Nearly a year ago, I met a guy, and instantly fell for him. I was in a relationship at the time that I was relatively serious about, and in turn pushed the thoughts of him out of my mind. He was married at the time, with three step-children, and one biological child. Fast forward over six months. My relationship had ended. His marriage fell apart after several years of turmoil (his wife had a boyfriend of two years, he stayed to care for the children). We crossed paths, and began seeing each other. His ex, whom I’ve never met, is a very vindictive, jealous person and told their children (all of whom he has maintained a very close, functioning relationship with) that I destroyed their family.
Now, I’m not the biggest fan of kids, but this guy is so worth taking on whatever comes my way. In four months together, I never met his children (he says they’re not ready), and was always comfortable with the fact that they took priority over me. If they needed anything, if they wanted to spend an extra night with their dad, our plans were postponed. While it did sometimes frustrate me, I always accepted it with a smile because he was doing the right thing.
Nearly two weeks ago, he disappeared, which is very unlike him. Nine days later, I went looking for him, because I had no idea what was going on; I didn’t even know if he was OK. I was greeted by a very long hug, and tears, explaining to me that his high school-aged step-daughter had tried to commit suicide, her reason being that he didn’t care about them because he was with me. This obviously crushed him, he spent days in the hospital with her, and then she stayed with his (retired) parents while they (he and his parents) tended to her.
He says he loves me more than anything, and wants to be with me, but doesn’t know how to juggle everything. He says he worries that restricting time with me is unfair, and I shouldn’t have to deal with it. He justified his disappearing act by saying he was too afraid and too hurt to tell me he couldn’t see me anymore, which is very unlike his usual ‘taking care of business’ attitude. We spent that night together — we talked, cried, laughed. Now, a couple days later, he’s in and out. Always very sweet with me, but I can tell he’s hurting so much, and is so over burdened.
What I want more than anything is to help him feel better. It’s so hard when someone you love is hurting and you can’t help. While I’d love to see him more, I’m more than willing to take a back seat to this crisis for now. It’s not every day, or even every lifetime that we meet our perfect match. However, when he disappears, I feel frustrated. I want to know how to help, and how to do the right thing, without being overbearing, and without putting too much pressure on him. — Off Kilter
Your boyfriend is a big liar. He says he loves you “more than anything”? Bullshit. He doesn’t love you more than he loves his kids (nor should he!), or he wouldn’t have disappeared when his step-daughter attempted suicide (if we can even believe that’s what happened). He wouldn’t have decided he couldn’t see you anymore because he can’t juggle you and his family, and he sure as shit would have at least had the decency to tell you to your face instead of just disappearing with no word whatsoever. So, we know he’s lying when he tells you he “loves you more than anything,” and if he’s lying about that, what else is he lying about?
For one thing, I wouldn’t be surprised if your relationship with him did break up his family. I wouldn’t be shocked if he lied about his wife’s affair to justify sleeping with you (or to convince you to sleep with him). He could very well have lied about his wife being “very vindictive and jealous.” You never met her, after all, so you have only his description to go by. And so what if she is vindictive and jealous? You’re sleeping with her husband and father of her children — she has a right to feel vindictive and jealous!
And even if he is telling the truth about them being broken up before you started seeing him, this whole thing still sounds like way more drama than it’s worth. A step-child who’s attempted suicide? Three other children to take care of (and you don’t even like kids!)? Step-grandparents who are now involved? And a vindictive, jealous wife to boot? Oh, darlin’, just be glad you only wasted four months on this affair, and MOA. No good can come from sticking around. The guy’s already made it clear he doesn’t want you. He made that decision when he disappeared without a word. He had a choice between you and his family and he chose his family. You want to help him now? You want to make him feel less burdened? Then MOA before you cause any more grief and drama in his life. You may very well have a “perfect match” out there somewhere, but I assure you it isn’t a married man with four kids.
*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at [email protected]wendy.com and be sure to follow me on Twitter.