Six Signals That Your New Partner Doesn't Want to Accept Your Children

Updated on October 29, 2018

Do You Want to Continue Your Relationship If Your Partner Doesn't Like Your Children?

In contemporary society, it is not uncommon for couples with children to break up. This means that it's becoming more and more common for people with children to start dating again. This is a very tricky thing indeed.

Sometimes you might have the feeling that your new partner is a very good match for you, but how do you know whether or not your children will get along with him or her? And how do you know that your new partner will accept your children?

Sometimes this just won't happen and you'll have to choose between your partner and your children—that was the situation I was in. I hope that you will protect your children and show your new partner the door if needed. But where do you draw the line?

I want to share my experiences with you. After five years in a relationship with a woman that was very special to me, I had to end it. It broke my heart because I still loved her, but I knew I had to draw the line.

1. Your Partner Doesn't Talk Directly to Your Children

Communication Between Your Partner and Your Children Is Difficult

Starting from the very first moment, the communication between my new girlfriend and my children was very difficult. At first, I didn't think much of it. In my case this was pretty normal since I'm Belgian (my mother tongue is Dutch) and my girlfriend was Croatian.

Since my children don't speak English (yet), and I didn't think much of the fact that she didn't talk directly to them. Apart from that, there was another barrier. My ex was very shy and she told me from the beginning that she had never wanted to have children. I thought she just had to get used to having children in her life.

I began to become more worried when she learned to speak Dutch perfectly after a few months of intense courses (she is a polyglot and has a thing for languages) and still didn't communicate with the children. Moreover, when she wanted to convey a message, it was always something negative and I was always used as a channel. I really felt bad about this.

Although I had the feeling that it was perfectly OK that she wanted to discipline the children (as a divorced dad I was typically a bit too lenient towards them), I also felt that it was not right that there were never any positive messages for the children.

At one point I wanted to break up with her, but she was desperate to keep the relationship going. Since I didn't want to lose her either, I told her that we could continue the relationship under certain conditions. I told her that she was right in insisting on the fact that it was her life too and that it was her apartment to live in as well.

I told her that her messages for my children certainly had value, but that I couldn't put up with so many negative emotions if there was not a real positive bond underneath it all. She promised me she would initiate some communication between her and my children, but she never did. After five years I had to make the terrible decision to break up with the woman I was still very much attracted to. And I just wished I had done it a lot sooner.

2. Your Partner Gives Presents That Are Intended to Keep the Children Away From the Two of You

"I'll buy you a TV so you can watch it in your room!"

I have to be fair: my ex did give some nice clothes to my children, and they were very happy with them. But when she suggested that they should have a TV and a computer in their room, I didn't have to think twice about what the message was: stay in your room.

The sad thing is that I kind of went along with that idea. My ex could be very irritated when the children were watching a program at a moment that she felt like watching something. Or when one of the children was on the computer (never mind they were working for school) when she wanted to be online. Of course, she never told them directly to get lost. Most times she didn't even tell me, but she surely made it felt that she was annoyed.

In the end, my children got used to immediately leaving the computer and the TV when she came home and going to their room. It was not only them evading her. She tried to be home as little as possible when they were around. I know she did a lot of effort to plan stuff to be able to escape them.

In this sense, for a moment I thought it would be a good idea that my children would indeed have Internet and TV in their room to avoid complications. Looking back, this line of thinking was already screwed up. I hoped for so long that my girlfriend, my children, and me would just be able to relax and watch TV together. We tried once or twice, but then it was forced. We never succeeded in having nice evenings together as a family.

3. Your Partner Would Love to Go on a Trip With You . . . but Only Without the Children.

To Become a Family, You Need to Spend Time Together.

We all don't have enough free time, and we all cherish our leisure time, and yes, it's a good idea to spend time with your partner without the children . . . but when he or she never wants to go anywhere with you and your children together, be sure that your partner is not really accepting your children as a part of his or her life!

My ex loved to go places, and when she first came to live in Belgium, we made a trip almost every weekend to somewhere new. (Yes I know you think Belgium is a boring country, but you are mistaken — Bruges, Antwerp, Ghent, Leuven, and Mechelen are all very nice cities — but that's another story :) ). We only went a few times to places together with the children. And every time it was a disaster.

Once we went to Bruges to meet my brother and his new girlfriend. Since this was a family thing she felt she couldn't refuse having the children with us on a trip. At first this seemed like a good idea. Bruges is really nice and since there was also my brother and his girlfriend, she could ignore the children without finding herself on her own. Things changed when I asked the children if they would like to take a small boat trip on the 'reien' (canals).

My ex thought this was a stupid idea. Something for mindless tourists. Since I felt I already made a promise to the children, I went ahead with the idea anyway. She turned cold and went her own way. The day was spoiled. The point here is that she couldn't have it that we would do things especially for the children.

On another occasion we went to a theme park. This was in the very beginning of our relationship. The children loved it and my girlfriend actually tried to enjoy herself, but when she noticed that I wanted to do some attractions with my kids that she didn't like, she became very upset. The bottom line was, again, that she found it very hard to cope with the fact that sometimes I wanted to give precedence to the wishes of my children. Alas, I was too much in love and too naïve to let go of her then :(

4. Your Partner Is Jealous With Your Children!

You Don't Want to Be the Judge Between Your Children and Your Partner!

