Hi all, Bf and I have been together a year. STBX and I separated 2 yrs ago and the divorce has taken a long time but is nearly done. BF and I are like soulmates, I never thought I'd connect so much with someone. He is awesome with my kids and they adore him. We have taken several trips together and it's like we are a family. My children are young. His are teenagers, so he's looking at an empty nest on the horizon. We really function like a family when he is here, which is most weekends and sometimes during the week. He babysits when my nanny is unavailable.
Here's the thing: He likes things as they are but he is not sure if he is up for the stepdad role. He might be, but he is not sure. If he were really up for it and excited about it, I would definitely want him to be my kids' step dad, he's so great with them, but obviously he'd have to be really into it.
I know there needs to be a time period in which he feels it out and decides if he's up for it. I really get that it's a big decision, and it would involve a longterm commitment to the kids.
There isn't a rush exactly. But on the other hand, my kids are getting really attached to him. Last night I was with my 3 kids and we talked about how we are a foursome now, but we used to be a fivesome (with Daddy), and one of my kids piped up -"But now we are again!" Meaning bf. This gives me a pang, since I know that for bf, there is no five yet.
I do not want to artificially back off bf's time with the kids, things are what they are, and frankly I can't afford to pay a babysitter for all of my bf time. I do not want to rush bf, because his process is what it is. The worst outcome would be him hastily committing but not really being ready.
OTOH I feel anxious because there's a disconnect between how we feel when we are together (including how the kids feel with him) and the level of commitment he has to the family (none yet, although he does care about us all deeply).
Do I just need to be patient? What does it take for a potential step-parent to realize they are ready--I realize it will be different for everyone, but I'm curious about stories and patterns. Do my kids need me to put a limit on how long the decision period lasts?
Please don't flame me for introducing the kids to bf before we are married, that is just not how my life has gone and I do not need any moralizing. Please respond if you have life experience and or thoughtful reflections on my situation. Thank you.