Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Boyfriend’s Mother Won’t Move Out”

I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend, “Robert” for almost nine years. We have three young children as well as a cat, a dog, a rabbit, and some chickens. We bought our dream house four years ago. It may not be everyone’s idea of a dream house as it is a smallish 3-bedroom double-wide, but it is on four acres of land with a breathtaking view and is exactly where I want to raise our children. I love my boyfriend more than anything. We have been through so much together and it seemed as though nothing could ever break the bond we share. But then six months ago his mother showed up at our house from Florida. (She had left on a trip to Florida last May for two weeks and then didn’t come back for a year.) She left her boyfriend here and wouldn’t call him and tell him what was going on or what her intentions were. In fact, she didn’t discuss her intentions with anyone. Now she is back and is in disbelief that her boyfriend moved her stuff out of their house and is dating someone new. Where does that leave her …and all her stuff?? At my house.

In the beginning, I did my best to console her and tried to be understanding. She was devastated even though everything that happened was a result of her actions. She said she was going to go through some of her belongings and would only stay for two weeks and then return to Florida. Well, here we are six months later: she’s still here and not trying in the slightest to get back on her feet and get out on her own. In addition: she’s hands down one of the rudest people I’ve ever met. She hates all animals and is mean to the ones I’ve got. In the beginning, she would take down my wall decorations and pictures and put up her own stuff. She would pull everything out of my kitchen drawers and move everything to where she liked better. She would say things to me like, “How do you live like this?!” The day after Easter she pulled out my refrigerator because she said she was “certain that it was filthy behind there,” and a cutting board fell off the top of the fridge, cracking the connector to the water line, which resulted in a completely flooded kitchen. Robert and I were both at work when this happened. She couldn’t find the water shut-off valve, and water just poured in for well over an hour. She never even apologized. Luckily, our homeowners’ insurance took care of us.

She knows that I do not want her living here any longer, and is resentful. Now, she just sits in my beloved book nook and stares at me while I’m cleaning my kitchen or trying to pack up the kids’ backpacks for school. She won’t speak to me, and she will just sit there and tap her foot and shake her head. I have sat down with my boyfriend a few times now and told him how I feel about her still being here and about her rudeness (which he does not see). He said he can’t just kick his mom out. He doesn’t see why this is such a problem. How can he figure that her coming here, taking over our daughter’s bedroom (our daughter now is bunking in with the boys), destroying our house, being nasty rude, eating our food, using our utilities, and not offering a dime is ok? I have been going to therapy once a week just to have my feelings validated. I understand that this is a tricky situation. I know that this is his mother, but what about our family? The kids don’t want to be anywhere near her, and neither do I. She snaps at me, the kids, and the animals especially when Robert is not around to see it. Please help me. I’m completely lost. — His Mother Is Driving Me Insane

This is a terrible situation and if Robert shows zero interest in moving his mother out and getting her some help (in the way of a mental health check-up, a source of income, a home of her own) and would rather let his mother take over your house, kick your daughter out of her bedroom, and look the other way when his mother practically destroys your home, you don’t have much choice but to make a drastic move. I would suggest finding a temporary home for you and your three children — something you can rent month by month or by a six-month lease if possible (and if not, then sign a one-year lease). If there’s room for animals, bring the ones it makes the most sense to bring — maybe your dog and cat. If you don’t trust leaving any of the animals in a home where your boyfriend’s mother is staying, look into foster care, re-homing them, or asking a friend or family member to house them temporarily. Then move.

I would imagine that once Robert sees how serious you are about this and what’s at stake — what he risks losing by enabling his mother’s unchecked manic behavior — he will have an epiphany that his mother needs to move out. If that happens, you should only agree to move back in when Robert agrees never to let his mother move in with you again. If Robert does not come to his senses and help find his mother another living arrangement, then you will be better off living apart from him anyway and suing for child support. Clearly, you and your children are never going to live happily under the same roof as Grandma, and if she won’t move out on her own accord and Robert won’t force her out, then the only option you have is to move yourself — and your kids — out.

