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Should I stay or should I go?


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Hi all,

I am new to this website but have found the advice very helpful so I thought I'd post about my situation. I am a divorced mother of 2 great teens and a couple years ago, about 9 months after I separated, my co-worker and good friend asked me out. I'd always had a little crush on him so I figured why not. When we were out he explained to me that he was living with the mother of his two kids but that she was an alcoholic and she was away for a month in rehab and when she returned she would be looking into getting her own place because they knew it was not good for either of them to continue to stay together. And when she got home she did sign a lease with someone from AA and it seemed like everything was moving in a forward direction. Until, she came home one day and told him she realized she couldn't afford the rent and she backed out of the lease. At this point, he and I were dating for about 6 weeks.


When he told me she backed out of the lease I broke up with him. But, he begged me to come back and asked me to give him more time to figure something out. Well, fast forward two years, and guess what? They are still living together and we are still dating. Over the course of the last two years, she has relapsed 7 times and had to be hospitalized twice. She's done another 5 weeks at a long term residential rehab facility back in the fall. Yet as recently as four weeks ago, she went on yet another bender and missed a week of work. Her job has told her this is the last time - final warning- and she has vowed yet again to stay sober. I have yet to trust that she will.


And, as a result of all the work she has missed, she and my boyfriend have fallen behind on rent and now face eviction. His two daughters live in the house. They are in their early twenties. And, he says that the only reason he stays is to be a buffer for them. But, the thing is, I get the sense he and his ex are too emotionally-attached to one another. Their relationship has spanned 25 years. And, she and I have even had some phone calls and exchanged emails where she was very defensive, leading me to believe she is threatened by me.


Well, this week, his 33-year-old daughter from a previous relationship was visiting from the west coast with her baby and her husband. Prior to her arrival, he asked his daughter if he could introduce us and she agreed and she invited me to her baby's first birthday party. And he asked her if she'd be willing to meet me beforehand at a park or over a coffee and she said she would. She and her family were staying with he and his ex and their daughters. And, the morning we were going to meet, she went out with his ex for a few hours beforehand. I drove to the park which was about 45 minutes from my house and he called me to say that when she got home she had a melt down and a panic attack and told him that she didn't want to meet me. And, please could we cancel. I don't know what was said, but something changed her mind from wanting to meet me. Well, when it was clear that I was also uninvited to the birthday party, while his ex was still going, I decided enough was enough and I told him I wanted to end it. That if he couldn't find a way to live separately, I no longer want to be a part of a threesome.


I have to say, this is probably the hardest thing I've ever done because I love the man. And I know that he is only trying to be a good person. But, I am an outsider to his life. And, although everyone knows about me and his two younger daughters have been embracing of our relationship, the fact is, his ex still controls so much of our relationship whether its through relapsing, constant texts and phone calls, always checking in, and now, clearly, influencing his eldest daughter against me. It's becoming too much.


Am I wrong for feeling this way? Am I being selfish? Should I tough it out and stay or should I go?

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In my opinion, everything you're feeling is normal. It is definitely too much to expect you to handle, especially if it's been years and his situation with his ex has stayed the same while you are supposed to be in a relationship. Honestly, I don't know how you lasted so long in the relationship, except for the fact that you really love him, which I believe.


But in the end, you have to take care of yourself, and not only that, considering that you have 2 teenagers. Their well-being is important too, and they shouldn't have to watch their mom in a relationship with someone who obviously cares for you, but apparently not enough to make a significant change that benefits both of you.


So, no. You're not wrong for feeling that way, and you're most definitely not being selfish. If anything, I think he really has been. I think you should go, as much as it might pain you right now. Hope this helps.

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