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FWSM1964's picture

My partner's two sons (SS33 & SS29) accept that he has moved on, and have come around.  They are willing to socialize with both my partner and I.  This is just recent as they previously only socialized with my partner.  I am thankful for these small steps forward.

However, my partner's daughters (SD25 & SD21) have not accepted that their father has moved on after 15-16 years of separation. They are still living with BM, working at jobs; not paying rent as to save up for a place with their own partners (husband & fiance). To be fair, SD21 has just finished her schooling.

BM cannot afford the mortgage on her own with her two daughters not paying rent, so she relies upon my partner to pay 50% of the mortgage as long as they own the house together. 

This was fine, but it was agreed that the home would be sold in 2021 as the youngest daughter just finished school. Well, guess what, folks? That's not happening.

My partner's divorce process is progressing, but BM is doing everything in her power to prevent the sale of the matrimonial home, including convincing the SD's not to move out any time soon.  My partner is forbidden from discussing this with his daughters nor do they want to speak to him about it either.

I believe that if they want to live with BM and their husband (SD25)/fiance (SD21), but don't want to contribute financially, then they all could move to a smaller house in the same area, which BM could afford, liberating their father's equity and severing ties to BM.

Although a spendthrift, BM does have a steady income and an excellent pension which she refuses to share with my partner.  She can afford more than she is letting on, yet provides excuse after excuse as to why the matrimonial home cannot be sold.

We could get a judge to force the sale of the matrimonial home, but my partner is afraid of his daughters hating him for uprooting them from their own home; a home that both of them were so eager to leave before COVID. 

SD's refuse to speak with my partner about his moving on with his life.  They would prefer to speak to BM about this as she continues to brainwash them.

News flash: BM has alienated the SD's from their own father.  Who knows what they think of him?  They say they love him, but actions speak louder than words.

My partner has an excellent relationship with both of his sons, but not a good relationship at all with his daughters.  They refuse to meet him outside of the matrimonial home (which he no longer visits) and rarely text or reply to his texts.

I feel bad for him as I have an excellent relationship with all of my children, even my eldest who lives with his father.  The other three live with me, and adore my partner.  All parties who accept us moving on are male children, while his female children are BM's proxies.

What can we do to keep the divorce process moving along? 

notsurehowtodeal's picture

They have been "separated" for 15 years, if they really wanted to be divorced, they would be. You ask what you can do to move along the process - that is easy. SO pays a retainer for a lawyer, does the paperwork, and serves BM with the paperwork. Then his lawyer contacts her lawyer and they either work things out, or they go to mediation. If that doesn't work, they go to court.

In the meantime, he needs to have a "come to Jesus" with his daughters. He tells them he is getting a divorce from their mother, but that doesn't mean he doesn't love them. If they want to see him great, if they don't - the door is always open. Then you move on with your lives.

FWSM1964's picture

Wise words, notsurehowtodeal.

My partner has retained a lawyer who prepared the divorce documents, but BM will not even hire a lawyer.

My partner is ambivalent about what to do with the matrimonial home as neither he nor her can afford it on their own, and she doesn't want to sell it. I guess he will go to court then.

I, too, suggested that he have a "come to Jesus" with his daughters, but they barely speak with him as it is. They refuse to talk to him about his moving on as it would be disloyal to their mother.

In one conversation two years ago, they did say that they might accept him moving on once he is divorced.  However, in the same breath, they stated that their mother doesn't want a divorce and wants them to live with her for the next several years.

Despite this, my partner has told them that the door is always open and they can see him if they want.  They don't want, so we are moving on.

Even BM has started to somewhat move on. She no longer brings food to my partner's workplace and only calls to ask for money for the mortgage and my partner's car insurance and telephone expenses. Previously, she used to call for all sorts of reasons.

I have asked him to separate his expenses from hers, but he wants to wait for the divorce and home issue to be settled. I feel like I am living in a hamster wheel.

notsurehowtodeal's picture

It sounds like he is taking "baby steps" in a positive direction - but the pace is way too slow. Maybe it is time for you to have a "come to Jesus" with him and give him a time table by which he needs to be divorced or you are done. I went back and read your first post - he has been actively "trying" to divorce her for two years - that is long enough. He needs to serve her papers and be done with it. If she doesn't get a lawyer, he can proceed anyway.

