How to support him thru his divorce & baggage?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-23-2010
How to support him thru his divorce & baggage?
19
Thu, 01-05-2012 - 11:52am

I met my current beau a few months ago. He had just returned from 2 years overseas in Iraq. At the time of his return, he helped his ex wife pack and up and move cross country. She basically wiped out his bank account and left him with nothing and 5 trips to a dumpster to clean up the townhouse she left in shambles. I was shocked. I saw with my own eyes that she spent thousands on shoes and home base business that went belly up. She had not worked the entire 12 years they were married. He is the sweetest man and he was basically left to start his life over, and out of the kindess of my own heart (and the fact that we were very much in love) I offered that he move in with me, only after a few weeks of dating. Sounds crazy, but somehow it felt right.

So far things have been wonderful between us, and there isn’t a day that goes by that he doesn’t say I love you or is entirely appreciate of everything I do for him. I have already met his family and he mine. I never wanted to fall in love, leastly with a not yet divorced guy starting over, but the stars just fell into place for us. He has always been the breadwinner and it is hard for him to accept help from me. I have not asked him to pay any rent yet, but he helps out with groceries and bought me beautiful christmas gifts. I have been taken advantage of in the past, and don’t want to do it again. He has insisted to start helping me with rent (even though I am financially well of and was before I met him) but I know he is struggling trying to get the divorce out of the way, and bills that went unpaid for months from his ex who was supposed to be managing the money (he made 150K a year if you can believe that). So I am not sure what to do. I do not feel he is any kind of moocher, but there is always that fear that I do too much. I am also never married so dealing with his baggage has been trying, but he never really complains and is always reassuring when I get insecure about everything.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-18-2009
Thu, 01-05-2012 - 12:16pm

So basically what you're saying is, "I know I moved quickly and against my better judgment, but my emotions clouded my thinking at the time, so it was actually the right decision" ?

I know that's not how you want to see it. But that's how it is.

You shouldn't be helping another person with their baggage, that's the job of mothers and therapists. If you are "insecure about everything" then is this love really bringing out the best in you?

There is a post in "Should I Stay Or Should I Go?" recently that you should read, about a young woman in her 20s who fell face-first into a relationship and who is now struggling with insecurity over facebook messages. The similarity is that both of you made your men into saints in your mind, when the fact is, they are human beings who you really have not known for long enough for commitments/promises to be great decisions. Relationships should not be so much work after only a few months. If he's dealing with ex-wife baggage, he is not in the right place for a relationship yet, no matter how much you want one.

You're right when you say "sounds crazy". It does sound crazy.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009

I completely agree with Undercovercrab!

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2006

He sounds like a great guy.

A couple of things that really helped me was when my gf kissed my closed eyes, careful to not miss a spot and when she allowed me to wallow between her naked breasts in a non/pseudo sexual way. The first told me that she there for me to kiss away any tears should they come (visible or not) and the latter a source of shelter from the emotional storm that divorce is.

Both were great measures of security for me.

Best wishes.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

I assume that now that he's back he has a job or is still in the military--then he should be paying rent.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007

Gingerpie, perhaps his ex wife is a scheming witch and there's nothing more to her behaviour.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2006

<< I would

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-18-2009

I totally agree with this, and want to add... A man needs to earn respect; from himself (first and foremost) and from the woman he loves. If he's not doing this, he's worthless to both of you. Taking advantage of a new girlfriend is not something a man would do if he valued himself.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007

As I said in my post, she could simply be a witch - on this we agree.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-18-2009

I agree with you... It is possible that she's just insane but I've seen so many instances where a woman is vindictive because of being treated really poorly for a long time and she just SNAPS. I can't say it's justified to act like a witch, but I would really want to hear her side of the story. It's unusual that a woman is actually criminally insane for no reason, and more common that she is lashing out in revenge. People just don't act this way unless they're provoked. I would be even more wary if this guy is badmouthing her or trying to get sympathy due to his crazy ex-wife. There's always more to the story!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-23-2010

Of course there are always two sides to a divorce, and believe me I have wondered about this. He does not bad-mouth his ex, or even say she is evil, he takes full responsibility for making bad judgements and trusting her and stayed in the marriage because of his step daughter, and later his son (now 10 years old).

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