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feel like if I got in a relationship it would ruin things for dcs

(16 Posts)
mrsdigestives Thu 17-Nov-16 21:58:51

Sorry if this sounds self indulgent but wondered if I could talk things over on here, I value MN advice highly (NC but a regular)
I've brought up dcs on my own with EOW very un-involved exh since they were nursery school age, 9 years now. One is a teen and one is coming into teens and they're great kids. I'm really proud of our little family especially as I had an abusive childhood, so it's been a big deal to create a safe happy home life and we all get on pretty well, I take them on holidays and days out and we have a nice life really.

The thing is, I feel quite a conflict, between on the one hand I would quite like to get in a relationship now, but on the other hand I know I only have a few precious years left of dcs being school age, living at home etc and am worried what it would mean to them to have a man on the scene now, after all this time.

I know it's only theoretical, as there's no actual man grin but I've realised recently that while I've dated a bit, they've all been very unavailable/commitment phobic/long distance etc etc and I've kept it all very low key and separate from dcs and my life with them.

Exh (who left for OW but not with her now) lives with his gf and this does cause some upset and difficulties for dcs (she doesn't seem to especially want them there etc) so I kind of have to pick up the pieces of that.

So I just wondered if people have had experiences of feeling like this and how that's gone, or if you had step parents, or just what peoples thoughts are etc (My dm's second marriage broke up while I was a teen, which doesn't help) I'm stopping myself getting into a decent relationship I think, and a part of me thinks that's a good idea, but another part really yearns for a relationship now.

Myusernameismyusername Thu 17-Nov-16 22:03:48

Yes totally! Am here right now but I have found someone. Way too early to think about introducing but I think all these things all the time!

I also think well they will leave me one day won't they? And have friends and go out? So maybe now is the right time to build my own life?

Also the right partner would make your family unit just as happy, not worse right? I mean there might be some teething problems but if my children were not happy I would listen to them. I wouldn't put them into a situation they didn't want. Nor would you.

We also deserve to be happy and loved. It's not quite the same as loving your children and friends.

I date when they are with father and it isn't easy with finding the time but he has kids too so understands.

I think there is never a right or wrong time just the way you go about it is the important part

Myusernameismyusername Thu 17-Nov-16 22:16:36

My kids have a step mum and they love her but ex just announced her one day with no warning and she went on holiday after a couple of months and they felt super awkward.

mrsdigestives Thu 17-Nov-16 23:42:04

Thanks myusernameis and congratulations on your new relationship.

I know what you mean about having a life of your own etc I do think that stuff, but truly deep down I know it'd be for me not the dcs, if I met someone, and am worried it'd make life worse. I know relationships are meant to add something. My experiences of them haven't been very good I suppose.

I'm worried about compromises that would have to be made, about the risk of choosing the wrong person (again) too also really, and about if the dcs would secretly not like it but feel like they wouldn't want to upset me by saying so. I feel like they (and me) have had enough upheaval and dramas. But that at the same time doesn't stop me from wanting a relationship, and feeling like I've waited so long.

noego Thu 17-Nov-16 23:59:45

Create your own life first and foremost. Have a good circle of friends, male and female, a good career, have hobbies, have your own home, car, basically independence. You will need all of these when DC's fly the coup. Mr right will come along if he turns out to be Mr wrong then you always have something to fall back on. Mr right won't mind you being independent and will be happy for you to pursue your lifestyle. If he isn't then don't introduce him to DC's. If you decide to do so, open and frank discussions with DC's is paramount for them to understand that mum has a BF, why she has a boyfriend, they are not in any danger and shouldn't fear anything. Then gradually introduce new man into your lives. Lots of play days together so they get to feel comfortable with him. Done properly they should be ok. Done incorrectly and they will still have reservations for the rest of their lives.

exexpat Fri 18-Nov-16 08:44:20

I was widowed when my DCs were little, and brought them up solo for eight years. I got together with DP a couple of years ago, when the DCs were 16 and 12 - old enough to be independent or increasingly so, and accept a new person on the scene in a relatively adult way.

