New boyfriend and my Dc's feelings, please advise..... sorry it's long!(14 Posts)
I expect many lone parent have been in this situation and I would be grateful for advice.I may be making a mountain out of a molehill but am having difficulty seeing this clearly due to guilt feelings about my Dc's
I met someone new about 3 months ago after being separated from my Ex H for 10 months (have been divorced now for 2 months)
We have taken things very slowly for many reasons:
I wasn't sure I wanted a full time relationship yet, or indeed ever.
He lives over 100 miles away and doesn't drive.
I have 4 children aged 14, 11, 8 and 6 and he has never been married and doesn't have any although he said he was more happy to give things a go because of his feelings for me.
Also 3 of my children are very close to their Dad who has found it difficult coping with only seeing them a couple of times a week and has had difficulty coming to terms with me seeing someone else
I introduced him to my older two Dc's very casually after about 6 weeks and they said they liked him and if it made me happy it was fine with them. 2 weeks later I introduced him to my younger two who hit it off with him amazingly well right from the start. He was absoultely brilliant with them - he's an artist and within 2 short meetings they had him at the table drawing and painting with them which he said he really enjoyed.
He comes down by train to see us each week and has stayed mainly at the local Travelodge (his idea to avoid overloading the children) One night each week when my Dc's are at their Dad's I drive down to see him and we go out for a meal.
We have had 3 days out together DD1, DD3 and DS1, new guy and me and had a lovely time (my 11 year old DD didn't want to come so stayed with her Dad but often doesn't want to do things as a family anyway)
He stayed overnight here a fortnight ago and I asked the children if they minded and they all said they didn't. My plan was to tell the little two that I had slept on the sofa and I was going to make sure I was down in time in the morning to make it look like I had, however my 8 year old DD came into my room very very early and caught me still there
She was fine with it; her only comment being "were you scared downstairs on your own Mummy?"
Everything seems to be going so well but sometimes I get so overwhelmed thinking about my Dc's feelings on all of this that I can't sleep and think maybe I should end it. Is this normal?
My eldest DD had friends that live in Scotland and last weekend I took her to see them and my new guy came too. The two of them got on so well I occasionally felt a little left out as they were laughing and joking (only momentarily as DD1 and I are very close partly due to the fact she and I suffered violence at the hands of my Ex H)
When we had time alone he told me that he had never thought about having children so couldn't believe how well he got on with mine.
My close friends have all told me to relax and that the children will let me know if they aren't happy but last week DD2 asked me new guy would be coming down for the bank holiday weekend because if he was she wanted to stay at her Dad's. This threw me into panic and indecision again and I put him off coming (he was fine with this, he said he was disappinted but understood the children's feelings come first)then my best friend reminded me that DD2 goes into her room in a huff when she comes round too so not to take too much notice.
What do you ladies think? (if you have got this far and not lost the will to live!!!)
I would never put my happiness before that of my Dc's but my friends and family say that I let they have their own way on too much and on too many occasions - this is probably true and down to guilt at ending my marriage and moving them out of the family home.
Your thoughts please....
just be thankful they like him. I hated my mums boyfriends as she always put them before her children.
You seem to be taking it nice and slowly and considering their feelings. Hope it all works out.
I think you are being very kind and considerate. My only criticism is that you are giving the children (esp.DD2) too much say in how things pan out.
You are allowed to be happy even if it makes them (appear) a bit unhappy.
oh and your friend sounds lovely and gave good sound advice.
Keep talking to her.
Thank you for that I do have guilt problems in general where the children are concerned and can't always see things clearly
TDMR - my mum was a single parent and never wanted a man in her life, if she had I would have been devastated
HorridHorridBitch - interesting name lol, you sound lovely to me. It'd funny you should say 'if it makes them (appear) unhappy' because I should know my kids well enough to know that they know all the right buttons to press to make me feel guilty!!
your children cound as though really they are fine with it. you bf sounds lovely and really understanding. go for it! think you are v lucky. my mum saysthat mothers feel guilty whatever they do. 'tis just the way it goes.
also your experience when you were little was your experience and how you felt. ODn;t generalise to them from that.
Don;t give up happiness with such little evidence of guilt - you are nice and over considering their feelings and under considering yours.
Could dd2 be pushing you to see how you'll react, wanting stability, to know you'll react the same in every situation so she knows having a new man around won't change things for the worse? Fitting in with her too much could actually make her feel less secure.
Eg, presumably you don't stop your best friend coming just because dd2 will be moody so she knows the boundaries and although she might not always like them she can feel safe with them. However if the chances of new man coming round alter depending on her mood she won't actually know where things stand and so can't get used to it. Maybe she needs time to watch the new relationships (new man to you and new man to kids) develop, so she can see if it's a long-lasting thing without investing too much of her time or feelings in it, before she'll get enthusiastic. Perhaps if she does her own thing (going to her dad's) while seeing you stick to what you think is right (letting new man come round) she'll be a bit more secure knowing whatever she does won't muck things up, that she can trust you to be in control.
Obviously if she or any of the other kids are unusually distressed about it you have to take their feelings into account but it sounds like it may be a security thing.
And about the always wanting to go to dad's - could she just be at that age where 1-to-1 time and being the centre of attention is what she craves so to her logic it all works out - you have nice family time and she, attention-wise, gets spoilt? Maybe just what she needs.
kinderfool Everything you said there made so much sense, thank you
You know the expression 'you can't see what's under you nose'...Well that's me!
Well it's always easier when you're not in the situation and I've got a bit of a cheat, having done a counselling degree, don't mean that in a bragging way but don't want you to think the answers should be obvious. Sometimes I dread dd passing 10 because it sounds like a minefield !
It sounds like you are doing really well by your kids, and I am so pleased to hear you have met someone lovely. I hope that the panicky, must end it, feelings go, because it sounds like this is a great time for you and your kids and nm.
You can't live your life completely for your kids....
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