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.