When/ how to introduce a new boyfriend

(29 Posts)
Benzalkonium Sat 22-Mar-14 19:55:34

Hi everyone,I am looking for experiences here...

I have just started seeing someone, and we have agreed no telling family yet. However, things are progressing well, andwe are keen to spend as much time together as possible... His ex's access time is different from my ex's access time, so is logistically tricky.

My first thought was introduce to kids/ family at the same time if we are still serious in 2 or 3 months.....

BUT his kids are teens and already spotted he's seeing someone, and if we are going to get any time together it would be handier to tell his kids, and spend time at his place, while my ( younger) kids are at their dads... But if his kids know, all our families (who are friends) will know pretty quick, and is it realistic to keep it from my kids?

Feel like this is a total minefield!

Any experience good or bad?

Fwiw we are both committed to being together.... But early stages

JeanSeberg Sat 22-Mar-14 22:26:45

How long have you been seeing each other and how old are his teens?

RitaFajita Sat 22-Mar-14 23:27:51

No chance of re-arranging access times so that you are both child free at the same time a bit more often?

If not, if I were you I've leave it until you are completely ready for your kids to find out.

I'm in a newish relationship and don't get to see him nearly as often as I would like to, due to not wanting to rush into introducing him to mine yet, despite how we feel about each other.

middleagedterror Sun 23-Mar-14 01:11:21

I didn't want to introduce a partner to my DS until I was sure it was serious, so we waited until we'd been seeing each other for a year. In the early stages almost every relationship feels like you're committed to being together, and you need to get past that bit before you can be confident it's not just the honeymoon phase.

I used babysitters when we were going out, or we'd see each other during the day when DP could arrange flexible working and DS was at school. I really think it's wise to hold back and think about the impact on your children rather than what is convenient for the adults. I wouldn't feel comfortable keeping things from my dc while he's being open with his dc, it would feel like letting them in on a secret but keeping it from my own children.

girliefriend Sun 23-Mar-14 01:22:21

Hi it is very tricky! I am in a newish relationship (4 months) and my 8yo dd has met my chap twice. I was finding it very difficult to find any time to see him (dd has no contact with her dad) and also I think you have to see how the relationship will pan out in 'reality'.

There is no way i would invest in someone for a year and then find out he was awful with my dd or that he couldn't handle the reality of family life iyswim. Having said that my dd has had a few wobbles this week about the fact I am seeing someone, she likes him but is worried about her life changing in any way! I would not be moving anyone in until at least a year though.

I think in your situation there is no harm telling the teenagers but I would wait a minimum of 3 months before any introductions.

Benzalkonium Sun 23-Mar-14 10:19:14

Thanks for your replies....

It's very new (weeks) and we have totally fallen for each other.

Part of me says wait til gcses are out of the way for his kids... But there is absolutely no flexibility either side on access arrangements. While we can arrange nights off, get a sitter or have kids stay at grandparents,if we do this regularly it is going to make it clear to all that we are at least seeing someone, and his kids and the adults will know who we are seeing straight away...some already knew we were meeting up. So then it would be just my kids not knowing. Which I don't feel right about.

Do I compromise, and tell the kids I am seeing him, so they understand why I am going out, but not spend any time altogether until further down the line?

JeanSeberg Sun 23-Mar-14 12:30:16

Just tell them he's a friend, don't make a big deal of it. 'Tonight x is babysitting as I'm going to the cinema with John. How was school?'

Benzalkonium Sun 23-Mar-14 12:57:52

I like the idea, jean. So in your experience, the kids just accepted that and didn't ask awkward questtions like ooh is John your boyfriend now mum? Which I can imagine will be the first question which will get asked.

I have never had anything big going on in my life that these kids did not know about, age appropriately. They have seen me go through redundancy, job interviews, breaking up with their dad, falling out with my best friend etc etc. I don't really do secrets, so I feel that if I tell them a little, it will basically be telling them the lot. So far we have met when they are at their dads, and he has had to make arrangements for his kids. I feel that it's going to start being a problem for his family if we just continue like that.

Soooo.... Telling the kids sooner, but not letting them into their lives til later on... Yay or nay?

Benzalkonium Sun 23-Mar-14 12:58:51

Not letting him into their lives, I meant.

