This topic contains 11 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by SG 3 months, 1 week ago.
March 12, 2018 at 6:56 pm #692733
I’ve been dating a man for a few months and things are good. But there’s a concern. He has two grown up kids from his previous marriage and his relationship with them is quite strained. He also doesn’t have the best relationship with his sister, but I don’t know why.
The only thing I know is that his sister is a smoker and that he offered her money if she’d quit smoking. He’s well off, not sure if she is. At one point she supposedly turned their mother against him by telling her lies and she also badmouthed him to his kids. I guess it’s more to the story than this, but he won’t go into details about it. He says he might tell me more in the future about why they have this bad relationship.
He’s also told me that he had no contact with his mother for a while too, because of something bad she did. I don’t want to pry, but I just feel uneasy about it. Maybe they’re not that nice, but it feels like he lays all the blame on them.
Then, there’s his kids. His former wife left him for a new man. He hasn’t badmouthed her too much, but he dropped a few hints that he thinks she’s not a good person. His daughter is supposedly distressed in some way, he won’t tell me why, but he’s implied it’s because the home of his former wife has a toxic family dynamic.
Anyway, after his divorce he spent a few years helping raising the kids, but when they became teenagers he left the country for four years for a job opportunity in Australia. He didn’t go home during this period and his kids didn’t visit him either. Not sure if they even kept in touch. I find this really strange. He justifies leaving them by claiming they were so busy with school and friends at that time, that he wouldn’t have seen much of them anyway.
When he got back from Australia, he tried to reconnect with his kids, but they have been quite reluctant. I do understand that they’re hurt. He feels like he’s tried to reach out to them multiple times, and has kind of given up on restoring things. It’s been 3 years now, and the relationship between him and the kids hasn’t improved that much. At the same time, he’s very eager to start a new family with me in the future.
It’s none of my business, but I think all this says something about him as a person. It kind of bothers me. I’ve not yet met his sister, nor his kids, but I will at some point. Thoughts?
March 12, 2018 at 6:57 pm #692734
Headline: *concernMarch 12, 2018 at 7:06 pm #692739
Yes I would be concerned too. If he’s fallen out with or not close to any member of his family, plus he abandoned his kids for a long time, I would wonder if he was the problem here, not them. Does he have friends?March 12, 2018 at 7:16 pm #692744
Thanks Hannah, he does have quite a few acquaintances, and seems popular among his colleagues. But as far as I know he has very few really close friends, only a couple that I know of. To me he always seems so friendly, caring and agreeable, which is why I’m confused about his estranged relations to his own family members.March 12, 2018 at 7:40 pm #692755
It sounds like his ex-wife has poisoned his children’s minds regarding him. This happens more often than people think.
I read a story a while back written by a man in his early 40s. When the author was 8 he came back home from school one day to find his mother very angry. The mother told him that his father had run away with his secretary and he wouldn’t be seeing his father again. The boy spent the next ten years writing to his father,sending him Christmas and birthday cards and not once did he get a reply from his father. The author spent the next 20+ years hating his father which his mother actively encouraged by her non-stop belittling of her ex-husband.
Well one day the author’s paternal aunt contacted him and revealed that his father was in hospital with cancer and it was only a matter of days. The author tells us that he was beyond furious that a man who had completely cut him out of his life for almost 35 years had the unmitigated ball to attend at his deathbed. Once again his mother bolstered her son’s hatred of his father with her belittling of her ex-husband.
To cut a long story short,the author did travel to see his dying rather and there in the hospital room he received a great shock. The father had not run away with his secretary,the author’s mother had thrown him out of his own house and made up that excuse. The dying rather told his son that he had written to him many thousands of times but never received a single reply. The father revealed also that he had been paying his ex-wife alimony and child support for many years,he had the documentation to prove it. The author’s mother had always led her son to believe that his father only sent money occasionally. Father and son where reunited.
About 6 months after his father’s death the author’s mother passed away suddenly. A few weeks after her death,the author was cleaning out the old parental house when up in the attic he came across a trunk which contain thousands of yellowing letters and cards and a number of toys and gifts. The letters where from his father.
For 35 years the author’s mother had lied to him consistently about his father making him out to be a complete monster. The author was deeply shocked to find that it was his mother who was the black-hearted villain in the saga.March 12, 2018 at 8:04 pm #692759
Yes but this guy’s own mother and sisters have issues with him too. I would be cautious and ask a few questions. Try to meet his family if you can.
My ex told me all these horrible stories about his terrible family. Turns out the mother was lovely and he wasn’t!
