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How Naive Am I?

3Libras06's picture

I've been with FDH for over two years. We got engaged at the end of May while there was a huge custodial fight going on with his ex. Long story short, in January FDH's son (11) was taken into state custody along with his three step siblings and half baby brother because BM and her current husband were physically abusing the children and overmedicating them for disability checks. The judge did not award FDH emergency custody because we live in a different state, he was a deacon at a church and frowned heavily upon FDH living "with a girlfriend, out of wedlock".
Together, we had to go through background checks, home studies, interviews with both states and their CPS... It was a lot.
In May he proposed; I was shocked because we had thrown 5k into a lawyer already this year and he basically had told me in January right after everything happened that he had planned to propose but had to pay the lawyer. (That whole conversation hurt me, I wasn't sure why he felt it was necessary to tell me that at the time) ... So when May came around and he randomly popped the question, I was excited but also nervous because I was pretty positive we were going to get his son full time. I was only used to having him around on school breaks. I knew it was going to be a huge change for everyone but knew in my heart I REALLY loved this guy and wanted to make it work.
So here we are, we have his son full time. He's been here since June 13th and has seen his mother one time. He is doing terrible in school. He lies all the time. FDH works a LOT of overtime and I am left to take care of his son. If I have something going on or make myself unavailable, his parents take his son. He spends the least amount of time with him. When he IS home, he's tired. I get it. He works about 60 hours some weeks, he's also in the National Guard so he has drill weekends, etc... But why fight for full custody of your son if you're not going to make time and be a parent? As it stands, since school started, I know a majority of what's going on and what's supposed to happen. I have had to stomp and scream to get that man's attention and make him give two shits about some things.

To top it off, yesterday one of our "couple friends" told me that they feel like he only proposed to me so he could get his son and have someone around to take care of him while he's working all the time.

That was a slap in the face.

Part of me wants to still defend him and firmly say, "no, he's working a ton of overtime to get us out of the debt he incurred through all of this court shit earlier this year and to pay the bills". But when he IS at home, I feel like the house nanny. I clean up after him and his son all the time AND just a week ago he impulsively adopted a puppy from the humane society - Stating it was his. But guess who's been home watching the dog every day? I have my dog, but she is well trained and past that wild puppy stage.

Sigh. I keep running all this through my head, getting stressed and don't know what to do. I really love this guy but after what this friend (She's by no means a great friend of MINE.. SHe's the wife of a man he works with..) said to me yesterday, it feels like more and more I'm seeing these flags. I'm 25. I feel too young to be dealing with all of this and don't know how to "fix it".

hereiam's picture

But why fight for full custody of your son if you're not going to make time and be a parent?

I kind of think you know the answer. The fact is, there is no way he could take care of his son full time without you.

A lot of men do this, it is a win-win for them. They kid their kid away from BM, but don't really have to parent the kid themselves.

You are too young for this and what is in store for you. Go live your life.

Anne Boleyn's picture

A puppy? A freaking puppy on top of all of that???!! Jeez. You don't bring new lives into the house without discussing it with your partner. To me, that is a really bad sign. He's already dumped his kid on you and now a puppy? He has no respect for your needs or feelings.

If you plan to stay in the scene, you two need to have a heart-to-heart ASAP. That house needs rules and you are NOT their maid. That kid and your FDH need to clean up after themselves and his damn puppy.

I am sorry. This sucks. You need to turn this shit around or leave ASAP.

