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Childless & blended family life

(49 Posts)
Conflicted91 Mon 30-Oct-17 02:25:18

Hi everyone...

I've found my self in a dating situation which is uncharted territory for myself..and it scares the hell out of me.

I was hoping I might be able to find some support of advice.

I've been dating my boyfriend for 5 months now... But we are currently under a lot of strain and stress.. mostly on my end.. because he is in fact a divorcee with full custody of his three children. (11, 8 & 6).

I'm 26, and accustomed to being young, free and single.

He's 33 and has already been there.. and done most it all.

Which is just a gut wrencher for me.

We've had an amazing few months, and we're damn near close to falling head over heels...

But I just don't know if I can afford to let that happen...I just don't know if I have what it takes to enter into a blended family.. most especially, when I come with no "baggage" of my own..

I have been, and am, enjoying the freedoms of not being a parent right now... But starting a family is definitely something I think I want with the "right man"... I've been holding out on commitment over the years, waiting for the "right one".

And I was really close to thinking that this one just might be that one...

But if that's the case... It means redefining and reshaping my image of a family picture.

Which was quite simply to meet guy (with no baggage" and to start our own family.

I didn't realise how important that image was to me, until I've recently been forced to take a good look at it...

But that image is really important to me.

I take the "milestones" in life very seriously, and to think that if I had a future with this guy... I would be experiencing the excitement of those first "milestones" alone.

To think about living in his martial home, and to think about maybe one day being his "second wife" , or bearer of his "fourth child".

When all ever really wanted was the right and "uncorrupted" package, for myself.

I'm so torn. Because I know he's a really great man, and his kids are probably great too... And why can't I just be one of those people where it's "the more the merrier'"?!

He was with the ex 10 years, married 2.
She had affairs and was an inadequate mother.

I just resent that she will always have such a huge place in his life, history and heart.

Something I can't even compete with... It's all very intimidating..

He'd bend of backwards to prove himself to me, but even he can't undo the sources of biggest insecurities.. and I fear that I will continue to feel so insecure.. as an outsider, second best, the outlier, imposter.

I suppose I'm here in one last attempt at grappling with those emotions, and to see if I can salvage a relationship with this kind and loyal man.

CircleofWillis Mon 30-Oct-17 02:37:29

Apart from your use of the word 'uncorrupted' I completely see your point. If you really cannot imagine yourself as part of a blended family with a partner who has experienced it all before then it is important to acknowledge that now before you become too committed.

Conflicted91 Mon 30-Oct-17 02:41:20

Also, we have the added disadvantage of being long distance, 115 miles.

In thinking about getting serious would also mean me relocating.

He is more than willing that we do all this at a pace that suits me.

But because of the above ^^ this simultaneously excites and frightens me.

I just know that the outcome of this decision has the potential to be either absolutely brilliant and fulfilling.. or to be absolutely disastrous and isolating

:'(

Conflicted91 Mon 30-Oct-17 02:42:06

Yea , I wasn't real comfortable with "uncorrupted", just having a hard time articulating.

Battleax Mon 30-Oct-17 06:12:36

Walk away.

They all deserve better than your attitude that they are somehow "second hand" or a contaminant.

You'll never be happy either.

Runningissimple Mon 30-Oct-17 06:26:06

I think you might get quite a few snarky responses like the one above but what you say makes sense. You're young and don't want to step parent 3 children. It's a massive thing to take on and you are right to be very cautious.

Battleax Mon 30-Oct-17 06:27:38

What's snarky about it?

It's logic.

BubblesPip Mon 30-Oct-17 06:30:54

Walk away now. It will never get easier, only more complicated.

MaybeDoctor Mon 30-Oct-17 06:33:50

It is quite simple - he id the wrong man for you. Sorry.

You are 26 and there is plsnty of time for you to have a straightforward set up with someone se.

Blackcatonthesofa Mon 30-Oct-17 06:34:12

Battleax, it was mean. She's just saying that she wants to experience these things together with someone for the first time. That's fine. Why do you have to make it something nasty? I think that you're projecting your own stuff here.

OP, I don't think that this might be for you. It sounds like he has a lot of responsibilities and you are still a partying 26 year old. He might not want (many) more children. Have a long think if this is what you want at this age.

MaybeDoctor Mon 30-Oct-17 06:34:37

Sorry - advert blocking half of mumsnet!

AuntieStella Mon 30-Oct-17 06:42:04

I agree with Battleax to the extent think it is important for the wellbeing of the DC to come first, and they deserve to have people in their lives who are going to see them positively.

It sounds as if you've never met them, so if you know that you don't want to be a step mother (which is a difficult role, and nit one that everyone wants to take on) then it is best that you don't ever meet them.

It's only 5 months, it's long distance. You're essentially still in the very early loved up stage, which may be contributing to why you think he is so very lovely. But actually, you're witnessing (according to your opening post) frequent and regular signs of stress. That is in conflict with the limerence of early stage dating, but might be the better predictor of long term fit.

CocoaXx Mon 30-Oct-17 06:48:30

How have you got five months in and only just thinking about this?

How long is it since they separated?

It is unusual for a man to be the main resident cater, but if the shoe were on the other foot, and the father had been unfaithful and was the non-resident parent, would you call him inadequate? Probably not. In fact, he would get a medal for paying maintenance and being the EOW dad. I suggest after five months of a LDR, you know nothing about this woman, and she will always be the mother of his children, so dismissive attitudes are not going to set you up well here. The DC must spend some time with their mother for their father to have had time for a relationship with you.

