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Should I, or shouldn't I? A question more than 15 years old for me...

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by chicken_china_mom, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. chicken_china_mom

    chicken_china_mom Crazy for Cochins

    Apr 24, 2009
    Tab, Indiana
    Well, let me start by saying that I have been single for about 6 years now. My kids' father and I finally called it quits in February of 2004 when I said no more. He put the kids and I through a lot, and I was physically and emotionally tired, and I just had to put my foot down. That said, I have dated since then, twice to be exact. Once was extremely brief, and the other was for 4 months with a great guy, but I just couldn't imagine myself long term with him, I just wasn't liking him enough for that. So I have basically just been concentrating on my kids, and myself ever since. I'm going back to college to get a better job, and homeschooling my kids, and raising my chickens, among other things. For me, I'm content. I do get lonely from time to time and think about dating, and I have friends that try to push me into dating because they feel that I will just be miserable without a man in my life. I don't listen to them, I just go on with my own life.

    Now, with that said, I have this friend, and we've been friends since we were Biology partners in our Junior year of high school. He's a great guy, a good friend, and we have a lot of fun together. He is a survival freak, so if the world were ever ending, I'd be on his doorstep in a heartbeat expecting him to know what to do, lol. Now, back in high school, I was dating someone else, and this friend, I'll call him B. admitted he had a crush on me. I was surprised to say the least, but I was with someone that I was very happy with, and shortly afterwards B. went on to date someone else, and we moved on with our lives, but remained friends, always. About a year and a half after high school he was dating this girl. Well, he got her pregnant. So they moved in together into this tiny roach infested apartment (which he STILL lives in), and tried to act like a happy family. But they were young, too young in my opinion, and when their daughter turned 2, B. came home one day to find his GF in bed with his best guy friend. And so, that was the end of their relationship. She moved out with the baby, and into a place with her lover, and B. continued to live alone, as he still does to this day. Now, he has what I consider a rather strange relationship with his ex. She went on to marry Jim, her lover, and B.'s former best friend. But B. spends the majority of his time with them! He still buys things for his ex if she asks for them, and often without her asking. Not because he still loves her, but it's kind of hard to explain. He eats at their house all the time, takes them camping and hiking with him, and quite a lot more. If he had the money, I think they'd go on vacations with him too. I like his ex, she's nice, and so is her husband. The daughter that B. and his ex have is the only child for both of them, and I've never seen a child more spoiled, and it drives me nuts. I can understand her being the only child, and being your world, but come on, even that has to have limitations. I was an only child and I can guarantee you I was NOT spoiled. For instance, for Christmas this last year, at 14 years old she got a 32 GB I Pod, $250 in I Tunes, a new Nintendo DSi, 4 games for the DSi, about $500 in new clothes, new shoes, and more that I can't even remember him telling me. And the kid wasn't happy, she wanted more. She can do now wrong either. When he and his daughter come out to my house, she doesn't clean up after herself (neither does her dad very well either though), and she expects to be catered to. That doesn't happen here. B. will bring down stuff that his daughter has outgrown or no longer uses and give it to my kids, which is great, free clothes and a free $250 scooter that I don't have to go out and buy. But of course then I get my kids asking "Why can't I have....(insert desired item here)", and then I have to painstakingly explain why they can't have it. It gets old after awhile.

