I am well aware that nowadays, many “kids” to stay with their parents longer than what was the norm in past generations. Allen was never the college type and went straight to work right after school. Seven years working for a huge construction company provides him with just as much (if not more!) than the average college degree salary. There was a year he was making more than his own mother! I, on the other hand, do not make as much as he does, but I still make enough for me to pay my bills and have a little money for play. Bottom line: Money is not the reason he still lives at home. At first I thought it was, but now, as I am fully aware of his expenses, I realize that this is more along the lines of a bird not wanting to leave his nest and his mother bird.
There is a saying that a man chooses a wife who resembles his mother, and we are not the exception. Allen is her baby and she tended to him more than to his brother. Then, once I practically moved in, I became the laundry-washer, I laid his clothes out, and I brought him a cool cocktail after his hard day at work. Maybe some women hate that, but I am all for being a working woman and a housewife. I absolutely love taking care of him. I just want to take care of him IN OUR OWN HOME!
I am at the point where I have become an annoying nag. His mother is elated that I have come around. Before me, all he paid for was his car payment and retirement funds. Now I have combined our car insurance that we split, I got him in the habit of paying his phone bill, and now he pays half the groceries. (Before, I was just handing his mother money to compensate for my stays).
Bottom line: I have nagged, pleaded, whined, and done everything I could to show him that I am ready to move on with our lives. His parents put their house up for sale, which gave me hope (and his parents hope too!) that he would finally get that it’s time to move on. He instead makes excuses on everything and bounces back, like crazy, from renting to buying. He also states that maybe we should move with his parents until we figure things out. No. That’s where I draw the line.
I love him. I want to marry this man, but even that is another thing I feel he pushes back on. My family tells me that he just does not want to go to the next step with me. I think he’s scared. How do I fix this situation? Should I give him an ultimatum? I would hate to consider this a deal breaker considering this is our only bump. But this is a bump that we need to pass in order to move on with our lives! — Done With Sleepovers at Boyfriend’s Parents’ House
You’re making the same mistake Allen’s parents are: You are enabling him to take advantage of you. It’s great that you love taking care of him and you love sleeping over at his place and spending time with him and his family, but you doing all those things is keeping you from achieving what you want: sharing your own space with your boyfriend. As long as you — and his parents — make it easy for him to live rent-free somewhere where both his mother and his girlfriend cater to all his needs (and also get along well), why would he want to leave? There’s absolutely no incentive for him to move on and move forward.
If you’re ready to live in your own place, find an apartment, sign a lease, and move in. Tell your boyfriend that you won’t be spending the night at his parents’ place anymore and that, if he wants to see you, he’ll have to come to your place, or better yet, he can move in with you. Then, if he starts sleeping over at your place, let him know that if he wants to continue sleeping over regularly, you’d like for him to be an official resident, with his name on the lease and an agreement to pay half the rent.
You don’t need an ultimatum. You simply move forward. Allen can either decide to move forward with you, or stay with his parents where he’ll likely continue to be coddled and catered to. If he chooses the latter, then he isn’t really “husband material,” and, frankly, you should not be acting like a “housewife” before you’ve even moved in together.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].