Don loves his grand-kids and has taken care of them like he’s their dad, and I’m not comfortable with that because I’m not interested in raising someone else’s kids. His daughter is not very attentive to the kids, and the grand-kids don’t listen to anyone really. I don’t wont to hurt Don, but I am not comfortable with his parenting ways. He is a great man; I love the way we are together when we are alone, but the reality is his kids’ issues become his issues (which is his choice), and I have to share him with six people who really need him.
I’m financially stable, I don’t need him financially the way his kids do, and I just don’t want to share the financial burden he has with carrying for his grown kids and his grand-kids. He has the biggest guilt for the way his kids have turned out and how they live, but I notice he continues to enable all of them.
We planned to go on a trip two days after he gets back and then officially move in together. My problem is I don’t know when to tell him, or how to tell him, that it’s not going to work out. Should I tell him over the phone, e-mail him, or wait till he gets back and tell him in person? I know he is under a lot of stress, and I know he loves me a lot, but having this time away from him helped me better focus on myself and my wants and desires in life. HE would be perfect if he didn’t come with such huge baggage. — Not Interested in His Baggage
Your reasons for wanting to end this relationship are totally valid and, of course, you need to tell Don. But because your relationship is serious enough that you were planning to move in together and because Don is deployed (and likely in a pretty stressful work and living environment) and because he’s going to be home in just over a month, I think you should tell him in person when he comes back. One way that you could get the ball rolling and sort of clue him in that he might not be coming back to the warm homecoming he might be imagining is to tell him that, after thinking about things while he has been away, you aren’t ready to move in with him when he gets back. He’ll probably ask why and you can tell him that you have missed him and are looking forward to seeing him and want to talk everything over with him when he returns.
When he does return home and you have a chance to discuss your feelings with Don, be honest about how your relationship, when it’s just the two of you, is great, but how you can’t accept the responsibilities Don has taken on for himself, including supporting two grown children and a bunch of grand-kids. Knowing that he is going to lose you because he can’t stop enabling his children may be a wake-up call he needs to make some changes in his life. Whether that happens and whether it happens quickly and well enough to satisfy you and persuade you to give him and your relationship another shot/more time is something only you will be able to decide. Maybe, in your mind, it’s simply easier to make a clean break and move on.
Regardless, I would give Don the heads up that you aren’t ready to move in with him and then give him the details while on the trip you’re planning to take when he gets back. He deserves the chance to speak with you in person and to plead his case. And if you can give him that chance and you still want to move on, you will be better able to do so with a clear conscience.
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