He's a dirty drinker

13 June 2011 - 00:15 By Leonard Carr, Stephanie Dawson-Cosser

I love my live-in partner, but I can't cope with his uncleanliness. He drinks beer with his friends, does not wash and wears dirty clothing. The idea of sex with him is abhorrent because he smells

SHRINKRAP

YOU are describing a person who either does not seem to notice or care about your reaction to body odour and dirty clothes or your revulsion at the idea of being physically close to him.

You know all of this. Yet you persist in believing that subtle dropping of hints will change his ways. Clearly, he is not the only one who does not get it.

This is not about love. It is about respect. Beyond respect it is about being aware of each other's sensibilities, needs and feelings.

If someone is switched off either because of a drinking habit or because of a lack of self-respect, they are surely not going to be aware or respectful of you.

He is not aware of his physical self-neglect. You do not seem to be fully aware of the deep resentment and sense you have of being devalued. This man chooses to spend time drinking, which is his preference, over your need for him to spend time in the shower.

You do not mention getting anything out of this relationship.

It is time you own up to your true needs and to stand up for your own honour. If you do not reclaim your dignity, power and self-respect, then your spirit will start to erode.

You will then, as a consequence, start doubting your entire value as a person.

If you continue to betray yourself by submitting to exploitation, you will eventually doubt your ability to get into a more loving or constructive relationship.

Like so many women, you then run the risk of becoming hostage to a smelly drunk, and still believe that you are the problem.

The time to be firm is now. It becomes too late when you start to believe that your inadequacies are to blame for his behaviour. - Leonard Carr

SUPERNANNY

HOW would you define love? What kind of relationship brings joy and fulfilment?

He lives with you, but spends his time drinking? And he does not think there is anything wrong?

He does not even show respect in terms of his personal hygiene, let alone for you, his partner.

Is this really what you think a loving relationship should be like? This guy has lost his self-respect at a number of levels.

Is he depressed? Does he have a job that gives him purpose? Does he love you? Or is he just a slob?

If he is depressed, then it might explain his behaviour, but then he needs help and you still need to ask yourself if you want to be his key support.

If he is not suffering from depression, then he is using you, and is not worthy of your love, home and hard-earned achievements.

You are worthy of someone who shows you respect and love and who takes responsibility for themselves and the relationship.

You clearly know what you like and what you do not like - he seems to have very few ticks on the list of likes.

If he cannot shape up he needs to ship out, but he will not do that unless you give him an ultimatum. - Stephanie Dawson-Cosser