to expect my boyfriend to make more of an effort with my kids?

(171 Posts)
Vikki88 Wed 13-Nov-13 20:33:35

My boyfriend has been living with us for 3 months now and generally it's gone well. He's a good guy, he cares about me, he works hard and I'm happy with how things are going.

However, the one thing that is bothering me is his lack of an effort to build any real relationship with my 2 kids. He seems completely disinterested in them at times and I can't help but think he sees them as a chore rather than something to be a part of his life. Don't get me wrong, he helps me out with them & he's never voiced anything negative about them to me (he knows what would happen if he ever did) but he doesn't go that extra mile.

I made a thread earlier about the behavioural problems I'm currently having with my 7 year old, both at home and at school. I'd love it for him to step up and try and play a part and help him as the 'male figure' in his life but it doesn't seem to be happening. I've raised it tentatively with him and he says the right things but rarely, if ever, acts upon them.

I feel like this is something that I shouldn't need to ask him and that he shouldn't need persuading to do - it should be automatic. I know he's not their father but that shouldn't stop him from being a father figure or male influence in their lives. I don't think I'm expecting too much am I?

DevonFolk Wed 13-Nov-13 20:36:41

Does he have children of his own?
Did you discuss this with him before he moved in?

If both your answers are 'no' then I'm afraid YABU.

Have you looked on the step families topic for advice?

saintmerryweather Wed 13-Nov-13 20:38:56

how long have you been going out with him for? i think if he doesnt have his own kids you are very unreasonable to expect him to step straight into a stepfather role

Handbagsonnhold Wed 13-Nov-13 20:39:09

Have you been together long....what was his relationship like with them prior to moving in?

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 13-Nov-13 20:41:29

Dump him. Hes alway going to be like this. Someone who will make an effort with dcs has it as part of their nature and it would be obvious from the start. Its not who he is, you would alway have to walk him trhough the process, you'd get resentful, he'd get resentful the dcs would get resentful and it will all end in tears.

Cut him loose now and save the heartache.

sherazade Wed 13-Nov-13 20:43:54

How do your children feel about him?
Never underestimate the instincts of a child.

Vikki88 Wed 13-Nov-13 20:45:02

No, he doesn't have children of his own but he obviously knew I had 2 kids long before he moved in. We've been together over 6 months for those who are asking... his relationship with them was minimal if I'm honest before moving in as they'd often be with their grandparents.

Surely he knows though that if he moves in with me, he moves in with my kids and with that come assumed responsibilities? Not even responsibilities, just expectations to build some kind of relationship with them? I don't feel like I'm expecting the world.

No I haven't checked the step families topic... there are so many boards on here I wasn't sure where was best to post this if I'm honest.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 13-Nov-13 20:47:11

3 months together and he'd spent minimal time with your children up to that point and you thought it was a good idea to have him live with these children that hardly knew him without even finding out what his idea of his role was? Are you on the wind up?

WooWooOwl Wed 13-Nov-13 20:48:27

You've been together over 6 months and he moved in 3 months ago having had minimal contact with your dc, and you honestly expect this to be someone that has your children's best interests in the forefront of his mind?

Really?

Do your dc have their own Dad around?

CoffeeTea103 Wed 13-Nov-13 20:48:38

Yabu. 6 months of which 3 he's living with you? That's really so soon for the kids and him, as well as Having these expectations.

Vikki88 Wed 13-Nov-13 20:49:12

You'reBeingASillyBilly There is a part of my mind that thinks that way, but then he is a genuinely good man and I don't know if time will allow them to form a deeper bond than what they currently have? I just assumed he'd make more effort in the first place, and it's now eating away at me a little bit.

Sherazade Well my 7 year old's behaviour has taken a turn for the worse and I am beginning to think that moving my bf in might be something to do with it - even though he hasn't said so himself. He doesn't like my bf, but he hasn't been OTT about it either.

Vikki88 Wed 13-Nov-13 20:50:30

I should quickly point out that I've known him for far, far longer than 6 months - that's only how long we've been in a relationship for.

basgetti Wed 13-Nov-13 20:50:34

YABU. You have moved a total stranger in with your children and are worried that it isn't working out as you hoped? What did you expect?

6 months?? Jesus wept.

Chocolatesandicecream Wed 13-Nov-13 20:51:20

Is this a joke thread?

AngelsLieToKeepControl Wed 13-Nov-13 20:51:45

I wouldn't expect a boyfriend of 6 months to look after my goldfish let alone be any sort of role model in my childrens lives. I really hope this is a wind up.

littlemisssarcastic Wed 13-Nov-13 20:52:00

Sounds like he hasn't got to know any of you well enough to live with you yet. He may or may not be a 'child friendly' type of man, but he barely knows your DC, and certainly not well enough to be living in the same house as them.

What is it you want him to do with your DC?

It sounds to me like you and your DC are living with a virtual stranger.

Do your DC have any contact with their father?

basgetti Wed 13-Nov-13 20:52:40

The time for him to form a bond with them would be before you moved him into their home. Your poor 7 year old.

Heartbrokenmum73 Wed 13-Nov-13 20:52:57

shock I have no words.

kinkyfuckery Wed 13-Nov-13 20:53:01

Oh FFS

valiumredhead Wed 13-Nov-13 20:53:07

Are you kidding?shock

Monetbyhimself Wed 13-Nov-13 20:53:07

You've known him for 6 months ? And he's been living with your kids for three of those months ? Please tell me I read that wrong.

DevonFolk Wed 13-Nov-13 20:53:15

I'm speechless at your unbelievable lack of consideration for anyone but yourself.

littlemisssarcastic Wed 13-Nov-13 20:53:43

And if your DS doesn't like your boyfriend, I would move the boyfriend out this week!!

Why do you think your DS doesn't like your bf?

flowery Wed 13-Nov-13 20:54:17

You moved in a boyfriend you'd only been seeing for 3 months and who'd had minimal contact with your children?

Sorry but I find that genuinely bewildering. Of course your 7yo's behaviour is related, he must be feeling incredibly confused and unsettled.

CoffeeTea103 Wed 13-Nov-13 20:54:26

I read your thread about your son. It sounds like his behaviour is linked to your bf moving in. Think you need to reassess this living situation, put your son's current issues first and then think of having someone be a male figure to your kids.

1st question: why did you invite him to live with you so soon?

2nd question: are you on glue?

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 13-Nov-13 20:55:33

Move him back out. You can still date him but right now isnt the time to live together. Your child isnt coping with it and your boyfriend doenst seem to have the right attitude at the moment. Move him out. Get your child behaviour sorted get to know your boyfriend better, get your dcs to know him better then reconsider living together when you get to a point where you both share the same ideas about how your family should work.

DevonFolk Wed 13-Nov-13 20:56:08

I've been with my BF for almost two years. He has children of his own (grown up) and I have a 3 year old DD. They adore each other and he's a vital part of our lives. We're not at the moving in together stage yet, partly because of my ow insecurities, but that's another thread. BUt when we do move in together there is no way I would ever expect him to suddenly become DD's father figure or automatically take on childcare duties.

LaBuveuse Wed 13-Nov-13 20:56:13

So he moved in without getting to know your children and you never discussed how this was going to work or anything? I HOPE this a joke thread.

softlysoftly Wed 13-Nov-13 20:56:25

Yab massively u.

Do not expect him or your kids to suddenly adopt a "father" type role after 3 months living together shock

I can't think of anything more guaranteed to push your 7 yr old behaviour into overdrive than some random bloke laying down the law!

That's your job btw or his actual fathers...

dietcokeandwine Wed 13-Nov-13 20:57:06

I wouldn't be at all surprised if your 7yo's deterioration in behaviour is directly linked to you moving your boyfriend in, perhaps your little boy's way of trying to tell you how unhappy he is?

Sorry, but moving in with someone three months into a relationship - no matter how long you might have known them previously - is just not a good idea when you have young children. If it was just you, then fair enough - but you have to prioritise your children. From what you say they had pretty much never even met him or spent any kind of time with him prior to his moving in? I feel really sorry for your children tbh.

I would be suggesting to your boyfriend that you take a bit of a step back, that he moves out and that you just perhaps build up spending time with him and your children gradually. A day out to the zoo, a trip to the park, or for a pizza, etc etc. Small, less threatening chunks of time that would allow them to build a relationship with him and vice versa.

