It’s all a big mess

My love and I have redefined our relationship as “friends.” This is killing both of us and I suspect our friends find it ridiculous. To see us together is to see two people madly in love.

The problem is that she can’t move forward with a divorce and has basically given up trying. In order to keep her estranged husband from snatching away her youngest daughter, she has to keep her relationship with me a secret. He blames me for the breakup of their marriage, and refuses to accept any responsibility for anything — it was him that broke up their marriage, years ago, by being an abusive jackass — before I was even in the picture. The two of them don’t even live in the same state anymore. But because he’s abusive, because he’s willing to use their own children as weapons, and because he has her at a total disadvantage for several complicated legal reasons (that have something to do with him being in the military), she’s unwilling to fight him any more.

So where does that leave us? How can we have an actual relationship where she has to hide me from people, and I can’t see her openly, and I have to explain to people that my girlfriend is actually married to someone else and, no, they’re not divorcing?

Also, what is the message we’re sending to our kids? I can see it both ways:

A) We’re showing them that two people who are truly in love should be together no matter what.

B) But, we’re also showing them it’s okay to have an extramarital relationship?

Talk about mixed signals. We’re in favor of A but not of B.

We had a rather hard conversation yesterday (it seems we only talk via text in one form or another anymore) where she told me a psychologist (which I’m planning to start seeing) would probably tell me this relationship is unhealthy and I should break it off completely. But when her and I are actually together, which is not that often anymore, it’s like drinking from the fountain of youth. It’s the most healthy, whole, and rejuvenating happiness either of us has ever experienced.

We’ve concluded the whole thing has become a mess, and neither of us know what to do about it. The only thing I know is that I’m not going to put my life on hold anymore, and I’m not going to have another miserable Christmas wishing I was with someone who I can’t be with. What that means, I’m not sure. My plan at this point is to concentrate on building a social circle where I live, and flying myself and my daughter back to California to be with family next Christmas.

Anyone have any advice? I’d love to hear it. I’m at my wit’s end about this.

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2 thoughts on “It’s all a big mess

  1. What military thing is he threatening her with?  Cos unless he’s been paying child support and actively seeing his kids, any judge is going to rule in her favor.  I know there’s the Soldier/Sailor Act which forbids courts from excluding military parents on the grounds that they haven’t been present in a child’s life due to the Army stationing them elsewhere or if they’re deployed.  But that isn’t an automatic “I get the daughter!” law. Especially since, as a single father, he’d have to be able to show that he can provide for her even if he’s TDY or deployed (family care plan).Has she had a lawyer that can look into the details?  Otherwise, it sounds like he’s blowing smoke up her ass, which is easy to do if you think anything you do will get your child taken away.I agree with not putting your life on hold, especially when it doesn’t look like anything’s going to change in the foreseeable future. My heart aches for you, bc you were clearly happy. I hope a miracle happens.  I hope she stands up to him, calls his bluff and puts him in his place, so you two can find a place together. 

  2. She said her lawyer told her it was basically hopeless. I don’t know the details, but it is directly related to the Sailor/Soldier Act, even though he’s “deployed” to Saint Louis in some desk job and he sees his kid regularly. He’s bending the law to shield him from all sorts of things including not paying on their mortgage. I don’t understand it and I can’t do anything about it.   It’s totally up to her.

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