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FWSM1964's picture

I am looking for advice on how to handle the situation that all four SK's are refusing to visit their father in my presence; some even refusing to meet me for the first time.

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.

I am looking for advice on how to handle the situation that all four SK's are refusing to visit their father in my presence; some even refusing to meet me for the first time.

1dad4kids's picture

Well, your partner is probably feeling sad because he's wanting to share his joy of his partner with the kids he loves. 

I don't know if him continuing to have a relationship with their Mom without you there is healthy. I'm not sure what the answer is. If he asserts himself and forces her to allow you in the space with him and the kids, it's likely to backfire. That being said he can't really keep acting as though you don't exist and that he and their Mom have any form of future together. 

Gosh, this is tough. I'd try to stage a run in with them and kinda trick a meeting. Like next time the kids are in town make a plan to run into them while you know they are out for lunch or something. 

Otherwise, if your partner is supportive, disengage. 

FWSM1964's picture

1dad4kids, you hit the nail on the head.  That's it exactly. He wants to share his joy of his partner with the kids he loves and his joy of his kids with the partner he loves. 

In regards to BM, she has groomed the children and has alienated them from their father, particularly the youngest two. Even the older two feel pity for her as she "plays the victim".  She tries to set up situations to play "happy family" at the matrimonial home.

To his credit, my partner talks about me when he is there, and has told BM numerous times that they have no future together. In fact, the older two have told my partner to visit the matrimonial home less as it may lead to a wrong impression on BM's part.

However, the younger two do not want to meet my partner anywhere else but at the matrimonial home, so it's a catch 22.  As such, he is willing to see them less, but I can see that it pains him to do so.

He is supportive if I disengage, and that's why he doesn't talk about them anymore with the one exception I mentioned earlier.

1dad4kids's picture

Honestly, disengagement is probably your safest option now. It does seem like the older 2 have his support, and the younger 2 may come around once the divorce is final and they realize brining their dad into the house is no longer appropriate. 

FWSM1964's picture

1dad4kids, I agree with you.

My partner believes that once the divorce is final, things will improve as well.

In the meantime, he will keep extending invitations to the younger two.  They will eventually want to see him.

FWSM1964's picture

I hope so too, 1dad4kids.

Miss T's picture

" ... a wonderful separated man who has been trying to process his divorce for the last two years without much success."

Can't find papers? Can't tell his kids to go fly a kite when they clearly need telling? Ex still has his cojones in her possession?

In any case, it sounds like he can't move on. Two years of this degree of confusion is WAY too much, especially if he's considering imposing his emotional mess on another human being.


ETA: "To his credit, my partner... has told BM numerous times that they have no future together."

Wut?? I would think that being divorced would have communicated that message fairly clearly. You sure it's official? I'm guessing not.

You don't want to be a side piece while he makes up his mind. RUN RUN RUN

FWSM1964's picture

Miss T, he trusted BM to assist him in processing the divorce as she promised him she was "on board".  I didn't believe it. However, at the time, I didn't want to interfere as I felt the divorce was their business and not mine.

Currently, my partner sees that BM is definitely not "on board" with her "happy family" antics and her newfound confession to my partner's mother and siblings that BM will get him back.  I wouldn't be surprised if that's what she has been telling her children as well, although it's just speculation.

My partner is proceeding with the divorce and has not been back to the matrimonial home for 6 months.  His older two do meet him outside of the matrimonial home.

He also asked that his younger two meet him outside of the matrimonial home, but so far they have refused as they are "too busy".  He is torn up about this, but is standing firm.


Miss T's picture

So it's not official "yet."

Seriously, you do not want anything to do with this cluster. Just for starters, his kids are going to openly hate you forever for "breaking up" their parents. As if.

RUN RUN RUN. If you can't bear to risk losing him, tell him to come round next year and you'll take another look if he can show you a  divorce decree that has been in effect for 6 months.

MY DH pulled this (albeit without anywhere near this much drama) and I nearly strangled him when I found out ten years in. Gawd, these guys.

FWSM1964's picture

No, not official yet.  BM is stalling and must be compelled by Court Order.

Even though I met my partner more than 10 years after they separated, I am what is standing in the way of them getting back together according to BM and the two younger children, who are 20 and 24 yo.

What happened in your situation?  How could there be less drama than what I have? LOL.


Miss T's picture

When I met DH he was living in an apartment 15 minutes from his wife and their kid. He'd been living on his own for something like 18 months. I know this for sure because of the multiple rentals he'd lived in and from some anecdotal evidence I gathered. He was dead broke, which I also know for sure. He says that a few months after he met me, he knew we were a going concern, so he scraped his pennies together, hired a cheap attorney, and filed paperwork. I have to take his word for this part.

As to the amount of drama that was involved, there could have been tons of it but he mostly kept it out of my view. I saw only the bratty, acting-out kid every other weekend, and for ten years or so was on the receiving end of what I will politely refer to as relational aggression from his ex. She pushed him--not me, HIM--too far one day, and he told her to fock off forever. She seems to have done.

What really galls me, nearly 20 years later and nearing our 15th wedding anniversary, is that he lied to me. He knows I'd never have gotten involved with him if I'd known he was stilll married, and he just flat-out lied to my face, over and over, for years before he finally admitted it. He told me out of the blue one day, almost as a throwaway line, haha, can you believe it? What's on Netflix tonight? I will never forget that. I love him to bits, but for that and other reasons, sadly most of them documented on this web site, I do not trust him.

Proceed with caution, lady.

FWSM1964's picture

Thanks for sharing your situation, Miss T. 

Our circumstances started quite similarly as my partner moved from the matrimonial home into a series of three rentals over the past 14 years.  He moved to his last apartment 5 years ago, which coincidentally is 15 minutes from where BM and the two youngest SK's live.

My partner is close to telling BM and his children to fock off as he doesn't like attending their Christmas parties without me, among other things.  He dislikes the SK's refusal to socialize or meet with me, and how their mother has twisted their minds so much that they think it's their idea. BM is passively-aggressively chomping at the bit in the background.

My partner thought it would get better in time, as it did with my children.  They only tried to pull that crap when they were spurred on by my EH during my divorce proceedings.  And they were 10 to 17 yo's, not 20 to 33 yo's! My third child noted that he understands why the SK's are behaving the way they are, as he, too, felt that way as a teenager but outgrew it. 

In my case, my happiness supercedes my EH's misery in my children's minds. However, in my partner's children's minds, it appears to me that BM's misery supercedes my partner's happiness.  His children simply cannot be happy for their father. 

I think my partner bears a lot of guilt not being in the home daily as the children were growing up over the past 14 years, especially with the youngest two.  He tried to visit the children as much as he could and it was painful for BM to see him and be unable to rekindle their romance, so he stepped back.  Now he is trying to play catch up in his relationship with his children. And they still won't leave the matrimonial home, at least the youngest two.

I am sorry that your husband lied to you about being married, as you could not make an informed decision. I did walk in with eyes open and thought he hadn't gotten around to getting a divorce.  But now I realize it's more complicated than that. 

However, it sounds like things are going well for you both and the bratty SK has aged out of the visitation schedule. Your words have educated me, and for that, I am grateful.

