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FWSM1964's picture

In a previous post, I have received a lot of flak for being in my situation.  My partner, as well, has been criticized in this online forum.  I have also received some excellent advice and suggestions which I am planning on taking.  However, I am interested in hearing more about similar experiences and how you handled your situation.

I have been in a relationship of over four years with a wonderful separated man who has been trying to process his divorce for the last two years without much success. His wife (BM) from whom he has been separated for almost fifteen years will not cooperate. He even went to look for documents in the drawers and closets of the matrimonial home where BM and the two youngest SK's live, and came up empty. He is now seeking legal advice.

BM also told my partner that she will never accept his new partner, or the fact that he has a new partner.  She has been hosting Christmas and birthday parties for her children and their partners at the matrimonial home and invites my partner to co-host.  Lately, he has been going for the meal and leaving shortly thereafter so he can be with me. 

My partner has also attempted to hold birthday parties for his children and their partners at his place or at a restaurant (even without me being present), but all of them want to have it in the matrimonial home. This is the home in which they grew up. My partner did not start the divorce proceedings sooner so as not to make them leave their home before they were ready and neither can afford to buy the other out.

After the separation, BM became very "religious" and so too did the two younger SK's. The older two were not raised in the church, and moved away from home about two years ago.  Around the same time, he asked his four children to meet me.  

Only one (SS33) has met me, and it was only twice.  He does not wish to meet me again. My partner tried to invite him and his girlfriend out to dinner with me a few times, with no results.  Last summer, SS33 invited my partner via text to a barbecue at his new home.  My partner asked if the invitation was extended to me, and there was no further response on that topic.  When questioned, SS33 "cannot bring himself to do it" as BM is all alone.  Whenever my partner asks him to explain, he shuts down.

Another (SS30), who lives thousands of miles away has not yet found the time to meet me when he and his girlfriend come back to visit their families and friends. When they do visit, BM insists on meeting SS30 and his girlfriend in the presence of my partner, the girlfriend's mother, and the girlfriend's stepfather.  The rest of the time, SS30 and his girlfriend are visiting friends.

The third (SD24) screamed at her father not to force her to do anything and stormed out of the room when he asked her a second time when she would like to meet me.  The first time was a year earlier, when she replied she needed more time.  SD24 also stated that she does not want to meet me for the first time at her 2019 wedding and told her father to make sure not to bring me.  My partner was torn about going himself, but I convinced him to go and I went away that weekend with three of my children and had a blast.  SD24 still doesn't want to meet me and has just moved back home to the matrimonial home where BM still lives, and for which my partner pays 50% of the mortgage and  taxes.

The youngest (SD20) agreed to meet me at one point, but then changed her mind.  She also lives in the matrimonial home and will move out when she gets married.  SD20 is concerned about meeting me because she feels she cannot give me a "fair shake" because of her mother's and sister's feelings.  Just recently, her and her partner blocked me on facebook.  I didn't even know that she knew my last name, but she could have found me on her father's facebook even if they aren't facebook friends.

A few years ago, BM  started contacting my partner's mother and siblings (when she had no prior interest in them).  BM told them that she would get their son/brother back and that she is patient.  They did not laugh in her face, but they told my partner and me that she's being ridiculous.  His mother and siblings have already accepted me into their family.

In regards to my family, I have four BK's over the age of 19.  The oldest two live away from home and the youngest two live with me.  All of them have met my partner. My eldest only asked if he could meet my partner after we had been dating at least one year.  My eldest, who is somewhat shy around new people, now feels confident that my partner makes me happy and is polite to him.

The other three were also pleased to meet my partner because he makes me happy.  They feel comfortable to chat with my partner about their personal lives, beliefs, name it.  There's a comraderie between them and it warms my heart. We have birthday parties at my home and everyone is invited, including my children's partners and my partner. We take them out to restaurants together, go shopping together, and basically hang out together when we can, despite our busy schedules.

