I miss being close to my family, friends, and work, and I also want to start my own family – and feel unenthusiastic about starting a family in his family home that he shared with his ex. Also, I don’t want to be living with his adult son (in part because his adult son swears and plays video games all day and I don’t want to have a child that’s exposed to that and in part because we still do the cooking, cleaning, and washing for the adult son). I don’t know what to do or if I’m being selfish asking him to leave his home and adult son to start a fresh family with me. Please help. — Ready to Move
It sounds like you made a lot of assumptions without discussing them with your boyfriend years ago. You assumed that, once his youngest child was 18, your boyfriend would be ready and willing to move out of his family home and into your smaller house. You assumed that, at some point, he would be ready to let go of his house. It sounds like you even assumed that, after raising his children into adulthood, he’d be open and eager to having a second family with you and that he would want to do so not in the house that he raised his first set of kids in and that is close to his parents and extended family, but in a smaller house, far from his parents and extended family. And, really, these are pretty big assumptions to make.
I suspect that you already know that the likelihood of your boyfriend raising his kids into adulthood and then wanting to raise a new set of kids but in a smaller house this time, farther from his extended family, is fairly low and that’s probably why you’ve avoided actually discussing it extensively with your him. You’ve been spinning out on hope fumes all these years, keeping your fingers crossed it would somehow work out in your favor. But it doesn’t look like it’s going to.
Your boyfriend is not going to move into your small house and start having a second set of babies with you. He’s not even going to sell his house to buy a different house so that the new family you raise together is brought up in a home he never shared with his ex-wife. He has no interest in doing that because he doesn’t want to move and he probably does not want to have more babies. Infantilizing his 18-year-old is a convenient way of avoiding the topic of having a baby, too. As long as he has to cook and clean and support a kid — even if that kid is old enough to vote — he can tell you he doesn’t have time/energy/money for a baby. I bet if you asked him about having a baby, that’s what he’d tell you, too. But I’m guessing you haven’t talked to him about having a baby because you know what his response will be and you’re avoiding that answer because as long as you avoid reality, you can keep spinning out on hope fumes.
I’m sorry to be the one to deliver this message to you: You will never have the family you think you want with this guy. That doesn’t mean he can’t or won’t get you pregnant, but he’s not going to do so eagerly and he’s not going to sell his house and he’s not going to move from his kid and parents and other family closer to your people and set up a new family house with you. He’s already done that. And at 38, if you want to have a biological baby of your own, you better end things with this guy and get serious about that goal. You’ve still got a time left to find a new partner who shares that goal, or you can think about single motherhood and the steps you can take to make that a reality.
It’s not selfish to pursue your own dreams. But it’s a waste of time to try to pursue them with a partner who doesn’t share the same dreams. Doing so sets you up for disappointment and heartache down the road.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.