Rags's picture

I could never do what these two men have done to the two of you or what they have done to their kids.

Having had a nightmare marriage, I can certainly see not caring about the X but why would they remain married to someone for a decade or more after separating tlie about it to a new mate?  That is so far beyond my ability to comprehend that the whole concept is staggaring to me.


FWSM1964's picture

ESMOD explains the concept extremely well, so I am going to be using a couple of excerpts from their post:

"He started this out 15 plus years ago with the best of intentions.  With 4 kids still at home and guilt of breaking up his family.  It was a noble gesture to allow them to stay in the home"till they were out of the house".. because he likely thought it would only be for less than 10 more years...and wasn't really thinking it all through as to what it would mean several years down the road when he had a new partner and this arrangement became a burden in more than just financial ways."

"The not getting serious about the actual divorce wasn't a priority... just more rocking the boat and without a relationship... why was he in a hurry really... he wasn't interested in getting married... and perhaps there were other things that were easier.... with the legal relationship in tact.. like insurance?" 

StrawberryPie's picture

Man, what is it with these adult skids that act like absolute toddlers.  Sorry you and your partner are going through this.  I do think your partner needs to cut off going to his former partners home and acting like a happy family.  Its disrespectful to you, and it makes no sense to keep the charade up.  If he wants to see his kids, he can do so elsewhere or have them come over.

As for his divorce, what's taking so long?  Has he filed for divorce yet??

FWSM1964's picture

StrawberryPie, thank you for your kind words. I believe that the Skids are being controlled by BM, and that their toddler behaviour arises out of misguided loyalty to her.

Even though her actions led to the marriage breaking down, she plays the "victim" by repeating her version of the events to the children while my partner stays mum.  For almost 15 years, the children grew up in the matrimonial home away from daily contact with their father and under BM's direct influence and manipulation.

He also has not been back to the matrimonial home (which he co-owns with BM) for 6 months.  His older two do meet him outside of the matrimonial home. 

He also asked that his younger two meet him outside of the matrimonial home, but so far they have refused as they are "too busy".  He is torn up about this, but is standing firm.

My partner kept asking BM for legal documents and help in jointly filling out legal forms over the past two years, with limited success.  He had faith in BM that she had accepted the divorce and would help him.  Finally realizing her passive-aggressivity, he bit the bullet and is now filing on his own and proceeding with the divorce.

still learning's picture

I wouldn't call him your partner if he still has a legal wife.  He's her partner and they still have a home and debts together.  10 years separated??? That screams open marriage and your man has been free to do what he wants while still appeasing BM and playing happy family.  This relationship is going to be a hard uphill battle for you.  If BM wants him back you may want to consider wrapping him in a bow and sending him back.  This man will never truly be yours.  

FWSM1964's picture

Thank you for your insight, still learning.

In my more heated discussions with my partner, I have told him that exact same thing! 

They have been separated for almost 15 years, legally married, with joint assets and debts.  True.

In the past, he had been too trusting of BM and believed that she would do the right thing. He was gobsmacked when his children reacted the way they did. 

I thought that it would be me with the problematic children because of my manipulative ex, but they matured. Also, I started divorce proceedings three months post-separation (not thirteen years post-separation).

My partner's eyes are now open to the fact that she doesn't want to divorce him and that she has poisoned his youngest two against him.  Time will tell what happens next.

Kes's picture

Sounds like these "adult" kids are all behaving like 6 yr olds and egging each other on to behave more ridiculously.  I agree you should disengage, and also I would not be happy about my partner attending any meal, even if only briefly, from which I was specifically excluded.  He would never agree to such a thing either. 

FWSM1964's picture

Thank you for your feedback, Kes.

When I first met my partner, he felt badly that the only place he could visit his youngest two was in the matrimonial home.  He didn't want to miss time with them, so he visited and BM cooked them a meal.  "Happy Family" nonsense.

My partner and I have recently discussed this matter, and I believe he will put his foot down. I told him that I cannot take that anymore. Time will tell.

tog redux's picture

I dated DH when he was separated, so I'm not against it, but OP, this man is not even emotionally divorced. My DH had a separate home and no financial entanglements left with BM, and he was ready to move on. Even then, BM made his life miserable dragging out the divorce because she was upset that he moved on.

Your SO doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of cutting ties with BM and moving on as long as he's giving in to what she "insists" will happen.  And if he does stop giving in, there is a good chance his kids will cut him off entirely, possibly for life, seeing how their mother is so good at playing the victim and insisting they aren't allowed to accept you into their lives.

So - be prepared that no matter what, this drama will continue in one form or another. Which form of drama can you live with? Him going to BM's to play Happy Family with his kids, or him sulking at your house because he set limits and now his kids refuse to have anything to do with him?

If he's worth all the drama, stick around - if not, might want to find a guy with fewer emotional ties to his ex-wife.

Rumplestiltskin's picture

Also, as someone who set similar limits, i just want to warn OP that she may get the feeling that she "owes him something" for making him set reasonable limits with his ex. OP - do not feel guilty for insisting he fully separate from her and be a full partner to you!!!

tog redux's picture

I think that's why it has to be HIS choice - so it's not her "insisting" on anything, it's him choosing to set boundaries to keep her in his life. She can say, "Look, I get the dilemma you are in, but I simply can't live this way anymore," and let him decide what he's willing to do.

FWSM1964's picture

Thanks for your feedback, tog redux.  You hit the nail on the head!

My partner still has financial entanglements with BM because he didn't want to put the matrimonial home on the market and kick his children out of the home they grew up in. In retrospect, he is regretting his decision.

BM has been interpreting my partner's kindness as weakness, as I have read in other posts on this forum.  Although she portrays herself as ultra-religious, she is definitely selfish and spiteful.  Hypocrisy at its finest.

While he played "Happy Family" to compromise with his two youngest children, they did not compromise back.  They are not happy for him and refuse a life outside of their toxic family fold.

His older children will visit with him, either at his place or at a pub with a big screen tv, so that's not a problem.  Ideally, I would like to see them too and meet their girlfriends, but that's a topic for a different time.


ESMOD's picture

There is zero way that I would be in a relationship with a man that was still going to his Ex's (semi ex tbh).. and celebrating holidays in their marital home.. as a "co-host" playing happy family for the emotionally stunted adult children.  NONE.

Has he been living in a separate home for the 15 odd years they have been separated? or did he just start living away from there once you came on the scene (that might make it look like you were the homewrecker to them.. a narrative that his wife would likely want to run with).  Certainly dating someone who is still enmeshed with their prior family dynamics in itself is going to be a problem.. as you have discovered.

He is allowing them to gain more rope to pull against every time he gives in to their demands to see him without "you".  Every time he agrees.. they feel more justified and entitled to make that demand.  He needs to start to view his kids as adults capable of making their own decisions.. instead of kids who are "caught in the middle".

You also need to set your own boundaries and expectations.  It's reasonable to expect that your husband might see his kids without you at times.  Shoot.. you may not care for them as people and prefer it.  BUT.. he doesn't get a free pass to abandon you to run back to his marriage on ever major holiday.