I have been involved in an on-again/off-again affair with a married man for two years. His wife has had MS for over 15 years and they have three children, ages 18, 13 and 11. He has told me that her illness is distancing them further apart and he is not happy. He says I make him happy. She knows that we are having an affair.

We broke up a month ago because he said he was feeling guilty with the lying. He says that he cares very much for me and our relationship is real. We work together, so this has been difficult. He has thought about divorce, but he says he has to think about his kids. The thing is that I know he wants to be with me but he knows she is not able to take care of the kids.

Any advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated. I do care for and love him, but I need more. — I Make Him Happy

 
Your boyfriend is a scumbag who cheats and lies, and he absolutely is lying to you, too. He’s not getting a divorce because he doesn’t want one — and it has nothing to do with making his kids happy, please. This is all about him, his needs, and what is most financially and physically gratifying for him. There’s no reason for him to get divorced. He can stay married to his wife and not have to pay alimony or child support while also sleeping around, seemingly with his wife’s acknowledgment if not outright permission. Why would he give up all that to be with you? He wouldn’t. You probably mean very little to him and you certainly are not reason enough for him to pursue divorce at this juncture. If there was any chance at all you were a reason for him to pursue a divorce, he would have done so by now. He’s not even pretending to be considering it – that’s how little interest he has in you and motivating you to stay with him.

You need to move on, and next time stay away from unavailable men.

Related: “I’m Always the Other Woman” and “The Codependency Between My Boyfriend and His Mother is Ruining Our Relationship!”

***************

Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy​(AT)​dearwendy.com.

58 comments… add one
  • juliecatharine

    Juliecatharine August 21, 2018, 8:46 am

    I would not move out and disrupt the lives of your children and animals. I would consult an attorney to determine if you are able to evict your boyfriend’s mother and/or what you can do as far as buying him out of the home. I don’t think your relationship can (or necessarily should) survive this. If you haven’t put it so starkly to your partner now is the time. He gets it and she’s out or he gets out with her. Good luck.

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    • avatar

      That Girl August 21, 2018, 9:01 am

      This exactly. I contacted the police when my own parent overstayed his welcome and the verbal and emotional abuse became unbearable. If mom has no legal right to be there – she’s not on the deed or the mortgage – call the police and have them remove her. I’d give Robert a heads up and a deadline… if she’s not out by this date, the police are coming. But under no circumstances should you leave your own home for this crap.

      At most, throw them both out while you stay with the kids. Why should you have to leave the home you own?

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      • avatar

        Bill August 26, 2018, 5:01 am

        This is the best advice. I completely agree.
        It will be difficult to do for sure but you have to think of yourself, your children and your animals.
        Drive this wicked woman out and DON’T feel one bit guilty.

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    • avatar

      Miss MJ August 21, 2018, 10:59 am

      I agree. This is a tough situation, but, LW1 should not get rid of her kids’ (and her own) pets, move the four of them to a new place and leave her dream home, which presumably she owns in part. LW1 should tell her BF that either mom gets out ASAP or he and mom get out together, but daughter is going back in her own room and mom is not welcome to stay on the couch. LW1, if you can swing it, I like the idea someone suggested below of renting mom a one-bedroom somewhere for a limited time, after which she is on her own. This will ease your BF’s guilt, while at the same time making it clear that you mean business about her not living with you. But stick to the time limit. Something tells me that when push comes to shove, mom will pull her shit together. Or at least find someone else to support her.

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    • Cleopatra Jones

      Cleopatra Jones August 21, 2018, 11:20 am

      I agree. I wouldn’t move out with the kids and pets. I’d move them out. Let him find Mom a home that she can afford to pay for.

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      • avatar

        Rangerchic August 21, 2018, 12:24 pm

        I agree with all of this. I hope Robert comes around and supports her and his children when given an ultimatum. But she’s going to have to follow through too.

