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: 11-28-1999
Sun, 09-30-2012 - 8:36pm

It's not the fact that he wants to live w/ his parents for 2 yrs that is the real problem.  If he could live there for free & pay off his loans in 2 yrs then that would really make sense.  It's that right now you're a very minor part of his life.  If he lives only a few miles from you now, it's crazy that he is willing to only see you on weekends.  And having a curfew after he has a grad degree?  That sounds like he has nutty parents or very controlling ones so maybe they are telling him that he can't date or go out during the week--now most young men who had a GF around, if told that by their parents, would probably tell the parents fine, then I'll just move right in with her.  He's obviously choosing his parents and what they want over you.  He should be doing chores if he is living in their house but not like a child.  My friend has her 2 sons who are college grads living at home because she has a nice house & they can save money but they are both working & independent--she hardly sees them and certainly doesn't control their dating life.

Community Leader
Registered: 01-03-2004
Sun, 09-30-2012 - 9:13pm


Your in love with a boy not a man.

Get it together. Find a job where you want to live. Pack your bags, and go.

Let him be the mama's boy he is: why would you want to "wait" around for 2 days much less 2 years for such a person?

He's made it very clear to you what and who is his priority. You're not it.

Get going. You're wasting time by hoping for some magic wand to turn him into someone he's not.


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-29-2002
Mon, 10-01-2012 - 12:20pm

How much did you discuss your decision to move to the West Coast with your BF? 

Were there some serious discussions regarding how it would play out.  Did he make any indications on his part stating he wanted you to make the relocation?

There are a lot of people that tend to have a pretty well laid out plan of action, in regards to how they want to live their lives.  And relationships are no exception.

My DH is that type of person, which in turn can be a frustration, but also very beneficial.

I would make it a point to sit down with him and get a good idea of where he is relationship wise.  And what would need to happen to move forward with the relationship.  He is the only one that is going to give you the information you need in order to decide whether it is worth sticking out, or time to move on.

I will be honest, if your BF truly intended to move forward in this relationship with you.  I think he probably would have really sat you down and put you on a game plan as well.  If he is focused on living with his parents while he pays off his debt and becomes financially solvent, but hasn't addressed your financial health.  Then he isn't exactly prioritizing this relationship in the same manner that you are.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Mon, 10-01-2012 - 1:49pm
Sounds to me like he's taking the relationship fotr granted and just isn't as enthused about it anymore as you are (since he is only willing to make the effort to drive to see you on the weekends.) I do think it's a smart financial move on his part to live with his parents until he can get his college loans paid off as once they are he can be debt free in 2 years. it really all depends on whether YOU are willing to stick it out being only a weekend gf.
Avatar for khatru1
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2004
Mon, 10-01-2012 - 3:24pm

I also think you two need to have a serious discussion as to your future. From reading your post, the move west almost sounds like he planned his move out completely, living with his parents, etc. While your move almost sounds like an afterthought or maybe following him out there? He does not seem to be concerend about you all that much.You are not registering high on his priority list. Personally, I would make every effort to come over to my GFs place, several times per week.

I do think taken by itself, living with his parents to pay off debt is very smart, especially in this economy and job market. He should have chores if he lives there. The curfew, now that's very weird, you do have something there. Mom may like making him food and doing his laundry, so thats not a biggie.

I think he has shown you exacltly who he will be and where he will be living for the next 2 years at least. Does not seem like he will budge from this position. He has a right to live his life how he chooses, but you also do as well and you can choose to not live your life as you are now, for the next two years. You sound miserable and somewhat heartbroken and I don't think you should stick it out. Also as I alluded to before, I am questioning somewhat his committment to the relationship.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Tue, 10-02-2012 - 11:38am

I'm sure glad that my DH was willing to marry me despite the fact that I was the one with student loan debt--back in the 80's it was $20,000.  I met him right after graduating from law school & we got married 2 yrs later.  The reason he didn't have any debt is that he didn't go to college.  But of course I also worked full time so I definitely contributed to the income of the family.  If we had waited until my loans were paid off, I would have been 35.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-11-2012
Wed, 10-03-2012 - 4:25pm

