He's completely dependent on his parents

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2012
He's completely dependent on his parents
Sun, 09-30-2012 - 5:05pm

My boyfriend and I have been together for nearly three years. We started dating on the east coast when we were both in graduate school. While in school, he lived alone and I with a roommate, so we spent most of our time together at his place, holed up in his apartment studying, relaxing, and making love. 

Fast forward to graduation. My boyfriend had long planned on moving back in with his parents on the west coast. I didn't have any plan of where I would move after graduation, but a variety of factors--including him--  led me to move out west, to the same city as my boyfriend. 

I've been here for a few months, now, living alone in a one bedroom apartment while he lives with his parents several miles away. (I should mention that we are both in our mid-twenties.) I expected to see him often, and to have him stay with me often, but he has not. He is comfortable living with his parents, who pay for his food (though he has a job that pays him many times more than my job pays me), do his laundry, clean up after him, and indulge many of his whims. He says the traffic to drive to my place is unpleasant, so we usually only see each other on weekends. 

I am miserable. I had expected to spend more time with him since we are in the same city. I didn't realize that living with his parents would transform him into some sort of man-child; he has chores! And a curfew! 

My boyfriend is planning on living with his parents for at least two years while he earns the money to pay off his student loans. I don't know if I can take two years of this. I want to get married in the next few years, and I hoped that my boyfriend was going to be "the one." But his timeline doesn't seem to even take me into account.

There are also financial barriers to us marrying that I don't know if he (or his parents) would be that enthused about-- if we marry, he will take on the bulk of my student debt, I am essentially a financial liability for him. He also has a very high standard of living whereas I grew up poor and am used to struggling. He might resent me for not being able to contribute to the purchase of a home.

When we argue about all of this, he tells me that living with his parents is not for forever and that it's a really financially smart decision for him. He refuses to move out any sooner than 2 years, and I believe that he would really like to stay longer than that if he can get away with it.

Am I wasting my time with him? I love him, but I don't know if I can wait for as long as he wants me to wait, especially in such hellish conditions. I feel like I'm waiting for him to grow up. He says he wants to be with me, that he wants to live with me when he moves out of his parents' house, but when will that be? When we're 40?? I don't want to break up with him after several amazing years, especially since I just moved across the country in part to be with him, but I don't like feeling like we can't move forward in our relationship at all for the next two years. 

And is just the fact that I'm not necessarily willing to stick it out through two years of misery a sign that we're not meant to be?



iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Wed, 10-10-2012 - 9:24am

OP is a grown woman, not a dependent child. How  he/she grew up is non sequitur to the responsibility to her financial obligations. He didn't sign the loan papers for her to attend grad school: she did.  At the end of the day, it's not his responsibility to foot the bill for her lifestyle. He's not her lawful husband.

I did not see the OP expecting her BF to pay off her debts.  She only expressed concerns that if they were to get married, the debt would become theirs.

I really don't think it is productive for us to argue over these things because in any committed relatiohship or marriage, it is unavoidable that we take on some financial (or emotional) baggage of our partners.  Some good, some bad.  And it is up to the couple alone to decide what is acceptable. 

DH (when he was still BF) had offered to pay off some of my debt, acquired before we met.  I declined and dealt with it myself.  But it is not up to others to judge how mature or responsible I am if I were to accept the offer.  It was strickly between us.