        I feel like these kind of people (like grandma) have a way of finding people to take their shit and getting support. It sucks but she shouldn’t put up with it any longer.

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    • avatar

      Twocats August 26, 2018, 3:28 pm

      LW, Wendy gave you horrible advice, don’t follow it. I agree with everyone who is telling you to consult a lawyer and find out what your legal options are for getting your MIL out of the house. Do not move out, because depending on the laws where you live, this could be construed as abandoning the property and could come back to bite you later. After talking to a lawyer you go to your boyfriend and say you are prepared to take legal action to get her out. Give him the option of going to a couples counselor about this. Your script: “Yes I am prepared to get lawyers involved and yes I want to pay a stranger to discuss what this is doing to our relationship. That’s how angry and upset I am, and if you had taken me seriously when I tried to talk about this before, we would not be in this situation.” Then you make the home less comfy for grandma. Daughter gets her room back and grandma can sleep on the couch, etc.

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  • avatar

    LisforLeslie August 21, 2018, 9:06 am

    WWS for both

    LW#1 – Your MIL is an adult and is functioning like a child. Move out. Take the kids. Tell your bf that he has 90 days to take care of his shit (aka his dysfunctional mother) and that 9 months is more than generous to host a family member who is able to but not paying her share of costs.

    LW#2 – you are delusional. He can’t leave his wife or he will be branded as a complete and total asshole and I’m sure that’s not how he wants his friends, family and co-workers to see him. He likes this arrangement. I’m sure he likes the lack of commitment he has to give you. You live mostly by his schedule and whatever pops up that needs his attention, you are second. When his wife dies, do not think you’re going to just move in and become the loving stepmother. His family and friends will know who you are and what you did.

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    • Cleopatra Jones

      Cleopatra Jones August 21, 2018, 11:28 am

      When his wife dies, do not think you’re going to just move in and become the loving stepmother.
      .
      There’s a saying in my neck of the woods, ‘when a married man divorces his wife and marries the sidepiece, her [the sidepiece] old spot is now open.’ LW, even if he does marry you after his wife passes on or a divorce, your old sidepiece spot will be open. You can guaran-goddamn-tee that he’s going to fill it.
      .
      TBH, I think he’s trying to ‘fire’ you so that he can replace you. He doesn’t have any plans to be faithful to his ‘dying/sick/cold [insert whatever bullshit he told you to get you in bed here]’ wife he just wants to put a new chick in the sidepiece rotation.

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  • avatar

    Northern Star August 21, 2018, 9:39 am

    LW 1: That is a lousy situation to be in. You have been patient long enough, and your boyfriend has forced your hand. One last option would be for you to suggest renting a one-bedroom apartment in town somewhere for Mommy Dearest. Maybe understanding that you’d rather spend money to get her GONE than live with her another moment is the wake-up call he needs to take you seriously.

    LW 2: Your “boyfriend” is an absolute jerk, and so are you. Why would you think it’s OK to screw a married coworker with a chronically ill wife? You deserve whatever you get.

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  • avatar

    wobster109 August 21, 2018, 9:40 am

    LW1 – I think this is easier said than done because they have 3 children together, who presumably love their father. My recommendation is to try to convince your boyfriend one more time, but armed with evidence. Use secret cameras if you can, or record some conversations with your cell phone in your pocket. It sounds like your boyfriend doesn’t believe you because she behaves better when he’s around. I think he might be shocked at the video evidence.

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    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom August 21, 2018, 10:22 am

      I like this. Prove how bad she is then tell him she must be moved out. In the meantime move her out of your daughter’s room and move your daughter back in. Use the start of school as the reason. Your kids need their sleep for school and have more trouble sleeping with more kids in the room. Don’t let grandma be so comfortable. She can sleep on the couch. I’d make even the couch temporary.

      Tell her something like, “On Saturday we are moving daughter back into her room and you will be on the couch. You will then have two weeks to find a place to stay.”

