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Is now the time to tell dd that mummy's "special friend" is actually mummy's gf?

(42 Posts)
amibi Tue 09-Apr-13 12:03:44

Hi everyone

I've posted on here about this several times, but for those of you who don't know I'll briefly fill you in....

Me and my ex dp(father of my dd) broke up about 6 1/2 months a go, mainly because I had developed feelings for another woman, which he was always aware of. Having said that, me and dp would have broken up at some point, because we were becoming more and more distant and looking back, we were never really right for one another.

For a long time, I was struggling with my sexuality and trying desperately to define it, but over the past couple of months, I've realised that I don't need to label myself as anything. I have fallen in love with the most amazing person and that's that.

Yes, things at home are still complicated and me and dp are still very much at the awkward stage, but that's mainly because he's still in love with me and I'm often still bombarded by "please take me back" voicemails and text messages. So obviously things are still a bit messy.

My gf has moved closer to me and we see each other a lot. My dd is always asking about her and is incredibly fond of her and she does see her a fair bit, however we're obviously trying to deal with everything as sensitively as possible. I'm thrilled that they get on so well, but my dd will always be my number one priority and I'm desperate to get this right.

I think she understands that she's not just one of my friends, but at the same time, I don't think it's entered her head that we're romantically involved. However she is now aware of same sex relationships and that conversation actually went surprisingly well.

So, if dd asks the question, are me and x a couple, should I say yes, no or try and divert? I really don't know what is right. Dd has been going through a fibbing stage and we've had to come down quite hard on her because it was becoming constant. So my concern is, if I say no we're not and then she finds out that we are (I know some people in our village know) is she not going to be angry that I have told lie and so therefore, I'm not exactly practicing what I preach?

Oh and my dd is 6 btw.

Any advice, or experiences really welcomed.

Thanks for reading

MushroomSoup Tue 09-Apr-13 12:12:54

How can you and DP be at an 'awkward stage'? If you've split up then you've split up and nothing you do is his concern any more! unless its to do with DD, of course.

Just because you are in a same sex relationship it doesn't have to be more complicated! If it were a man you were seeing would you still feel you have to announce to your DD that he was your bf?
Just enjoy this lovely new relationship and let DD ask when she needs to know. Then answer her honestly. I remember my DCs saw me kiss now DH in the kitchen and they asked if he was my bf - I just said yes and they said COOL and put the telly on!
Don't over think it - go with the flow, you lucky lady!

towicymru Tue 09-Apr-13 12:13:14

No experience of this but I would saytell her if she asks. If you lie to her, you risk destroying her trust in you. The fact that you have had same sex relationship conversations will help. She is liekly to find out at some point from your ex or someone else. I probably wouldn't do the sit down, I have something to tell you but if she asks be honest. It's likely that she has already picked up on it anyway!

McBalls Tue 09-Apr-13 12:17:30

I think it's way, way too early for your dd to be introduced to your new partner.
That would be my opinion regardless of gender, btw.

I agree with McBalls.

McBalls Tue 09-Apr-13 12:21:56

But that ship has already sailed, so if she asks then I think you have to be ho est.
But I think you could influence whether or not your daughter would ask at this early stage - if she's around very often, sleeping over then it is going to make dd wonder (possibly, because it just may not occur to her at all) but if you try to conduct your relationship away from your child then she'd have no reason to ask anything.

6 months ago her parents were together, give her some time to adjust before she has to deal with your new relationship.

Lovingfreedom Tue 09-Apr-13 12:22:47

I don't think a 6 year old will generally ask anything/much about sex and sexual relationships. If I were you I'd just follow normal standards that you find acceptable in front of your child as you probably did with your ex - i.e. you might feel comfortable showing affection but not overtly sexual references/behaviour....it's really up to you. She might ask if she is your GF, she might ask where she sleeps, things like that. Why lie?

amibi Tue 09-Apr-13 12:29:53

mushroom Thank you, I feel lucky. I'm glad that your dcs took it so well. How long had they known him before they found out he was more than your friend? If you don't mind me asking, that is.

towi I agree, that she's probably picked up on something by now. She's very artistic and is constantly drawing pictures. When she draws pictures of me now, my gf is always with me and I think she definitely gets that we come as a pair. I try very hard to make her feel as secure as possible though and so when I told her that dp and I were no longer together and he wouldn't be living with us anymore, she was obviously very upset, but I always reinforce just how much we both love her and how she is and always will be the most important person in both of our lives.

