Looking back with and without regret
Hi everyone. I am new to this site and have been reading the forums today and decided to join. First a little background on me here. I am a childless woman who was in a step parent/step family dynamic for nearly four years. My ex boyfriend has two children from his first marriage who are now 8 and 10 and when we were together thier ages were 3-8 and 5-9 who I got to know very well and had an overall positive relationship with. I also got to know his family well as I have never been very close with my family. We never moved in together although we discussed it plenty of times and I spent the majority of time at his place. The first two years of our relationship were great. Although there were bumps in the road his kids and family welcomed me with open arms. I was very much in love with him and enjoyed spending time with his kids. For the first time in my life I felt I had a family who cared about me and whom loved me. Three years in some problems began to surface. I discovered he had been talking behind my back to his mother, and family about me and our problems. This bothered me immensely and hurt. Whenever we would have disagreements it owuld result in him getting very angry with me. One time he even went out of town to visit a female whom he had been friends with all of his life whom I had never met and his mother encouraged this. I do not believe he cheated on me but I always felt if I did not make him happy he would always involved other people(old female friends, his ex, his mother, sister, etc) as a way to make me feel like I was the outsider and wrong. I also found out he had a closer relaitonship with ex than he mentioned and found out he had been hanging out with her and his kids without mentioning it to me (call me possesive but it bothered me). When I confronted him about both things he got very angry with me and would yell at me, accuse me of being controlling and tell me to leave his place. This resulted in me leaving his place and us not speaking for days (I was hurt and did not know how to handle this so I didn't speak to him). I also began to have issues on parenting disagreements. I did not agree with some of the ways he parented but I chose to stay out of it as I was not their parent however resentment began to build when I was around his kids and they would interrupt us talking constantly, have their dad pick up after them and wait on them without a please or thank you, whine quite a bit when things were not to their liking and became extremely picky about everything incdluing food and he would do whatever they wanted to make them happy without them showing an appreciation nor manners. I did not like the way this was going. I also did not like how he never offered to genuinely reimburse me for all of the times I bougth groceries, dinner, took his kids places. I would never have acccepted it and enjoyed doing it but the fact that he really never offered bothered me slightly. I do know he had some financial problems so that may have played into it. All of these things together were not terrible however it made me extremely reluctant to move in with him. During our fourth year we began counselling due to my encouraging and he agreed. I will give him credit for going however the counselling sessions turned into me being the one with the problem because of my childhood and family history of neglect and abuse. He never accepted any responsibiltiy or fault for his part in our problems and the counsellor sided with him, not me. Out last year together we barely saw one another unless I put in the effort. I found out his ex wife and him had been helping one another with a lot of things like home projects, financial stuff, school events, etc. and hanging out together. When I brought this up and how it bothered me he would yell at me and say "At least she helps me unlike you, you are just jealous." This really upset me because I was more than willing to help but he never asked me to be involved in any of these things. This was also interesting since when we first got together all I would hear from him and his mother about was how awful a person his ex wife was, how she was selfish, narcissistic etc. When I mentioned this he would blow up at me and say how they were good friends now and got along great now that they were not married. I was hurt by many things. He never invited me to a work event that he attended with his mother and when I asked about it he accused me of being controlling and possesive once again as did his mother. Whenever his kdis would misbehave or be rude and I would distance myself he would say I was not motherly and did not like kids. His mother would agree with him and I felt ganged up on. I ended the relationship not long after that as I felt I was in a situation that was not mendable. Fast forward to a year later and my ex is now married to another woman (that was quick) and I have just began seeing a man who treats me well and makes me feel like I matter in the relationship and I am not just there to please him and his kids. We have recently began discussing moving in together and I was cleaning out my house (that and being bored from Covid isolation) and discovered many photos of me and my ex together, his kids and numeorus cards and love letters he had written me earlier in our relationship. This made me very sad and I began to cry because I do believe he loved me and we had something great, at least for awhile, however love was not enough to make the situation work. I also feel that I failed him in many ways. Maybe I was too possesive. Maybe him and his mom were right in that I am not meant to be a mother. Maybe I was not understanding enough. This made me incredibly sad, that coupled with the fact that he already remarried so soon and that his new wife is a better woman than me and much better at parenting and being a wife than I ever was. It makes me feel flawed in many ways and very sad. I also am reluctant to move forward with my new relationship even though my bf is a great man and treats me very well (no one is prefect of course but I feel for the first time in five years that someone really loves me for me). How do I deal with all of these incredible feeling of sadness and possible regret?