I need some advice on a serious issue. I have been dating someone for the past 5 years. When we first met, I was in the process of a divorce. His daughter's mom was staying with him. I didn't really give it too much thought at the time because I was married and going through some issues with my husband. My divorce became final 3 years ago. His daughter's mom is still living with him. We have talked about this issue on a regular basis. He tells me that his daughter needs her mom and I understand that but what child doesn't need their mother? My children need their dad, but we aren't living together. He picks them up every weekend. He makes it seem as if I'm being selfish and tells me I don't understand. He wants to raise his daughter up in a two-parent household because he didn't have that coming up. I understand that, but I just feel that it is impossible for him to be fully committed to me in the situation he is in. His daughter is 12. She is fully aware that her parents don't get along. They share separate bedrooms and argue consistently. I have told him that he needs to do one or the other. I feel that family comes first and I don't want him to choose. I'll just walk away, but it's so hard when you've been with someone for so long. You just keep hoping and praying that things will get better. Am I wrong for feeling the way I do or should I just wait it out and see what the future holds??
Well, I know Fergie and Prince Andrew continued to live together for the purpose of "co-parenting" after their divorce, but the house they shared had separate wings, so I'm sure that made it a little easier! This is an unusual situation to be sure. I always thought one of the reasons for divorcing was to spare the kids all the anger and arguing and such. But I remember I also used to know a man who still lived with his ex wife and kids for quite a while after their divorce, in fact until he met his second wife, but they met, courted, moved in together and married pretty quickly, like within a year and a half or so. So is doesn't seem that the mere fact that he still co-habitates with his ex and child that is as concerning as the fact that he's been dating you for FIVE years and still hasn't commited to you any further than just dating. Is that his idea or yours? Has he asked you to move into another place with him or to marry him and you have refused? If he hasn't, it seems, simply because it's been five years, that it's not just him wanting to give his child stability in a two-parent household, but also that he really doesn't want to commit to you the way you'd like him to. That's the real issue.
Thank you so much for your input. The thing is, he was never married to her. She was away in the army with their daughter. She decided she wanted to come to where he was so they could raise their daughter together. He opened up his home. I just want a normal relationship.
Of course you do! This guy must know on some level that if he wants to be married someday, that he can't continue this relationship. I can't imagine any woman in her right mind wanting to be married to or live with a man and his ex-girlfriend/mother of his kid, etc. But again, five years is a long time. You have the right to want a normal relationship, but this guy may not be the guy you get it with.
How weird: I just happened to glance through an article yesterday about parenting, divorce, and the effect it has on children . It said what you might expect: that unhappy parents tend to raise unhappy children, and an unhappy marriage is a breeding ground for all sorts of unhappinesses.
Actually, I am the product of divorced parents, and I feel that I turned out pretty well. My parents divorced when I was about six years old. They were constantly arguing and mad at eachother about everything, so I think that my mom did what was best for my brother and I when she filed for a divorce. I still see and talk with my dad a lot, so I don't think that I was cheated out of a relationship with him much at all by this. In fact, I don't think that I would have been nearly as happy as I am today if I had continued to witness what I did as a very young child.
It basically sounds like you're unhappy with the relationship and worried about his daughter. If you really don't like this situation, I think that you should consider leaving him (at least until you feel better about what is going on, if ever you do). Don't torture yourself about it. Be honest with him, let him know that it makes you uncomfortable to be around him, and see what he has to say about it. I don't even know how you're putting up with it, to be quite honest. I would be incredibly weirded out by the whole thing...