I am a twenty-six year old woman with three children. They all have different fathers. I recently broke away from an abusive relationship with my youngest child’s father and started talking to one of my other children’s father. At the time we started talking again, he was incarcerated for various outstanding warrants due to traffic violations. When he was locked up he would always say how much he loved me and he would never leave me alone at night time to be with his friends and all that (I have a problem sitting at home at night by myself all the time.) Anyways, he’s been out for six weeks now and for the past two weeks he is staying out more and more in the evenings and says that I call him whining all the time about coming home and he’s not going to put up with it. I already know that I have issues with trust and with abandonment because of previous situations that I’ve been in. I’m scared to death now. I don’t want to be alone again. Every time I’m going through something bad with a man, I don’t treat my children as well, yelling all the time or just staying in bed and not being able to get up. I also bought a new vehicle that i can’t afford before he got out so that we would have something nice to drive. He says he is going to make the payment, but he still doesn’t have any money. I was doing so good by myself last year (even though I was usually depressed and lonely), but as far as money and having all my bills paid, I was o.k. Now, I feel like I’m spiraling into a money hell. I don’t know what to do. I’m afraid if I tell him to leave that I will be so miserable I won’t be able to get up for work, and I won’t be able to pay any bills. I just wish i could be happy without a man. I also feel like this is my last chance to be with one of my children’s fathers. I’ve always wanted that, and if we break up I know that won’t happen. I’m afraid I’ll be alone for the rest of my life because I can’t be with someone that doesn’t love my kids and there aren’t many men that would get into a relationship with a woman with three children with three different fathers. I don’t know what to do. Please help me.
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Franklin Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, once said, “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance”. That’s a lot of words, but the sentiment is spot on for your situation. If we look at your situation, you seem to do better economically and self-esteem wise when you are away from these men. You pay your bills on time and are proud of yourself. But you are afraid. Afraid of being alone “forever”, and just afraid in general of being alone. So you enter into relationships with men who are at best immature, and at worst abusive. They aren’t partners to you. They certainly don’t make commitments to you that are useful and which support and enhance your life. And you give these men most of your power, probably because you think by doing so that they will take care of you. But it doesn’t work out that way really. From your men’s perspective there isn’t any reason they need to treat you well. You need them more then they need you. You’ll stay with them because (they think) you’re too afraid to do otherwise.
p> But you’re aware too, besides being afraid. You know that these guys aren’t treating you respectfully, and you know that you are subsidizing their freeloading lifestyle at the expense of your own and your children’s lifestyle. It’s a tug-of-war between your fear and your awareness, and so far the fear is winning.
p> I think the thing you need most right now is not a boyfriend/husband/man, but rather mature adult guidance from someone who has been around the block and who doesn’t want to take advantage of you. You need guidance from a counselor or clergy-person or family member, or from all of them if you have access to all of them. Someone who can help you gain the perspective you need to see your situation more clearly. And someone who can support you as you decide whether you’d rather be alone (for a while) and feel good about yourself, or whether you are just addicted to needing a man that you’re willing to suffer being treated in an immature and abusive way just to have one around. Please do what you can to locate a mature adviser for yourself. I believe it could benefit you greatly. Also – get yourself a lawyer or child support advocate. Chances are very good that these men are legally required to pay you child support for the benefit of your children.
p> It doesn’t sound like your latest reunion with the father of two of your children is off to a good start. Actually, it sounds like this guy is rather self-centered and manipulative, and in a word, a dud. I can’t see the relationship being healthy for you based on what you’ve written. My advice is that you leave him and do not go back. Stay away from relationships for a while in fact until you understand better why you are attracted to men who take advantage of you and abuse you. Talk about this tendency of yours with your counselor or mature adviser if you can. It is worth braving being alone for a while while you figure this out because the payoff could be that you learn to recognize and choose a better more mature quality of man next time around. What is the point of being with someone if being with them requires you to be taken advantage of all the time? You deserve better (as does everyone).