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How to handle the situation?

newbeginnings's picture

My partner has two children under the age of ten. We have been discussion moving in together, but I have yet to meet his children. I am very concerned about how to move forward as he has not informed his ex-wife, nor children that we are "an item". There's a relatively large age difference between the two of us, and I am worried about how how his ex will cope with the situation. They have a rather strained relationship already and they are still battling over custody(they've been divorced less than a year). I know how important his children are to him and I really don't want them to feel as if I'm "stealing" their father. I am willing to wait as long as it takes for the rest of the family to get used to the idea of us living together, hopefully without straining the relationship I have have with my partner. It's very important to me to try and move forward in a way that does not offend his ex-wife or upset his children. I have tried to ask him about how to precede, but he sais he doesn't really know how to tell his ex and that he's worried that she and her sister will try to ruin the relationship he has with his kids( they are both very meddling, tries to keep him away from his children and undermine him as a parent.).Any help or tips would be appreciated!

kaikicking's picture

Run for the hills. If you have not met his kids and at the very least the ex doesn't know about you. This is set-up to fail. One thing I learned you will always upset the ex.

newbeginnings's picture

Thank you so much for your reply! I have been worried about how things would progress, and discussing custody, he's told me he want's his kids to feel secure about where they're going to live before dropping "big news" on them. I do understand that, but at the same time it's frustrating, as I am so emotionally involved! He recently moved into a new apartment( the one we'll be sharing), and we've decorated the kids room together. He's told me that his daughter has been acting out lately, which was shortly after me and him started posting on each others facebook wall(still facebook friends with his ex). I'm not sure if that's a part of the natural progress of children going through a divorce or his ex "whispering" in his daughters ear.. I am definitely all for meeting the kids, I've heard so much about them and would really like to meet them, but at the moment, his ex has them 90% of the time, and when she doesn't have them, he feels like he needs to spend alone time with them. He's Canadian and doesn't have any family nearby, so I think that's a factor for why he's so afraid of upsetting his ex, meaning her trying to keep the kids away from him more than she already is..

newbeginnings's picture

Thank you for your reply! I am very certain that no matter what I do, I will end up as the evil SM. I'm just trying to find a way to avoid it, but as time goes by and the more he tells me about her, it wouldn't even surprise me if she tried to convince their children I'm the reason they got divorced in the first place, just to make our lives miserable and create as much distance between my boyfriend and his kids as possible! That being said, I am certain that my boyfriend wants us to move in together as now a days we're spending most of our free time decorating and planning the move in. The last piece of the puzzle is dealing with the kids an ex-wife.. I get the insecurity and his fears of having his ex deliberately trying to destroy the relationship he has with his kids, but still.. I don't know what to tell him to make him feel more secure that things will eventually work out.

kaikicking's picture

It sounds all too familiar. I am not a fan of my ex husband but one thing he did do when he met his gf now his dw he let it be known and he wasn't going to play any games. I wish my dh had those kinds of balls. He is passive and all about apeasement. Worrying about ruffling ex feathers when he should be worried about mine.

newbeginnings's picture

Thank you so much for your advice, I'll bring it up with him! I do want to be respectful and understanding, but it's not a great feeling to always have to be the one to understand.

herewegoagain's picture

OK, sorry, my advice? RUN.

1. he doesn't know how to tell his ex?
a.sorry, he 1st doesn't have to tell her a thing, it is NOT her business
b. if he wants to tell her, he can GROW SOME BA#$%#LS first

2. seems YOUR are more worried about the EX, the kids and everyone else's well being than YOUR OWN
a. guess what? NOBODY in that family gives a HOOT about YOUR WELL BEING, not even your BF
b. if you start off trying to please them all, just know they will ALWAYS expect it and YOU my dear, will be at the bottom of the pole

Sorry, but I think your BF needs to grow some balls first, get his shit together and then maybe, you can determine if you wait. Meanwhile, I think YOU need to start living your own life and try to find someone else.

newbeginnings's picture

I agree, I don't have any children of my own, but I know that if I was a mother I would like to know who was around my children! That being said, I am unwilling to "bend over backwards" to make her feel secure or what not. I am willing to try and be sivil and form some kind of relationship, if not just accepting one another, but I refuse to be "squeezed out" by excuses or/ and her moods. Time will tell how problematic things will develop..

fedup13's picture

^^THIS^^ 100%!!!!!! especially on the pleasing them all and then them always expecting it from you and then ending up at the bottom of the totem pole. I LIVE this, with a no balls wonder, don't do it.

herewegoagain's picture

PS-he knows his crazy ex better than you...but YOU think everything will work out...sorry, if he KNOWS his ex is that crazy and his kids are already freaking out without knowing, guess what? Your BF has NO BALLS and KNOWS that things will NOT just work out...if he EVER thought that they would just work out, he would have had no problem telling them the truth by now.

fedup13's picture

"Your future is the misery written all over these boards. You think you can avoid chaos and think you find the right way to go about this, but everything concerning your relationship, his ex, and his children all depend completely on your guy"

A huge amen to this one.

