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At A Loss

Posted by heather_mc (My Page) on
Wed, May 20, 09 at 13:41

So, here it goes...

I've been reading some posts and it's good to know that I am not the only "selfish" individual in the world. I'll catch you up to speed with my story, and then brace myself for all of your backlash...

My boyfriend and I are coming up on our one year anniversary this week. We have lived together for about ten months of the year, (yes, we moved in with one another quickly), and we love each other very much. Ours, like most relationships has its ups and downs, but we always seem to make it through whatever rough patch that comes about.

My boyfriend was married for 12 years prior to our relationship (in actuality he is still "technically" married, divorce papers have been filed, and served, and we are just waiting for the sixty day "cool down period" that my state of Texas requires before a divorce is granted). Mind you, I came along way after the seperation, so I wasn't the cause of their break up, but the gossip is more juicier to believe, and I'm sure the soon to be ex would rather spout on about how some harlot stole her husband, than to tell the truth of how she lost him by being an inconsiderate, hateful individual...
...Anyway, from this previous marriage two children are a product, a daughter who is ten, and a son who is one and a half.

I have never met the children. They know about me, and obviously I know about them, but we don't have family barbques or beach days like some of the other happy stepfamilies I have read about on this site. In the beginning I tried to be apart of his children's lives, but the daughter, who's only known mommy and daddy, has a problem with me (understandable), and choses to not be apart of any activity I try to include her on. We've never seen each other (except me seeing her in pictures), and it's getting to the point where I'm on the verge of giving up trying, and just becoming a total *itch about this situation. I, myself, have no children, and honestly, had never dated a man with children prior to my boyfriend for this specific reason, but it's true when they say you cant pick who you love.
My question is this: Is my boyfriend being too laxed by not just saying, "This is my girlfiend, accept it?"

I in no way want him to force me down the child's throat, just as I would not want to have the kids forced down mine, but at ten years old isn't this child old enough to get with the program and accept that I'm here to stay? It's becoming such a big deal to me that I notice I'm getting an attitude when his children are brought up, when his daughter calls, or when he goes to visit them during the week.

I tell myself that I wouldnt want to me with a man who denies his children, or who chooses his girlfriend over his kids, but sometimes I find myself just wishing they would disappear.

I know these are horrible thoughts, and are not realistic to boot, but am I an extremely horrid individual because I'm at my ropes end....?

There has got to be a way to work this out to where everyone will win. I do not want him to choose, thats a nasty predicament to put someone in, but is it possible to have a relationship that seperates two facets? His girlfiend whom he loves, and his children whom he also loves, and they never mingle? Can a relationship function this way?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: At A Loss

Could it be that your SO is waiting for the divorce to be final before allowing the kids around you? Divorce attorneys can be very, very nasty and use any leverage they can to sink a soon to be ex-spouse. If that is the case, then just be patient and let things get finalized before you jump to any conclusions.

If the above isn't a factor, since you're living together, then there is no reason you should be kept out of his children's lives. Your SO (significant other) has accepted you as a permanent person in his life so I can't imagine why he wouldn't want his children to know you.

As far as his daughters' attitude toward you, your SO does have to be the one to put his foot down with her and tell her the way things are. I would tell your SO that you feel that it's very important for you to spend time with and get to know his children in order for you both to advance your relationship. Explain to him that you don't want to be their Mother, but that you know he loves his kids, and you love him, and it's not going to be a healthy relationship in all ways to separate the two. If you are important enough to your SO then I can't see why this would be a problem. The kid's mom can be another problem all together, but that's also up to your SO to handle. It should not be your problem.

Honestly, a year isn't a very long time when it comes to relationships... I'm certainly not trying to downplay your love for your SO, but this is a HUGE issue. If he's not willing to meet you half way now, then it wouldn't make much sense to continue the relationship and possibly get worse treatment down the road. I'll say a prayer for you that this all works out.


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RE: At A Loss

Boyfriend isn't doing right by anybody that I can see.

moved out/started dating when he had a 6 month old baby, moved in (or had girlfriend move in) 2 months into their relationship, lived with you for...how long?...before filing for divorce, keeps children & girlfriend in separate compartments.

Don't let "love" be the reason you throw your life away.

Love is a decision, & decisions can be changed.

Take a step back & look at this with a skeptical eye
instead of being such an advocate for whatever your boyfriend seems to want whenever he wants it.

& don't be so quick to decide that his wife of 12 years "lost" him because she was "hateful".

She may have been perfectly charming before she lived with him for 12 years.


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RE: At A Loss-Reply Here not to 'Just Hear Me Out'

"Just Hear Me Out" is a duplicate post with only one response, so I've copied & pasted it here, & I'm on my way to make a note on "Just Hear..." to post responses on this one instead, just for clarity's sake.

Posted by lovehadley (My Page) on Wed, May 20, 09 at 14:20

I don't understand.
So you live with him yet you have never met his children? How often does he see his children, and where does he spend time with them?

I think you need to take a huge step back right now in terms of expectations. You have been living this life with him that doesn't include his children. That, unless he wants to be an absentee father, is not a realistic picture.

I mean, for real---his divorce isn't even finalized yet and you're upset that his kids won't accept you?

How long was he separated from his wife before you entered the picture?

Lots of missing info. here.


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RE: At A Loss

How old are you? Please talk to your mother about this? If you are too embarrassed to tell your mom that you are living with a married man who left wife with 8 month old, that should tell you something.

He may be keeping the kids from meeting you becuase he realizes that they WILL blame you for breakup -- at least older one.


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RE: At A Loss

I agree with sylvia and loveh's post from the other thread.

