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Being 2nd fiddle to partners kids activities

(77 Posts)
Catg76 Sun 07-Apr-19 14:58:50

Just looking for others opinions as maybe I'm being demanding or unreasonable? My boyfriend of 8 years (we do not live together BTW). Sees his teenage kids a week night every week and a Fri sat and Sun night every other week, plus any extra nights they ever ask to stay, now my issue atm is I just feel Like I don't know where I fit in anymore, I've always had the view of kids come first as mine do with me but he seems to do more that the average absent dad which in some ways is good, good dad I guess and nice for his kids but atm seems like he never has any time to me to spend with me, he ends up working list Saturdays and every Sunday takes his son to football even though originally when it was agreed his ex would do it every other week, this never happened, he ended up volunteering to coach the football too so even though yes I expect kids come first if they need him but I feeling really pissed off lately that he chooses to go to football training every wed and matches Sunday meani g we never get to go out for day or do anything, but I'm made to reel like the bad guy cos they're his kids and hmax he said today hell spend as much tme with them as he can. He's due to work away all next week, this was our weekend without his kids but as his dad was visiting abroad and staying with him his daughter stayed fri and sat, I said you don't have kids tonight do you (Sunday) as not his weekend and his dad has gone, he said yes his daughter wants to stay as she won't see him in her week night as he's working away (she's 13). It annoyed me as she'd already stayed two extra nights, where as I now won't seem him for over a week, am I being unreasonable to want to be a, priority sometimes, or expect him to make alternative arrangements for football every other week he doesn't have his kids?

HavelockVetinari Sun 07-Apr-19 15:00:58

YABU, I'm afraid that's part and parcel of being with someone who has DC. Maybe you're not compatible.

Chocolateisfab Sun 07-Apr-19 15:01:02

Unfortunately you don't seem suited to having a bf with dc.
Not a criticism just a fact.

Myshinynewname Sun 07-Apr-19 15:01:30

Why can’t you see him while his kids are there?

LakieLady Sun 07-Apr-19 15:01:49

Having been in more than one relationship with men with children (resident and non-resident), I'd say you have to accept that their kids are always going to come first. And I'm not sure that I'd want to be in a relationship with a man who didn't put his children first, tbh.

alilstressed Sun 07-Apr-19 15:04:20

He doesn't sound like an 'absent' dad at all, which is fantastic. He's doing what he needs to do

Aveeno2017 Sun 07-Apr-19 15:08:29

So you would be happy if he stood to the agreed times? You used the term "absent dad" he's far from that...why can't you get involved with them! I have a 10 year old with my husband...what with him working most weekends and late nights we hardly get to spend quality time together but that's part and parcel of being a parent weather they live with you or not!! You sound very selfish.

strathmore Sun 07-Apr-19 15:09:06

A child is for life not just for Christmas and Disney trips

He sounds like a great dad.

buddy79 Sun 07-Apr-19 15:09:58

Yabu sorry. He’s putting time with his children and being involved in their lives first, as many more separated Fathers should. You will have to decide if the relationship can work for you on that basis.

Pianobook Sun 07-Apr-19 15:12:14

Why can’t you do things together? You have been with him for eight years.

Foxmuffin Sun 07-Apr-19 15:14:57

It’s not unreasonable to have some couple time. Can you ask that he sets aside an evening for the both of you sometimes?

Ginger1982 Sun 07-Apr-19 15:15:10

YABU. What about your kids? Are you expecting him to forgo seeing his to spend tons with yours or are you meaning when your kids are with their dad?

BrokenWing Sun 07-Apr-19 15:17:36

but he seems to do more that the average absent dad

Because he's not an "absent" dad, he's just a dad putting his children where they should be, first.

If you can't accept it you aren't compatible.

TowelNumber42 Sun 07-Apr-19 15:22:26

He sounds normal. It is odd that you are doing all the chasing of when to meet up though. I'd expect him to say something like ^I'm away all week and DD is staying on Sunday so shall we meet up on <days> for dinner out?"

lyralalala Sun 07-Apr-19 15:22:34

The fact he doesn't live full time with his kids doesn't mean he shouldn't be a full time Dad. It sounds like he's just a Dad rather than being the kind of NRP who thinks he's only part of his kids' lives eow and on a tuesday which is a good thing.