Vikki88 Wed 13-Nov-13 20:59:46

As I've said, I've known him far, far longer than 6 months - that's only long we've been in a relationship. He is not a stranger in anyway, I first knew him from back in school!

To get back to the point, my eldest has no contact with his father. My youngest does.

Comments like "Is this a joke thread" aren't helpful & are why I've rarely seeked advice in the past. Please keep them to yourself.

MatryoshkaDoll Wed 13-Nov-13 21:00:45

You're mad. It takes years and years to build up a step parent/step child relationship.

You want to move this child-free guy in after 6 months and expect him to suddenly become a hands on father figure? Despite the fact that he's had minimal contact with your DCs up until now? Have you not thought about this at all? Your poor DCs must be so confused. Is their dad not in the picture? They probably don't want this virtual stranger to suddenly start parenting them.

I don't know what advice to give you as you've gone about everything in wholly the wrong way it's hard to know where to start.

littlemisssarcastic Wed 13-Nov-13 21:01:43

It doesn't matter how long you have known him Vikki. Your 7 yr old DS does not like him and you have moved him in after dating him for 3 months.

Why doesn't your DS like him?

LeBeauReve Wed 13-Nov-13 21:03:42

People are so nasty and judgemental on here sometimes. Somebody has come asking for help and/or advice, there's really no need to be so mean and rude.
Sorry OP I don't really have any advice as this isn't something I have any experience of.

littlemisssarcastic Wed 13-Nov-13 21:04:01

Look, I know being a single parent is tough, but don't you see that you've rushed into this a bit?

Just take a step back, and enjoy dating for a while, what's the rush to move him in?

lunar1 Wed 13-Nov-13 21:04:04

you have moved a man into your childrens home who is a stranger to them. I feel very sorry for your children.

WooWooOwl Wed 13-Nov-13 21:04:07

Certain comments probably aren't helpful, but what do you expect people to say to help when you have knowing set yourself up for issues?

You have brought this situation on yourself, and the only solution is to move your boyfriend back out and concentrate on your children. But you probably don't want to do that.

Fairylea Wed 13-Nov-13 21:04:11

Regardless of how long you've known him as a friend it is far, far too soon to move him in. Whatever happened to "dating"?! That's when you get to know someone (and being with them in a relationship is very different to knowing them as a friend). You would have graduallyinvolved him with your children and this sort of thing would have shown up... then you'd give him the boot!

Move him out. Start dating. If he isn't brilliant with your dc he is not right for you.

softlysoftly Wed 13-Nov-13 21:04:14

How long has your DS known him?

From your op I'd guess he doesn't so you knowing him liner is a totally moot point sorry.

Why did you move him in after only 3 months?

dietcokeandwine Wed 13-Nov-13 21:07:14

But Vikki regardless of how long you've known him, you have said yourself that his relationship with them was minimal because they were usually with their grandparents when you met up.

You know him well.

Your children don't know him at all.

And therein lies the problem. You need to give them time to get to know him, and him to get to know them. And allow a relationship to develop healthily in its own time. Moving him in this early is just too much too soon.

I think that if he tried to take on a parental role at this point he might well be told "you aren't my Dad, stop trying to be my Dad". And that would be a perfectly reasonable response to someone your DS has only known for 3 months.

Vikki88 Wed 13-Nov-13 21:11:25

I am genuinely surprised/shocked at the level of reaction on here. I can't help but think that maybe I've described the situation badly? No-one in 'real life' has reacted in a similar way.

My kids come first in absolutely everything I do, this is the whole reason I made this thread as I want my bf to step up and show more interest in them than he currently is. I want him to have a relationship with them, and I want them to have a father figure they can look up to.

Littlemisssarcastic Even though I said he doesn't like him, what I really meant is he doesn't like the change. And I understand that. If he asked me to move my bf out the house, I'd do it right now.

Why did you move him in after only 3 months?

basgetti Wed 13-Nov-13 21:13:17

That is putting an awful lot of responsibility on a 7 year old, expecting him to have to ask you to move him out. You should make appropriate decisions in the first place so that it doesn't come to that.

ilovesooty Wed 13-Nov-13 21:14:09

I can't help but think that maybe I've described the situation badly?

How can you describe moving someone who's a virtual stranger to your children into your home any differently?

Coldlightofday Wed 13-Nov-13 21:15:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Jesus. I knew Dp for years and moved in with him after three months. But I would not have done that with kids on the scene! You're mad, your kids don't know him that well and needed a lot longer than three months to get to know him. Put your kids first, move him out and take things very slowly with this guy!

bigbuttons Wed 13-Nov-13 21:18:14

What should have happened is that he built up a positive relationship with your kids long BEFORE he moved in.
Why did you move him in when the kids hardly knew him?

toffeesponge Wed 13-Nov-13 21:18:38

It is totally irrelevant how long you have known him for when your children have only known him for a few weeks and suddenly he is living with them in their house.

You have done this all wrong.

You should have discussed with what you wanted from him in regards to the children before he moved in and if he couldn't do that, he doesn't move in. You should have also made it clear that if he did think he could do it and moved in but couldn't do what he agreed, he was out.

Your child is trying to tell you he is not happy. Are you listening?

flowery Wed 13-Nov-13 21:19:40

Either you moved him in after three months and he had minimal relationship with the kids or not. If those are the facts there's no better way of describing it.

If you are putting your kids first, you wouldn't move in a man they barely know, you'd take things slowly and make sure they get t know him and trust him and have a good relationship with him first.

Perhaps people you talk to in RL are being tactful if they are not saying what people on here are, but if the facts you give are accurate I find it pretty horrifying tbh.

Heartbrokenmum73 Wed 13-Nov-13 21:21:26

You are expecting your 7 year old to tell you that he wants your boyfriend to move out? Really? You think a 7 year old is going to figure that out on his own?

You have made a monumental mistake (as everyone here has told you) and you need to admit that to yourself, move your boyfriend out and work on your relationship with your son for awhile - he probably feels extremely upset and confused right now.

I would also like to know why your ds doesn't like your boyfriend - you've been asked previously, but haven't answered.

Handbagsonnhold Wed 13-Nov-13 21:21:47

Your dc barely know him....he barely knows them really does he....forcing any sort of interaction could potentially be damaging to them and maybe he doesn't even want to be a 'father figure' to them....did you discuss this kind of thing prior to you living as a family?....

Spaulding Wed 13-Nov-13 21:23:40

OP, you don't seem to be accepting what everyone is saying. There is no quick fix to get your boyfriend to "step up" and be a "father figure". You're shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. People on this thread are telling you to move him out because that is exactly what you need to do. You can't do anything to make your boyfriend become a father figure because right now he and your children barely know one another. How long you have known him is completely irrelevant to the situation. You've lived together for half of your short relationship and your children did not have much involvement with him before he moved in. It should have been a case of inviting him on trips out with your children so he could get to know them in an informal setting over time, then inviting him round to dinner with you all. Not moving him in THEN expecting him to get to know your children well enough to "step up". The only way to salvage this situation is to ask him to move out (you shouldn't wait for your 7 yr old to ask you!) and build up a relationship with him and your children outside of a living arrangement. And your child's behaviour will improve as well. If you're worried about your relationship not being able to handle going back to not living together anymore, then perhaps this relationship just isn't meant to be.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 13-Nov-13 21:24:17

Op your sons behaviour is telling you he wants boyfiend yo move out. Put your words into action and actually do put your children first.

Did you genuinely move boyfriend in after 3 months of minimal contact for the good of your dcs? That doesnt sound like you were putting them first with that decsiion.

Nanny0gg Wed 13-Nov-13 21:24:39

My kids come first in absolutely everything I do, this is the whole reason I made this thread as I want my bf to step up and show more interest in them than he currently is. I want him to have a relationship with them, and I want them to have a father figure they can look up to. Littlemisssarcastic Even though I said he doesn't like him, what I really meant is he doesn't like the change. And I understand that. If he asked me to move my bf out the house, I'd do it right now.

Your children don't come first or you wouldn't have moved a man they barely know into their home. And it is not your 7 year-old's responsibility to decide whether he stays or goes.

He should have built a relationship with them long before he moved in and the pair of you should have discussed what exactly each of you expected from each other. But it isn't his job to parent however long he's been around.

I think he needs to move back out and you need to take things much, much slower.

