that the man provides and again there is nothing wrong with this.

Either you accept this cultural difference or you try arrange some sort of compromise but either way there will not, in my view be any scenario that could be called ideal.

Granted if I were in your shoes and I found here an attractive person, who I enjoyed spending time around, well I'd probably just pay because as much as everyone says dating is easy, its actually not for most people who cannot find relationships by say age 35.

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ZA Dater,

In many countries The picture of the man as a Bread winner as well as the reluctance of women in those countries to have everything paid by a man is dominant.

I recall when I dated couple of woman from eastern Europe this was perfectly normal to see the man pay and get gifts and so on; In middle east and Arab cultures ( the place I come from); it is even worse :) 

majority of Women are educated, work and reach good positions, they are almost equated with Men; but they not only they don't spend from their money they even demand to have a perduim for being a wife .

 

Ironically tis runs in many Middle eastern countries even non muslim Marriages...

The point I want to emphasize is that , Many women coming from those cultures are born, tought to live this way .

In my opinion , if this lady make you happy ( I can see that she made your home decent and made you cleaner :)-then her job to be your partner and changing you lifestyle to better is worth all the money you spend; in one word ,don't be cheap and loose her if she is the one.

otherwise if it is like a friends with benefits kind of relationship ; then making you happy and again clean is worth it .

If you are just using her, then I advise you to leave her because you won't deserve her in this case; she will find  someone who respect her and not treat her like an object.

If I find a lady  who really loves me I wouldn't care if I spend all my money on her!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Herkamer63

Okay, I found quite a few mistakes you made:

-Your first and greatest mistake, despite what popular belief and practice is, you NEVER EVER move you girlfriend into your place unless you are MARRIED. She's living there, more or less, for free. Eating your food, drinking your drinks, sleeping in your bed, she's taking advantage of you on this front. From what I had seen and heard, it has not only ruined relationships (destroying the love between 2 people), but it's going to wreck you financially, especially with 3 people living there. So yeah, big mistake there.

-The next thing is paying for everything. Again, greatest mistake was moving her into your place to begin with, but, if she were paying for the food, drinks, and helping out with rent and other bills, okay, it's not as bad. But if you're paying for literally everything, that's a red flag on her when she's not offering to pay for some of the cost. If you were pulling down a pretty sizable 6 figure salary, it wouldn't be as bad, but I'm assuming you're not. Your wallet's going to take a beating and you'll be hanging on by a thread.

-Letting her do the work around the place. Yeah, if it looks nice, fine, but if her mom's doing the cleaning instead while she's doing less, red flag. For a married couple, it's normal under the circumstances of the home being nice and clean while the other spouse is off working. At least the more stable married couples, though, discuss what they want to decide as a couple how to fix up the place, not one person do all the decision making. There's no reward for a guy in the "happy wife, happy life" way of thinking. Men need to be the leaders of their own place. You invited her into YOUR home, so she NEEDS to be talking as what need to be worked on, not letting her decide on it.

-Did I mention moving her into your place was your greatest mistake? If I have, I'll repeat it: MOVING HER INTO YOUR PLACE WAS THE BIGGEST MISTAKE YOU MADE!

I'm sorry if I'm coming off as forceful and snarky, but too many men fall for this trap. I've seen a few men, one of them being a good friend of mine, who made these mistakes and it costed them not only a relationship, but also, if they went further, marriages. I have brothers that have made the same mistakes because they allowed their wives run over top of them. My oldest brother got divorced because his ex-wife took advantage of him and then proceeded to cheat on him. Marriage only lasted 6 months and I think the relationship, overall, didn't last a year. They got engaged only a month after meeting, his ex butting heads with one of my other brothers and accusing me of certain things, it was just one thing after another. And when the breakup happened, she had the audacity to say that my brother was the abusive one when all he did was do what she said. He's in his 2nd marriage now and things are better, even had a kid with her, but it's still not as good as what it should be. My best friend's first marriage, his ex-wife sent money away to a guy in prison that seduced her over the internet. Of course, there were already red flags about her to begin with.

