“Our Wedding is Days Away and He Can’t Stop Texting His Ex”

text message

I am getting married in 19 days. My fiancé is very busy raising my three children and his two children and dealing with their busy sports schedules. What has transpired in the last week is tying my stomach in knots. My fiancé and I have been dating for two years now and our kids have typically gone to their other parents’ every other weekend since then, up until around six months ago when my ex stopped taking my kids. He has a girlfriend and a child with her and they were on the outs, but they got back together and, since getting back together, he stopped seeing my kids. So needless to say, my fiancé and I have had no alone time for six months.

We struggle to spend some quality time together, whether it is a quick run to the grocery store together or a small snuggle time on the couch. He has a good relationship with his ex, and it also seems over the past six months since we haven’t had our quality time together that they (he and his ex) have been getting a little more “talkative.” For instance, one night after the boys’ baseball game, he and his ex pulled into the driveway one after the other. I had just texted him, “See you soon, we’ll talk when you get home” (in other words, our small quality time together), but, when I saw him outside spending our quality time chatting with her, I lost it. It was late — like 10:20, and, since we usually go to bed about 10:30, I waved out the door, “Good night.” He said he would be right in and that he was just talking about the games for this weekend.

So finally, after about 10 minutes, he comes in; I am brushing my teeth, he looks at me with a grimacing face and says, “What?” And I said, “I am tired of our quality time being taken away by her.” She stops over at least once a day. They text at least 5-6 or more times a day. She has even come right into our house without knocking to drop off something for the boys. During our snuggle times, she has texted about one of their boys using his razor for the first time. I am just fed up. He was mad for a couple days, then said we had to talk. When we talked, it was me apologizing for my over-reacting and him telling me how he wants me to be ok with him buying his ex coffee and talking to her any time he feels he needs to. So I basically have to comply or, like he said, find someone else.

Last night, my fiancé and my parents and I are hanging out in kitchen, and my fiancé is over on his phone texting. I asked him in a very calm, almost kidding way, “Honey, are you here with us?” And he says “Uh, yes, but no, — ok I won’t text what I was going to.” Supposedly, he was texting me with the date he has finally set up for us to meet someone to marry us in 19 days. That’s another issue altogether. I have been asking him to get hold of someone and he now waits til 19 days before our wedding to see if this guy is available. I still have to get invitations out and we don’t even know if this guy is available to marry us in 19 days! I feel as if there is no sense of urgency or planning on his part. I have a lot to do before the wedding and he just manages to find more time to spend talking with his ex.

I just feel so used, disrespected, left out and have just a lot of negative feelings right now. I am trying to be happy, but I need him to meet me halfway. Every time I try to talk to him about something he says he doesn’t live up to my expectations and can’t. He thinks I need to be patient and relax, but yet I feel I am expected to do so much and deal with so much. Did I mention I work part-time and go to school full-time too? I just have a lot on my plate especially with lack of co-parenting with my ex and lack of his extra child support, as he got laid off from his job. I am dealing with a lot of insecurities right now. I am just overwhelmed. I also had wanted us to all go away together for a honeymoon. My fiancé slammed me down for that and said no way, we have a baseball game the next day. I need help. I wish I could talk to someone about all of this. I try to talk to him, but he gets really angry and just tells me that, if I can’t deal with this, then maybe I should be with someone else. I have nowhere to go. I dropped my hours at work to go back to school full-time, so, if I left him, I could not afford to live with my kids anywhere and we would be homeless. I can’t live with my parents or any other family as they sold their houses and are living in tiny apartments. I am stuck with my situation and need to live with it and deal with it the best I can. But I need help in how I can do this. Please help me. Thank you! — Stuck in It

If you hear/read nothing else I have to say, please pay attention to this: cancel your wedding. Do not — DO NOT — get married. You two are nowhere near ready to legally commit to each other. You can’t communicate, you don’t spend time together, you have all sorts of issues, and there are five children involved. For the love of God, don’t marry this man. Not now, at least. And please, if you’re having sex, use protection. The last thing you need is to bring a baby into this mess.

It sounds like you aren’t interested in this relationship at all and are simply staying with your fiancé for the financial support you need to provide your kids a decent home. There are other ways to get support. There’s government assistance. There’s financial aid at school. There’s taking your ex to court and getting child support and a custody agreement enforced. You do not have to rely on your fiancé — and you certainly don’t have to marry him — to make ends meet until you finish school and can get a better job to support your family.

If you think you’d like to give your relationship another chance, start communicating with your fiancé and start spending real quality time together. Going to the grocery store or spending ten minutes together right before bed doesn’t count. You know what counts? Getting a babysitter and going out together. Your ex isn’t taking your kids on his scheduled weekends with him? Ask Grandma to come over. Or a friend. Or hire a teenager you know and trust to sit at your house and watch TV while your kids sleep. Don’t have money for that? Do a babysitting swap with another couple or single parent in your area: you watch their kids for a night and they watch yours. Make it happen. Make your relationship a priority. I mean, if you’re planning to marry the guy some time — and please don’t do it in 19 days; don’t do it unless you have at least 12 solid months of feeling good about the state of your relationship — investing in some true time together is kind of important. And when you’re together, actually talk to each other. Put your damn phones down and look at each other. Tell your fiancé he needs to let his ex know she is not welcome to walk into your house without knocking. And let him know that, while you understand that his kids come first, YOU need to come before his ex, and, if he can’t make that happen, you need to MOA. When you cancel your wedding, you need to tell your fiancé why you’re canceling it and what your expectations are, and, if he continues to tell you he can’t meet them, believe him. Believe him and MOA. Because there are others ways. There are other ways to support a family than marrying a guy you don’t get along with and can’t count on. There are other ways.


