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I need help! I am at a crossroad.

veryconfused's picture

I've been reading forums on this site for about the past 8 months, joined today, and really need help. Dating a man with 2 young kids (8 & 9), I do not have kids by choice - never wanted any. We've been dating 2 years, have lived together the last year. I just bought a house. He couldn't help with the mortgage because he is still on his ex's mortgage (and I recently found out he's also on a separate equity loan). He doesn't even know if the loans are current, the payment amounts, balances, or if the house is in forclosure. I've been asking him to find these things out. I hope I am not all over the place writing this... this situation has been making me literally sick the past few months. I haven't been eating, and started taking xanex at night so I can sleep, otherwise I am up all night thinking.
So, we have the kids 50/50 - of course including some weekdays and Thurs-Saturday (so much for date night). He doesn't pay child support per divorce agreement, but also just found out that he has been giving her almost $1k a month toward kids' health insurance - guess it was none of my business. I pay all the bills and give him a total at the end of the month of what he owes me, and he always pays it. He's just not responsible enough to me to leave it all up to him, and everything is in my name so I need to make sure I handle things.
About me: I've been in school almost as long as he's had his kids, 7 years - and am finishing grad school and in my residency now. I also have a business that I run, as well as have a few more classes - my life is crazy busy. He doesn't expect me to help out really with the kids for anything like rides, but he does get annoyed when I want to do my own thing on a Saturday morning if I'm not I really want to sit in front of the TV watching stupid cartoons or whatever they watch.
The kids are very good kids. I know they are kids and kids act nuts. These kids are hyper and wild. I do not enjoy spending time with them. They do not know boundaries. They have full range of the house, even the bedroom - which to me should be off limits and if he isn't around and they go in my bedroom - I tell them nicely to scoot out. The younger one wakes up at 6am on a Saturday and used to climb into our bed and wiggle around, laugh... I just really needed to sleep. BF would let him do this even if I had been up til 2am writing papers. I asked him not to let him do this... but he said that soon the boy will grow up and not cuddle like this anymore....neither kid knocks on the door either... they just walk in. So, I started sleeping naked every night, which of course BF loved... but quickly started jumping out of bed when the boy would watlz in at 6am. That problem solved.
However, BF doesn't give kids chores and there are no house rules. I've begged for us to have a talk together over house rules before moving in new home. I said I do not want running in the house... BF wanted to put gym mats in the living room! WTF? I bought a house on over an acre, and there's a swing set... They can go outside to play wild. BF waits on them... he'll get them a yogurt out of the fridge, he'll get them cereal, he picks up their trash (because I will get mad if he doesn't). I once made a star chart. A star for every chore THEY decide to do, and 20 stars and they get to pick something fun to do.. movies, roller skate, etc... BF never backed me up on that. BF doesn't agree that we should make chores or rules. BF is a plan it in the moment guy. Well, I do not believe or have faith that life can be successful that way. I believe there needs to be a gameplan. I need peace. I need quiet. I've committed 7 years to getting my degree. If I let them all move in, then I do not get my own office because they each need their own room since a boy and a girl.
I do not have the problem of the BM. She's great in her own regard (although won't work, can't pay mortgage so she is now taking BF to court for CS), but BM and me have always been polite and kind to one another. But I hate hearing about her all day long from the kids - I tolerate it because I want them to love their mom. I know it's just me being jealous of constantly being reminded about her existence.
However, I'm thinking now...and after reading things on here... what does this guy bring to the table? I totally do love him, but I do not believe that love is enough. I know the stats that almost 70% of 2nd marriages with kids ends in divorce that involve kids. I do not enjoy the kids. If something happened to BM (lost the house) and we had kids 100% - I could not cope.
Not pumping myself up, but BF gets an educated, financially secure, fit, kind, tolerant woman with a career....and I have to tolerate kids invading my space half my life? I tried to tell him that every decision he makes affects my life. I told him that it makes me sad that my life path has to be the one to make a complete 180. No more travel for me. I paid for everything in this new house. I gutted it, redid the floors... this cost A LOT of money, new furniture because the kids totally wrecked my other couch set by their monkey flips.
I can't let them move in, can I? I really do need an office for my work. There's no way I can get through another year with the kids flying through the house like spider monkies the way he prompts them to do. They also will interrupt me when I am talking to BF. I used to ask him to correct them, but now I just stop talking and walk away when he lets them interrupt and starts talking to them. He has just recently started to correct them on this. He says that he will apply rules at the new house - after I told him I don't think I can do this. Well - let me see these rules first!
I asked him if I can live alone for a year and let me get used to the kids more first. He said that if we do not live together, then we are splitting up. That's 'effed up. Seriously? Shouldn't I be a red flag to him? Shouldn't he be worried that his GF isn't comfortable with his kids so maybe he shouldn't be moving in? It's like I think I know I can't let him/them move in, but I really need to hear this. I have never loved someone like this man, and I see him try... but I just can envision what's to come. I can envision resentment. Resentment because I am going nuts trying to find some space, and him getting mad because I'm disengaging. Is love enough? When we don't have the kids, our life is BLISS. Bliss like I have never known before.
PLEASE be brutally honest with me and set me straight. I extended the rental house one more month, partially because he hasn't packed one thing and it's in my name (of course) and I need to clean it so I can get MY security deposit back. I already moved all my things into the new house. I did not move anything of his or his kids, and he was really offended at me for that. I even paid half the rent there, even though I do not need that house now.
Last week I told him that they can't move in. For a moment I felt like a burden was lifted, but then I cried my eyes out over thinking that he will be out of my life. And then I caved by the afternoon and said FINE again.
I'll be sacrificing at least a decade of my life before I could live my life without kids again... why can't he give up 1 year so I can feel confident in this? I am so sorry this is so long. I think about this every minute of every day - for the past 8 or 9 months.

