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02-04-2008, 04:46 PM #1
Please Help Me: Issues to discuss before marrying a divorced father?
Hi there, I am looking for any advice, recommendation, thoughts or stories/ideas to help me choose the best course of action for myself, and also my boyfriend and his daughter. I have been dating my BF for over two years and I love him. I also love his 5 yr old daughter, and vice versa. We have talked about getting married, but I want to be sure it is a step that is right for all of us. He and his ex were divorced before I ever met him, but for just under a year (officially). They had "separated" before that and knew that they weren't going to make it. In fact they had talked about getting divorced before they had their daughter. And though, after they were officially divorced, they still lived together at times
My BF is very financially sound. He took 100% responsibility for the child support, bought his ex a house and pays the mortgage, bought her a car, pays her bills and all schooling, paid to put her through yoga training, etc. She does not work, has no income and unless she gets remarried, he is fairly responsible for her indefinitely. She loves her daughter very much, is a good mom, but maybe not the most creative or educationally encouraging person. The daughter is in pre-school/daycare 3 days a week (MWF) from 8:30 to 5 and goes to the gym daycare at least 2 hrs a day on the other 2 days (TTH). The daughter and EX have had this schedule for the last two years from when the daughter (D) was 3yo. The EX has never gotten a job as she states it is her responsibility to raise the child and needs to be home for her.
The EX lives in RI where my BF bought her a house and owns his own home there, but we live and work in NYC. As we have his daughter every weekend from FRI night to SUN afternoon, we travel (average 3.5/4 hrs one way) back and forth every weekend to get D and stay at his house in RI.
Despite my personal feelings, this all has nothing to do with me in the since that they have agreed upon it. My BF and I split for several months last winter due to the inordinate amount of time his EX spent around us, going out with us, dating his friends (although she and the firend lied about it happening because the friend lived in my BF house), and always being a part of our personal life. We, my BF and I, put up some boundaries, talked it through, and got back together. What I want to know is this:
We have talked about getting married, but I don't want to commit to being the third person in a relationship that doesn't evolve. WHAT ARE SOME QUESTIONS AND TOPICS THAT MY BF AND I SHOULD ADDRESS AND DISCUSS IF WE DECIDE TO GET MARRIED? I'm not very familiar with divorce and the issues that arise from it, but I also don't want to be taken advantage of by a situation. My BF is very generous with both his finances and forgiveness. (I moved from RI to live with him in NY after 2 years of dating, and now work full-time in the city). I have asked him things along the lines of, what if we are married and have a child, do you plan on traveling back and forth every weekend...? His response falls along the lines of "we'll cross that bridge when we get to it." To me, that isn't acceptable. I want his daughter to be a part of our lives, in fact, I think it would be better if he had custody, but that isn't my choice. Often he will make decisions (often minor, but still) that involve his child or EX, that will in some way or another, directly impact my life as it is part of his, but I will not be part of the decision process.
Sorry if I am rambling but I'm trying to explain it but also be fair...
What are topics to be discussed before remarrying a man with a child and EX?
Thanks for all your thoughts and ideas. I just want the best for everyone without losing my sense of self because I don't want to come across as selfish or unfair either. I feel I often walk a tightrope.
02-04-2008, 04:57 PM #2
- Rep Power
I am a little confused...
Your BF pays for his EX-Wifes mortgage and bills AND pays child support? I think the EX needs to get a job... I mean they are no longer together and he shouldnt be paying for the EX to live, that's plan and simple.
I agree with him paying child support and that should be his only responsibility not everything else.
I think you need to personally think about all this...
- Do you mind he pays everything for his EX?
- Are you going to feel jealous that part of his income is going to her and not you?
Secondly, EX wifey needs to get out of the picture, you shouldn't be going out places with her, while it's nice to be friendly, getting that close could also jeopordize things or you may have feelings of jealousy later on.
If it were me, BF would not be paying EX-wife's bills only the child support. Ex wife would get a job (that is beyond your control) but if your BF doesnt stop what he's doing now he may end up having to do it forever. The courts may see it as "Well he didnt have a problem doing it, why should he stop, no one forced him."
