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Decison time: should I break up with my boyfriend?

GurlfriendJen25's picture

I am a 25 year old woman, my boyfriend is 33 years old with a 12 year old son. We have been together 7 years.

To be honest, him having a kid has always been an issue for me. When we got together I was really young (18) and just pushed any issues to the back of my mind since I loved him and was young and silly. I thought that him having a kid would be something I would eventually get used to.

I love kids (I am going to be a teacher) but his is really hard to get on with. His behaviour was shocking to begin with (I mean hitting strangers in public and being extremely rude and distruptive) but it has improved slightly since he has grown up a bit. However he really thinks he controls adults and can get whatever he wants as soon as he clicks his fingers and I am just not used to it as I was not raised that way. He is also very needy and needs attention to be on him at all times. He cannot sit and let adults talk, he needs to be talking or acting ridiculous to make sure all the attention is on him. At my boyfriend's mums birthday dinner he pretended to be drunk then cried all night when I told him to stop it.

His ex used to give us a lot of issues. She is now married with 2 kids of her own so I guess that has calmed down a bit but because of her interference in the past (it is a long story, I won't go into it but she is a nightmare) I do not like her and we just stay away from each other. My boyfriend hates her too. Tbh I dont even like hearing her name. She is awful.

I want kids eventually but I am not ready to be a mum yet. I want to travel and go on fun holidays like we used to but he now wants to go on holidays with the kid too and I just don't want that. We don't live together yet and I think that would be really difficult to spend every weekend with the kid there too. Most weekends (before the virus) I would go out and drink with my friends and visit family. My boyfriend wants me to spend more time with him and the kid at the weekend but I just don't want that. I find it difficult spending time with him.

As I said I am 25 and I think that it is now time to decide. We do have other issues but I believe if he didn't have a kid, we could fix them and be happy. Whenever I think of breaking up with him it really panics me. He has been in my life since I was 18, he helps me with everything, he knows me more than anyone and I do love him. If I stick this out and stay with him will it ever get better? Do I just need to grow up a bit? Or do I need to get out now while I am still relatively young and find someone who doesn't have a kid?

Thank you for any help and advice. I really need it right now! 


Ursula's picture

Yes, you should.  A child hitting strangers in public is so ridiculous.  I would be embarassed to be seen out in public with a child who acts that way.

justmakingthebest's picture

I think there is a reason you don't even live together after 7 years and that is the simple fact that you don't want to actually be tied to this man. 

It is time to step back, enjoy your 20's. Start your career and meet someone who doesn't have kids to start your life with.

BethAnne's picture

I'm answering this way because it is clear to me that you want permission to leave.

Get out now so that you can learn to do those things on your own, then you will be able to trust yourself in the future and know that you will be A-OK without a man in your life. If your smart enough to be a teacher you can learn anything that you need to do.

You'll be fine without him. Talk to your friends and family, get them on your side and ready to help you transition and then move on. Relationships are not always ment to last. Some are meant for phases of your life and then you outgrow them and it is time to move on. It sounds like you feel it is time to move on from this relationhsip. There doesn't always have to be a big fall out or argument to realize that time is up. Trust yourself. You can do this. Leaping is always scary, but you'll find your feet soon enough and know that it was the right decision. 

GurlfriendJen25's picture

I wouldn't say I am looking for permission to leave, was just looking for advice from someone who has been in a similar position to me because it is a scary life changing thing to do for me.


But everything else you have said has actually really helped me. Pointing out that some relationships are phases of your life is putting it in a way that I hadn't thought of it before. Thank you for your help!

hereiam's picture

do I need to get out now while I am still relatively young and find someone who doesn't have a kid?


He has been in my life since I was 18, he helps me with everything, he knows me more than anyone and I do love him

One, love is not always enough.

Two, you have been with him since you were 18, so what seems like love could actually be dependency.

Time to spread your wings.

advice.only2's picture

You say you panic when you think about leaving him. Are you panicking because you love him so much that you cant envision a future without him? Because you both have talked about and created a future plan with each other involving marriage, kids, the whole nine?

Or do you panic because he's safe and comfortable and you like having the safe and comfortable and are afraid to see what else is out there?

Personally at 25 if I hadn't just had a child and gone through a divorce I would have been living it up. Traveling, spending time with my friends, working on my career. I don't regret my decisions, but there are times I wish I had taken time for me before I became a mother and wife.

GurlfriendJen25's picture

I think I panic because I dont have a lot of people I can count on and if we break up I would lose the one person I can count on most. So I guess possibly the second thing you said, that its safe and comfortable is probably more likely I guess. Although I can imagine a future with him too.

Aniki-Moderator's picture

He was a 28yo man with a 5yo child who latched onto an 18yo barely adult.  

TBH, it sounds like he wanted a young 'un so he could GROOM you into his ideal mate. Ish.

As mentioned above, it sounds like you're asking for permission to leave. Not too surprising since you may very well have figuratively left your biological father for a substitute. 

Yes, you have permission to leave and you SHOULD.

The last 7 years should have been years of discovery and growth. GO! Grow!!!

GurlfriendJen25's picture

Honestly that isn't how it is at all, he has never tried to "groom me into his ideal mate", he has never tried to change me at all. 

