My boyfriend and I have been together for a little over four months and have been living together for about three weeks. Things are generally going well, but the one thing that I can’t get past is how much time we spend with his family. They live in a suburb of New York, where we live, and we’ve somehow gotten into a routine of spending significant amounts of time at their house nearly every weekend. They’re lovely people, but I can’t seem to get my boyfriend to understand that I don’t want to spend weekend nights at their place more often than maybe once a month, even if we don’t have anything else planned. I miss just being able to head out into the city at random, looking for things to do, which is what I did when I was single and even when my boyfriend and I weren’t living together. I consider myself to have a pretty close relationship with my own family, but they live in another state, and I really don’t require seeing them more than once every 6 weeks or even being in touch more than every couple of days. Not only is it a long commute to my boyfriend’s family’s place, but it’s also starting to get expensive paying for the commuter train both ways (we split expenses pretty evenly even though I make significantly less).
Am I being unreasonable for not wanting to go to his parents’ house every weekend? I could say that he can go by himself for these things, but I want the weekends for quality couple time since we both have pretty demanding jobs during the week. I’m nearly at my wit’s end because it’s causing me to get upset with him over fairly trivial things. — I Wish I Were Homeward Bound
Your boyfriend is spending every weekend at his parents’ house because you are enabling that to happen. As your history with him has shown, he likes spending his weekends with you. If you spent every weekend together in the city before you lived together, it would seem that that’s something he enjoys doing. It would seem that if he had to choose, he’d choose spending a weekend with you in the city over spending a weekend with his parents in the ‘burbs. So… make him choose. Stop going to the burbs with him all the time. Tell him you’re staying home this weekend. And next weekend. Tell him you’re staying home three weekends out of four (which is completely reasonable) and he’s welcome to stay with you or he’s free to go see his parents, but you live in the city because you like the urban life and the weekend is your time to enjoy that life.
You know what will happen when you make him choose between spending every single weekend in the suburbs with his parents or three weekends a month in the city with you? He’s going to choose you. At least, most of the time. And if he doesn’t, then that’s a big red flag. Unless there’s a legitimate reason, like a sick/dying family member, that he needs to be home all the time, escaping his life with you in the city means he doesn’t value your needs and you don’t share the same interests. Those are two crucial things that need to be in place if you’re going to spend your life with this man. Better you learn where things stand now than later down the road if/when he proposes or you get married.
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