For the past three years I’ve been dating this man and we have an 8-month old child together.
He’s constantly asking for a stronger commitment from me, and at first I obliged. But, now after all of the events that have transpired, I’m not even sure if I even want to continue being with this man.
Let me start from the beginning. At first it was like a match made in heaven. We fell for each other hard and fast. He had 3 children from a previous marriage, and since the mother was incarcerated I thought nothing of it. After 6 months he proposed and we were planning our wedding and life together. I was recently divorced at the time so I was a little apprehensive about jumping into another marriage, especially if I had to deal with baby mama drama.
We moved in together a year into the relationship. We had to put the wedding on hold due to financial issues. The move was a bit of a wake-up call because I found myself being a mother to his children, being that they lived with us full-time. One day, 5 months into the pregnancy, I was cleaning out our room, and found letters that his children’s mom had written him. And, to my surprise, from these letters, I had discovered that they were still married. I confronted him about it and he assured me that once she got out he would file for divorce. Well, she got out. Took me through so much drama that I can’t bare to put it in the letter. She constantly called me, harassed me on Facebook, and via email.
Here it is almost a year later and they are still married. They only interact when she calls for the kids. At first she wouldn’t agree to the divorce, but now she is. However, now he’s claiming that he doesn’t have the money for a divorce. My question is, should I leave him or continue to wait like a sitting duck? I love him but it’s really getting old. I honestly don’t even want to marry him anymore because I know that the ex will always be in my life if I do. I feel bad that my child won’t grow up with her father in the household, but is it really worth my sanity? – Ms. Sitting Duck
Dear Ms. Sitting Duck,
Ugh! (Screams with a bellowing Noooooooooooooooo!) You women and this, “I love him, but….” You are not in love. It is lust, or strong like disguised as love. Love is not foolish and naïve. It is not being blind to obvious ills, wrongs, and warnings. Love protects, cares, nurtures, and supports. So, the better question is do you love yourself? And, if you say that you love yourself, then would you make these foolish mistakes, or would you love yourself enough to say, “You know what, I love me and I know what’s good for me. And, this is not good for me.”
So, now, I guess you can consider this a lesson learned, huh? (Side-eyeing you). Girl, the real tea and shade is that this man was so anxious to propose, and move you in with him because he needed some help with his three kids. His wife was incarcerated, and he was left with raising three kids, alone. Hmmm, now that should have raised an eyebrow. So, in his panic, he says, “I need somebody to help me with these kids because I can’t quit my job. This is a full-time job of cooking, cleaning, caring, and taking care of three kids. It’s too much. I need a woman to help me with this.” Therefore, he was only looking for a woman to care for him and his kids. He was not interested in finding a mate, partner, or soul partner. Girl, he duped you into believing he wanted you and you fell for it.
This is a lesson for all you women out there who are dating, or potentially will date any man who claims to be divorce. Ask to see the divorce papers. You want to see some proof he is no longer married. Make sure it has an official seal on it, with some appropriate court, and judge’s signature. Hell, I will take it a bit further and get any verification of his financial commitments to her post-divorce. Is he paying alimony, child support, or if she is on any of his insurance plans, car notes, or cell phone plans? Find out if he is sending her money, or if she is benefitting from him financially and in what capacity. If you don’t, then you will find yourself in a trick bag, and the ole okey doke line of, “I can’t afford it.” Or, “I’m broke.” And, “Financially it is not a good time for me right now.”
More importantly, if he is recently divorced, and he has children, then you need to ask yourself if you are ready to be a mother. Are you ready to care for children that are not your own? Do you want to deal with baby momma drama? These are real questions you need to ask yourself before dating any divorced or single man who is caring for his own children. Because with him comes his children, just like a man taking on a woman with children. If this is something you do not desire or wish to be a part of, then move on, and find someone who is divorced or single with no children.
But, I’m not letting you off the hook because you had apprehensions throughout this relationship, yet, you moved forward. Why? Why did you ignore your gut, intuition, and that little voice advising you that this was not a good idea? Where you caught up in the attention, affection, and good loving he was providing you? Did you allow your judgment to be blurred by the, “I got a good man who is taking care of his three kids while their mother is incarcerated. So, he must be good enough for me.”
Ma’am, the truth is that he lied about his divorce. He deceived you into thinking he was no longer married. He manipulated you into moving in with him and playing house. You are taking care of him and his children. So, what are you getting out of this? What benefit do you get from this relationship? What is he bringing to the table? And, honestly, you are living with a married man. How about that trick bag!?!
Then, he lies and tells you that once the mother of his children is released from prison that he will get a divorce. Welp, she is released, and it’s over a year later, and now he is crying that he can’t afford it. But, this is not the first time a financial situation has come up. Weren’t you supposed to get married before, but all of a sudden a financial situation prevented you from getting married? Yeah, he realized that his lie about him being divorced would be discovered, so he threw a monkey wrench in that plan, and gave you some song and dance about money. Now, that his wife is out of jail, but he promised to get a divorce, and all of sudden he can’t afford it. I just want you to notice how this financial situation seems to conveniently arise at the right times. Hmph. Sips tea and glances at the morning news show.
This is moment and opportunity to create a dialogue, communication, and action plan with your man. You can be honest with him about your feelings, how he’s hurt you, how this situation has made you feel distrustful of him, and you didn’t sign up for this drama. Then, you can set a time line for him to get a divorce from his wife. Within the next three months he has consulted a lawyer. Six months, they have filed the paperwork for divorce, and by the end of the year, the papers are signed, and he is legally divorced. (By the way, he is not going to divorce her. I’m just saying.) Or, you can move out, get a place for you and your child, put him child support, and tell him to get his life in order, fix his situation, and once it’s resolved then maybe, just maybe, you will reconsider your relationship with him, and if you want to move forward. Stop acting powerless, and as if you don’t have a voice in this. You do. He lied to you. He deceived you into this situation. If anything he owes you lots of apologies, an explanation, and to start being honest and truthful with you. Don’t let him off this easy. Take back your power, and own your life. It’s time to set a plan of action, stick to your plan, and be proactive. If you keep sitting like a duck, then how do you expect to become the beautiful swan? – Terrance Dean
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