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Hi Pat I'm posting on top here because I missed your response. Sorry! The problems with these kids started with their mother and all they have is "dear old dad." Unfortunately, he is caught with the guilt of what the mother was and he's been trying to make up for it to this day. He really needs counseling to get over the guilt and move on. Kids are smart and some kids can use excuses for getting their own way and he's allowed that for years. You have to take the risk of telling him that he either attends counseling with you or that's it! He needs a shock. I have no doubt he loves you. I would be damned if I would let some ratty kids ruin the marriage. You can always get married and there is always an answer as to how. Pick the closest friends you have and have the marriage outside of town and DON'T LET THE KIDS KNOW. I realize their father will really fight this one because he wants them to be at the wedding in hopes they will be happy for him. That's never going to happen right now, but perhaps in the future when they grow-up and if anyone needs counseling it's THEM! Pat, look what this is doing to you. You went from a happy, well-adjusted woman to a body full of stress and now you are on antidepressants. There is no man worth that! I know you love him and feel badly for him, but "put the blame of Mame!" That's him! He needs to get a backbone!!!! If they aren't trying to get your share of the house, etc., then I wouldn't sue them out of anger as it will just push their father over the edge further and he may very well just disappear. Where else does he have to go? The whole problem IS that his kids should be seeking counseling and probably should be on meds, and look what's happened ... you are getting counseling and on meds and he should be seeking counseling and being on meds. You're going it alone and he's flopping around in a la-la-land state himself. Push him towards counseling if you can. He can't think straight at this point and I suppose he thought everyone would be happy about the marriage, but I have no doubt he anticipated problems over this with his children. They've been controlling him for a long, long time. Think of what you have posted. You are so "worried about him", but is he worried about YOU! He may say it, but he isn't showing any signs of it. I really do think he loves you, but when you love someone no one would stop you from marrying. You could get married by the Justice of the Peace and have a party at a club later with just close friends and other family members you both want there and to the heck with the rest. My 2nd husband and I did that. Got married in a Chapel and had a blast of a party for just our friends (of course both our parents were there.) There were too many problems with the other relatives and we didn't want to get into that. PUT YOURSELF FIRST! If you don't no one else is. He should be ashamed of what he is putting you through. It appears he's whallowing in his own misery and time for him to break out that shell and take the plunge. There are no excuses here Pat. I think if you take yourself away from the situation (including him) he'll cave in and obviously would be lost without you. I hope things are going better for you and I hope you are checking this board. Marcy As long as this man isn't living with the mother of his children there are just no excuses why he shouldn't marry you. If he is just going to ditch his former wife now, then I would be pretty angry as one of his children too. If this isn't the case then demand an answer right away. I am sorry you are going through this and sorry to tell you it's time he are got a backbone! This is not anything to do with the children, but him. Remind him that his children have a full life ahead of them while the two of you don't. Put your foot down and tell him, "We've waited together for your children to grow up, now they have and they have a full life ahead of them. It's our turn now for a happy life together! If you don't make up your mind now I'm walking out that door and not looking back!" DO THIS ALONE WITH HIM AND NOT AROUND THE CHILDREN! You deserve better and he needs to get off the "guilt trip" and either marry you or not. I hope there are wedding bells soon. Marcy Marcy, ex-wife is out of the picture, "kids" live in other states (ages 21 and 27), it's just me and him. We met many years ago during a legal separation from his wife. She threatened to take kids away and keep him from them, so he returned to finish raising his kids. I moved 800 miles away and waited for them to grow up. He begged me to return to this state three years ago to marry him, swore we would live for ourselves now since the kids were grown. Wedding has been delayed 4x in three years, but we finally set date of 23Dec05 and sent out invitations. Daughter did a paid background search on me and found out (then asked him for money to pay her credit card bill that paid for the search!), stirred up big brother, and everything has gone to hell in just 2 weeks. They are threatening legal disassociation from him (disown him!) if he marries me. I have a felony in my background from 17 yrs ago (he has known since we met and believes I was/am innocent) and his kids are outraged that he would consider marrying such an awful person. They refuse to hear my side, they KNOW only guilty people go to prison, demand he send me away and forget about the marriage. Now they refuse to visit him in his house for fear of coming into contact with me and are cancelling visits with him away from the house. He defends me, tells them he wants to marry me, but will not risk losing his kids' presence in his life. If it's a choice between us, I lose. Our lives have revolved around their needs and rights for 13 years and I believe it is our turn now. We aren't hurting anyone, are both nice peaceful people, and just want to be married and spend what years we have left together. Due to the stress, he now is threatening to sell our home in the spring, move far away, and not have contact with any of us unless we locate him on our own. We love one another, have for many years, and are running out of options other than giving up and letting "the kids" win and destroy us. And "backbone" doesn't seem to be in his vocabulary except when it comes to standing up to me. He knows I won't walk out on him and he believes with all his heart that his kids will follow through with their threats. We're both in our 50's and running out of time for ourselves. We've each raised our children the best we could and they're all adults (by the way, mine are all for the wedding, think the world of him). Now what? Hi Pat It's odd but my girlfriend's daughter is going through the same thing. Although she's in her mid-30s she waited around for this guy (2 teenage age daughters 14 and 16) and now he doesn't want to get married because he doesn't want anymore children and she wants children of their own. They have split up, but I have a feeling this guy will come back into her life (he's a really nice person, but confused.) Pat, the thought of those brats doing a check on you