I met my fiancé in May 2009. At the time he had just separated from his then-wife. He saw his 4 kids randomly throughout the week but she had the house and he was staying with friends. She decided take off with the kids and tell him he would never see them again. At the time I thought if he ever gets to see his kids at all it might be weekends-I could work with that. Honestly, the thought if dating a man with kids, let alone 4 of them (ages at the time 2, 4, 7, 8) scared the living daylights out of me. Little did I know that 2 months later their mother said “I can’t handle the” a gave them up all together. My fiancé had moved in with me just prior to her giving them up (which was only a couple of months into our relationship to begin with). So overnight I became an instant mother of 4 unruly children. Now, it’s over a year later and cannot stand to even be into same room with them. We have them 24/7 and I get no escape. Their father is in the military and could get deployed ad I’d be stuck with them all by myself. We are planning a wedding for next year but I’m really having doubts if this is the right decision. I love my fiancé and he is a great man but his kids are monsters. We tried going to couples therapist but she just said my feelings would come with time. The sounds of their voices are like nails on a chalkboard to me. I don’t know if it’s because I feel they have ruined my life. I had a great relationship, a social life and money to do whatever I pleased with. I could sleep past 6 am and I could work at a job of my choice. I am well-educated and I’m stuck working as a waitress because I have to make sure I’m home for the kids to get on or off the bus so I have to work at night when my fiancé is home from work. We never had any money because let’s face it-4 kids is expensive and their dead beat Mom literally lives in a storage shed and goes to the bathroom in a bucket she wont even pay her child support which is a measly $290 a month for all 4 kids. I love my fiancé but I hate my life. Should I stay or should I go?
I think you’ve answered your own question several times, but I will play it back for you. Let’s begin with you “hate your life.”
Each piece of information you have offered comes back to the fact that this isn’t at all what you have signed up for. What you love in your fiancé is his potential, not the reality of his situation. You love what he could be if….
From your description it seems clear that these children will become your responsibility. The mother has abdicated her duty, and you will become the primary female, if not the primary adult in their lives. Do you want this? It sounds like that not only includes emotional and intellectual support for them, but also financial. If you are willing to do so then make peace with your decision and find ways to love them, cherish them and help them. But if you can’t accept this responsibility, have an honest discussion with your fiancé about your limits. Don’t hold back. Tell him what you are and are not willing to do. This discussion will help you decide if you want to add the legal commitment of marriage in extending your relationship.
The military has some wonderful counselors for the family. I strongly recommend making the connection to one of them if your decision is still unclear.
Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.
APA Reference Tomasulo, D. (2018). I Hate My Fiancé’s Kids. Psych Central.
Retrieved on September 22, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/09/27/i-hate-my-fiance%e2%80%99s-kids/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.