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|Sat, 12-07-2013 - 11:45am|
Hi everyone. I'd like to get your input on this one. I have been with my significant other for almost 3 years now. He has 2 kids from his previous marriage. They are great kids. We all get along. He and I have tried to make things as easy as we can on them. We were very careful in the beginning of the relationship. I chose not to meet them until about 4 months in just to make sure that this was something that was going to last. He and I got pregnant (not an accident) and we decided that we would wait a year total to move in together. That way the kids could really have the chance to accept me as a new part of their lives and they wouldn't feel too rushed. Half of my pregnancy (when he had the kids) I would stay at our house alone while he took the kids to stay his weekends, etc at his parents' house. By the time we had our baby, the kids were excited to move into the house and "be a family" (their words). We felt like we did the right thing by them. However, my SO wants to get married. I was married once before (in the same situation as now-he had an ex wife and 2 kids) and things were okay until we got married and as far as I could see it only complicated things. The ex escalated her hateful behavior. The kids had to officially deal with the fact that their parents weren't getting back together and I know that was hard on them. I don't want that to happen this time around. I love my SO. He is a truly good person. He is a good father. A good provider. Although I don't see the importance of going and registering our love with the state, I do want to be with him forever. So here is my dilemma: I told him that I would marry him if we could keep it between us...have a courthouse wedding possibly in another state... and then on down the road when we feel that the kids would handle it better and the ex...well, I don't see her ever changing her ways....but anyway, then we could have a wedding for all to come to and no one would be the wiser that we had already done it years earlier. I mean, as I've told my SO, no one is making this commitment but him and I. Yes, I know some will say the kids have a right to know but I don't find that to be true since we, for all intents and purposes, already are acting as a married couple. We now have a child and all live together under the same roof when we have the other 2 kiddos. The kids like referring to us as a family but the only time I have seen one of them bothered is when my SO talks about us getting married. I can tell it's hard for her. And I understand that. I've asked him to stop talking about it in front of them and he tells me that it's something that needs to happen and they will get used to it. To me, it would be something romantic that he and I could have, without causing all of the disruption and hurt that I know a big wedding would cause.
We are already having issues with his ex. She tries to act like she's the only one who cares about the kids' best interests. She faults us for anything she *perceives us to be doing and we rarely fight back because we just don't want to let her rent space in our heads. She absolutely thrives on drama. Her latest shenanigan was saying that my SO was doing drugs and claiming to have pictures. (This was all because he had the audacity to call her on it when she withheld the kids from us on our scheduled time). So she thought she had to take the bullying up a notch with us I guess. Well, my SO went and got drug tested that day and of course it came back clean. In 2 1/2 years together I had never once had a cross word for her. I let her and my SO hash everything out. But this time was enough. I told her that she had made a huge mistake that she would regret and that she would learn not to wreak havoc on my family whenever she felt like it. She admitted that she only said it because her lawyer told her to. Another lie, as any idiot knows he could lose his license over that. It was just a tantrum on her part. Plain and simple. This was a few months ago and since then we have gone to an attorney and are getting ready to take her to court. We've scraped up the money to pay the retainer..just waiting for them to get their ducks in a row. When this happens, she will lose it. She has no control over her emotions and has always been spoiled by her parents (and previously by my SO) so believe me when I tell you that we are having to prepare for war basically. However we don't want to put our life on hold in the meantime.
Do we have a legal obligation to tell her that we are married?