We struggle to spend some quality time together, whether it is a quick run to the grocery store together or a small snuggle time on the couch. He has a good relationship with his ex, and it also seems over the past six months since we haven’t had our quality time together that they (he and his ex) have been getting a little more “talkative.” For instance, one night after the boys’ baseball game, he and his ex pulled into the driveway one after the other. I had just texted him, “See you soon, we’ll talk when you get home” (in other words, our small quality time together), but, when I saw him outside spending our quality time chatting with her, I lost it. It was late — like 10:20, and, since we usually go to bed about 10:30, I waved out the door, “Good night.” He said he would be right in and that he was just talking about the games for this weekend.
So finally, after about 10 minutes, he comes in; I am brushing my teeth, he looks at me with a grimacing face and says, “What?” And I said, “I am tired of our quality time being taken away by her.” She stops over at least once a day. They text at least 5-6 or more times a day. She has even come right into our house without knocking to drop off something for the boys. During our snuggle times, she has texted about one of their boys using his razor for the first time. I am just fed up. He was mad for a couple days, then said we had to talk. When we talked, it was me apologizing for my over-reacting and him telling me how he wants me to be ok with him buying his ex coffee and talking to her any time he feels he needs to. So I basically have to comply or, like he said, find someone else.
Last night, my fiancé and my parents and I are hanging out in kitchen, and my fiancé is over on his phone texting. I asked him in a very calm, almost kidding way, “Honey, are you here with us?” And he says “Uh, yes, but no, — ok I won’t text what I was going to.” Supposedly, he was texting me with the date he has finally set up for us to meet someone to marry us in 19 days. That’s another issue altogether. I have been asking him to get hold of someone and he now waits til 19 days before our wedding to see if this guy is available. I still have to get invitations out and we don’t even know if this guy is available to marry us in 19 days! I feel as if there is no sense of urgency or planning on his part. I have a lot to do before the wedding and he just manages to find more time to spend talking with his ex.
I just feel so used, disrespected, left out and have just a lot of negative feelings right now. I am trying to be happy, but I need him to meet me halfway. Every time I try to talk to him about something he says he doesn’t live up to my expectations and can’t. He thinks I need to be patient and relax, but yet I feel I am expected to do so much and deal with so much. Did I mention I work part-time and go to school full-time too? I just have a lot on my plate especially with lack of co-parenting with my ex and lack of his extra child support, as he got laid off from his job. I am dealing with a lot of insecurities right now. I am just overwhelmed. I also had wanted us to all go away together for a honeymoon. My fiancé slammed me down for that and said no way, we have a baseball game the next day. I need help. I wish I could talk to someone about all of this. I try to talk to him, but he gets really angry and just tells me that, if I can’t deal with this, then maybe I should be with someone else. I have nowhere to go. I dropped my hours at work to go back to school full-time, so, if I left him, I could not afford to live with my kids anywhere and we would be homeless. I can’t live with my parents or any other family as they sold their houses and are living in tiny apartments. I am stuck with my situation and need to live with it and deal with it the best I can. But I need help in how I can do this. Please help me. Thank you! — Stuck in It
If you hear/read nothing else I have to say, please pay attention to this: cancel your wedding. Do not — DO NOT — get married. You two are nowhere near ready to legally commit to each other. You can’t communicate, you don’t spend time together, you have all sorts of issues, and there are five children involved. For the love of God, don’t marry this man. Not now, at least. And please, if you’re having sex, use protection. The last thing you need is to bring a baby into this mess.
It sounds like you aren’t interested in this relationship at all and are simply staying with your fiancé for the financial support you need to provide your kids a decent home. There are other ways to get support. There’s government assistance. There’s financial aid at school. There’s taking your ex to court and getting child support and a custody agreement enforced. You do not have to rely on your fiancé — and you certainly don’t have to marry him — to make ends meet until you finish school and can get a better job to support your family.
If you think you’d like to give your relationship another chance, start communicating with your fiancé and start spending real quality time together. Going to the grocery store or spending ten minutes together right before bed doesn’t count. You know what counts? Getting a babysitter and going out together. Your ex isn’t taking your kids on his scheduled weekends with him? Ask Grandma to come over. Or a friend. Or hire a teenager you know and trust to sit at your house and watch TV while your kids sleep. Don’t have money for that? Do a babysitting swap with another couple or single parent in your area: you watch their kids for a night and they watch yours. Make it happen. Make your relationship a priority. I mean, if you’re planning to marry the guy some time — and please don’t do it in 19 days; don’t do it unless you have at least 12 solid months of feeling good about the state of your relationship — investing in some true time together is kind of important. And when you’re together, actually talk to each other. Put your damn phones down and look at each other. Tell your fiancé he needs to let his ex know she is not welcome to walk into your house without knocking. And let him know that, while you understand that his kids come first, YOU need to come before his ex, and, if he can’t make that happen, you need to MOA. When you cancel your wedding, you need to tell your fiancé why you’re canceling it and what your expectations are, and, if he continues to tell you he can’t meet them, believe him. Believe him and MOA. Because there are others ways. There are other ways to support a family than marrying a guy you don’t get along with and can’t count on. There are other ways.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.