I have to credit my partner for helping me create a harmonious home with my children as it hasn't always been this way. I feel my partner's heavy heart and wistfulness that his children aren't as accepting of his partner as mine are.  He enjoys bonding with my children but feels that his children are missing out by not meeting me and I'm missing out by not meeting them.  He also feels that he is missing me when he's not with me. In fact, his ideal scenario is that all eight children would hang out with the both of us at the same time.

After reading some of the stories on this forum, I am thinking of disengaging from my partner's children.  He is helpful as he doesn't talk about them with the exception of saying if he is going to meet one of them.  Usually, it's his eldest son with whom he is closest as his younger son lives far away and visits infrequently.  His daughters lately seem "too busy" to meet him, as they would rather spend their time with their partner's parents and BM with whom they live. BM seems to have negatively influenced these children, and that's an understatement.

In a previous post, I have received a lot of flak for being in my situation.  My partner, as well, has been criticized in this online forum.  I have also received some excellent advice and suggestions which I am planning on taking.  However, I am interested in hearing more about similar experiences and how you handled your situation.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

a cost to that.

Your bf's adult kids have no desire to interact with you, so yes, disengagement is the best option.

Your bf has accepted, tolerated, and enabled their disrespect and exclusion of you, even going so far as to leave you and having dinner with them on holidays. This only rewarded the poor behavior and hardened their stance against you. He gave up all of the leverage he had, and because this dynamic has gone on for so many years it's unlikely to change.

My DH and I are estranged from both of his adult daughters. Why? Because we don't tolerate mistreatment, and because my DH doesn't tolerate disrespect of his wife.

FWSM1964's picture

Good points raised, Exjuliemccoy.

I have discussed with my partner how his children's behaviour towards me and him is disrespectful.

My partner is contemplating disengaging from them, as well.

Time will tell.

Peach's picture

She wants your husband to come back to her.  He has enabled this behavior by going along with meetings at the "matrimonial" home.  I put that in quotes because there really is no matrimonial home - they are no longer living together as spouses.  If neither one of them can afford to buy the other out, then the house needs to be sold.  He should not be on the hook for 50% of a house that he doesn't live in.  He is stepping to their tune the whole way and then wonders what is wrong.  They know that they can manipulate him.  I have lived this too.  If you are a good decent person, then someone who is not a good decent person will eat you up and spit you out.  Your situation will only change if your BF makes it change.  After two years, he can get a divorce if he really wants to.  He just either doesn't have the guts to take the actions to do it or he doesn't want to do it.  This is not a situation that I would put up with - your BF can fix it.

OKtoStep's picture

Is not going to help with this. My divorce is already into 15 months and we haven't even hashed out custody yet. If it has to go to trial, we are looking at the end of 2021/beginning of 2022.

If they are still financially tangled up, it's going to be a nightmare. 

OP, those aren't your step kids. They are the adult children of your partner. They can dance naked around the Maypole for all you should care what they do. Your partner's actions are the disturbing part. He should have no reason at all to talk with his ex-ish wife. All finances should be immediately separated and all communication through lawyers. If his kids want to play petty games then they need to be on the outside of the comfortable boundaries he sets.

Is his wife still on his insurance? Can she support herself as a single woman? Living together or not, they have acted as a married couple for close to 40? years. Your man is probably going to have to pay spousal support and split his retirement and investments with her. 

Winterglow's picture

That's the silly part of all this - his ex earns much more than him and his kids are adults, so none of the usual worries about child support, spousal support, or custody ...

The only thing that appears to cause a problem is the jointly owned home and you'd think that by the time they'd been separated for 15 years that would have been dealt with. There really is no valid reason for this guy to drag his feet if he wants to build a new life with OP.

OKtoStep's picture

I completely agree. 

i am curious about what paperwork he needed from his wife's home to work on the divorce. Is there more to this story that he isn't telling OP?

FWSM1964's picture

There is no more to the story than that, Winterglow.

FWSM1964's picture

Yours is a valid question, OKtoStep.