Igiveupsotornupinside's picture

I agree with what everyone else is saying. You need to live your life and if you want to stay with him then you need to talk to him. As far as I am concerned the puppy needs to go back. This is sad. I know what it is like. I was 24 and my now DH worked all the time and I had his 2 daughters all the time. I tried to live my life and couldn't. They had needs. It was me who even had to arrange their visits with BM and provide most the transportation. I did it, today, I have no idea why I did all that. I cleaned, cooked, listen to them treat me like shit. I love my husband but it took till now (12 years later) for him to realize all I had went through. Granted I could not fault him and still don't on the fact that he was and still is a wonderful provider financially for our family and we have 2 bios together now that are added on. I am thankful that my SDs are now adults. He is sad and upset he put me through all that especially since now SD19 and I have no relationship. I disengaged from her because she is so toxic. I told my DH its not necessarily financial that a woman needs its emotional support too. I didn't have that. I do now but I look back at the 12 years and I could have made so much of my life if he had just been there more to help me with his kids. I have no regrets marrying him though, I wouldn't have my two beautiful daughters if I hadn't married him. I think you need to try and have a long heart to heart with your DH. I am not going to say leave him because only you know whats in your heart and mind. Besides I would be a wrong to tell you to leave when I myself stayed with mine. Hang in there, I hope it gets better for you and your FDH realizes what is happening.

3Libras06's picture

Thank you for your response. I do need to sit with him and have a heart to heart, tonight if possible... After a long drill weekend. Yay.
He told me he proposed at that time because he had never felt so in love with me and was inspired by my drive to fight for what was right with his son. I was there to support him every step of the way and he said at that moment he couldn't imagine his life without me. In hindsight, I feel like those are really cliche words but I know in my heart that he really does love me very much.
I refuse to believe that men are so simplistically minded and his only drive is to work hard and get us out of debt, which is why he can't focus on his son at all. And the dog does need to go back.

Igiveupsotornupinside's picture

He most likely does love you. I know though its hard not to feel the way you do because so did I. I know that my DH loves me, there is no doubt about that because he has been by my side when I basically lost my mind and had tons of health issues happen in the last 2 years (those are getting better thank God). Also some men, they have this drive to constantly provide for the family. That is my husbands weakness (but I consider it more a strength). He is a hard worker. He grew up being taught that as a man you need to provide for your family. His job is demanding so he works a lot. He still does. Its nicer now though for me since we only have our bios living with us now. Both SDs are on there own. SD22 is in contact with us regularly and her and I get a long great. SD19 turned to drugs and a bad boyfriend who introduced her to that life. She no longer is part of our family. That's why I am sick, I tried to save her for 4 years straight and I realized some battles cant be won. I had to let her go or I was going to end up in the grave. I chose to live my life for my bios and asked her to stay out of my life as long as she doesn't want to get herself any help. Its a sad situation for all of us. DH is no longer on speaking terms with her either. If you get bored you can read my previous posts. The posts are in my bookmarks.

I hope that your talk works and that all turns out well for you. Take care.

3Libras06's picture

Yeah... I've been thinking, the responses are helpful in letting me "piece together" a blatant but not aggressive way of telling him how I feel.
The very angry side of me wants to give him the ring back and tell him I don't want it unless he can prove that he wants to be married to me for a real future and love, or if it's just for the benefits of me being around 24/7.
The rational side of me wants to sit down and explain why I feel the way I do, what has been said, etc... But I know him, and I know it'll go full circle back to his working to "pay off the debt".

emotionaly beat up's picture

Well on the surface it doesn't sound good. It looks as though your friend may have heard something from her husband. But, you know this woman, what does your gut tell you. Did she say this because she is really concerned that your FDH is using you, or, is she one of those women who like to cause trouble in other people's lives and relationships. Was she expressing her opinion and not fact.

Either way, you got hurt in that. Use it to your advantage now. Tell FDH. Then tell him that you can see why people would think lie that because you yourself are starting to. You two need to talk.

He is working, he has a lot of debt now, and a lot of pressure to pay it off. But he clearly doesn't appreciate the pressure you are under because of his choices. There were several life choices he made along the way that have led you both to this point in your lives. His being impulsive, has probably paid a role in a lot of these bad choices. Start dealing with that. The puppy goes back. That is a consequence he and probably now his son will just have to suffer. Your FDH didn't get the consequence of having a relationship with his ex, you got that. You got left literally holding the baby. Now he merrily goes out and gets a puppy, the consequences of which, he has no clue. You got stuck with them too. As a very important learning curve for your FDH send the puppy back. If he screams about that, give him a choice, the puppy goes back or the son goes back. Tell him, he is not there to help you, you do not want the responsibility of a puppy. Not at this time.

