AIBU - introducing partner to children(20 Posts)
Bit if background. I have 5 children. 4 girls aged 22, 20, 19 and 13 and one boy aged 4. My 22 year old, 13 year old and 4 year old live with me. My 19 and 20 year olds are both away at uni. I was married to the children's father for 25 years until about 18 months ago when i discovered he had been having an affair for a year with a co-worker. We separated and he moved out, he is still in a relationship with the other woman. My 3 oldest daughters refuse to have anything to do with his partner, however my two youngest who spend 2-3 nights a week at their father;'s see her regularly, like her and get on well with her daughter.
I have moved on and am happy to be separated from my ex. It was not a good relationship, he was very controlling, i was not allowed to go on girl's nights out and he would always accuse me of having affairs (ironic really|). When we separated, he arranged a sleepover with the younger two kids and his knew partner a few weeks after he left, he told my then 12 year old not to tell me about it, but my 4 year old let it slip.
I met someone and we have been in a relationship for nearly 6 months now. For the last couple of months he has stayed over at my house when my younger 2 have been at their dads. My older kids got on well with him and there were no issues. He is younger than me (i am 40, he is 29), he has no kids, but we get on brilliantly, he is the total opposite to my ex, he is caring and considerate and laid back, we are in a serious relationship and have spoken about the future.
I had mentioned him meeting the younger 2 children to my older 3 kids, however they were very against this, stating that it was too soon and they did not want him to meet the younger children yet. I tried speaking to them about it etc but they would not budge. Their father is always in their ear about it and influences them.
2 weeks ago i arranged for him to come for tea with the younger 2 children so they could meet each other. I did not tell my older kids (which i know was wrong of me) i just couldn't deal with the hassle and i knew they would tell their father and i did not want the night to be ruined by receiving a load of abusive messages form him. I told them the next morning and they went mad. And have said that if i bring him round the younger two again they will no longer speak to me. I have tried speaking to them about it and have said that he will not be around them all the time, i will introduce him slowly, (maybe once a week for a few hours so they get used to him), they will not budge and have been really nasty about it.
I have now said to them that although i appreciate that we are a family and they have a right to their opinion, i am the parent and i will make the decision about what is best for my kids, and he will be coming to see them. My 13 year old wants to see him and is angry that her sisters are not taking her opinion into account.
AIBU for taking a stance and going against what they want? They have seen me go through the worst year of my life, i have been there and supported them through it too. I am now happy, happier than I've been in years, but this is really upsetting me and putting a dampner on things.
Do you think they will just get used to it? as they have with the kids seeing their dads partner (even though they have nothing to do with her).
I think you've been more than fair and tried to consider what's best for everyone. I think your older children are being pretty immature, irrational, unrealistic and selfish. Also presumptuous to think they actually have a say in the matter. What would be an acceptable time frame for them?
They are saying at least another few months, however my 13 year old is happy to spend time with him now and my 4 year old is just happy to have someone else to play with! It is my oldest who is 22 who is making the most fuss, i think the other 2 are more caught up in the drama as she is messaging them all the time. She keeps saying that we are supposed to be a family and i am being selfish and a bad mother by not taking her feelings and what she wants into account.
Ignore her. She's an adult who is acting like a diva
I had hours and hours of messages form them yesterday telling me that i am doing wrong. I understand that maybe i did the wrong thing not telling them before the younger two met him for the first time, but i had my reasons for this. They are saying that i am as bad as their dad and i'm only thinking of myself. I guess i wanted people who are looking in from the outside to give me advice and see if i'm missing something, or if in fact they are just being 'bratty'.
I can understand that even as adults it might be difficult for you when your parents split if they've been together all your life and you thought they were happy.
