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#31 of 49 Old 11-30-2007, 12:13 PM
 
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ITA with the previous poster... and...

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Also, you're good enough to raise his child with him but not good enough to marry and conceive a child with? What does he think you are? The nanny?
I think that's really unfair. It seems to me like he is being up front about what he wants, and the OP has the option of taking it or leaving it. I think it would be downright foolish to rush to marry and have kids so soon after a separation/divorce. I also think it's a big mistake to think you can just change his mind down the road... it's like you're just setting yourself up to be disappointed.

Honestly, I would be more concerned about your insecurity, where it stems from, what can be done about it... I have my own box of mementos from my first marriage. I have three kids, and I *am* saving the pictures of us together for THEM. I want them to know that they were conceived in love even though it didn't work out between their dad and I. I have a poem he wrote me, and a letter, and while I don't feel the same way towards him NOW... those things did mean an awful lot to me at one point in my life and I choose to cherish the good memories rather than dwell on the bitter end.

Cut your SO some slack, his relationship with his ex and his memories have nothing to do with you or your worth.
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#32 of 49 Old 11-30-2007, 01:55 PM
 
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A few things:

I think that you should move out.

It is way too soon after his separation - he is isn't even divorced. Don't be the rebound relationship. I think that you need to step back, take things more slowly. IMHO, it is also a bit soon for SO's child to deal with him living with a new woman.

I think that you should really evaluate things. It sounds like you and he have different goals. You might waste a bunch of time and emotional energy on someone who is not at the same point in life. After getting divorced, many people go years before feeling ready to remarry. Also, he sounds done having children. You want children. To me, that in itself would be a deal-breaker. Even if you can't conceive biologically, you could adopt. If you have been reading this board, by now you must know that there is a huge difference between being a stepparent and a biological parent, especially when both biological parents are active in the child's life. For me, having a stepchild would not fulfill the desire to have children of my own, no matter how much love I felt for the stepchild.

On the subject of the things from the previous relationship, my mom saved her wedding pictures for years. She finally gave them to my brother a few years back. I hope he still has them, because I really want to look at them. I'm 27 and this is the first real urge I've had to see that stuff, maybe because I am at the same point in life that they were at back then. Plus, I heard that my dad wore a polyester leisure suit at the wedding. I really need to see that.

My mom didn't save love letters, but she saved her high school year book that my dad wrote in. It made me cry. And it gave me perspective. My parents spent about 5 years going back and forth between being together and apart. It did a number on my brother and I. Reading what my dad wrote to my mom helped me realize why she wanted to make it work so badly. It made me understand why my dad still asks about my mom, even though they haven't spoken in over 10 years and he is happily remarried. SO as long as they aren't explicit, I could see why the children might want to see old love letters when they are adults.

Also, FWIW, I just got rid of old love letters and my wedding dress from my previous marriage. I just felt guilty getting rid of those things. I didn't ever look at them, I just felt weird about tossing them.

love.gif

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#33 of 49 Old 11-30-2007, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by sweetstepmom View Post
Well as far as marriage, the only reason I have any expectations on that is because he has told me numerous times he wants to marry me and grow old with me and that I'm the love of his life, etc. But for some reason when I bring up engagement or even the subject of promise rings he pulls back and tells me not to rush things...:

As far a baby, neither of us is ready for one right now since we're still settling in to this new life but I mentioned that I wanted to have a baby EVENTUALLY... he said he didn't want anymore children and that I should just focus all my energy on DSS...
Listen, I hate to be one of those people who throws cold water here, but IMHO, you need to leave this relationship.

Please listen to what you're saying. He's been separated only five months at most -- that's hardly any time at all unless you're in high school, KWIM? He is still clearly in mourning for his marriage and what he had, and he is sending you a very clear message that he is not going to be over this at your request just because you want to.

You mentioned you want a baby. He is TELLING you he does not want any more.

You refer to yourself as a stepmother, but he has not married you and he's clearly sending you signals that he is not going to.

I don't know -- you do with your life what you want to, obviously, but it's hard to stand by and see yet another woman completely ignore what a man's clearly saying to her and live in "what could be" rather than what IS.

