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Moving in my boyfriend as a step dad

(29 Posts)
ashashash Thu 08-Dec-16 20:06:48

hi, I have been in a relationship for over a year with my boyfriend. He currently lives with his nan, and it feels like a natural progression for him to move in. I have two children from 2 relationships. My eldest speaks to her dad once a week, and my youngest has no communication with his father at all. (His choice). My youngest (whos 2) adores my boyfriend, and they have a real bond. My boyfriend is also brilliant with my eldest. its clear to see that both of my children crave a consent male figure in the house and are elated when hes here. I'm just slightly nervous. I havnt lived with a man for a long time and he doesn't earn much money. Not that I care about money, I just don't want to struggle even more. I am a part time student and on benefits much as my eldest loves him being here, her behaviour in the last 6 months has noticeably nose dived. I suspect its just her age, being 6, but I also cant help thinking it might have something to do with the unsettled home atm. with my boyfriend staying 3 nights and 4 days week, and the readjustment when hes not there for the other 4 nights. I am thinking maybe I should hurry up and move him in so we can all settle, or backing off a little because a year isn't really a long time is it??
Its such a huge step, and I feel that one child wants it more then the other, but maybe that's just because one of the children needs it more? I'm not sure what to do for the best.

Any advice, or wise words would be great smile

Underthemoonlight Fri 09-Dec-16 14:15:06

I would be careful given that your 6 year olds behaviour has altered. Your youngest is to another man so how long ago was it that this person was in their life? Could the 6 year old become attached to your previous partner and therefore is worried to your bf moving in?

I would advise considering putting it off until you've been together alot longer and your more established finished your course and working

Christmassnake Fri 09-Dec-16 14:16:43

How on earth can a 2 yr old decide for themselves they want no contact with a parent

AleHouseWench Fri 09-Dec-16 14:19:31

How on earth can a 2 yr old decide for themselves they want no contact with a parent

One would assume that the OP means the fathers choice!

Solasum Fri 09-Dec-16 14:27:10

I don't think a two year old has the mental capacity to 'crave a constant male figure in the house'.

If your boyfriend is around so much, your children have clearly had a lot of changes in their short lives already.

I think it is too much too soon. When did you introduce your boyfriend to the kids? Pretty quickly I am guessing. It sounds as if your daughter is unsettled already. Does she get to see her dad, or only to speak to him?

I think at the moment you should put the boyfriend on the back burner and concentrate on making your home as stable and loving as possible for the children you already have. If your boyfriend is a decent man, he will understand that you want to take things slowly. After a lot longer, a year or more, maybe then consider moving him in.

OohhThatsMe Fri 09-Dec-16 14:29:24

Never underestimate how much your finances will be affected if you live together. If you're on any kind of benefits at the moment, you risk losing them if he moves in. If he hasn't got much money, are you going to end up subsidising him? For example, he's with you for three days of the week - does he contribute at all? And housework - how will that pan out when he's living with you and your children? Does he do much of it now? After all, he's living with you for half of the week.

Personally, I wouldn't do it at the moment. I think you need to know him a lot better before you move him in and I think his financial set up needs to be better - why doesn't he earn much? And he's living with other people who are providing for him all the time - why not wait and see what he's like when he lives independently?

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Fri 09-Dec-16 14:34:22

So essentially your 6 yo would be having her third, live-in father figure?

No, I don't think that's a good idea.

OohhThatsMe Fri 09-Dec-16 15:13:30

Has he ever lived independently, OP? Maybe he's never felt the need to earn more, given that his nan is providing for him. How old is he?

Lunar1 Fri 09-Dec-16 16:48:02

Too much too soon for your six year old, she doesn't need any more changes.

StewieGMum Fri 09-Dec-16 17:02:09

I would slow it down too - including having him over less during the week - in order to support your daughter who is clearly struggling.

SheldonCRules Fri 09-Dec-16 21:22:11

Much too soon, only six and already on male number three.

