Don’t let gratitude damage future
- When I met my on-off boyfriend of nine years, he helped me leave a very abusive relationship, which I’d been trying to flee for years.
I was also struggling with mental illness/addiction and on a self-destructive path.
However, he’s still married to his ex. They’re legally separated and haven’t been together for years.
We now have two children together. He keeps promising to clear up his divorce and gave me an engagement ring.
But I know that he may never finalize his divorce. He’s self-employed and hasn't dealt with tax issues, which he lied to me about.
When I ask why he hasn't finalized things, I never get a clear answer. I think it’s related to proving his income.
I feel like a fool because I love him.
He's also lied about his age which I discovered when we travelled together.
He’s 20 years older than me and we can never have a future because he has bad debts.
I want to move on but don't feel able to manage on my own. I feel depressed and trapped, longing for a real life.
He hides me from friends and family. I feel that my children and I are invisible.
- He rescued you when most needed, and you love him, which makes it hard to confront the negatives.
But you need to learn whether, in your jurisdiction, there are common-law benefits to you – especially child support and help with accommodation - despite his not being divorced, should you leave him or he dies.
Tell him that you and the children can’t be left with nothing. If he won’t divorce, he needs to write a will leaving you whatever he can – home, any private savings, etc. But make sure you’re also not left with his personal debts.
If you decide that you must leave him, get advice from a local YWCA or Family Services Association that helps single moms find housing and gives emotional support. TIP OF THE DAY Don’t let gratitude obscure your need to secure your children’s future.