And I opened up the first mistake with moving your girlfriend into your place. Mainly because that's where it usually begins. But when you BOTH decide to have a place together that's equally as bad. A woman friend of mine (and someone I'm interested in) had told me she and this other man, when she was 19 y/o, had a child together. The boy came unexpectedly, and since then, she had been taking care of the child. She told me her mistake was she gave the father of the son a chance when they were first getting together. Maybe she thought that the guy could change, become a better man, and be a loving father because there were signs of promise. A mistake as big as both moving into a place together (if not a GREATER issue) is having bedroom fun before marriage, especially when there's a kid 9 months later. She acknowledged all this and admitted she was wrong doing all of it. Not that she hasn't dated other guys nor had another boyfriend later in life after her ex, but she said about every single guy she encountered only wanted her in the bedroom. So she avoided having a longer relationship with these men because of what happened with her ex. She realized she was robbed of her 20s, didn't have much time to get out and be with friends, she was physically and mentally abused by her ex (her sister confirmed all this with me), and she struggled financially. She's 31 y/o now, her son's 12 y/o, she has him most of the time, and her ex does have partial custody of their kid so she does have him see their child (which good on her being the bigger person). We have talked extensively on this and she feels bad that this had happened because she could have ended up in a different scenario. Things are getting better, bit by bit, but it's been a long journey for her.

Don't be the one shouldering the entire relationship. Your girlfriend needs to do more if she truly cares about you. The woman in last paragraph, she had done stuff for me and my youngest brother (who has autism), like pay for food, drinks, heck she went as far as not only pay for my stuff for my birthday but also got cupcakes and drinks for my youngest brother. On top of that, she shows appreciation towards what I do for her, shows a lot of kindness and compassion towards my youngest brother, and we continue to do things together. i don't know what the future holds for us, if we're just going to be friends or if we'll advance it beyond just a friendship, but if we did, she would be a good, reasonable, and appreciative woman to be with. She works, she pays her end of the deal, and she's kept her word. It's why I like AND RESPECT her so much. I'll admit she's beautiful and see why so many men had gone after her, but they never got to know her as a person, only the THOUGHT of what THEY wanted, which is, more or less, an arousing object rather than a human being. I like who she is. She's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but she's respectable and honorable enough for someone like me to try and start something. So, yeah, physically attracted to her, but it's who she is and what she does that has me drawn to her more than her looks at this point (and she's a good mother to her son, who she puts at the top of her priority list and works hard to provide a good future for him).

That's the way it should be, you need to have something like about her, rather than the physical aspects. What's her character like? Is she a hard worker? Does she do things for others and for you? How does she treat you and other people? Does she take accountability and responsibility for her own actions? She doesn't offer to pay for hardly anything, so these are some serious questions to ask. You're bringing in all the money, but yet it seems like she abuses your trust instead of respect it. Seems to me she sees you as a tree with money growing off it rather than a human being. Again, I'm trying not to be snarky or mean, but you seem like a good dude and I hate seeing good people get the raw end of the deal. If you decide to have her around, start laying down ground rules for both her AND her mother. This is YOUR home and YOUR income you're allowing her access to. Don't be a piece of meat. Keeping the house clean isn't enough. Have her make you dinner, have a drink ready, find things that you BOTH can enjoy together, and if she refuses to do any of this, her 2 options should be to get a job and pay for stuff on her own (which she should be doing anyway) or to be kicked out. You're the money maker and gone all day. She isn't, and you really can't have alone time because her mother's there. Least she can do is do more than just one thing for you. If you want my brutally honest answer to all this, you need to break up with her and have them both leave because she doesn't sound like she cares much about you. Sorry, but there are women out there that you may find attractive that actually respect you and do things for you, like not have you pay for everything. Just my opinion, but whatever you decide is on you. Good luck!

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Goodguy05
On 2/11/2024 at 7:43 PM, Calmandfocused said:

You openly and honestly tell her that you can’t afford to keep her on the wages that you’re on. Suggest she start contributing to the household income by finding herself a job! 
 

However what’s good for goose is good for the gander. If she finds a full time job you need to help with the housework. Equality works both ways. 
 

You need to handle this very sensitively. Ukrainian woman are culturally influenced to look after their men and gain minimum education.
 

She may not know/ understand that you expect something different from her. I think this is more likely than her purposely setting out to use you. 

Meanwhile stop paying for everything. She does claim benefits right? 
 