FWSM1964's picture

Thank you, notsurehowtodeal.  It appears that he is taking baby steps. Since he engaged his lawyer last year, he has been constantly prodding him to move forward. While his lawyer would prefer to work with another lawyer, I believe that things are moving forward despite the fact that my partner's ex doesn't have one.

StrawberryPie's picture

Yeah, I agree w the above poster.  These steps that are happening are at glacial pace.  She does not need to have a lawyer for him to serve her w divorce papers, but I think you knew that.  If your partner wanted to be divorced, he would be.

FWSM1964's picture

I agree with you about the glacial pace, Strawberry Pie.  However, my partner's lawyer stated that he would prefer to deal with my ex's lawyer, and to this day, she has not retained one. 

I did not realize that she didn't need a lawyer to negotiate the papers which my partner served on her. I guess she can communicate directly with my partner's lawyer and state what aspects of the divorce she finds objectionable and take it from there. Thanks for letting me know that she doesn't need a lawyer to proceed with the divorce.

My partner does want a divorce, and is going through the steps needed to do that.  Previously, he believed that part of the divorce process was getting rid of the matrimonial home right under from the SD's and BM. (See my previous post.) He didn't want to do that.  The SD's don't appreciate his sacrifice and don't even like living with BM, so things are going full steam ahead.

strugglingSM's picture

Sounds like his lawyer is dragging things out on purpose...maybe to keep billing your SO who doesn't seem to mind paying for things of limited value to him (like the marital home that he is paying for three grown adults to live in). 

DH did not have a lawyer for his divorce from BM. Her lawyer was fine moving things forward without dealing with a lawyer and they were also managing a custody plan, which is usually more complicated than dividing assets.

Being separated for 16 years and still not divorced seems a bit hellish to me. If you have decided you don't want to be with a person, why continue to be legally tied to them, especially if the children are grown. Sounds like there might be a bit of co-dependency going on. 

FWSM1964's picture

You have made some good points, StrugglingSM.

Consumed by guilt at not living with his children, in 2016, my partner agreed to not selling the matrimonial home until the youngest child finished school. He has been committed to this plan, even though he recently found out that his daughters do not appreciate his sacrifice.

BM is very manipulative and has alienated his daughters from him.  Perhaps, in some strange way, he believes that being tied to BM through the matrimonial home will get his daughters' love.  I'm not sure what's going on there, because I don't understand it.

I told him that he could split the proceeds of the home, with his daughters moving in with BM into a more affordable home (less stressful for spendthrift BM) or with the daughters moving with their SO's (husband/fiance) into a new place, the latter of which would be more preferable for the SD's.

Rags's picture

If he will not force closure, quit wasting your time.  I understand that this is all infuriating for you. But... it is HIS fault.

Apparently nothing has changed since the last time you floated this whole nightmare for comment.

So... what are  YOU going to do differently.

simifan's picture


This. Your SO is the problem here. If he wanted to be divorced he would be. You are the other woman he is stringing along. 

tog redux's picture

She's not the other woman, I don't really get why people enjoy telling her this so much. Lots of people date men who are separated. I personally would not have the patience she's got, but just because he hasn't followed through on a divorce doesn't mean he's "stringing her along".  He seems very passive and terrified of BM and his daughters.

FWSM1964's picture

Rags, I am hoping that a divorce will end this nightmare. I have forced the issue and requested that my partner adhere to his stated timeline.

Once the ball of chain of shared assets gets distributed, hopefully things will become better, with BM and SD's finally accepting that my partner has moved on. One can only hope.

FWSM1964's picture

BM never contacts my partner any more except to ask for money, and has not extended an invitiation for several months.

My partner was waiting for SD25 and SD20 to move out of the matrimonial home, which has happened in February 2021.

My partner thought that he couldn't sell the matrimonial home until all the children moved out, but that has come to pass.

House is sale-ready and divorce is underway.

Hopefully, things are on track now!



Rags's picture

Has he listed the house for sale?  Seeing a for sale sign on the lawn might drive some action from BM.  The Lock Box hanging on the door knob and incessant calls from agents wanting to show the house, etc.... could be just what BM needs to start gaining clarity.  If she won't facilitate showings... he owns as much of the home as she does, he can meet the agents at the house for showings.

