“My Live-in Boyfriend Sleeps at His Mother’s House Instead of With Me”

I’m in a great relationship with a guy I love. We have been together a year and a half and have talked about the future a lot; we even named our future children together. He says that I am “the one” and I feel the same way. We decided to move in together in July, but since September, he’s been doing this weird thing: avoiding our apartment.

It’s only sometimes and it could be for a week, a couple days, or just one day. He ends up staying at his mom’s house on those nights — she lives 10 minutes away from us. He usually won’t call, but he is really bad with his phone in general and a lot of the time it’s not charged. I get really upset about this and it really hurts. I don’t understand why he would rather sleep at his mom’s house on the couch than at home with his girlfriend.

The last time he disappeared I was about ready to end things. I had no answers as to why he was pulling away and nothing made sense to me about our relationship anymore. He ended up explaining that he often does this and ruins great relationships because he pulls away instead of communicating and talking about his personal struggles. This last time he left it was because he started smoking cigarettes again and was afraid to tell me. I’m worried that, if he is already doing this after just a year and a half together, what will it be like when we are married? Have you ever heard of anyone doing this? — Feeling Abandoned

Wait… your boyfriend regularly disappears — sometimes for up to a week — and doesn’t even call you to tell you where he is … or why he’s gone or when he’s going to come home?! And you say you have a great relationship? No, this is not what a “great relationship” looks like. A great relationship is not when one party moves back home with his mother for a few days because he started smoking and he doesn’t want his girlfriend to find out. That’s just fishy on so many levels. Did he think you’d never find out? Did he think you wouldn’t notice that he was gone?! For a week? Was he planning to quit smoking and then move back in with you? Did he pack a bag? WHY DOESN’T HE CHARGE HIS PHONE? Or, if he’s at his mother’s house, why doesn’t he borrow her phone? Or just… you know, not sleep somewhere other than his own home with his girlfriend in the first place. None of it makes any sense.

The only conclusion I can come to is that he’s keeping something big from you. Maybe he’s sick or he’s cheating on you or he’s having major doubts about your relationship and doesn’t want to hurt you. When he told you that he’s done this before and that he has trouble opening up about his “personal struggles,” did you ask what those struggles are? Did you ask him why he started smoking again?? There’s obviously something going on and, if your boyfriend is telling the truth and this behavior precedes you and your relationship, then whatever it is that’s wrong has been wrong a really long time. You need to find out what it is and whether you and your relationship can handle it before you start planning the rest of your life with this person.

The strangest part of this is that he doesn’t call you — he literally abandons you without a word. Healthy people in great relationships don’t do that. He either wants out or he’s afraid you’ll want out and he’s trying to beat you to the punch. You need to find out which of those it is and why. Any thoughts of marriage should be put on the back burner for now. The way, way, way back burner. Like, a back burner in Istanbul.


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


  1. kerrycontrary says:

    Yeh this is a little nuts. If my boyfriend didn’t come home one night and didn’t call, I’d probably report him as missing. Normal people don’t do this. My bet is that he has another girlfriend. As nutso as this sounds (but your bf is being shady so whatever)–I’d do a drive by his mothers house to make sure his car is there.

    1. I think a drive-by is totally warranted in this situation. In fact, I’d just go knock on the door, if I were her.

      1. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

        yeah drive-bys are generally a little out there but I would suggest it in this case. The weird thing is this LW doesn’t even think for a second there is something shady/weird going on here.

  2. 1. That’s Weird
    2. People still have minutes?
    3. Oh, he’s not going to his mom’s honey.

    1. Prepaid cell phones still have minute plans, or you have the option of having an unlimited plan. Just FYI! 🙂

  3. This sounds like drugs to me.

    1. honeybeenicki says:

      I thought the same thing!

    2. Yeah of all the things I’d guess, I’d guess drugs– the disappearing without calling, etc…even cheaters make time to call. And the cigarettes excuse is possibly telling, because that’s how liars lie sometimes (substitute cigarettes–a not-so-bad vice, with, I dunno, heroin, & he’s actually saying “I started using again”.) Plus the fact that he admits to personal struggle…it’s like he’s telling her, without actually saying. If what I’m saying makes any sense.

      1. seconded. well, fourthed?

      2. Yes, I thought the smoking was telling her with out telling her.

    3. Right? The cell phone with minutes just screams “burner”.

      1. I don’t even know what burner means but the way it sounds makes me agree.

      2. AliceInDairyland says:


      3. Hahah a burner is a disposable cell phone, usually used by drug dealers!

      4. @csp, you obviously did not watch any Castle!

      5. Or The Wire!
        “We’re up!”

  4. Pffft. I wouldn’t even give him the courtesy of finding out which issue it is. Next time he pulls the disappearing act on you, end it.

