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am contemplating moving out and feeling scared to be alone
September 15, 2003
12:59 pm
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artist 2
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and scared it's a mistake to move out. I really don't want to take care of his son. I'm feeling like the nanny again. His son has been such a butt to me all weekend. I am wondering to myself once again why I stay here and take it when there are houses up the street and all over the city I could buy and live in alone.

I'm afraid now i'm used to him and used to living there - so much that I feel afraid to move. Plus I really do love him - I don't want to be apart from him.

Some of you have recommended moving out and keeping the relationship. I'm afraid everything will change and I'll lose his love. I don't want to lose everything we've built over the past year!

thanks for listening.

September 15, 2003
1:09 pm
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sixfootblonde
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Hi artist... sorry you're feeling so conflicted today. I want you to know that you are heard, although I'm not sure what to say to help you. It's so hard sometimes to know what is the right thing to do, I know.

(((hugs))) to you, anyway, if that helps at all! 🙂

September 15, 2003
1:41 pm
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artist 2
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yep, same deal another day... but thanks for listening!

September 15, 2003
1:51 pm
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bel
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Hi Artist2 have you talked openly with him about the situation? Let him know you Love him and want this to work but you also have needs that are not being met. Tell him you want to be a family but some things are not working and it involves all of you to make it work. Just my thoughts I can here your frustration.

Bel

September 15, 2003
2:49 pm
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Anam Cara
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Artist2

Hear what you are saying - believe me I know something of this situation.

My wife and I separated some 5 months ago.

The decision to go our own ways was made 6 months before she actually moved out - it was a very difficult time to live through for both of us.

During this time I looked forward to the day when she would move.

I would not bore you with why our marriage got into this mess other than to say - the day she left was to tip me (un - expectantly) into a feeling of utter loss! To which I have never recovered from or possible ever will.

What I am trying to say is that the theory is so much different from fact. I should have fought tooth and nail to seek some help. It is true to say that I asked her to come to counselling with me but she refused. But I should not (knowing what it feels like now) have just given it to the ultimate.

My reaction to the trouble was to run away to my sons for respite. A really bad move on my part - anger is actually very childish -I have a big child inside me.

I suffer co-dependency and it hurts like mad.

My advice is to really try and sort yourselves out before you take the leap - I too still love my wife even now post the separation - if we meet up for coffee - I just melt - dripping love.

I know that I should get to hell out of this feeling because she is unable to reciprocate my affection ( I think).

But I am about to confront her with the question next time we meet.

Think Think Think - drop anger its a bad servant - get the thing out in the open in every way.

LOL>Anam.

Hugs to you also bel.

September 15, 2003
2:57 pm
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artist 2
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Thank you guys! We've talked about the sit a lot. I do add to the worst by not being the "adult" some times. I just can't stand being disrespected by a seven-year-old! He just does it on purpose because it upsets me.

Course bf says don't let it upset you, you are the adult. I still have feelings though, and all I want from him is respect. I'm not asking for the boy's love and devotion by any means. I just want respect. yet he knows this now and acts like a butt because he knows it hurts me.

I wonder how long I can continue to be his "nanny". I'm sick of doing and doing and caring for and getting this attitude.

I wonder if my bf will feel such remorse and love if I do leave and get my own place.

bf can't even manage to keep his dirty t-shirts off the floor, much less put the seat down. Am I asking for too much here?

Thanks again for sharing and caring...

artist 2

September 15, 2003
4:21 pm
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unhappy camper
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how old is the boy?

September 15, 2003
4:26 pm
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sixfootblonde
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I don't think you are expecting too much from a grown man to pick up after himself. I would also expect him to back you on the issue of the boy's behavior. The discipline should be discussed ahead of time and agreed upon by both of you. Then you could present a united front and show him this is not going to be tolerated.

You know?

