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why am I so nervous about telling boyfriend about previous relationship?

(18 Posts)
mushroomsontoast Wed 13-Apr-16 19:01:43

Been seeing a lovely bloke I met online for 10 months now. I have 2 DC, so does he, similar ages. We've been talking recently about whether to introduce them.

I've been split from exH for 2.5 years, he's been split from his ex for nearly 2 years and I'm the first person he's dated.

He knows I dated other people before him, but he's never asked about it and I've never told him any details. In actual fact, I got into quite a serious, in hindsight a bit of a rebound relationship, only 2 months after splitting from exH. He met the DC, who really liked him, but it all fizzled out after about 5 months. Nothing bad happened, the DC were fine, but I've always kicked myself for introducing him too soon. And the DC still mention him fondly every now and then, despite the fact it's over a year since they've seen him!

So, I think it's inevitable that if I introduce the DC to current boyfriend, at some point they will mention 'oh, mummy used to have a boyfriend called X...'. So I guess I need to tell him first. But I'm just worried he'll judge me. He's done everything just right- waited a year before dating, waited 8 months before even talking about introducing DC to each other.... I did the complete opposite!

Should I tell him? Or just wait and see if the DC mention it and then brush it off like it's no big deal?

Offred Wed 13-Apr-16 19:07:22

Err it is no big deal...

Presumably he is a grown man and realises he is not your first partner.

I wouldn't tell him or be bothered at all if DC told him tbh.

Why are you so nervous about this?

TheNaze73 Wed 13-Apr-16 21:30:05

10 months is way too soon, I think to introduce the kids. Learn from before. Enjoy the dating phase as long as you can. I'm uber cautious but, make no apologies for that

mushroomsontoast Wed 13-Apr-16 21:43:13

I think I'm nervous because, although he knows I have dated other people, the fact that I had another relationship so soon after splitting with exH and then introduced the DC has just never come up. And looking back, I wish I hadn't (which is probably why I haven't mentioned it) and I feel like he might judge, or be surprised.

TheNaze do you think 10 months is too soon? How long would you wait?

AnotherPrickInTheWall Wed 13-Apr-16 21:46:27

Leave it any longer and they will reset you for not opening up about your relationship.

AnotherPrickInTheWall Wed 13-Apr-16 21:47:30

Kids are not stupid, they do know when you are seeing someone.

addstudentdinners2 Wed 13-Apr-16 21:48:37

10 months isn't too soon hmm

I never know what the MN approved length of time is but imo 10 months is ample time. I say that as a child of divorce!

ALaughAMinute Wed 13-Apr-16 21:52:05

If he's the man for you he won't care if you've had a previous relationship. Stop worrying about it.

TresDesolee Wed 13-Apr-16 21:53:35

If he's a good guy, and you explain it just like you've explained it here, he'll be fine about it. 'Look, there's something I haven't told you... Because I'm sort of kicking myself about it in retrospect, and by comparison you seem to have handled things so well.'

If he reacts badly, that'll tell you something significant about whether he's really such a good guy.

Examine your feelings though - if you're not sure now is the right time to introduce the DCs, just don't. There isn't a deadline. FWIW I don't think 10 months is unreasonably soon - but it's not so much about the amount of time, it's about whether you're fairly sure you have a future with this guy and he's going to be a long-term fixture. (And even then, you don't have to introduce him until you're sure it's the right time for your kids.)

magoria Wed 13-Apr-16 22:16:15

It is none of his business. All you have to say is oh just someone I dated for a while.

If he judges you badly because you did this he isn't the man for you.

What he did was right for him at the time.

What you did was right for you at the time. You DC seem well adjusted and still think of your ex fondly.

Neither was wrong.

Offred Wed 13-Apr-16 22:31:25

I think I'm nervous because, although he knows I have dated other people, the fact that I had another relationship so soon after splitting with exH and then introduced the DC has just never come up. And looking back, I wish I hadn't (which is probably why I haven't mentioned it) and I feel like he might judge, or be surprised.

It is none of his business how you chose to conduct your life before you met him IMO.

If he would judge you he is not the person for you since you are who you are.

