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Have any single parents every made it work with a partner who doesn't want kids?

(26 Posts)
mojoawol Tue 13-Jun-17 21:32:49

I've been seeing someone for just over a year (after splitting with DH over a year before). He knew from the first date that I had kids, and that there was an ex involved (much as I'd have like to have nothing to do with the ex, we have a shared care arrangement over kids).
A couple of weeks ago, BF decided to end it because he realised he didn't want to be part of a family, and have anything to do with raising my kids. Fair enough, in a way. Wish he'd said it before obviously, but there we are.
However, he says he still loves me. I bumped into him the other day and we spent the night together, seemed really loving etc. He's agreed to talk some more about whether we can make it work.
I'm now wondering whether its a lost cause, and hence my question. I'm fairly sure it has and does happen, but only if the childless one is wholly committed rather than having to be persuaded. And I really don't want to have to be persuading someone to do something their hearts not really in.
Any positive stories?

thethoughtfox Tue 13-Jun-17 21:38:07

Why would you do that to your children?

PookieDo Tue 13-Jun-17 21:40:44

I don't sorry. It's very hard dating as a single parent. You would have to accept that you have 2 lives that will not overlap. So no Xmas, no holidays, no family time together, everything separate

AvoidingCallenetics Tue 13-Jun-17 21:48:13

I can't see this working out. You have children, you will always have children. Even when they are grown up, they will still be a massive part of your everyday life. How is that going to work when they know your partner wants nothing to do with them?
There is no way he could ever live with you and not do any 'parenting', so he will never be able to be a fully involved partner in your life - why would you settle for that? For someone who doesn't feel enough for you to accept your children?

It's not wrong for him to say this isn't for him, but it does no one any good to keep having sex/seeing each other.

Idrinkandiknowstuff Tue 13-Jun-17 21:49:19

No, sorry, but my experience is that they will try to exclude your kids sooner or later. Holidays, Christmas, birthdays, he will want to spend them either alone with you, or with friends. Kids definately not involved. It's hard enough being in a relationship with someone who has kids, and accept yours. Someone who isn't interested, just No!

BlessYourCottonSocks Tue 13-Jun-17 21:50:48

Honestly? No. I was a single parent when I met my (now) DH who had no kids of his own. We now have more together.

However, the key thing was when I asked him (probably about a year into the relationship) did he ever wish I'd just been a single woman with no kids. His reply was 'Why would I have wished that? They were a bonus'. He had never particularly thought about having kids of his own. I suspect most men aren't really broody. But he loves them like his own and we are a family.

Your bf doesn't want that. He doesn't want your kids and doesn't want to be part of your family, so I can't see how your relationship could ever work. Sorry.

Aquamarine1029 Tue 13-Jun-17 21:56:05

How can you even consider having this man in your life? He has no interest in your children, so how can you possibly think this could work? It seems you care more about what you want than what is best for your kids.

AvoidingCallenetics Tue 13-Jun-17 21:57:43

If he really loved you, he would want to try and be a part of your family. If he cared about you at all he would make a clean break.
That he will quite happily keep having sex with you though and giving you mixed messages suggests that the only 0erson he cares about is him!

mojoawol Tue 13-Jun-17 22:02:28

Thanks. I think that's the reality check I needed.

He had always said he would accept them and be happy to be part of their lives. (I'm not putting my happiness above that of my kids, more trying to work out if the two can combine). And I have spent the last year largely keeping the 2 parts of my life separate. He met them a few times, and all seemed fine. Seems he just changed his mind.

PookieDo Tue 13-Jun-17 22:04:02

Look it's ok for him to not want kids and make that clear. You can't cast him as some bastard for realising it's not what he wants although it was foolish of him in some ways until you try it you don't know how it will work
What isn't ok is to be on the fence about it and mess you about. I think he will want to have sex with you and a separate life but leave you with a half life you can't share with him. And that part makes him a bastard

Nubia66 Tue 13-Jun-17 22:17:45

f he really loved you, he would want to try and be a part of your family. If he cared about you at all he would make a clean break.

I think that's a bit harsh. It's perfectly possible to love someone without developing feelings for their children. He sounds conflicted; it's not so easy making a clean break when the love is still there. It's called being human .

mojoawol Tue 13-Jun-17 22:26:21

I think he is a bit conflicted about it. But that's his conflict to resolve isn't it. I can't be the one to resolve it. Can I?

