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Dating a man with no kids long distance - he doesn't want the kids to be part of our life together, am I a fool?

(263 Posts)
papermoon55 Wed 20-Jul-16 10:10:25


Have been dating a man for over a year and a half. Am completely in love with him, he makes me laugh, he is kind, attentive, loving, honest, committed, intelligent, emotionally stable, rational, and generally gorgeous. He is also newly in the forces (following career change) and is extremely driven career wise. We met when he was stationed near me for initial training, and is now based 4hrs drive away. We meet up every other weekend, sometimes less frequently, usually halfway (both of us driving 2 hrs) as he owns a house which is roughly in the middle.

I met him as I was coming out of a 15 year relationship with my now ex. We have two DC, 10 and 8. All amicable with the ex and children have coped with separation very well. I have only recently told the DC about this chap as I didn't feel it necessary to mention him - he wasn't likely to become a factor in their life any time soon.

When I am with new chap (do I call him DP?) we have amazing weekends together, doing all the grown-up things you can do without children, living close to London, shows, parties, balls, all very exciting and wonderful.

However, I am finding the distance difficult, finding the concept of us never living together (not for next 10 years anyway) depressing, getting to the point where I want to spend more time with him yet because he has not met the kids we can't. This weekend we finally had the conversation.

Basically he has said he doesn't see his future as a parent to my kids. He's no issue with me having kids, fully understands my commitments, and is happy that I put them first. But in his last relationship he moved in with a woman with two teenage kids, she wanted him home every weekend, he had just got into the forces and didn't want to be tied down, the weekends were focused around the kids, they never had time together, one of the kids had emotional problems, and he was basically very honest that he wanted to date the mum, not the kids.

I am basically ok with this in lots of ways. I am enjoying my independence. I wouldn't move myself/the kids even if it was on offer as my ex is here and they need the relationship with their dad. I love my child-free weekends (have never been particularly maternal) and I am very attracted to him being career-driven and focused - he's a very strong/independent character and if he turned up at my doorstep with a suitcase I'd probably run away.
However, I can't help feeling bothered by the implication that I am trying to 'trap him' in some way, and that meeting the kids would be a slippery slope to weekends of domesticity, him helping run the kids around and generally being involved in family life. That was never on the cards, I'm not offering it, they have a dad, thank you. But the voice inside me is saying that if he really loved me, the kids should be accepted as part of that package.
The other issue is that after wonderful romantic weekends with him, I often find myself feeling sad to come back home and get on with the necessary humdrum business of parenting and working full time. His life in the forces as essentially a single man is just so different to mine, and I will admit I am jealous of his freedom, his ability to focus only on himself and his career. I am a nice little bonus, reasonably fit/attractive, happy to drive 4 hours to be on his arm at posh work and social events, adoring him. But it's not real life and he knows I want more. He has just been very honest about not being able to give it.

What would you do?

papermoon55 Wed 20-Jul-16 10:16:50

Also, I'm really hoping no one tells me to end it - the thought is increasingly crossing my mind and it makes me want to cry, and I'm at work, so that would be awkward.

I think I'm asking whether if I keep telling myself 'enjoy what you've got' I eventually will, and all this missing him/wanting more/dreaming about living together will somehow magically go away..

Thanks for listening xx

Thefitfatty Wed 20-Jul-16 10:17:36

What would I do?

Figure out what I actually want for a start. Your post is a mass of contradictions. You want to live with him, but don't. You put the kids first, but don't. He's ok with the kids, but not. etc.

StillDrSethHazlittMD Wed 20-Jul-16 10:17:53

Split. You're not compatible.

This should have been discussed a lot sooner, especially on his side because he's the one who had a problem with a previous relationship involving children. I'm a childfree man and I won't even date someone with kids as it's not fair on anyone. I am honest and open about it from day one.

I don't think he has been. Get rid.

Thefitfatty Wed 20-Jul-16 10:18:54

this missing him/wanting more/dreaming about living together will somehow magically go away..

It doesn't have to magically go away, it will happen of its own accord because it's never ever going to happen. He's made that very clear.

CharlotteCollins Wed 20-Jul-16 10:19:31

Personally, I think I'd acknowledge it's been a great time in your life and say goodbye now before resentment builds.

Not to say that's the right thing for you. But I think I'd be offended by the writing off of my DCs.

branofthemist Wed 20-Jul-16 10:20:55

Unless you are happy with just every other weekend with him, you do need to split.

He has been honest. He doesn't want to meet your kids or be involved in their lives. He likes his life as it is. Pretty much single for 12 days out of 14.

You can't spend more than 2 days every two weeks with him. He doesn't want to spend every weekend with you or every other weekend with you and your kids.

It's never going to love forward from where it is now.

NickiFury Wed 20-Jul-16 10:21:34

This is exactly what I want. I don't want to introduce anyone to my kids or live with anyone again. I want some good times and fun with no pressure to blend families and wash everyone's socks.

But that's not what you want so there's no choice but to split up is there?

HuckfromScandal Wed 20-Jul-16 10:23:44

Split now
I had this
8 years into it we split as it became too big a thing for both of us.
It won't work, you're fundamentally incompatible.
Yes it will break your heart, but it's going to break your heart at some point regardless.