If you don't want to date a full time parent then walk away. Anything else would suggest that you should somehow ask or encourage him to minimise time with his children and that would be completely wrong.

MRex Sun 07-Apr-19 15:24:18

It's a bit odd to not live together after 8 years, what's the story behind that? Do you ever spend time with him and his children?

He sounds like a great dad, if you can fit in with things for the next 5 years then the kids will be adults and around much less. Until then I guess most parents take a few days per year to be the priority, and I agree you should work out some occasional couple time but it isn't likely to be much. If he won't do that, or if that isn't enough for you then it doesn't seem like it will work.

DippyAvocado Sun 07-Apr-19 15:25:37

I don't know that this is necessarily related to the fact that the kids aren't yours. If he works Saturdays and does football matches/training every Sunday and you work during the week then there wouldn't be an opportunity for day trips etc even if you were a "traditional" family all living together all the time. We are also a family of busy weekend activities and do our days out during school holidays. DH and I don't tend to do things just the two of us.

Greeborising Sun 07-Apr-19 15:25:45

I have to agree with pp’s here.
His children must be his priority right now.
Doing things all together seems more than reasonable so you don’t feel ‘excluded’
You really must not put him in a position where he has to choose
As they get older the situation will almost certainly change and if you see a future with this man then wouldn’t it be nice if you have a good relationship with his kids?

AlaskanOilBaron Sun 07-Apr-19 15:27:46

Don't you have a relationship with his kids after 8 years together?

SnowyAlpsandPeaks Sun 07-Apr-19 15:30:29

He’s a dad so he’s a parent first, to being your boyfriend and that’s never going to change.

If my dp expected me to put him before my dc then he’d no longer be my dp.

Thankfully my dp knows he’s in third place, and would never expect that even though he doesn’t have children of his own, he knows that my dc come first and rightly so.

Both dc’s dads have partners who thankfully also feel the same as my dp. One has dc the other does not. But what it results in is very happy, confident, settled teenagers, who knows there is no conflict between their parents, and who knows that they choose which parent to stay with and when (normally depending on what they are doing and where they are going) and that they are welcome and never made to feel that they are a burden or intruding in on their parents plans.

Frankly I would have thought after all these years you would have been used to it?

cuppycakey Sun 07-Apr-19 15:35:31

Is there a reason why you cannot see him if he has his DC? It seems a bit odd to have completely separate lives to this extent after 8 years - although I totally understand not wanting to actually live together.

SomewhereInbetween1 Sun 07-Apr-19 15:35:34

Do you only see each other when the children aren't there?

NoSquirrels Sun 07-Apr-19 15:35:39

Are your DC away with their DF when your BF should be having a child-free weekend? Is this why you're annoyed, because it should work out that it's children 2x weekend a month and single/couple time 2x weekends a month?

You've got to realise that he doesn't live with them full-time, so whilst you're no doubt craving a bit of alone time with your BF, he is craving seeing his DC who he doesn't live with.

You need to accept that the DC come first always, and you as a couple need to fit around that. So plan more stuff altogether as a family with your DC and his, and accept that you're not at a stage of life you can come first.

Sorry. But that's how it is, I guess.

daisychain01 Sun 07-Apr-19 15:39:25

but atm seems like he never has any time to me to spend with me, he ends up working list Saturdays and every Sunday takes his son to football even though originally when it was agreed his ex would do it every other week, this never happened

Could it be he is planning it that way? Is he trying to give you a message - between his work and his DC, he isn't making time for you, and that tends to be because the person doesn't want to make time.

There's a balance between being Dad of the Year and giving time for personal relationships- when it gets to the point you feel pushed out, there's probably some truth in that hunch.

Would be worth a conversation on an evening when he isn't on Dad Duties.

RedDogsBeg Sun 07-Apr-19 15:40:25

Football is seasonal so outside of that you will have time to go out for the day.