He needed all the financial paperwork, including deed to house, mortgage documents, etc. in order to calculate "net family property".

FWSM1964's picture

Good points, Winterglow.

My partner did not want to "kick" his children out of the "matrimonial" home as would happen upon its sale.

He now realizes his mistake and BM's adeptness in "playing the victim" to him and to the SK's.

The real victims are my partner and I as our future is being compromised by his ability to be manipulated by BM into not taking proper action.

Winterglow's picture

Absolutely! Besides he wouldn't have been kicking them out - all she had to do was buy him out. 

FWSM1964's picture

OKtoStep, I am sorry that it is taking so long for your divorce to be processed.

The situation is this: he is no longer on his wife's insurance.  She earns over 1.5 times as much as he earns and has her own personal investments (while he has none). 

When they were living together, he paid all the bills with his income.  She is a spendthrift, so some of the money was invested for her personally and some wasted on frivolous items.  When she runs out of money for the children, he sends her money.

In regards to the SK's, I fully agree with your statements.  

Best of luck to you!

Winterglow's picture

Please tell me he no longer sends her money. The "children" are now fully grown adults who should be standing on their own two feet!

She really did have a nice nimber gong there, didn't she? He paid for all the family expenses and she got to use her earnings for her personal pleasure and enrichment. Sickening.


FWSM1964's picture

I am sorry that you have lived this too, Peach.  You have made some excellent points.

BM told my partner two years ago that she will not fight the divorce, and he has believed her until just last month.

I recently asked him what part of refusing to disclose financial information and other documentation is not consistent with "fighting the divorce".  He could not answer me.

My partner is now taking a much more adversarial approach with BM, as he has finally retained a lawyer to assist him with processing the divorce.  It's much better than trusting BM to deliver documents on the "12th of Never".

youdonotdefineme's picture

At least there is honesty in one way from the Skids.  They don't want to meet you they have voiced that.  Great, that shortcuts you years of trying to get them to like you them pretending they do (when they want something) and the harsh reality you meant nothing to them, several years down the road.

Now you only have to deal with your shitty partner.  He hasn't even managed to grasp the basics of separation from his ex yet and is going to perhaps have a bit of paper which states he is divorced but will very likely still be cow-towing to his ex's "Christmas is at mine's." command because he is too afraid to say No.

You might decide he isn't worth it.


FWSM1964's picture

Yes, youdonotdefine me, you are very correct in that I needn't waste time and resources on my SK's now that I know how they feel about me.

In regards to Thanksgiving and Christmas, my partner told me that this year he will not attend the "matrimonial" home. 

Part of his reasoning lies in the fact that his cow-towing did nothing to encourage the SK's to meet me.

My partner thought that if he compromised, they would compromise too and soften their stance against me.  No chance.

We'll see how this plays out this year.

tog redux's picture

BM might well be poisoning them. Neither you nor DH have any control over that. He can control whether or not he continues to  kowtow to her demands and play Happy Family. He never really separated from her and the kids, not emotionally. And if he does that, he may lose his kids, that's clear. So he needs to decide what he's willing to do, and you need to decide how long you are willing to wait. Honestly, 4 years is a long time to put up with this crap already. 

FWSM1964's picture

Tog redux, I agree with you fully.

I was okay to wait for two years as the relationship was somewhat new.

However, when my children already accepted my partner by the one year mark, and his children struggled to do that and continue to struggle, I knew it was time to get the divorce started.

At the beginning of year 2, BM told my partner that she would not "fight" the divorce.  However, over the past 24 months she has failed to give him financial and other necessary documentation for which he asked over 8 times. 

Recently, my partner looked himself in a cluttered office in the "matrimonial" home with BM, but neither one could find it.  His eyes have finally been opened to her passive-aggressivity. After that last search, he called a lawyer.

still learning's picture

Neither you nor DH...

He's her married boyfriend not her DH. He's still married to the lady living in his house. How many of us would want to establish a relationship with the woman dad's having a relationship with while still married to mom? Not trying to be moralistic, just being real.  Cart before the horse here. OP needs to chill and let the divorce dust settle (if the divorce ever happens) before planning barbeques with his kids.  