would have enraged me if I had kids and they did a check on my boyfriend. I would be all over them. How dare they! It's not like your boyfriend is 80 years old with Dementia. He's a grown man and neither of you are all that old. Yes, you both deserve a good life. I suggest you talk to your boyfriend and set up a mini vacation. Get away from the whole scene. Both of you can think better around a different environment. The ocean and long walks on the beach seem to center all of us. I am behind you 100% and believe you when you say that your felony charge is bogus. Even if it weren't it was 17 years ago and none of those brats business. Remind your boyfriend that his kids are still on the young side, lack wisdom, and he shouldn't take their threats to heart. They have their lives and hopefully will find partners with more sense than they have. Things could change a great deal down the road. If you were both were to marry and are happy and they see that, things will calm down. Of course you would both have to weather out the storm for months or perhaps even a couple of years, but I have a feeling it would calm down when they are older and much more wiser. Now, the trick is to get this boyfriend of yours to agree to all this. I know this is a big risk you don't seem to want to take, but it is one you must take. Go somewhere quiet just the two of you and tell him that you aren't prepared to settle for this and if he doesn't stand up to his kids (tell him what I said above about the kids getting wiser and hopefully smarter) then you have no option, but to move on. I know, I know, you don't want to do this, but think of this Pat .... if you don't then you'll live together or at least keep seeing each other and little by little those kids will take pieces of him until they completely ruin the relationship between the two of you. These kids WILL NOT forsake their father in years to come. I might add these so-called young adults should have better things to do then run a check on you and interfere in their father's life. I just boil when I think of this and it's one darn good thing I'm not in your spot because I'd nail those kids head-on. Character checks run both ways! LOL Wouldn't that be a hoot because I don't think these little darlings are as pure as the driven snow either. Keep in touch Pat and let me know how it goes. Please take that risk and go away for that mini vacation and let him know you can't handle this anymore and will have to end the relationship. That's the true test of love and I'm sure your love for each other will prevail. I had to do the same with my husband of 33 years (was married before) but no children were involved (he was chicken of marriage) and I walked away and we got back together again in 6 months because he really missed me. Good luck girl! Marcy Hi Marcy...you have some good suggestions and I'm working on him for that short "breathing spell". Nailing his kids doesn't come close to describing the letter I sent detailing my opinion of what they are doing to their father. They can hate me to doomsday and it won't change my love for him (or my opinion of them), but he is a good man and has been an excellent father. So he's not much for confrontations, but neither am I. I'm just more likely to confront them in defense of him than he is in defense of me, but that's understandable as he has more invested in their lives and wishes. Today was spent in counselling for myself and getting antidepressants prescribed. Have to be able to fight back instead of being the quivering mass in the corner. Thursday I see an attorney to find out my legal position (with or without their father) before I sue the pants off the brats (I like that word...so appropriate). Friday we're back in couples counselling, hopefully. The longer I think about the background check, the more angry I get...just a blind, white-hot fury that needs something to blow up on. The letter was meant to release the frustration and pass on a few home truths to them, but it only served to explode it even more. Daughter called daddy at work yesterday and let go on him about how he was dumping her on the side of the road for me, that he had no right to bring this awful felon into their lives and risk putting them in danger (?????), it's all his fault their family has gone to pot, and what is HE going to do to make it up to THEM. If my sons had ever once thought of saying such a thing to me, they'd STILL be looking for me! He said she was so far gone in lalaland with her accusations and threats, he thought she should be on meds. It's beyond me how such a good, decent, openminded man could help raise two such closed-minded, judgemental, holier-than-thou mealy mouths. They are their mother's children (and that's a whole 'nother story...there were good reasons for his divorce). I'm not finished fighting for us, not until he throws me out the door and sells the house out from under me. That's what he wants now, since daughter lambasted him so badly on Monday...sell the house this spring and go far away where we'll all have to do an internet search just to find him. We've come too far and worked too hard to just give up and roll over on the say-so of these two creatures. My nerves are shot, the dr wants to hospitalize me for my own protection, and my fiance is probably worse off than me at this point. One day at a time, that's all we can handle right now. Meanwhile, the wedding date is coming up fast and no one knows the wedding has been called off besides my younger son, fiance's older sister, and his two heathens. That leaves about 40 others who are still planning to show up at our doorstep for a wedding in 24 days. Still working on how to word the uninvitations. "Due to the fact that G's grown children hate P, the wedding has been cancelled". "C and T have finally won the final battle and the war, so the wedding is off". "Don't show up on the 23rd 'cause there ain't gonna be a wedding". Hell, maybe I'll just lock the door and turn off the lights. Everyone has been so excited and happy for us. All our family and friends know the time frame involved in the engagement, and it's just plain humiliating to have to tell them that I've been tossed over for two spoiled creatures who don't give a rat's ass about anyone else so long as they get what they want. Makes me look bad for having faith all these years, makes him look even worse for dumping me, and I hate the thought of anyone thinking badly of him. I'm used to having it for myself where this issue is concerned, but he's always been the good guy (and he'll always be the good guy in my eyes). Yeah, I deserve better and am working on the self-esteem thing, but for now I need to concentrate on the engagement, or lack of. Thanks again for the kind words and I'll keep you posted on this. Keep thinking good thoughts! ....Pat

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Q: What do you do when you waited thirteen years for his children to grow up so you could marry and now the grown children are using emotional sabotage to break it up just weeks before the wedding?
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