Have you not met his children, do you not spend any time together with the children?

DantesInferno Sun 07-Apr-19 15:42:49

echoing others, have you met the DC?

Pianobook Sun 07-Apr-19 15:43:21

How committed is he to you? If the amount of time he spends with you has changed, Is this a sign that he is not happy in the relationship?

NorthEndGal Sun 07-Apr-19 15:45:30

Is there a reason you can't be there too?

Coffeeandcrumpets Sun 07-Apr-19 15:50:27

He sounds like an amazing dad. My husband coaches my sons football team and I we also work a lot over the weekend. It is true that we hardly ever get any couple time. However, we have amazing family time and do lots as a group. maybe you need to accept his kids will be a big part of his life. We hear so much about dads not being involved and having no bond with their kids. He sounds like a breath of fresh air.

NabooThatsWho Sun 07-Apr-19 15:54:32

You sound a bit selfish, sorry. If you aren’t happy in the relationship then end it (not that it sounds like it would make much difference as you don’t live together or see much of him).
But don’t ask him to see less of his children or be ‘annoyed’ that his daughter wants to see him an extra night, that’s just wrong.

Ragwort Sun 07-Apr-19 15:54:51

He sounds great, you sound rather needy, being ‘annoyed’ because your boyfriend’s DD stayed with her own Dad for a couple of nights hmm.

MNSDKHheroines Sun 07-Apr-19 16:01:49

I think it's because your still in a dating relationship rather than living together when you would get those spontaneous bits of time to chat. I feel your boyfriend is being a good dad. What you describe is life with active teens and he's doing all he can to stay relevant in their lives.There is no football if parents etc don't get involved! We 're married & due to DS's sport for the last two weekends we've not been in the same county as DH.

FifisLovelyApron Sun 07-Apr-19 16:13:25

Is he even "great" really? He sounds like he's being a standard parent. It's a shame there are so many utterly shit fathers that someone seeing their child outside of their scheduled days is seen as amazing.

However you should not expect him to prioritize you over them, just as he shouldn't expect that of you. Maybe over time you can all see each other together. But if you are going to be jealous it's best you walk away.

JaneEyre07 Sun 07-Apr-19 16:15:42

He sounds an amazing dad, which is something to consider if you see children in your future.

Don't resent him for this, it's part and part of dating someone with existing children. If it's not for you though, move on. No shame in saying you want more.... but you'd be massively unreasonable to dump that on him and expect him to change flowers

Shinyletsbebadguys Sun 07-Apr-19 16:19:08

I think the key here is that this isn't really about him being a non resident parent....families with two parents together find this at times. There are periods of time where the amount of activities and commitment mean they take up all the spare time.

He's doing his bit and in the nicest sense being the full resident parent can be beyond exhausting. All the stuff like school and weekday stuff is hard going...even my Exdh says he has no idea how we do it on the treadmill so if the least he can do is cover the Sunday football we very week I think that's admirable

Ultimately at a certain age kids take up every spare minute waxes and want a but if you can't accept it then yes sorry yabu selfish

Petalflowers Sun 07-Apr-19 16:20:37

You’ve been together eight years, so by now, you should be spending time as a family. Why don’t you do things altogether? Not necessarily the football coaching, but afterwards or midweek.

You can’t ask him to choose between the kids and you - the kids will always win out, but you can ask to be part of his life. Why does his daughter coming over stop you coming over as well?

Purplejay Sun 07-Apr-19 16:21:29


There must be times you can see him. Evenings in the week? After football?

Do you never do things all together?

He sounds great and you sound a bit needy tbh. His kids should come first. It is not ok you were annoyed his daughter wanted to (and was allowed) to stay when she missed out on doing so earlier on in the week because of his work. Jeez.

Crossfitgirl Sun 07-Apr-19 16:21:34

I don't think it's unreasonable to set aside some time to spend as a couple every now and again.

Yes I agree that kids come first and yes he does sound like a great dad, and yes, doing things with him AND the kids should be a part of your regular activities.

