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Completely lost with what I should do

streetglide16's picture

So at this point I'm completely lost with what I should do about my current situation...I have two kids (15 and 13) that I share custody of with my ex-wife (divorced 5 years ago) who are really solid kids. Although I know they're not perfect, my two kids really are excellent kids, well mannered, easy going, do great in school, etc. I couldn't be prouder of them.

The issue lies in the fact that we recently sold our home to move into my girlfriends house. We made the decision to move to her home/area because she has a severely handicapped child who needs services that are readily available in her area (24/7 nursing care). Besides the handicapped child she also has two other children. Both of these other children have behavioral issues, one of them actually has severe behavioral issues which push everyone he comes into contact with to the brink of madness..I absolutely dread the weekends that we are all home together and my kids have echoed the same feelings. We share the same custody schedule and at the end of the weekends I'm ready to break down and cry...Its horrible.

My girlfriend does try to take control of them and punish them but its like they've grown resilient to being punished and just keep on until everyone is up in arms. On top of that, her relationship with her ex is complete crap. He rarely pays her child support, never pays for his half of sports, doctors appointments, etc. He rarely punishes them and tries to just be the fun dad. Because of her relationship with him and also her frivolous spending habits her financial position is horrendous (tons of credit card debit, student loans, etc.). We are complete opposites when it comes to finances.

Right now I feel like our relationship is on the verge of exploding because of all the issues and drama that her and her kids bring to the table. I don't know if I should keep up with this or if I should take the leap and move on and just raise my kids as I had been prior to meeting her. I really cant imagine another 10 plus years of this and I honestly feel as though my kids will eventually say enough is enough and choose to live with their mother full-time (this would absolutely kill me).



BethAnne's picture

Love is not enough, it is ok to end a relationship if it is not working out for you. Consider if the negatives are outweighing the positives and how likely this situation is to change. That should give you your answer. You could also contemplate other ways to date where the kids and your finances are kept apart.

lieutenant_dad's picture

Let's look at your reasons for leaving:

- Her unruly kids
- Your kids stating they hate it
- Her financial instability, in part brought on by a poor breeding companion and part her own personal financial mismanagement
- Your poor mental health due to all the dysfunction
- A solid fear that you'll lose your kids

Now...what are the positives aside from, I'm assuming, loving your GF? Let me tell you, even without the kids part, love is never enough to keep a relationship going. If it was, I'd still be married to my XH, whom I loved but had solid reasons for not staying with him.

I say find your own place to live with your kids and continue to date your GF when your kids aren't around. Since they are on the same visitation schedule, then you should have time when it's just you and.your GF. You can stay together without living together.

I'm just not seeing any reason to stay in her home. If she can't afford it on her own, she can get a roommate to split the housing costs. However, this is NOT your problem to solve.

Really, the only question you need to ask yourself is whether your relationship with her is more important than your relationship with your kids. Your kids have made it clear the distinction could damage your relationship with them. Is she and her kids worth that?

ESMOD's picture

And.. to be clear here. Your kids aren't asking you to do something that you can't already see written on the wall. So, it's not like they are just being bratty kids. YOU see the chaos in that home as well.

streetglide16's picture

My kids actually were looking forward to living under one roof with her...Now they're just stressed out about being there. My son threatened to move in to his mom's house until things calmed down, I'm not OK with that, not even a little. My daughter said we should give her another chance after a blowout a few weeks of this morning I think she's done with the situation too.

streetglide16's picture

I hate to admit it but my mental health over the past few months has taken a beating. Normally I'm very upbeat, fun to be around, very confident in who I am and what I want...All of that has gone away and the only thing that I can attribute it to is my relationship with her. Even though I love her she has a way about her that I just don't trust.

lieutenant_dad's picture

Relationships begin based on feelings, but good relationships flourish on a foundation of trust.

If you don't fully trust her, your relationship is going to drag you down. It won't end on it's own, so you'll have to take that step.