"You are going to live your relationship in miserable second place to all of them while all he cares about is their feelings/reactions/etc. How do I know that? Because that is what is happening right now and because that is what normally happens. Read these pages and see how often SMs say they hate their skids. Practically every single time, it is their husband's/boyfriend's fault"

How do I know this is true? Because this is what is happening to me as well, and she is right, it is what normally happens.

newbeginnings's picture

Thank you for your comment! I don't think of it as harsh, but more of getting to know how others have experienced simular experiences. We have both agreed that, in the event of his children being disrespectful, there won't be much "understanding", in the sense that I have worked with children for years and I simply won't tolerate being disrespected. I was very clear on that from the beginning of us talking about moving in together and problems that might occur, and he knows how I would deal with it(being consistent, time out etc..), and agreed that in case there were to be some kind of "situation", he would back me up 100%. I have been very clear about trying to respect boundaries in regards to his relationship with his kids and not interfere if he's parenting them how ever he think's is fit, as long as it doesn't have anything to do with me. We do have that kind of relationship where we can speak our mind freely, without judgement, so I don't think it would be a problem if I were to utter concerns about the progress with his kids and his ex. At the same time, after getting advice from the forum, I have decided to have a "proper" talk with him ASAP regarding the situation. I have been very understanding, but I do not wish for some kind of pattern to be formed where I alway have to be understanding and take the back seat..

fedup13's picture

Very good advice. I do hope the OP is listening. I would have given anything to have found this site while still at the stage she is. We are not over reacting, over dramatizing, or just bad with kids, this is our real lives and we live this Hell and I would not want anyone else to go thru what I have. DH is just like you said, he ignores EVERYTHING so as to not upset his son, because being his best buddy is what is most important.

fedup13's picture

Yep, it really is a huge shock to see the insanity that goes on when all you have ever been around is normal non nuts parents. It does take a while for it all to really sink in and for you to start realizing how bad it is, and like you said, by then, at least for me, it was too late, I was in too deep, and to this day, three years later, I still get new shocks because things have just gotten even more insane and more ridiculous and DH is still a Disneyland Daddy Extraordinaire.

silentnites's picture

Many terrific comments, it seems we all agree. Do not move in. You must not make any decisions until you have all of the facts, and know all of the players involved.

Remember, God forbid something happen to the bm, the children would be on your doorstep. Our situations can change sometimes without warning. You should get to know the kids and then make your decision on whether or not the family is something you want to take on.

Good luck!

giveitago's picture

Never be a 'dirty little secret'. From what I gather it's less than a year since they split up so I can imagine it's still raw for those involved. I read somewhere that it takes guys longer to recover from a divorce, they do not have the same social networks and support as us women...also they tend to be much more in denial. it's entirely possible that the kids think daddy is working away! You never can tell with some folks.
I say begin creating boundaries of your own. Let him know that you are not going to hide away, if he wants you in his life then he has to make that statement to EVERYONE!
I get that it's a first impression type thing when you first meet SKids, for all of you, and sometimes folks stress out about it. I can understand some reluctance on his part to dissapoint his kids, by not being the huge part of their lives that he was. It's a big adjustment for them too. Where I draw the line personally is, if after a whole year things have not changed any then they are never going to.
The reason I give a year as a landmark is that it is the time period where stuff like Christmases, birthdays, anniversaries etc. are missed out on for the first time and there's a period of acceptance that it's not going to be the same. A grief period, if you like, only the other person is still alive. Added to that there are going to be feelings of guilt, like what else could I have done? Etc.
Give your OWN self a time period, say up to a year from the date you met him? Try not to stress too much about it and let him go through his process, or know him and I do not. Suggest, after that time period you feel is best, that you are looking forward to things improving once people are better informed about how things are going to be. I hope and pray that your BM is not the psycho from hell as so many of us have experienced on here!
I wish you luck.

ltman's picture

you're early 20's and he's in his mid to late 30's.

1. If all 3 of you are FB posting on the same pages, the ex knows about you. He's either really in denial or not telling you the truth. Even if you are posting innocuous stuff, she knows and if you all live close enough has probably followed you home and Googled you a time or two.

1.a. since they are in a custody battle, it isn't too far removed to think an investigator has already uncovered your relationship and has photos of you and BF.

2. Don't waste your youth waiting for someone older to get his shit together. It will NEVER happen.

3. There will never be the perfect time to tell all parties.

4. The ex and sil will always use the children as pawns in their war with exH. No matter what you do, YOU will always be THE ENEMY. Especially if she is over 35.