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Losing my mind

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

I know this is not a divorce forum, but a step parent forum, although this kind of relates. So Friday marks 3 weeks since BM signed the papers. Apparently my bf's lawyer has not yet received in the mail the signed PSA from BM's attorney. The offices of both lawyers is in the same town, so there is no reason that they have not been received yet. I'm losing my mind right now about it because it all seemed to be coming to a close, but did BM's attorney not send them yet? Were they sent to the wrong place? Like what on earth could possibly be happening. 

Now bf is a little ticked off at me because I reminded him that I was not going to move in with him until we had the final divorce decree in our hands. We are supposed to move in together to a new place in 4 months, so looking in 2 months. So since the papers have not been received means the processing time hasn't even started yet, which takes weeks - months. I refuse to change my boundary on this and I told my bf it is looking like it will be another year until we live together if things don't start moving along soon. Bf has reached out to his attorney twice and will be calling on Friday if he doesn't hear anything from him by then. I am literally at my witt's end. Plus the decree being delayed, just delays things even more with us because I told my bf I am not moving to the other side of the country if we aren't engaged before the move. I also do not want to be engaged weeks after the decree is received either. So yeah, I am not happy and bf is not happy by my reminder of my boundary, which I know he can't control, but he can control following up and asking the right questions so we know the timeline and what next steps are if there is no confirmation of a timeline.

If your comment is about this is why you should never date a man until he is officially divorced, please refrain from commenting that, I am very aware. 

Comments

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

Boundaries are good! I'm sorry he's being so pissy about it.  I get frustration, but the fact you're holding to that boundary is frankly a really good thing.  For a lot of reasons.  

I can't give much advice, I'm still waiting on my paperwork for a divorce. lol.  Sometimes it's slow as s***.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

for two years now and we have been together 1.5 years, so I told him I am kind of at my witt's end about it. If we went to court instead of agreeing in January like was scheduled at least we would be half way through the processing state!

I know he's pissed because he can't control it, but if roles were reveresed I would be pushing my lawyer by asking specific questions, not just is there an update. We have been so excited to move in together and I think he is just hurt that I said what I said, but I really don't care I will keep separate places another year if he doesn't have the decree before June. I decided a long time ago I would not live with a man no matter how much I love him, until the divorce is finalized. 

 

ExcellenceToolkit's picture

Yes I get it. I hope the papers come soon so you two can move forward with things. The wait can be frustrating. 
I'm engaged to DH.  we did move in together after the engagement but I moved out after 9 months of living with him and his kids. I'm still trying to figure what the benefits of marriage would be for me personally. I'm in my forties, been divorced for 12 years,  have had a long career and it's still going strong, house will be paid off in about a year, very good savings and retirement accounts, 401k, health insurance, my house is clean and peaceful, plan to retire in 8 1/2 years.  I'm not sure how marrying DH would improve my situation. I'm willing to live with him but right now I'm not sure if I could do that full time. He is a good companion but that's about it.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

finally felt like we were at the end of it, but doesn't feel like the end is even remotely near at this point.

I can definitely understand where you are coming from. I am 25, never been married and never had kids. I won't have children with bf until we are married and I won't move unless we are engaged. Neither of us have ever owned a home. So there are definitely reasons in my situation that I am looking forward to us starting that chapter of our lives together. However for you I can see why marriage might not be the answer. 

I am just ready to leave this all behind us and offically start our chapter that includes us and his 3 year old daughter, that after this summer will be out of state custody. 

lieutenant_dad's picture

I'm going to actually say that I side with your BF a bit on this.

I'm all for boundaries, but boundaries shouldn't be arbitrary. You're already acting in the capacity of a fiance/wife sans living with your BF. Having a boundary of not living him until his divorce is finalized BUT helping him through his divorce and with advice on how to parent - which are very heavy-lifting things to tackle - seems silly. Having a boundary of not moving with him unless you're engaged BUT visiting with him where you'll be living and helping him plan that out - again, heavy lifting - seems silly.

To me, it seems a little backwards. You threw yourself into a fiance/wife role, which your BF expects, but are sticking to boundaries that only make the relationship physically more difficult despite having moved onward with him emotionally, if that makes sense.

