I met a wonderful man on a dating site last fall. We're both 50, I'm divorced; he's been separated for two years. We're in love, and he wants me to move to his farm in another province, soon.
It's fast, but the timing is good for my children (12 and 14), who'll be attending school there.
However, he still hasn't drawn up a separation agreement with his estranged wife! Assets still need to be divided and payouts made. I feel he should have something in place before I commit to moving.
I know he loves my kids and me and we can't wait to start our lives together. I know he'll never go back to her, so that's not the issue. Is he just a procrastinator?
I'd also like to propose a cohabitation agreement, but am not sure when to raise that.
Older Not Wiser
Make sure you're protected and not uprooting your children to an unclear situation. Without a separation agreement, his estranged wife can make the financial split much more difficult (since he can afford to start a new life with a new family).
YOU need a co-habitation agreement so that, in the case of future problems, you're not suddenly out in the cold. It's foolish and irresponsible to move without these assurances.
My ex is an addict, very ill. We're still good friends, but I asked him to leave when I was pregnant as he'd returned to drug use. He's had very traumatic life experiences since, because of his addiction.
After many years of being alone, I lived with a boyfriend for two years. He had two sons older than my daughter.
But we fought over the children, our ex's, money etc. I finally asked him to move out.
I needed help to pay the mortgage, so my ex rents the basement for a large sum and baby-sits, as I'm a student and work part-time. He cleans my house sometimes, does laundry. But when he's using, he can be a stressful nuisance.
Meanwhile, my boyfriend and I still love each other. If I feel it's okay for my ex to babysit, I go to his place (once weekly) and once a week he spends the night here.
He and I have an incredible sex life. He too is an addict, a work-alcoholic with children who can be bossy, controlling (!), and conceited. I'd prefer to live as my ex's caretaker and he as my nanny and co-parent renter, and just date while my daughter's young. I'm afraid of my boyfriend's sons ever having free range with her.
But my boyfriend wants to be a family again.
You have too few boundaries in your relationships and take heavy risks, in the name of practicality. But the dangers outweigh the benefits.
There are other renters out there who could help pay your mortgage. The reason your ex had to leave was to NOT expose your daughter to his addiction, yet you now leave them alone for long hours. Regulated visits would be far less risky till he stays clean.
Meanwhile, your ex has children you dislike and distrust with your child, so living with him again should be out of the question. How can you "love" another addict, knowing the pitfalls?
Move on, and clean up your household. Your ex needs a chance to stay clean, but it doesn't have to be from your home, in the presence of a vulnerable child.
My girlfriend lives in my past - before I met her. It's nothing I'm proud of or brag about. She doesn't know the full story nor am I about to tell her everything.
So she's constantly making assumptions and drowning herself in negativity. She's 21, I'm 27, we've been together for two and a half years, and I definitely want this to work out.
Speak up, discreetly, or she'll keep obsessing, since she's obviously heard enough to be anxious about your fidelity.
Do NOT tell her gritty details, just the outline... e.g. you did have an active dating life through your earlier 20's as a single guy, did cross the line a few times (or whatever) while in relationships, but you've matured. And you've found true love.
Promise your loyalty and commitment to her, but say that if she keeps distrusting you and going over the past, it'll block the relationship from moving forward.
Tip of the day:
Mature love needs mature decisions, such as protections for a new relationship involving children.