I am looking for help in deciding on whether or not I should end my relationship. I have been dating a woman with 3 children for the last 4 years. When I met her things were great. I have a good job and she has a good job. Her ex husband is quite wealthy and does very little to help the children other than provide child support. 3 years ago she quit her job abruptly and asked if f she could take a year off of work to focus on the kids. I told her yes we would be fine. Many sad events transpired over the last three years and now she is stressing about money because she will be losing child support within the next two years. I love her but no longer feel true love for her. She has violent mood swings and if classified she would be an alcoholic. She has quit several jobs because she always finds fault with her employers. She also was fired from a position. I really feel like she is just using me as a personal bank as I have already replaced several major appliances, provided a down payment for her vehicle and paid for all three kids social activities. I know she is a good person but it breaks my heart that I would be leaving the kids behind (though I would stay in touch). We are on different paths at this time in our lives. I am boring and save money for the future but she blows through her child support every month. I pay most of the bills as well. Please any advice on what I should do and how to do it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all!
It sounds like she is using you. You have the option of walking away from her and continuing your relationship with the children. You've been with them four years - a substantial amount, but it's not like you've been there their whole lives. I don't know if the children's father lives nearby (they won't want to change schools at this point) or if you are in a position to speak or arrange with their father for YOU to be their guardian because their alcoholic mother has abdicated her responsibility.
Their father is obligated to provide child support, which should be spent ON THE CHILDREN. He's not obligated to support an ex-wife who by your own account, had a good job and was able to provide for herself.
She has no motivation to work because you're enabling her alcoholism. She can quit her jobs, or refuse to function in them because you've demonstrated your willingness to support her.
You've posted essentially the same question twice, but I didn't read the other one. Do you live in her house or did you retain your own?
So, you can leave. You can leave and arrange to care to the children somehow. You Can tell the ex his kids are living with an alcoholic, (but the kids aren't likely to want to change schools at this point.) You can stick it out for two more years until the kids turn 18. As someone who was married to an alcoholic, I can tell you YOU can't change HER. You CAN set boundaries, but in this case, boundaries are about YOUR OWN behavior, not hers. You can decide you're not going to bail her out of her troubles, you're not going to sleep with her when she's drunk. Notice these are all about YOUR behavior, the only person whose behavior you can control.
At the end of the day, you're responsible for your own actions just as your partner is. If she has a drinking problem, then it's hers to sort, not yours. Sure, you can hang around and try to support her but it's still hers to sort. In the meantime, the kids could to go to their father and you could get on with your life.
On the other hand, if you decide to stay, then you know what you have to do and what you have to cop to see it through. Your partner may get her life together quick, if ever, or it could take years, who knows.
Addicts have long recovery road if and when they recognise that they have a problem & it's never easy, especially for those who are closest to them.
Thanks Manalone. I originally was posting this one and it appeared to be lost to cyberspace before the final posting.I retained my own property but am residing at her property. The children are older and all she talks about is what are we going to do when the child support runs out. We argue all the time and she tells me to leave. I pack up some belongings and take off and no more than 10 minutes later it is please come back. If I say no it is aggressive texts and if you don’t come back don’t ever come back and do not contact me or my children. The most recent return we talked it through and I decided I would stay but I was done with the arguing and the drinking. All was fine that morning as we talked about how she was offered a job and then late in the afternoon it was “don’t come home”. I asked if I could come retrieve my things and she said no. I went and kept a very calm tone and told her I left the day before because you asked me to. She fires back with you always deflect this on me. I am not perfect, and we have had our loud arguing spats, but I can no longer continue you this way. She talks about money as you have to live life because we are all going to be ash someday but when I say but you have to save money otherwise you can’t have a daily existence (housing, car, electric, etc) it’s like I’m the most uptight person in the world. I don’t want to spend money on lavish vacations, especially when I’m paying my own bills and a majority of her utilities.
She's basically using you & using your conscience to do the right thing by her. If you can't stand this behaviour and you're not in love with this woman, then block her on the phone and walk away and go and lead your life without looking back over your shoulder. The quicker you can manage this, the easier your life will become but the decision is yours and yours alone to make.
Since you still have your own home (assuming you haven't rented it out) you're golden. You go to work every day, she's drunk most of the time? Start removing your things a few at a time dropping them back at your own place. I had a room mate do this when she was moving back in with her estranged husband, it was weeks before we noticed. Does she go out drinking with her friends? Excellent opportunity to take the rest of your stuff and go.
You have the phone numbers of her children, I'm guessing. You can call them if you want, and they can call you. No need to continue a relationship with her.
Manalone makes the point clearer than I did: You can continue to stay, but you need to own that decision and be realistic about what your life will be like. You can't love her into sobriety, I know this from experience.
OLDMAINER, Thank you for your advice as well. I have already been doing that for several weeks now. I have been moving things out very slowly as not to tip her off. Fortunately I never moved any of the big things from my home so it’s mainly just clothing that I need to move in a hurry. Unfortunately she has no friends that she goes out drinking with. She is by the truest definition of an alcoholic and drinks once she is up and all day into the wee hours of the morning. With regards to the children yes I do have their phone numbers. She uses them as the excuse not to work. They are 15 & 17 and have no responsibilities whatsoever. She makes them do no chores, not even clean their own dishes. I love them but they have no structure. I feel she holds me having two parents who made good money for giving me the opportunity to go to a private school and come out of college with no debt and she throws this in my face as she did not have the opportunity. She says she is at the finish line with them and once they are off to college she will go back to work and will make more than me. I told her that may be the truth but starting a career in your mid forties with no college background will make that difficult. When I bring it up that both of my parents worked and I still made it to school functions and such she comes back at me with “I want to be able to see my kids and do things with them”. It was exciting and new at first and I was head over heels for her but once she quit her job and other life events (death of a family member) she has fallen deeper and deeper into her depression and alcoholism and there is nothing I can do to get her out of that. I realize it and just wish it would have been sooner as she says if we even discuss separating that she is too old to date and that I have wasted her time.