I would like to think that the people I love are too grown-up to be competing with children. But sadly, that is exactly what happened between my ex and my children. Often I felt as if I was put in a position to judge on who was being good and who was being bad. Not a good thing! If your partner is not mature enough to put him or herself above situations that he or she doesn't like, and starts to quarrel with the children about stupid little things, and on top of that asks you to take a position on who is right, than maybe he or she is not mature enough to have children!

That is not to say that your partner should just accept all the tricks the children play. But your partner should realize that it is a better strategy to talk through the rules with you and to be sure to be on the same level with you instead of getting caught up in a fight with your child.

If the latter happens, your partner is putting him or herself in the child's position and then you are the only one left in the parent position. As adults, you should form a separate subsystem in the family and be 'above' the children. Also, it is very much advised that you can alternate in being the 'strict' and the 'easygoing' parent. If you always have to give the difficult messages to the children, or if it's always you who has to soften the strictness of your partner, you're making it so much more difficult for yourselves. This is also true for biological parents in the 'normal' family.

It is also a big problem when your partner and your children are competing for your attention. It is normal that there is a tension between the needs of your children and the needs of your partner, but it should not be played out in front of the children. Both your partner and your children should know when they can lay claim on you! Jealous reactions of your partner with your children should be a no-go!

5. Your Partner Expects Your Children to Behave Like Adults

Children Should Be Able to Be Children

As a single parent, it is very easy to let slip the rules that your children should respect.

First of all: if you broke up with the mother or father of your children, there is a good chance that, at least partially, you had different ideas about how to raise children.

When you break up, it's very tempting to throw out all the rules you thought differently about than your partner. Later on, though, you might find out that your ex had a point in what he or she expected from the children.

Second, breaking up is very hard and you might feel like finding emotional support with your children. When you find yourself without the intimacy you had with your ex-partner, it can be tempting to look for closeness with your children. There is nothing wrong with that in itself, as long as it doesn't stop you from being a parent and imposing rules!

Now when a new partner arrives on the scene, it can be quite a shock that he or she thinks that you are being too soft on the children and expects them to shape up. Your new partner probably has a point. But when you and your children try to take into account the needs and sensitivities of your new partner and it is never good enough for him or her, that might be a sign that your partner doesn't really accept the children at all.

At least this is how it turned out in my relationship. There were always new rules and when the children (and me!) learned to attend to those rules, there were new rules on top of the new rules.

My ex also insisted that the children didn't make any effort, which was clearly not the case. In the end, I insisted that the rules should be written down, so we could check if they all had been followed on a certain day. But this also didn't work. She also stressed that her rules were 'natural,' that any normal child would follow those rules without effort, etc.

In short: it was impossible to live up to her expectations. Moreover, she was never very irritated when I broke her rules, but when the children did something wrong, she would become mad or even vile. Many times, I found myself in the position that I had to protect the children from her temper. When the children were just joyful, they would be too loud. When they were playing, she urged me to ask them to go and play outside., etc.

I still feel bad that I didn't intervene earlier. I just hope that by writing this article I can help you see the signs I didn't see. When your partner doesn't let your children be themselves, this is a sure sign your partner is not ready to have a relationship where children are involved.

6. You're Hesitant to Introduce Your Children to Your New Partner

What Is Your Gut Telling You?

Maybe you've been postponing the introduction of your new partner to your children. The question is: do you have good reason to believe you should? In my case, I was forced to introduce my new girlfriend immediately to my children. My new girlfriend was from Croatia and when she came to live in Belgium, she didn't have the financial means to live on her own first.

Looking back, I should never have taken this risk. I think it's far better to take it slowly. You can first talk about how your partner feels about kids before introducing them. And then build it up slowly. After that, you can do some activities as a family. Be attentive to what your new partner likes and dislikes in the children. If it is all happy happy joy joy, you'll probably be safe.

If they get irritated, ask yourself if it's because they don't want or like children. Talk about the difficult moments afterwards, both with your children and your new partner. You probably know all this, so the fact that you're still doubting is probably meaningful.

You also might not be ready for a serious relationship (be honest with yourself!), which is just fine. You don't have to rush things and there is nothing wrong with exploring a new relationship without at once having to get together with your or his or her family.

Or, you think he or she is not ready to accept the fact that you have children. If the latter is the case, please talk it through extensively! If you slow things down by talking about your children: that is just fine. If your new partner shies away because he or she finally realizes the consequences children would have for your life together: that's just for the best!

Believe me, it is better to lose a potential partner than having to admit that you've deprived your children of a happy family afterwards.