KerwhizzedMyself Wed 13-Nov-13 21:25:20

No one in real life will say similar things to people on here if you are surrounded by people who live life the same way you do. If all your friends and family think its normal to move a man in who has a minimal relationship with your children and do similar things themselves, you're unlikely to be told what you need to be.

It's too soon. Your children don't know him and yet they are now living with him. Imagine it from their point of view. Why would you move a man into your house who is disinterested in your children? Poor kids.

MuffCakes Wed 13-Nov-13 21:25:44

Wow I don't think all these harsh responses about a situation that has already happened are that helpful.

OP is there anything your bf likes doing that he could include your 7yr old and make it a special bonding thing between them? I'm thinking football, fishing, karate, swimming, even going to the pub and watching the football to make your ds feel wanted?

NoAddedSuga Wed 13-Nov-13 21:26:01

I was in your childs position when i was 12 years old, with a mother who rushed into relationships, not giving a second thought what the kids thought as apparently 'kids dont rule your life'

Do you want to know the outcome?

I suffered with severe depression, and felt a burden on my mother. At 13 i tried to take my own life. Too many changed as once was happening and i became depressed very quickly.

I also damaged my mums bfs car, my mother caught me, and i remember her dragging me by my hair and banging my head on the brick wall outside our house.

I had no respect for her for a long time after that.

We get on very well now. No way would i do to my daughter what she did to me.

And also just to let you know, some people never bond with their step children, so you may never get the bond and help that you so desperately wish for.

MuffCakes Wed 13-Nov-13 21:26:27

I think it would be worse and less stable to your dc to have him moving in and out all the time, your in it together for the moment.

SuperStrength Wed 13-Nov-13 21:28:09

Is there any chance you can get in contact with your DSs bio father? Maybe your son would like to have a relationship with him? Is that possible? If you need support with your DS, perhaps that would be more appropriate coming from his father rather than your BF?

toffeesponge Wed 13-Nov-13 21:28:10

Okay then MuffCakes. We'll all be quiet and let her mess up her children even more shall we as there is already some upset so why not let there be more hmm.

Taking a 7 year old to the pub to watch football with a basic stranger?

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 13-Nov-13 21:28:10

Muffcakes surely better for the boyf to take an interest in something the 7 year old is interested in rather than the 7 year old having to put the effort into taking up a new hobby to placate mum and new man. The boyf should be the one making the effort. Not the child who has had this man foisted upon him.

Vikki88 Wed 13-Nov-13 21:28:19

I have so much to think about. This isn't at all the reaction I was expecting. Anybody who thinks I don't put my kids first is so far wide of the mark, they are my world. It is a happy house we have, despite the dramatic nature of some of the posts I've received. If it wasn't, I would've acted by now.

I've been frustrated/gutted at my bf's lack of desire to do anything beyond the bare minimum with my kids - I thought that was the issue. Maybe I'm expecting too much from him? Maybe I've managed this terribly? I don't know, I'm only trying to do my best as a parent.

NicknameIncomplete Wed 13-Nov-13 21:28:35

A lot of people dont tell their friends/family members how they really feel because they like to keep the peace. People on mumsnet dont have to keep the peace that is why you will get much blunter reactions.

The facts are your dc dont know this man and your 7 yr old is telling you that he doesnt want him there in the only way a 7 yr old can and that is by acting out. Your boyfriend of 6 months needs to move out for the sake of your kids.

Floggingmolly Wed 13-Nov-13 21:29:25

What makes you feel it's "going well"? If he's uninterested in your children, believe me it's not.

Vikki88 Wed 13-Nov-13 21:30:21

toffeesponge How dare you say that my children are "messed up".

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 13-Nov-13 21:30:25

Vikki do you genuinely beielve you were putting your dcs first by moving him in? Really?

Hissy Wed 13-Nov-13 21:31:45

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

KerwhizzedMyself Wed 13-Nov-13 21:32:07

You really need to look at this putting your kids first thing. What aspect of moving a man in that they barely know, who is disinterested in them and has a minimal relationship with them is putting your children first?

toffeesponge Wed 13-Nov-13 21:32:36

".... behavioural problems I'm currently having with my 7 year old."

^ That's why.

flowery Wed 13-Nov-13 21:33:11

So when you were decided whether to move in your boyfriend or not, you felt moving him in would be better for your children than not moving him in?

Hissy Wed 13-Nov-13 21:33:16

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

WorraLiberty Wed 13-Nov-13 21:35:08

Christ almighty OP

You may well have known him longer than 6 months before he moved in, but the kids didn't know him at all!

What made you think you had the right move him into your children's home so fast? hmm

Heartbrokenmum73 Wed 13-Nov-13 21:35:34

It is a happy house we have

No, it really isn't because:

behavioural problems I'm currently having with my 7 year old, both at home and at school

Make the link - the rest of us have.

Heartbrokenmum73 Wed 13-Nov-13 21:36:16

Hissy

Yes, I'm with you because dear Christ...

OrangePixie Wed 13-Nov-13 21:38:11

I'm sorry that you're taking a pounding OP, you must be feeling pretty awful right now. You've made a bad decision but it can be undone and the damage repaired so focus on doing that.

NicknameIncomplete Wed 13-Nov-13 21:38:37

Did you discuss your bf moving in with your children beforehand?

I would talk it through with my dd if i ever wanted to have my bf to move in. The reason being that it is her house too & her life that will be affected.

KerwhizzedMyself Wed 13-Nov-13 21:38:53

Well my 7 year old's behaviour has taken a turn for the worse and I am beginning to think that moving my bf in might be something to do with it - even though he hasn't said so himself. He doesn't like my bf, but he hasn't been OTT about it either.

Missed that bit before. So knowing he didnt like the bf, you still moved him in? After 3 months?

Beavie Wed 13-Nov-13 21:39:39

I had a male friend who was one of my very best friends in the world for over 5 years. We would have such a laugh together, spend hours chatting on the phone, and I thought we knew each other inside out. One night, we got very drunk and shagged. It was a lightbulb moment...of course this was a blinding idea! We were already so close that a relationship would be easy and we would spend our whole lives together and live happily ever after.

What actually happened was that we both saw sides of each other we really didn't like. We were completely incompatible in a relationship sense. It went horribly wrong and after a year we split up, and haven't been friends since that point.

The point I'm trying to make is that it's irrelevant how long you knew him beefed you got together. The way people are in relationships is different to the way they are as friends. And 3 months was very fast to move a virtual stranger to your kids in. Personally, I would move him out, though I realise that will be difficult to do. If you don't do that, then I think you just have to let him build up a relationship slowly with your dc. If he doesn't have kids it will all seem very foreign to him. He probably doesn't know where to start and you need to take the impetus of arranging days out together etc where hopefully they can start bonding. I would seriously think about unmoving him in though.

Vikki88 Wed 13-Nov-13 21:40:11

Is there a way I can delete this? I don't need to read any more messages.

Hissy Read all of my posts - I have known him from as long back as school, he does not have a violent bone in his body - in fact, he's massively the opposite which is part of the reason I'm so gutted it isn't working out as well as I'd hoped. I would NEVER EVER allow my kids to be in contact with someone I wasn't 1000000000000000000% sure of their character.

Beavie Wed 13-Nov-13 21:41:02

* beefed??? Before!

Catnap26 Wed 13-Nov-13 21:41:24

Agree with orangepixie.i also think your are expecting way too much of your bf and children.you need to prioritise ds for now.

Bearbehind Wed 13-Nov-13 21:41:27

OP, after 2 children under 7 to 2 fathers, can't you see the need to make sure any decision you make is in the best interests of all concerned?

MuffCakes Wed 13-Nov-13 21:41:30

OP at the bottom under the red share on google button it says hide thread.

intitgrand Wed 13-Nov-13 21:41:51

Your BF actually has the right idea.It is bad enough for your kids having this strange man move in let alone him trying to play 'daddy' straight away!

Puttheshelvesup Wed 13-Nov-13 21:42:13

Viki, when my dm moved my future step father in I was seething with jealousy. He was in MY house with MY mum and my siblings seemed to love him. I was devastated. He was a family friend of years but that didn't matter. He had always gone home to his house and left us in ours, happy together. I never once vocalised my feelings. I knew my dm wanted him with us and I didn't feel able to challenge that.