Check with the attorney.

FWSM1964's picture

Even though it appears that BM is on board with the house sale, even paying 50% of all the repairs and renovations to the house in recent months, she may stymie the actual house viewings.

My NEX did that; leaving excrement in the downstairs washroom for a prospective buyer's second viewing, attempting to knock over part of the fence on one side during showings, and a whole host of other mischiefs while I was at work the whole day.  Luckily, these particular buyers did purchase the house.

I will provide your advice to my partner and hope that the house sale goes off without a hitch.  Thanks again!

Rags's picture

I am so sorry you had to deal with that crap with your NEX.   It does appear that your SO is starting to drive some change in his long delayed divorce.  That is positive.

simifan's picture

My comments have nothing to do with dating while being seperated and everything to do with SO's lack of action and co-dependency with his estranged wife. 

FWSM1964's picture

That is very true, Tog.  I, too, believe that he is afraid of confronting BM and his daughters.

FWSM1964's picture

Simifan, I do felt strung along sometimes.  I am definitely not the "other woman", so my partner should put our financial future above that of BM's.  This is what is frustrating.  However, I do believe that he is coming around.

FWSM1964's picture

Rags, a lot has changed since my last post, so I am not sure to what you are referring.

Nevertheless, as a lot of posters (yourself included) have mentioned, what is frustrating for me is the slow pace of my partner's divorce.

Even more infuriating is the lack of respect shown my partner by his daughters, while he is nothing but kind to them.  However, these are not my monkeys and this is not my circus. Another similar comment from you along these lines brightened my day.

What I am doing differently is that I no longer passively encourage my partner in his divorce process.  I am more active and verbal in my opinion.

By the way, we told his lawyer that even if my partner's ex never retains a lawyer that he can and should communicate with her. My partner no longer wants to communicate with his ex, and believes it is fine for his lawyer to do so.

FWSM1964's picture

He has been calling lawyer to get final paperwork. Lawyer had wanted to wait until youngest child graduates from college, except she's no longer living at home and both she and her fiance work (SD20 part-time; fiance full-time).

My partner has asked BM if she doesn't recommend a real estate agent this week, he will be selecting one from the handful who he interviewed last week to begin immediately.

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

I would question his motives for not pushing for closure. Especially since now the SKs are adults. He is either not being honest with you. Or he is not being honest with himself. There is no rational reason for him to continue living this way after all these years.

I would also be angry that he is not fully committing to your relationship by ending his last one.

FWSM1964's picture

Wickedstepmo., I agree with your wise words, as I am angry that my partner is not fully committing to our relationship by ending his last one.

He needs to cut the cord. He needs to stop subsidizing BM's living arrangement to the detriment of our financial future.

However, he just found out that his daughters do not appreciate his financial sacrifice and do not like living with BM.  Selling the house might just be the push for all of them to lead happier lives.

tog redux's picture

He's made good strides, but now he's regressing. Even though he saw that his relationship with his sons got BETTER when he took steps to un-enmesh himself from BM, he's still making decisions based on fear of what his grown daughters will do. That needs to stop. He can't keep living in fear that every move he makes will be used by BM to alienate the daughters. It will be - but she will alienate regardless of what he does, so he should do what's best for him.

That being said, bitter divorcing partners can tie up divorces forever over jointly owned homes. They can refuse to put it on the market forcing a court date, then refuse to allow the realtor in, forcing a court date, then refuse to accept offers, forcing a court date ... etc.  DH and I looked at a house before we bought ours that was a complete mess - the realtor said the wife had been refusing the court's order to sell so the husband had to force her to allow realtors in to show the house. Well, he couldn't force her to clean it up before the realtor came!

