Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Live-in Boyfriend Won’t Introduce Me to His Kids”

I have been serious with my boyfriend for a little over two years. In the last three to four months he has moved in with me. At first he stayed only two to three nights at a time, but now he has a closet and what I hope are most of his things here. He has three children I have never met, and I haven’t met his mom either. I met his two brothers once because I had tickets and took all of them to a game. The relationship we have, in my eyes, is very mind/spirit/body — we get along awesomely! We enjoy each other’s company, laugh together, and share our thoughts.

When he has his 15-year-old daughter, he stays at his mom’s, where he kind of rents a room from her. He has a condo that he doesn’t stay in but pays a mortgage on. He tells me he needs to rent or sell it and then doesn’t do anything about it/puts it off. (He was renting it up until last June, but it’s been empty since). I am feeling hurt that he doesn’t chip in with anything at my place but pays his mom for the room he has there. I am also hurt that I haven’t met most of his family and am not a part of his family life. I have spoken to him about how I feel several times, and he says it will change and that I will be a part of all of their lives. Just when? His answer is “soon.” First, it was “before we move in together” and then it was “before the holidays.”

I also don’t understand why once a week he has to sleep at his mom’s for a visit. For example, during the weekend that just passed he was at his mom’s from Friday to Sunday, and he tells me through text this morning that he’s probably going back tonight after work. I’m starting to resent him. I’m not sure what to do since I feel so connected to him otherwise and have so much love for him. He says he loves me and has never had such an awesome relationship as the one we have; I agree. He says he was never been with a woman like me before ever. Am I missing something here? — Missing Something

I think what you’re missing is the truth. You’ve been with this man for two years — and you now essentially live together — and you’ve never met his three kids or his mother? WHY haven’t you met them? I can understand his wanting to wait a while before introducing you to his kids, but it’s been two years now. What’s his reason for stalling? And why hasn’t he introduced you to his mother, especially considering he lives with her part-time? Why would you let him move in with you without knowing this side of his life?

What you describe here does not sound “very mind/spirit/body” to me. There’s more to having a serious relationship with someone that just “getting along awesomely.” What about honesty? What about trust? What about sharing your life? What about open communication? From what you write, there is a major lack of those things.

It sounds like you’re in denial about the many holes in this relationship. The fact that your boyfriend doesn’t chip in with your living expenses is, like, the least of the issues here. Bigger concerns are that you have no idea why he hasn’t introduced you to his family, why he hasn’t rented out or sold his condo yet, why he stays at his mother’s house for days and pays her rent for a room. You have no time frame for when things will change. Your boyfriend doesn’t give you honest answers when you ask. In short, there’s A LOT you don’t know about this man, and it’s concerning that you have jumped into living with someone who has kept so much of his life — such major parts of his life — a total secret from you.

If I were you, I’d tell him that I’ve had enough of the secrecy and that, until he is ready to share his whole life with me, including introducing me to his mother and kids, and until he is ready to discuss future living arrangements as a partner (emotionally AND financially), he needs to take his belongings and go live somewhere else (like in his vacant condo or the room he rents from his mother). And then read “15 Things Couples Should Do Before Moving in Together,” paying close attention to 3, 4, 5, and 12 (but add “kids” to that, since, when I wrote the list, I figured that was a given/no-brainer when apparently it’s not).

***************

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

26 comments… add one
  • avatar

    MissDre March 3, 2015, 9:09 am

    Sounds a bit like my last relationship. The guy probably does love you and enjoy your companionship but he’s probably not capable of being a “partner” which means sharing his life with you and making decisions together. My ex bf was like that. I DID meet his mother and a few of his friends but I was NEVER invited to spend time with them or be social with them. That was something he kept separate from me, even after 4 years together. This is probably some kind of commitment-phobia. I say MOA cuz he’ll NEVER change.

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  • juliecatharine

    juliecatharine March 3, 2015, 9:26 am

    Holy shit LW, two years, kind of living together, and you’re in the dark about his family who he spends time with on a very regular basis? Are you sure this guy is single? Seriously, this is not normal or healthy at all. WWS but I weould have his stuff packed before you talk to him because I don’t think he’s going to take you seriously after successfully putting you off for two years. Also, what I learned when my boyfriend moved in this year is that there is a BIG difference between practically living together and actually living together. It’s not a bad thing at all but it is a major adjustment to realize that your space is now ‘our’ space so think long and hard before you commit yourself to living with this guy or any other. Frankly, his demonstrated disregard for your feelings and overall shadiness would be a deal breaker for me. You should think about whether or not you would keep important people from him and what you would say to a friend if their significant other were doing what your bf is doing. I think it goes to core values and it doesn’t seem you share those.

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  • becboo84

    becboo84 March 3, 2015, 9:36 am

    Ummm… I’m thinking this guy is still married to the mom of his kids, and when he’s staying “at his mom’s,” he’s really staying with his family. Probably tells them he’s travelling for work or something when he stays at your place. I would have a serious heart to heart, and if you don’t get the answers (and introductions) you’re looking for, it’s definitely time to MOA.