ESMOD's picture

Why did you sell your home? It sounds like you and your kids would have benefited much more by you maintaining separate households. I'm sure that your GF has some redeeming qualities, but it sounds like her life/lifestyle isn't conducive to joining your households.

Personally, I would have cut my losses before I sold my home to join her, but I think that separate households would be the only thing that will allow you to stay sane and not resent her.

I'm guessing she pushed for it so that you would take on some of the costs of running her home. But even if it may cost you less financially to be there, it doesn't sound like that is worth the hell you all endure.

streetglide16's picture

So many times I've regretted selling my home to move in with her. She pushed so hard for us to move in with her. Honestly, and its nobody's fault but mine, but I guess I let love distract me from the negative aspects of her life and what impact they'd have on our lives.As crazy as it sounds living with her actually costs me more and my home was so much nicer (when I sold it I walked away with a huge profit so I guess that's a good thing)!! Which is another issue that keeps coming up...She knows what sort of nest egg I'm sitting on and its killer her to not spend it...At this point my resentment towards her is so bad.

ESMOD's picture

Believe me, we have all made decisions 'for love' and sometimes they come around to bite us in the tail. I'm sure that after you read what you wrote, it was probably more clear what you should be doing.

At minimum, I think you should go back to separate households and finances. If you want to keep seeing her during the off custody times.. fine. I don't know that we can comment that the only reason she is with you is for your money... but clearly there is a lot going on with her kids that make her household a chaotic place.

I would at least approach it as "until our kids can get out on their own".... I guess her one disabled child may never leave the nest, but at least at that point you wouldn't have to subject your kids to the mixed up household... and it would be an incentive for her to make sure her other kids launch too.

However, if she gets angry and it boils down to now she won't have your money in her household.. well, then I think she may have been looking at your nest egg a little too eagerly and that has to make you uncomfortable.

You honestly do sound very unhappy with the current situation. Suggesting you go back to a set up that allowed you both to be happier with each other sounds like a good step.

DaizyDuke's picture

Can I ask? why did you sell your house to move in with girlfriend? You had to know that her kids were monsters prior to this, so why subject yourself and your kids to MORE torture? Maybe you can save the drama for your kids by switching weekends with your ex so that your kids don't have to be with you the same weekend that rotten kids are there? I guess this could help you out as well in that you could make yourself scarce when her kids are there.

I'm sorry, but I could never do this to my child. Hell, my child gets upset and annoyed by naughty kids in his class, (thankfully they are few and far between) but I can't imagine the frustration he would have having to live with one of those kids 24/7 EOWE. I bet if your kids came home from school every day miserable, telling you that there was this Billy Brat kid in their class, who was just awful, always disrupting, always pushing, always mouthy, always making the rest of the class miserable, you'd be at the school trying to figure out a way to protect your kids from Billy Brat. So why is it any different in your home?

advice.only2's picture

The house is already sold and you are already moved in, that's past and can't be changed, it's time to focus on what actions you can start putting into place for your new future.

*Do you want to continue to live with your GF and hope that eventually over time things will settle down?

*Do you want to have a serious heart to heart with your GF and admit that this was too soon for all parties involved and start looking for a new place?

Only you can answer these questions, and yes your GF will be hurt and upset when you decide you are going to move out, in her mind she needs a capable partner to help her financially and emotionally because her kids are out of control and she can't do it on her own. There is the next question to answer.

*Are you ready and prepared to fix her financial problems and discipline problems for her?

streetglide16's picture

The money issue has only become an issue since I sold my home. She knows that I wont spend it but is desperately trying to get me to buy a new (fairly expensive) vehicle with her (she needs my name on the loan because of her credit issues and she cant make the payment on her own). If things were going great I would do it right this second. As I'm sitting here re-reading what I've written I think that the choice is apparent. I would bet my life that things will be even worse in the future if I don't do what I know I need to do in my heart now. Its just such a hard decision because I've put myself out there with her and had really high hopes for our relationship.