So.. holidays are spent with YOU.. his kids are welcome to visit.  If they choose not to?  that is on them... and perhaps gift giving may depend upon whether they can bring themselves to come into your presence.. and home?  can't make it?  oh.. send a card.. come in person? a thoughtful gift.  They don't need to be rewarded for being brats.

Otherwise, he is welcome to see his kids on occasion without you as long as it does not include his wife,   That is a non-negotiable.  He also needs to resolve the divorce by a certain date.  There certainly should be some way that it can be finalized even if she doesn't want it.  

I don't know.. you will have to think long and hard about staying with a man who has to date not been able to prioritize you and your relationship.  His kids are acting horribly... but honestly, there is no law saying his kids need to like you or spend time with you.. but that doesn't mean he has to fall all over himself and push you aside when they demand it.

EDIT... I really don't mean that you are "at fault" for "dating a married man".. just that this guy really should have not held himself out as available for a fully committed relationship when he was still so involved with his "other family".. it isn't fair to his new partner.. you.

FWSM1964's picture

You have brought up some excellent points, ESMOD.

Not happy about "happy family" scenario, and have discussed it with him.  He's followed through for the past 6 months, but time will tell, especially with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up.

He has been living away from the matrimonial home for almost 15 years.  Although I'm sure I'm painted as the homewrecker as they still have not yet divorced.

Kids do not want to visit him in my presence.  Youngest two do not want to leave matrimonial home to visit, so it may be a long time before he sees them again.  He extends invitations to other venues, but they are "too busy".

I will again discuss with him how pushing me aside at Thanksgiving and Christmas is not respectful to our relationship.  His reasoning for doing so was that he was continuing family tradition. 

I told him that things happen and we make new traditions, like the "birthday chair" at my house.  This did not exist when I was with my EH, but my children love it.

I am not sure what to do with weddings as another one of his children is getting married, and yet again, I am not invited.  I am thinking of sucking it up, but it's infuriating.


Miss T's picture

"I am not sure what to do with weddings as another one of his children is getting married, and yet again, I am not invited.  I am thinking of sucking it up, but it's infuriating."

Confession: I have not followed your saga closely. But this? THIS?? And you say it's happened before?

Did his offspring just fall out of the trees? You don't not invite partners to weddings. It's just not done.

But never mind the foul brats. Let's talk about you. No one should put up for one second with a "partner" who would go along with this. I wouldn't be thinking about sucking it up. I'd be planning a lazy afternoon on a tropical beach, lying back, a refreshment in hand with one of those little umbrellas sticking up, savoring my legal and actual freedom from this band of goons, particularly the patriarch.

Good grief, woman, what have you been putting up with? And for the love of all that is holy, WHY???

FWSM1964's picture

Yes, I put up with my partner going to his daughter's wedding solo last year. He didn't want to go because he thought I should be invited but I convinced him to go, assuming that things would get better.

I went out of town with three of my children that weekend and had a blast. I couldn't stay in town given my feelings about the situation, and especially because SD24 explicitly stated not to invite me.  BM was there and wouldn't like it.

However, now I'm concerned that this set the stage for the other children's weddings. The other three children who had said at one time that they would want to meet me or see me again have rescinded their offers.

However, I view the weddings as a one off event since most of the time my partner and I are together. I have disengaged from his children and to his credit, my partner very rarely brings them up in conversation.

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

I won't judge DP about the divorce. My ex dragged out mine for years, by playing games like not showing up to court, filing ridiculous motions. I refused to put my life on hold and not be allowed to move on because of his antics.

That being said, from what you are saying. Why would you want a relationship with his kids anyways. It sounds like it would be an absolute nightmare for you, full of gaslighting and dramaticcs that would effect your relationship with DP. Take away Thier power and control. Disengage, tell him not to mention you to his kids anymore. You two live your life together. Have him keep his relationship with SKs separate. They will no longer have the ability to interject into your relationship and BM will no longer be getting information she can use to alienate them. They will have to find a new topic to discuss amongst themselves for Thier daily drama.

FWSM1964's picture

Thanks, Wicked stepmo. for your advice.

My ex did the same with my divorce, dragging it out for five years and then filing ridiculous motions for the next two years.

I believe my partner mentioned me to BM and his children to indicate he had moved on and that he does not want to play "happy family". 

However, you are quite correct in indicating that it could lead to additional drama. Point well taken.  Thank you!

IamBackUW's picture


MurphysLaw's picture

I made it to 

"wonderful separated man"

you been feckin a married man for 4 years...that's a looong divorce.

No I wouldn't be interested in meeting my father's side piece either 


JMO of course.

IamBackUW's picture


FWSM1964's picture

I like your sense of humour, IamBackUW.  Although there is more than a hint of truth in there.

However, he has not lived with his wife for 15 years, so I can't quite see him as a womanizing narcissist.

I see him as wanting to have his cake and eat it too, and not realizing how hard that would be.

IamBackUW's picture


FWSM1964's picture

Apparently, it's because a higher power isn't done with them yet!  Or maybe karma needs time to work?  Or perhaps they may repent?

My stepmother (or should I say, father's wife) was so evil that my own father called me Cinderella.  That's no joke, although it does sound kind of funny.

Whiile my wonderful, kind, and loving mother was taken from us at the young age of 59, my critical, conniving, and shrewd stepmother passed away at almost 94 just a few months ago.

My father used to complain that he felt that his wife would be the end of him.  How right he was!  

IamBackUW's picture


MurphysLaw's picture

"However, he has not lived with his wife for 15 years, so I can't quite see him as a womanizing narcissist."


I don't think you understand exactly what the words 

"womanizing" or "narcissist"

really mean, even though your boyfriend is a prime example of both.

Again, JMO.

still learning's picture

The Ol' I'm separated from my wife having the best of both worlds gig.  It sounds like this guy has been living his fantasy bachelor life then putting on the family man act for the wife and kids.  Can't even imagine 15 years of separation, that's ridiculous. Shows that the guy can't commit to marriage or divorce. Gotta sit on the fence and try to keep everyone happy.  

FWSM1964's picture

It sure looks like my partner is sitting on the fence, but he had a reason for not divorcing earlier. My partner was worried that the matrimonial home would have needed to be sold if he proceeded with divorce, and he didn't want to oust his children from the home in which they grew up. 

However, now it doesn't look like either of the younger two SK's will move out any time soon.  SD24 is living in the home with her new husband and SD20 is in a five year engagement with her boyfriend (and may even want to stay there after she marries; just like her sister).

While my partner fell out of love more with his wife more than 17 years ago, and moved out of the matrimonial home almost 15 years ago, this house still seems to be the focal point for BM's "happy family" antics. And the kids play along. This is the crux of my problem. My partner has told me that he will no longer play along and will visit the kids elsewhere.

In retrospect, it would have been easier if he divorced and sold the house, as my ex and I did.  Sure, we had to find more modest accommodations but at least this way, each place was our own.

I am willing to support my partner through his divorce process, having been there myself.  In fact, he attended court with me when my litigious ex took me back several more times in the two years post-divorce. Only time will tell how his divorce proceeds.



FWSM1964's picture

I do understand what womanizing and narcissist mean. 

