May 7, 2006 at 5:14 pm (Uncategorized)

I was presented with a dilemma last night, and I'm not sure what to do.

One of the issues leading me to handing my engagement ring back was that my basic needs keep being the ones put on the back burner, while less-than-basic needs of Honey's were higher priority. One particularly strangling one for me was that repairs to put my car back on the road weren't a priority (but fixing Honey's air conditioning in his car was).

Last night I was made an offer I'm having trouble with:  He will pay ALL expenses relating to getting my car back on the road, including insurance and tags.


In return, I have to agree to live here until September. After Labor Day weekend, I could either load the car and leave, or stay and resume our relationship.

I responded that I wasn't for sale.

Did I take this wrong, or was it the manipulative bullshit I felt it was? 



  1. Oob said,

    Hi Serra,

    Found you via LisaB, and I am so sorry that one of the first posts I’ve read of yours was this one. I don’t know any background of the relationship, but I’d say that this ultimatum another example of putting his needs first. Why Labor Day? Is there a lease involved in the living arrangement? Or is he just a controlling egomaniac? Regardless, I commend you for your response and refusal to be kept under his thumb. I’ll visit again soon.

  2. ESC said,

    It’s a bit manipulative. from just the little tiny slices of your life that we’ve been priviledge to on your blog, I would say major changes need to be met. An equal say in how money is spent.

    AND a plan for moving OUT of his mother’s house. A plan with a time limit. And in the meantime, he needs to stand up for you in front of his mother. That situation is just intolerable.

    the car is just one symptom in a very disfunctional situation. you have to cure THE WHOLE illness, otherwise, the symptom just returns.

    Ultimately, you have to decide if your love for him is worth the effort to make the big changes that need to be made. either way, you will need a lot of strength. Be strong, sweetie!!!! My thoughts are with you!

    it’s all or nothing, at this point.

  3. Ian, a Handicapped Bitch in rehab said,

    hell THAT´s a dilemma…
    baby… relationships are always a matter of trading (yes. like in the Middle age)

    just put into the test what are the profits of each option and make a decitionj.
    put the love aside, this is not about love, its just a trade, like in business…

    in case u need a pal, just write me k?

  4. apos said,

    okay apologies i’m new here to your blog but i was wondering why until after “september”?

  5. Laughing Frog said,

    You are absolutely right. Cut loose. It’s not easy, I know, but you have to do it. Your only other option involves getting dragged through the mud by people you’d rather not associate with, anyway.

    Let go, please, and feel peace of mind. You are in a better place for it.


  6. Molly said,

    My vote is that you did the right thing. You need to do this on your own terms… nobody else’. It is your life, your decision.. and you’re right… you’re not for sale.

  7. The Ultimate Groupie said,

    Correct me if I am wrong, you live together with his family? The relationship is already at a disadvantage if this is the case. There are too many people involved, and you are no longer having a relationship with him, but with everyone else.

    You don’t need justification to do what you did or reassurance from the people who comment here. You are the only person who knows what’s best for you and the only one who knows your situation fully. We are just commenting on bits and pieces of the reality.

    I think the big sign is that you are second guessing his intentions (“manipulative bullshit”). If you are in the kind of relationship that’s based on trust and fairness, you would not have questioned his intentions towards you. The fact that you do says a lot about your preception of him.

    I agree with ESC about moving out of the house (either you or both of you), and that the car issue is just a minor symptom of a bigger problem.

    See, I think relationships should be open. You should be able to say everything you say here in your blog to the one you love without reprecussions. If there is anything that holds you back, then there is something wrong. The comment by Ian is exactly the reason why relationships don’t work out. It’s also the reason why people settle for the person they are with. I don’t believe in settling.

    Think of people you truly truly respect, and think of whether you would be thrilled to introduce him to them. Then, think of whether you really respect him. If not, you should not settle for him.

  8. Blair Bitch said,

    Here’s a thought…go back to him and say “Ok, you pay for everything and I will stay.”, then when he’s at work, you leave. As dirty as that sounds, where does he get off thinking he can buy your affection?! Sounds to me like he owes you a lot more than some parts on a car.

  9. Karen Rani said,

    I would have taken it the same way you need. Look up passive-agressiveness on the net.
    You can’t be bought. You’re worth more than the car, for starters. Stand your ground. If you agreed, then it will only continue. Sounds like he has some growing up to do.

  10. Jamie said,

    Having just come out of a relationship full of manipulations and controlling behaviors, I say you did the right thing.

    There will always be a ‘deal’ that makes it hard to say no, if he holds true to what I’ve seen typical in my own past relationship.

    Just saying no has felt so liberating. Hope you feel that way soon, too.

  11. Vince said,

    That is indeed a manipulative move. He’s stalling for time. I think the bottom line is that if he hasn’t considered your needs up to now, what’s going to make him start in the next few months? Relationships are about compromise. Repairing the AC on a working vehicle when the other one doesn’t work isn’t compromise.

    It’s been my experience that your gut feelings are the true ones. If you feel it in your gut that you should leave, then do so. Best of luck.