September 15, 2003
4:30 pm
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tooscared
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You really do deserve better than this artist2. You have been taken advantage of by your boyfriend and his son. The boy is just treating you like he has probably seen his daddy do. I don't blame you at all for not wanting to be a nanny to this boy, but something has to change. You can't keep being the maid, nanny, housekeeper, and cook for this family. You guys really need to talk all this through. If your boyfriend truly loves you then he should be willing to make some positive changes concerning his son and being responsible for his own things like clothes.

September 15, 2003
4:35 pm
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gingerleigh
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Try the living in separate places for a while. If the relationship is meant to flourish, it will. If it's not, then you will feel a huge weight lifted from you at any rate, which in itself will be your answer.

Best wishes, A2.

September 15, 2003
4:41 pm
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sixfootblonde
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Exactly. If this man loves the woman you are, he will appreciate what this means to you and work on rectifying what he is able to. If he just wants a nanny, etc he will show you that by his actions. Actions louder than words and all that.....

September 15, 2003
5:15 pm
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artist 2
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His son is seven. The dicipline is doled out, but only on the fly. We do not discuss ahead of time what will be the consequences because BF likes to take it case-by-case. Son also is slightly ADHD, but that's not excuse for his behavior.

What do you think knowing these details?

September 15, 2003
5:23 pm
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unhappy camper
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If he is too much for you to handle, you have to let it be known. Maybe this boy can get treatment or can go to a class after school for a short while until the father can be around. Could you and his dad talk to the school about this?

If you make it clear want things to go smoothly but are unable to facilitate that, perhaps you will get some much needed assistance.

Don't take all of the responsibility on your shoulders. Insist that you are not able to cope with him. You must have an alternative.

September 15, 2003
5:28 pm
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artist 2
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Thank you. Thank you. I will insist on this.

September 15, 2003
5:31 pm
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artist 2
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I will probably get booted out, but I will insist.

September 15, 2003
5:32 pm
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tooscared
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It isn't good for you or the boy when you are so stressed artist2. You definitely need help in dealing with him and I am very glad that you are willing to speak up to his dad.

September 15, 2003
8:24 pm
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Alena
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Artist 2, I don't recall if I told you this before, so if I have please excuse the repetition.

I was in your situation a very long time ago. Husband had custody of his 5 year old son, I married him after a year of dating and knowing that this boy did not like ANYONE who might infringe on his relationship with his dad. I was just like you, had a problem being the "adult".

If I had it to do over again, I would run in the opposite direction. This cannot work out well for everyone at this pace. The bf is in a very difficult situation. He loves his son, has custody of him so is obviously responsible for his well-being, the kid does not have his mom in the picture?....is ADHD, which only adds to the difficulties and his inability to respond to you the way you would like. My guess is this 7 year old has a ton of baggage that nobody is paying any attention to..
And then there's you, who loves this guy...
Well, he is always going to have this child, he is always going to go easy on him because of a multitude of guilts he probably feels, he doesn't want to lose you and is walking a tightrope right now.

Unless ALL of you go into family counseling, this is just going to continue....and all of you ,and most importantly the little boy, will be hurt by this up down, up down, up down "family". Believe me, this will always come between you and your bf if it isn't resolved in a therapeutic manner so that everyone learns how to appreciate each other and their hurts and needs.

It's a very tough road you will have ahead of you. The little boy may seem to be cocky and a "butt" , my guess is, he's hurting and trying to survive in a situation he doesn't like or understand.

I totally understand your feelings, I have been there. It's only now, years later, that I realize how I messed up, how husband messed up, and I still don't know if I could have handled it better if I had a chance to go back and do it all over again.
It's gut wrenching, I feel for all of you.

September 17, 2003
11:26 am
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artist 2
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No Alena, you didn't not share the specifics before, so thank you very much for doing so.

Thanks it's comforting to know other adults have a hard time being the "adult".

So, if you could do it again, you wouldn't do it. If you had to do it again, do you have anything you would change?

