To end or not to end??

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2014
To end or not to end??
Fri, 04-11-2014 - 1:58pm

I am a 47 year old divorced mother with 2 daughters, ages 16 & 17, I have full custody of the 17 y.o and 50% custody of the 16 y.o (father threw 17 y.o out of his house this past december).  My boyfriend is 53, divorced and has 3 children ages 19 (away at college), 16 & 11.  He see's his 19 y.o when she is home from college and see's his 2 boys every sunday.  We met 2 years ago this May.  When we met he had recently divorced, moved out and was renting a room in a house.  He lost his job of 17 years shortly after we met.  He was in the wheelchair business, fitting severely handicapped persons in chairs they basically live in.  Anyway, I was out of work, cleaning to keep a roof over my head when we met so he joined me and we grew the cleaning business and all was great.  We are both laid back, easy going, peace loving pacifists ... and we really get along well.  He moved in to my condo in December of 2013, 7 months after we met.  Because his income was so low at that time he gave me what he could each month toward rent ($1000) which was $200 until July 2013, then he increased it to $300) - an issue but I understood he didn't have it..Here is where the problem begins:  my ex husband was an abuser - verbally, emotionally and culminating in physical which FINALLY drove me to divorce after 12 years of marriage.  Our daughters were 9 & 10 at the time of the divorce.  In FL sole custody is not awarded unless the other parent can be proven unfit.  I did not have the funds to warrant that fight so the divorce agreement is 50-50.  At the time oof divorce he was manipulating and brainwashing the girls and they stated they wanted to be with him 50% of the time so I didn't fight it.  I should have known better.  Anyway, during our entire marriage he never ONCE showed me any respect.  Now, neither of my daughters do - they learned very bad  behavior and even their time w/ me didn't stop them from becoming disrespectful, angry, out of control teenagers.  It has progressed more and more over the years.  I know I am at fault for not demanding better behavior - but be easy on me, as a former abused mother who's heart torn open wide every week I had to give them back to him - I often let them "vent" when they were with me, where they were safe and knew they could "let it all out". they are 16 & 17 years old and my best friend, lover and confidant has just landed a new job back in the wheelchair industry making bank.  And we have discussed moving to a home, not the tiny 2 BR condo we live in, until he brought up my daughter's behaviors, lack of respect and lack of curfew following has caused him to decide it is best if he moves out and into a home w/ his boys - that my girls are too much for him and he doesn't want his boys subject to their behaviors.  OUCH, but I do question is...he wants to continue our relationship, just living under two separate roofs - knowing that I will now go back to struggling to make up his $300/mo + food contribution.  I feel punched in the stomach...advice please.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-16-2013
Fri, 04-11-2014 - 2:26pm

Woa. I'm sorry but my first thought is that he's a real jerk. You took care of him all this time and now that he is back in the money he is ready to leave you high and dry. IMO he is using your daughter's behavior as an excuse. I can certainly understand why you feel you've been punched in the stomach. You have been!

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Fri, 04-11-2014 - 5:05pm

Okay, I don't mean this to sound harsh.  But he has every right to do what is best for him and for his boys.  If the situation were reversed, I would say the same to you.  I feel for you, I really do.  But I lived with my DH for 7 years before we married and he had every right to leave at any time if he chose to, finances aside.  And yes, I would have been a hurtin' unit had he ever left.  

If he really is a stand up guy, I am guessing he will do what he can to make things right if he does really get his own place.   I don't expect he would "give" you money, but surely he would know that your funds would be limited when it came to any outings you might do together.

Teenagers are hard, and you are not married.  DH's DS19 lived with us a couple time and the second time his behavior was just too much and I was done. My DH was welcome to move out and provide a home for his DS, but it was not going to be in my home.  This was before we were married, and as much as it would have s*cked, I would have supported his decision to do so.  

For what it is worth, I had a friend who got married and kept their separate homes because they had so many kids between them.  Not enough room in either home, and I think 2 or 3 of the kids were almost done with high school.  They were waiting until the oldest went to college to combine households.  

Whether your BF really moves out is yet to be seen, so although I would prepare for it, keep in mind that he may not.  

Hugs, I know how hard this is.  

Serenity CL making a marriage work

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sat, 04-12-2014 - 12:10pm

Well I know this is tough but his first obligation is to his own kids and he probably feels it is too disruptive for them to be around your kids, even though he only has them occasionally.  It also may be an excuse because he just does not want to live with them.  It's very difficult to blend families when the kids are not behaving the same.  I married a guy with a 12 yr old DD--my kids were a 13 yr old girl and 7 yr old boy at the time.  I'm divorced so my kids were at their dads a lot, but he was a widower so we had his DD all the time.  She was a good kid and then suddenly when she went to high school she rebelled a lot and did a lot of things that my kids never would have done--skipped school, ran away, etc.  It was so stressful on me & my kids--there was so much arguing between my DH (now ex) and her and when she finally left and moved in w/ her GM when she was a senior, it was such a relief.

