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July 17, 2019

My Guy’s Life Plan Sucks

Hey, Bonita…

Hey Bonita, 

I'm seriously considering moving across the country to be with my boyfriend, but recently, I found out that he plans on us moving into his parents' guest house if we have a kid, and/or on his brother moving in with us. He says that if we have a kid, this would be the best way to live and save money—to have his parents help us with child care—and if we have our own place, he wants his brother to live with us (and to charge him a negligible amount of rent), because his brother will never be financially stable, and my boyfriend "wants the extra income.” 

Both of these ideas are an absolute deal-breaker for me, Bonita. If we have a child, I don't want to live in his parents’ guest house or have this alternative plan for raising my kid. I want to have kids with my boyfriend and live by ourselves and raise them according to our values, not anyone else's. Also, I do not want his brother to live with us, ever. His brother is not financially stable because he thinks it’s beneath him to work full time—he's practicing his anti-capitalist principles, apparently—and only does odd jobs and carpentry when he needs money for weed or concerts. Not only do I not want to live with him, I don't want my children to be influenced by his very negative world view—think "nothing matters, so don't do anything.” His parents are extremely wealthy—I mean, they have a house with a guest house and old money—and if anyone should be supporting his brother's choices, it should be them. 

My stuff is packed up—I was sure I was leaving sooner than later—but I'm thinking of ditching the deposit on the U-Haul and throwing in the towel altogether. My boyfriend does not see where I'm coming from. He claims that these aren't things that are non-negotiable for him—he says he just needs them to be a possibility. I feel like he's being bizarrely controlling and self-centered, and overall, this shows that he's more interested in building a future with his parents and brother than he is with me. 

Should I unpack my shit and accept heartbreak over worries about the future?

Help,

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

If these things really aren’t non-negotiable for him, he needs to honor that statement and begin negotiating. He waited until way too close to moving time to tell you his intentions about your housing, and though I’m sure that controlling the situation probably wasn’t his intention, that’s exactly what he’s doing by giving you two so little time to talk and compromise about this. A relationship is a partnership, and all the people involved—apparently “throuples” are mainstream now—have to be able to agree on big life changes like that. This isn’t like choosing Barberitos over Chipotle—you’re talking about your future together and the lives you want to build for your children.

And yeah, I agree that you don’t need a trust-fund anarchist smoking out your basement and playing Electric Wizard at inappropriate times. If your boyfriend’s brother wants to justify his laziness by refusing to participate in capitalism—while enjoying all the spoils of it, I’m sure—he can do that at his rich parents’ house. 

You are absolutely allowed to wholly refuse your partner’s long-term plan for your family, and he is absolutely obligated to honor that choice and work with you to come up with something you can both live with. If he wants to take advantage of his family’s assets, they could help you with a down payment on your private home together, or pay rent on an apartment for you until you’re both more stable. There’s no need to live in the guest house or have relatives all up under y’all while you’re trying to start a life together. 

I don’t think this requires a breakup, but I definitely think you should not hit the road for your new home with all of this on your mind. Reschedule that moving truck and have a serious heart-to-heart with your boo about your future together.

Need advice? Email advice@flagpole.com, use the anonymous form at flagpole.com/getadvice, or find Bonita on Twitter: @flagpolebonita.

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