Baby is only 1 and a half. 6 months old when OP met the dad. Wow, that must really suck for the bio mom soon to be ex wife. I would be one bitter woman. So OP needs to watch herself and get her attitude about the ex in check before she forms too many solid opinions.

In an entire year OP has not even met the daughter in person....again wow! That is crazy. Then to top it off, she has not met this little girl in person, and is already wishing she would disappear (I am sure the baby too). What exactly did these children do to you thus far???? Oh that's right!!! NOTHING!!! You havn't met them!!!

WTF???!! If you are having feelings this strong against these children already, and you have yet to even be around them, then do those children a favor and leave their dad now. Because you obviously will be one horrible step mom if you already can't stand them and are jealous of them etc... your own list goes on and on.

Honey....if you came here with a story that you have tried to do things with this little girl (she is 10 this can not be that difficult to arrange) and she just gave you attitude and nothing but grief, then yeah, I could see offering you some slack.

But with your story the way it is...no way! The boyfriend/dad sounds like a jerk to begin with.....yes...when does he see his children??? Really spending time with his infant son isn't he??? And you.....you shouldn't be around those kids, not with your attitude.

I have been a step parent for going on 14 years. I have known my step kids for most of their lives. I never went into my relationship with their dad thinking bad thoughts like you do, nor did I think it was some fantasy either because I already had a son of my own to bring into the equation. I loved having his kids with us when we did.
Divorce is tough on kids and you shouldn't think you are just going to swoop in and be "their other mom". You need to let her warm up to you, no you to her sweetie. You should have it in your mind already that she is a child and her thought process is not as mature as your own should be. She deserves slack, you don't.
I am just going to quit here.


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RE: At A Loss

You have to be patient. This is a hard situation for a 10 year old girl to deal with. She is upset her parents have split. She wants them back together, for 9 years she had that and misses it. Who knows what she thinks of your situation. She could think you stole her dad away. Or she could see you as what is standing in the way of her mom and dad being back together. And she could be feeling like she would be betraying her mother if she gave you a chance.

Until the divorce is final I understand your boyfriend keeping your distance from the children. After it is finalized I do think he needs to slowly introduce you. Some fun outings with all of you may be a good way to start. Be friendly, no matter is she is rude to you. Let your boyfriend deal with anything negative she is doing. Your going to need to form your own friendship with her and that will take time and a lot of effort.


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RE: At A Loss

Wow do you have a fun road a head of you. DH and I moved very fast when we got together too. He had been divorced 2 years mine was for 1, We have been married for almost one now and let me tell you even without all the stuff. If we hadn't had the ends tied up on the prior marriages first we might not have made it.

I will tell you that DH lived with another woman before me and she had kids but he didn't bring his kids around this other woman. They knew about her and they talked to her and did a few things but even with him living with her they didn't spend the night with this other woman. She was there to soften the blow of a hard break-up. He didn't want the kids getting attached to her because I guess he knew he wasn't going to stay with her in the end. She was early on when he first left his Ex-wife. That woman is the one who was waiting in the wings keeping a "friendship" with him on the phone. Anyway making yourself avalible for a man who is not is a REALLY good way to get yourself hurt. Once DH and I found each other we went on our first date in JAN, moved in together in March (BECAUSE NEITHER OF US HAD A HOUSE BIG ENOUGH FOR ALL OF US TO BE TOGETHER) and married in July. For the most part the kids have handled everything pretty good. That is not counting SS I have talked on endlessly here. For 5 kids things have been pretty great!

I hope your sweetheart isn't using you but I would really question his motives for not starting the bonding with the kids. If it is the divorce that is cool. The time will tell pretty soon on that but if it continues for long after the divorce is finished you might start looking for an exit door. Don't be supprised if DD has hard feelings for you for a long time. But you should get to know them and decide if this is even what you want. Your man is not just a man but a total package deal.


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RE: At A Loss

Poppinggrays:
Thank you so much for prayers, trust me I need all I can get at this point. It's much appreciated.
Lovehadley:
Sorry about the missing info...My boyfriend and his soon to be ex seperated before the the pregnancy of the youngest was known. After it came to light, they tried to work things out, but to no avail. He is paying child support and due to the rules of the courts gets his kiddos once a week until the finalization of the divorce when they will reconvene and he will fight for weekends, hoilidays, and so forth. I should mention that prior to the file for divorce he did want me to meet the kids, I, however wanted to wait for the divorce to be final because I felt it only proper. Around Christmas he wanted to introduce me to them and I balked due to the circumstances of the situation. At that time he was just "separated" with no concrete divorce in the works. So, I wanted to wait for the REAL DEAL, as most others have pointed out, you never know, even though I was firm on the love we had for each other, I didnt want to mess up these children by stepping in the picture prematurely.

SylviaTexas:
Sorry about the duplicate post. When I originally posted I did not think it went through due to an error message I received, so I hit submit again, and here we are with two threads. My apologies, I know how confusing this can make a board.

Wild_Thing:
I can understand your anger towards me for my previous post, however I admitted that I was feeling in a selfish, not to mention, frustrated mood. I understand that this situation is a delicate one, and that the kiddos involved are young ones who are experiencing all kinds of confusion and I am not the only one here upset about whats going on and wishing the "other" would "disappear".

