Have you ever been to his house? You say you have not been introduced to his children “as his girlfriend.” Do they know you at all? What do they think your relationship is with their father? And what reason does your boyfriend give for not knowing how to tell his children that you’re his girlfriend?
He may have checked out of his 20+-year marriage, but I don’t think he had the time he needed to process the end of that chapter in his life and figure out who he was and what he wanted independent of that relationship and the life he’d built within it. His kids are all now adults and don’t need him in the same way. Their roles in each other’s lives changed at the same time his marriage status changed. It’s a lot to process. He is telling you through his behavior, through not introducing you to his kids or even talking to them about you, that as much as he has checked out of his former relationship, he hasn’t truly moved on yet and he’s not “checked in” with you. Whatever future you are envisioning with him is a long, long way off. If you have the patience to wait it out, go for it. But if, as a single mom of young children, you’re looking for someone you can integrate more fully into your life, this guy isn’t it. He’s not emotionally available in that way.
However, I live with old-fashioned parents who don’t think you should move in with a partner until marriage. Understandably, this is the way they were raised, but I’m at a point in this long-distance relationship where I want to find out if we’re compatible living together. I told them the news last week, and it’s been nothing but a nightmare in this house ever since.
My parents have been constantly crying, screaming at me, and bringing so much doubt into my head. They said I “destroyed this family,” “Nothing will ever the same between us,” and I am “getting cut off emotionally and financially.” I want my parents to be proud of my accomplishments, and I am so heartbroken by these words. I would gratefully appreciate any advice/help you have on this! — Ready to Move In
You know, normally I would say that you are a grown-up and need to make decisions for YOURSELF and live with the consequences of those decisions, even if that means a strained relationship with your family. However, I’m a little concerned that it sounds like you’ve maybe never lived alone as an adult and plan to go from very overbearing parents straight into living with your boyfriend, without ever establishing a home of your own, even if it’s for just a year. I think living in your own home – not with your parents and not with your boyfriend – would be so beneficial for you, and I would urge you to consider doing this as your boyfriend adjusts to living in your town and closing the gap in your long-distance relationship. It will allow you to develop some independence, which will be so helpful as you navigate the tricky relationship you’re going to have with your parents as you continue making decisions for yourself that don’t always complement their values or what they think you should do. I really can’t overstate this.
If you choose to forge ahead and live with your boyfriend immediately, as planned, please do at the very, very least have a back-up plan in case the relationship goes south.