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Apprehensive about relationship

lookingforwardstep's picture

Hi there. I am new to this site. I've been in a relationship with my bf for a little over a year now. He has two children from his previous marriage whom he has shared custody of. They stay with him most of the week and sometimes also on the weekends too since his ex wife travels quite a bit for work and generally does not seem interested in her kids unless it's for fun or school activities. She is more career oriented. My bf works from home. He has been a great partner overall however lately I have been seeing some concerning red flags. At first he was a loving partner and great father to his kids. His kids were also very nice to me. However lately he has been having anger temper outbursts where he will threaten to kick me out of his house and tell me to leave (we do not live together yet, this happens when I am over at his place). This usually starts with one of his kids misbehaving and me suggesting to him to address it. He will take his kids' side most of the time and turn on me. He will turn on me to the point where he will get in my face, yell at me and tell me to leave his house. This is after me bringing up that I've caught his kid lying or being disrespectful. One day I watched his daughter Diablo while he worked. I took her to the water amusement park and she began to not feel well immediately after we went in and I had just paid for both of us. I called him and asked him what to do. He was very angry with me that I did not know how to "handle it." He went off on me. I left and we didn't speak for days (my choosing). I was very hurt and then he turned it on me and said I was abusive by giving him the silent treatment (he completely left out of the fact that he went off on me in front of his daughter after me paying 50 dollars down the drain and taking his kid out for the day). His kids also have a habit of being very whiney and spoiled to the point it is frustrating. They are generally unappreciative kids who rarely say please or thank you and also are very wasteful of other people's time and money. I work very hard and have began to resent spending my money on his kids at this point. If they acted better I would not care at all but they are so entitled. This happens so often. I also do not trust his kids anymore as I have been nothing but nice to them and very generous as well  but have caught them lying about me and playing victim because there is clearly a jealouy issue now that I am spending more time there. I also might add he did two things I really did not care for. First he leaves out the fact that he hangs out with his ex wife frequently when I am not around. In fact he has lied to me about it on more than one occasion and does not know that I know this. He has had her over for dinner, lunch, etc. at his place several times and seen me that same night and failed to mention it. I am not a possesive person so I find just it odd he would not bring this up in our conversations. This is with a woman he claims was horrible to him during their marriage. They are also a little too friendly via text messages for someone who was so horrible. He also is not the best about paying for stuff when we go out together. In fact I pay the seventy to eighty percent of the time which I am getting tired of. I have the money but still it would be nice if he was a little more financially stable or giving at times. I am reluctant to move in with him and when I bring this up I notice he will resort to going on social media and liking other womens photos that he works with that I have not met and posts selfies of himself and gets likes from women I do not know as a way to punish me which I find very odd. He also will bring up how great a mother his ex is which is odd since when I met him he told me she was horrible and she barely sees her kids. They rarely ever even stay over at her place. Does anyone have any insight as to what they think I should do?

Stepdrama2020's picture

Your SO is a dickhole and abusive. Do not waste another precious moment.

Those red flags would attract bulls from a million miles away.

You know what he is doing is abusive, you needed validation (as we all do). So you have it, and I am sure many would agree. In fact it would be negligent NOT to tell you he is abusive. LEAVE. RUN!

Leave this gutter trash, be single happy and skid free.

amk154's picture

Agree with everything above. This will not get better. He is showing you who he is, believe him. You don't live together, you owe him and the kids nothing, get out now while it's easy.

Being with a verbally abusive man can be just as soul crushing as physical abuse. And people don't change. 

relationshipguru's picture

Hon your bf is emotionally abusive.  He is also grooming his children to be just like him. Please leave this situation for your own well being. I say situation because this is not a relationship. This is a one sided, emotionally abusive situation based on using. You are being used and gaslighted by him and his kids.

JRI's picture

Even if the kids weren't in the situation, he's not a good BF.  He doesnt treat you right and you're perceptive enough to know it.  The relationship with the Ex is way too close.  The kids aren't being parented properly by either parent.

Definitely DO NOT move in with him.  You know you should break it off completely but if you're not strong enough yet, promise us that you won't move in, okay?

hereiam's picture

Break up with him, he's not the one for you.

You are starting to see what I say all of the time, it takes a long time to truly get to know someone. My high school psychology teacher taught us that it takes about 2 years. You at the just over a year mark and him putting his best foot forward is getting tiresome, his true self is coming out. He's showing you who he is, please believe him.

He has a bad temper, he's a liar, he's abusive, he punishes you, threatens you, tries to make you jealous, plays mind games, he's using you, the list goes on.