  12. Vanessa said,

    I agree with going with your gut. While I think all relationships involve give and take, that’s not what this sounds like. This sounds like holding you as a hostage.

  13. Serra said,

    Oob–Welcome to the nuthouse. The Labor Day mark is the four months more out of my life he figures he deserves for putting my car back on the road.

    ESC–You’re absolutely right–he has to decide if I’m worth changing and I have to decide if he deserves any more of my life. Meanwhile I’m stranded here, literally. There’s just so many things wrong with the relationship that I’m not sure it’s repairable.

    Ian–And in business you have to have trust that your business partner will follow thru. I don’t have it. I’ll write soon.

    Apos–That’s what he figures I should give up to get something that he should have done two years ago. Yeah, I haven’t had a running car in two years because money to do it went out of my pocket into our living expenses.

    Laughing Frog–Hugs back and thanks

    UG–It’s a super long story, stretching over 8 years, but the trust, intimacy and companionship are gone. It’s why I gave him his ring back and now, finally, he’s decided that maybe he should have been listening for the last year. It’s an effort to keep me from moving without giving him one last chance and I have to say I’m resenting it.

    Blair Bitch–I have to agree that he owes me considerably more than a car here. But it’s just not in me to pull something like that and I’m not lowering myself to his level. Besides, the little rats that we live with would be on his cell in less than a minute, narcing me out.

    Jamie–I’m already feeling it. Throwing things out so openly in the way I have made everyone stop and really take a look. I don’t hold hope that it will ultimately do any damned good but it does cut the attitudes around here.

    Vince–You’re right-he says he wants that time as a chance to show me he’s still the guy I fell in love with. Trouble is I’m not sure that I give a shit anymore.

    Vanessa–Yep, that’s the way it feels to me too. Not having my own car has really been strangling me and it prevents me from getting the medical care I need. I’m not sure that having a car again will remedy things enough to keep me here.

    Everyone–There’s one thing no one’s hit that keeps going thru my head. He’s been telling me he doesn’t have the money to put my car back on the road, yet now that I am prepared to leave his ass, he can suddenly do it? What is there going on that I don’t know, that’s been hidden?

  14. Melina said,

    Sorry girlie, but it seems as though you made the right choice…one you never should’ve had to do.

  15. vanessa said,

    Is he saying he will fix your car, then it will take until Labor Day to get it all done? Or will it be fixed tomorrow?

    How is it that he had the money to fix his air conditioner and an air conditioner in winter was more of a priority than getting a car running?

    And I have to ask: if you feel this way now and you are not married yet, do you really think there is anywhere to go in the relationship? Marriage does not make a relationship easier.

    Your car should be fixed because it should be fixed. No strings attached.

    That is a seperate issue from your relationship.

  16. Vince said,

    Now that you mention the car, I’m tempted to suggest you take the offer to fix it. And once it’s running, pack it up with all your stuff and get the hell out of dodge.

    But that would be low and perhaps cruel. But it seems somehow fitting after all you’ve been through.

    The Catholic in me says “Bad Vince! Bad!” for even suggesting it. But as Vanessa says, Honey should fix your car cause it’s the right thing to do.

  17. Blair Bitch said,

    Well Serra, I guess that means that you’re a better person than I because I would take his offer and literally run with it. And, honestly, who cares (other than you) if she would narc you out?! At this point, caring what other people think of your actions is the least of your worries.

  18. vanessa said,

    The other thought I had was take the ring back, sell it and use the money to fix your car. Then, decide if you want to fix the relationship.

  19. LisaBinDaCity said,

    I would feel manipulated as well.

  20. monabuonanotte said,

    Serra, you made the right decision. YES. I don’t know how you put up with everything so long (esp. his mother). No matter how hard it is, you should trust your instincts. It will NOT get any better, and if you do decide to stay, there’s no telling what he’ll do in the future, what he’ll hold over your head and try to control you with. It could get ugly, and I’d hate to see you in that situation. I know it’s hard, and scary, to leave this life and try on a new one, but you’re strong, you’re smart, and you’ll do fine.

  21. MoeThatsMe said,


    It’s obvious by the outpouring of affection in the comments that the peeps here want the best for you. Many good/great points have been made the most important – it’s your decision.

    That being said – in my mind, you did the right thing. Most folks would say they are not for sale, but they can be bot.. and that is very true. Unless you’re hooking – you don’t ever want to admit to having a price – but sadly – we all do. It’s human nature.

    What you have to decide is what that price really is – for you, and counter offer.

    If you could have what you wanted, anything you wanted, what would it be.
    New (or fixed) Car?
    New House (buy or rent but not there!)
    Soap Orders on retainer?
    Honey’s devotion and a return to the goodness that was before you were forced into the current situation(s)?
    World Peas?
    H’s Bro’s Arrest for Porn Trafficing?
    H’s Ma’s forced scrubbing with a wire brush on a daily basis?
    Honey’s Check in hand every payday so you can control all the money?
    Honey down on one knee, proposing again (every week/day), and you can accept, or not, when you feel he’s worthy again?