JeanSeberg Sun 23-Mar-14 13:01:46

Tell them if they ask but don't volunteer the information. And I'd be cautious about using the word boyfriend at this stage. Just say he's a friend and you're enjoying spending time together.

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 23-Mar-14 13:42:46

I've seen the damage caused by men coming and going through childrens lives and think it should be serious before they are introduced so at leat a year.

Older children are not stupid and easily see through the "friend" thing.

JeanSeberg Sun 23-Mar-14 13:47:22

After a few weeks though that's all he is.

BertieBotts Sun 23-Mar-14 15:38:09

I do think that you can look for "green flags" that he's going to be good stepfather-type material rather than introducing him early - in any case that's not always a good indicator because the children may be hostile or fawn over him, and it's easy to be appealing to children without actually taking on board what it's like to live with them most or all of the time.

I'd say green flags are - when he's interested and asks about the children. He doesn't want to gloss over when you want to share something they've done/achieved/etc. He's supportive when you feel stressed about something child related (as with any other cause of stress). He talks about the future as in "We could bring DC here" - probably not too early for this one but once you've been dating a few months. He takes them into account when planning things. If he has his own DC, he is neither a Disney Dad nor totally absent.

I would say if the arrangements are a strain currently it would be better if one of you could change the access arrangements so that they overlap better but if this is not possible, then it would be better to have it out in the open, but yes I would keep from meeting the children until 6 months or so and then fairly casually, no extended weekend visits or holidays etc until a year or so.

Russianfudge Sun 23-Mar-14 17:13:45

Yes stick to "friend" if the "ooooh mummy's got a boyfriend" comments and questions come just say that you do like each other but you're just friends at this time. Which, after a couple of weeks is actually pretty true really. You're still finding out about each other.

If it doesn't work out you'll be upset enough without having to tell all and sundry and all the questions from the kids.

STIDW Sun 23-Mar-14 23:19:36

I think great care needs to be taken not to introduce a new partner to children when they are still grieving for the loss of their parent's relationship and before the arrangements for contact and finances are well established. Once the children have readjusted there are less potential problems to encounter.

Benzalkonium Mon 24-Mar-14 07:42:00

I love the idea of green flags... I have got my eyes open, and seeing lots of good stuff... Really interested listening about their issues, both of us are the primary carer, so he gets the stresses, and talks about them in an open and helpful way.

Stidw, I think that's a good point... One of my children has accepted our separation fairly easily, and I don't feel it would be hard for her to,accept me moving on. However the my other child is still vulnerable. Maybe I need to wait for her to come to terms with it all, even though access has been sorted and stuck to really consistently for about 1 year now.

Middleagedterror... Thank you for your wise words. It's hard to remember that new relationships often feel so committed, and the honey moon can be misleading. Whilst you're in the middle of the emotional whirlwind, and so new and exciting to each other, it feels like you've got everything in front of you.

mummyOF4darlings Wed 26-Mar-14 16:29:27

Hi posted a thread this morning relating to same thing did it in the relationship section probilly should of come here since lot of us in same situation. I think all the advice youve got is very good and will be taing some of it on board for myself.

I have 4 children only my daughter whos 8 knows hes my bf told the younger 1s hes my friend and hes told his kids im his friend. Im worried it is been very rushed my relationship is very new but the only time we can grab a bit of time together is when kids are around its deffinately not ideal dont want them getting attachd to him then break up its bad enough i think im falling for him

Benzalkonium Wed 26-Mar-14 19:46:32

Hi mummy of 4.... I totally sympathise, it is really hard to organise time, isn't it. For us, it's very new, very sudden, and unlike anything either of us experienced before. We just feel so right together, and everything seems so easy between us.
How about you? How long have you been together? How do you concentrate on the kids when he's around?
I'll check out your other thread!

I have come to the conclusion that I have to tell people, so I'm going to wait a couple of weeks, and then follow advice given above, and just say I am going out with John. Downplay any boyfriend label. BUT I will avoid us spending time altogether until a few months down the line. Which means we will not get much time together, sad

Not telling people is not going to work for us. He was asked directly where he was one night by his son. If he expects honesty from his son, how can he lie to him? And if he knows, everyone knows (age appropriately)

mummyOF4darlings Wed 26-Mar-14 21:53:50

Hi again Benzalkonium.

yes here is link to what i wrote not sure if you seen it not really had any comments but after reading on this section im feeling a bit more positive about the situation.

http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/2036432-Juggling-new-relationship-with-both-our-children-and-jobs-etc?

