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I want to keep my relationship separate from my child
14

NoMeetings · 06/08/2022 15:07

Didn’t want to post on AIBU as think here might be more appropriate.

I’m in my 30s. Single parent to 1 DC who has some SN (DC is 8). Left my husband due to violence and control 5 years ago.

DC gets attached to everyone, example they had a student teacher join the class for a half term (she was doing a split placement with the local SN school so did a half term at each) and DC cried when they left and still cries about them leaving now 2 years later. Our next door neighbours moved in and then out again 2 weeks later in summer between DC finishing preschool and starting school, they didn’t have DC and my own DC must have spoken to them all of twice, DC still asks me occasionally if I know how they are, and still gets upset if I say I don’t know where they’ve gone.

They still ask at holiday club about children who attended 1 or 2 sessions but none since. I am terrified of DC being hurt if I were to introduce a partner and then split with them so for this reason I have decided that until DC can cope I will never introduce them to a partner until DC is 18.

I have a partner. I see him when DC goes to their dads and during the week when DC has an activity in their town – so EOWend and 1 night a week for a few hours but DC has never met them and never will, DC doesn’t even know I’m seeing anyone.

We’ve been together almost 3 years. My family have met DP, my parents met him at a wedding I went to of a cousin that was childfree, and my brother lives in the same town as DP so I sometimes pop over to my brothers with DP while there. DP and I have also been for weekends away, and on holiday for a week together last year when ExH took DC away.

I thought our set up was working, I made it clear from the start that DP would not meet DC until they’re much much older and I thought he was happy with that. But recently he’s been asking to meet DC, suggesting outings for the 3 of us and just asking if they can pop over when DC is there and have a cup of tea.

I just feel like I do not want my two worlds to collide right now, I like that I have something for me away from DC (they think I go to the supermarket café near to their activity for a coffee and a cake while they’re at their activity, I see no harm in lying to them as it’s not hurting them – if anything happened at the activity they can call me and I’d be there in 10 minutes).

So does this sound ok? Or do I really need to introduce DC to DP?

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Sheepreallylikerichteabiscuits · 06/08/2022 16:22

I admire you for putting your children's needs first.

If you have been clear and upfront about the situation then you have done nothing wrong here.

It sounds like your partner wants more from the relationship than you are in a position to give at the moment. That doesn't make them wrong either, just at different places.

You may need to sit him down and be blunt, that he will not meet your DC for a long time yet, and ultimately if that's not okay with him and not what he wants he needs to let you know. Then you may have a choice to make about the relationship.

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Aprilx · 06/08/2022 16:46

It doesn’t sound like it would be a good idea to introduce them whilst your daughter is forming these unusually strong attachments.

But I can also see why your boyfriend has suggested meeting, it is natural for anyone to try to move their relationship forward. I also would not want to put a relationship on hold of sorts for ten years. That might not fit in with his own life plans of settling down and starting a family of his own maybe. I don’t think that you should compromise on your own decisions for him though, I think you both have valid view points but unfortunately they might not be compatible.

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Staynow · 06/08/2022 16:50

It's great that you're trying to do the very best for your child but as they have already found, people will come in and out of their life for the rest of their life. It's not something you can protect them from - what you can do is help them build resilience to cope if people do leave their life. I think waiting a really good amount of time is really important and you've done that - but there are no guarantees in life. If you think this is a really good guy then you could be preventing your dd from having a really great relationship with him right now, from having another person in her corner even if it isn't forever.

Of course if you don't want him in your life any more than he already is for your own reasons then that's entirely fair enough but I don't think you should use your daughter as a reason for the next 10 years.

I think you need to try to help your dd with resilience around this - when she asks if you know how x is then say I don't know.....but she always loved knitting so I think she might be knitting a scarf long enough to go all around the world! If you can make it into a fun thing and if she can come up with some funny ideas of what the person might be doing it might be a way for her to cope. You know her best though so you might be able to come up with things to help her cope.

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StarDolphins · 06/08/2022 16:54

It’s refreshing to read someone putting their DC first & it’s absolutely the right thing to do. Needs to be more people like you imo.

You made it clear too!

