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She Wants More but I have Concerns

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  • She Wants More but I have Concerns

    There is so much to discuss but I will try and sum it up quickly:

    Been with my gf for 4.5 years. I moved in with her, her now 11 y/o daughter and her now 22 y/o brother 2.5 years ago. The living situation for the following 2 years was not great. Her brother, while admittedly has some mental health issues, did not pull his weight and my gf and I picked up his slack physically and even financially. He moved out with his gf this past summer so now it is the 3 of us.

    My gf wants to take the next step, buying a house and even marriage. I am a little nervous to take that plunge again for several reasons:

    * I have already been married and it turned out awful. I know it can always be different the second time around but at 40 y/o and not wanting kids of my own, I don't really see the point.
    * She is still legally married to her "ex" and the father of her kid. She claims that the costs involved with the divorce is why she hasn't filed yet. But does it really make sense to propose to someone who is still married?
    * Her family has always been very nice to me but they are troubled. Her three siblings all have dealt with substance abuse or have dated people with the same issues. Her mother also has mental health issues. At any point in the future it is realistic that one of them would need a place to stay for an extended period time and/or would need financial help.
    * Her kid is great and I care about her. While I don't do everything for her, I do my share. My gf doesn't drive so I make sure she gets to school, daycare, choir practice, friends houses, etc. My gf and I split the bills so essentially I help feed her and keep a roof over her head and a safe living environment. I buy her gifts for holidays and birthdays and when the three of us go to the movies, dinner, etc, I pay fairly often. I am a person who doesn't express emotions easily so I am not a lovey dovey type caregiver but her kid does love me. She's a good kid in generally although I do feel she can take me for granted. I hear a lot of statements from her like "you have to take me here, get me a drink and silverware (after I served her a meal), etc. Maybe normal for an 11 y/o but my gf doesn't always correct her.
    * One of the biggest concerns is that my gf wants me to take on more responsibility for the kid, mostly financial. When we first got together, I told her that I would gladly accept her kid but preferred not to take on serious emotional and financial responsibility. Her husband continues to back off and pays less and less. She is an expensive child and while children should not go without, I really can't afford to take on the costs involved in raising her for another 7 years. I could see if the father was totally out of picture but this request from my gf stems from the fact that her ex simply wont step up to the plate.
    * Despite the things I do for her and her kid, I get a lot of passive aggressive comments like, "its so hard being a single mom and getting no help, It a shame my daughter has no man in her life, no one cleans around here (I do clean a lot but her brother didnt when he lived there). These statements simply aren't true.

    In spite of all of the above, I do think my gf is a good person who loves me and is trying to do right by her family and her child. But with all of these issues, I can sense lots of trouble once we reach the married state. I really don't want to go through a divorce again. I have suggested counseling and am willing to try that first.

    Are the issues above valid concerns on my end? Can they be worked out? I am not saying I have been the best partner either but I have tried my best to do right by her and her family.

  • #2
    They are valid. And do not marry her based on your concerns.. tread slowly. I don't feel like your girlfriend has your best interests at heart if you have these concerns and it's really doing no one any favours if you are not telling her the same things that you are telling us. I think you just need time to work through your feelings before you can voice your thoughts more cohesively which is a good idea. You can do this on the forum with us anonymously. You do need to face the fact that you have to discuss these issues with her now or later, at some point and don't wait for it to get to a boiling point either whereby one person is thinking the relationship is ok and going one way and you're going in the other direction. The earlier the better and that timeliness may make or break your relationship. There's a better chance of it working out by being sincere now than delaying the issues that very obviously involve her and her daughter.

    I would have a real problem personally if a man's child was disrespectful and badly raised. It also says a lot about the man (in your case, your girlfriend). Children watch their parents and mimic behaviours perfectly. These are red flags. You seem responsible and like you have a steady job and a career that offers stability. You might want to really think about whether this woman is taking away from that or contributing to it. Successful relationships should work like synergy and keep adding together.