3/20/14 Not Without My Son

Saturday , 15, March 2014 Leave a comment

Dear Susan:


I have been dating my boyfriend for five years now.  When I got laid off my job, he suggested I move in with him to save expenses so I did.  I was unable to find suitable work and my unemployment ran out.  My boyfriend told me it was okay for me to stay home and do the cooking and housework.  He said he made plenty of money for both of us and he liked coming home to a clean house, clean laundry and a nice meal.  We’ve been living this way for the last two and a half years.


When I was very young, I had a son out of wedlock.  My mother was unable to help, so my grandparents stepped in to raise him.  He is now 13.  My grandparent’s health has declined suddenly and they are moving into assisted living.  They want me to take over care of my son.  Over the years he has spent vacations with us, and my boyfriend seemed to get along with him just fine.  But he has told me in no uncertain terms that he will not allow my son to move in full-time.  Now it looks as if my son might end up in foster care.  I’m hurt and angry over this.  What should I do?



Not Without My Son


Dear Not:


I’ve heard this story many times from both the parent’s and the significant other’s point of view.  On the one hand, it is helpful that your boyfriend is being honest with you.  You wouldn’t want your son to get all settled into a new home and school only to have to move again.  On the other hand, it is a bit selfish of the man to accept you without your child.


You need to find work, unsuitable or not, immediately if not sooner.  And you need to apply for all the help you can get in the way of food, medical care and housing for you and your son.  This is also the time to reach out to your family and enlist whatever help they have to offer.  As soon as you are able, you need to move into your own space and make a home for your son. 


Bottom line, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to find other boyfriends, but you only have one chance to raise your son.  Perhaps your boyfriend will soften in his stance once you are gone and those dishes and dirty laundry start piling up.  But you should resist letting yourself become dependant on him again.  If you still want to date him, okay.  He can pay for the sitter.  Because whether he realized it or not, you and your son are a package deal and you won’t break up the set.

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