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    • avatar

      Salli August 21, 2018, 10:46 am

      Good idea on video evidence. I’d also like to add, that in most states CPS guidelines say children are not allowed to share a room with a child of the opposite sex after preschool age. That might be a good point for the LWs side on why MIL needs to move.

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      • avatar

        LANY August 21, 2018, 12:01 pm

        This is only the case for foster children. Biological siblings / step siblings / anyone not under the jurisdiction of the foster care system can share no problem.
        That said, the mom still needs to go.

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      • avatar

        JD August 21, 2018, 12:32 pm

        I find this hard to believe.

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      • avatar

        Salli August 21, 2018, 7:42 pm

        I have seen children having separate bedrooms if they are the opposite sex used as a requirement in the Parent Agency Treatment Plan as a condition that must be met prior to the case closing many times, especially as agencies becine more trauma-informed. Although never as the reason protective services became involved in the first place. Also, illegal, and something CPS can use against someone are two entirely different things.

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  • Kate B.

    Kate B. August 21, 2018, 10:18 am

    LW1: Move out. He has made it plain where his loyalty lies and it isn’t with you. If ever an ultimatum is called for, it is now. Your kids need to know you will stand up for them.
    LW2: Don’t date married men.

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom August 21, 2018, 11:04 am

    LW2 You are sex on the side. Nothing more, nothing less than sex.

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  • CurlyQue

    CurlyQue August 21, 2018, 11:07 am

    LW1: I don’t think you should uproot your children and leave your dream home over this.

    Talk to bf that it’s time your daughter moves back into her room (cite school starting soon, the cps guidelines someone mentioned above, etc.) and that his mom will need to move to the couch. After that there will be a 2-4 week deadline where she needs to move out. If you can swing it financially offer to pay her first month’s rent.

    I’m not sure though how your relationship can recover when your husband cares so little for how you’re feeling in this situation and the fact that you have to think of a solution to a mess with his mother. If you mean it, you could even state that if he doesn’t like the idea of kicking his mother out then they can both move out and share an apartment.

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    • CurlyQue

      CurlyQue August 21, 2018, 12:08 pm

      LW2: Also, if his wife supposedly is aware of your affair, and condones it? Then why does he feel guilty over lying? MOA, and get yourself into therapy for why you picked an obviously unavailable man who is also stringing you along.

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      • avatar

        Ange August 21, 2018, 7:38 pm

        My thoughts exactly.

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  • avatar

    dinoceros August 21, 2018, 11:45 am

    LW1: Did I miss something where the LW said it’s her boyfriend’s home? Because if you own a house with someone, you can’t just move out and wash your hands of it. If they in fact both own the house, as she implied, then more leg work needs to be done before just packing up and leaving. Probably should consult with a lawyer.

    LW2: His excuses don’t make a lot of sense. I could see someone feeling guilty about divorcing someone with a serious illness. But, you know, he can still parent his kids if they get a divorce.

    Anyway, he’s stringing you along. I’m curious about whether you actually know she has MS for a fact. But either way, don’t wait around and let someone treat you like that.

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  • avatar

    JM lw#1 August 21, 2018, 11:46 am

    Dear Wendy and friends,
    Thank you all for the comments and advice. I will update the moment things change (hopefully sooner than later).

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    • juliecatharine

      Juliecatharine August 21, 2018, 3:34 pm

      Good luck OP.

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  • avatar

    ron August 21, 2018, 12:14 pm

    On LW#1 — I don’t see the value of ‘evidence’. Enough has happened that he knows for certain how bad his mother is, he simply doesn’t want to stand up to her and have a fight about it. He needs a spine, not evidence.

    LW #2 — what did you expect when you dated a married man. He told you a pretty story. Unless you talked to his wife and verified that this was alright with her, then likely he simply lied to you. If you did talk to wife, then you are trying to break the agreement the 3 of you had, which did not end with you being exclusive and married to this man. The deal was that he would ate you on the side — assuming what he says about wife is even true. If wife does have MS, then she likely is dependent upon his insurance for her healthcare, which may be very expensive.