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    • AgaJa profile image


      12 days ago

      Im a Polish woman and I think I have a similar situation ...I don't know what to do ...its really tough topic..thank you for this article

    • profile image


      4 weeks ago

      I just sing up because i was reading this article and it made me cry ike a baby. Im so hurt because i just had an argument where my boyfriend was arguing with my 11 year old son about how he acts like a little girl and likes girl stuff... just because we were watching a movie together (selena) i dont think there is nothing wrong with that. Wo he was saying comments like “tell your daughter” or give your son a “little skirt “ it really hurted my feelings and i know it hurted my son’s feelings too. Because lets say that my son might be gay in the future, who is my boyfriend to judge him? This is his home where he can feel comfortable and he is not making him feel comfortable, he is always complaining about how he needs to do more “man” stuff instead of kids stuff that is going to push him to being a little girl... but i dont know what he really means by that? Im so frustated i dont know what to to or what to out my son to do he doesnt like soccer or any sports he just likes to sign and has a great voice in my opinion.... but he thinks thats for girls only.... this is so annoying and frustrating at the same time. He wont let us watch shows at home when he is around so we have to watch them when he is not around so we wont have to listen to his means comments avout my son growing uo to be a “little girl” again. Wow im so confused this hurts my feelings so bad and i cnt imagine how my son feels after all these arguments, on top of that if i fight back he claims he wont help me around the house no more or taking the kids to school the next day when i work. Please help!!!

    • profile image


      8 weeks ago

      I signed up just to post this thank you to this author.

      It was like you just described my relationship partner is also croatian ..same situation with living together ..him moving over etc ...

      this made me so sad, to read the facts and face the truth.

      i have 2 children ..where one is favoured by my partner over the other "desliked" one

      I love both my children and found its so difficult to feel like im constantly trying to protect my eldest against my partners negative input towards him.

      Thank you for this post its helped greatly in seeing things more clearly and clarifying what i already knew .

    • profile image


      2 months ago

      I've been living with my boyfriend for 7yrs now. I am a mom of a grown young lady and he has a now 15yr old. From the start, I noticed that he was not a disciplinarian and allowed his then 8yr old to call the shots. At age 6, mom and dad allowed him to choose where he went to school, make his own bedtime and to dictate when/where/if he would brush his teeth. I am not the silent type so I would speak up to my boyfriend letting him know that this is not normal. My words were always "Kids need discipline...Kids should listen to their parents, not the other way around!"

      Fast forward...there's still no discipline and no rules. The boy plays video games unlimited and bedtime is not really defined. He can barely make it up each morning to catch the bus and often takes naps when he comes home from school. His dad has a job that takes him away from home about 2wks ea month so the boy is with us 24/7 when his dad is home. He and I have zero alone time. The boy knows that his dad will do everything for him so he never wants to do anything for himself. His dad loves that his son is dependent on him and never expects anything from him. I keep telling his dad that "you've been entrusted with the most important job in the world...raising a child. Your job is to prepare them for the real world by teaching them" ...falls on deaf ears every time and I AM EXHAUSTED!!

      When he starts to do badly in school, mom and dad huddle to decide that video game time needs to come to a halt...until the grades are brought up to an acceptable standard. I can count at least 3 times each school year that this happens. I feel like the broken record always telling his dad that he should be putting a daily limit on the game time, but this falls on deaf ears. The boy is lazy and has absolutely no responsibility, has to be told to do things over and over again.

      The boy lies about ridiculous things and won't admit it unless he's caught. He has made up stories about me saying that I've sent him texts, but he can't prove it. Even after I went to the cell provider to get records disproving him, his dad offered no punishment for bad behavior.

      I am trying to decide if I want to call it quits. I love his dad very much and we only ever disagree about his lack of parenting concerning his son. I am finding it increasingly difficult to continue watching this train wreck continue on...any advice for me??

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      dinah in jacksonville 

      2 months ago

      I am struggling with this very thing. 8 years ago I met a man when my son was 8 - he is the youngest of our combined 6 children and the others were either with his ex or mine (grown and in the military). While we were dating, he decided it was best to move to Florida and I - under ultimatum, moved with him and my son. It was a miserable re-adjustment for all of us but 5 years later we were all doing great. Then, my husband began making impulsive decisions about work, and with purchases, and I recently found out that he has been applying for work out of state because he's 'had enough 'wants to leave here.. He expects me to uproot my son, a very good A student, athlete, with a HS job, friends and GF in his JR year to move wherever he lands. I have told him that I am not leaving for 2 years-- until he is out of HS. My husband is now very resentful towards us and has told me that he is angry that my son is anchoring him here and does not want to be part of his life in any way.. I am seeking help... but I don't see how I can stay with a person who has become so selfish and self centered.. maybe he has been all along? Thoughts?

    • profile image


      2 months ago

      Good information. I wish I had this information years ago.

      My current wife seems to have an issue with my children from a previous marriage. She always nitpicks them to me. Granted, my kids are not perfect, but they are still my kids and I find the constant complaining troublesome.

      My wife now refuses to allow my kids into our home. The issue revolves around their mom coercing them into lying about myself to CPS, a complaint which also resulted in restraining orders being filed, which defended successfully. I could see that they were being forced into lying, but my wife will not go for it- especially considering we have a newborn child. This complicates things because my wife feels that in light of the my kids previous willingness to lie for their mom that they may lie and subsequently involve child protective with a false claim regarding our child in common.

      I feel torn and stuck.

      Any advice?

