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I really messed up!(19 Posts)
I'm expecting a flaming for this but I'll take it on the chin as I really need advice. As background to this, I separated with my children's father over 6 years ago and they have only met one of my boyfriends in the past who I was very much in love with and planning to build a future with but it didn't work out after 1.5 years.
So here goes......introduced my new boyfriend of one month to my children and now I want to break up with him. I know it was way too soon but it wasn't planned. I so rarely can get a babysitter to go on dates so I invited him round one evening when the kids were in bed but they came down and met him.
Since then (a few weeks) we have spent a lot of time together and he is really good with them, makes a lot of effort etc. but there are lots of things now where I don't think we are comparable even though he's a nice guy.
I feel so guilty as I will have to explain it to my children after they have formed a kind of friendship with him.
What do I do? Please help
It depends how old they are.
If they are younger then explain it in terms of their own friendships.
"You remember when you were best friends with xxx and now your best friends with you instead because you like each other better..."
That should be useful for younger children.
Of course next time remember that many don't introduce their partners and kids for a long time to avoid this, so learn from it
Tell them this is what dating is about. To try people out, and be tried out yourself, and see if they're the right fit for you. And that this one isn't, although he's a nice person.
Remember you're modelling dating to your kids. Try to think about how you want them to approach relationships in the future - treating other people with respect, not rushing into anything too physical or emotional too quickly, ending things cleanly and quickly once you know you need to, etc, and act like that yourself.
Also, not a flaming, but remember that just because they meet someone accidentally, it doesn't mean the next step is you all doing everything together and him getting mega involved in their lives.
Finally, don't panic, they may be less bothered than you think.
You haven't messed up.
There's a lot of suggestion that one should wait three/six/twelve months to introduce the kids but the reality is that no relationship is certain and any relationship could break down after the children have been introduced into the mix.
Assuming you haven't promised them a future with this man, and assuming you're not intending to introduce a string of men into their lives over the coming months it is IMO perfectly healthy to let children see that sometimes relationships don't work out and that it's actually ok to end a relationship because you just weren't meant to be together.
So you've spent some time together with the kids. If they're younger then I would just tell them that X won't be coming round any more, and if they're older just be honest and tell them that you're not going to see each other any more.
Having the occasional boyfriend is perfectly normal. Assuming you're not introducing them as a new daddy figure every time...
Tbh I've never understood the angst over introducing boyfriends to DC "until it's serious" because I've had about 3 boyfriends since I split up with DS DF 13 years ago and DS has never been bothered one iota when we split up.
Don't beat yourself up. You are their anchor and as long as you are there they will be fine.
If you had a platonic friend that you stopped seeing it would be the same. As long as no one is making any promises about the future...
But I would wonder why, if he's a "nice guy" why you want to split up with him. Are they major incompatibilities or are you expecting perfection? Sorry if that's too prying but as someone who has dumped too many "nice" guys because they weren't ideal and later regretted it I'd want to be sure I'm doing the right thing.
Thanks everyone for your replies.
They are 11, 10 and 7 so not sure if that's old enough to just be honest. I guess my biggest worry is with my 11 year old who is very loyal to his
abusive arsehole father who he doesn't see anymore and he was already annoyed that we were spending time together but he gets annoyed if I spend time with anyone (it's complicated but his toxic father put lots of things in his head about me not loving him etc so he can get quite jealous).
I know I should have thought 'sod it' once they had met him and allowed us to spend all that time together. Very selfishly in my part, it was nice not being alone every weekend. For example we went to the fair and it was nice having another pair of hands and someone to go on the big rides whilst I stayed with my youngest. I guess I'm just really pining for a family unit as I've been alone for so long and really want to meet a great guy that can be a positive role model to my children.
When I say nice guy, he is generally but there have been comments made which are massive red flags. I didn't ignore them at the time but through my rose tinted new relationship glasses, I guess I didn't want to face it for what it is. I so wanted him to be great as he has a lot of qualities I admire but it hit me today like a ton of bricks, these are the things bothering me.