BUT - he has to do his part. A plan needs to be made for the house and entered into the divorce decree. If she violates it (she will), he needs to return to court over it.  He would be doing his daughters a favor - she is using them as meat shields and not allowing them to move on (as they want) to keep your SO hooked into a fight with her over the home. For BMs like this, an endless fight is better than being "abandoned" entirely.

strugglingSM's picture

Oh yes, DH and I looked at several homes that were being sold as part of divorce settlements. In one instance, it just meant that neither party would accept an offer below their inflated asking price (months after we looked and they rejected our offer, they sold for below what we offered, out of necessity to meet a timeline, I imagine). In another instance, the ex husband, who owned the home outright had moved out of state, so only his ex wife (she was wife #4 for him) lived there during the selling process. At first, she refused to let people in, then a deadline must have passed and she was forced to move out. Because we had been interested in the place (it was priced to sell), we were one of the first to view it. She left it a mess. There was trash everywhere, including a kitty litter tray that had not been emptied in a while. She also left the death certificate for the man's previous wife, who had died of a drug overdose, sitting in the middle of the kitchen counter. Other personal files (not sure why he left all these) were strewn about in the home office. We did not make an offer, due primarily to the street noise, but it was a nice house and the people who bought it (we bought another house in the neighborhood, so knew when it sold) got a great deal on it because the price fell even further in the months after we viewed it.

FWSM1964's picture

Tog, I agree wholeheartedly with you. I have lived through this once with my narcissistic XH. I know what it is like when an ex-partner is upset that the other partner has moved on and found happiness without them.

When I was about to hand over the matrimonial house to the new owners, my XH got a court order to be in the house for one week and tracked mud all over all three floors. Needless to say I had 30 hours to clean the house in time for the new owners to take possession and I used most of those hours for that purpose. There were other things he did to the house to make it less sale-ready, but that could fill a book.

In regards to my SD's, BM has already alienated them. older SD moved out just after she got married in 2019, only to move back several months later after she landed a well-paying job.  She wants to save to buy a house with her husband by no longer paying rent.. I believe that BM convinced her to move back as the divorce was going to get finalized upon the sale of the house.  BM is closest to the older SD. The younger SD has been offered financial help and accommodations by her fiance's family and will take them up on it. However, she is waiting to get married to her fiance before she moves in with him.

My partner thinks that if he forces the sale of the house now that he would be depriving his BD's of a stable place to live.  It is the home they grew up in.  He feels guilty that he wasn't living with them as they grew up, as he left the marriage when they were only 6 and 10 years old. He feels that his relationship with his daughters would have been better if he had lived with them during this crucial time of their lives.

I asked him if they want to still live with their mother, she could move to a place that she can afford and they can move with her.  These SD's are no longer going to school in the neighbourhood.  The older SD"s husband is living there and he did not grow up in the area. They do not have to live in that specific location, or neighbourhood for that matter, in my opinion. 

I told him that his sacrifice (of losing access to his equity in the home) may not be as appreciated by his daughters as he thinks it is and may not necessarily be as good for his daughters as he thinks it is. Also, I believe by not insisting on the sale of the matrimonial home, he is sacrificing our future to the benefit of BM and to the detriment of our us.

What can I say to my partner to light the fire under him in regards to the house sale? There are a number of aspects of this divorce that will be fought.  My partner naively thought that BM would agree with him on all points, and is finding out that this is not the case.  I told him so, but he said he knew BM better than I did.  However, I have more experience with an ex-partner who is upset that the other partner has moved on and found happiness without them.

tog redux's picture

You seem to have the patience of a saint, with all you've put up with this guy. Tell him you are losing your patience, lol. 

Or point out that he's actually hurting his daughters by continuing this nonsense. He's only doing this for his OWN feelings, it benefits absolutely no one else. 

FWSM1964's picture

Tog, you have made some good points; however, I believe that my partner held off on selling the matrimonial home because BM didn't want to leave it as it was the only home their two youngest children knew.

A spendthrift with a well-paying job, BM was unable to carry the home on her own. My partner's job was not as well-paying as BM's and thus he couldn't carry the home on his own either.

Both BM and my partner believed that as soon as they started the divorce proceedings that they would need to quickly make a financial decision regarding the house, which neither wanted to make. At least this is what BM told my partner.

BM wanted my partner back and the matrimonial home was a symbol of their previous life together.  Even their daughters, once they finished high school, didn't really like living in the home with their mother.  My partner thought that they collectively would appreciate his sacrifice, but they barely speak with him now.

Winterglow's picture

It seems to me that with the sale of the house, he'll get closure on his marriage, something he doesn't have for the moment. I think it will be very beneficial to him to get rid of it and with it shake off the last chain that binds him to his ex. It could be a very liberating experience.

