How can you have a 4-year relationship when a milestone in your timeline is that your ex left in 2011.
Good question Cat!
Here is the breakdown...
I was married 17 years. The last few years of it he cheated on me. I was completely oblivious to it. I thought we had a great marriage. Found out that he is not only cheating on me but has his gf pregnant!
I gave him multiple chances and believed in our marriage. He lied and I trusted...
Long story short.
We divorced BUT because we had young children together *I* agreed to let him stay in the house but we were done. Our agreement was roommates until kids go to college. He could date freely but no women in the house etc. We kept it from the kids. They literally had no idea. We were nice to each other and it took a lot of discipline NOT to allow my raw emotions show in front of my kids.
I was totally devastated and didn't date for a long time. He was out and about. His pregnant gf ended up having an abortion. He moved on to others.
I eventually dated. I was upfront about my living arrangements and let me assure you my ex and I did not sleep in the same room nor would I EVER entertain the idea of letting him touch me ever again!
We worked through our rough times and ended up good friends, and roommates. When kids started asking about WHY he and I don't share a bedroom, I simply said that "daddy likes to watch TV and mommy likes to read in bed."
Now keep in mind that he was an absent father from the get go. So he not spending much time with the family was totally normal to the kids.
Our agreement was that we split the bills and we can date but the home front does not get compromised. -Ever!
Like I said, eventually I dated. I dated this guy (for the next 4 years). By then I was long divorced. I never introduced my kids to him, he stayed in the background. He knows my situation and we met when we could.
My exh and my agreement was that IF there ever comes a time where living together was unbearable or one of us found "the one" and wanted to move on with their lives, we would give a 2-3 months advanced notice to the other one. Explain to our kids that we love them but choose to live separately. Then do our best to move on with our own lives but helping the other one to find suitable housing. (I already knew that I was not going to leave my ex b/c I felt that the kids needed a dad in the house more than I needed to leave.
All went well and after dating my now ex-bf for two years, on Father's day 2011, ex h just left. He said he is done, and he never even said "good bye" to his DD. He took all the money out of our account (we had a joint account for bills, rent, etc) and he literally walked out. I was at work when he left. He took what he wanted out of the house and never came back.
I begged him to help me move, give me enough money to put down on an apt, help me find movers, help the kids through this tough period, but all he did is laugh and say:He said found this great girl. She lives in a huge house and she has two boys that he will help raise. He had it all figured out. Left me penny less and left his kids on Father's day. I was left with two kids (9 and 11) to pack up and move. We went from a three bedroom house to a two bedroom apt. It was hell. He had taken all our money and just walked out.
Only after my ex-h walked out, did I introduce my now ex-bf to my kids. I told them he was a friend of the family. He helped us pack and move most of our stuff. He helped tremendously. I don't know how I could have done it without him. My kids knew him then as "mommy's BFF" and that is how I SLOWLY introduced him to my kids. I truly don't know how I would have made this instant move (I had three days) to move. My landlord was pissed. I explained that without my ex-h's income I was not able to pay next month's rent. I guess once he found out that my ex just up and walked out he understood somewhat...
My kids only saw their father two more times after he left. He has been out of their lives for nearly 2 years now. He never calls no gifts for birthdays or Christmas, he is just gone.
My kids hung on to my ex-bf almost as a substitute for their father. It broke my heart. (No 2x4's please).
My ex-bf and I became close, real close after my ex-h left. Like I said before, my ex-bf knew in detail about my living situation with my ex-h and KNEW I was not looking for a "future" for myself until after my kids went to college and he was OK with it.
But once my ex-h up and walked out, ex-bf and I became close. Close to the point where he started talking marriage. My kids both loved him. My daughter to this day misses my ex-bf more than her own dad. I believed this man (after all we were together for 4 years). I helped him when he had cancer surgery; I was there for him and he for me. I had heart surgery and he was by my side. We were not just some "teenager's in love." We went through hell and back. But I guess eventually he became a flake. All those empty promises. Those lies of sharing a life together. Being there for each other when we grow old. Having someone by your side...but I guess he didn't want to "share" anything else. So he offered to continue dating without a long term marriage plans. I said NO and kicked him to the curb. He is over 50 (I am 43) and he wants to play house on his terms. I am not going to entertain another liar! He can go play house with someone else!
Well, the rest is written above...