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perimenofertility · 06/08/2022 17:01

I think it's wonderful that you've put your child's needs at the forefront of this. I can totally understand why you've kept the child and the relationship separate whilst the relationship has been developing, and I can also see a benefit to keeping the relationship just for you if that works (as in, not going on trips out with partner and child together).
But I do thinks it's odd not to let your child know that you are in a relationship, and for them never to meet. You say it's been three years already. What if you decide that when your child is say, 10, they will be able to take the information in, but then you explain you've been in this relationship for five years. Won't that be a huge bombshell for then to digest? Rather than explaining now that your have met a partner that you love but you want to focus time and attention on the child when you are with them. There's also a risk that your family may accidentally mention it.
If I were the partner dating someone with a child, I could understand not having a step-parent type relationship with the child, but I would find if difficult to never actually meet or see them. Your child is presumably the most important thing in your life, surely your partner wants to have some acknowledgement and connection to that part of you.

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Midlifemusings · 06/08/2022 17:05

After 3 years I am not surprised your BF wants more than an every other weekend relationship. It is very restrictive and limited. It works for you and your kids but it may be hard to find a partner who is willing to only be in a committed part time relationship long term. Most relationships progress. This one is stagnant with no hope of forward movement. Likely if you don't move the relationship forward, it will end.

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NoMeetings · 06/08/2022 17:13

I am fine for the relationship to end, I do not want them to meet my DC so if that means we end that means we end.

And as for keeping it from my DC, they wouldn't understand me having someone in my life they're not allowed to meet. My family won't say anything, they're actually very supportive of the way I'm doing things. They don't even ask me how DP is as they know I want to keep it seperate.

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SusanKennedy · 06/08/2022 17:23

If you're fine for it to end then I'd end it. Your dp wants more than you are able to give them, and it's not fair on either of you. You don't sound particularly invested in the relationship and it's not fair to ask someone to put their life on hold indefinitely.

Saying "I've said from the start I don't want them to meet" isn't really fair, people change and evolve over time. My DH didn't want to get married when we met and now we've been married for 5 years. He changed his mind.

I wholly appreciate what you're doing for your DC and I am fully supportive of your choice, by the way. Just consider your dp wants as well as your own and if there's no compromise then it's a no brainier.

As a pp said though, giving your dc the tools to cope with people coming and going from their life rather than trying to make sure everything stays constant would probably be a good idea. Not necessarily partners, but friends, neighbours, teachers etc.

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NoMeetings · 06/08/2022 17:25

SusanKennedy · 06/08/2022 17:23

If you're fine for it to end then I'd end it. Your dp wants more than you are able to give them, and it's not fair on either of you. You don't sound particularly invested in the relationship and it's not fair to ask someone to put their life on hold indefinitely.

Saying "I've said from the start I don't want them to meet" isn't really fair, people change and evolve over time. My DH didn't want to get married when we met and now we've been married for 5 years. He changed his mind.

I wholly appreciate what you're doing for your DC and I am fully supportive of your choice, by the way. Just consider your dp wants as well as your own and if there's no compromise then it's a no brainier.

As a pp said though, giving your dc the tools to cope with people coming and going from their life rather than trying to make sure everything stays constant would probably be a good idea. Not necessarily partners, but friends, neighbours, teachers etc.

@SusanKennedy it's not about people coming and going, it's at the moment they can't cope with that, they still ask for people we haven't seen for 2, 3, 4 years etc. School are working on it with DC, it's a form of anxiety and is part of their SN as well, they just can't understand that people go away and we don't see them again but it doesn't mean they're gone forever.

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SusanKennedy · 06/08/2022 17:28

@NoMeetings I think a frank chat with your dp is in order then, neither of you are in the wrong but I completely understand your want to protect your dc from things they can't process/get distressed over.

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Sirzy · 06/08/2022 17:33

I don’t think your wrong at all, but I also don’t think he is wrong to want to gradually be introduced to her after three years.

it sounds like now is a good time for you to sit down and start talking about how things will work moving forward be that finding a plan your both happy with or going your separate ways.

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Musttryharder2021 · 06/08/2022 18:28

Does your partner want his own child/ren one day?

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NoMeetings · 06/08/2022 18:38

Musttryharder2021 · 06/08/2022 18:28

Does your partner want his own child/ren one day?

@Musttryharder2021 He's always said no, he likes children but prefers to hand them back when they get too much work. He has nephews he likes but is glad they're not his.

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ArcticSkewer · 06/08/2022 18:59

All sounds fine to m, and a good idea, but I guess you need to check how your partner is feeling about it. He might want more, or it might just be that, without thinking much about whether he really wants to change things, it feels 'expected': the relationship escalator, it's called.
Hope it works out for you, you sound really thoughtful

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