I know bf is walking the tightrope and he loves me and doesn't want me to leave. He loves his son too. He has guilt feelings because his son's mother is such a goof that she can't be the adult either. He probably regrets in some way having brought his son into the world by accident with a woman who is so irresponsible.

Now his son is his proof a being a good person. In the past few days bf has honored me in ways that have really cooled me off. He's doing what i've been asking him to do, and not insisting I handle the relationship with his son alone.

His son is struggling too. I know this, but on the other hand think he needs to learn what's expected of him. He wants to be with his mom, but can't because she's not responsible enough. He bonds with her then comes home and doesn't know how to act around me. So, his attitude is mixed. It's almost as it I have to encourage him to be nice to me, or he'll just be rude because he doen't know any other option. He's learned to be bad to get attention because his mom only gives him attention when he's bad.

So, it's - for me - jump ship or stay on and swab the deck. Occasionally bf honors me and treats me well, but a lot of those opportunities get overlooked because of his son and the trouble he is causing, or of his extreme needs.

I know the up down of bf and my relationship is bad for the son. And, it's only been a year and a lot of ups and downs. It's uncomfortable for me now and I think it best to get out. therapy with all of us we haven't tried. But how will it help really? We all know how we need to be, the question is how can we get to that point. I can't do things because my needs aren't being met. I have to sacrifice too much to get a little bonus. I sound so whiney, but that's the situation. I deserve better.

I know I'm an adult and "should" understand - he's a kid, only a kid. He's trying to get through life and it's hard. Especially because of his adhd problem and off-the-rocker mother. Then there's me. Me who doens't necessarily like him and is constantly correcting him. I'd like to be his friend, but when I'm treated badly - yes, even by a kid - I'm in no mood to take it. Therefore he gets nothing. Or, he gets it from his mother, but it's negative. Then he sees that all women are negative and bitchy.

Who knows what really goes through his mind? I've tried engaging his time after time. he doesn't care to share a thing. He's asked about school and never talks about the day or what happened. how am I supposed to work with that?

Thanks for your sympathy. Please let me know if you have any more suggestions - like if you could do it all again...

Thanks again,
Artist 2

September 17, 2003
6:58 pm
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Alena
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Dear Artist2,

All the while I was reading this, I was thinking, "oh boy, girl you are talking about ME".... I just sooooo can empathize with you and your situations and every single one of your feelings. And it's these "feelings" that are eating you and the relationship up...

Like I said, dated husband for 1 year, had met his son early on in the dating thing, he did not like me. He was a very backward, very spoiled 5 year old. Parents were divorced for about a year before I met him. But, in his little kid mind, when he met me, he blamed everything on me. I must be the reason why his mommy and daddy weren't together.

Then ONE week before our wedding husband's ex decided she no longer wanted custody of child, she told husband that if he didn't take him, she would put him up as a ward of the court....nice woman right?? So, for the next 8 years I turned myself inside out, upside down, mentally and emotionally trying to be a good stepmom. I had no freakin clue how to do that. I mean, it sounds simple,no? Just...be....nice.....? Well, helllloo, ....nice just didn't cut it. My husband was so ridden with guilt for divorcing his son's mother and making his kid behave like this, that nothing the boy did was bad enough to evoke any kind of discipline from him....EVERYTHING was up to me. The ex gave custody to husband, but in reality, it was me who had the custody and the responsiblity. And it never should have been that way...We had fight after fight after fight...he would go see his mother every other weekend and once during the week, sometimes she would come, sometimes not, but whatever, it was always MY fault.
We sent him to counseling, but the three of us never went, because first of all, husband would never admit there was a reason to be counseled. Two times during those eight years, the mother sued to get custody back, the court ordered psychological testing, two times custody remained with us, as a matter of fact, 2 psychologists agreed that I was the child's main lifeline....but you know what kind of a toll this took on me??
I loved him, I fought for him, I tried so hard to mature and be the adult I needed to be, and because of this stress and the constant fighting with husband and his knack for burying his head in the sand, I ended up in the hospital for 6 weeks for exhaustion and depression. I loved this little boy, but I could not make him adjust all by myself when his mother, his grandmother, his aunts and uncles, his stepfather, and yes, his FATHER, were making his life an emotional bloody mess.