:Honey....if you came here with a story that you have tried to do things with this little girl (she is 10 this can not be that difficult to arrange) and she just gave you attitude and nothing but grief, then yeah, I could see offering you some slack.:

Per previous post I did explain that I have tried on numerous occasions to have contact, and arrange get togethers, or even to have the child come over to our place. I offered to leave the premesis while she gets accustomed to the surroundings and to give her quality time with her father (at least that will break some enemy lines, and she'll be introduced, even if in some small way, to our home, and we can chip away from there), but mom has already told her the story and she has made up her mind that I "make her stomach ache".

I commend you on being a great step parent for the last 14 years, and I'm glad that your step family is a success and that you have love in your household. This is merely what I want for mine as well. Also, having your own son to begin with, you were already hip to the parenting game. I'm barely starting out, and trying my hardest. If I'm coming across negatively towards you I apologize, but at this moment in time these are my feelings, and I think I'm entitled to them. If you never experienced any problems when merging your two families together, or you've never be frustrated in the beginning of your relationship, I applaud your expertise at understanding and your seamless transition from a twosome into whatever you are now. Some of us obviously are having a little problem than you....

Nikemama:
So true. Its been all fun here! lol But in all seriousness, I understand the rules of the game, I'm not totally dense, or a 100% total witch. I'm just saying that its hard, ya know? I'm willing to go the distance, but it's not always easy is all I'm saying. I'm whining, and I'll concede that, but I figured heres a forum to speak to others who've been through it, who are going through it, and so on. Just wanted a little support and maybe some encouragement. And even if it comes in the form of Wild_Things "WTF" I accept it all.

:)


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RE: At A Loss

Wow! What a board goin on here!

First I must agree with nikemama, u've got ur work cut out for you!

The road is long, tough, and there seems no end in sight, but if u truely love your SO as you say u do, then it'll be all worth it.

Ur SO's daughter will not pull any punches. I'm more than sure that bio mom has already spun the story that u're the reason daddy isn't home anymore, so u'll get no love from her. All I can say is hang in there. This is going to require some patience which looks like u don't have (and I mean this in the nicest way possible). I understand what u mean when u say u are just looking to vent and for some support, after all that is what we are ALL here for in some form or fashion, but here's some tough love: GET OVER IT! :)

Don't rush it, because trust me, there is going to come a time when u wish for the good old days before getting introduced to the kids. Don't get me wrong, I love my stepchildren, but sometimes I wistfully look back at moments when I was single with no children, and WILDTHING, don't get ur panties in a wad about that. No woman on Earth can honestly say she doesn't wish for some peace and quiet, and time to herself once in awhile. Hell, sometimes I wish my OWN children would :disappear: and I gave birth to them! ;)

So, enjoy ur time now, and eventually the :enemy lines: as u put it will break down on their own. U are right when u say u don't want to have your So shove u down their throat and he shouldn't, but after this divorce is final I do say that he sit the kids down (at least his oldest, the baby could care less), and explain the situation face to face if he hasn't already, and if he's any kind of father I assume he already has.

Sometime we think these children are young and naive, but they know whats going on, and at ten I am sure his daughter understands more than everyone thinks. We treat children with kid gloves sometimes, and I don't altogether agree with this, but that is a diff soapbox.

Just hang in there toots! U are more than right in having your emotions and feelings. We wouldn't be women if we didn't have one occasional freak out moment!


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RE: At A Loss

I can understand that you want to meet his daughter and I think you should eventually. I am in close to the same situation and it was hard for me at first (and sometimes still is)to understand how kids feel and react to different situations. I don't have any children of my own and my SO has 3. I was the other woman in my case, I believe the cheating was a symptom of the problem. But it does not make it right, and it is something I will always regret. i posted on here too, and got alot of backlash, but alot of helpful advsie that cam with it. So I would advise you to listen to these ladies they have alot of experience with the stepfamily issues.

I met my SO's kids a couple months after the divorce was final.It took a year for the divorce to be final. I at one point also thought that he should just tell them " She is my girlfriend, deal with it". After all they are 9, 11,& 12 thats old enough to understand right. WRONG, they are just kids that have always had mom & dad. It takes a long time for kids to emotionaly heal after something so traumatic. The divorce has been final for right at 1yr now. So it has now been 2yrs. The kids are getting a little better. I have had to change my attitude big time.
They do blame me, they understand that their parents had problems, but they could've worked it out if I had not been around. Thats thier point of veiw. This is not true, however they are young kids and they can not be told the adult issues about their parents.

I want very much to get to know them. The oldest was baptised 2wks ago, I did not attend the ceremony. As much as I wanted to be there, she didnt want me there and it was a huge special day for her. I got her a gift to show her how proud I was. It is my hope that someday she will look at it and know that i was thinking of her that day.

My point to all this is that you need to give the girl the chance to heal from the divorce. Keeping in mind that it could take a very long time. As someone told when I posted about my SO's kids, you may be happy but the kids are devestaed. I can tell you that the attitude and jelousy will only make things worse. The kids are his for life, you can not change that and truly you shouldnt want to.

There is one thing that I dont understand.
You said that he goes to visit them during the week. Is this all the time that he has with them? Did the courts not give him standard visitation EOW? Is it beacuse you live together? If thats the case, you need to find somewhere that you can go so he can get more time with his kids. In my case my brother lived with me before so I kept my house so I could go there when SO had his EOW with kids. We bought a house together and that is where I actually live. It is an odd living situation but it works best for us and the kids.

Sorry this is so long. Good luck


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RE: At A Loss

"There has got to be a way to work this out to where everyone will win."

What makes you think this? A situation where you get together with a man who is technically still married and move in barely 60 days later is simply not the kind of situation the man's children are likely to welcome. Even if the soon-to-be-Ex is gracious about it (and most wouldn't be, under the circumstances), the plain facts of the situation just aren't working in your favor. There simply isn't a magic recipe to make everything all right.