I have written blogs elsewhere about my struggles in leaving the abusive relationship with my narcissistic ex. So, I really do know what a narcissist is from over 25 years of personal experience.  My partner, on the other hand, doesn't meet any of the narcissistic criteria and should not be given this label.

From my understanding, womanizing is used to describe a man who likes to have many short sexual relationships with women. This is not the case with my partner at all.  Before he separated from his wife, he stayed with her for 17 relatively happy years and two not so happy years. Ten years later, he met me and has been with me for over four years.

Is my partner misguided and misinformed? Possibly.  But he is not a womanizing narcissist.

FWSM1964's picture

That's a valid point about the "side piece", MurphysLaw. I never looked at it that way as he had been separated for 10 years when I met him.

However, four years is not a long time for a divorce.  I spent seven years in the court system because of my litigious ex, but thankfully that is now behind me.


IamBackUW's picture


FWSM1964's picture

Wow!  That's great that you were able to get divorced so cheaply.  It's great when there are no children or property issues.

I was taken to court over both for a period of seven years, and it cost me in the hundreds of thousands, all told.

I'm sorry you wasted money on him while you were together.  The court thought since I did the same, I needed to continue to support his purposely underemployed lazy a$$.

However, I have now have my freedom and my sanity.  And that is priceless.  

ITB2012's picture

and it still only took a few months. Then again we had an amicable divorce and didn't try to screw each other over.

Rags's picture

He needs to end the games with his XW.  Nail the divorce ASAP, get the home on the market since neither of them can afford to buy the other out.  Once the boat anchor of the failed family home is gone there will be room for change to evolve in his relationship with his children.  

Once his XW is no longer on the throne in what she has claimed as her castle her power will fade in a hurry.  Once your SO has his divorce papers in hand he can start to roll them up and beat both his XW and his children about the head and shoulders so that they are absolutely clear that XW has zero place in his life and zero place in his relationship with his children.

A former boss of mine was separated from his wife for more than 18 years with three adult children.  She was the most insane person I have ever experienced. He was the most pathetic person I have ever experienced.  She forced him to get tattoos as punishment so he wore Band Aids on his hands every day to cover them.  She would email the CEO of the company, customers, the whole team, etc... ranting about him being a drunk, a cheater, how he abandoned his adult children (All three of them still lived at home with mommy well into their late 20s and early 30s).  Last I heard he had bought them all a new family home in a different state and all four of them (DW and the three spawn) had moved into the new house.

I was shocked that he had not been shit canned years before due to his inability to deal with the situation and keep it out of the work environment. It got so bad that he was always trying to sell his foreign currency to new project members with a request that they mail a check to his crazy wench of a wife.  I refused. I think that set the stage for the work relationship that he and I had from then on.  

I would suggest that you do far more than just disengage from his spawn. Which is nothing different than is already happening.  You can't disengage from people who have not engaged.

This relationship will always have the looming cloud of his failed family and the severely damaged breeding experiments hanging over it.  The joy that you have with your kids will be devalued by his presence and your sensitivities to his pain over his own toxic children who will remain the minions of his hag of an XW.  Sadly, you will be her minion as well. No matter how much you try to ignore her and the broken adult SKids they will be a constant drain on you and this relationship. It will never go away. Ever. No part of your life will be free of the cloud that your SO's poor choice of mate and breeding partner bring to the party.

So, do yourself and your own kids a favor. Find a far less flawed mate who is not so enmeshed with his X that he remains married to her through 15 years of separation.... and counting. Find a mate who will not sacrifice himself, his life, his children and his partner to his toxic X.

Good luck.

Take care of you.


FWSM1964's picture

Your post is so eloquently-written and thought-provoking, it was a pleasure to read, Rags.

Everything you have said makes a great deal of sense.

He has sacrificed us all.

Rags's picture

Yes he has. 

Don't do the same thing.  So many in the blended family universe repeatedly sacrifice themselves on the alter of SParental martyrdom.  They sacrifice themselves, their relationships and their own children to the crappy choices that their partner made earlier in life.  Sadly, it is not just a one time thing. It happens over, and over, and over again.  Serving themselves up repeatedly to a manipulative vindictive X, to toxic Skids, toxic ILs, etc...  

Don't do that.

It is possible to have a great relationship with someone with a past.  However, it takes them being a person of substance and quality who makes their mate and their relationship with their mate their uncontested priority.  Both partners must make each other and the relationship their priority, they must be equity life partners which includes being equity parents to any minor children in the mix regardless of kid biology and they must be of one voice with Xs, adult kids and ILs.

Good luck.

FWSM1964's picture

Thanks for the sage advice and well wishes.  

I will discuss this with my partner at the earliest opportunity.

We will see what shakes out.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

Rags brings up a crucial point when he says the sale of the home will be a catalyst for change. I hope you'll draw hard limits with this married man. Otherwise, you'll be the sidepiece forever.

IMO, you've been too kind and too tolerant of your bf's cowardice for too long. He and his wife have selfishly chosen to have their cake and eat it too, and in doing so have created screwed up, entitled adult offspring.

His kids have been granted far too much power, and have grown up seeing a dad who is little more than a wallet. So it's not surprising they resent the idea of your existance; as a mistress, you represent harsh, unpleasant reality -  and they don't want the status quo to change because all of them will be required to be more self sufficient. 

Forget about his kids, wife, and open marriage mess. Thanks to his weakness, you will likely never have a normal relationship with any of them. Instead, focus on YOU. Quit being so accommodating and instead advocate for yourself - because you deserve a Hell of a lot better. You deserve a man who is willing to move heaven and earth to be with you, not just take the path of least resistance. If I were you, I would calmly draw a boundary: "Hey ______, just need to let you know that I'm about done with the never-ending mess you have with your wife. I've been been nice, and I've been patient, but if you don't file for divorce in the next thirty days, consider this your notice to move out." Don't entertain any further discussion, just quit enabling and start taking care of you.

FWSM1964's picture

Exjuliemccoy, this is excellent advice.  You totally comprehend my partner's family dynamic. I think he was totally gobsmacked that his children are so screwed up and entitled.

Especially since the youngest two are very "religious" like BM. Hypocritic zealots they are!  You would think they would be happy that their father is happy, but no.

I always thought it would be my children that would have more problems as my ex is a narcissist; however, they seem to understand who he is and are forging their own identities: compassionate, inclusive, inquisitive, unselfish, and unentitled.

I have taken care of four children (five if you include my ex), and I don't deserve any more grief. I have told my partner that he needs to step up to the plate if he wants a future together.

Focused_onourlife's picture

His excuses are ridiculous and I can't believe you are falling for them. One year, okay I have no knowledge in a divorce preceeding (mine was separated,  I heard through the grapevine but within 3 weeks he was bringing me divorced papers or else... my boundaries) 10+ years he is all out of excuses, including the kidaults.  YOU have to make it clear to him you are not settling anymore. Either he ends his marriage or you walk.  I would have been done with it but I can't speak for you. F his kids, they're adults and you don't need or want them in your life at this point if they are resilient, especially. This is insane.. Sorry so blunt but I actually read all the replies and you seem to be giving your bf a pass, making excuses and it's not acceptable. He's either with you or against you no in between. Trust me, the extra dramatics are because he doesn't know what to do and expect you to figure it out. DON'T..

