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Ask TherapistMaryAnn Your Own Question
TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5809
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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My boyfriend is supporting his ex wife and kids. He says he

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My boyfriend is supporting his ex wife and kids. He says he doesn't want to move in with me because he can't afford to share the responsibilities with me. He says it is not fair to me. Yet, he is over seven days a week and sleeps over six of those days. He just doesn't keep any of his belongings at my place. What does this mean exactly? Is he taking advantage of me or is it just his circumstances?
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It sounds like your boyfriend feels he does not want to make a commitment to your relationship right now. There could be several reasons for this:

One, he is not ready to move in with you. When someone has gone through a failed relationship, they often shy away from commitments, at least for a while. If they can work through their issues, they may be able to be less fearful of commitment.

Two, he is fearful moving in with you will cause problems with his ex. Even if they are apart, if he moves on with you, his ex may try to challenge his support or make other unreasonable demands due to him "moving on". Often ex's like to maintain control over their partners because they do not want to feel the relationship is completely over.

Three, he could be using you. While that is possible, it is probably not as likely since he does stay over most of the week. If he was using you, he probably would not be around as often.

Any relationship that comes with one of the partners having a past marriage or significant other with children involved is often difficult. There are no clear boundaries and since children are involved, they have to come first. It may help to talk to your boyfriend and draw up some boundaries such as when he feels he might be able to make a stronger commitment and if he cannot right now, he needs to explain why. It is not fair to you to be put aside for his ex. While the kids do need to come first, is ex does not. That is something both of you can work around.

I hope this has helped you,
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