Million Dollar Question....Am I Wasting My Time?????

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-18-2005
Million Dollar Question....Am I Wasting My Time?????
6
Wed, 03-06-2013 - 9:00pm

Little background......

I am 29. Boyfriend is 33. We have been together for 2 years, living together for one and I have a 7 year old son (from a previous relationship). 

Before we moved in together, I asked the typical "do you ever want to get married? Kids? How many?" yada yada yada. Thought we were on the same page. I told him that I wanted to be engaged within a year and a half of living together (we will be together over 3 years by then) and married around a year later. He said he thought that was a good timeline. Fast forward a year, not only do we not even talk about getting engaged, we don't talk about getting married, kids, future, nothing. It just isn't brought up. 

We got into a huge fight the other day. I asked him if he saw himself proposing to me in the next 6 months to a year (an extra 6 months from original timeline) and he said he "wasn't ready" and "doesn't know when he will be." He swore that he loves me, wants to be with me and "as long as everything goes well" that he "could see himself proposing" but isn't sure when. I flat out told him that if he couldn't flat out say "yes, I want to marry you one day", that I was wasting my time. It caused a huge fight. Later that night, he said that he could "see himself marrying me one day and loved me". That was the end of the conversation and it hasn't been brought up since.

Ever since, I have had some major second thoughts about this relationship. Honestly, he needs to grow the eff up! He is 33 years old and sits at home on days off from work playing Call Of Duty for hours, sleeping on the couch and being lazy. He works as a cook at a restaurant with NO beneifts or insurance and has no intention on finding a better job. His bills are always late b/c he "forgets" the due dates. I actually figure out how much he owes me (we split rent and utilties), write the checks, mail them and make sure its all taken care of. I also buy pretty much ALL of the groceries. I clean the house (he helps maybe once a week), cook EVERY meal, take care of my son, work part time AND go to college. He works 35 hours a week and the rest of the time, plays games and watches movies. The problem is that up until recently, these things didn't bother me and I told him that they didn't. But now that I am ready to settle down (and he obvisouly is not), they do bother me. A LOT. 

Another problem? My son (whose father is not involved and hasn't been for a couple of years), has been wanting to call my bf dad since a year ago. He won't let him. I understand that it is a big deal but he told him "I will be like a dad to you but it's too soon to call me dad." Okay...it's been 2 years and if he saw a future with us a family, then why is it a problem?!?!?! It breaks my heart b/c my son asks once a week when he can call him dad. All my bf says is "it's just too soon. I don't know what to say." He grew up calling his step dad "dad" and still does to this day. Shouldn't he understand?!?! He also doesn't "connect" with my son. The only thing he does do interact with him is play (age appropriate) video games. No legos, board games, coloring, unless I suggest it. He expects way too much of him too. He is 7. He pees on the seat, whines and occasionaly talks back. Welcome to parenting! But he just can't seem to let anything go! He is constantely complaining and "talking to" my son about everything he does wrong. He is a VERY negative person. If it's not one thing, it's another. However, my son still loves him and wants to call him dad.

Despite all the complaining, I still love him and would love for this to work out. His family LOVES my son and I both. My bf mom has my son calling her grandma (SO CUTE!). Even she doesn't understand what his deal is and why he isn't ready!!!!

Am I wasting my time??????? ADVICE PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 03-06-2013 - 10:25pm

Well you have already identified the major problems in this relationship.  He's 33 & not motivated to get a better job, he can't handle money and he doesn't interact very well with your child.  Do you think this is magically going to change one day?  probably not--this is who he is.  It would be different if he was maybe 20 and you'd think well in a few years he'll be more mature.  He should be mature by now.  Why would you want to marry a guy like this?  It's like you'd constantly be his mom.  I married a guy who was almost this bad.  He had a pretty good job for someone without a degree--he worked for the post office so that paid a good enough salary, but I had a degree and a professional job. It was hard for him to relate that I couldn't just forget about my job when I wasn't there because I had responsibilities (I'm a lawyer).  If he didn't go to work for a week someone else would just take care of the mail after all.  Of course I was the one who organized the money, made sure the bills were paid, made sure we did the grownup stuff like buying life insurance--it's not that he was a bad person, but it was more like I had to be the responsible one all the time.  When he wasn't working, he wanted to play softball all the time, go to the movies--guess who was home taking care of the kids?  And they were our kids together!  By the time we got divorced, we were about 40!  He never really changed.

I do happen to disagree with calling your BF "dad."  You aren't even married & you aren't sure that you will be together for the long run.  It's sad that your son is identifying this guy as his "dad" when he might be gone soon.  I can't fault you for introducing him to the guy when you have dated for 2 yrs, but I would not be encouraging a small child to call someone dad until the point where you were actually married and it was clear that he was going to be around.