Everyone has to get on board. Everyone has to have the same game plan. Everyone has to agree on every single facet of his life and how it should and will go...now this is including his mother. How easy would that be?? Not too, right? You can do all you know how to do, but with him this age, and without the total support of all of those to which he is exposed, you will be fighting a losing battle. Nothing can undermine your position in the relationship with him. You cannot be the boss, you cannot be his slave either, or his rug to walk on...You have to be respected and you have to give respect. But you also have to be totally fair to him, and I don't want to hurt you, but I know for ME, I had a hard time liking him in the beginning because of who and how he was. I thought, "you spoiled little brat, I'm the one who has to take care of you now, your own mother doesnt want you, why me?? why ME??? She gets to take you to the parks and theater, I get to sit up with you all night while you throw it all up..."...isn't that awful???? And I hated myself for thinking that stuff, so was I totally fair with him at all times??? Maybe not...maybe when I jumped on him for something slight, maybe it was driven by my hidden feelings?? Maybe I could have handled it better???

This is why you ALL need counseling. You all need to know how to handle the situations when they arise. And they will....they do don't they?? And when they are over, do you secretly, when you are totally alone...think for a moment that ...."maybe I could have handled that better...." ??
And I know now that his life and his social adjustments should have been the focus with husband and me. This little boy was crying out for help in understand his life. After a while, I loved him, I hugged and kissed him and took care of his booboos and surgeries and tears, and his mother was still always there undermining my relationship with him.

I have quite a few suggestions Artist2, but they are all tough. Just know that if you and bf are in love, truly respecting each other's feelings, and you go into this with what is best for the boy first and foremost, you can probaby pull this off. It takes a huge commitment.A good family counselor with experience in family dynamics and chidren of divorce, could give you the tools to make him understand and feel more comfortable with you and his dad. As far as how he feels about his mom, as long as he continues to see her, he will probably overlook her faults and her lack of caring, for some reason we always do that...even children who are physically abused many times want to return to "mom"....go figure.

I know at one time it was explained to me that the boy feels great loyalty to his mother, therefore bonding with me, or sharing a laugh or an experience from the school day was to him, being disloyal to his mom.

I feel like we failed this little boy. I tried as hard as I could, I even left my husband a couple of times, I just could not do it alone. All the feelings you are feeling are valid Artist2. How much training did you ever get on how to handle a 7 year old boy who does not like you???? Like me? None??

Perhaps getting away for a while and asking yourself how much you are willing to give of yourself, or sacrifice for bf and for little boy, would be time away well spent. And then if you decide to stay with bf, you need his total commitment too. If you can get through YOUR emotions to handle the CHILD'S emotions, it could work, but those are both big hurdles. I would support your decision either way, it's a tough decision to make. See? You never should have fallen for his sweet talking self..... lol....

September 24, 2003
12:41 pm
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artist 2
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Oh Alena, your posts hold many years of wisdom. I am in awe of you and your experience and oh so greatful for your sharing with me.

Thankfully, he doesn’t blame me because his dad, in his own wisdom has explained about his mom. That she doesn’t have the best judgment, etc. I’m sorry you had to endure this. But, because of your endurance you are able to help someone just starting out on a very similar path.

My bf is for sure feeling guilty for getting her pregnant, and then for bringing son into the world, especially with the ADHD and problems with socialization he deals with daily. I’m afraid I don’t have the aspirations to be such a step mom as you did. Still trying to figure out how to be with bf, and still not have son and I hate each other. If we could just get by being nice to each other I’d be happy with that. He’s just not easy to deal with, when bf is not around he changes towards me.