 

It seems to be like that these days. I found a lot of woman on the dating apps have very high expectations. Having said that in the long term relationships I've had they certainly were not like that and much more balanced. In the time I been single 9 times out of 10 I'm paying for the dates. Maybe one or two have offered that's it. I'm over it I tell them now no dinner on first date and if they order I let them pay for there meal especially if Its just coffee. There are woman out there who are meal chasers for real. My female friend told me she has friends who just go on dates for free drinks and meals. Woman are much more adept at manipulating men men are easily fooled why because our interest level is most times higher than the females. 

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Before anything, thank you all for your extensive replies. Now my reply is going to be a long one. Get comfortable, and make sure you go to the toilet before you start reading, and make sure to bring snacks and drinks so you won't starve in your chair.

Before anything, you should know I have a tendency to a small degree of paranoia. That sounds terrible, but honestly I don't feel there's anything wrong with my judgment, intelligence, or even gut feeling (of which the latter I don't seem to listen to). Now when I say paranoia, I mean that I can be very suspicious of people's true intentions. My father more or less used me in my late 20s, after he picked physical fights with me, literally did not speak to me for a year, whilst both living in the same home with my mom. He intimidated me this year in many ways.

After we spoke again, me being mentally destroyed during this year, I felt like he continually wanted me to do chores for him, as a 'compensation' for the benefit I was on. He never received a benfit or has he saw it, 'free money' in his life. Now I was on the benefit because I was unable to work due to the very mental damage that he caused to me, so you can see how it felt like a stab in the back. I did the chores, too. When I tried to refuse, he would tell me 'will you do it or not?'. Now, I was very afraid he was going to kick me out of the house if I didn't listen to him. My sister once told me he unregistered her from the home, so she was forced to move out. I didn't believe her at the time though when she told me that.

Anyway, as I see it now, I felt like he manipulated me into doing these chores. Whenever I made a mistake, or couldn't figure out how to do it, he would use words nothing short to me to basically tell me I'm incompetent, making me feel so bad, frustrated and angry. What father would possibly want to do that to his son? Now, I understand why I've become paranoid. The worst I've done is push him over, and he fell to the ground, after I was unable to contain my anger while he belittled me directly, I felt terrible about it, should I have been? My mom rushed to him, angry at me, I felt even worse, because my mom did not understand the severity of how he has always manipulated me.

What's worse, she never really noticed the intimidation and manipulation. She told me many laters I could have simply moved out. It's true, but I didn't feel strong enough for that. I just really wish she would not have stayed 'neutral' in all of this. I felt, and still feel 'alone' when I think of this past. I try to move on. But I think this trauma still haunts me, leaving me vulnerable.

I have actually always felt vulnerable as a child. I never felt mentally strong. Nor socially skilled, not that I didn't have any friends, or could not get any women by the way. I've been depressed and burned out for over 10 years. Now, I'm back on my feet. Or am I?

 

 

Last sunday, I decided to slowly, but surely confront my girlfriend. I started to ask her why she liked me. Why she wanted to be with me. It was very disappointing to see her struggle to tell me. I got three answers from her: 1) She just likes me. 2) I help her and her mom. 3) (I forgot the third, I can't remember right now). This was not the first time I asked her why she is with me. I never truly got a straight answer. In our 'relationship' I never got a straight answer from her. Not about anything, really. It has all been walking through mist, and I never had rest. Knowing I can be 'paranoid', I constantly felt the need to reconsider and doubt everything she said about me. I mean, if you are aware you can assume the wrong things about people, you need to carefully listen to what she says.

But I also need to be honest about my intentions with her. We're about to go a level deeper. I'll start from beginning to end.

 

I met her on Tinder. I have always been incredibly insecure with women. I don't really know them, so I definitely didn't understand them, sure, I had plenty of dates with women, but for some reason, never pushed through. So basically, I really, really wanted a relationship, see what it was like, experience it.

Honestly, when we matched, I didn't remember swiping her to the right. I wasn't particularly impressed by her face, but her body looked nice. Not much to go from on her personal information though. I know, I am too much focused on physical attraction, need to somehow fix that. Anyway, in our Tinder conversation, she asked if I believed in true love. I didn't know what to say, because I have never truly loved, because I never had a relationship! I didn't lie, but I didn't gve a direct answer either.