  5. honeybeenicki says:

    This is… weird. And, how do you know he’s at his moms? Did he tell you? Because sometimes people lie. This could many things. He could be cheating, he could be using drugs, he could just have some unnatural attachment to his mom’s couch. Either way, it’s not ok. You have two (fairly sane) choices: talk to him and straighten it out or leave. The less sane choice is to keep going this way… but please don’t do that.

  6. Who still has minutes? You can get an unlimited talk, text and data plan for like $45 a month now. New Rule. If your boyfriend tells you he doesn’t have any more minutes, find a new boyfriend.

    1. Right? I haven’t gone over my minutes since 2001, probably!

    2. Ooof. I need to change my plan.

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        Oh shit. Did Banano just read this and dump you because of your cell phone plan? What a cellphoneplanist! He didn’t deserve you and your 200 minutes anyway.

    3. I had minutes up until October. And then, I had the basic package, which had about 500 minutes. And I never, ever, once went over my minutes. Or anywhere near it.

      And, you only need one minute to call and say ‘sorry, I’m an asshole and I’ll be at my mom’s. I’ll explain when I’m ready to come home.”

  7. Avatar photo Stonegypsy says:

    Yeah… my first thought on reading this was “There’s no way he’s at his mom’s house.”
    His behavior is completely bizarre, and Wendy has to be right. He’s keeping something big from you. There’s no way this is just a weird quirk. How many times has this happened and you’re still describing this as a great relationship?

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      And even if he isn’t, even if he’s at his mom’s doing exactly what he’s saying he’s doing, STILL NOT OK.

      1. Avatar photo Stonegypsy says:

        Agreed. Disappearing for days on end without any contact at all? And a super vague explanation when pressed. I would put up with this exactly once, twice and I’d be gone.


      Also, why can’t I see thumbs up/down? Is this just me or did I miss something?

      1. Ok, it’s my browser. I can’t see thumbs or the pictures Wendy puts with each letter in IE (what I use mostly at work) but I can if i switch over to FF.

    3. What if he has an entire family in the neighboring state?

  8. lets_be_honest says:

    “we even named our future children together.”

    This needs to stop being taken as a sign of anything. My 2nd grade boyfriend and I also picked our future children’s names. Spoiler alert: We never had them, and I didn’t use the names. Anyway…

    (that’s what i said on the forum. i also said just change the locks)

    1. kerrycontrary says:

      YES YES YES. I mean most people don’t name their future children with their one-night-stand, but I’ve probably imagined children and imagined being married to 2-3 people. It is not a sign that you should be together forever.

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        Rebecca and Zack were at the top of my list. Everyone share their’s!

      2. I’ve always loved Jack for a boy. For a girl, it’s Kaylee.

      3. LilFuzzyBunny says:

        Kaylee! Very nice pick! I’m pregnant now and if its a girl her name will be Kayleigh Amaya. If its a boy we are going with Alden Gregory.

      4. I live Vivian and Trent

      5. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

        I LOVE Vivian but I like the spelling Vivienne, some pronounced more Vivi-en vs an. I have always loved the name Leo for a boy or Henry James.

      6. I love both spellings. I love henry james too! I like old names that you can be a professional when you are older.

      7. That is the biggest requirement for any names I give my kids, if I have kids. Sometimes I hear these names and just imagine whoever is reading their resume laughing and laughing.

      8. Like, Could your child be a ceo with that name? I find traditional names can be shortened if the person wants something more casual but childish names have a harder time transitioning. A good example is my friend Heidi. She says before people know her, they assume that she is younger and a “girl” not a woman.

      9. Avatar photo meadowphoenix says:

        I’m not sure I’d want my child to work in an environment that racist/classist that they would laugh just because a name isn’t some arbitrary value of normal anyway.

      10. I named future kids with my ex even though we don’t want kids. Anyway, we picked Dean for a boy (because of Supernatural, obvz) and Cassandra for a girl. He is Brazilian so it was important to have names that would sound good and be easy to pronounce for his family. Also, our nonexistent kids would be Dean and Cas. DESTIEL OMG.

      11. I just started watching Supernatural recently. I don’t know why I waited so long, love that show!

      12. Yay!! It is like crack. But in a good way.

      13. I started following Misha Collins on twitter recently and he is so hilarious. I think he’s my favorite.

      14. TaraMonster says:

        I’m going to go follow him right now…

        Do you remember the episode where Sam and Dean wind up in an alternate universe where they are their actor selves and Sam is married to Meg? And Misha is all awkward and he tweets about ‘hanging with the guys’ when Dean and Sam want to be friends with him? I love Cas. 🙂

        ETA: He actually tweeted this. I looked it up bc I’m obsessed: Ola mishamigos! J2 got me good. Really starting to feel like one of the guys.

      15. YESSSS. One of my favorite episodes, and hilarious that he actually tweeted it! I love Misha so much. (Also, Sam married Ruby IRL).

      16. TaraMonster says:

        Oh right! Ruby! Duh. Bc JP is married to her IRL.

