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Why get involved with a divorced man with kids? - Page 3

post #41 of 61
When I filled out my dating profile online (yes, I met dh through a dating service), I checked the box "okay if he has kids". This was deliberate on my part.

Why?
*I was able to see how dh parented his kids. Seeing him with them made me love him in a new way
*He had custody of them, and was 100% responsible for them. He fought for custody of them, they were that important to him. This showed me the depth of his love and devotion for these kids.

Would it have been easier to marry a guy w/o kids? Uh, yeah. There are definately difficulties when blending. But I would not trade my marriage, or my kids (both bio and step) for anything.

My marriage road has been rough.We rushed into marriage. For a while there, in the early years, I wondered if I had done the right thing. It WAS hard. But it is so worth it. I think my stepsons would agree. I know my daughter would!
post #42 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by bits and bobs View Post
Can we call it win-win?
Absolutely! No one should be afraid of difficult questions, or resent people for asking them. If we can't explain and defend why we live as we do, why are we living this way?
post #43 of 61
I haven't dated yet since my marriage ended, but my answer to why date a divorced man with kids is.....

Because the risk is worth it, because love is worth it even if it goes south.

Because the risk of divorce/breaking up again is no reason not to experience love.

Because I love kids and am always happy to meet more.

Because I want to be with another man some day, somewhere between late 30's and early 50's in age, and if I ruled out the dads, my pool would go way down.
post #44 of 61
I just now read this comment and feel inspired to respond:

Quote:
Originally Posted by bits and bobs View Post
Why not foucs on raising the children, away from the distractions of a new relationship? Instead of the kids having to figure out new daddy, new step-sibs, new abode, new everything...why not grow them up a bit first?
Plenty of people do. The existence of a second marriage doesn't mean the divorced party/parties spent no time beforehand getting over their divorce and adjusting to life as a single parent - and letting their kids adjust. Everyone does that at different rates, too, probably depending on the ugliness of the divorce.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bits and bobs View Post
If you read here, so many women talk of the difficult ex-spouse. No one talks about how lovely and wise and fab that ex is. It just adds another level of hassle for your kids to be exposed to another man's issues whether he be at fault or not.
That's kind of obvious, isn't it? If you get along just fine with the ex - or with your own kids' new step-mom, for that matter - what is there to write to a discussion board about?

In addition to his more recent "crazy ex", my husband was married briefly in college and has an older son with that ex. I never talk about her here because she's perfectly nice, I like her, the kid is grown and we don't have problems with her. What is there to ask advice about? Also, my ex is married to someone else now and she and I have become friends. I think she's great! In fact, I'll say it: she's "lovely and wise and fab" and I think she speaks pretty highly of me, too! In fact, in between stints online today, I'm sewing something for her baby shower. She hosted my baby shower! I've mentioned her here before (just in contrast to my husband's problem ex) and other people wrote in to say they had similar, positive relationships with their kids' step-moms. But again, what advice do we need about getting along with those women?

As far as my kids being hurt by their step-brother's difficult mom, I think that's all a matter of how much you let it seep into your family life. My husband and I have certainly spent a lot of time discussing his ex, but not when the kids are home. My older kids are aware, on a very basic level, that my husband and his ex don't get along as well as their dad and I do. They know their step-brother moved away with his mom, that my husband used to travel a lot to visit and was often sad because the mom wouldn't let him see his kid. And I think they understand that's why their step-brother lives with us now.

I use it as a lesson: while it's nice that my ex, his wife, my husband and I get along so well, most divorces aren't like that and my husband and his ex are one example. They have both made each other very sad at times and, worse, it's very hard on their kid! So it is important that my kids make wise, careful decisions about their own future marriages, because a lot of heartache can be avoided by being careful and thoughtful about marriage and children, and staying with the same wife forever.