PookieDo Tue 13-Jun-17 22:37:58

He's had a long time to decide this. It isn't fair on you

Let him go, at least for now until he is sure
This is not something you can just muddle through - he's in or he's out, 100%

HoHoHoHo Wed 14-Jun-17 00:23:16

I've never really wanted children of my own and before I met dp i would never have considered being with someone who had children. It works because i love him and consider his children as part of being with him. I have a great relationship with them and care for them dearly and he respects the fact that I'm not their parent so therefore does not expect me to parent them or take responsibility for them. I don't think he'd be with me if i said I'd have nothing to do with them though. I don't think I'd want to be with him if he kept such a large part of himself separate from me.

scottishdiem Wed 14-Jun-17 00:36:07

I dont think it will work to be honest. You cant be the one to resolve it, it can only be him. I guess the more he has been let into that side of your life, the less he has liked it. I am not going to go with the doom mongers and haters who say he will want to exclude you from your kids lives, its just that he isnt into them.

You probably need to give him an ultimatum in terms of time because you dont want to be hanging on and waiting to see if he likes your kids or not. And you dont want to make the mistake of being some kind of booty call either.

FizzyGreenWater Wed 14-Jun-17 00:46:19

No. Don't do it to your kids.

They deserve enthusiasm, not just 'acceptance'. Which won't really be acceptance, it'll be wishing deep down that things were different and they weren't there.


thestamp Wed 14-Jun-17 00:53:32

I think it's fine not to mix partner with children, especially when the children are small. My dp didn't meet my DC for well over a year. He doesn't​have an interest in being a "stepdad" figure and we've no plans to live together.

But... He loves children and, while he doesn't see my DC more than maybe once a month, he is interested in/asks after/ takes into account my DC. He is glad to be a fun uncle/trusted family friend sort of figure. In an emergency he would take care of my DC, but it's very clear he's not their parent.

It sounds like this situation, your ex actually does actively wish you did not have DC. That sort of attitude will, I feel, inevitably end in tears. DC are part of your life and your partner has to be happy about that/ supportive of your role as mum to them.

Op I'm sure he's conflicted as you sound lovely. But don't let a fantasy life devleop where you have to pretend to not have kids in order for him to be happy with you...

libbyliz83 Wed 14-Jun-17 01:03:59

I read up there that over the last year you have tried to keep the two parts of your life separate. I'm sorry but as a mother, your kids should be your whole focus. Yes you get to be happy too but if that means living half your life separate to them then no, that's just wrong. Sorry.

Desmondo2016 Wed 14-Jun-17 06:08:32

My husband had wanted kids but hadn't been able to have any due to infertility (although we have since had a daughter of our own). He was an amazing step father to my 3 from early on and stepped right up, even more so when their father abandoned them altogether to live abroad. It wuuld not have worked for me to keep the 2 things separate. Living together, I needed to be able to expect a certain amount of daddying from him (e.g. assuming he would feed them if I was late home from work, assuming he'd be in charge if I was going out and he wasn't). It worked well for us, mainly due to him being bloody awesome. I'm not sure you can ever forget how obvious he has made it that it isn't what he wants OP.

user1486956786 Wed 14-Jun-17 07:47:21

I'm kidless and my partner has one. I find it tough, but it's actually more with myself. I'm not good/natural with young kids, I'm looking forward to her being a bit older.

Although I'll be honest, I couldn't do it if I had to be a parent and do all the family stuff. We hang out at home but I can't do all the activities etc. Like I said in years to come things will improve.

And to be honest, if we broke up I wouldn't do it again if the children were young again.

But I have no problems with sharing my partner, Christmas, Birthdays are no issue!

user1486956786 Wed 14-Jun-17 07:49:18

Sorry my post seems negative. Bear in mind I'm 5 years in and not going anywhere!! I'd never thought I could have done this :-)

Isetan Wed 14-Jun-17 09:03:11

What's he doing to resolve his conflict? Shagging the woman he recently ended it with due to him not wanting to be around her kids, isn't even an attempt to resolving the conflict, it's kicking the issue into the long grass and keeping her on tender hooks.

Zaphodsotherhead Wed 14-Jun-17 09:06:29

IME it was fine when the kids were younger. They were grateful for presents/trips/attention and cute and, most importantly, went to bed early. Once they got older and more confrontational, more 'present around the house', staying up late etc, he couldn't cope. They intruded far more into our lives as older children and that was when he really couldn't cope.

Angrybird123 Wed 14-Jun-17 14:11:54

libbyliz I'm sorry but i totally disagree with you there . I'm a single mum and my kids are the most important thing but they are not and will never be the only thing or my sole focus. My family, job, friends and yes, partner are all focus' too. Sometimes they overlap, sometimes not. I think it's outrageous to suggest that a mother can't have any other focus. Would you say the same to a father?

Zaphodsotherhead Wed 14-Jun-17 14:42:01

Also - how long do you carry on living your life with your kids as primary focus? Until they are 12? 15? 25?

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