Pretty sure none of that is on your list of traits that you'd like for a partner. Nobody is perfect, but this guy exhibits every bad trait out there. Did I mention that he's abusive?


Merry's picture

Pretty sure I'd take it to heart when a partner told me to leave. I'd be gone. He sounds like an abusive jerk.

megansider's picture

Please leave this emotionally abusive A hole and his trash bag family. Your bf is a massive jerk of record proportions and his kids are entitled brats. His kids are little mini me's of the entitled abusive jerk that he is. Congrats to him and his ex on NOT knowing how to parent. Things will not change. In fact it will get worse if you move in. On top of that he is broke and a user/loser. I also would not trust him at all. Run.

hereiam's picture

Oh, and that apprehension that you are feeling? That is your gut instinct and you should listen to it. You know what to do, you don't need us to tell you, but since you asked....

BethAnne's picture

I would leave him....what other options are you considering?

Here is the list of the red flags that you have highlighted:

1. bait and switch..change of behavior from loving to angry and agressive, honest people are the same/similar at the begining of a relationship to later in the relationship

2. Getting in your face and agressively yelling at you rather than calmly talking to you about your differences of opinion. Where will his agression end? Most abusers don't start with hands around the throat and punches but with verbal attacks...that way they weed out those that can stand up for themselves and walk away from those that will not.

3. "threats" of any sort are an unhealthy way (and abusive) to deal with any issues

4. he doesn't belive you when you tell him things about his kids.  - first, why would you lie? and second if he thinks you lie why does he want a relationship with you and why is he ok with you being around his kids? - answer: he's a jerk who wants to undermine you while using you for your money and babysitting.

5. He expects you to instantly know how to parent (probably because of ovaries) and verbally attacked you (in front of his child) when you asked for advice...

6. He gas lights you by telling you that you are the abusive one when he lashes out at you and you try to get some space.

7. He omits and/or lies to you about who he is socializing with frequently because he knows you won't see it as being appropriate (it isn't btw)

8. You suspect he is too frindly with his ex....if you have doubts that means you don't trust him (and I don't know anyone that would in your circumstance) and when there is a lack of trust in the relationship that is near impossible to get over (and nit worth your time here)

9. He cares so little for equity in your relationship that he happily lets you pay for most stuff....will he start paying 50% or more when you move in together?

So: at least 9 red flags by my I said above I would leave this guy, I don't know that any other options would be healthy for you. What would you tell your sister/best friend to do if they were iin your place?

ndc's picture

I would end the relationship. The bad outweighs the good, and there are too many red flags. Steplife might be worth it for a really great partner; this guy isn't a great partner, so definitely not worth putting up with ungrateful, annoying stepkids.

lookingforwardstep's picture

Thank you. The sad thing is in the beginning I thought he loved me and genuinely cared for me. The person I have been around within the past couple months is very different from the person I met. I also think it is strange how people portray things on social media. He makes himself and his kids look like this happy family. In real life he does not have it together, emotionally, financially, or otherwise. He is also always playing these very passive, manipulative games on facebook with other women. It is hurtful but when I bring it up he makes me out to be possessive, controlling, etc..

hereiam's picture

Yep, bait and switch. He pretended to be someone he's not to get you to fall for him, hoping that by the time you realized who he really was, you wouldn't have the nerve to break it off, that you would think you're in love. There are probably even more undesirable traits that you haven't seen, yet.

Turning things around on you and making you out to be the crazy one is called gaslighting.

You can do better.

You will need to make a clean and definite break. Don't give him a chance to manipulate you into staying with him.

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

He was wonderful because he was love bombing you. Now that he has you, you will never get that from him again, maybe scraps of attention and affection just enough to get you to stay 

failuretolaunch's picture


1. We should all know by now that social media representation is fake. I have a good friend that makes out that everything is perfect, my partner is his wife's friend who tells her it is not. They have money, they have holidays e.t.c But they also havne't had sex in 2 years and she is very unhappy, but does he portray that....No.

Walk away. I have my issues don't get me wrong, but nothing like this. The person that you met was the person that was trying to trap you like a mouse. Luckily you have realised it very early on. There are the red flags that everyone talks about and he also has children. It's a NO BRAINER....Find happiness elsewhere, with someone that does NOT have kids.

Ask yourself one question. Why do you think you have to put up with this. Dig deep and dig hard!!

lookingforwardstep's picture

I agree. Why do people continue these fake facades on social media? What is the point? At the end of the day all they are doing is showing how fake they are and chasing healthy people away.

