Since I moved in with my boyfriend his personality became very childlike.

Visitor's Question from a 31-40 year old Female
Since I moved in with my boyfriend his personality became very childlike. Before I lived with him, he was incredibly polite, helpful, social, and seemed to conduct himself with a great deal of integrity. I thought I finally found the one for me. But when I moved in with him, all that stopped. A weird side of his personality surfaced and now dominates most of our time together. Instead of engaging in conversation, he makes fun of the way I talk. I have a midwest accent and he'll just repeat what I say in almost baby talk. He intentionally tries to make the conversation difficult by withholding information in what he says is 'teasing' me, or he'll disagree with me for disagreeing sake. He says 'no' to most things: no to going to parties, no to going to hear music, no to me making a nice meal for friends (burgers and fruit is enough! he says), no to me watering the garden (the plants don't need watering he says), no to me painting the room, no to fixing up the yard (he insists on letting the weeds take over)...and so on.

These are the same dynamics that he has with his sister and mother. He never got along with his sister, who is a little odd herself. She gets fired from every job she has because she can't get along with people. His mother told me that he was always so mean to the sister growing up. He was very difficult for his mother too. He relates to her using his 'teasing' method, which is funny to NO ONE. He might have the worst personality I've ever known. Why am I still with him? Because I love his parents and the rich lifestyle (they have money). His Mother and I get along great and their family gatherings are so much fun.
My question is, can I hope that he'll grow out of his immature personality? Advice
No he will never grow out of his immature personality unless you and he both go to counselling to find ways for him to grow up. But if he doesn't find there to be any problem, he'll never get better. Now that you've moved in, he's treating you like family. And his family is very messed up.

If the only reason you are staying is for the money and/or for his parents, then you are setting yourself up for an unhappy life. You could leave him and still be friends with his parents. But you don't want to waste your life with someone that makes you miserable, just for those few occasions where you interact with his parents. You're better than that, and you deserve better than that.

What you can do in the meantime is to challenge him when he acts this way toward you. Tell him, literally, "Stop treating me like your family. Either treat me with respect or I will move out." Make it serious, and mean it. It'll probably get worse before it gets better, and you need to be prepared to walk out on him if that's what it takes. You can point out that your life went to hell the minute your bags were unpacked, and that you want to return to how things were. So you're moving out because when you had your own place, things were good.

You've a rough road ahead of you and some tough decisions. But this is your life you're dealing with. Take the time to really figure out what you want and what you're willing to sacrifice to get it. And what sacrifices are too much to ask of anyone.

I wish you the best.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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