The biggest problem I see here is that so much of your actions and focus is on what HE's doing.  What about what you're doing?  What do you want for your life?  What city and state do you want to live in?  I firmly believe that you shifted the power paradigm in his favor the moment you agreed to move to the West cost to be with him.  I didn't see any mention that you were already planning to be there or that this is where you'd always wanted to live.  Any time you make someone else's agenda more important than your life goals, you have a problem: 1) they feel somehow indebted to you because you "gave up" things for them, 2) you feel resentful because you gave up things and expected other things... which didn't come true.  At this point, he is who he is and you should not be waiting for him to be someone that he's not.  At this point, you need to pull out a sheet of paper and write down how you want your life to look: where you want to live, what your career will look like, how much money you want to make, what that will require of you, when you want to get married, how many kids you want to have.  Lay your ideal life out on paper and then decide what your next three steps to fulfilling that life will be... and then take them.  It sounds as if you're better at reacting to situations than powerfully choosing your life.  You need to get the lesson of this experience.  It's not about whether he's going to marry you in two years.  It's about whether you're going to start choosing YOU right now.  Remember something about all partners: we DESIRE them but we don't REQUIRE them.  Let the requirement of him go, start creating the life you really want and if he's for you, he'll step up to the plate.  If not, it was good that you didn't let him pull the strings of your life anyway.


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Thu, 10-04-2012 - 3:36pm

I can't really add anything, but some things just jumped out at me after reading your post.  It seems to me that you and your bf are on different pages and simply want different things at this point in your life.  He's content just seeing you on the weekends, but you NEED to see him more in order to be happy.  If he's content with the way things are and you aren't...THAT should tell you something.  It reminds me of the book/movie - "He's Just Not That Into You".  If a man wants to be with his woman, he will move heaven and earth to do that.  It doesn't sound like your bf is doing that.  He's content to live with his parents, abide by their rules and live the life more of a child than an adult man.  Granted, his reasons for doing it are valid, but that doesn't leave YOU happy. 

Listen to the other posters.  Talk to your bf.  Tell him you're miserable and why.  If he doesn't move to make any changes to MAKE you happy, then it's time to put YOURSELF and YOUR happiness first and walk. 

My dh has told me more than once, "I want YOU to be happy." and has made changes to do so.  If a person truly loves the other, they'll do just that.  It doesn't sound like your bf is doing it.

Also, as for student loans...back in MY day (the 80's) , it was common for people to marry right out of college (I know things have changed), but, like Music, I'm glad my ex and I didn't want to wait either.  During the time we were paying off both our student loans (it took until age 32 to do it), we had 4 beautiful daughters, bought a house, and the ex got 2 promotions. Life was good.  Had we gone back and lived with OUR parents...so many years would have been wasted. Our generation just lumped student loans into our pile of bills and became adults.  I know almost noone who moved back in with their parents after college.   

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Tue, 10-09-2012 - 9:36pm

While I agree with a lot of what you said, this guy also has advantages that maybe she doesn't have--he has parents who are willing to let him live in their house rent free for 2 yrs while he has the chance to pay off his debt.  The OP said she grew up poor--maybe her parents wouldn't be available for that even if she had moved back to her home town.  So now she can't use all of her resources to pay off her loans because she has to do things that the guy doesn't have to do--pay for her own apt, food, car & other expenses, cook her own food & not rely on Mom & Dad to support her.  so in that way she is more grown up than he is because she's supporting herself completely like an adult while he's not.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Wed, 10-10-2012 - 9:15am

I expected to see him often, and to have him stay with me often, but he has not.

I had expected to spend more time with him since we are in the same city.

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.

He might resent me for not being able to contribute to the purchase of a home.

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.

I agree with many of the PP that there are many one-sided expectations (and some conjectures) from your part that he may or may not be aware of.  You two need to talk to see if you are on the same page.

I grew up poor and am used to struggling.

While I don't like the name calling as to who is more immature, at this point you two have different plans for life.  His focus seems to be to pay off debt and yours is to focused on him.  I also sense that his plan only includes you as an after thought, that he will see you on weekends, but you have a life plan built around him. 

I would suggest in addition to examining your relationship with your BF, do some serious career and financial planning. Simply because you grew up poor and are used to struggling, there is no reason to keep on struggling (anymore than necessary) and short-charge yourself.  Education is one of the most powerful factors in social mobility.  Stop being so focused on your BF and see if there are better job opportunities or lower costs of living elsewhere in the country.  Make a plan to tackle your student loan and start saving for retirement. 

You are still very young, in your mid-twenties.  Use this time to build equity in yourself.  By that I mean career experience, life experience, and financial security.  If your BF is meant to be, he will come and find you (and you will be that much better off wiht less debt, more savings, and more marketable to future employers).  Please don't let your past experience of growing up poor limit your goals.