You are with BF now, so you do have a say in decisions when it comes to the SD visiting, it's your life and your house too, this should be a mutual discussion.
I wish you the best of luck but it seems that maybe the ex knows he will pay for stuff and she's nice for that fact, he needs to stop that and worry about his daughter and not the ex. Take the money he's paying for all the ex's stuff and put it into a college fund for the daughter. The ex doesnt deserve it, the daughter does.
02-04-2008, 05:01 PM #3
Do you intend to keep working if you have children?If not, can your husband provide for two families? My own personal opinion is that you will forever take a backseat. I personally would run like hell.Good luck.
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02-04-2008, 05:10 PM #4
- Rep Power
Run...far and fast. There are so many red flags in this situation I can't even count them all!
She has him completely whipped....and I doubt that's going to change for you or anyone else. There's more going on here than his paying for her bills and her lifestyle. Seriously...this is NOT in any way a normal "divorce".
02-04-2008, 05:14 PM #5
doesn't sound right to me... I would find it highly strange if my ex wanted to pay all my bills, buy me a house and pay me child support. That is NOT a normal divorce at all.
02-04-2008, 05:26 PM #6
Run for the hills, hunny bunny.
02-04-2008, 05:30 PM #7
- Rep Power
Hey ... I couldn't think of the words when I was writing my post so I put up all the red flags myself, lol...
This is NOT normal at all, either he stops and just pays child support or you run, far, far away.
02-04-2008, 06:26 PM #8
Thanks for the replies.
Financially, he is probably able to support two families, if nothing were to change, but it is a volatile market time right now and who knows. And I must be honest, I do feel jealous at times for his complete support of her. I just get angry when I work all week, the same as he does, drive 8 total hrs to be with D and find out the EX spent the week at the gym and getting manicures and facials. (Or she will have the gall to call him (sarcastically) "SUPER DAD" when he gets a babysitter. (He works hard, sometimes 60 hrs a week- we have to get a sitter on Friday's because that is HIS time and HE is responsible for covering child care even though we don't often get to RI until 930 or 10 at night because we don't leave NY until after work on the Friday. She drops D and the dog off at his house with the babysitter between 6 and 7. We will then sometimes get a babysitter for later on Saturday night when it is closer to bedtime so we can go out and get dinner or see friends. She says she never has a sitter, but we have D every weekend and she is in school/daycare the majority of the week- when doe sshe need one! But I digress...)
I'm writing because I do really love him and his daughter but sometimes I'm too involved to see it rationally. Is this healthy for me or can it be? I've suggested that the 2 of them get a mediator to at least discuss parenting issues now that D is older and can't just be handed over every weekend. (she'll have her own friends, activities, etc.) But he doesn't want an outside mediator. (BTW, they shared a lawyer and figured out their own divorce) Then he said he wouldn't want D to come live with us until his life was more stable (ie am I sticking around). I understand the concern, but I've been here for 2 years though, through tough times and his EX has had multiple hidden relationships with his "friends" and lied about it. D often talks about Mommy's (insert name) this or that. I suggested that maybe WE needed a mediator to talk through concerns and he said that he knew he was committed to the relationship it was up to me to figure it out. To which I've replied I would need his help and answers to questions about what/where we'd be doing/headed. He said to give him a list of questions. Which led me to post this message in the first place. (it's all cyclical!)
And True, I do feel put in the backseat to so many things, even when I've been "given" so many things. I would rather never question where I stood then be given an expensive present or trip. So yes, there are red flags, but maybe I'm a sucker. My presence has made his life easier in the raising of his daughter, and I love her. But what are key things I need to look for or talk about, if this is to work. I tend to get caught in the minutia of details and emotions. Thank you all again so much.
02-04-2008, 06:52 PM #9
I am gunna say what I think since you asked:
*Run a credit check on him
*take some money and hire a PI and find out what the real story is
*Do research on house, property, of EX
Something very weird is going on in this whole thing.....ALARM BELLS and RED LIGHTS are going off for me.
