OP, sorry that you have to go through this break-up, but he really did you a huge favor talking about being stubborn. He's not going to compromise or seek help on this or any other challenge he encounters in life. He already has all the answers. I do recommend that you look at some sort of counseling for yourself, because having some emotional support now is important during the difficult time.
I'm sorry for you too. It is never easy to accept the thruth but really, you'll be better without him.
He is acting with you like he did with his ex. She might not be that hysteric after all...she unfortunately have to kids with him and will have to deal with him probably for the rest of her life...
Maybe one day he'll wake up from his 'my way is the best way fantasy land'...
I think he did you a big favor by drawing a line in the sand and saying basically, its my way or the highway. Tho I dont know if he will be surprised that you chose the highway. Even had he met you partway, I get the feeling you would have stuck it out, even for a little while. His attitude makes it easy for you to leave. The fact that he's not considering your feelings even a little bit now makes me think if you got married, it would be far worse.
You'll be sad for a while, but I think your relief in being out of that situation will outweigh that. And he may well want to keep seeing you. But if he doesnt, well, you know that leaving was the best thing. Theres better things ahead for you, not the least being peace and less stress.
SO: (chuckle) No. I did that. Years ago the Ex thought it would help, so I said, ‘Have it your way’ and we did the family counseling thing. And every time I talked to somebody, they just told me stuff that I already know. It didn’t change anything and it didn’t help.
Me: Well, I mean, obviously things are not working so hot right now the way it is. Why not use the resources available to try something different and see whether it can make a difference?
SO: Because I’m stubborn and I want to do it my way. And because my way usually ends up being the right way, anyway.
It didn't change anything and it didn't help... Hmmmmm... I wonder why?
My way usually ends up being the right way? You mean like multiple failed relationships/marriages and supporting various and sundry kids that you dump on your girlfriend who is also presently wising up and getting ready to leave your 'always right' arse?... you mean that kind of 'right way'?
Who was it on TV who used to ask 'how's that working for ya'?' ???
Did someone already post the meme 'when they show you who they are, believe them'?
And OP, I would not continue to date him after leaving. Seriously why?
So you can waste more time on Mr My Way is the Right Way and flesh out your babysitting resume?
Wow. Be glad he showed you his true self BEFORE you walked down the aisle. Please stay strong, and don't forget his words, don't let him suck you back in because mostly he wants a baby sitter and a "yes man" who does whatever he wants. Don't get stuck in that life. Don't be the future ex wife...
I feel as though I’ve hit a point where I need to know I can at least find some type of happiness in this situation, or else it just isn’t going to work for me. The last year has been tough, and it only seems to be getting tougher and tougher as time goes on. I don’t think I’ve laughed in that house – really, truly, laughed or smiled or been happy – for a few months now.
This is all you need to know. It does not matter what the problem is, but rather that you have been miserable for several months and it doesn't look like it's going to get any better.
Do not marry this man.
If you want to keep trying to work on the relationship then do so, but do not marry him until you see that the two of you can work together to create a relationship in which you are not miserable.
Personally, I think you should move on.
I was in a similar situation - living with and had agreed to marry a guy that seemed to be a heck of a good guy, just had gone through a period of "bad luck" and been taken advantage of by his ex-wife. Seemed to have a good relationship with his son, seemed to be responsible and so on.
Like you, I gradually learned that each and every one of his financial and personal problems were due to decisions he made, things he did, or times that he did not take action even when he knew he should. The ex-wife (#2, not the son's mother) that supposedly took advantage of him was in reality just an equal partner in a many years long string of poor decisions ending in divorce, bankruptcy and foreclosure. Additionally the "good relationship" with his son was a buddy-buddy, afraid to be a parent situation.
When problems with his kid became impossible to ignore, he refused to take any action. He completely wussed out and tried to put me in the position of being the only responsible adult in the household, then both he and his son resented me. The son resented me for setting rules and guidelines and enforcing them, the "father" resented me for pushing him to be a parent and struggling to get him to participate in creating structure in the household. I did not realize this at the time, all I knew is I was miserable, things were not right, and the kid was not getting the support he needed to develop into a decent human being.
Edited to add - just finished through the rest of the thread and saw your post where he told you his way is the best way. GET OUT ASAP!
I was avoiding this thread...because I don't think strangers should help you make such a big decision...BUT, no, you should not marry him. I read just the OP. If you have to ask the question then no, don't marry him.
"The stumbler doesn’t build her life by being better than others, but by being better than she used to be."
OP, never lose sight of the fact that he is the dickhead. You did nothing wrong.
Coreene, I love you gal! Don't take a paragraph to state what you can sum up in one blunt sentance.
