I’m very confused.
I’m 24, I’ve been with my fiance for 7 years and we have a 5-year-old daughter.
My fiance is a good man. He absolutely adores me, he is the BEST father I’ve ever seen, he works his ass off for his family and he just has the kindest heart. We don’t fight often (& never in front of our daughter) but there are some issues in our realtionship.
He doesn’t know how to manage money. I try to save but once he gets his hands on it, he blows it and it’s gone. His mom is always asking for money..she knows the days he gets paid and she blows up his phone on pay day. She actually blows up his phone every day..she will call OVER AND OVER until someone answers. THere have been times that we took a 2 hour nap and wake up to “23 missed calls-Mom” no joke. And it’s usually not anything important, just something like asking him to go to the grocery store for her. They are of a different culture and in his culture, the nem pretty much have to do everything their mom (or sister, if he had one) says. His dad died 7 years ago..and his mom is disabled (diabetes relatied issues) and she has two other sons, ages 13 and 8. So I do understand that she needs help sometimes..but I believe that she goes too far. She is a very demanding woman. And she lives with her sister so it’s not like she’s completely alone. Also, his little brothers are the most disrespectful kids I’ve ever met. They have behavorial issues and don’t do well in school..they’re just so rude. And I’m terrified that it will rub off onto my daughter. She looks up to them and I wish they’d set a better example. There are so many cutlural differences that I don’t understand..but I’m not going to go into all that.
Our personalites are opposite too. We started dating when we were 17..back then all I cared about was that he was the star of the football team and he was sweet. I was so infatuated with him back then that I looked past all the differences. I’m known for my sense of humor…I laugh at everything and I’m always joking about stuff. My whole family is the same way. My fiance is SO serious. He doesn’t get half of people’s jokes and he doesn’t laugh often. I was always in advanced english classes..I’ve always loved writing. My fiance is illiterate. He has the reading level of a 3rd grader. He struggles just trying to read our daughter a pre-school bedtime story. It’s very sad to see and I didn’t even know this until a few years into the relationship. I’ve tried to start from scratch and teach him to read and I think we’ve made some progress..but he’s definitely not where he needs to be. I’m still working on this with him though. He has a good job where there isn’t very much reading or writing required…but it still scares me for his future. There are also health issues. I’ve recently changed my lifestyle..started working our regularly and eating better and I’ve lost 62lbs. He won’t jump on the band wagon with me. I’m not attracted to him anymore physically but that part isn’t really a big deal to me. He’s over 300lbs, he’ll go to McDonald’s and get 5 cheeseburgers and 2 large fries all for himself. It’s so unhealthy and that’s another thing that scares me. His dad died young from a heart attack…his mom is disabled because of diabetes related issues…shouldn’t that scare him into getting healthy?! I want him to live a long life for our daughter. I’ve thought about leaving him at times.
Despite the negative things, there is also a lot of positive. He is my best friend and I DO love this man. However, if we didn’t have a child I wouldn’t be marrying him. That DOESN’T mean that our child is the only reason I’m marrying him. That’s not true. There are many reasons I’m marrying him..he has a beautiful soul, he understands me, he’s an amazing person. BUT, if we didn’t have a kid I wouldn’t put this much effort into making it work. I always Google “divorce effects on kids” and I’ve read some scary stastics. I don’t want our girl to have to go through that..she would be absolutely heartbroken. She deserves the world, she deserves her parents together.
I just want some feedback and I’d like to know what other bee’s would do in this situation. Please be kind!
That must be tough, I cant imagine how id feel in that situation. How my fiance and I work it is when we get paid, he pays bills and whatevers left over he gives to me and I deal with the finances ( set aside money for groceries, gas, fun things, savings and things like that) and it actually works out really well. He has his own money but he only get a certian amount from each pay check. And keep the savings in a seperate account he cant touch? Say its for your daughters education and no money can go in and it can only come out.. Im just suggesting things here I dont know how it would work in your relationship cus its different than my own. His mom sounds like a big problem in your relationship, has he told her he cant support her as much as shes asking? that he has his own family to look out for? We’ve given my fiances mother money aswell but he put his foot down at one point which was a good thing. He took it strait out of my savings too the bugger -.- I was furious cus we had only been together a few months. But anyways I dont know what to say about the weight things.. he sounds like he has to hit rock bottom before he starts to change. Honestly you cant tell men anything, they have to learn it for themselves..Good luck hun I hope you get things straitend out!