    When my ex and I split, I didn't tell B. immediately. My friendship with B. goes back to long before I ever even met my kids' father, but my ex hated B. immediately upon meeting him. He would constantly imply that B. wanted me to break up with him so that he could have me, or that B. was flirting, or a whole host of other neurotic complaints. If you knew B., you'd know he's not like that. But, he does like to make people happy, unlike my ex, and I think my ex misinterpreted that. Anyway, I was seriously NOT interested in dating after my ex and I split. I don't like to think of myself as damaged goods, but he really did leave heavy scars on me and on the kids, and some are still healing all these years later. Well, B. was over visiting one day, and he asked me where my ex was. I didn't want to lie, it's not something I like to do, so I admitted that we had split up for good. B. appeared thoughtful for a few minutes and then softly asked if I would give him a chance. And so there I was, caught between a rock and a hard place. Give him a chance, and risk losing the friendship we had, and have to put up with his kid and his ex, or lie and keep things the way they were? So...I lied. Much as I hated to do it, I told him I was already seeing someone. He looked hurt, like he saw right through my lie, but he never asked again. That was about 5 1/2 years ago. Fast forward, and I've moved, about 2 1/2 hours away from all my family and friends, including B., but he's the only one that continues to make the effort to come visit. In fact, he came down for the 4th of July weekend, and brought his daughter. Sometimes he brings her, sometimes he doesn't. I will admit, I can tolerate the kid better now than I could when she was little. Oh she drove me nuts when she was little! All she ever did was whine! And she has this sneaky habit of trying to divide my daughters. She will pal around with my younger daughter, and completely ignore my older daughter, and I hate that. B. doesn't see it though. It wasn't so bad this weekend though. I think he gets bored though when he comes out here, but he's broke all the time, so what is there really to do without money? He works for UPS as a package handler. It's the same job he's had since 6 months before his daughter was born. He works the part time hours and makes maybe $350 a week, give or take. How does he support himself and spoil his daughter you ask? His mom, that's how. He needs money, his mom gives it to him. And his whole family spoils his daughter. For years she was the only grandchild. I remember one incident when we were over visiting his mom because B. had a bunch of the riding toys over in her garage, like the Barbie jeeps, etc. His dad would find them at garage sales, or thrown out and fix them up, and give them to B.'s daughter, so the kids literally had like 12 of them! Anyway, we were over at B.'s mom's house one afternoon, and we were sitting on the couch talking, and B.'s older sister happened to be over that day. I already don't care for this sister, she's a bit on the neurotic side and very "ME ME ME". Well, there was a gigantic dollhouse in the living room for B.'s daughter for when she came to stay at her grandma's, and my kids were fascinated with it. My older DD is 3 years younger than B.'s daughter, and my younger DD is 4 years younger, so B.'s daughter was growing bored with dollhouses and the like by this point. My kids were happily playing with it. B.'s older sister takes out a smaller, crummier looking dollhouse and asks B.'s daughter if she wouldn't mind giving the little dollhouse to my kids since she didn't play with it anymore. Oh, you'd have thought she had asked the kid to give up her left lung or something! She went straight into tantrum mode and refused to give it. The aunt? She just pats the kid on the back and tells her she doesn't have to share anything if she doesn't really want to. And the crummy little dollhouse goes back into a corner where it continued to sit and collect dust. And B.'s kid had a smug look of satisfaction that I just wanted to slap off her face. Me, I just said "That's ok, I don't want it for my kids anyway. If they want a dollhouse, I'll buy them one myself." I may have sounded mean, but I was angry! This is just how his kid is ALL THE TIME. Another time we took our kids out for ice cream, and his daughter spotted those little quarter toy machines, and I said no, because I didn't have 3 quarters, and it was just junk anyway. The ice cream was treat enough. My kids knew not to push the subject further. But B.? The moment his daughter starts complaining and whining, he pulls out a quarter and hands it to her. Of course she has to turn and look at me and gloat. Oh, it took everything in me to NOT slap that child silly!!! So there are my kids, standing there, jaws dropped, unable to figure out WHY she got a quarter for being a brat. B. did pull out 2 more quarters and handed them to my kids, but that felt like I was being undermined because I had just told them no. But I wasn't going to sit there and let his kid gloat and rub it in my kids' faces that she had something and they didn't. Needless to say, the junk broke before we ever got back to my house. A waste of money, just like I thought it was.

    See, I am very non confrontational. I avoid fights at all possible costs, until I am backed into a corner and forced to fight. So with B., I let a lot slide because I don't want to tell him how to raise his kid, or how to act, etc.