    It sounds like you are just one of those shady people who saw someone whom you wanted and didn’t give a crap that this person had a spouse. You should have known what you were signing up for from day 1, and it wasn’t a future marriage to this guy.

    If you need more than what you have, then you need to MOA and find an unmarried man who is available for more. I can’t see what other advice you’d expect. There is no magic bullet that turns a married man with 3 kids and a chronically ill wife into a guy who is able to live with/marry you. Surely you understood that before you wrote in.

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    • avatar

      TheRascal August 21, 2018, 12:26 pm

      Re: LW 1 — I completely agree with you Ron, about her bf. He needs a spine, not video evidence. He lives there, too, so he is witness to his mother’s toxicity. I doubt he doesn’t see how she is. But it’s easier for him to deal with your anger and frustration than it is to deal with her. He has no backbone and he is prioritizing his mother over you and his children.

      If his mom has lived there for 6 months, she may have tenants rights, depending on the state. If you want to legally evict her, it’s best you consult a lawyer.

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  • Lucidity

    Lucidity August 21, 2018, 12:18 pm

    LW2 – When a good, caring person is in a marriage where something is causing them to feel distanced from their partner and unhappy, they actively look for ways to work towards a solution. That could mean improving communication, marriage counseling, individual therapy, in this case perhaps working with his wife’s doctors, etc. When a bad, selfish person is in a marriage where the going gets tough, they look outside of the marriage for someone willing to help them cheat, which only worsens existing problems and further distances them from their partner. If he ever ended up with you, he’ll step out on you as soon as a problem arises or he gets bored, and will be telling the other woman a sob story that blames you for his infidelity. You should want to be with a man whom you can trust – a man who lives life by a moral compass. YOU should have a moral compass. You both make me sick.

    If his wife knows about the affair, why is he feeling guilty about lying?

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  • meadowphoenix

    meadowphoenix August 21, 2018, 12:34 pm

    #1: How mean? Is she being abusive to your kids? Do you know what she says to them when YOU aren’t around. And your bf doesn’t care? I would sit with that and then ask your therapist for attorney recommendations.

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  • avatar

    JD August 21, 2018, 12:43 pm

    I mean there are marriages where a spouse is very sick and unable to provide a certain type of affection and does agree to the other partner going outside their marriage. It does happen. And even if she agreed he could feel guilt nonetheless. However, none of your letter indicates that is the case. Also, do you really think she dies and you just walk in and take over. The kids and husband would need time and if you think it will be fun it won’t. Those kids will hate you. Period. Mom dies and bam some lady is here. It is not even an option.

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  • Dear Wendy

    Dear Wendy August 21, 2018, 1:18 pm

    From LW2:

    We work together and everyday we would make a point to have a moment of kissing if why would he risk his job of being caught
    We did things together it was more than sex
    And you cant help who you fall in love with whether married, unavaiable or not
    Your advice is very rude

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    • avatar

      Northern Star August 21, 2018, 1:26 pm

      I hope you both get fired. You are a complete fool.

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      • juliecatharine

        Juliecatharine August 21, 2018, 1:31 pm

        Lol we’re rude?! Honey you’re screwing a married man with a sick wife and three kids. Rude is really the best you can hope for.

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    • avatar

      MissD August 21, 2018, 1:30 pm

      “You cant help who you fall in love with”

      Maybe not but you CAN choose who you sleep with and you could have chosen not to start an affair with a married man (no matter how much you thought you “loved” him).

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    • avatar

      ron August 21, 2018, 1:31 pm

      LW —
      Not rude at all, simply respect for marriages and the needs of the sick wife. Even if the implicit deal you had with this family was entirely above board, you want to break that deal and destroy that family. That makes you a bad person.