stepmum-mark2's picture

no no no no no@!!!

RUN and run now.

Love is not enough.

You know this in your heart.

As you say - what is he bringing to the table!!!

If he were serious about you and wanting to make this work (instead of the free ride he seems to want) he would be listening to your concerns and willing to make changes or take some more time to work on your concerns. He's not - he's trying to bully you into everything being his way, he is deceitful about his finances!

Just no.

Get off the lease, move into YOUR home without them and he can either shape up or F off.

stepmum-mark2's picture

Yes, my love, it is. But you CAN do it. You need to do it. Trust me.

I was in a very similar situation to you a few years ago. It did not end well because I did not listen to those little red flag voices at the beginning and trusted that ~love~ would conquer all, that he would see sense and start to consider me as well etc. This did not happen, and it got very very ugly.

If he is the one, he will take your concerns more seriously when you show him you mean business, if he doesn`t then he`s not the right man for you.

veryconfused's picture

thank you so much. I keep reading every word you're telling me. And I know I have to.

veryconfused's picture

I did it tonight. I explained that I've been trying to force myself into the role he wants me to be and that the outcome is me living in constant turmoil, depression, and anxiety. Told him he needs someone who is excited to raise his kids with him, and that I might be able to, and want to, but that I need more time. I admitted that I have a lot to learn and need to build a relationship w kids that is not forced. I said that I don't have the answer to when we should all live together, but know it's not now.

So, he stood firm on breaking up, that now I need to find him a new place to live since I ruined his life and he's got to tell kids.

I would never have had a chance. Asking for a year to live apart so I can get counseling so I can learn how to cope with changing my life path completely is ridiculous to him.

He said that he went all in, but I just won't. Well, he had nothing to lose. I brought security and everything to the table. I've always had to handle all the finances, clean the house for 3 more people without any help....

I KNOW that this was the right thing, but I'm hurting like hell right now. I'll probably call out of work tomorrow because I feel so distraught and sick.

He just never tried to see it from another perspective. It was all a win - win for him because I came with no baggage and all my shit in order. And I was always kind, generous, and gracious in all situations he put me in... like attending the girl's birthday party at his ex house, not knowing anyone, and him leaving me too chat with his ex in laws without introducing me.

I was always trying to please and accommodate all of them, and never asked for anything in return other than simple requests, like "please ask before using my expensive products"... the girl would use gobs of my $40 hair products without asking, and when I brought it up to him, he called me cheap. I've never once been cheap. I Just wanted respect. I would never use anyone's things without first asking. Kids used to go thru my pocketbook too.

I'm totally numb. I'm all cried out for tonight. I keep trying not to think of all the things I miss. I Can't sleep.

Im gonna go online and look for a mini vaca as some people here have suggested to do.
Thank you ALL for your support.
He asked me to go w him tomorrow somewhere. I said, "why?" Again, he doesn't take me serious.

This has been the most difficult thing I've ever done.

sportslover's picture

WOOOOOOO HOOOOOOO! Yes, look online today at trips, singles cruises, etc.

Just stay gone and get though hour by hour and re-read those lists and add to them.. or you will be right back in this same spot 2 years from now, 2 more years wasted and 2 years older...

stepmum-mark2's picture

So have you moved into YOUR new place yet? Just stay strong and do not cave to his attempts to guilt you and reel you back in.

He already started with the it's all your fault, he gave it all and you didn't, you need to find him a place because you ruined his life etc.

Do not listen to that crap. All you did was take care of you and ask for your boundaries to be respected and to be given time - he has shown you he is not genuine - if he were he would have listened and attempted to understand you and given you something back rather than blowing up and blaming you for not meeting his/the kids needs.

So - mini-vacay yay! Do it, keep focussed on moving forward, plan things to keep you focussed and looking ahead.

You can do this.

veryconfused's picture

Yes, I'm moved in. I'm so incredibly sad and keep trying to stay busy so I don't keep second guessing myself.
He hasn't called, no texts, nothing. Makes me feel even worse.

sportslover's picture

It shouldn't...but he will contact you eventually, which will give you a momentary good "feeling", but in reality is bad because it sets it all back.

