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Long term relationship after divorce(31 Posts)
If you don't move in together /blend families - what is it like?
I've got a newish partner who's got kids and I've got 2 dc under 10. At the moment I don't think I'd ever blend, for various reasons. But what does that feel like with regards to the relationship after a few years? Is it sustainable? It makes me sad to think that holidays and special occasions wouldn't always have your special other half there. That companionship feels like it wouldn't ever really be a possibility, not in the same way it is if you're with the father of your kids?
Anyone? Or does everyone eventually blend families?
Why would you not blend?
I couldn’t imagine meeting someone, falling in love and not blending families.
I think over the years the relationship will either fade and disappear, or you will find a way and strength to blend. I don't think a non-blended setup can be fulfilling long term, but it doesn't mean that you should avoid this relationship. Genuine attraction is rare and not all relationships can be judged by their length. Shorter ones can also be valuable for your wellbeing and growth and lead to wonderful things x
@SecretOfChange that's a lovely way of putting it. For me personally, reasons against blending at the moment are that the kids have been through enough change and upheaval as a result of my decisions, and that one and possibly both of them are on the autistic spectrum so not hugely adaptable. Also that it feels like a massive thing, to put two sets of kids together. But I guess after a couple of years I might feel differently. I also vowed not to lose another house to a relationship as I've just bought my own and have lost two in the past! But that's more an argument against remarrying I suppose.
So long term and not living together doesn't really work then?
If the house is solely in your name then you shouldn't lose it. Even if you marry you could get something in writing
I don't think there's a single answer to this question. It works for some people, it doesn't for others. All relationships are unique. I also don't think that not living with someone precludes you from sharing family holidays or special occasions. I have no desire to blend my family at any stage- the only advantage I can see for living with another adult at this stage in my life is financial. Once my teenagers have left home, perhaps I will feel differently. Or maybe if I were to meet someone who I would contemplate a long term relationship with!
@SecretOfChange Genuine attraction is rare and not all relationships can be judged by their length. Shorter ones can also be valuable for your wellbeing and growth and lead to wonderful things x
Love this! Good to remember
I think you just need to see how it pans out. Maybe in a few years, things will feel a bit different with the DC and you'll blend or semi-blend eg not live together but spend time together as one big family at times? Maybe things won't work out for other reasons. I think you just need to enjoy the time you spend together now. What does he feel about blending? Does he have his DC a lot?
Different situation but a colleague and his partner don't live together for various totally understandable reasons (not child related). They tend to have set nights that he goes to hers and she sometimes stays at his (but less due to location and pets) but they're flexible if things come up (eg invites to them as a couple). They have holidays together, Christmas varies depending on whether he has his adult children, they are there for each other (she cared for him after an operation for example). They are partners in many ways except they spend 3-4 nights per week apart and don't have merged finances. I think they've been together maybe 6 or 7 years now and are both very happy with no plans to change things.
Works for me. Been with my partner for 7 years but don’t live together. We will one day when the kids are all independent but I know I can’t cope with 4 kids in a small house EOW. He stays at mine every other week and weekend. I like having time with just my DC, time alone and time with him.
We usually have one holiday a year with all kids and a week away alone when the kids are away with their other parent.
You don’t have to blend, don’t worry about what’s the ‘norm’, just do what feels best.
I just have adult children but my bf has a 10yo. This year I joined them for 5 days of their holiday, for the first time - perhaps you could consider something like that for holidays (going briefly while your children are with their dad). So far I've done Christmas with my kids but then had a day with the bf when his dd isn't there. So two Christmases. Works for me, but I'm used to not having a typical Christmas as I live abroad.
We're both enjoying it still after 3.5 years - there are pros and cons. You have to travel to see one another, which is potentially annoying - but actually, as you're looking forward to seeing the other person, it's not bad. Not seeing each other all the time means that you have something to talk about. Not being able to see one another constantly can be almost romantic - star-crossed lovers etc. That's why affairs are so exciting, right?!
I have to say that I feel more supported by this guy, who's there 3 days a week, than by my exh, who was theoretically living with me but who was a knackered, bored workaholic and hardly ever really there.
I've never lived with my DH we still live 60 miles apart as we did whilst dating. It's great!! He doesn't have children though. My previous partner did and it was horrible to be part of, we tried hard to blend all together but ultimately it didn't work. I think the blended family is a bit of a fantasy that divorcees aspire to but most of the time if the parents are blissfully happy the children aren't in my opinion and that eventually causes problems. My advice, wait it out until children are grown but still be a couple.
I am in that exact situation. Dating for three years and won’t blend. My dc had enough upheaval and his is grown up.
We live quite close to each other and do stuff together when dc with their dad. Also through the week and the other weekends at mine, for dinner and things. He’s come on holiday with me and dc too. My youngest is 12.
It works really well. We have decided we will not get married for logistical reasons but will do a commitment thing. Keep our own spaces and enjoy life with a nice bit of separate adult time as well as family time.
Yes I think blending can be gradual and doesn't rely on living together.
At the moment we do a couple of joint holidays a year with the kids, a couple on our own. Last year we did Christmas with just the two of us and this year it will be six of us (me, DP, two kids each).