Obviously there have been a few ups and downs, particularly with the younger one turning teenage, but DP moved in with us fairly early on (far too early by usual MN relationship board rules...) and it has all worked out well. Really I expect it all depends on the people involved, and you won't know if they will all get on until you meet someone and try - don't let theoretical problems put you off even thinking about getting into a new relationship.

timelytess Fri 18-Nov-16 08:52:51

You are very sensible, OP.
So have a relationship quietly, outside the home.
smile

Myusernameismyusername Fri 18-Nov-16 09:34:43

Which can be done! As I am. Doesn't involve the kids and all is good (so far!)

kaitlinktm Fri 18-Nov-16 09:54:55

I think you are wise to keep dating even if you decide not to introduce people to your children. I divorced at the age of 48 and didn't even contemplate dating. I am now 61 and my DC are late twenties/early thirties - one still lives at home while he is renovating his new home and the other has only just moved out.

I think I should have got back into dating sooner as I am completely out of it now and most men my age are looking for women in their 40s and 50s. However, I have to confess that although I wouldn't mind some companionship and sex I wouldn't want a full-on FT relationship and am fairly content how I am - just the occasional wistful thought.

You know your own family best.

Mintychoc1 Fri 18-Nov-16 10:18:04

It's difficult. My DCs are 7 and 11 and have never had contact with their father. So it's always been me, all the time (grandparents look after them when I'm working).

I was happily single for years, and always felt that having a partner would cut into the time I had with the kids, so I just wasn't interested. Then I met someone at the beginning of this year, and things have changed.

I've tried to do it all gradually, to build up contact with the kids very slowly, and keep the relationship primarily just between me and my boyfriend. He doesn't stay over etc (well, he did for the first time last weekend, but it's not going to be a regular thing).

I don't think there's necessarily a right or wrong time for this, and if I waited till my kids had both left home I'd be in my 60s.

kaitlinktm Fri 18-Nov-16 11:52:44

That's the situation I am in now Minty. It is a good thing to keep your hand in with the dating situation if you can (not like me).

People who have remarried or found new partners - have you put any prenup arrangements in place? That was one of my worries - if you live with someone and they outlive you, might your children lose out (thinking of Lynda Bellingham here)?

mrsdigestives Fri 18-Nov-16 18:17:22

Thanks to all of you who've posted on here, it really helps to get different viewpoints and think things through -MN is invaluable flowers

In an ideal world I'd meet someone who was happy to keep things fairly casual and not live together or get too involved with the dcs if at all. Maybe I will do, who knows I guess.

kaitlinktm it's never too late! you could meet someone now, you're in an ideal position to do that now. Like you, I'd be very wary for the financial side of things for my dc too

Myusernameismyusername Fri 18-Nov-16 18:22:08

I'm thinking that it would take me at least 2 years surely to know it was the right person? Then DD1 would be over 16... then maybe another year you would consider living together? I don't know really timelines - I met bloke in August and we only recently made the 'yes let's make a go of this' chat, so that's 4 months almost gone already, nowhere near 'I love you' bit, all that could take so long that the kids have left home or are at least nearing the end of school

mrsdigestives Fri 18-Nov-16 18:31:04

Oh myusername I totally get it with the mental calculations of a timeframe! That does sound like you're in potentially a pretty good position now. I think where I am now it'd be ok for my eldest but youngest still has quite a few years left at home now (just started secondary) and how would he react to a potential stepfather.But like you say, it'd take a good few years before I'd even consider living with someone again. I don't really want living together, just a decent relationship. I hope yours works out well

Myusernameismyusername Fri 18-Nov-16 18:35:14

I'm in a slightly different position with kids that my DD2 is extremely laid back and quite mature - she literally likes everyone and wouldn't mind much, she wouldn't mind anyone extra in the house. She just wants me to be happy and nags me all the time about meeting someone 😂

DD1 wouldn't take it so well. So she needs to get older

Thank you! Honestly I think if you ready then start getting yourself out there. Agree with other poster about friends - I invested the other 8 single years into them, now I feel ready for lurve (cheesy)

Come on to the on line dating thread when you ready!

ocelot7 Sat 19-Nov-16 08:46:13

I thought someone who was not their father would not treat my kids equally eg if I had a child with the new man (thanks evil stepmother!) so left it far far too long to start dating/find a new partner. P!ease don't be me! sad kids may not initially want it but they will come to accept even love a new partner & be happy for their mum.
I am with someone now but its been a difficult journey...

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