However, everyone needs quality time together sometimes. Can't he agree on a date night every so often where its just the 2 of you? I don't think that's unreasonable. I think that's important in any relationship x

Youseethethingis Sun 07-Apr-19 16:28:25

It’s not unreasonable to want to come first sometimes. Relationships of all kinds need a bit of nurturing or they will die - I think that’s as true of the 2.4 kids “nuclear” family as any other set up, although, as a PP said, you not living together and being able to stay connected in smaller day to day moments is probably making you feel worse.
Only you can know if he’s just not invested in the relationship enough to want to spend a bit of time together sometimes, or indeed if you are able or willing to wait it out until his kids are older.

Wannabeyorkshirelass Sun 07-Apr-19 16:28:40

But would you like him better if he dropped time with his kids to be with you? I wouldn't like a man who did that.

MinisterforCheekyFuckery Sun 07-Apr-19 16:30:41

What do you want him to do, tell his 13 year old daughter that she can't stay an extra night with him because he wants to see his girlfriend instead? Imagine how rejected she would feel!

Do you get on with his DC? Could you offer to go with him to support his DS at one of his football matches or suggest a day out altogether? If after 8 years together you haven't made any effort to get to know his DC then it's not your DH's fault if you're feeling pushed out.

Figure8 Sun 07-Apr-19 16:30:47

Definitely need more of the backstory.

Why, after 8 years do you not spend time when his kids are there?
Is it because you have children, and he needs to come to you when he's free?

Are you frustrated with your own lack of freedom?

Of course you should be A priority, but not the only one.

Catg76 Sun 07-Apr-19 16:47:50

I do see him with her a kids there if mine are with there dad, but a lit if the time we bith have our own kids at our houses and neither has a big enough house to accommodate all of us and teens bring teens rather often don't want to stay at the others house. I just feel he's putting coaching football before our relationship and things are really unbalanced

Catg76 Sun 07-Apr-19 16:53:28

And by absent dad I mean someone who isn't still with their kids mother. I like the fact he's a good dad I wish my kids father was more like it, I just fee like I not considered in any plans and with both of us having kids and living separately it takes but more thought and consideration which I do but don't feel he does

Purpleartichoke Sun 07-Apr-19 16:53:37

He is being an active parent. Coaching his kids team is not extraordinary. Having his kids with him every chance he gets is the mark of a good parent. I wouldn’t want to date someone who wasn’t putting his kids first, but not everyone is like me.

lyralalala Sun 07-Apr-19 16:58:49

I just feel he's putting coaching football before our relationship and things are really unbalanced

He's not coaching a kids football team because it's a lifelong ambition. His kid wants to play football and those kinds of activities are often crying out for parent volunteers.

So he's not putting football coaching before you, he's doing something his child really wants to do.

IncrediblySadToo Sun 07-Apr-19 17:04:06

So what would you have done with your kids if you were going to his tonight?

Catg76 Sun 07-Apr-19 17:08:48

The football even goes on in holidays. I stay with them when my kids are with their dad so every Tues and Fri I see his kids, we all get on pretty good most of the time, we'd like to love together but just do it financially at this point because of the size house we would need, plus don't thin either of our children would've happy living with eachother sharing rooms etc so for now we've stayed as it is with the long term goal of when the kids are older we could then live together. His son specifically asked him Not to go to football today as he'd had a big fall out with him. If ever he does suggest doing something I call in favours for my kids to be collected from. School or dropped to their hobby so we get a bit of quality time so feels bit one sided. Tbh I think it boils down do the fact he likes and wants to go to football which is fair enough but be nice if sometimes we could do something with or without all the kids I don't mind either way. And no I don't expect him to forgo spending time with his kids. To spend time with mine!! And I know and expect to come after his children in the pecking line and FYI on the person saying I'm selfish and what not, it was me messaging his son offering he could stay at my house if he didn't want to stay at his dad's as his dad lost his rag with him and he was scared he'd hit him! I've always said to his kids anytime or any problems they can always talk to me etc so it's not about that it's about my partner neglecting our relationship,

SandyY2K Sun 07-Apr-19 17:09:07

You feel how you do and that's fine, but it means you're not compatible.