      17. yes i love that episode! and yeah sam and ruby make gorgeous babies irl!

      18. Yeah, except they named the last one Shepherd???

      19. yeah i tried to ignore the name and focus on the cheeks!

      20. TaraMonster says:

        Dean and Cas!!!! Ahhh!! I love it!

        I love Supernatural. I watched all the seasons in like 3 months, starting in October. I’m obsessed.

      21. Yay!! I’m going to my second Supernatural convention in October. My level of obsession is kind of off the charts, haha.

      22. I’d love to name a boy Jack Dean, since Dean is my dad’s middle name.

      23. Avatar photo Northern Mermaid says:

        I love you Cats.

      24. TaraMonster says:

        Ooo fun! I always love the idea of androgynous name. Like I’d love to name my daughter Charlie. 🙂

        My boyfriend and I haven’t named our hypothetical kids yet, but he’s told me several times he likes mythological names that mean ‘knowledge’ or ‘wisdom,’ particularly, he likes Minerva and Athena. Um. Not if that kid comes out of me! Especially considering his last name is a very long South Indian name. That poor kid! I was like “How bout Sophie? That means wisdom and she won’t be tortured by her peers.” Lol.

      25. lets_be_honest says:

        Charlie for a girl was my second choice for Lil! Love it! The name she got was also a “boy’s” name.

      26. TaraMonster says:

        Great minds!

        I just remembered something for this name-tnagent-thread: my ex and I used to come up with fake names for our hypothetical children with ‘titles’ for middle names and text them to each other randomly. Let’s pretend my Ex’s last name is Williams, they’d be things like:

        Kyle ‘The Punisher’ Williams
        Jack ‘Stone Thrower’ Williams

        Idk why, but we thought this was hilarious. We were just weird, I guess!

      27. lets_be_honest says:

        That is WAY better than coming up with names!

      28. i actually know a minerva! and she hates it. haha.

      29. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Charlie is very high on our list (for girls). Charles is a family name, and we have a mild obsession with It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Savannah is also high on my list.

      30. I named my female cat Charley. I like either spelling, but I didn’t know so many other people liked it too.

      31. lets_be_honest says:

        Why would you name your cat after GG’s non-existent daughter? So strange my.

      32. Now I want a cat named Charley just so I can say “Charlie bit me”. I don’t think it would ever get old.

      33. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        I love Rebecca! Unfortunately I have a douchy frenemy with that name. I need to get pregnant so I can name a baby again! Worst reason ever to get pregnant but I’m gonna do it anyways.

      34. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

        I want to have kids one day to see basically how cute they would be, which is the absolute worst reason for having a baby. I am hoping by the time I actually am legit wanting kids these reasons will have evolved into something more mature.

      35. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        It is the craziest thing seeing your child and what they look like. I couldn’t imagine it for the life of me and E looks way different from what I would have thought. He actually looks exactly like his paternal grandpa as a kid. It’s uncanny seeing the old pics.

      36. hahaha muchacha, that is also my #1 reason for even considering children, which is awful. My bf & I often speculate over whether our features would combine well, or not. & we’ve convinced ourselves a baby we make would likely have green eyes, since his eyes are blue-green, & mine are green-brown (I usually say hazel, they are brown right around the pupil, with like an olivey green outer) Brown is a dominant trait though so we’re probably fooling ourselves

      37. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

        ha fabelle you just described my eyes and how I describe them. I mean they are hazel for real i think although some people say brown. if i wear something olive green or green at all they look very olive green colored. I imagine what my kids with my boyfriend would look like annd essentially they would have my skin tone (olive) hair color (dark brown) eye shape (huge almond) and his lips which are full and give me lip envy and his eyebrows which are perfect and a combo of our noses, and his eye color because its this gorgeous like Mediterranean blue–>this is creepy, and obviously this child is a girl because duh. in reality it would probably be a total crapshoot. ha but its fun to imagine.

      38. lets_be_honest says:

        So this will sound weird, but I’ve always been secretly glad that Peter’s eyes resemble Lil’s even though there’s no blood there.

      39. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

        mm I think that’s normal and sweet, you love them both so it makes you happy they have a similar feature.

      40. Rangerchic says:

        @LBL – I am the same way as my husband adopted our oldest daughter and if you didn’t know you can’t tell they aren’t blood related. He has bright blue eyes, I have brown and she ended up with blue/green/brown hazel eyes. And many times when she was a toddler we were told by strangers how she looks so much like both of us…weird since she actually looks nearly identical to me but it made me happy!

      41. lets_be_honest says:

        Ok I’m glad I’m not the only one! He’s gotten the same comment by strangers too.

      42. I’ve never really understood what people mean when they say ‘hazel.’ What is hazel?? And how have I lived my whole life not knowing???