"but it's true when they say you cant pick who you love."

Perhaps so. (Though I'm inclined to believe otherwise.) And you can pick who you choose to become involved with, to live with, and/or to marry. You can choose to put up walls or maintain emotional distance while you gather more information, evaluate whether this man is a good father and potential husband, or give the kids time to adjust.

Honestly, there seem to be a number of pretty serious strikes against this relationship making it...


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RE: At A Loss

It's funny to read how some people are so hostile abt situations, and I feel that I jump and in tell the OP that some of these women are simply haters, and have been left for other better women, and are bitter abt that still. U got some good insight from JESS3 :the other woman: who is in an even WORSE predicament in the fact that she actually DID cheat, and in ur case u state that SO was already out the door when u came along. Even so, u must know that bio mom is telling her kid that it was u, so regardless of how it all went down theres guilty eyes looking at u.

I say if :the other woman: can get through it, u have a strong chance. Just don't let these bitter old bitties tell u that love is something u chose, and u need to bail on ur relationship. A lot of these people don't want others to be happier than they are. I just felt the need to come post this since I've reread some of the things that have been posted on this board.

If you love this man, realize his kids are a package deal that comes with him. U can want to feel selfish, but don't act on it, cause the minute u start trying to squeeze into the forefront u look like the selfish ass, and who wants a selfish ass for a wife? U claim thats why he left the last one! lol

Email me anytime if u want to chat. I'll be a hell of a lot more understanding and less judgemental than some of the cases here!


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RE: At A Loss

Well I guess look at it like the calm before the storm. Right now you and the kids are looking at each other with an idea of as good or bad as it can possibly be, maybe even depending on the day of the week. When the day comes that you start spending time together the ideas will come to light. You can get yourself really worked up over what COULD happen. Try really hard to think of the good or else you may drive yourself NUTS...lol.

It sounds from your follow up you guys are making the best of a bad situation. Just try to enjoy it like a Honeymoon. In our first marriages we enjoy getting to know each other and loving each other building the foundation of what should be your wonderful life together, just the two of you. Second time around you have the remains of the first go around (CRAZY EX and kids that your SO love so much and you have to learn) That is the nature of the beast. You are getting the chance to sample both. DH and I didn't get that so we try to soak it up every other weekend keeping in mine we have 5 kids between us.

I often struggle with all the kids stuff but instead of wishing the kids gone, try to wish you had found him first. A wish is just a wish so as long as your just wishing wish BIG. Either way it isn't going to change anything because this is what you got to work with.

I hope things go well for you. It will be hard but if your lucky it will turn out better in the end because of the work your putting into it now.


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RE: At A Loss

OK. I am new here, so bare with me as I have not gotten all the acronyms down.

"Nikemama" is so true about wishing BIG. I have that wish ALL THE TIME! Oh, but do I wish, and wish BIG(laugh) My boyfriend and I have been dating for a year as well. He also has children and I have none. I am unable to have children so its hurtful to me sometimes when I think that the children he has are with someone else. But like "Nikemama" stated that is the way of things.

I, like "Sinful_Brianna" (who is one firecracker might I add), feel that your boyfriend's daughter is going to be very resentful towards you. My boyfriend's daughter doesn't like me either, and I've had to learn to swollow that down.

When we first started dating I was aware of what trials would be ahead getting involved with someone who had a previous marriage and family. But I was on the wistful end of it thinking once the kids got to know me, it'd be one happy family situation so to speak. Seeing how I can have no children of my own, I felt pretty that it was going to be a blessing to be invovled with someone who already had children, that I could treat (as as my own), but that I could hopefully have some sort of relationship with. Boy, was I wrong.

My boyfriends daughter totally resents me, and she has never given me a chance. So, I know what it feels like to not have the opportunity to show the child that you're really not so bad. Like "Jess3" I am often excluded when my boyfriend spends time with his kids because that is what his daughter requests. I used to buy her things when I was out and about shopping. Now it was never my intent to "buy" this little girl's affection (I feel I must voice this because I can already see some of the "old bitties" as"Sinful_Brianna" calls them, saying, well you can't BUY love), I just felt I was being thoughtful....
...Anyway, I'd see a pair of pretty earrings, or some cute pj's that the preteens are wearing now adays, and I'd snatch them up for her. But she only became upset when she learned that I had picked them out, and his ex went so far as to burn a nice pair of shoes that I bought his daughter for Christmas. After these episodes we stopped telling them who these gifts are from.

I sometimes wish my boyfriend would do the "this is my girlfriend, get over it" thing with his daughter, but I know that that will make her resent me more. I'm not trying to swoop in and be "their other mom" as a previous poster was claiming you are trying to be, and I don't believe you are trying to do that either. I just want to be apart of something he loves and for them to have the vice versa. But I have learned you can want all you want, it will ultimately rely on when SHE is ready and in the meantime you have to be patient. I know that word is infuriating, seeing how I have been being patient for the last year myself.

But to answer your question, yes there is a way where everyone can win. Let her have her father when she haves him, and you have him when he's not with her. These are the terms that she herself has set (and I speak with the utmost empathy). Trust me, it was very hard for me to see this as a functional relationship when everyone is so disjointed. Me, and my dreams of one happy family right? But I can still wish, and wish BIG...


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RE: At A Loss

Oh sinful...if you don't like my opinions then don't read them. It is as simple as that.


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RE: At A Loss

Bitter old bitties?
Haters who don't want the OP to be happy?
And what an interesting choice of screen names Sinful...