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


  1. Avatar photo LlamaPajamas says:

    If I’m reading this correctly, your fiancé is an active father to his two kids and your three kids, has a great relationship with his ex-wife, and is financially supporting you and your kids while you go to school. And you’re pissed that he spent 10 minutes of your “snuggle time” talking to his ex, presumably about their kids since it was on your driveway after a game. And you wish his ex would stop texting him about milestones that their kids reach (i.e., shaving for the first time). And you think he’s waiting until the last minute to find someone to marry you but you haven’t even sent the invitations yet. Sorry, I’m team fiancé. Don’t marry this guy because he deserves someone who can handle making a blended family work.

  2. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

    The only “issue” I see here is that she doesn’t knock. So maybe start leaving your door locked? I mean your fiancé is trying to successfully co-parent with his ex, and you’re being a baby about it. He spent 10 minutes talking about the weekend carpool? FFS. She texted him during snuggle time? And that’s on him some how? Um….no. You can’t go on a honeymoon because you need to be there for a child’s event? Boo-freaking-hoo.

    1. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:

      Hmm…I’d be pretty pissed if we couldn’t take a honeymoon because of some baseball game. The newlyweds should get to go away from a couple days and the ex-wife can take the kid to his or her baseball game. Not the end of the world if a parent misses ONE game out of, what imagine, is an entire summer of games.

      1. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Yeah, I mean I definitely agree that it’s not the end of the world to miss one game. But IDK, we’ve never taken a honeymoon and we survived? There is also the alternative like planning a trip a little later (a week or month) when there aren’t any scheduling conflicts. I just seems like this LW is whining about every little thing not going her way, and that’s not how life works.

      2. I don’t think a honeymoon is a necessity after a wedding. Sure if you two want to take one then take one if you can afford it. But if you can’t do one then it’s not the end of the world.

      3. Avatar photo LadyinPurpleNotRed says:

        It’s not that they can’t afford it–it’s that there is a baseball game

      4. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:

        Sure, you don’t HAVE to take a honeymoon. But for people who are parents to five kids, collectively, and seem to only get a few minutes of “quality time” here and there, I can appreciate how even a quick little weekend getaway would be very important. More important than going to a baseball game that apparently isn’t even a championship playoff or something like that.

        I really read the letter a little differently than most. The fiancé sounds like a good dad, but maybe not a great partner. He’s not getting home from his kids’ activities until 10:20 at night, he’s prioritizing a baseball game over a honeymoon, and instead of talking to his fiancee about wedding plans he texts her when she’s sitting right there? Weird. (She’s making her own mistakes, too, but I’m just arguing that the fiancé doesn’t sound like Mr. Perfect just because he seems to be a good dad.).

      5. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        I agree he doesn’t sounds perfect either. But I will say it’s entirely possible to be at sports practice until 10pm or later. My brother played hockey for years and after about the age of 6, practice would star when ever there was ice time, often not until 9 pm.

      6. lets_be_honest says:

        It is crazy how kid’s lives and activities can take over your entire life if you let it. Softball season is coming to an end now, but it got to be like 4-5 nights out of the week that we wouldn’t get home til 9. I actually liked it because I felt like Peter and I got MORE time together by sitting and watching the games or practices. I suppose if you pack a few more kids into the mix then we would be running ourselves ragged though and at different practices.

      7. yea ill be totally honest, that is a huge part of why i am really turned off by the thought of having kids. it sounds like hell.

      8. lets_be_honest says:

        Haha, it ebbs and flows. Some months we barely have to leave the house. Others feel like we are never home. Like lemon said, its easy (for the kids and parents) when its only one sport or activity at a time.
        Its also obviously way easier when you only have 1. I see my mom running back and forth to different things ALL the time, and she’s got 2 little ones. Can’t imagine more than that.
        Lil joining softball this year has actually been awesome for all of us. I really don’t think I’ve seen Peter happier and its nice seeing Lil on a team.

      9. Sue Jones says:

        One of the things about being a parent is that you get (at least in the beginning) to choose which activities your kids do. We made sure to choose things that we would not mind watching. So no team sports for us – my kid does martial arts where there are no tournaments! Wheee! (And theater which I love)

      10. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        I’m sure it gets totally exponentially more difficult as you multiply the kids. My parents would either go alone and have an hour to decompress or go together and have an hour together chatting during his practices. It does sound like these two are stretched way too thin running around after all these kids. Maybe it’s time to cut an activity or try to get kids on the same team? Or at least a similar schedule?

      11. Actually, these sports practices & games are PERFECT times to spend time together & go on dates, especially if you’re strapped for cash for a babysitter! Think about it, you aren’t obligated to go to every single game & practice/games can run late. So once a week or every two weeks, why not drop the kids off (or have them go with friends) & go to dinner, a movie, the park, whatever? There’s quality time right there :)!

      12. Ice hockey is the worst!! I know some kids have to get up at like 5am for ice time! Craziness. Dave wants our kids to play ice hockey. I’m dreading it and secretly hoping they don’t want to.

      13. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        That’s the one sport my kids won’t be allowed to play. I know it’s being a bad canadian but there are so many injuries and 5 am is way to early for me to be taking a kid anywhere.

      14. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Awww you guys, hockey is so fun! Plus the youngsters don’t check. I am totally going to try to get my kids into hockey.

      15. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        They do in canada.

      16. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        How interesting! I don’t think my brother started checking until like 12?

      17. Dave especially wants our fictional daughter to play ice hockey, because apparently it’s pretty easy to get scholarships from women’s hockey?? I dunno.

      18. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        My brother played with quite a few girls. And our cousin still plays. And a friend of mine from high school does too. I don’t think that’s a bad reason at all (the scholarships)!

      19. BriarRose says:

        I think I’m in the minority here because I don’t think this dude sounds like a great partner. Co-parenting with your ex is important, but honestly, texting 5-6 times a day seems a bit much to me. Not that I think there’s anything romantic there, but really, what do they possibly need to talk about regarding their kids that it requires texting that much? As a single parent, I’m genuinely curious, because my situation is a bit different–ex is in a foreign country and I have minimal contact with him. I’m trying to imagine him living locally and what I would need to tell him that would require that much communication on a daily basis.
        As far as her texting during snuggle time, that’s no one’s fault. How is she supposed to know what you guys are doing when she texts? If she comes in without knocking, lock the door. All that aside, she isn’t the main issue here. Your communication is practically non-existent, and you feel bound to him for financial support. Definitely do not get married (right now, maybe ever) to someone who chooses a baseball game over a honeymoon and gets angry when you try to talk to him.