I have a great relationship with my dad who is still a very large presence in my life. Still lived with him until recently. I have never needed a substitute. 

Also not looking for permission was just hoping someone who had been in my position could shed some light on it for me to give me some advice (eg. Yes things get better/no they don't I left and I am fine). 

But I agree with your last sentence - years of discovery and growth. Thank you for that as that has helped me. 

Thumper's picture

YES< I agree ...go travel.

At your age I was flying all over the place having the time of my life.  Dating a guy with kids never entered my mind....not ever.

We would call that pre-fab families and it was frowned upon. Especially at age 25.

Go have fun...ditch and run. Tell him its YOU not him. Wish him the very best.

Maganamitre04's picture

After reading this, I think you are ready to let it go. It's a matter of the extra push, due to you relying on a support system. Although you've known him and been in this relationship with him since you were 18, you were very young adult. Now that you are older you are thinking of what you want and expect out of your relationship, as a whole. You want a relationship with someone who has no children. Given he has a child and he, in your eyes, isn't a very nice, respectful and even well mannered young boy, It irritates you. You have every right to want certain things when it comes your expectations of a relationship. 

min my opinion, you are young, you want to experience life and travel. Good thing is you don't live together. You actually already do what you want when you aren't with him and he has his son. So nothing is stopping you but the connection that you been with him for 7 years and he "knows you". That honestly doesn't mean much now, that you are older. Maybe before when you were 18/19/20. But, I think you are ready to say farewell to this long relationship before it just starts to feel like an obligation. You don't need to rely on other to "get you through it." You can do that all on your own, by being strong, staying busy, and doing you. I think you are so use to having him in your life that it was just comforting to have him there, as a man in your life. But once you experience going out and meeting new people you will see a broader look on other men vs the one that exist now in your life. 

He is 33 and has a child to parent and he wants someone in his life who can share that feeling with him and be a "step parent and or etc." He wants you to "get to know him", as where you want no part in that. And that's ok that you don't want to. But he needs to know that and be let go so he can find someone who can handle being in a relationship with him and his son. As where you can find a relationship with someone who doesn't have children and you can experience life before settling down.


I think you are strong and will make the right decision for you, your happiness and your mental wellbeing. But my opinion is to leave this relationship as it hold no value to you anymore and you did what you could to make it work and right now it's just not working for you. Spread those wings sweetheart and live your life. You are young and have a long life ahead of you. 

GurlfriendJen25's picture

I think you are right. Thank you so much for understanding and giving genuine and helpful advice and encouragement. 

beebeel's picture

I was with the wrong guy from 17 to 24. It was super scary to leave and I should have left five years earlier. The only thing I regret is not leaving as soon as I knew I should have. That was more than 15 years ago and the time we were together seems like a minor blip in my life.

SecondNoMore's picture

If you can't warm up to him having a kid after seven years, you need to get out whether you're 25, 35, 45, 55, etc. 

Echoing what has already been said, I do think it's a huge red flag that this guy got involved with an 18-year-old, especially when he had a child. It doesn't say great things about him. Guys who go for very young women are always either looking for control or can't find someone their own age willing to put up with their antics. 

Aunt Agatha's picture

 Agree with the poster above who said you are stronger than you realize!  You are at a point in life where you are ready to grow in new and exciting ways.  Your BF is already where he's going in life.  With his kid, his responsibilities are elsewhere.  The fact that the kid is so poorly raised means your BFs next few years are going to be spent dealing with the hellion he's raised.  The pre teen and teen years will magnify any problem you see now.  Your BF will be too busy too travel and have a good time. 

Don't spend the next 7 years in someone else's life that comes with its own nightmare kid. 

It's time for you to move forward and learn you are the person you rely on.  You've got this!

GurlfriendJen25's picture

I think you are right. Our responsibilities aren't the same, we are in different places. Thank you for being encouraging and uplifting! 

JustTryingHere's picture

I was 22 when I met my bf that was 35, had 2 kids from previous wives. And I know our age difference and that fact that he has 2 kids and has been married before makes some people weary of our relationship. I feel those feelings you get too about feeling like he's the only one there for you so if you leave you have no one and that he knows all of these things that you feel you don't know. Quarantine has gotten to the best of all of us, my bf has an 11 yo boy and I am not a fan of him so totally get you there. Finally I had to put my foot down about sons behavior and let him know that "no he won't get what he wants just because he screams" 

I know it's hard and this site is filled with some unhappy people and I think that makes it even harder to decide but do what makes you happy  

I think ultimately you have 2 choices here just like I do, 1 is get through the pre teen years and the attitude and have those traveling years when you're older or 2 leave and have those fun and traveling years young. I still struggle with this decision often but think when im 40 and all my friends are stuck at home with the preteens I'll be traveling and have my money saved up to do so happily. I think stick it out, at least through quarantine and when life gets back to normal see how you feel then. Good luck to you! 

GurlfriendJen25's picture

Thank you for giving a different perspective! I agree and I think some people not in our position don't realise its a difficult thing to do (to leave).  I just feel I have been sticking it out for a few years which is why I feel I need to make a decison now. So thank you for sharing and I really hope things go alright with you too!