You need to block his number, seriously.

ybarra357's picture

Ok here's what you do. Go to foot locker and buy yourself a really sweet pair of running shoes. Go home, put them on and RUN like the wind!

sportslover's picture

I don't even know where to I'll just type:)

Please, please, please give yourself the biggest and best gift you ever could (and them, too in the end- believe me) and get out of this.

I was in a very similar situation..and it is awful. I truly CANNOT stress enough ho much better your life will be once you are on your own and have the ultimate freedom and peace...and eventually you will meet a child-free, great, handsome guy and barely be able to recall their names. They will move on to "better for them", too, so don't even worry about that..


Every facet of my life is better now, literally. Imagine the REST OF YOUR SHORT AND PRECIOUS LIFE - everything will be done for and around these kids/HIS, dinners, weekends, movies, tv shows, EVERYTHING.. and some on your dime, to boot. And that's the easier part lol

You bring so much to the table and are selling yourself short..

Get out while you're young!

BethAnne's picture

Your plan is a sound one. If your boyfriend doesn't want to live apart for a year then he is either not so bothered about breaking up with you or not really listening and respecting what you are saying.

Breaking up is hard, really hard particularly when you still love the person but you know that for a variety of reasons this isn't going to work out. What I do know is that you are capable of having many loves in your life and that as much as this relationship feels like it is perfect (except for the kids and lack of financial disclosure) if you take the lessons you have learnt here and apply them when you are dating in the future you will find someone who is an even better fit for you.

I do not usually advocate ending relationships on here as most people are looking for solutions to keep their relationship going. But you sound like you are looking for reassurance that breaking up is the right decision and if you are feeling that way then it probably is.

Rags's picture

Re-read your original post as if someone else wrote it and then end this thing and move on. If he is so clueless that he doesn't know what loans he has or what the status of those loans are is he really someone you want to tie your star to in an equity life partnership? I think not. At least if I were you I wouldn't even consider it. Find someone of your own caliber to make a life with and leave this toxic and tragically clueless situation fading in your rear view mirror. Good luck. Take care of you.

JadeMom's picture

Run, woman! Do NOT get yourself into this!

You sound like an incredibly intelligent, mature, put-together woman. He isn't bringing anything to your relationship. The fact that it's all or nothing (move in or split up?? Seriously?!) is a huge red flag.

Thank goodness you're not married to this man. Find a new one! A man who is also intelligent and put-together! An equal -- with no kids!! You don't want kids, so don't invite them into your life!

End it, then come back and let me know so I don't spend the next few days worrying about you!

Yes, it'll be hard, but by next Saturday you could be sleeping in and getting some much deserved rest. No more destroyed furniture. No more worrying about SO's lack of parenting. IT WILL GET WORSE. Imagine two teenagers. Imagine two twenty-somethings who refuse to launch.

Run. Run. RUN.

veryconfused's picture

That's also what I'm very afraid of.... teenagers. Lack of structure and teens can't equal a peaceful existence.
Already, life revolves around each kid's practices.... even on the days we don't have them... I'm expected to want to watch... so I always make sure I'm busy with work. That's crazy. I just can't get excited over kid stuff.

Annoyed1's picture

You need to wake up!!! There's so many young, smart, talented women out there. They're that way because they're strong willed and driven. You are just starting your life. It's very clear to me that this ISN'T what you want for your life, and honestly, who would?!?! Now find that driving factor that I know you have, because you've made that clear in sticking out for 7 years in school. Why did you go to school? To make a better life that YOU want. You don't owe anyone anything. Break up with him, cry and move on. You'll get over it. I know you can. Moving forward, let this relationship be a lesson to you of what you don't want and won't tolerate in a relationship. If I can leave a relationship of 11 years, you can do this. I am now happily married to my husband and we are expecting our first child. No other children or exes involved and I couldn't be happier. Please, do yourself the favour. If you have to forfeit your deposit to rid yourself of this man and his children, then please do so and count your losses. Do it before you're pregnant and stuck in this nightmare. It doesn't get better, it gets worse as the teen years approach (from my experience).

lonelygirl's picture

Girl, I'm in a very similar situation with someone who manipulates and emotionally abuses me constantly. He has two young daughters. I don't really know how to fix this because I'm still figuring it out too, but I want you to know that you're not alone. From what I can tell this man is really taking advantage of you, and he's putting his needs and desires over yours. I just don't think its love if they're capable of being so selfish and causing other human beings to feel insignificant and worthless. It's really hard to leave someone like this though, and I can't even figure out why myself. But honestly, I feel like we're wasting our lives and our capacity to love on people that don't appreciate or respect us

veryconfused's picture

How long have you been with him and how old are his daughters? Are you able to live on your own? Are you married or dating this man? Do you have any kids yourself?

