‘Living together is just more work for me to do’

Dear Meredith,

My boyfriend and I have been together for four years and have been living together for almost six months. I felt like before we moved in together, everything was perfect. However, that is not the case now. I love him but I wonder if he will ever grow up. I'm constantly picking up after him, and I pay all the bills. He has a job but it's not serious.

I'm finding out that living together is just more work for me to do. Meanwhile, I’m working my butt off in grad school. We have always talked about marriage and a family one day, but now I feel like I'm second guessing every decision we've made together. I have tried to talk to him about my issues with our living situation, but he always brushes it off and won't go into deep conversation on ways to make living together easier. Can I change him to start being mature? Or should we go our separate ways?

– Frustrated

It usually takes some time – sometimes more than a few months – for humans to figure out how to live together. Sometimes it's more complicated for couples than random roommates because they're not as likely to be candid about chores and expenses. The decision to move in doesn't feel like a business transaction, so the practical conversations are skipped.

But those exchanges still need to happen. There's no way to work around them. If you didn't talk about responsibilities before you signed a lease, you must set a time to do that now. It doesn't have to be a "deep conversation" about maturity. Stick to the needs of the household and  what has to happen in order for this to work. See if he's open to hashing out a simple to-do list.

If he won't talk about any of this, it really is a deal-breaker. You want a partner who can handle difficult conversations. You will not be happy with someone who runs from them.

– Meredith

Readers? How do you talk about difficult cohabitation things?