I'm not saying he shouldn't be breathing down his attorney's neck. And he shouldn't need reminded about doing it. But I can understand his frustration where you've both been building toward a life together with little dispute on that, but you're putting up road blocks that he does have very little control over. Emotionally, he's invested, and it probably breaks his heart that he feels like he is doing the right things (and he is), only to maybe lose you because your boundary didn't match your intent.

I'm not saying you shouldn't have or keep this boundary, but it does seem like you put the cart before the horse and are now upset at the horse because it can't pull the cart.

ETA for clarification: Basically, you could have stayed out of his divorce and issues with his kids and just been a GF to him until his divorce was finalized, THEN discussed moving in together and being free to do so, and THEN discuss engagement and a cross country move. That isn't the sequence of events, and you've engrained yourself into this process and his life. You overstepped as a GF and became a fiance already, but now want to step back to just a GF. That's going to come with hurt feelings.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

but at the same time going in to this I told him that I wouldn't live with him until things are offically over. I have never been married before and I wouldn't feel right/good about myself about living with him until it is all over. I understand that could come off a bit hypocritical because yet I am in a relationship with him. However, to me moving in together symbolizes a fresh start and starting the next chapter in our lives together which I am not comfortable doing until he is offically divorced.

The visiting/moving part, I get what you mean, but he had always planned on us being engaged before we moved, but when dicussing things a few months ago I did tell him that I would want/be more comfortable moving to the total opposite coast if we were engaged first and he said that had been his whole plan all along. It's never been me being pushy or demanding, but rather stating my boundaries.

lieutenant_dad's picture

I get that. But, it sends a mixed message, even if you state it clearly. It's the equivalent of telling someone you only want to be friends but then sleep with them. You have a boundary that says "engagement is important to me, and I won't be engaged to a legally married man" but a reality that is "I want to feel like a fiance, so I'm going to act like it even though I keep saying you being divorced is meaningful to me".

Your BF has done a lot of things right and has experienced a pretty big loss in recent months. Even if he doesn't appear like he's hurting, there is a part of him that is devestated that he lost his oldest daughter. He likely feels like things are *finally* on the upswing, and you two can *finally* start actually moving on together, and then you pump the brakes and potentially "punish" him for something he can't control. That's likely going to hurt, and he's probably tired of life sh*tting on him when he keeps doing things the way he was supposed to do them.

Again, not saying don't hold your boundaries, but don't also be mad at him when he's upset that you've acted like his fiance but then want to act like his GF because things aren't going the way you pictured it going. His life has been nothing but life going not at all how he pictured it, and he's had to adapt accordingly. It likely feels to him like you're being inflexible with a boundary that you know you've crossed emotionally even if not physically. It's an unfair position to put him in because you're getting your needs in this relationship met while not considering how it might be impacting him.

Just food for thought.

ETA, because I don't feel like I'm saying what I actually want to say: Part of having a boundary is not crossing your own boundary, but you did. You can't be mad at him for thinking that your boundary was more of a suggestion than a set line when you've admittedly crossed it yourself. I think you need to have a conversation with him about this and let him express his feelings on the subject. I'd bet money that he feels confused and treated unfairly because he's being held accountable to holding your boundary more so than you've held yourself accountable.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

your advice and insight, I have to disagree with you. I don't think it is anything like saying let's be friends and then sleep with that person. If there are ways that I have at all acted like a finance it isn't because I asked to or just decided to, it would be that it is my bf wanting me to do x,y, and z. The only I guess finance power I have taken or given myself if you want to call it, is that from a couple months in, I told my bf if he wanted this to work while he is going through the divorce process and custody battle, is I asked for 100% transparency, that I couldn't do secrets or such because I just knew I wouldn't be able to handle it. 

I agree he has been through a lot and I wish I could take that pain away, but I am not willing to compromise my boundaries or feelings because of that. It was not a mess I made or anything I put him through. He has done a lot right, I 100% agree, he has respected me and our relationship. However, at the end of the day, I am just his gf and on paper I hold zero weight or anything, his ex still does. 

