“My Son Lives with his Girlfriend and I Don’t Want to Stay in Their Home When I Visit”

Just wondering how I should handle my visit with our 47-year-old son, divorced, living with his 43-year-old, twice divorced girlfriend? We have grandchildren ages 18-22 who have been raised to not live with their boyfriend/girlfriend before marriage. Our daughter, divorced, who would like to visit her brother and his girlfriend has also shared that she would not like to sleep overnight at their home, showing that she does not support their lifestyle and being an example for her children and niece and nephew. We are also feeling the pressure to do likewise.

My son’s son was pressured by his girlfriend to live with her, but refused because of his religious beliefs. So therefore, his visit may take the same route as mine. He would be making a statement by visiting and staying in a hotel. Actually, it would be more expensive for us to stay in a hotel during our visit, but we may have to pay the price.

I’m wondering how this would go over for my son and his girlfriend to not have us stay with them? My grandson and granddaughter’s mother would not want her children to stay at her ex’s house under these conditions. My son’s girlfriend’s mother and father, siblings, and other family members and friends find nothing wrong with staying with them at their house. I don’t think they will warm up to our reasons of staying at a hotel, and may feel slighted.

Please give me some insight into this dilemma. — Religious Mom

Personally, I think it’s a little ridiculous to worry that a 47-year-old divorced father of adult kids is living with his 43-year-old girlfriend, but it clearly bothers you, and I would imagine your son probably knows this and wouldn’t be terribly shocked to hear that you aren’t comfortable sleeping under the same roof as two married adults sharing a home together. If you’re wondering if your son and his girlfriend will feel slighted, they might. More than likely, they’ll probably just think you’re being silly. But, look, you’re a grown-up and part of being an adult means dealing with the consequences of your actions. The consequences of your son and his girlfriend’s actions of living together outside of marriage is that you won’t want to sleep at their house and, apparently, your grandson wants to “make a statement” about his lack of support for his dad’s lifestyle by staying in a hotel when he visits as well. The consequence of that action and your same action is that your son and his girlfriend may be slighted. If you can’t bear to slight them, stay at their house, I guess. But if appearing to support such sin is an even worse consequence to bear, then don’t.

If you’re looking for words you can say to soften the blow of your choice to stay in a hotel, try something like this: “We are so looking forward to our upcoming visit. Because of our strict religious beliefs, we feel more comfortable spending our nights in a hotel while we’re there, which I hope doesn’t come as too much of a shock. We realize that other visitors would feel differently and we respect that, but hope our choice is respected too and doesn’t wrongly reflect a lack of excitement for our visit or diminished love and support for you. Please let us know if there’s a nearby hotel you recommend for our stay.”

And, by the way, if you do stay in a hotel, then yes, you will be “paying the price,” as you say, for a hotel room. Why is that not a definitive for you? Are you expecting your son to offer to pay? Don’t.

My ex, “Tom,” and I broke up after three years together. We have an age gap – I’m older than him by 8 1/2 years, and as a result, am more settled in my career and ready for a family and sharing a life with a life partner (although marriage isn’t a priority). He doesn’t want a family and wasn’t ready to settle down. I broke up with him because we weren’t on the same page and because of the age gap I couldn’t wait around for him to change his mind.

I broke things off in November 2019. After a few months we contacted each other again and I thought I could remind friends with him. Fast forward a couple of months and he decided to quit his job and move to a different state to start over. Before he left we slept together a couple of times.The day he left I told him I love him and he said he loved me too. We still kept in touch after his move. Then, one day in December 2020, I asked him if he would let me know if he was seeing someone or if he started dating again. He said he would when the time comes, but he wasn’t looking and it was hard for him to look when he still had feelings for me. But I noticed that in January 2021 his texts were getting fewer and further between, and it took him longer to text me back. Then one day in February, I see on his IG feed he posted a picture of a girl, with the caption: “happy birthday babes.” I texted him asking for confirmation if he had moved on and I got no response. He posted another picture a couple of days later of them on a date. I have since deleted all my social media accounts because they were toxic for me. Plus, I will be tempted to look and that will only hurt me seeing him moved on.

I know I should have cut him off completely and not tried to be friends with him because I never cut the emotional and mental ties from him. Plus, sleeping with him just added more fuel to the fire. Now he’s moved on and I’m dealing with this heart break on my own. Why would he lie to me? Why would he tell me had still had feelings for me and and then meet someone a month later and not tell me about it? I’m so confused about his actions and words. This isn’t the same person I met 4 1/2 years ago. I don’t know if he’s intentionally hurting me by showing me he has moved on, or was that he was too scared to tell me?

I’m hurt and angry by his action. At the same time, words are cheap and actions are loud. And to be ghosted too. This was my lover and best friend for 3 1/2 years and this is how he’s treating me towards the end of our relationship? Or maybe he was already emotionally and mentally moved away from me before he physically did. His new girlfriend is 20 years old. He’s 29 and I’m 37.

I just need some insight. At this point it’s been over a month and still radio silence from him. I probably will not get my answers and I can’t depend on him to give me closure. This is my first heartbreak and he was my first love. This have been and is still hard for me to handle. — Broken-Hearted

Someone you broke up with nearly a year and a half ago is under literally zero obligation to share details of his personal life with you, despite however he may have responded when you asked him to tell you if he started dating someone. He probably chose not to because he didn’t want to appear like he was deliberately hurting you, or he didn’t want to deal with any drama. His new relationship isn’t about you. Like, at all. He’s not treating you some certain way at the end of your relationship; the end of your relationship was in November of 2019 when you broke up with him because you weren’t on the same page and didn’t share similar life goals. He’s understandably moved on and it’s time for you to do the same. What you’re feeling now is delayed heartache like anyone might feel after ending a relationship that was special and meaningful. You’re grieving. It’s a normal emotional stage and you’ll get through it. Here are some tips for getting through a painful break-up. Good luck.

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