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I Want Nothing To Do With His Kids

LoveLoner's picture

I’m in a relationship with a guy who has been divorced for 6 years and has 50% custody of his 2 sons. We’ve been seeing each other for 9 months now and he’s hinting at marriage. Even though he suggested I do, I have no interest in meeting his children. I have been putting this off for a good 2-3 months. I will never accept being a step parent. I don't want them to call me mom or even think of me as anything close to it. Outside of just being cordial and giving them food and a warm bed whenever they’re in my home, I have no intention of ever being involved in his children’s lives. They have a mother and I really don’t see the need for me to volunteer to be anything extra. I will not go to their birthday parties, graduations, weddings… no thanks. I will not take them to extracurricular activities or pick them up from school. I will also not be involved in their discipline. Their parents need to work all of those matters out by themselves, which they seemingly already do.

I don’t understand why step parenting has to be forced upon someone, especially if the children still have both biological parents. I have been transparent with him about how I feel and he’s convinced that all I have to do is meet them and I’ll feel differently enough to want to have a relationship with them. I don’t think so. People keep telling me that my boyfriend is a package deal but I’m a package deal too… a much lighter package. It’s not as if I don’t want him to spend time with his children because that’s fine – I just don’t want to participate. I know that he has kids and he knows that I don’t. So why can’t he accept me for who I am in the same way that I’m expected to accept him?

LoveLoner's picture

... because the thought of having to fraternize with his ex wife grosses me out and I never want her in my presence.

LoveLoner's picture

How does that equate with being grown up? Grown ups have the luxury of picking who we do and don't want to be around. The fact someone goes against the popular grain and choses to exercise that makes them quite the adult.

smomofone's picture

You can go against the grain all you want but it doesn't stop the fact that he is a dad and has responsibilities. No one is telling you to hop into bed with the BM but how can you marry a man that has kids and not even MEET them. I mean how old are his kids anyways?

And lastly any man that marries a woman that won't even meet the kids, isn't really a man in my book. You as an individual have the right to say NO I don't want to be around your children or even meet them or anything to do with them, but I can see a whole lot of problems in your future if you insist on being with a man who has children.

LoveLoner's picture

I'm a bit of a loner and I actually appreciate time by myself. Our finances would be completely separate, I'd have it no other way. He can spend cold Christmases with his kids while I can be tanning somewhere in the Carribean lol. Just kidding but not really...

yolo222's picture

If you knew how you felt I'm not sure why you would want to even date someone with kids. You sound like someone who needs to date someone without children. I doubt u will change your mind after you meet the kids.

LoveLoner's picture

I am 40 and the kids are 13 and 8. I've been very careful to not have children and I didn't have any, I'm definitely not about to raise anyone else's.

yolo222's picture

It might be harder go u to find someone without kids at your age. But maybe someone with older kids would be better for u. Now why would u not go to a wedding or graduation??? I mean u would go for a cousin or friend. Why not your boyfriends kids. I think deep down u just don't even want to deal with these kids in any manner. And if u r gonna be with your SO you will have to deal with them to some extent

LoveLoner's picture

I just don't see myself having an interest in their lives. It crosses a line for me that doesn't exist with friends or real family.

Acratopotes's picture

I think she says - if you date a guy with young minor children..... you have to accept the Dad will put his kids first and there's no way you can date the guy without ever meeting his kids.... minor kids are part of the deal so to speak

and if she's not up for it she should maybe date a guy without kids

Disneyfan's picture

That's sick.

I don't care who the kids look like or who they act like. For a parent to say he/she isn't a part of their own children is crazy.

OP, your boyfriend would have to be a fool to go forward with this marriage. He would be better off to just continue dating you. That way his two worlds never have to mingle.

AJanie's picture

I agree, either date casually or split. I know plenty of people do not agree but I feel it is detrimental to a relationship to not at least TRY to embrace your partner's kids, whether that be as a friend/cool aunt or uncle figure/parental figure. Cold and cordial or completely detached would have never worked for DH. If I were a parent I would also expect my partner to be accepting of my children. I don't see how it can be any other way if you truly love your kids.

SimplicitySeeker's picture

I'm a man in pretty much the same position as you, I differ somewhat as I have met the girlfriends son. That said we are just cordial with greetings and that's about it, I understand your situation. My advice is read through this forum and see the suffering you will consequently put on yourself should you take it further. I did and as such have disengaged totally, I didn't attend his graduation or see him on his 21st, I have never received a warm welcome, go where you are welcome.
BTW my previous girlfriend had 4 children and the situation was totally different, each situation will vary.

smomofone's picture

I think you also have the fact that your GF's Son is over 21. This guys kids are still young. Young enough that if mom croaked or was unfit, they would be with dad in a heartbeat.

melissa325i's picture


I have a little different perspective and experience. I respect that you know what you want and have been clear with bf.
Every parent has a blind spot where their children are concerned, they truly believe that anyone will love them (their kids) given the opportunity.
That is simply not true, there are women and men who have chosen to be childless for a number of reasons.
I chose childlessness because I didn't want the responsibility.
I did marry a man with a child and unfortunately (despite our pre marital counseling and long talks about my unwillingness to parent) I still have to be involved to a degree. Skid ruins movies, vacations and tranquility of a home, just FYI
It feels like your bf doesn't take your choices and perspective seriously.
It's your life, be happy and live it the way you want.

uofarkchick's picture

Again, where in the hell have you been all my life? Why couldn't you have screamed this in my face 10 years ago? Ugh!
Please write a book or pamphlet or blog with advice for desperate women. Please!

