Watching someone's life drain away

  • I'm a teenage Cancer and my boyfriend is Leo (I'm 17, he's 20). My birth date is 6-26-93 and his is 8-16-1990. We've been together 4 months and complement each other well (people tell us we make a "cute couple"). He always makes me smile and I've been happy with him....The problem is some of the things he does. We're both in a community college. I work very hard and mostly get A's. I also work one night a week. He doesn't really care how well he does and only mildly cares about passing. (The way things are going, it looks like he's going to flunk the same class twice), and he also has no job. And, he told me he occasionally does weed and smokes. (I've only seen him do the latter).

    I know it sounds totally crazy, and sometimes I think I should break up with him. But I've also been happier with him than anyone else--he's always listening and understanding of my own problems, like with family and things like that. I know I would be heartbroken if I had to leave him, and I know his problems are little compared to what they could be--he does pass some of his classes (that his parents are paying for). Right now, again, we get along very well, and my family likes him well enough (they think he should get a job). It just kills me sometimes that he doesn't appear to care where his life is going, and habitually procrastinates/has bad habits. What is your take on this? Would it be best to leave or stay? I really want to stay, but am also constantly questioning the situation. How could I make it work, if it is possible? Any advice appreciated--thanks so much for reading.

  • Dear Cancergirl,

    You are an A student with a young man that is doing drugs that take away life's essense and place people that do them in limbo. You are smart in asking if you are in need of this young man in your life. I believe you already know the answer to this question. What is your worth? What is his to him? You can not be a savior for someone only a friend. He needs to stop what he is doing and pay attention as second chances are hard to come by sometimes. I sense that you need to pull back on this relationship even though you enjoy him, open yourself up to dating others that match your expectations on a more even keel. I hear music around you, do you play in a band ? or in some way here you will be involved with music and it sounds very beautiful yet up to date. You have a wonderful future ahead of you with someone from a university that may teach music. Let me know when you are waltzing with him and feel so happy that your singing right along with him.

  • You are happy with him? Enjoy. Unless he puts you in a position to compromise your beliefs you should just enjoy as you are both too young for thinking marriage. He is immature--men usually lag behind girls at that age. Only failing one class may mean it's his weakness--I know many English prof. who had to take Algebra twice! And they were smart and creative. He is probably creative and has not found his nitch or bliss. If he puts you in danger then reconsider but otherwise you two are young and get along so enjoy as it is a bit shallow to judge him as not worthy because he doesn't meet your higher standards. Most likely you will both move on eventually but if you are being honest and you two truelly enjoy each other than try to acept him for who he is--maybe you can be a good influence on him. 20 is young for a guy to be all together--If he's not getting drunk and putting you in harms way or being abusive or stumbling around stoned or being disrespectful than give him credit for being a true friend. At your age it is comman to meet many men before getting seriouse and you learn something from them even though you grow apart. A man of twenty with bad habits usually spends the next ten years growing up. If you truelly expect more from a man--try someone older--then again he could be straight A'S good job but not have any of the other qualities you find in this less ambitious man. Follow your intuitions. It could be his parents make it too easy for him not to work. Somebody must be funding his life.Try to really examine his life in the big picture and how he was raised. Decide if he is by nature lazy or just hasn't had enough motivation yet. If he's not been pushed by his family be bold and honest with telling him--maybe with humour kick his but and make jokes about his lack of being a big boy now and working like everyone else. His reaction should reveal exactly why he is not interested. I sense that that really is your concern--that you are not sure just how much of a real character flaw it is---if he'll grow up and make progress or if this is all there is. I think he will grow up but you will always be ahead. Blessings.

  • Wow, Shuabby, I am amazed. I am very into music: I've played piano for 11 years. I compose songs for piano and have a job playing piano with a children's choir. It is my aspiration to teach at a university someday, probably music but maybe math (I am very interested in both). Either way, I will somehow make music part of my career. (I will let you know if/when I meet the music professor)!

    You are right about my needing to pull back a bit. He's said I'm the "only girl in the world for him" and "there could never be anyone else", and while I like him very much, that makes me a little scared. I am very young to make a huge commitment, although I know he isn't asking for one--yet. I still need to think about this. Thank you so much for your advice (and thank you for sharing your gift!).

  • Thank you also, Blmoon. He is not putting me in a position to compromise in any way. You're right about his being creative--he's an amazing artist. He paints excellent portraits and anime-like cartoons. I'm not judging him; I know he's talented in his own ways, like art, it just concerns me when he fails his classes. He failed an art class because he didn't pay close enough attention to directions--admittedly, he did have a hard teacher, no one got an A. Still, art is his forte...He also failed one other class (biology).

    However, he does have many good qualities. He's an excellent, understanding listener. I did meet a guy a few months ago who got straight A's, was very handsome, and was looking for a job--and he was perverted and mean, so I avoided him.