    What is it you really want, desire, need – to entertain the his offer – not matter how manipulative?

    You want (I think) to have Honey in your life if you feel you can trust him.
    You want (I know) to move out of that house, even if you had to walk up stairs to go in and out.

    You desire to restore the relationship you had before the horrible move and continue to grow it for the better.
    You desire to remain a free woman (out of jail) so something has to be done!

    You need a working car.
    You need a space to work.
    You need a new place to live.
    You need a partner you can trust.

    What will it take?

    The fact that he even made an offer!
    Fix the car now and you have till the 4th of July to show me you really want me around (pick from the list of wants/desires/needs) or I’m out here. And at that time, you can re-negotiate if you think it’s worth it or shuffle off to Buffalo.. or Wisconsin.

    One thing I’ve learned (you know most of my history) is the drastic move – giving the ring back – will cause the knee jurk reaction to start the process to fix the issues because it’s the rude awakening needed to clear away the Ma Fog – but the proof will be if the fixing continues beyond the first couple weeks. That’s what you really want to look for.

    So now I’ve said my fill – rambled on and offered a few more options. You know where to find me if you wanna chat – and I hope you call on me if you need to – cause you know I’m here for you. (like all the others who’ve posted comments!)

    Pulling for you.
    In your corner.
    Behind whatever decision you make.
    Always here for hugs.

    Hang in there Lady.


    DISCLAIMER: This post was typed without re-reading, edits or spell check.

  22. Mike in Arkansas said,

    Just on a quick read, you made the right choice. I know it’s hard, but it sounds like the fool is just thinking about himself. He’s got to get something out of the deal

    I had a relationship once where I was really in “love” with this lady I had only known two weeks. Problem was, I was in the Navy and would be going from Illinois to California in a few weeks. Wonderful lady that she was, she was willing to move to California, no strings attached.

    However, I set some conditions.

    She could move to where I was going to be stationed…


    she married me.

    She did, we did (five weeks later)… and we still are — 34 years later

    She was a Wisconsin girl… met her after I was asked to help decorate for a USO dance at the YWCA. She was a USO volunteer.

  23. Adrianna (blackeyedgurl) said,

    Honey, as a girl who barely escaped the manipulator of the year for 2000, I have to tell you. RUN! RUN NOW!
    I had this boyfriend, fiance, whatever. He had this excellent paying job, but never had money when I was around. I threatened to leave, he bought me a ring. I stayed, things got worse. I left, he bought me more things to try to get me back. Once we broke up I found out he was spending his money on drugs and basically another girl. Love? my ass. Once that trust is gone, you can’t put a price on someone.
    I don’t trust this guy as far as I can throw him, and I am out of shape. I am very suspicious as to why he can now suddenly afford it. This sounds like classic manipulator bullshit, and come September, it will be something else. It sounds like financially he is controlling you by limiting your access to things you need, while putting himself first. This will not change, because this is the way it is, he is not going to change, he may temporarily, but trust me, when the fear of you leaving again wears off, it’ll be old hat.
    My only advise would be this, let him fix your car. Sign nothing, make no legally binding agreement to stay. The minute that car is back, while he is at work or whatever, get your shit in it and leave.
    Remember back in high school when teachers told you that you should never change your answer because your first answer is generally the right one? You know the decision you made is right. This sounds like a borderline abusive relationship, and it won’t get better. Cut your losses, flee, and get yourself back. You are too cool a person to be tied down to someone who doesn’t appreciate you and who puts himself first.
    email me if there is more to it that you want to talk about. I know I’m not a close friend, but sometimes it’s just better to talk it out. You can do this. I know you can, you are strong. Just believe in youself.

  24. Mister Underhill said,

    Well, first off, he is not obligated to take care of you financially. So, in the first place you are wrong, but I don’t think it was the best way to handle things for him to try to make a bargain like that. At the same time, you sort of set yourself up for it, though.

  25. Serra said,

    Melina–I think so. We’re talking now but I don’t feel we’re getting anywhere.

    Vanessa–The ring’s a family heirloom and given the fact that the matriarch’s brain isn’t working well (H’sMa) I would be flirting with whatever her fucked-over brain came up with in response. I just want out and I want to do it with as little further shit as I can.


    Mona–Thank you. My family’s working on help for me but it’ll be slow coming–the timing’s just screwed up at the moment.

    MTM–Will get with you on IM soon, you make great points here.

    Mike–I’m glad to hear the success stories 🙂

    Adrianna–I’m trying–the catch is the one he tried to use to hold me here, no car.

    Underhill–You’re not aware of what is and is not obligations between he and I, so you’re really not in a position to judge. As for setting myself up, I did agree to move here and do have my own part in our relationship not working out.

  26. vanessa said,

    Serra, I’m glad to hear you have help coming and are moving towards leaving.

  27. vanessa said,

    Serra, I’m glad to hear you have help coming and are moving towards leaving. I agree with everyone above that said you can do this and you deserve to do this for yourself.

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