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New here. In need of an honest perspective.

usedtobeamajor's picture

Hi everyone. I am a new member and have been actively reading this form today. I came here to get a clear and honest perspective. I am 42 and have been divorced for over 10 years. I have no children of my own and spent most of my 30's dating casually. I am well educated, been told I am attractive, in good shape and have a decent career with a relatively good income. I own my own home and enjoy travelling when I can. Up until a couple years ago I never met a woman I was interested in settling down with again. I finally met the woman I believed I was going to marry for good and settle down with. I loved everything about her. She's very attractive and well educated and has a good career. She has two kids (7 and 10) whom at first I got along with very well and bonded with. About a year into our relationship I started noticing some problems, like everyone does. She was newly divorced when I met her and I had met her kids fairly quickly. At the beginning she had always told me her ex (the father of her kids) was a very self centered guy who was verbally abusive and narcissistic and had a lot of issues such as addiction. He was not able to take his kids for scheduled weekend visitations either supposedly because of his issues or his self centeredness. I'm not really sure which and could never get to the bottom of it. I was told by my her and her mother that he was a loser and during their marriage they fought a lot and she would call her parents to vent for advice. I was also told he never had what it took to be a full time dad and was very selfish. Around this time I had already noticed a seperate issue which were her kids behaviors. I will start by saying they are not bad kids. However I did notice a big sense of entitlement with both of them and general lack of manners (interrupting, not listening, poor table manners or lack of manners in general, having their mom do things for them well past the appropriate age without say please or thank you, conflicts with other kids and teachers at school, fake crying to get what they want, being bought toys and reciving gifts when they were not behaving well, little conseuqences for poor behavior, disrespect and lack of manners). I felt uncomfortable approaching two subjects with her, her kids and her ex. Either time I approached these subjects no matter how nice I was she would get very angry with me and tell me I could leave. So I did. Over the last year we were together, although there were many great times, there were also many difficult ones too. Her kids behaviors were getting worse and I also noticed she was hanging around her ex a lot and talking to him regularly. Her ex even took his kids on a short vacation out of town yet he could not take them on his scheduled days? Instead he would come over ot her place and see his kids for a few hours here and there when I was not there. This made me uncomfortable although I tried to be understanding because they were coparenting. I did feel more and more like she had little time for a relationship and only time for her kids. When I brought this up again it was met with anger. However I did not want to marry a woman who was hanging around her ex constantly or being over at our house when I was not home. It is not a trust issue, I trusted her, it just felt invasive like it was a three way marriage with a lack of respect for the marriage. It was also confusing because of all the bad stuff I had heard her mother and herself say about her ex i the beginning all of a sudden he is this guy she is friends with and hanigng around. She also began to devalue me around this time. Nothing I could do was right. I helped her with her kids whenever I could but I was always doing something wrong and she would increasingly have a short fuse with me. Her kids began to talk about me negatively when I was not around and turned on me. I was always nice to them so never understood why. I would do little things for her and at first she was appreciative but towards the end she mocked me and would say things when she was angry with me like "Oh you're doing me such a big favor by watching the kids for a few hours and buying me a few groceries every now and then" sarcastically. She was never like this at the beginning of our relationship. The final straw came when I found out via her kids that she had spent a fourth of july celebration with her ex and her kids without mentioning it to me. I will say this for the record. I am not a possesive guy. If she was doing it for the kids that was fine. However her not mentioning it to me hurt and I felt she was hiding it on purpose. He also had been hanging out at her house a lot spending time with her son. I asked her calmly and nicely why she had not mentioned this to me and she blew up in a fit of anger and told me to leave. She also made it known that he was a good dad and their father and they are coparenting together and if I didn't like it I could leave. So I did. We hadn't spoken in weeks then I got a text from her saying she missed me a lot and wanted to work on things. I was open to doing so but told her we had to change some things and her anger was not acceptable and neither was her kicking me out of her house. She told me she loved me but it was time to move on then I never heard from her after that. Fast forward to a couple of months later and she is now in another serious relationship however this time with an artist guy who lives out of state. It is long distance but have a feeling he will move to be with her. I was very hurt by this because not only do I miss her and her kids and our hopes of a future together but I also feel I invested several years on her and her kids for nothing and I was just tossed aside like a piece of trash for not doing things "right". I was also told by her and her mother that I was "not meant to be a full time dad"(the exact thing I heard her mother and herself say about her ex when I first met her) even though I was good with her kids I wasn't good enough to do it full time. I would always try my best to help her as much as I could while working full time. I would pick her kids up from school on my days off, babysit and spend time with her kids whenever I could but if I couldn't do it she would let me know I was replacable without words then send very friendly smiley texts to her former father in law or ex to come and watch them and they always would. This was disheartening. My question is what is everyone's take on this situation and what did I do wrong?  Please be honest. And how can she move on so quickly with a guy who doesn't even live anywhere near her? How does she know he's going to be a "good full time dad?" I am very hurt by everything and just trying pick up the pieces at this point. I am not sure what I did worng. 