My whole point was that building stepfamilies is difficult under the best of circumstances,
and that the OP's circumstances are NOT the best.
I'm not maligning her character or morals.
I'm not even suggesting that her BF is immoral or indecisive (since he's not divorced yet but is living with another woman),
is a bad father or BF (for not introducing his children to his live-in),
or is planning to dump her (since he hasn't made that introduction) --
though honestly, these are all very real possibilities that should be considered carefully --
I'm just pointing out that this relationship is starting with two and a half strikes against it.

One very reliable strategy for building a happy life is not to go looking for trouble.
Not to go mooning around after the 'bad boys' hoping to fix them or change them.
Not to fall in love with the 'tortured souls' or 'strong silent types' who can't communicate.
Not to go martyring yourself to the broken men with dysfunctional families and lots of baggage such as psycho ex-wives or resentful children.
Not to fall for guys with addictions, mental illnesses, personality disorders, terminal diseases, fatal character flaws...

That's not romantic -- It's just stupid. Foolish with a capital F.

Maximize your chances for happiness!


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RE: At A Loss

Right back at u babe. My only shot at u was to not get bent out of shape when I made the comment about not wanting to be bothered with the kids sometimes, seeing how u are obviously superstepmom and no one else lives up to ur standards of excellence! lmao

I have no problem w ur opinons. U are cenrtainly entitled to feel how u do. Don't get so hostile...."what exactly have I done to you thus far???? Oh that's right!!! NOTHING!!! You havn't met me!!!"


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RE: At A Loss

how could you move in with someone without even meeting his children first? You moved in after 2 months of knowing him and him being still married? Why not just dating and getting to know one another slowly? Very immature. Are you very young? 18? Like kkny said talk to your mother about it. you made some stupid decisions, there is no way to undo them.


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RE: At A Loss

Great post sweeby, with excellent points! Some people just don't like honest opinions.
Sinful, you are the only one getting bent here. All anyone else has done is give their opinion. You are the one calling names and taking "shots" at people as you yourself admit to in your post, and your the only one getting hostile with all the exclamation points etc. Chill out. It's not like the Op is your best friend and you must defend her honor or something.
Also, I am the first one to raise my hand and say I am no super step mom, so where ever the he*l you got that idea, you might want to check your sources "hon". ;)


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RE: At A Loss

Now, now, ladies...

sinfulbrianna:
I appreciate your lobby for support, really I do, but I am not taking any of this personally since none of these individuals know me, or the full range of my story. Nor could they possibly know the happines my boyfriend and I share, and how much we do love each other. I'm strong enough to take each opinion with a grain of salt. If I wasn't able to handle backlash, then I shouldn't have posted my business on a message board!

Nikemama:
You've said it all sister! Thanks so much for your post, as it was truely insightful into how I feel at times. I do wish that the children were "ours", and I do also dream big. And calm before the storm is a good way to look at it. I'm much calmer now than when I originally posted (whew, thanks to the woo-sah technique, lol) and I can see the situation clearer. I was just pretty exasperated at wanting it all to be so perfect, and I know this is not a fairy tale, and things are not always what you want them to be, but you can't knock me for hopin...

josiethenonpussycat:
It almost feels like we are living the same life! lol Honestly my so's ex burned a pair of tennis shoes I bought for the youngest child on his birthday!!!! Eerie. But, you are right when you say that you feel I am not trying to swoop in and be their other mom. They have a mother and that's fine by me. I just want to at least be her friend. If we cant be that, I'd settle on at least not being her enemy. I realize I am dealing with a child, and that patience is key, but sinfulbrianna was right when she pointed out I was in short supply. And I say this only because I desperately want peace for all of us. I know EXACTLY what you are going through josiethenonpussycat, and I say kudos to you for hanging in there, and I give you a hug from here in cyberspace! Thanks for the understanding!

sweeby:
I think the best circumstance for building a step family is to NOT HAVE TO. lol In situations where relationships, broken marriages, steparents, evil stepmoms and the lot all intermingle together, I feel that it looks hopeless for anyone to bounce back. And yet people do. I don't look at the strikes against why a relationship won't make it, I look at all it has going for it, and cultivate that to make it stronger.

I never went looking for trouble. My boyfriend and I started out as friends. He is actually best friends with a cousin of mine (who is male) and grew up together (though I had never had contact with him before because they grew up a city over, and plus when he was married, he was never "out of the house", so to speak). When he and his wife seperated, my cousin and him started to hang out again, and one night I was invited by my cousin to go shoot pool and he happened to show up as well. It didn't initally start there. We slowly started to become friends, and eventually we came to the point where we were going out without my cousin present. We started to meet for lunch (his workplace happened to be down the street from my own, so we would have lunch together sometime), and then we started phone talking. It was all friendly and innocent. Mind you, I didn't even see him in a "romantic light" until waaaaay later. In fact I was dating someone else during this time. So, it wasn't like I went after the "bad boy" or I saw the opportunity to "take care" of the "poor broken souled soon to be divorced guy", it all just culminated after being friends, and just talking....

finedreams:
I aplogize if you feel the speed of which my SO and I moved is immature, but I can assure you that I am not 18, and aside from the times when I FEEL like I am acting like a 6 year old, I happen to be quite mature! lol

Dating happens all sorts of ways, and just because we didn't "court" in a manner like in the good old days, doesn't mean that our relationship is less strong than others. Trust me, I see more things going for us though we knew each other less than six months moving in, than high school sweethearts that get married after five years. I don't think it really matters either way "how long you wait". Just look at the statistics for divorce and how long people knew each other prior to getting married to see that how long you know one another isnt the fail safe recipe for how long you will be together...It can help for some people, oh definitely, but I don't think it makes a difference in how mature this makes me, so that point I feel is moot.