JustMee's picture

Skids becoming 100% full time is a very real possibility.... it happened to me 1 year into the relationship with my SO. The BM died and her family have little to no interest in SS6. SS is in our care 99% of the time.
On top of all that my SO actually wanted (me) to homeschool SS!!! I don't homeschool because I do not want that responsibility.. but you really never can predict what will happen, when it will happen and the consequences to your life.

TwelveLongYrs79's picture

Happened to me! Didn't see SDrama for about 5 years because of PAS and Skankula just being an overall a-hole. No money for an attorney, etc., etc.
Then we started seeing her again, found out her SF was abusive to both her and her mother, living in one room in Skankula's FIL's house with 3 other kids. DH filed for emergency custody that Monday.

Congrats! It's a girl! A damaged, hateful, selfish girl. Things have gotten much better...but I NEVER thought DH would gain custody of her. EVER.

And there you go. 5 years and counting, we still have her. And she'll graduate and move onto adulthood (God-willing, something we've said has stuck) in our house.
So do not think it won't happen. Because I certainly didn't...

Acratopotes's picture

I am on your side .....

simply tell your boyfriend you might reconsider marriage when both his kids are out of house and out of pocket,
you might change your mind when kids are adults about attending functions or inviting them over.... the skids might be decent people one day.

But till they are in house and in pocket, you keep your own place and your own money and do not get involved in their lives, they never come to your place, you go over there, so be it if skids are there for visitation, this way they know you are in their Dad's life and you will see what sort of parent your boyfriend is. If he's a Disney Dad... run be on your own, if he's a true parent, hang in there time will fly.... but when you visit boyfriend you act like a guest, you do not cook and you do not clean.....

Acratopotes's picture

just remember not to waste to much time on this page Hon......

if you are not sure about this guy, walk away.....

whoistojudge's picture

I understand your feelings but I am afraid that the possibility of you having a successful marriage and not even meeting his kids is a slim bet.

I thought I could handle it because my SS wouldn't be with us 24/7. Well guess what ? He lives with us full-time, and it's more difficult than I could have imagined.
I knew it was a possibility but nothing could have truly prepared me for it.

I have disengaged to an extent. I do not discipline, babysit, take him to his appointments. But I feed him every night. Sit at the dinner table talking about tween stuff. We all go to church together. We go to family functions together. There is no way I could disengage further without it being detrimental to my SS or to my relationship with my SO.

It is a tremendous sacrifice.
I have grown bio children. You don't feel the same way about stepchildren.
I also worked with kids for over a decade. I thought I was prepared.

I appreciate that you know what you want but you are only asking for heartache if you continue down this road.
You either have to decide to have at least a distant relationship with his children and see if you can live with that or move on in my opinion.

Best of luck to you.

LoveLoner's picture

I just don't want to care for some other woman's kids. I guess that's the bottom line. Thank you for your insight.

Disneyfan's picture

I agree that there is nothing wrong with her feelings.

However, I think it's wrong to marry a man with children when you have those feelings. My opinion would be different if the kids had done something to make the OP feel the way she does.

There is also nothing wrong with her boyfriend's feelings on this.

LoveLoner's picture

This post is so enlightening! Thanks for helping me really look deeper into this. I already ask him hard questions but I'll definitely ask more. I'll ask myself as well.

LoveLoner's picture

I believe that he really does love me and I love him. I just also believe that I have to protect myself from the very beginning. I live a certain way and I'm not going to let a couple of strangers interrupt that. This is also my first time dating a man with kids so maybe I'm paranoid about a few things but I'd rather be over armed than under.

hereiam's picture

He has 50/50 custody, you've been dating him nine months, yet never met the kids?

How could either of you even be thinking about marriage? You barely know each other.

Not to mention, they could be total brats and he could be a horrible parent, which would affect you and your relationship. Why would you not want to see what dynamic you might be getting into?


LoveLoner's picture

We've actually knows each other for years. We lost touch and reconnected after the fact.

LoveLoner's picture

That's the point of my post. Of course I'd have to meet them eventually but why must step parenting have to be automatic? I just don't subscribe to that notion.

moeilijk's picture

And that is the crux of your conundrum. You wish the world were different so you could have what you want. But that's not how it is.

You want this guy, without kids. Or with kids but kids that you can have nothing to do with, and that having nothing to do with his kids will have zero effect on your relationship with him.

