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Young stepmom - can I accept his past?

MissA23's picture

I am 23 years old. My boyfriend is 15 years older than me and has three boys. Three, six, and eight years old. We have been dating for 2 1/2 years. We entered a parenting evaluation together while he fought for custody of his kids from his bipolar ex. Upon realizing that we cannot afford to fight for full custody, we now have every other weekend and the kids who live mainly with their mother. She's a very destructive Presence in our life. We have little to no contact with her. All of our exchanges take place at schools are day cares, I made sure of this via lawyers and parenting plan. Our situation with the ex has become very low conflict, I have not seen her in over a year.

My issue is that I faced lots of jealousy and resentment for his past and the fact that he has been married and had so many children with another person, let alone a person who is such low caliber of a human being and treats her children so poorly. I am trying to figure out if I can except his past. He can sense my anger and resentment, it's starting to hurt him and our relationship. 

I feel jealous because I worry that if we were to have our own kids, which is very important to me, that it would not be a special because he has had those experiences so many times. I also worry about our age gap and how that would affect children and me later in life. What do you all think? Can anyone offer advice as to what I should do? I love him so much and he treats me very well. We have a wonderful life together and I do not want to let it go, but I am in lots of pain and I worry very much about the future and my own experiences as a mother some day.

hereiam's picture

I think that you are 23 and should be living and loving your life, without all of this baggage and worry.

ESMOD's picture

Ahh.. well.. take the whole "bipolar" thing with a grain of salt.  She obviously wasn't so crazy that he spent 9+ years of his life making babies with her.  Perhaps the source of her "mental illness" is the fact that he got together with a woman 15 years younger than him when his THIRD child was onlly 6 months old?


I'm not saying this to bash YOU.. I'm saying this in the "you may not have the prize you think you do in him".  Yes he has a past.. Step-kids and step-parenting is challenging.  It is even more challenging when you have an EXW that is extremely bitter.

You are young and you have the ability at your age, to find someone without all this baggage... honestly, that is the BEST thing you could do.

But.. you have to accept that people have thier own have a past.. it's shorter than his.. but you have one.  We are who we are due to our life experiences...While I wish my DH had never met his EX.. I also wish I didn't have a few of the EX's that I have



tog redux's picture

Find a young man, with no children, and start your own family free from all of this crap.  

There are lots of good men in the world, cut this one loose.

SteppedOut's picture

Girl, run away from this chaos. Like your @ss is on fire. 

You easily have the ability to find someone, closer to your own age, that is child free. 

And while some do not think age matters... you are already feeling it (if you weren't you wouldn't have brought it up). You will really start feeling it in about 10 years, if that. 

Sparkl3s's picture

You need to make sure your future plans line up with your boyfriend before you waste some of the best years of your life. 

I don't mean to sound harsh because I met my current hubby in my mid 20's and he is also over a decade older than me. 

You need to make sure your bf wants any more children. If he is hesitant I'd reevaluate how much you want to be in the relationship. There are sooooo many stories on here where woman have wasted their child bearing years on men who lied. 

As far as resentment or jealousy I think you should speak to a therapist to find the root of your feelings. Step life is hard enough and if it's something that you can't get over let that relationship go and avoid men with children. 

BethAnne's picture

I agree with talking about future plans. 

It has been my experience thought that jelousy is a normal reaction to many situations in step life and not necessarily a cause for concern. If it is overwhelming and becomes obsesive though it could be worth seeking help. 

BethAnne's picture

Talk about this calmly with your boyfriend and see how he responds. If he is understanding and accepting of your emotions and then tries to find ways to reasure you or suggests plans that could help mitigate your fears then he may be worth sticking with for a while longer. If he is dismissive and derisive of your pain then he is not worth spending any more of life with him. 