Sorry, guys. I didn't mean to cause an uproar. But again, thanks for EVERYONE's advice. I keep a pretty open mind, so everyones opinion is being considered.


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RE: At A Loss

There is no "failsafe" but there certainly are better choices than others. Sweeby (almost always, BTW) hit the nail on the head. I don't care if you were friends for 20 years before you moved in together, if he was not divorced, you're asking for trouble. Yes, not having to blend into a stepfamily situation is certainly the best; however, the reality is that it is a challenge many people accept willingly and it starts with having a partner who is not legally tied to a wife or husband--regardless of whether or not they have children. No one can commit 100% to someone else if they still have unfinished business with a spouse. I suspect that's why the divorce rate for second marriages is so SKY HIGH. Too many loyalties.

There are a lot of "old hands" at this stepfamily business on this board--most of whom are seeing the same things in your given information. Sure, you can say "we don't understand because you don't have all of the information," but then what was the point of asking in the first place?

We all see it. We've had this question 100 times and the answer is ALWAYS the same. Blending a family before the divorce is final is a recipe for disaster. There honestly is NO way to fix that.


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RE: At A Loss

Heather, I am far from having difficulties in our blended family. I wouldn't be here if I lived in the perfectly television Brady Bunch household lol.
I am merely speaking from experience. From many places.
It does seem however that with the advice that you keep getting, the more you are putting up your wall so to speak. I say this because you are using "nice" as a defense against what is being said....You are putting on your rose colored glasses, and insisting that no one here knows just how happy and in love you and your b/f are. You don't think any of us have ever been there or done that already?
You are not hearing what is being said. You can close your eyes and push forward all you want, but it isn't going to change the facts of your situation.
You will have step kid issues. Period. It has already started. You will have to deal with it if you plan on staying with your b/f.
It is true that you have not been with him that long, and he is still legally married and has a young infant son and an older daughter. Those are all things that you have going against you at this point. His divorce not even being final is huge. You have already been together for a year....why hasn't that been done in that year? That is bad news.
Love does not solve everything. No matter what people tell you. That is naive and foolish thinking. If it did then there would be no problems in this world. There would be no heartache, no loss, no hard feelings, no jealousy, no resentment, no anger, the list goes on and on.
People are saying you sound young, because of your immaturity about relationships, your lack of knowledge about children, your inability to listen, and your "we're so in love we can overcome anything" attitude all show up like a neon sign. No one is saying these are bad things, just that they are surely signs that you have no clue what you are getting yourself into.

So take it all with a grain of salt, that is all you can do, but at least take it and think on it a little bit. Because if you plan on being a part of that family, and it is a package deal, then you better put on some big girl panties and prepare for a rough ride.


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RE: At A Loss

"I never went looking for trouble.... It was all friendly and innocent..."

I'd venture to say that very, very, very, very few women start off from the get-go by saying to themselves "You know what? I'm gonna go out tonight and snatch up the very first married man I meet... and I'm going to make sure he has at least one kid... oh! and he's gotta have a wife who'll hate me, too. Yep, sounds like a plan... now where'd I leave my my metal detector?"

I'd also venture to say that the vast, vast, vast, vast majority of long-term relationships begin "friendly and innocent", that is unless you immediately hike up your skirt and mount him at first sight. Generally there is a polite "getting to know you" phase that precedes that.

I'm not saying this to over-state the obvious, and to tell you the truth, I've been there. I've made the mistake myself of getting involved with a man who was separated and had been living in a different house from his wife for a year when I met him. No matter. To everyone else but me and the people who know me well, I was a homewrecking harlot. In my opinion there's a difference in those cirumstances, but unfortunately to many people "married is married". And I see their point, I really do. That's why I decided to end it and why I won't ever make the mistake again. Especially when there are children involved, the sad reality is that the odds are very much against things being happy for *everyone* involved. And it's just a fact of the situation that a cloud of hostility surrounds the relationship. If you think about the perspective of others affected by it such as the kids and the ex, you can better understand the source of that hostility. The only way to POSSIBLY have this situation work out is to have an extra heaping dose of empathy for EXACTLY what the ex and kid are going through and be extra sensitive to that and be extra patient with how things unfold and how everyone adapts... But from the sound of it, you're not in that zone. To answer your question ---"Is my boyfriend being too laxed by not just saying, 'This is my girlfiend, accept it?'"--- no, your boyfriend is not too "laxed" by refraining from such a statement to anyone at this juncture. If he or you wants anyone to "just accept it", you've got to give it time, a lot of time, because nobody else is excited to rush into this new situation you two are putting them in. Sorry, but that's just the truth.


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RE: At A Loss

I'm a little confused.

You have said that your relationship moved very quickly, you moved in together 2 months in, etc.

But then you said you were friends first and that started slowly. So I guess my question is---when you were friends with him, was he still married and trying to work things out with his wife?

I'm not accusing, but if he was, and you were "friends" with him, I can see how wife and SD would not care for you very much. I know I certainly wouldn't.

Read Doodle's post about friends of the opposite sex.


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RE: At A Loss

Serenity -- OP is not going to have any empathy. From OP -- "and I'm sure the soon to be ex would rather spout on about how some harlot stole her husband, than to tell the truth of how she lost him by being an inconsiderate, hateful individual... "

OP do you have any empathy for a woman who lost husband when she has infant? And how do you know she is incosiderate and hateful? And was she hateful before he left her?


