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Boyfriend staying over at my house with children here; advice please!!

(32 Posts)
Iwantavwcamper Wed 04-Dec-13 06:53:18

I've been seeing a lovely guy for about a year, my first relationship after being on my own for three years (husband left after I discovered two year affair, we had been married for 16 years, together for over 20).
Anyhow, I'm now a single parent with three children living with me full time, aged 18,14 and 12. I'd like some advice/thoughts on my boyfriend staying over at my place. This hadn't happened yet (I have stayed over at his place many times) and it feels like it would the next right step. However I'm worried about how my children might react if he stays here. He has met my younger two several times, been here for dinner etc. but my oldest 18 year son hates the thought of me being in another relationship and will not meet the guy and had been very clear that he would find it unacceptable for him to stay in our house. I've got some weekends coming up and Christmas when I don't have child care for my younger two and it would be great to have him stay here with me but I don't want to cause big problems with the children. Has anyone got any thoughts or been through similar? Thank you so much.

LineRunner Wed 04-Dec-13 07:41:05

What reasons has your 18 year old son given for trying to control your relationship like this?

Is it fear of irrevocable change?

When I unexpectedly met someone earlier this year, I gave my teenagers a lot of reassurances that we would not be moving in together. It helped. I think it also helped that he and I met through mutual family friends (they volunteered him to fix some stuff in my house!) so he was a 'known quantity' to some degree.

I think you need to keep talking to your son and be compassionate about all the changes he's gone through in family life, but be assertive about your right to your own future. Make sure your son knows your future includes him.

Iwantavwcamper Wed 04-Dec-13 08:16:46

My son has expressed that he thinks I'm as 'bad' as his dad for having a new relationship, (his father's affair was with the mother of one of his friends and he witnessed stuff without realising it at the time). He is also a shy person naturally and isn't always that keen on people coming over here. I also think there is an element of fearing change although I've assured them all that I love them and don't want anyone else living here with us or anything.

EQ2Junkie Wed 04-Dec-13 09:01:07

Your son sounds very black and white. I would be having a frank chat.

How dare he say you are as bad as his dad.

Gently explain how insulting that is. That you are entitled to a loving relationship and you expect him to treat your guest with courtesy.

He doesn't get to call the shots on you or any other woman.

Iwantavwcamper Wed 04-Dec-13 09:52:34

I've kept this relationship out of their faces pretty much as it's been developing because I know it's been a new and different situation all round. I don't want to make the children feel uncomfortable at all but it's ok to have my own life and have him stay over if I want isn't it?

cloudskitchen Wed 04-Dec-13 10:12:15

With all due respect to your son he is now 18 years old. Old enough for serious relationships of his own and serious enough to understand that life for you also goes on. Whilst you have to be sensitive to your children, and it sounds to me like you have bent over backwards to do things right, your now adult son also needs to be more understanding. Rather unfair to say you are like his father when his father had an affair. A conversation re the differences in situation would probably be a good thing. Seize the day, you are entitled to be happy.

Vivacia Wed 04-Dec-13 10:21:32

You and your son are both old enough to understand that everyone deserves a loving relationship and that includes you.

LineRunner Wed 04-Dec-13 10:37:45

Can I ask what your children do when you stay over at your boyfriend's? Do they go to their dad's or does the 18 year old 'babysit'?

My 'OH' and I have a somewhat unusual situation in that he also has teenagers and they all live with him full-time. Between us we have six teenagers to placate! It would fair to say that there has not been an entirely unified reaction to our being together. Obviously we are very discreet - he will get dressed to go and use my bathroom, for example, and we never make noise - and he helps my DCs out with practical tasks like fixing bikes and putting up shelves which I am crap at. And he never, ever tries to be anything other than my boyfriend. He is not their dad - they already have a dad, even if he is a cheating twat.

'OH' and I have also aimed for routine. So, he comes to my house every Friday, for example. This means his eldest (who is an adult) knows to be home at a reasonable time. My two can either join in with our meal and film/tv, or go out / stay in their rooms on FaceAche.

Has your boyfriend got children of his own?

Jan45 Wed 04-Dec-13 10:43:01

So after your son's dad cheating on you and you being on your own for 3 years, your son thinks he's allowed to dictate your love life? Seriously, at 18, you need to tell him where to stick his opinions.

maleview70 Wed 04-Dec-13 10:47:49

If my son said that he would be moving out!

JustSpeakSense Wed 04-Dec-13 10:53:37

With all due respect, your son is 18 (almost an adult himself) he needs to think about your feelings and your life and not just his own selfish feelings - one day he and his siblings will be our the house, does he really want you alone and by yourself. You deserve to be happy.

JustSpeakSense Wed 04-Dec-13 10:54:05

*out the house

LineRunner Wed 04-Dec-13 10:56:12

The 18 year old's been through a lot, though. His dad leaving when he was 15. Realising his dad had been shagging his mate's mum since he was 13. That's a lot to process.

I think his rudeness is through fear.

It doesn't make it right. But it makes it understandable. Which makes it a bit easier to deal with.

kilmuir Wed 04-Dec-13 10:59:59

Not understandable or acceptable! He needs to be angry with his cheating dad not you.
Do not give in to an 18 year old,

Walkacrossthesand Wed 04-Dec-13 11:00:07

The 'you're as bad as him' comment makes me think that your son has some notion that marriage is 'for ever' - so, even if one party has cheated & left, the other is meant to remain in a Queen Victoria style majestic solitude. This is also a convenient belief if he wants to keep things at home just the same even though dad doesn't live there any more. I hope you can find the right words to disabuse him of notion (a), and find a way forward that doesn't result in a stand-off.