    So, this weekend, my neighbor invited me to a 4th of July party at her house. Great, exciting, I couldn't wait to get out of my house, lol. I also know that B. likes to come down to my house on that 4th because the fireworks aren't illegal here, so I had contacted him on Facebook and asked him if he was coming down this year. At first all I got was a maybe, he wasn't sure if he wanted to make the trip or not. Fine, whatever, I wasn't going to NOT go to the party. I told him about the party and said if you come down, fine, if not, whatever. He decided he was coming down, and he brought his kid. Fine. He arrived Saturday night and pitched a tent in my backyard (that's what he does, he loves to camp, and I have a big backyard). His daughter though, she's a girly girl, so she slept in the house, and all 3 kids slept in my younger DD's room. Sunday, before I could go to the party I had to finish up all of my homework. Well, that took longer than expected, so B. headed down to my neighbor's without me. The kids had already gone down there about an hour earlier. He was grumbling that he was bored. Sorry, I have to finish this homework so I pass my classes! Well, it took me longer than I expected to finish it, but I got it done, took a shower, slipped into a sun dress, and grabbed my mom and headed down to my neighbors. I expected a lot of people because she had invited a lot of people. Well, other than us and her friend from Illinois, NO ONE ELSE SHOWED UP. I felt bad for her, but I still had a nice time. B. had brought down some fireworks, but not a whole lot, and he spent his time blowing them up out front with the kids. I stayed in the nice, air conditioned house because every time I stepped outside, I got bitten by mosquitoes. I did sit out on the porch for awhile with my neighbor and her friend, and B. came to join us, and we all chatted for awhile, until my neighbor got hot and went in to change, and then her friend went in for another reason, and that left me and B. sitting out front. I don't even remember what we were talking about, and then he brought up a comment I had made on Facebook about thinking about getting back into dating. I had forgotten that he had a FB account (he literally just got it a few weeks ago, but is hardly ever on it). I simply said "Yes, it's a thought that crosses my mind from time to time." And then we were interrupted, and he didn't bring it up again. But there was a change in the atmosphere after that. That's the only way I can think to explain it. The next day we took the kids to the nearby creek where he swam with the kids. I sat up on the bridge because I'm still healing from the car accident I was in on June 6th, and there was no way I'd have been able to get down that embankment and back up it again, not with my leg! So I watched them and took lots of pictures. Then, yesterday, before he left we took the kids canoeing on the pond by my house. It was more fun for us than it was for the kids, but we all had a nice time. But it got that old question rolling around in my head again. Give him a chance, or not? I'm still leaning toward not, and for many more reasons than just the fact that his daughter is a spoiled brat. He is of the mindset that people will just willingly take care of him. If he shows up at someone's house, they should feed him. With no thought as to whether those people have enough food to spare. I have no car to get to the store for food, so feeding extra mouths is hard to do. One thing that got me mad this weekend, and I hadn't realized it had come from him when I opened my mouth to chastise my kids, was when my younger DD announced the day after the party that she was heading back down to the neighbor's to hit her up for leftovers. I told my DD absolutely no you are NOT going to go over there and ask for leftovers! I told her her it was impolite and selfish, and that it wasn't the neighbor's job to feed her or her sister. And then B. came up behind me and sheepishly admitted it had been his idea to go back and get leftovers, and he admitted it wasn't right, and said he really needed to stop mooching off of others. Needless to say, neither he nor the children went back for leftovers. I don't need to make enemies of the one neighbor that has become my friend. There is so much that is different about B. and myself, sometimes it amazes me that we became such good friends, but at the same time, we have similarities. I put my kids first, above all else, so does he. However, I don't spoil my kids and give them every little thing they desire, like he does. I discipline my kids when they are wrong or are at fault. He doesn't. In fact, when they were down at the creek my older DD didn't want to get in the water because she is terrified of snapping turtles, and she knows they are in the creeks and rivers, we've seen them. Well, granted it was mostly my younger DD doing it, but both my younger DD and his daughter were trying to physically drag my older DD into the water, and he did nothing to stop them. I finally had to yell at them from up on the bridge to leave her alone, if she didn't want to get in the water, then she didn't have to. So she cried and came up to sit with me. I talked to her, and eventually she did get in the water, but as soon as she did, his daughter decided she was done with swimming, and because she was done, my younger DD (who idolizes his daughter) decided she was done too, so that left only my older DD and B. in the water. He gave her 5 minutes before he was done too, and then griped the rest of the night and the next day about how she does that every time they go in the creek and that she should suck it up and get over her fear, that turtles weren't going to hurt her, etc. My older DD is a very sensitive child, you cannot push her like that or she literally will physically get sick. I don't coddle, but I do talk things through with her and let her know that it's ok, and that I'm there for her, etc. Well, with the canoeing, his daughter and my younger DD got to go first. They did a pretty good job, and after a few moments came back and my older DD happily got in to boat too. She sat in the middle, between them, and from the shore all looked good. I knew my younger DD was talking cause I could see her lips moving, but when they came back to the shore my older DD flew out of that canoe in tears and ran straight into my arms. Her sister had been teasing her about the turtles in the water and then started rocking the canoe! Oh, I gave my younger DD a good whack on the arm and an earful about teasing her sister, and told her no more canoeing for her if she couldn't be nice. B.'s response? That my older DD was being a sissy and over reacting. I naturally defended my DD as I have dozens of times, and said everyone has fears, you can't begrudge them for having them, and you can't mock them, it's not nice, and rocking the boat was just plain cruel. B. and I took a few turns around the pond, and then we took my older DD around with us so that she could have a nice, fright free trip in the canoe, and she did really enjoy it when she wasn't scared out of her mind. But I wasn't in the most pleasant mood. He has called my kids names in the past for doing stupid stuff, but in my opinion, that's what kids do, stupid stuff. It's not a reason to call them such nasty names. But I'm thinking, if he ever brings up the subject of us dating again, I'll have to not only decline, but for once and for all explain my reasons behind saying no. Oh, and he's VERY religious too. I find that occasionally ironic, but he is. He does try hard to live by the bible, and I respect him for that, but as far as religion and politics go, we have VERY different views, and the one and only time religion came up between us, he quite rudely told me that everything I believe is wrong, but that what he believes in is right. I didn't like that and I forcefully dropped the subject and never brought it up again. I just can't see a relationship working out between us. At least, not while his daughter is still a kid needing everything. Maybe when she's 40 and has a husband and kids of her own. My kids do love B., and I do too, just not in that way. Not saying I couldn't, just saying that I don't currently. And I'm not so desperate as to jump into a relationship with the first guy that shows interest. My kids are my first priority, and their needs come before my own. Yes, I feel that they need a positive male role model in their lives. But I'm not in a rush to go after the first guy, you know? Ugh, I'm so confused. Don't know if all his years of living alone and thinking the way he does can ever be undone. Am I right? Should I continue to say no? Do I really NEED to explain myself? I'd like to date someone again, but I want someone that fulfills my needs and doesn't just expect his own to be fulfilled. Is that really asking too much? So tired, maybe I should just stay single the rest of my life like my mom did... [​IMG]
     