LittleCloud9's picture

Real men, good men, do not lie to their partners or flirt with other people (online or otherwise) to punish you.

Keep looking for a good man.

crystaloo's picture

I am curious as to what the real story is behind his divorce, his ex, etc.  Any chance she left him ? The reason I say this is he seems to be a real gem (sarcasm). She may be trying to stay far away from him but is still caught up in his manipulations and she is also a victim of his abuse, gaslighting and lies. She is also tied in because of their kids. Any chance he used the kids against her to manipulate this whole situation? 

The beauty of this is you have no ties to him. You are not married and you do not share children. You do not live together. I would leave this relationship as soon as possible and not look back. He is an emotionally abusive manipulator and a user. His kids are not much better. His kids are spoiled brats, just like him, who are also becoming abusive towards you as they get older. You can do so much better. Being a step parent is difficult even if you have a great partner. You do not have a great partner. In fact he is a frog. He is an abuser, liar, manipulator, user, failed parent, etc. Good riddance. Again, you can do so much better. Abusers like him do not change unless they go through years of extensive therapy. Even then it is a challenge because they have a deep personality flaw and extensive psychological problems. Let him become someone else's problem. I guarantee they will get the same treatment you are getting in time, only worse.

usedtobeamajor's picture

He is a real peice of work. He believes his kids when they tell lies about you and play the victim (they are not the victim btw, they are just as manipulative as he is). He insinuates his kids are right and you don't know how to parent yet he is cool with keeping you around for an extended period of time, having you pay for things, babysit, play free nanny, etc. lol. Leave like now. ASAP. You can do better. He's an az and full of it. His kids sound awful. Don't even get me started about the inappropriate ex situation. 

Harry's picture

The ex most likely loves him but can not live with him.  Wonder why?  She can only take him in small doses.

You are being treated like sh*t   And its only going to get worst.  Time to make an exit.  Let him deal with his own kids


Winterglow's picture

This is not what a good relationship looks like. You deserve respect and civility and instead you're getting rudeness and abuse. In place of deceint communication you're getting yelled at and gaslighted. He has anger  management and lies to you. What makes you think he'd be a good life partner?

Do not spend another cent on either him or his children. If they want stuff or to go places, it's up to him to make that happen.

To be honest, I'd have left the first time he told me to get out and not ever gone back.

What you should do? Easy, cut your losses and chalk the last year up to experience. You deserve so much better than this.


grannyd's picture

Aw Hon,

If we seem to be judging your BF too harshly, it’s because we’ve drawn our conclusions from the information that you have provided; a profile of a selfish, gaslighting, parasitic abuser. Clearly, your BF has zeroed in on you because you’re a narcissistic bully’s dream girl; kind, generous, financially independent and easy to manipulate. 

You can thank your lucky stars, my dear, that your dreadful BF has displayed his true colors before the relationship grows and escape becomes challenging. Even if you leave tomorrow, though you’re still (wisely) maintaining your own residence, I’ll bet the farm that you’ll see an explosion of temper that’ll surpass anything you’ve experienced so far. Your BF has probably been curbing the worst of his spleen until he has you under his thumb. 

I suspect that you realize, perfectly well, that this relationship has become insupportable. If you are seeking vindication for your anxious state of mind, rest assured that I, like the others on the site, am convinced that you’re being abused. You have so much going for you, Hon! Please don’t throw your life away on this frightful man and his spoiled children!

failuretolaunch's picture

Not read the other posts, but you are setting youself up or at least he is setting you up to be the new mother that will take care of his kids for him. It won't get any better unless you set very STRONG boundaries right now, but like others have said. He seems like a complete F'ing too and as they say on Mumsnet. Run for the hills. Don't post on mumsnet by the way, stay here when it comes to any step parent talk. A non judgemental place where you can come if you do decide to stay with him....But don't.

My advice it not to bother. Having done 10 years + of this $hit, I will be advising anyone not to get involved with people who have kids. There are SOOOOO many people out there that don't have kids, so don't settle. After 10+ years here are my thoughts, they probably wouldn't be the same thoughts 10 years ago if I split with a partner and wanted a new relationship but here goes. I would NOT put the burden of my own kids onto someone else, so I would remain single / have casual relationships until they were grown up and independent and could emotionally navigate / understand another person / mum in their life who would just be this person that Dad spent time with. I would focus on my kids and not subject them or subject a companion to the emotional mine field that divorce brings or having another mum/woman in their life that they feel is trying to replace their own mum.

The choice is yours.