    • profile image


      2 months ago

      I am divorced and never had children although I always wanted them. I have dated men with children before and grew very fond of their kids. I am dating a guy now for almost a yr and a half. He has a 7 yr old son. There is no discipline, boundaries. I care about his son but his behaviour is terrible. And I do understand its not his fault because he has no direction from his parents or grand parents. The child makes all decisions and is on his ipad etc 24/7 and goes to bed 1030pm to 12 midnight every or no school. This child has pulled my hair spit on me and the father and I had to stop him a few times and say stop. He screams all the time and if he isn't given his way he cries. He will fall on the floor and complain. He has become so spoiled. The father does not see this. Its hard because I am not his parent. And yes I do like the little boy but I do worry about him. And yes I worry about my future because if this man wants to marry me.....I have to live with this kid as well. I do not go over anymore when the son is around because he is so destructive and disruptive. My boyfriend will complain and I try to say in a nice way....he needs more are his parent. But again I don't want to step on any toes or say what to do because I am not the parent. My parents were divorced as well but we were given structure and boundaries. I am worried this child will get worse. This isn't just a phase. I love my boyfriend but being around his son has been very difficult.

      I understand that a child comes first but I do feel honestly that I have been shown no respect by my boyfriend because he allows all of this. its embarrassing in public because the child is so bad and people look at me like I am his Mom. I recently told my boyfriend I am concerned and he said well don't worry we will all spend the day together. ????? He doesn't get it.

    • profile image


      3 months ago

      Thank you for taking the time to post this article. Unfortunately I find that relate to the perspective of the childless woman you are describing. My boyfriend and I have been together for a year and a half, and it was amazing in the beginning, when it was just us. Granted, we still have a wonderful time together, but meeting his children has changed the dynamic, and the way that I view myself. Never dating a man with children before, I had no expectations or point of reference going into this relationship. It wasn’t until I moved in recently that I started engaging with his children, whom he has every other weekend, and for a few hours after school some days. Of course I try to be very warm and friendly, but, my mood changes whenever they are there; and I find myself easily annoyed by most things his children do such as act out for their fathers attention and disrupt our conversations. My issue isn’t personal with the children, but I struggle with accepting them into my life in a way that I never anticipated; and to be honest, I sometimes resent my boyfriend for creating a broken family that I must inherit if we stay together. Believe me, I hate these thoughts, and lately I’ve been consumed by them. Additionally, I don’t know if I personally want children of my own, and this relationship is leading me closer to “no” as I never desired a blended family. In my heart, I don’t see anywhere else this relationship could go, if I were true to myself, but the thought of us parting ways is even more heartbreaking.

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      salamina mabala 

      3 months ago

      I have a 11 years boy and my boyfriend we have 2 years dating but he doesn't want to accept my child even now I need your advice please

    • profile image


      3 months ago

      I’m reading this article and Its crazy that I can relate to this so much :(

      Sometimes we are in denial, and tend to think that things will get better, but deep inside our gut is telling us, that we know what we need to do.

    • profile image


      3 months ago

      I’ve got a 11 year old son never had any trouble his dad died when he was 4 & I’ve got a 6 year old son I’m going through two child-support cases to find who his dad is he has no dad my coworker introduced me to this young man is five years younger than me I’m 40 he was 35 he has a son also 6 his son is well perfect and Schoool loved by everybody my son is the opposite my son one day was watching my boyfriend interact with his son my son asked my boyfriend I want you to love me like you love him / I wasn’t there to here what was said I went shopping for food my boyfriend had told me this I wanted to cry because i felt sad for both of my boys I wanted them to have a father too watching my boyfriend with his son I new he was the one intell we Moved in my boyfriend was divorced & only had his son every other weekend my boys were here everyday my boyfriends EX took him to court & because she felt there was bad drugs & alcohol going on in the home and that my boyfriend was talking bad about his ex in front of his son she wanted him & I to take all classes drug test she wanted CPS to come in our home too / I worked with mental/ disabled

    • profile image


      3 months ago

      Im going to tell you the truth and you may not like to hear it. If you put your children first always and foremost its a recipe for disaster in your second marriage. Yes your kids NEEDS should come first but your kids should not be making all of the decisions daily based on only THEIR wants. I've seen this way too many times where it creates spoiled entitled kids and slowly but surely wrecks the marriage. Your lady has needs too that should not be ignored and your children also should be respectful. By teaching your children that their wants always comes first and by allowing them to make all of the decisions you are spoiling them and teaching them poorly about how a healthy marriage works. Children don't control the dynamics of a (healthy) marriage yet you are allowing your kids to do this. Where is the children's mother and why isn't she in the picture? Why doesn't she ever have her kids? Or is she one of those exes who expects you to do all of the raising but butts in by being intrusive thus wrecks any relationship you will be able to have (and likely does this purpose). In time your lady will find someone to show her love and respect if you (and your kids) do not.