A few years later, after some particularly horrible EA outbursts from step father, my dm said "I will leave him if you all want me to". Of course we wanted him gone, bit we didn't want to risk hurting dm and losing her love. I was 11 by then, dB was 9 and dsis was 6. We absolutely should not have been made responsible for that decision.

You need to be really clear to your ds that your home is a safe space for him to verbalise his feelings and anxieties. He has been made to give up so much, his space, his mums attention etc for someone who gives very little to him. He will be aware of your dp's disinterest in him and it will seem horribly unfair to him.

Beavie Wed 13-Nov-13 21:42:33

It's not just about whether he would physically hurt your kids, it's about how solid you are as a couple. At this stage it's far too early to know that.

slindile Wed 13-Nov-13 21:42:48

it's not working. he should move out pronto.

doesn't mean you have to stop seeing him but for the sake of your kids, don't have an adult figure in their lives that couldn't give a shit about them.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 13-Nov-13 21:43:48

Op you can hide the thread and you can hide your head in the sand but you do have real responsibilities to your children and right now you arent acknowledging them or repsonding to your son's calls for help. He needs you to act to help him.

nurseneedshelp Wed 13-Nov-13 21:44:11

I'm sure this isn't the response/ advice you were expecting off everyone Vikki but I personally don't know anyone that would even think of moving a man in after such a short amount of time.

Despite what you say I don't think you are putting your children first, this man barely knows your kids so how/why are you expecting him to step up to the mark as a father figure?

I didn't even introduce my new partner to my DC until we had been together for a year and he was a work colleague for 12 years.
I needed to make sure he was good enough to be around my children and 2 years on he's amazing with them both.

Have you done this kind of thing before?

My partner is the first man I've ever introduced to my DC and it was a massive step for me!

toffeesponge Wed 13-Nov-13 21:44:35

He isn't right for you because he doesn't care about your kids.

Vikki88 Wed 13-Nov-13 21:44:38

NicknameIncomplete Of course I discussed it with them. I'm not the idiot parent that I'm being painted as by some here.

KerwhizzedMyself Like I said, it's more the change that he's not liked - not my bf himself. I understand that.

I don't need more messages anyway, I need time to think.

NicknameIncomplete Wed 13-Nov-13 21:44:46

What are you going to do about the situation?

optimusic Wed 13-Nov-13 21:44:54

haha, i cannot stop laughing at you saying you put your kids first.

Erm, no, you are putting sex first.

If you truly put your kids first, they would have met him and gained a relationship with him and vice versa.

Instead their 'caring' mum, who 'puts her kids first' has moved in a total stranger.

No wonder he is playing up. Suprised the school havent also told you that there is your connection.

Really cannot get over the mentality of moving strangers in with kids... And please no more of the ooh, I've known him for years, bollocks.

Spaulding Wed 13-Nov-13 21:45:05

OP, I can understand these replies can be hard to read. You said yourself this wasn't the reaction you were expecting. But family and friends aren't going to tell you how it is because they're not going to want to see you upset. You can't just want the thread deleted because you don't like the responses. Did you really expect everyone here to say, "LTB, you come as a package, he needs to grow up etc". People here are giving you very honest but practical advice. You NEED to move him out. Your child is not going to ask you too. His behaviour is all the kick up the backside you need to see this wasn't the right decision. You need to fix the situation OP. Don't be disheartened by the replies. Take on board what we're saying.

KerwhizzedMyself Wed 13-Nov-13 21:45:29

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Heartbrokenmum73 Wed 13-Nov-13 21:46:50

I'm not the idiot parent that I'm being painted as by some here.

Going to be harsh and say you're painting yourself as an idiot parent. Why aren't you taking on board what everyone is saying? Why aren't you listening?

If you care about your children as much as you say you do, you need to act now and think later.

Get.him.out.

AngelsLieToKeepControl Wed 13-Nov-13 21:47:24

Vikki my Mother moved us in very quickly with someone she had known from school, she was 1000000000000000% sure of him, he was never violent to her, he spent my childhood abusing me, she spent my childhood ignoring my behavioural problems and dismissing them. We no longer speak.

I'm not saying your boyfriend is doing this, but you haven't given the relationship enough time. 24 weeks is nothing at all, and 12 weeks for you to read any signs of how he is with your children is nothing. And having him move in right away isn't giving your children enough time to express any concerns they may have because he is always there.

What's the hurry?

Junebugjr Wed 13-Nov-13 21:48:49

You are actually surprised that despite not having built any sort of bond with your children, your boyfriend feel reluctant to play daddy - be a father figure? Of course he doesn't, he barely knows them, and they barely know him.
If they had all gotten to know each other beforehand, and built some sort of bond, this could have gone a lot differently.
I'm concerned you come across as the type of woman, who wants this 'father figure type' for her dc, and moves the Boyf in ASAP. Your oldest has already had one other 'daddy' in his life so far (evidenced by the second dc by a different father), and now you want to ship another one on him. No wonder he's having behavioral difficulties.

Forget about trying to strong arm him into playing daddy, and start providing some stability for your children. How would you like it, if someone moved into your home and you barely knew them, your children are no different. Wanting him to take on a father figure type role, without having a bond, and foisting this upon your children, is so irresponsible I don't have the words, I would go as far as to call it abusive.

You say 'my children come first' blah blah blah. But your actions don't reflect that. Surely you can see that, if you don't, you have bigger problems than this board can advise upon.

optimusic Wed 13-Nov-13 21:49:09

yes hide it. Yes hide from the stark reality.

And how the hell can you discuss moving in a complete stranger with your children?

needaholidaynow Wed 13-Nov-13 21:50:07

You haven't been together long. Stop putting so much pressure on him and let the relationship happen naturally!

If you force it you're setting up to fail big time.

NicknameIncomplete Wed 13-Nov-13 21:52:02

Optimusic - i imagine the discussion went like this 'this is x and he is now living here'.

The whole situation is crazy.

needaholidaynow Wed 13-Nov-13 21:52:11

Oh, and don't force him to ever play a father role. He may not want to be a "father figure" and might just want to be a friend figure.

SweetSkull Wed 13-Nov-13 21:53:12

OP.

He might be a good guy.
But it was too soon I am afraid.
He does not have experience with children.
He doesn't know what is the boundaries and what he should do.
You don't even tell us what you expected him to be doing. Do you tell him? Did you discuss with him before he moved in?

I think yo should find a way to move him out, no hard feelings, and start it all over again as other posters said.

Dating. Days out. Dinners in. Family movie. What...ever.

If your bf and children form a bond and start liking each other and act naturally in the presence of each other than you start thinking about moving together again.

I just think you had this big beautiful dream on your head and now you see things obviously didn't go according to plan.

It is not to late and you can turn things around.

Keep yourself here on MN, post under other names, you will always get good advice here, just brace yourself. Sometimes it comes like a shock but you will ending up realising it is a real eye opener.

needaholidaynow Wed 13-Nov-13 21:56:30

he doesn't go that extra mile.

What on earth does that mean? What exactly do you want him to do?

daftgeranium Wed 13-Nov-13 22:04:09

Vicki88 I wanted to offer you a supportive post in this situation - given that you are where you are in this situation. yes getting to this point quickly may be less than ideal, but I am sure that you have done it with the best of intentions and I think many of the posts here are less than helpful in offering advice for the next steps. I don't think passing judgement on you will help any, tbh!

I am without children and about to move in with my partner who has a SD half the time living with him. I know the SD and we have our ups and downs, mostly ups, but there is an unwritten thing going on at the moment between us that the relationship between me and her will move to a whole new level when we share a house. We both have trepidations about it but we will both work at it and I hope that it will be a good outcome (I think parts of both of us are also secretly looking forward to it). But: we will not be able to make it work without my partner's active support and involvement. It's new for him as well: but he needs to man up to this, and to his responsibilities.

I think your idea that I feel like this is something that I shouldn't need to ask him and that he shouldn't need persuading to do - it should be automatic... is misguided, and it's causing you trouble here.

There is a lot of learning for you, and your (newish) partner ahead of you if you are to make it work - and work to the benefit of the kids as much as benefit to the both of you. You need to get conscious of each other's perspectives, and quickly, and start talking honestly: swallow pride and think about conscious time to get to know one another, ground rules, positive solutions to difficulties, and giving space for each others' needs. At the moment, it sounds as if you have made assumptions about how he should behave, and assumed that everything would just be OK (I think this is meant to be a fairly common reaction) - but it just doesn't happen like that unfortunately.