      20. I read the letter as the LW wants ALL of them – her, him and the kids – to go away for a “honeymoon” and the fiancé said no because the kid has a game he needs to play in. Not sure what the rules are, but can kids miss games without losing their spot or anything?

      21. lets_be_honest says:

        Of course kids can miss a game here and there. I found it ridiculous that he’s saying no to a honeymoon just because of a game. I don’t really believe that’s the only reason he’s saying no.

      22. I think that really depends on your philosophy towards sports. In my family, we would never have missed a game for something like vacation. My parents firmly believed that when we joined a team, we made a commitment to be there for every game that was physically possible. I think the only times I missed games or matches were if I threw up on the field or court. My sister’s/BIL’s family is the same way – team sports are a commitment to the whole team, so you don’t miss unless you have a compelling reason. My parents wouldn’t have chosen to go on a vacation that would cause me to miss a game; they just would have gone during an offseason or in the break between seasons, so I can see where he’s coming from.

      23. lets_be_honest says:

        Maybe this is an age thing then, because I know that Lil’s team of goofy 10 year olds would survive without her for a game and she wouldn’t be abandoning the team or whatever.

      24. You completely missed the point. It’s not about surviving. I never said they would die or wither from disappointment. It’s about honoring your commitment to be there when you said you would be there. I think that’s something that’s lacking in a lot of people these days, and my parents tried to instill that in me early by making sure I showed up always, especially when I was part of a team. I don’t see what’s so controversial about that.

      25. lets_be_honest says:

        Wait, does someone think that’s controversial? It seems like a difference of opinions to me. Anyway, my opinion is that I would probably go on my honeymoon instead of going to my 10 y/o’s softball game.

      26. I’m all about honoring commitment and whatnot, but when you’re 9 years old and playing club level soccer, I don’t think missing a game is horrible. I would certainly have no problem pulling any of my kids out of a game for vacation. If they were on a travel team or something, I might not, but if it’s ‘just for fun’, then yeah, they’re totally missing that game. I see nothing wrong with that.

      27. And that’s totally your call and totally cool if you want to do that. But why call him ridiculous for not wanting his kid to miss one? And to maybe want to be there for his games, especially with shared custody? Also, we have no idea what level of play his son is at, so it may not be club. As a final point, I do not value the formal honeymoon nearly as highly as some of y’all do. It’s a vacation. My husband and I went 8 months after our wedding because we had other commitments, so we scheduled accordingly.

      28. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

        This is the mindset my parents had too. Once you make a commitment you follow through. We definitely planned summer vacations around sport schedules/tournaments etc. and no way in hell was I ever allowed to miss practices or games unless there was a serious emergency or I was sick.

      29. lets_be_honest says:

        Oh yea, I wouldn’t plan a regular vacation for the week of a game/any planned thing. But I guess I see honeymoons as different?

      30. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

        yeah I wasn’t really responding to that. I mean the kid can still go to the game even if Dad is on the honeymoon so there is probably another issue at play. IDK though as my parents weren’t divorced-maybe if they were, my dad or whomever I didn’t live with permanently missing one game would have been a bigger deal to me?

      31. It’s actually nice that she thought of all of them on a honeymoon, but considering that they get sooo little time to themselves, it’s not in their best interest. They only get 10 minutes sometimes or grocery shopping. Even if sports are important, and even though it’s important for the kids to honor commitments, I doubt it’s going to be devastating for them to miss one game or for the father to miss one game. You presumably only get one honeymoon (maybe two if you renew vows many years later). Besides, honeymoons don’t have to be taken right away & when they are, it doesn’t have to be fancy right away. You can take a weekend alone an hour away until you can save for a nicer one :).

      32. Clementine says:

        What the LW seems to be missing, perhaps because of her frustration with her own ex, is that when you share custody with an ex, you really try to maximize the time you spend with your kids. Sometimes, depending on the kids’ ages, activities, transportation needs, etc., you really do need to communicate with the ex more than you’d like. I think, with the baseball game, he’s trying to make sure that he doesn’t send the message that they have to make sacrifices because he decided to get married.

      33. bittergaymark says:

        Well, when you have NO money to contribute to the honeymoon and have such a fucked up relationship with your ex that he now refused to take your kids for a weekend… yeah… The Honeymoon is probably NOT exactly well within your grasp at the moment.

      34. I mean in all fairness, this doesn’t sound like your traditional planned out wedding. It’s 19 days away, and they don’t have a JP, or have sent out invitations, it doesn’t really sound like this wedding is really a priority to either of them, so maybe he feels like since this is both their second wedding that maybe they aren’t doing the traditional thing, and he just wants to get the piece paper, an go on with his life. It really seems like the LW has a real lack of communication, and doesn’t let her fiancé know how important some of these things are to her.

      35. zanderbobm84 says:

        From this quote about the honeymoon:

        I also had wanted us to all go away together for a honeymoon. My fiancé slammed me down for that and said no way, we have a baseball game the next day.

        I got the impression she wanted the entire family to go away on a honeymoon. So I don’t assume its that she and fiance can’t go on a honeymoon, but that the entire family can’t go. And depending on when and what type of game it is, that could be very true. It sounds like fiance takes time to parent her children, but she doesn’t put in anything about parenting his kids.

  3. Wait– you’re getting married in 19 days and still haven’t sent invitations?? Ok, back to the letter.

    1. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

      How did I miss that part?? Yikes lady post pone your wedding just because it’s not planned yet!!

