I’m in a bit of a dilemma and seriously need some advice. I’ve been with my bf now for 7 months. We both love each other And have spoken frequently about marriage and living together. However here is my problem. I have met and get on very well withTwo of his kids. However his 12 yr old son refuses to meet meSays he hates me even though his never met me. Which makes things stressful for no reason. When he comes over to Stay with his dad I’m not allowed round. In fact my bf will hardly Text or call because his son is there. I could understand if his parents split up recently, but they split up almost 4 yrs ago long before I came along. I was doing ok with it as his just a kid. But recently I am starting wonder if I should end things. If he wants to marry me , yet does nothing in resolving our issue with me being kicked out every time his son comes round, how can he expect us to get married? Many of our friends think his ex is putting things in his head so he will never want to meet me. I feel very hurt and pushed aside every time he comes over. Am I wrong in wanting to be put first sometimes? I feel like his son runs our relationship. Also from being every Friday , lately it’s gone to every weekend! And when I’m with my bf we have a great time together. But as soon as I go home it’s like out of sight out of mind. Feeling confused and sad. Thank you for your advice in advance. Sleepless in London
View related questions: his ex, split up
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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious + ♥, writes (12 January 2019):
Op, my response is going to sound harsh but please read to the end. I have been where you are so I do understand how difficult it is. I usually read posts and try to guess the age of the person posting, then check and see if I was right. I got it VERY wrong for your post. I expected to see a teenager had posted, not a supposedly mature woman in her 40s. You expect your boyfriend to prioritize a 7 month relationship over his children? You are surprised his son does not want to meet “daddy’s girlfriend”? You are either extremely naive or extremely selfish, or maybe a touch of both. You most certainly appear to have an extraordinary sense of entitlement. Nobody worth their salt will prioritize a relationship over their still young children. What do you expect your boyfriend to do? FORCE the 12 year old to meet you? FORCE him to like you? FORCE him to be polite to you? WHAT exactly? I am at a loss to understand. If it was your boyfriend who was writing in and saying “my girlfriend of 7 months is getting shirty because my 12 year old is being a 12 year old and refusing to meet her. She also doesn’t like it because I have to spend time with him because he is at a vulnerable age and obviously feeling insecure and hurt because he feels his dad’s girlfriend is more important to him and he is and I am having to spend time reassuring him that this is not the case”, then I would be advising him to re-evaluate your relationship and back off until such time as either the girlfriend or the son grows up. Sorry to sound harsh but you are dealing with CHILDREN. YOU, on the other hand, are an adult. Don’t act like one of the children. Not everyone has to like you. If something this minor is all it takes to make you question the validity of your relationship, then you have definitely rushed into things, proclaiming you love someone you barely know. Your boyfriend is a good dad by the sound of things. Hopefully, for the sake of his children, he will continue to be a good dad. If you can’t get your head round that, you need to find yourself someone without children, or someone who is not a good father. Ask yourself though, could you really love someone who is NOT a good father? Would he make a good husband? Sorry to sound harsh but you have chosen to have a relationship with someone who has other priorities. You cannot demand that he suddenly changes his whole personality. His children should ALWAYS be his priority, especially while they are still young and vulnerable. It’s tough. It is hard enough being the parent, let alone the partner of a parent. You need to either accept this as part of your relationship or walk away. You do have a choice in this but only in as far as YOU are concerned. You cannot change others. If you feel this situation is really not for you, then you really SHOULD walk away. It is not for everybody. It does not make you a bad person. It just means you need a different type of relationship.
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A female reader, mystiquek + ♥, writes (12 January 2019):
I am getting the impression that you don’t have children. Forgive me if I am mistaken. Dating a single parent can be trying at best, impossible at worst. I was once a single parent and trust me, my child came first. I was lucky that she was only 4 and it wasn’t as difficult as it could have been if she had been older. As hard as it might be for you, your boyfriend SHOULD put the needs of his son first. Yes, the son may have figured out that he can manipulate his dad and his feelings but please keep in mind that the child is hurt/angry/confused and don’t take it personal. Almost any child of that age would probably be a little resentful and doesn’t want someone replacing his mom as the lady by his dad’s side. I will be honest, I am not sure if I could handle taking on 3 kids because not only are you dealing with the kids but the ex wife is always going to be somewhere in the picture (as it should be) and it can really be a hard row for some people to toe. My daughter tried dating a man with 3 children (she had been married before but no kids) and in the end, it was just too much taking on 3 teenage kids. The key thing is that you really need to have patience and be understanding. Its quite alright if you don’t think you can handle it, walk away now. You will be dealing with his children for the rest of your lives and the ex. Some might consider that too much baggage.