It could be the other way round though. He may come from a bad family.March 13, 2018 at 7:06 am #692792
Like they say…”you can pick your friends but you can’t pick your family!”
I would consider these ‘pink flags’ until you have more information to work with. Family dynamics, especially divorces, are not always black and white. My brother recently went through this when his son was 12! For his entire life my brother was actively involved in his life when his ex suddenly, without any provocation, charged him with child abuse and made up all kinds of lies about him! It took him thousands of dollars and over a year in court to not only defend himself against her false accusations but be able to spend time with his kid again!
It exists and happens more often than you know; as does sibling rivalry/dysfunction. I worked in probate and saw the WORST in siblings during a time they should be supporting each other but instead were fighting, making all types of accusations—it was horrible!
It sounds like he may want a ‘do over’ and that IMO would NOT be a good reason to marry or start a family with this man. How old are you as he must be in his 40’s or even 50ish, plus you hardly know each other. I would suggest you meet his family and try to get a better sense of who he is a person before deciding if you want to continue with him or not.March 13, 2018 at 11:04 am #692806
I’m sorry but at some point when he doesn’t have a good relationship with anyone in his life he needs to start realizing HE could be the problem. And SG can write about some sweet sentimental story that may happen in about one in a million cases. I mean if the man can write that many letters why can’t he show up at the house or school to see his son just once? Personally I would never date a man who abandoned his children and didn’t see them for 4 years. If he’s as well off as you say and this was a job opportunity he had the means to go see his children or have them come visit him. I think it would have been awesome to visit Australia as a teenager!! I think you’re making a very poor decision if you’re looking at this man as a potential life partner and father to your children. Any man who would abandon his kids for that long could abandon you and any kid you may have if you stick around and have one
It also says something about his conflict resolution skills if he can’t get along with anyone in his family. My brother and I fought sure, but there’s no way he could have turned my own mother against me. The fact he had no contact with her for awhile and is blaming her without telling you why sounds like a lame excuse. Seems he’s very quick to blame everyone else for badmouthing him and blaming a toxic family dynamic. If his children’s home is so toxic why would he leave them there for 4 years? They obviously want nothing to do with him for a reason and if they’re grown now it’s their decision to make not their mother’s. The fact he’s given up trying to restore a relationship with them tells me what kind of person he is. Of course he’s very eager to start a new family with you because he’s totally screwed this one up!! Even when my ex was badmouthing me when we were going through the divorce his parents still loved me and adored me and called me, sent me birthday and Christmas presents, etc. Anyone looking from the outside could clearly see it was simply the case of a disgruntled ex because I left him and not that I was a bad person. And now just a few years later I’m remarried and we co-parent like champs with no issues! In the case of your guy there isn’t a single person in his life he has a good relationship with. I would drop him like a hot potato.March 13, 2018 at 11:34 am #692811
I’d definitely step lightly with this guy. Any person who can’t get along with members of their own family probably has some issues. The fact that he’s blaming everyone else for his life problems isn’t very attractive either. Be careful because u may be the next person he bad mouths.March 13, 2018 at 3:41 pm #692848
Dont get pregnant. I would not have kids with this man. Clearly, he blames others when things go wrong. I think you are wasting your youth for him. I would get out. be smart, be shrewd.March 13, 2018 at 6:47 pm #692901
Thanks everyone for giving me some perspective! As some of you pointed out, we can’t choose our own family. I’ve experienced fall outs in my own family as well. And maybe they’re not that nice. But I think I would feel better about it if I knew a bit more of the reason why he doesn’t get along with his sister and why he at some point felt the need to cut off contact with his mother. Not knowing why and him saying it’s because of their wrong doings makes me question whether he can admit to his own flaws our not.
Luckily, his relationship with his mother has improved a lot and he visits her often, which is great.
However, what bothers me the most is that he left his children for four years and not visit them once during that time. And then come home and expect them to welcome him with open arms. I wish he would admit that leaving them for so long was a bit selfish. Instead I feel like he is justifying it by claiming they were too busy with friends to have time for him, so he might as well do his own thing. His children seems really nice, from what I know.
And then, as one of you mentioned, it seems like he wants a “do over” with me, which doesn’t feel that great. Will need to proceed with caution and meet his family. Would be interesting to get my own impression of them and see how they interact.March 13, 2018 at 7:43 pm #692920
I wish that my brother-in-law would go ‘no contact’ with his mother. That woman is as toxic as Chernobyl. She makes Joan Crawford look sane.