General Question

genuineworth's avatar

Need perspective....what to do about living with BF and our children?

Asked by genuineworth (32points) July 11th, 2009

I just turned 40 – and am feeling like I am more lost and unsure of myself than ever before! The quick background is ths: Married for 18 years- had 4 children – divorced 3 years ago – met a man online – did a slightly long distance thing (2 hours apart)...which did end up causing some problems in that I did not catch his alcoholism or gambling issues – until we were engaged and I had moved in with him with 3 of my youngest kids. I had to end that relationship due to the issues he would not accept he had (it was BAD) – and so that was detrimental to my kids – especially my youngest – a 9 year old at the time. She was attached to him and it destroyed her. Anyhow – I carefully dated for another 6 months – and found the man I am with now. He has two boys age 13 and 6. They got along with my kids(ages 10 to 18) really really well for the first while (well – until we moved in together – and they still get along for the most part – just normal stuff comes up). I was working full time when we met—but HATED my job – as I have been a successful entrepreneur most of the rest of my life! My BF also loves to create businesses – and we align very well on that front. We kind of became involved in a few ideas we put together (network marketing stuff – so we each have our own business center – one under another – so we can work together but get compensated separately). Anyhow – I have Lupus – and the stress of my job and everything else with being a single working mom threw me over the edge physically. We were in love – and even though it was too soon for him – his divorce was fresh – and his ex married the guy she left him for – and so his wounds were fresh – which caused some issues for us here n there – but talking and working through them brought us really really close….closer than I have ever been with ANYone. He is not really my “ideal” match….there is a lot I don’t like – but a lot i do. I tend to focus on the positive. My friends and family would really rather see me with someone more “worthy” of me, etc…..which is WHY I came here for advice! They are all biased! The problems are now popping up heavily. We are hitting our 1 year anniversary since we met and went fast into an exclusive hot relationship. We moved in together right when I decided to leave my job that was killing me – and work on our biz opportunities together – and share expenses, etc. He has a home big enough for all of us – and his two kids are here one week on and one week off. I had a roommate in my old house – so he came with us for the first 6 months – paying us $500 a month for the room here. So – the mortgage was $1500 – so I have been paying $500 rent and half of all the utiities. I also paid half the food – until – everything went BAD. In February I couldn’t close a sale to save my life – and my illness was in high gear – so I could not work. I went on state aid – and got food stamps, etc. He paid for some expenses here and there while I struggled for about 6 weeks. When I got my tax refund – I paid him back for all the stuff he paid for. Oh – btw – he gets 800 mnth in child support from his ex – and I get nothing – my ex has been out of work for 3 years. My bf is a mortgage lender too – so every now and then he closes a loan that he lives off the money for awhile – and he has a TON of credit on credit cards he leans on when he needs to. I have NO cushion like those. I lost all my credit when my last two companies went bank/o. Anyhow – I have been using my food stamps allowance to pay for all the groceries for EVERYone in the house for 4½ months now. I think he still thinks I owe him stuff? Or he thinks we are a family – and those monies are for all of us? HIs boys eat a LOT – and so does he—- I also buy all the cleaning supplies, tp, etc, etc. The past few weeks has been insanely tough. I have been looking for work, and working my 4 biz ops about 12 to 16 hour days, plus clean, grocery shop, etc He – on the other hand does not feel the financial pressure I am under – and he plays video games with his boys, watches a lot of TV, golfs twice a week, etc. He has all the cushion – and no pressure. I have less than $100 to my name – lost my car to repo (borrowing my brothers junk beater car right now) – and have no idea where the next dollar is coming from. Keep in mind my self esteem is so bad now (I used to make 100K a year and drive a bmw, etc!). I have been in stress, crying fits, and the money stress is killing me. His kids all are begging us to get married. I would have thought we would be engaged by now – but he is still not ready. He likes being a victim to his old marriage ending. There has been a long list of other problems – he is selfish, does not take me out ever, does not have a romantic bone in his body….etc. So – bottom line – even though I love him so much – all the problems and issues with our child rearing differences, etc – I feel like I should end things – BUT – two things come up – 1 – That would be totally emotionally detrimental to my kids – especially my two youngest!!! Uprooting them AGAIN – changing schools, yanking another male figure out of their life, etc…bad stuff. 2 – I am not financially able to make a move, or have the credit to even get a place to move into if i DID get a job good enough to support all of us on my own.

What do I do???? Help!! – any feedback is welcomed!!