I wish the best for you.
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#34 of 49 Old 11-30-2007, 02:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by offwing View Post
Feeling that kind of jealousy and insecurity is about the relationship today, not the relationship in the past. Photos of the past are not a risk unless you can't trust the other person in the relationship. Either they really aren't as committed to you as they should be and the fears are justified or the insecurity is a personal problem that is having an impact on your relationship ... which ever it is ... that is the problem, not the past.

I think it comes down to a matter of trust. If you don't trust your spouse/SO I think you have to ask yourself why and deal with that. Because that is what is going to hurt you.
I don't think the : icon really covers it here, but I really think you hit the nail on the head with this.
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#35 of 49 Old 11-30-2007, 03:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sweetstepmom View Post
They haven't gotten along in a long time, but they only physically separated in June. He and I were friends at the time (we had feelings for each other but had never acted upon those feelings until they got separated), she had been seeing someone else while they were still together and she's living with that guy now. At first she didn't want the split, then she agreed it was for the best, then she tried to get him back, he refused so she went back to the other guy.

He says he hates her and this and that, so I would think those pictures and things would disturb him as much as they do me, but apparently not.... it just confuses me.:
i am not trying to worry you about the stability of your relationship but it has been only 5 months since your boyfriends breakup with his wife! that is not very long at all. are they divorced yet? it can take a couple years after a divorce for people to feel stable and ready for a commitment including marriage and more kids, some people are never ready. divorce is really traumatizing.

my DH had been divorced for 3.5 years before we started dating and even then he still had trauma, anger and pain over his past divorce, so much so that we actually broke up after only two weeks of dating and then dated again 6 months later when he was more ready for a long term, commited relationship that has now led to our recent, and happy marriage. If you love this man I would suggest giving him a break, let him heal, maybe even stop dating for a while until he and you are both wanting the same things out of this relationship.
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#36 of 49 Old 11-30-2007, 05:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sweetstepmom View Post
Someone said my reaction was childish, but I disagree - my SO WOULD NOT be a happy camper if I kept photos and letters from my ex-h in our home, so it feels quite unfair that I should have to tolerate this from him.
Well, the fact that you are *both* jealous doesn't make it any less immature.

I think your relationship is moving at warp speed already - DH and I dated for over a year before we lived together and it was another 2 years before we were married, and that felt fast to me. If you really think you want to spend your life with this person, why the rush?

And, your DH's ex wife is always going to be part of your life, if you're a stepmom. If you can't handle seeing photos of her, how are you going to handle seeing her all the time?

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#37 of 49 Old 11-30-2007, 06:39 PM
 
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In defense of sweetstepmom, I'd like to say that my relationship with my DH started very much like hers: a tornado. We got together really fast coming straight out of incredibly unhealthy relationships with other people. I was petrified and very frightened to be rebound girl, just as DH thought he might be my rebound boy. In the end though, we saved each other from drowning. I'm not saying it was ideal, or easy, or what the mainstream would dub "normal", but he and I are both a bit off the wall, very passionate people who somehow knew that we were going to be together no matter what.

We suffered through friends, family members, and exes harassing us, threatening us, telling us we were fools, and that we were going to crash and burn. We kept our heads down and kept a steady course, trying to provide a steady environment for SS during the transition. We both had a lot of insecurity and jealousy to work through. We also had major adjustments to make in our personal lives if our relationship was going to survive. We're still working at it and loving every minute of it.

It's been over 3 years. We've moved to a new city; we have full custody of SS and he's never been as happy or well-adjusted. We're expecting our first child. All the exes have quieted down, or just plain vanished. The people who claimed to be friends and shot us down disappeared too.

I'm not saying everyone's concerns aren't legit; in many cases, they are. I'm just proposing an alternate scenario where things can work out if there is tons of communication, honesty, and a willingness to sacrifice for the sake of the relationship.
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#38 of 49 Old 11-30-2007, 06:48 PM
 
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In the OP's situation it was less the "rebound" effect (though that is part of it) that made me think uh-oh, it is the two very important relationship "deal breaker" type issues of having children and getting married that the OP and her SO do not seem to be in agreement on.