SMforever's picture

1. You don't want kids
2. He is mooching off you
3. He is clueless about money, and didn't give you his full financial picture from the start = lying by omission
4. You are taking xanex just to be able to sleep
5. He is trying to make it all your fault that he cannot provide his kids a place to live
6. Ask yourself why he is divorced...could it be he treats everyone this way

What's to like? He IS NOT available for the bliss-filled life you think is on the horizon. Thise kids will always be part of the package and will come before you in the pecking order.

Keep your resolve, wish him well, and lock your door. Don't use the excuse of the rent deposit. The price is worth it to finish this nightmare.

I'll be willing to bet he has another sucker on the hook within three months. These guys who use lonely women are sooooo charming. I had one of these incredibly sexy users. I missed him terribly after giving him the boot, but I stayed no contact. He is still attempting to re-contact after 7 years. They have no shame.

Harry's picture

If he doesn't controll the kids now, he will never controll them. As the get older the problem get bigger. They will take over your house,and you will be the outsider. Three against one. You don't need it, you know that. Find some with out kids. Do your self a favor

pinkb's picture

Sweetheart, your situation SUCKS. Let me give you a peek into how this looks in the next decade and beyond.

I started dating my (now) husband when his son was 11. We dated for about a year on non-kid days before my work took me 3000 miles away. We broke up but kept in touch. We reconnected when the kid was about 14 (7 years ago). We didn't spend a lot of time with the kid but it was inevitable when we got engaged. Within weeks the kid had a "falling out" with his mother and moved in with us full time (with my permission... this was my first silly decision). A year of jacka$$ kid I moved out of our apartment into corporate housing that my work financed because I was about to lose my mind. My husband eventually joined me (and pawned the kid off on BM for awhile) because he couldn't afford the apartment rent on his own.

My husband is also a financial idiot. At least know about yours now while you can still get-the-fuck-out. For years I counted the days until he turned 18 because that's when all the financial coddling was supposed to stop. His father didn't save a penny for college so he (AKA as WE) weren't going to pay for college. We paid for two years (part of which my husband was unemployed so you do the math...) and then my husband took out loans. During that time we've had little/no spending money, few-and-far-between vacations while the kid has European vacations, every new device on the market and only at 21 had his first real job (which was arranged by me... another poor choice when I thought I was trying to help).

The money to the kid has stopped (though time will tell). And I feel like my husband and I *might* have a decent shot of being happy but it has taken 7 years of misery to get here.

Take off the rose color glasses doll and freaking run.

veryconfused's picture

Omg, you know, I tried talking to him about college too... neither of them have saved or have any plans. I'm 40, he's 45, and he doesn't have a retirement plan either. I can totally see this happening.

pinkb's picture

My husband has $200 in retirement savings and $8K in debt. I've blown over $20K paying off his credit cards (at 20% interest) in two years. Every time he's "not going to run them up again". Right. Until the kid wants a new snow board.

IDontCare3117's picture

This guy is fiscally irresponsible, lets his kids run around like feral animals, and has threatened to break up with you if you don't let him and his kids move in with you in the new house YOU bought? Sweetie, recognize that you are his Sugar Mama / ATM / Personal Banker. He and his kids are a liability in more ways than one, and take away from you being able to take care of yourself and build your own successful life. Tell him you are going to take him up on his generous offer to break up. Good bye, good luck, hasta la vista, baby.

pinkb's picture

Run like the wind, girl. And, as mentioned above, if you lose your deposit because the a$$hat won't get his things out so be it. Get out now and don't look back.

The crew here are ridiculously supportive. We will help you through it. BE STRONG and cut the cord.

pinkb's picture

Also, I grew some more nerve in the last couple years when I refused to continue financing this circus. In addition to the home that I paid the entirety of the down payment on AND consolidated 2 homes moving coast to coast (his and mine... NOT CHEAP) "we" have also purchased two more properties in the last year.

My husband is a good man. He is just entirely brain dead as it relates to finances and is also Super Duper Guilty Disney Dad to his kid.

I'm 42 and though largely happy now lost 7+ years of my life on this.


veryconfused's picture

That's what I'm afraid of, waiting a minimum of 10 years before the youngest is on his own... but that's not even realistic. I don't want to lose 10+ years of my life, especially at this point in my life... before school I traveled, at least 3 big trips a year. I'm ready to do this again! Last year, my trip was to Florida to visit his mom for a week with the kids. I almost lost my mind.

Created's picture

If you could go back and talk to yourself before you got back together with him what would you have told her? (asking because im at a similar crossroad now)

StepUltimate's picture

Girlfriend, there are a lot of lovable guys to fall in love with... however, as your gut and your own two eyes are telling you, this one is exactly what you see & it's not a good match for you- not a partnership but a free nanny/maid/benefactor plus good sex bene's... so while it really works for him, it's all downhill for you. He's unwilling to do the work to make it work as a partnership with you, and unwilling to give his kids the benefits of the discipline and structure they need, so to me that looks like an 18-year+ sentence for you (not to mention an unfortunate path for his kids).

