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Blending a family with co-sleepers

Strebor's picture

So my DP wants me to move in with him and his children, issue for me is that he co-sleeps with his 6 year old daughter and 8 year old son and is saying for half the week he has them I would have to sleep in one of the children's unslept in beds as there is just not enough room for us all. I have not yet said anything to him but I have an issue with this as I can't move into a house where I am kicked out of what is supposed to be my bed for half the week. I don't want to appear to be giving him an ultimatum and telling him he cant sleep with his kids and I don't want him feel like he has to chose between us but this is a deal breaker for me. Am I being unreasonable or does anyone have any advice or similar issues? 

shamds's picture

In their own rooms. You are supposed to be his intimate partner yet he wants you kicked out of your joint bedroom into the kids bedroom while they sleep in master bedroom with daddy. What does that say to his kids?

That you are beneath them in importance and it doesn't model appropriate relationship behaviours. This deal will kill any romance and you will start resenting him.

my husband is very clear even on holidays that his kids from exwife are not permitted in our bedroom, that is my personal private space and the place we are frequently intimate together and he will not allow his kids from exwife to interfere in those private boundaries.

you need to make it clear to this man that you will not be moving in with him as his intimate partner only to be kicked out to a kiddy bedroom whilst he cosleeps with his 6 & 8 yr old daughter and son. There are plenty of men out there that wouldn't stupidly make this a term of moving in together. 

the only kids who should sleep in that room is a baby of that relationship or minor kids and i mean toddlers if there is space. Kids not part of that relationship need to understand daddy has a partner or spouse now and they share this private room with their intimate partner or spouse.

this man needs to be actively training his kids to sleep in their own room or when they're sick and then move to your bedroom once kids fall asleep. It's unacceptable you be sleeping separately half the week. Why bother getting into an intimate relationship or move in together??

Stressed19's picture

This is a ClEAR indication of the disrespect and undermining of you!!!!! You will REGRET, this is only the beginning of you being second best if that !!

Say NO and stay in your home!!!!!! Go out and enjoy multiple friendships, find a man the values and respects you as his significant other!!! 


SeeYouNever's picture

My SD cosleep until 10. Neither DH or BM would do anything about it. It finally ended when BM got remarried.

Obviously I wasn't going to do anything but I didn't want SD to think that it was okay to sleep in a bed with a parent and an unrelated adult.

If my DH was going to co-sleep he would do it in SD's room with her not kick me out of our bed.

lala-land's picture

When I met my DH 23 years ago, his 3 children (aged SD3, SS5 and SD9) co-slept with both parents).  I informed my DH at that time," I don't sleep with children", which seemed like a reasonable statement from a non-related adult.   That ended that issue, although it took a year to get them to quit banging on the closed bedroom door to get them to stay in their own beds.  I almost lost my mind during that first year, given that I had a high stress job and was being woken up at least 3 times a night.   BM continued to cosleep with them well into their teen years, which has caused huge issues in their lives to this day.  So sleeping with children says more about your boyfriends needs and less about yours and the childrens needs.  I'm not sure why these parents are so against their children growing up and gaining some level of independence.

CajunMom's picture

for a partner. I don't think I'd even address this issue. I'd just tell him we aren't compatiable. Or, if you must....let him know why but don't let him gas light you into staying in that mess. 

No way a grown man doesn't realize what he's doing and saying when he tellls YOU, his partner, that YOU will leave HIS bed so his KIDS can sleep with him. He knows and he's clearly showing you the future with him. A life of hell. I say, run like hell. Just go read a few posts on this board and see what kind of behavior your partner is instilling in his kids. Behaviors that will negatively impact you for the rest of your life, should you choose to couple with this man.

hereiam's picture

This would not be the relationship for me.

is saying for half the week he has them I would have to sleep in one of the children's unslept in beds as there is just not enough room for us all.

I mean, he told you where you stand.

Strebor's picture

Thanks for all your replies, realised I posted twice by mistake but still good replies to both threads! 

I feel a bit more confident now about airing my views on this when he brings it up again. There is nothing more I love than getting in my bed at night and it makes me feel like I wouldn't even have a bed or any place in the house that would actually be my safe space that's just mine to escape to iyswim, I just didn't know if it was just me being mean about the kids sleeping with him so thanks for your views on this.

it's me and my kids who would be making all the a major adjustments moving to a different house with extra people in a different area and I think he needs to remember that and be doing what he can to make it easier for us all, including his own children.

justmakingthebest's picture

Take your time moving in and make sure those changes are made and established first. Otherwise it will be all your fault in the kids eyes and lead to even more problems that him wiping kids butts and co-sleeping. 