They aren't acting out as he leaves a few days a week, that just sounds for justification for what you want not what's best for them. No two year old craves a male figure.

ashashash Fri 09-Dec-16 23:29:10

Thank u for all your replies. My boyfriend does have a job. He works very hard in a supermarket and my daughter hasn't had 3 father figures. My sons father is a situation I don't want to go in to. But he has never been apart of our lives. I think that maybe a year is too soon but I also feel like it's going to happen anyway and rather then maintaining this unsettled life surly it's better to create a family. My 2 year old (nearly3) is always asking if my boyfriend is hid dad and I fear it's becoming confusing for him. My boyfriend wants to develop a relationship and it seems like I'm just dipping my toes in the pool when really I should just get on with it. My boyfriend has lived independently in the past. By putting my boyfriend on the back burner do you mean Splitt up? The truth is we have a strong love for each other and it's lonely as a lone parent (I'm sure u don't need me to tell u)..

ashashash Fri 09-Dec-16 23:43:43

Actually reading these replis has left me disappointed. Thank u for those who werequire not rude but but thoseems wgo were unnecessarily judgmental. I guess u r the people who give these forums a bad name. Im in a lost position and I just hope in future when u reply to people who are having problems and issues u turn ur tone to somewhat understanding and (God forbid) kind. Il never use this forum again

CocktailQueen Fri 09-Dec-16 23:59:23

Do you only want replies that agree with what you want to do, op?

Sounds to me like you're moving too fast. If your 6yo's behaviour has changed, that's a sign she's unsettled/unhappy with something.

I'd work on creating a happy, settled home for your DC before you think about moving your boyfriend in.

You will also need to think about money. If your bf doesn't earn much, what impact will that have on any benefits? And I hope you're claiming child maintenance for both DC from their fathers.

Just tell your DC that your FB is not his father. You will have to come up with s reason why he does not see his father.

SuburbanRhonda Sat 10-Dec-16 00:06:38

That went well confused

woesinwonderland Sat 10-Dec-16 00:37:48

OP you need to be very careful that you don't shoot yourself in the foot regarding your benefits. I may be wrong, but I would have thought him staying at yours 4 nights a week already means that you could be considered to be living together? Anyway, if he officially moves in you will most likely lose money from what you have said.

DioneTheDiabolist Sat 10-Dec-16 00:41:14

How are you in "a lost position" OP?confused

swingofthings Sat 10-Dec-16 07:41:27

One year together is not that unreasonable to consider moving in together, especially when he is already spending so much time there. You also need to consider that from a benefits point of view, you could already be walking on thin glass, so you need to be careful about this.

The key issue is not about whether he should move in at 12 months, 14 or 24, but how much you've planned the move. Don't tell him to move in and then start discussing how you are going to make it work.

You need to start having very detailed and honest discussion about:
-money: how are you going to divide who pays what. Keeping totally separate accounts or having a joint one for bills? I would suggest something that means that you both have your own money after all bills are paid to avoid issues if you were to discover he is not good with money. Set DD for all bills.
- discipline: What involvement do you want him to have disciplining your kids. Involved/not involved. How will you manage if he has very different opinions?
- house rules: who does what, how, when. How will you deal if he is very messy or has OCD?

All this needs to be very clear and both need to agree. If you don't, DO NOT asking him to move in, either continue to work on agreeing or stay in your own place. Then give your children time to adjust to the idea.

Underthemoonlight Sat 10-Dec-16 07:51:46

My DS was two when I met DH I told him he hD another daddy. Just be open and honest.ds and DH have a lovely relationship but he also knows who his dad is and they have a lovely relationship. I would hold off longer until your more finically secure before he moves in if money is tight. Have you asked what's upsetting your six year old?

Lunar1 Sat 10-Dec-16 08:01:20

There is absolutely no reason for things to be confusing for your 2 year old. When he asks if your boyfriend is his dad, you say no he's not. How can that be confusing, answer honestly now and he won't grow up confused.

Marilynsbigsister Sun 11-Dec-16 07:44:55

Can I please please also lay a ridiculous myth to rest. I have worked in every area of BA/dss/job centre/DWP & Hmrc (tax credit) fraud for over 30 years. There is no 'amount of days that it's 'ok' to have your boyfriend living with you and not be considered as 'living together ' ! There NEVER HAS BEEN AND NEVER WILL BE. I really have no idea where this idea came from.
If your boyfriend stays REGULARLY. then you live together. If it were a question of 'he only stays 3 nights' all parents with partners doing 3 on 3 off rotas could claim benefits whilst their shift working spouse bought home a wage . (Btw - being 'registered' at his Nans would not 'prove' he didn't live with you) .
Living together for benefit purposes is judged on habitual behaviour and by the sounds of it you are treading a very dangerous line .

Financial issues aside. Your children do need some stability. Your dd is only 6 and your DS is 2. Just making some basic assumptions but your comments that DS father has never lived with you mean he was either married, a ons or someone who did not want the level of commitment that comes with a baby (indeed it appears didn't want a baby at all) . Taking, say 10 months minimum for you to meet and make DS two years ago - means that DD was only 3 at the most when dad left, probably younger.
The turmoil in YOUR life must have been quite something over the last few years , in which you had had two children in 4 years and split (in one way or another ) from both partners.

