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when to meet his child

(40 Posts)
karelomen Thu 27-Sep-12 05:18:33

I have just very very recently got into a relationship with a man who Ive know for a few years.

Today we were discussing what we'd like he said, I don't want my daughter to know about you (she's 4) until about a years time.

I respect this because f it doesn't work out its just another thing for her to deal with, but part of me is questioning if it's just going to make things really difficult,.

Has anyone had any experience of this from either side?
Thanks smile

justbogoffnow Thu 27-Sep-12 05:46:21

Not personally, but did know some people who got together (he had 2 dc's age 7 and 9) and he was divorced. Her children were grown up. Not sure who decided, but the children did not know about the relationship for the first year. It started to cause problems when they kept slipping up about how long they had been together (people would ask them whilst his dc's were with them, just in the course of conversation). I didn't know them very well and so don't really know what the consequences were, except their relationship was very fraught at times.

Offred Thu 27-Sep-12 07:04:12

Depends on a lot of factors: how old are the dcs? Do they live with him? How often does he see them? What stage of the relationship breakdown are they in? How serious is the relationship? How does the child feel? How will it affect family dynamics?

His little girl is 4, I'm assuming she doesn't live with him. If she comes to stay over or she is a significant part of his life then I think when/if you become a significant part of his life would be the right time. I don't think you can put an arbitrary time on it because if you leave it too long it can be upsetting because your dad has hidden a big part of his life from you. If you do it too soon then it can destabilise her relationship with her father. If he hardly sees her then it may be a long while, if he sees her a lot then probably sooner. Ultimately you have to let him decide though as I'm sure you know.

exoticfruits Thu 27-Sep-12 07:22:48

You have to take it slowly. I would take his lead and once you do meet her make it gradual.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 27-Sep-12 07:44:15

I'd be annoyed with that kind of statement. If you're part of his life, even if you're only a friend, a 4yo isn't going to be confused or upset by the information. A 4yo is going to take 'this is my friend karelomen' on face value. You don't leap straight in Day 1, obviously, but dictating that it has to be a whole year before your identity is even revealed is utterly ridiculous.

exoticfruits Thu 27-Sep-12 07:51:49

I went out with a man with a DD for 2and a half years. I put the DD first because we were the adults and could deal with anything, she was the child and could be damaged. At first he saw her without me, then we went on a few outings and I gradually built up my own relationship with her and we did quite a lot on our own. It didn't work out and I was so pleased that I had had put her first. Be patient - if you are there for the long term you don't need to rush.

SpanglyGiraffe Thu 27-Sep-12 07:58:47

ExP & I have talked about this, and what will happen when either of us has a new partner. We've decided to wait 6 months until they meet our DS.
This is only a very rough guide, we won't be counting the days or anything! But DS will meet them when we know we're in it for the long haul.
As it happens both exP & I have been single since we broke up (2 years ago!!) not very helpful

sookiesookie Thu 27-Sep-12 08:48:34

* but part of me is questioning if it's just going to make things really difficult,.*

IMO it will make it difficult, but the child comes first and if thats what he wants thats it.

You have a choice to walk away or stay. He has been clear with his expectations so you can make that choice.

you may find in 6 months that he changes his mind. I don't think anyone should set a definate time limit . Its more 'when the time is right' imo. Could be 2 months or 2 years.

MonkeyRisotto Thu 27-Sep-12 09:04:51

I've been through this, we both had kids of a similar age, and agreed that we would give it 6 months before we involved them.

Kids do just accept things on face value at that age, and the main thing was making sure the relationship had legs before they were involved, so that it wasn't a case of someone being a big part of their lives, then disappearing suddenly if it didn't work out.

(Nearly) 20 months in, we're now living together, and things are going really well.

jadedeyes Thu 27-Sep-12 09:08:05

I waited a year before I introduced DS to my new partner, who is now DH. I don't think it should be a firm rule, but I agree with exoticfruits that if you're there for the long term, a year is just a short time! I think it was really healthy for DS (DH was the only man I ever introduced to him, although I'd had other shorter relationships).

I think DS would have been disappointed and upset if he'd met all those other men, it's just not fair to allow them to form bonds with adults when the relationship isn't secure. I disagree that a child will take an introduction as a 'friend' entirely at face value - they can be very astute, even at a young age. And having that year to ourselves, just dating as a couple, going to grown-up restaurants and films, was definitely the best thing for DH and I. When you start involving the dc, things revolve more around family activities, which is nice, but things can get quite mundane, and if you jump into the domestic stuff too quickly, you don't have that background of special couple time to keep you going.

LoveHandles88 Thu 27-Sep-12 10:43:22

I agree with the year thing. It's my plan that if I get with someone new, it will be 12 months before they meet my dd. I'm sure it will make things a little difficult, but I figure anyone who shows the commitment and puts up with organising everything around it for that long, is the kind of person I want to be with, and is devoted.

purpleroses Thu 27-Sep-12 10:49:56

Experience from both sides - myself and DP both have kids, and I dated quite a few men before I met him. I met DP's kids a few months in - long enough I think for us both to feel it was potentially serious.

