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Don’t Bank on Your Ex

Dear Shameika,
I broke up with my ex-boyfriend a few months ago after a two-year relationship. His family doesn’t quite seem to understand this, despite one of them reaching out previously to tell me to leave him because of his controlling ways. His family members — especially his aunts — keep contacting me for handouts. For example, they have asked me for $2,000 for furniture and most recently asked to hold a church retreat at my house. I know this sounds crazy, but I am never sure how to respond without being completely rude. I like his family and all, but how can I get them to stop reaching out to me asking me for stuff?
-I’m Not a Bank
Shameika Rhymes
Dear I’m Not a Bank,
I think I need to sit down for this one, somebody have my smelling salts on standby because I might pass out. So let me get this straight, they advised you to break up with this ex? Congrats on listening to their advice because sometimes family will warn you when they know a mofo ain’t about ish. I had an aunt and a sister that advised me to run, and my stubborn ass didn’t listen for a few more years after that, but I digress.
First of all, in two years, what kind of relationship did you establish with this family to make it seem like it’s okay to even ask for a dollar? I get it, there are certain family members that we tend to become close with when dating someone long-term, so much so that they become like family to us. But chile, unless you had a relationship with them before y’all got together, now that you’ve broken up, that should be it! It’s fine to be friendly and social, but all favors come to an end, especially when the break up is so fresh.
I’m stuck on this asking someone for more than $5 and to hold a full-ass church retreat in your living room. What kind of furniture do they need? Why can’t they just rent some furniture or put it on layaway? Why can’t they have the church retreat at, oh I don’t know, the church? Is the furniture to buy pews to put in your house? This makes no sense when you have churches everywhere — shoot, there’s even Church’s Chicken restaurants everywhere if you can’t find a house of worship. Asking someone to front that kind of money and host a congregation is doing the absolute most, and it’s disrespectful in my opinion. They are clearly taking your kindness for weakness.
Now the other part of me, deep down in my soul, feels like the ex may be the petty bot pushing the buttons to this operation. He knows you love his family and he knows you may tell them yes because he certainly isn’t going to, so he directs them your way. You need to squash this right now. Communicate with him about what is going on and ask him to talk to his family. Also, the next time they reach out, the best way to handle this is to tell them that while you are trying to heal from the breakup, you would prefer them not to ask you for favors. If you want to take it a step further, tell them you need space and will be in touch when you are ready to talk to them again. There’s no need to be rude, just be firm so that they understand to not come back around with their hands out asking for even a stick of gum. There’s also the go-to of: “I ain’t got it and won’t have it.
You need to step back and do some inner work here. What is the real reason you keep in touch with these people? Do you want your ex back? Is this because talking to them keeps you connected to him? If so, you should take your power back and focus your energy into cutting the cord, healing and moving on. Breakups test our emotions and what you need is to focus on loving yourself and getting ready to get back out there to find a greater love, not be worried about if Deacon Doo-Rag is going to leave his teeth beside your television.
There’s nothing wrong with reaching out on holidays, but regular contact with these people sounds like it needs to stop, especially since the break up is so recent. You can’t heal with them begging for your coins and living room. It’s an endless spiral into the abyss of your bank account and kindness.
Put your foot down, and good luck!
If you have a dilemma you need help solving, drop me a line:

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