Dear Doctor Amorous,
My friends keep telling me to break up with my girlfriend, but I don’t think the stuff she does is that strange and I don’t understand what the big deal is. I finally agreed to get neutral, third-party advice, so that’s why I’m writing to you.
This is the situation: I’m 36, my girlfriend is 24. I work full-time, she did German studies and is still looking for a full-time job after finishing university a couple years ago. She works as a waitress in the meantime. We live together and I pay the rent. She picks up groceries sometimes but that is it. She does not do any work around the house, as she is really tired after her shifts and often very moody and irritable. If she works to closing, she gets home around midnight or 1 a.m. and wakes me up to talk even though I need to be at work at 7.
My friends think my girlfriend is too needy, and they have also told me that it is not normal for an adult woman to cry so much.
If there is a conflict, if she is tired, if she is premenstrual or having her period, if she is stressed, if she is fighting with her mom or her sister, or if she feels like I am not as attentive as I should be, she cries and can be really loud. She also throws stuff. She is just a moody, temperamental person. I think this is because she is a creative, more eccentric person who is not able to use her talents right now and is frustrated. My friends think she is psycho and really needy and immature. When she is upset, she also calls me names, even in front of others. She is really small and I don’t really take it seriously, she can’t actually hurt me because I am a lot bigger than her.
We have been together for three years and I am perfectly content. I feel like all women are moody and irritable and get upset a lot, so I don’t know what the big deal is. It’s just stuff you have to handle if you have a girlfriend. But I promised I would get your advice, so: Do you think this is weird or normal?
No Big Deal
Dear No Big Deal,
Oh, sweetheart. There is a lot that is weird here! Just. A lot. Honey. OK. One thing at a time.
Let’s talk about some facts! Facts are your friend!
Screaming, crying, name-calling, and refusing to pay bills or do chores are not normal female behaviors.
It is not the case that all women engage in those behaviors in their relationships. I have never screamed at a partner in my life! Not when I was 24, not when I was on my period, not ever!
Here are some facts about relationships, regardless of gender or how big anybody’s body is: It is not OK to call names. It is not OK to make yourself into a baby whom the other person has to support and indulge. And it is not OK to excuse yourself from basic benchmarks of adulting by reference to some imaginary, unused talents or gifts. If waiting tables stopped people from using their talents, libraries, galleries, and patent offices would be empty.
My friend, your girlfriend is a jerk. She is an immature and nasty person, and you are enabling this behavior by supporting her economically. Even worse, pretending that it is normal and acceptable for her to scream at you and insult you. Maybe she has fabulous boobs, and maybe she is great in bed: unhinged people often are.
You are actively making the world a worse place by staying with her and pretending that abusive and dysfunctional garbage is normal.
The Russians have a saying, I believe, which goes like this: You get the woman you deserve. Is your view of women is so morbidly condescending that you honestly believe this pattern of behavior is normal and acceptable? Then you do indeed currently have the woman you deserve. You can stay with her and just be jerks together. Or grow the fuck up and integrate the reality of disciplined, mature, accomplished women into your current view of the world. Jesus Christ, man, imagine thinking that half the human race is a spoilt fourteen-year-old!
Consider what exactly you are getting out of this relationship, why it is you are gratified by having an unstable and out-of-control partner.
Also what you would be doing with your life if you were not investing it in babysitting an overgrown teenager. Figure that out, and go do it. And please, be single for a good long time, until you stop believing that women are all brats.