when a partner should spend the night? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 17 Old 03-22-2009, 10:30 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm wondering how others have dealt with this situation...Up until recently, I haven't let my 2 year old son meet anyone I've dated. About 2 months ago, I finally found a person with whom I am serious and we spend lots of time together with my son. The 2 of them - my son and my boyfriend - get along well. So...I am wondering how some of you have felt about your partners sleeping over at your house. My son coslept until a couple of weeks ago, but has now happily taken to his own room and bed, so we would not be sleeping in the same room. I don't want my son to see men come and go from my life...he has never met his father, and I have no close relatives, so he hasn't had too many role models, good or bad. My boyfriend is much more than a passing interest... both of us want a life partner but it is a matter of time passing so that we can get to know each other to make sure we are right for each other...should I wait until I know for sure? Anyone have any regrets or success stories about the way they handled a similar situation?
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#2 of 17 Old 03-22-2009, 10:34 PM
 
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I'm wondering how others have dealt with this situation...Up until recently, I haven't let my 2 year old son meet anyone I've dated. About 2 months ago, I finally found a person with whom I am serious and we spend lots of time together with my son. The 2 of them - my son and my boyfriend - get along well. So...I am wondering how some of you have felt about your partners sleeping over at your house. My son coslept until a couple of weeks ago, but has now happily taken to his own room and bed, so we would not be sleeping in the same room. I don't want my son to see men come and go from my life...he has never met his father, and I have no close relatives, so he hasn't had too many role models, good or bad. My boyfriend is much more than a passing interest... both of us want a life partner but it is a matter of time passing so that we can get to know each other to make sure we are right for each other...should I wait until I know for sure? Anyone have any regrets or success stories about the way they handled a similar situation?
How long have you known one another?
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#3 of 17 Old 03-22-2009, 10:41 PM - Thread Starter
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We've known each other about 2 months.
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#4 of 17 Old 03-22-2009, 10:51 PM
 
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It's my opinion that you should wait till you are sure. He can be hurt by your breaking up. Just imagine how much more important your SO will become when he wakes up in the same house with your ds. Your son will definately want to have him stay, and should you break up (you said you are not sure yet) then he would be devastated.

I have a good friend (man) who comes to visit sometimes. He is married, has kids, and we have a friendship, not "relationship". Still somehow my children (in a span of a 2 day visit) got the idea that he was going to get married to me. My kids are much older than your son too. When he was about to get into his truck to leave, we all said goodbyes, and he said, "I hope to see you again this year". My little dd1 began to cry so hard. We (my friend and I) looked at each other strangly, and I asked her what was wrong. She said, "But Mommy, I thought you and "P" were going to get married. There is was, the M word. All three of my kids were in tears and didn't want him to leave. We were dumbfounded literally. What did I do to cause my children to think that P and I were going to get married? We laughed together, he played with the kids (they needed it badly...to be played with by a strong male figure). P and I went out to dinner one night alone, while the kids stayed with my parents. P came to my parents house (they have also known him for about 20 years). So these small things caused my kids to believe, and wish that we were getting married.

I told them we weren't....right there, and they all cried so much. I can't imagine if we were more than friends, and had some close cuddles or kisses in their range. They would have been more devastated.

Anyway, my point is that you already know the answer to that question. YES, we all would love to have that companionship, even without the ties, to someone we enjoy, but what is the cost to our children? I had no idea until this happened to my kids.

I have a very good friend who I'd love to have a personal relationship with, and even marry. But my kids will not know much about him unless we are about to be engaged. Then I'll tell them his name, share a photo, ask how they feel about it. When we are engaged, then I will introduce him to them.

I know waiting for that day will be hard for me, but worth it for my kids. And for me, I have a 12 year old son who I need to teach how to do things in life. If I have one standard for me, and another for him, I don't think any of my words will ever again hold water.

I'm not against sex and relationships outside of marriage. I'm against involving my kids. Maybe if you think about it that way, you will see it better.

Good luck on your decision.

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#5 of 17 Old 03-22-2009, 10:54 PM
 
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My feeling is that I would not have overnights, with the children present, until I'm in a relationship with someone and we are mutually committed to permanence. Short of that, I think it should definitely been an extremely stable, long-term relationship that has weathered a few ups and downs.
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#6 of 17 Old 03-22-2009, 11:00 PM
 
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I wouldn't even have introduced my child to a new beau this early on. : I've seen too many children hurt by people coming into & out of their lives. As others have said, to have overnights with the children present, we'd have to be well on our way to being a permanent couple.

Sabra: Mama to Bobbie (3/02), Linda (1/04), Esther (10/05), Marie (11/10), & Douglas (11/12)

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#7 of 17 Old 03-22-2009, 11:34 PM
 
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I did something similar. I ended up pregnant and he ended up being a HUGE con artist and really hurt my two year old, in the process. After 5 months he just left. No explaination. Wait it out. Don't get hurt. 2 months isn't long enough to get to know someone. I know how hard it is to hear that. I was angry when ppl said that to me, but they were right.
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#8 of 17 Old 03-23-2009, 01:09 AM
 
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My bf met my ds about 3 weeks after we first started dating. I don't remember when bf first started sleeping over, but it wasn't too much longer after they first met.