You have a lot to be proud of and you deserve a partner who builds you up & supports your goals, not this. No shame in being honest with yourself. Sooner is better than later.

veryconfused's picture

I truly love all of you and am so grateful I finally spoke up on here. I just finished a short letter to him stating that our lives just don't align at this time, and that I'd rather part as friends instead of inevitable enemies in the future. I mentioned that I still felt it would be great if we could live apart and date, but that decision is his. He's not easy to talk to, and I don't want to get emotional and cave again. I'll wait til Monday when he goes to work and email it. He has the kids right now. I told him I had to go to work because I'm too stressed out to be there.
He texted earlier and said "love you", and I replied with "I love you too, but I'm very stressed and depressed". His reply was, "you're fine and everything will be great". He doesn't HEAR me. Yeah, great for him, as you all pointed out... nice house for cheap rent, a maid (I keep things really clean and organized), etc etc.
Ugh, I feel so sick.

IDontCare3117's picture

It's undoubtedly going to hurt for a while - a relationship ending always does. I promise you, though, in a short amount of time you will feel a sense of relief you don't have all this BS in your life.

Have a cocktail, breathe deeply, settle your nerves and remind yourself you have a great life and bright future you're walking toward.

pinkb's picture

Chin up, Babe. And, don't cave. Most of the folks you are hearing from on this site have been there/done that. Though we all have our moments most of us know what we're talking about. These folks have helped keep me sane for 5+ years.

If you start feeling weak, we are here to help.

pinkb's picture

One more thing... a grand a month for health insurance for two pre-teen kids? That's ridiculous. Even a family of four shouldn't cost that much.

veryconfused's picture

Yeah, I agree. I have asked him for about a year to get a copy of the kids health insurance cards - just in case we needed to take them somewhere. I doubt she was using the money for that, it's just what she told him and he just goes along with whatever like an idiot. He recently got insurance at work and stopped paying her the money. Now she is taking him to court for CS. So, there's the proof that she wasn't using the money for health care. He did this for the past 5 years without asking for proof. That's crazy to me.

sportslover's picture

Good, now book yourself a last minute, solo trip to Costa Rica and get your old and new FABULOUS life back..

From one fellow globetrotter to another, nothing works as well to move forward than a big trip!

Again, cannot tell you again how GLAD I am I made my move. Just accept that you'll feel "weird" for a few a while, but it'll go away-just like everything else does.

veryconfused's picture

I can't go away that long til my residency is over (5 more months)... but I sure as hell can take a 4 day trip somewhere. That's an excellent idea. And that'll get my mind off of things.

SMforever's picture

You'll feel queasy until you pull the trigger. He will get angry, love-bomb you, try to bargain...all the stages of grief in fast forward.

The absolute best thing you can do us go completely no contact so you don't cave. Rip that bandaid off fast. It hurts like the devil but is in the long run way less painful than dragging it out.

This guy's life is going to be difficult very soon, all his own doing, not your responsibility. Don't stand around watching him squirm like a bug. Give him the respect of walking away so he can learn to cope without sugar momma. Some day you will have a eureka moment and see how badly he is using you.

DO NOT feel bad for choosing what is best for YOU.

PS. Last time I walked away no contact from a disaster...I went scuba diving in the Maldives for 2 weeks. That was heaven and cured me of the crazy that was my relationship.

sportslover's picture

yep, trips like that put things in perspective see how much is really out there, and that your little "2 person heartache drama" is nothing..just a speck in the book of your life.

Just got to stay away from couples resorts:)

veryconfused's picture

I'm glad you mentioned this. I was going to tell him that I would help him with things, like finding a new place, etc. He makes me feel like I am destroying his life by wanting to live separate. He guilts me about the kids. And you're totally right - he WILL get very angry... that's why I'm sending him the email once he goes to work. I only have 1 thing left at the rental and I'll grab that Monday morning. I am seeing that he is a really great fun guy, but only when things are going HIS way....and that's not cool at all. It's crazy.
I'm on good terms with his ex and she and I talked about me seeing the kids when she has them - if that is what the kids want. I don't want to hurt them. Do you think this is a bad idea? Should I visit the kids so they don't feel like they are losing someone, or should I just keep away from everything 100%?

hereiam's picture

You should not visit the kids, just make a clean break. It's best for everybody involved.

veryconfused's picture

I hate being in the middle as it is. When she has a problem with him, she calls me and then I try to get him to have an open mind about things. I play the mediator and I hate it, I don't have time for it.

stepmum-mark2's picture

Yes, absolutely a clean break.

End it and go no contact, he WILL try and force you back - first with love, then with anger and guilt trips.

HE/they are not your problem.

Get everything you have left out and then end it.

It will be very difficult but you know its best.

And stick around Smile We will worry about you otherwise.

pinkb's picture

More flashbacks to the future that you are smart enough to get out of now. It's after 2AM the night of my wedding anniversary. Jacka$$ SS21 is on his way back to our neck of the woods from his well appointed summer job where he made a total fool of me.

He just called and woke the whole household because he couldn't find his car where his father left it. And, his Daddy is running to the rescue.

He is 21yo.

