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Should I continue dating this man?


livingalife2009

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livingalife2009

I'm recently divorced and starting dating with intention and vow to not date anyone I want/need to change. I'm seeing a man who seems to treat me well.

What I'm concerned about are how he and his adult children treat each other, how abusive his last marriage sounds, and how he talks about his sister. 

He visited his adult son in another city. They ate out everyday the daughter never offered to pay once.

The son took him out to a b irthday dinner but the dad had to pay for his own birthday dinner and for his son's dinner too.

The bf friend said that's just how his son was raised.

My ex's family was toxic and I vow to not ever date anyone whose family is not kind and loving and yet here I'm and I'm wondering if bf will change if he's in a kind and loving relationship or should I just end things with him before I invest too.much. 

I make a conscious effort to teach my kids how to respect their abd abd how to copy his good examples and igone the bad ones 

 

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How old are his adult children? If they’re in their early 20s, that’s pretty normal for a parent who makes good money to pay for their dinners even if it’s for dads birthday. 

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Alpacalia

I can understand this dynamic as I was raised like this too but it should be a mutual respect and appreciation, not just one-sided.

Does he see any issues with his adult children's behavior? How does he talk about his ex-wife and sister? Is he open to working on any issues? Families each have their own dynamics that can be difficult to change so it's good that you're recognizing this early on. It's not your responsibility to "fix" him or his family dynamics.

My father (before his stroke) would never let me pay for anything either, I would offer but over the years he would not accept. He took very good care of me as an adult. My father is very generous person and wants to take care of his kids even as adults. He is coming to stay with me for a few months so I can help care for him post-stroke.

That being said, I believe a relationship is not just between two individuals, it is also between two families. From what you've described, it sounds like your boyfriend's relationship with his adult children may not change much, even if he's in a kind and loving relationship.

If you find that it's causing too much tension and stress in the relationship, it may be best to end things before investing too much.

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d0nnivain

I think you are starting to see that with him you are returning to old familiar patterns.  Think long & hard about this.   

I don't know that I agree with you about not dating someone you have to change but rather you shouldn't date somebody who won't change.   Here the patterns you are seeing have been ingrained over a lifetime.  The kids are going to be resentful when the money gets cut off, even if it's for the dad's birthday dinner.   Your guy may not want to rock that boat believing it will cost him a relationship with his kids.  Your relationship won't survive if he blames you for ostracizing the kids.  

Only you know if you want to continue but make that decision with your eyes wide open & based on this bad behavior never changing.  Do you really want that?  

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livingalife2009
1 hour ago, Alpacalia said:

I can understand this dynamic as I was raised like this too but it should be a mutual respect and appreciation, not just one-sided.

Does he see any issues with his adult children's behavior? How does he talk about his ex-wife and sister? Is he open to working on any issues? Families each have their own dynamics that can be difficult to change so it's good that you're recognizing this early on. It's not your responsibility to "fix" him or his family dynamics.

My father (before his stroke) would never let me pay for anything either, I would offer but over the years he would not accept. He took very good care of me as an adult. My father is very generous person and wants to take care of his kids even as adults. He is coming to stay with me for a few months so I can help care for him post-stroke.

That being said, I believe a relationship is not just between two individuals, it is also between two families. From what you've described, it sounds like your boyfriend's relationship with his adult children may not change much, even if he's in a kind and loving relationship.

If you find that it's causing too much tension and stress in the relationship, it may be best to end things before investing too much.

I'm sorry to hear about your father's stroke. I hope he's getting better.

When I met my guy for the first time, I told him that families are very important to me. By that, I meant I wanted to get into a relationship where everyone respected everyone else.

My ex and I respect and help each other.  Our children are young teenagers but I would provide them with the funds to take their dad to a birthday dinner.

The boyfriend didn't feel good about how his son treated him. He said he would talk to him.

In his last marriage, the wife cheated. She assualted the boyfriend and the boyfriend called the police on her. During one of our conversations about families, the boyfriend called his sister a B. He and his young son (then) traveled all over the world, the wife almost never joined them. According to him, the ex lied about significant things in the marriage.  My question is, why did she lied. Was he too controlling that her voice didn't matter so she lied instead?

He seems to be a responsible dad. He paid for his children's education. Tending to the needs of his 22 year old son who is in the final year of college but working already. He's about to pay for his son's graduation party although theres a friction between the mom, the dad and the son because the son wants a more lavish graduation party than his parents are not willing to pay for.

I'm puzzled as to why his children don't respect him although he seems to be a very responsible dad. His other child is 33 years old with a great job and a girlfriend. Again, he wouldn't offer to pay once when he visited him for 3 days at an expensive city where he and his younger son stayed at a hotel because the son didn't have room in his small place.

