His mom and stepdad are financially irresponsible. Even though they are both in their early-mid 40s, they are always in a bind, but they never stress or make adjustments because my boyfriend puts the entire load on his shoulders. His mom doesn’t work (by choice), and the stepdad works at a bowling alley, yet they have a 4-bedroom home they can’t afford without my boyfriend’s income. The whole situation was annoying before, but it wasn’t unbearable. Now that I have moved into my own apartment and would rather hang out at my place than at his family’s home, it’s a struggle to get him to come over.
I’m scared because I want to settle down and build a life with this man, but he never has time for me because he’s either working or taking care of his mother’s many needs. He’s told me that he wants to marry me, but he wants to be financially stable first, and I just don’t see how he’d be able to save money to be stable when damn near all of his money and time goes to his mother. I know for a fact that his mother can’t afford her lifestyle without him, and I don’t see him leaving her to fend for herself. What should I do? —Second Fiddle to His Mother
If someone says he wants to marry you, but not until he’s “financially stable,” and then he goes out of his way to remain financially unstable, then in all likelihood he doesn’t actually want to marry you. It’s obvious that you have lots of issues with the dynamic your boyfriend has with his mother… but does he? You don’t mention anything about how he might feel. Maybe he’s fine with how things are. Maybe he’d rather continue living with his mother and stepdad than move in with you? After all, you’re both 28 and have been together six years and you can’t even get him to come over and hang out with you because he’s too busy tending to his mother (and why would you want to build a life with a man who never makes time for you, anyway??). Have you considered he’s avoiding you and that his mother’s neediness provides a convenient excuse for not being present for you?
I’d have a heart-to-heart with him about the state of your relationship — how you’re ready to move forward and you need a partner who wants the same things as you and is ready and willing to take the steps to make it happen. I wouldn’t give him an ultimatum, but in your own mind you should decide how much time you’re willing to give to see if your boyfriend makes any attempts to move things along (I’d recommend about three months, and no more than six months, tops), and then, if he’s still engaging in the same avoidance of you and doesn’t seem to be moving toward shared goals, it’s time to MOA. You can really love someone and have a deep history with him, but it doesn’t mean you’re meant to be together forever. It may be that this relationship has simply run its course and neither one of you wants to be the one to call it…
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].