FWSM1964's picture

Very good points, still learning.

BM has been pining for the children's father in front of them.

Fifteen years is a long time, and the divorce is now underway.

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

I agree the kids are adults, there is no reason at all at this time for your DP not to push in court for the sale of the house. It's time he seperates himself financially from BM. Yes it could take years if they have complicated finances for attorneys to sort that all out. But the home is simple it's 50/50. 

LostinSpaceandTime's picture

The mortgage info from the mortgage or title company, copy of marriage license from courthouse, etc. 

Bypass the BM and get the documentation from the original source company. 

Definitely do not go further with this guy until he gets his ducks in a row. And do not line his ducks up for him. He has to do the work.  

Forget a relationship with the adult skids. Live your life as if they do not exist. He can see them outside your home without the BM present.  

my DH has three adult daughters and five grandchildren. We have been together 13 years. The first five years seemed ok, then they all showed their true colors.  It is not worth the effort. I am the only one in this mess who had to go to counseling, vent on a online forum, etc. 

None of the three of them think they did anything wrong. They are as soulless as the day is long. 

Only you can decide if it is worth sticking around for this man.  

I have built a home with my DH and we get along just fine without his kids in our daily life. He really only sees them a few times a year. We have two lovely fur kids together.  

Read on the Adult Stepchildren forums. Good luck. 


FWSM1964's picture

Very good points, LostinSpaceandTime.

My partner realizes that he now needs to bypass the BM and get the documentation from the original source company. 

I am sorry that your SK's are soulless, but it sounds like your life is fulfilling without their presence in it. Although it is somewhat disappointing to me, I am starting to be okay with living my life as if the SK's don't exist.

Even though the youngest two do not want to see him in the absence of BM, my partner is committed to trying to see them outside the matrimonial home in order to allow BM to finally move on.  SD24 and SD20 haven't yet taken him up on that offer, so he's willing to accept seeing less of them (if at all).

Interestingly enough, SD20 would rather spend time with her fiance's parents than with my partner and BM.  She says she hates living in the matrimonial home.

Rags's picture

Of course SD20 would rather spend time with her FILs instead of the shit show her parents have made of their lives, their kid's lives and decades long failed family.

In her case, so would I.

FWSM1964's picture

Yes, it makes perfect sense, Rags.

MissTexas's picture

and it sounds like the "kids" are running (ruining) the show.

The first 2 years were "new" and now you're 4 years in. How many more "4 more years" do you have to give?

Everything is on rocky footing, because your partner is not only allowing it, but his silence is affirmation. Each and every time he decides to attend functions as a "happy family" without you, he is reinforcing they matter more than you.

Where is his respect for you? Don't you matter? Doesn't your vote count? He is proving he has no respect by his actions and lack thereof.

My grandmother used to say, "We always have time and money for the things and people we put first." In other words, if someone or something is a priority, they COME FIRST, NOT LAST.

I know you are hoping for this divorce to materialize, but it just seems like he is having his cake and eating it too. He has the appearance of being a "family man" when he chooses, then being with you and taking advantage of all you provide for him.

Let me be abundantly clear here...your SO IS THE FACILITATOR OF ALL THESE ISSUES, his offspring are symptomatic. The symptom is: they have been "turned against you", the cure is: SO takes the helm and drives the ship and navigates the murky waters of laying down his expectation of how things are going to work with BM, his "kids" and you. They are never going to accept you, as they will see you as the reason dad left mom, if he in fact decides to get the lead out of his feet and move forward.

Take a couple giant steps back, remove your rose colored love goggles and read the writing on the's there.

FWSM1964's picture

Thank you, Rags.

Rags's picture

Please be good to yourself.  Whatever the situation may be with your SO and his never ending marriage to his XW and his dogged insistence on worshipping his toxic prior relationship failed breeding experiments.

Take care of  you.