I think what a lot of people on here are articulating, albeit unhelpfully, is that it is far better to work these things through before you move in than when you get there - although most people on here are coming only from the perspective of the kids' welfare - while this is essential, it's also really important for the relationship.

so how about the situation from your boyfriend's perspective? (I am far more qualified to talk about this than the kids' perspective) I think a lot of people with kids are so used to their lives with kids that they forget: the perspective of someone without kids is just as valid. Getting together with someone with kids is difficult. Have a look at the Step-parenting board to get an idea. There are many mothers on here who will flame any poster who dares to suggest that step-parents (for want of a better word) have any rights at all: but think about it from his perspective. he is unlikely to see your kids as a bonus to the relationship, he may be scared of relating to them, unsure of what to do, just non-plussed; he may be feeling sidelined in favour of walking evidence from your past relationship. These are all really valid feelings. He needs your active support to build good relationships with the kids here and to make it work. Yes, he needs to be willing to participate as well, but if you haven't even asked him or talked about the kids with him - if you're not working it together - then you're not giving him much of a chance.

To be honest, if my partner expected me to start engaging with his kids and assumed I would be happy taking on more of a parenting role without even discussing what he was asking me to take on or supporting me with it, I would have big alarm bells ringing: not about the kids, but about my partner!!

minionmadness Wed 13-Nov-13 22:17:36

What I'm struggling to comprehend here is why you can't see that people are getting upset with you because it would appear that you have put your needs above those of your children.

Was your dp aware that you needed him to be a father figure to your children?

Why do people think it's ok to just announce to their children that a man they've seen a few time (essentially a stranger to them) is moving into their home. Were they consulted or part of the decision making process?

Vikki88 Wed 13-Nov-13 22:20:24

Thank you so much to SweetSkull and daftgeranium for your posts.

What people are basically saying is that I've made another mistake whilst trying to do what I think is the right thing. I'll repeat this - all I want is what's best for my kids. Anything I do, they are the first thing I think about. Anybody suggesting otherwise is so out of order and miles wide of the mark. I admit, I don't always make the right decisions but I'll always do whatever I do for the right reasons. I always want to make things just that little bit better for them, in everything.

I will hide this thread. I know what I'm going to do.

daftgeranium Wed 13-Nov-13 22:21:12

good luck with it! smile

KerwhizzedMyself Wed 13-Nov-13 22:27:49

<face palm>

pigletmania Wed 13-Nov-13 22:28:53

Really as others have said you have rushed into his too quickly. Enjoy dating for a while, and see how it goes, ifte concerns regarding your children are still there, than reasses the situation

flowery Wed 13-Nov-13 22:30:28

It's not out of order to believe you haven't put your children first, because based on what you've posted, that's the only reasonable conclusion to come to. How did you think moving a relative stranger (to them) in would make things better for them?

I know you won't answer and have hidden the thread, I'm just bemused.

DoJo Wed 13-Nov-13 22:31:06

If that is what you want, then why not take the advice of people who seem pretty unanimous that the only way to begin repairing it is to move your boyfriend out? Forget the criticism of what you have done in the past if you don't feel it is fair, and look at the advice for the future which has been pretty unambiguous. Has it made you consider asking him to move out, even temporarily?

Heartbrokenmum73 Wed 13-Nov-13 22:31:24

So giving them a new 'daddy' who they don't know is 'making things just that little bit better for them' is it?

Buy them a fucking bike. That will make things a bit better for them.

And, as always, on a thread like this, OP just hears what she wants to hear from the tiny minority that agree with her and everyone else is wrong.

SweetSkull Wed 13-Nov-13 22:33:22

I am sure you did have good intentions Vikki.
Unfortunately sometimes things are a bit more complicated than we would like it to be. Specially when kids are involved.
Take care and hope you manage to sort things out.
I really do hope this is the right guy for you and you will all get through this and be a happy family in the future.
Take care.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 13-Nov-13 22:36:27

Vikki no matter what you say here and what you try to tell yourself you know you didnt move him in for the kids' good. There is no way you can spin that story to make it a decision you made on behalf of the dcs. Drop trying to kid us aswel as yorself

Topseyt Wed 13-Nov-13 22:38:41

You cannot make someone into something they are not, and certainly not in the very short time-frame you have given things.

This man is NOT your children's father, but you seem to believe that he should "automatically" be able to take on the role of father-figure cum step-parent to them. He is giving you very clear signals that he is uncomfortable with your expectations of him. It seems he has little knowledge or experience of children and probably doesn't really want to take on the role you seem to think he should be so delighted with.

Likewise your children, and in particular your 7 year old. I have the definite impression from your posts that they are as uncomfortable and awkward around him as he is around them.

You were hopelessly optimistic with your time-frame.

Preciousbane Wed 13-Nov-13 22:49:48

We had many Daddies over the years, my Mum lived with six different men, it was awful in varying degrees. I am wondering what your background is and if this kind of living is common amongst your peer group. I do understand women like yourself because I am related to a few of them as a couple of my sisters have also ended up living like my Mother.

Many people really won't be able to grasp what you have done because they will always put the needs of their dc first. You also need to do this, your setting your Dc up for possible long lasting problems in the future. I am from a hugely dysfunctional family, so bad that I don't go in to detail on here because I think people would struggle to believe it. It all stems back to my Mother moving men in at the drop of a hat.

I am a product of that kind of upbringing, believe me when I say it is not good for your dc.

HappyMummyOfOne Wed 13-Nov-13 22:50:18

Six months of dating isnt long enough to be serious enough to introduce children to the man much less move him in! Given your eldest must have seen at least two partners and is now sharing the house with a stranger for all intent and purposes he is likely to be upset with having to share his mum etc.

Not sure on what basis you truly believed this was best for him.

ChanelTunel Wed 13-Nov-13 22:51:48

Vikki,the best thing you can do is move him out. He's out of his depth,and will leave eventually anyway.

ProphetOfDoom Wed 13-Nov-13 22:57:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WestieMamma Wed 13-Nov-13 22:58:32

I can understand where everyone is coming from but I do think you're all being quite harsh. She made the wrong decision and I think she realises that now and is trying to work out how to make the best of it. I don't think it's fair to say she was thinking of herself and wasn't putting her children first either. From an outsider perspective it may look that way. But having been a single mum I suspect it's more like naively wanting to give her children (and herself) that 'happy every after'.

Ahole Wed 13-Nov-13 23:15:54

Im just wondering, how did you decide that your boyfriend moving in would be best for your children?

kali110 Wed 13-Nov-13 23:28:07

Think if hes had minimal contact with your kids how can you expect him to suddenly become their new dad?unfair on him and your kids.

Vikki88 Wed 13-Nov-13 23:56:14

"I can understand where everyone is coming from but I do think you're all being quite harsh. She made the wrong decision and I think she realises that now and is trying to work out how to make the best of it. I don't think it's fair to say she was thinking of herself and wasn't putting her children first either. From an outsider perspective it may look that way. But having been a single mum I suspect it's more like naively wanting to give her children (and herself) that 'happy every after'." - WestieMamma You have nailed where I'm at in one. Thank you for not being judgemental.

I already knew that it wasn't going as I'd hoped but I've shed tears tonight at the severity of the 'impartial' view. I'm not at all like how some have portrayed me, being described as selfish where my kids are concerned is one of the most hurtful accusations you could throw at me. It is just not me. I admit that I am human though & can make mistakes in trying to do the right thing.

DoJo Of course it has made me think about it, I was thinking about it anyway with his attitude to my kids which is why I made this thread in the first place. I expected a nudge in the direction of one of the two of us being in the wrong, not the explosion that kicked off.

There seems to be some people who are almost scathing of my desire for my kids to have a permanent father figure in their lives or my thoughts that it would be a positive thing. What is so wrong with wanting that for them? My 3 year old still sees his father, but the fact that my 7 year old has no father in his life breaks my heart & I feel like I've let him down badly. I had a 'normal' strong family unit growing up and it kills me that I've been unable to do the same for my kids. I've failed to provide that for them. That will never stop me from doing my absolute best for them though.

Preciousbane I'm going to private message you if that's ok?

I've decided to not hide this anymore, after people suggested it was me me "running away". I've taken ownership of these issues, I'm not in denial - I never was.

