LIFE

My Boyfriend And I Have Been Together 3 Years. Then He Started Telling Women We’re Just Roommates

by Rebecca Endicott
Becca is a writer and aspirational dog owner living in NYC.

Every once in a while, life throws you a curveball. And when that happens, my weekly advice column Ask Becca is here to help!

If you have a question or concern and need some advice, you can send it my way at AskBecca@LittleThings.com!

Each week, I scour reader submissions looking for relevant questions that might help a lot of different people. I love opening up the conversation, and getting even more reader advice in the comments section!

Last week, we tackled a whole range of issues — including introducing a third party to the marital bed, talking to a child in transition, an ex with addiction issues, and two unkind moms — and got lots of amazing bonus advice from the readers!

This week, we’re going to be discussing potty-training, pushy parents, a cheating boyfriend, and beach body confidence.

Send your own questions to AskBecca@LittleThings.com, and scroll through below for my very best advice!

Photo Credit: Flickr /makelessnoise

Potty-Training Blues

Mother struggling to potty train son is doubted by in-laws
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

My son just recently turned 3 and I’m having trouble with potty training.

He has no problem sitting on the potty, but he will not go on the potty. I have tried everything and am at a complete loss.

My in-laws are constantly nagging at me about how he should be potty trained by now and how to raise him.

[They] always have something to say and they are always putting me down like I’m such a horrible parent. It really upsets me.

Any suggestions on how to get him to go on the potty and getting my family to back off a little?

Sincerely,

Frustrated and Annoyed

Becca's Best Advice

Dear Frustrated,

Let me be the first to say, your in-laws sound like a couple of grumps!

Maybe their parenting days are so far in the rearview mirror that they don’t remember, but potty-training is a pain in the butt.

It’s really easy for them to be Monday-morning quarterbacks where your parenting is concerned, and conveniently forget about all their own foibles.

I guarantee they had potty-training problems of their own! It’s also worth noting that just-barely 3 is well within the normal range for potty-training.

Most kids start learning around age 2, and figure it out between ages 2 1/2 and 3 1/2. Boys also tend to take longer to learn than girls, by as much as three months.

Your kiddo is getting the toilet thing — he just needs to get comfortable!

Tell your in-laws to cool their jets; having such a strict idea of when a child should be potty-trained isn’t healthy for anyone.

If your son senses he’s letting people down, the stress might actually delay his progress.

As for helping him along, just getting him on the potty when he seems ready to go is the key.

Beyond that, you can consider trying a method like the marathon three-day potty training approach that helps kids figure out the basics fast.

Honestly, though, I wouldn’t stress. He’s grasping the first steps, and he’s going to learn at his own pace. Your in-laws will just have to deal!

Lots of luck on your potty-training adventures!

Becca

Wedding-Crazy Parents

Family insists that woman marry her ex returning home in a month
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Dear Becca,

My ex comes home in a month, and my family insists that we are going to get married.

I have told them repeatedly that we aren’t.

They don’t give all my siblings the same treatment.

How do I get my point across without hurting anyone?

Sincerely,

Single

Becca's Best Advice

Dear Single,

Parents are lovely and wonderful human beings, but sometimes they just don’t know when to back off.

That can be especially true if Mom and Dad love your ex a whole lot more than you ever did. I think you just have to tell them the plain and simple truth.

Say, “Mom and Dad, I love you guys and I know you want what’s best for me. But trust me when I say that [ex] isn’t it. He and I just aren’t good together, and I don’t feel that way about him.”

To be perfectly honest, it sounds like what your parents really want here is a wedding.

Are you the oldest in your family? They may just be excited for the future, and are putting all the pressure on you to deliver a big, exciting wedding day.

Just tell them that some things can’t be rushed. If you get married one day, it will be on your own terms, and you’ll wait for the right person!

I don’t think they have any right to feel “hurt” just because you choose to let a major life milestone like marriage develop at its own pace.

Enjoy the single life as long as you want! You’ll know when you’re ready for the next step.

Becca

Lying Boyfriend

Boyfriend joins girlfriend in bed, but refers to her only as a roommate outside of home
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

So, I have been in a relationship with a man that is 13 years younger than me. I am 50 and he is 37.