Either way, as much as I was scared, and in doubt, I pushed through to ask her on a date. I initially suggested sunday, but she asked if we could move it. I didn't understand why, until I used my gut feeling, and realized tuesday was 14 februari, valentines day. So we met that day.

She didn't particularly speak English very well, I couldn't understand half of what she was trying to tell me. But I wormed my way through, and I remember I smiled more than I should have, which was embaressing now I think of it, not knowing how to make conversation. I remember she spoke a lot, I could hardly get a word in. 

Anyway, she seemed vulnerable though. She told about her father, who she had not seen for dozens of years after leaving her mom. I asked her if she missed him, and she immediately fell into tears. I comforted her, said sorry that I made her cry. Later in the evening, I decided to make a move and kiss her. She went full along with it. 

By the way, since the very moment I have been with her, I've always carried this stone in my stomach. Maybe I didn't simply like her, and I think I blocked my true and the missing feelings for her. Yes, I didn't liked her, I don't know why though. I kept going to try and attempt to make it work.

The next few days, myself being on a benefit still, I had plenty of time, I met her every day the rest of the week. I paid for everything, even knowing I could not keep it up with my limited budget. Even then though, I didn't want to show I could not afford this kind of dating, out of fear of losing her interest. She never offered to pay for anything.

Finally, friday, I asked if she wanted to come to my apartment. She did, and not much later we had sex. I told her I loved her, god knows why, I don't know, it seemed like an arousing thing to say. She stayed the whole weekend as well, which felt too much for me already. 

 

I finally brought her home on sunday evening because she start work again in the fruit fields. The next few days, we chat on Whatsapp. She told me she loved me too. I realized I should not have said that to her before, because it was a lie. I told her the truth after her questioning, and she didn't want to meet me anymore. Things went quiet for weeks, I don't really recall how though, but after much convincing talk from me, she decided to meet me again. Again, I paid for everything, but I think she did tell me before meeting me, on Whatsapp she wanted a traditional family, meaning, the man pays, the woman stays at home.

It still didn't seem fair to me though, that I continued to pay for everything, even though I agreed to knowingly do it myself. But considering we weren't living together, how is it fair I paid for everything? It was clear though that I basically made her feel I was ok and agreed with paying for everything. This is where it went wrong. I never wanted to pay, I wanted 50/50, but I was so scared I could never get a woman like her again, she ticked all the boxes on paper, but somehow I still didn't have feelings for her. I kept believing and told her it could come.

It seemed weird to me though, that she loved me after one week. Without prior relationship experience, I didn't have anything to compare the truthfulness of this. As I write this, I feel like I'm the one who manipulated her instead. I did. I made her believe I would keep my promise to 'provide' for her, and that I would not have a problem with it. I remember she had difficulties asking me about our feelings. I was constantly scared she would ask me if her I like or love her.

Anyway, after a few weeks of dating again, things broke off again. I told her what I had spent during these weeks, and she assumed I was sending her a bill. I was actually trying to show the expenses I made, and intended to tell her I could not keep it up. Well, I guess I again broke my promise of paying everything. My intent was to show her we couldn't keep dating this way, with this kind of arrangement.

Again, months of silence. And again, I convinced her to meet me again. I don't know how I did it though, but during our Whatsapp conversations, she told me what she wanted from a man. It seemed very unrealistic, but not impossible. She wanted to have a man, she told me, who was selflessness, caring, and treated her well. A man who financially take care of her fully. I asked her what she would do all day, and what her job would be. She answered that the woman should be able to spend time relaxing, and taking care of the family. 

Ok, seems fair I guess, but she also mentioned a woman should be able to work for herself, and use the money for herself. Seemed unfair to me, since this would mean there would be less time spent on the household, and she's not using the money to spend on the family and household. I started to ask myself, what role does this man have, exactly? Is he a slave?

 

Either way, again I promised her all kinds of stuff of providing for her, taking her everywhere, of course paying for it. I realize now I lied to her in every possible way. I didn't like her, love her, nor did I like to pay for everything. But I continued dating her. I think I was really desperate, and the way I see it now as of writing this, I am the one who is the manipulator! 

 

Eventually, surely but slowly, she started to live in my home more and more. Her work season was over. Costs of living being on a benefit, going everywhere, paying for everything started to increase to a level of financial debt, nothing extreme though. Fortunately, I got a job a few months after, and the debt disappeared, and my bank account was flowing with enough income again.