That apart, you are wise to be cautious. You will end up being the live-in female carer of three children, who have already been through their parents’ divorce. It is a far cry from meet the right man, set up house together, have a baby when the time is right. The latter might not happen, but you are 26, so there is time for it to happen, if that is how you would rather try for things to be.

Even if I were to move), I would not move into the marital home. That would not sit right with me. But I would not do it. I have been a step-mother and I was the default carer. While I love DSD, it was a mess for her when we split and caused me a lot of upset too on her behalf (and was one of the reasons I stayed too long).

CocoaXx Mon 30-Oct-17 06:49:38

cater = carer

Battleax Mon 30-Oct-17 06:50:31

I think you're reading something in my tone that wasn't there or wasn't meant to be there black.

I don't have "stuff" related to this to project. But really all these intractable relationship issues are because people second guess theur own self knowledge and get involved with the wrong people. Insecure people marry known cheats. Sociable people marry retiring types. Women who think that milestones are important and second marriages are not "uncorrupted" marry divorcees with three resident children.

It's a simple answer; Don't do it. Not right for you. Not good for them.

HelloSquirrels Mon 30-Oct-17 06:54:51

Walk away. Being a step parent is a thankless task. It really bothers me thst my first child isnt dps and i wanted to slap him during pregnancy when he compared me to his ex.

I wouldn't reccomend it to anyone if im being completely honest.

swingofthings Mon 30-Oct-17 07:22:28

You have three choices, you go for it, you keep tasting the water by keeping the relationship as it currently is and not evolving it, or you get out now.

If you go for it, you risk investing in something later realise was a big error, setting you back and leaving you hurt in the process.

If you keep tasting the water, you might end up again wasting even more time.

If you give it all up, you might end up never finding the perfect picture you are looking for and end up regretting having giving up a wonderful man you were very much in love with.

No choice is perfect, and you can't read the future, so you'll just have to go with your gut feeling and agree with yourself not to look back with regrets if it doesn't work.

SleepFreeZone Mon 30-Oct-17 07:38:12

Happiness does not lie here. Think again OP.

lunar1 Mon 30-Oct-17 08:00:52

How many children do you want? How many more does he want?

Holdtightdontletgo Mon 30-Oct-17 08:04:29

Where are the children when you see him? I am wondering how you have got to five months in and haven't met the children even though he has three young dc full time.

I think there is too much against you here. Three children and long-distance. You must be mad tbh.

TwoDots Mon 30-Oct-17 08:17:58

I also struggle with the same thoughts as you and I have a child! If I were your age and in your position, I would leave honestly

It’s a tough life, rewarding yes, but tough also and you’ll need a good support system, something you won’t have if you relocate

Honestly you’ll have years of torment over what you don’t have and heartache in the process of you stay

RandomMess Mon 30-Oct-17 08:20:39

Been there done that, walk away, you’re not ready.

FlexTimeCheekyFucker Mon 30-Oct-17 08:24:44

This isn't going to work. Walk away now.

SchnitzelVonKrumm Mon 30-Oct-17 08:26:47

Echoing everyone else. Walk away.

Magda72 Mon 30-Oct-17 08:28:31

Hi OP - ignore the mean responses - you are just being honest about your feelings.
It's my guess that there are many people here & elsewhere who wish their partners were childless. I know that my life & relationship with my dp would be so much easier if one of us didn't have kids!
As Swing said there's no perfect here you just need to go with your gut. But here's a few points of view from me for what it's worth.
I am 45 & have kids of my own but yes, it is a source of regret to both dp & I that we shared those milestones with other people (people we now unfortunately don't even like as people) & not each other. We can't change the past but it does make us sad at times.
It doesn't matter how well you get on with his kids or how much you learn to love each other, if their mum is on the scene she will always be their mum & you will always be on the back foot so to speak. I say this as a mum and a sm.
My kids have half siblings on their dads side & while they get on great with their sm and love their little siblings they have all admitted at one time or another that they wish their dad hadn't had more kids. They feel bad & childish for feeling this but they feel a) like they weren't enough for him & b) now that they're teens & could be doing fun stuff with their dad he's exhausted & cranky from dealing with toddlers. For the record according to my ex he didn't want more kids but his gf did & was going to leave him if he didn't comply! This is so not a great scenario from anyone's point of view.
A very good friend of mine (same age & childless) was in a relationship with a lovely man with kids but she ended it as she was honest enough to realise that she couldn't face having her life dictated by his kids. She realised if she couldn't have kids of her own then she didn't want to be a sm, she wanted her freedom to travel & spend her money on herself by travelling etc. A year later she met a man without kids & they are now happily married & having a wonderful life together. That's what suited her best.
I'm not saying run but really sit with yourself & examine your limitations & deal breakers - we all have them.
My dp having kids melts my head at times & his ex is a torture to us both - but because I've kids (& an ex) of my own I understand him & his life & the fact that he has priorities & commitments beyond me. You will have to work very hard at understanding this with your dp. And believe me - taking a back seat doesn't come easily. When there are kids involved everything becomes compromised- holidays, nights out, finances, time, where you live - the list is endless.
Kids are wonderful don't get me wrong - but you really have to know if those compromises are ones your are happy to make. And, it is much easier to make those compromises for your own kids than it is for someone else's.
Your dp will never have the freedoms you have at the moment & you have to be really sure you understand that. Even more so than milestones his life is not his alone, at least not for another few years - he will always have to make decisions based around his children.
He may very well be worth it - just be very sure thats you're happy with & fully aware of what you'll be letting yourself in for.
Good luck.

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