He actually texted me a few minutes ago apologizing for getting mad and saying he shouldn't of. Said how it sucks it is out of his control and that he is hurt since we have been taking steps preparing for us to move in together. Also that he will call Friday and ask more probing questions to get answers and that he loves me. 

Again, I 100% respect your perspective and think maybe it is in the middle of what you think and what I think. 

Petronella's picture

Your boundaries are excellent and the only way to go! I wish more women, especially many of the new posters we see here, had established basic requirements such as you have done. Whatever you do, don't let him nag you into relaxing these boundaries. Waiting a few more months or even a year before living together or getting engaged, is absolutely fine especially for someone as young as you are. 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

It just would be really upsetting to both of us to have to wait on the moving in part because we have been excited and ready for quite a bit and in June, it would be almost 2 years together. In May 2021, we are supposed to move from the east coast to the west coast, so as long as we get engaged before then I would be happy. While I am not gettting pressure from my family or anything, I am sure they would be more comfortable too with at the very least us being engaged before making such a huge move like that. It is not that I am not sure of our future, but more about healthy boundaries. Hell if he had been divorced last summer I would of probably moved in with him then, but he wasn't so we waited, even though financially, it has been screwing me a bit, but I don't want to make those sorts of decisions based on finances.

ndc's picture

I think your boundary is a good one, and one you should stick with. I also would not choose to live with a married man, even though I could date one who had been separated for a time and was diligently pursuing his divorce. It might seem like a silly distinction for some, but not to me.

My fear would be that BM changed her mind, told her lawyer not to send papers, or something like that. No matter that she agreed and signed - if you don't have the signed papers, it's as if she didn't.  And this BM is nuts. You were naive and hopeful at the beginning of this process, but I think you know better now. Be true to yourself.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

That is what I am worried about! I was naive and hopeful, but now I am pessimistic instead of optimistic in regards to things being finalized and done.

I told him I will not be "relaxed" or less worried until his lawyer has everything in his hands and the processing has started, until then, I am on edge because there are no gurantees!

ESMOD's picture

I would be paying close attention to the way that you interact with him at all phases of the relationship.  How does he respond? How is the communication?  

I mean, it seems that you have been very supportive of him.. and you have clearly stated your boundaries.. and he is getting petulant when you try to get him to follow up.  Is this the response you want  from a partner?  better to take things slowly and put off living together for a year if that ends up being the result.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

sometimes his first response isn't the greatest because he feels like I am blaming him and especially if it is something out of his control, like this is, but then after a bit of a cool down and thinking, he apologies and we have a great conversation about it.

He has followed up, but his lawyer seemed annoyed the last time he asked so he is hesitant of asking again, but I am the type of person that until I get an adequate answer, I will keep asking. I have been very supportive for sure! He also has been supportive of me in other ways too. Just can't wait till this is done and all this stops weighing on us and our relationship

ESMOD's picture

I am not trying to be a negative nancy here.. but there will "ALWAYS" be something weighing on your lives and relationships.  They way you treat each other from start to finish does matter.  Fighting "fair".  Approaching people respectfully.. waiting to respond until we are calm.. etc.. you see this as "the hurdle" to moving on.. there will be Many.. many.. many more ongoing stressors.. so it IS important to understand what it will mean going forward.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

and I definitely understand that. He does treat me respectfully and when there are times he doesn't fight fair, he apologizes and works on it. We have been through so much in 1.5 years that I have seen him and seen how he treats me in many different situations with tons of stressors. I see this as a hurdle because to me we can't officially move forward and on with our lives together till the chapter of his divorce is finalized and closed. I am not worried about the future in regards to our relationship, I feel pretty confident we can get through anything honestly. 