    You're right about his parents not pushing him. He's the youngest child--his sister is already at a college far away living and working on her own. He did say that if he doesn't pass this semester they said he'll have to get a job.

    Thanks again. You phrased it well when you said I was concerned how much a character flaw it is. I'll just take things one day at a time for now. Thank you!

  • One day at a time is a great idea--you are a wise woman for your age. Also on his talented behalf and as an artist myself and a succesful writer it is not uncomman for the most gifted NOT to ace the art classes. It takes a really good teacher as in the true art world the famouse are noted for their unique style or voice--which translates to being different. In college some teachers go by the book--compare you to others and are not open to anything outside the box. That is why some of the most famouse artists got their degrees as honorary gifts AFTER getting famouse. Many successful created people will tell you of being told as a student they would never succeed! I have seen teachers rip young talent apart. What I have learned in my success is that talent is not enough--I've crossed paths with some of the most gifted people --many who give up. The other part of the equation is a belief in oneself--a very tough skin to critisism and the ability to get back up when rejected. LOTS of rejection comes with success. Your friend sounds like a sensitive soul as most gifted creatives are. You can help him stay strong as you have such a great balance between head and heart! BLESSINGS

  • Thank you so much, Blmoon. It did seem silly that his art teacher didn't even PASS him, although his art is fantastic--I saw her comments; she said he didn't "format it" correctly, he just handed his pictures (like his self-portrait) in on poster board (I think he was supposed to laminate it or something, I don't remember). I urged him not to give up, but like you said, it requires needing a tough skin to criticism. He's taking another painting class this semester (a slightly different one) this semester and he's doing well in it. If there's one thing I've learned, the teacher is everything! A seemingly dull topic can become interesting, a normally fairly easy class can be made hard, etc. I had an English teacher a few semesters ago who was divorced and bitter over it. He hated any papers (or literature) that weren't depressing. My first paper wasn't--I've always loved writing and excelled at it and got a C straightaway. I made the rest of my papers depressing and got an A in his class. My writing skills hadn't really changed, though.

    Thanks again for all your advice and help. It's good to put things in perspective--sometimes I don't look at the big picture enough. Thank you, and best wishes!

  • HA HA HA! You are such a smart cookie--like I said balance of head over heart (emotions) you --gave the teacher what they wanted and knew better but did what you had to do! Your my kind of Goddess. I had an Art teacher once who pretty much ran everyone off before the semester ended--he believed his way was GOD and he was horribly abstract in a sloppy pretensouse way. He really cut down the younger students. In the end there was only me and another elderly lady who did her own thing and ignored him. I reported him to the Dean and he was fired next term. I also had a music teacher one semester who was going through a very nast divorce and was a raving lunitic for weeks--students disapeared and I too dropped out. Even though he had been there for years and was once really good they had to tell him to take the year off. I wasn't seeking a degree so I could drop out but had I been paying for a degree I would have done exactly as you---let my ego go---play their game to my advantage and get by reminding myself I was just passing through! The teachers who changed my life where the ones who were very passionate about the subject they were teaching. Too many teachers have no buisness teaching! I once took a selective studies course in fiction writing--a small group of 8 and the teacher was miserable and depressing and went as far as having us help her grade her english class papers! These were final papers with esays! Mostly I loved college and found great teachers but it was eye opening some of the bad teachers I met---who horribly affected some poor students life.. I ended up forming life long friendships with my favourite professors. I hope you find those gifted ones as well.

  • That's hilarious! And, like you did, I love college for the most part. All the teachers I've had have been great except for the English one and a History professor I had over the summer. I worked my butt off in his class and got a B overall. (Everyone around me was getting 63s and 70s on the tests he made up himself--that was my only consolation. That and the fact that he wore pastel colored shirts every day and always had lunch with his mom. Not to mention he covertly asked me to lunch and I politely declined). What really killed me though was that I got a D on the final exam because I didn't realize you had to turn over the last page--his other tests didn't have one. At least, that's what he told me when I ran into him this semester. But really, most of my teachers have been wonderful. All 3 of the math teachers I've had have been great and go out of their way to help students, and my second English teacher was great--we got to evaluate poems and short stories. My teachers this semester are all wonderful, too. When there's a bad teacher, you really do just have to remind yourself that you're just passing though! 🙂

  • Too funny! Lunch with his mommy. Makes sense that a man like that with no real inner power must create his own little kingdom complete with his own rules! I always felt that teachers who abuse their power are really insecure wimps in the outside world. It's almost like passing their class is not about the subject they teach but more about life skills to know how to walk around them. How honored you must have felt? To get a lunch invite---gee--you must have been smart like mommy!!! I bet he thout up that surprise page right after you said no thanks just to prove he was wrong and you didn't make his smart list after all! Poor little kingdom ruler because all the ones who outsmart him will definetly run fast far far away! If someone put out a public call for weird teacher stories it would make for one funny very big book!

  • Too true!

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