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Old 01-03-2012, 08:32 AM
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Phy Phy is offline
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I think your points are very valid. I would handle such a situation similarly. There is no doubt that every person is responsible for him/herself but, if I am involved with them, they become part of my life and if I am thinking about mingling our lifes to such a degree, I feel that I have got the right to stick to my guns and look out for my priorities/boundaries/needs to be met. Finances, taking care of oneself, having an outlook into the future, all those are points that are so basic, that I would put my foot down if they were missing in one of my relationships.

You shouldn't start to want to change every part of what is typical for your partner, that's really unhealthy, but I believe that everyone who is entangled in a relationship with someone else, will be influenced by this person and vice versa. That's just the way relationships work. A friend of mine asked for 'What is a good, life-long marriage about, how do they make it work?' and along those lines, there was someone who said: “Every person changes during his life, again and again and again. Every relationship that is able to keep up with those individual changes of the partners involved, needs two persons who are able to adjust to each other and start loving new traits without mourning the changed, old ones too much.” This was meant to fit to a monogamous marriage but I think it is universally true, that we influence each other constantly. It's impossible to not do so.

The needs you talked about here are basic ones. Essential to any shared living arrangement. I don't think that they fall into the category of “I don't like the way you started to wear your hair. Change it, it doesn't please me!” I wouldn't search for equality either. It's not important if he would be able to tolerate you doing something like he does now, there is no point in asking what he would do in your situation. The only valid question would be the one that brought you to the conclusion that you would be uncomfortable to life with him at this point in time with his take on his life and the way he handles it. Because this decision is about you and you are the only person in this relationship you have an justified right to care for primarily and 'dictate the terms' in case of the priorities that should be provided.

The next step is him deciding to act accordingly and change something about himself. But this isn't dictated by you. You may influence this development by setting the terms you need basically but you aren't making any decisions for him. If he values his way of living more, he won't change and everything stays like it is now. But those things are outside of your field of responsibility.
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