Not Moving in Together

Amber3902September 8, 2011

Well, last time I was on this forum I said I was going to continue my relationship with my BF.

We had plans that when my lease was up at the end of October that me and my girls would move in with him. But I�ve changed my mind.

So what has changed? BF now has his son full time. The BM is going to school for a year and has agreed to let the son stay with his father for the school year. Before I was ready to move in with him, because he only had his son every Wednesday and EOW weekend, so I thought I could deal with it the few days he�s with us.

We still get into arguments over the kids. The most recent argument was he told me that his ex yelled at his son on the phone and made his son cry for 10-15 minutes. I got mad about this. I told him he always gets on me for letting my daughter cry but it�s okay for his son to cry? He said this was an isolated incident and it was because his mom was yelling at him. I said So what I yell at my kids. I said it�s like he has a double standard, it�s ok for his son to cry but not my kid? Then he changed his story and said he doesn�t say my daughter needs to stop crying, she needs to stop pouting. I said, every time you�ve said something to me about her you�ve said she needs to stop CRYING. You did not say she needs to stop POUTING. So he apologized about that and claimed that he meant pouting and stomping her feet. But it�s obvious we still have some things to work on regarding the kids.

And now the situation has changed because BF has his son full time. I told BF that he and his son need time to adjust to each other and set up a routine before me and my girls move in and complicate matters.

Plus, I want him to see what it's really like being a full time parent. BF is always criticizing his son�s mom parenting because she yells at their son. He says there is never a reason to yell at your kids and that you should never lose your temper. I told him it�s real easy to be patient with a kid when you only have to deal with them for two hours every Wednesday and every other weekend. I bet after a few months having his son all the time he's going to change his tune about that. Not that I'm trying to prove him wrong or anything, but I think BF has unrealistic expectations of how a parent should be and he shouldn't judge someone for something he's never done himself.

I think if I move in at the end of October, it's going to be too soon after him getting his son full time. I will point things out about the son and it's going to seem as if I'm picking on him. Either I'll have to bite my tongue and let it eat me up inside or I'll say have to something to BF about it. He'll get defensive and it will cause tension and problems in our relationship. When I told him this, BF said I thought we agreed you'd handle disciplining my son yourself and if after he doesn't listen to you then you come to me and say something? I said no, when we had that conversation I told him the same way he wants me to step up and discipline my girls, he needs to step up and discipline his son. I said there are going to be times that his son does not listen to me and I need to feel comfortable that I can come to you and say something about it. BF backs me up when I correct his son, but I don�t feel that I should do all the heavy lifting. This is his son. He needs to be his parent, not me. I said it's like you can't be bothered with parenting your own son.

BF said I need to accept people the way they are and not want them to change. He said he accepts my kids unconditionally. I said you may accept my kids, but you still want them to change. I said remember last year when you told me my daughter was talking disrespectfully to me? You wanted her to change. You want me to change and not yell at my kids so much, and I have changed that. Change can be a good thing if it means you become a better person.

He said even though he wants me and my girls to change, he is still ready to move in with us, even if we never change. He said the problem is that am not accepting him for the way he is right now, that I am going to wait and see if he changes to how I feel he should be before I move in and that is a red flag to him.

I told him so you want me to hope and pray that you'll change, and when you don't and the issues we didn't work out before hand cause us to break up, I have to uproot me and my girls and move out?

I�m not going through that again. I already had to move my girls when me and their father got divorced, I�m not putting them through that again unless it�s circumstances beyond my control.

I told him the problem isn�t his son, it�s the way he handles issues with his son. And the more I think about it, the more I�m wondering if I want to move in together at all. I like my apartment. I like having my things the way I want them. I have my routine set up with my girls. BF has a lot of clutter in his house and I can�t stand clutter. Everything at his house is his, his furniture, the pictures on the walls, his dishes, etc. BF�s house will never be my house, it will always be his and his son�s house. I�m thinking maybe when the kids are older and almost out the house it might work, but not now. It causes so much arguing between us.

However, BF has made it clear that he is not happy with just dating. He wants to move in together. He says if I never want to move in with him, then he is going to have to reevaluate. This concerns me. It�s like I�m getting an ultimatum. I may never want to move in, and he needs to be okay with that. I�m wondering if maybe I need to say something now before we go any further in this relationship.