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    • avatar

      RedroverRedrover March 3, 2015, 10:17 am

      Possible, although if he’s got all his stuff at her place it seems unlikely. Unless he has doubles of everything, which I guess he could if he’s that horrible of a person.

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    • avatar

      Jennylou March 3, 2015, 10:32 am

      This is exactly what I thought when reading the letter, too! A “room at Mom’s house” that he needs to stay in for several nights a week? I think that’s code for living with his real family.

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    • avatar

      L.G.J March 3, 2015, 3:37 pm

      this was my first thought too, sure it might be hard to manage without his girlfriend figuring it out but if its been two years and she hasn’t pushed the issue of not meeting his family any more then he could definitely manage it. Kick him out LW and MOA

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    • Monkeysmommy

      monkeys mommy March 6, 2015, 2:04 pm

      I was thinking the same thing!

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  • Raccoon eyes

    Raccoon eyes March 3, 2015, 9:38 am

    WWS and MissDre too.
    ***
    LW, what the frickitty frikkin frack? You are, quite possibly, a “side piece” to him. (Cleopatra, where are you, girl?) Your first paragraph scares me the most for you. He has MOSTLY moved in? He now has a closet and WHAT YOU HOPE ARE MOST OF HIS THINGS THERE? What does that even mean? Does this grown man with kids only have enough possessions to fill a bedroom (presumably) at his mother’s house? Or is his condo fully furnished…or what? Oh yeah, you have NO D*MN CLUE because you have never been to either place.
    Dont even get me started on that you only know his brothers because YOU TOOK THEM TO A GAME YOU HAD TICKETS TO. Argh, yor bf gets on my nerves, and I dont know him. This isnt a very mind/spirit/body relationship, or at least, not full time anyway.
    Bottom line, your man is shady. With a capital “S.” MOA before he starts making you feel like you are “crazy” and “paranoid” and “clingy.” He sounds like one of those guys that makes you doubt your self-worth and sense of self, while guilting you into staying because of your “amazing connection.” Blah, sorry if Im projecting and looking back in disgust at a relationship in my 20s. Whatever, my thoughts on your situation are still the same. GTFO- there are men who want to be with you and will SHOW it, and intro you to family and not hide you. Aim Higher

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    • juliecatharine

      juliecatharine March 3, 2015, 9:48 am

      THIS

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    • avatar

      MissDre March 3, 2015, 9:54 am

      Yeah seriously.

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    • Moneypenny

      Moneypenny March 3, 2015, 12:36 pm

      All of this!!

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  • avatar

    Miss MJ March 3, 2015, 9:55 am

    Yeah, I’m wondering if this guy isn’t still married/still involved with his kids’ mother.
    Let’s see:
    .
    You’ve never met his kids. (Because he doesn’t want them to know about you?)
    .
    You’ve never met his mother. (Because “mother” = mother of his kids?)
    .
    You’ve never been to his vacant condo. (Because “vacant” = where his wife and kids are?)
    .
    He doesn’t chip in financially. (Because he doesn’t want to have to explain to his wife where his money went/leave a paper trail?)
    .
    Even if he isn’t married/involved with someone else, all this is super shady. You gotta have a conversation, LW, and insist upon some answers and a firm date to meet this guy’s kids and mother. And if he won’t agree or doesn’t follow through, dump him immediately.

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    • avatar

      MissDre March 3, 2015, 9:59 am

      I honestly think it’s a commitment issue, not that he’s cheating or hiding something. Some guys just honestly cannot “share” their lives with someone. They may love their girlfriend and things might feel AMAZING together, but they need to keep things separate. Girlfriend in one box, friends in another box, family in yet another. My two cents, just based on my own relationship experience.

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      • Miss MJ

        Miss MJ March 3, 2015, 11:43 am

        I can see that, too, although you’d think that after two years, she’d have met at least some of the people he claims to be with when he’s not with her. Even if it is just a compartmentalization thing, I think that issue pretty much dooms any chance of this relationship working out because the LW cannot build a life with someone who isn’t willing to share fundamental parts of his life with her.

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      • avatar

        MissDre March 3, 2015, 11:48 am

        You’d like after two years together I would have been invited to my ex’s one-and-only sister’s wedding (and I had met the sister at this point — once). Found out AFTER the fact and it’s not that she didn’t invite me. It’s that he didn’t want to bring me.

        And yes you’re right, it dooms the relationship when you are not willing to share your life.