    2. for_cutie says:

      I think it is hypocritical to be so caught up in a wedding – which costs money – while saying that she cannot afford to support herself. LW needs to get in a place where she can be independent and support the family she has before she tries to make a new one with a marriage.

      1. Perhaps it’s a little backyard potluck type thing? I can’t imagine no-honeymoon dude having a lavish affair, and someone who has the energy/time/desire to plan a massive wedding would have sent out invites by now. I’m getting more of a courthouse/tiny ceremony and punch vibe.

    3. It sounds like they are maybe planning a quickie courthouse-type wedding. I hope so, anyway, given that they don’t even have an officiant. If they’re doing a JOP & lunch wedding with family and a few close friends, then I’d give them a pass on not having everything all lined up yet (what with 5 kids and all). I’m a hyper-planner, so it wouldn’t be my style, but I could see how it could happen…but if it’s a traditional church wedding and ballroom reception for 250…different story. Either way, WWS, DON’T GET MARRIED before you can communicate without nagging and defensiveness!

    4. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

      I feel like even with these scenarios of a more casual, court house and lunch or pot luck style wedding, you’d still need to plan to a degree. I mean just making sure calendars are clear for the VIPs (you know, no baseball games and such) and there is a reservation at the place you want to eat, heck the JOP could book up a month in advance! Even with causal, there are some basic logistics to work through.

      1. some but it’s possible (i’ve done it!) to plan a wedding in two weeks. so i mean planning is needed, but it can still be done. in fact i’m pretty sure our niece missed a game or practice or something to be at ours. scheduling conflicts like that happen with or without planning longer than that many days out. it’s life.

      2. my director planned hers in like 10 days, i think. they passed gay marriage in IL and they picked a saturday, bought rings, booked a fancy hotel room and got married at the courthouse. its super easy to do.

      3. One of my favorite weddings that I’ve been to I was told about the day before. I think they had been planning it for…a week, maybe 2? Just enough time to get the officiant ready and to allow some family to drive in from the next state. It was a backyard bbq with about 30-40 people and it was lovely.

      4. lets_be_honest says:

        ^ dream wedding!

      5. Actually you would have loved it for another reason, too. The groom has a son, who was 12 at the time, and they included him in the ceremony. Like my friend said vows to her new stepson as well. Maybe I have told you this story before.

      6. lets_be_honest says:

        Gah, love it. Did they have a song? I wish I could find a song that is good for a family rather than a couple.

      7. Not that I remember. I know there was music playing when she walked out to the yard, but I don’t remember it being anything of significance.

      8. Why do you need a song?? IS there something we should know?

      9. lets_be_honest says:

        Yes, if you find the perfect song, I’ll HAVE to use it, right? 🙂

      10. Yes, absolutely. Come on guys, let’s find the perfect song for LBH so she has to get married!

      11. Agreed.

      12. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        I mean I wasn’t saying it CAN’T be done. And it definitely all depends on the couple getting married expectations and wants. It is something that has to have thought put into it, even if it’s just putting on pants and going to the courthouse to get the license with the right documents.

  4. WWS – Don’t get married yet. Someone who is 19 days away from getting married but yet telling his partner that he can’t meet her expectations, & that she should be with someone else if she can’t deal with it is clearly not ready to get married. Also what Llama says, He sounds like a good father. It sounds like both of you have issues & need more time to work on them before getting married. Your invitations & officiant can wait…. please give it more time & couples or premarital counseling would be worth looking into.

  5. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

    So this guy is a committed father to his children and has a good, comfortable co-parenting relationship with his ex and you want him to stop that? Get over your jealousy. He has a good thing going on, don’t ruin that. You both need to communicate more and effectively. Don’t go at him telling him everything he does wrong and how you want better, of course he will get defensive. Tell him you want to connect to him more and you have some suggestions: tech-free hour right before bed, getting a babysitter, putting a movie on for the kids and going to bed and talk. Ask him what he thinks would help.

  6. WWS. LW, do not get married. You guys aren’t anywhere close to being ready.

    It sounds to me like your fiance is a good dad. He’s maintaining a great co-parenting relationship with his x, and is really involved in their lives. That is awesome! It’s a great thing, and you should be happy about that. I can understand being annoyed with the x just walking into the house- that’s not cool, and your fiance should ask her to please ring the bell/knock. If that doesn’t work, keep your doors locked. Problem solved. If you think the phone calls or texting is too much, why don’t you suggest a technology free night a week (or even a few hours)- no phones, no tv, no video games. It’s a great way to cut down on the x interfering with your “alone time”, and it’s a great way to get some time to really focus on each other, and connect emotionally.

  7. So I can imagine how busy 5 kid’s sports schedules must be seeing my co-worker and her kids.
    Don’t get married. Talk to you fiance. Let him know you want to make your relationship a priority before you do decide to get married again.

    The only thing that would annoy me (besides not being able to plan anything because of sports, they have co-parents if they can’t keep them for one weekend while you do a mini-honeymoon I’d find that to be a problem) is the coming in the house without knocking. Tell your fiance you’re glad he has such a great relationship with his kids and ex. But, that you’d prefer she’d knock. And implement a family night or try to find free or cheap sitters, through family/baby-sitting sharing, etc like Wendy suggested. Even if you had one day a month it might make a difference. Also do you have sex? Because if you don’t that needs to be a priority as well. Even if it’s just on Friday nights you stay up late or let the kids know they can’t bug Mom and Dad before 8am on Saturday or Sunday. Something to find some time for the two of you.

    1. Seriously, what is with the sports these days? My coworker has 2 boys, and one of them is on 3 baseball teams right now. 3!!! It’s crazy! And the other kid is on 2. It’s too much. I couldn’t handle that.

      1. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        Some kids are in a crazy amount of after school programs. We have a 2 program agreement- one sport and one other (music, drama, scouts)

      2. Ooh, I like that 2-program limit. I’m trying to convince gf that we shouldn’t let hypothetical child play the same sport year-round. Basically, my bff destroyed his shoulder by age 15 by playing too much baseball, and I don’t want that to happen to my kid.