      43. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

        haha hazel is like your eyes are brown-based but changeable? usually they are a cross between green and brown, although can be tons of different variations. Mine have been described as “greenishish, goldish, brown”. Like I said about if I wear something green they look super green, if I wear like purple eyeliner they look more brown! They are cool, google image search it.

      44. lets_be_honest says:

        I’m like that but with blue and silver. I wish mine were the green/brown. So pretty!

      45. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

        see I wish mine were blue! Ha, always want what you don’t have I guess. I appreciate mine more now though although I get annoyed if people say I have brown eyes, I am like hello can you not see that they are unique snowflake eyes with flecks of green and gold, thanks.

      46. lets_be_honest says:

        So funny! Special snowflake eyes.

      47. I think that’s one of my biggest regrets for my choice not to have kids. Because Othello’s (still trying out the new name) spawn would be simply darling.

      48. TaraMonster says:

        That’s what happened to the name Kieran for me. I’ve always loved that name, but my ex’s douchebag best friend is named Kieran and he ruined it for me.

        Sidenote: The ex recently told me they had a falling out. I was just thinking, OH C’MON! Couldn’t you have had a falling out when we were together so I didn’t have to see Kieran’s stupid face in my apartment all the time?!

      49. I like Gabriel (GABRIEL, not shortened to Gabe) & Jethro for boys. I don’t have any girl names, so I told Fabello he could name the girl (we’re not even decided on kids, but we still have these conversations, haha)

        No clue why the names I like are so biblical, but there ya go (both are from books I loved in the past)

      50. Cassie B. says:

        Mr. B and I do the opposite… instead of spending time dreaming up oh-so-precious names to name our oh-so-precious future children, we spend our time dreaming up the most ridiculous names we could name them. Some of our favorites (that are actual names in other cultures) are Shahtap, and Fook Yu. We also discuss such names as Mee and do ridiculous dialogues to go with it, such as, “What is your name?” “Mee.” “Yes, you. I just asked! What is your name?” “Mee!” “I’m asking you! What is your name?!” “I just told you, I’m Mee!”

        God we’re so weird.

      51. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

        haha i just laughed at this. but I find really weird/inappropriate things funny

      52. Aidan for a boy, Lily for a girl.

    2. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

      What, my boyfriend of five months and I did that. (Remember, the one from last year? Who went nuts and was mean?) So obviously it’s a sign of a healthy relationship.

      1. Is that the drunk in the hallway one? That story haunted me for awhile.

      2. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        Yes. It was almost a full year ago today that he came over really wasted and was really aggressive/violent and punching the walls and yelling … I have no idea how/why I liked him so much. And how/why I still think about him all the time! Like, HOW could someone be so in my head? I mostly just think about how wonderful it could have been if things had just been… completely the opposite. (Anyway, now everyone has to drink because I mentioned him. It had been awhile though, eh? I have been so good.)

      3. THAT WAS NOT A YEAR AGO. I swear I’ve lost all sense of time. Janet Jackson’s nipple happened TEN YEARS ago.

      4. lets_be_honest says:

        Janet Jackson’s nipple thing happened in 1996?!

      5. hahaha

  9. Boyfriend is NOT at his mom’s house. Seriously.

    There was only 1 time ever in 7 years together that Dave did not come home. He had gone to a party at his friend’s house for her 30th BDay (I already had plans, so I didn’t go), and ended up doing a bunch of tequila shots with her friends while she was having the “I’m 30 and single and no one loves me” breakdown, and wasn’t able to drive home. He didn’t call. I woke up and he wasn’t home and immediately thought he was dead in a ditch somewhere. He hasn’t done it since, and probably never will again.

    Your boyfriend is showing you a COMPLETE lack of respect. This is totally unacceptable, even if on the off chance he really is staying at his mom’s he should at least be letting you know he’s doing so, so you don’t have to worry about him.

    Does his mom have a land line? Have you tried calling there when he claims he’s there?

    1. kerrycontrary says:

      Yeh even nights we’re not together and he’s going out, my fiance at least texts at the end of the night to let me know he’s home safe and alive. I would be close to strangling him if he didn’t come home cause like you, I would assume he was dead.

    2. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

      Maybe he’s being sneaky and what he actually told the LW is that he is off to “a” mother’s house, and not “my” mother’s house, and he’s doing it with a MILF. Just a thought.

      God I have no good insight today so I”m just going to piggy back on everyone else’s comments.

    3. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

      Yeah Mr. Grass has never not come home without a text or phone call. I don’t think he has ever stayed a night that we hadn’t previously talked about.

    4. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

      my mind immediately goes to “dead in a ditch”. It is NOT acceptable to not to call your partner. No way, no how.

  10. Maybe he’s a secret agent? Ever think about that? Hmm? He’s out there protecting the world from dangerous villains and you’re here all “I have too much room in the bed when he’s gone.” Please, where is your patriotism? I mean it all fits. He leaves for varying amounts of time – days, weeks even. He doesn’t have a phone for you to call (or track) his whereabouts. He “started smoking” (i.e. had a new cover). I mean, common. We all know “mom” is code for headquarters, anyway. Poor guy has to sleep on the couch after a long day in the field.

