Sunday, December 28, 2014

The one with the sun, the moon, the stars, the universe and everything that is glittery and shiny beyond that

Dear Dad,

I have a boyfriend of 6 1/2 years. We have 2 kids together - young ones for that matter, ages 4 and 2. The beginning of our relationship was great! Cuddles, sex, holding hands in public - all was good. Then we had our first child after 2 years of being together. Everything went downhill. He started making stupid jokes, which hurt my feelings a lot.  He started cussing at me too. I'm a Christian, but him - I'm not sure. He stopped kissing me in public, not like I like making out in public, but he wouldn't even do a simple kiss! Even holding hands he would sigh like it was a chore or something, and roll his eyes.

Skip foreword 2 more years and my daughter was born. He was making a living for us in a different state and she was born with him not here. I have a couple Hispanic best friends and she was born with a dark complexion. He flipped a lid and started all sorts of accusations. His mom flipped a lid on him! So did everyone else. When he was enlightened he was apologetic and all sorts. Still to this day he makes jokes about her and she's 2 years old now. Hurts a lot. 

Now present day I've caught him twice in 3 months cheating. The first time it hurt, lost all trust and respect. I thought about leaving, but have decided to try and work things out. Then, 1 week ago I went through his phone and found out the day he took off with our son for a father-son day, he took off to see some other woman and stayed the night with her.

Now you are thinking:  why is this dumb woman staying with such a low life?! I love him. My kids love him. Back home, my family could not help me. Druggies. So I don't want my kids around that. I try to make it on my own being a SAHM. I have my own business but it's literally seasonal. I don't have much skills for anyone to hire me even part time. Very discouraged. So, now I don't really have a question but just looking for hopeful words of advice.

Dear 'Hopeful':

Stupid jokes are kind of my thing, and I cuss like a sailor if the kids aren't around. But making stupid jokes and cussing at my wife? No. Just no.

As I was reading your question, and learned that he insinuated that he was not the father based on her coloring, all I could think of was: "this guy is cheating on her." I then read the rest of your question.  I am so sorry you are going through this, Hopeful.

As my readers know, I think a couple can get past cheating, and I do not immediately brand the cheater "evil," but rather "animal." 

Cheating, with that being said, is such a betrayal of trust that almost literally,  a new relationship has to be formed. If you are going to survive cheating, new boundaries must be put in place that make both partners feel secure about the relationship, and said boundaries must be respected.

But, Hopeful, your reasoning for staying (and I know it is limited to the information given in a short question) seems to be about lack of help and lack of skills/resources for you to consider anything else. Do not stay with him if that is the reason!  There is public assistance, if you need it, or you can brainstorm and figure out a way to turn your business into something year round. One can sell snow cones just as well in December as they can in July if they have the perfect "aha" moment, realizing the vehicle that will allow it.

My advice is to go in your bathroom right now and take a long hard look at yourself in the mirror. Are you there yet? Seriously, don't keep reading until you can see your self in a mirror.

OK: You are you, the mother of two beautiful children and you do what you do day in and day out for your kids! You deserve "to infinity and beyond" and then beyond that from your partner and he damn well better put in 100%! You gave this man the gift of his two children, and have come from a difficult place (I'm gathering), and are not dumb. You are beautiful, special, and unique - everyone is in their own way. You deserve to be treated as such, and owe it to yourself to demand that of your partner. Can you see past the pain and the hurt you've probably been through to truly see your self? Keep looking in the mirror!

Think about your children - would you want your son to be like this man?  What about your daughter -  do you dream for her to one day be in your shoes?  If you continue to allow this, Hopeful, your children will think this treatment is normal and acceptable.  

Can Mr. 'Non-Man' ever truly treat you how you truly deserve to be treated, and help mold your children into the adults they will one day become? Think back to when you were a little girl and tried on different princess dresses, and looked in the mirror and dreamed your beautiful dreams and envisioned your adult life. Is this it? If the answer is 'yes', set some boundaries in your relationship. If not, (I'm finally saying it, long term readers of 'Dear Dad', even though I can't stand the saying) kick him to the curb! 

Life is not a dress rehearsal...we get slightly less than what we expect for ourselves - so expect the sun, the moon, the stars, the universe, and everything that is glittery and shiny beyond that.

Sending good thoughts and energy to you, Hopeful. Please keep us updated.

This question makes me think about my married friends - most happily, some not.  Why do some people 'settle' instead of shooting the moon?  

As part of this advice column, I encourage readers to use the comment section to have a conversation on the subjects that are presented for 'Dear Dad.'  I will be around all day to be part of the conversation.  What are everyone's thoughts? 

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