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My boyfriend and I dated for seven months and then he asked if I wanted to live together. I was excited and said yes. We agreed we’d live in my place since his lease was coming to an end. After my lease ended, we agreed that we would move into a bigger place to accommodate his three children that he has partial custody of. I found out later that he was evicted from his place, which makes me wonder what his real intentions for wanting to live together were.

For the last 19 months his children and I have been living in my one bedroom condo. The family room space is huge and we are able to blow up air mattresses/have a sofa coach and make do for the weekends they are here. However, it’s still one bedroom and one bathroom. When the children are here they often fight which leads to them yelling or acting out by kicking the wall or slamming cabinets shut.

I am the only one on the lease, so I get a little nervous about the potential damage that could occur and then I would be financially responsible for. My boyfriend gets irritated with me for having this point of view, saying that if anything were to break that he could fix it. He adds that he has better things to do then think up all the things that could potentially go wrong and need repaired. He disregards all the things that have broken.

The kids have broken a lamp, dresser door, kitchen knob, random stuff, chair and an important painting of mine. My boyfriend will argue that these are just “things” and that I “need to get a grip” and not become emotional when something breaks. I work very hard to maintain a nice home (while attending graduate school and keeping two jobs) and every piece that I buy and put in my home is a unique representation of my style. It’s something I value. Most of my stuff isn’t expensive, but they are still my belongings and I do my best to take care of them.

My boyfriend argues that I have unrealistic expectations of his kids. I love his children. I don’t love living in this small space. I don’t love that my boyfriend acts hurt when I express unhappiness about our situation. My boyfriend is not unhappy with our living situation and does not seem motivated to change it. At the very minimum, I’m asking that the kids listen and he put more effort into having them follow directions and respect me.

I have explained to him that it would be less stressful to me if he was on the lease or if we moved as we had originally planned. He currently doesn’t have the funds to move and he refuses to be on the lease. However, he’s quick to suggest that he will just move into his own space so his “kids can be kids”.

Evan- pretend I’m your closest female friend. What would you tell me about this situation and what would you suggest I do?

Sara

Jesus, Sara! I just got stressed out reading your email.

I know this feels hard for you and that there are a lot of emotions surrounding your situation with your boyfriend. However, your question makes this somewhat of a no-brainer. Let’s go line-by-line.

My boyfriend and I dated for seven months and then he asked if I wanted to live together. I was excited and said yes. We agreed we’d live in my place since his lease was coming to an end.

Mistakes # 1 & 2:

I have no idea what the rush is for people to move in together and start playing house, but if you want to quickly end the honeymoon phase of your relationship: bravo, you found the fastest way to do it! The next time a guy asks you to move in after 7 months, you say “No, I’d rather save that for 2 years in, when we’ve really gotten to know each other and are pretty confident that this is the last step before marriage.”

The old, “we should move in because we spend so much time together, my lease is ending and it’ll save money” canard should be buried forever. You move in to try marriage on for size — not to save money!

After my lease ended, we agreed that we would move into a bigger place to accommodate his three children that he has partial custody of. I found out later that he was evicted from his place, which makes me wonder what his real intentions for wanting to live together were.

You move in to try marriage on for size — not to save money!

Mistakes # 3-5:

  • You took on a guy with three kids in a one-bedroom condo.
  • Your guy was evicted — you didn’t mention why, but I have a funny feeling, it had to do with money.
  • You’re already questioning his intentions — not a great thing to face when this man is supposed to be the rock upon which you’re building your future.

For the last 19 months, his children and I have been living in my one bedroom condo.

Mistake #6: You’ve let this go on for over a year and a half?!

The kids have broken a lamp, dresser door, kitchen knob, random stuff, chair and an important painting of mine. My boyfriend will argue that these are just “things” and that I “need to get a grip” and not become emotional when something breaks.

Mistake #7: They are just “things,” but that’s what you say if you break a glass at someone’s dinner party. That’s not what you say when there is a pattern of disruption caused by your own kids. You better own that shit and not make any excuses. The fact that he hasn’t gotten the message yet means that you have unwittingly become an enabler of his family’s bad behavior. Apparently, there are no consequences to breaking things in your house, except another stern warning.

My boyfriend is not unhappy with our living situation and does not seem motivated to change it. At the very minimum, I’m asking that the kids listen and he put more effort into having them follow directions and respect me.

Mistake #8: You seem to think that what’s right for you and what’s right for him are the same thing. You are 100% right in your anger and disappointment. You’re 100% wrong if you think that this selfish moocher and weakling of a parent is going to suddenly become the man you need him to be.

This is a bullshit situation and you have to clean house, both metaphorically and literally.

I have explained to him that it would be less stressful to me if he was on the lease or if we moved as we had originally planned. He currently doesn’t have the funds to move and he refuses to be on the lease.

Mistake #9: You want to get this guy’s name on your paper work? Run, Sara, run!

However, he’s quick to suggest that he will just move into his own space so his “kids can be kids”.

Mistake #10: Tell him not to let the door hit his ass on the way out and find a new boyfriend.

I don’t care how much you love him. This is a bullshit situation and you have to clean house, both metaphorically and literally. Please come back and let me know when (not if) the deed is done.