He is happy coaching and he's happy to have his kids over on extra nights as they wish.

If it doesn't work for you, you have a choice to end it.

I think he's a very involved father and more should be like him.

Catg76 Sun 07-Apr-19 17:12:24

His son has said he's not fussed about doing the football anymore, my partner said he'd carry on coaching even if his son gives it up

Catg76 Sun 07-Apr-19 17:14:11

If he'd had his daughter tonight I wouldn't have seen him as I have my kids too.
My eldest daughter has been out all day with her boyfriend and I would've suggested going out me him. My other child and his daughter if she was there with him for day,

Catg76 Sun 07-Apr-19 17:15:48

For the person wanting to know a back story, we've been together 8 yrs, we did break up for a few months in that time because he cheated, and another time was very deceitful, we have worked hard and trying to make it work but as I'm sure you can imagine it's tough,

Catg76 Sun 07-Apr-19 17:23:08

I think also as he comes from a broken family with step siblings and parents etc he's used to it all being like it is, I didn't and sometimes yes i struggle with it. And sometimes not often sometimes yes it would be nice for him to say, I've arranged for his mum to do football this week so we can have done quality time as we rarely get it with all the work and running both sets of kids about.

MRex Sun 07-Apr-19 17:26:54

Whoah! Hold up there. Your DP's son was afraid that his father would hit him? Does he often hit people?

Catg76 Sun 07-Apr-19 17:36:02

No he's never hit anyone, but he can shout very loud, his son was saying derogatory things to his sister which his dad pulled him up on, and then called his dad a prick (lol typical teen really). Dad has had a go and shouted Son stormed off up the road, tbh just a family drama with teens and siblings but could've been handled better imo.

cuppycakey Sun 07-Apr-19 17:36:27

So he's a cheat with tendencies for lying and violence?

Seriously OP - why would you want this person in your life?

Catg76 Sun 07-Apr-19 17:40:09

I think the consensus here is maybe we're just not compatible?! 😕. We have very differing views on relationships and what's acceptable and unacceptable. Think main problem stems from where we don't live together, if we did it wouldn't be an issue as we'd all be in same house kids there or not and I have no issues with kids being round, it's quite nice on the rare occasions we get to do it.

Chloemol Sun 07-Apr-19 17:42:22

Sorry you are being awful. Put yourself in the shoes of the children, would you want to be regulated to one night a week and Eow? I think it’s great he wants to be so involved and the kids want to see him, all kids are entitled to two parents. Why don’t you spend time with them as well if you are a key part of his life? Or are you? Do you need to ha e that discussion? However kids always come first

Catg76 Sun 07-Apr-19 17:43:26

He's never been violent to me or any of the kids, he can shout very loud though! When he's told them off for whatever reason. Yes I have major issues with any lies or deceit and it has affected us majorly with trust issues now, but like I said we're trying to work through it. Most of the time it's OK and things improving but sometimes thoughts crop up again.

MRex Sun 07-Apr-19 17:44:28

Nice back-pedal there, but OK so he's a lying cheater who shouts a lot and maybe his son only thinks his father might hit him. He doesn't sound like as much of a catch now. Are you sure you wouldn't prefer someone where it's all a bit easier?

user1473878824 Sun 07-Apr-19 17:45:25

Tbh OP I think if you have very different takes on parenting, family life, how you want things to be etc. it all does sound a bit pointless...

Catg76 Sun 07-Apr-19 17:53:05

Oh my gosh some people aren't getting what I'm saying, I would spend more time with me with them it's not always possible with my kids also and everyone's schedules. I think it's great for his kids that he's sees them. Lots and is involved he does a lot more than their mum it seems, and on occasion if needed I step in to help with appointments or taxiing etc if he has to work late etc, unfortunately my kids dad is crap and does the least he has to do which is upsetting for them as now they're getting older they realise his needs come first. I do everything for my kids always would and they come first but I do on occasion arrange for a babysitter or alternative arrangements to make time for my partner (and I don't get to spend much time with mine either as they have hobbies yol late most evenings, voupje if nights with their dad then they like to see friends and sleep out) so on OCCASIO I put my partner and our relationship first so yes I ferl its a bit one sided at times