Honestly it doesn't matter "what a good man" he may seem to be, this behavior is throwing out ALL the red flags. 

Winterglow's picture

I can't see living with a pair of coddled babies going over too well with kids of that age. So they'll be doing chores, sticking ot schedule and seeing the other two being spoonfed and expected to do nothing to help around the house? Can't see that leading to a happy family.

My point is that you are not the only one who will be affected by a move so I'd think about the impact this would have on your own kids. This Disney daddy is going to put his own kids before his potential life partner ... how does he see your kids fitting in?

Definitely don't move in.

Strebor's picture

Thanks so much for all your advice, definitely made me think about things more than I would have had I not posted on here! A conversation needs to happen where I will say I'm not moving in unless he stops co-sleeping and bubdaries are in place and he needs to work towards that before I even start thinking about making that step. I've realised it's not me who should be sleeping alone, it's the the kids who should be sleeping alone!

Winterglow's picture

I'd also want the change in behaviour to last for 6 months-a year before I'd reconsider. If he only shows he can do it for a month or so, he'll slip back into his old ways once you move in. You also want his kids to start being responsible for themselvs and help around the house. And that is an absolute bare minimum.

Evil4's picture

I'm hoping someone can post the signs of the Disneyland Dad. I can't seem to find it. Anyway, I'm a veteran SM with the battle scars and YEARS of therapy to show for it. My SKs were infantilized and overly coddled just like your potential SO's kids. Another very important thing to keep in mind is to not make the mistake of counting down to 18. Coddled SKs do not meet milestones when their peers do. They don't get boyfriends/girlfriends when their peers do, if ever, so you can't count on them being out of the house and not rammed up Daddy's ass all the damn time. They don't move out, and you can quote me on that, and they don't drive when their peers do. You might want to find the Disneyland Dad signs on here or really read up on Steptalk because the co-sleeping and still wiping the kids' asses is only a symptom of an issue that has a very poor prognosis. In my experience, my DH fought tooth and nail to keep my SKs as helpless infants. Families like this have attachment issues and other kinds of issues that cause the parents to create the dynamic. Dads like my DH and likely your SO will sabotage any sign of healing or evolvement to knock things back into status quo. The onus will be put on you to suck it up and give up on having your needs met as a spouse. Also, given that your SKs are overly coddled and one of them is a girl, you will face Mini-Wife Syndrome. You will come dead last to a female child and believe me there is nothing more painful. If you say one word you'll be labelled as the "jealous SM" or mean or whatever other negative term there is for a SM. 

Merry's picture

Found it! (Which should tell you something about my day.)

Originally posted by Stalk Goddess thinkthrice:

1. Does your man allow co-sleeping with his children? (aka the kiddies routinely jump into bed with him at night)

2. Does he have to lie down with them to get them to sleep?

3. Do the children seem somehow "stunted" socially? Do they have poor hygiene habits, eating habits, bedtime habits?

4. Does your man subscribe to the "one big happy family" model? (expects you to love his children as much as or more than him)

5. Does your man have the "inability" to say no to his children?

6. Do his children seem overly "hyperactive" to you?

7. Does your man say "just relax; you worry too much" or "Everything will be just fine" if you bring up a legitimate concern

8. Do the children seem "overly needy" demanding that dad spend 24/7 with them?  Do they physically lay all over him and go bonkers when daddy steps out of their peripheral vision?

9. Are they unable to do age appropriate tasks or want dad to do things that could easily be done themselves?

10. Does dad seem overprotective of his children; unwilling to let them try things out on their own?

11. Has dad said things like "I don't want to make waves with the BM b/c it will affect the children" or "we'll take the high road" when faced with blatant BM stepping over boundaries.

12. Has dad said things to you like "you don't like my children" or "you're the adult here" or "my children are UNCOMFORTABLE with you" or "you're a child hater" or "my children are afraid of you" or "my children don't like you?"  This is code for you are able to see through the manipulation and the children don't like it. . . and frankly he doesn't like the fact that you can see through his children's manipulation either.  He'd rather look the other way as opposed to actually parenting because he might "lose" his children to the (almost always) PASinator BM.

