In the beginning... how to do this right - Mothering Forums

  • 2 Post By rightkindofme
  • 1 Post By Mummoth
Thread Tools
#1 of 4 Old 09-01-2014, 04:25 AM - Thread Starter
lilgreen's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 4,131
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 67 Post(s)
In the beginning... how to do this right

Maybe I'm jumping the gun to post this in here, but it makes sense to me to ask you all who have btdt.

My partner (childless) and I are ready for him to meet my 3 boys (ages 12, 9, 5). My marriage ended over 2 years ago, the kids are with me 50%, and my partner and I have been together pretty seriously for 6 months. About 5 months ago I told the kids I was seeing someone while they're at their dad's but only if/when I feel it's serious and longterm would I have them meet him.

Ds2 and Ds3 have both said they want to meet him and ask me lots of questions about him.

Ds1 (who has had a life of problems with emotional regulation, partly related to the abuse from his father) is not happy at all that I'm seeing someone. His father introduced his gf and son right away, and only about 6 months after separation. He called her his 'friend' and when ds1 clued in, he felt really betrayed. She was kind to them, but he would often freak out when he came to me screaming that his dad ruined his life and that she's trying to be his mom and he hates it.

In one of our conversations about his dad, I promised ds1 that I would never do what my ex did - introduce a partner right away like he did and try to hide the fact that we were dating. BUT ds1 took my promise to mean that I would never date anyone. Ugh.

So, how do I do this successfully? Do we wait for any of the kids to meet him? Do we plan a fun activity and invite them all but don't push ds1 if he doesn't want to come? Do I have my partner over for a movie night or board game but allow ds1 to hideout in his room?

I'm scared of making matters worse for ds1. He is starting highschool as soon as the teaching strike ends here, so it's a significant time in his life and i don't want bad associations.

Which all makes it sound like we should wait for ds1's sake. But, I'm finding it so difficult to keep up the two lives. I feel it would be so much easier for all if we could just merge the two, even if just a little. And ds2 and ds3 ask a lot of questions and have asked several times to meet him.

How did you do it? Anyone introduce a partner at different times to different kids? Where did you do it? What were your considerations? If you could re-do it, what would you do differently?

Thank you!
lilgreen is offline  
Sponsored Links
#2 of 4 Old 09-01-2014, 05:01 AM
rightkindofme's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 4,671
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 53 Post(s)
I'm not in a blended situation, but I used to teach high school and I worked with a lot of kids going through such transitions. The better boundaries a parent has the better the kids do. "I am allowed to date. I will be respectful of your limits and boundaries to a fair degree, but you do not get to run my life."

I would sit all three boys down and talk to them and say, "I am dating someone. It is long-term enough and serious enough that I think it is time for you to meet him. We could do it under a variety of settings. What feels most comfortable to you? I know you might have some reservations, please feel free to share them with me. Then give him a chance. You don't know him yet. Get to know him before you judge."

I talked to a lot of moms about this situation. The boys who had moms who laid it down firmly adjusted and were more respectful of women in general, in my experience.

I hope it goes well for you. Congratulations on finding a new person to date.

My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.

rightkindofme is offline  
#3 of 4 Old 09-01-2014, 03:42 PM
Mummoth's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,612
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 28 Post(s)
My kids were 5 and 7 and with me 100% of the time when they met their step-dad, and they were both excited to get to know him. My son is now 12 and I think it would be a completely different scenario if they were meeting now.

For a setting, I would pick something like meeting your partner at a park. The kids can alternate between being busy on the playground and interacting directly with him, as their comfort level dictates. The younger ones will want to show him what they can do, and might ask him (or he might see an opportunity to offer) to push them on the swing or something like that. I might arrange a meal that requires a little more interaction, like bringing a pile of sandwich stuff and everyone can build theirs the way they like it at the park. If your 12 year old is anything like mine, food will bring him to the table, guaranteed.

If you think he might be rude to your partner, I'd lay down the law about needing to be courteous with him, the same way he would be to anyone. My son had an attitude about my ex's girlfriend for a while and I told him that he doesn't need to like her but it'll make his life easier to at least be polite with her. I might say something like "I'd appreciate if you would keep an open mind about this." There's definitely a balance to be found between pressuring too much contact and being so laid back that he doesn't even give your partner a chance.
rightkindofme likes this.
Mummoth is offline  
#4 of 4 Old 09-01-2014, 06:54 PM
laura163's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: midwest
Posts: 482
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
I can't help with any of your questions but I am glad to see you happy! I followed your story on PaP and I am glad to hear you are doing well.

teens are pretty self absorbed and now that it has been 2 years since your divorce, I would assume he is more relaxed about a lot of things (vs 6 months after the split).
laura163 is offline  

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

Online Users: 8,991

19 members and 8,972 guests
abi1212 , artume______ , EdanaRae , jamesmorrow , joandsarah77 , katelove , Leelee3 , Lucee , Lydia08 , Malisha , mumofacub , RollerCoasterMama , sciencemum , sren , superseeps , tecmarchi5 , zebra15
Most users ever online was 449,755, 06-25-2014 at 12:21 PM.