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Hi there,

I'm really confused about this situation - what do others think please?!

We have been together for 2 1/2 years, he is 29, I'm and studying a science degree at Uni (College), then going on to do honours and a PhD. He has had to move back into his mother's house six months ago, for financial reasons and our relationship has deteriorated since then (my mother also died at that time, and my father probably isn't far behind!). I'm 39 and never been married, no kids.

He seems to be more of a mother's boy now, which I suppose is natural since he is living with her. She is divorced and struggling financially. She only works very part time and doesn't seem too bothered about changing her finances. My boyfriend has often said he will pay off her mortgage and her very large future dental bill, when he gets work. He should get a well-paid job, but not for another 4 1/2 years, making him about 33 with a large study debt of his own.

I currently pay for most meals when we occasionally eat out and he pays for drinks. He made a comment last night that has really upset me: "When I get work I'll pay you back, ie pay for our meals and you can pay for drinks. I'll also pay my mum's mortgage off, it is a big problem and it is our house (his, sister's, mum's)".

I've been seeing a psychologist about this relationship and his remark last night sums things up perfectly. It sounds like he is planning on 'playing house' with his mum and I'll still be on the sideline. I've found this really upsetting as I'm on the cusp of having no parents, I also don't have any siblings, but would love a 'proper' partner to share my life with. We have discussed living together (I have my own place) but it isn't currently feasible re financial reasons. Any time he talks about future living arrangements, it is regarding him renting a place on his own again.

Do others think this sounds 'dodgy'? I get confused about it, as she is a lovely person and IS struggling financially, but the reality is that a relationship can't work unless both people are equally committed to it, and not placing family members first. Also, his sister has chronic fatigue syndrome, is 25 and not able to study, socialise, work etc. She also helps support the mum, handing over a great deal of her disability pension.

Many thanks, Helen

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