ESMOD's picture

That's great.. because I'm sure you have noticed that a crack ton of the problems on this site actually have the spouse/BF/GF as the root of the issue... and knowing your partner has your back and will support YOU is important.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

I have noticed many many people unfortunately have an SO problem more than a SKID or BM problem. Yes, my bf definitely has my back and has proven it time and time again in our relationship. The support definitely goes both ways!

justmakingthebest's picture

I think you are doing a great job! I will say though, that it took my DH almost 5 years to get his divorce finalized. We were together for the last almost 3 of them. Thanks to everything taking so long here is how our lives went down:

Divorce (2nd time because the 1st one was thrown out of court due to violating the soliders and sailors act)- March 2nd 2018

Engaged (He had my ring for almost a year) April 21, 2018

Married (Our original date got F'ed up thanks to SS and BM so we planned the whole thing from the car and got married 2 days later in his family's state and none of my family there besides my kids)- May 21, 2018

Timelines and boundaries are all good but when you are dealing with a crazy ex wife and failing court systems and shitty lawyers everything you think you can have control of, you don't. I wanted to marry this man. I didn't care about a wedding or anything else. He wanted to marry me. I know we are still newly weds and haven't even hit our 2nd wedding anniversary but I still believe we did the best we could under the circumstances. 

We had a lot going on. He actually got a call about new orders the day before we got married, we knew there was about a 60% chance we were leaving the area, if I wanted to go with him- marriage is a thing since I have kids from a prior marriage. 

I guess in all of this nonsense I am trying to say, don't "punish" him for things out of his control. He can only call his lawyer about this so much, they do charge for those phone calls too. He seems to be doing everything he can, to do things right. You may have to have just a little wiggle room in those boundaries to make this work.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

five years? I would not of been happy! Sharing your timeline and events is definitely helpful! I think the biggest thing about my boundaries is that I have not ever been married, I have never lived with anyone before, so while I do not get to be his first for those two things, which I have 90% accepted and gotten over, I want our next steps and chapters to be right. What I mean by that is, I want the legal nonsense put behind us in regards to the divorce and to start a fresh start in our first place living together, I don't want to bring that stress into it, I want it to be for us and about us without the drama of his ex. If that makes sense.

I am not trying to punish him and I have offered the last time that I would pay for the phone call lol. I just don't want to give up this boundary when I have already given up getting to be his first wife and the mother to his first child, etc. Sounds dumb probably and like I am not over not being his first, but that is just the way I feel about it. I know I am not first, but I have accepted the firsts I will not have of his, that it will be different and special to him. Plus there are firsts I still get to have with him.

justmakingthebest's picture

Your life will be special with him, I am sure of that! You guys seem like a very loving couple and I am rooting for you!

 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

Although after I read what I wrote I guess it does sound like in a way I am punishing him since I am not his first. None of that is my intention, just when there is so much I cannot control, the things I can are usually pretty important. 

Like my bf has said and I have said too, if we can get through: a divorce, custody battle, loss of parental rights to a child, death - suicide specifically, car accident, etc. and still come out on top and have a great relationship, then there is nothing to worry about it.

Petronella's picture

I do agree with this: once that divorce is final, screw waiting any number of weeks other than what may be legally required in one's state. Around here I think it's 2 weeks or something before you can legally go get a marriage license for a new spouse. Get engaged and married ASAP!  

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

that is very sweet! If I were to have it my way, we would get engaged and have a small wedding before we move from the east coast to the west coast, but I don't want to pressure my bf or put any sort of expectations out there. However, 85% of the people we would invite live within 3 hours drive or at least on the same coast, so logically would make the most, but besides saying I want to be engaged before we leave, I don't want to timeline anything my bf has planned or wants to do!

tog redux's picture

I didn't intend to move in with DH before he was divorced either, but thanks to BM, it took forever, and we did end up moving in together before it was final.  And then when it was final, we ended up getting married shortly afterward (which I also didn't want) because DH lost his job and needed health insurance/visa to remain in the country. 

So - best laid plans don't work out. 

I know you were hopeful that BM would start being less high conflict once this was settled - but know now - she won't. She's going to stir the pot and create drama in an ongoing manner, through stuff like this. 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

So far, we haven't run into circumstances like those where the timeline has to be sped up for the best of reasons and I am hoping it remains that way!

That I have learned, that is why I try not to plan too much, but this is a plan I would like to stick to! 