ESMOD's picture

I imagine that the fact that your kids are on the same schedule meant that you both had a lot of "nonkid" time to spend together.. now, you get all that crowded in a pile. I am not sure you have to completely deep six the relationship, but it doesn't look like living together and joining finances is the right step for you.

DaizyDuke's picture

YIKES! Don't do it! I can with 1000% honesty say I would NEVER ask a boyfriend to co sign on a loan with me. NEVER! I have way more dignity than that. When DH and I first started dating, I bought a new car. I had to pay a shit interest rate, because my credit score went in the crapper when my ExH didn't pay a credit card that was in my name and part of our divorce agreement.
I choked on the crappy interest rate, paid on the loan for 2 years, and then when by credit was back up in the 700's, sold the car and bought a new one with a decent interest rate. Because that's what strong, responsible, classy gals do.

notsobad's picture

Take a step back and really look at what you are getting from this relationship.
Are you feeling supported? Loved? Validated? Are you both working towards a life you can grow old together in?

Or are you being a hero? Coming in and helping with finances, childcare, being the person she relys on for everything?

If you do decide that this relationship isn't working, it doesn't make you the bad guy to leave. In fact it allows her to find someone who she can have a relationship with, without the resentment.

You don't need to stay with her just because her life will be hard without you.
You need to stay because you want to build a life with her. If you don't, if you aren't in 100% then you need to leave and let her figure her life out.

streetglide16's picture

Its not that I don't want to build a life with her. That's exactly why I moved in with her! I wasn't trying to ride in and be the hero. I've only tried to help her with her finances to get us ahead so that we can actually move forward together. However, each time I pay down a big chunk of a credit card or pay for something that is desperately needed at her home she just goes out and buys new stuff (clothes, shoes, etc.). The sad part is I really don't want to leave because I really do love her but I also don't want to risk everything that I've worked for and/or the relationship with my kids because she cant get her shit together. Had I known the reality of her financial situation and the true nature of her kids prior to moving in I most definitely would not have moved in...However, she wanted more than to just date and live separate lives so I made the jump.

DaizyDuke's picture

I don't know your GF, but the more you type about her, the more I think she is using you and the more awful she sounds. How wonderful for her that you sold your home and moved in with her so you can help her pay the bills, how wonderful for her that you have paid big chunks of money on her credit cards, so she could put money right back on them buying things for HERSELF, how wonderful that you have put up with her horrible kids to the point that YOUR own kids are threatening not to come. Wow, all of this is just wonderful for HER, I'm really wondering exactly what positives she is bringing to this relationship other than her possible charming personality? :?

Flying.Purple.Step.Monster's picture

Go back and reread everything you wrote but pretend it was your best buddy saying it to you. What advice would you give?

streetglide16's picture

Its funny that you say this...My sister asked me "if this was the relationship that one of the kids were in what would you tell them to do?" My response was that I'd tell them to move along before they their relationship with their kids became compromised or they had gotten themselves into such financial distress that they had no choice but to stay and bear the relationship..

hereiam's picture

Love is absolutely not enough.

I would have never sold my house, nor moved my kids into this situation.

Why are you paying her credit cards? SHE needs to get her finances under control, not you do it for her. You see how well that is working.

It does sound like she is using you.

notsobad's picture

"However, each time I pay down a big chunk of a credit card or pay for something that is desperately needed at her home she just goes out and buys new stuff (clothes, shoes, etc.)"

She is showing you who she is. Believe her.

streetglide16's picture

I guess I've just been hoping and praying that she would change back to the person that I fell in love with, someone who may not have had it all together but was working to put things together, that's why I've been trying to help her out of her situation.

Instead it seems that I'm in this relationship with the real her...I feel like a sucker because I should have seen the writing on the wall.

hereiam's picture

I guess I've just been hoping and praying that she would change back to the person that I fell in love with

Chances are, she is not, and never was, that person.