Weve only been together not even 2 weeks yet its all been a bit of a whirlwind first time in a long time ive felt like this, the only other time was nearly 8 years ago after i split from my eldest daughters dad that turned out very bad and they are strong similaritys between that guy and my new chap looks and personality wise (altough not told him that and wouldnt). Just been hurt 3 times now by the guys ive loved so im wanting to approach with caution but it feels like things are just naturally going way they are going :/

mummyOF4darlings Wed 26-Mar-14 21:54:12

sorry link doesnt work

Benzalkonium Wed 26-Mar-14 23:31:13

Hi mummy, i read your other thread..... I think you got a couple of nice replies on there. I think not having new man involved in family life right from the start is better because it is a huge risk to their emotional well being. Not so much if we fall in and out of love once, but if it is a pattern.

mummyOF4darlings Wed 26-Mar-14 23:54:27

Yes true agree with you i feel bad for letting him stay over tbh. Need to try and work out how i can see him out of mummy duties just hard as he sees his kids when im free or im working.

I know ive had 3 failed serious relationships been lucky enough the kids have been ok as very young. First been eldest daughters dad he just didnt want commitment the more i tried the more he distanced himself wasnt true love but felt very hurt all the same. Second guy was when she was a baby i well and truly fell for him and he messed my head up big time think hes the 1 i had the strongest feelings for but he kept cheating on me and got someone pregnant after we split found out he as a drug user looking back dont know why i didnt know feel bad i let him in my daughters life he was fab with her took me along time to get over it. Then there was my youngest 3s dad again didnt want the commitment of living with me but we tried making it work but he cheated on me aswell gave him a 2nd chance when twins were concieved but i couldnt trust him (or any guy tbh).

Been single nearly 4 years dated in between but i havent let myself get close to anyone. This new guy really is lovely and so attracted to him i dont know how i can stop myself getting too into him

God i sound a right pathetic wimp of a woman dont i, sorry for taking over the thread x

Benzalkonium Thu 27-Mar-14 20:48:09

Hi mummy!

Yes it's so hard! But it sounds like you have been doing loads of good things to give your family stability, even if your reltionshopips have not worked out.

I think the age children are when a breakup happens really influences how hard it is. I wonder what other people think. I guess under 5 there is emotional involvement, but not too much dwelling on the past or over thinking things.

Over 10 and they can see rationally that the relationship was not working. So I feel bad too... Think I should have called it quits while the kids were still wee and not to upset by it all. Thought I had helped them understand it all, but they still find it hard.

Their dad and I were deeply in love but completely incompatible....

This time we have fallen in love, but we have so much in common, understand each other easily and are already able to be supportive of one another. I hope it doesn't 'fizzle out' as some people have described on the 'how long does it take to fall in love' thread...... I want so much for us to work out.

justiceofthePeas Thu 27-Mar-14 21:07:35

I was seeing someone and introduced him to the dcs after a few months as a friend. I have lots of friends both male and female so this was never questioned by the dcs. Sometimes we would go places together but as friends and as I do with other friends. The bf issue never came up.
He wasn't there enough for them to get attached and now he is no longer on the scene they don't ask where he is any more than they do about any of my other friends.

He did not have dcs and I don't think he really got it.

I now have a new bf. He comes to the house when the dcs are out or asleep. (They sleep like logs). But I would like them to meet him in the same way just as a friend. I would not be telling them anything else for a while.

one of his much older dc knows about me but has not met me.

I think dcs are quite resilient as long as you don't make a massive deal out of things or crowbar people into their lives.
You having a bf is not necessarily even that interesting to them.
Eventually he may become a part of their lives but there is no need to rush it or force it.

mummyOF4darlings Fri 28-Mar-14 15:42:17

Yes understandable. My parents spilt when i was 13 although i see now it was for the best i resented every new man my mum had up until late teens tbh.

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