  2. greenfamilyfarms

    greenfamilyfarms Big Pippin'

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    That had to take some time to type. Let me print that out, read it, and get back to you. [​IMG]
     
  3. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

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    Levan, UT
    Short answer - no, don't do it. Longer answer - you really answered your own question in the last paragraph. He's needy, his beliefs are too different from yours, he calls your children nasty names (i.e. he's as immature as the kids are, who are SUPPOSED to be that way) and HE IS NOT GOING TO CHANGE. Why should he? His way of doing things have gotten him pretty far in life, why should he stop now and actually put forth a little effort? Stay friends, no more. You deserve someone who will share equally in your relationship, not another child. [​IMG]
     
  4. Spookwriter

    Spookwriter Crowing

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    I would take a pass on the man.

    At his age, if he hasn't got it together he isn't gonna get it together.
     
  5. 3goodeggs

    3goodeggs pays attention sporadically

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    North Central Florida
    you are on your way forward. don't go backwards. eyes forward.
    there are good things waiting for you. I just got that feeling... [​IMG]
     
  6. chickeypoo

    chickeypoo The Enabler

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    i have to agree. if someone was calling my children names.. you can forget it! you can find someone that is more in tune with you. tell him why you aren't interested in him. let him know your feelings towards him. don't lead him on, just get it over with. Id never let a person into my house if their children cannot be nice to mine. sorry. [​IMG]
     
  7. honey, you can do better. you are doing fine by yourself, and I know it gets lonely, i KNOW... but this too shall pass, and you will find the right man for you. B. is not the right man for you, and if you go back and re-read your missive, you'll see it just like we all did. y'all can still be friends, but that's it... save your body and soul for someone who you cannot resist.
     
  8. AngieChick

    AngieChick Poultry Elitist

    He sounds like a wonderful friend to you, which is probably as it should stay. I would at some point have an honest conversation with him about it, he deserves that. I don't mean list out all of his faults, but just that you and he have a wonderful friendship that would be very hard to lose if things became complicated in a relationship. You'll find a nice way of wording it to him.

    Many women live very happily for their entire lives single, if you're happy why worry about it?
     