He stays over once a week and we spend the weekend with all the kids at mine once a month.
It seems to work for us, for now.
I see so many posts about the mistake of trying to move in together with kids. But so far I feel mine have only benefitted from DP and his DC's involvement in our lives.
Misty9 I don't think you should discount any options really. But your kids are young and it's understandable to feel the way you do. I met someone within 6 months of splitting with exH (he left as he had met OW who is now his wife and they are very happy and have a baby togetehr) and he moved in within the year. My DCs were 3 and 5. Fucking nightmare, I had trouble getting him out when the relationship ended. It was all my fault, I hold my hand up to that. Luckily my kids don't remember much but I vowed never again and only dated casually for a long time as I couldn't see how I would want to put myself in that position again.
My kids are now 10 and 12 and I see a different side now. I can see now why not blending is a good idea when they are smaller. They were too young, emotionally not being able to deal with another adult in the house who is not their father and it takes a lot of managing on your part, I think. And don't underestimate how hard it when you are both trying to parent your kids and your parenting styles differ and then you have to work out how to parent each other's kids! You can see how so many blended families just don't work not for want of trying! It feels like an impossible situation.
Now, they are of the age where they are not so needy and getting more independent of me, emotionally and physically. I am dating someone with no kids at the moment. I can see me introducing him to my kids at some stage as my boyfriend and not living with us but may be spend the odd night here and there while the kids are here and they won't even bat an eyelid. That would have been inconceivable a few years ago! But I am not even sure I want someone living with us permanently, I think having kids around is the surest way to kill romance. Ha ha, but that is my view... And views change and you will have to adapt to personal circumstances too.
I’ve been with my dp 2.5 years, we both have teenagers. This means “blending” is not something we could consider (schools/ college too far apart, not planning on having adult children in bunk beds etc).
We see each other once or several times a week depending on what else is going on. We value and enjoy that time together. We are a team when it’s needed, supporting each other practically and emotionally. We’re also independent and responsible for ourselves and our own children and homes.
We are never bogged down with domesticity, we don’t have any disagreements about children or money. We just have the good times!
So I think although there’s times when maybe I think I want us to be living together, what we actually have is great!
Oh and my kids really like him, they don’t in anyway see him as a father figure but they’re happy to have him around some of the time (and even happier that I go to his and leave them in peace sometimes!)
I suppose it could get tedious long-term if you had to blend, but couldnt, it never came up for me. Never dated a man who had kids 50 % of the time, let alone all the time - that's rare I would think. So it's not likely a full time blend anyway. Also, if the man has enough DC free time, do you really need to blend? I'm older these days so a lot of men around my age have grown up kids. I've got to a point where I like my own space, so can't imagine living full-time with someone again until my son is fully independent himself, then it would be nice to have the company, but until then, l just like to see my chap when it's convenient for me, it works, it's a lot less stress than living with him would be.
@nex18 yes, I think it’s a relief for mine that I have DP so I leave them in peace 😂
Relationship of 4.5yrs here, teenagers on both sides. We spend time as a unit, have done one Christmas and two holidays. That makes us semi-blended, I suppose.
He is living with me at the moment (which I love, and he is very much a positive influence in mine and dc lives) dc all get on fine but we are not moving in fully. Because I refuse to merge finances! That’s down to parenting differences.
It is so complex, the blended thing. Not to be underestimated, not for the faint hearted. Am not sure what the future holds for me and DP. But enjoying things right now.
Thanks all for the responses, it's been interesting reading about the different ways people do things. I like the idea of a gradual blending, so doing things like holidays (remember those?!) and special occasions all together. What complicates our situation is that he has a lot of children and my two are most likely asd so not particularly adaptable. But I will continue to enjoy the time we spend together at the moment and also appreciate my alone time! It's also encouraging to read about those who live separately and still have a very happy relationship.
Honestly, @Misty9 it’s great 😊 I wish you well
I couldn't imagine living apart for years. When I met dp (a few months after my marriage imploded) I knew he was the one. My kids are adults so don't live with me full time (university) but they stay as do dp's from time to time. They all get along well and now socialise without our input. Blending is harder when younger I suppose but with a positive inclusive attitude it can work
Semi blended here too. It has evolved over time. From me being post divorce fiercely independent to where we are now over about three years. You just find what works for you, but no its not traditional and my parents don't get it. We now spend 4-5 nights a week together in a house we just bought together. He spends the other 2-3 nights a week in his other home in another city 1 hour away. We have 2 DC each-his are teens and mine are younger. I actually love it! When his DC go to uni he will probably give up that house and move in here FT in a few years. He is kind and loving and thoughtful and we are in regular contact even when not together. Ive lived FT with a lazy man child before and id pick part time with someone so thoughtful and hard working every time. We are a team in every sense. But having those quiet evenings and time alone with DC is also lovely. I start a new job Monday so he will take DC to school for me so am not harassed, my ex would never have helped as he was far too important! As long as you have a partner who is a strong communicator all will be fine x
I am buying a house with my boyfriend and we both have kids. Due to when they are with their other parent they will only be together one weekend and month and some school hols so this will work as we get time all together and time with our own children
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