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My partner demonstrates no warmth towards my children

(91 Posts)
Wileycoyote Mon 04-Jan-16 09:34:33

We have lived together for nearly two years in my house. My partner has two children of his own who are the same ages as mine are. My children are 8 and 10 and the little one has ASD and is quite hard work, although he is affectionate and sweet too.

My partner was/is pretty involved with his children, picking them up and taking them to school a few times a week and having access in their home all day on a Saturday. However, their mother has just moved them several hindered miles away so this can no longer happen.

We are planning to move to a bigger house so his kids can come here and stay at weekends and holidays and have their own rooms. This will mean selling my place, putting the equity down as a deposit and going halves on the rest of the mortgage.

This Christmas my partner was here with me, although he made it quite clear he was missing his children and felt Christmas was a bit pointless. He did say he enjoyed the day though and he visited his kids s few days after Xmas and stayed in a nearby hotel for the night. I do understand this is hard for him.

However, I still feel essentially like a single parent. My children's dad has them on a Saturday night but is otherwise not that involved - the bulk of the extra care comes form my mum who lives nearby, particularly with my ASD son. My Partner will watch the kids whilst I should out for an hour but that is about it - he says they have a dad.

It is a source of disappointment to me - he is not interested in being part of the family and yesterday said he may even opt out of next Christmas altogether if he doesn't have his kids here. I have been surprised by how angry that makes me feel and am not sure what to do with those feelings. He is effectively my boyfriend and not a stepdad to
My kids. Can I and should I accept this? We get on brilliantly and have fun but it makes me feel angry that it seems he feels under no obligation to help or be involved with my children. What to do?

AnyFucker Mon 04-Jan-16 09:38:55

I wouldn't tie myself to him with property, that is for sure

Keep him on as an occasional "boyfriend" if you wish but in your situation if he wasn't throwing himself into family life I would be reconsidering his role in my life

Don't press on ahead hoping he will change as I think you will massively regret it

Penfold007 Mon 04-Jan-16 09:40:52

This set up isn't working for any of you.

RidersOnTheStorm Mon 04-Jan-16 09:41:09

I couldn't continue in the relationship on those terms. I'd have to end it.

OTheHugeManatee Mon 04-Jan-16 09:42:28

Don't move in with him. If you do so it will be very damaging for your children as they will grow up living with a man who makes it clear he doesn't give a shit about them, and a mother who tolerates that setup.

Branleuse Mon 04-Jan-16 09:42:55

really, dont do the moving house thing. He sounds ok as a boyfriend to you, but hes not part of your family and I doubt he will ever want to be. This has strong potential to become really difficult for you and your children especially as they get older

LyndaNotLinda Mon 04-Jan-16 09:47:28

Do not sell your home and buy with him. You feel like a single parent because you are one - he isn't your partner, he's your boyfriend. Which is fine if that's what you want but it doesn't sound as if it is.

Marchate Mon 04-Jan-16 09:47:40

Maybe it would be best if you keep the relationship as it is currently - he's simply your boyfriend. Moving in together puts extra pressure on both parties. Why ruin next Christmas in advance?!
Also, the security of having your own place is so much greater than being part owner of a bigger house. For your children too.
Probably better to take the commitment part more slowly!

gamerchick Mon 04-Jan-16 09:52:26

Don't tie yourself to this person financially. Maybe he should move out and just do the boyfriend/girlfriend thing? If you want a future though then maybe he's not the best person to do it with. My husband embraced my kids, it wouldn't have worked otherwise.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 04-Jan-16 09:57:49

"He is effectively my boyfriend and not a stepdad to my kids. Can I and should I accept this"

In a word, no. You really do not want your children learning that their mother went on to put a man before them. He's already stating by word and deed that your children are not as important to him as his are.

I would certainly not move to a larger house with him. On a wider level is he really the right man for you now, if someone else had written this what would you response be?.

HandyWoman Mon 04-Jan-16 10:07:01

I wouldn't subject my dc to living with any adult that 'felt no warmth' for them. Particularly thinking of your ASD son who, I'm sure finds life hard enough already. ASD kids are often very intuitive and he will know how his non step father feels about him.

And your understandable anger towards his attitude will undermine the household dynamic further.

Did your dp show warmth towards them in the beginning in order to get his feet under the table ? Financially it sounds like he doesn't have any money to throw into a bigger property.

I would reassess the whole thing now and call time on the co-habiting.

And then you can start looking forward to Christmas rather than dreading it...

Headmelt Mon 04-Jan-16 10:11:16

I've read a similar thread before Christmas, was that you op? The general consensus on that thread was to end the relationship if your dp didn't "man up".

RC1234 Mon 04-Jan-16 10:31:07

If he does not want to be part of your family (that is what it sounds like) I would hold off making any extra commitments like buying a house together for the time being. Taking on a bigger mortgage and house is after all mostly for his benefit not yours. Yes he is going to need time to adjust to being so far from his children, but it sounds from your post that he has always been like this. It has been 2 years - I would be hoping for something more by now.

I think that you and your children deserve to be treated better and you need to spell out a picture of what you would like and set a deadline for him to engage. However that is just me - I am not known for my patience. What are the consequences of you ultimately calling time on this - would you or the children miss him?

FinallyHere Mon 04-Jan-16 10:31:49

Gosh, looking at this from the outside.....

.... I'm sorry but I'm really wondering why you would ever consider moving in / getting financially close to someone like this?