I know some of you are going to say "yeah dump the weed smoking loser" but there are a few reasons I�m not ready to. My girls have grown attached to him. I waited a whole year before introducing my girls to him, but maybe it was still too soon and I don�t want my home to be a revolving door of boyfriends. BF still has his good points and I still want to be with him. I just don�t want to live with him. Is that so wrong?

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I think you are making the right move. I'm in a similar position, I have 50% custody of my two kids, girl 13 / boy 10. My GF of 3.5 years has a son that's 11 that she has pretty much sole custody of (sees father every-other weekend).

When we started dating, we did talk about living together at some point in the future, but as the kids got older, some things made me realize that it was not a great idea. My daughter is going thru some severe teen anxiety issues for the last year....I feel adding essentially a "step mom" would only add to that. Also, while my son and her son do get along and have some stuff in common, I do see conflicts that he has with her son that he never ever has with his other friends. Not blaming him or anything, but don't want to add to what my son is going thru, living with divorce and joint custody and all that.

Plus, on the selfish side....I do enjoy some alone time....I'd never get that if they were living with me. She'd move in with me, I know that....this is my choice.

If you feel he's giving you an him on it. If he's willing to walk because you don't want him to live with you, he's in it for the wrong reasons. Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 1:51PM
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--"If you feel he's giving you an him on it. If he's willing to walk because you don't want him to live with you, he's in it for the wrong reasons. Good luck! "

Well said, Mkroopy.

Good luck Amber, I think you've made a personal decision that you know is the right one for you and your children at this point of time in your life.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 2:31PM
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Thanks kroopy and JMT.

Kroopy - yeah, I enjoy my alone time as well. I like my space. I totally get what you're saying when you say you don't want to add to what your kids are already going through. I kinda feel the same myself. I work full time, go to school part time. I'm trying to get my eldest daughter help through the school. I'm trying to find out if she has some kind of learning disability or ADHD or something else going on. We don't need to complicate matters any more.

JMT - thanks hon. While the financial advantage to living together is tempting, it's not worth all the headache that goes along with it.

I don't understand why my BF wants to move in together so bad. He says there are things about me that he doesn't like but he still wants to move in with me. You'd think you'd want to wait until things are good before making that type of commitment. You'd think he'd want his son to adjust to living with him before he has three more people added to the mix.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 3:14PM
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I'm so proud of you Amber. This is a big decision and you are making it for the right reasons. I applaud you. I don't think you should dump him like you said.. But I do agree with you, seems like he is giving you an ultimatum. Or he is just mad and spitting right now.

I'm glad you came back and updated. Sometimes I wonder what the end result was. September got here fast! Lol

You are a good mom and putting your children first. You should be proud of making that decision for them as hard as I bet it was. It sounds like it's the right thing to do. (for now) you have forever right?

Oh and I wanted to touch on something else. When you both were discussing living together, things were different. Now that his son is there full time, that is a huge change in what you thought you were going in to. Its not like you just can't accept things the way they are; things drastically changed!
You are right. They need time to get to know each other. And settle into a routine. I think he will be shocked at how different is from non custodial to custodial. When I was having some behavior issues with my daughter, I turned to her dad for help. He said 'she is always good with me, she never acts that way with me'. Well... It's because she doesn't have long enough to act up... Two days isn't enough for pretween drama to come out ... I think he got first hand of what i was saying after a summer with her because he cancelled the first few weekends he was supposed to be her after having her for 6 weeks lol A real eye opener I'm sure!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 10:00PM
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Thanks myfampg. Yeah, time goes by pretty quick!

I have to think about myself and my girls and actually it wasn't that hard. I'm am risking SO MUCH, and BF isn't risking hardly anything. The house is in his name. If things don't work out, me and my girls will have to move, not him.

And you're right, the situation HAS changed. I really didn't think BF would ever get his son full time. We had a discussion about this that I think I mentioned on this forum. I asked him did he want to get custody of his son. He said no, he was fine with the way things were. And I figured having his son just on Wednesdays and every weekend wouldn't be too bad. Now he has him full time, and it looks like the BM won't even bother with getting him on her weekends. Maybe after BF has had his son for a few years and the son gets older his behavior issues won't be that big a problem. And really it's not how his son behaves that�s the problem. It's that I can't say things to BF about his son without him getting defensive. He's gotten better over the past few months, but it's still a problem.