The inconsistency with his mom is damaging his attitude towards women. His teacher this year is having a lot of problems with his behavior. I hope bf will get his son some counseling soon. I’ve sent him names, but he doesn’t make time to call and make the appointment. I don’t see us all going together at one time. It’s too much like calling it a family, because it isn’t to me.

I have been more out of shape, weigh more and sleep less than I ever have. The wear is showing on my face and my hair is falling out. I am planning to move out at the end of the year. Give bf time to find more work because he’ll be hard hit financially when I move out and not paying him rent. I’d love to be with my bf, but don’t want to put up with son any more.

Of course, bf parents are great and give good advice, but they just stay out of it. BF doesn’t share much with them, but I think he should.

How does one get all together and agree on how to raise this kid? I liked son in the beginning, but unfortunately the more I have insisted on getting what I need in the relationship and the household, the harder he’s been to supervise. Yes, I used to hate that his mom got to do all the fun stuff, and I had to deal with the bad behavior afterwards. Now I see that it’s just part of him. Unfortunately, seeing how he is makes me dislike him more. My shortness with him stems from his disrespect. Of course, bf says he’s just a kid, taking up for him – and I counter with yes, but I deserve… who gets to win? Son does. BF talks about reprocosity – that thing of you get what you give… but the message gets lost when it comes to his son. His son is first always and I get what I need half the time.

I wonder all the time if I’m being selfish. I know it seems that way. And maybe it is because people become selfish when there’s a hole in them, when there’s a void, a need that’s not being met.

I know a million times over I can act better and do better in each situation. I just don’t want to be his stop mom. Period. I don’t want to deal with the ups and downs - he loves me one minute - and distant after a visit with his mom. I don’t want his mother constantly trying to change the schedule around and making things inconvenient for us because Bf (and moreover the courts) can’t tell her NO. I just don’t need it in my life.

BF and I are in love and do love and respect each other. He has a hard time with his son too. It’s sad, really. He needs help from someone but it’s not for me to sacrifice the rest of my life for this.

I’m not calling you foolish for going ahead. It was your decision at the time, and not stupid at all. It’s just that now I have a chance and with your experience I can see what the future will probably bring for me. I can still choose.

Yes, I never should have moved in never should have tried… never will I be sorry for that though. Are you?

September 24, 2003
6:52 pm
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Molly
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Oh, the Hell of it all. Sorry yes, and no. Greatful that I took my leap of faith, but sorry that I didn't know when to cut my losses, and still learning but better at the selfish aspescts of life, but is it selfish ? Or is it survival ? Artist2 only read part of your posts, but have followed some what over the months. Life doesn't need to be this hard. One of the biggest lessons that I learned is that love isn't enough for a relationship. Stepping, is a bitch. I rarely see where the dynamics come together where all remain sane and happy, the Brady bunch was a TV fiction, with many writers, to bad people can't make it happen in real life. You choose BF, you choose the son, the ex, and the crap till death do you part, or get locked up in the straight jacket.
My dear friend Alena languaged her experience clear, and it isn't that much different for many. You see what you are getting, and to hope, pray for change is like well what do you think your chances are of winning the lotto are ? The problem child in my relationship with Sybil, now writes to me regularly, even though Sybil and I have parted, he acknowledged to me after the reconcilliation, that he was an evil child, and well knew what he was doing. Did that change the damage that was created, did that effect his father, did that validate me, some what but was it worth it, after the years of hell and fighting, and abuse that was inflicted on everyone ? HELL NO. The father motivated by guilt for leaving the mother, never wanted another kid him self, lousy father, all Disneyland days, and the mom created such havoc. Would I do it again, no. Time is precious, and ok its scarey to be alone, but its better than being in hell , where you have no controll, and the futher you go into it, the harder it is to get out. I acknowledge you for being kind hearted in your sentiment of the fathers financial situation, but if the tables were turned, would he be the same in consideration ? Its your life your soul, your weight, your depression, your future.
I don't enjoy being single, I would rather have the familiar, as the change leaves holes in my heart, and routine, but I don't miss the abuse that was created from the fights, I don't miss the absence of controll of my space, I have doors that are opening that wouldn't if I kept at what was going on. Listen to the other women who have been good women and tried. Its not a reflection on you, it just is what it is and is not. Nor will it ever be.

