Psychiatry & Psychology--General/Guilt?


QUESTION: Hello and Thank You for volunteering your time.
My dilemma is that my B/F is layed off and has been since June, No Federal Extension so he is out of money. He has a mortgage and is behind on all his bills,. He is 63 and sees no choice but to retire. He is a Biotech Engineer, and his age is against him. I want to leave him however if I do he will lose his place very quickly. We have been together for 10 years. He never was one to save, I have a savings but I am 54 and I need to protect myself somewhat. I have used part of my savings to keep us afloat , this is his place , not mine.   I want to leave but he will surely lose his place.........I am going to wait and see what he will receive for retirement, hopefully it will be enough to keep him afloat until he realizes he has no choice but to foreclose, yes he is still pursuing jobs, .....Do I leave to make me happy or stay so he doesn't lose his place until atleast social security kicks in?
Your thoughts?      I even thought of leaving and paying some of his bills for a few months......

ANSWER: You're most welcome, Jen. This is not a psychology question, but I will comment if you treat what I say as coming not from an authority but from, say, just a friend, relative, or neighbor.

-If you leave, will not your living expenses go up, particularly for accommodation? And what is his companionship worth to you?

-Can you not consult a financial advisor (by which I do not mean an investment advisor) who would know about state and federal help?

-Can he not put his resume in the hands of employment services that might be able to find him at least contract positions? Nobody hires applicants in their 60s but his experience could be valuable in a temporary position.

-Don't understand about him foreclosing. Did you mean his being evicted?

-Maybe not the only but certainly the main criterion is whether you'd be better off (security, happiness, mood, freedom, whatever) if you left. As you did not marry him I can't see where guilt would be a factor. Reading between the lines, I think you're saying you want to leave. If so, do so.

-Unless there's a good reason for this professional being in the hole at his age, he sounds irresponsible, which would be his problem that should not drag you down too.

Hope those thoughts will be helpful in making a decision. Thanks for asking us, and I hope it all turns out for the best.


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QUESTION: Sorry for the confusion, Yes I want to leave him, but I feel guilty because without my income he will most surely lose his home.     For various reason, no job, no savings, no unemployment.....So I feel guilty knowing that if I leave that is what will happen, and if I stay we can stay afloat until he finds a job or he applies for retirement.      If he retires, I do believe he will have enough to keep his place without my help, then I would leave and not have the guilt.

ANSWER: Even if your mission in life is to live it guilt-free, I can't advise what to do, especially with no indication of your feelings toward him. I can only try to be practical.

You've invested a decade of your life serving as his partner, companion, sponsor. I don't know the regulations around common-law relationships in NH (maybe his house is already half yours as long as you stay in it) or if he has a wife or children. But there's presumably equity in the house and you are likely to outlive him.

Before deciding with no awareness of your entitlements, I urge consulting a local real-estate or matrimonial lawyer.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: bare bones, I want to leave and I feel guilty about doing it as he will certainly lose the place, if I stay there is a possibility he can hold onto it, but then I would be unhappy staying. But I feel like I am kicking him when he is down.....He is going to apply for his retirement and that Should be enough to hold this place without my help then I could leave without feeling guilty.........Yes he has been irresponsible all his life.        I want nothing to do with this place money My guilt just comes from the feeling that I am kicking him while he is down.       Thanks for the answers, I do belive he will lose it eventually, like within the next few months perhaps, so if I wait awhile as I am the book keeper so I will know when the time is inevitable...If he tried every avenue, and there is just no chance of keeping it, it will be within the next few months...So then I would not have the guilt.....Thank you for your help

OK, my magic wand is at the ready.

Decide the most you'd give me to result in a zero-guilt solution.

And how much would you give to not have to stay there a minute longer than necessary?

If there's no solution involving neither outcome, just decide which figure is larger, and act accordingly.  

Psychiatry & Psychology--General

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Alan Auerbach


Taught psychology for 30 years, authored four textbooks. Specialize in introductory and industrial/organizational psychology, but will tackle wider range of areas.

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