How much longer should I wait?

I am 50 years old. Separated for almost 5 years, and legally divorced for 2, I met XXXX about 2 years after I separated from my husband of 20 years. When we met (online), he had been separated from his wife of 23 years for about 8 months. our relationship At first, our relationship was just friends, but after a few months it grew into a romantic relationship.

I was upfront with my children (who were 19 and 17 at the time) about this relationship from day one. I have a relatively close relationship with them, and they have no problems at all with XXXX (in fact, they like him fine).

XXXX, on the other hand, hasn't ever had a very close relationship with any of his 3 children (who were, at the time we met, 25, 21 and 13). XXXX's estranged wife (OOO) has a chronic illness that incurs large medical bills several times a year. Because of this illness, XXXX told me upfront, when we took our relationship to the next level, that he was not going to legally divorce her until his youngest child turned 18 and had graduated from high school. His military health care benefits for OOO would be terminated immediately if he divorced her, and the ensuing financial implications would simply not be worth it.

He lives 50 miles away from his other family, and probably visits over there for a few hours maybe 6-8 times a year. Phone calls and/or text messages to or from them sometimes go as long as 3-4 weeks at stretch without hearing from any of them. Usually any communication is initiated by him, unless they need more money or someone gets sick. I think the youngest two of them came to visit him once, not long after he moved out 2.5 years ago, but they have not been here one time since then.

He (voluntarily) gives them every dime of his military retirement and VA Disability pay, along with 50% of his net salary. Plus, he pays the entire family's cell phone bills (5 phones with unlimited everything), and for the past 2 years he has paid all of the income tax that was due on both tax returns, and he even split the refund with her for last year. He also regularly forks out several hundred dollars for emergencies, etc. whenever needed. If he had gone to court to get things set up for a legal separation, no judge in the world would have made him pay what he is currently giving her in child and spousal support. My best guess based on what paperwork I have seen is that she is living (tax free) on about $60 K a year. His net income that he keeps to live on himself is about $29K per year. Plus, when he left her, he took ALL of the debt (except for the mortgage) they (she, actually) had accumulated in loans and credit cards, and paid it all off himself. Drama and circumstances right now have ALL of the children living in the house with her (the oldest boy is 29, the daughter is now 23 and MARRIED, and the youngest is now 15.)

Last March, I moved in with him (we are living in a tiny 2 bedroom duplex in an iffy part of town to save money). I moved 250 miles from my family and friends in order to be with him. We had known each other for a year, and I felt ready to move on with my life. I am glad he is financially taking care of them, and I am perfectly content to wait out the next three years without marriage, until he feels that his obligations to them are complete. We are engaged, ring and everything.

The problem is this: They have NO IDEA that I even exist. No clue that he is dating, in a relationship, much less actually living with someone in a commited relationship that he intends to be in for the long term. If he calls them, or they call him, he takes the call outside so that they won't hear me in the background. I don't answer the phone (his cell or the house phone) in case it is someone that doesn't know about me. In fact, relatively few people in his life know about me at all.

At first, when we began seeing each other in more than a friendly way, there seemed to be no need to stir things up by telling them, since neither of us knew where it might go. After it became more serious, the estranged wife was hospitalized for a week or so, and it wasn't a good time to tell them. He promised me shortly after I moved in that he would tell him when he felt the timing was right, but I have been here living with him now for a YEAR AND A HALF, and he STILL has not told them about me, about us, about anything. They think he is sitting over in a little old house 50 miles away being lonely and alone all the time. At first, I didn't push him to tell them about us, believing that this was something between them and him, and that it didn't really matter when he told them.

A month or so ago, his estranged wife contacted both his sister, and his parents, wanting to “talk”. This woman has never had a relationship with his family in 25 years of marriage, and now she wants to establish one? She also began calling him and texting him with some frequency. She stated to him during one call that “when I told you that you needed to leave, I meant you needed to leave the room” (not move out). Of course this was a lie, because she helped him sort household goods and pack up things to move!! I told him I felt that since she was feeling stressed and overwhelmed with some current situations with the children (who are all grown except for the 15 year old boy), that it was obvious to me that she wanted him to move back home. His sister confirmed this as true, based on her conversation with his ex a few weeks ago. His parents think I am the greatest thing to happen to him ever, and they despise her.

Since she didn't come right out and tell him in so many words that she needed him to come back home, he says he doesn't think that is what she is up to, and even if she did want that, it was over and he was never going back. I believe him, but I told him that it was LONG past time for him to stop hiding me from them and tell them that he is moving on with his life.

I have no doubts about his feelings for me, but am I wrong in thinking that it is long past time for him to come clean with them about us? If I'm wrong about him being honest with her and the kids, then I will shut up, but I feel that he isn't being honest and fair with all of them. Plus, as long as she thinks the door is even remotely open to them getting back together, because she doesn't know there is someone else in his life now, I believe she will continue to try and make inroads to get him to return to the family home.

What do you think? Isn't it long past time for him to have told them already?
By Waiting2Bseen 14 years ago :: Bitter Ex
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