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      3 months ago

      If you put your kids first, that means u never loved this lady. U just liked yourself and being selfish as you made the wrong decision to bring children into q broken home. Why dont u go back with their mom and make it work if you pretend to be mature enough to love yr children. You re just an asswhole, arragant, cold hearted expecting a woman to just accept your mistakes. Good for her to leave you

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      4 months ago

      Thanks for sharing the life experience . I am a single mum with a 7years old boy . I have been in a new relationship since 3years now, I always believe people could change, but maybe not. We have been very good together but only thing I could not accept is my boyfriend very much control what my son eat, if it is expensive food , then he always say to my son it is not for children, I don't know why we have so big different culture but it happened many times, also about the behavior he has higher expectation, at the beginning of the relationship I was very appreciated that he involve in the education, but sooner I found it has been too hard to a little one, every child has different way of growing , some get mutual earlier but some are later, so hard to judge when the kids has to completed act like an adults and eat like an adults,I don't want to complain so much, he is not the bad person, but as a mother , I would like to give all the best what I could give to my child, I am not spoiled my son even I would love to , I don't buy him much toys even he would loves to have many different things, but food is basic things, I think today we should able to provide the better and healthy food for your children. I started to have the doubt after I readying your article . He also donent like to go out with my boy to restaurant or trip, but he is very happy to go out with his teenage son to everywhere.

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      4 months ago

      Ladies it's better to stay single than to bring a man around your kids. Your job is to protect them. Be very very careful who you have around your kids. Don't put any man above your kids. As soon as you see one red flag let him go. He won't change and it won't get better. A man tries to impress you at first but his true colors will come out after the honeymoon phase. A man should never tell you how to raise your children. A man should never discipline your children. Look how many stories there are in the news of men abusing the girlfriend's kids. It isn't natural. The man doesn't have the bond that a real father will have. It is unfortunate. But trust and rely on God to be their father don't go running after the first man that pays attention to you. It's not fair to your children.

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      4 months ago

      My children’s dad is in a relationship for a year now. My children are 3 and 1. At first my children’s father said his girlfriend had a funny feeling about my one year old who was a baby at the time they started dating. He would only take my 3 year old to respect her feelings. Crazy right. Then over time he would take the baby every now and then over to his house. Then he goes to tell me that the kids love her and she loves them. But when we run into her at stores or wherever my 3 year is holla hi and waving at her and she turns her and won’t speak or will walk right pass them. But I still let them go to their dad’s even after mentioning this to him millions of times. He says she doesn’t have to speak to them when they with me as long as she does when they are with him. I find this crazy as their mother.

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      4 months ago

      Where is the mother of these kids? Why doesn't she spend time with them?

      And why would you date someone without kids? Single parents do better when dating toerh single parents.

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      5 months ago

      To the anonymous user who posted about the unequal and mistreatment towards her 4 year old son:

      First, I want to say I’m sorry you and your son are going through that, and I know the decision is ultimately yours....but in all honesty, RUN! This man is abusing your young son (my son is 4 too and they can do irritating things that are normal but never condones abuse), he shouldn’t be allowed to do that. And when your partner refers to your child as a little shit/punk, or any name of that nature, that is a red flag for parents bring child/ren from previous relationship into a new one, that they are and/or very likely to abuse said child/ren. Do you refer to his children with abusive names/grab or backslap them? It sounds like you treat them as they should, with respect/nurture and love. Please do not take this in the wrong way, but my heart literally aches for your son and you. I don’t believe you are able to work that out with your husband, especially after many attempts. Your child is not the problem or a problem, he is a young human being and needs you to really pull through for him. You’re his voice and most importantly, his mom. I hope I didn’t offend you in any way, and I’m sorry I couldn’t give advise for you to work on with your spouse, but I hope you update us on any changes.

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      6 months ago

      Thank you for this article. I am in a similar situation and reading your story has helped me see that I can’t and won’t put my new partner over my family. My new partner is also very annoyed with my kids and expects them to behave like adults. He even wanted me to consider boarding school. He convinced me to get rid of my dog who went back to my ex but all in all the whole situation feels wrong. I love this person very much but this article has helped me tell him to hit the road. Thank you

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      6 months ago

      I m sorry but to me it sounds like you put your children from your previous marriage above your current family, the current marriage. They are still your responsability but your top priority is your curremt family. You should consider your wife if you want her to go with you on that vacation, not ignore her needs and wants .

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      6 months ago

      That's sad. I have heard of this, and don't understand it, but I have the opposite situation. I've been with my boyfriend over 3 years. I care for the children. I didn't meet them until nearly a year in. We hit it off pretty well, and bonded over time. I like spending time with them. They're good kids. Bright, lively and funny. They tell me about their lives, and we have fun. I think they're good with me. I am not going to have children of my own, and lost the only niece I'll ever have to childhood cancer, so there isn't anyone they have to share our attention with. They already have a good mother. I'm happy if I can be an extra person in their life, who means something to them. I'm not a person who loves all kids, but I have certainly been fond of the ones I've gotten to know well through the years, including them. My boyfriend accuses me at times of trying to keep him from them, but it is simply not true. I've started to think he may be using it as a manipulation tactic. Especially since he said it again today after did a lot of cleaning, baked, and was prepping for a nice early dinner and game day with them he knows I was really looking forward to. He just took it away and took off without me, on what would be one of the only days a month we ever spend all together. It makes me happy to have kids to bake and cook for, and they seem pleased when I do which is really nice. I have tried to create special time with them, and encourage things he never did himself. I've also watched him rush or squander the very limited, supposedly precious time he gets with them for tv sports, and/or staring at his phone. Recently his daughter wanted to do the very normal thing I used to get to do, of going to a restaurant with friends after a school concert. No one wanted to take her, and she really wanted to go. I stepped in (not in front of the kids) and said we should do it and also asked if we could take the younger one for the treat she'd been asking for, as well. I got him more time with them, not less! The things I take issue with are things that have nothing to do with them. I also obsess over trying to find gifts they won't hate for occasions, but am ignored in return. I do other things too that they'd never even know about, like every time they have papers for scholarships etc. it's usually me who gets it done behind the scenes. Obviously I don't tell them, and he never would. There are some odd things about the situation I do take issue with, but none of it is actually about the kids. They could live with us, for all I care. I wish we got them more, like "normal." I'm hardly trying to keep them away.

