He claims he wants a life of his own and that he knows those “other” kids aren’t his responsibility, but no one will step up. The two older ones are rebellious and don’t mind him at all. He’s not a very good discipliner. One more kicker: The mother has since had two more kids (ages 5 and 3), and they all — and I mean all — call my boyfriend “dad”!!
I know that they don’t want the kids to be sent to foster care, but he just can’t handle them. I love him so much, but I refuse to raise that woman’s kids!! I would help step-parent his two, but I’m not taking any responsibility for the others.
I feel angry that he would keep all this up. I accused him of keeping all the kids together because he was waiting for her to come back! He said no — he claims there is nowhere for them to go, but I know they have other family. Am I wasting my time?? Am I wrong for despising these kids? — Reunited and it Feels So… Not Good
Oh gosh, I was almost sympathetic to you — but not really — until I got to the part where you accuse your boyfriend of keeping his ex’s three kids because he’s waiting for the ex to come back. And then you completely lost me when you said you despise the kids. Really? You despise kids whose mother abandoned them for a life of drugs when they weren’t even in high school yet? They’re CHILDREN! I don’t care how rebellious you think they are — you’d probably act out a little bit too if you were abandoned by your mother (and, for some of them, father) — they don’t deserve your hate. And your boyfriend doesn’t deserve your contempt and judgment for stepping up and giving these kids some semblance of a family and a home. Has he done so without flaw? No, I’m sure he hasn’t; none of us would. But he’s trying to care for them better than anyone else in their lives has offered to do. That counts for a lot, and you have no justification for being “angry” with him about it.
Look, his lifestyle is not a match for you. That’s no one’s fault, and it’s certainly not some act of aggression against you. You simply are not well-matched. You can piss and moan and claim that you are — that it’s just this one little thing in his life that needs to be different and everything would be great. But it’s not different. And making it different would mean breaking up a family and taking children from someone they consider a parent figure — they call him “Dad”! — and sending them to homes they haven’t been actively welcomed into in the more than five years since their mother abandoned them. And, really, what kind of woman are you that you think your desires are more important than the needs of those kids? Who are you to say what is best for them? Or even what’s best for your boyfriend?
Let this man and his family be. MOA.
Now, if you were a betting woman, what do you think would be the odds of our maintaining a happy relationship? Thanks for all you do. — Not a Betting Man
Well, as it turns out, I AM a betting woman, and I’m betting that you’ve never met this woman in person, have you? And in that case, I’d say it’s probably a little premature to talk about the odds of maintaining a happy relationship with her. (Also, side note: When you say that you didn’t have kids and that your wife didn’t like sex at all, are you trying to say that you didn’t have kids because you never had the sex to make the kids? In ten years?) At any rate, 32 years is not an insignificant age difference, but that doesn’t mean a relationship between a 40-year-old and a 72-year-old is doomed, by any means. But in order for the relationship to be successful, a couple has to be well-matched, and while you can pretty easily determine if you are NOT well-matched with someone you haven’t yet met in person, it’s impossible to know for sure if you are until you do. And if you both aren’t on board with making the effort to actually meet, then the answer about being well-matched should be pretty clear, because while age may “only be a number,” so is the price of some gas or a plane ticket…you know?
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.