Run for the hills or stick it out?(27 Posts)
I've found myself in a bit of a predicament and wondered if some opinions from strangers might help me make my decision!
I'm keeping this as short as possible...
I'm 28 this year I have no kids. My partner has 2 (6&8) that come EOW.
Together 3 years and engaged
I've come to a stage all of a sudden where I'm not sure if this is the life I want .... I find it difficult that he has kids sometimes and always wonder what it will be like if we ever have children...
His kids are good kids and they've totally accepted me so I have nothing to complain about on that front.
I just find myself debating what it would be like to have a life without stepchildren but then feeling awfully guilty as he is amazing and such a good guy and his children are lovely..
I worry at my age that I'll struggle to find someone without baggage and settle down in time to have my own children - basically I'm scared to give up my life as I know it in case what I've got right now, with the stepkids, isn't so bad after all
What would you do?!?
Have you and your DF talked about having children? That's got to a key part of your decision making. If he doesn't want to have any with you then it's probably a deal breaker and a good reason to move on, irrespective of the other factors of choosing a complicated life with step children and all that brings!
You're young and have plenty of time to find someone, I wouldn't dwell on that as a reason to stay if you're not completely happy. I got divorced after a long relationship and was years older than you when I met DH, who has children, but very much wants more. He also wanted to get married again, which was a big thing for me.
We're incredibly happy and I love his DC to bits, but if he hadn't wanted more children, and I found out pretty quickly, I'd have walked.
Is being engaged one of the things making you take a step back and considering the future a bit more carefully? It's worth making sure you're on the same page before getting hitched.
Thanks so much for replying ... I think being engaged is definitely what's sparked all this off as I realise what a huge commitment it is.
He would like more children with me but I'm finding myself wondering more and more now whether I'd rather have a family with somebody who hasn't already got one?
I feel terrible for thinking the way I do and I really thought I'd found the person I wanted to settle down with.
I just wonder if In the future I will regret the choices I'm making now
Is the only time he sees them when they stay EOW? If so, I'd be really concerned about having children with someone who's content to see them so little.
I totally get what you're saying re existing children. I couldn't deal with it, I don't think. Hope you get some clarity soon!
Personally this would not be a deal breaker for me. If he is a lovely kind man then that is the most important thing. I can understand that you might be disappointed in not doing "firsts" with him ( first child for you but not him etc ) but if his other children are lovely and have accepted you then that is a good thing. Ask yourself the question; can you imagine life without him?
I would definitely agree that 28 is definitely not too old to be starting again so I wouldn't let that thought prevent you from doing it. But the real question is do you love your partner enough to commit to the children he has already being a permanent feature in your life? If he is really is amazing, you are incredibly happy and the children accept you ( bear in mind this may change as they get older) then go for it but not without thinking through your future in a lot of detail though this advice applies for anyone getting engaged and planning to get married
I would suggest you discuss with your partner your feelings about having children with someone who already has some and be straightforward about it, only then can he support you. You should also have a realistic discussion with him about future custody arrangements - what if one or both children should want to live with you both? How would you feel about this? What about where you live? Will you end up having to stay living near his ex for the next 15 years because of the kids - are you ok with this?If so what is the impact on your friends, family and career? Will you need to contribute financially to his kids at all - even if this just means mortgage payments on a place that is bigger than you would have bought if you were a couple with no children) - again how would you feel about this? Will you have to contribute to holidays for them? Will they come on holidays with you- if so how do you feel about this continuing for at least the next ten years? Also how will you feel about perhaps having to do children centred activities when you don't have children yourself? What is his ex's involvement - a difficult ex can make the difference between a positive and negative step mother experience? Maybe these sound like selfish questions but I think you have to be pragmatic and think about yourself in this situation.
I am in a similar situation though perhaps a few years on- I married my husband at 27 ( now am 32) and he has a 11 year old DD, who we have for the long summer holidays and may be having permanently from later this year. DSD has behavioural problems as well as some learning difficulties and because of these factors she is very stressful to be around, discipline, bring up and look after. Unfortunately, daily life is a stressful battle with her. This is not just my experience but the experience of everyone with her ( including my husband and her teachers) so I am not being an evil SM here.
Frankly I only realised DSD had what seem to be permanent behavioral issues after I got married to my husband so there is little I can do about it apart from have a positive attitude and appreciate the good things in my life, I have to admit I am concerned about our future together if we have permanent custody of DSD so I know how you feel. When she visits I spend plenty time with her but the main parenting is done by my husband and I make time for friends and hobbies as well which helps keep me sane. I love my husband very much so I try and be positive about the situation and be thankful for my wonderful relationship . I also try my best with DSD and do everything I can to make her feel welcome when she visits - she is more attached to me than my husband to be honest.
Of course I would prefer to have children with someone who hasn't got a child already ( as would most women if we are honest) but my husband is my soul mate and that's the most important thing.
So to sum up and sorry for a long post - go for it only if you are absolutely sure you want this, have thought all the implications through about what your future is going to look like and your future husband is your soul mate. Also don't feel bad about feeling like this - I think it's completely normal
Run. Life is too short. 5here are unencumbered men out there.
What wonderful advice. Thank you all so much.