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9 hours ago, livingalife2009 said:

What I'm concerned about are how he and his adult children treat each other, how abusive his last marriage sounds, and how he talks about his sister. 

Drop and move on. You said you are dating with intention, so listen to your own rule.  This is not a man you want to associate with. The way they talk to each other is the way he will eventually talk to you.

 

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Alpacalia
21 minutes ago, livingalife2009 said:

I'm sorry to hear about your father's stroke. I hope he's getting better.

When I met my guy for the first time, I told him that families are very important to me. By that, I meant I wanted to get into a relationship where everyone respected everyone else.

My ex and I respect and help each other.  Our children are young teenagers but I would provide them with the funds to take their dad to a birthday dinner.

The boyfriend didn't feel good about how his son treated him. He said he would talk to him.

In his last marriage, the wife cheated. She assualted the boyfriend and the boyfriend called the police on her. During one of our conversations about families, the boyfriend called his sister a B. He and his young son (then) traveled all over the world, the wife almost never joined them. According to him, the ex lied about significant things in the marriage.  My question is, why did she lied. Was he too controlling that her voice didn't matter so she lied instead?

He seems to be a responsible dad. He paid for his children's education. Tending to the needs of his 22 year old son who is in the final year of college but working already. He's about to pay for his son's graduation party although theres a friction between the mom, the dad and the son because the son wants a more lavish graduation party than his parents are not willing to pay for.

I'm puzzled as to why his children don't respect him although he seems to be a very responsible dad. His other child is 33 years old with a great job and a girlfriend. Again, he wouldn't offer to pay once when he visited him for 3 days at an expensive city where he and his younger son stayed at a hotel because the son didn't have room in his small place.

Thank you. ♥️

It does sound like he has made significant efforts to be a responsible and caring father, paying for his children's education and tending to their needs even as an adult. Despite going through a difficult divorce where his ex-wife cheated and was also physically violent towards him, he continues to prioritize his role as a parent.

When we discussed his family, he did mention that his ex-wife often lied to him about important matters in their marriage. This could have been a way for her to exert some control in a situation where she may have felt powerless. Obviously there were underlying issues in their relationship that led to her lying. With his ex wife, sure, she might have felt unheard or unvalued in the relationship and turned to lying as a coping mechanism. 

In terms of his son's behavior and attitudes towards him, his son's dissatisfaction and disrespect probably stems from the divorce and the impact it had on their family. There are some financial disagreements and differing expectations between the father and son. It's difficult to say exactly why his children don't seem to show him the respect that he deserves. It could be because of their relationship with their mother and how she may have portrayed him to them. Or, their own personal issues and struggles that have nothing to do with him. Children, even adult children, are their own individuals and sometimes they make choices that their parents don't understand or agree with.

It's not your boyfriend's responsibility to foot the bill for a lavish party if it's not something he can afford or agrees with. Perhaps he struggles with setting boundaries and saying no to his children, but that's something he needs to address on his own. How does his sister fit into all of this? Why doesn't he have a good relationship with her?

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livingalife2009
3 minutes ago, Alpacalia said:

Thank you. ♥️

It does sound like he has made significant efforts to be a responsible and caring father, paying for his children's education and tending to their needs even as an adult. Despite going through a difficult divorce where his ex-wife cheated and was also physically violent towards him, he continues to prioritize his role as a parent.

When we discussed his family, he did mention that his ex-wife often lied to him about important matters in their marriage. This could have been a way for her to exert some control in a situation where she may have felt powerless. Obviously there were underlying issues in their relationship that led to her lying. With his ex wife, sure, she might have felt unheard or unvalued in the relationship and turned to lying as a coping mechanism. 

In terms of his son's behavior and attitudes towards him, his son's dissatisfaction and disrespect probably stems from the divorce and the impact it had on their family. There are some financial disagreements and differing expectations between the father and son. It's difficult to say exactly why his children don't seem to show him the respect that he deserves. It could be because of their relationship with their mother and how she may have portrayed him to them. Or, their own personal issues and struggles that have nothing to do with him. Children, even adult children, are their own individuals and sometimes they make choices that their parents don't understand or agree with.

It's not your boyfriend's responsibility to foot the bill for a lavish party if it's not something he can afford or agrees with. Perhaps he struggles with setting boundaries and saying no to his children, but that's something he needs to address on his own. How does his sister fit into all of this? Why doesn't he have a good relationship 

The sister and him are not talking to each other and he hasn't opened up to me about issues between the two of them.

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Alpacalia
13 minutes ago, livingalife2009 said:

The sister and him are not talking to each other and he hasn't opened up to me about issues between the two of them.

Well, you vowed to not date anyone that you want or need to change.

I understand why you have concerns about how he and his adult children treat each other and the dynamics of his past marriage. It can be hard to ignore especially when you have personally experienced the consequences of a toxic family dynamic such as with your ex.

