A new podcast episode is up. It's about sharing money as a couple. It's also about how shopping for a couch almost ended a relationship.
My boyfriend and I are both 23, have been together for two and a half years, and we both still live with our parents so we can finish school and save money to buy a home. I'm very close with my mother, and she set me up with my boyfriend (he was my younger brother's friend), but ever since he and I got together, they've had so many problems, which was totally unforeseen because my mom absolutely adored him before we became involved. At the moment, they're not even speaking.
Some backstory: Over the last few years, my mother has developed a very big victim mindset. She still babies my younger brother and enables his poor choices while criticizing the majority of my decisions. I feel like a teenager when she's around. I don't feel respected whatsoever.
My boyfriend, on the other hand, sometimes has somewhat of a superiority complex. His family is perfect, he has to have the best of everything, and as of late, he’s only put time and attention into HIS problems. He has no interest in my inconveniences, which has caused issues in our relationship.
Now I feel I have no one to talk to because they've made everything all about them, and I'm being forced to choose between the two people I love. I want to make it clear that neither of them are terrible people; they're both actually pretty incredible and I love them both deeply and feel blessed to even know them. But as of now, I feel I have to sort through their individual problems and the problems they have with each other. It's leaving me drained, exhausted, and very much alone, with no desire or time to work on myself or what I want/need. Please tell me how I can improve this situation before it ends my relationships. I fear it will ruin what I have with my boyfriend.
– Stuck in the middle
Living at home to save money is a responsible decision, in theory. You're saving for your next steps. You're going to school without taking on extra expenses. But … maybe living at home isn't the emotionally responsible decision. You're in a bad situation, one you fear might ruin the future of your most important relationships. It sounds like it's time to save less and get a place of your own. Living with your mom has been bad for you.
This isn't to say that when you move out, all will be perfect. I'm sure your mom will have opinions about your decision to leave, and when she does, you'll have to remind her you're not a teenager. Also, your boyfriend might have a lot to say about your plans. Please let him know that you're making decisions for yourself. It's been difficult to evaluate any of your relationships because you haven't had any space. Let him know you'd like his support as you figure out a way to be on your own (or, presumably, with roommates).
It's possible that this relationship with your boyfriend isn't meant to last forever. It's tough to guess. But it’s too difficult to think about your happiness with him while you're managing your mother. Again, you need some major family boundaries (even with your brother) in order to make smart decisions about what kind of partner you want for yourself.
Readers? If moving out isn't an option, then what?