- 4 years ago
- Wedding: September 2017
I have been dating my current SO for 7 months now. We have a great relationship and we both see a future together. He recently brought up the possibility of moving in together sometime early next year (January-March probably). This got me thinking about things that I would have normally just left alone until I felt like it was appropriate to bring them up. Thus far, I have felt like it was too soon to bring up these issues because I was “just the girlfriend”, and a fairly new one at that. But now that it seems he wants to take things into more serious territory I feel compelled to start examining things that I can see becoming an issue if they aren’t talked about.
I would like to point out that I have brought it up on occasion but haven’t really pushed the issue since I didn’t quite feel it was my place yet.
It has to do with SO’s family. Maybe that will explain why I have continued to tread lightly when dealing with this.
SO is the youngest of 3 children. He was the “surprise” baby and is about 8 years younger than his older sister and 10 years younger than his older brother. He is definitely a mommas boy and had a strained relationship with his dad growing up because apparently his dad did not want a third child and was kind of always cold towards him. Because of this, his mom and he are very very close. His dad passed away when he was 18 and he’s stayed with his mom ever since. So not only is he the baby, but he’s the child his mom wanted desperately (she wanted 3) and he has also kind of been her caretaker now that she’s aging (she’s in her late 60’s).
His older sister is married, has two kids, a house and a pretty stable life. His brother is married with one child,a house and is stable also.
My SO is kind of the “late bloomer”. I blame this on his lack of desire or motivation to grow up fully anytime before the last 3 years (we are both 30) and also on his mom for wanting to keep him her baby for as long as she could. He now is doing perfectly well for himself with a great career, solid financial situation, and a generally good looking future. However, he is still treated like the “single” brother.
His family, in my opinion, has kind of taken advantage of how much freedom he had during his 20’s (he always worked but focused mainly on school) and they have also kind of shoved off the responsibility of his mother solely on him. He has been fine with that, and still is, except for the fact that now that it’s his turn to make his own family and life, neither of his sibilngs want to help take on caring for his mom.
They do not respect his time or the fact that he is attempting to build a future of his own with someone (me). I have kept pretty quiet about it for the most part. Partly because I know it makes him feel bad in general and partly because I didn’t feel I had a place telling him how to handle his family. But I can see this being a problem in the future if it’s not addressed and I don’t know how to tell him that this is a big reason why I’m afraid to commit any further. I love him so much and he’s a wonderful man, so good to me and to his family and everyone he knows. How do you tell someone that their generosity with their time is somehow an issue?! that just sounds bad.
I’ll give an example to help explain what I mean.
His mother watches his sister’s kids a couple times a week for a couple hours after school. his sister lives about 30 min away from him. She is a teacher and her husband is a cop and neither of them work odd hours. They have two working vehicles. They continuously ask him to pick up their mother from her house after she babysits for the kids and bring her home. He works incredibly long hours some days and even when he clearly just wants to pick her up and go home they will insist he wait so that his mom can have dinner with them. Not only that but if we have plans or something, on occasion it gets pushed back because of this and it has caused issues. He feels like an asshole saying “no I can’t pick up mom” but I feel like he should let them handle it beacuse it’s their kids and they are completely able to take her themselves, it’s just easier to have him do it so they dont’ have to. He sees it and we have talked about it but I feel like because he’s so passive, he would rather just do it so as to not make his mom feel bad and just to avoid having the conversation with his sister that she should be handling this on her own since she’s the one who needs her moms help and not my SO. Because it’s his mom though, he just really doesn’t want to make it seem as though she’s a burden. It’s always been discussed within his family that “if and when” my SO finds someone and wants to settle down, one of the older siblings will take his mom in since they have the space and means. Now that time has come and they seem to want to just ignore the fact that he is trying to make this relationship one that he keeps.
It’s tricky because I don’t want to be the cause of resentment from his family, like I’m the reason their free help from him is going away. At the same time I realize it’s not wrong of him to speak up and he should at this point. I can’t see myself being ok with him doing their running around once we live together. Is he going to miss dinners and things at home and be running himself ragged still because his sister doesn’t feel like bringing his mom to and from to watch her kids?
I should probably note that there’s already some weirdness there from his sister with me. She’s nice enough to me and is very good to my son. However, she seems to almost compete with me in the weirdest of ways. For example, I make him banana bread, pumpkin bread, lemon bread, etc. every week because he likes to take a slice for breakfast during the week. It’s just something nice I do for him that he loves. Well his sister found out about that small thing and the past two weeks she has sent over banana bread for him for the week. I asked if she has ever done it or if anyone had ever done it before me and he said no it was something specific to us and to me, so I can’t help but feel like that’s some kind of weird jab at me? or maybe I’m bitter about how much of his time they take and I’m turning something into nothing with that one, it’s totally possible.
So my question is, what do I do? How do I make it known that the reason I am having to think so much about moving forward is because of his family? I feel like I’ll sound like a jerk if I say “well it pisses me off that you do so much for your mom when she has to be at your sister’s house and it ends up getting in the way of our plans” or “It bothers me that you’re such a giving person that you over extend yourself and let it interfere with you getting enough rest or getting things of your own done just to try and keep everyone happy” I just can’t seem to figure out the right approach. There is no doubt I want to move in with him, and there is no doubt that I want to stay with him. He also has never been resistant to this issue when I have briefly brought it up in the past and he knows it’s not right of his family to do the things they do. But now it’s time to actually do something about it if he wants me to move forward and I’m struggling a lot with how I should say it. Help!!!!!