Catg76 Sun 07-Apr-19 17:55:51

Anyways, I appreciate everyone's input the positive and negative, good to get unbiased views.

starzig Sun 07-Apr-19 18:22:43

YABU. I also don't want to be 2nd fiddle to children so would not date men with children. You knew he had kids.

outpinked Sun 07-Apr-19 18:27:20

I think he sounds like a fantastic Father and it’s a shame more Father’s aren’t the same. I understand why you have a problem with it but after eight years together, you kinda know the score. He spends a lot of time with his DC and that’s great, they genuinely should always come before you or any other perspective partner. If it annoys you so much, find another partner who either doesn’t have children or who isn’t so proactive with them.

Leeds2 Sun 07-Apr-19 18:32:19

Do you ever have an evening out together, as in you, your OH, your children and his? Am thinking of something like a meal out together when it is one of your birthdays?

RomanyQueen1 Sun 07-Apr-19 18:32:27

YANBU, of course he should see his kids, but why does he have a gf if he doesn't want to spend time with you.
Ask him straight out where you fit in? It sounds like he is happy keeping you waiting for the crumbs, not attractive in a man at all.
He's a great Dad, not so much a partner.
Maybe time to cut your losses.

Catg76 Sun 07-Apr-19 18:45:23

Its got more as the years went on tbh

Bingandflop2019 Sun 07-Apr-19 18:46:11

@starzig Are you not reading all of OP's posts?!! She knows that! She's not got a problem with him being with or seeing his kids often. She's just asking for some effort from him to see her at some point. To show some kind of willing!


Catg76 Sun 07-Apr-19 18:47:52

Very occasionally we will have dinner altogether but difficult as with the kids being teens they have their own lives and friends etc stuff they want to do. All. The kids I think moan about having to spend time with eachother which is a shame as when they do they all get on OK and have a better time than they thought they would,

longwayoff Sun 07-Apr-19 18:48:15

Children first. Really. Even when you think they're old enough to do whatever unsupported, they still come first. Children don't choose to come here, we bring them. You have choice. He sounds like a reasonable guy. Stick with it.

Bingandflop2019 Sun 07-Apr-19 18:48:59

I totally get what you're saying OP.

To those who are calling you names and giving you grief - There is a difference between being a good, devoted Dad and then going as far as OP's DP and totally neglecting his relationship. Big difference. He could at least show SOME interest or desire to spend time with her, even if it doesn't happen often.
Like a PP said, why have a partner if you can't/won't make any time for them whatsoever?!

Bingandflop2019 Sun 07-Apr-19 18:50:10

@longwayoff hmm OP never suggested otherwise hmm In fact, if you'd read her OP, you'd have seen she even said that she knows kids come first - always.......


IncrediblySadToo Sun 07-Apr-19 19:02:58

He lies
He cheated
He shouts aggressively
He never puts you first
He never goes out of his way to spend time with you

...I’m struggling to see why you’re persisting with this relationship tbh.

Yes, kids NEEDS come first, that doesn’t mean their every whim comes first. There is absolutely no harm in occasionally saying ‘No love, you can’t stay tonight as I have already made plans with Cat tonight’. The same way any other parents organise babysitters.

Stargazer888 Sun 07-Apr-19 19:51:25

I think him continuing to coach football even if his son quits makes sense because you can't just quit on everyone else in the middle of the season. I actually think it sets a fantastic example for his ds by not quitting!
When you say you arranged with his mom to do football this week do you mean his ex of dp's mom?

lifebegins50 Sun 07-Apr-19 20:05:34

Op, it does feel like he doesn't consider your feelings and does what he likes.

I doubt you will change him, he probably puts himself first, then the children. Has he ever truly been there for you? Does he have your back?

I think the cheating suggest he pushes boundaries

Catg76 Sun 07-Apr-19 21:01:44

His sons mother, he originally said he'd be doing it every other week and she would take him on the alternate weeks

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