Sparkl3s's picture

I think you dodged a bullet. You left when she became abusive, emotional abuse is just as bad as physical. 
 

You didn't do anything wrong you stuck to your guns. Lots of step parents/future step parents come here to find the strength to do what you did. 
 

You might be sad right now but if you hadn't followed your gut instinct would you be happier? I don't think so because she is going to continue that enmeshed relationship with her ex ya know "for the kids". 
 

Maybe you should find a therapist to help sort your feelings and rebuild. Take your experiences as lessons learned and keep listening to red flags in relationships. 

Gimlet's picture

As far as bullet dodging goes, OP is mother trucking Neo.  This woman is a disaster. 

I agree about getting some counseling.  We accept the love we think we deserve. 

susanm's picture

You did nothing wrong.  You played the part she wanted but when you wanted to move beyond that and actually be in a serious relationship it was time for her to kick you out.  She is enmeshed with her ex and is going to stay that way even though he makes her unhappy - your basic obsessive relationship.  Having a boyfriend is fun and exciting and lets her play jealousy games with the ex.  No new guy is ever going to "close the deal" with her.  Even her mother is participating in the crazy.  You are well out of it.  Be glad that you are out and find a nice woman to have a good relationship with.  You did nothing wrong here.

susanm's picture

Can't live with them but can't live without them.  The high-drama first big love that everyone else gets over and moves on to mature functioning relationships but some people just get stuck and never manage to completely untangle themselves.

markwvualum's picture

She is abusive. She also has an emeshment (and possibly emotional affair going on) with her ex and unhealthy patterns repeating themselves. When the relationship was new, the mother and her talked badly about her ex. Now they are talking badly about you. Give it time and they will both be talking badly about her new squeeze. Remove yourself from this toxic mess. You deserve much better than this. She is abusive and is not relationship material. It also sounds like she is also codependent as she always need someone around to take her problems out on and do her babysitting for her. When you refused to be that person she replaced you. What she really needs is to be single for awhile and work on herself and find out why she feels the need to be abusive and also codependent. Find someone who will treat you with respect. She did not respect you nor did her kids nor mother. 

CLove's picture

And remain without this person in your life.

In therapy you can discuss why you need to be treated like dirt and used. Perhaps research codependency.

I dont mean to be trite. But my DH has co dependency issues and stayed with his now ex for more than 15 YEARS. And she treated him badly and was verbally and physically abusive.

Kona_California's picture

You can remind yourself it was a good decision to leave just by how she reacted to you when you tried talking to her. The essence of a relationship, no matter what's involved, is being able to hear the other person out, come up with a compromise, and change behavior to make the relationship better. The fact that she shut you down when you tried bringing up your thoughts means she is the sole decision-maker in the relationship. That your opinions, thoughts, feelings don't matter. It is extremely difficult going into a step situation as it is. The only way it can be successful is if your perspective matters, your voice is heard and the things you want are factored in. She is very selfish and doesn't care about how you feel. If you get back with her it will be the same thing all over again. You did a really hard thing and you should be proud of yourself!

It's easy to think you wasted a lot of time, but you actually didn't. You grew as a person by a lot being in this dynamic. You also have a solid sense of what qualities are deal-breakers for your future relationships. 

I'm not sure how you know about what's going on in her life. If you're in touch with her or connected through social media, I would suggest cutting off all communication and blocking her. It's MUCH harder to move on when they're still in your face. Just feel sorry for the new guy and don't look back. You deserve so much more.

SecondNoMore's picture

I'm about your age... if the way you describe yourself is true, you can do much, much better than that mess. Single, child-free, good-looking guys in their early 40s who are in great shape and have good jobs should have no problem finding a child-free woman to go have a really cool life with... the kind of life someone with kids can't have. But you have to believe that, believe that you're a catch. Sounds like this woman had a lot of unfinished business. Get a little therapy going and find out why you would hang around that shady situation. 

notsurehowtodeal's picture

You didn't do anything wrong. You became involved with someone is not ready for a relationship and probably never will be. Quit worrying about her next relationship - quit following her on social media. It is time to move on.

I'm going to say this as gently as I can, and if I am wrong, please don't take it as an attack on you. If there is any possibility you are a member who has posted about this situation before under another name, please contact a therapist and get some "real life" help. You deserve to be happy, and your ex SO was not the one who was going to give you a happy life. You didn't do anything wrong and you need to understand that. It was your SO - not you. You need to let it go, learn from the relationship, and move on.

readingandlearning's picture

You didn't do anything wrong Move on. She didn't deserve you. She was abusive towards you and not emotionally available. She had no business being in a relationship and still doesn't. Let her be her current guys problem.