This doesn’t sound unfixable to me. You love him and he’s a good father. Everything is just surface cracks.
Let’s start with the illiteracy: You cannot teach him, or you can, but you’ll be less effective than a trained teacher. Instead google “literacy classes for adults” and see what pops up in your city. There are charities that run programs for adults, so this need not be expensive.
Secondly the money. It seems to me that you badly need a budget, and perhaps for you to take control of the money until he learns to stick to it. His mother is in a bad situation as a disabled widow with two young children, so you need to make room for her in the budget, but make sure you only give her what she needs. Remind him, if need be that his primary responsibility is to you and your child.
Since you mention that in his culture women are in charge at home, it should not be impossible for you to demand full control of his income, at least for a while.
As for his eating habits, it’s entirely possible that once he has taken charge of his literacy and you have a working budget in place, he’ll stop comfort eating. So for now, my advice is to focus on his literacy and budgeting.
You shouldn’t be marrying him.
You are only 24, and believe me, you may think that not being attracted to your FI doesn’t matter, but one day it will. I’ve been there. I married my ex H when our sex life had virtually disappeared. 5 years down the line, I realised that I was too young to be in a sexless marriage. He wasn’t willing to change, I had an affair and left. Don’t underestimate how important sex is in a loving relationship. I know it is not the be all and end all, but it is important.
Regarding your daughter, you will be doing her more of a disservice by marrying someone you don’t have a loving relationship with, with major cultural and financial problems. My parents got married because my mother was pregnant with my brother…they were very young, and there is rarely a day that goes by that I wish they hadn’t got married. They were okay for only 9 years, and then followed 14 years of misery for all of us. My father was like your FI, he couldn’t save money to save his life. It set us a very bad example and it never got any better.
You are am amazing mom to put your daughter first. So many people do not do that. I am sure you have tried, but I think you should start cooking healthy meals for the family and tell your husband that you guys aren’t going to McDs because the health of the family is really important. I think if he lost the weight you might be more attracted to him. He sounds like a great man and father so hopefully the physical attraction can come back. That is doable. There are so many terrible men and fathers out there. I am glad you are choosing a good one!
Don’t marry him because of your daughter. It’s a lot of pressure to put on a child. Trust me when I say that it is better for a child to be supported by stable finances, good role models, and happy parents. A sexless marriage where you have to treat your husband like a child (controlling money so he doesn’t spend it, worrying about what he eats, and teaching him to read) is not a happy marriage. And kids can absolutely tell. It will also be a model that your daughter will have as normal and acceptable. If she was 24 and had a child and boyfriend like that, what would you tell her to do?
I would leave. Being in an unhappy marriage will set a bad example for your daughter. You are young and still have plenty of time to be happy. If I were you, I would spend the next 2 months making plans– find an apartment you can afford on your own and figure out what supports you will need. Meet with a lawyer or social worker about setting up child support. Then, after the holidays, say that you can’t be in this relationship any more and leave. You want better for your daughter than to be stuck in an unhappy home.
BEst of luck!
I agree with @Tibbs: 100%. You don’t want your daughter to learn about eating McD food. They also say that if you exercise together as a family it will be good too. Find some fun activities/games that you all enjoy! :) Best Wishes with everything.
Did he graduate high school? How did he do it with an elementary reading level?
You’re not going to be doing your daughter any good by marrying him. He’s irresponsible with money, leads a very unhealthy lifestyle, and is illiterate. It’s going to be up to you alone to show your daughter how important it is to be educated, healthy, and financially responsible. Marrying her father is going to be counterproductive to that.
Also, what about your happiness? Can you live with a guy who hands his mother his money as soon as he gets it instead of putting it away for his own family? How about knowing that you will spend your life waiting for him to get diagnosed with diabetes or have a heart attack?
@Lo88: It is NEVER better for the parents to stay together simply for the sake of the child. If you wouldn’t be marrying him if your daughter wasn’t in the picture, then you really shouldn’t be marrying him at all. Entering into a marriage with this man will cause resentment that will build, your daughter will see it, as children are more intuned to us then we think. You will no doubt end up divorcing him in the end anyways, please do not marry a man you don’t actually want to marry. Let him go so he can find someone who truly loves him.