FWSM1964's picture

I agree with you, Focused_onourlife. He now has a lawyer who has started processing his divorce.

I guess how it started was that he and I were very passive at the beginning about working on his divorce.  I was content to wait for his youngest children to move out of the house and then it would be sold during divorce proceedings.

Over the next year as I got more serious about him, there were a few rumblings from my side about how BM is taking away from our financial future together.

I discussed with him about speeding up the divorce so that he could liberate the equity in his home.  The solution to that was a refinance.

Just this year, my partner told me that BM was on board with the divorce, yet she did not produce the requested documents or complete the required forms my partner gave her.  He followed up on a bi-monthly basis for over two years.  

He tends to be non-confrontational and believes people at face value. Generally good traits, but not with his ex.

I also wanted to stay out of their divorce and let them handle it; however, seeing as what has already happened and the fact that he wants me to help him, I gave him the number of a lawyer who he called.  Hopefully, we are on the right track now.

I just wanted to ask you what you meant about not helping him to figure out what to do.  Shouldn't I offer suggestions?

Focused_onourlife's picture

Helping him figure out what to do is his problem, he's married to her and telling you he doesn't want to be.  He's married not you, have your suggestions or hurt feelings worked all this time? If you were married he'd have all the answers. Apart of this is a test, if he wants you, and only you,  he will figure it out and do it because he knows you deserve it after all this time and he would want to rid himself of her. That's HIS problem to fix not yours. If he wants to divorce her he will if not he will keep up with her and now the two youngest  SK's shenanigans. At this point you have to ask yourself,  do you want an available man or not? He may be there in present, telling you what you want to hear but what is his actions telling you? 

You can offer suggestions but how would you feel doing that after all this time? He should know and so should you. The rest is up to you if you're okay with this set up or not.

youdonotdefineme's picture

I wouldnt be in any rush to meet his kids.  They are already primed against you since they will see you as the reason things changed for them, ie Thanksgiving, Christmas, was all good til you came along.

The man doesn't sound like a prize tbh.  He sounds like he will go with whoever creates the most pain for him.  So he may give up the happy first family Thanskgiving etc but there will be things he will do (which will hurt you) to compensate for "taking that away from them".  He is weak.




FWSM1964's picture

I agree, youdonotdefine me.  When he originally asked his kids to meet me, the younger two said they were "not ready".  Then a year later, SD24 screamed at her father to stop forcing her to meet me when he gently asked her when she would be ready.

I didn't realize that one could provide that kind of answer because of how I was raised. My father just asked me when I was available to meet my stepmother and we set a date.  I was 21 at the time.

I knew trouble was brewing right then with the two SD's, and it hasn't gotten better.  The older SS's no longer want to socialize with their father with me present. So yes, I am no hurry to meet any of them.

My partner has been trying to talk to SS33 for the last month (he sees him about once a week) as to what led to him changing his mind about wanting to hang out in my presence, and he too is "not ready" to talk about it.  This is after his father asking 2-3x. I told my partner that SS33 will not be ready to talk about it until after he excludes me from his 2020 wedding like his sister did last year. This is the family of "not ready's".

Anyways, my partner did say he is not going to the matrimonial home for Thanksgiving and Christmas (first time ever), but I do think he will go to the weddings of his children without me. I have mixed feelings about that. Any thoughts?

Winterglow's picture

If he goes to that wedding without you, he would be making it very clear to all and sundry that he is giving his permission to them to continue to ignore you. THE HELL WITH THAT! Either you go with him or nobody goes. If he goes without you, I'd have his bags packed and waiting for his return ... or I'd be gone.

FWSM1964's picture

Winterglow, I am of two minds regarding the wedding situation.

One is that we are a couple and every invitee is entitled to a "plus one". Two is that I would feel uncomfortable going where I am not wanted in the presence of BM and SK's who harbour "unmentionable" hostility against me.

My partner has been trying to talk to SS33 for the last month as to why he no longer wants to visit his father in my company or invite the both of us to his new home. My partner has been shut down all three times when SS33 said he was "not ready to talk about that".  This topic is apparently "unmentionable" as SD24 screamed out about a year ago.

I told my partner yesterday that SS33 will never be ready to talk about it until he excludes me from his wedding later this month. The precedent has been set in that SD24 excluded me from her wedding last year.  My partner almost didn't go, but I convinced him otherwise. My partner told me the wedding was bittersweet and that he missed me (small consolation).

We know that his children are rude, entitled, and selfish.  We know that they are enmeshed with their mother as they feel her pain. She cries to them all the time about wanting her husband back and will not accept me or my relationship with my partner.  

With a heavy heart, I have accepted the fact that my partner's SK's will never accept me or treat me with as much respect as a common stranger; much less have a relationship with me.  And that's okay.  I have people who care about me with whom I would rather spend my time.

Currently, my partner's divorce has not yet been finalized.  He is still legally married to his wife who still wants him back and has poisoned the children towards me and even towards him. Do I really want to subject myself to all that at SS33's wedding?

Your thoughts?


Missingme's picture

Sadly, you're fooling yourself into thinking this relationship will make it.  He has "4" kids who don't want you around and an "almost" ex who won't give him up.  They're not divorced, so in all their minds, there is great hope and he likes giving them that hope because, if nothing else, he knows it makes them feel good.  The writing is on the wall with this one.  I wish I could give you more hope.  

FWSM1964's picture

I get it.

My partner and I have been talking about this lately. I did give him an ultimatum about the divorce shortly before I got on this forum.

So now, he wants me to help him with the questions to ask the lawyer. 

Originally, I felt that it was none of my business, particularly as a biased party, and to let the two of them work it out.

Seeing as BM is dragging her feet, I am okay with assisting him with the divorce and am confident that it will move ahead.

He also told BM that he wants to divorce her and marry me.  SK's are acting out.  Coincidence? I think not.

youdonotdefineme's picture

He won't sell the house is my thinking, that will be his concession to his adults for trying to have a normal life

FWSM1964's picture

It could be both. 

Any suggestions to get moving on the house sale front?

Exjuliemccoy's picture

You win by issuing an ultimatum - if the divorce isnt in train and the house on the market within 60 days, the relationship is over. And mean it.

FWSM1964's picture

Excellent points, Exjuliemccoy!

The divorce ultimatum has already been agreed. 

In the property division section of the Divorce Agreement, there is a clause to sell the house.  I will push that it says "immediately upon divorce" rather than "at some future to be determined date".  

At the beginning of the relationship, I leaned more toward the latter (who wants to evict nearly adult kids living in their home), but now I am leaning more toward the former. 

The behaviour towards my partner and I by spiteful BM and enmeshed SK's has eliminated my compassion towards them.

FWSM1964's picture

Yes, that makes perfect sense. 

He feels guilty that he "ruined" their childhood by leaving the family home and wants to keep the matrimonial home as long as the SK's want to live there.


