Dear Dr Lukats, Where do I start?! I met my boyfriend over 2 years ago.
He was and is, still married. He has one child with his wife, and his wife has another child but not with him. We live together and travel all over for his job. She knows about me, I've met her child but never theirs.
She uses him as a pawn and holds their son over his head all the time. And he's told me he's afraid she'll take his son away if they divorce. She also has a boyfriend, they live together. I keep asking my boyfriend when and why he still has not divorced her and his answer is that he does not want to hurt the kids.
Kids as in theirs and hers, because he takes care of her son just like he was his own. I keep telling him that he's doing more damage staying married than he would if he just pulled the band aide off. I've told him many times how much I am bothered by his marriage but he just brushes it off.
I know he loves me, and I love him so much. I just don't know how much longer I can let my feelings be put on the back burner. I guess I just want an outsiders opinion.
Am I stupid for staying this long? Is he right to stay married for the kids, if they don't live together? I would just go to a shrink but our insurance won't cover it.
Things can get so complicated when one of you is still married to someone else.
But this isn't a case of him still being in a relationship with his wife or at least it doesn't sound like it from your email. Your partner and his wife are separated. I'm guessing they were probably separated when you met.
If they weren't then his wife would naturally be angry with him and probably hostile towards you.
But from the tone of your email, I'm assuming they were already separated when you met. The bottom line is this: If you want to get married or possibly have children yourself, then the current situation will be a big problem for you.
If the issue is that you want to have children — either with this man or with someone else, then you need to discuss this with your boyfriend. You've been together for two years. This is easily long enough for the two of you to know what you want from the relationship and where you both see it going.
You need to discuss what you want, what you boyfriend wants and whether the two are compatible. If he's saying he doesn't want to ever get divorced then can you live with this? Don't believe you can manipulate him into giving you what you want.
If he's clearly saying that he doesn't want a divorce then take him at his word. If you are going to continue to find this a problem then the only solution is either to put up with the situation or to get out and find the relationship you want. You may have thought his wife would have no issue with you if she was already Dating a separated man who wont divorce with someone else but this isn't always the case. Even if a joint decision has been made by two people to separate, there can still be mixed feelings.
Perhaps his wife feels that she doesn't want to be with him but she's still not thrilled at the thought of him being with another woman. She may also have reservations about him introducing the children to another woman.
It can be hard to let go and accept that your children need to spend time with their father. The chances are that in time she will come to accept this. You don't say how old the children are but once they get to 7 or 8, maybe even younger, they will start asking to see their dad and if a regular routine has been established, for example, having them to stay over every other weekend, then they will get upset if that routine is disturbed and they will be asking why they aren't seeing their dad.
When it comes to your partner getting a divorce, it's completely understandable that you want him to get it over and done with. Even if it doesn't change much on a practical level, it changes things psychologically. You don't like the idea of living with someone else's husband.