Curious Georgetta's picture

to know this woman. It sounds as though you had some happy times during this discovery period but also experienced ways in which you were not necessarily compatible. You did not agree with the outcomes of her parenting style ; not did you agree with or approve of the way that she conducted her co-parenting relationship with her ex husband.

It seems that she realized that these differences would not lead to a compatible and satisfying long term relationship for either of you.

I am not certain why you felt that you wasted time. You had a largely pleasant relationship that led to some significant discoveries. Would you have preferred to be in an unhappy relationship or marriage simply because you had made a  substantial time investment?

You cannot force people to become what you would rather that they be or become. You either love the person that they are or spend time thinking that you love the person that you wish them to be.

You experienced the woman and found the relationship lacking and troubling in many ways. Obviously, she felt the same way.

Walking away from something that is not working is not a sign of failure. Some would say that is an indication of wisdom.

Go back to the dating pool and look for someone who shares your views and perspectives.

readingandlearning's picture

So the fact that she never would hear his perspective on things and would shut him out and kick him out isn't abusive? And the fact that she was hiding that her ex was over and lie about it isn't cheating? And that the shady stories never added up about her ex aren't a reflection of a person hiding something? You neglect to address this in your post. 

advice.only2's picture

How did she move on so quickly?!! She was already cheating on you with her ex.  You say she and her mother claimed he was involved in drugs, I'm curious if she was as well and her mother is an enabler.

look at it this way, you managed to get out of this situation largely unscathed.  She has no claim over your money or your house, all things you could have lost out on had you married her.

Belinda33's picture

I think she is the narcissist here (maybe not her ex) and the rest of it is standard stepparent treatment. Do everything for her and the kids and get nothing in return. Most of the time it’s a one way street because you’re never an equal priority to them. You always come last to the kids and they always have too much power in the home. Because your not “the parent” you are expected to shut up. But then when it’s convenient to them you babysit and do everything else for no thanks, because they just expect it. Good move leaving. Don’t look back. It’s something I wish I did at 12 months when the red flags started popping up. Now I have to stay and try to make it work, but my advice to friends is always the same. Think twice as hard before dating a single parent. Double standards and expectations everywhere you look. 

captjacksprrw's picture

You cannot save or fix for the kids.  Enjoy the positives you had from them. She needs serious counseling and work an is in no way ready for a relationship.  If you value your health and sanity, cut all ties with her and never see her again.  Eventually, a woman who is ready for a real relationship will come along.

You did nothing wrong in regards to her.  However, one piece of honest advice I can offer..... Stop being so much a people pleaser.  I did this and it was my 50% for my first marriage failing.  You can indeed do too much and you cannot fix nor rescure someone.  Look instead for a true partner who will work alongside you in the relationship. 

Thumper's picture

OP you wrote:

 I was told by my her and her mother that he was a loser and during their marriage they fought a lot and she would call her parents to vent for advice. I was also told he never had what it took to be a full time dad and was very selfish.

-----------------------------------------------------------

When I read this ^^^ I knew it was over for you.

. Run, do not look back. Right there is a what A PROBLEM looks like.  Girlfriend and Granny tag teaming is trouble.

**I will leave my own personal experience out of this--but please know, this is NOT good.**

Do not over look all of these flags.

 

jesstrem's picture

Yes granny and daughter tag team against spouse is a recipe for big trouble (aka divorce). However a good spouse would not allow their mother to interfere in their marriage. Just some food for thought.