Botanicbaby Wed 20-Jul-16 10:24:07

Do you both always meet half way at his house in the middle? 2hrs drive?

Never at your house? Even when the DC aren't there?

I think relationships grow organically and whilst you're not pushing to have him as a part of the children's lives, that would happen naturally over time.

I'd say he is unfairly letting his past negative experience colour his relationship with you. You cannot keep things in silos & perpetually live in limbo like this. It's no wonder you feel empty when you come home. Sorry but I'd hate this & I wouldn't see a future in it in the long term, particularly if he knew how I felt & resolutely refused to compromise.

DoinItFine Wed 20-Jul-16 10:25:24

You shouldn't call him DP.

He is your boyfriend.

A partner is involved in your life.

This man doesn't even want to get to know your children.

WhisperingLoudly Wed 20-Jul-16 10:28:02

You're not compatible. Whether you're a fool depends on how much longer you're prepared to let this go on

VimFuego101 Wed 20-Jul-16 10:28:04

Surely there's a middle ground between your current situation and him becoming a surrogate father to your kids? You seem quite independent, so I don't imagine you expect him to sit at home with you and the kids all weekend.

Costacoffeeplease Wed 20-Jul-16 10:28:07

Can you live like this for the rest of your life - or at least until your kids are fully independent?

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 20-Jul-16 10:30:59

Much as it's been fun I would look for a different partner. He has been honest. It is a matter of right person, wrong time.

It isn't what you wanted to hear, sorry.

Lottielou7 Wed 20-Jul-16 10:31:02

I wouldn't want to be with a man who had no interest in my daughters. To me (and objectively actually!) they are great people. Any man who saw them as a hinderance instead of people in their own right could do one.

gamerchick Wed 20-Jul-16 10:31:07

I think things will just run their natural course now. That little niggle you're feeling will get louder as time goes on.

PovertyPain Wed 20-Jul-16 10:33:06

I'm sorry, but this is just going to lead to heartbreak. When your kids get older and start asking questions, how are you going to explain to them that you love a man that wants nothing to do them?

As time wears on and he still doesn't anything to do with your children, but you're falling deeper in live with him, what are you going to do? You will never be able to live together, get married, have any more kids.

He sounds like he's making excuses and wants to have the best of you, without giving all of himself. What happens if you take ill or end up with a disability? You know he'll dump you, don't you?

You're limiting your chances of being truly happy, with a man that loves you and your kids. That's actually very sad. sad

Of course I ha ve to ask the obvious. What makes you certain he's not married, or in a relationship with other women? He lives far away from you and makes no attempt to really be part of your life. I'm concerned for you.

NellyMelly Wed 20-Jul-16 10:34:36

he sounds narcissistic in his focus on his needs which are child free and time with you out of a family situation. You have great times and feel sad when you go back to your world. If he loves you rather than likes your company then he would want to be part of your life. Does he see other women?

quicklydecides Wed 20-Jul-16 10:34:49

He will make you increasingly dissatisfied with your real life.
That's not fair on the children.

Claraoswald36 Wed 20-Jul-16 10:37:08

On the one had this has been a great experience post separation as you have had a fabulous time. However living your life in compartments is very draining over time. My experience is not yours but meeting a man finally who wants to be involved in every aspect of my life and barely leaves my side or the kids also makes me feel fabulous and is very romantic.
He wants a single gf with no ties and thinks he can just avoid yours. It's all a bit cold really.

ArcheryAnnie Wed 20-Jul-16 10:37:44

Agreed with the others that the first step is to find out what you want out of this relationship, and the future.

Do you want an extended, grown-ups-only affair with a man you clearly adore, but who won't be part of your day to day life?

Or do you want is a man who will become part of your family, in time?

Either are perfectly honourable options, but they are very different things.

MyKingdomForBrie Wed 20-Jul-16 10:38:23

It sounds like you would always be secretly hoping for his feelings for you to over power his aversion to 'family life'. That way heartbreak lies.

Branleuse Wed 20-Jul-16 10:39:18

id enjoy it while it lasts, but be strict with yourself that hes only ever going to be a casual boyfriend that you date. Dont let it stop you looking for/ finding someone more compatible.

papermoon55 Wed 20-Jul-16 10:40:26

botanic yes he visits me in my home, but the default is half way. I only drive the 4 hrs if there is a particular social event/ball etc. based where he works.

VimFuego that's my point - I have no intention or desire for him to become a surrogate father to the kids, I've lived with that for 15 years and it didn't work for me. I am thoroughly enjoying grown up romance and, as NickiFury says I certainly don't want to go back to picking up socks from the floor and arguing over who should stack the dishwasher.

Costacoffee I don't know. I think thefitfatty nailed it. I don't know what I want. I was serious when I said if he turned up with a suitcase I'd run away. All I know is I miss him and this feeling doesn't go away.

Doinitfine that's exactly how I feel, sometimes. We have talked about it before. He has said clearly that he is comfortable with meeting the kids and asked me to be clear about what I wanted/how I saw things working. I said I don't need him every weekend, but it wasn't helpful that the two important parts of my life were currently mutually exclusive. I'd like to see him and my kids when celebrating my birthday next month, for example, or to have him round for Christmas dinner with the kids/my family/siblings rather than him sitting in his house by himself. He said he was more than happy with that and I was blowing things out of proportion.

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