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  • avatar

    RedroverRedrover March 3, 2015, 10:14 am

    Um, yeah, you’re not living with this guy. If you’re living with someone, they don’t pay to maintain TWO other living spaces. They just don’t. It sounds like you didn’t even have a “moving-in” talk or decision point. It just kind of happened that he usually stays there. It doesn’t sound like it’s official, at all, and I think you’re reading more into it than he is. You’re not on the same page with this, and I doubt if you’re on the same page about the seriousness of the relationship. You need to sit down and have a talk about this, and if he’s not willing to introduce you to his family, and to officially move in with you and drop his other two residences, then I think you need to move on at this point.

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  • Kate B.

    Kate B. March 3, 2015, 10:15 am

    One of the things I look for in a man is “Does he take care of his business?”. Your man has a vacant condo that he could either be living in or renting out to make money. He has only enough stuff to fill one closet? He is flighty at best, but I agree with the others that he most likely has another family somewhere else. Ask yourself, why does he need to live at his mom’s with his daughter when he has a perfectly serviceable condo? Where was he living when this condo was supposedly occupied? An apartment? What happened to it? This guy is playing you and using you for free crash space. (Among other things.). Demand honesty from him or tell him you’re done. You should probably tell him you’re done anyway because I doubt this guy is even capable of honesty.

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  • Stonegypsy

    Stonegypsy March 3, 2015, 10:20 am

    This guy must just be phenomenal in bed, because I honestly can’t think of any other reason why you’d keep putting up with basically being a secret to most of this guy’s family for over two years.

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  • Lianne

    Lianne March 3, 2015, 10:28 am

    Yeah my immediate thought upon reading your letter was, he’s still with his baby mama. He is definitely not being honest with you. You need to start getting answers and figure out what he isn’t telling you. This is not normal and it’s NOT ok.

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  • avatar

    Skyfall March 3, 2015, 11:47 am

    Are you missing something? Yes: common sense. Seriously…this is worth fighting for to you?

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  • veritek33

    veritek33 March 3, 2015, 12:01 pm

    I agree with the above – my first reaction was that he’s not entirely single – be it still married or attached to the mother of his child in some way. His behavior is just too shady. I’d get to the bottom of why you haven’t met anyone but the brothers and find out what’s going on. It doesn’t add up.

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  • avatar

    csp March 3, 2015, 12:47 pm

    Honestly, I think in a solid relationship, a partner is proud to bring you out and claim your relationship. I am not saying huge possessiveness but just introducing you to everyone with a title like “This is my gf/partner/wife”. It is bringing you out to meet friends. I think you should ask how often this man goes out on dates with you and how often he just comes over to sleep with you.

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  • avatar

    Tamas March 3, 2015, 1:07 pm

    sounds like my ex boyfriend. He lived with me too for a year. I found out that he had a wife that he was still married to. We were engaged I had never met his family either. It has been 4 years since it ended and I am still devastated by it. Haven’t been able to move on.
    Tamas

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom March 3, 2015, 2:22 pm

    It sounds like he’s still in a relationship with someone else. If you know what county his condo is in you can do a search of property records and see if he does own a condo and if he owns it with someone else, like a wife. It you’re at that point you may as well break up but it would help to answer questions about him and help you to see the full picture. If he is hiding someone you can look back over your relationship to see what red flags you were missing and when so that the same thing never happens to you again.
    .
    At the very least I’d ask him to move all of his things out until you’ve met his mom and his kids and seen his condo. He must have a reason for keeping you hidden, maybe he’s still married, maybe he sees the relationship not going anywhere. Whatever his reason, you should move him out until he includes you in his life.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark March 3, 2015, 3:46 pm

    Eh, you know what? There’s a reason ENTIRE generations of kids now have hopelessly FUCKED up views on relationships — and it’s that days EVERYBODY seemingly feels the need to validate their most feeble and desperate and pathetic of relationships by casually and routinely playing house with ZERO fucking commitment. So many kids today see partners come and go with greater regularity than I buy new sheets. No wonder they are all fucked up. Honestly? If you’re NOT actually REALLY fucking together — stop expecting to have that status. And stop expecting people to bring their kids into your house just so the two of you can conveniently fuck until you grow tired of one another…

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  • avatar

    pebblesntrix March 3, 2015, 5:15 pm

    I’m very sorry but if someone stays several nights a week at another woman’s house whom you’ve never met, it is likely that this other woman is not his “mother” but is another romantic partner, whom he covers his tracks of giving money to by designating it as “rent” to his “mom”. And since in TWO YEARS you’ve never met the significant people in his life, it’s likely you’re the one he doesn’t want them to know about.
    Also, you seem unclear about whether he has ‘actually moved in–“now he has a closet and what I hope are most of his things here”–do/did you ever go to his (former) place? It just seems odd that it’s not clear whether he’s moved in. Where is he staying if not there (on nights he’s not with his “mother”)?
    His behavior is really shady and you should follow Wendy’s advice asap because the longer you stick your head in the sand and ignore the giant red flags here, the more devastating it’s going to be when those chickens come home to roost.
    Sorry for this sucky situation, LW, and best of luck to you in resolving it.

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