Yeah, BM is ridiculous, however, slowly we just keep building documentation in the app or BM not doing what she should be, etc. and that is all we are trying to do. We are getting to the point of laughing at BM's ridiculousness now lol

Steptotheright's picture

I think it's good to have principles, sweetie.  Let's see how those last through your stepping experience. I wish you all the best.

One thing you have going for you is: you're reading step talk now, before you're even a step parent. that is groundbreaking.

I just stumbled on to steptalk after over a decade of stepparenting blind.  I just followed my heart and tried to do what was best. But you have a great resource here, so you'll know what to expect and some coping techniques that would have been invaluable to me.

Also you have a network of support here, because, let's face it: you're SO and no one else really understands what a stepparent goes through.

Petronella's picture

Have you read this OP's blog history? She's not a new poster here nor is she inexperienced or naive. She has experienced a lifetime's worth of step hell already in the past 2 years. No need to be condescending about her having principles. Her principles and boundaries have already saved her from getting overly enmeshed in her boyfriend's drama. 

Steptotheright's picture

I wasn't being condescending I was being sincere. We Southerners say sweetie a lot and dear and stuff like that. Hard to denote tone over typing I understand. no I haven't read her full blog but from what I understand she hasn't even lived with this man yet. My point is that principles have a way of getting worn down from years of abuse, neglect, and double standards, of which she has not yet, I assume, experienced.

As to not being a new poster, my mistake. But until she moves in with this man and tries to rear his children, then she hasnt experienced the full scope of what it means to be a stepparent. And I was congratulating her on having a head start by being on this site. An enviable advantage that I did not enjoy in my step parenting experience.

tog redux's picture

Hopefully she has learned from those of us who didn't take on rearing stepchildren, but left that to the actual parents.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

thank you for standing up for me. While we do not live together, meaning we both have our own residence, I live with bf 5-6 nights a week depending on work and travel for family, etc. It has been this way for a bit over a year now. My bf respects me very much and my bf's daughter is 3, so there are circumstances that do not yet apply to my situation yet. However, I have been through my bf getting his rights disestablished to a child he believed to be his for 3 years, found out BM cheated on him during their marriage and passed the child off as his to just rip her away from him right before she turned 5. I have dealt with the same child having behavior problems for over a year to which are definitely psychological problems as well. I have dealt with BM calling CPS twice, once to which lead to successfully taking the children from my bf who was the primary caregiver for 1.5 years to, until finally at a hearing three months later, a judge set the temporary custody order for my bf's bio child and took the other child away because the DNA results proving he wasn't the dad came in. I have dealt with BM's high conflict behavior, lies, etc. Been accused of keying BM's car too. 

For the first year of our relationship, I saw the children more than BM herself did. My bf does not take advantage of me and expect me to be his daughter's caregiver and my responsibility, but I have done plenty in helping him raise her, down to helping her learn colors and numbers because BM hasn't taught her any of that or put her in any sort of schooling since she successfully became the primary caregiver since the judge does not want to separate the sisters even though BM committed adultery. But no, my bf recognizes he is the parent, not me and does not expect me to partake in any form of rearing his child outside of what I want to do and even then sometimes he tells me she is not my responsibility, but I love her and want to help take care of her and also help out my bf. Also, my bf never has asked me to financially help take care of him, his daughter, or anything, to the point if I want to help chip in I have to be sneaky or put my foot down because I am financially independent.

I do not call myself a step parent specifically because my bf and I are not married and as I have never been or have children of my own, I don't feel right referring to myself in that way, but at the same time I do participate in being a parent in my bf's household, but that is by choice, not by expectation. 

I am very thankful I found this site though, these women and the few men on here, have been critical when I need it and given much advice. Honestly, if anything it has proven to me there are not those red flags in my relationship and also helps me know what to expect or how to handle future issues that will/may come up. I very much appreciate the support I have received from my fellow posters.

Steptotheright's picture

Well now with that extra added context I understand a great deal more. Well I must say dear you seem to have a good head on your shoulders and I commend you for that. Still a little confused about the living arrangements seeing as y'all live on opposite coasts. I suppose you maintain your separate place but spend most of the time at his place? 5-6 days out of the week. Well knowing that, I would think that once you do finally fully move in it'll be somewhat of a formality only.

