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How to deal with a man who disappears in December and comes back broke in January

By Faeza
13 December 2016

Festive single writes:

EVERY year, without fail, my boyfriend disappears from around the 14th of December, when he gets his bonus, right until after New Year’s Day. He comes back broke, having spent all his money and doesn’t even have petrol money for the rest of January. And inevitably, I have to rescue him. How do I handle this? At first, I used to call over and over again, trying to get hold of him, worried sick. But as time has passed, I have accepted

that he is okay, he is out there having fun, getting drunk and partying. But I want it to stop, now. I don’t want to be that annoying, possessive girlfriend who wants to monitor her man’s movements all the time. But what kind of relationship is this, where we have a normal life as a couple all year round right until mid-December? Then I am all alone at a time when we are supposed to be with the ones we love.

Linda Yende responds:

MY suggestion is that you start finding festive friends and festive activities to do during

holiday periods and forget about him until mid-January. See, from the sound of your question, you have accepted that this is how things are going to be between you. You have allowed him to do this over and over every year. And his leaving has had no consequence,

because when he comes back, you pick up exactly where you left off. We teach people how to treat us. And you, my dear, have taught him to use you like a house. He can go away, go do what he wants to do and you will stay in exactly the same spot where he left you and that is exactly where he will find you. I assure you, it is too late to even sit him down and

talk about it now, so I won’t bother suggesting that.


I suggest you fill your calendar, find things to do without him in December. Stop being a festive widow. Get your own life, pursue your own interests and have loads of fun. The truth is, this would probably not be so bad, if he just said to you that he is going away with his friends for some guy fun and checked in with you, occasionally. But clearly he doesn’t want to do that. He wants to totally forget you exist for a full month, and then conveniently remember you when the fun is over. Might I also suggest that you ensure that you and him use protection when he comes back? At least until he has been tested twice over a three month period. Because, let’s face it, these festive disappearances are often linked with a festive fling or five as well. He is single for that entire month and will certainly act like a single man out there.


Let me ask you the question that I have been trying hard to avoid asking, throughout this discussion: Why are you okay with this? You say you are sick of it, but honestly … you are allowing it to happen over and over, which says that you have accepted it and are okay with it. We teach people how to treat us, and you have taught him that it is okay to disappear like this, every year. Why? I think it is because you don’t think that you deserve any better. You think that he is the best that you can do and as such, you must just accept the ‘little’ bad that comes with his package. That is a self-esteem issue. Your self-esteem

has got you convinced that he is the best that you can do. Which is so sad. We date at the level of our self-esteem.


Moreover, you allow him to go out there and squander his money all month, then come back and get money from you to get to work all month. Here’s a suggestion (if he hasn’t disappeared already, by now); why don’t you suggest to him that, before he disappears, he must leave his January fuel money with you, so you can keep it safe for him, until he

comes back. Of course, you can just skip all of these ridiculous things and just give him the ultimatum that if he disappears this year, he must just go and not come back into your life.

And mean it, this time. The time for idle threats has come and gone. And clearly none of them have worked. So, at this point, you just need to be honest with yourself. Are you going to live with this? Or are you going to make it clear that it is unacceptable to you and

that you will not tolerate it? Give his actions consequence. Let him know right now, before he leaves that you will not be sitting waiting for him, if he disappears again. Fill your

calendar with fun events. Why sit and wait as if he took your fun with him, when he left? Have your own life, independently of him.