      3. lets_be_honest says:

        Yea, limits to those things are great. Its surprising how easy you can all of a sudden be signed up for 5 things. Oh, you wanna try dance, then a flyer for softball, etc.

      4. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        I think it makes it easier for a kid to commit to a program as well, if they can only do one sport then they will pick it carefully and stay in it if they know that they can’t just change into a new one.

      5. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        My parents only let me do one at a time, and I HAD to complete the “term” I signed up for. It did make me pick more carefully, and it kept them from running around like crazy people shuttling me to 20 events.

      6. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        Plus it gives kids time to just be kids. I want my kids to run around and build forts in the forest and have pinecone fights and spend hours just killing time running around the neighbourhood. I am just loving my new place because on one side of me are a couple boys who are outside playing street hockey every day and on the other side is a little grandma who just loves E already. She was carrying him naked around the neighbourhood chasing bunnies last night and offered to babysit anytime. I have a feeling they are going to be buddies.

      7. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Oh, that all sounds amazing, and like what I want for our kids. Any universities in your area looking for an American history professor? Canada here I come!

      8. I think it depends on the age. When they’re little, I think it’s important to try various activities (as opposed to just concentrating on one) so they can find what they really like. My almost 6 year old takes music year round, but then she tries various other activities during their different seasons/sessions throughout the year.

      9. snoopy128 says:

        It is getting ridiculous these days. My cousin’s kid is 7 and plays 2 sports. His baseball team coach told me cousin that her kid had to be available for batting practice on Mondays for 2 hours starting in JANUARY and then dry land training one other day a week for an hour and a half where they brought in a special trainer. He also told her if she didn’t bring her kid to these practices in January (well before the season starts in March? April?), the 7 year old would not be allowed on the team. WTF?! This kid plays hockey in the winter….it would mean 3 hockey practices + 1-2 hockey games + 2 baseball practices a week. For a 7 year old. FFS.
        I’m scared to have kids. I want them to participate in sports, but parents these days are getting nuts. They think their child will be the next Wayne Gretzky and that they MUST be the best, all the time.
        My old soccer coach (ex national team player, high level coach, head hunted to be part of the leage) actually quit coaching 5 years ago because he said the parents were so nuts he couldn’t handle it. He quit the sport all together.

  8. This guy is stonewalling you and that is NOT a good sign. For the love of god, please don’t marry him.

  9. LW, listen to me: BREATHE. I can tell from your last paragraph alone how stressed, overwhelmed, and scared you are. It’s going to be okay. Just tackle these problems one a time – little baby steps if that’s what you have to do. If you need help with the kids from your ex – ask for it (threaten court if needed). If you need quality time with your fiancé – ask for it. And, above all, you need to cancel the wedding. Neither of you are ready to get married *right now*.

    1. I agree on the advice to breathe. Most of the letter sounds like a stress spiral from taking on too many responsibilities, especially when the LW gets to the end and is convinced she would be homeless because no one has a big enough house to stay at. Not saying these aren’t real issues, but the situation as a whole is being blown out of proportion.

      1. It’s definitely a stress spiral. I know – because I do it to myself quite frequently. And then, I have to remind myself to put one foot in front of the other and just focus on what I can do right now. When it’s super stressful, sometimes it’s something as small as focusing on putting on my socks. Then shoes. All the way until where I need to be (or doing what I need to do).

    2. lets_be_honest says:

      Yea I was annoyed reading the first part thinking what everyone else was saying, but the last paragraph…oh man. She’s spiraling. I like your advice.
      LW, please don’t marry someone because you are worried about money.

  10. Avatar photo Raccoon eyes says:

    First, WWS.

    Second, as the kids say these days, SLOW YOUR ROLL! (That is still a thing, right?) You and your betrothed need to work on your communication, because conversations about you needing to find someone else are not ones you need to be having 3 weeks before you are supposed to be getting married. Just speaking from my own experience (Im a 33 year old hetero woman), talking about potentially breaking up is not good. AT ALL. In fact, thus begins the end. Once someone brings up a breakup, there is no un-doing that. It will always be there, spoken or unspoken, in future conversations.

    Third, is it possible to get married in 19 days with no invitations sent and no officiant scheduled? Presuming that you are not just heading to the courthouse or something, I mean.
    LW, best of luck to you. Just please keep in mind that staying in a relationship for financial reasons cant be good for you or your kids.

    1. it’s possible if you have a limited guest list and aren’t set on a specific place where you want to get married and aren’t worried about who marries you.

      1. Avatar photo Raccoon eyes says:

        Thanks for the clarification. 😉

  11. for_cutie says:

    I feel like LW is not investing time into her relationship and blaming it on the fiance. Yes, life with kids is busy, but you both knew that because you’ve been married with kids before. Why such a rigid bedtime? We are all adults here, and isn’t your relationship worth staying up for? You have to prioritize making the time, WWS. Grab a dessert after going grocery shopping or have an indoor picnic after the kids are in bed. A healthy relationship will make you feel more energized than an extra hour of sleep.

  12. Enough people have said this already, but I have to join in, because it’s so important.


    You are not ready to get married. He is not ready to get married. The two of you are arguing over whether or not to have a honeymoon. You can’t deal with the fact that he is a father and always will be, and that his children will always come first. You don’t like that his children should come first. You’re timing his conversations with his children’s mother. Just put the brakes on and STOP.

    I don’t have the time to get into all of the other relationship/communication issues you’re describing. But I will say this about the kids/ex-wife thing: she is part of your family and always will be. She’s the mother of your step children. As I said to the LW yesterday, you can either be gracious and accept this reality, or you can fight her every step of the way. And if you fight, you will lose. You’ll damage your relationship with your husband, you’ll damage your relationship with your stepchildren.

