Post # 1
I just got engaged a few weeks ago to an amazing man who has been absolutely wonderful to my children and me for the past 2.5 years which is why I am still wondering why he handled things like this since it is so out of character for him since he has never shown favortism of his children around my kids or me. We do not live together yet but spend most days off together with our kids between his place and my place with plans to get married in the next couple months.
We have been talking for the last several months about buying the kids Go-Karts, which he initially brought up saying he wanted to “get Go-Karts for the boys.” I have 2 boys full-time and he has a boy 50% of the time who is the youngest of the 3. Our other kids are much older and not living with us. The other night he found a Go-Kart for sale that he was excited about the deal and went to get it spur of the moment. Before he left, he kept saying, “The boys are going to love this! I can’t wait until THEY wake up to see it! THEY are going to be so excited,” etc. When he got back home, his words all changed to “the things I do for MY KID! Ryan is going to love this! I can’t wait for Ryan to see his new Go-Kart.” My heart sank! He took the boys out to show them the Go-Kart and said to “look at the new Go-Kart I just got for Ryan! How do you like it, Ryan?,” etc Ryan this and Ryan’s Go-kart that! My youngest picked up on it and looked very sad. When I asked him how he liked it, he shrugged and said, “it is Ryan’s” and that was it. I have been speechless and tried to bring up the conversation several times by saying for him to keep his eyes out for another one for the other boys and he looks at me dumbfounded every single time and says, “why? this is a 2-seater?” I do not live with him, nor do we share money yet or anything so I want to think this is why he did this, but I don’t understand why he did not introduce it as a big toy for the house for all of them when we are literally planning on getting married right around the corner! I am trying to figure out a way to bring this back up and approach the topic with him. Would any of you have felt the same way for your kids or written it off as not a big deal since we aren’t under one roof yet, even though we are this close to being under one roof and married soon?
I just never would have handled things this way and have always included his kids as if they were my own, even spending 8,000.00 of my own money a couple months ago to surprise them and take them on a cruise with us. To me, I would have bought them and said, “Surprise! Boys, look at your new Go-Kart you guys get to ride now!” It has really hurt my feelings.
Post # 2
When it comes to your kids, I don’t think it’s ever wrong to feel upset or slighted. What matters next is how you react. I think you need to sit down with your Fiance and explain why this upsets you, and how you think it upset your boys. You are about to blend your families – not just you two, but these three boys as well, and starting to change the dynamic and introducing favoritism is going to make things really bad for both of you. Your boys could end up resenting your Fiance if this behavior changes.
I hope this was an oversight on his part and that an honest conversation will help clear things up. Best of luck!
Post # 3
I don’t think you’re wrong to be upset because it appears your boys took what he was saying about it being for his son seriously. They definitely could tell too and that’s not fair in a blended family situation. I do think it’s of critical importance that all members of the family feel equally loved / appreciated by both parents especially being kids and being raised by the both of you. I think you should sit him down and just let him know how it made you and your sons feel. I understand he purchased the go-kart but it sounds like you guys share monetary obligations to the kids or at least both purchase things for all the kids (since you mentioned the cruise) and it doesn’t matter anyway when you’re about to be married. I don’t know if he did it intentionally but I think you should definitely address it.
Post # 4
Why would he have taken all of them out t6see it if he was going to call it his kid’s go kart? That’s no accident, and that’s just rubbing it in. It strikes me as almost cruel. If he intended it for one, why invite all of them to go look at what they couldn’t have?
Yeah, I’d be having a BIG discussion about this. No way would I take my children into a situation where they had to deal with that full time. NO WAY.
Post # 5
Heck no. If he wants to marry you, he’s absolutely, 100% going to need to include your sons as part of his family. That is NOT how a father treats his children. Some men are not cut out to be stepdads, and it’s in the best interest of your sons for you to know this now. You can react and plan accordingly. Apparently, if you don’t work in favor of their best interests, you cannot count on your fiancé to do so.
What you do about that is up to you, but your sons should come before your fiancé, every single time they need their mom to be there for them. This time qualifies. Enter the conversation with confidence and as their defender… this is something you absolutely can’t allow to become a pattern. Make yourself heard.
Post # 6
MTmom : Yeah, that’s really weird. Why would he make a big production out of taking them all out to gawk at a present that he only bought for one of them?
Post # 7
Yes, I just do not understand it at all, especially when he talks about my kids being able to ride in it and drive it too! Why say they are going to be able to use it, but then designate it as one kid’s toy and the kid that is only there 50% of the time, whereas the other two are there 100% of the time.
I am definitely going to say something tonight when he calls from work so I can get it off my chest since I haven’t been able to sleep the last 2 nights over this. I hate to talk over the phone, but I want to be able to move on too since this has been eating away at me. I would never ever risk my children’s emotional and physical well-being so this will definitely have to be resolved before we move forward since it is a HUGE red-flag for me that I can’t risk.