Life and parenting aren't just about sheltering your kids. You want them to feel good and hopeful about their lives and their family, but they must also learn how to avoid and/or handle negative things in life. Of course I'm not advising divorce as a teaching tool. I am saying make the best of what's on your plate and teach your kids to thrive. Everything imperfect doesn't have to be ruinous.
post #45 of 61
I would try not to...but not because of the divorce issue, I just don't want to be a stepmom again. It's too heartwrenching. You learn to love them like your own......but you don't have any say or any rights....sorry, just couldn't handle it again. BUT I might start a relationship with a divorced man who's kids are grown.
post #46 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjawm View Post
Why?
*I was able to see how dh parented his kids. Seeing him with them made me love him in a new way
*He had custody of them, and was 100% responsible for them. He fought for custody of them, they were that important to him. This showed me the depth of his love and devotion for these kids.
I have dated a single dad who did the same thing and honestly? It was a HUGE red flag for me, not because I thought he was a perv or something but because if we ever had children together I knew he would drag me to court and try taking my child from me. He actually said "I could never imagine having a child and not having them live with me". It was a risk I wasn't willing to take, it ended up not working out (were still friends though 6 years later) but the fact he fought for custody of his child and he plays dirty in court to do so was one of the main reasons I broke it off. I wasn't willing to risk it when so many marriages fail.
post #47 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Satori View Post
I have dated a single dad who did the same thing and honestly? It was a HUGE red flag for me, not because I thought he was a perv or something but because if we ever had children together I knew he would drag me to court and try taking my child from me. He actually said "I could never imagine having a child and not having them live with me". It was a risk I wasn't willing to take, it ended up not working out (were still friends though 6 years later) but the fact he fought for custody of his child and he plays dirty in court to do so was one of the main reasons I broke it off. I wasn't willing to risk it when so many marriages fail.
Playing dirty in court IS a red flag.

Wanting to be the day to day parent to your children is love. Otherwise, wouldn't it make all moms that wanted to keep their children during the week bad as well? Or is this rule only applicable to guys?

I think the wisdom is in the decision of getting to know the person before committing;

I never questioned DP's and mine ability to parent. He DID fight for DSD, and he did not fight dirty (didn't win, but dsd is living with us now out of her own choice made at the age of 14). I admire him for wanting to be the parent to his daughter.

I don't want to be with a man whose heart doesn't ache when he doesn't see his kids for five days straight. And I know for sure, DP is not one of those.
post #48 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Satori View Post
if we ever had children together I knew he would drag me to court and try taking my child from me. He actually said "I could never imagine having a child and not having them live with me"...the fact he fought for custody of his child and he plays dirty in court to do so was one of the main reasons I broke it off. I wasn't willing to risk it when so many marriages fail.
Goodness!!

I'm not criticizing you. With a guy like that, you were right not to get involved unless things seemed so clearly right that you couldn't possibly envision a divorce.

But shouldn't ALL fathers have the mindset that they can't imagine not living with their children? Good God, how did we create a society where we FAULT a man who doesn't want to be the one to walk away from the kids in a divorce; a man who won't accept the outdated belief that his ex-wife loves the kids more or that she's a better or more essential parent than he is!?!?

How did women get to the point of wanting to make sure they marry someone who WON'T fight for the kids in a divorce, rather than searching for such a solid relationship that divorce seems as unthinkable as alien abduction?

And is it a GOOD thing that "women's lib" brought us to the point that a man would feel like he HAS to "fight dirty" to be seriously considered for custody? (Don't get me wrong, I don't like it when anyone "fights dirty". But there is no assumption that a mother would HAVE to do anything excessive to get custody. Mothers getting custody is "normal".)

Oh, your post makes me sad.
post #49 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
I don't want to be with a man whose heart doesn't ache when he doesn't see his kids for five days straight.
A-M-E-N to that!
post #50 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeannine View Post
I just now read this comment and feel inspired to respond:
Plenty of people do. The existence of a second marriage doesn't mean the divorced party/parties spent no time beforehand getting over their divorce and adjusting to life as a single parent - and letting their kids adjust. Everyone does that at different rates, too, probably depending on the ugliness of the divorce.
I was hoping this quote would include the quote Jeannine was responding to, but, oh well. The question was "Why not wait until the kids are a little more grown up to get into a new relationship?" Something to that effect.