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RE: At A Loss

yep lovehad....that is a point to make.
When heather kept going on and on about how she didn't have feelings for him etc, and they were just friends, that is the post that popped into my mind too. I kept thinking there is that defensiveness and "oh its innocent" thinking that people get when they get emotionally involved with someone who is already in another relationship.
Remember too, people take it to the grave that it was nothing. Even though all evidence points the other direction to everyone else involved.


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RE: At A Loss

Umm...just to jump here...

I wanted to say, that I too, know what this is like. But IMO I see that a lot of you are going after the OP regarding her lack of maturity towards the reality of the situation. When did it become immature to have a mentality of "love conquers all"? I am just not understanding where that is coming from. If you are jaded on that idea, fine, but I don't see why it's a problem if someone feels that way and belives in their relationship. I mean, really, why cut the girl down when she is the only one who really knows where her relationship sits?

I guess this upsets me because all I see is you trying to get opinions and vent, and then thanking individuals for their response, and then you getting attacked for being "nice"...lol...this is all crazy to me.

I see no rose colored glasses. I simply see a woman who is in love and who wants the best for her family. At least you are trying and I will give you credit for that. A cousin of mine has a girlfriend who rather would not interact with the children he has from a previous relationship, and that is hurtful to him. He knows this is not a good sign (as we all have told him), and I foresee this relationship ending soon. THAT is someone to jump on!

As "serenity" (so hilariously) put it, no real WOMAN goes out with the intention of picking up a married man. And I stress the word woman cause there are these little tramps out there that do exactly that. But hey, thats pretty much what you have, a married man, and I'm glad that he has at least made steps to finalize his divorce. I know loads of people in relationships with "seperated" individuals with no concrete divorce plans on the table, and they seem happy. Does that make their relationship any less loving? That's not a question for me to answer, I just point out that he at least he is in the process of tieing up the ends on his previous life. The IDEAL situation would have been to wait until that was done, but we all know that most relationship situations these days are NOT IDEAL, and so what? Yes, you will have to work HARDER than most, and yes you will diligently have to strive HARDER for patience, and you will probably go to hell for the sins you've committed (this is said with sarcastic flair), but guess what? We all have to work hard, and HARDER, and HARDEST for the things we want sometimes. I do not judge you on your lack of waiting for him to divorce first. You should have. But there are a lot of things people SHOULD do and don't. There are a lot of things people SHOULDN'T do and do. So oh well on that.


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RE: At A Loss...more

lol...hello??....josie, did you not read where I said that no one was saying it was a bad thing to be the way she is, it is just simply immature. (nothing wrong with immature either, just sayin')
If you can not see that or do not know that on your own then eventually you will.
Doesn't mean I don't believe in love. I do. I am in love.
It just means that I don't adopt the notion that love heals all wounds, or fixes everything. It can't, it doesn't.
Also, this is not her family yet...the man is still married for cryin out loud lol.
I do think you missed serenity's point however.


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RE: At A Loss

You know, these are the kind of threads that really make me question what marriage really is and why we do it.

Anyway, love conquers all is an interesting term for this kind of situation. What exactly could love conquer here? Children's feelings? Weird.

Say even if you were able to make it past the statistics, what is it now 40% survival for remarriages with children and then I think there is a direct correlation to how fast the relationship started between divorce etc. Anyway, say you were able to make it and you're still in love with him...what about the children? Would this "love" still be worth it at the cost of his children not having a relationship with their father? Would you really feel ok with your relationship knowing that it started by fracturing his children's relationship?

And I'll probably get bashed for this, but wth it's friday :) As a stepchild I find extremely creepy that Dad's girlfriends or wives would ever dream BIG that their stepchild would be their children one day. That totally invalidates that child and cuts an enormous part of their lives from themselves. Why would you ever wish they didn't have their mother or delight in a bad relationship with their mother? Why not wish that you could have a good relationship with them rather than wishing their "real" life away?


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RE: At A Loss plus

No bashing from me nivea. Very good points to ponder.


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RE: At A Loss

When did it become immature to have a mentality of "love conquers all"?

It's certainly naive. If love actually conquered all, her BF would probably still be married to his ex-wife. I know MY bf would still be married to HIS xw, and my parents would still be married to each other, and I would never have bothered to even look at a stepparents forum. I don't see anyone attacking Heather, but people are trying to WARN her that her situation is a lot more challenging than she seems to recognize, and to explain to her what those challenges are.

Heather may believe with all her heart that her BFs marriage was totally, completely over, kaput, dead, with or without her in the picture. It might even be true. But there is no way to know that for a fact; he had tried to reconcile before, maybe he would have tried again. Certainly, his ex-wife and daughter have reason to believe a reconciliation might have happened if not for her. That is going to add significant challenges to any chance she has of building a family with BF or a decent relationship with his daughter. It would help her to meet that challenge if she recognizes it. I'm sure the soon to be ex would rather spout on about how some harlot stole her husband, than to tell the truth of how she lost him by being an inconsiderate, hateful individual... This doesn't sound like she recognizes the problem. I don't look at the strikes against why a relationship won't make it, I look at all it has going for it, This doesn't sound like she even wants to know what the problems are. Believing that love conquers all doesn't make it true.


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RE: At A Loss

Let's be totally honest here-- There are numerous Ex-Wives out there calling Wife #2 a home-wrecking harlot even if Ex-Hubby didn't even meet her until after the divorce was a done deed. Or even if Ex-Wife is the one who cheated and left the marriage! My point being, you don't have to be telling the truth to claim Wife #2 is a home-wrecking harlot, and many folks will believe it anyway -- with NO evidence to back it up. But where Hubby isn't even legally divorced and he's already living with another woman, there's certainly the appearance of truth to the "homewrecker" charge.