Sure some relationships make it despite flying in the face of what would seem common sense. But it gets less likely that people are going to be happy with each additional "issue" that gets added on top.

Basically Halfasianmomma, I'm guessing that you and your DP are otherwise very similar in how you see life, what you want to get out it, etc. From what little the OP has said her, I'm gently suggested that she might want to spend some more time finding out if that is true for her and her SO.

Because not wanting the same things in life very rarely makes for a long and happy marriage, IYKWIM.
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#39 of 49 Old 11-30-2007, 08:25 PM
 
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Dh and I have pics around of our exes. It's no big deal. I also have ALL of my 1st wedding paraphenalia and plan to pass it on to dd when she's old enough.

5 or 6 months is a very short amount of time. It probably feels much longer when you're in an intense relationship.

When dh and I met he and his ex had just split up. He didn't want anymore kids, either. We broke up for a year before he realized he could handle having a family with me and came back.

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#40 of 49 Old 11-30-2007, 11:11 PM
 
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I was very offended when my xh gave me a ring from his mother's failed marriage. Almost like the ring was jinxed or something. What made it worse was that my xh despised his bf. I agree that the love letters would be inappropriate to pass on as well. I can understand saving the pics for his ds. I have pics of my xh in a special album just for my dd. My df has pics of his xw in a shoe box for his dc.
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#41 of 49 Old 11-30-2007, 11:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by violet_ View Post
Well, if he's not gazing at the pictures, then I wouldn't think it's as big a deal. I mean, if it's his screensaver, then yes, that has to stop. But if they're just hidden away on his hard drive that's not too bad. Or in some box in the attic. It might be a bit much to ask him to get rid of every single wedding photo. I think what I reacted to in your note was the implied volume of photos -- surely some could go or be stored, if that's their purpose.

Also, context is important. Are they pictures of his trip to Italy, but she happens to be in them? Or are they smoochy lover pics? I would probably resent being asked to get rid of any photo that had an ex, if the context was just my life at the time and he happened to be there. But I don't keep "hundreds of them" and I don't keep smoochy ones.

I would definitely take issue with the love notes and ring, though. That's different.
I somewhat agre with this. I haven't read the whole thread yet but so far honestly I'm in shock. He was married to this woman and has a child with her correct? To the OP you seem to be expecting him to somehow remove all traces of this woman from his life. Well that's simply not possible when he has a child with her. That's not healthy for his child. I'm a little surprised he hasn't just told you that. I'm a little surprised that any momma here would actually say they think you are within your rights to ask.

I am going through a divorce. I can barely stand to see my husband. The sound of his voice makes my skin crawl. And yet I probably have hundreds of pictures of him on my computer. And I have a box with lots and lots of pictures of him and our girls and me giving birth to them in the hospital. The idea of a partner expecting me to destroy them or hide them away in someone else's house would be not only incomprehensible to me but also just insulting as it implies that they don't believe that this is over and still see my ex as a competitor as well as refusing to understand me making a difficult decision for the sake of my children. I can't expunge my stbx from my life. It's not possible. He is my children's father. Now I don't intend to keep my wedding ring. If I had one child I probably would and give it to her. Since I have two daughters there's no point in that. I know other people who were given their parents wedding rings and treasured them despite the divorce. And pictures my god pictures are so important to kids. I never saw a picture of me with my father or us as a family until I was 21. My mom didn't take a single picture with her including any that were taken while she was married to him whether he was in them or not. It was so wonderful to finally see that time of my life. I would never keep that from my children. Not from anyone and honestly anyone who pushed that issue with me would not remain in my life. Love letters I would not keep. I would not allow my children to read them and the letters mean nothing to me now. So I'll grant you the love letters. I would question those. But the pictures especially on a computer and his wedding ring? Sorry from my pov you have no right at all to ask him to get rid of those. Not at all.
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#42 of 49 Old 12-01-2007, 12:04 AM
 
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Ok and now I've read the whole thread and I'm relieved that other divorced or divorcing women spoke up and felt the same as I did.

