Soconfusing (original poster member #61392) posted at 3:38 AM on Tuesday, March 21st, 2023
Hello everyone! I haven’t been around in awhile but y’all always give great insight so I thought I’d share the weirdest situation that has popped up recently.
So I have been with this guy for three years, engaged for 2 of them and recently gave him his ring back because he has literally made zero steps towards getting married and my frustration level was reaching the breaking point. He then told me he wanted to work on us and see if we could fix things.
So for background I have four kids. He tells me that he really likes my kids. Has never used the word love.
Years ago, like 13 years ago, he had a girlfriend for 6 years. She had a daughter that he occasionally brought up since I’ve known him. He recently starting talking to the daughter again and started talking about her a lot. (She is married now with two young kids). He talks about how her dad and her have a bad relationship and I guess he wants to step up and be there for her. He has taken to referring to her as his daughter. And then asked me if I was cool with him going to meet up with her and meet her family. I said sure, but got increasingly uncomfortable with it when I realized that he had no intention of inviting me along and he was very excited about it. I then hear him on the phone with her and when he hung up said "I love you, goodbye"
I didn’t say anything and I guess he picked up on my unhappiness because he stopped talking about her. Kept talking to her, just not saying anything to me about it.
When I talked to him about it he acted like he couldn’t understand at all why I would be bothered. I told him that it made me super uncomfortable. But the fact that he just kept it to himself instead of seeing an issue and dealing with it really upset me. I don’t like secrets and I felt like him not saying "let’s figure this out" was really concerning.
Am I being unreasonable? One thing I have found since my divorce is that I don’t trust my own feelings. I was told for so long that I was always overreacting and being crazy that it makes me question myself. Ugh.
EvenKeel ( member #24210) posted at 1:46 PM on Tuesday, March 21st, 2023
She is married now with two young kids
So you mean the ex'GF's DD's bio dad is not in the picture...but this new husband IS in the picture for this DD?
Your BF hasn't really spoken with this EX's DD for 13 yrs and NOW decides it would be good for HER if he is back in the picture.
Gurl....your spidey senses should be tingling. Something is way off here.
First off, lets assume your BF was really close with that DD while they were a couple. If he blew her off for 13 yrs and now is popping up. I would be upset if I was that girl's mom.
He then told me he wanted to work on us and see if we could fix things.
Then there is THIS. He is just NOW wanting to work on things because you returned the ring? Grrrrrr.
As for his relationship with your kiddos. I think it depends on the ages. It is a difficult road to navigate when you are in a relationship with someone with kiddos. I would go more by his actions with your children than his words.
You got some yellow flags here. If you are serious about building your life with him, would you consider couples therapy to help navigate?
[This message edited by EvenKeel at 6:54 PM, Wednesday, March 22nd]
barcher144 ( member #54935) posted at 3:32 PM on Tuesday, March 21st, 2023
He then told me he wanted to work on us and see if we could fix things.
Nope. Wrong answer.
He needs to work on him. Until he recognizes his own shortcomings... he's not a good partner.
At the same time, you need to work on you a little. He crossed one of your boundaries and you are trying to enforce it but you are struggling (emotionally) to do so. Keep your boundary. It's the right thing to do.
Me: BH, age 48Her: WS, age 45 (multiple EAs and PAs)D-Day: August 30, 2016
Diagnosed with depression in December 2016, which was primarily caused by my xWW's affair and associated emotional abuse.
Soconfusing (original poster member #61392) posted at 3:42 PM on Tuesday, March 21st, 2023
EvenKeel, to clarify, it is the DD that is married with kids now. She is in her mid-20s. The whole thing just feels weird to me. The part that upset me the most was that he wasn't trying to help me be comfortable, he just instantly went into not talking to me about it. Granted, he didn't lie when I asked him if he talked to her.
As far as my kids, it really isn't that he doesn't say he loves them, just more that he was saying it to her. It probably stems from the fact that since I gave him the ring back he doesn't use the word love at all anymore in regards to me either. Now, I don't either, but I am in full on protection mode at this point and feel like I have disconnected myself a lot.