Run before it's too late.

veryconfused's picture

Wow, sounds like he never has to deal with any of his own consequences. He'll never grow up always being rescued. Why should be improve or change if daddy always saves the day? I can totally see my guy doing this too.

I'm awake because when I got home, around 8pm, I had to listen all about his day w the kids. And then about their practices, etc. I'm standing there with my schoolwork in my hands, said that I just needed to put my things down and relax a moment.... he just keeps chatting about the kids. Nothing about my day (which he thought I was working, I was actually at new house writing a paper due tomorrow, I needed somewhere quiet to do my research). It just made me realize how life is going to be... totally centered around the kids. That's fine if it was something I wanted, but I'm just not interested in every aspect of my life being about his kids.

So then I get a shower, sit down next to him on the couch... he continues talking about kids... and I turn on Netflix to put on the show like we usually do whenever we actually have an evening together. He snapped at me, started a fight because I didn't ask first. Wait, what? It's my tv, I pay the cable (that I never get to watch if kids are here)... I've just spent 90 minutes listening to him with my full attention.... an he's snapping at me because I just want to settle in and relax before bed?

I handed him the remote and went to bed. He came in soon after, he just realized I'm not in bed, I'm up and in living room, comes out as if nothing happened being all sweet.

This tv, by the way, is the last thing I have to pick up. I was being kind leaving it here for them, even though I had bought 2 regular sized tv's for each kids room... originally in hopes that I could watch my own tv at times when kids were over. I rarely ever watch tv, seriously maybe just 2 hours total a week if I'm lucky. However, these kids cannot ever do anything on their own. When they visit, they shadow me.

This is not the life I want or ever imagined.

Letter is written. Waiting for Monday. Have to get thru tomorrow and act normal. I've never had this level of stress lasting for so long, and I've dealt with cancer, losing my best friend of 30 years to breast cancer and my sister recently to a slow death from diabetes complications, within 3 weeks off each other, also the death of my dad in a plane crash... and I swear I was more resilient thru all that.

I'm sorry your DH is still always rescuing the boy. It's a shame he can't see how he's crippling him, causing him stagnation in life. I have a friend who's on her 2nd marriage and they have 3 adult children in their 30s still living with them because they keep rescuing them from all their consequences. It's their only source of conflict in their marriage.

ldvilen's picture

I always think that is the worst part of being a SM--giving up a chunk of your life for SKs, which no one even seems to recognize, and then your "reward" is being made a fool of. And, I still consider myself lucky in some ways. DH only had kids EOWE.

veryconfused's picture

I do feel like life is too short. I love life and want to travel and experience all that this world has to offer. I watched my best friend die at age 39 and it saddens me that she never got to go anywhere or see anything. I can't stay grounded here for the next 10+ years. We're not guaranteed tomorrow.

sportslover's picture

Wow, we share he same life perspective!! That is very rare..most people just "da dum de dum" their way through life, like it'll never end or they'll never get old and not be physically able to travel. Mortality scares most, hence they never really live.. just exist, imo.

Seriously, book that 4 night trip! It will give you something to do, focus on, get ready for and look forward to..but go asap.

And as someone else said, I think you may be surprised how fast you are forgotten and/or replaced. I sure was shocked how the kids really didn't care after 2 days..shocked. And they liked me better than him, supposedly, and shadowed me all the time, too.

Two things I did that ended up being smart, was I took pictures of the absolute messes all of them (him too) made and how I never got any appreciation for all the cleaning 24/7. Also, made a long list of all the "wrong" things I experienced over time and stashed them wallet, next to the toilet, next to my couch on table...and wow did it get long. During any moment of weakness, I just looked at those pics or read the list -instant sick feeling and my weak minute passed.

Funny, I still run across stashed lists once in while (and honesty, without them, I'd completely forgotten HOW bad my life was, as humans tend to get used to things) and I'll be prompted look across the room at my 10 years younger, child-free, sexy, sweetest man ever fiancee - who puts ME first..and tell him how grateful I am.

We leave on a long weekend trip next weekend, no kiddie activities or talk at all. This will be your'll see.


veryconfused's picture

Wow, I have done that before when I left a 9 year relationship, no kids. I listed all the negative so when I felt down, all I had to do was read it and it brought back ALL those pissed off feelings I had. That's a great idea!
I'm so happy you found your sexy fiancee!

Created's picture

Im stealing that one with pride.

I keep suckering myself back into it by thinking about the good times. Not about all the times I've been put 2nd (actually more like 5th) and how painful that is, not about all the disney parenting and what thats done to our dynamic, about all the things ive had to give up and give up wanting just to get a slice of this ... 

SMforever's picture

Please, for your safety, treat this like a divorce. The only tough bit is, there's no paperwork to wait for, so you need to fast forward your thinking. In a divorce, your ex partner becomes the adversary.

Look at it from his perspective. He will first be shocked with disbelief, then angry, then bargaining, then will move on. There is no guarantee what tactics he may employ during the anger phase or the bargaining phase. This is precisely why you need to be absolutely No Contact. You do not need to risk your safety...physical, emotional or otherwise...watching the train wreck.