      I think the other side of this is that some people don't want to share their kids, and don't want you to bond with them. They don't want you to be like a stepmother. It's more like...Dad's new girlfriend, forever. Somebody...but nobody much.

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      6 months ago

      6/6. Still in this kind of relationship. An eye opener for me

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      6 months ago

      I just recently moved in with my boyfriend after a year of long distance dating. He has 2 kids, 3 and 11. I have 1 (4)... There are a lot of challenges that we have faced since moving in together that incl. him treating his kids differently to mine, much better than mine. He overreacts to anything that my son does wrong, blows it completely out of proportion and has name-called him. We have had huuuge fights about this as i wanting him to be able to manage his anger and temper. He allows his kids to get away with everything and sometimes even apologises to them even when they are in the wrong. When they do bad things he begs them to stop. Not once have any of his kids been called names or been grabbed and are barely sent to time out as we have discussed over and over. We have literally tried to work together on my son as the problem is just him and my son. I treat all kids equally and show love and affection to them and they respect me and obey as my technique is always to talk to them and explain to them first (ALWAYS) what they have done wrong and why they are being punished.

      My son (4) and his daughter (3) are normal kids in the sense that when they get on, they get on well but when they don't, they don't. His daughter is a trouble maker as she has now seen her fathers reaction to her cries and cries over anything and everything. He backslapped my child today after all he did was poke his daughter with a stick in front of him, to which his daughter only reacted by saying "öuch"... His words are always this little shit must never make my daughter cry or this little punk needs to be desciplined.

      There is so much more that he has done... too long.

      I feel it is only going to get worse. Is there anyting else we can try to make this work or was him putting his hands on my son the wake up call i need to pack up and leave?

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      6 months ago

      As a young adult myself and my mother starting a new relationship, sadly she expects her daughter to make the effort in speaking especially after seeing what happened with her last relationship, though for myself the guy doesn't even bother making an effort to speak, is rude, complains to much, always looks at me with a nasty look, I do want my mother happy but she has been ignoring me so she can make him happy, but the rose coloured glasses haven't been removed yet and she is already thinking of buying a place with him after only a month. Sadly I disagree with new people who don't make the effort to enter a perfectly good mother daughter or mother son relationship it can cause a wedge

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      Amanda Lawrence 

      7 months ago

      So my bf has a 10 year old I have a 4 year old and idk if his son is mean to my kid when us adults are not near . Idk what to do but. My bf lashes out at me if I mention it to him

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      8 months ago

      Im in a relationship and my fiance I feel doesn't like my daughter. She is top five in her class, involved in school, college driven and all good things a parent wishes for. (not just because she is mine) Yes can she be sassy but what 17 yr old isn't at times. His kids who are all older 28, 23 and 20 don't talk to him because he left their mother. So I feel he looks for things wrong with my daughter. Tries to get me to believe i cant trust her, gets soooo annoyed when she doesn't shut a cabinet, goes in her room when shes not there to see if its a mess, looks in trash can to see what she ate, walks around house to see what she messed up, complains she is always texting friends, shall i go on????? I love him but i know my daughter is miserable, WHAT DO I DO??????

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      8 months ago

      THank you for writing this . I just had a relationship end and am complete heartbroken. Basically my ex compared a future with my daughter to a life of turmoil. He was divorced with a 12 year old and a 13 year old . My child is 9z. There were a few moments with my 9 year old but we were working on her challenged her and I with help from professionals. She had so many good moments yet it was never enough. At a certain point we were seeking but approval and I was constantly criticized for being inconsistent. He did not take the time to get to know her spirit and heart one on one as I did his kids. We walked on glass in his home . They said her voice was too loud and she demanded attention and wanted to play all the token . She’s hand listening issues but I was working on charts with the teacher Anne psychologist but it was never enough. He projected a life of turmoil and is fighting and him the bad stepfather. I said off couple is truly in love then you take the challenges as a couple and work through them. True love in my heart conquers all.

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      8 months ago

      I totally get your kids have to be a priority but, like your gf I never wanted kids, I made this clear on our first date, my bf has his kid every weekend all weekend so it's a lot of pressure on us as we get no couple time, I feel resentful of this, we can't ever make a decision as a couple, it always has to be as a family, a family that isn't mine, I think a lot of parents put their relationship second forgetting that one day the child will be grown up and around less, it'll just be you and your partner so you have to invest in that relationship, also I find if I'm doing anything positive or encouraging with the child he's happy for me to be involved but as soon as it's something negative about house rules or behaviour I get the "she's my daughter" line, it's bloody hard and lonely sometimes

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      A Guy thats Stuck 

      8 months ago

      Can I play devils advocate?