Winterglow's picture

Time he saw a therapist about this guilt nonsense. He doesn't seem to have grasped the fact that his kids are now fully fledged adults. Time someone explained that he'd have done a helluva lot more damage if he'd stuck around "for the sake of the kids" while becoming more and more resentful of his wife. 

FWSM1964's picture

That's an excellent point, Winterglow.

I have spoken to my partner about going to see a counsellor about this whole BM/SK enmeshment thing.  

I believe his entire family would also benefit from it, but they are too proud and "nothing is wrong with them".

Counselling helped me to get out of an abusive relationship, but to each their own.

Thanks for your helpful thoughts.

FWSM1964's picture

Yes, that will be another conflict, to be sure.

FWSM1964's picture

Yes, that will be another conflict, to be sure.

ESMOD's picture

I don't necessarily see this as a case of a man wanting to have his cake and eat it too.  I see it more of a deep rut he had fallen into by the time he met his GF..that was a path of least resistance for him.  Then new GF is on the scene and she is not inclined to "make a fuss or be a squeaky wheel"... because she wants to be seen as the nice one that isn't giving him grief.  But, this allows a dynamic to continue for way longer than it should have.

He started this out 15 plus years ago with the best of intentions.  With 4 kids still at home and guilt of breaking up his family.  It was a noble gesture to allow them to stay in the home"till they were out of the house".. because he likely thought it would only be for less than 10 more years...and wasn't really thinking it all through as to what it would mean several years down the road when he had a new partner and this arrangement became a burden in more than just financial ways.

The continued celebrations at the marital home?  Again... best of intentions to cause his kids the least trauma...or at least that was what he was thinking.  He didn't think about the precedent he was setting and how it might impact his future relationship.  He wasn't thinking how a future change in the dynamic would associate that negative change with his new partner for his kids... kids who he didn't imagine would be lingering at home in adulthood.  perhaps there is even a touch of them understanding his thought to keep the home until kids were out of the house is part of the reason why two of them are still there.??

The not getting serious about the actual divorce wasn't a priority... just more rocking the boat and without a relationship... why was he in a hurry really... he wasn't interested in getting married... and perhaps there were other things that were easier.... with the legal relationship in tact.. like insurance? 

And.. while OP and her bf have now been together 4 years.. it becomes a situation of at what point would she start setting those hard boundaries and make demands of him?  first year... ah.. the relationship is new.. she doesn't want to be the bad guy and rock the boat... then 2nd year.. welll.... it's clearly serious now.. but it's complicated.. and it just goes on... boundaries are blurry and here they are 4 years in with him still way enmeshed with his old home/life.

And.. it's easy from our arm chairs to say.. "give an ultimatum".. but it's also hard for her having sunk 4 years in and understanding some of the struggle... to think about walking away so abruptly.  Yes.. he needs to make meaningful strides towards legalizing his divorce.. he needs to find out how selling the home would go... even if it means that his EX needs to get a loan for some portion of the home herself... certainly 15 more years down the line.. there should be significant equity in the home... and while he might be agreeable to some uneven split at this point to get things accomplished.. it's time for his EX to start living as an adult in her own right in a home she provides for herself.. and her kids if that is what shewants.. it's not really fair to continue to expect her EX to tote that bucket.

FWSM1964's picture

You understand the situation completely, ESMOD.  Thank you for your words.

My partner is talking to a lawyer and will ask those questions.  My partner was not in a rush to sell the house as he didn't want to uproot the children and also viewed it as an investment that would grow in value. However, by taking the path of least resistance and not liquidating the matrimonial home, this is taking away from our financial future.

He just heard recently that SD20 wants to move out as she is "sick of her old house". SD24 and her husband lived elsewhere when they first married but moved in with BM to save money. SD24 has a well-paying full time job and her husband is a student.  If BM wants the SD's to live with her, she can do it on her own steam.

BM makes 1.5 times as much as my partner and has investments in her own name, but is a spendthrift. She frequently runs out of money and then asks for money for the children from my partner, who pays every time.

If BM wanted to do so, she could have bought my partner out.  However, it is not in her best interest to do so.


still learning's picture

by taking the path of least resistance and not liquidating the matrimonial home, this is taking away from our financial future.

If he does liquidate his marital home than the assets from those are his and his alone unless he comingles them with you.  You're jumping the gun a bit by saying "our financial future" with a still married man.  Honestly, he should just give the ex the house in the settlement and negotiate around other areas since he hasn't even lived in it for 15 years right? 

FWSM1964's picture

Since I have been with my partner for over four years and we have been buying furniture and other things together, I believe that we have a financial future and will still be together after his divorce is final. 

We have one joint account with a little bit in it and two separate accounts (one for me, one for him).

Given that my partner owns 50% of the matrimonial home and owes 50% of the associated debt which he has been paying down, I believe that he is entitled to 50% of the net equity and should not give the ex the house in settlement.  That's crazy!

Personal items of his that don't fit into his apartment are also still at the house, as the removal of some of his artwork would reduce the coziness of the matrimonial home.  He plans to collect these once the house is sold.


Merry's picture

But still learning has a point. In the divorce, all assets are totalled. Let's say each party is entitled to 50% of all assets. Your BF could give BM 100% of the house and he gets more in other types of assets, such as investments or retirement accounts or cars or anything else with significant value. That's exactly what my ex and I did. If the house is the single biggest asset, then that might not work.

As to your financial future. Any assets your BF has prior to his marriage to you remain his UNLESS he comingles them with you. Meaning he can keep those assets (cash, stocks, property) entirely in his name only. He is free to share those with you, of course, and if he chooses he CAN co-mingle those funds. I have premarital assets in my name, never comingled, and while DH will benefit from that, he will never have access to those funds. Doesn't mean I don't love him. I do--deeply. It means that I have a way different idea of financial security than he does.

It's hard to separate emotion from money, but it's important to do so.

FWSM1964's picture

You make some good points, Merry.

Unfortunately, the matrimonial home is by far the largest asset that my partner and BM own, so dividing the property unevenly but in two equal dollar value amounts will not work with them.

Regarding finances, my philosophy is this.  Anything brought into the marriage stays the personal property of its owner.  If its owner wants to sell some of it and put it into the joint account, that is the person's choice. 

I learned the hard way from my narcissistic XH.  What's his is his and what's mine is ours. And still he was unable to put his name on all my assets.

still learning's picture

Yikes OP! You've been buying things together and have accounts together??? This man is still legally married and half of whatever he's buying is technically his wife's property.  She's also entitled to half of that joint account that is marital money. When the divorce does happen don't be surprised if all of those joint assets of yours and married boyfriends are examined and her losses are recouped.  They may not be sleeping together anymore but all of their finances, including what he's spending on you, are legally entangled until the day the divorce is finalized.  It sounds like there's the hope of a great payday you'll share in once the divorce is finalized, but I wouldn't be so sure.  

ITB2012's picture

[I didn't make it through all the posts so my apologies if this has been said already.]

He may make the break with his kids for you. But just be careful as he may also start blaming you (outright or by implying it) for his broken relationship with his children. My DH started doing that recently because OSS has stopped responding to his texts and phone calls and has barely come over. Supposedly it could be because of me. And yet I don't push DH one way or the other but I can tell when he has tried to get ahold of OSS or even YSS because he gets agitated and frustrated and then gets snippy with me.