Also, BF said I need to handle issues with his son myself, and then if his son doesn't listen to me I come to him. I kinda feel this isn't right. Not that I'm going to nit pick on every little thing, but I feel like BF needs to step up and parent his son. He does not like my daughter to smack her food at the dinner table. So he'll tell me about it, and that's fine. Like I said before, I don't have a problem being told if my kid needs to be corrected. But BF doesn't want me telling him about his son, he wants me to handle it myself and then if he doesn't listen to come to him. I don't know if this is a good idea. I feel like BF is letting me do all the work. I'm not sure if I'm making a mountain out of a molehill over this?

I just feel like there are going to be times that BF's son will not listen to me and I need to feel comfortable telling BF about it, not feel like I'm walking on eggshells.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 12:09PM
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Exactly!! It's not a molehill and it's not a mountain of eggshells...

Your BF is suffering from what I diagnosed my ex with Which is 'perfect little family syndrome'.
Having you and having his son is the perfect life for him. Awww so sweet... Until it's not.
A lot of men... NOT all... And women do this too... I just happen to know more men than women personally... Look for that 'mom' for the 'household'. Once all is back to the way 'it should be' (dad,mom,kid,couple of more kids, dog, mini van etc) Dad is content and can go back to working 60 hours a week while 'mom' is at home, raising the family.

I do not believe that in your current relationship, you should be responsible for discipling or 'correcting' your BF's son. Now... I will tell my nephew in a heartbeat 'STOP' with the smacking... Or I will protect any child from harm. But telling his son to get his homework started, get in the bath, no more snacks before dinner, brush teeth, clean your room, for now, that's Dad's job. And the reason I believe this is because their situation is new and kid doesn't need to think that you are the evil stepmom/dad's Gf... Dad needs to set the rules and boundaries of 'his' house first.

I really hope you guys can work this out and continue to have your relationship with each other.

When my husband and I first started dating, he did not meet my Dd right away. But then once I introduced them, things seemed fine. However, them I felt like he was just being critical of her when she would cry or get hurt or just have a crummy day... So I seperated them. He was only 'allowed' to 'see' me when she was at her dad's or a sitter. I made him research being a stepdad, read some books about raising girls etc. If he wanted to be with 'us', he had to walk the walk. And he did... Once I felt ok to reintroduce them, we have only had a few problems but nothing major to report. They are actually VERY close now. There is nothing wrong with takin a step back and just 'dating' again if that is something you both are ok with. And like my therapist told me, if he isn't ok with it, then he isn't the one because he will do whatever to find a 'fix' to the problem.


    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 10:14PM
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LOL! A mountain of eggshells. That's right!!

I think you are right about the 'perfect little family syndrome'. My BF didn't even stop to think about how this move would affect his son. His son has transferred schools and is living with his dad full time now. And then it would only be two months after moving in his son that me and my girls would be moving in.

And I don't know if I'm out of line here, but my BF didn't even ask me how I felt about him getting his son full time. I know, not my decision but if we were planning to move in together, don't you think he should have at least talked to me first and got my input? I think if there was a change with my girls, say I was the NCP and that was going to change, I would have talked to my BF first. Not to ask his permission, per se, but to see how he felt about it, was he going to be cool about it.

Yeah, if I see BF's son doing something he isn't supposed to and BF isn't around, of course I'm going to say something to him. But one of my friends said it sounds like BF wants me to be the bad guy.
Stepping back to just dating sounds like a good idea for now.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 6:30AM
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myfampg...while I don't necessarily disagree with your 'perfect little family' diagnosis, I'd like to offer my opinion on why men are sometimes guilty of this (you are right, probably more men than women)...because this did come up in the breakup of my marriage.

When I first figured out my marriage was in trouble back in 2004 (finding out she's been having a 9 month affair sort of leads you to realize there are, and the inevitable hours of discussions take place, I was told (as are almost every husband at some point I would imagine), that I didn't pay enough attention to her, wasn't doing the "little things" anymore,etc., and that I was too busy with work and fixing up the house. Keep in mind that was the extent of it...I was not out with the boys, or golfing / fishing / whatever all weekend with buddies. I worked, I worked on fixing up the house, and I hung out the the family, that was pretty much it.

But, yes I worked a lot. 60 hrs was the norm....and yes, I worked on the house a lot, but we had bought an old farmhouse that needed a lot of restorations. But here was my problem with that complaint....she was part of the decision-making process both times. When I left the job I was at to take a job in a small software firm, she was all for it, knowing it would require lots of work, since it would allow her to stay home with the kids, which is what she wanted. Same with buying the old house...she loved the place and knew it would be a lot of work. I didn't force these things on her.