Before my current bf (with whom I have been with for over a year), I had another bf (with whom I was with for 2 years) and I was married for 4 years prior to that. Both of those relationships were serious, monogamous and committed relationships... neither of them lasted for various reasons.

Therefore, I have come to realize...there are just no guarantees that any relationship (or marriage) will last. Additionally, I am not a serial dater who has men coming in and out of her home and I have great instincts that I trust and follow.

Unfortunately (and sometimes fortunately... depending on the person), people come and go from our lives; significant others, family, friends, etc., and we are met with hurt, disappointment and sadness. My ds is learning how to deal with such feelings in a healthy, productive, positive manner through my role-modeling of how I deal with my own feelings of loss.

What it all comes down to...just do what feels right for you and your child.
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#9 of 17 Old 03-23-2009, 03:41 AM
 
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This is a good discussion. I myself, have had many doubts about this. I have had only one serious relationship, and a couple of shorter ones that didn't evolve. My son, however, has experiences a lot of changes, and people coming and going. We have had sveveral roommates, some are still friends, some are far away. Ds bonded with some and misses them a lot. I have had friends that were very involved in my son's life for a while, then suddenly disappeared, lost interest or been too caught up in something else. This has been hard to explain to my son. Fortunately, most of these people do come back into our lives. With boyfriends, my one serious one did sleep over when my son was younger, but would only be here after ds went to bed, and then would leave before we awoke. A couple of times, he came over to hang with all of us, and I'd ask if he wanted to sleep over, we'd all say good night, and my son and I would retire to our room. I never called him my boyfriend, and would not show much physical affection to him in front of my son. Personally, I can't imagine progressing in a relationship without seeing this man interract with my ds. For this reason, I have a couple of times introduced new men to my son as friends, just like any new friend he meets. In one case, I reaally regretted it, they got a long wonderfully, only saw each other a couple of times, but then the relationship only lasted a few months. I haven't talked to my son about it, and am not sure if he misses this man. I don't think they'd really createda bond. In contrast, the longer relationship I had was with a man having all kinds of problems, and though I loved him, and he was fantastic with my ds, I couldn't imagine commiting long term. He did 'dissappear' for medical reasons, my son would ask for him, and I'd explain in simple terms, he has now come back into our life, a lot healthier, and we are seeing each other again. My son absolutely loves hanging out wiht him. This man, however, is someone I've known for years, and even if it doesn't work out for us, I believe he will stay in my son's life as a freind no matter what.
But how can we know what will happen with anything?
What about roommates, friends, relatives that move away. I worry that my son has learned early that life is inconsistent, and people you need and love are not always there for you. But that is part of life, and witht he right guidaance, as some have siad here, it is all an education. Still, I have my doubts.
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#10 of 17 Old 03-23-2009, 07:05 AM
 
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I met a man 4 months ago. Ofcourse it is still new, but I have that feeling - this is a really really long term thing. I know we both want a lifetime partner too. My kids met him for the first time a couple of weeks ago. The first time they met he slept over. NOt in my bed though (where my 2 year old sleeps). My BF came around in the afternoon to have dinner with us. He spend the night on the guest bed. When my 5 year old asked why he was sleeping over I simply told him it was because he was far away from home and doesnt have a car, so it was difficult for him to get home in the evening. All true. So he slept on the guest bed. I wasnt all that reasonable about the whole thing. I cant keep away from him - so I fell asleep with him on the guest bed. An hour or so later my 2 year old woke up and missed me (he usually does that around midnight if I still havent gone to bed) so I simply went in and slept in my own bed the rest of the night. The next morning the kids thought it was great fun to have him sleep in the guestbed (we dont have a seperate room for it so it was outside our bedrooms in the open room above the staircase) Anyway he slept a bit longer than us (we were leaving for work etc) so they kept asking if they could wake him up - which they did eventually. It all worked fine.

For a 2 year old - Well you are already making him part of your childs life. I dont see sleeping over making a big difference. Either way if you two break up its gonna affect your child. A 2 year old has no idea what "sleeping over" means. A 5 year old will know something about what is "usually" done, what the norm is for guests etc. But a 2 year old will soon accept whatever you do to be completely normal and will not question it IMO.

If the question was when should you introduce him to your kid/let him be part of your kids life I would say - when you are pretty certain that you know eachother well and plan to stick together. But since he is already in your childs life - I dont think sleeping over will make a big difference kwim? Just my 2 cents..

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#11 of 17 Old 03-23-2009, 10:38 AM
 
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should I wait until I know for sure?
IMO- yes. There is no point dragging your ds into this relationship that you aren't sure is going to work out. Should it end it will not only hurt you, but also him.