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    • avatar

      JD August 21, 2018, 2:28 pm

      Ok I keep rewriting my response and I cannot even decide what to write. LW. Two things in life. If someone really wants you in their life (friends, family, romantic partners) they will make it happen. Period. Second, how can you not see that you are the side chick. So you ate chicken wings together so it means more???? What? Heck I get hungry after sex too!! Stop trying to justify your infidelity and move on, oh and find another job.

      You won’t do any of this but you should.

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    • CurlyQue

      CurlyQue August 21, 2018, 2:36 pm

      He’s risking BOTH your jobs. You’re risking BOTH your jobs. So you’re in love with a man who doesn’t care about his job, or your job; who has no problems leaving his sick wife and three children to pursue an affair with a coworker. Gee he sounds awesome.

      Leave this man and find a new job, and also… therapy.

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    • avatar

      dinoceros August 21, 2018, 7:44 pm

      You can help who you fall in love with. You can’t help who you fall in lust with. The love part only comes if you choose to pursue something with them. The cheating part only happens if you decide that you want to be a complete tool to the person you promised to be faithful to.

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  • avatar

    ron August 21, 2018, 1:28 pm

    JD — yes, that does happen, but the woman outside the marriage getting the husband is never a part of that deal and this is what LW wants — this husband all to herself.

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    • avatar

      JD August 21, 2018, 2:28 pm

      Agree!

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  • avatar

    brise August 21, 2018, 2:42 pm

    I wouldn’t at all cost move out. But consult a lawyer, yes. Something tell me, the minute you say to your boyfriend that you saw a lawyer and have a legal plan to evict him and his mother, and have him pay child support without the house, he will take action. Just assert yourself and don’t let that situation last any longer.

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  • avatar

    Bacon Mistress August 21, 2018, 2:56 pm

    I like how so many people are “mean” to LW 2 and tell her exactly what they think and what she needs to hear; tough love (I guess). But when another person posts about how she keeps popping out babies into the most unfortunate circumstances and I call her a mess I get called out seven ways from sundown.

    Pots and kettles I say! Be nice or no advice. Cheezus Crust! HAHAHAHAHA!

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    • avatar

      anonymousse August 21, 2018, 3:34 pm

      There’s a huge difference between growing up poor, in an abusive relationship, homeless and asking a specific question about someone who is trying to rip her off

      VS.

      having a relationship with a man who is married to a dying woman AND specifically asking for advice about it.

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark August 21, 2018, 10:49 pm

        True. And yet only one dumps one unwanted child after another into a world that clearly doesn’t give a fuck…

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    • avatar

      Kate August 21, 2018, 3:38 pm

      They told her to get therapy, not get sterilized. And no one used a stupid euphemism for Jesus.

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    • juliecatharine

      juliecatharine August 21, 2018, 3:39 pm

      Can we please let this one die? Obviouslya lot of us have strong, opposing feelings about that post but we really, really were not getting anywhere hashing it out. Let’s just MOA.

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      • avatar

        Kate August 21, 2018, 3:41 pm

        Yeah, Bacon Mistress. Move on.

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      • avatar

        anonymousse August 21, 2018, 3:51 pm

        LOL.

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  • avatar

    Bacon Mistress August 21, 2018, 2:58 pm

    But really LW 2- you’re a mess. The whole situation is a mess. That is NOT love. Please give yourself the gift of self respect and give this dying woman a reprieve and MOA. Good luck!

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  • avatar

    Essie August 21, 2018, 3:28 pm

    LW2:

    Maybe you can’t help who you fall in love with, but you CAN refuse to act on it. But, since you don’t seem aware of how selfish and trashy your own behavior is, consider this:

    What, exactly, do you think you’re going to win here? A guy who throws his marriage vows out the window (“in sickness and in health”) and gets himself a sidepiece instead of standing by his sick wife. Do you really think he won’t do the same to you someday if you get sick?

    People who are as scummy as your lover rarely show their true colors so openly. You’ve been given a window into the future with this guy. When it gets hard, don’t expect any support from him.

