Proposal and step children

posted 3 months ago in Engagement
Post # 2
Member
7081 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

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quirkylady :  I met my now-husband when I was 22 and he was 26.  My now-husband had a 5yo at the time.

Just a warning… we moved SUPER quickly at first.  I would never recommend it to anyone.

Now-DH and his ex had a tumultuous relationship to begin with.  She got pregnant after 8 months of dating when he was 20, their son was born when he was 21, and they broke up when their son was about 1yo.  My now-DH was in the military, so his ex took their son to go live back where they’re from.  They were never actually married.  When now-DH moved back to their hometown, his son was about 2, they tried at a relationship again and it didn’t work out. She met her long-term partner then.  Now-DH dated quite a bit for those 3.5 years between her and myself, but none of them met his son.

We only met up on nights my now-DH didn’t have his son, so 4 days/nights a week for the first month.  I expected it to take awhile to meet his son.

About a month into our relationship, he asked me to come over one night when he had his son, and I panicked.  It was a lot of, “ARE YOU SURE??!”  But I guess he brought me up during his son’s school book fair when his ex was there, and his son asked to meet me.  His ex didn’t hesitate because now-DH was very responsible about bringing girlfriends around his son, so she could tell he was serious about me.

I spent quite a bit of time with them after that.  We ended up moving in together about 6 months into our relationship… but being I was so young, in graduate school, and still figuring out my future, I realized I needed to make a decision FAST whether this was going to be serious or not.  It took a good year to figure out how my career would pan out if I stuck around (because my previous career goals would have forced me to move across the country within 5 years).  

We both fell fast in the beginning, and there were some rocky times, but within that first year, I knew I couldn’t let them two go.  I fell in love with both of them.  He bought a house for us after a year and a half together, and we were engaged at nearly 2 years together.  Married at nearly 3 years together.

We had our first child (together) a little over 5 years together, and today is our 7 year dating anniversary, and we’re due in June! My 12 year old stepson is seriously at our house most of the time – all weekend, every weekend, and one or two nights during the week, unless his mom has something special going on.  We have a great relationship with her and her family.

So, in summary, the initial steps were way too quick for us, but the rest of our timeline we didn’t rush… we took our time to settle into a life together, even though we were hasty from the start. 

I, personally, would recommend at LEAST 3 months before meeting the children, maybe 6, and at LEAST a year before moving in together.  

Post # 3
Member
983 posts
Busy bee

Darling Husband and I both have children from our first marriages. Mine were 9 and 7 when we started dating, his were 16 and 19. He and I dated for about a month and a half before becoming exclusive – I had been single for 3 years and hadn’t felt strongly about anyone else I had dated, but felt differently about now-DH. We introduced kids after 3.5 months bc we knew it was getting serious and wanted to see how we got along with each other’s kids. My kids had no idea I had been dating, period, so this was a big step.  If my kids didn’t mesh with him, I wanted to be able to walk away, and vice versa.  They just met him as a friend of mine, initially. Everyone got along well and we got more involved in each other’s lives. My father had a massive heart attack about 6 months after we started dating, so things moved a little quickly as far as integration because I needed help juggling my kids, my dad’s health, my mom’s needs, and my own life responsibilities; now-DH was staying with my kids a lot and helping out while everything with my dad was dealt with. We moved in together after a year. We got married after two years. We’ve been married a year and a half now. His kids are completely out of the house now, but still stay with us when back in town and everyone seems to get along well. 

Post # 4
Member
1351 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

I have two stepchildren, Darling Husband and their mother share 50/50 custody so they live with us half the time. My husband and I have been together for 3.5 years and we’re both divorced, but I didn’t bring any children into the relationship.

I met my stepkids when Darling Husband and I had known each other for almost a year, and had been exclusively dating for 4 months. They were 8 and 12 at the time, and their parents had been split up and living apart for 15 months at that point.

I moved in 10.5 months after I met the kids, a little after a year of us dating. We got engaged just over a year after that, and married 5 months later.

We’ve been married for almost 6 months now, and are expecting a baby this June.

Post # 6
Member
7081 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

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quirkylady :  I recommend first staying over at his house when the kids are over.  This will 1. Teach everyone how to navigate your relationship as a live-in girlfriend and eventual stepmom, and 2. Help you as a couple decide if this is the life you want.  I’m sure this is a conversation to have with  your partner.  He will probably want to sit down with his kids and say, “As you know, Quirkylady and I are in a serious relationship and I stay at her house most of the time when I’m not here with you.  Quirkylady is going to start staying with us on the weekends you’re here.  Please know, you can still come to me shall any problems arise or you have any concerns.  Your happiness is my priority.”  Or something along those lines so they don’t feel like they have limits with someone new in their house.