  9. OccamsTazer

    OccamsTazer Songster

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    Tuscaloosa, AL
    Small thing unrelated to your issue:
    Giant, unbroken walls of text are really hard to read, paragraph breaks save eyeballs. [​IMG]

    As for the guy, if it's going to cause strife, it's not worth it. I was raised by a single dad (and he was the greatest dad in the world!). When I was very young, he was in a long-term relationship with someone. As things began to fall apart with them, I got to see/overhear some oookie arguments. It was never anything abusive, just normal relationship-needs-to-end type fights, but to six-year-old me it was the scariest thing in the entire world.
    After that ended, he didn't date again, ever. I think he realized how hard it was on me.
    If there is going to be drama, I wouldn't go there.
     
  10. chicken_china_mom

    chicken_china_mom Crazy for Cochins

    Apr 24, 2009
    Tab, Indiana
    Nicely said Angie, and I don't worry about it most of the time. But my kids, I know how hard it was for me to grow up without my dad in my life, and their dad, he's a useless turd. I don't necessarily WANT to be alone the rest of my life, but I also don't want another guy so immature that I'm stuck feeling like I'm taking care of 3 kids, cause that's the way it was with their father. Relationship from hell is what I was in with him. My pleasure is knowing that the last girl he cheated on me with, he's still with her and they have a kid together, and that kid is ROTTEN!!! Swears, slaps her father, talks back, etc. And she's only 4!!! And his GF makes his life miserable. That gives me some solice, lol. But I don't want another miserable relationship. I know I'm not perfect, but when I am with someone I love, I put my whole heart, body, and soul into the relationship, and I expect nothing less in return. But I don't want to be someone's maid, and I want my kids to be happy too, because they are in the relationship too.

    If the topic should arise again, I will explain as nicely as possible why it wouldn't work between us. Cloverleaf Farm, you made a good point that I hadn't really considered before. If his way of doing things has gotten him this far in life, then why should he feel the need to change? Same could be said of me though. If someone wants to be with me, they have to accept me as I am, faults and all. But, I don't mooch off people like that, and I don't expect people to just do things for me. I don't walk into people's houses and expect them to just feed me. And that really bugged me that he wanted to go back down to my neighbor's to eat her left overs. And that he got my kids thinking that it was ok to do it! Later they said the neighbor had said it was ok, but I still don't think it was. Unless the neighbor calls me up and specifically says "Hey, I have all these leftovers, why don't you guys come on down and we'll heat them up so they don't go to waste?", I won't bother her! I don't know if I gave him a new perspective or not when I was chewing my kids out (mostly my younger DD) about that, but he didn't go down there. I mean to me, that's just being greedy. Me, personally, if I'm going to visit someone, unless they have specifically invited me over for dinner, I eat before I get to their house. Not B. though, he always arrives hungry. If money is an issue, GET A BETTER PAYING JOB. At nearely 35 years old he's still working as a package handler which is what he was doing at 19 years old. He feels safe there, and I can understand the fear of leaving that safety behind in order to find something better, but he HAS a degree, he's had it for years, and has done NOTHING with it!!! That's what irks me! He could find a better job easier than I could. I think that once I graduate with my degree at the beginning of next year, it will time for me to move again. I'll seek out jobs out of state, somewhere with GOOD pay, so that I can support my family on my own, and then start working on my Bachelor's degree. If I meet someone wonderful along the way, then great. If not, I'm content with my life right now. I have a friend who just got out of an awful marriage that she should never have entered into. She is 2 years older than me and has been dating a great guy (though he is WAY older than her), and he treats her very good and loves her very much. She contacted me yesterday and told me she's pregnant. I was numb with shock. Her daughters are 17, 15, and nearly 10. It's like starting all over again! She is still in shock herself over the whole thing. Me? I find myself wondering even more now whether I could start over again like that. I know a lot of people do it, but could I? Do I WANT more kids? I used to want a whole houseful of kids, but the two I have now drive me nuts enough, lol. They never want to clean up after themselves, so WOULD I want more? I dunno, it feels like there's a weird pressure on me that wasn't there before. Not toward B. or anything, but just that I SHOULD be interested in a new relationship and the possibility of more kids. I dunno, maybe I over think things too much? There aren't any guys out here to date anyway, they're all married. So I don't know where I could possibly even meet someone worth dating. So, it looks like I'll continue to be single for awhile longer...
     

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