Confused – What do I do?
My boyfriend and I have been dating since 2000, we’ve been exclusive since Sept. 2002. We bought a home together and moved in together in July 2205. We both was previously married before he has one daughter 14 y/o from his marriage and I have 2 children from mines a girl 15 and my son who is 8 y/o. I would like to someday get married again, but he is so hesitant about getting married again because his 1st marriage did not work. We did have a discussion at one point we stated he is thinking about it but has not really committed to it yet. What bothers me is his ex-wife, my boyfriend has 3 days out of the week with his daughter and on days when he wants to spend time with her because of a family function, he needs to include his ex-wife in order for him to spend more time with his daughter. He assures me that he loves me and not to worry, but I do worry. I don’t think this is going to stop till his daughter turns “18” and is on her own. It also bothers me because I don’t get included in functions sometimes. I sometime think is it worth staying in this relationship!
? And purchasing this house together also is holding me back from leaving. I’m confused. signed, confused, age 39
Dear Confused, You have a right to be concerned in this matter and I have a few things listed below for you to consider.
1. Anytime there are issues surrounding the children and the ex unless they are resolved in a timely manner they will only get worse over time not better. Marriage will not help the situation at all. In fact this problem will become monumental if a marriage takes place before it is resolved.
2. You have every right to be a part of all family functions and you should insist on it. If your boyfriend is attending then you should attend and be by his side and show support for him and his daughter.
3. I’m not sure I agree that he needs to include the ex when spending time with his daughter. Once a family divorces they can have separate celebrations and not feel obligated to join the two together. After all if he wants quality time with his daughter then having the ex present is not providing that. Quality time verses quantity time can work in the Father’s and Daughter’s favor. One on one time is important and then bringing the daughter into his new life with you is also important.
4. Please read the following three articles and then I have a suggestion once those are read and understood. The articles are Express and Own Your Feelingsand Expectations and Hidden Issues and Unexpressed Feelings and Emotions . Once these articles are read and understood then follow the next suggestion.
5. Tell your boyfriend you need 10 to 15 minutes of his time to discuss a family matter. Give him a choice of times and allow him to pick what is best. Make sure the time is uninterrupted. No phones, TV, radio, or anyone else in the room or in hearing range. Bring a timer to the meeting and honor the maximum time of 15 minutes. During this meeting express and own your feelings about this whole situation. Be open and honest and talk about how all of this makes you feel. Don’t accuse or demean him in anyway. Just talk about how all of this makes you uncomfortable and then ask that the two of you work together to come up with a solution that you can both live with. At the end of the 15 minutes end the conversation and thank him for listening. Tell him you would like for the two of you to think about ways you can work through this where both of you will have your needs met and it can be a win win. Then schedule another similar meeting after you both have had time to think and brainstorm on ideas that may work well for both of you. Give yourself and him at least a couple of days to think on the subject and solutions before meeting again.
If your boyfriend does not honor your request and seriously consider your feelings in this matter then see that as a sign that this relationship may not work in the long run. There are always signs early on in a relationship like this one that can lead you in the right direction. The key is to be wide a wake to the signs and don’t live in denial. It is better to end the relationship instead of forcing something that will only cause more heartache and trouble down the road. You have a right to your feelings in this matter and it is important that you define what those feelings are, then make them known to your partner, and then set some boundaries for yourself and your life that will allow for more satisfaction within the relationship. If this relationship does not work out then all of what you have learned to date will prepare you for a future relationship that will work. There are always lessons to be learned. Once the lessons are learned you will be stronger and more in tune to finding the right partner for you.
As far as owning a house together please click on this link. Never let a financial obligation keep you locked into a relationship that has little hope for the future. Sell the house if necessary or ask him to buy you out.
Please understand you have free will. This advice is given only in the realm of personal growth and self-help. This is not to be considered a substitute for therapy or professional counseling. We wish you well.