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33 Answers

Alleycat8782's avatar

I think you should ask him to step up with your financial problems, because there is no way I would tolerate a person who sits at home and plays video games all day long. He is able to work and should try to help pay the bills etc. as well, that is not fair for you to worry about it all.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Have you ever actually tried talking to him about how you’re feeling and why you’re feeling that way? You don’t mention whether or not you have. If you haven’t, that would be an excellent starting point, considering honesty and communication are two of the biggest factors in any successful relationship.

If you have talked to him already and he seems unwilling to help or if he disregards the situation altogether, combined with the other needs of yours that he isn’t meeting, you should probably end it. Hard? Absolutely. But it would be for the best. There’s no way that a reasonable person who knew the details of what you are going through would expect you to buy all of the food, toiletries and other essentials for everyone. That’s just plain selfish.

whatthefluther's avatar

Wow, you have an awful lot on your plate, and there is no easy answer here. @DrasticDreamer is right about communicating with your guy, but it seems you already know he is not the one for you. And, It is not reasonable or responsible to stay in a relationship for the sake of the kids. I’m hoping you come to reasonable terms with this guy on temporary living arrangements or have family to fall back on. And for goodness sakes, don’t fall into another situation unless you are certain it is right for you….it is not fair to you, your health or your kids. Good luck to you.

RareDenver's avatar

It’s never lupus House MD

Saturated_Brain's avatar

How about living single for a while? Manage the kids on your own without having to care about those who aren’t family. Stay with those who you know you’ll love forever and ever.

I personally think that you have enough on your plate without bringing other people into your own personal space.

YARNLADY's avatar

Make an appointment with your doctor to rule out any medical issues. He might be able to help with some medication, or at least a referral to a counselor who can help you find some tips and ideas how you need to proceed from here on.

Bobbydavid's avatar

Show what you wrote here and see what happens. Sharing it with strangers helps but the problems you have are with him so surely he at least deserves that?

cyndyh's avatar

It’s worse for your kids to see you sticking around in a bad relationship than to uproot them. You don’t want them thinking men are just for providing. That’s a bad message to send to your sons or daughters.

What’s the longest you’ve ever gone single? It sounds like a long stretch of that would do you some good.

cheebdragon's avatar

Christ Almighty, that’s a lot of drama.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Is taking the kids, moving in with your parents or a girlfriend, and getting your life in order?

The amount of stress that you are under is obvious in the way you structured your details to this question, and it’s got to be spilling out into all aspects of your life, affecting everyone around you, and things multipy. You have a lot of spinning plates that you’re minding.

Make a list of all the things you have to solve for, what the possible solutions are, and tackle them from the easiest to the hardest. For every problem, there is more than one solution. For example, instead of living with men, can you live with your parents or another relative until you get your feet underneath you? Note I didn’t say “Do you want to live with your parents?” but will they allow you to, and are they able to help you and your children? You need a base of stability from which to tackle the other issues. Or, can your children live with them for awhile while you get your normal life back?

You need to need to lose this guy. Not only for the example you set your children, but for your own sanity.

juwhite1's avatar

I believe firmly that people should listen to what their gut is telling them. You list numerous problems in your relationship with this guy. Staying and possibly marrying him would be emotionally detrimental to your children’s lives as well… why raise them watching a dysfunctional relationship and learning those patterns that will stay with them for the rest of their lives? The worry over the short term disruption to the things they’ve become used to is likely not as detrimental to their long-term welfare as continuing to role model being in a relationship in which you are not happy, having imbalance in who carries the load, etc. Having a strong single parent who is responsible and learns to be happy on her own and to manage her life independently sends a much better message to children than being in an unhappy and dependent relationship. Just my thoughts…

genuineworth's avatar

wow! I am floored by all the response so quickly!! Thank you to everyone for taking time to even read the “book” I left! I will have to return to this when I come back tonight from a day long networking event, I have to leave for soon.