How long did you date? It takes a long time to REALLY get to know a person, especially when that person has an agenda. It was in her best interest to keep her true self hidden for as long as possible (long enough for you to "fall in love").

Seriously, believe that this IS who she is.

streetglide16's picture

We've been dating for just under a year, I moved in about 4 months ago. Which, as I'm now learning, was a huge mistake on my part. I keep ignoring my gut instinct which tells me that she isn't the person I fell in love for...Now I guess its up to me to get myself out of a bad situation before it gets any worse.

streetglide16's picture

I knew in my heart that it was too soon. I put my house on the market and before I had the chance to reconsider (sold on the second day) I ended up with a full price offer so I was stuck with my decision. Two months into living together is when our relationship began to get rocky..lots of arguments, lots of drama always coming up with her ex, her kids' behavioral issues becoming more apparent...essentially way more bad times than good. Its been a nightmare for me. Looking back I think that the writing has been on the wall ever since the day I moved in, now its just screaming at me to wake the hell up and do something before I screw up my life and the lives of my kids.

StepUltimate's picture

Glad you've realized. Good for you for posting here & getting confirmation. Now you know so take action!

notsobad's picture

She may have been that person working hard to put things together when she was on her own.

It sounds like as soon as you came along she stopped. She might not have even realized that she's stopped, but from what you've written she definitely thinks that with you around she no longer needs to work so hard.

I have seen it happen in tons of relationships. People move in together/get married and one or the other partner stops trying. They stop working or they stop looking after themselves, or their children.
I'm not even sure they realize that they are doing it. They aren't bad people, they were just looking for someone to shoulder their burden (whatever that might be) for them.

I also don't think you are a sucker. You feel in love with someone and are now living with a different person.
We ALL want love in our life and sometimes we look past those great waving red flags. Be kind with yourself and be kind with her too.

Let her down easily, but walk away and don't go back.

Willow2010's picture

now its just screaming at me to wake the hell up and do something before I screw up my life and the lives of my kids.
Yes this. You have not posted one really good thing about your GF. Time to get out while it is still new.

Indigo's picture

Check out the blog by a poster named "Gunner." You are not alone in any of this quagmire of steplife.

I maintain a separate household and finances from my SO for the last 4 1/2 years. He's a great guy, but his family is all kinds of craziness and dysfunction. Super guy whom I admire, but who sucks as a parent. I wanted to start our life together, but some folks here on this board helped me see some very difficult truths. SO's family would have direct impact upon my son and they were not folks that I would independently chose for him to be around. So, I made a different choice. My son has not been forced to deal with moving homes, moving schools and coping all the time with AWOL felon SD-31 and her behaviorally disordered, special needs children --- the eldest SGD-14, SO raised for 8 years and she still has visitation.

Currently we avoid the crazy, in general. Holiday get-togethers with both families are completely different than exposing my boy to unhealthy folk daily. Once my son is launched, we're planning on finally tying the knot and moving in together. I'll likely still keep my finances separate, though.

streetglide16's picture

I have to say that my situation isn't anywhere near what I've been reading about in "Gunner's" blog...However, I can say that if I ended up marrying this woman that the outcome would be very bad, I can guarantee that she'd want alimony and whatever else she feels entitled to at that moment.

Last night was just another ridiculous night...I was in a bad mood going home and couldn't pinpoint exactly why I was in a bad mood...Then I realized that I was in funk because I really didn't want to go home because I knew what was there waiting for me...and I was right. As soon as I get through the door the issues and fighting start with her son just being horrible. The evening ended with her and I having to have another heart to heart talk with him about his behavior and his actions. I actually told both of them that I dread coming home because I know whats waiting for me. I've never dreaded going home or having my kids come home. I'm so tired of not being able to look forward to having my kids come home. At least we skipped the new car chat because of his issues!! Smile