The problem I have with my boyfriend is his children and his ex-wives. If we make plans and an ex decides she needs him to have the kids that day/night/weekend, he takes them and drops our plans. He has his two girls — more to the point, I have them while he works a half day — three weekends out of four, but, like I said, that’s not set in stone as the mother picks and chooses what weekends she wants my boyfriend to take the girls. He has his boys every Thursday and Saturday nights unless, again, that mother changes her mind. Don’t get me wrong — the kids are nice and I get along with them well even if the younger boy is a handful, but that the set times and days always change makes it hard for us to have time as a couple.
I’m buying a new house so that we can live closer to his kids, and, since I’m giving up my job, family, and friends to do it, I really don’t think I’m being unreasonable. Here’s an example of how things go: We spoke about the weekend we move and I asked if we could make sure that there are no children, including mine. He said, “Fine, I’ll let the moms know.” And then just today he rings to tell me the boys’ mom wants to go out on the date we think we could be moving. “But it’s fine,” he says, “I’ve told her I will pick them up later that night”!!! Now please, tell me if I’m over-reacting? I mean, what the hell? So, basically any time (which, so far, has been three times in eight months) that I ask for us to have a kid-free weekend and he agrees he lets me down and will give in to a ex. I don’t want to be another woman nagging him as he has two exes for that already, but where do we draw the line? What do you think my best way around this problem is and how do I talk to him about it without sounding like a nag or like I have a problem with the children? — Needing a Kid-Free Weekend!
Why in the world are you giving up your job, your friends, and your family to buy a house to live in with a guy who can’t even commit to weekend plans with you? Put the brakes on and re-evaluate. There are five kids involved here! And you want to play house with this man who already has two ex-wives he can’t seem to communicate with effectively? Stay where you are, focus on your 18-month-old daughter, and just enjoy getting to know this guy. What’s the rush? Even if things were totally perfect between you, it would be foolish to give up your job and family and friends for someone you’ve known all of a few months, especially when five children are involved.
As for needing a kid-free weekend with your boyfriend, you need to accept that, with five children among you, that just probably isn’t going to be a reality. I have ONE child and I’m lucky if my husband and I get two weekends a year just the two of us. Sure, maybe when you are separated from your kids’ other parent, then in theory you should have more “kid-free” time if the other parent is sharing custody, but when there are four children who have two other parents to navigate schedules with and when your boyfriend clearly has issues with communication and setting boundaries, you have to accept that this is probably what life with him is going to be like. You want some couple time? Hire a sitter. It’s the best way to ensure that you get that private time you crave. And you should ask your boyfriend to talk with his two baby mamas about them hiring sitters when they have dates or need childcare and it’s not his weekend/night with the kids. But if he won’t, there’s not much you can do. These ex-wives and these kids precede you, and the agreements and communication and co-parenting styles he shares with his exes precede you. You can express your desire for more kid-free time with him, but, if he’s not interested in making changes in his lifestyle or in the way he interacts with his exes, there’s really not much you can do.
Please, if not for your own sake, then for the sake of your daughter, slow things down with this man and his four kids and two ex-wives (and yes, when you’re in a relationship with him, you’re in a relationship with all of them). As a single mom of a young toddler — as a single woman, period — you need a job and family and friends to support you. Don’t give up those things for a relationship that hasn’t proven itself yet. Take some time to really think about whether this is a world you are ready to embrace. You don’t need to rush into locking things down with this guy if you aren’t happy with how things are. Trust me: he’s not going anywhere.
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