FWSM1964's picture

You couldn't have said it better, Winterglow.  These are precisely my thoughts.  I am looking forward to that day. Cheers!

IDontCare3117's picture

"My partner thinks that if he forces the sale of the house now that he would be depriving his BD's of a stable place to live."

His daughters are adults.  It's time they they figured outb how to make their own stability, especially the married one.  Maybe his relationship today with his daughters would be better if he'd stayed in the home when they were 6 and 10.  That's water under the bridge now, though, and it's the present that needs to be dealt with, not the past.  

Kaylee's picture

Yes, this!!! 

He will NOT be 'depriving his daughters of a stable place to live".

These girls are adults - they need to provide themselves with a place to live.

I get that they want to save for their own places, but there are many ways to save. I don't have any patience with adult children who move back home and pay NO rent, so they can "save up for a house".

If you want to save money 

1) Do overtime

2)Get a second job

3) Cut down spending on frivolities 

4) Walk places instead of driving everywhere 

The list goes on - but WTH, many kids these days have had it way too easy, and want Mummy and Daddy to provide for life. But that's Mummy and Daddy's fault, as they have always nambie pambied the kids, and never taught them life's lessons.

FWSM1964's picture

I agree with you, Kaylee! I don't understand why SD25 and her husband live rent free in the matrimonial home. 

They both have jobs. They are saving over $1,500 a month in not paying rent to an external landlord; some of those funds should come back to BM and my partner who are paying the mortgage on the matrimonial home.

As it is, spendthrift BM regularly asks my partner to give her an extra $20-40 here and there as she is having trouble paying her bills. SD25 refuses to pay her anything (because her mother is a spendthrift) and my partner refuses to get involved. Not sure why.  Any ideas?

FWSM1964's picture

That's a good insight, IDon'tCare3117.

We can only deal with the present, and I hope that my partner's daughters area able to create their own stability.

notsurehowtodeal's picture

It is a seller's market right now. Many home are selling for over the asking price and sometimes even over what they have been apraised for. This is the perfect time to sell a house. Your DH may not be motivated by money, but MB is. Has he even looked into what they can sell the house for and how much profit there might be in it? Maybe try that approach.

FWSM1964's picture

Notsurehowtodeal, I mentioned to him that now's a great time to sell.

I also stated that once the house prices have peaked it might even cost him more money to carry the 1/2 the mortgage of his house than what he would gain in property appreciation.  I think he's starting to come around.

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

My ex pulled every trick in the book over the house. Every realtor quit. After it happened 3x I took that evidence to court and it was ordered I buy him out of the house. He was given a 30 day eviction. 

He caused $10,000 in damage on his way out. But I had it fixed, sold the house 6 months later and I was finally able to move on with my life. It may not be easy but if you really want to put your past where it belongs in the past sometimes you have to do whatever it takes. 


FWSM1964's picture

Wicked stepmo., I am sorry that your ex gave you such a difficult time when you tried to sell your house. I am glad that you finally got resolution. 

I understand about exes causing damage to the house as that is what also happened to me with my ex. I managed to regain access and fix everything that he had done in order for the house to be buyer-ready.

I think the problem with my partner is that he believes that his ex appreciates his sacrifice of allowing her to stay in the home for 15 years post-separation, and that this appreciation will result in her being agreeble and non-combatative during the divorce proceedings. 

I told him "no way" and he is finally coming around to my way of thinking.

He first stated that he knows her better than I do; however, I stated that I know selfish, spiteful, and vindictive exes better than he does. I had one such ex drag me through the court for over seven years after we separated.  My partner could say nothing in response as BM is a very selfish, spiteful, and vindictive individual and that's why he divorced her. 


Stepdrama2020's picture


I just read your blogs. He cares more for his grown ass DD's , his ex wife than you. 

Those are cowardly excuses he is giving you. He is a lucky guy to have his bed warmer waiting oh so patiently because what an amazing man he is. He wants to make sure his ex wife, his DD's and even the fiance are comfortable. To hell with your comfort you can wait.

Why would you spend one more precious moment with a DH who talks out of two sides of his mouth? WHY?

None of them respect their dad, so do not ever expect you will get a crumb of anything respectful.You are not happy, you come second to nasty manipulative disrespectful bitches.  They will not stop ever. By the looks of it dear old dad will always succumb to the sick dynamic that have been decades in the making.

