My Friends Say I Shouldn’t Live With My Ex. Are They Right?

Dr. Wendy Walsh Dr. Wendy Walsh • 9/21/12

Reader Question:

For about 13 years I have been single. When I lost my job nine years ago, my ex-husband and son offered a room so I would not be homeless. I’m still with them and we get along. But I have not found a job, and I haven’t found a date either. My girlfriends say it’s because no man would want to be around a woman who boards with her ex. At the moment, there is nothing I can do about my life situation.

Are my friends right?

-Louise (Oregon)

Dr. Wendy Walsh’s Answer:

I think you have put your basic human needs in the wrong order of priority. Psychologist Abraham Maslow’s famous hierarchy of human needs puts the order this way:

1. Food, warmth and air.

2. Security of employment, body and health.

3. Friendship, family and sexual intimacy.

Your friends are wrong about one thing. Men aren’t avoiding you because you board with your ex. Instead, you are avoiding men by not taking care of yourself first and making yourself dateable.

I assure you, you are lovable and deserve to be loved. But the first relationship you need to attend to is the one with yourself. Love yourself by improving your “level two” needs and a man will come next.

I highly recommend getting a psychological partner in a therapist. Check your local university for a low-fee clinic.


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