Users In Relationships
They Are Everywhere
You will find them in all walks of life. They are co-workers, friends, family members, husbands, wives, lovers or many other capacities. They are the ones who always know when you might have a few dollars extra that you were going to buy yourself something special with, or some extra time off that you needed for yourself. They are the ones who need to borrow a few dollars for gas till next week, can you run them to the store, whatever their needs happen to be. Maybe they need to borrow a cup of sugar, for the 10th time in a month. Whatever it is what they need has nothing to do with what you need. Their main concern is getting their needs met, the hell with yours. Family members are the worst offenders, spouses, lovers even children.
The person being used may not even notice or take it for granted that it is their duty or just things a partner does for each other. The main phrase here is "Does for each other". The user does not reciprocate.She/he wants to be done for, period, end of story. It doesn't matter if the few dollars is the last ones you have, or the time you spend doing something they could do for themselves was time you really for downtime after a long day.
This type of person will often become angry or abusive to you if you refuse their requests or ask them to attend to their own needs. They may tell you how much they do for you or that have done this or that for you in the past or even how you owe them. We have all encountered this type of person in some phase of our life. The important thing here is to recognize the person for what they are "USERS" and stop or set limits on the catering to their every need and whim.
If the user is a co-worker you may explain to them that you are uncomfortable loaning money, things, or giving rides to a co-worker. You may check and see if their is a policy against such employee to employee fraternization and use this to back up your position. If all else fails you may have to resort to speaking to someone higher up.
If it is a family member or child, things may be a little more difficult, since they are more difficult to say no to. God knows that I have fallen for more than my share of "sob" stories and crocodile tears from one of my children. If the person is a parent this also presents a certain amount of finesse. If they are elderly and have a very limited income or are unable to do for themselves then the situation is different. But the thing to remember when dealing with a "user" in one of these positions, is to recognize need from whim. You must also remember that you have to pay your own bills and costs, and must be sure that this person also understands that. I could never say no to my child or parent if they were in dire straits, but when their income is three times what mine is, its a little easier. Also a family member or child who has the money to party all weekend, then needs a few dollars for the next work week needs to learn responsibility. This can only be taught by you setting limits and keeping them.
I am telling you not to help someone in need but instead, to stop being a doormat or ATM to someone who abuses the fact that you are softhearted and often help others when in need yourself.
This one can be touchy, especially if you live under the same roof, and especially if you share expenses. Even if you are married this situation can become sticky if the woman stays home.
The user can be male or female and the abuse can be either financial or emotional which involves time, being catered to among other things. These users are a little less apparent since the things you are asked to do may be seen by him/her as part of the marital duties and the financial aspect viewed as "our money" or "whats mine is mine and whats yours is mine".
To recognize the difference between these situations it is necessary to look at the particular situation you are in. If the one of the partners work and thw other stays at home to keep the house and watch the children, if she/he makes a few dollars on the side from working at home, this should be their money. It is not family income unless it is a substantial amount and was agreed upon in the begininng. If the user is constantly needing every penny that the other has coming in for this emergengy or the other, then it is a form of using, since it leaves the partner with no money for their personal needs.
In a relationship the "use abuse" can involve emotional issues as stated above. Maybe one of the partners expects the other to constantly catter to their whims. If one works and the other is at home the one who works may expect the other to bring them this, bring them that, do this, do that, etc. After all they will reason, they are at work all day while the other one is relaxed at home. They do not even take into account the amount of time and energy it takes to keep up a home, raise a child and giving up a career. Many things are taken for granted while the one being used raises no protests often believing this things are "duties" or that its not worth the argument.
In these situtuations I would suggest looking to examples:
1. Cleaning the house everyday is a expected chore while picking up constantly all day long after the messes made by the other party is being used.
2. Washing the dishes everyday is expected while having to go through the house cpicking them up from all over the house is being used.
3. Giving a partner money to help out if he/she is short cash until payday is expected when you are a couple, the partner expecting that you must hand over every penny and leaving you with nothing is abuse and also a form of control.
In closing, there are many forms of abuse and being used is one of them. While i realize that there are times when a person may need help, I still suggest that you become able to discern between actual "need" and "Using". Do not allow yourself to become the victime of these types of persons. It seldom ever stops unless you put a stop to it.
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