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Pillage Talk
Just posted another Advice Goddess column -- from a guy whose girlfriend is lacks ambition and is stealing from him -- taking cash from his pants pocket, his wallet, and his change jar -- and he hopes getting her to move to a new place will change everything. Here's my reply:

So…if a guy at a concert picks your pocket, do you chase him and try to tackle him, or sit down and ponder whether he just needs an apartment of his own?

It’s bad enough that you have to worry about strangers in Romania phishing your bank account over the Internet. Now you also have to worry that your own girlfriend is phishing your dresser? Of course, you should probably consider yourself lucky if all her larceny is the petty kind. While women typically wait until they marry to take a man’s name, your name may already be appearing on credit cards you’ll only find out about when the repo man is driving away in your car.

You could be checking your credit report for fraud right now -- if only you weren’t so busy making excuses for your girlfriend: She has a bad job! She doesn’t make enough money! There may be demons in the washing machine! Right. There’s a reason it’s the fruit of your labor disappearing, not your Fruit of the Looms. (Ever try to buy earrings with a fistful of tighty-whities?) Cough it up already: Your girlfriend is a thief. She isn’t “finding” money, she isn’t borrowing money, she’s stealing it, plain and simple. On the bright side, she isn’t endangering your life by holding you up at gunpoint, since your gullibility is the only weapon she needs.

Sometimes reality bites, and when it does, the answer isn’t reaching down to pet it and give it a biscuit. Sure, you really, really want to believe there’s a loving relationship in there somewhere -- perhaps because you’ve already put so much time into believing that. Or, perhaps you think admitting your girlfriend doesn’t love you means admitting you’re unlovable or undeserving of love. The truth is, you might be quite lovable, but you’ll never find out as long you’re with a woman whose idea of a 50/50 relationship involves lifting $50 from your wallet, then cashing in another $50 from your change jar.

Getting your girlfriend to move out will change one thing -- her address. While management companies do give away a lot of amenities to lure new renters, ethics and ambition aren’t among them. You can have a woman who shares your values, provided that you keep looking until you actually find one. If it makes you feel better, consider the money this woman filched a course fee of sorts: a lesson to avoid ignoring the disconnect between what you have and what you really want -- which, presumably, isn’t a girlfriend who can’t keep her hands off your hard…earned cash.

The entire question and answer is here.

Posted by aalkon at March 15, 2007 4:41 AM

Comments

You know, last week a tornado came through South Georgia and managed to pop in on my house. My house was completely destroyed, and I lost everything I had ever owned. The baby pictures of my children were the hardest. I have always heard that in the face of disaster, you find out who your true friends really are. This is absolutely, 100% correct. Two people who were supposed to be the closest to me couldn't quit inquiring about my insurance checks and how much. They didn't mind helping with the clean up and search for belongings, but, at the end of the day, wanted to be paid. One person asked me to pay off a loan and another asked if he could add things for himself on my "property inventory" to the insurance company. I deleted both of these people from my life. Tomorrow will be one week they have been gone. Immediately, I felt less stressed and more capable of handling the future than when they were around "helping." Losing losers from your life is an immediate gain, both physically and emotionally. I hope this guy has cut this girl loose already. Imagine what she would be capable in the face of disaster? It is hard to learn that someone you care for doesn't care about you, but it's better to learn it when your chips are up and walking away is still an option.

Posted by: kg at March 15, 2007 8:17 AM

So sorry to hear about your disaster.

I am always impressed, though, when people live consciously, and do as you did.

I've always been a good friend to have, but in my 20s, I realized I was no friend to myself if I consistently went out of my way for people who really didn't care about me.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at March 15, 2007 8:58 AM

kg,

I wish you well with your rebuild.

As long as I can remember I have assumed, after "friends" have figuratively shit on me, that I must be worthy of such treatment. I think I do this because it's easier to be in denial than to acknowledge that you must kick a friend to the curb, and because I think that deciding that someone is evil is MY character flaw - I've failed to adequately justify their behavior. I've largely grown out of this habit (I dated some losers but my wife is a gem), but I can see how it compares to the victim mentality of battered spouses/partners.

Posted by: Dave at March 15, 2007 9:20 AM

kg, I am so sorry for your losses. I can't imagine just losing everything in an instant.

It took my mother's death for me to find out there were relatives I needed to cut out of my life. My much older brother took great joy in telling me, an hour after my Mom's death, that I was adopted, AND therefore not "real" family. Others, including my grandmother, apparently agreed. A painful lesson, but after that I never kept toxic friends.

About the guy above, I'm reminded of the old joke:

Q: What do carpets and men have in common?
A: Lay 'em right and you can walk all over them.

That girlfriend must have mad skills.

Posted by: Kimberly at March 15, 2007 12:45 PM

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