      I'm dating a woman, I love her, shes attractive, intelligent and very affectionate but I have come to resent me for resenting her child. This means I hate being around the both of them because I get a conflicted feeling where I should love everything that's close to her but her child just doesn't know when to stop.

      Her 8 year old. When ever her and her son used to go out she would constantly have to say her child's name as he would run around, pick up poles, hit things, talk over us, interrupt us. At night he would wake up multiple times and evenings and she would have to go for an hour to stay with him to fall asleep. (Every time I visit her...)

      He would walk in to us or tred on our shoes, slowly walk in front of us and slow down, if we had a conversation and if I pointed out that he's doing this do gain ourattention, she would say hes just being a child that's what they do!!

      My opinion is, no children do not do this as I have many friends and family that have children where they understand that behaviour warrants more fun. I come from a single parent family and at no age was I ever like this. I quizzed her and she would state.. No if I just looked at you a certain way, you would stop what you were doing or if I asked you to do something you would...

      I really liked her child initially, I thought initially, hey a pre-made family that I can take out with my peers. But this childs constant misbehaviour meant that I ended up comparing him to other children his age and feeling if I should be annoyed.

      I couldn't take them both out to restaurants as the child wouldn't sit down unless you negotiated some prize at the end, in museums he would kick a fuss if we didn't do what he said. I asked her to impose boundaries such as not allowing her child to sleep in her bedroom so often, and create a family room, that way her child can play in the main space rather than her space. As if I popped round to have an adult conversation with her in the evening he would automatically run in the bed room and lay on the bed then cause hers and my conversations to break down in to confusion after 10 minutes I would give up talking about what ive been up to or what ive been doing and just read an article or wish to be somewhere else.

      I was always taught it was rude to interrupt and generally understand that in a social environment, generating interruptions without reason is not right. Ask questions, maybe make a joke but just saying names so the focus is back on him is too much. I could spend several hours with her and just give up talking

      If we didn't pay attention to him he would cry or shout or generally be disruptive.

      Eventually I've stopped coming round, I cant spend the night on week days anymore as the child constantly interrupts us at night. I cant take her out on weekends as the child misbehaves too much.

      So now I'm at a point where I am on the cusp of leaving her, just because of her child. I suggested her to consider being less of a friend to her son and more a parent but she clearly stated she had researched this area and children should be children.

      So I said I accept this but if boundaries are not installed in the bedroom I cant stay round as if i go in the office extremely tired because of her child's intermittent sleep patterns I could lose my job.

      If I cant talk to her when we're out or he is up then I wont be able to bond with her and I cant direcly interact with the child anymore as he misbehaves too much and takes things too far and ive asked her to please be more parent like and stick to her word but she constantly falters when I'm not there so something as simple as respecting adults does not happen. Example playing a game with him and if I win he is liable to try and hit me with something, if we don't talk to him he will use something to hit me with or run away to get his mum looking at him again, and then I have to decide to tell him off but I'm not his father so I have to look to her to reinforce it.

      I'm tired of constantly telling him to stop and I'm now withdrawn I cant directly interact with the child. Especially on his really bad days in her eyes her child is an angel.

      Every child is different but its so hard to go places and see 6 year olds being able to walk down a street with out their mothers saying stop, come here, put that down.. every five seconds.

      I feel that hers and our relationship is coming very, very close to the end. I even thought, hmm if she and I were to have kids my family would question what the hell is this wild thing I'm bringing around them.

      So for all the mothers on here that dispute why guys don't like your child, maybe its not him, maybe its the way the child's acting. Love your child but by over compensating the child displays manipulation and a disruptive behaviour type because of the lack of consequences.

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      Cheri Wright 

      9 months ago

      So.. I have been dating a guy for a little over six months and just recently moved in together. He's helpful around the house such as cooking dinner, and cleaning for ME. He's a smoker (Yuck) and he drinks more than I knew. He has a dog, that gets excited, and pees drives me crazy.. But asked about crate training etc. He said he won't crate his dog. He does take her out potty more.

      Anyway.. When It comes to my daughter whom is 14. He doesn't talk to her, and doesn't do anything for her. Even when I am at work, and he is off and say she needs a ride he doesn't offer.. He won't involve himself with her at all... Is this OK? I feel like it's been long enough they should be having some communication. But Nothing on either side. And Now my daughter came to me and said she doesn't like him! OMG what to do? He treats me great. Is it just a teen thing or is my relationship doomed.

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      10 months ago

      "Believe me, it is better to lose a potential partner than having to admit that you've deprived your children of a happy family afterwards."

      Please. You deprive your children of a happy family you have sex with a person who won't make a good parent and that sex leads to a kid. The deprivation is not in failing to find a sucker to right your wrong by parenting YOUR child. The entitlement of this generation is mind-blowing.