Whatever would make you even ask whether you should put up with it? I don't know you but I'm already feeling cross at him, who can be so selfish in the face of anyone's children, never mind his partner's (your) children. If he feels love for you, how can that not stretch to your loved ones?

If you were already all tied up together, maybe with DC in common, you may have to consider whether you should stick it out, but honestly? Why would you even consider it?

By the way, I'd guess since he is being very clear about what you can expect from him, or rather not expect from him. Who knows how much worse he might get, if you 'let him' do this. Make Christmas miserable for one family, just because he doesn't have his children with him. Whats next? Turn off the heating in the bathroom because it's not benefitting his children or some even worse nonsense?

Find someone who thinks more along the lines of, oh well, I can't have my children here this year but could at least help to make it lovely for her DC....

TPel Mon 04-Jan-16 10:38:28

He is using you to facilitate buying a house.

Does he have a deposit otherwise?

BeyonceRiRiMadonnna Mon 04-Jan-16 10:43:11

Deal Breaker for me OP. A human being that shows no warmth to my kids be it male of female will not be part of my family and is also usually no friend of mine. Why would you do this to you children?

AnyFucker Mon 04-Jan-16 10:43:40

Ah. OP, have you posted about this bloke before ?

TheBestChocolateIsFree Mon 04-Jan-16 10:56:13

Going against the grain here I'm trying to imagine how I'd feel if someone had recently taken my DC away from me, and I was invited to be part of my boyfriend's family Christmas with his children. It might feel a bit like replacing them, or having what I'd lost rubbed in my face - not saying the OP has done anything wrong, but it's possible that the boyfriend is hurting badly. I think I might struggle badly with that.

I agree with everyone else that this is a relationship which may not be fixable and you should put moving in with him on hold, but on the basis of the OP I won't necessarily condemn his character, because nobody has ever taken my children away from me, and I can't say what's a reasonable way to react.

Wileycoyote Mon 04-Jan-16 10:56:59

Thanks for all of your replies.

No Headmelt, I have not posted before about this. Maybe it is a not uncommon situation.

Am interested you seem pretty unananimous on the outline I gave you. It's not all one sided, I have painted a bleak picture and just presented the discontent, but that doesn't make the issue any less real.

Yes, I would miss him, and so would the kids. He is a stabilising influence in many respects, and I am henerally happier and more settled which has benefitted the kids.

He will benefit from a move in together, as you rightly pointed out - I have the deposit.

However, I would also benefit and my share of the equity will be protected in a legal agreement. My ex owns part of my current place so it is not all mine, and I would like to get out of that situation sooner rather than later as I will have to sell in a few years anyway. Also, him living with us has enabled me to work 30 hours instead of full time which has made a big difference to me and the kids, and taken the pressure off my mum (although I still couldn't do it all without her). I am also sending my older son to private school and we are moving nearer that, and the house we have identified is lovely. That sound shallow but what I am trying to illustrate is that it doesn't feel straightforward.

I could sell the one I am in and afford a flat or small house that was just mine, but if I do that it seems a bit extreme. I am not sure hoy kids feel about him - I would hate to think I am somehow emotionally damaging them by being in this situation. They definitely know they are loved!!

At the very least I need to tackle it - you guys are validating my feeling which is really helpful.

AnyFucker Mon 04-Jan-16 11:02:26

Hmm. So you are hoping to change the situation you are in (tied financially to a bloke) to a another property where you are tied financially to a different bloke. A bloke who doesn't "show warmth to your children".

That seems very foolish to me.

TPel Mon 04-Jan-16 11:07:49

What AF says.

OTheHugeManatee Mon 04-Jan-16 11:11:30

I think AF has it, I'm afraid.

Branleuse Mon 04-Jan-16 11:13:09

You feel it is important that a partner has warm feelings towards your children. Youre right. It is very important, and its also necessary.

You cannot force him to love them of course, but you can realise that if after 2 years he doesnt love them, then youre never going to have a happy family with this guy. You need to be super-careful to not get financially entangled with him any more than you already are. It will get messy.

Marchate Mon 04-Jan-16 11:14:20

Keep your independence. It will matter to you and your children. Small houses are not so bad, especially when they are yours and yours alone!

Cabrinha Mon 04-Jan-16 11:14:47

Oh god I wouldn't!

Your ex still owning part of your house - do you have an agreement that it stays that way until youngest is 18? I know you say you want out of that but it could be a bad move. You mention selling in a few years - but is that because you have to? Even though that tie can be annoying, it can be a valuable situation. Once he's off the mortgage, you're on your own. Plenty of people wouldn't get a mortgage again. Are you one? If you buy your ex out, then buy with your boyfriend, then split up and have UK well the house - would you eventually ended up in a smaller place than you have now / want?

I'd say the very fact you're posting here says alarm bells are ringing about this bloke.

Why has he let her move so far away? Given how highly involved he was, he would have had a chance of a prohibited steps order, surely? I'd be hmm if he didn't bother.

It sounds like you're making lifestyle changes based on his income too - dropping your hours, private schools... fine if your work if flexible and you can go FT again instantly if you want.

I think it's fair to accept that a step parent may not ever truly love your child. Sad, and not inevitable, but true.

My boyfriend is really affectionate with my daughter though - he's just been teaching her how to set up her bike computer, and smiles in a very genuine way when she's singing for us (which is no mean feat!) He doesn't love her - but you speak of warmth - he's do warm towards her. I wouldn't have someone living with her (he doesn't yet) who wasn't like that. They'd stay in their own home.

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