    Your fiancé seems to be dealing with the shared parenting very well. Not all split couples can be amicable about raising the kids, and it sounds like they’re handling it in a mature way. This is a big point in his favor. My BF and his ex struggled with it in the beginning, but over the years they worked it out and raised three amazing young adults that I am grateful to know. I’m pleased that he talked with her about the kids. I’m pleased that they shared responsibilities so well. I’m pleased that she knew she could call him anytime if there was a problem. She still does, and I’m so proud of him for rising above the hurt and doing what was right for the kids. He’s kind to her because she’s his kids’ mother. He does it for them.

    This is something you need to sort out in your own head before you even consider marrying a man with children. If you can’t deal with the regular presence of an ex in your lives, you need to find a guy without kids.

    1. Very well said. My only quibble is to do with the honeymoon. I think it’s completely acceptable (nay, preferable!) to miss one baseball game to take a honeymoon weekend, whether the honeymoon is with or without the kids. The kids should always come first, in terms of their safety and overall well-being. I don’t think that missing a single ballgame is an existential threat to a child’s emotional health.

  13. I haven’t finished reading the comments yet,but I have to agree with Wendy. He may be a good father, but he is not a good partner. He doesn’t seem involved in this relationship at all. And yeah, I would be pissed if we couldn’t go on a honeymoon. It’s more than a vacation, it’s part of the nurturing and celebration of our relationship together. There will be other baseball games. How many honeymoons do you get? He’s giving a lot to his kids, but not much to her. Is she supposed to be happy with crumbs? Neither of them is ready to get married now.

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      One of the best pieces of advice my mom gave me was to remember why you are in a relationship in the first place – because you love this person and want to spend time with them. It is SO easy to put that on the back burner when both prioritize the kids (which you should to a degree). There has to be a balance though, otherwise you are basically just parenting a kid together.

      1. Your mom sounds like a smart lady.

      2. Exactly! Most people forget that a family means all of you, not just the kids. It’s healthy to not fixate on the kids all the time. It’s neglectful to your partner & to yourself. Your mom sounds pretty wise with that simple statement :).

  14. Is it just me or does ‘We’ll talk when you get home’ not sound like ‘I can’t wait to spend a few minutes of quality time snuggled up to you’. Outside of the merits of how he is co-parenting, it sounds like they are spiraling in their communication as well. I maybe reading my own personality into this but I know it takes me a while sometimes to process through a situation and know what I think/feel to discuss it with someone else. And the more a significant other pushes me because THEY HAVE TO KNOW RIGHT NOW the longer it takes.

    1. Yeah that totally sounded like he’s in trouble. But maybe that’s their own code for snuggle time? Idk..

  15. Laura Hope says:

    I have a friend who has 3 kids. One of them is autistic so she and her husband put all of their time into the kids. They’ve become co-parents. Their relationship is hanging by a thread. And they’re both solidly on the road to having serious health issues. They obviously didn’t choose this but I think if they don’t take time to nurture their relationship, the kids (who are the ones they’re doing all this for!) will end up suffering for it. I know your situations are different (thank god your kids are healthy) but I can’t help see some similarities –you’re both stretched too thin, have serious financial difficulties and both men refuse to communicate. I would think twice before marrying him.

    1. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

      Something like 90% of parents of autistic kids end up divorcing. My sister has 4 kids and one of them has autism. Even with lots of help from my parents I can’t blame them for having no time for each other. I think they are doing really well for their circumstances but I honestly can’t blame all those other parents for divorcing, my sis barely has time for her other kids let alone her husband.

      1. Everything I’ve read says divorce rate is the same whether there is a child with autism or not.

  16. Bittergaymark says:

    You know what? When you’ve rendered yourself utterly fucking helpless and financially dependent — surprise, surprise — you really don’t have THAT much power. That said, most of your complaints are both petty and annoying. Hell, his GOOD relationship with his ex mean you both get a break from his kids, whereas your own pathetic clusterfuck hate fest with yours ensure that you two will NEVER get a break from yours…

    You are pissed he hasn’t arranged the minister — yet you haven’t sent the invitations out? What the fuck? Hey, you’re both on the same page there. It is quite clear that neither of you wants to get married. Gee… I wonder why.

    Frankly, he probably frequently NEEDS to vent to his ex over coffee because you are such a NEEDY mess. Some would be wise to realize that simply having A LOT on their plate doesn’t give one free reign to be a shrill harpy. It’s not your partner’s fault that you entered his life when your own was such chaos.

  17. LW, besides with agreeing with all those who have said Don’t Get Married, Don’t Get Pregnant, and Work On Communication, I think the most urgent thing you need to do is to re-prioritize your life in the short term. I say finish out this semester and then take a break from school and get a full-time job. The fact of the matter is that you are financially short because your ex can’t/won’t pay his share and since things aren’t going all that well with your fiance, you need to position yourself to take care of yourself and your kids if the relationship doesn’t last. Next, look at how to take some of the stress off the family. Are kid sports that take up everyone’s free time absolutely necessary? Is it possible to cut back on the number of sports they play or switch to another physical activity that doesn’t have a hectic schedule? It’s okay for kids to be asked to make sacrifices for the family well-being too, if necessary. My evil twin is saying that being out of the house all the time taking kids to sports might be a way your fiance escapes from home/you. Any truth to that? Anyway, I won’t go on but please consider making short term changes, put school on hold, look for ways to get things off your platter and take some of the pressure off your hectic lifestyle so you have enough room to breathe and to assess. Take care.

    1. This is really smart advice! I would also add, it’s time to get some court-mandated child support from your ex.

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        You can’t collect child support if they don’t have a job, which this guy doesn’t.

      2. lets_be_honest says:

        And also, the dumbest thing you can do is rely on child support. Pretend you’ll never get it, budget accordingly, and have a happy extra $ surprise if you do get it.

      3. I’m not saying she should be relying on it. But what is she supposed to do, just give up? He won’t be unemployed forever. I understand just because you file for child support doesn’t mean you’ll get it, but at least he will be held accountable in some respect. I don’t think its ok for this guy to just wash his hands off his kid just like that.

