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Carolyn Hax: He must own up to responsibilities

Carolyn Hax Washington Post

Hi, Carolyn: I was looking for a roommate when my boyfriend of two years suggested we move in together. We found a place together and have been unpacking now for two weeks.

He is a divorced dad of two boys. Over the course of our relationship I have suggested that I meet the boys’ mother, since she just might want to know who her boys are with when they stay with their father. My boyfriend has nixed this idea, stating his ex has already driven off one former girlfriend and is “crazy.”

The boys just stayed their first weekend with us, and afterward he and his ex had a big fight because he never told her we were moving in together. She said she will not allow the boys to spend nights at our place, and she will take my boyfriend to court.

I did not know until this fight that the custody agreement prohibits my boyfriend from having overnight guests of the opposite sex while he has the kids.

I just want to remove myself from the whole situation. How do I know if this is a deal-breaker, or if I’m just unwilling to stick through difficult times? – Deal-breaker?

“Difficult times” are when exterior pressures come to bear on people through no fault of their own – or when their frailties catch up to them despite their best efforts to stay on the high road.

Your boyfriend isn’t going through difficult times, he’s causing them. He doesn’t want the headache of dealing honestly with his ex, so he’s dodging his legal, moral and parental responsibilities.

Worse, now that his character deficit has caught up with him, he’s still not taking responsibility, but instead choosing to dump the blame – not only for this mess, please note, but also for his last girlfriend’s departure – on his favorite heap, the evil ex. How convenient.

Tell him exactly how you perceive his attitude toward his custodial responsibilities. He’ll either own up or pile on – telling you on the spot whether he’ll be growing up anytime soon. I hope you’ve saved some of those empty boxes.

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