My partner, his 3 kids, his ex, and me. Advice needed...
I finally have the courage to ask everyone on here for help since I feel like my life and relationships have hit a new low. Please bare with me and the long post.
A little intro into my life now: I met my current partner about 4 years ago. Things were great from the start so our relationship moved pretty quick. On paper he seemed like everything I prayed for after my toxic relationship of 3 years prior to this one, so I was eager to find love and experience all of it with no restrictions. He told me he had a kid, a boy, who was 10 at the time and I was ok with that even when I had no kids of my own because I wasn’t looking for “perfect” anymore and instead I was looking for “right”. By our fifth month and right before our second vacation together he decided to be completely honest with me and tell me he had 2 more children, girls. I was devastated and blindsided since I had no kids of my own and although be already had “a boy” in my head, I was looking forward to experiencing having a girl with him. Obviously this wasn’t the case. I decided to look past that as I convinced myself that he hid this information because he wasn’t sure where our relationship was going and decided to tell me when things got more serious.
I met his kids and 3 months later we were living together. I moved to his state, his sisters old place, his neighborhood, I left everything behind including family. This was the start of the other challenging part in our relationship: he has a toxic co-parenting relationship with the mother of the kids. At the beginning it wasn’t an issue but I started noticing how they would get into unnecessary arguments out of pettiness, which game me the first glimpse of a relationship not completely done with. We had convos about how this needed to stop and they should only communicate for the necessary things and when time came for the mother of the kids to find out we were living together, she wanted to meet me but he refused. I didn’t argue this because I wanted to avoid the drama. Things continued to progress and we bought a condo -pretty close to the mother of the kids (about 5 minutes) - to help the exchange with the kids easier. My relationship with the kids was great until the mother got a boyfriend and moved in with him. She became extremely confrontational about almost every single little thing, although her and my BF share 50/50 living arrangements with the kids, 50/50 custody is not legal in our state so she is the primary parent.
During this time I also got pregnant for the first time in my life and the confrontations were not helping my level of stress. It didn’t help either that my BF was not really acting very excited. He would dismiss any pain or discomfort I had and label it as “normal”, go out with his friend and get belligerently drunk, bring friends home at 1 in the morning to have drunk talks while I attempted to sleep. Since this was my first pregnancy I felt heartbroken that he was acting this way and even worse when I kept mentioning I was in pain and he kept on dismissing it just to find out I was on preterm labor. Gave birth at 24 weeks and 6 days. He was positive through the whole experience and I tried to do the same but I am realistic, it didn’t look good. She passed 2 months after. In between the time I was in the hospital and the baby was in NICU he was the perfect partner. The mother of his kids however would start arguments about school uniforms right before we had to head to the hospital to see the baby so she had a very “i don’t care what you’re going through” vibe so that destroyed any wish of building a relationship because I am no longer interested in building a relationship with someone like this. Almost a year after the baby’s death our building caught on fire and our unit survived but we still had to live in a studio with the kids since the mother said she needed a break and “didn’t give a f*ck what my BF was going through”. We are back home now but again dealing with trauma over the coronavirus. My body seems to be shutting down. My digestive system is not working properly and it’s been 2 months. I am uncomfortable because I can’t use the bathroom without medication he keeps saying I just need to eat cleaner but nothing has been working so I get frustrated and ask him to keep the comments to himself if they’re not gonna help. He’s very insensitive and it brings me memories of the pregnancy and how he used to dismiss my symptoms too. I have been getting sick ever since I have been living with the kids maybe because I am not used to being around kids and my immune system is not too strong so I asked him to take extra precautions during this time and have her daughter who suffers from asthma wear a mask since she’s always congested and to protect the other kids and he ignored me and was bothered by this. He doesn’t pay attention when I complain about the kids I guess because he’s tired of hearing it as I do not think it’s my place to discipline them (they’re 8, 11 and 13) and now when we argue he is getting emotionally abusive telling me I have issues and I’m annoying to get home to (HE has a history of anger issues and verbal abuse because he’s told me and his family).
I work M-F 7:30 to 3:30 so I can rush home and cook dinner, do laundry or any chores that are needed. Stay with the kids when he’s at work over night (about 4 nights a week) take care of them when they’re sick, help them with homework and everything a mother does but I get no recognition. I have no friends left, my family is far, his family and I do not have a close relationship so I have nobody to talk to besides my therapist. My birthday just passed and I didn’t even get a happy birthday from the kids. I am starting to feel I have reached my limit in this relationship since I do not feel appreciation or consideration in my time of need. All the trauma we have been through and the challenges of everyday life have gotten to me and my health and I am starting to feel like maybe this is it. My health is important and this relationship is making me physically sick. I just turned 30 and I feel like 40 and I still don’t have kids. Am I overreacting for thinking I should end this and move on for the sake of everyone involved? Or is this no longer the relationship we should both be in? Please help.