A lot of what I read from you all is tough, painful, and really really hard to hear! I think on some days I agree – and know I need to move on somehow, and some days I see being with him so happy forever!! I do not have parents that I can move in with – thats not an option. I have a brother moving out this way (transferred by Air Force) – we are not that close – he is 14 years younger than me – but it is a slight possibility to move way over on the opposite end of town (Im in Las Vegas valley) with him when he gets here. That is WAY scarry – to drastically end things like that – and move out! It would be a major, major ordeal. I do feel some pressure to KNOW what to do before school starts etc. I would not want them to change schools after it starts! That happens day after Labor day.
Anyhow – ummm…..I think I painted the pic that my bf is a bad guy! He is not! He would have a line a mile long of women wanting him the day I left. He has a really really good reputation with everyone he’s worked with at old jobs, with family, friends, etc. They all constantly talk about what an awesome and great guy he is. He is that….he is just a little laid back about a lot of stuff…and we do communicate well. He knows most of what I told you all – maybe not how close I am to ending it – but he knows I have talked about ending things before – during emotionally charged talks, etc. He did offer me money to help the other day – but it took weeks of my stressed out job searching and the long work days – and I one day – I was rushing to get ready for an appnt – and he expressed his frustration that I don’t just focus on ONE thing as far as biz or income stuff. I lost it – was crying hard as I expressed to him that I don’t feel like I have the luxury of doing that! He does – and has his cushions – but I don’t have those cushions – and the pressure is insane! It wasnt until then – he “reacted” and said he can give me some money to help – but it sounded like he said it out of emotion, guilt, and a little anger. It didn’t feel like it was coming from the right place. Also – since he offered that (3 days ago) – he hasn’t said or done a thing about it. Like if it were me – I would PUT the money in your hand, or in your bank. That is caring, that is love to me! Other guys/girlfriends tell me thats not fair – I have to TELL him exactly what I want – and not assume.

oh boy….I am rambling – and yes – like one of you said – based on how I am writing this – you see the stress leaking out!

Thank you again for all of your feedback!! Will chat more later!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I hope it works out – you are a good parent, get yourself stable ON YOUR OWN and then think about relationships

Judi's avatar

Wow. Regardless of how this works out, have you figured out that until you are pretty sure that you’re going to marry a guy you shouldn’t let your kids fall in love with them?
When I started dating after my first husbands death, the only guy my kids ever met was my current husband. I didn’t wasn’t a string of men coming and going into their lives. I just don’t think it’s fair to the kids, and you end up in the dilemma you have found yourself in twice.

Saturated_Brain's avatar

Take charge of your life. It sounds like you need to.

Darwin's avatar

I think you need to see your doctor about meds that may help, and find someone without a vested interest that you can talk to about the whole mess, to help you make things clear for yourself.

No relationship is perfect. There are always problems and differences between two people, but if both are willing, these can be either overcome or put into perspective. You probably need to sit down when you are calm and talk to this guy about what is going on with you.

As others have suggested, though, if you do break up with this guy, then take things a lot more slowly next time. It isn’t fair to your kids to keep letting them think that this person is going to be their new dad only to move out.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

@genuineworth, you did not paint a picture of your boyfriend as a “bad” guy, but he does sound self-absorbed. Why is he letting you pay for so much of the expenses if he knows you’re on food stamps? Why did he let your car get repossessed? Why does he let the lion’s share of the care for him and his kids fall on you, if he knows you have lupus? For those reasons, you need to think long and hard about moving on.

Lots of mothers raise well-behaved success oriented kids in simple financial situations. If he has time to be playing video games and golfing twice a week, he should be paying all the rent, and most of the utilities, etc. Things are not equitable if you are doing most of the work to keep the house/family together. The fact that he’s okay with taking advantage of you is what’s wrong with this relationship as you’ve presented it.

Bobbilynn's avatar

Change is hard, but needs to happen!
You can do it!
Find your answer with your heart and your brain, only you know!

genuineworth's avatar

Bugger – I just wrote a well thought out response – and its gone! Oh well – guess I was not suppose to post that!

Well—just so you all know….I have NEVER let my kids meet anyone I had dated, until I was pretty sure it was heading to marriage. They have only met two men out of about 65 that I dated. One was the guy I was with for over 1 year and we were engaged. The other one is the current bf. We dated for quite some time first and the kids meet us accidentally about 4 months into it – and even though we played off that we were just business associates – the kids all knew and called us out on it. We then started having family dinners, and family outings together often. Our kids both loved the family togetherness that was going on – and it all felt good, right, and awesome! Even with all the stress since moving in about 7 months ago – things have been pretty good with the kids for the most part. Its only been the past few weeks that there has been difference with how he feels I should be disciplining, and how I feel he should be handling his kids spoiledness. We have been talking about implementing the stuff my counselor (only seen her twice now…so maybe more sessions will help?) showed us – in regards to creating family rules and a family policy manual, etc.
Anyhow…back to my real dilema. Hearing the feedback from you all – as well as the feedback from my closest friends and family – it is really hard and VERY scarry. I get that a mistake was made – and allowed kids to be involved too soon. I honestly would have betted on us marrying and living happily ever after….so I did not think having kids involved was that bad.
Hearing you all point out his self centered-ness – - – that is what is really hitting home. I kind of thought it was not a good thing – but I have NO other perspective – except for the marriage and the engagement – and those two men were VERY different from this one. I guess – I am trying to figure out HOW to talk to him plainly about what I am feeling and concerned about….I mean without pushing him over the edge and making him feel guilty, or like he effed up again, etc. The feedback I have received from prior talks- is that he feels like he always in trouble – and can’t do anything right. So – I back off – trying to back off so he doesnt feel like the worlds biggest loser! If he knew I was writing this – to a group of strangers – he would be totally offended and pissed off…and tell me I should come to him and not strangers – and that they are not “in it” – and could not possibly know us, etc.
How do tell him what I think —- like I can’t say – well – there is this awesome big group of people – and they all agree with me that you should be more supportive, and understand my financial and physical position – and if you can play video games and go golfing, you can contribute to groceries, or give me a break on “my half” of the housing and utilities since you know how hard a time I am having!.....he knows that I know that he is struggling financially too. He isn’t making much – just barely enough to cover his half of the expenses—but he has credit cards – and a major league baseball playing brother that has millions – that helps him if he really needs it.