Get your stuff out, all of it. Today. No going back. Give up on any notion of reconciliation, or having luvvy duvvy girl visits with BM. These folks will make you history so fast you will be surprised.

Focus on your health, and your future.

I only say this seriously because, as a fellow professional woman who took in a 37 yr old "project" boyfriend into my home for 18 months, it does NOT end well when it does. In my case, he was cheating so I threw him out. He did all the anger and guilting...and attacked me with a knife. He had been mild mannered, a guy in touch with his feminine side even, but in a flash the bad news turned him into a raging crim.

Not saying this would happen to you, but your soft side may be your weakest trait. You must not cave. Help him find a place to live....gimme a break! He is a grown man, let him be. He has had plenty of chance to do the right thing.

Have a plan for Monday, and each day after that. Block his calls and texts. Take a different route hime, and if he has a key to the new place, get the locks changed. Why? My ex backed up a truck to the house and removed all the possessions when I gave him notice. People act weird when cornered so keep yourself safe. You might even consider a further, unknown place to live so he cannot track you.

veryconfused's picture

Wow, that is scary! I'm so sorry you had to go thru all that! Holy shit! And your guy was mild... my guy isn't so mild mannered. I'm taking your advice, with everything.

pinkb's picture

If you have a close friend or friends or even a young couple that you can move into your house to stay with you for a few days or weeks, do it. Also, figure out how restraining orders work in your state. It will be a swinging pendulum of rage and groveling. Stay strong and engage you support system(s). You are going to need them.

And take the TV... the faster he has to explain to his children that the gravy train is no more the faster you all will start healing.

Loxy's picture

That is seriously the only good thing you get from a really shitty situation. So what you have to decide is if your partner is really worth the decade+ of sacrifices and frustration that comes with being a step-parent.

I absolutely love my DH and couldn’t imagine life without him. However, when I took on his kids (and they were both in nappies at the time so it was a two-decade commitment) I always thought I’d be raising my own kids alongside the skids. However, thanks to unexplained infertility issues that hasn’t happened and is now not likely to ever happen. This has stirred up enormous regret for me at the sheer waste my life has been for the last 10 years raising someone else’s kids and I’m not sure how to accept that. I’m also not sure how to accept another decade of sacrifice and waste until the skids are adult and moved out. And I’m angry, really really angry, as I genuinely believe the stress from raising skids has directly impacted my ability to fall pregnant.

A life without kids is all about freedom and indulgence so it never ceases to amaze me that people who didn’t want their own kids would be willing to take on someone else’s kids. Either way, it doesn’t sound to me like you love your DH enough to continue making such sacrifices so I would advise getting out of that relationship.
Best of luck!

Loxy's picture

Whoops - missed copying the first sentence in my post so full post below:

The only thing there is for a step-parent, especially one without their own bio kids, is their partner. That is seriously the only good thing you get from a really shitty situation. So what you have to decide is if your partner is really worth the decade+ of sacrifices and frustration that comes with being a step-parent.
I absolutely love my DH and couldn’t imagine life without him. However, when I took on his kids (and they were both in nappies at the time so it was a two-decade commitment) I always thought I’d be raising my own kids alongside the skids. However, thanks to unexplained infertility issues that hasn’t happened and is now not likely to ever happen. This has stirred up enormous regret for me at the sheer waste my life has been for the last 10 years raising someone else’s kids and I’m not sure how to accept that. I’m also not sure how to accept another decade of sacrifice and waste until the skids are adult and moved out. And I’m angry, really really angry, as I genuinely believe the stress from raising skids has directly impacted my ability to fall pregnant.
A life without kids is all about freedom and indulgence so it never ceases to amaze me that people who didn’t want their own kids would be willing to take on someone else’s kids. Either way, it doesn’t sound to me like you love your DH enough to continue making such sacrifices so I would advise getting out of that relationship.
Best of luck!

veryconfused's picture

I do love him, more than I've ever loved anyone before. Thing is though, that I also love and respect myself. It's not only the kids, it's how he doesn't acknowledge my feelings or listen to my concerns.
He can also be very selfish (owed me $3k while I was going thru the mortgage process, but bought himself a motorcycle instead of paying me back). He knows money is super tight for me because I'm using my savings to get by because I miss 3 days a week of work so I can get my residency hours in. He knows I take care of my mother, and nephew... He knows I'm under a lot of extra pressure right now... but he doesn't pick up to help me. I'd be appreciative if he could handle the bills, or mow the lawn, etc.
I dont want to complain about him or keep pointing out his shortcomings. Im just trying to see things clearly.
Part of loving sometone completely also means (IMHO) doing what is right even when they are not able.
I know he sees the red flags in me... He knows (because I've told him) that I'm not maternal and not interested in raising kids. I am not good for his kids..I would never ever do anything negative toward them, never have... they prefer me over him.... but I know that the right partner for him should be one who is capable, excited, and wanting to raise his kids along side of him.
I need to end this because I want better for him. Because I love him. Staying with him is selfish. They all deserve better than what I'm able to authentically be.

veryconfused's picture

I'm also so very sad that you have been having trouble conceiving. I can't even imagine how painful and maddening that is. And yes, added stress doesn't help.
Although nowhere near the same, would adoption be an alternative? A baby that is chosen to be loved and brought home by the both of you? YOUR own baby with DH.