And THAT'S a problem.
A really, really BIG problem.
And one that won't go away for years, if ever.

So if Ex-Wife is calling you a "homewrecker", you'd best get used to it. Because even if it's not true in your mind or his, it's a label that will stick with you and taint your relationship with him, his family, his children, his friends, his co-workers, Ex-Wife's friends, their children's parents, etc... In other words, get out the embroidery floss and make yourself some great big red 'H's, 'cause that's the role you're choosing...

That's the role you accepted the instant you found out he was still legally married and decided not to walk away.


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RE: At A Loss

You bet they'll call you a homewrecker just to make sure the kids hate you!!! AHAHHA..
I met my husband 1 1/2 years after he divorced his wife. (14 year marriage) And she did that..she told her daugther that i was cheating with her dad. Thank God my SD is the type to ask upfront and i told nope diddn't cheat with your dad. unless i can have S*x from another province hey i'ld be a millionaire!! lol..and when i met her dad he was married and i was engaged to another man:) And then i told her i was not raised to be like that...so no, your mother can use another excuse for you not to like me...lol...
My sk know their mother is jealous. THey have come forth repeatedly and said they'r mother is jealous and they cannot understand why she doesn't like me. I ahve todl them and my husband that its her personal reasons and she has to get over the divorce and move on...(keep in mind she was married again just as the divorced was finalized eh...) so what's good for the goose and is not good for the gander eh???mmmmm
Talk about double standards!!!
I have never doen my skids any harm and have always been very kind to them unless they've been ill to me i'll give it back to them. I've even had my SD defend me once with her brother.....they are good kids just wish i had a more open less manipulative from their mom, relationship with them. I think it could have worked if both my husband and his exwife were civil. Too bad
EIther way, Heather do not rush meeting his kids or rushing into tyring to develope your relationship with them. the son is too young and will probably be the only one receptive to you because he never knew mom and dad together...the girl is 10...and she may resent you for a while..but maybe when she gets older she may not. This all depends on how her mother raises her and if she was a good mother...and i do mean good , she shouldn't go around saying you are a homewrecker etc..etc..this only damages the child psychee...but hey...i see many woman who it ...and guess what!? they're kids hate them after a while ..( my skids do not like both their parents...they love them...but they do nto like them..resentful...)
So, its early in your relationship. Do not focus onthe kids, focus on your new bf and then after a while..say another 2 years or so, if you guys are still together and serious ...let sd come to you.....dont force any relationship here.
You can function separately....depends on how you want to go about your relationship heather. I know people who are married and live in separate houses with their kids...its wierd..but they,if it makes both sides happy and less every day headaches..why not?????
BUt if You are not happy be apart and want the 'family' thing...then you will have a problem. She may never accept you and you will have to accept that.
I think their will be a time you will meet, and you and your bf will have to reassure her that you are not here to steal her dad or replace her mother...that you are not her mother and you can only be a friend to her. In time , let the relationship develope and take it day by day. Dont expect things or demand things.


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RE: At A Loss

You can call a woman a "homewrecker", but since it's the husband who got involved with her, & since it is *his* responsibility & *his* choice...
what do you call him?


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RE: At A Loss

Cad
Sleezeball
Ba$!ard
SOB
Jerk
Liar
Cheat
A$$#ole
Player
Don Wannabe
Hound Dog
Worm
Maggot
Slimeball
Pond Scum

I'm sure there are many, many more I'm forgetting...


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RE: At A Loss

Hahahahaha!!


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RE: At A Loss

Very nice, Sweeby...LOL


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RE: At A Loss

"Dating happens all sorts of ways, and just because we didn't "court" in a manner like in the good old days, doesn't mean that our relationship is less strong than others. "

This is not about moving too fast or too slow. it is about moving in with a Married men before you even know his children and living with him for year still never meeting his children. this is ridicilous to say the least. lovie-dovie is great but this doesn't sound like strong serious relationship at all.


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more

apparently you were friends and hung out together while he was still married and lived wiht her, then within two months he, still married, moves in with you. I think it is very suspicious. and in fact he is still married. yet you ate saying you are mature. hmmm


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RE: At A Loss

Lol sweeby!
I like pond scum and maggot:)


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RE: At A Loss

MY CASE IN POINT!!!!! Men and women can not be "friends". Even if starts out totally innocent (J swore it was and I believed him) it will almost always evolve into something intirely different. That is precisely the reason I put the kebosh on the friendship J was starting with Ms. Recently Divorced.

Thank God J FINALLY understood my point on this or who knows what would of eventually happening. Maybe nothing, maybe a divorce like in the case of OP's BF and his ex. If you love your spouse you'll do what J did and decide not to even risk it!

I am willing to bet 100 to none that OP was batting her eyes and hoping amongst all hopes BF and his wife would split. Did the BF's wife even know about this "friendship"? I bet she didn't. I knew about J's friend and when it started causing doubt he cut it off. It took time for me to make him understand why I had the doubts but once he got it he dropped that "friend" like a hot potatoe.

You guys got EMOTIONALLY (I question whether it stopped there)involved before the divorce which makes you the other woman honey. There is no changing the perspective on that. If you decide to stay you are in for a long bumpy ride. You will be wearing the scarlet letter "H" for sure. The kids are not going to like you. His family may even judge you if they were close to the ex.

SWEEBY-
I would like to add "Scum Sucking Road Whore" to your list of possible pet names for BF:)


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