My gf is brilliant with her and has got the balance just right. She isn't overwhelming or unrealistic and I know when the time comes, she'll be a brilliant role model for dd. She has a fantastic calming effect on her and it's so nice to see.

I have mentioned before that I'm very worried about potential bullying that dd might get at school. She already struggles socially and I would feel incredilby guilty if she was teased about mummy at school.

DoctorAnge Tue 09-Apr-13 12:34:17

I think it's a bit early regardless of sex. Her Dad has so recently moved out and she must be very fragile.

mummytime Tue 09-Apr-13 12:37:14

Then I would suggest you talk to the school. Most schools should be pretty hot on homophobic bullying. Even my DCs C of E primary dealt very well with a famous Lesbian's children going through it. (It also dealt well with a transgender child.)

There was an interesting clip on Radio 4's "The listening Project" on Sunday in which a boy chatted to his Step-Mum (who is a lesbian), and he said how kids apologised to him, when they used "gay" as an insult. In my experience kids can be very accepting nowadays.

DragonMamma Tue 09-Apr-13 12:42:40

Hey amibi, I've posted on your other threads, glad things are going well with your gf.

I personally think it's too soon to be introducing new relationships to your DD. 6 months may feel like an age to us but it's really no time at all and she's had a lot of upset recently. My DD is very slightly younger than your DD and I know that I wouldn't be introducing a new dp to her for a long time, if dh and I ever split up.

I don't think there's any need to refer to your gf as a 'special friend' either - a friend will suffice as special friend is you telling her, in a very roundabout way.

If I were you, I'd be trying to separate your time with your gf and time with your DD, at least until you've been together longer and she's had a chance to adjust. I don't think she should associate daddy leaving with mummy's special friend being around, I think you both need to adjust to life with just the 2 of you before adding a third in to the mix.

Andro Tue 09-Apr-13 12:50:36

I have mentioned before that I'm very worried about potential bullying that dd might get at school. She already struggles socially and I would feel incredilby guilty if she was teased about mummy at school.

You need to talk to the school, anything that marks a child out as 'different' is a prime target (unfortunately). Just as importantly, if your DD tells you she is being teased/bullied because of your relationship then take action. Hopefully things have moved on since I was at school, but there was one girl who was alternately ostracised and beaten up because her father had a male partner...her father did nothing!

I really hope that all goes well though smile

Lovingfreedom Tue 09-Apr-13 12:52:05

I introduced my new partner very early on...I didn't want to have secrets from my kids or tell lies. Of course my 15 year old knew the score...but my new partner rarely stays over (and never with sex) while the kids are in the house and I'm still not sure my 11 year old knows that that there is sex involved and he's never asked. I introduced him as a friend initially and then when my ex and his mum blurted it out on my behalf, stirring as usual told them it was a relationship. They both like him a lot...but I tend to keep them fairly separate and see him mainly when the kids are with their dad. Actually my DD was pleased when I introduced my new fella...she had been very worried about me after her dad moved out and told me she was pleased for me.

amibi Tue 09-Apr-13 12:53:45

Hi Dragon, I have never actually refered to her as my special friend. I only put it like that because I know that dd understands that she's not like my other friends.

I knew that some of you would think that it's too soon and I respect your opinions, I genuinely do, but yes, that ship has sailed. They have already been introduced and I think so far, I have dealt with it sensitively. She sees her daddy a lot and me and dd have a lot of time just the two of us. Sometimes my gf will ask if we can do something the three of us and I have said no, I would like to spend the day with dd alone. She isn't offended and she understands.

Something that is very telling though is that my dd is happier now, than she's been in a long time. I think that's the bottom line. Everyone has commented on how much calmer she is and happier she seems.

McBalls Tue 09-Apr-13 12:54:05

"When she draws pictures of me now, my gf is always with me and I think she definitely gets that we come as a pair."