    1. this is really funny 🙂 made me think maybe he’s also dexter 2.0 though…

    2. Or a superhero! has he mentioned anything about spandex or about everyone he ever loved ending up dead because trouble follows him wherever he goes? I bet that’s what’s going on here. You’re not being understanding enough. Go put on some makeup and scream “Go get them tiger!”. I bet it will totally solve this situation.

    3. My vote is that’s he’s being abducted my aliens. Think about it, it makes perfect sense. He can’t call, he’s gone for a varying amount of days, and he’s strange when he gets home. I think he’s too embarrassed to talk you about the probing…

      1. (because he kind of likes it)

    4. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

      Werewolf. What up!

    5. He’s totally in the Batcave!

  11. WWS a relationship where one of your disappears for weeks at a time and makes no attempt (I get that maybe he has a reloadable phone and maybe can’t afford minutes, but there are many ways to communicate with each other! I mean a letter could get to you in two days!) to contact you during that time, is not the definition of a great relationship. I just can’t imagine thinking about marriage when this is going on. I don’t remember if it was a letter or in a forum or what but I remember reading somebody on this site saying, history with someone doesn’t mean you should stay together. So you’ve been together for 1 1/2 years. It might suck being single for a while but it also has to suck to not know where you bf is for weeks at a time.

    1. also since it’s friday do you know what happens when you put two contacts in the same eye? they’re a bitch to get out and your vision is cloudy. i’m so glad it’s friday and that coffee exists.

      1. One time, I thought I had put my contacts on, but the one in my left eye just fell without me knowing. I tried to take it “out” for 5 minutes but there was no actual contact there. I was trying to peel my cornea ! It took me so long to understand that “there was just no contact there”.

      2. This happened to me too! Except it was on a weekend trip. I tried to take it out Friday night (we left EARLY that morning), but couldn’t find it. I was convinced that it had rolled up to the top of my eye. I spent the rest of the trip panicking (and blurry). When I got home Sunday night…I found it. It had cried up on the top of the faucet. Lesson? NEVER try to put in contacts at 4 in the morning.

      3. yeah i’ve also done this too, haha. the two in one eye was a new pre-coffee low for me!

      4. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        I did this while sleep walking. GGuy found me standing in the bathroom, completely asleep, trying to dig my contact out of my eye. Shit hurt the next day.

      5. Yikes, I’ve done that too! I also hate when I put them in the wrong eyes because my prescriptions for each eye are vastly different, but somehow it takes me a while to realize it? I’m just like, why am I so disoriented right now?

      6. So, yesterday I was making jalapeno poppers. And my hands stung from all of the juices for a few hours afterwards. I was smart though, and waited until the last possible second to take out my contacts. Even still, I think I had a bit of the stinging stuff left on my hands, cause that hurt.

  12. tbrucemom says:

    Am I the only one that can’t wait to get an update on this one?!

  13. Hmmmm…

    As someone who used to avoid going home to my apartment, it was when things were really bad with my ex fiance’. And he wasn’t even there! He was in Colorado, and I was in the apartment in New York. I had my cat and everything, but I just avoided going home to be alone with my thoughts.

    This situation is different. It seems like a major communication piece is missing. How do you know that he’s sleeping at his moms? Are you taking that at face value? Do you have a relationship with his mom and talk about him staying there?

    You need more info, and it doesn’t sound to be in a healthy state right now.

  14. If this is what a “great relationship” is like, I’ll thank my lucky stars I’m single!

    Seriously though, WEES. You did not move in with your boyfriend, he moved back into his mommy’s house. Or in with another girlfriend/family/drug dealer. And do you really want to be in a relationship with someone who’d rather spend time with anyone else but you? You need to confront him or do a little detective work of your own to figure out what’s really happening. I want an update when you learn the truth.

  15. Sue Jones says:

    Ugh, in my 20’s I dated a guy for a few years who did this exact thing. He would go to “help” his parents for 2 weeks and not call or anything, or tell me when he was coming home… Turns out he would take these “breaks” to cheat on me. Needless to say we did not last because that didn’t work for me and I found it impossible to be the “cool girlfriend” in that situation… Either he agrees to go to counseling with you if you think this is worth salvaging or MOA.

    1. Your comment about going to counseling with the boyfriend really popped out at me. What are people’s opinions about going to counseling with someone you’re dating? I’m embarrassed to admit I went to counseling once with a boyfriend I had when I was 22. It was ridiculous. I should have just cut my losses. If you have to go to counseling so soon in a relationship, I think it’s just not worth salvaging.
      If you’re engaged or married or been together many years, I can understand going.
      As much as counseling can be very helpful, I think the catch all solution is just “go to counseling” when your relationship is in trouble. I remember when my relationship was floundering and I said, “We’ll go to counseling, everything will be alright!” And counseling didn’t make it alright. And somehow, it always seems like it’s the girlfriend who wants to take the boyfriend to counseling to fix him, and not the other way around.