I also disagree with asking a guy "when are you going to propose?" For adults, the decision to get married shouldn't be like a surprise--it should be a mutual decision that the parties discuss.  You have already stated your wishes to get married by a certain time yet your BF is very noncommital except to say that he's not ready.  I think he's at the stage of well, we're already living together and I've got what I want, so why do I have to get married?  And I"m not talking about just getting sex cause he could get that if you weren't living together--it's like he's stuck in childhood again, not wanting to make a commitment to your & your son's future.  After 2 yrs, it should be clear enough if you could see yourself wanting to be with someone.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008

I think you may be wasting your time. To me his behavior screams  I'm not ready to make a commitment. And if you think about it, why should he. I mean he's already getting all the perks of being married without being married, including sex, his groceries being bought AND cooked for him, a maid cleaning his house, someone paying his bills for him. etc, whilst all he has to worry about is putting in his 35 hours at work and spending all his free time on the couch playing video games and watching movies. And he doesn't seem to have taken much interest in your son and being any kind of father figure to him. Now I do understand you love the guy and would love to see this work out, but the guys 33 and I have to agree with music here that he's probably not going to one day change into this ambitious guy who wants to get ahead in life, or suddenly become someone who's interested in becoming a father figure in your sons life. So I really don't see him as the guy that's going to fulfill your needs or expectations now or in the future. Unfortunately I've seen too many times where a women will try to change a man into what they want them to be, and he may change for a short time to hold on to you when the times comes that your ready to leave,if only you don't leave. BUT for the most part they will almost ALWAYS revert back to who they really are. Sorry, but my honest opinion is that this is not the guy for you and I really think you'd be making a BIG mistake in marrying this guy. 

Avatar for Kendahke1
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-09-2012
Thu, 03-07-2013 - 10:12am

ama0118 wrote:
<p>Little background......</p><p>I am 29. Boyfriend is 33. We have been together for 2 years, living together for one and I have a 7 year old son (from a previous relationship). </p><p>Before we moved in together, I asked the typical "do you ever want to get married? Kids? How many?" yada yada yada. Thought we were on the same page. I told him that I wanted to be engaged within a year and a half of living together (we will be together over 3 years by then) and married around a year later. He said he thought that was a good timeline. Fast forward a year, not only do we not even talk about getting engaged, we don't talk about getting married, kids, future, nothing. It just isn't brought up. </p><p>We got into a huge fight the other day. I asked him if he saw himself proposing to me in the next 6 months to a year (an extra 6 months from original timeline) and he said he "wasn't ready" and "doesn't know when he will be." He swore that he loves me, wants to be with me and "as long as everything goes well" that he "could see himself proposing" but isn't sure when. I flat out told him that if he couldn't flat out say "yes, I want to marry you one day", that I was wasting my time. It caused a huge fight. Later that night, he said that he could "see himself marrying me one day and loved me". That was the end of the conversation and it hasn't been brought up since.</p><p>Ever since, I have had some major second thoughts about this relationship. Honestly, he needs to grow the eff up! He is 33 years old and sits at home on days off from work playing Call Of Duty for hours, sleeping on the couch and being lazy. He works as a cook at a restaurant with NO beneifts or insurance and has no intention on finding a better job. His bills are always late b/c he "forgets" the due dates. I actually figure out how much he owes me (we split rent and utilties), write the checks, mail them and make sure its all taken care of. I also buy pretty much ALL of the groceries. I clean the house (he helps maybe once a week), cook EVERY meal, take care of my son, work part time AND go to college. He works 35 hours a week and the rest of the time, plays games and watches movies. The problem is that up until recently, these things didn't bother me and I told him that they didn't. But now that I am ready to settle down (and he obvisouly is not), they do bother me. A LOT. </p><p>Another problem? My son (whose father is not involved and hasn't been for a couple of years), has been wanting to call my bf dad since a year ago. He won't let him. I understand that it is a big deal but he told him "I will be like a dad to you but it's too soon to call me dad." Okay...it's been 2 years and if he saw a future with us a family, then why is it a problem?!?!?! It breaks my heart b/c my son asks once a week when he can call him dad. All my bf says is "it's just too soon. I don't know what to say." He grew up calling his step dad "dad" and still does to this day. Shouldn't he understand?!?! He also doesn't "connect" with my son. The only thing he does do interact with him is play (age appropriate) video games. No legos, board games, coloring, unless I suggest it. He expects way too much of him too. He is 7. He pees on the seat, whines and occasionaly talks back. Welcome to parenting! But he just can't seem to let anything go! He is constantely complaining and "talking to" my son about everything he does wrong. He is a VERY negative person. If it's not one thing, it's another. However, my son still loves him and wants to call him dad.</p><p>Despite all the complaining, I still love him and would love for this to work out. His family LOVES my son and I both. My bf mom has my son calling her grandma (SO CUTE!). Even she doesn't understand what his deal is and why he isn't ready!!!!</p><p>Am I wasting my time??????? ADVICE PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!</p>

