Kids from a previous marriage require tolerance and understanding, but this doting dad and his demanding daughter made my love life a disaster.
When I met him, I was repulsed by the way he looked. He was older, fat, hairy, and had a nasally voice. He had terrible posture and he dressed like a kindergarten drop-out. But he was funny, and I love funny men. So I did what I believed to be the impossible. I worked hard to get past his unpleasant physical attributes and in doing so, I fell absolutely head-over-heels for this man.
Oh sure, the system I developed for accepting his giant hairy-baby-body was none other than averting my eyes as soon as he dropped his drawers, but it was an effective one, none the less. Eventually, I got used to his shape and therefore comfortable with performing naughty sex acts on him. He was a lucky man. I’m not saying I’m a “10” but if we would have filmed our bedroom antics, our movie would have been called “Fifty Shades of I Didn’t Know I Had It in Me.” No pun intended.
Boy oh boy, we had fun. We laughed constantly. I adored him. I admired his intelligence and I complimented him all the time. I actually became very attracted to him. And he was so generous. He surprised me with gifts and even offered to buy me a brand new set of knockers. I accepted, of course. I mean, this is America, damn it!
Paradise wasn’t without its quicksand, however. He had two children, ages 9 and 11, from a previous marriage. These kids didn’t treat me very nicely. He set no limits and only made excuses for them. This concept is nothing new. When a man divorces very early in his kids’ lives, there’s a certain amount of guilt that accumulates and he compensates by spoiling his kin, any way he can: shopping, money, enablement, time — you name it.
He had shared custody of his kids, so they were at his house half of the week. I wasn’t exactly welcome to hang out on those nights. I understood their push-back. They didn’t want to share their dad. They wanted their time alone with him. So I gave them as much space as they needed. He’d tell me I was the love of his life and thank me for my patience.
Even three years into our relationship, there were practices from which he wouldn’t stray. For example, each morning, he’d make their lunches and take them to school, even if they were at their mother’s house. At first glance, you’d think this was an amazing dad. Maybe so, but this was his reason for never going on a vacation with me. We couldn’t go out of town because he didn’t like to break routine with his kids. Whenever he tried to deviate from the usual doting, they’d manipulate him into feeling bad about it. Then he’d buckle and concede to them.
No amount of calcium supplements in the world could have grown this man a spine. He was trapped by the monsters he created. But I was willing to power through these issues, putting my own feelings aside, because I knew I loved him like no other. He kept reassuring me that his kids were just going through a phase and they’d “grow out of it.” I would lovingly remind him that if he didn’t set limits for his kids, they’d have no reason to mature out of any unsavory behavior.
I have a 10-year-old son. Both of us have been nothing but welcoming to his kids, all to no avail. It’s their land, we just rake the leaves. In fact, every Easter his kids refused to let us join their Easter egg hunt in the backyard because they didn’t want to share the fun. His kids wouldn’t allow us to join them for gift giving on Christmas either. This was a closed set. Key actors only. No extras. I mean, sheesh! It’s not like they were devout Christians; they’re Jewish for Christ’s sake.
My self-respect came to a screeching halt one evening when his 11-year old daughter begged to come over on a night that was supposed to be our “date night,” not a kid’s night. She stomped her feet until he let her sleep over. That meant that I had to sleep in her room because she still sleeps in his bed. Yep, he let it happen. As I laid there, in her stupid pink room, in her stupid pink bed, I looked up at her stupid pink ceiling and thought, “what the f**k am I doing?!”
So now, it’s over. I walked away. I miss him terribly but the dynamic between him and his kids was overpowering. Stagnation is his friend. Liberation is mine. I can’t help but think about how this situation related to a couple of old expressions: “What came first, the chicken or the egg?” Meaning, did the man-child create the brats, or did the brats create the man-child? And then there’s: “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” Meaning, in his complacency, he seemed just as selfish as his children. I guess the question then became: “Does the chicken fall far from the tree?”
Three years! Three years I spent training my thoughts and emotions to accept this man’s shortcomings. But there are limits to what one should accept in a mate. I have no regrets, as I learned so much about myself in this relationship. I’m so happy I discovered that my mind is a powerful and flexible thing. I also learned that if I can f**k him, I can f**k anything.
Copyright © Julie Archer / 2015 Singular Communications, LLC