Post # 1
Ok, potentially controversial topic, but I am genuinely curious what the responses will be.
I didn’t think I would date someone with a child before my FI and I got together, but I fell in love and the rest was history. He has his daughter most days, but her mother is also very active and present in her life.
Going into it I was anticipating the hardest part being creating the bond and relationship with his daughter and having her accept me. It really is like getting TWO relationships in one.
But in practice, this was the easiest part for us! The harder pieces were the things that I don’t think you think about as readily.For example:
-There is an ex-wife/ biological mother in the mix who you see ALL the time
-The awkward line of being a parent, but not. Wanting to step up, but not TOO much , if you know what I am saying?
-Immediate and extended family members are MUCH more hesitant to accept you and more critical of you as the new girlfriend/fiance/wife
To me it is worth it, because there is a little person that matters more than my fiance and I combined. This overshaddows any of my wearinesses (is that a word?)
The other pieces are what they are and I just have to put on my big girl pants and slap a smile on m face.
Do you think you’d be able to do it? Would it be different for you if the biological mother/father was NOT as present in the child’s life?
TO those of you with step children: what was the hardest part of adding that extra factor into your relationship?
Post # 3
Do you think you’d be able to do it?
Yes, but it would it would require a very strong relationship with my DH and a lot of careful planning.
Would it be different for you if the biological mother/father was NOT as present in the child’s life?
Yes, I think that would make it easier.
There is a book you might find incredibly helpful in this process. It’s called “Family Communication” by Segrin & Flora. There are several long chapters on step families. I also have a powerpoint I could send you that we use during counseling sessions. If you PM me your email, I can send it to you 🙂
Post # 4
I wouldn’t, because I don’t want kids. But mostly it’s because I wouldn’t want to deal with the ex.
Post # 5
I was previously engaged to a man with a Small child. She was 1 when we met. We had her three days and then her mother had her three days due to whatever screwy reason they had when they filed their custody arrangement. We lived together and he was a cop on a 4 day on 2 day off schedule working 12 hour shifts. This meant often when “we” had her, it was me who had her. I loved her so much and enjoyed our time together. When she was 5, her father was killed in a motorcycle accident and her mother never let me see her again. I’m sure you can imagine the pain that inflicted on me a and the confusion and trauma this poor child must have faced. I will never again get involved with someone with children. Although I can have a say in picking a good man and good father, I can’t have a say in what that child’s mother is like. I simply can’t do it again. at thus point,even if the biological mother we’re not in the picture, I would not do it. I am choosing not to have children. I can vividly imagine how differemt my life today would have been had that motorcycle accident never occurred.
Post # 6
@freshflowers: I went through all my life saying I could never date a guy with kids. too much baggage. Then I met my husband, and it really didnt matter. I was so in love with him, that she was an easy art of “the package” to accept. she’s a great girl and we have a good relationship. I was super nervous to meet her in the begining, but it went well and all is history. her mother and I are very civil, almost friendly, I am friends with her and her parents on fb. I’d even go shopping with them.lol. but not entirely best buds. our relationship makes it better for the daughter i think. My step daughter is a mommas girl,so she gravitates to me when at our home. The hardest part was me thinking can I do this?. am i a good enough example for her?, Ive never done this before. all that. But i have a good relationship with MIL and she helps too.
So far it has went good. and hope the next ones do too.
Post # 7
@KatB442: This is one of my biggest fears. My step-daughter to be’s mother and I are friendly enough. We don’t clash ro anything. But if my FI were to be gone at some point I doubt I would be incorperated his little girl’s life in any regular way after that point.
The child really does become like your own. As far as day-to-day logistcs go, they are. But legally, a step-parent has very little, if any claim to their step-child
Post # 8
i couldnt and i wouldnt. i dont want kids, let alone someone elses. seeing the ex all the time would seal the deal and id be moving on very quickly. if i DID want kids, id be wanting my own family, not moving into someone elses. not my cup of tda.
Post # 9
@freshflowers: it’s hard to believe a parent would do that to their child, but they do. I know they do. And it is a legitimate fear. Hopefully unfounded, yet still legitimate. Once you’ve fallen in love with both the man and the child, I don’t know what the right thing for anyone to do is Other to love the child and hope. The reality is the likelihood of it happening to you is so slim. For me, it did and once was enough. Hopefully for you, it will never be a reality you have to confront.
Post # 10
I don’t know if I could, but I would never try. I’ve heard too many heart breaking stories like the one PP wrote about. I think people who do go into relationships where children are involved are amazing and selfless people, I just was never prepared to take that on. My DH and I are expecting our first baby and it’s wonderful to experience all these firsts together. At the same time, no child is a mistake so I guess I’m torn on this subject! A man who was previously married or had children was always a deal breaker for me, but I was so young at the time! The older you get the more understanding you become to other situations, I think.
Post # 11
- Wedding: June 2014 - Dunes House - Hilton Head Island, SC
I wouldn’t do it. Then again, I don’t want children of my own, and am not interested in being a stepmother either.
Post # 12
I always said I wouldn’t, and then I did. At first the child’s mother was wary of me, then warmed up to me and we become (well I thought we were) friends. Then she decided she wanted her ‘family’ back and went after him after she saw how happy we were together. I decided I wasn’t going to live my life with someone else always in my relationship, so I walked. I don’t think I would ever date someone with a child again.
Post # 13
@freshflowers: I’m glad it’s working out for you 🙂
I don’t think I could do it for a couple of reasons.
-I’m kind of selfish when it comes to my husband’s attention. I do want to be first in his life and I know that if he had a child, I probably wouldn’t be first (at least for awhile). I also would have a hard time dealing with the relationship with the biological mother. I know this makes me sound extremely selfish…
-I’m not sure if I want kids. This reason alone would prevent me from dating someone with a child.
However, things change. As I have never been in the situation I have no idea what I would actually do.
Post # 14
I have in the past been involved in a relationship with a man who had children before I met my now DH. When I met DH he had no children, even if he did I would have gotten involved. Children are just part of the package.
Post # 15
@freshflowers: My DH has one child. There were times where I found it difficult due to his behaviour and I wanted to go all in guns blazing whereas DH handled it differently, but I guess that’s normal. It’s not something that I’d let put me off but it’s something to be wary / mindful of.
Post # 16
@MrsRichard: +1, and +100 on your point regarding age. If I were single right now, I would be unwilling to date a parent. But I’m also 19 with a strong preference for men in the 18-23ish range, so the odds of any potential partners being single parents would be fairly low. But if I were 39, that would be an entirely different story.
Also, I wouldn’t want to get too attached to the child, whom I would have little to no contact with if we were to break up. Even if the other parent was dead or similarly out of the picture, my stepchild be “someone else’s child” under the eyes of the law unless I adopted them. And situations without any traces of an ex are in the minority in these types of situations.
That brings me to another point: as hard as I’d try, I don’t think I’d be able to accept the stepchild as “ours” rather than “his”. Not just do I dislike children (and am over 90% sure I won’t have or adopt any), but I’m not a family-minded person. I even think of my own niece as “someone else’s child”, even though that someone else is my sister, so how could I get past that with a child who may not technically be my stepchild yet?