Things started to look up, I started to enjoy her company. Well, except the part when she was angry with me. I was never able to handle that. She could verbally 'explode', she didn't swear, but she had real fire in her eyes and talked very firmly. The thing is, I never knew I did something wrong, or what I did wrong. She would not tell me either, after much asking, I found only the tip of the iceberg of what I did 'wrong'.

It felt like 'injust' anger, so I felt anger too, but I blocked these feelings. It felt wrong to talk back to her, or rather, I didn't do it out of fear of her walking out on me. This never changed. This blocked anger made the stone in my stomach bigger. She seemed happy and forgiving after she got all her anger out on me, but I was every time left with blocked anger, because I never got it out. I thought every time, I should not be angry, if she is right. I should be strong and be able to take it, if I care about her.

I hid my emotions. It was very tough for me. Sometimes I let her know I was upset afterwards, and she told me it was weird. But I was too afraid to tell her about why I was upset, I didn't want to come across 'weak' out of fear, again, of losing her. I always felt she was very good at expressing her feelings, and moving on as if it didn't happen.

 

After many, many months, I started to struggle. She started to tell me, I never told her if I like the food she prepared for me. I never told her, because I didn't like it. I didn't want to risk upsetting her. She found out anyway, and of course got upset for not telling me. In my relationship with her, I have found myself constantly walking on eggshells. I desperately tried to please her. Not only to keep her, but also to avoid her being upset with me. I really, really can't stand her, or people in general being upset with me. I think I take it so personally, that it fuels anger inside me, which would be injust, because I'm taking it personally. And in turn, you would have to block this anger again, feel bad for at least a day, hide this emotion, because I didn't want to seem like a person who couldn't manage emotions, which in turn, would put me at risk of looking like a 'crazy' person, and again, lose her.

I did ask her many times to be more subtle with this, but it never worked. I didn't want her to keep her anger, because I know it's no good. But I didn't want to be on the receiving end either. I could never figure out if she had anger problems, or if it was me taking things too personal. I really never intentionally did anything wrong, and I think she simply didn't believe that. Of course, I sometimes did feel this was not the true reason she was so upset, she may have known I didn't truly have feelings for her.

Still though, I always enjoyed spending time with her. She started to live fully with me, we did practically everything together, had a week long road trip to a foreign country. But I never felt truly connected to her, until a month ago. That's when I felt like I was expressing myself. Or as I would have put it, 'resist' to her will. 

See, whenever I told something about my past, she would listen, build up anger and tell me that she never wanted to hear anything negative about my past again. She told me those were my problems, not hers. I never asked her to fix me, but it would have felt nice if she showed some compassion. I continually felt as if I was not 'allowed' to talk about my past experiences, I would have to deal with them myself, and I should simply not mention them. To me, that felt terrible. I didn't feel supported.

 

Whenever she spoke, about anything and everything I was actually always interested, or at least listened out of respect. Hell, I actually started to like her. She laughed at my jokes. I kept myself more genuine, if I didn't like her jokes, I didn't laugh or tried to make it so she wouldn't have to feel bad I didn't laugh. In the beginning of our relationship, she led me. I didn't like that all. She always decided where to go, where she wanted to go, but actually never consulted me if I wanted to go there. Again, lacking assertiveness, I went along with it. 

In the supermarket, she was an ace in finding bargains. I liked that of course. She's an ace in saving money in general. Creative in re-using stuff. She would stop me from buying frivolous stuff, and prevent me from buying on impulse, especially in other shops and stores. Thinking of that now, I feel like an idiot. Every penny not spent on unnecessary stuff, we could spend on trips, holidays, etc.

However, whenever I wanted to buy something for myself, it felt like she didn't want me to. Sometimes simple things in the supermarket. Will you eat that? We already have enough food in the fridge. I didn't get the feeling I could pick what I liked, nor did I even dare to. It was difficult for me, because I usually eat simple meals, and I knew she didn't like what I ate. I didn't want to pick food that she didn't like. When I got upset about it, she told me, take whatever you want. But seemed somehow still upset that I took it. So this was very confusing and frustrating to me. I didn't want, again, upset her. But this was my money! It continually felt like I was spending my money only on what she liked, wanted to do.