He said he will leave if I ever get fat (and once commented I should only have one mini cake
not the 5 I was planning to eat)
He said women are naive
I was trying on a tight fitting dress for an event next week and he said it looked slutty and was clearly jealous and scared I was going there to attract men. When I got upset about this he said I need to stop crying wolf and getting annoyed with him all the time as he will stop being bothered (this was because I pulled him up on the other stuff)
He doesn't give compliments
It sounds awful when I list it like that but this.
I'm such an idiot
I meant shouldn't have thought 'sod it'
There's no hope for this guy is there? It sounds so much worse in black and white
God her sounds awful!
I introduced a bf I was with a year in the end. Dd1 asked (7) after him and his daughter for a long time after we split but I think it was because she liked playing with his dd. In the end o explained we fell out and she stopped asking. I don't feel guilty anymore - kids only have positive memories of spending time with exp and his dd so no harm done.
Well, I would just tell it to the kids straight. Although if he's only coming round at weekends you might even just stop his coming round and then when they ask just say "oh, well, we decided we're not going to see each other really now.
Agree with a PP, as long as no big deal is made of it then childreN won't make a big deal of it either.
And yes. Get rid. .
Well done for planning to get rid.
Please go through with it.
If your children are a bit upset in the short term it will still be a million times better than how much damage this prick could do to you, and to them.
Have you thought about some family therapy sessions to help your 11 YO?
Well done on spotting the red flags and being woman enough to break up with him. I think if you don't make a big deal of it your DCs won't either. I think I would just say something light like 'we were friends for a while but not so much now' and leave it at that. If your oldest probes a bit more I might use the opportunity to talk about people not treating you well and being strong enough to not put up with it without being horrible etc.
It's not the end of the world. They can't be that attached to him if you haven't even known him very long yourself. I would just say casually that you are not going to see him any more. They might not even notice.
As for him, don't relent, he sounds horrible re the weight comments.
Wow those are some major incompatibilities OP. I think you were a bit generous there with the "nice guy" description.
I would 1) get rid and 2) celebrate with your DC by scoffing a whole tub of mini muffins!
Well done for spotting red flags. I don't find it a problem introducing my kids to boyfriends. My son once teased me for being a 'playa' (which I'm not). He knows he and his sister are the important constant factors in my life but that I like to have a social life too.
Tell them he's moved far away for a new job. End of story.
Just tell them the truth esp if any are daughters. It's good for children to see that when a relationship isn't working - you get to leave it.
Thank you everyone for giving me good advice and not being too critical, I was expecting a bollocking.
In his defence (or more my defence for sticking with him until now) he prides himself on honesty so I guess from his point of view he thinks he's doing me a favour by being 'honest'.
The whole fat thing kind of started with me as I was complaining that since I've met him I've stopped going to the gym and we eat out more so I've put weight on. In his Neanderthal brain he translated this into telling me to eat less cakes so I can't complain when I get fat. Also, I think he means if I get morbidly obese he won't want to be with me as I'm not exactly thin now and he says I'm perfect at this weight. Shallow yes, but I guess fair enough because I would be less attracted to him also if he was morbidly overweight.
The compliment thing.....he can say I look nice etc in an outfit but doesn't call me beautiful and seemed surprised that I wasn't 'secure' enough in myself to be told that often as we have already 'established' he's attracted to me. Is this reasonable? Am I being too needy by wanting to be told by my boyfriend? My ex in the past told me every day and I liked that about him.
The 'slut' dress, we talked about it and he said he didn't mean it how I took it. I explained I couldn't wear a bra with the dress and that's what he felt was 'slutty' about it because it's low cut. English isn't his first language so I'm not sure he understands the connotations that come with that word.
He is lovely in every other way, supportive, kind, generous and hard working. Such a waste all because of these silly comments but I know they are red flags and I'll have to call it a day
Of course he knows the connotations that come with the word 'slut'!
They're not silly comments - they tell you about his character and, frankly, it's not a nice one.
Read your OP, nothing lost I translation here
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