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A female reader, YouWish + ♥, writes (12 January 2019):
In truth, it’s prudent to take things very slowly when it comes to introducing a new boyfriend/girlfriend to a child. Most experts and manuals actually suggest waiting an actual YEAR before introducing a new lover into an existing household. Seven months is still a brand new relationship.Don’t take anything his son says personally. He may SAY he hates you, and he may even believe it, but in truth, what he hates is the breakup of his family, his mom and dad splitting and his father bringing in a threat to their getting back together. It has nothing to do with you personally. Things like this take lots of time. YEARS in fact. It is intelligent of his father to go extremely slow and keep the two of you apart while his son comes to grips with this permanent change. Believe it or not, but this is the proper way to ensure a long-term serious future for the three of you.As others have pointed out, his first priority is, always will be, and HAS to be the well-being of his son, just like when it comes time for you to have your own child, if you ever do, that child will become top priority, as it should be.For him to prioritize time towards his son, that’s actually a good move in terms of softening his son’s demeanor towards you. He is a good father who loves his son and is giving him the most precious gift he can give — his time. He also gives you his time as well, but unlike his son, time with you isn’t hard-fought in the court system or regimented between his son and his son’s mother. The courts have custody and visitation rules, and unfortunately, this is the baggage accepted in dating a single parent.I know it’s hard not to feel hurt, and it *is* your choice in deciding whether dating a single parent is something you want to do. This *is* the baggage that comes along with this fact, and requires lots of patience and acceptance from you. Don’t make this a tug-of-war between you and his son. You’ll lose, and that *is* as it should be.Be patient! Don’t rush things. He shouldn’t be fully integrating you into his son’s life for at LEAST a year into your relationship. Just slow down, and enjoy quality over quantity when it comes to time. Reach out when the time comes. His son doesn’t really hate YOU as a person. He just hates the state of events.
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A male reader, Code Warrior + ♥, writes (12 January 2019):
His kid doesn’t have to like you and you’re not as important as his children at this time nor should you expect to be. If you don’t like that, then break up with him. It’s really that simple. His children will ALWAYS be his children and will ALWAYS be the main priority in his life.If, someday, you have children with him, then you and your children will also be his main priority, but you and your kids will not be elevated above his existing kids, you will be the same priority. However, your kids will be YOUR priority over his existing kids, as they should be.That means if a conflict arises between his existing kids and the kids you have with him, he will need to be more balanced in his approach while you can be biased in favor of your kids, as you should be.So, if you can’t stand to play 2nd fiddle to kids that aren’t yours, then break up with him. It may suck for you, but there you go.
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A female reader, Honeypie + ♥, writes (11 January 2019):
Sorry, OPYou don’t rank higher than his son(children), quite the opposite. As it SHOULD be.As for the son, HE doesn’t HAVE to like you or WANT to be around you. However, the father CATERING to this boys demands.. is not boding well for your relationship at all. Fist of all, he shouldn’t be talking marriage when his son have OBVIOUS issues with him dating. My guess is you are NOT the first GF to either get ditched or ditch him due to the son’s attitude. The son isn’t stupid, he has figured out just how much power he has.Did your BF by chance cheat on his wife and that is why the marriage ended in divorce? If so… the son has him by the short and curly. Why? Because your BF feels SO BAD still for the divorce and for how it hurt the WHOLE family.YOU are NOT dating a single guy. You are dating a SINGLE dad. His kids have TOP priority. He doesn’t WANT to alienate his son and not have a relationship, so YOU are pushed to the side when he spends time with his son. I don’t see this changing.Talking marriage is cheap, and honestly WAY too soon at only 7 months in with THIS kind of drama going on. He isn’t going to marry you. Of that… I’m pretty certain. Like I said, HE DOESN’T want to alienate his son. And getting married would change what exactly? NOTHING. The kid would still make demands, HE would still prioritize his son and YOU would then be stuck on a marriage where you are put on the shelf and forgotten when that works BEST for your BF.You aren’t being realistic here. You PRESUME that your BF can DICTATE to his son that he HAS to love you, like you or at least accept you… The son knows FULL well that he doesn’t. I’d wager a guess that the SON has scared off previous GF’s and knows EXACTLY what buttons to push with his dad.You are in short WASTING your time on a man who CAN NOT put you first (not that he should either, his kids should be #1’s) not can he “make” his son accept you.You are dealing with a kid who isn’t OVER the divorce and a guy who doesn’t want to lose his son, but still wants grown up affection and attention.I’m sorry, OP I’d walk away. Find someone single with either NO kids, or kids who are willing to accept a new partner for their parent.This isn’t going to work out for you.You start to make demands… he will CHOOSE his son over you. No doubt. And If your BF caves to you, and marry you, the son refuses to see him because of it… guess who the bad guy will be? YOU.This is a no win/no win for you.