      4. lets_be_honest says:

        If she was getting child support, then its all in the system already (presumably), so there’s nothing for her to do.

      5. Well obviously, if that was the case. But that’s not really specified in the letter. All I’m saying is she should look into that if she hasn’t.

      6. lets_be_honest says:

        Well obviously…lol

      7. Umm ok… I don’t see why you’re taking so much issue with my suggestion.

      8. lets_be_honest says:

        I didn’t take issue with it. I pointed out that you can’t collect water from a stone. Hopefully LW is able to finish school and become her and her kids’ sole supporter. Smarter than waiting for some deadbeat to, ya know?

      9. I’m not sure why I can’t reply directly to you, but yes I agree her main goal should be to become as self sufficient as possible. But she’s already taking steps to do that, right? I just think it sucks that her ex decides to stop seeing/helping out with the kids one day, and that has to be that. So again, since its reasonable to think this guy will not be unemployed forever, it would be smart to get some agreement in place, if they don’t already have it.

      10. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Yeah, I mean even if there is mandated support, there are ways to skirt the laws. And if you’re not versed in how to get the support, or have it enforced, and you don’t have the money to pay a lawyer etc (or the time!)…it’s definitely a route that should be explored, but I also would advise to figure out how to pay for life on your own.
        I get going back to school but it sounds like she put herself in a predicament when she did. Maybe there are other options (like online or part time classes) that would allow for more income to be made while still getting the education.

      11. I don’t think anyone is suggesting that she shouldn’t pay for her own life. But that is a separate issue from her ex’s responsibility to his kids.

      12. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        I guess I see this from a different point of view- my birth father failed to support my mother financially in anyway. So she figured it out. She made some sacrifices, like her own education, to provide for me. So I think LW could probably balance her own life a little differently so she isn’t relying to much on fiancé for financially support, since she alludes to feeling trapped by that.

      13. Again, I’m all for her being self sufficient. I understand exactly where you’re coming from. But that doesn’t mean that the kids’ dad should be off the hook. I mean, wouldn’t you rather have both parents contributing to kids if possible?

      14. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Honestly, no not necessarily. There are instances where it is better for only one parent to be involved.

      15. True. But she should still have legally mandated support from him, because it’s unlikely he’ll be unemployed forever.

  18. In my opinion, anyone who tells you multiple times “if you don’t like it, go find someone else” is hoping that you will.

    1. Yes! It’s his way of saying “I’m not going to change this about myself. You aren’t worth it to me”.

      1. Avatar photo Moneypenny says:

        Yeah, I thought the same thing and it kind of made my heart hurt. That’s not someone you want to be marrying.

  19. What is up people’s asses on here lately? Do some of you realize this is an ADVICE site, which means that people writing are most likely not gonna talk about how put together they are? For goodness sakes this LW just laid out how overwhelmed she is in her current situation. She is having some very legitimate issues with the man she is about to marry, and with whom she is trying to raise 5 children. She is clearly in over her head in the current situation and I don’t see how all the snark is necessary. @BMG she is working and going to school full time, presumably so she can be more than “utterly fucking helpless” in the near future. Unless her fiance was not ok with her relying on him for support during this time, I don’t see how she is doing anything wrong by giving herself a better shot to provide for her family.
    LW- your fiance does sound like a devoted dad. But he is not being a good partner to you. You say on here that you’ve tried talking to him about your issues, but he shuts down or doesn’t respond to your concerns. It’s time to get some help in the communication department. Obviously couples counseling would be ideal, but if that’s not possible at the moment use other resources to help you. You need to tell him that you are cancelling the wedding because you can see both of you are unhappy with the status quo. Its time that BOTH of you start putting in some time and effort into nurturing this relationship. If he can’t at least commit to that, then you have some tough decisions ahead. Obviously leaving school is not ideal but if you decide you no longer see a future with this man, you’re simply gonna have to leave school and get a full time job to get back on your feet, at least for some time. Sending lots of positive vibes your way. Good luck!

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      She absolutely sounds overwhelmed, but I think people were not so nice because of the fact she’s being very uncool about this guy trying to co-parent successfully with his ex, which she should support. I don’t think he sucks that much at all – honestly, if my partner had the same issues she had, I’d not be thrilled either.

    2. bittergaymark says:

      For the record, this thread was FILLED with snark long before little old me. And here is the reason why… The LW clearly doesn’t appreciate what her fiance does for her at all. Nope. Not one bit. It’s all just a lot of petty complaints matched up against, oh, how bust he is busy raising her kids since her own ex clearly won’t.

      1. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Amazingly I agree with mark here.

      2. Yeah, i’m saying i’m kinda surprised by the amount of snark in general, you’re just very quotable ;)… and you seemed to completely miss the point of WHY she doesn’t have a full time job at the moment.
        I also said her fiance sounds like a devoted dad. But that doesn’t mean that her concerns are completely unfounded.

      3. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        No one is saying that her concerns are unfounded. They are just pointing out other concerns that she clearly doesn’t see.

      4. lets_be_honest says:

        It seems like her concerns are him being a parent…

      5. I saw it more as she would like him to put more effort into their relationship. The honeymoon was a good example. She wants the whole family to go (so the kids are clearly not her problem) but he uses some lame excuse to get out of it. And when she tries to talk to him about it he just shuts down. I feel like my words are being misconstrued a little. This LW is not perfect by any means. But I don’t think the issues she is describing are 100% in her head. There has to be a way for them to work out a better system for communication, otherwise the relationship is not gonna work.

      6. lets_be_honest says:

        I agree that they both seem to be prioritizing parenting over their relationship for sure. Her demands or issues though seem wrong to me.

      7. There’s definitely good advice for her in this thread. I agree a shift in perspective for the her will be good as well. Her fiance is probably just as overwhelmed as she is in this whole thing. But I stand by my comments on the snark, even if I get all the thumbs down.