 

I went along to trips etc. wherever she wanted to go, because I hardly ever traveled, or went anywhere. I did feel however, that the few things that seemed interesting to me, she simply said no to. This upset me, because I always go where she wants to go, I thought, why don't you go along with my wishes for once? I'm doing what you like, regardless of whether I like it, why can't you do the same for me? 

Whenever I had a story to tell, funny or not, she would stay silent. The way I felt it, she wasn't interested, waited for me to finish, and a few seconds after started to talk about something completely different about what she wanted, making me feel completely unimportant and ignored. She never asked anything, or showed interest, not even tried to, regardless of being interested or not, out of politeness.

Everything was so confusing. Maybe it's good she stays true to herself and not express interest if she isn't interested? It's very honest of course, but rude to me to say the least. I started to think I wasn't interesting, unimportant, and in the worst ways, a slave. Yes, whenever I was home, she expected me to contribute to the household cleaning. I guess, normal? Well, that is if she did as much in the household as I worked hours to make money. I seriously doubt that.

I knew about her physical health, and that it could be in a better state. She could use the mental and physical rest. But it seemed all the time so unfair to me, that she would do a few hours of chores, and relax the rest of the day. Of course, now I understand, she's a refugee, coming from a very poor and wrecked family. Stories I heard from her that makes me feel my problems are incredibly small and petty. 

I think she thought she would be in good hands with me, and I know she likes to be pampered and spoiled. That's understandable if you have such a dfficult past. But at the same time, I felt so stressed, walking on eggshells all day out of fear of upsetting her, which dominated my mind, not having true feelings for her, and with the promise, which I had completely forgot I made at the start, and after, that I wouldn't object of taking care of her financially. I think, all she wanted was to find that guy who didn't care about taking care of her financially, whilst treating her like a princess. 

 

Honestly though, I believe she is a good person. She seperates every piece of garbage. She cares about people. Cares about her mom and family. Except that I wasn't sure she cared about me. Again, I was in doubt. I asked her what she liked about me, again. It just seems so dang impossible to not be able to explain what you like about me. Did you she like my humor, face, anything specific at all? I had no problem describing what I liked about her, regardless how long it took me to like her. She has a better memory than me it seems. So whenever I recalled something 'bad' she told about me, she would tell me I remembered it wrong. Since I can't fully remember what we said, except how I remember how I felt, she everytime turned it around and in the end I would feel bad.

A few months ago, I told her the truth. I was going so crazy so much, feeling an intense guilt of lying to her about my feelings for her. I had made myself believe I liked her, all this time. The stone in my stomach had to go out. I mustered up the courage, when she was with her mom at her home, to talk to her. I told her everything, put all the cards on the table.

She cried a lot and seemed surprised. I guess all this time I had been an excellent manipulator myself. After a long talk, we went to my home to pick up her stuff. There, she cried more, as she wanted to copy our photos, memories, onto a USB stick. This gave her a panic attack, and made her cry a lot. I initially sat there as stone, as she literally told, next to her, not knowing what to do, as if I didn't care. I thought about comforting her, calming her down, but I didn't dare to, so fearful of her being upset with me about touching her to comfort her, which I didn't because of it.

Eventually I did, and it helped. I told her I was sorry, I was no good for her. I told her to keep faith in finding another, good man. I offered to help her recover her physical and mental health. However, it didn't end. She seemed very scared, scared of being alone. I didn't have the courage to let her go, tell her to go, because I was scared of being alone again myself. My god, why do I do that. She told me I was sick, crazy, selfish, all things that hurt me, perhaps because it was true?

I had a guest bed. I was going to sleep in it, and she would spend the night in my big bed. She told me, why aren't you sleeping with me in the big bed? And so, we had sex again, it was damn good, did it multiple times. I think I realized this was simply going to be a re-run of what we had been through. And it would be.

 

Last sunday, I confronted her, no, I suggested the idea that she was with me for the money. This might have been a huge insult for her, considering everything has done for me. She completely transformed me, my home into a clean, organised and well-oiled machine. Sure, she didn't spend as much hours probably working like I did. But I everytime agreed to do pay for everything. Though I never broke the promise, I did everytime think, and as I started to express my thoughts, suggest that she used me. 