I'm not sure how much this is helping anymore, but thank you for those of you have tried to help - in a strange way, despite the viciousness of some of the replys, it has helped to open up. I will sleep and probably talk to my parents before I make any decisions.

lessonsintightropes Thu 14-Nov-13 00:03:55

OP I can often be a bit harsh or take posts on first reading, but I do think you've had a bit of a rough ride this evening. To me, what you've said is that a long standing family friend who knows your DCs started a relationship with you six months ago and that you moved in quite quick - as other posters had suggested, maybe in order to hope they (DCs) could benefit from a happy family life with a couple of role models, but that it seems to have been a bit too soon. I totally understand where some PP are coming from having been the kids in this type of situation but also understand that your motivations were good.

So the question then is this - what do you do now? It sounds like it might help if your DBF absented himself for a while to give you an opportunity to reconnect with the DCs alone, and for them to tell you how they feel, safely, knowing that if they aren't okay you won't have him back. Managing this with the DBF is going to be tricky but given your long term friendship with him, hopefully he'll understand. Good luck OP, sounds like a tricky situation.

DoJo Thu 14-Nov-13 00:09:55

I don't think that anyone denies that a positive father figure would be a good thing for your children, just that your desire to have that seems to have been so great that it has caused you to underestimate the potential negative impact of bringing someone new into their lives like this. This could either be interpreted as naive optimism or as trying to find an excuse for doing what you wanted to do, but either way the effect is the same and that is that your children are suffering. That is what is provoking the harsh reactions, but it is also producing some helpful advice so I hope you can find a way to make things better for your family.

KerwhizzedMyself Thu 14-Nov-13 00:15:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thehorridestmumintheworld Thu 14-Nov-13 00:23:42

If he is really a good man as you say he will agree to do what is best for the kids, even if that means moving back out and taking the time to get to know them properly. I think you can judge his character by how he reacts to this situation.

Jinsei Thu 14-Nov-13 00:33:43

I feel a bit sorry for the OP. Obviously she has made a mistake, but I think she has been naive rather than neglectful. She has been given a very hard time on here, but she hasn't run away from the thread.

There is nothing wrong with wanting a father figure for your children, OP, but I think you're expecting too much too soon from both your partner and your children. I think you should have given it more time before moving him in, as everyone has said. Perhaps you assumed that it would be easy to start playing happy families, but bonds like that don't develop overnight.

I don't think you should feel that you've failed your DS by not providing him with a father figure. Having a stable home life is far more important than having a man around. I know some incredible single parents who are certainly not failing their kids in any shape or form.

Take some time to think through what you want to do next. Talking to your parents is a good idea. You may have to move your bf out for a while in order to focus on your kids and give them time to develop a relationship, but you might find that this is actually a relief to your partner. It might be that heis struggling with all this too. It certainly sounds like your little boy needs you to put his needs first for a while.

Good luck!

KungFuBustle Thu 14-Nov-13 00:34:30

"But the fact that my 7 year old has no father in his life breaks my heart & I feel like I've let him down badly. I had a 'normal' strong family unit growing up and it kills me that I've been unable to do the same for my kids. I've failed to provide that for them. "

You don't have to pull another parent out of your arse the be a good parent. Children can have strong family units with one parent.

Bringing what to the children are strangers into the house, so you can play mams and dads, is not strong or stable. It's the type of behavior that can fuck kids right up.

bigbuttons Thu 14-Nov-13 06:31:26

OP, you wanted a father figure for your son. I get that.
It seems though that your desire for this has blinded you to other things. It's almost as if you have gone and bought a father for him from the shops. It's like this is your thinking, a running script in you head " ds hasn't got a dad, that's terrible, I'd better go and find one super quick, oh look here's x, I've known him since I was young, he'll do. Come on x move in and be a dad to my kids, problem solved"

I'm glad your not running away from this thread.
Sometimes MN can be a hard slap in the face, but boy do we need it.
Do what is best or your kids now, move him out and start again.

OrangePixie Thu 14-Nov-13 06:41:43

Good luck to you OP, you'll be alright.

Nerfmother Thu 14-Nov-13 07:09:35

Hello op, I'm going to suggest something that might help. Does your school have any kind of counselling for children where they can talk about things? Forgive me if I've got the timeline wrong but it seems likely that it's linked to his experiences so far.
From your name it seems like you haven't really had any periods of being single so maybe that would be good for you? Just an idea - I found it really helpful to stay a single parent for a while with dd. sounds like you were really young when you had ds so not had a chance to be you.
Anyway, ds gets to four with no dad, introduced to a new man and baby, then at seven another new man - is he worried that another baby might appear? He is worried that this man might go away do he doesn't want to bond? He could talk about this with someone not involved?

NicknameIncomplete Thu 14-Nov-13 07:09:51

My dd hasnt got a father or father figure in her life but i have damn sure not failed her.

She has a happy, loving, stable home with me and thats all she needs.

optimusic Thu 14-Nov-13 08:04:00

A father figure doesn't have to live in your home.
A father figure is a male who is a positive role model.
It can be a friend. It can be a family member, cousin, uncle, grandfather etc. It doesn't have to be a father or step father.
Your children already have a father figure, and it isn't this man. It is their grandfather.

Stop trying to rush things. One of the many things I detest my own mother for. Rushing in with her latest boyfriend, who remained strangers to me and who just felt I was an inconvenience and who couldn't be bothered with me. All because I needed a father figure... When what I needed was some alone time with my mum. Some time to bond with any of her partners without him living in the house and invading my home. And some stability. I also do believe that if they hadn't rushed moving in together, the relationship would have lasted longer.

flowery Thu 14-Nov-13 08:04:56

Well done for coming back to the thread OP.

Perhaps you did genuinely think moving in a virtual stranger and expecting him to be a father figure would be good for your children.

No one here thinks or has said that a permanent father figure is a bad thing, or that a desire for one is not good.

But a short-term boyfriend they hardly know is not a father figure. Hoping he will be is putting enormous pressure on the relationship making it less likely to last, meaning it won't be anything resembling "permanent" either.

Hopefully the responses on this thread as well as the reaction of your son will prompt you to rethink this decision.

Strumpetron Thu 14-Nov-13 08:17:40

You should have given them both time to start getting to know each other. You cant expect either of them to jump into a bond and be all father and son with the way you've handled this.

Forcing a man upon a child doesn't make them happy. They won't accept them as this dad figure you're so eager to instil.

And a man doesn't become a father after 3 months.

I think you really take to take a step back and do what's best for your family. But you won't, because I can see from your posts you're ignoring what's being said anyway.

Pearlsaplenty Thu 14-Nov-13 08:33:21

Hi op
I hope you can sort this all out. It is not too late to change things for the better. You need to talk to your dp about how to move forward. I'm sorry to hear that your 7 year old is struggling. Fortunately he does has a loving mother, so look after yourself and put you and your dc as the first priority. If your dp loves you he will be supportive of what you choose to do.

HoneyandRum Thu 14-Nov-13 08:56:25

Vikki I saw the beginning of another thread you started where you are asking "How can I get my 7 year old to listen to me?". You say in your first post that your son is becoming uncontrollable at home and school, has no respect for you any longer, does not see you as an authority and is actually throwing things at you.

I am sorry but your son is obviously very angry and he is uncontrollable because he feels out of control or his world is out of control. His anger is clearly aimed at you. Why is he angry with you? To me it sounds like he is angry at all this change and a virtual stranger moving into his home.

You also say that your Dad can control him and is able to reach him emotionally and keep him on an even keel. This says two things to me:

a) it is not about your son, it is the situation. If he can revert back to being balanced and well behaved with your dad, your son is not the problem. His behavior around you and school is a child showing in every way possible that he is very, very unhappy and angry.

b) He already has a positive male role model, your dad.

I understand that in your mind moving your BF in was about creating a family and you thought it was for the best. Please see that it is deeply disturbing your son and he needs to be just with you and your younger child right now. Move your BF out and take it from there, focus on your son and helping him retain his equilibrium again. I have a 7 year old son myself and they are still so young! He is the youngest of three and I realise now how very, very young and immature they still are at this age. As he is your oldest you may be expecting an understanding level and responsibility that he is just not capable of right now. You can be a happy, loving family by yourself with your children. Take it step by step but don't rush them into any intimate relationships or proximity to people they hardly know.

I really hope all goes well for all of you, maybe you could ask your dad for some help settling your son back into life without your BF in your home again.