    3. But the thing is, the LW made all the choices that put her in her current position. There’s a thing called “consequences for your actions”. The LW chose to have more children with this man, and then rely on him to support her while she went to school. That was something she chose to do. So, she put herself in the position of being “utterly fucking helpless”. Why not wait to have more children until you’re financially stable or at least married to a partner who is financially stable? The LW needs these things pointed out to her, because it sounds like she has a pattern of poor decision making.

      1. Wait, she had a kid with her current fiance? I’m rereading the letter and I’m not seeing that… Just someone with a lot of kids on her plate. Also, she wouldn’t be able to support herself and her kids on her part-time salary, but I think her “homeless” comment was her going directly to worst case scenario without passing GO.
        But I disagree with your assessment of her having a history of poor decision making. She says she’s not making enough at the moment to make ends meet on her own, but that’s because she changed from full to part-time at her job to go to school – is that in itself irresponsible? That could probably be reversed if necessary, it might just seem irreversible in the moment (and would probably involve postponing school, which wouldn’t be ideal). I don’t see poor decision making here, I see someone who had her eye on the future and was making plans with her partner and future husband, but is now having trouble seeing issues at face value and needs an outside perspective on them.

      2. Oh, I think you’re right. She had 3, he had 2, none are “joint”.

      3. Usually if people are at all self-aware, they have already spent a lot of time analyzing their poor choices & their regrets. They don’t need me to point them out. Sometimes people have children thinking everything is all peachy & they are very optimistic about the course of their lives, then the rug gets pulled out from under them. People in marriages change sometimes, stuff happens, bad stuff. things that maybe they could have or should have seen coming, or maybe totally unexpected. She can’t go back & change what happened now & who would wish away a child anyway? No point in beating her over the head with it. She sounds like she at least has a direction in life, trying to do the best she can, & trying to keep things from falling apart again. I wish you luck LW, I don’t think this is something you cannot overcome. You sound strong , with him or without him you can do this. Definitely look at couples counseling to try & work through these issues before making anything permanent … & let us know how you are doing.

      4. Exactly this.

    4. Thank you! OMG, someone that gets it LOL.

      “What is up people’s asses on here lately? Do some of you realize this is an ADVICE site, which means that people writing are most likely not gonna talk about how put together they are? For goodness sakes this LW just laid out how overwhelmed she is in her current situation. She is having some very legitimate issues…”

      I see so many threads & posts where one or two selfish loons just aim to tear the poster apart verbally! I commented on it before too. High five for standing up :)!

  20. I, personally, text my 2nd ex-husband at least once a day to find out when he’ll be home from work so the kids can call him. Sure, we end up in texting conversations of what he needs to be aware of, what funny stuff has happened with the kids in the last 24 hours, and occasionally, tv shows/jokes we’ve heard. It’s part of being a friendly ex. There’s nothing wrong with it.

    However, you feel miserable and I don’t think it’s just your current guy that is the problem. I think it’s the fact that you haven’t had a break from your own kids in 6 months. It’s time to enforce the visitation rights, or as Wendy said, hire a damned sitter or beg/borrow someone to help you out for a weekend. Then make regular baby-sitting/visitations/whatever to ensure that you two get a night off every month (at the very least).

    The only problem with his ex is she doesn’t knock. Have your boyfriend address that then move on. Exes can be friendly with each other. It’s healthier for the kids that way. Perhaps you should make nice and be friendly towards her (I don’t know if you currently do that or not).

    Whatever you do, follow Wendy’s advice and don’t marry this guy until everything is sorted out. I mean, you don’t even have an officiant. When mine bailed on me last minute, we rescheduled our wedding, with a new officiant. It’s not hard. You could be finding one yourself.

  21. LW: You need to stop taking your stress and feelings of powerlessness out on your fiance. From where I sit, it looks like he is being extremely supportive and helpful to you while also trying very hard to be a good coparent to his own kids. His friendly relationship with his ex is something you should be trying to emulate, not tear apart. If you can’t stop focusing on his shortcomings and instead start appreciating his contributions, you should just break it off with him, because the relationship is going to die anyway.

  22. So he is raising and financially supporting your kids full time, only has his kids part time, and makes the very most of that time, and you are mad at him for it. Maybe you could try to go to his kids sports games with him instead of waiting for him to get home to have 10 minutes of alone time together. It does seem like he is putting all the effort in to try to keep both of his worlds together, and his ex seems more supportive of that then you do. Like Mark said above maybe after watching how your relationship exploded with your ex, it makes him want to try and work extra hard on his relationship with his ex. Cut the guys some slack, and try and have better communication… after you call off the wedding of course.

  23. I think people need to stop texting so much and start having real conversations.
    Another vote here for “don’t marry this dude”.

  24. This woman is not being bratty because things aren’t going her way. In fact, she sounds very concerned (and understandably hurt & confused) & she’s right to worry. It sounds like each of those things this guy did snowballed into a huge mess. Each of these things alone, like an isolated event, is no issue, but this is not the case. He doesn’t understand healthy boundaries in relationships & gave her an ultimatum? He might as well just have said “No, it’s my way or no way.” I’ve gotta go with Wendy here, do not marry this guy, or at least right now. He is not making her a priority at all. Being an active father is wonderful & it’s great that he gets along with his ex, but he’s invalidating his fiancee’s feelings. If he isn’t cheating on her, he mostly likely will let someone come between them if this isn’t solved. I completely support co-parenting, but he’s failing to realize that SHE, as well as all their kids, is now his family. The kids come first, but his ex does not come before her. This isn’t a bratty jealous tiff, this is principle & she cares enough to have tried to make it work. But marriage now? No way. It sounds like he’s literally stalling the wedding or could care less. If he shuts her down when she tries to communicate (and this is important), this is a huge red flag of how the marriage will end up. If there’s any chance of this working, both have to be willing to hear each other out & make the appropriate compromise. And yes, try to get out on real dates at least once a week, or when feasibly possible.

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