You wish things were different. But they're not. So you have to decide how you want to navigate your choices, but none of those choices include this man with no kids.

Rags's picture

If this is your stance then do this man and his kids a favor and move on. Heck, do youself a favor and move on. And when you do .... never again date a man with children.

I actually do not agree with the package deal mentality. The relationship is between two adults. Any kids in the picture are not a party to that relationship though they certainly benefit from it and are the top responsibility for the adults in that relationship.

That said...... why would a parent remain in a relationship with someone who ignores such a significant part of the parent's life?

Peridwen's picture

So why can’t he accept me for who I am in the same way that I’m expected to accept him?

In short: He is. You are not accepting that he has kids who will be included in his life. He is not accepting that you have no desire to be around children in any way. Neither of you are wholly accepting each other.

You are asking that he live double lives. One with you alone and one with his kids alone. How long will it be before you start resenting the time he spends away from you? How long before he starts resenting having to choose at holidays or showing up to family events alone? And by family events I mean parent/sibling birthdays, reunions, etc which all would have his children included and you have said you will not attend because of his kids.

It's a good thing that you know yourself well enough to be sure you don't want to be around kids at all. That's healthy to have that kind of self-knowledge. But you should also accept that you are not the kind of person who should be involved with a parent. And HE is not the kind of man who should be involved with a woman who doesn't care for kids because he cannot accept that his partner won't immediately love his kids.

LoveLoner's picture

Great insight. I haven't given much thought to the both of us not fully accepting each other.

twoviewpoints's picture

The guy has been divorced six years and has his children 50% of the time. Has he had numerous GFs the last six years doing his parenting for him. Shipped them off to Gma's during his 15dys a mother? Or has he been involved and actively parenting his own children himself?

You're given nothing in this entire posting/replies to comments that suggest what makes you think you're being asked to be instant super stepmom playing happy homemaker dashing kids off here and there. You haven't even meet them in nine months. He has them 50%. Obviously someone besides you are now doing all those pesky parenting things. Is it him?

Just because the man believes you may actually like the kids if you would actually meet them, doesn't mean he has visions of you in an apron, baking cookies and helping with homework. Someone is already, and has been all along, doing those mundane 'motherly' aka parenting roles.

ETA: Or is that the real problem. Being a 50% father and actually parenting and raising his children interferes with how you'd rather he spend all that time parenting actually involves takes away his time and energy from just being your husband? Because if that's the case, this isn't the guy for you. He has an eight yr old and a thirteen year old that he actively parents 50% of the time. They'll have school activities, boring needs such as homework and disgusting times of sniffles and coughs that requires plans being cancelled. If the issue bottomlines into he will be an active busy parent and not agreeing to cut drastically cut back his custodial status to accommodate a new wife and her preferred lifestyle, then let this guy go now. He's not the one for you. No wrong of him nor wrong of you, just two people being in different places and lifestyles to be seriously successful together as a couple.

smomofone's picture

I haven't read any of the responses yet so sorry if this was pointed out already but:

"So why can’t he accept me for who I am in the same way that I’m expected to accept him?"

To be fair, you aren't accepting him as a package deal either. To be honest, I think you need a man without kids. You are nine months into a relationship and the guy wants to marry you, yet you wont even meet his kids, that just spells all kinds of wrong to me. Not that you won't meet the kids but that he wants to marry you.

Are you going to be ok with him essentially having 2 separate lives?

Piper's picture

Piper piping in....

New member here, but veteran stepmom -- 20+ years + 8 dating prior to marriage. DH has 4 children (adults now); me no bio children. Married about the same age as you, LoveLoner, and while I was able to really get to know the SKs before marriage, I knew I was a bit of an independent soul who believed there would be enough alone time for my needs and relationship needs with DH and that the feeling of it not fitting in would get better
with time. It really doesn't.

Lots of good and realistic advice for you in prior posts and from your personal friends, but I would just like to reiterate a few things:

If he loves his children, they will always be his priority.

Even if you were able to agree have a separate life without being involved with his kids, it would not be a good situation for you ever. His children will always be his first priority and always a major part of his life. Sickness; need a ride; ball games and practices, recitals, graduations, birthdays, holidays, vacations -- you name it. Life events that children should expect to share with their bio parents will come and OFTEN. Not to mention just phone calls or spontaneous visits when they are older. Plans get changed, dinners put on hold, you standing around waiting for your turn. It is just the way it is. And your guy will talk about his children, their lives, their calls, their plans or he will repress it and that is not good either for your relationship. And the issues change as time goes on and on.

Trust the veteran voices on this site.... if you know now that you do not want to be involved with an SO's children or BM, please do not commit long term or allow cohabitation. Truly, I feel, like others, you would be much happier and they would be much happier if you find someone without children. The children should have their dad's attention, especially at such young ages and vice versa. IMO it would be a no win situation for everyone.

still learning's picture

Your lifestyles are incompatible. Why are you both trying to force this relationship?