If you can answer YES to ANY of these questions, get your sneakers ready to go.

Do you know your man's FINANCIAL situation? Do you know if he has massive left over marital debt? How high is his CS obligation? Have you seen the divorce decree or mediation agreement. Does it seem overly slanted in BM's favour?

Love and "understanding" simply does not cover it all. Especially in the case of stepmom is supposed to be "understanding" when all of her money goes to household expenses b/c almost all of biodad's money goes to CS.

How long would you be willing to float biodad should he lose a job and have massive CS obligations?

Strebor's picture

i'm actually very worried now about moving forward with this relationship and scared that i've made a mistake with everything. I don't want to be in a relationship where I am made to feel insignificant and i'm so worried that this will happen. Does anyone have any positvive experience where SO has made the correct changes and its worked out? Maybe i'm bieng naive about it, i really dont know now!

Winterglow's picture

I think it all depends on how scared he is of losing you. The trouble is that,in his eyes, in order for you to be happy, he has to make his kids unhappy. 

Strebor's picture

He has always made changes in the past when i have been unhappy and we havent properly discussed my feelings on this yet but i cant move in knowing i dont even have a bedroom so this is something i need to discuss with him properly but its making me quite resentful at the moment.

He constantly moans to me about how much of a bad sleep he gets on the nights he has the kids, i dont get it, do something about it then, move them in their own rooms where they should be!

SD6 is actually really sweet and its me who she cuddles and follows round but i think thats because i actually play with her all the time and i'm scared shes going to turn into a mini wife because i actually really enjoy spending time with her. DP doesnt really play with them a lot.

i'm just really worried now about everything but its good to get all the advice now rather than after i have done anything major, i'm so glad i found this site!

Strebor's picture

So I told him I wasn't willing to move in on the basis that I was kicked out of my bed half a week, I said his kids are old enough to sleep in their own beds and his response was don't talk about my kids like that, he's made me feel like I'm being unreasonable, should I lend it, I feel like this is just going to end up a life of misery 

Winterglow's picture

How clear can he be? You will be of no importance when his kids are around. You don't need that kind of insulting relationship. This will go nowhere. So far, you've been focussed on details (sleeping with the kids, wiping their bums), now take a step back and look at the big picture. He will continue to baby and coddle them to his heart's content because he truly believes that he's doing the right thing. This is not the guy for you ... or for anyone else, for that matter. He shouldn't even be in a relationship because his kids are the be all and end all of his life and he doesn't have the time nor the headspace for a partner. 

How did he score on the Disney daddy test, by the way?

Strebor's picture

I've ended it and I'm devestated but I know it's for the best, I wouldn't even mind but he wouldn't even discuss it or consider my view so I know now where I stand. He scores about 5 on the Disney dad test.

Winterglow's picture

I'm sorry this is jhurting you so much but you know deep inside that this was the right thing to do. Be wary of him trying to hoover you back in with promises of the moon and beyond. Stick to your guns. 

About the Disney score, 5 was what you'd witnessed, the tip of the iceberg. I'd bet that you'd have given him a much higher score if you'd moved in and seen is true colours.


ndc's picture

I'm sorry you're hurting, but you've dodged a bullet and saved yourself even more heartache. Your children will be better off, too. Good choice.

Merry's picture

You made the right decision, for yourself and your kids. Imagine how confusing all of that would be to them. You're showing them strength and independence. 

Elea's picture

His response of "don't talk about my kids like that" would be a dealbreaker for me. My DH had a few of the DD traits and we went through some growing pains but he was usually improving rather than regressing in his parenting and boundaries. It still isn't perfect but overall I get my needs met and am treated well by my partner so it balances out. Someone who won't even allow you to talk about it? That guy has no growth potential. Coming in after the kids and the kids dog is no way to live. (BM tried to bum off the dog she irresponsibly got for YSD on us. The dog has severe behavior and anxiety issues from being raised by nutjob BM. DH said NO, I bet your custard puff guy would say YES without even asking you.)

Survivingstephell's picture

Yay for you and rejecting an unhealthy situation/lifestyle for you and your kids.  Yeah it hurts but not anything near as 10,20+ years of this lifestyle!   Don't allow yourself to wallow for too long.  This is a good thing and another frog off the list.