My response to his thinly veiled blame that his adult son won't come around because of me: you just said you're both adults. As adults either of you could have offered to meet the other outside of this house as to avoid me. It may be that there's some issue with me but I am not stopping you from having a relationship.

FWSM1964's picture

I appreciate your advice, ITB2012.  My partner said that he already feels "caught in the middle".

He is willing to stop going to Thanksgiving and Christmas at the matrimonial home with BM and their children. He may blame me for this since it is my idea.  

I think I would have been okay if he had met with the children in the absence of BM, like at his apartment, for example.  The children have refused to do so, either in my presence or my absence, as BM must be invited and she will not leave her home. Kind of defeats the purpose.

As it stood, BM would prepare the meal and make my partner pay 50% of it plus bring the alcohol and/or soft drinks for the party. She would try to detain him when he said he had to leave to spend some part of Thanksgiving or Christmas with me.

Nevertheless. I'll be happy when he stops visiting the kids with BM in attendance, and am fully prepared for the backlash.

I like your answer which is the simple statement.  You are both adults and are able to work it out amongst yourselves.  So freeing!

Catmom23's picture

ITB2012 I've heard the same crap from my boyfriend for 18 years.  He blames his now adult children not wanting to have anything to do with him on me.  He claims they can tell I don't like them.  Well guess what?  Who WOULD want drug addict felons coming to their home?  And yes, we have broken up a few times because he "wants a RELATIONSHIP with his CHILDREN".  He sat home alone while they ignored him.

Ruby88's picture

What does her being religious have to do with it?

Missingme's picture

Unholy hell!  Please tell us you're not going to stick around after this post!?  He has "4" kids who are aligned against you, and their mom, too, and your SO is leaving you home to have dinner with his "family".  You won't like hearing this, but he's having his cake (You in his bed.) and eating it, too (His Ex and kids.)!  If he wanted a divorce, it would've happened by now.  Now, if you're okay with this status quo for security or financial reason or because you think you love this, I'm sorry-douche, feel free to keep sticking around.  The clock is ticking, though, dear, and you're losing important years of your life with the dude.  I hope you leave soon.  You don't deserve to be used and tortured. 

FWSM1964's picture

I appreciate your opinion, Missingme. 

However, please read ESMOD'S well-written post for the full story from their point of view, and then tell me what you think.

FWSM1964's picture

Good question, Ruby88.

BM's newfound discovery of religion coincided perfectly with the departure of my partner from the matrimonial home almost 15 years ago.  She started going to church regularly, taking her two youngest children with her.  The two oldest children were not brought up in the church, and didn't want to start now.

Although duplicitous, she worked hard to convince everybody she knew how saint-like she was, including my partner. Her mask is slipping now, as it is difficult for a selfish and spiteful conniver to keep up the act. 

BM has been somewhat successful in her masquerade, as her children truly believe that she is the wronged "victim" even though it was her actions which led to the separation.  Her "religious" facade enables her to continue to pull the wool over her children's eyes as they collectively demonize my partner.

My partner has gotten wise to her antics as I pulled the wool away from his eyes with one question.  I asked him, "If BM is as "religious" as she claims, then why is she not accepting of your newfound happiness with me?" 

"An unselfish heart would be happy for another" my very religious and saint-like father used to say. And poof! My partner's wool has disintegrated.

Missingme's picture

Because if she's truly found religion, she believes her and her ex are willed by God to still be married and will be again some day.  Not that think they should be, mind you.  If she is playing the religion card, you're right, it makes her look like the good guy to her kids, although if they don't already see through that, they will soon enough!

FWSM1964's picture

I never thought of it that way, Missingme. Thanks for providing that perspective.

That makes perfect sense why BM would stall the divorce, play "happy family", and enmesh with her kids.

I hope you're right about the last part, as currently the SK's vilify their father and pity their mother.

ITB2012's picture

Looking to religion for comfort and found that it was also a useful tool and weapon. 

Ruby88's picture

I find it offensive the way the word religious is thrown around with so many negative connotations. Especially in today's day and age where you can't even say all lives matter. Religion and faith mean different things to different people so to paint with a broad brush the way you are is offensivel.  You don't know what her relationship is with God and it's not for you to judge whether or not her being religious is the problem. Sounds to me like your husband is the problem.

FWSM1964's picture

You are entitled to your opinion, but I beg to differ.

She is using the cloak of religion as a tool and a weapon. This is what is distasteful. 

Not a person who truly tries to follow all the positive aspects of faith and belief in a higher power.

Please read the entire thread to better understand the situation.

Ruby88's picture

I read your post that said she sought out religion and started going to church after her husband left her. Why does that surprise you? When people are in deep pain that is often exactly the time that they find religion and faith

FWSM1964's picture


However, a person can be in pain and not inflict their pain upon their children and ex. I struggled to leave an abusive relationship and not once was I spiteful, vindictive, or mean-spirited during that time.

Contrast that to BM.

My point is that BM has the ability to behave in a Christian manner, and has failed miserably even though she claims to be a Christian.

Missingme's picture

It's abundantly obvious that your partner wants to keep the status quo so he doesn't have to commit to you.  He has the perfect alibi.  

FWSM1964's picture

How so? He's proceeding with his divorce, even without BM's help.

MissTexas's picture


1.) He's been separated 15 YEARS AND IS NOT YET DIVORCED??? That is a HUMONGOUS RED FLAG.


Perhaps you need to take a few GIANT steps back and look at this entire picture. I mean, what has he got to lose? He's got a wife, and the kids don't want that marriage to end, which is most likely why he's been in it for so long. If a person wants a divorce it doesn't matter what the other person wants. It WILL GET GRANTED whether or not the other person signs off on it or approves it.  He's got you for a steady 4 year partner, bed warmer, cook, and whatever other services you provide...what ARE YOU GETTING OUT OF THIS RELATIONSHIP???

I needed to put my boots on to finish reading your post.

PLEASE, think this through logically and proceed from there. I also "dated" for 4 years, some of which the divorce was underway and took a very long time.

FWSM1964's picture

Very good points, MissTexas.

I am getting out of this relationship an amazing man who has been there for me from day one. 

He emotionally supported me during the last two years of a brutal court process with my litigious ex. 

He encouraged me in the job market when my ex visited my workplaces, which directly resulted in my job loss.

He enhanced my self-confidence in my ability to properly parent and create a harmonious home for my children. Prior to that, my children criticized my every move, spurred on by their toxic father.

He provided an excellent adult role model whenever he visited, thereby enabling my children to see the contrast between a kind and loving man and a spiteful and petty narcissist.

He charmed me with romance and passion, and is an excellent cook, by the way.

If you don't mind, would you be able to share your experience of "dating" for 4 years, some of which the divorce was underway and took a very long time?

Rags's picture

As for her being religious.  Hypocrisy is a huge issue in failed marriages where one or both are extremely devout and one, the other, or both are toxic manipulative evil people.

Being truly devout and a toxic manipulative asshole by definition are mutually exclusive. IMHO.

