Making Plans

Treun and I started talking.  I can’t remember how the conversation started but we ended up talking about the pros/cons of getting married vs. living together.  I’d asked him to run to the local used bookstore with me because I needed to find one more Christmas present for Serenity.  We looked around, I bought what I was looking for, and we got back in his car.  That is when the conversation started.

We’ve been talking about home improvements in his house. We have talked about replacing the carpet with woods floor, totally gutting the kitchen and redesigning the whole thing, painting, enclosing the loft for more privacy.  We’ve previously talked about me not wanting to move into his house because of the history there as he lived with his ex-wife and kids there for a few years before his divorce and the fact that it is in a different school district than I’m in now.  The practical part of me sees the advantages in doing the home improvements and making it “our” house and I think I’m fine with that.  We’ve discussed ways to get Liam to/from school if we can get special permission to keep him in his current school.

But we’ve never broached the subject of marriage/living together.  Until yesterday.  There are so many factors that have to come into play when we move toward making this decision.  There is health insurance and taxes and school districts and physically moving and merging our stuff and Bubba.

Treun has a specialized health insurance and he isn’t sure that he can cover step-kids.  This shouldn’t even be an issue since Bubba is court-ordered to provide health insurance but the fact is that Bubba has not had them on health insurance in nearly 18 months.  I’ve been providing it through my state’s low cost program.  I pay a premium each month that should not be mine to pay.  It is dependent on income so if Treun and I get married, the children would no longer qualify for this health insurance.  If Treun can’t add them, I’d have to add them to my plan at work and that is pricey.  If Treun can add all of us, that would be a good check in the marriage column.

Taxes are another big factor.  We would have to sit down and crunch the numbers and see which is going to work better for us.  With Bubba being as far behind as he is in child support, I heavily rely on my tax refund for a safety net.  I can’t have that impacted until he consistently helps support his kids.

Moving school districts is the most major part of our combining households that I have to consider.  Liam is about a year and a half away from being able to drive himself to/from school if we move districts and can get special permission to stay at his current school.  Treun and I would have to figure out how to get him to/from school until Liam is old enough to get himself there and back.

But the bigger concerning factor is Shane.  I have an amazing team at Shane’s current school who are all dedicated to helping Shane succeed in school.  We’ve worked hard together over the past two school years to get Shane the help he needs.  Moving him to another school before I have to is a huge consideration.  He has two more years left at this school before he moves up to the next level.  Am I willing to move him and hope the team at the other school is as good and caring and dedicated as the one at his current school?  I simply don’t know.

Then there is Bubba.  One can’t predict how he will react and what he will do.  So far, we’ve been able to keep my relationship with Treun a secret from Bubba.  He’s been constantly accusing me of having a varied string of boyfriends since we split but he’s never had anything concrete to lash out against because I’ve never had a boyfriend before now.  He sent me so many emails over the past two years accusing my friends/boyfriends of molesting the kids that I have a feeling that will be his first line of attack when he finds out about Treun.

The simple fact is that while he can cause a headache if he would make serious accusations and involve either the courts or CPS, he risks more for himself than anything.  The children felt very unheard while we were going through the divorce.  They will tell their story.  They will tell how Treun has been wonderful to me and to them.  Shane, especially, will be very vocal about it and also about the fact that his dad is mean and yells a lot.  While I don’t welcome whatever Bubba could send my way, I’m not afraid of it either.  It is just something Treun and I need to be aware of.

Right now we aren’t discussing a time-line for all this to happen.  We’re having fun talking about the future and how we can merge our lives (getting rid of kitchenware and buying all new stuff for one!).  We’re taking the kids into consideration because they are the most important part of this puzzle.  How to make this future transition as easy as possible on the kids is our top priority.  It is a lot to think about and a lot to work out.  We have so much more talking and planning to do.  We’re just in the beginning stages of this.

I’m excited!  When I left Bubba I never thought I’d date again let alone get married and here I am talking about doing just that!  I’m still amazed that men like Treun exist.  I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that he loves me.  It’s just so different than anything I ever experienced before.

I’m so happy we found each other in this crazy world!

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