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My relationship sucks


Bluemoon456
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My boyfriend I have been together for 3 years. He was married before and has a 7 year old child with his ex-wife. Although he is no longer married, it still feels like his ex wife has so much control over him. He does whatever she wants. When I ask him to communicate with me about the things he talks to her about, he says it doesn't concern me. He claims its co-parenting but it doesn't seem like that is all that is. For holidays and birthdays, he spends all of his money on his child (literally 30+ presents from her list). (the ex wife adds things to the list as she goes) In the past, he has given me a magazine for my birthday and a book for xmas. He often makes me feel like I am at the bottom of his priorities list. He doesn't contribute financially to our relationship. I pay for EVERYTHING. (We don't live together, I pay for our outings/dates). I've paid for our vacations and he doesn't even offer to pay for my food..but when it comes to birthdays and holidays, he goes broke buying his child things. He has told me that in the past while they were dating, his ex-wife quit her job, he paid for every single thing (vacations, expenses, and everything her heart desired) He used to spend thousands on her for her birthday and holidays. I don't get the same treatment. I feel unhappy in this relationship. He claims he wants to marry me but I don't see how we can have a good marriage when he is not financially responsible, he overspends, doesn't communicate with me, he allows his ex-wife to feel entitled to him (she doesn't know about me) and makes me pay if I want to do something with him. I feel like he is with me because of the financial support i provide, because it is easy to be with me. I never wanted to be a second wife or stepmom, but i reconsidered because I love him...but now I don't know anymore. I feel like a consolation prize. I feel unappreciated. I feel like if i stay with him, my life will be miserable. I just don't know how to move on..how to leave him with out feeling devastated. I don't know how to be without him. 

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I'm sorry bluemoon. 

This is not cool and you have to be the one to muster the strength to choose you and your life.

How did things get this bad? Did you just let things slide, eventhough you were unhappy?

Did you keep putting in more of yourself in the hopes he would somehow reciprocate? 

I have done those things in past and I have to tell you, only you can save you.  No one is coming along to do it.

You may love him but you have to love yourself more. 

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Genuine question - what do you love about this that would leave you devastated if it ended?

You sound so miserable that, looking in from the outside, getting rid of him would bring about nothing but peace and relief into your life.

It's kind of an odd triangle, where he is trying to buy the love and affection of his wife and child, while you are trying to buying love and affection from him. The only winners here are the ex and the child. They don't have to deal with his bs while still getting the benefits, while you are the donkey funding his lifestyle, dates, and trips. Come on, OP, where is your sense of fairness and basic self respect? Even if you like the dynamic of being in charge financially, you can find an awful lot of men out there who would kiss the ground that you walk on and give you their undivided loyalty and attention. Why settle for the opposite? Please don't give the cop out answer of "love" because this is not what love looks like.

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53 minutes ago, Bluemoon456 said:

I pay for EVERYTHING. (We don't live together, I pay for our outings/dates). I've paid for our vacations and he doesn't even offer to pay for my food.

This is simple. Stop Paying For Everything.

You can't buy love. You need to end it, you're simply not happy .

Don't try to fix or change him.

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Hopefully, your boyfriend will be a soon to be an ex-boyfriend once in a blue moon!

You are being used and taken advantage of as long as you allow yourself to be his doormat. 

You need to dump him!

In the future, have a boyfriend without strings attached, without baggage and preferably without children or a child.  A relationship without dealing with an ex is usually easier and simpler. 

You're wasting your youth, time, energy and money on a loser.

You will be miserable as long as you're his girlfriend. 

He will not change for you.  Change comes from YOU and breaking free of him.  It's time to dissolve and exit this sham of a relationship.

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Unfortunately, some of this is on you.

Boundaries need to be set early on in the relationship and maintained. He doesn't have money to go on vacations or out to eat or whatever? Then he doesn't go.

Period, end of story. Truth is if you hadn't enabled it, he probably would have come up with the money one way or another.

So what do you do? Tell him enough is enough, you're no longer supporting him. If he can come up with a way to pay his own expenses, then great, there might be a save here.

Otherwise move it along, nothing left to see here except one person taking clear advantage of another.

 

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The writing is on the wall only you choose to not see it.  Of course his child is #1 and so he or she should be.  You are being taken advantage of because you allow it to happen!  It's that simple.

Hi ex wife doesn't know about you?  What's with that?  I think he is not over her and is playing you for a fool.

You lose nothing by dumping him, he's no prize.  You gain a lot by dumping him including more money in your bank account.

Smarten up.  You cant change him, he's got a good thing going here!

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Btw, i am 30, he is 40.

So... At the beginning, things were different. He tried to make things work and split costs but I was (and am) making more money than him, so because I am an idiot I thought it was okay to always pay because I loved him and I wanted to do things with him. Once he realized i felt that way, he never tried to pay for anything. He would just expect it from me. I told myself it was okay because he wasn't making as much....until holidays and birthdays came around. Thats when I saw how he was quick to "make sacrifices", go broke and over spend (hundreds of dollars) to get everything off of birthday/christmas lists. Now he is making more, so he is spending more, just not on me. 