Some of the sweetest people of the highest character I have ever known are devout. Some of the most evil assholes I have every known claim to be devout.   My XW and her family among the latter. She was an adulterous whore and her parents were embezzlers.

I give someone claiming to be devout zero credit unless their proven consistent historic behavior is indicative of a quality person or character who walks the walk they claim to ascribe to.

I judge anyone by that same standard, devout or not. 

I have family that are dedicated church goers who claim to be good and devout.  Other than church attendance, the ones I am referring to are just not good people. A couple of them are proven repeated thieves who have ripped off family for $Tens upon $Tens of thousands, attempted to publicly ridicule good quality family members in order to deflect from their own crap, and are just not good people. Sickly sweet, well liked by those ignorant of their true character and manipulation  Sadly some of them bred more people just like them.  

One example got truly shitty when his half sister who was born 7mos after his parents married was trying to make contact with family members to learn about her father and the half of her gene pool she knew nothing about.  Me being me... accepted her request and we have been communicating in a genetic testing community for a few years.  I am truly shocked by the number of family members who have circled the wagons around the slightly younger half brother hell bent on trashing the oowl family member whose father was an adulterous POS.   I was asked to not communicate with the newly discovered cousin out of respect for the deceased other cousin (who was a dick to just about everyone) and to avoid causing his children and grand children pain.  This has always boggled my mind and I have been very open about the communication I have with the oowl cousin.

This fall was supposed to be a family reunion.  I forwarded the information to the surprise cousin and let my mom and aunt know that she would likely show up for the reunion with her own family.  Both my mom and my aunt cringed but were vocally supportive.  They just know the family and know that shit would get real in a hurry when the surprise cousin and her family showed up.

Covid killed this years reunion.  Too bad. I was looking forward to the fireworks.

I get that some people are just assholes. And I am fine with that, if... they don't try to wrap themselves in a cloak of character bullshit.

Devout or not.

FWSM1964's picture

You get it, Rags.

It is the hypocricy I find so distasteful. I believe there is value in an honest a$$hole.

I am sorry to hear about the family dynamic you described, and am disappointed that you were unable to see the "fireworks" at the reunion. There is always next year, hopefully.

I am glad that you have reached out to the oowl cousin as she needs an ally, and that your aunt and mother were supportive. 

Thanks for sharing!

CLove's picture

Well this post is interesting!

OP - sounds like you have recieved much in the way of GREAT advice and you will hopefully keep us posted in how its going for you.

So, Ill just give my experiences.

Im 6 years in, 2 years married.

When I first met DH, he was "separated-not-divorced", but he was only JUST. We were friends for 1.5 years while he "transitioned". Of course I did not meet his children during this "transition" (starting to sound familiar?). During this "transition period", DH would tell me that he would go out dancing with "the ex" (still married, btw). And I saw them out and although they were not romantically linked I still thought this odd. Then once he took me to a festival because he got a weekend pass, took me Friday and HER, Toxic Troll Saturday. I fumed, but since we were still in the "friends" stage, I had no recourse except to just live my life.

He would tell me that he couldnt invite me over, because he never knew if she was there. She would steal his daughters keys and then drink beer and then stay the night, because had a few drinks. He did share that they were occiasionally still physically intimate (ewe), But that she was dating others, too. 

RED FLAGS WAVING. I had no idea about all these red flags, I just was on my own merry-go-round of life, and not really concerned about what he was doing. We were just friends after all...

THEN, after a year and a half, we decided to be in a relationship. A week or so into it, he took off for a friends wedding, about 2 hours away, with his two daughters. Told me that he would be back in time to be together. Well, turns out that Toxic Troll was also there, and it was a BIG FUN PARTY. He told me that the friend was a mutual friend of his and Toxic Troll, so he didnt feel he could bring his new relationship partner. He also told me that TT would tell others that they were separated and "just friends". Because their marriage was "just a peice of paper" .

I did not find out until much later, during a conversation. Amazingly enough I still married the guy....but on to the DIVORCE part of my story.

So, about 1.5 years into the relationship, I was still lving apart, but would visit almost 3-4 evenings weekly. I had met the children. It took 2 months for that to happem, they were 15.5  8.5. It happened when my DH insisted because the kids had already met her new BF of 1 week. YEP.

Now, onto the rest. I had heard that the family despised the BM, but not really known why. I myself have grown to desipise her too, but for different reasons. Well, come to find out they despised her because she would attend family events like Thanksgiving and Christmas at DHs' family home and trash talk him. Im like "when was this? When you two were separated and in "transition"?" YEp, you probably guessed it. He would bring her to his family gatherings where she felt she needed to justify their separation by tellling them how he is emotionally abusive to her, as well as verbally abusive.

Ok, so, about that divorce already. After 1.5 years in a relationship with DH and 3 years separated, I started pushing him. I really could not be in a relationship anymore with him. Then there were friends of his saying the same thing. I did research as to costing of a paralegal to do this thing, and his friend had a tex person who was a paralegal with a JD degree, who would do it for $1,500. OK, sounds good what is holding you back? Well, he jumped through many hoops during ou relationship, to appease Bm, because he did not want to rock the boat. ALSO because he knew that after the ink dried he would be liable for some kind of spousal support and child support. He "negotiated" down for spousal and they agreed to no child support because 50/50. They each would claim a child on taxes. Well during this process things got really super ugly. She texted really ugy things, she treated him horrible.

SO - if your man ever gets to this point expect a LOT of ugliness. 

I found out she did not want him to file because, although she had a serious boyfriend at the time, she wanted social security benefits, and you only get those if you are married 10 plus years. Then I found out that after 10 years, you can get spousal support "in perpetuity"...feck that, file!

Long story longer, one kid has aged out of visitation, one remains. Shes sweet, and considerate. A while after divorce was final, we got married. Since he had zero assets before with Toxic Troll, we have been busy acquiring assets together. We bought a house and bought a boat.

So - my tale started cautionary - basically I was where you are. I stuck it out with him and we are building a good solid life together. He has helped me through an abusive ex relationship, has helped me in other ways, and I have helped him through his divorce, and onward.

Oh  - and if you ever decide to get married to him, BM will definitely blow a total gasket.

SO - in short, should you decide to stay with him, he needs to get his divorce final. That will change everything. Secondly sell that house. Then he will be free to invest in a real and solid life with YOU. I think, rather than ultimatum, create a "timeline" so that your person can see the future with YOU. Something that flows forward, because he is still stuck in the cesspool of his failed marriage and toxic spawn are swimming around in the muck with him, sucking his life force. 

Best wishes and looking foward to your success story.


FWSM1964's picture

CLove, I really appreciate you sharing your experience.  I can certainly relate.

I am glad that you were able to meet your SK's.  I unfortunately cannot because the four adult SK's pity BM's victim-like status and her refusal to move on.  She is still pining for my partner, and they separated almost 15 years ago.

I believe that my partner's lack of confrontation has led us to the situation we are today; however, he is on board with getting the divorce, selling the house, and refraining from playing "happy family" with BM at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Time will tell what will happen and I am optimistic for the future.

Thanks so much for sharing, CLove.  I'm glad you are in a better place now.