I don’t think this is unfixable, but you are definitely on a precipice. I would sit down with him and tell him you love him but before you’re married, you want to address some concerns. Then tell him about it all: the money, the literacy, the crappy eating, his mother; all of it. Do it gently and let him respond. Then lay out a plan to fix it and follow through!
That’s if he wants to change. If he’s defensive and uncooperative and doesn’t want to change, then you have a different problem entirely and you should consider moving on.
Don’t stay with him only for your daughter. The best thing for her is a happy home. I can say this from experience: my mother and father decided not to marry when she found out that she was pregnant. I was raised by my mother and saw my father every weekend. It was a little lonely sometimes but we were ultimately better off because Mom and Dad would not have had a happy marriage. At all. My mom is my hero. You can be your daughter’s, too.
My opinion, as a person who grew up in a house where my parents SHOULD have divorced but never did, is that sometimes that situation can be worse on the child’s psyche than their parents actually divorcing. The lack of love and affection my parents had for each other made it really hard for me to form lasting relationships growing up, and even now, after I’ve been with my husband 5 years, I still struggle with it from time to time. If you’re not in love with this man, don’t put your daughter through seeing a lack of love every day. Children are more perceptive than we give them credit for. You’ll just be teaching your daughter to settle. I am luckily VERY happy with my husband, but it took a long time to get here and even now when I have feelings of love or closeness many times I shut down and become cold because I don’t know how to deal with vulnerability.
I would postpone marrying him–for now. Talk to him about the problems that you have mentioned. Communication is so important in any relationship. As someone else mentioned, he should be taking adult literacy classes. If he’s willing to work on fixing his problem, stay with him. Perhaps once those problem are fixed/being fixed your feelings will change.
If he doesn’t work on his problems get out. Divorce may not be good for children, but parents that are together and unhappy is worse. You deserve to be with somebody that you love.
Does he recognize his problems with money and weight? If he recognizes them then i think it may be a matter of finding a solution to the problem. But if he doesn’t even recognize that they are problems (especially the money) then It could be a real problem.
If you’re looking for some perspective on divorce, let me tell you a bit about my family. My parents divorced when I was 2 and I have no memories of them together. They occasionally argued over things like scheduling, but they tried very hard to keep any negative feelings for each other away from me. My parents being split up is normal for me. It’s never really been an issue other than hassle of scheduling. Many years after splitting with my mother, my father remarried because he got a woman pregnant. They stayed in a bad marriage for too long “for the sake of” my brother. When they eventually did divorce it was much harder on my brother than it ever was on me. And this is after their bad marriage already had my brother having problems.
So I guess my advice is, never marry for a kid. Never stay married for a kid. Because most likely you will actually be hurting this kid more than being honest that the relationship isn’t working. However, if you think that you guys can work out some of your issues, then he sounds like he has a lot of good qualities.
Sorry I don’t have better advise, but good luck!
This is not my advice to you, because I don’t feel I am in any position to dispense advice since I don’t know you… but this is just me saying what *I* would do for myself. I would stay with and marry and father of my children, if he’s a good father to them. I know it’s not what most people on this board would choose, but it’s what I would personally do.
My mom did it for me. My parents are actually not remotely compatible in terms of lifestyle, personality, character, goals… they were young and passionately in love and were blind to each others’ character flaws until after I was born, and then reality set in. My dad’s not good with money, doesn’t eat healthy or have a good lifesyle, not as ambitious or goal-driven as my mom, and is definitely FAR less attractive compared to my mom.My mom told me there was one point in my infancy when she considered leaving. I didn’t find out any of this until I was much, MUCH older. But she said she decided to choose her children’s happiness instead of her own. She wanted a complete home and family for me. He is a wonderful father, responsible, loving, warm, and actually my best friend. Maybe he’s not the best husband for her, but he is an amazing dad for me. So she stayed. I had a wonderful childhood in a loving home and we continue to be a close-knit family now.
My parents still love each other. They’re still best friends. There are always problems and fights, especially with their essential incompatibility, but all of us would do anything for each other because we’re a family, in spite of all our flaws and failings. My mom really stuck with my dad through thick and thin and really took her vow of “till death do we part” seriously, because no matter how exasperated, infuriated or disappointed she is, at the end of the day she will always be there for him. And he would do the same for her.
So my mom stayed in her marriage for me. And I would do the same for my children.
Again… NOT saying this is what you should do, and this is not advice / suggestion to you at all! This is my own experience and story.