    Oh, and if you figure you’ll just wait it out and swoop in when the poor woman dies, you may have a long wait. People with MS usually live a normal lifespan.

    Ugh.

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  • avatar

    Oracle August 21, 2018, 3:32 pm

    LW1. You need to first consult with a real estate lawyer. I will say this again, lawyers can be your best friend. You need to get your ducks in a row. Just who is on the mortgage and is the boyfriend the only one on the title to the land. The “been through so much together” has to be code for should have MOA a long time ago. Nine years and 3 children together and no wedding ring. No things are not peachy. You have had rose colored glasses on. No way should this WITCH be living with you. Mean to your animals and your children. Your boyfriend is a momma’s boy. The gall of this women moving your stuff around. You never should have given her the bedroom. That is one thing you can do now. Move your daughter back into her own room. No mater what yelling goes on. So what if she throughs a fit. So what if he throughs a fit. And your boyfriend knows what his mother has been up to , how rude she has and everything else she has pulled. Do not believe the BS from him. I think it will make things easier that the witch has not paid anything for upkeep. Do what the lawyer says. You and your children need to get out of this situation. If it means selling the “dream home” so be it. The dream has become a nightmare.

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  • avatar

    ron August 21, 2018, 4:43 pm

    There is no reason to assume that the wife in letter #2 is dying. She has a chronic illness. It sounds like she is disabled to an unknown degree. Certainly people do die of MS. Others live for many decades with the disease. There are drug treatments of varying efficacy, especially for the episodic form of MS.

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom August 21, 2018, 5:27 pm

    LW2 When someone breaks up with you they do it because they no longer want to be with you but they want to do it in the easiest way possible. Telling you he wishes he could be with you is his easiest way possible. He doesn’t want you acting out at work. He wants this to be over very quietly. He is almost certainly moving on to another affair. Yours is over.

    The things that really distances people in a marriage is when one is focused outward like he is. When he focuses on an affair he is the one creating distance in the marriage. When he sneaks around and lies to her he is the one harming the marriage. Her illness is a convenient excuse to try to make himself look better than a guy out cheating on his wife. He has a “good” reason for cheating as opposed to just being a guy who cheats. He is a liar. You know he lies to his wife. Do you think you are so special that he doesn’t lie to you? Guess what, you aren’t. You can always assume that when you see someone lying to other people that they also lie to you. That is human nature. He is who he is and if he lies he lies to you as much as anyone else. He lies to his wife and he lies to his kids about where he is and about what he is doing. If he loved his kids he would be at home spending more time with them. He chooses to spend his time out of the home. That’s who he is. He is choosing to cheat both his wife and his kids out of his time and affection. He is self-absorbed. He is selfish. He comes first in his life.

    This isn’t about her being ill. That’s a convenient excuse. This is about him not caring about how much harm he does to the people in his life. This is about him not wanting to look bad to friends and relatives. This is about him not wanting to get a divorce and having to pay child support and alimony. This is about him dumping you to move on to someone else.

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    Stillrunning August 21, 2018, 11:52 pm

    LW1- Knowledge is freaking power. First, consult a lawyer about your rights and go from there. Like others have said, move your daughter back into her bedroom, quit cooking for the deadbeat mother, and put your stuff back up,.
    This is a battle you have to win. Not only for yourself, but for your kids, because right now you’re teaching them that it’s ok for someone to treat you badly; your partner who dismisses your complaints and his mother who is abusing you.
    Quit letting it happen.

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    CET August 22, 2018, 5:20 am

    LW1 – This situation is awful. The worst thing is your partner does not have your back. You have been more than nice, more than patient…for a LONG time now. It’s time to start being more assertive. Tell your partner that you have had enough. Show him the letter you wrote here and everyone’s replies. You and he, together, need to tell her she has 3 weeks to find a place to live. Your daughter is now moving back into her room, and Mom can sleep on the couch till then. She has taken advantage of you for too long. Your boyfriend needs to stop being such a wimp and tell his mom that he tried to help her, but he assumed it would be for about a month and it’s long past time for her to get her own place. No, he does not owe her more. She is an adult and needs to start acting like one. Instead she is insulting you daily, shaking her head at you, changing things in your house, causing damage, being mean to pets, making disparaging remarks, eating your food and living rent free. PS – Once you deal with the mom problem you need to have a serious talk with your partner about how it’s way past time to get married and make this legal. Insist on it.