That really is a shame what happened to your boyfriend. To raise a child as if it was his own and then have it taken. heartbreaking. It does seem as if you have been through more fire than I have first thought. 

As to how I approached the whole deal with my step kids... well... I tried to accept them as my own from the very beginning. I didn't have all these realizations that are floating around on this site.  although I will say I don't feel the immediate solution for a new step parent or a fairly new step parent is to immediately disengage unless that's what they have to do for their own sanity. Disengagement to me is a coping mechanism after things go horribly awry. Surely there are some blended families out there that are harmonious. I do hope that yours is one of them. Please forgive my jaded hubris.

Well my I don't know if I've unruffled any feathers but I can assure you ladies that I did not intend to offend anyone. now I'll just go take my bad self on to another post.

Steptotheright's picture

I must say I am new to this site.  more used to forum only formats. But with the blog function I now understand that it's about building a following around yourself and your story. Being one of her fans, I suppose you know more about her than I.  I after all just stumbled on this site merely a few days ago. But given the context of what's written in this thread alone, it seems to be the case that they live on opposite coasts. I now see that it was lacking in context from previously shared information over... 29 pages of blogs or something like that?

My mistake dear. I'll get used to the dynamic of this site

Petronella's picture

I would really appreciate it if you would not call me "dear." 

I wouldn't say the blogs here are about building a following around yourself nor are we "fans" of one other. We just are a community who remember one another's stories. You might want to make a blog or forum post to share your own story for others to comment on. 

Even if a member posts a story on the forums, there is often a backstory and previous forum posts they've made. Same as with the blogs. The link to the person's previous entries is right there on the page. 

I thought the OP was being pretty clear that she and her bf are together considering a move to the opposite coast. But everyone reads things differently. 

Enjoy the site.

Steptotheright's picture

Whatever you like, my southern inflection you know.

Oh no, I wouldn't want to impose my mess. I just enjoy reading other people's experiences and then maybe giving a little of my own, being I've been a stepparent myself. Its therapeutic for me and I thank y'all for that.

However building a following or winning a popularity contest isn't why I'm here. I don't plan on partaking in that particular enterprise. 

I have been on some other forums. I understand that the veterans stand up for one another and deign to downtrod  the low-hanging fruit of the newbie. 

Was hoping this site would be different. I'm not much for politics.

I'm confident in my reading abilities.

Ty for the (frigid) welcome. Or should I say Stony.. get it, as in petrified? Haha..ha.. no? Oh well

 

Petronella's picture

Anytime, babe! You have consistently been a sensible and thoughtful voice on these boards! Your bf and that little girl are lucky to have you! Keep valuing yourself and start your engagement and marriage off in the RIGHT way! 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

east coast to the west coast May 2021, we have lived 25 minutes apartment since we met.

Thank you!! :) 

Exjuliemccoy's picture

So much in life comes down to timing, doesn't it?

Kudos to you for having boundaries. I think I was the first woman my DH ever dated who had any, and he found that very attractive. 

You and your SO found each other at a difficult time in his life. He's grappling with multiple things on different levels, and seems to overall be doing a good job with it. You've reminded him of your boundaries and the tight timeline of your life plan. He's aware, so I hope you'll let the matter rest and see what unfolds.

I'm a little worried that you're allowing his baggage to affect you too much. Yes you love him and want the best for him and his daughter, but this might be a good time to mentally take a step back and release some attachment to his issues. You'll be fine no matter what happens, right? In steplife, you have to be the master of your own happiness and develop coping mechanisms that protect you from the stresses, slings, and arrows. That might be more gym time, regular time with girlfriends, hobbies, etc. Whatever brings pleasure mitigates the stress. Don't let your bf's current issues comsume you.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

Your concern! I actually get a girls night every week or every other week plus I play soccer one day a week in a competitive league! Bf and I just started working out together too. So I'm definitely getting outlets and time to myself! I also don't let all this take up nearly as much brain space but today as it's been a week since his lawyers last update brought it back to my mind ! Bf is calling lawyer tomorrow so it doesn't affect our Valentine's Day!