Not Your Doormat

QUESTION: I need help. I love my friend so much. He is a fine brother, tall, dark and handsome with a big smile and this deep sexy voice. He is everything a woman could want. But it is so so so hard for him to love me the way I love him. I know he loves me but with him he hardly says it and he gets mad at me for every little thing. if I forget to call when I get home, or I want to go out too much with my girls, or if I want to spend too much time with my mom, he gets mad. He yells, I yell we fight and then its all good, we're happy for a few days. I know he loves me but he just trips out over trival sh*t. If I get a call on my cell, he has to know who it is. If I talk to someone in the store or in the club, he's got a million questions about them. He says he's like this because women have cheated on him before and he has to know what I'm up to so he can trust me. Why can't things just be chill between us? What can I do to prove I won't cheat on him?

GARLAND: "What can you do to prove you won't cheat on him?" You can start by leaving him.

I read this question about 10 times. I started forming these great flowery answers like:

  • "talk to him and remind him that you're not the women in his past..."
  • "he's just insecure, help him work through it..."
  • "don't argue back with him, just tell him it is what it is..."

But, I couldn't write any of these answers - because I'm not gonna' bullshit you and I'm not gonna' hold your hand and cry like I'm you're girlfriend or Oprah or somebody!

This dude of yours... mister Tall, Dark and Pathetically Insecure - is a trip to the emergency room waiting to happen. The day the guy in the seafood department says, "Hi," to you OR the day a man accidentally hits a 5 on his cellphone instead of an 8 and calls your house by mistake, OR the night you forget to turn your cellphone on while hanging with Brenda and the girls... HE is going to snap and hurt you! And, I promise you - he's going to tell you that he only hit you because he loves you AND you know how he is... This is the mantra of the WIFE BEATER, and this is what he sounds like.

If you doubt me, just check out this website:

Frankly, it's time to leave homeboy. You can try and convince yourself that he loves you until the cows some home. But he doesn't. He treats you like crap and you hope and pray that your love will get you through. It won't. Far too many people give 'love' a bad name by using it as justification to stay in bad relationships. Love is NOT to be used by you or ANYONE as an excuse to let yourself be treated like shit. Please stop doing it.

Drop this bum. Do it nicely so he won't freak out... tell him it's YOU not him... get rid of him. NOW!!! Go buy that new CD you heard about, pick up a nice bottle of wine, grab a good book and find a shady spot in a nice park and spend the afternoon 'loving' yourself. It sounds to me like you haven't done that in awhile.

CHUCK: I don't necessarily want to say your man is on the verge of becoming physically abusive. That's an easy discussion: The day he puts his hands on you... LEAVE. But he's obviously psychologically abusive, and sometimes that can be just as bad. He's possessive, angry, spiteful, and jealous. Where's the upside in this guy? Oh, wait... He's tall, dark, and handsome, he's got a big smile, a sexy voice. I'm sorry, but given the circumstances you describe, THAT'S NOT ENOUGH. If this guy split the atom, cured AIDS, and invented a car that got 77 miles to a gallon, maybe. But not as it stands now.

He's obviously got some trust issues that need to be resolved. If you can, try to get him to open up about what specifically turned him into the closed-off person he is now. Hopefully, by opening up, you can convince how different that you are from the women who trashed his self-esteem. If you can't get through to him and make him see that he's pushing you away from him, please move on from this man. Life's too short for two people to be miserable.


Old Dirty Bastard...

QUESTION: My man is dirty! Not his mouth or his mind, but his crib! I've been trying to ignore it for as long as we've been going out, but its just plain nasty in his apartment. He doesn't mop his floors or vaccum. He's got clothes laying all over the place, old newspapers and sports magazines piled up and laying around. He doesn't clean his toilet or his shower. It is just nasty. All he does his wash his clothes and his body, but I can't stand it anymore. I refuse to visit too long and staying overnight is completely out of the question. What is he thinking? Do I try to change him or what? If things don't change, I'm leaving, straight up, this mess of his is just too much for me!

GARLAND: Gee, I feel you on this one. I think I would have rolled out a long time ago!

Your man probably has one of several issues: either he's a boy that refuses to grow up and live like adults, among adults; or he has some kind of psycological disorder that makes him tend to be messy; or he's just a trifflin' bum!

I suggest you talk to him about his place, but do it gently because he might freak out and bury you under a pile of newspapers from back in the Clinton administration days. The paper mites alone will eat you down to the bones in a matter of weeks.

Feel him out and see if he thinks anything should be different with regards to the neatness of his home. If he doesn't he may have a disorder that you might wnat to recommend he get help with. But, if he acts like you're being mean or unfair to him - then just back off. Unless this guy seems willing to pick up a little, then you need to really look in the mirror and ask yourself just how much you are willing to put up with in a relationship. If you can't handle his messy ways in his home, it may be a good bet that he'll give less than a damn about your place if you two ever get together long term.

CHUCK: The way I see it, there are two options here. Maybe your boyfriend is one of these guys who is waiting for his momma to show up and clean his pigsty. A great possibility. Or something more insidious may be at work here. He may be using the filth in his apartment to keep you at bay, so your relationship does not progress past a certain level.

Hear me out. You say that, due to the cruddy conditions he lives under, you don't visit long, and "staying overnight is completely out of the question." There's a certain kind of man that likes to maintain that kind of distance in a relationship. You come over, you two find a relatively clean place to hook up, and then you're out, before you can catch Hepatitis B. And as long as he continues to decorate like Fred Sanford, your relationship probably won't progress much further. You should be able to tell if that's what's going on. Think about it.

Beyond that, talk to this guy. Don't tell him that he's a grown-ass man, and not a Peanuts character (y'know, Pigpen?). Instead, tell him that you don't feel comfortable in his apartment as long as it's in such disarray. He should be able to handle that. I mean, he KNOWS that he's a slob, more than likely. If he has any interest in keeping things going with you, he'll clean his act, and his landfill, up.