Dating a man with a child(6 Posts)
I posted this in Relationships but someone kindly suggested I might get better responses in this board so I'm re-posting. Hope that is ok!
I've recently started dating a man who I've known for a while socially but we started to get close a few months ago. We're both in our early 30s and he is divorced with a 6 year old child.
We are obviously going to wait for a while and see how things go before I meet his daughter, and are in no rush to do so, but I'd be really interested in hearing other people's experiences of similar situations - both from the point of view of meeting a partner's child and from the point of view of the child's mother (i.e. what her concerns about me might be).
Bit of background - they have been divorced for 5 years. She ended it and he was very hurt. They don't have anything other than necessary contact but are now amicable. His child lives with him around 30-40% of the time and they seem to have a fantastic relationship.
I don't have any DC so this is all new to me! If you've had a similar situation, how did you go about introducing the new partner to the DC? Are there other things I need to be aware of (like making sure they don't feel like I'm taking away time with dad etc)
I'd say, leave meeting her for quite a bit longer, and see how the relationship goes. If and when you do meet her, make it brief, for the first time, you could accidentally meet them in the park, zoo etc, and be introduced as Daddy's special friend
Let her lead the talking, but get your BF to brief you about anything she's particularly interested in such as toys, pets, school, hobbies, so you have something to say like, 'I hear you love dancing, is it ballet you do?' Or ''Daddy told me you have a pretty cat, what's her name?' Then just take it very gradually.
One thing I would say, make very sure you want to continue with the relationship, before you get involved with the child!
one thing I have learned is no matter how good his relationship with his ex is now expect it to change once she knows you have met the child. Hopefully it wont change and your life will be easier than most, but you would be a lucky minority.
My partner has 3 kids -we got together 8 yrs ago now so been a card holding SM for a while now. My advice is just take it slow -we waited for about 6 months before telling the kids & then gently introduced me, coming on days out etc, we waited about another 6 months before I started staying over when the kids were there & another period until I moved in. As you say make sure they have some positive daddy and DC time alone. But also take an active role, make them feel wanted by you, if/when things progress with your partner discuss what kind of parenting role you will take.
Not saying it has been totally smooth sailing as there have been some difficult moments ( welcome to the world of
step-parenting) and you will need the support of friends/family at time as it can be a hard role to take on. But what I've got back from them has more then made up for it, I love them loads & on the whole have a great relationship now. We now have our own child too & the kids love their little sister.
GOLDEN ADVICE: As everyone else has said, do not rush into anything. Honestly.
I have two children of my own and have just started dating a guy with children (boys ), so I'm in a similar position myself and am being very cautious. My girls' father has never met them, and his childrens' mother is away a lot for work - so we both have full custody. It's tricky working out new relationships when there are kids involved - so, yeah, my advice is to keep them out for as long as possible!
My parents divorced when I was 10 and both took completely opposite approaches to introducing us to their new relationships....
DAD - announced their divorce in August, me + mum + siblings moved out of family home in November and dad mentions girlfriend as "serious" maybe December, introduced us to new girl friend in early January, by March she moved into the house. Two years later they married. My step mother is a lovely woman, but she suffered terribly with us (her step children) due to the kind of "all or nothing" approach they took at the beginning of the relationship. We all acted out, were absolutely horrendous to her, resented them both and all sorts, all through our teen years. I always felt like everything happened so fast and they were so selfish to do that, but I know that now I'm in the situation how difficult it is to wait.
MUM - told us about boyfriends but we didn't really meet some of them, if they were very child friendly or had kids of their own they were often introduced v quickly, not one of them ever moved in until we all moved out.
I would definitely say, from experience, that waiting until a relationship is serious before you get kids involved is the best way - but be careful that you start off slowly. Just because your relationship with the parent is serious, it does't mean that it is with the child, so you have to be patient.
Hi, thought I would share my experience
I have been with my partner for 3+ years, we starting dating Feb 2013 a year after he split with his ex, at the time she was pregnant with their second child. They parted on OK terms neither fault just drifted apart and didn't get on anymore.
So I met the boys 6 weeks after we met oldest had just turned 3 and youngest was 9 months old. L the eldest was a bit nervous at first but soon bonded with me, K the youngest was easier.
As mentioned by someone else my partner and his ex's amicable relationship did change for a few months after he moved in with me, as she didn't want the boys staying at our house but that changed once she got use to it.
Now I couldn't imagine my relationship with the boys being any better, my OH is always says the boys love me more than him especially K, L is still very much a daddy's boy.
We have the boys every weekend , Saturday PM until Sunday night, as we both work full time during the week but that might change now we are expecting so hopefully we can start having them a bit more 50-50 as his ex is also expecting with her new partner.
Hope this helps, every situ is different
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