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Introducing new partners to children

(15 Posts)
fredom2011 Fri 25-Nov-16 11:31:02

I have been divorced for 6 years and never introduced any boyfriends to my children. I met a lovely guy 8 months ago. He separated a year ago and whilst he wasn't looking for anyone we met and have fallen in love.

We've causally met with the children a few times - local ploughing match, fire works night just as friends with our children.

After 8 months and this being a serious relationship is it too soon to really slowly and steady introduce our children? We planned on doing it over the course of several months of meeting up at the weekend just for an hour or two and progress from there. We have our independent homes...

Is this too soon? Any suggestions or good advice? I have two boys 13 & 8 and my BF has three children 2 boys 8 & 6 and a 4 year old girl.

Raines100 Fri 25-Nov-16 11:40:27

It's great that you're taking it slow and being so careful with introductions to your DCs. I wouldn't have said it was too early time-wise, but what would worry me is that you've said he's separated, not divorced. I would want him to hurry up with that, I think. I would need to be sure he wasn't mucking me around first, as you definitely don't want him mucking your DCs around- not saying he is, of course.
Hope it all works out for you .

ChipmunkSundays Fri 25-Nov-16 11:41:13

I think from your side it is absolutely fine and you sound very sensible about timescales, but I would be cautious nonetheless because your boyfriend has only been separated a year. That's not a very long time for him, and it's definitely not a long time for his children. Also, when you say "separated", what is his marital status? Is he divorced? If from his children's point of view mummy and daddy just aren't living in the same house any more it could be a real shock to find a new girlfriend on the scene.

fredom2011 Fri 25-Nov-16 11:43:31

The divorce is going through - mediation failed for a number of reasons so they are having to go through lawyers and court. I don't feel he is mucking me around... its a big deal for us both and want to get it right.

user1477282676 Fri 25-Nov-16 11:44:37

I feel it is pertinent that you mentioned "he wasn't looking for anyone"

Do you have some small doubts about the relationship?

ChipmunkSundays Fri 25-Nov-16 11:45:06

I would personally wait until the divorce has gone through before introducing him to my children, or being introduced to his, as a couple.

fredom2011 Fri 25-Nov-16 11:48:21

We don't intend announcing to the children we are boy friend and girl friend for many months, we felt that by slowing spending time doing things a couple of times a months for an hour or two would give the children time to get used to having another person around. I get that its only been a year - if we wait for the divorce to be finalise that could be up to a year from now.

fredom2011 Fri 25-Nov-16 11:51:47

I mentioned that he wasn't looking for anyone because he wasn't. We were introduce by a mutual friend..... I wanted to point that out because I have know some mumsnet mums find it absurd that after 5 months someone could be in a new relationship, it just happened and we are both happy.

SteppingOnToes Fri 25-Nov-16 11:59:04

Don't worry about what other people think - go with what you both feel comfortable with. I met my partner's children after just 3 weeks and his ex (for a brew and to suss each other out) after 4. They have been split for over 4 years and I am the first person who has met the kids. Just because it is soon, doesn't mean it isn't serious.

ChipmunkSundays Fri 25-Nov-16 11:59:08

The thing is, children (even young children!) are not slow. They pick up on things even where they don't quite understand them. It´s not a question of introducing the two families as such: you say you´ve already done that. So what you seem to be asking is whether there are likely to be drawbacks to taking it to the next level. And I think that unfortunately there are, while his situation is so up in the air. If he is currently going through mediation then both he and his children are in the middle of what is inevitably a messy situation between him and their mother. I think that if you are hoping this relationship will be long-term then it's better to put the brakes on a bit now, in the interests of making things easier for your future as a blended family (if that's where it ends up).

I have DSC myself, so do speak from some experience here.

WannaBe Fri 25-Nov-16 12:04:45

You will always get a range of responses on here, including that you should wait for years to introduce them, but the reality is that every situation is different and there is no real right or wrong answer once the relationship is relatively established.

Personally I am of the view that children can start to be introduced relatively soon into a relationship because the longer you wait, the more time you are investing in something which has the potential to go wrong once the kids are in the mix.

The reality is that introducing five children into a relationship is going to be hard. There are no guarantees that they will all be happy with either of their parents having moved on, your eight year old for instance won't remember a time when it wasn't just you and him and his brother so he may not like that, the four year old may feel pushed out by four older boys, they are all likely to bicker and argue at some point. I would say that your thirteen year old is old enough to realise that you do have your own life and are likely dating, even if he doesn't know you are currently in an actual relationship.

I would also say that while introducing the children slowly on weekends out etc is a good way to start introductions, it won't pave the way for when you start thinking about blending families and spending time together as such, because once the concept of boyfriend and girlfriend is introduced, the dynamic between the children will change.

Have known countless people who thought their kids got on fantastically well until they moved in together, and then the reality hit.

So TBH while I think that slow introductions are a good idea I.e. Not necessarily having sleepovers at this stage, I would be inclined to be more honest about the relationship from the beginning, and take it from there. Your eldest won't be fooled anyway, and he will likely tell his brother, who might tell the other kids, and so on, so better just go into it honestly but slowly.

Also, I wouldn't be too concerned about separated rather than divorced. Lots of people do move on after separating, and many wait the two years before getting divorced because having to bring up unreasonable behaviour etc makes it a lot messier and more expensive for instance. As long as you know he actually is separated.

whitesilk Fri 25-Nov-16 12:07:52

I waited a year before I introduced my partner (now DH) to my DS, but we only moved in together four years after that. It was a bit easier in our case as I only have one DS, who is quite easy going, and DH didn't have any dc of his own. Probably gets more complex when there are more children and different personalities and exes involved.

I think it's sensible to wait until you both feel confident that the relationship is going to be long term and you're in a practical situation where it can move forward. If you're both in it for the long haul then a few more months makes no difference really. My ex was also long out of the picture by the time I met DH, and that certainly made things more straightforward.

fredom2011 Fri 25-Nov-16 12:14:12

What's everyone's view on tackling his ex wife - I feel he should talk to her first? I told my ex a few months ago - no concern of his but out of respect as that's the kind of person I am.

In terms of us all living together that will be not be happening any time soon.

ChipmunkSundays Fri 25-Nov-16 12:30:33

It will be much easier for you and everyone if their mother is on board. My DH and his ex are on fairly formal terms, but she spoke to the DC before they met me and encouraged them to be welcoming. I think it has been extremely helpful for them to know that they are not "betraying" their mother in accepting a new stepmum.

SteppingOnToes Fri 25-Nov-16 13:20:35

What's everyone's view on tackling his ex wife - I feel he should talk to her first? I told my ex a few months ago - no concern of his but out of respect as that's the kind of person I am.

Me and my partner's ex met for a coffee - ended up being out for 3 hours as we got on like a house on fire! It was really good as it allowed her to see that I wasn't some witch who was going to be horrible to her kids, it also allowed me to find out things about the kids routines (no they don't go to bed at 10pm and they do eat foods other than chicken nuggets... etc). We have met since with the kids present too and it has really helped the kids to see that I am also their mum's friend and has eased my relationship with them. Before, although they were always polite, they were always reserved out of loyalty and protection of their mum. Now they can relax with me and DSD will ask me to do her hair for her (dad useless) and DSD will snuggle up on the sofa with me to read his reading books after school.

It's really made things harmonious but equally if there was a personality clash it could have all ended in tears. I felt it was good for the kids to at least try...

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