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        I used to feel that way – why bother? You aren’t even married. For short term relationships, I still feel that way. But I also think any kind of life counseling can’t hurt, so even if you’re going for a short term relationship, it’ll help you and you’ll learn stuff to apply in this or a future relationship.

      2. Yea, it’s kind of a catch 22. It’s a good thing, counseling always is (right?), but the model of constantly “fixing” a relationship with a potential bandaid of counseling isn’t good either. I mean when do you get “permission” to leave then? Married people already have so much shit with that, why start giving all that guilt to dating people too?

        Personally, I think individuals having higher standards in the first place would work much better. Bit of course people suck and that won’t happen.

      3. Sue Jones says:

        Well, to give the BF a HUGE (HUGE!) benefit of the doubt, what if he just freezes up and needs his “space” when he is stressed and has poor communication skills? What if they are both very young? Counseling might help in this case… at the very least for LW to learn to set boundaries and MOA if she needs to. And if he doesn’t want to, at least she can go to counseling herself to learn not to attract a shut down mate with these issues…

      4. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        If that is what is really going on then they both need to move on and grow up. Counselling alone for each of them would be beneficial.

      5. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

        yeah I think counseling together after 1.5 years and not even engaged is a huge waste of time. like why? there is no reason. separately yes, but couples counseling-waste of $ and time and youth.

      6. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        But you are also THE AMAZING SUE JONES with the best stories and I wish you would just tell us more. I want to hear about living in India (I think you said you lived there, right?). Let’s start there.

      7. TaraMonster says:

        I second this. More Sue Jones stories! Ooo or write a piece and submit it to Wendy. I’d read that!

      8. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:


      9. Sue Jones says:

        Ah, let me think about that… really my life is quite ordinary now… married, 1.5 kids, self employed professional… oh you want to hear about my exes???? And the escapades of my youth? Hmmm…. don’t want to incriminate anyone. And I am really not that great of a writer…

      10. Haha how can you have 1/2 of a child?

      11. Sue Jones says:


      12. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        That’s what makes you so amazing, mama Sue! I picture you living this regular, kind of boring, suburban life, in mom jeans of course (I know, I know, you’re hipper than that, but let me have this fantasy), where your days are spent carpooling kids here and there, and where for kicks you eat dinner in front of the TV (wild!) instead of at the table… all by choice, of course. Because you’re over your wild days – and your kids think of you as “boring ole mom” but they have no idea WHAT YOU’VE DONE, AND WHERE YOU’VE GONE, AND WITH WHOM! (Those, by the way, are the stories I need to hear). One day they will learn about your double life – maybe you’ll tell them or maybe after your death they’ll find a box in the basement of your sex toys that were clearly purchased in Thailand circa 1980 and they’ll have SO MANY questions for you that will remain unanswered except they will know one thing: WOW, OUR MOM WAS WILD.

        oK, now tell us.

      13. TaraMonster says:

        So change the names and tell us the stories! Pleeeeeeeeaaaase. 🙂

      14. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        Why is Sue Jones ignoring us? She is hiding SO MUCH from us.

      15. Sue Jones says:

        The most exciting thing in my life right now is that our dishwasher broke and so a new one is being delivered tomorrow, so I can’t go skiing… But Yay! A new dishwasher! And it will be all new and shiny and brushed stainless steel. And my son has a big part in a community theater play so has to learn a lot of lines!

        But then there was the time in India when my creep of a FWB ( he kept insisting to me that he was NOT my boyfriend even though we were banging each other daily! And I wish there existed the term FWB then…) flew out from the northwest city where we had been living, to where I was staying in India (yes this is true! ) and joined the same meditation group I was in so he could reassure me that he was NOT my boyfriend… so I started sleeping with this cute blonde Swiss guy who had a motorcycle…
        FWB was not pleased….

      16. Sue Jones says:

        And see, if I had had a Dear Wendy back then, she would have given me better advice than what I was given by my friends (“follow your heart!”) and I would not even have had anything to do with FWB guy… but Wendy was probably still in kindergarden then… 🙂

      17. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        Ok, you have my undivided attention. Keep going

      18. So I think counseling can be good if you’re just dating in the sense that maybe that will be the push for the couple to realize they’re not good for each other and move on, but otherwise why bother. I’ve seen a few friends go to counseling with their boyfriends and it finally helped them to leave whereas I honestly think some of them wouldn’t have otherwise.

  16. lets_be_honest says:

    I’m super curious who pays the rent.