Personally it was important for me to meet the kids by this stage because until I could see how DP related to his kids, I didn't really feel I knew him. I also needed to know how I would fit in with them. I felt the same with introducing new partners to my own kids - that I would need to see how they related to them to know whether there was any future in the relationship.

If his DS is only 4, would he really need to introduce you as a new girlfriend? I certainly got away with introducing boyfrinds just as friends until my DS was at least 8 or 9. I had quite a few frinds (of both sexes) who they knew, some of whom drifted in and out of my life, so it really wasn't a big deal that they met 2 or 3 that were acutally boyfriends. They certainly weren't expected to treat them any differently from any other friends of mine that we hung out with.

But your DP's not keen on it, then I guess you need to respect how he feels about it. Or at least talk some more about what the issues are.

purpleroses Thu 27-Sep-12 10:50:48

DD, not DS - sorry!

adrastea Thu 27-Sep-12 11:11:52

I have the book 'Putting Children First' which is a book for separated parents and they say to wait at least a year after the parental break-up to introduce children to new partners. I think, at the beginning of a relationship, he is right to set that kind of expectation. It may not a year exactly in the end, but he's definitely thinking along the correct lines to say that at this early stage of your relationship. If this is someone whose life you want to be in for a long time, and therefore his daughter's you should want to do everything right and a year is nothing. My ex introduced his girlfriend to our son after around 9/10 months I think (although he handled it really badly).

I disagree that a child will take an introduction as a 'friend' entirely at face value - they can be very astute, even at a young age.
Yep, completely agree and know this from experience.

Offred Thu 27-Sep-12 12:21:02

Yes also agree and when you lie to a child it erodes their trust in you. I would say it was best to be truthful and supportive sometimes waiting a year will be the same as lying because it would be keeping a significant part of you separate. It depends on circs I think. Should always be what is best for the child and the parent's relationship though and not at all to do with what the new partner would like.

glasscompletelybroken Thu 27-Sep-12 16:47:55

There is a difference between "knowing about" and "meeting". it would be more honest if your DP mentioned you from time to time when chatting with his dd.

So when he sees her he could ask her what she had been doing the previous day and then say "oh that sounds like fun. Yesterday I went for a walk with karelomen."

She may ask questions and he can descirbe you as a special friend. I think waiting to meet is a good idea as your relationship needs to be secure and apparently long-term before he would want that.

CremeEggThief Thu 27-Sep-12 16:52:28

This may sound a bit harsh, but it's not up to you when you get to meet her. It's your DP and his ex's decision, when they feel it's appropriate for their DC.

MsKayGee Thu 27-Sep-12 17:17:33

Has you not meeting his daughter made things difficult yet?

If no, why would you question whether it's going to make things difficult over the next 12 months? Difficult in what way?

If yes, then you need to decide whether the 'difficulties' are worth it?

karelomen Fri 28-Sep-12 07:45:53

No I dont mind harsh- I welcome any input this is a new thing for me, I always said I'd avoid men who had baggage but we have really fallen in love and are both in it for the long haul, so I'm not fussed, as long as his child is put first that's all that matters to me, if he was selfish and used his time with her to see me it would be a turn off for me.
I do have my ow concerns (my dad always had girlfriends popping in and out) one of his relationships really fucked with my head.
In all honesty I would rather keep it really light for as long as possible.

CakeMeIAmYours Fri 28-Sep-12 08:39:09

I agree with PP that it is up to your DP what the timescales are.

However, speaking from personal experience, his DD and the change in dynamic that she will bring to your relationship has the potential to be a deal breaker for the two of you. I do think there is an argument for knowing whether this is the case sooner rather than later.

Do you have DCs of your own? I didn't and found the whole DC thing quite overwhelming and not at all how I imagined it would be.

I often hear people on here saying things along the lines of 'what did you expect when you started a relationship with a man with DCs?' but the fact is that nothing can prepare you for it, so whilst I had an idea, I had no way of knowing what it would be like until well into the relationship.

Can he introduce you as friends first of all to see if you get along?

CakeMeIAmYours Fri 28-Sep-12 08:39:40

Sorry, I meant I found the whole DSC overwhelming...

karelomen Fri 28-Sep-12 11:54:49

Its tricky, I am adamant that I don't want to be a step anything! I don't know I think we've got some challenges ahead

MirandaWest Fri 28-Sep-12 16:42:19

I've been going out with my boyfriend for about 5 months. My DC are 8 and 7 and know about him and that he is my boyfriend but haven't met him yet. I have met his DS (who is 17) and that was fine.

XH has been going out with his girlfriend for about 2.5 years. Beginning was an affair (hence is XH). We split up 18 months ago. Can't remember exactly when they met his girlfriend but about 9 months ago. DC have been fine with it and meeting her DC. At the beginning they knew her as Daddy's friend but am pretty sure they realised she was a girlfriend.

I do wonder when to do introducing but think ill know when it's right.

Sassybeast Fri 28-Sep-12 17:03:03

A child is not 'baggage' hmm Make your first 'challenge' getting your head around that fact.

Mydogsleepsonthebed Fri 28-Sep-12 17:05:28

Until you get your head around the fact they are his children not "baggage" you should never ever meet them.

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