Why not? Because younger kids can be much more adaptable than older kids. I am so glad that I met DSD when she was 2.5. Honestly, If DH and I were just starting out now, the relationship would be dead within six months. Because DSD cannot remember a time before me, she doesn't question me as a parent. Obviously, I am different than Daddy or Mom, but I am considered a parent. She listens to me (or doesn't, but takes getting corrected in a similar fashion as she would from the other two), is cared for by me, does special things with me. I'm not saying that cultivating this relationship was the easiest thing in the world (it is definitely a work in progress), but it would have been infinitely more difficult had it started if she was older.

Let me add the caveat that this only applies if the situation is a permanent-type thing. I do not think that children should be subjected to a revolving door of suitors. DH and I did *a lot* of work to make this family a family, and we are "in it to win it," so to speak. We have long-range goals, and are in it for the long haul. If this is a casual relationship I was speaking of, I would have different thoughts. I didn't meet DSD until I had known her dad for 6 months - I didn't want to bring a child into things unless I knew there was a reason to. By that time, I was pretty sure that the relationship was a keeper. Look at us now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Satori View Post
I have dated a single dad who did the same thing and honestly? It was a HUGE red flag for me, not because I thought he was a perv or something but because if we ever had children together I knew he would drag me to court and try taking my child from me. He actually said "I could never imagine having a child and not having them live with me". It was a risk I wasn't willing to take, it ended up not working out (were still friends though 6 years later) but the fact he fought for custody of his child and he plays dirty in court to do so was one of the main reasons I broke it off. I wasn't willing to risk it when so many marriages fail.
I'll preface this response by saying that playing dirty in court is wrong. If any parent plays dirty to take a child away from the other, that is a terrible injustice.

But I would not assume that a man played dirty in court just because he has full custody. TBH, it drives me nuts that the mom is always the default parent - she has to be totally incompetent or the guy played dirty if he has a large percentage of custody. I do live in a state that bends over backwards to keep both parents in the picture - a parent would have to be abusive (not just neglectful) to lose all of their parenting time.

Both parents should be involved in the life of a child to the largest extent possible.

The child is not just the mother's child. It is the father's child as well.

If DH and I split, even though it would be painful and sucky, I would agree to 50/50 custody (week on/week off) as soon as the boys were done nursing. If they were both over 18 months and done nursing (not likely, given the trajectory the first one has taken), I would agree to 50/50 with shorter time spans. I believe that it is just as important for a child to have a father in their lives as a mother. And if DH is one thing, it is a good father. I would have to do what is best for them, not for me.
post #51 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinksprklybarefoot View Post

I'll preface this response by saying that playing dirty in court is wrong. If any parent plays dirty to take a child away from the other, that is a terrible injustice.

But I would not assume that a man played dirty in court just because he has full custody. TBH, it drives me nuts that the mom is always the default parent - she has to be totally incompetent or the guy played dirty if he has a large percentage of custody.

In this case he bragged about the stunts he pulled and things he still does to make sure he maintains custody, you should hear the whopper stories he tells about her. I've met her a number of times over the years and while I haven't spent a lot of time with her I find it hard to believe the seriously out there crazy stories he says about her.
post #52 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Satori View Post
In this case he bragged about the stunts he pulled and things he still does to make sure he maintains custody, you should hear the whopper stories he tells about her. I've met her a number of times over the years and while I haven't spent a lot of time with her I find it hard to believe the seriously out there crazy stories he says about her.
He doesn't sound like a nice guy at all. I wouldn't date or marry him either
I don't think his problem is the fact that he's been married before, or that he has kids. He just doesn't sound like a nice person, and who wants that for a partner?