    1. Something tells me the LW pays the majority, if not all, of the rent.

    2. My money’s on the LW. But, you raise a good point. Does BF work? Is there a phone there? Does he know how to use it to let the LW know where he is? How does he get to and from work and his mom’s house? Does he have a car? Can he write a note? Can he use tape to put it on the door or gravity to leave it on the counter of their place to let the LW know where he is? I mean, really, this is stupid. MOA, LW. Get rid of this guy and make room for someone in your life who, at minimum, does not take off with no word to you for a week at a time and feed you some sketchy story about smoking at his mother’s house.

      1. haha @ can he use gravity

  17. As I have posted before here:

    “People hiding something have something to hide.”

  18. Lol I love when LWs are like “We have a great relationship but we have a terrible relationship”

    1. I think what they mean by “great relationship” is “sometimes, we’ll go to the restaurant and he’ll be so nice and so funny and so charming, and he’ll even pay for me, and then I look at all the single-looking people in the restaurant and think “my boyfriend is definitely the best””.

      But then all the other days of the week, the boyfriend is a jerk, he doesn’t work, he does drug, he invites all of his buddy at all times of the night or day, he cheats, he steal money, he never shower… things like that.

      But it’s a great relationship ! He’s so funny and charming !

    2. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

      And I love when great lurkers de-lurk and comment with gems! 🙂

  19. sophronisba says:

    Don’t be kidded that naming your future children implied any kind of stability or commitment. Those are theoretical children in a fantasy future, and fantasy is infinite in its wonders.
    The fact is you moved in and now he regularly moves out, even if just for a day. I’m not one who assumes this automatically means he’s cheating on you, I think moving in made it real and he can’t deal – you know because he told you this is what he does. IT would be lovely if you were the exception to his pattern, but it doesn’t look like it, sorry!
    Don’t waste your life, let this will’o’wisp guy flit away; you can do so much better.

    1. Wait, you mean naming future children together ISN’T the main predictive factor of a lasting relationship?!? Gaaah, I’ve been doing it wrong for so long!

  20. I have to say I disagree. I wouldn’t be surprised if this guy just has major issues and can’t face being in the same space as his relationship. I also wouldn’t be surprised that a girl who is so desperate for the crown jewel of marriage and/ or has such low standards for men in general that she would let this behavior happen more then one time, which makes it ok for the guy, and then he can just go off by himself whenever anything is slightly wrong.

    LW, get a grip. This is not ok- none of it, his behavior or yours. Get a grip on your life.

    1. I haven’t heard get a grip in a while. Nicely done.

  21. LlamaPajamas says:

    Someone forgot a set of quotes – it’s clearly “mother’s house”, not mother’s house.

  22. theattack says:

    Change the locks and dump all of his stuff on his mommy’s porch.

  23. It sounds like he wants out (I mean this behavior is so shady and not normal), but he doesn’t want to break up with you. So what are you waiting for? Break up with him. He’s had way too many chances. Leaving once without explaining yourself is bad enough, but he’s done it multiple times. He doesn’t care about you in the way you think if he does that. That’s not something I would even do to a roommate.

  24. Avatar photo Guy Friday says:

    Ok. Everyone’s hit the “he’s cheating / he’s a drug dealer / he’s an addict” angle, but one more to consider that Wendy mentioned: major medical issues. Assuming his “personal struggles” are legitimate and not some made-up excuse, it could actually be a serious illness that he’s trying to hide from you because he doesn’t know how you’ll react and/or whether you’ll walk away. I agree that you need to talk to him more directly, because there’s obviously SOMETHING going on here, but I think you shouldn’t draw any conclusions until you know what it is. Of course, if he refuses to tell you, that would certainly be grounds to walk away, but that’s up to you I suppose.

  25. I just wanted to chime in about the phone/minutes issue. Some people are just too cheap to get a cell phone plan and use prepay phones. My boyfriend has had the same exact TracFone from 2004 with the same number and all. It’s not exactly unheard of.

    1. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

      or lives in a country other than the US. I know it is normal in many other places to have pay per minute phones, which are pretty expensive, and people rarely use except for like emergencies or 10 second calls letting someone know they are on their way. Texting also has to be paid for. So just one alternative.

  26. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

    Maybe he’s married! Tells his wife he’s away on “business”

  27. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

    FFS. Pull your head out of your ass. Change the locks and move on.

    1. Hahah, I love this. No-nonsense GG!

      1. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Hahaha. Thanks. I wish someone had told me this back when I was like 20.

  28. bostonpupgal says:

    So I agree with everything Wendy said, except that I would advise you to immediately MOA. According to his own actions and words, the absolute best scenario here is that he leaves your house, literally at any moment, for days or weeks at a time without any contact. The reason he does this is because he cannot communicate with you about obviously large personal issues (and you apparently have no idea what those issues even are), and he admits that this is a long standing pattern of his. THIS IS YOUR BEST CASE SCENARIO.

    Others have covered the other very real possibilities of what he’s actually doing on these little trips. I don’t think it’s worth your time or effort to investigate the lies he’s telling, or hope he’ll do the massive amount of work required to fix this pattern in himself and become a decent, trustworthy partner. Because right now he is nowhere close to a decent, trustworthy partner. Get out now.