But here is where the 'perfect little family' syndrome comes into play. Men, I have found out, are more likely to "compartmentalize" things in their lives. In my mind, it was like checking things off a degree...check, first job...check, find a wife.....check, have kids, check.

Next on the list was getting this company off the ground...and getting the house fixed up. I already had checked the "wife" and "kids" off the my efforts were better focused elsewhere. In no way did I totally ignore my wife or kids, I was there, never disrespected or neglected them....just did not put in the efforts to keep them all as happy as they could be...because in my mind, I was putting my efforts in where they were truly needed. Everyone would benefit from the company being a success (it has), and the house getting fixed up so it's more livable (I busted my a$$ for 3 yrs on it before the marriage blew up).

I guess what I'm trying to get at here is that while I think your "diagnosis" may have some merrit....I think it is a little off. I think most men look to their wife/gf as someone that will compliment the other aspects in their lives, whereas women (again, most..not saying all) fall into that "looking for a soul-mate" trap. I know that was true in my marriage, I had work, fixing up the house, friends, hobbies, sports and stuff in my life...she had nothing but the family, being a stay at home, and also a very uninvolved, almost anti-social person. I didn't look to her for too much, she had nothing (other than being a mom) and since I was busy with all the other stuff, well she decided to find it elsewhere. I've been seeing someone for over three years now, and I love her like crazy....but honestly, I think there are plenty of women I would be happy with...because I don't look to her to "complete me" or any of those corny sayings. When I hear how people (and it's almost always girls) talk about finding their "soul-mate" I want to barf.

It's funny though....even after having these issues be one of the root causes of ending my marriage, I do find myself falling into the same old habits. Do I do all the little things anymore that I did in the beginning of my current relationship? Nope...guilty as figure we would learn, right? The thing that did change is spending time with my kids. I think because I know that they will only be kids for a finite period of time, I spend as much possible time with them as possible (I have 50% custody of them).

I'm not sure I explained this very well...I tried though, its a difficult topic to break down.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 1:02PM
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I think you are making the right choice. I sometimes wish I would have just stayed at the dating stage. Now we are married and it's 8 years later things are rough sometimes. Don't let him pressure you into moving in. If he really cares and wants the best for you, he will understand that your concerns are valid.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 1:14PM
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Kroopy I think your assessment of men in general is pretty true. Like you said, instead of continuing to cultivate all relationships, men seem to check things off the list. I think it's just the way men think.

However, after talking to one of my friends about the situation, I think I know the real reason why my BF is so anxious for me to move in.

MY BF has had his own business for over 20 years, however he has never paid taxes. He owes $70,000 in taxes. He can't get a regular job because he is afraid the IRS will garnish his paycheck so he has always worked for cash. The economy is still slow and he isn't getting a lot of work. When I first found about this I had to really think hard about things, but then I said I had my own baggage, and my own debt (student loans of $10,000) so I shouldn't be too judgmental. With me to help him we'd could probably work something out with the IRS, right?

But I started noticing that whenever he talked about me moving in he wouldn't say how wonderful it would be living together, he'd say he'd have someone to share the bills with. I asked him if the reason he wanted me to move in was so he could save money. He said no and after that he never said it again.

So I'm kinda confused. It doesn't seem like he wants to take advantage me financially. When I wasn't getting child support he gave me money and has told me when we move in together he has no problem with me cutting back my work hours to part time. Whenever he gets a big job he buys gifts for me and my girls. Whenever I need help he is there for me, he'll cook dinner, take my daughter to karate for me, help me get my car fixed, etc.

However, on the other hand, BF has said he would have a real problem if I never wanted to move in together because he doesn't want to struggle his entire life. While I don't mind helping someone out, we should WANT to be together, not NEED to be together. Another time we got into a disagreement he said maybe us living together isn't going to work, we're not even going to save that much money anyway. I said so if we're saving a ton of money we should move in together, but if we're not saving that much money we shouldn't? He said, no that's not what he meant.

So I don't know what to think.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 3:17PM
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"he wouldn't say how wonderful it would be living together, he'd say he'd have someone to share the bills with"

wow....big red warning sign there....

I've always gone by the credo that until you are sure you want to do something, usually doing nothing (keeping the status quo) is the best move. I think that probably applies in your situation....

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 3:35PM
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Women always lose when they move in with a man, even when they move to a new place together. My second husband wanted me to do that and I gave him his ring back. He found me that evening an apologized for suggesting it. He said his ex thought he was rushing things, we waited a year to marry. My instinct told me it would best for me not to move in with him and it was the right decision.