Ahole Thu 14-Nov-13 10:22:31

There seems to be some people who are almost scathing of my desire for my kids to have a permanent father figure in their lives or my thoughts that it would be a positive thing. What is so wrong with wanting that for them?

Absolutely nothing wrong with wanting a father figure for your kids or wanting a permanent partner.

Why you felt that this meant moving him in before he had got to know your children, built a really good relationship with them, made sure they got on well, decided between you all what role he would take on, made sure your children were happy, and had got everyone prepared and ready for the change and adjustment, is what i don't understand.

You do see that this is the point people are making don't you? That its fine to all live together, just not so fast and without your children knowing him really well first.

Because what you have written in your last post makes me think that you still don't get it! And if you don't get it then you'll likely make the same mistakes again.

If you get all defensive and make out that everyone is saying you shouldn't have a partner then you won't take in what's being said. You need to take a step back and really read and think and reflect.

Perhaps this is normal in your world and amongst your friends and family? But it has disaster written all over it.

I moved my ex in after a couple of months when the kids were 5 and 3. However we had spent lots of time together with the kids and he and the kids got on very well and as he had two dc who were of a similar age he was quite hands on and the kids all liked each other.

If at any point my two had shown any distress at him moving in he would have been gone pronto

We now have another two of our own and we are seperated for reasons unconnected to the kids but he still treats my eldest dc as his own.

Op you are very naive if you think that a man csn just step into a father role just like that. I feel sorry for your children

"I feel sorry for your children"

Harsh

RevelsRoulette Thu 14-Nov-13 13:16:40

There's nothing wrong with hoping to find a partner who will be a father figure to your children. Who will view you, him and them as a family unit. Of course that's what you want. You'd have to be a nut to want a bloke in your bed who didn't give a shit about your kids. Obviously you love your children and obviously you want love for yourself and clearly you want that person to be and to want to be a father figure to your children..

It's just not what you've got. Not with this man. And you can't deal with what you wish you had. Only with what you do have.

You've got a man who wants to be with you and is willing to put up with the fact that you have children, as long as he doesn't have to be that bothered with them.

I don't think that's what you want, and it's certainly not what they deserve.

Sad but true that not everyone is cut out to take on a parental role. Some people just for whatever reason can't do that. They should recognise this about themselves and not be in a relationship with someone who has children because it's not fair to anyone.

Oh bless you.
Have a chat with your parents and get their take on the situation.
If I were you, I'd also have a long hard talk to the BF as well.
Tell him what you expect from him, in no uncertain terms.
No hints or maybe's - just plain facts about what you expect.
It does take time to build a blended family.
I really hope it does all work out for you.
Good luck.

needaholidaynow Thu 14-Nov-13 13:33:36

I actually feel sorry for the poor bloke in all of this being pressured in to being a father figure.

Even years down the line, a Partner of someone with children might not want to be a mother/ father figure. I've been with my DP for 4 years now and I don't want to be pressured in to being a mother figure/ bonus mum/ whatever-mum because I have my own boundaries. I never called my mum's partner "stepdad" and he never called me his "stepdaughter" and that's the same thing I have going on with my partner' daughter, who I only refer to as DSD on here purely because it's easier.

Sidge Thu 14-Nov-13 13:45:57

Whilst I don't subscribe to the "you must date for 6 months/12 months/ whatever before you even INTRODUCE a boyfriend to your kids" theory (what a load of bollocks, it's not that prescriptive) I do think there shouldn't have been such a rush to move him in.

How old are you both? Looking at your username I assumed maybe you were born in 1988 which makes you 25 (of course I could be wrong). If he's a similar age I think expecting him to step up to the plate as a stepdad of a 7 year old at such a young age is a pretty big expectation.

I understand the desire to have a partner and a father figure for the kids, as a single parent of 3 I really do. But not at the expense of my children's wellbeing and emotional security. Slow down, back off and ask him to move out whilst you take some time to establish a deeper relationship with him AND your children.

Vikki88 Thu 14-Nov-13 14:53:47

I was actually dreading checking this today after getting quite emotional with it all last night but the majority of the messages since are helpful, so thanks to those who were.

HoneyandRum Your message does strike a chord and make me look at everything from your angle. You make sense and I'm afraid that you could be right, but then there is also the possibility of putting 2+2 together and making 5 - making the situation worse unneccesarily. I think I need to have a 1 on 1 chat with my son where he doesn't feel like he can't tell me anything. I don't know why he would feel like that in the first place, but if he does then obviously it needs to be addressed right now.

I know how much it would hurt my bf to get him to leave; I don't want to hurt him if he isn't the problem. But even if he isn't, we need to have a serious talk about things. I know that, and we will. But even as I'm saying that, I'm thinking my kids come first... he'll get over whatever happens, I'll get over whatever happens. We need to talk. You're right.

Ghostsgowoooh Get off your high horse. My children don't need you feeling sorry for them in ANY way.

Sidge You're right, I'm 25 - he's 27. I am thinking that I've misjudged everything, I was already letting myself think like that and now the reaction I've got seems to have confirmed my fears - it's not easy admitting that to yourself. I've made such a mess of everything.

SweetSkull Thu 14-Nov-13 14:56:25

Good luck and all the best!

ElkTheory Thu 14-Nov-13 15:06:23

If I were in your shoes, I would certainly ask him to move out. It clearly has not been good for your son. That little boy is showing you in the only way he can that he is very confused and angry. Bringing a new man into his life who is completely uninterested in him, who views him as a chore and makes no effort to get to know him will only intensify your son's emotional turmoil.

Asking your boyfriend to move out wouldn't have to be the end of your relationship with this man, but I would definitely slow things way down. I'd also lay out for him your expectations in terms of his relationship with your children, i.e. that you and they are a package deal and if he has no interest in forging a bond with them, it would be better to end things right now.

Good for you for recognising that you have made a mistake.

lunar1 Thu 14-Nov-13 15:11:03

Please do t ask your son. There is no way to do it without adding pressure. You need to make the adult decisions.

KerwhizzedMyself Thu 14-Nov-13 15:16:28

I agree with lunar. A seven year old is so young. Too young to know what is affecting his behaviour and too young to have the pressure of knowing his answer could make the bf leave or not. You should be sitting your son down and telling him you think you've rushed moving bf in and that he's going to move back out for a while so that you can all get to know each other properly.

monicalewinski Thu 14-Nov-13 15:17:55

I can sort of see where you're coming from and I agree with the majority of posters on here with regard to how you've rushed and forced things (but I understand it's quite blunt and must be hard reading it).

If things are good between you and your boyfriend, then it would be worth having a long conversation with him about how things might have been rushed - he may feel the same, perhaps he didn't fully think through the whole parenting side of things?

It would be for the best if he could move out, but on the understanding that your relationship isn't over, just being slowed down a bit. You'd also need to have a good talk with your son, explaining that your bf hasn't left as such, just not living there anymore and that it has nothing to do with him and not his fault in any way.

Hopefully you will be able to do this, then you can enjoy a 'courtship' (as old fashioned as it sounds!) with your bf and slowly introduce 'family' outings and interactions - hopefully building up a bond between your children and bf so that eventually everyone is ready to be a family.

What if you were to say to your boyfriend that you love him, and want this to work for the whole family. Explain that maybe you rushed things a bit in your excitement to build a family. Let him know it has been too much too soon, and rather than loose everything, you'd like to take a step back, and work on building this slowly.
If he moves out, but you keep spending time together, with the kids too, he has a chance to develop a bond with them. It gives your son the space he needs to sort his feelings and behaviours out.
It gives your boyfriend time to learn how to parent, to lead, and to bond. Those things don't always just happen instantly.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to create a full fledged family, but it takes time to make it happen.

Squitten Thu 14-Nov-13 15:37:51

I would ask him to move out temporarily.

You may have known him forever but your kids don't. The reactions of both of them, i.e. him and the kids, suggests that none of them are ready for what you are trying to do here. If you force the relationship, you could end up breaking it entirely.

If your boyfriend is a decent guy, he should understand this and be more than willing to step backwards in order to ultimately go forwards. If he can't put your kids first, then he's not ready to be in a family.