I have only introduced my ds to one man, and that's my fiance. We talked on the phone/online for over a year before we actually met in person. When we finally did meet in person he also met my son. It was totally on a friend level. That weekend he did spend a little time with my son (he really needed to understand a little about what "autism" meant in regards to my son) but mostly we spent time without ds (he stayed with my dad). For the overnights he stayed in a hotel. The next time he came to my town it was much of the same- we hung out a little with my son, but mostly without him. That time I was in the middle of moving so my son stayed at my dads house overnight and my partner stayed in my apartment with me. A little bit after that ds and I drove to Kentucky to visit my partner. We did have overnights with Owen around then, but we already knew by that time that we were serious. We had a few more overnights at his state and at mine before ds and I moved to Kentucky to be with him. It's been 2 years this summer since we moved and I don't regret any of it

Steph, DH Jason (1-1-11), DS Owen (10-3-03) and DS Kai (10-13-11)

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#12 of 17 Old 03-23-2009, 01:10 PM
 
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Sometimes you just never know... even if you think you met the perfect man, you have the same goals, sometimes things unexpected happen. 2 months isn't a long time. I've been with mine for 2 1/2, he's seen the kids a handful of times now, they love him and I love him. But you know, lately some issues have come up and I'm not *sure* we'll get through them, and I'm now afraid that I introduced the kids to him though luckily it hasn't been too much, yet.

I know when you've met someone you just really mesh so well with and it seems "right" to do, etc etc, and time seems like such an arbritrary thing, and yet... it's something you can't undo, and so I would be patient about it.
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#13 of 17 Old 03-23-2009, 01:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Holland73 View Post
My bf met my ds about 3 weeks after we first started dating. I don't remember when bf first started sleeping over, but it wasn't too much longer after they first met.

Before my current bf (with whom I have been with for over a year), I had another bf (with whom I was with for 2 years) and I was married for 4 years prior to that. Both of those relationships were serious, monogamous and committed relationships... neither of them lasted for various reasons.

Therefore, I have come to realize...there are just no guarantees that any relationship (or marriage) will last. Additionally, I am not a serial dater who has men coming in and out of her home and I have great instincts that I trust and follow.

Unfortunately (and sometimes fortunately... depending on the person), people come and go from our lives; significant others, family, friends, etc., and we are met with hurt, disappointment and sadness. My ds is learning how to deal with such feelings in a healthy, productive, positive manner through my role-modeling of how I deal with my own feelings of loss.

What it all comes down to...just do what feels right for you and your child.
This. With my ex I was pretty careful on introducing him to my son...we knew each other for eight months before I had him spend the night...and after eight years together when we got divorced he completely cut ds1 out of his life

My current guy I actually introduced really early, but my kids understood that he was a friend...I didn't introduce him as a love interest. It's been great so far.

"Have faith in yourself and in the direction you have chosen." Ralph Marston

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#14 of 17 Old 03-23-2009, 01:26 PM
 
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I think you need to trust your own instincts. My DP and I basically started living together the day we met! not ideal but that's the way it happened. By the next week we just "knew". It's been 6 months since we met (though it will be a year June 1st since we met online) and still going strong!!!! We are planning our wedding now! : My kids call him Daddy and it's just the most natural thing in the world for us.

ETA- there are no guarantees in life. I lost my childrens father when they were babies after 8 years of being together (my kids were 17mo and 2 weeks old at the time he died) . so I live each day like it's the last. I NEVER in a million years thought I'd be in a relationship again (nor was I looking for a partner when I began dating again, far from it!) and was happily single for 3 years.

Blissful Mama to DD-(5), DS-(6) and someone new due in November!
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#15 of 17 Old 03-23-2009, 08:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for this great input! Reading all the different opinions is kind of like listening to my own voice in my head debating it back and forth. I love what Holland said and really appreciate the reminder that in life it is likely not the situations we expose our children to that will impact them the most; it is the way we handle the times that we are met with hurt, disppointment and sadness that will help shape the people our children will become.
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Unfortunately (and sometimes fortunately... depending on the person), people come and go from our lives; significant others, family, friends, etc., and we are met with hurt, disappointment and sadness. My ds is learning how to deal with such feelings in a healthy, productive, positive manner through my role-modeling of how I deal with my own feelings of loss.

What it all comes down to...just do what feels right for you and your child.

I also appreciate the comments from people who said to wait; it is definitely easier to wait than to undo something that is done. With that in mind, I've decided to wait for the moment...I'll listen to myself and if my hesitations disappear or strongly subside, i'll take that as a cue that the time is right. Thanks again for such thought provoking responses.
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#16 of 17 Old 03-23-2009, 09:01 PM
 
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it is definitely easier to wait than to undo something that is done.
This is so true, in so many contexts. If only I'd heeded that advice a bit more often myself Hope things work out with your new beau!
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#17 of 17 Old 03-24-2009, 08:30 AM
 
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My kids met my sweetheart right away - in fact, my oldest knew him before we started dating, because she was friends with his son. When he picked me up for our first date I said "This is R..." and that was that. Within a couple of months we were all doing things together. That said, he did not spend the night until we'd been together almost six months, and even now I don't think the little two have a clue he stays over as much as he does. He is here all the time after they go to bed so they don't think a thing about it, and when he does stay over he is gone 99% of the time before they get up.
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