I am just glad to know others would feel the same way and that I wasn’t overreacting to it since I am not currently living there yet; however, I am currently treating his family as my own without prejudice so that is why I am having trouble wrapping my head around this.
Post # 8
MTmom : This is a big problem. I definitely think you need an honest and direct conversation with him about this.
My husband has a preteen daughter and so do I, along with a teenager. We both make sure that everything is as fair as fair can be for all of the kids. Especially the two preteen girls.
I would never buy my kids a big gift and leave my stepdaughter out! I consider her equally “my” daughter and I would never want to hurt her feelings in that way.
Your fiance is wrong and you need to sort this out sooner than later. If he cant admit that showing favortism to any one kid over the other is bad, then you should seriously reconsider your future with him. This is a big deal and I hope you treat it as such. Hopefully your fiance just had a dumb moment and realizes it so he can apologize and move on from it. But if he digs his heels in – Id take that as a BIG red flag. What other things will Ryan get over your kids? Not cool.
Post # 9
MTmom : When it comes to kids feelings and emotions thath is something I don’t play around with. This isn’t your fiance showing favoritism to an adult sibling or friend this is a CHILD your child more specifically. While i wouldn’t post pone the wedding I would have a serious talk with your fiance about what the hell was he thinking not only just buying one specifically for his child but practically rubbing it in the faces of your two children by showing it to them and specifically mentioning it was for Ryan. To me once you plan on marrying someone or you are married it becomes YOUR kids and no one’s kids should get preferential treatment. Not your kids or his kids. If he can’t understand that by marrying you he is accepting your kids as his own and vice versa than he isn’t ready to be married to someone with kids. I know you said this is the only time he has done this but you also mention this is the only time you made a big purchase for the kids together so this is glaring to me. You need to have a serious firm talk with him about this before you marry him.
Post # 10
bouviebee : Yup i agree 10000% your kids come before your fiance/husband and it is your job to be their #1 defender. This is the only person who should come before your fiance/husband is your children. You are their #1 advocate.
Post # 11
The best thing would have been to tell him this right away. Personally if he’s going to be a total tone-deaf clod like this I wouldn’t want to get married or live with him anytime soon.
Post # 12
You are not wrong at all. This would indeed be my hill to die on. I would not have this conversation over the phone, though. It’s important enough that I think it should wait until you see him in person. It’s concerning he did not pick up on your hint that all the boys should have been treated equally.
That all said, I don’t like go karts. They can be very dangerous.
Post # 13
Just out of curiosity but have you actually discussed how you are going to combine finances and handle the joint expenditures of all the kids? Was this his first major opportunity to purchase something “for the family”? You say he hasn’t acted this way before but has he really had the opportunity before this? Buying small things or treating all the boys to ice cream is a lot different than the kind of expenditure at play here. Likewise spending your time at one or the other is not the same as actually blending – so even though you may think things are going splendidly now and it’s been working fine so it’ll continue to be fine later, it’s different because you still have that underlying distinction of “mine and yours” so the stakes are a lot lower.
I just get the sense that you are making a lot of assumptions here that the two of you are on the same page about this based on what you would do because you can’t fathom it being any other way. It’s great that you’re generous with him and his child, but you have that same expectation of him and I’m just not getting the sense from your post that you have actually hammered this out in explicit detail. Feel free to ignore this if you have, but I would halt all wedding planning until you do. Finances are tricky and a leading reason for marital discord potentially ending in divorce in even your most basic of circumstances…there is a lot more at stake and work out when those finances and how you approach them directly impact three kids in a blended situation. Now it isn’t just how do you handle money and your general attitude towards money, but also the attitude of how that money is now applied to each of the three kids. Are you absolutely certain that when push comes to shove he won’t suddenly pull a “my money/your money” situation if one of your kids needs something but his son may have to sacrifice something for it to happen?
Post # 14
He took your children to look at an awesome new toy he’d gotten and then basically told them it was for someone else. What the everloving hell? That is so unbelievably clumsy or assholish…either way, it needs to be addressed – whether he thinks you are unreasonable or not. Your kids need you to be willing to be “unreasonable” on their behalf.
So basically, your SO hurt your kids’ feelings and you watched it happen and wondered if it was okay to be bothered or say something?
Post # 15
So, there’s a possibility (key word here is possibility – this is a vague guess, it could also be what the other posters are saying) that he might be concerned about how his kid feels about the integration since his kid is around 50% and your sons are around 100%. It sounds like his tone changed when he went to the store — did he maybe call his ex, and did she bring that up? Like maybe she suggested that it be his kid’s because she was concerned about how her son was going to feel about him living with your kids full time, but him only half?
I remember when I was a kid in a somewhat blended situation (my dad’s girlfriend and her daughter lived with my dad 100% of the time, and I was there 50%) I sometimes felt replaced.
I’m not saying he made the right call here. If he wanted to make sure his kid still felt special, there was probably another way to do this. But it’s possible that he was well-intentioned and overcompensating in one direction.