Now having read about your relationship I have to join the "this is going really fast" chorus. You say he won't marry you but is he even divorced yet? I left my stbx in July and I'm still married and likely will be until March or April. That's not my choice that's the courts. I have been talking to someone I've been friends with for a very long time in what seems like a very similar situation to you and your SO. However my new SO lives quite far away and won't be moving back to my area until next year. That helps us not go too crazy. But we also want the same things and have the same desires for what happens next for us. You two don't seem to be on the same page and honestly that's reasonable to me because this is all very fresh to him. I will also say that I've been told I shouldn't even date much less move in with someone until six months after my divorce is finalized. The court looks down on involving a new person into such a violatile situation for the children's sake. They want the kids to have time to adjust before there's a new person to deal with. So if my new SOish type person was pushing that that would be a problem. He has to be sensitive to what I am capable of giving right now and know that I'm not going to do anything that could affect custody no matter how wonderful I think he is.

So I have to agree with some of the others. Your SO is being very fair to you. He is telling what he can and can't give you at this time. You have to decide if what he's offering is enough.
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#43 of 49 Old 12-01-2007, 12:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by offwing View Post
If you were my daughter (~snip~) I would hug you, take you by the shoulders, give you a shake and say "Slow Down!"

You are running headlong into something that could cause you a lot of pain. You're feelings of insecurity are absolutely rational ... and they are trying to tell you something ... so LISTEN!

You're not feeing insecure because he is a jackass or doing anything unfair or hurtful TO you ... he's just not in a place right now where it makes sense to be sure of what he feels.
Yup. That. What's it going to hurt to slow down?

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If you love this man I would suggest giving him a break, let him heal, maybe even stop dating for a while until he and you are both wanting the same things out of this relationship.
Again, yup. I can't imagine anyone being ready to get married 5 months after they seperated from their wife (not even divorced!). And if they were.... I would seriously question that.

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Originally Posted by sweetstepmom View Post
Well as far as marriage, the only reason I have any expectations on that is because he has told me numerous times he wants to marry me and grow old with me and that I'm the love of his life, etc. But for some reason when I bring up engagement or even the subject of promise rings he pulls back and tells me not to rush things...:
Why don't you ask him, straight up, WHEN he wants to marry you? He says he wants to so... when? 6 months? a year? 5 years? When dp first threw around the idea of marriage I freaked out a bit inside. Of course, I had thought about it before that moment but I wasn't ready! I had to dig a little deeper to see what he was thinking. Turns out he was thinking years, not months. Phew! Turns out we were on the same page afterall. Now, I do have a promise ring from him and I know I'll marry him someday. But not today I do tease him sometimes, asking where my "real" ring is. All in good fun though, and I know it'll come sooner or later

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As far is marriage/engagement/commitment, I've made up my mind to give it time (not unlimited time, but as much time as I feel is reasonable for him to get over her) - after all, he is playing house with me and his parents call me their future DIL - I just sometimes feel like a fool, like I'm good enough to sleep with but not good enough to commit to.
Hun, you've been together for what? 4 or 5 months? Give him time. A LOT of time. Years even. If you can't wait around for years then leave. But don't force him into a marriage he's not ready for (which is essentially what you're doing). That's a recipe for disaster right there. He, and his child, need to heal from this very recent break-up.

Steph, DH Jason (1-1-11), DS Owen (10-3-03) and DS Kai (10-13-11)

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#44 of 49 Old 12-01-2007, 10:47 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pinksprklybarefoot View Post
A few things:

I think that you should move out.

.
I agree. And I'd get out of that relationship, pronto.
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#45 of 49 Old 12-01-2007, 05:15 PM
 
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From the get-go, my ex got rid of any and all pictures with me in them at his home. The kids were told plainly that they were not to bring any photos of me with them. I didn't exist in his life.

In our home, the kids can have the pictures they like. I've kept all the photos I had (of course, most of what I have are those of them and their Dad - he had all the ones with me in them), and the kids have always been free to pick through them. #2 loves to scrapbook, and she's made tons of pages with pics of her Dad. And that's cool. I'm glad she has that opportunity.