But honestly they are old enough to at least try acting like grown ups instead of dumping their emotions on you. Its not like you were the one that caused the marriage to end and you're not just randomly introducing a stream of new flings to your DC. Youve given it careful consideration and its your decision at the end of the day. They dont sound like they have much respect for you
Op as an aside I am intrigued - you say that you are 40 - separated 18 months ago after 25 years of marriage - were you married at 13.5 years of age?
Something doesn't make sense. Why would they have such extreme feelings about him not meeting them yet when they were happy for their dad to introduce his new partner, the one he had an affair with very earlier on.
All that came to mind is that it is something to do with your partner, but then you say that your eldest get on with him, so it doesn't make sense. Do they realise that you've been together 6 months? How long ago did they meet him?
If I was in your boots, I would really need to understand why they have such an issue with your youngest meeting them because as it stands, they behaviour doesn't make any sense.
Introducing this man to your younger children is an indication that the relationship is becoming more serious. I imagine that the 22 year old was ok with things while it might still just have been a bit of fun, but let's be honest, you're talking about entering into a serious relationship with a man who is closer to her age than yours. I wouldn't be impressed if this was my parent either, although I might not outwardly say it.
We were married for 20 years but together since I was 15, sorry just thought there was loads of info to get across.
I have spoken to my 19 year old today who is the most sensible and level headed of the three and she said she has no issue with it, she just got caught up in her sister making it a massive drama. She sad she likes my partner and thinks he is good for me and was just annoyed that I hadnt told her before I first introduced them. She also said she doesn't understand why her sister is behaving the way she is.
Yes I understand there is an age difference, however he acts older than me and my 22 yet old acts like a 15 yr old most of the time. I somehow think also there wouldn't be an issue with the age if it was the man who was the older one, but that's a whole other discussion!
Also, they were not happy about their dad introducing his partner to the kids and they didn't speak to him for a while afterwards, they have nothing to do with his partner as they blame her for our split, however they don't really mention the fact that the kids see her now.
So the issue is likely to be his age, and probably worry that he isn't in for the long run and therefore don't want to see their younger sibling getting attached before he does a runner.
To be fair, if that's the case, she does have a point, however, I agree that ultimately, it is not her decision.
Its difficult for your 22 year old that he is 29..they are not that different in age and he is seeing her mum.
I've asked her about this though and she has said many times that it's not about his age, she's not shy in coming forward so I'm sure she would have said something when we have been arguing about it
You've done nothing wrong OP so tell the 22yo firmly "thank you for your opinion but it really isn't your decision to make". Then go ahead the way you plan and I hope it works out for you.
I think at this point 2 hours of texting.
I would simply say this isn't now for further discussion..Your Ex Controlled what you do..Do your older children understand this? It is time to do what you think is right
They do understand this, I do however think my oldest daughter may have learnt some of this behaviour from him. He was very emotionally controlling and manipulative and I see elements of this in her sometimes. I think that I will just do as I said to her and make my decision and she will just have to deal with it. He is coming round for tea tomorrow night.
Thanks for the replies. I thought I was being reasonable and was not being an awful parent, I just needed the perspective of people on the outside i guess.
The age difference is always going to be there and there is nothing I can do about that. They had no idea he was the age he is until I told them, we look similar in age and they were surprised when I told them he was 29. He looks a bit older than he is and everyone tells me I look a lot younger so it's not an obvious difference
So her issues are not his age nor that she doesn't like him so what is it? What reasons did she give for feeling so strongly that he shouldn't be introduced to your youngest children? Surely she's given at least one?
I suspect this will all settle down given a bit of time. My parents split up when I was 21 and I found it very difficult to deal with emotionally. It was a real shock. My sister (18 at the time) was very angry with my dad to start with (he'd had an affair and left to be with the other woman).
That was a long time ago, and now my dad and the 'other woman' (now his wife) look after my sisters son and we all get along just fine.
It's all fresh and possibly quite painful for your kids, even though three of them are adults. But you deserve to be happy and if your younger kids are ok with it then the adult kids will just have to accept it. Give them time.
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