Sometimes you just want a crystal ball to make the decision clearer!
He is a great guy but maybe just not the one for me as he has children - sometimes you have to live the life before you know if you can do it or not
OP I was of the same opion as you at 28, assuming anyone I got with would have "baggage". I was with a chap with a DD, and hated every bloody minute for myriad reasons. At 33 I then met the mythical man without baggage, and we have had our first child together. Having a baby made me realise I would have hated for this to not be his first child too.
user raises some exceptionally good points and has a lot of wisdom and insight. It's a brilliant post and it's worth considering several times and coming back to.
You're at a bit of a crossroads in your life and it's not easy thinking about this stuff. But you're way ahead of a huge number of people and it's so much better to go through this process now, and to include your partner in your thinking, while you have several good options ahead of you.
This is a good place to think aloud and learn from other people's experiences. I wish you luck in working out where your head and heart are at and a long happy life whatever you decide to do.
You are all very wise and have given me some great advice; this is exactly what I needed.
It hasn't made my decision any clearer yet but I shall be reading these posts back to myself over next few days x
Tobuyornot - very interesting. Thanks for that
Sorry I should have elaborated. I think if you're having those doubts you should have a really big think. I regret having children with someone who already had children. They've been there and done it and the children who aren't resident, in my case and many others, get preferential treatment and honestly, in my case, it causes resentment.
You are young and have plenty of time to meet someone else. That shouldn't be the reason you stay.
I got together with my now DH at 30 when his children were 6&8. We are now 18months married and our DS is 3 months. I have had teary moments that my firsts with DS are not his but he has enjoyed everyone of them just the same.... if you want to discuss more pm me if you want
I wonder why it has suddenly come to the forefront of your worries now after threw years with him. I wanted to meet a husband without DC and so I didn't really date men who had.
Dh also didn't date women with DC. I know that sounds awful but it was a huge thing for me to know there wasn't going to be complications regarding an ex always being on the scene, not being the decision making partner regarding children.
I didn't meet dh until I was thirty.
I think If you are unsure, then run. He sounds like a good man who is a great dad. Just be careful as you must have stayed with him for so many years for good reason - there is a bond there now I'm sure isn't easy to break.
I'm really not 100% sure why it's become a problem now - I've never been completely comfortable with it all and always had niggly doubts in my head. But you put up with things when you love someone don't you... I suppose it's all just come to a head now and I'm seriously doubting the future with stepkids in tow
If there are doubts in your mind now then end it.
The sc will be a big part of your life forever and it doesn't get easier.
I wouldn't have a relationship with someone with kids. Not when I was 28.
If I was older or had kids of my own, but not in your position.
OP he sounds a nice man and probably a good father, but his financial obligations for his kids- possibly for the next 15 years, and that will impact your new family with him and any children you have with him.
I would also want to experience parenthood with someone who is new to the game too- far more special imo.
Some really valid and interesting comments- thank you.
I think the fact I'm having doubts now is not a good sign but it's such a hard bond to break as somebody previously said.
It's such a shame when you think you've met the "right" guy!
If you're having doubts now, you need to think very carefully about this relationship. Whether or not you go on to have DC together, these first DC of his will always be in the picture!
I'll be very honest but my first thought was that if you are questioning whether you would rather be with someone and start a family then with your OH, then your love for him is not so strong that marriage is an option.
I met my OH when in my late 30s and had two children. He had none. After only a month together, he asked me how I felt about having children together. I was over the moon as wanted more children. Due to age, we did start quite early in our relationship (well after a year!) and I fell pregnant the first month trying. Unfortunately I miscarried and then nothing happened and we ended up with the specialist who told us that the combination of his not super performing sperm and my age, we would be lucky to ever get pregnant again.
It did cross my mind then whether he would have thoughts of ending it and looking for someone younger and more fertile, but he was horrified when I brought it up. He said that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me and would much rather give up the idea of ever being a dad then a life without me.
We still tried, it never happened, we got married after 4 years and 4 more years later are as in love as we were when we met. He has long moved on from the idea of being a dad, even though I'm sure he went through some grieving process.
I know this is different as it's not about having children, but about not having SC, but I have to say that if I was your OH, knowing how you feel, I would take that ring back immediately and start considering whether I would want to be with you if this is how you feel about the person you are supposed to love unconditionally.
You've answered you question already you know this relationship isn't for you and 3 years down the line you feel the same if not more. I was 23 with a 2 year old when I met dh and we have been together 7 years and married for 2 we went on to have another two DC. He was 100% sure he wanted to be with me and bonded well with DC so much he considers him one of the kids it might be because he sees him every day and has been in his life when he was young. Step kids isn't for everyone I can't say I could handle it myself but you need to be honest with yourself which is sounds like you are. Good luck with what you decide to do.
My experience as a child who had step parents: my father dated a woman for 5 years who had her own children (we all
lived together) she loved me like her own and I am forever grateful for it. My father and her had no children together.
My mother remarried and went on to have a child with my stepfather - I was always secound fiddle with him and they were definitely a family unit in terms of holidays without me etc (I get on great with him now)
My friend is recently married her new partner has a child to a previous partner. He has mentioned numerous times that he only wants two children max. I know my friend would love more than one child. I hope this works out for them...
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