Here you are only in year 6 of dds life and no.3 has already been around for a year. You must see that it is not good for your dcs.

Your judge of male character has not been very good up to now. You need to tread very very carefully and put your focus on your young children rather than your love life. Above all - ensure that you have 'belt and braces' contraception. There is no need for 'accidental' pregnancy in this day and age. The very worst thing that could happen now is another baby in the mix. Please take responsibility for your own fertility.
The answer to your question is no. Do not move him in yet. He shouldn't be there much at all. Sorry it's not what you want to hear. Moving him in is entirely in your best interest not the children's.

Trifleorbust Sun 11-Dec-16 07:53:30

think that maybe a year is too soon but I also feel like it's going to happen anyway

Come on, don't pass on the responsibility like this. It is

MN responses are notoriously conservative on this issue but for once I agree - this doesn't sound like it's about your kids, it sounds like you see it as inevitable but really you are gearing up to make a choice that benefits you. Your littlest child is only 2 and may well 'adore' your boyfriend but kids of 2 adore anyone who gives them attention. Your 6 year old has already lost a dad and a stepdad. Before you move in another man, there should be a solid, long-term commitment to you and to your children, backed up by fully worked out financial arrangements, the intention to parent together and in a consistent way, no doubts whatsoever on either side that the relationship is going the distance, understanding that you can't just 'make a family' - is any of that there at the moment?

strugglingstepdad Mon 12-Dec-16 20:03:38

Marilyn's big sister I think you'll find your misinformed there.

There is no limit on the number of nights that a partner can stay. The issue lies with where the partner lives. If the partner lives elsewhere, pays bills and rent on his/her own property then the couple would not be classed as living together.

I did extensive research on this very recently due to my own circumstances.

Marilynsbigsister Tue 13-Dec-16 00:07:59

Struggling. I can assure you that having been the officer in charge of literally hundreds of ltahw prosecutions over 30 yrs (and lost only 8 cases) I know what I am talking about. If someone has 'registered ' as living somewhere else by paying rent and council tax etc but is obviously shown to be 'habitually resident' at the partners address , (this is usually proved by long term surveillance of the property ) and will be demonstrated by many months of video footage. - then the 'registered' address will be regarded as a 'contrived tenancy' for purposes of benefit fraud.
If you live with your partner (be it one day or 7 days a week) , and do a combination of the following ; eat his/her food, go out together, are regarded as a couple by friends and family. He/She pays for any food/trips out/utility bills/rent /childcare or children's activities (in other words 'contributes to the household in anyway) then you are living together.
The reason for this is simple.
Parliament legislates an amount that a non working single person needs to live on. This amount is for a SINGLE person. NOT a member of a couple or part time funded by a partner. It's hugely unfair to genuine single people who don't have 'unofficial' partners assisting with their costs.

We have seen and heard every excuse under the sun as to why your partner who lives with you 'doesn't live with you' . It is done purely for financial purposes . Once again, there has never been any 'rule' that says partners can stay 2/3/4 nights a week !

changeymcchangeface Fri 16-Dec-16 00:45:22

Marilyn - is it possible in that case that your partner actually lives in two houses?

My DP has his own home, where he pays a mortgage, council tax and all bills. He lives there with his DCs 4 nights a week. He has all his clothes and belongings there and brings an overnight bag with some spare pants and a work shirt, along with his iPad etc when he stays with me 3 nights a week.

He doesn't contribute towards my household expenses at all, but does send me some £150 a month towards credit cards that I have used to pay for a joint holiday etc. He will sometimes bring food over or take me out for dinner, as a boyfriend earning more than me he likes to treat me.

We have seen and heard every excuse under the sun as to why your partner who lives with you 'doesn't live with you' . It is done purely for financial purposes

According to your post he technically 'lives' with me and it is entirely a fraud exercise rather than a logistical choice to spend his free evenings with his girlfriend instead of at his own home alone? Is that right? So he technically has two homes and he should be paying for half of all my expenses as well as all of his own? I shouldn't be considered a single homeowner despite being the only one paying the mortgage, bills and repairs etc on my home?

confused with this attitude it's no wonder so many single parents get into financial difficulties when tax credits are stopped for investigation etc. It's appalling that single parents are not allowed to develop a close relationship with someone while maintaining their independence for fear of being labelled a benefit cheat. angry

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