I want this to work! I really do…..I just don’t know HOW to do it…..and what to do to try—without destroying things before I am ready.

Does that make any sense??

Darwin's avatar

Have you asked him to go to counseling together with you? That way both sides can be heard from and an impartial source can suggest solutions.

Also, have the two of you considered that you need to reduce expenses?

Judi's avatar

@genuineworth ; I took me 16 years to stop letting my hubby get away with the “Why am I always the one who’s wrong?” excuse. One day It finally hit me. If we are arguing of course he is wrong, otherwise I would be in agreement with him!

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I like Darwin’s idea – invite him to go to counseling with you. That way, when the counselor ask what you’re feeling and why you’re feeling that way, he’ll hear too. And an added benefit is that he’ll be able to see it from his perspective and the counselors. So there’s a good possibility that the counselor will be able to put it into terms that he’ll better understand and he won’t have the gut reaction that you’re jumping down his throat since the entire purpose for you to go to a session is to express how you feel.

Also, reducing expenses is a great idea. Make a list of things that you, him and all the kids spend money on. Coffee at Starbucks? Eating out at restaurants? Going to the movies? You don’t have to cut fun time off entirely, but definitely cut back and you’ll see a pretty big difference.

One last thing: Talking to him is a must if you want things to work out. Something to keep in mind when you go about doing it is that you need to keep anger out of it, along with any accusatory tone. People shut down when they think they’re being reprimanded or nagged. You have to be open, tell him how much you love him, but that you’re really, really hurting right now. Just say that you would love his support – emotionally and, if possible, somewhat financially. Make sure you express that you don’t want to load your stress off onto to him – but that you want to get through this as a team.

I wish you the best of luck.

genuineworth's avatar

Thank you so much for all of your advice and feedback!

I did have a LONG, calm, however intense talk with him tonight. I was totally shocked at his reaction. He was defensive….even with me using the right “i feel” and me calm and in tears over the way I have been feeling…and me expressing how much I want us to work it out, and find help, and learn how to be better partners, etc. He turned a lot of things around – like – “why don’t you come up and give me hugs and kisses and attack me (to have sex), or come up and just say how much you love me!” – every time I told him what I was needing, or felt like I was missing (like having him make me a priority to take on a date rather than play golf, especially with me having such a hard time the past two weeks) – he would turn it around to tell me what HE needed or felt like he was irriatated by me. He said my fits of depression and lack of being “happy” like I used to be the first part of our relationship – reminded him of his years of unhappiness with his ex. At that point, I felt like we must be bringing that out in each other – he is bringing out the same issues in me that he did in his ex, etc.
As far as bringing up the financial support I was hoping to get – he was way put off by that! He said I still owed him money! I asked from what? He said Christmas he bought some things for my kids I didn’t pay him back for, and a few other times he bought stuff I never paid him back for. Ummm.. the Christmas stuff – I thought we worked out back then – because I ended up buying a bunch of stuff for his family that equalled what he spent – so it was a wash I thought. He said back in December – it was all good – if it wasn’t an exact wash – it was worth it to see my kids happy! So – now with me supporting the $650 food bill each month for 5 months – he thinks I still owe him money. I was in so much shock – I dropped that subject…and we moved onto the other topics.

Overall – it ended like this – we are committing to find a couselor, and do some kind of relationship weekend workshop, and work on things to try to make them better. Here is the problem. He said the right “words” – but the music was not matching…..if that makes sense. It did not come across to me authentic AT ALL – that he wanted to do whatever it would take to work out….no – he will try – but only if its convenient – is what I heard in the in between the lines stuff.