If your FDH stands his ground over this puppy, or trys to guilt you with, my son loves the puppy etc., after you have told him you feel pretty used here,well, you have the answer you have been looking for. But it is time your FDH learnt the consequences of his actions. You need to do something drastic to wake him up, dig your heels in, be bloody minded and send that puppy back. Don't be afraid. If your FDH leaves you because you don't want a puppy when you have his son full time to look after, well, that's something you need to know at 25 when you have no kids with him. Not 35, 45, 55 and a couple of kids in tow. If he would leave over this puppy. You don't need him. You deserve better. This puppy might be the catalyst for finding out the truth about your relationship.

3Libras06's picture

This friend loves drama so it's very difficult for me to tell if she said this to me because I was complaining about how FDH hasn't been keeping up with school happenings and his son OR if that's literally something she and her husband have been discussing lately. Either way, I do feel like it needs to be brought up to FDH...

Yes, the debt is a huge pressure, especially since it's ALL in MY NAME. Did I forget to mention that in the post? Perhaps I wasn't trying to make the whole thing seem so dramatic or "woe is me".. But when we found out his son was in state custody, I asked no questions, knew we didn't have the money in the bank to jump on a plane so we used my credit. He didn't have any. From there it was just the main thing to rely on when so many hearings were coming about.

I will request that the dog be returned by him. It was a bad idea. He keeps saying maybe it'll work itself out when I complain of the stress of the two dogs and his son while I'm taking classes and trying to study. It'll work itself out by going back, as far as I've decided today.

emotionaly beat up's picture

3libras06, mind your language please.

You will request the dog goes back. REQUEST, no you will TELL him the dog goes back. Especially now you have said the debt is in your name. Your FDH went out, presumably PURCHASED a dog, but even if he got the dog for free, there are ongoing expenses in having a pet. He is in debt, he had no right to buy anything let alone something that has ongoing costs involved. Even worse, you already have a dog. People in debt cannot afford two dogs.

You request nothing, you send that dog back. Again if you are worried that he will leave and stick you with the debt, well, it's already your debt, and if he is the kind of guy that would do this, sooner or later he will anyway. You need to know who he is now.

To buy a second dog on impulse when you have a dog, have the responsibility of a child, and owe someone money, is not just impulsive buying. It shows a high level of immaturity and irresponsibility.

No requests, he needs clear instruction, he needs consequences for his actions.

As for your friend, just watch her. Some people feel the need to point out the flaws in other people's relationships to make them feel better about their own. I believe you being there made it all so easy for him sure, but was he callous and manipulative enough to plan it all out. I'm thinking not, just another of his impulses. He doesn't think things through. He needs to learn that. Can he be taught, well, lets start with the dog and see.

You, have to stop making it all too easy for him to be like this though. You do need to off load some of the responsibilities on him. He's got a lot of growing up to do. He can't do that if you stand in his way and do things for him that he could and should be doing for himself. It's the little things that matter. If he can't take care of a child, well he can take out the rubbish, make a bed, wash a dish. If he can't take care of a dog, he shouldn't have one. He's tired, we all are. Just have to keep on plodding though. You are not his mum. Don't act like it. He can only use you if you let him.

Flipchip2013's picture

Was her language bad? On her own blog??

I'm in trouble, then.

OP, keep the dog. So many homeless animals. It will work out. Dogs don't cost *that* much to feed and care for. It's not the dog's fault your BF is irresponsible.

emotionaly beat up's picture

No, absolutely not. The language I was referring to was her use of the word request. I was saying her language needed to be firmer. It should not be a request. That's all Smile

Considering Cohabitation's picture

I'm sorry but if for nothing else, the issue with the dog should show you that he clearly doesn't care for or respect you or your time. You are a resource to him. Nothing more. I'm sorry to say it because its clear you love this guy but he has put you in an unacceptable situation and continues to compound it by not taking anyone your needs into consideration. I'm so sorry.

But at the very least..... That dog goes back!

amber3902's picture

It is suspicious in January he did not want to get married. His primary concern was "paying the lawyer".

Then when the judge doesn't award your FDH custody because he frowns upon living "with a girlfriend, out of wedlock", THEN he proposes.

