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How do i introduce a new boyfriend?(2 Posts)
My ex husband and i broke up 18 months ago after an incredibly abusive and awful 12 year relationship. We have two boys, 9 and 5yrs. We stayed living in the same house for a while for financial reasons, but very early this year there was an incident and i had to leave the house overnight with the kids. Thus followed many months of litigation and awful awful stress, thankfully the boys and i found a little rental house and have been happily curled up in it over lockdown whilst this has all been going on. My ex does see the boys regularly and is a good, if someone stern dad.
Towards the end of last year a friend i have had for 16 years and i became close and as a total surprise fell in love. He's been unendingly supportive and i don't know what i'd have done without him these last 10 months. We do see ourselves being together for the long haul. He knows my kids as he's been my friend for so long. For the last 7 months he's been spending time with us (me and the boys) but we've been very careful - he sleeps in the spare room and we are not openly affectionate in front of them etc. We've all had a very turbulent time and i didn't want to overwhelm them.
Mercifully the boys are very happy and seem very content with their 'new setup' moving between us, and are back at school etc. They get on really well with my new partner. I want to now explain in very low level terms that he's my boyfriend so we can start sleeping in the same room etc but i have no idea how to do this! Anyone got any advice? I don't know literally what words to use, or how to move him out of the 'friend zone' he's in in their eyes and to being something more, without changing the lovely dynamic we all have between us.
I'd be really grateful for any advice.
I'm no expert so really just posting to bump your post a bit for you. Do your DC (particularly the older one) really have much understanding of what a 'boyfriend' as opposed to a friend who is a man who sometimes sleeps over is (aside from sleeping in the same room)? Do you think they will notice and ask questions if he does start to sleep in your room? Do you have quite an open relationship with them where they will feel comfortable to ask you questions? If so I think I'd be tempted to be led by them and answer questions naturally and in an age-appropriate way as they arise rather than sitting them down to do a big dramatic 'revelation' type announcement? I would simply tell them the facts that 'X' is your boyfriend now (if boyfriend is the word you want to use, I probably would as opposed to partner or similar which perhaps implies a more serious relationship, not to demean your relationship at all, but at this stage you obviously can't be sure so best to stick more at the casual end of the spectrum rather than telling them this is a big forever thing). If they ask what a 'boyfriend' is you can say something like a boyfriend is someone who you really like, a special friend who you enjoy spending time with etc etc. You can also reassure them that you having a boyfriend won't change anything about their routine or spending time with their father etc. if they may be worried about that?
Is your bigger concern what your Ex is going to say/do when he finds out about the new boyfriend, particularly if the boys say something to him about him staying over etc? I know this can be a flashpoint for abusive men - so you might want to take some advice from a properly qualified person/ advice line about the best way to do it - I imagine him finding out through the boys would not be great for anyone?