September 24, 2003
8:57 pm
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Alena
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Artist2,

Absolutely I am sorry. I know this again sounds selfish, but it took a major toll on me, it changed me. I have 2 other sons and I tried to always make stepson NOT different, we called them all brothers, I tried to make it something it was not.

Had I been smart enough in the beginning to realize my limitations, I never would have married him. Yep, I loved my husband, but as eternally wise Molly points out, it takes alot more than love. Love does not "conquer all". I had a polyanna picture of what I could do, I thought I could do anything. Up until I met stepson I had alot of friends, alot of support, alot of good feelings about what I was capable of successfuly doing. The fights with husband, the fights with stepson, the questioning myself over my decisions, my self esteem plumetting, having to watch husband let stepson get away with things that the other boys would get in trouble for, it all took it's toll on me. And I did not deserve that. I was so much more before I became a "stepmom"....ugh...doesn't that conjure up the stepmother in Cinderella?? Stepmoms get a bad rap..as with fathers, it takes more than birth to make a person a mother or a father.

Yes, if I had to do it over again, knowing what I know now, I would break it off with husband as soon as I saw the warning signals, I would listen to my own head and not dismiss them.

What makes this all so totally catastrophic is that after all I gave it, after all the counseling sessions, the love, the tears, the prayers, after trying to have all of us love each other equally, I/we, failed. He left our house when he was old enough to decide for himself, kissed me goodbye to go to his mom's for "a visit" and never came back. I havent seen him for 20 years. Nothing we could do. We never handled that well either. Husband got angry, no communication. His mother constantly tried to entice him into coming back to her, money, country club, cars. But he didn't stay with her for very long. Stepson moved to another city, pretty far away. He was in one "trouble" situation after another, went to live in another state with another relative, got into drugs, and now has nothing to do with us, or his mother, or anyone in this family. My other sons have not seen their "brother" in 20 years either. That tore them up, they only knew him as their brother, they didn't understand why he went away and didnt' want to see them. Now that they are older, they don't want to see him. Mixed up emotions? You bet..

All the pain for everyone, all the hurt, it was never worth it. Nobody ever put "what was best" for him their top priority. As I said, husband was busy trying to rectify his guilt, mother was busy trying to make up for not wanting him, and I was busy trying to make him MY son.

It's is still a sore spot between my husband and me. He has never gotten over it, and I refuse to give one more ounce of myself to it. I don't have anything else to spare, I don't have any sympathy for husband, he wouldn't listen to me, he has to suffer the consequences. But it's like the invisible pink elephant, it is there, we just pretend we don't see it.

I'm sorry to hear that you are being so affected by all of this, that is not a good thing. Please take care of yourself and do consider getting out long before the end of the year, you shouldn't have to put up with this any longer. Stay self-centered on this, look out for you and your health, please.

You are smart Artist2, you're a good young woman. All the love you have deserves to be given to someone who can give you all of theirs...understand?? Don't beat yourself up over it, it is not selfish. It is called self preservation. You have every right to say no, I cannot and will not do this. Good for you, I commend you on your honesty. You will be okay, you are so much smarter than I was. And in the long run, it's the best decision for everyone.

September 25, 2003
12:02 pm
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artist 2
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Yes, I understand.... and Thank you thank you. Thank you Molly.

September 25, 2003
8:53 pm
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A2, you are very welcome. I hope you are comfortable with any decision you make. I am sorry to sound so pessimistic about it, it is just my experience, but I think the success stories are in the minority.

Good luck kiddo, I wish you well. Keep us posted...hugs...

September 26, 2003
10:34 am
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Dammit houses are expensive.

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