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A male reader, WiseOwlE + ♥, writes (11 January 2019):
It’s a relationship that’s only 7-months old! Your boyfriend hardly knows you, how will his kid care one way or the other? You develop a connection with children over time. They already have a mother and father. Then here comes you!He’s only a child! He may be extremely shy. Don’t conclude there is anything sinister behind his dislike for you; or his mother is the reason. He probably doesn’t like the fact his dad is seeing another woman. He’s entitled to an opinion. He was his dad long before you met him!He is old enough to have his own opinions and decide who he likes and doesn’t like. He’s at the age that he’s old enough to be protective of his mother’s feelings; and understands the situation well enough to know you might eliminate any possibility of his parents getting back together. A child can’t always comprehend such complex situations.Kids always hold on to the hope their divorced family might get back together. He’s still too young to give-up on that hope. You’re a threat in that sense. He will like you in his own time. Provided you’re patient and nice to him. You don’t push kids in these situations; you coax them, and encourage them. They’ve already faced the trauma of their family being separated.You’ve come along all hot and heavy after their dad. How do they know you’re not selfish; and might decide to move their father away, so they won’t see him much anymore. He has to reassure them he will not abandon them. That he loves them; and he can love you all at the same time.You’re an adult, and shouldn’t be competing for attention with a child. To be discussing marriage in the short span of seven months might be premature anyway. Why are you in such a hurry! Maybe that kid’s smarter than you think!Should that eventually occur; you’re going to be a family. The children will have no choice about that. You might not be that nice of a person; and they haven’t known you long enough to bond with you. They’re only innocent kids! Trust has to be earned by strangers or outsiders coming into their family! Very young children are naive and too trusting.To be blunt, it might even be beneficial; if it might slow things down a bit. Sometimes kids see things in people we adults don’t see. Especially mean scary people!If you wish to leave; it might not be such a bad idea. If you aren’t mature and considerate enough to have the least bit of empathy for how the child could feel.It is likely he won’t like you; because you’re selfish and too much in a hurry. This is what happens when you meet someone with children. Kids come first! You are already talking about leaving? Well, the kids are connected for life! They’ll be there for him long after you’re gone!His son doesn’t run the relationship; his father does. His dad makes the decision that you leave, and he sets his priorities with and for his children. In my opinion, that’s a great father. You’re a new girlfriend. You’re not his fiance yet; and that is only tentative!!!If he makes his children feel he is shifting even the least of his love away from them; it might destroy their relationship, and confirm any negative influence their mother could possibly have on their feelings about you. None of them have to like you. He can’t force them to! It’s something that develops, it can’t be forced. If you’re nice enough, it will work pretty quickly. I doubt the mother is involved, or she would influence all of the children. Not just one of them.You’re the adult; and you’re the one who should get adjusted first. Not the child! You’re being somewhat of a drama queen; and your relationship is still in it’s earliest stages. The child and his father barely know you.This is where patience comes into play. It may also be an indication of how you deal with children. For now, you come across as insecure and self-centered. It may only be the frustration coming through; but you did say you might leave. That says you’re too impatient to even give it a chance. If you don’t want to deal with the children; if I were he, I would take the possibility of marriage completely off the table.
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