After seeing how that goes, you guys can consider engagement, moving into together, or whatever order you want to take from there.  But I think being in their routine and becoming a staple in their family is so important to see whether you mesh in each others’ lives.

Post # 7
Member
5 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2020

My story will sound crazy but here we go.  We’re both are in our thirties, me a few years older, both divorced, both have 2 kids the same ages, 12 and 10.We met in May 2019. Talked on the phone for 3 months, I finally agreed to go on a date with him in August. We became official a week later.  My living situation was a bit crazy during that time. I met his kids without my kids towards the end of August, he met my daughter the end of August as well. we all had a sleepover beginning of September. I purchased a home at the end of September. He helped me move into my new home. We couldn’t stand to be away from each other and he’s been there since day one. He also lived 45 minutes with no traffic, hour plus with traffic, away from me. So he was over quite often.  The kids get along great, family group chats, weekend outings and such. Our kids call each other during the week. Kids are dying for us to have a baby and get married. We get his kids almost every weekend unless we have something planned, and they have dinner alone with their dad during the week. He officially moved in December 1st because it no longer made sense for him to pay rent somewhere he never stays. I’m due to officially be engaged any day now and we plan to marry on our one year anniversary this upcoming August. I know this all sounds crazy, but he is exactly what I’ve been looking for, and same for him.  I’ve never been in a better relationship. From our first date, I knew he would be my husband.  

Post # 9
Member
2402 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

My husband has step-daughters from a previous marriage. He got them in the summer. We started dating in February, so it was 4 months before I met them. I was already staying over some nights at that point. The kids were 10 and 12 at the time. My husband had probably been split from his wife 3 years or so by the time we met. We were living together about a year after we started dating. We didn’t get engaged and married until many years later. 

I think if you are pretty much living together, nothing should change just because the kids are around. I don’t think he can “protect” them forever. The reality is that their parents are divorced and dad lives with his girlfriend.

Post # 10
Member
7081 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

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quirkylady :  I honestly think you just need to talk to him.  There should be no serious engagement conversation until he can move things along.  He can start by having you there more often before you sleepover, but you have to talk to him about it… You could talk about a timeline, or the best way he can approach his children about this.  It would be a million times worse if you randomly become engaged.

Are his kids in therapy?  It sounds like they need family therapy, if even with their parents.

I’m confused why they have been split up for 6 years, yet the kids have only known their parents aren’t together for 10 months…

Post # 11
Member
1351 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

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quirkylady :  “they only found out 10 months ago that their parents were not together – a few weeks before I was introduced. They were of the view the parents would be living together again.”

May I ask why this is? You mentioned previously that they split up 6 years ago. Were they intentionally letting the children believe they were in the process of reconciling this whole time?

Post # 13
Member
140 posts
Blushing bee

I’m in my mid 30s which means my timelines are quicker than I’d recommend for a woman in her 20s.

I was married to my ex 10 years, together 15.

We split 3 months into a second planned pregnancy (he revealed escalating alcoholism, mental abuse, + cheating on his part after I got pregnant)

12 months post split – Met my now fiance (baby was 6 months)

6 months into relationship – He met kids (exclusively dating the whole time)

9 months in – He started spending more substantial time with my kids and spending the night with me while they’re home

18 months – we bought a house (We were both in the process of buying individually before we met)

22 months – he proposed

4 years – Estimated wedding date from time we met!

Post # 14
Member
1204 posts
Bumble bee

Hmmm.  The kids were deceived for five years?  This is a problem.  Your SO doesn’t need his ex’s permission to date, move in with someone, get engaged or get married.  He’s letting his nutty ex manipulate him.  He can get a hearing at family court if she’s using the kids emotions to manipulate him.  The court can mandate at his request that the kids see a child therapist on a long term basis and the therapist will report if he/she thinks the mother is psychologically manipulating them.  It sounds like she is.

Post # 15
Member
140 posts
Blushing bee

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quirkylady :  Respect the moms wishes. Don’t talk shit or allow your partner to speak negatively about her in front of the kids, you calling her exasperating is disrespectful and the kids won’t like that.

Bear in mind you are only hearing his side of the story, and that’s not all that’s going on.

10 months is NOT enough time for the kids to have processed and recovered from their family being torn apart. Are they in counseling?

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