So – I have my answer. I know what I have to do… the tuff part – is figuring out HOW to do it. Have to find a job to pay the bills, have to find a place to live, have to figure out how to move, etc.

Pray for me and the kids that we can find the right path!

Thanks everyone!!!


Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@genuineworth this is what life is about, you’re doing it, good for you

Saturated_Brain's avatar

@genuineworth Thank goodness for that. But one day, when your kids are older, you’re gonna have to sit them down and give them a really good explanation for why their lives were so painful.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

It’ll definitely be tough, but you’re doing the right thing. He’s immature and selfish, at best, so you’re better off without him. Sorry you’re going through this, but I hope everything works out for you in the end.

sunshine123's avatar

just curious if you worked everything out? I was also a single mom and just recently got married to a wonderful man…. Although our situation is different (we live in different states), He wanted me to move in w/ him w/ my son. I had to put my son first
and our agreement is that my son will finish school where he is then I will eventually move to where my husband is after graduation in 2 years… My only advise, from experience is maybe take time to raise your children and take care of your needs.
And never again move in with a man until after the wedding…good luck!

genuineworth's avatar

awwww…thanks for asking!! wow…well – it all happend SO fast that week. I made arrangements to move the following week while my BF was out of town. I told him I was breaking up with him and moving out a few days after I wrote my last post…he acted as though he did not care….which totally devasted me (for some reason) – over the next week – I started a new 70 (yest SEVENTY) hour a week job, I packed a 2600SF house all by myself, and moved a day before he returned. I saw on Facebook that he already had made dates with a bunch of young gorgeous cocktail waitresses the week i was doing the packing!! I wasn’t even out yet – and he had moved on! I was emotionally destroyed…at times I didn’t think I would survive what I was going through.

I did – and I am now working at 35 hour week job at a law firm, and going to real estate school at night – which was a gift given to me from a biz associate that found out about my situation! My kids moved back to Utah to go to school with their Dad – where they have their grandparents and step mom also in the same home to help support them. Its been difficult – but overall I am MUCH happier.

The boyfriend became harassing and somewhat threatening when he returned and found I had really left. I took a brand new nice $700 BBQ I had just bought us a few months prior. He thought I bought it for him – and threatened me if I didn’t bring it back! He also said he was gonna come after me for half the utilites from that month I moved out and for the Christmas money! He spent LOTs of effort emailing and texting threatening junk…had me pretty upset for over a month. But its stopped now…and I am busy working, going to school, and dating here and there (more carefully this time!)

I am nervous about my future – but positive too. Yes – I agree – no moving in until marriage!

Thank you!

Hugs -


DrasticDreamer's avatar

@genuineworth Good for you. He sounds like a real asshole and I’m glad you got out before things got really miserable for you. :)

sunshine123's avatar

Glad you got rid of him, I dont’ know you or want to judge your situation but why are you not living near your children? I don’t know how far you are from Utah, maybe close…
anyway… sounds better now than it was for you with him.

genuineworth's avatar

I am only an hour and a half from where they are at….and it was a very hard decision – but one that is best for them. In order for me to move out – I had to rent a room in a house – and work full time/go to school full time…which is a temporary situation that will earn me the ability to have a better career where I CAN have them with me full time and in our own home, etc. Right now – they have TONS of support, love, care, etc – from their Dad, step mom – my oldest son is in college up there too – and their grandparents live in the same home, and she cooks dinner every night, etc. I could not in any way be there hardly EVER right now during this transition. I see my home about an hour before I collapse asleep exhausted!

They visit about once a month for an extended weekend – and I drive up there to see them often too!

Yes – it is soooo much better being out of that relationship. I am definitely finding it hard to be alone. I am NOT used to that at all. Vegas is NOT an easy place to find a REAL man that is normal and wants to treat a woman with respect. So….we shall see!

Keep the prayers comin sisters!!

Loves n Hugs!

Judi's avatar

What a tough situation. My heart aches for the choices you have made and for the sacrafices you are making to ensure the best for your children.

sunshine123's avatar

Sounds like you are doing all you can do right now…. and you are close to your children. My husband lives in the las vegas area too… henderson…I enjoy my time with him when I am there.
and will probably move there when my son graduated… When you get it together and are happy with the way your life is going you will find a healthy relationship. I finally did, I had completely given up and decided not to date and 6 months laterover a year ago…) I met my husband…. just keep the faith…

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