It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing now. Today we hear from “One Confused Mama,” whose (religious) parents bought her a house for her and her daughter to live in after her husband left them. She had since divorced the husband, met a new man, and become pregnant before she and the new man had a chance to get engaged and move in together. She worried about how her parents would react. She wrote:
“We both really love my house, but my parents own it and there is no way we will be able to just live here together without a commitment. They would never agree to it. My boyfriend and I both agree it is in the new child’s best interest for us to all live together, but he has a vision for how he wants to propose and has some things he wanted to take care of first, etc.
A compromise that he and I have thought up is: We should get engaged to give me that commitment that I need, and then move in together when the baby is born so that our family can have stability. Our first choice is to buy my house (which we could do if my boyfriend sells his house and we use the money from that for a down payment). Having a baby and living together without being married — even if we’re engaged — isn’t exactly what my parents have in mind and I don’t know if they will go for it. I think they will want us to hurry up and get married.”
It’s been about fourteen months since she wrote in — check out her update below.
A few things that I remember not addressing, from way back when I asked this question, that I would like to address:
1. My ex and I got married, had a kid, and then on the weekend before Easter when my daughter was 17 months old, he walked out. Like, we were playing games that morning, I went to buy an Easter gift for his daughter from his first marriage, I came back and he was gone. He told me to get out of our mutually-owned house and go to my parents’. I did not want to try to work anything out. My instincts about my ex had been that he would not up and leave a family. My insistence on my fiancé demonstrating his commitment was a reflection of that. I obviously know that a baby is a commitment, but I needed more.
2. My living arrangement was an agreement between my parents and myself to ensure that my daughter did not suffer because her dad was a jerk. They knew that without their help we would go from living in one of the best school districts available to living where my daughter probably wouldn’t be able to play outside. Our arrangement was made so that her standard of living remained the same.
3. My reason for having a real wedding: it is his first wedding and it was important to him. We are excited to have set the wedding and honeymoon dates for after our son turns 1 year old. My daughter is my jr. maid of honor and our son is his jr. best man. We are so excited.
But did you buy your parents’ house?! What did they say about you guys moving in together — into the house they bought you, I assume — before getting married?
Congrats on all the rest of it and best wishes for a great life together!
If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.
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