From what you have observed and shared, his adult children do not seem to offer to pay or contribute, and it's concerning that the boyfriend's friend said that's "just how his son was raised". Parents need to lead by example and teach their children the value of respect, giving back, and being responsible individuals.

His ex-wife was abusive towards him and it's clear that it was a difficult and painful experience for him. The way he may talk about his sister or his past relationships may be influenced by his past experiences.

Ultimately, trust your instincts and assess if this is someone you can build a loving and healthy relationship with. While we can hope for change, we cannot force it and it may be challenging for someone to break away from behaviors and habits that have been reinforced over years. 

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Weezy1973

@livingalife2009 Nobody is designed specifically to be our partner, so there will always be some things that we just need to live with. You just have to decide whether or not these things are dealbreakers for you. 

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11 hours ago, livingalife2009 said:

My ex's family was toxic and I vow to not ever date anyone whose family is not kind and loving

The way l see it  you're about to go back to a dysfunctional dynamic you are familiar with, just like an abused woman will go in the arms of another abuser, another narsicist, another alcoholic. 

Also l would be suspicious that he is financially responsible for his children but takes 0 responsability on how they were raised. Sounds he didn't care much...and they're paying him back.

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Follow your gut....stop seeing him. Obviously he taught these kids nothing about manners or ethics....he just accepts their poor behaviour. That would be a deal breaker to me. I say stick with your set expectations.

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stillafool
13 hours ago, livingalife2009 said:

I'm recently divorced and starting dating with intention and vow to not date anyone I want/need to change.

 

13 hours ago, livingalife2009 said:

My ex's family was toxic and I vow to not ever date anyone whose family is not kind and loving and yet here I'm and I'm wondering if bf will change if he's in a kind and loving relationship or should I just end things with him before I invest too.much. 

Here you've already answered your question.  Break up with him or again you'll be settling for what you don't' want just to have a man.  Let him go.

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Nawidimaq
13 hours ago, livingalife2009 said:

I'm recently divorced and starting dating with intention and vow to not date anyone I want/need to change.

I'm and I'm wondering if bf will change  

The vowing not to do this again is in conflict with your wondering, which will lead you back to exactly where you don't want to be.

This guy isn't in alignment with your intentions/better interests. Now you know this. "How badly do you need a boyfriend?", is the question.

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Calmandfocused

I have a slightly different spin on this. 
 

My view is that his relationship with his children is absolutely nothing to do with you. If he wants to pay for his adult children to do xyz that’s up to him. 
 

You can gently help him understand  that his children perhaps take advantage of him but it’s up to him whether he wants to make that change. 
 

What you should be worried about is how he treats you and how he treats your children. Is he a good role model for your children? Suitable step father material? 
 

If you can’t see yourself ever accepting or being able to intertwine yourself with his family dynamics that’s your choice to make. 
 

Only you can decide how important this is to you. And whether you can accept the possibility that this will not change. 

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Unfortunately if you feel the need to rearrange his family dynamics and reraise his adult children according to your values, you are probably not with the right man. Basically you're incompatible if you don't respect him. 

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In what ways are the relationships problematic other than the paying situation? It's hard to say whether the lack of paying is a problem without knowing the culture and the circumstances. For instance, in some cultures it's incredibly emasculating for a father to let his daughter pay, and the son might be young and still in college?

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I am not sure if anyone can change an adult; don't expect it ;

IMO you need to find someone who matches 60-70% of your expectations and you might sacrifice some; but since family relationships are very important to you then this guy seems to be a mismatch to you .

you come from a toxic relationship ( Sorry to hear That)-so find someone not toxic ...

if he didn't teach his kids respect(money paying is not necessarly related ), he won't be respected and accordingly respect is not important to him .

 

Best of luck

 

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On 2/11/2024 at 8:09 AM, livingalife2009 said:

I'm puzzled as to why his children don't respect him although he seems to be a very responsible dad.

Quite simply, because he allows it. It sounds like he has good boundaries with his oldest son because he is a little more mature and his son has stepped up. The same can not be said for his younger children - yet. Whether that changes or not will depend on their development and whether your boyfriend does/does not establish a different kind of relationship with them.

I too would leave them to their dysfunction, as the saying goes… Ultimately, he will do what works for him and you don’t have the right (you probably can’t) change their family dynamic. You need to decide if you can tolerate this because I speak from experience, it wears you down after a while watching something happen that you would do differently… That said, if he treats you with respect and he treats your children with respect and kindness, it wouldn’t be. hUGE red flag to me.

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4 hours ago, BaileyB said:

it wears you down after a while watching something happen that you would do differently…

I agree but there are high chances this behavior will be used toward OP as well. This man calls his own sister  a B, he talks to his children with that same language. He will use that language with OP, it's only a matter of time. 

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