I have a situation I am facing. I have been in a relationship for about 7 months. I really love my boyfriend who is kind, charming, affectionate and spends a lot of family time with me and my four children – I have two daughters and two sons. He works in construction and but right now he is laid off – but he gets a monthly unemployment check. I am not with their father and am very happy that I have found someone to complete my family. My situation is this – we have talked about moving in together for the past few weeks. Right now he lives with his mother and I have my own home that I bought last year after I graduated from nursing school. My parents, who are a very big part of my life, help me with my children and are against him moving in with us. I don’t know what to do – I want a family and I don’t want to lose my boyfriend.
Thank you for writing P.D. and congratulations on finishing nursing school and buying your first home. You have been very busy over these last few years. I want to start off by saying this is a very exciting time for you and you should be basking in your success but it sounds like instead of being proud of yourself you are looking at your situation as if is lacking in some way. You say that you want to “complete” your family. Well your family is complete. Your children have everything they need in you and your extended family. As single parents, we often think that our children are missing out on a better life without the presence of a father figure in the home. However, the truth is that children need caregivers, whether they be single parents, foster parents, aunts or grandparents, that are confident, loving, disciplined, supported and able to establish boundaries. In order to instill values like confidence and discipline to your children, you must first display them yourself first. You are blessed, intelligent, a go getter and have a great support system. But you must realize this yourself first. Seven months, or a few weeks earlier, is not a sufficient amount of time to know someone to allow them to move in a home that God has blessed you with for you and your children. This is your home, you own it and pay the bills, and so you need to act like it. Value your home and children enough to take a little more time before you allow someone into it. And since you are a Survivor, you need to know that your children are at a greater risk for abuse themselves. I know you love your children and the last thing that you want is to expose them to any harm. Remember, abusers choose families they believe that they can get away with hurting. Unfortunately, you are sending all the right signals to a potential abuser:
- At times, I put my children’s well being and safety second to other situations, circumstances, and relationships.
- I value my intimate relationships more than I do my own blessings.
- I am not able to establish boundaries and stick to them because I am afraid of losing a friend/boyfriend.
- I don’t value myself.
Focus your attention on your family and your own well being. Relationships are great – with the right person and when you are in the right frame of mind. If your boyfriend has true plans to be a part of your family long term then he should focus on preparing himself in that way. That means he would need to gain full time steady employment, get his own place and marry you.