Imagine a life where you wake up alone. Imagine a life where there is solitude and peace. That will never be you if you stay.

Harsh yes,. Harsh made me leave. I am alone Guess what it feels better than being alone than alone in sick dysfunction. Put yourself first because this dick will never do that. You can blame the ex and SD's from here till the end of time. That will not change the fact that your DH failed you.

CLove's picture

Give him a timeline. Make certain that he knows that you cannot stick around forever. He needs to not let his daughters be emotional terrorists and hold him hostage.

I too had a relationship with DH before he was legally divorced from Toxic Troll. It was 1.5 years in that he started the process. It seems like its always because of money. DH started his process because his friends and family and myself were "pressuring him", but more importantly if the marriage lasts over 10 years, then alimony in perpetuity happens and he absolutely did not want that.

Your partner likely is dragging his feet because of money, in addition to wanting to cater to the princesses. They are adults, time to start "adulting".

FWSM1964's picture

Thanks for the wise words, CLove.

I have given him a timeline.  When we first met almost five years ago, he stated that he would sell the matrimonial home when his youngest finished school.  She was supposed to finish in the spring of 2020, but it got delayed to the spring of 2021. At the time, I stated that I was okay with this timeline, and have not wavered.

Just this month, I brought him back to that conversation and stated that I expect him to sell the matrimonial home this spring. He lives in a highly sought after neighbourhood and there are currently few, if any, other houses for sale there so demand is high.

I told him that I entered into our relationship with the above-noted understanding and would not have stuck around had he initially given me a later date, or had he changed the date to a later date over time.

In regards to his catering to the princesses, I currently now believe that it was BM and not necessarily SD's who wanted to stay in the matrimonial home.  Because of his poor relationship will all three of them, he did not have a full understanding of what was going on.  Now that he does, he believes that encouraging SD's to fly off into the sunset with their respective SO's is the best course of action.

FWSM1964's picture

I hear you, StepDrama2020. 

What particularly resonates with me is the fact that "He wants to make sure his ex wife, his DD's and even the fiance are comfortable. To hell with your comfort you can wait."

I have told him that he is sacrificing our financial future for the benefit of his ex-wife and I can no longer tolerate this. He owes her nothing.  He has already done too much, imo.

I am not a fan of ultimatums, but if I don't put my foot down nothing happens. Thanks for encouraging me to speak up.

At first, he stated that if BM moves, his children would be out of their childhood home. 

I told him that the children had been planning to move out 1-2 years after they graduated from university and forcing them to stay in a home that they do not appreciate is doing no one any favours, except for BM who uses the house as the remaining link between her and my partner.

Besides there is nothing tying them to that neighbourhood.  Their work and schooling are in the next 1-2 towns over.

The worst thing that could happen is that they all could move with BM to a house which she can afford (she is terrible with money, stresses over it constantly, and to have that stressor removed would be beneficial to her). 

The best thing is that SD's and their SO's could spread their wings and fly. Their older brothers have flown the coop years ago and are doing well.  They can too!


Kaylee's picture

Yeah because it's sickening that all these grown adults are sponging off your partner.....and he's allowing it.

I'd give him an ultimatum....I see you've written that that's what you're doing. But I think you need to follow through and give him set dates, and tell him that if it doesn't happen then you'll be gone.

Best of luck to you!

FWSM1964's picture

Thank you, Kaylee!  

His daughters are sponging off of him, do not appreciate it, and have not seen him since December 2019.

I have told him as much, and have given him spring 2021 as the deadline. 

This ties in with the timeline on the divorce documents.

Hopefully, all goes well.

I am grateful for StepTalk posters such as yourself who have given me the strength to stand up for myself.

Thank you!

FWSM1964's picture

The youngest two children (SD25 and SD20) have finally moved away from home, and BM couldn't be happier to live by herself. 

Even though they and their fiance/husband have jobs, it seems that the whole lot were also sponging off BM by living rent-free and having her pay for their phone bills, car insurance, food, and other things.  No wonder she couldn't pay the mortgage by herself.

The matrimonial house has been made sale ready and BM has finally accepted that she will be living in a smaller dwelling with payments she can afford without the financial help of my partner.

The divorce lawyer has been working on the documents and the end is in sight!