SMto2's picture

You say you have a wonderful life together yet are in lots of pain. You've identified numerous issues about the relationship that are painful to you, none over which you have any control, including his past and his very present, destructive ex. I'm assuming your BF left BM. Whether you were involved in that or not, if my DH left me when we had a baby just 6 mos. old, plus a 3 1/2 and a 5 1/2 year old, and especially if he started dating someone 15 years younger, I'm pretty sure I'd be the angry "destructive" BM from you-know-where myself!  I agree you're wayyyyy too young for this baggage. You've already wasted 2 1/2 years of your life on it. Your statement that YOU made sure the exchanges take place at schools via the lawyers and the parenting plan suggests that you are way too involved. I agree that you should leave this painful relationship and try to find someone closer to your age with NO children. Then you can have your FIRST child together with NO BM drama!  

Kona_California's picture

First let's talk about the man you're with. When he met you, he was desperate for the type of female attention that requires no effort at all. Since you haven't fully figured out who you are as a person, such as what you value, what you are willing to tolerate and not tolerate, it's been easy for him. You feel like he treats you right because he's almost middle-aged, with a career, and been through decades of "training" by other women. Having three kids that close together plus a marriage has given him a perspective on life you can't even fathom yet. Couples are most compatible when their internal compases align, and your views of the world are vastly different. Being with him and helping him take care of his kids AND putting up with BM toxicity is incredibly unfair of him. He's robbing you of a stage of your life you deserve to have. 

Switching over to you.... 23 years old. In 10 years, you will realize how much more growing you were about to go through. At 23 you are still learning who you are, what career path you want, the type of people you want in your life, and even higher-level social skills. Social skills usually missing at 23 are only picked up on by people 15 years older than you, such as your man's circle of people. Being assertive and self-assured are invaluable to have when you're dealing with a man like you have, and most at 23 are still developing this. 

Let's think about how important having children is to you. Right now, your BF is 38. Even if you were to get pregnant now, he would have your baby probably by 39, and let me tell you that man is TIRED. He knows what lies ahead having another infant and if I were to guess, he would rather not have another one. He may put all of the responsibility on you and not help as much as you expect. If you wait a few years after getting married, he will be into his 40s. You will absolutely feel the age difference at that point. He will be changing physically, and probably not for the better. You will absolutely be compared to if you have your first child with him, him man-splaining your entire pregnancy, birth, infant child raising, breastfeeding, sex after birth, you name it. 

Let's walk through what it would look like if you were to break it off. The feeling of loss because of loving him will be temporary. You will bounce back fast since you're young, attractive, and can be involved in so much to meet lots of people. Walking away at this point will leave you with a lot of insight on what you want and don't want in a relationship. You will look back and be thankful for the experience while at the same time asking "what was I thinking?" You will probably date one or a few others before finding your perfect. This person should be who you fit with, who will experience all of your firsts with, who you can grow with. Pretty sure you won't regret going down that path.


Mandy45's picture

Take heed of these comments and run your 23 you dont need to be a instant mum to kids that arent yours. Who will dislike you who arent bought up how you want. A insane ex who may be quite now but wont be forever. Step families are chaos as you can see on here. If you want to have children in the future the child will be bought in to the chaos. This is why I never had a children with my husband. Because I saw all the bs and I had 2 of my own. Saw how he raised his and said no I'm not bringing another child in this mix. I will not have it raised this way in all this drama. Your bf maybe the nicest man in the world but in the end it wont be the age difference that break you. It will be his whole life you will end up miserable. Wishing you married someone without all the baggage. 

Thumper's picture

Wouldnt you rather be planning a fun trip to Vegas, NYC or Mardi Gras---possibly a cruise for 5 to 7 days?

Life is short OP---you should be enjoying yourself to the MAX Smile not trying to put a square peg into a round hole.

Your first op----not boyfriend, not his ex and not his kids.

Best Wishes...and it is my hope your parents have told you that you deserve better.



Thisisnotus's picture

RUUUUNNNNN!!!!!!!!! I am 39 and DH is 11 years older.....he is an old man and the struggle is real. We have nothing at all in common....not music, not movies, nothing.