Wow.

So if you split up with ex 6 months ago, how long have you actually been in this new relationship?

McBalls Tue 09-Apr-13 12:56:33

You know what, I'm feeling all snippy about this but I don't know you and am probably being unfair.

Good luck with it all.

amibi Tue 09-Apr-13 13:02:01

Andro, I think I will have a chat with the school actually. I'm pretty sure it's out now at the school gates and so I suppose it's only a matter of time before the comments/questions come out to dd. Hopefully that initial 'ooooo have you heard about.....' will die off quickly and it will be yesterday's news. Everyone who I've told so far have said pretty much exactly the same 'but you're so feminine' grin I think most people have a hard time dealing with something when you don't fit the stereotype.

Lovingfreedom Tue 09-Apr-13 13:05:55

You can have different relationships with different friends and there is no need to be formal about 'this is my GF' etc....Others will disagree though I'm sure. I'm not entirely comfortable about the labelling aspect of relationships anyway...have a lot of friends, one of whom I have sex with too..but whose business is that? No-one asks married/attached people how their sex life is.

MushroomSoup Tue 09-Apr-13 13:10:14

I was with DH a matter of months, I think.
I'm a Primary Head and have experience of children's parents divorcing and mum beginning a same sex relationship. There was very little teasing - just a real interest as it was 'different from the norm'. The children would just say 'yes' if asked if their mum had a gf.
We just reiterated that 'love is just love' in the end, and if you find it, you're very lucky, no matter who it's with.

Andro Tue 09-Apr-13 13:17:44

I think most people have a hard time dealing with something when you don't fit the stereotype.

Stereotypes suck! I'm a biker...that apparently means I should drink pints (yuk), be 5 stone over weights (I'm not) and I can't wear skirts or dresses (Huh?). Ah well, it makes like interesting.

I'm sure your DD will be fine as long as she knows you'll support her if she has any problems - the girl I knew was older (secondary) and 15+ years ago now.

LittleEdie Tue 09-Apr-13 13:20:16

If people at the school gates know then that outs a different slant on it. Maybe you should tell her - but not in a big sit down sort of a way.

I don't think 6 months is too soon. I think we're a bittoo hung up on our DCs being delicate flowers who can't cope with such things in this country.

arthriticfingers Tue 09-Apr-13 13:42:08

Please don't take this wrong OP, but, to me, it comes over as if you are transferring your adult (albeit, now happy) feeling onto a 6-yr-old. No, she she does not know what 'more than a friend' means for any gender - she is 6.
Why do you have to 'tell' her anything about your new relationship?
Would it be appropriate to tell a 6-yr-old you are having sex - with anyone at all?
I know I am coming over as harsh - but sort your relationship out with your ex before you move on officially - and then take things day by day.

noddyholder Tue 09-Apr-13 13:48:33

One of ds best friends went through exactly this when he was 10 and his sister was 7. Their mum a close friend of mine told them once they knew her partner and it was absolutely fine. They knew exactly what she meant and 9 years on they are still one of the happiest most together families I know. I think they will surprise you smile

amibi Tue 09-Apr-13 13:55:06

arthritic, I don't think you're coming across as harsh. I understand why you would think that, but no, I don't think it's just about me transferring my happiness. Obviously there will be an element of that, but life, albeit more complicated, is lighter and there is less tension in the air since my ex left. Of course, my new relationship is a separate issue, but she has definitely had a positive influence on dd. She's even getting on better with her dad and I think his fathering skills have improved since he moved out. Yes, he's having a hard time adjusting, but hopefully he'll get there. The main thing as far as I'm concerned is that my dd is happy.

amibi Tue 09-Apr-13 15:20:45

noddy that's a lovely, refreshing story smile I really hope I have a similar one to tell in the future. Can I ask how did other friends, family and school gate mums react to your friend's new relationship? I have already noticed people whispering etc when I'm around and I'm trying really hard not to let it bother me, but obviously sometimes it's going to. I hope I end up being pleasantly surprised by people's reactions, rather than disappointed. Most other women who have been in the same/similar situation have said that they have lost a couple of friends along the way, but that at least they know who their real friends are.

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