OP, good for you for pushing him to talk and get to the bottom of his thought process! Be strong in leaving, and don't let him (as someone else said) try to backtrack on his earlier statements and get you to stay. Unfortunately, in his future mind, I'm sure you will be the non-supportive fiancee who dumped him and the boys when they needed you most. Guys like him NEVER take responsibility for their own actions or inactions and their consequences.
"….And, there it is, folks. I felt very deflated and alone in that moment because I knew that even if I forced him to go, he would get nothing out of it because he won’t really try. Because his way is, in his opinion, the best way. So, if he feels so strongly about that, he can do things his way and I will not be here to be in his way with it."
You are making a very wise decision for YOU. And you MUST be true to yourself before you can be of any value to anyone else.
You have my hugs, my very best wishes, and my confidence that you will be JUST FINE. And you will find someone who will be a good PARTNER for you. This dude doesn't understand the concept.
Make sure you have your next row of ducks all set up (housing, etc.) and make sure you get all your good, personal stuff (scrapbooks, family things, pictures, books, jewelry, etc.) packed up and out of there sometime while he's at work - before it really sinks in that you MEAN IT.
Keep us in the loop - I find it does a world of good to talk things out with people who have no dog in the fight (so to speak).
Don't he surprised if he does a turn around when he finds out you're leaving. Stick to your guns and let him prove it on his own if he sounds convincing!
This... Though we had no kids, my Ex (who was verbally, emotionally and somewhat physically abusive) did the turn around thing, started going to counseling etc, I still left him and he of course, went back to his old ways as predicted...
...SO and I had a pretty good talk last night. I don’t think we necessarily got anything resolved per say, but I told him I feel like I really don’t have the tools to deal with the kids or this situation, so I want to try going to counseling to see whether it can help. He said, “Good luck with that” in a kind of joking, but kind of not way – he didn’t say it to be derogatory, but more because he knows and will readily admit that the boys are being terrible and he doesn’t think there are any tools I can use to really help that...
... SO admitted to me early on in the relationship that he hadn’t really wanted kids. But, he did say that he and the Ex talked it through during the marriage and made the decision to have each of them...
...maybe some counseling just for myself is in order to get these questions answered.
OK, I was on the fence but there's your answer. When you said counseling he said good luck with that????????????? So much for pre marital couples counseling or getting those boys some professional help.
Those kids feel unwanted, and they seem to be right, by the bio parents and they are going to act out, probably hate you because they held the hope of mom and dad getting back together, and you have bio mom spitefully undermining everything you say and do every other weekend.
It's not you that needs the counseling to learn to deal with it, there are no tools you can use without any shot of the other side being receptive. That "good luck with that" remark is a clue to how any tools you do get from counseling are going to go over.
You can't fix this. You are not their parent, you never will be the parent in this kind of family dynamic. Only shot is you ALL go to counseling-including him. He won't? You walk.
You know, you get into these relationships and about 2 or 3 years in, you find out things are not exactly as they were told to you. Not lies, you just find you got an edited version of the truth from one side only.
These poor kids have been bounced around by a bio dad who didn't want them in the first place and a bio mom who cannot, will not or does not want to deal with them. You can't fix that-THEY have to fix it and they have to want to fix it. Dad, your intended, does not seem to want to do anything about it.
Oh, his work schedule may "be what it is" but he may not be doing anything to make it any different-guys (and gals) sometimes don't tell the entire truth about work schedules and/or don't try too hard to change them-because they want to be away to avoid facing any unpleasantness. Unless you know his boss or scheduler personally? You don't know if he HAS to work then or there are other alternatives, you have to rely on what he chooses to share.
Did I read you have been engaged for 2 years or so???? Yet living together a good chunk of the time? Why the wait? Doubts on your part? Foot dragging on his? Or the arrival of the kids so he can blame them for pushing it back too????
Think you know what you need to do. Get everybody in for counseling or walk, you cannot fix any of this and marriage will only make it worse between the kids and you and the ex and you.
I actually made the mistake of marrying into something similar. Lasted about 8 years-should have walked at 2 when I asked for counseling for the family and got the same "good luck with that" you did.
ETA guess you have decided to go? Old thread, my bad... I got promised a new horse and no complaining about barn time if I stayed. Didn't believe a word of it. He was broke and hated every second I ever spent with the last horse. No reason to think it would be different. Don't get sucked in.
When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.
Well, I so appreciate all of the people who have responded, and who have checked back in after all of this time. I pursued individual counseling. For a while there, the counselor seemed to think I should stick it out. However, as our sessions have progressed, she’s now implying that no relationship, no matter the circumstances, is worth giving up your dreams for (as I would be in a lot of ways with this current situation).
I had also asked my parents’ opinions. They both really like SO and want it to work, but both of them feel the situation is not a good one. My Dad felt I should talk to SO, and let him know, “I realize the boys are your priority, but sometimes you have to make me a priority, too,” ask for the changes I want to see, then go from there.