jesstrem's picture

This sounds exaclty like BM. She was verbally and emotionally abusive towards my DH. He told me at first things started out great. She convinced him to move to another state for her and he did. They married and had a child. As soon as the baby was born together things started to change. She became emotionally and verbally abusive towards him. She was always telling him his career was never good enough, he never made enough money, wasn't there enough for her (brat) kids from her previous relationship, and would even suggest to him how to dress, what to wear, etc and compare him to other men. On top of that she was seeing baby daddy number 1 on the side (he found out later after they divorced). She also had issues with rage and anger and would frequently blow up at him over nothing. Anytime he mentioned anything to do with her skids (who act terribly) she would rage and kick him out of the house. Finally, after breaking up and getting back together about a dozen times, he got the courage to leave and not go back. He filed for divorce and she was livid.  She bad mouthed him to her family and turned everyone agianst him by smearing his name (she did the same thing with baby daddy number one). 6 weeks after he left she met a guy online (a musician and you should see this guy, what a total dog compared to my DH who is very handsome) and she remarried right after their divorce was final. What a joke and this all happened while she was still trying to get my DH back and she never mentioned it to him. This devastated my DH as I believe he was used by her and also used to the abuse and had trauma bonding. My DH is good looking, stays in shape, dresses nice, works hard, and never understood what he did wrong. My DH stayed single for nearly four years then finally decided to get out and date again. Still to this day he has issues with anxiety and trust because of her. Luckily loving friends, family and a wonderful therapist got him through the worst of it. This can happen to men too and quite often these birth moms are ruthless. What ever happened to her homely musician husband? They are now divorced and she is now with another homely weird guy. I've seen photos of these men she has been with on social media since my DH left her and let me tell you they can't hold a candle to my DH, looks, career or otherwise. She had a true gem and lost him. Her loss. Now she has 3 kids with 2 different men and is on her fourth "serious" relationship in less then 7 years. Her cycle of abuse continues. The only issue is he is still connected to her because of their daughter who is lovely but BM is ruining her with her bad parenting and trying her best to turn her against him. She tried to get it to where he could not see her and he spent thousands fighting her on it and won. Good thing he has a good job and can afford great lawyers who won't back down to her manipulations. They are not scared of her and won't bow down to crazy. He won't be manipulated by her like baby daddy number 1 is. My DH is now trying to go for full custody of his daughter which I hope he gets. The funny thing is BM acts like she is a great hard working single mom who has it together yet needs a savior when the reality is all she ever does is take take take from people and uses and abuses those whom she is with. She is also in a lot of debt from her shopping compulsions and who knows what else. She is also lazy and on her phone constantly. She was always trying to get money out of my DH but has since backed down because of his lawyers. He is making sure his child support goes to his daughter, not her.  He is cordial to her because of their daughter but he will not be manipulated and used by her any longer like baby daddy 1 was and still is. She was also with 3 different men in a 5 year span who were around her kids and got to know them and now she is with a fourth man. I truly feel sorry for her kids because she is not a good mother. She lacks self refleciton and awareness that she is an abusive person. She needs help but I doubt she will ever seek it out. Abusers are truly terrible people and I do believe in karma.

Rags's picture

What you did wrong was choose an entitled, manipulative, prior relationship breeding user and then tolerated her crap over and over and over again rather than telling her to FO the first time she played her games.

Grow some balls man and have some confidence.  You are a caring man but you have zero confidence.  People like your good riddance she is gone X should  not get second chances with decent men much less 7 years of chances.

Quit being such a sniveling cry baby and recognize that you are in a far better place with this toxic breeder, her spawn, her mother and her X fading into your past.  Why do you care that she has moved on?  It is far better to celebrate that she, her crotch droppings, her XH and her parents are out of your life.  

You did not invest 7 years on her and her spawn. You wasted 7 years of your life on them.  For something to be an investment it has to have a return.  Once it proves that it is a shitty investment it is time to cut your loses.  That point was years ago.   Hopefully you have learned something and will never again tolerate this kind of manipulative, characterless, manipulative entitlement breeder in your life any longer than up until the first time they pull the  kind of crap this toxic woman put your through for 7 years..

Just my thoughts of course.

Good luck

And enjoy your new life adventure with this POS and her shallow and polluted gene pool in your past..

Dizzyjell's picture

Anyone who blows up at you for stating thoughts and opinions is not someone you want to be in a relationship.  Anyone who silences you or routinely breaks up and tells you to leave when they are upset is an a-hole. Let her stay in her drama and poor attitude. No man will eant to be with a woman like this. Also, she sounds enmeshed with her her ex and her mom. The new guy wont stick around. Also, her mocking you and saying Oh thanks for doing me the "big favor" of watching her kids so she could run errands, diminishing what you volunteered to do when you did not have to is all kinds of wrong. Idk why some of these bioparents think that anything steps do should be poo poo'ed. The fact is you didn't have to help her at all and she crapped on you. Ridiculous. Their rationale is completely stupid. She did you a total favor and sounds completely immature. Also, her saying you aren't fit to be a full time dad is ridiculous.  If you had your own kids they'd not say that; and also her kids have their own full time dad. Once again, it's a way of diminishing you. I'm angry for you and I'm so happy you got out  She is not good relationship material. Anyone who silences you and demeans you, diminishes what you say is not good partner mateirla.and thatvdoesnt get into all her issues with her kids, ex, their schedule, codependency,  her covering up hanging out with her ex and her nosy/gossiping mom. I'd never speak to her again. She was very rude and unkind to you. 

Guiltriddenameteur's picture

She did you a favour showing you her true colours. Please don't give her a second thought. You did nothing wrong and she should have never expected you to "babysit" her kids. The fact she said the same about the dad as she did about you tells me she is the problem and she manipulates and bullies her partners. That is an abusive relationship and I feel sorry for the artist. Fast forward a few years and I'm sure it will end the same for him. Move on and find yourself a genuinely nice woman.