I have recently started dating a work colleague (he is 42 & I am 32) and he has a 12year old son. We have known each other for 4years but have only been dating for 2months. In that time we have grown very close and he has been wanting me to meet his son for sometime. I like him so much that I feel like he could be the one but at the same time I feel so scared because I don't know if I a ready to take on a teenager.
My partner seems to have a good relationship with his ex. From what I understand, they separated when his son was 3. They have not been to court to arrange custody and have worked everything out together. The child stays at my partners house on Tuesday night, Thursday night, Saturday night and Sunday day so we tend to only see each other on Sunday night, Monday night and Friday night.
The weird thing is, that they take the child on holiday together. Last summer they took him to Florida and in October my partners mother is taking them all on a cruise. This has had the biggest effect on me as I feel really jealous, confused, hurt and worried about this and I don't really know why. I wasn't with him when they went to Florida but I am with him now and the thought of them going on a happy family holiday together in 7months time makes me feel really uncomfortable. My partner thinks that it is good for his son to have this but I feel that this will be so confusing for him. Suddenly I come into their lives and his parents no longer go on holiday with him.
According to my partner, his ex has had several relationships which his son has witnessed and he did not want this for his son so I am the first girl he will have brought into his sons life.
So, I met his son (& his ex) for the first time on Saturday. His ex knows we have started dating. His ex and the child picked me and my partner up from his house to drop me home and to drop him and the child into town (this is because my partner doesn't drive and I didn't have my car because we had been drinking the night before). I felt extremely nervous meeting them to the point I felt sick and although my partner felt like it went well I felt like it was horrible and I am sure his son really didn't like me. My partner thinks that I am paranoid about this. Maybe I am but I don't really know how to converse with children especially 12 year old boys and he seemed quiet, withdrawn and I am sure that if looks could kill I would be dead.
Anyway , he has introduced me as his friend. I didn't think that this was the right way to go about it as firstly I didn't think it was good for me to be at his dad's house without his presence (he must have thought that was weird) and secondly I don't know if it's right to lie to him and pretend that we are just friends. I can understand why my partner doesn't want to introduce me as his gf in some ways because obviously if it doesn't work out then it probably won't have as much of an impact on him but at the same time he is 12 (turning 13 in a few weeks time) and isn't stupid. Anyway this is what my partner wanted and I respect his decision as he is the parent and knows whats best for his son.
I really want to get to know his son and for his son to like me. I don't want to be his mother or to try to be his best friend but I would like to be a part of his life as he is such a big part of my partners life. I don't really know what I am doing here or the best way to go about all this. I don't have kids and I can only imagine how hard this will be for the child. He clearly has an extremely close relationship with his dad and suddenly I am invading this and taking him away for him. Of course I don't want to do that but I am sure that this is how he will feel.
I normally go to my partners house at 8:30pm on Sunday but apparently his son who normally goes back to his mothers house around 6pm will not be going back until around 9:30/10pm this Sunday but my partner still wants me to come round at 8:30 as normal. He has told his son that I will treat them to a mcdonalds so the plan is that I am going to pick them up from his house at 8:30 and drive us all to mc'ds. I find myself feeling nervous and anxious about all of this so any advice would be much appreciated. Am I worrying unnecessarily?
Thank you for listening x
If you feel like you aren't ready to spend time with your dp's son, it's okay to speak up and say so. Your dp doesn't get to make that decision on his own just because it is his son-you need to have a say in it. It sounds like you aren't quite ready to do that yet-but then, it also sounds like you have mixed feelings about it because you want to kind of jump to the part where you are the long term gf and the son is used to you and likes you :) Which is normal, to not be sure what your role is and how involved to be, etc., but perhaps some more time would make you feel more sure of yourself and your relationship. Especially since your dp introduced you as a "friend" as opposed to a "girlfriend," I think it makes sense to only spend occasional time with the son for now.
As for the vacation thing...honestly, I think it's nice that they get along well enough to do that and I bet it's a nice thing for the son to enjoy. I doubt it's confusing for him since his parents have been apart so long. I've been in your shoes, so I can definitely understand why it would be stressful for you, but I do think this is one instance you should just deal with it and trust your partner ( assuming there is no other reason not to, of course). I wouldn't want to date someone now who would be suspicious or overly jealous about that sort of thing (I'm not planning on vacationing with ex anymore, but we do spent time all together for bdays/special events).
Thank you for your response it is much appreciated. I met my dp's son on Sunday and it went really well. He is a really nice lad and it has made me feel so much better about the whole situation. I understand now that they had a life before I came on the scene and I have to fit into it rather than try to change it. I am glad that my dp gets along with his ex as otherwise it could be much more difficult. At first I did feel worried about this, I suppose I felt a little like the other woman splitting up an already happy family but I have told my dp exactly how I feel and he has been really understanding and kind to me about it. He assures me that they split along time ago and that their relationship is purely platonic. I believe him and feel like this, if anything has only brought us closer together. We are planning to take things slower, introducing me to his son over time for short periods so that we both get used to each other. Although I still have some natural anxieties about this completely new experience I now have a really good feeling about the future.
Thank you again for all your advice and for taking the time to read and respond.
God bless u xx