We have been together for almost three years. Two of those three, we’ve been living together.

My problem is he constantly tells people we are just roommates… Or that he lives in his camper in the backyard.

He even told the ex wife this story. I heard this one from his sister. She wanted to know whose camper it was and why I was making him sleep out there.

I have received messages from total strangers on Facebook asking why I have pictures of us together and why my status says we’re in a relationship.

I commented on his picture one day and this stranger asked why I felt like I needed to comment, because they are talking to him and I shouldn’t care what my roommate does.

So I told him he could consider himself that “roommate” he so desperately wanted to be. My daughter is at college, he can have her room. My house, my bedroom.

Do you think he went to that room? Nope, crawled in bed with me. Acted like I didn’t say a word.

It’s my house — should I make him leave?

Thank you,

Not Your Roommate, Your Relationship-Mate

Becca's Best Advice

Dear Not-Your-Roomie,

Usually, I’m a big advocate for working through your relationship and figuring out the next step slowly.

Here, however, I’m going to advise you to take decisive action: kick this freeloader to the curb. This guy is using you, big time.

He’s a piece of work who wants intimacy from you, and the full run of your home, but still wants to sleep with other women. It certainly seems like he’s got another flame on the side, perhaps several.

All these strangers starting conflicts with you online are presumably other women he’s involved with, who seem to believe you are misrepresenting yourself as his girlfriend.

I have no doubt that he is giving them all sorts of lines about why your Facebook profile is so different from the “just roommates” story he tells.

You have had a lengthy relationship with this man, so I understand why it might be hard to cut ties, but I think it would be for the best.

He’s little more than a mooch, leaning on your kindness to feed his womanizing ways. You’ve already taken the hardest step by breaking up with him, now it’s time to finish the task and give him his walking papers.

Never forget, you deserve better than a lazy jerk who calls you his roommate.

Good luck, don’t lose your nerve!

Becca

Not Beach-Body Ready

Friends enjoy time at the beach in bikinis while girl hides body under t-shirt
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Hi Becca,

I really hope you can help me; I have a self-confidence issue and I just don’t know what to do.

I live on the coast, which I normally love, but I dread the summertime.

All my girlfriends love hitting the beach and don’t think twice about stripping down to their swimsuits.

They all have nice bodies, and they feel confident in how they look. I want to hang out with them and join in on the beach days, but I just feel lousy about my body.

I have stretch marks after having two kids, and I have a skin condition that flares up from time to time and makes me really self-conscious. I can never just relax and feel confident.

What do I do? How do I relax and enjoy a beach trip with my friends when I am hyper-aware of how I look every single minute? Please help!

Wannabe Beach Bunny

Becca's Best Advice

Dear Beach Bunny,

You know what? I can almost guarantee that every lady in you group of beautiful, confident girlfriends gets just as nervous about bathing-suit season as you do.

In fact, they probably think of you as the outgoing girl with the killer bod. There’s a girl right now thinking, “I wish I had Beach Bunny’s long legs and winning smile.”

You write that you have a skin condition and stretch marks. I would bet you $100 that no one else ever notices these minor “flaws.”

They just make you feel self-conscious because you are so aware of them, and you end up feeling like you have a spotlight trained on your every trouble spot.

In fact, all of your friends are probably busy stressing about their own minor imperfections — you know, the ones that you have literally never even noticed.

The honest truth is, we all dread bathing-suit season, but we don’t have to.

By the time you actually hit the waves, nobody is laser-focusing in on another woman’s cellulite or hairy mole, because you’re at the beach! All that stress and buildup tends to dissolve the second you stretch out in the sun or jump into the water.

And if you’re still too hung up on feeling awkward in your skin, remember this: you are perfect.

Your amazing body has produced two children! It takes care of you every day, so it deserves a trip to the beach.

If it makes you feel more confident, start treating you skin condition and stretch marks a few weeks in advance so you’ll focus on them less. Then? Just relax!

At heart, you’re a total sun-kissed surfer babe. The second you relax into the salt and sand, you’ll remember that!

Build a sand castle for me!

Becca

LittleThings writer Becca
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

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