Wedding Woes

This situation sucks, but breaking up may be the best option for you, LW.

Dear Prudence,

I own a three-bedroom townhouse. One of the bedrooms is my dedicated office. My boyfriend of two years moved in six months ago. We are talking about marriage but taking it slow for his five-year-old son. He has a room here. He splits custody evenly with his ex. She has two older daughters as well.

Her rent has been raised so high she can’t afford her apartment anymore. She is making plans to move out of state to her parents’ place. My boyfriend has equal custody of his son and could take on full custody, but doesn’t want to separate his son from his mother and sisters.
His idea is the entire family moves in temporarily with us and I give up my office, or he moves in with his ex to help out financially. Both of those solutions will kill our relationship.

My boyfriend is begging me not to make him choose between his son and me. I am not trying to. I am fine with his son moving in with us full time, but I can’t deal with his solutions. My heart is breaking here. Please help.

— Deal Breaker

Re: This situation sucks, but breaking up may be the best option for you, LW.

  • IMO, any relationship where the dude moves back in with the ex is not putting the current partner first.

    As a last ditch I'd try couple's counseling but I'd be quite clear that this is not negotiable. 

    Furthermore, what is his solution down the road?  What if she finds a place near her parents OOS?   
  • This isn’t your problem to solve by giving up your home. How long is temporarily?

    But also how does this work? You and him stay in your room; mom gets her own room and all three kids share? 

    This isn’t a reasonable solution- and he’s not playing fair by setting this up as a choice between you and your son; the choice is how he and his ex and going to parent  their children, how they’re going to figure out their housing situation. They’re putting it on you so they don’t have to make the hard choices. 
  • Nope. Break up because he’s fully unhinged. 
  • Yikes. His suggestion at either of those options would be a red flag for me. I think it's admirable that he wants to help, and keep the family together and be with his son. But the ex and other kids moving in??? What?!
  • His "solutions" are RIDICULOUS.  I guarantee the ex and additional children moving in would not be temporary.  

    Another red flag is his begging her not to choose "between her and his son".  That's a bold-faced lie.  The son is fully welcome to live with them full-time, in his own room.

    What she's choosing is not to live with an adult and two additional children, that she has no responsibility to whatsoever.

    She is also choosing to break things off, if the b/f moves in with his ex.

    Both of those are perfectly reasonable and wise decisions.

    Curiosity question.  Does the ex even know about these ideas?  Because, even as desperate as these times are for her, they'd be awful for her also and she might prefer living with her parents.  
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • BF, while faced with difficult circumstances, is being entirely unreasonable.  He's being entirely unfair to LW by telling them they're asking him to choose between LW and his son.  LW is doing no such thing, as LW is open to moving him into their house. 

    There is no reasonable resolution that involves him moving out to 'help' his ex out or moving the whole fam-damily into LW's house and forcing LW to rearrange their space and life, plus live with three strangers.  

    IDK what viable solutions BF and Ex can come up with, but living together as some weird version of the Brady Bunch in LW's condo isn't it.  And if BF can only think of those two options, then LW has their answer on the future of their relationship.

    And if they get through this, BF and LW need to work on how things like, "You're making me choose between you and my son." aren't really productive because it pretty much stops any conversation since it literally pits LW vs. a child.  
  • I'd break up too.  My main emotion is feeling outraged that the bf is putting it on LW that they're making him choose (how is this crappy scenario in any way LW's fault?!), but also feeling confused as to how the bf has to move in with the ex to support them financially...can't he send money without co-habitating?  Sounds like LW was handling the townhouse fine with bf's help, so it's not that he can't afford two rents at once or something.
  • Also/ if BF is willing to split/ share housing costs with his ex why can’t he just give her that money? 
  • Also/ if BF is willing to split/ share housing costs with his ex why can’t he just give her that money? 
    Because it's not the money he wants to give her.
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