No Name's picture

I am so proud of you! My daughter was so happy when it was just her and I in our little apartment. Financially it was a struggle because my ex was abusive and we left in the middle of the night with the clothes on our back. He then tried to get custody because I didn't have a permanent place to live. I basically begged a landlord to let me move in to a place that wasn't quite finished so that I would have a home for my daughter. Friends and relatives helped me out with hand me down furniture and some money. It was so hard. The ex cost me thousands in legal fees because he kept calling his attorney about trivial things, his lawyer would contact my lawyer and the expense just kept going higher and higher. I walked away with nothing but custody of my daughter and had to start my life from scratch.
I then started to date my now DH. He had three kids. The middle daughter was the same age as my daughter. At first things were good. The romance stage? He had his kids every weekend. We would date in the middle of the week after my daughter was in bed. I would get a baby sitter and we would be having dinner at 10:00 at night. I always put her first. I did notice that his kids were out of control and he yelled but they didn't ever listen and there were no other consequences for their actions but I guess because I wasn't with them all that long and when they got on my nerves I could exit and go home.
We were in love. We decided why pay rent on two different places when we could buy a house together and the mortgage would be less. We were so happy. The children were not. I could write a book of the absolute he** that my life has been over the past 12 years because of the skids and their BM. His skids were jealous of my daughter and the fact that she lived with their father full time. They were so mean to her and she was always sweet. Always the peace maker. It got to the point where she did not want to be here if they were coming over and I did not want to be her either. She would go to a friends house or a relatives and I would find things to do outside of the house and then when I had to come home I would hide out in my bedroom to get away from them.
My DH is terrible with money and made some extremely bad financial decisions and the skids and BM always had their hand out over and above the hefty support and medical and dental that he paid. We would constantly fight about all of the extra's simply because he didn't have it to do but could never say no. I was the one then left trying to figure out how the bills were going to get paid.
I love my DH and the skids are now all in their 20's but the drama continues. I have been physically ill over what I have been going through with SS recently due to stress. I thought that as they got older this stuff would pass. It hasn't. Listen to your head and not your heart. Stay strong! Do what is best for you!!! Life is too short!

veryconfused's picture

Wow, thanks so much for sharing that. I thought that once they were adults it would be clear sailing too, but I'm learning that's not true.

The finance thing scares me, always has.... he doesn't see money as important, almost like he's proud not to be materialistic, of course until it's something he wants, like this new motorcycle. I can envision me paying all the bills bc he feels guilty not giving kids whatever they want.

And again, they are really good kids. But, they are 8 and 9. Hormones haven't kicked in yet.

Im proud of you for leaving the abusive guy, but then so saddened to hear that you're stuck dealing with this STILL.
May I ask, how long did the "romance" period last?

It amazes me how much this affects every other aspect of my life.

sportslover's picture

Don't worry, and just accept that (your last sentence). It'll be a distant memory and seem like it was all just a bad dream soon enough. Time marches on....

Wifeypoo's picture

Welcome to steptalk veryconfused . I'm so happy for you!! Sounds strange but I'm happy for you because you can still get out of this relationship. It's horrible and confusing because you love him. That part is sad but I can't see this possibly working out for you. It will only get worse.

Something that stands out from your story is your BF's anger. Maybe you just mean he raises his voice etc, nothing physical, but still. Major red flag above ALL else, and down right scary. You should never ever have a reason to be afraid of your partner. He's a bully and you don't need that in your life.

Good luck sweet lady! I hope the breakup is a lot easier than you're expecting. It doesn't hurt to dream right? You're a lot stronger than you think and next year by this time you will be so much better off. Happier days are in your future.

strugglingSM's picture

Ugh! Sorry you're going through this. It sounds like he was trying to use you and it's better that he's gone from your life. His telling you that you now have to find him a new place shows he takes no responsibility for himself. You seem far too independent to be saddled with a man who can't handle his life.

Harry's picture

He will screw up these kids that, they will not function either. You will be paying for collage, where they will fail. They will always need money, just like there father. There are the type of kids that will never go away. You will never have peace. You will be taking them with you on vacation at 30. Because they don't have money to do it on there own

a88ie's picture

Pay for nothing seriously my lovely this guy is a dirty old throwback. A has been. You can and will do so much better just let go of the fear of being alone for a little while. 

a88ie's picture

I cant believe your sticking with him. I fired off 2 daddicts in all my dating years as of the nonsense like this. He has invested his life with someone else. I suggest you do the same. 


If I found out my SO was doing this I'd take control of the accounts or leave his arse.