I think it's important not to confuse the issue of personality vs. the "been married before" factor, yk?
post #53 of 61
LOL.
I'm dh's FOURTH wife.
He definitely learned from all his prior marriages.

We're doing great. He and i understand each other and the relationship, and were very careful to REALLY prepare for marriage and make sure it was going to work.

We just hit the decade mark togther.
post #54 of 61
I'm going to delurk for a short minute. Normally I keep my mouth shut in this forum because I don't really belong, but I love to read it because I think all of you are inspirational in how you handle difficult situations. You give me a kick in the pants to work on things.

But the reason I'm delurking is: divorce statistics are usually quoted wrong. In the New York Times there is a post talking about how the divorce rate is lower than quoted. More like close to 33% rather than 50% for first marriages. He doesn't go into the math for second or later marriages, but his assessment of how many divorces happen is surely transferable to later marriages. This means that it is actually unlikely that second marriages end in divorce 2/3 of the time. Extra hope!

I'll go back to lurking now.
post #55 of 61
My husband's previous marriage failed because after years together, he discovered that his xw had never stopped sleeping with her old boyfriend from college. Should he then never remarry?
post #56 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by rightkindofme View Post

But the reason I'm delurking is: divorce statistics are usually quoted wrong. In the New York Times there is a post talking about how the divorce rate is lower than quoted. More like close to 33% rather than 50% for first marriages.
I can't remember the statistics I heard on NPR recently but it was interesting that 2nd marriages had a higher rate of divorce than 1st marriages, but 3rd marriages had a lower rate of divorce.
post #57 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobandjess99 View Post
LOL.
I'm dh's FOURTH wife.
He definitely learned from all his prior marriages.

We're doing great. He and i understand each other and the relationship, and were very careful to REALLY prepare for marriage and make sure it was going to work.

We just hit the decade mark togther.
Congrats bobandjess... I'm another 4th wife... he's my first though.
post #58 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by bits and bobs View Post
It seems so hard, so fraught with the requisite 'difficult' ex wife they all seem to have, the custody and money disputes.

I know everyone will say love conquers all, but if a guy has been divorced once then is that not a massive warning sign to you? Do you think you'll be the one to magically make it perfect and do/be what the former wife couldn't?
I have to say, my stepmom totally rocks. She & my dad work well together. I really love her and the effort she made on our behalf (dad, me 15, brother13, dalmation).

Liz
post #59 of 61
Please excuse me for butting in here.... I've only skimmed through this thread, but did want to add something relevant regarding the stat that several posters mentioned "50% of first marriages end in divorce", (although this source appears to be from 5 yrs. ago.)
Now, I have no clue what the breakup is for 2nd, 3rd marriages...

*10. For large segments of the population, the risk of divorce is far below fifty percent.

Although the overall divorce rate in America remains close to fifty percent of all marriages, it has been dropping gradually over the past two decades.
Also, the risk of divorce is far below fifty percent for educated people going into their first marriage, and
lower still for people who wait to marry at least until their mid-twenties,
haven't lived with many different partners prior to marriage, or
are strongly religious and marry someone of the same faith.
*

10. The risk of divorce
Some primary sources for the risk factors associated with divorce and the divorce rate trend are Jay D. Teachman, "Stability Across Cohorts in Divorce Risk Factors," Demography 39 (2002): 331-351; Tim B. Heaton, "Factors Contributing to Increasing Marital Stability in the United States," Journal of Family Issues 23-3 (April, 2002): 392-409; For a review of research, see Jeffry H. Larson and Thomas B. Holman, "Premarital Predictors of Marital Quality and Stability," Family Relations 43 (1994): 228-237.

http://http://marriage.rutgers.edu/P...oungadults.htm
post #60 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teenytoona View Post
Congrats bobandjess... I'm another 4th wife... he's my first though.
He's my first/only also. Go us! LOL!
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