He started acting funny about communication even though I've made it clear from the beginning that as his current partner, I deserve to know.

I often feel like he will never be over her. How do you choose to spend your life with somebody, to give them your all, to commit to them forever and when things go south, all those feelings go away? Maybe divorced folks can enlighten me. 

It's hard. I know loving someone is not a good enough reason to stay....but I feel extremely dependent on his presence in my life. I am miserable without him. I miss talking with him, being with him, holding him.... but i am starting to feel miserable with him. 

I know he will never change because if he wanted to, he would. 

I just don't know how to let go 😞

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5 minutes ago, Bluemoon456 said:

I know he will never change because if he wanted to, he would

Well, in all fairness, you made it very easy for him not to change.

Sit him down and tell him you love him and all that but enough is enough.

It's time to split expenses. If he balks, you can walk away with a clear conscience.

It's still going to hurt but maybe not as much because hey, you tried.

And you never know, maybe he'll step up when he realizes he's going to lose you.

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41 minutes ago, Bluemoon456 said:

I just don't know how to let go 😞

Never tell yourself that. Of course you know.  You just don't choose to. Understand that part is all in your control.  You are not married to him, you don't own property together or mingle finances.  You know.  You choose not to.  I'm sorry you don't value yourself more and are tolerating this type of treatment.

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He doesn't value you. He's using you as a financial cushion.

A magazine and a box of chocolates for your birthday? That's pathetic coming from someone who spends thousands on his ex wife and child.

His ex-wife doesn't know about you? Another red flag.

This man sounds selfish and egotistical. He's stringing you along and if he does intent to marry you, it's most likely for the financial benefits.

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With no contact, over a period of time, different for each person, you will no longer think daily of an ex. That time for me was normally 4 to 6 months. With time and distance away from him, you will often shake your head at why you stayed so long. 

Devastation versus normal upset usually means you have no fulfilling life besides having a bf. That's something you can work on when single.

Reading what you wrote, if written by a best friend, wouldn't you tell her to dump him if she asked your advice? Be your own best friend and practice self-love. See it as chance to eventually find someone worthy of you when you're ready.

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4 hours ago, boltnrun said:

Why are you miserable without him? How were you before you met him? What else in your life makes you feel happy and fulfilled? What do you do when you're not with him?

When I say without him, i mean when we "break up". The times that we have tried to break up or take a break, I feel awful... I don't eat or sleep. I have anxiety all the time. During these times, the thought of him with another woman keeps me up at night. Before I met him, I feel like my life was more peaceful. I wasn't as stressed or anxious.  

I can do my own thing and focus on things that i like because i know we are together... but as soon as we fight, it feels like i can't even get out of bed 😞

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14 hours ago, Bluemoon456 said:

I often feel like he will never be over her.

bluemoon,

This is horrible.   

There are givers and takers in life.  Takers look at people that give (like you are) and think, well if they don't care,  why should I care? So they just keep on taking,  as much as they can. 

You are allowing yourself to be abused. 

I think you should talk to a doctor and get into therapy.  This is a dire situation. Your mental health and self esteem need to be a priority over this guy.  You need to learn tools to help you dissolve this relationship and set boundaries in the future.

Ending this, finding yourself and eventually a quality man is the only solution. ❤

 

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10 hours ago, Bluemoon456 said:

I am afraid of being without him..but i guess its just fear of being alone. 

How is that you would be alone? And why is being alone a negative? Do you have family or friends? Do you interact with people -take classes or do volunteer work? Would you like someone to stay involved with you based on "fear" rather than love?

I got married at 42.  We started dating when I turned 39.  I lived on my own from 1994-2008 (until I got married).  I enjoyed living on my own, and I rarely felt lonely.  People in bad relationships can feel lonely. There were times I didn't have a romantic partner but I was never lonely other than fleetingly because I made my life full in a variety of ways and enjoyed my own company too, a lot!

Also is his divorce final? If so how do you know? How long has it been final?

Edited by Batya33
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I speak as a stepmom myself.  Being a stepparent is one of the hardest jobs in the world, even in the best of circumstances.   

There's high expectations and not always rewards.  

Perhaps it's less that he's in love with his ex and more that he's trying to placate her.  Many men who get divorced with small children, feel guilty and try to overcompensate by going overboard with trying to "please" their ex.  But this child is also still very young, which makes it harder for you, because the parents likely want to try and make things as easy for that child as possible (as they should, but it doesn't mean it isn't still hard for you.) 

Dating a divorced person with a young child is NOT for the feint of heart.   The whole money expectations thing, you made a mistake.  It can be fixed if you work on it together.  The real question is- Do you really want to be a stepmom?  Is he worth it?  

Speaking from experience, you better be sure.  I love my husband and my step-kids dearly, but it's still been a challenging road.  It's not a decision to take lightly or something to do with anyone you are even a little unsure of.  

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Also understand that he may not be with another woman right now but he is also not with you in any of the ways that count.  Also thank you Redswim.  I never step parented and have friends who do and yes it is as you described and it's one of those situations where I wouldn't even attempt to advise on what it must be like.  So thanks for that perspective and how fact-based it was.

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