I also have all the letters he sent me when we spent two years apart. Some day, the kids may like looking at them. I enjoy looking at the letters my parents exchanged, as well as my grandparents.

Yes, I still have my dress. It is gorgeous, and if #2 wants to wear it, she is more than welcome too. Same with the ring. I will likely have it made into something else for her for her 16th.

But those kids were conceived in love. They should have the mementos of that time, if they want them.

If I had an SO who insisted I get rid of them, I'd get rid of the SO first.
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#46 of 49 Old 12-01-2007, 11:41 PM
 
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Well, having read the thread through, let me say I definitely think this is too young of a relationship for you to be making any demands on him, particularly irreversible things, like destroying momentos, and certainly living together seems a bit rushed, too. I had assumed from your title that you were together a long time, since you see yourself as a stepmom to his kids, but it seems that was my bad assumption.

Take it easy, back off. If it's the right thing, it'll turn out ok in the end. But he needs time and space to get over his broken marriage.

On a side note, I find it interesting from reading this thread to learn just how many people save things like wedding rings and such. I suppose I still have mine, but only because I've been procrastinating selling it. I want it out of my house! But I haven't prioritized selling it, as I just keep it in a box. I wouldn't think I have any love notes from my ex. If I do, it's unintentional. And old pics of him I never look at. My husband has even less of that sort of thing than I do.

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#47 of 49 Old 12-02-2007, 01:23 PM
 
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Violet you didn't mention kids. If I didn't have kids I probably wouldn't keep anything either. Basically everyone I've seen said they still have stuff have kids and are keeping it for the kids.
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#48 of 49 Old 12-02-2007, 01:55 PM
 
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Violet you didn't mention kids. If I didn't have kids I probably wouldn't keep anything either. Basically everyone I've seen said they still have stuff have kids and are keeping it for the kids.
That makes sense. I just found it all very interesting, as it might not have occurred to me otherwise. My parents are still married and I know almost no one in real life with divorced parents or who has kids that have divorced parents (except my husband, of course), so this stuff is all new to me.

My one adult friend in real life who has divorced parents, however, hates any mention of her parents being together, and thinks it insults her parents' current spouses, so I'm pretty sure she doesn't have any momentos like you describe. She may be unusual in this viewpoint, though.

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#49 of 49 Old 12-02-2007, 02:07 PM
 
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I was staying away from this thread, but just read through and wanted to share our situation...

Last Christmas I made DP a scrapbook with old pictured of DSD, mostly from when she was a baby... And I even included a couple of pictures that had his ex in there...

One day his daughter will look back at that scrapbook, and think of me, and realize that I respected her parents enough to recognize that the pictures of her mother are needed in a scapbook about her childhood because.. well.. that lady that I might not like all that much, is her mother after all.

We've been together 7 years. Five months into it we weren't living together, and I don't think we would have lasted much if I got overly emotional over a box of pictures with a wedding ring that he keeps for his daughter.

Can it work? I think so... But only if you give him space and time to sort things out. I know that's not what you want to hear right now, but it is what it is, you can't force someone to jump into relationship they are not ready for. And he is clearly not ready for the "promise ring" hints, or engagement ring hints, or getting rid of pictures. If you love him and want this to work you have to take 4,598 steps back and let him finalize his divorce, deal with it on emotional level, reconnect with his kid, allow things to settle down, and THEN begin to define his relationship with you (kids or no kids, marriage or no marriage, etc.)

Btw, I've been with DP for 7 years, and we are still not married, no ring either.. And probably won't progress until DSD is done with high school. We discuss it, the wedding dress, the eyes our kids will have, etc. etc. I'm ok with that, every day he does something to show me his love and commitment This is where I want to be. Feelings, and commitment are not just about a ring, or a piece of stamped paper.

You should ask yourself, though, is this where YOU want to be?..

New endeavor coming soon...
Raising Alice in Wonderland (DSD, 17), and in love with a Superman
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