Iwantavwcamper Wed 04-Dec-13 11:01:23

When I stay over at my boyfriend's place my younger two will stay with my parents either at their house or at mine. The 18 year old stays at home and does his own thing. Oldest and youngest are boys who don't see their dad but middle one is a daughter and she stays with her dad (and partner and her family....the one he had the affair with) at least one night every weekend. When my boyfriend has been here for dinner the younger two have eaten with us and then gone off to their rooms or watched TV together with us and it's seemed fine. The 18 year old has stayed in his room and not come out or else gone out, without speaking to me/boyfriend. My boyfriend does have children but they are much younger than mine and he looks after them during the week whilst his XW works away overnight so it hasn't been an issue meeting them yet.

JustSpeakSense Wed 04-Dec-13 11:01:29

perhaps a gentle talk with your 18 year old, explaining how hurt and lonely the break up made you feel, and how your new relationship is making you feel loved and happy and you would really value his support. He doesn't need to have a relationship with your new man, or even like him but he does need to accept him. Perhaps his stubbornness on this is a case of him 'putting his head in the sand' if he doesn't see it, he doesn't have to deal with the emotions. (is it possible he still hopes you and his dad could end up together again?)

Jan45 Wed 04-Dec-13 11:32:46

Sorry but what his dad did has nothing to do with you, don't let what happened to your son cross over into what you are doing with your love life, the two are not connected, and don't, out of guilt, let your son call all the shots and rule the roost, or, if you have done this already, this is the result of that.

LineRunner Wed 04-Dec-13 11:44:38

I think the hurt that children (including teenagers) feel when a parent ups and leaves can be immense. Just look at the real grief still being experienced by many MN posters years, sometimes decades, later. I feel pretty angry on my DC's behalf that their own father has put them through this.

However, that complexity doesn't mean that you shouldn't keep the message simple, OP. You are entitled to pursue a new, happy relationship and your 18 year old son is not entitled to try and control or prevent this.

You are happy to talk to him; but he is not entitled to be rude and insulting.

You value his opinions; but you will not let him sabotage your relationship.

My OH and I do it pretty much one week at a time. At the moment it is his DD (15) who is acting out quite dramatically. She gets the consistent message that her behaviour will not affect our being together. However, she will always be listened to.

Maybe OH and I are just too much like a couple of old hippies grin

Iwantavwcamper Wed 04-Dec-13 15:06:23

Thanks everyone; I agree LineRunner about the difficulties and hurt experienced by children and I have done my best to work through that and support them as best as I can. I think that some of my son 's reaction is through fear of change and head in the sand when dealing with this situation, if he avoids it, it will go away. I always try and respect my children's choices within reason and I have said to them that they have to do the same for me in return. I think it will feel very strange (lovely strange for me!!) for all of us to have my boyfriend stay here. I think I have to take the plunge and invite BF to stay over. What sort of reaction have others experienced fro their children in a similar situation?

JaneFonda Wed 04-Dec-13 16:57:01

I feel really sorry for your son - obviously he said some inappropriate things, but it seems like that was out of fear rather than malice.

It is still your DS's home - yes, you have the right to a relationship, but I think that you can't brush aside your DS's feelings about who comes to stay in the home. Your house is your DS's safe place, his sanctuary, and for that to be invaded by someone who he doesn't want to be there is a real intrusion.

I think that your DS's feelings need to be understood and put above other things - he's obviously been through a lot, and I can completely understand why he wouldn't want your boyfriend to stay.

Please don't get angry with him and declare that your boyfriend is coming to stay - you need to have a proper chat, and really listen to how he's feeling.

AdoraBell Wed 04-Dec-13 17:09:49

I would have a chat with the 18 yr old and explain why having a loving relationship that starts when both parties are single is completely different To an extra marital affair, that you understand his anger/position but in this case it is mis placed and he needs To man up and accept that you will not spend the rest of your life single if you Choose not To.

But try To do it without rubbing his nose in the fact that his dad was shagging his mate's mum.

MirandaWest Wed 04-Dec-13 17:11:49

My bf has an 18 year old DS and I have very rarely stayed at my bfs house when his DS is there. He is at university now which has alleviated that a bit, plus my DC are younger and stay at their dad's house quite often so there is time then. He stays sometimes when my DC are here but more often when they're not.

His DS is fine with me being around but has said he'd prefer me not to stay over when he's there and tbh it's his house too and he has a right to his feelings. I don't want to rock the boat there and would rather be at my house than make him feel uncomfortable.

Iwantavwcamper Wed 04-Dec-13 17:32:58

I totally understand your point JaneFonda and I haven't got angry at all. I've talked around all these issues a lot with all the children together. Oldest son really feels that I made marriage vows once and that then means that I shouldn't have any other relationships (even though it was his father's actions that ended the marriage). I've explained how I feel about that calmly and we've agreed to disagree and leave it there for now. I have made it clear that I won't stop my relationship because of how how feels about it.
I feel for my son greatly and I think that is why I haven't forced the issue before and why I posted here because I really want to do the right thing by everyone. I'm just not sure what the right thing to do is!!

SantasLittleLineRunner Wed 04-Dec-13 17:35:44

But you are single, now, OP. Your adult son needs to accept this above everything else. That is a legal fact.

The rest of the discussion has to be predicated on that.

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