When I became engaged a friend asked me how I got him to do that. Her BF said he lost to much going through his first divorce he was never going to marry again. That worked for her...for awhile. Anyway she wanted to know what she should do. My reply was "why should he marry you, he has it all now free. You clean, cook and have sex with him and make his house a home for free, why should he take on the financial responsibility? If you leave him it won't cost him a thing". I saw her a month or two later and she showed me her wedding ring. She had thought about what I said, he wouldn't marry her, so she quit her job,packed the kids and moved to Texas to live with her Mom. Lo and behold he went after her and brought back". She was so happy she glowed, I couldn't believe the difference in her.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2011 at 3:43PM
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LOL Vala,

I don't ever want to get married again. I went through divorce and it was too expensive and took waaaaaaaaay too long. I never want to go through that again.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2011 at 6:11PM
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LOL @ Amber. It sounds like you are going to be okay. I wouldn't marry again unless, maybe, if the man was a multimillionaire, 99 years old and no children. Terrible aren't I.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2011 at 10:58PM
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Vala, you're assuming that the woman makes less money than the man does. If it's equal or the woman makes more, she may feel more financially secure by not getting married but rather just living together (and keeping assets separate).

I get your point though. I had a boss years ago who was, well, a pig. He'd had a long-term, long-suffering GF, mother to two of his kids, whom he was constantly cheating on and who constantly took him back. After about six years of this, she found religion and began to feel that pre-marital relations were wrong - so, she stopped. Took the kids and moved out. Six months later he proposed and they were married, LOL!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2011 at 9:10AM
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Vala - no, you're not terrible, you're smart. After being married to a man who made less money than me, I wouldn't get married again either, unless he was a mullionaire. I'd like him a little younger than 99 though *wink*.

I do feel that my BF may be looking to me for some financial security or support.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2011 at 10:03AM
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"Women always lose when they move in with a man"

Yeah sure, whatever....I think you are probably showing your age or your stereotypical mindset or something, thinking in terms of many years ago. and women can actually be on equal footing these days in terms of career, finances, independence, etc. Unless of course she is looking to have someone "provide" for her...which in that case...well maybe she should do the housework if she's not adding much to the picture financially.

Just because a woman moves in with a man, or they get a place together, doesn't necessarily mean he expects her to do all the cooking, cleaning etc....sorry baby those days are long gone, at least among the people I know.

I'm not going to have my GF move in with me, primarily because I don't want my kids to have to deal with a blended family situation...but if we did, I'd treat her as an equal and expect nothing other than she do her SHARE of the work around the me, she would not "lose"....

    Bookmark   September 14, 2011 at 10:57AM
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You have givers and takers in both genders.

In my previous marriage, both me and my husband worked full time. But in addition to working full time, I cleaned the house, cooked dinner every night, helped the kids with homework, arranged play dates, doctor's appointment, school functions, etc, etc.

The ONLY thing my husband did was work full time. He didn't lift a finger around the house. I even did the yardwork because he was letting the weeds grow wild in our back yard. Yep, that's right, I did the yardwork while he sat and played on the computer.

On top of that, when he spent his money on gadgets and didn't have the money to pay his share of the bills, guess who had to make up the difference? - Me.

If I was so lucky to have a husband who paid the bills, I'd be June Cleaver waiting at the door with slippers and cigar in hand for him.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2011 at 12:00PM
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You are absolutely right to not move in if you don't feel right about it. No matter what logical reason you use to justify it, if you don't feel good about it, are hesitating, DON'T DO IT! After dating 1 year & getting engaged, I moved in with my husband when my lease expired on my extremely adorable country cottage. I moved into his house that he had brought up his family in. We were in the process of buying something new together and I thought we could just pull this off. BIG MISTAKE! HUGE! Had I waited and renewed my lease for another year, I would likely not have married him because the problems I was hoping would solve themselves have really never gone away. It's 11 years now, I am financially dependent on him and we are close to retirement age. I'm not miserable but not happy either. This is not a good way to live and because I am attractive I might be able to find someone else that I get along with better. Maybe not. It's a gamble. But I say that if you have a good healthy relationship, it's going to wait a while and you can then see how the chips fall. Good luck and good thinking, Amber!

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 9:54AM
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I am 74 so most of the women in my generation stayed home and didn't make any money and certainly didn't move in with a man without being married. Just letting a guy stay over one night made you the talk of the neighborhood.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 10:28PM
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