It isn't just this situation, there are so many issues that are bothering me and I feel at this point that there may not even be a point in counseling. I mean, he is searching to buy a house but admits that his needs and wants are most important when it comes to the house. Like I said, I have four kids living with me. His mom had some financial issues and moved in with him, so it is the two of them, and he is beyond particular about things being super neat and clean...have you ever tried to keep a spotless house with four kids?? He talks about how he doesn't think we will be able to live up to his expectations of cleanliness. All of these are red flags. I know that. I get paralyzed when I think about breaking things off though. I guess it is me that needs counseling!
He said he wanted to work on things...but has yet to initiate a conversation about us at all. It has been months. He will talk if I bring things up but I am not interested in always being the one discussing anything.
Don't get me wrong, I don't hate him and generally really like him as a person but I just don't see us matching up very well at this point.
Soconfusing (original poster member #61392) posted at 4:17 PM on Tuesday, March 21st, 2023
Barcher, thanks for the insight. I think you nailed it on the head with saying that I am having trouble enforcing my own boundaries. I know in my heart that they have been crossed but I can’t seem to enforce my own boundaries. Pretty obvious when you put it like that that I need to do some more work on healing up and getting myself straight.
WhatsRight ( member #35417) posted at 7:25 PM on Tuesday, March 21st, 2023
He talks about how he doesn't think we will be able to live up to his expectations of cleanliness.
Oh hell no!!!
Sorry, that came across too strong?
I can see why you are feeling weird.
"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt
I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy
Soconfusing (original poster member #61392) posted at 8:34 PM on Tuesday, March 21st, 2023
WhatsRight haha! Not too strong! Maybe I need someone to shake some sense into me!
I recently talked to my counselor because I feel like sometimes I under react about things and his response was "no, I think you don’t react at all".
ibonnie ( member #62673) posted at 11:36 PM on Tuesday, March 21st, 2023
Like I said, I have four kids living with me. His mom had some financial issues and moved in with him, so it is the two of them, and he is beyond particular about things being super neat and clean...have you ever tried to keep a spotless house with four kids?? duh He talks about how he doesn't think we will be able to live up to his expectations of cleanliness. All of these are red flags.
Huge red flag. My in-laws live a couple hours away by plane. We visit usually 1x a year, for a week at a time. FIL gets VERY flustered/upset over "messes," which... are usually a few toys left out, a messy blanket on the couch (not folded neatly along the top of the couch), extra shoes and jackets at the entry way and a bunch of toiletries around the bathroom sink. Overall, their house looks very neat and clean though. Most of our "mess" is contained to the bedrooms we're staying in, and I make sure to make the beds daily.
But by the end of the week, FIL's picking fights and making snarky comments under his breath to WS. He just CANNOT handle little kids being normal little kids. At least, not for more than a couple of hours at a time.
I would seriously reconsider this relationship, especially if you ever think you might be a grandma one day.
[This message edited by ibonnie at 12:05 AM, Wednesday, March 22nd]
"I will survive, hey, hey!"
EvenKeel ( member #24210) posted at 7:04 PM on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2023
EvenKeel, to clarify, it is the DD that is married with kids now.
Ahhhhhh - sorry, I misunderstood.
When you got engaged, what did the conversations look like about your future together? I just find it perplexing that he would propose without considering how his life and household would change when being with a partner with children.
It almost sound like he thought an engagement ring would be his next and only step?
Geez and who would want to join households with someone who is sure you will never match his level of cleanliness? How would you ever be comfortable in your home?
Let's forget about him for a moment; What is your goal for you and your children? Is being in a relationship important for you at this point?
Charity411 ( member #41033) posted at 8:46 PM on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2023
Another red flag is that "he is searching to buy a house." You don't say "we". If you are engaged, without a doubt you should both be searching together and you needs should be equally considered. Don't be so willing to give up on any of your expectations. From my experience you can either stand up for yourself now and risk ending the relationship, or go through the trouble of uprooting your kids, moving and having it end badly later.
I made this mistake myself. Within a few weeks of me and my 10 year old daughter moving in with my SO, it was miserable. It was clear he never had any intention of actually marring me, and in my gut I knew it. Had I listened I would have saved myself and my child a world of hurt. Once in the situation it occurred to me that the reason I didn't want to end the relationship was because I wanted to be in a relationship so badly that a miserable choice was better than no one at all. He kicked us out of his house within weeks. Thankfully I hadn't sold my own house and was able to move back home once my renters left. At that point I had been in a relationship with him for more than 8 years.