I think what you need to do is concentrate on your relationship w/ your DDs.  I can understand where you are coming from but it's not good to let this go on forever as if it's ok.  I think you need to sit down with the girls and explain that you tolerated a lot of behavior from them but now things are going to change.  You will no longer tolerate their disrespect.  And believe me, you do have control--do you give them rides, pay for their clothes, pay for their cell phones, etc.?  Cut everything off if the behavior does not improve.  It will be harder on you at first but in the long run, you don't want to have a life time of kids who don't respect you and treat you badly.  I hear from people on here whose kids are adults and still treat them badly.  That is not something I would wish on people.  I certainly had my moment w/ my DD when she was a teen (less w/ my son) but they do grow up and get over it.  I know I could not live with someone whose kids are out of control.  And honestly it's not his job to support you financially.  When you got your 17 yr old full time, is your ex now paying more child support?  Maybe you should look into that.  Or maybe you can make sure that both your kids have jobs and contribute to their own expenses.  That will keep them out of trouble too.  My kids had to work when they turned 16 and pay for their own auto insurance, gas and spending money.  And they are both honor students too.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010
Sat, 04-12-2014 - 12:54pm

I can see how you feel used, like he was okay with your family situation while he was broke, and now that he has money he's bailing out. OTOH, when he moved in with you he probably didn't know how badly your dd's treat you. Maybe he's been biting his tongue for months to not criticize your girls or your parenting style. He knows that he has no right to discipline them or get involved, and it would be very hard to be in that situation in his own home.

There's a woman who posts here sometimes with a similar story, divorced with 4 daughters who sort of took their dad's side and the girls are disrespectful to the mom. All of the kids were older teens or 20s when she married a man with sons. The new husband doesn't like the way the girls treat mom and they heard him say something about it. Now they hate him, won't come to the mom's home, its caused a lot of problems in her relationship with her dd's and in her marriage. I think she said that in retrospect, she wouldn't have married her new H if she had known what a mess was going to occur.

You didn't say how your dd's like your bf, or whether any of their "bad behavior" could be a result of his presence in "their" home. Maybe when he moves out they will improve?

This would be a good time to focus on fixing the relationship with your dd's, if possible. Their treatment of you will probably be a problem in any relationship with a man who cares about you---he won't want to see you disrespected by anyone including adult kids. So unless you decide to cut them off, or they somehow change their behavior, the problem will continue.

Whether you should end the relationship, I can't say....I think you need to have some serious open-minded discussions with your bf regarding his feelings about the kids, blending the families, your relationship in general. Together you would have to decide if you can overcome these difficulties.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2014
Mon, 04-14-2014 - 8:50am

Thank you to all with your truthful, candid advice.  I agree with you all - and I understand his point of view.  I am more upset w/ myself not being able to gain control over my daughters.  I will work toward that now.  Also, just saying, both my daughter's have said they think my BF is the "nicest" man they've ever met.  However they do not like the fact that he represents a parent figure and wants them to obey curfew, etc.  Thanks again, I've got alot of work ahead of me w/ my daughters!!!  God bless, appreciate your input everyone!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Mon, 04-14-2014 - 11:04am

Quick word about this last post.  This guy, or any guy you're involved with is NOT a parent figure, and will never be.  You are their parent, he is or was your partner, but he isn't their father, and he has no right to impose discipline on them.  He can back YOU up verbally, but that's it.  You are the parent........their father is their other parent.......anyone else is just someone in your life, and certainly not someone who should be disciplining them.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2014
Tue, 04-15-2014 - 9:39am
Thanks for your comment, he doesn't discipline them, it upsets him that they don't obey my rules, listen to me, etc....all he has ever done on occasion was tell them to not speak to me that way, etc. I've taken to heart all that was said on this post and I am moving forward, embracing this "fork" in the road.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-06-2010
Thu, 04-17-2014 - 1:37am

Blending families is very hard. Maybe it's better on everyone to back out of this situation for now. Your daughter is 17 and might be out on her own before very long at all. Hopefully, you can try living together again then and keep dating now. Maybe his kids will be teenagers by then and no little rays of sunshine either and you can have fun laughing at him. :)  Sorry for the bad news.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-30-2003
Wed, 05-21-2014 - 3:18pm

First off, I'd like to say good for you for leaving your abusive spouse.  It took a lot of guts to leave.  My mother was in 2 different abusive relationships.  She was married to my father for 20 years.  He drank, screwed other women and was never home.  She divorced him.  She married my stepdad and he was physically and mentally abusive.  She divorced him after 5 years of marriage. I can understand about your daughters.  My mom got custody of me and my brother in the divorce from my dad.  My sister was already over 18 and out of the house.  I was 5 and my brother was 10.  My dad's side of the family brainwashed my brother and he kept running away.  So my mom had to go back to court and give my dad custody of my brother.  That's where he wanted to live.  She didn't want to but that's what he wanted.  So I understand you do only what you can and not always the best thing at the time.  

So, the answer to your question.  I think your boyfriend is a piece of crap.  He sure moved in quickly when he lost his job.  You opened your home to him and he hardly paid you anything when he was out of a job.  Now he's got a good job and he's moving on, getting a house with his boys, and leaving you hanging out to dry?  He uses the excuse about the girls?  Oh, and he still wants to see you, just live in separate houses.  I would tell him to piss off.  But don't do so until you get money from him.  Don't let him get off that easy.  Make sure you get money owed to you from when he hardly paid you anything for living with you.  You are a good person and you are worth so much more than this piece of crap.  Laughing