Every conflict in this relationship, was built on lies. I think, lies from me. A week before last sunday, I asked her why she was with me. Finally, she told me something more credible, she didnt wanted to be alone. When she kissed me, waved me when I went to work, these all seemed genuine emotions. I guess, I didn't believe it in the end, because I lied all the time about everything she thought was true. So if I lied, even though I didn't seem to consciously realize it, she would have to lie too right?

This created mutual resentment and suspicion towards eachother, and unspoken hostility, it showed to eachother on the surface, but it was too small to reveal its true form. Dang, I think I made her feel really bad, if not transformed her into a monster she never wanted to be.

 

Still though, she told me many times how she wanted to go back to Ukraine. Our dreams had always been different, our interests, we were never meant to be together. She probably knew very well in her heart, that she never had an intention of staying in my country, but to return home. What hurt me though, is that she never mentioned me when she talked about her dreams. So who's lying to who? I think, for me in the beginning, and her in the later stage, we both fooled ourselves we could have a future together in a place we would both be happy.

What's worse, she did mention a few times we weren't a match. Yet I convinced her otherwise and she went along with it. Did I abuse her vulnerability so she would stay with me? I think yes. Did she know this would never work, if she looked in her heart? I think, she might have been the only one actually believing it could work. Because her feelings for me, have seemed somehow, genuine. Whenever she doubted her feelings for me, I convinced her otherwise, making promises I knew I couldn't keep. 

 

I started writing this reply with the thought in mind that she was the master manipulator. For some reason, I think it was me who was that person all along. Though I continue to go back and forth about it. Am I trying to cover up my guilt, so I don't have to feel it? Or was I right along, her being a 'gold digger' who never really seemed to have an intention to stay with me, and that she has manipulated me to such a degree to make me believe that I am the guilty person here? I just can't figure it out.

 

 

I could really use more unsalted opinions. Well, that is, if any of you didn't die of old age reading my reply longer than the 'Terms and conditions' of an update to iTunes.

 

Tomorrow morning, I'm driving her to the hospital for an appointment. I don't expect her to pay for the ride. As a matter of fact, I have promised to her I would take her anywhere, and arrange everything to see to it that she is health again. I also asked how to make it up to her, considering all the damage I have done to her, mentally. Being still unsure who is fault, probably in an attempt to hide my guilt, because of my broken promises, I can probably only buy her gifts to make it up to her, I don't see it's good to go anywhere with her except for health. Thinking about paying her for trips for example, which I will likely not join, also doesn't feel good, to put it mildly. 

I think she expects me to compensate for the mental damage done to her, and it would mean me paying, again. This in turn, triggers my thoughts of her using me again. Though I do feel the need to help her back on her feet again. But should it be done with money? I think not. But what other ways are there? It doesn't feel good to just leave the person I lied to, deceived and wasted a year of her life to shut out to 'go figure it out' on her own. I don't want to be that kind of person, not now, not anymore.

 

If she offers to pay for the ride, should I refuse or take the money? I don't know what's right anymore. What's more, I don't think I know who I am anymore. In our relationship, everything seemed to revolve around me pleasing her. And now that's it definitively over, I still feel like I'm on her leash. Dang, this is messing with my mind so much, I don't know what to do! I want to get rid of all the tension and fear in my body that I have built up in this relationship. It fires up again when I'm with her. On the other hand, thinking about the scary panic attacks she had every time when we broke up, I feel obligated to do something for her.

I know I have to draw a line somewhere, I just don't know how and where. I really wish I didn't care about the money spent on her. Right now though, I don't know when or where the spending will end, considering we aren't together anymore. I asked what I could do to make it right. But everytime she goes around, and tells me I should know what she likes. Again, I feel like I've been left in the dark, I don't want to do this anymore, this guessing game.

 

Well, for whoever read all of this, or has skimmed all the way through, you are truly a patient person. I salute you, and would love to hear your reply. Thank you.

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My first thought was * l ain't reading all that*....and l did, but let say l read fast :-)

You don't owe anything to each other. You are not together anymore so go your seperate ways. She will find some other guy to take advantage of. No, you don't have to compensate her for her hurt feelings, that's pure manipulation.

Good for you for recognizing where you went wrong. It does not change the end, you need to go your seperate ways.

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