The issue of the daughter is interesting and very weird. I think there is another possibility. Just like you, my SO had very little interest in my daughter, but would occasionally mention the son of a friend of his, who needed male guidance. About 2 years after I finally left him I got served with a lawsuit he was involved in. He filed for bankruptcy and I was implicated as having helped him hide assets because I signed a car lease for him. I never even drove the car, but it took me $2K in legal fees to extricate myself from it. That was about 20 years ago. About a year ago I came across the finding in that bankruptcy case on line. To my surprise, I wasn't the only woman named in it as having received monetary gain from him. When I looked this woman up on line, it became clear that he was paying her child support during our entire relationship. The young man he mentioned all of twice to me, was actually his child.
So I was in a relationship with someone for almost 9 years and never had any idea he had a kid. I think it's a possibility that you could be in the same situation. The red flag is that he doesn't intend to include you when he goes to see her. And it is very unusual that he would be saying "I love you" to an ex-girlfriend's kid that isn't his. And young women don't suddenly want to reconnect with their mom's ex-boyfriend after 13 years.
This guy is not marriage material in my opinion. Giving you a ring was designed to keep you as a place holder until he finds a better deal. You should be more afraid of wasting any more time by not ending it.
BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 10:55 PM on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2023
This guy sounds shady AF.
Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried
I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.
Soconfusing (original poster member #61392) posted at 4:24 AM on Friday, March 24th, 2023
I want to thank each one of you for taking the time to share your experiences and opinions with me. I am really glad that I came here, because between writing it out and getting the outside perspective it has really helped me see things in a different light. It is almost like a light shining in a dark corner if that makes any sense. As I typed all of this out I see how odd it all is, yet somehow in day to day life it was just a little here and a little there which made it seem less offensive. I truly appreciate all of your help with this!
ibonnie, I am extremely anxious when I go to his house and now that I have really considered it it is obviously because nothing can ever be out of place. Even when kids are "neat" they aren't adult level neat, it is just part of being a kid!
EvenKeel, Honestly I don't think I could ever feel at home like that. I mean, I would literally be on eggshells all the time. The more time I take to think all this through I can't see how it would even be fair to put my kids in a situation that I know would cause stress and being their mom is my number one priority right now. Which I think tells me what I need to do.
Charity411, It was his son?? Oh my goodness, what a surprise that must have been! I had not even considered that. I see that you picked up on the "him searching for a house", I wasn't really considered in it and he just finally admitted that his needs are most important when house hunting. Talk about not being husband material. I have felt exactly what you said about wanting to be in a relationship so badly, but this is feeling like a waste of time. Coming here and getting this all out has been so clarifying for me!
BluerthanBlue, ohmygosh hahahaha!
Abalone123 ( member #82896) posted at 8:24 PM on Friday, March 24th, 2023
A married mother in her 20’s really does not need a father figure specially someone that has not been in her life for a couple of years.
Like another member here put it rightly , shady AF! What he is doing is called lying by omission. Just leaving out the fact that he talks to her.
I bet she’s having issues in her marriage and Daddy is swooping in her life to "save" her.
Save yourself from this man and be very glad that he does not "love" your kids.
Tallgirl ( member #64088) posted at 11:32 AM on Monday, April 24th, 2023
Trust your gut feelings. These are flags for sure.
Keep us posted.
Yearning for divorce before I pop off
Soconfusing (original poster member #61392) posted at 3:17 AM on Wednesday, April 26th, 2023
I just want to thank each of you for your insight. I knew in my head that it wasn’t working, but it took awhile for my heart to get there. The prospect of being alone made me so sad but at the end of the day I know that is better than being with someone who isn’t right for me.
I ended our relationship two weeks ago and I am feeling better as time goes by. We decided to remain friends and not to make it a nasty sort of thing and things are going just fine.
I truly appreciate each of you being so willing to help me get to where I needed to be!
I am trusting that God will send the right man at the right time and am just going to focus on my kids and my life how it is right now!