Maybe your friend does like drama, but just because she likes drama or is jealous does not mean what she is saying isn't true. I too, thought that your FDH was only marrying you because the judge said FDH couldn't get custody while living with someone out of wedlock.

It sounds like all your FDH cares about is getting custody of his son and he'll do what ever he has to do to get it. Oh, I have to be married? Okay, I'll do it.

I'm not saying he doesn't care or love you. I'm saying his first concern is getting custody of his son. Everything else is secondary.

The fact that all of this debt is in your name is a big red flag. And don't let him justify his actions by saying he's trying to pay off debt. I like how dzty put it: "I don't want to feel like this, but your actions are showing me that this is what you are expecting me to do."

You SAY you are marrying me because you love me, but you only asked me to marry you after the judge said you wouldn't get custody while living together.

You SAY you want to be with your son, but I am the one feeding him, bathing him, helping him with his homework, etc. etc.

I agree, sending the dog back will be the first test, but I would be careful. He might send the dog back just to "prove" to you that he'll do what you ask.

I don't feel very good about your situation. I dated a man with a 7 year old son. We talked about moving in together and I noticed he would say "It will be so great to have someone to share the bills with." :? After the second time he said that I said "Is that why we're living together? So I can help you with your bills?" Of course he denied it, but then several months later when I had an issue with his son (again) he said "Maybe we shouldn't move in together, it's not like we're going to save that much money." I really think while he care for me, the fact that I worked was an added "bonus" that he was all too eager to take advantage of. I kept postponing moving in together and he started pressuring me to move in with him. He start giving ultimatums, saying if we're weren't going to live together he needed to reevaluate the relationship because he didn't want to "struggle the rest of his life."

Just be careful, hon.

sbm014's picture

I am glad that SS11 is out of the abused home...

However I will say it does sound like he was willing to anything to get his son, and proposing makes his situation wanting to show the boy a loving, stable home even better. As said above though this doesn't mean he doesn't have true feelings for you.

I can tell you my DH and I were living together, had already brought up marriage, and everything but pushed it off because of money, and honestly it just didn't seem like that big of a deal at the time - we were already showing SS a much better home. Anyways, BM pulled a stunt where even though they had a iron set decree as time went on it changed a bit to optimize SS/DH time which meant us sometimes getting him a day or two earlier the second week we get him depending on him DH had to come home late, and all of that - they now both have to sign a temporary custody alteration each time DH comes home, as no one has the money or time to get one day changed when in reality even if we had to go by the decree one it's still basically the same just switch off days are Tuesday/Wed instead of Wed/Thurs...anyways BM refused to let DH get SS, call SS or have any communication but as it was on her time we could do nothing DH went to the lawyer and his lawyer said something about he had heard BM say that the fact I was just a 'live in' bothered her and several other things as DH brought up trying to get full custody as well even though he knows that is a long-term plan and he would have to be home for good etc. Well DH decided we should get engaged to at least make each other look better mind you he came home and told me everything the lawyer said, we went out got a promise ring, I wore it and we didn't have a word, but BM took it as we were engaged and it spread like wildfire...and everyone's tune including, lawyer, BM, and other people's town changed towards me because I was "more dedicated" and blah bah. Mind you later we did officially get engaged and make a announcement once money was right, but just having that promise ring made so many people assume and actually made our lives easier.

I would seriously have a talk with him about why did he do it when he did - like I said my DH was open and we decided to get a promise ring. I would also talk about the dog as said above that is him completely showing he doesn't care how much you have on your plate if he wants something he is going to get it.

As for the debt I know this sounds bad but get in writing it is HIS debt and HE should pay....even if you forgive some of it by paying it yourself - at this point he can walk away and say that was you trying to be sweet, and the fact that it is in your name leaves you responsible for payback. Which could be a reason to get a job if you don't have one, and would give you a escape from the house to have some semi-you time, and force most of responsibility for SS11 on him.

Sounds like y'all need to have a talk about how you feel. Resentment can be easy to extinguish if talked about, can grow faster than you can every imagine without communication, and then you will truly be miserable.