Because my counselor was initially trying to have me stick it out, and my Dad also wanted me to give it one more go, I decided to do the things they asked and stick around for another month to see what happened. I was literally a few days away from packing up and leaving when I got some very, very bad news.
Oh, how life has a way of derailing us. I found out I have a tumor – not Cancer (thank goodness), but very aggressive and invasive – that needs to be removed in short order. The tumor is in my head – there could be scarring or other changes that could affect me for the rest of my life, which makes me REALLY worry about whether I could ever find someone else if I leave him. That’s stupid, I know, but it really does scare the crap out of me. I used to be such an independent person. Over the last (almost) 3 years we’ve been together, I’ve lost that independence and find myself very afraid to be on my own.
The surgery will put me out of commission for a while – it’s a pretty in-depth and complicated surgery. The SO has been incredibly supportive to me since the diagnosis about a month ago, so now here I am again, back in the, “Should I or shouldn’t I?” gray area. Life just can’t be easy…
Because I will be completely dependent on others for the first week or 2 out of surgery, I’ve told SO that I will be spending that time at my parents’ house – not up for discussion. I know SO would take care of me, but when he’s at work, I do NOT trust the boys to do so. Once I am recovered enough to function at a decent level, I told him I would come back for a couple of weeks to see how things are. I’m still debating whether I really should go back – it’s such an easy out, but I would feel terrible going back on my word now that I’ve gone and said it. Plus, there’s the unknown factor right now about how I’ll recover and what the lasting effects of the surgery will be. From what I understand, there is no chance of mental problems, but there could be scars or other physical changes depending on how much of the structures of the head/face they have to remove and replace. It’s… not pleasant, to say the least.
What a roller-coaster. I so didn’t sign up for this!
I'm so sorry for your health issues OP, but in the midst of them don't lose sight of what each of you need for the rest of your lives. Would you want someone to stay with YOU because they were afraid they couldn't find anyone else?
Now isn't the best time to work on that as you need your health obviously but keep it in mind as you decide whether or not to move back in with him afterwards. Don't feel like you have given your word. Your life is so up in the air right now you are allowed to make decisions that are different that your original plan.
Also, my middle son has a scar in his brain. Your brain can learn new pathways around the scars (if you should have any) so try not to worry about something that might not happen or be as bad as you are imagining.
Didn't read all the replies (lunch break isn't that long) but will.
A good friend was in a similar situation. Dated a guy for almost 5 years with 2 sons who never interacted with her. Happy to eat her food, accept her generosity, go on trips with her and her daughter (that she paid for), but would never speak directly to her (mostly b/c their mother was nuts and told them my friend was eeee-vul). Her boyfriend spent most of the time blaming her and telling her she needed to "try harder" with them.
She was even considering marrying him (because their alone time (twice in 4 years) was "majikal", but they would live in separate houses, b/c youngest son was violent toward her daughter, and older son was shunted aside so everyone could coddle younger.
THIS. IS. YOUR. LIFE. Not just date nights, not just the good days. These boys will be a part of every minute of your life, because even when they are with their mom, you & DF will talking about them, thinking about them, cleaning up the aftermath, etc.
If this is not what you want, walk away. It sucks bigtime, and it will hurt, but ultimately, is that what you want for the next 10 years, minimum?
Will ETA once I've read the whole thread, I am sure.
OP, I am so terribly sorry you are going through this. But something you said really struck me:
The tumor is in my head – there could be scarring or other changes that could affect me for the rest of my life, which makes me REALLY worry about whether I could ever find someone else if I leave him.
You don't give yourself enough credit as a beautiful person, which comes from the inside more than the outside. Are you willing to settle for that?
"If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."
Deleted because I didn't read all the way to the end before posting and now that I have... never mind.
But, on the subject of the brain tumor, the husband of a friend had what sounds like the same or a similar thing. They removed a very large tumor and part of his skull, replacing it with some kind of mesh and cement (OK, I know it wasn't Quikrete, but "cement" was what he called it). His recovery time was amazingly short and he has experienced virtually no aftereffects. A bit of short term memory loss, but that is improving.
Silver lining here is it creates a valid excuse for taking a break from the relationship. Just worry about you for now. When you are feeling better, you can look at this with better perspective, also see how he conducts himself caring for his kids by himself and his interactions with you while you are convalescing. Might answer the question for you one way or the other.
When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.
Do not worry about "finding someone else" after this surgery. The fact that you've lost your feeling of independence over the course of the relationship is a great big red flag to me. You've become afraid of being on your own -- doesn't that tell you something about the nature of this relationship? It's bad for you. BAD.
Move out before the surgery. Stay with your folks while you recover and figure out where to go from here. MAYBE the move-out will shake up SO, but don't count on it.
Sorry you're having to deal with this. It's a handful, but I believe you're equal to the task, and you'll be better and stronger for it.