Long story short, his ex found out about me two weeks after we moved in together, blames me for the divorce (though she already wanted to get separated for different reasons and had kicked him out of their house) and despises me. He and I live together happily, and he pays child and spousal support to her. It’s been a full year of us living together, and I have not met his kids.
He gets three visit days a week, two of them at our apartment, which means I have to leave for five-six hours on Tuesday afternoons into the evening, and five-six hours every Saturday. I am getting tired of having to leave my apartment (and hide our picture and anything that’s obviously mine, like jewelry) and I think it’s time to meet the kids, but he refuses. He occasionally has sleepover nights, too, and on those nights I have to get a hotel room. (I have no close friends or family to stay with here).
The parents together never explained the divorce to the kids and I don’t know what the ex has said, but my boyfriend insists that the kids only know their parents are getting divorced and he’s afraid that, if he introduces me, they will hate him for having a girlfriend. They are nine and six, and, while I understand hesitation with the six-year-old, I think the nine-year-old would understand. She once said to him during a visit, “It’s okay if you have a girlfriend. You’re old enough.”
This is the biggest thing interfering with our relationship, as I have to pretend I don’t live there, I have to leave whenever he needs me to, and I can’t go to any events with him where his kids might be. Living together is all either of us wants out of life — no marriage, no kids, just living happily as a couple in love, and that I feel that way is something he loves that about me, but I think his knowing that might also be contributing to this problem.
I would never be mean or dismissive to his kids, and I’ve told him that – I even said he should introduce me as a friend and let us ease into it–but he won’t listen to me. He gets upset whenever I bring it up. He loves his kids more than anything else in the world, and I’m not trying to interfere, but I feel like it’s time. Am I asking too much? — The Father’s Girlfriend
Whoa, one of the main reasons you moved in with your boyfriend was because he was “getting a divorce”? That’s not a good reason to move in with someone. “Already divorced” is a little better. But even then, what does that have to do with YOUR relationship with him? And then one of your other three main reasons for moving in with this man, who was actually still married and the father of two young children you had never met, was that you were “having trouble finding a roommate.” Seriously? You disrupted the lives of several people, two of whom are young children, because you couldn’t find anyone else to live with?
It’s hard to have a lot of sympathy for you, unless you yourself are a child, because I can’t cut slack for anyone who is an adult and actually gets involved with a married man, moves in with him before his wife even knows about her, and then feels put out that his relationship and visitation schedule with his children is inconveniencing her. And, look, this isn’t all your fault. There’s plenty of blame here for your boyfriend and his idiotic, irresponsible, thoughtless behavior. The most basic of things on the “Leaving One’s Family” to-do list is informing your spouse you’re moving in with another woman. Also on the list: introducing the new woman to the kids and make sure everyone gets along and is as comfortable with the transition as possible.
If you want to continue in this relationship, know this: your boyfriend is really fucking selfish. Does he even offer to pay your hotel bill when you have to skedaddle for the evening? Does he pay a greater portion of the rent since he expects you to vacate your home 40+ hours a month? What a jerk.
And you’re in denial if you think this relationship is simply about living together and not about getting married and not about having kids. There already *are* two kids in this relationship, and they are not going anywhere. If you want a future with this guy — and it’s kind of wild if you do — you need to demand that you meet these kids as soon as possible and that they become aware that you live with their father. If he’s not ready to do that — if he thinks it’s too soon for his kids to know you and that they will hate him for having a girlfriend already — then, guess what? It’s too soon for you two to be living together.
If it were me, I’d tell the boyfriend to move out and I’d either keep looking for another roommate or I’d move to a smaller place that I could afford on my own. Some things, like living with a selfish boyfriend who’s married to another woman and can’t bother introducing you to his kids who come over twice a week, are just not worth the price and hassle. No matter how much of a soulmate he is to you.
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