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TherapistMaryAnn
TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5770
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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My boyfriend and i have been together for for 5 1/2 years now. A

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My boyfriend and i have been together for for 5 1/2 years now.
A year after we were together i moved in with him since circumstances had caused me to need a place to stay.
After a year of living there i mentioned to him that i was thinking of moving out since i wasn't comfortable there most of the time.
His 23 year old son was there also, besides being a very small apartment, i was spending too much of my time in the bedroom since it was awkward at times when the son would have people over for a party.
So i moved out and into a studio apartment that was available in my work place.
My boyfriend then is staying with me, and the son now has the place to himself.
He only moved himself and his clothes into my place, so it started feeling like this relationship was missing something since all i wanted in the first place was for us to get a place of our own.
Another 2 years has gone by, but with many issues arising since i don't like the living at my workplace and still wondering why we aren't getting a place together.
His son this entire time is at the apartment,with my boyfriend paying the rent there.
This relationship has had so many dramatic happenings along the way,but at the same time it has also been very special since we had gotten back together after 30 years.
He was my first boyfriend in high school my sophomore year.
What i think has happened for me is i feel like there's no commitment for as long as we have been together, i kept hoping we would of gotten a place of our own by now.
Then i have grown to dislike his son blaming him for his father supporting him.
The son works 4 days a week, isn't going to college,and with my kids the same age on their own and self sufficient, the arrangement bothers me.
My question is i wanted to know if i'm unreasonable feeling the way i do, like a commitment is missing ?
Now i wonder if he likes the arrangement.
Is it wrong i expect him to tell his son its time he finds his own place ?
This has now gotten to the point we aren't getting along very well these days,and yet he doesn't talk about us getting a place together or bother to even bring it up.
I am always the one that does.
I was in a marriage for 25 years, so i'm use to that kind of commitment.
Not looking to get married again, but feeling really lost of not knowing what i'm doing and should at my age.
He is good to me, always willing to help me at my work when he gets home from his job.
Willing to help my kids if they ask him, not financially but with other things that come up.
My kids know better, which is something else that bothers me, his son is always calling for gas money or food money.
My boyfriend doesn't pay rent at my place, which he wouldnt be able to since hes paying rent on his own apartment where the son lives in.
I don't have an issue as far as money between my boyfriend and i either, he more than covers it with the help he gives me.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your problem.

You are not wrong to expect your boyfriend's son to find his own place and begin to be more independent. It sounds like you have a good relationship with your boyfriend but that his son is creating issues because he depends so much on his father. And when his son needs something, your boyfriend sounds like he puts him first even when it interferes with your relationship.

Because of his son's dependency, your boyfriend does not seem able to fully commit to your relationship. He is continually supporting his son, focused on him and being there for him, even when it harms the two of you. In that way, it is almost like his son is part of your relationship.

It would be fine for you to talk to your boyfriend and let him know what you feel about the situation. Tell him that you feel your relationship is affected by his son's dependency. It is also hurting his son to be so dependent. As long as your boyfriend encourages it, his son will keep being dependent. He needs to let go and deal with his own issues.

If you feel it helps, consider counseling for the two of you. It may be that your boyfriend needs someone else to help him see he is harming his son with his behavior. It would also help him to understand that you need more commitment in the relationship.

I hope this has helped you,
Kate
TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5770
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
TherapistMaryAnn and 2 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you

Kate McCoy's advice is totally accurate, and I second the notion that couples counseling would be extremely valuable, esp because it would remove any presumed bias about who's right and who's wrong. If your BF would be more comfortable with a man (because of unexpressed assumptions of bias) seek out a man.

 

I just want to add an additional dimension: You might both have idealizations lingering from your HS relationship. And if it lasted 2 yrs or more, it might have set up a kind of unconscious control-mechanism (like we have in cerebellum for riding a bicycle) for how relationships are supposed to behave. Yet you have both matured quite a bit since then, and you may not be as much like the teenagers you were then as you're unconsciously assuming.

 

In addition to that, you have long marriages to set up probably MORE potent control-mechanisms for how relationships are supposed to behave. I actually think it would be really GOOD for you to negotiate your way to marrying each other. For you have a different model for what marriage means compared to what "Dating" means. Getting married would be the most succinct and symbolic way to declare the primacy of your couple relationship over his codependency with his son. THAT's a primary subject I would advise you to bring up in couples counseling. (Somewhere behind his codependent relationship with his son may lurk a complex problem with HIS exwife that he's not dealt with, and that's likely to stand behind his refusal to marry you or to give up on infantilizing (OK call it adolescentizing) his son.

 

I have to go. Ask any more questions you want. You can converse with both Kate and me, and it doesn't matter which of us you release your deposit to, since it's your satisfaction that the company seeks to maximize.

I hope my answer was helpful to you. If you have any more questions, please let me know.

Kate






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