Yes you are wasting your time.

advice: Move out and let him fend for himself.  If he wants to sit on the couch and play Call of Duty, then that's his perrogative. IF he has no wish to aspire to more, then that's his perrogative, too. You can't make him want what you want for his life.  If his bills go unpaid, then he has to do without electricity, cell phone service, bad credit ratings and possible eviction.  He will face the consequences of his actions.  But he will never come to that dawning while you're there acting like his mother.

thoughts: He has no intention on marrying you.  If he did, you'd have had your proposal by now. Something in his mind has changed since he made that declaration to you... or maybe, he never was going to follow through--he just wanted someone to take care of him and you were willing to do it.

You are playing the role of his mother. No man marries his mother. You are paying his bills, cleaning his house, cooking his meals, buying the groceries, doing his laundry.  Why on earth would he want to marry you when you're already doing what you'd be doing and he didn't have to come up off of a ring?

It doesn't sound like he wants to be a father to your son--more like he tolerates the boy because he's having sex with you.  His experiences with his own step father have nothing to do with your son and his relationship.  Please do not subject your son to someone who treats him like this. A 7 yr old isn't old enough to understand that your are shoe-horning a man into a role that he has no interest in playing and possibly never did.

His mother cannot make him be the kind of man you need for him to be, so quit putting all your hopes on her to make him see the light.  You will just have to tell your son that for the time being, this man is not someone he is going to be calling "dad". 

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010
Fri, 03-08-2013 - 10:13pm

Yes, you probably are wasting your time. I would guess that before you moved in together the fantasy of the instant family sounded good but since your bf has been living it, the reality is not what he imagined. On top of that you want him to grow up (which is reasonable) and become responsible, to get on a certain track and timeline that suits your wants and needs (again, reasonable--for you-- since you have a child to raise). He sounds kind of like a teenager that gets defiant when asked or told to do something he doesn't want to do, he retreats into video games and ignores the world and his parents. With you assuming all of the "adult" responsibilities he probably feels a little like a kid again; he might like it but also resent it.

To me the bigger red flag is the part about your son. I'm sure you know that you have to make choices based on what is best for him, before choosing what you want for yourself. Your bf doesn't seem to know how to relate to a boy that age and doesn't want to learn. Believe your bf when he says he's not ready to be Dad to your son and accept that he may never feel it. Your son desperately wants to have a daddy figure but your bf is not it....its a good thing that bf isn't just going along with it and fooling the kid into thinking there's a father-son type of relationship there.  Since your son's bio-dad isn't in the picture you need to be more careful. I wouldn't advise marrying your bf based on his problems with your son, even if bf was still going with your timeline. You get other chances to marry for many years to come, but your son only gets one childhood and it can affect the rest of his life and relationships.

There was nothing in your post that was positive about your bf so its not clear why you still love him. Sometimes we fall in love with a person's potential as much as who they are at the moment, but we have to recognize when they are not growing into that potential or have no desire to work towards it. Are you really in love with the man that your bf is today?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-18-2005
Thank you everyone for your feedback, it is greatly appreciated. I have read these and been thinking for the last few days. I have decided that I am going to have a very serious talk with him tonight. I am going to tell him that while I do love him and that he does have some great qualities, that I am having some serious second thoughts about this relationship. I am going to suggest a "break" for a few days. I cannot mold him into someone that I want him to be and at the same time, I cannot force a relationship between him and my son. My son comes first and since that is the biggest problem in my eyes, we need to consider cutting our loses. I am at the point where I am rarely happy and honestly, even if he did propose, I would most likely say no. I just don't know if I see a future for us. While he does have some great qualities, the negative ones overpower things. Again, thank you for the advice and wish me luck!
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-27-2004
Sun, 03-10-2013 - 10:22am

" I cannot mold him into someone that I want him to be and at the same time, I cannot force a relationship between him and my son."

"My son comes first and since that is the biggest problem in my eyes, we need to consider cutting our loses."

" I am at the point where I am rarely happy and honestly, even if he did propose, I would most likely say no."

"While he does have some great qualities, the negative ones overpower things."

Then what is the point of a break for a few days?  You are just dragging things out and prolonging your unhappiness.  Sharpen your knife and cut the connection for good.