How much of the worry is coming from your feelings of guilt and how much from worry about the type of person he is?

If it is from him then I would tell him before introducing him because if he judged I'd want to prevent the introduction.

If it is from you I wouldn't bother telling him at all tbh, nothing to do with him.

HeddaGarbled Wed 13-Apr-16 22:49:00

I would definitely go with:

just wait and see if the DC mention it and then brush it off like it's no big deal

Because it isn't a big deal. It felt like a big deal at the time and you regret it, but it is really really not important enough to have all this angst over. You say he knows you dated a bit before you met him. Well there you are, this man was one of the men you dated and the children knew him. Lots of people date people their children know in some capacity.

Stop beating yourself up and never never think that this man is morally superior to you. I'm sure he has had a few lapses in his past that he intends you will never find out about. We all do.

mushroomsontoast Thu 14-Apr-16 00:11:13

never never think that this man is morally superior to you Thank you, I think I needed to hear that!

I really need to stop beating myself up about choices I made when I was emotionally not in a good place. I guess the thing is, these days I probably come across as this sorted, successful, independent single parent. Not the kind of person who would jump into a relationship with the first person who came along after her husband left her. I like the way I am now, and I guess I don't want him to know about the fuck ups I've made in the past.

donajimena Thu 14-Apr-16 00:23:01

I've dated a few unsuitable men since being a lone parent. Obviously I didn't realise they were unsuitable at the time or I wouldn't have!
Introduce the children when YOU feel comfortable to do so. I've never gone with the MN approved timescales which range from six months to never.
My children are obviously one of the most important things in my life and my need for a romantic life is below their needs but I'm still a person in my own right.
It was vital for my partner to like my children and vice versa. We introduced our children quite early on to see if it worked because if it hadn't we would have called it a day sooner rather than later.

suspiciousofgoldfish Thu 14-Apr-16 06:44:26

I think you are being too hard on yourself OP, like the others say it's no big deal.

You met someone you thought was nice, and it didn't work out. These things happen.

I have a DSS and it has never crossed my mind to ask whether DH introduced him to other women before he met me. It's not a big deal to me at all.

Just because this new man felt it was important to wait before introducing the kids (and good for him) what happened to you and your previous relationship could have just as easily happened to him.

No one is judging you but you. Let it go, we all make mistakes if I had a pound for every man I wish I hadn't dated ...... And just enjoy what sounds like the beginning of something good.

Cabrinha Thu 14-Apr-16 08:37:12

So let me get this straight?

You were honest with your children that you were dating, you introduced a boyfriend who they liked, you showed them that sometimes it doesn't have legs and it can all be wrapped up calmly with no drama?

If you want to claim moral superiority* - I think that you modelled some great behaviour there and gave your kids a good life lesson.

*I know you don't smile

When your children start to date, it will almost certainly be a series of short term relationships. That is the nature of the beast. It is no bad thing for them to learn that dating is an audition process, that it is a time when they will get to know people and make choices. It is good for them to know that mum had a boyfriend and it's no big deal. My caveat would be that the kids shouldn't be used to create a happy family scenario or introduced if they don't want to be, or expected to treat someone like My New Daddy. It is wrong to present a new boyfriend as a permanent fixture. But it's not wrong to have them play a role equal to that of one of your other friends - just there, having fun.

I don't think that my way is the only way. I really understand those on here who prefer to wait until they hope it's serious (no guarantees then though either). But introducing early is not wrong.

If you want to make a different decision in future - all power to you. But your boyfriend is not some moral demigod because he didn't make your choices!

Just remember: you taught your kids that things don't always last and that you date nice men that they like. What's bad there?

Cabrinha Thu 14-Apr-16 09:11:02

One more thing to add though... I actually don't think you should introduce anyone to your kids who you don't feel you could easily have this conversation with. Even if you decide it's no big deal and you don't need to tell him, whilst you are wobbly about being judged, you are not secure enough about this man to be introducing him. Just tell him! But with no apologies cos you did nothing wrong!

FredaMayor Thu 14-Apr-16 09:19:32

In my book a gentleman doesn't ask and a lady doesn't tell, unless it's health or life threatening.

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