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      10 months ago

      I deal with a similar situation. Only my boyfriend has a son that contributes to the dislike of my son. I don't know what to do. My son is a great kid. Has his tantrums, same with every kid. My boyfriend is so tough on him. If he doesn't eat all his food it's the end of the world. Leaves toys or clothes out, again the end of the world. But when it come to his own son that's allowed. Boyfriends son tries to start arguments aboug my son. Tattle teller about the littlest things but makes it seem worse than reality. Today my boyfriend told me to tell my son to pack his shit cause he ate a donut that was not given to him. I can Go on and on with situations thatt have come up. I care for my man with all my heart but my son is number one. I know I need to end the relationship but the thought tears me apart. Why can't he just treat my son equal to his?

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      10 months ago

      My husband doesn't like my first son. We were married for six years now and I from the start of our relationship as partners he already knew about my first son. As a single mom, one of my priorities for selecting a partner is that he must accept and love my first son. My husband promised that he accepts him(my son) and I never saw signs of unacceptance while we were just in a relationship. However, as the time we were married, everything changed..he began to show his unwantedness towards my son. I was then pregnant for our baby and that was the time he told me he cannot accept him. Although this was hard for me, I accepted the thought that maybe one day my husband will change his mind and will eventually love and accept my first son. But it was 6 years already and his feelings towards him does not changed..never at all..and I may say it became worst. What can I do?.. Is there will come a time that my husband will eventually accept my first son? This issue is always a cause of our fights and misunderstandings. Will I choose between my husband and my child?...I'm so confused please someone help me.

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      11 months ago

      WOW. I see why my boyfriend wants to leave me. I guess I am really not ready to take care of his kids. After 6 years he says I need to "love" them not only "like" Them. He's also upset that i don't want to take care of his ex wife baby. But that last one is ridiculous.

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      11 months ago

      Check on all of them.

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      11 months ago

      Thank you so much for this. I'm in a bind because I just moved in with my boyfriend, who doesn't have children, and I'm beginning to see these problems develop. On top of that, I live in a different country from family, so I truly need more support than if someone has their family around. I question sometimes, who is on MY side to support me? I feel supported from my boyfriend independently, but he's agitated after a phone call I made to my daughter when we have time alone. He says that she complains too much and needs to stop. She's 13. I tend to think that's PART of the territory in being that age and I agree to holding boundaries with my child and explaining that she cannot always complain because her attitude has an impact on those around her. I just don't know what to do and what's the time frame I give to figure this out? When is too early and when is it too late? At the moment the schedule is 5 days with dad and 5 days with me. Any input would be greatly appreciated!!!

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      11 months ago

      I was with my partner for 4 years we split up over 3 months ago now he's saying he can't be with me cause he's used to having no children in the house I have 2 children

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      Mari Liz 

      11 months ago

      Thank you for posting this.

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      12 months ago

      I think one has to realize that starting a new family with kids that have another parent is one of the biggest challenges. It is an unnatural situation for all people involved and according to research it takes 5 to 7 years for such a family to get used to the 'new' situation. Please if you're in a similar situation try to find some support from other people that understand (but stay away from negative people, that could influence you too much. I was on this Facebook group and there was quite some frustrated hateful people. Their comments didn't help me to stay strong and 'wise' when confronting stepparenting issues.)

      If it doesn't work out then you can hardly blame one person. Some of the situation described could come from the mother of the kids and no one would blame her for not accepting her children. If you CHOOSE to start a new relationship with kids involved then there will be ups and downs. Realizing this upfront makes things little easier to accept.

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      13 months ago

      The problem with this type of article is that some of these things are normal when the kid is shared by the parents (biologically). I just think because your aren’t expriancing that life style to take offense to anything that your boyfriend or girlfriend does to spend time alone or just with you as defensive. Why because they aren’t the parents. This is why it’s important to be careful who you have kids with so you can hopefully work it out. Single parents, kids and the outsider all become very on guard about things simply because it’s not a natural situation. The outsider doesn’t feel appreciated most of the time. It’s almost as if nobody really cares about their true feelings. Anything they say about the kids is automatically negative and simply taken as a sign that you shouldn’t be together. But if the natural parent points out something the two parents work on developing the child. It’s just baffles me that people want relationships with people with out kids but also with those peoples interjections and feelings. They just want the person to follow you and your kids lead. It’s just ridulous. You need to make a list on how the person with kids can make things easier for the person with out.

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      13 months ago

      My boyfriend broke things off with me bc of my kids. He was not used to kids and we had just been through the suicide of my ex husband (their dad). The kids were very stressed and I was busy dealing with all of their emotions. He just left me without even trying to work things out. Now it’s hard not to have resentment toward my own children and i feel so guilty. I think the stress of trying to fill the dad role was too much. And they just made him feel uncomfortable.

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      14 months ago


      Wow, that's very aggressive from your girlfriend who admits that she would slap your daughter! Surely she is jealous, but on the other hand we don't know your daughter. She might be petulant as well, probably still for her young age or frustrated for being caught up in an unnatural imperfect (patchwork) family...

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      14 months ago

      Very helpful ¡

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      15 months ago

      My daughter is 18 and my gf is 28 and from the beginning there were signs that I chose to ignore. My gf says really nasty things to me like well if your daughter talked to me like that I would slap the shit outta her or i dont lose sleep when she doesn't speak to me. I feel very torn because she is callous and mean.


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