  29. iseeshiny says:

    Ah! We have the thumbs down back! And stars! This is so exciting!

    1. Right?? I don’t know what to do with myself!

      1. iseeshiny says:

        Well the first thing I did was comment and then give myself a thumb up. And then I changed it to a down, but that made me sad, so I changed it back to an up.

      2. lets_be_honest says:


    2. It’s so confusing. I don’t know how to interpret thumbs down. Or stars. I like simplicity.

  30. TaraMonster says:

    So I was debating whether or not to mention this because I think everyone’s covered pretty well that this is NOT OK, but I have some experience with this issue.

    My ex was very bad with his phone. Not just with me, but with everyone. I often felt like his secretary bc his friends and family would call ME when they hadn’t heard from him in a while and he wasn’t answering calls or texts. And he’d always be like “Oh yeah I meant to get back to them.” It made me INSANE. We had many arguments where I was explaining to him how rude and disrespectful it is to do that to people. He would go out with his friends and not come home and not call and it was always he lost his phone or it died or blah blah excuses. The most maddening part was where he’d try to convince me I was clingy and say I had unrealistic expectations about how often he had to be in touch. No. If you’re not going to come home because you’re drunk YOU FUCKING CALL. He wasn’t doing anything shady; he was just thoughtless and scatter brained, but ya know what? The reason behind behavior like that does not matter because it’s not ok to treat your partner like that for any reason. It’s disrespectful and it’s immature. Now my ex never disappeared for days (or weeks!!) on end, but the 24 hour MIA bullshit was bad enough. It was in the top 5 contributing factors for why we did not work out. I stupidly put up with that crap for over 7 years, and it was 7 years too many. What your boyfriend is doing is Not Cool. Talk to him. Dump him. Something. Just stop letting this continue.

  31. Cassie B. says:

    When he said you were “The One”, did he follow it up with, “…I want to avoid.”?

  32. LW, if you marry this guy and have children, I predict you will give birth to eftuplets.

  33. findingtheearth says:

    With all the ways to communicate: email, text, facebook message, snapchat, instagram, etc., there is no reason why he cannot get in touch with you.

    He is either using drugs, cheating on you, or has a whole other family/children he is keeping from you. Or a combination of all of this.

    I would lay down the law and tell him if he does it again, it’s over. Or, just go to his mom’s house when he pulls a disappearing act and see whats up.

  34. My all-acronym answer:


    1. I think 95% of the shortcuts could be answered this way. (replacing the WWS with WTF, since Wendy would be the one saying it).

      1. That was meant as a reply to Lucy above.

  35. my ex was a “recovering” alcoholic who lied constantly and would purposely avoid communicating with me when he was with certain groups of people, and like TaraMonster said, it drove me NUTS. we would make plans, and then I’d call or text to check in and I wouldn’t hear back until maybe late that night or sometimes the next day.

    I don’t care how bad this guy is with his cell phone. If he’s at his mother’s, can’t he call you from there? He is being completely disrespectful of you and your relationship, and as Wendy said, he’s abandoning you!!!! One night, once in awhile, crashing at his mom’s with an explanation is one thing, but to go for a week and not contact you or apologize? Dude that is messed up.

    I don’t think he’s at his mother’s. Maybe he’s involved with someone else, or drugs, or drinking, but you need to MOA as soon as possible, take it from someone who knows. Do a drive by of his mother’s house if you need to, but the trust has been broken in this relationship and can’t be repaired, in my opinion.

  36. LOL at “a back burner in Istanbul”.

  37. My live in boyfriend does the same w me but bc I feel his brothers do the same w their gfs yes he goes to his mom’s bc his brothers still live there and they are in there 30s what’s sad is we have a 2 yr old daughter who needs and asks for him he thinks I’m overreacting but when he chooses to stay a well at his mom’s instead of helping me hurts… idk what to do I don’t want my daughter to grow up in a broken home please someone help me know what to say or do without attitude. We need him home

  38. Well my boyfriend does this but he tells me before he goes it still hurts me very much I know why he goes over there he relapses for his addiction which I do believe her boyfriend when he speaks upon the cigarettes in being embarrassed men have a high level of ego and if they feel like a certain characteristic will turn a girl off they are not big communicators so they will just go to their mom’s house literally I’ve been with my boyfriend for 10 years yeah and he goes to his mom’s house for up to 2 weeks at a time yeah I definitely don’t feel like it’s a great relationship any grown woman wants her man to come home at night most man’s definition of not being controlled is not having a curfew they don’t even fathom not coming back to the nest at all.

  39. My baby daddy tells his girl he is at his moms. He is always with me. He doesn’t want to brake her heart or deal with the lease. Pay attention to his actions! If he’s away for the holidays is def a bad sign.

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