Move him out and then take your time to build the relationship between them all - slowly. I think the only crime here is undue haste and it's fixable.

goldnsunsets Thu 14-Nov-13 16:13:57

sorry op. i dont want to add to what others have already written. it does sound to me as though you've put your own feelings and what you imagine a happy nuclear family to look like above the reality of the situation that you have.

i do think your son's needs take priority and if he is having problems with his behaviour at home and school he needs stability and to know he is loved within consistent, loving boundaries in a stable home. good luck. life sounds hard at the minute but im sure it will all come right.

I stand by what I've said..I do feel sorry for the op dc.

All too often I've seen kids lives fucked by the actions of their parents including moving boyfriends in before everybody is ready. I include my mother in this as she moved my dad in before I was born and before my half brothers were happy. My dad and my brothers did not get on..he resented them and told my mum he only wanted her and later on me. My brothers were affected badly and ended up in care.

it doesnt sound as if any of you are particularly happy about this and for the sake of your kids and your partner I seriously would think about moving your dp out.

I am not a perfect parent by anymeans as previous threads of mine are to go by but your situation is a bit of a sore point for me.

WooWooOwl Thu 14-Nov-13 18:59:30

I agree with lunar as well.

It's not fair to burden your son with having to make decisions and give reasons that he is to young to understand properly.

You are the adult here and it's down to you to make these choices on behalf of your children, and to make amends for any mistakes you make.

Your son needs to believe that you will put him first because you love him and because you are capable and responsible. He does not need to know that you will put him first as long as he tells you what to do. That sort of responsibility and power over your number one adult is very overwhelming for children and will lead to them feeling insecure.

Junebugjr Thu 14-Nov-13 19:14:22

I don't think your boyf is the problem, and neither is your son, you are the problem. Well you and your unrealistic expectations. I mean this in the nicest possible way btw. Your boyf sounds quite sensible, refusing to push your children's boundaries by playing daddy with them. Why the hell did you decide to move a man they didnt know into their home?????
There's nothing that can be said that hasn't been said very eloquently by other posters such as Honeyrum. Your last post says it all really. You seem to be clutching at straws to try and rectify this, while still meeting your own needs. Even if this all turns out well for you, please try and consider your children's needs before your own in future, or you will end up with some very damaged children on your hands. No ones needs were taken account of in this situation apart from your own. Awful behaviour.

Pearlsaplenty Thu 14-Nov-13 21:16:26

op maybe there is a book about how to introduce a new partner/step parents into a family? Maybe try asking in the step parent section?

It might be easier for your dp and you to understand the issues if it comes from a author who is an expert on the subject. This might also make it easier to have discussion with each other about moving out/ taking things slower etc

Vikki88 Thu 14-Nov-13 22:20:04

Thank you Pearlsaplenty, I will do some research into this.

Caitlin17 Fri 15-Nov-13 00:37:29

Your still not getting it. You're fretting about the idea of asking BF to move out as "he's not the problem" Actually, he is, albeit unwittingly because you didn't think it through.

Others have commented that, if anything, the fact he's not all over them trying to be daddy shows he at least understands you don't just slot a new daddy into place.

Monty27 Fri 15-Nov-13 00:53:55

If the bf isn't the problem OP, who is? What is? Apart from the fact ds isn't happy.

HoneyandRum Fri 15-Nov-13 05:33:39

Hello Vikki, did you have a chance to talk to your parents?

Vikki88 Fri 15-Nov-13 12:52:13

HoneyandRum I did.

Tonight or over the weekend, when he isn't tired or stressed etc, I'm going to talk with BF and be blunt about what I'm feeling right now and the situation that has developed. I'm going to raise the fact that I want him to engage more with DC, it only has to be little trivial things to begin with - something that can at least be the start of something. His reaction/response to this will go a long way to deciding what I do next. I won't allow it to continue the way it is.

Me & DS1 also have an appointment with the school counsellor after his teacher recommended it. I'm not sure what to expect, but if it could possibly help then I am all for it. Again, whatever comes out of this will also be massive in deciding what happens next.

I don't want to rush into any decision and destabilise things even further.

HoneyandRum Fri 15-Nov-13 13:31:40

You are a loving and responsible mum (and a brave one) to come on here and ask for opinions about everything that has been happening recently. Meeting with the counsellor sounds like a positive step as well, I would be very honest with her about your home life so that you can both work together to help your son. It's clear that you and the school have both seen some big changes in your son's behavior recently. It's also very hard for us as adults to really understand how young children experience the world.

From just my own subjective experience I have found it quite eye opening to be parenting a son after two girls. From a very young age (i.e. a baby) my son has had different emotional reactions than my girls did at the same age. For example, if my girls were upset or tired they would get whingy and tearful while my son would get angry. In fact, I started to recognize that when he was angry and aggressive suddenly there was usually something emotionally wrong. This happens even when relating to his dad. My DH can be inconsistent with discipline, so DH will ignore most bad behavior and then randomly come down like a ton of bricks on our son. Even when our DS was 3 I would see him going head to head with DH, both of them getting very angry. I would have to pull DH to one side and say "Don't you see what's going on here?" because my DH saw our son as being belligerent while I knew our son was actually terrified! I could see DS was very emotionally overwhelmed my his (6 foot 2 inch) dad's anger and didn't know how to handle it so he just started yelling back at him. I asked DH to take it down a notch and not be so confrontational as he was scaring the bejeebus out of our kid.

Even now at 7 DS will sometimes get much more angry and aggressive than usual and I will look around for the emotional reasons (because almost always the aggression is happening because he is emotionally upset about something). Not that the aggressive behavior is not dealt with but I have found that almost all of his emotions can come out as anger when he is upset.

As I say, all I have is my own tiny sample size of one other 7 year old boy but when boys behavior gets very angry/violent/aggressive it can all be emotional. If a kid was sitting in the corner crying uncontrollably or maybe was sullen and very depressed we would expect that they were very emotionally upset. With excessive anger and defiance however, we can have a tendency to see it just as a behavioral issue and not as an emotional one too.

What did your parents have to say? Hope all goes well with the school counselor and your convo with DP.

OHforDUCKScake Fri 15-Nov-13 14:00:26

Ok so you moved him in a little fast, but its not like you got him off the internet and knew nothing about him. You knew him first, even if you werent with him. So presumbaly if he was an axe murderer in his youth, you'd know about it.

You sound like a caring and concerned mum and seem to have a good idea what needs to be priority.

WRT to your actual question, I think its because its all happened so fast that theres been no build up with their relationship (boyfriend and children).

If he was that way a year down the line then perhaps make some gentle suggestions.

But for now, so long as everyone is getting along ok then you could be doing far wose things.

Good luck OP.

Vikki88 Fri 15-Nov-13 18:34:44

Thank you for your words HoneyandRum, I’m just trying to do the best I can for my boys. I’ve not always been great at asking for help or seeking advice – I think it’s only natural to want to be able to deal with things yourself – but I do definitely appreciate now that sometimes you can’t do it all yourself and need to speak about problems/issues. I know I’m wrong, but I can’t help but feel a little bit that way about getting a counsellor involved. I’m his mum so surely it should be me who’s able to fix any problems? It doesn’t feel normal to me getting a stranger’s involvement – but I also know that I’m just being stupid; my parents have told me as much!

Your personal story is interesting and has got me thinking. Being a single parent, I’m used to having to try and be ‘Good Cop’ and ‘Bad Cop’ in one when dealing with any sort of bad behaviour. He’s never been as angry or aggressive as he is at the moment though & that’s part of what I’m hoping the counselling will be able to help with. Is it because of DP moving in? Is it some other part of his homelife? Is it his age? Is it something at school? Is it a little bit of all of the above? I’ve stressed to him his whole life that if he’s ever upset he just needs to talk to me, that I’m always there. This is the first problem we’ve had where I’ve not been sure of what is the right thing to do to fix it. I’ll continue letting him know just how loved he is.

You do have me feeling slightly guilty that I possibly have been too simplistic or short sighted when dealing with his bad behaviour, or more accurately the causes of it.

My parents were very supportive, obviously, and I mainly just opened up to them. They stressed the importance of letting DP know exactly how I’m feeling asap and addressing the stuff that’s going through my head. Once we’ve had that talk, at least I can stop overthinking everything in that aspect and we can work together to improve things, I hope.

OhForDucksSake Thanks… the one thing I haven’t let get to me on here is people questioning who my DP is. The people questioning how well I know him were way off. He’s such a good guy, I need him to be able to show that to my DC.

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