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    Oracle August 22, 2018, 10:13 am

    CET. At this point I would not suggest getting married. I think there are a lot of problems that LW just does not want to acknowledge. I think the boyfriend has been spinning things just to get what he wants. I would like to know why, that after 9 years and three kids no wedding ring. His reason would be interesting only for the fact on how absurd it is. He does not see the problem with his mother there. Yea, right. They are both working, but there is no mention on how he is helping with the household chores. I think the LW needs to open her eyes and see things how they really are, not on how she wishes they were. One thing for sure, things cannot go on as they are now.

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    Daisy Mae August 22, 2018, 6:28 pm

    On LW 1: Why are we assuming it’s the boyfriend’s “fault” they’re not married? Nowhere in the letter does the LW mention wanting to be married or even hint at it. Deciding they must not be married because of the guy with absolutely zero evidence to back it up is really sexist.

    And LW, you’ve say you’ve sat down with your boyfriend several times and have gotten nowhere since he does not think it’s a problem. You two and your kids and pets are a family, one of you does not just get to unilaterally make a decision to allow someone else to move in without the other’s knowledge of exactly what she or he is signing up for and consent. If he is repeatedly just brushing off your feelings about the situation and allowing someone to treat you and your kids and pets badly, I don’t even know why you would want to try to save this relationship – the two of them have pushed you to the ultimatum stage and that never ends well. The bottom line is his mother doesn’t respect you and neither does he. Show your kids that you and they deserve better.

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    Poppy August 23, 2018, 12:06 am

    @LW1 if you want her out, than you have to become proactive is getting her out. She sounds like she has serious mental health issues. No one in their right mind just ups and leave their life and comes back in a year to expect no change. I suggest researching tenant laws in your state because 6 months sounds like your home is her legal residence in which a legal eviction would have to take place. But before you throw that out to her I’d first find out if she has an income. Is she older enough to qualify for social security or disability. Would she qualify for government housing etc, food stamps etc. Have you sat down to find out why she has not made efforts to get her own place. Have you reiterated that she was only suppose to stay temporarily. If you can put forth the effort to get her out by helping her out, I would. Your boyfriend and you defiantly need to sit down and have a serious heart to heart about this though.
    @LW2 A tale as old as time (and no I am not talking about beauty and the beast) You are pathatic. His wife has a horrible disease that she and anyone else who has MS has no control over as well as a painful way of dying. How would you feel if the roles were reversed. What you should be doing is encouraging him to find happiness with his family and move on from you. He needs to man up to his marraige vowels. FYI, since you clearly need help on this- he wouldnt dare leave his sick wife to look like a bad husband. You were only suppose to be for sex.

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    tzvfl3 September 5, 2018, 9:12 pm

    Regarding LW2, I agree with what everyone is saying about this ugly situation. I would however like to correct a common misunderstanding about MS. It’s a horrible disease, but it’s unlikely that the wife if going to die from it any time soon. The letter says the wife has had the disease for around 15 years, and is young enough to have an 11 year old child, so is probably no older than her late 40’s. Complications from MS can certainly kill you, but on average the disease shortens you lifespan by an average of 7-14 years – see here https://multiplesclerosisnewstoday.com/multiple-sclerosis-prognosis-life-expectancy/ for some information. Getting it young, as this women evidentially did, makes your prognosis worse, but she is still unlikely to be dying in the sense of likely to pass away in the next five years – just suffering a great deal. And if the LW imagined she could take her place after she is gone, as some commenters have suggested, she should be aware that the wife is not likely passing from the scene anytime soon.

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