02-04-2008, 06:56 PM #10
I understand you love your man and his daughter but don't you feel that you should be in the front seat with him? The ex has it made and it doesn't sound like he wants to change it, which is fine, that's his choice. Do you always want to have to deal with this? I know this seems doable now since you guys aren't married or have kids yet but to be honest those things only make it harder. I just think you deserve so much more. I think you deserve to be the number one woman and the only woman in the relationship. What he does goes beyond making things amicable. Your gut is screaming at you this isn't normal, otherwise you wouldn't have posted asking for opinions. Save yourself some heartache and a divorce and leave now. I'm not going to say you won't be sad and it won't be hard but do it for you so you can be free to find someone who will be able to make you a higher priority and give you more emotionally and sanity wise than this man. I'm not saying your bf is a bad guy I just think he needs to be on his own a bit longer and figure out how to balance his life and relationships and figure out what a leech his ex is.
02-04-2008, 07:02 PM #11
- Rep Power
Oh...so his way of keeping the women in his life happy is to buy them things???
Oh, good Gawd!!!
What I absolutely suggest is that YOU seek counseling. Perhaps it hasn't occured to you to value yourself first and let the rest of your life fall into place. Instead of waiting to see what he can do for you....and get his life in order??? I'm sorry...but WHY do you want to be with a man who obviolusly puts you third in his life??? Do you really expect things to change if they haven't in two years??? SHE has the sweet deal and you have the leftovers.
ACK!!! I'm sorry to be so blunt, but some of us have BTDT...
I repeat...run. Run fast and run far.
02-04-2008, 08:11 PM #12
- Rep Power
Run, girlfriend, and fast! You will never have a life of your own. You will always be 3rd in line behind ex-wifey and the child.
02-04-2008, 08:39 PM #13
- Rep Power
I must reply again, sorry.
I HAVE been where you are, my now DH, payed for all his ex wife's stuff, per say the mortgage, electric, oil AND child support...etc... once WE moved in together as a couple... that ended!
No way was MY MAN going to support his ex wife, YES he paid child support but that was the extent of it, their relationship was over and he no longer was to support her if he wanted to be with me END OF STORY. He listened and we are still together and she pays her own way, she wasnt leeching off of us anymore.
I KNOW you love him and his DD but if he isnt still with the ex than he shouldn't be paying ANYTHING for her except paying her child support for their daughter, if you can deal with this I am sorry than something is wrong with you (not trying to be mean) ... I agree you will always be third in his life if you LET him do these things... remember THEY ARE DIVORCED!
He's a sucker and your third in line, either he needs to change or you must run.
Another thing, the mom doesnt work, what does the DD need child care for? You said you have the DD every weekend or every other right? Also, when the EX does go out who's giving her the money since she doesnt have a job? Oh I suppose that's with the child support money or your DB is giving her extra to have fun?
He needs to make a choice and FAST!
02-04-2008, 08:42 PM #14
- Rep Power
02-04-2008, 10:18 PM #15
Good Golly...a friend at work bf was doing the same thing and his ex was REMARRIED !!! I was like wth???? are ya'll crazy? Well he wasn't paying the bills but if there was something like a flat tire or of that nature she called her Ex not the new hubby. Anyhoo I told my gf that has got to stop. Sweetie so long as he is caterring to her she will NEVER be self sufficient and ya'll and I do say YA'LL will continue to support her. If times that are good now turn into times that are slim do you think she isn't still going to expect the $$? You dang right she will and he will pay it and your acct will be together and bam you are now contibuting to her sitting on her azz getting facials and yoga classes. If his concern is for his daughter and her alone he needs to sit and figure what is fair for her raising, home, clothes, food and even her entertainment and set that amount. She (the Ex) has a mom and a dad and if it's to fall back on anyone to support her they should. Sweetie you are going to get burnt/hurt in the end...what happens when you start your family with him, will there still be enough for everyone? Will your childeren sacrifice for her. It's just too much to ask and I see heartache before it's all said and done. I would definatley say the buck has to stop here or else. Save yourself however you decide whether it be a good I'm putting my foot down or get out. *big hugs and I hope everything turns out to be for you the best
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