**Update** Trying to Decide What to Do About My Girlfriend
Well, here I am a 3:51 AM CST, unable to sleep. Figured I might as well share my current situation with the group, since I can't sleep.
First, as a bit of background: I was in a long-term marriage for almost 20 years. My ex-wife was emtionally and financialy abusive, although I don't think see ever cheated on me. I have lots of prior entries about my experiences with her and her ungrateful children, who I raised throughout their childhoods.
My one serious relationship post-divorce was with a supposedly "bi-sexual" woman, who was in fact seeing her supposedly "ex" girlfriend behind my back during the entirety of our relationship. Turns out they were never apart, but the "ex" just didn't want to pay for anything, so the girl I was dating would pretend to date guys in order to extract resources. She got about 10K out of me before I caught her with her "ex" and ended the relationship.
I casually dated around for a few years prior to meeting my currently girfriend. As a recap, she is a single mom, with a 17-year old daughter and a 15-year old son. The daughter has major issues, some of which are objective and can be verified (such as a diseased gallbladder which was taken out, and extreme food allergies), and some of which are subjective ("anxiety" disorder, "stress", etc.). The daughter basically spent her entire senior year at home, because she was too ill to go to school. She's doing better after having her gallbladder out (finally able to start putting weight back on), but stil is dealing with anxiety disorder. If she graduates its only because the school pushes her through the system because they don't want to deal with her. The son is a good kid, but is probably going to fail at least one class, and may have to repeat it next year.
The daughter seemingly rules the roost. She was very spoiled while my GF was married, and is definitely the favorite child. She has no relationhship with her father, and filed a CPS report because he supposedly liked to look at her while she was walking through the house nude on the way from the bathroom to her bedroom. The report was not suppoted by the investigation, but the father essentially disowned the daughter afterwards. For a time, my GF allowed her daughter's loser boyfriend to live with them and mooch off of them, since his presence supposedly helped with her "anxieity and stress." When the landlord found out about this, the boyfriend could no longer stay on a regular basis. This meant I could no longer regularly stay because the daughter now has to co-sleep with my GF, since she can't sleep on her own due to "anxiety."
My GF was in significant debt when we met. I only get her side of things, but it does sound as though she got the worse end of the divorce. She does not get child support, since the daugther lives with her, and the son lives with her ex. GF and her ex clearly lived beyond their means during the marriage, and GF ended up filing bankruptcy. GF also disclosed to me that she was sexually abused by her own step-father while she was young, and turned him in out of spite as a teenager when she didn't get her way on some minor issue. GF has dated a good bit the last few years, even while the marriage was in the dissolution process. She still keeps in touch with some of her ex-BFs, and talks/texts at least one on a regular basis. This bothers me because he openly flirts with her and asks for sex, although she tells him she's not interested because she is with me.
Our only arguements have centered around what I perceive to be very minor mistakes on my part.
1. I was coming back from a work trip, and rushed to get home because I was told I would be able to spend the night with GF. Once I landed at home, I called her, and she told me about her daughter's boyfriend being kicked out, and that daughter would now have to co-sleep with her. I made a comment that I wished she had told me ahead of time, so I wouldn't have rushed home. I had the option of staying in Dallas for the night and working out of the Dallas office the next day, but I didn't do this because I was rushing home to see her. She got really upset at that comment, because she had had a bad day, and because she felt like I was being insensitive to her. I replayed the conversation in my head, and really don't feel like I said anything out of line, although I wonder if my tone was harsh. We eventually worked through that, but I was bothered that she was so easily upset.
2. The second dust-up happened when we were having dinner one night, and I made some comments that she perceived as critical of her daughter. I don't recall exactly what I said, but it wasn't anything like "Your daughter is a loser," or "Your daughter needs to get her life in order." She got upset that I wasn't being supportive of her daughter, and told me that she wished I knew what her daughter was like before she got sick. I apologized and re-doubled my efforts to get to know her daughter, and do feel like I have a decent (albeit distant) relationship with the daughter.
3. The third incident was last night. GF had endured a really bad day, having gotten into a fight with her daughter before work, which was followed by a really bad day at work. I had a bad day at work myself. I got to her house in the early evening, and her daughter was wearing a bikini top and cut-off jeans around the house. I made the comment that I was a little uncomfortable with her dressing like that, because it seemed inappropriate, and because of her history of accusing her father of oogling her while she was naked. Later on, I spent about an hour with GF and her son working on one of his school assignments. He is really behind in this class, and may end up flunking it.
When I went home, I sent a text message indicating that I would like to come up with a game plan to work together to help her son stay caught up in the future. She got **really** upset about that, as she took it as criticism about the performance of her son in school, and also her job a mother. She then said I upset her when I said I was uncomfortable with daughter earing a bikini top and cut-offs around the house (due to what happened wiht her father), because she felt I was "judging" her. I ended up going back to her house and we talked for quite a while, but she was still clearly upset with me. I have not been able to sleep, and here I am.
First of all, yes, I know there are major red flags in this relationship. Co-sleeping with teenage children, financial issues, childhood sexual abuse for my GF, etc. I do not live with this woman, and we have not co-mingled money. I have probably assisted with things (other than buying meals out) to the tune of about $700 in 5 months. Not 0, but not nothing either. Were ever to move in together, I would buy the house in my own name, and we would keep separate finances.
Obviously I should avoid seeing her when we are both stressed out after bad days. Had I to do it over again, I would have skipped last night.
I guess my biggest issue now is what I perceive as an exaggerated level of sensitivity around her children, especially her daughter. I have been extremely kind and supportive of the daugther, and basically get along with her. However, one whiff of criticisim of the daughter, and we have an issue. It's like all of the good things I do are immediately zeroed out if I ever say anything about the daughter. And I am talking about a lot of good things, and a lot of support, being invalidated by a few words in a few seconds. My ex-wife used this same strategy ("zerioing out" my contributions if I made a mistake), so this approach really bothers me.
I have bit my tongue about her carrying on text conversations wth the ex who flirts with her, which to me seems a lot more of a violation that a small handful of comments about her duaghter, when I do so much to help.
I know the advice will be to break up with my GF, and it is probably correctly. I just hate that it may come to that. There are a lot of good times, but it is hard for me to understand her level of hurt feeleings after relatively minor offenses, especially when I do so much good most of the time.