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LOVE4KITTIES Posts: 4,690
11/4/13 1:57 P

When someone has kids, they definitely need to put the needs of their kids first. So, your bf is absolutely doing the right thing by spending time with his kids and putting them first. He's being a good father and a good man. It sounds like you know this and are pleased that he's doing the right thing.

But, I think it's a mistake to become emotionally needy/emotionally dependent on your kids. If you have kids, you need care for them and you should definitely love them, but, you shouldn't *need* them to have certain feelings about you (e.g. miss you a lot when you're gone). So, in regards to him feeling bad that his kids didn't seem to have missed him the two nights he was gone--I think that this is him being too needy/emotionally dependent on his kids.

So far as your reaction, I think what he said may have come across in a way such that it devalued the time he spent with you? Or, maybe you are annoyed that a grown man seems so emotionally dependent on his kids (to the point where he says he feels like c*** because they didn't miss him enough to make him feel emotionally good while he was with you). But, whatever the case, your relationship with him is very new. Personally, I might take this time to re-evaluate the relationship because, if he's so emotionally dependent on his kids and needs them to feel a certain way about him or he feels like c***, then this may be a huge red flag about the type of relationship he's going to have with them as they get older and it could potentially turn into the sort of thing where he's constantly trying to gain/buy/earn his kids' affection/love, etc. for a lifetime (even when they are adults). IMO, it could be really annoying to watch and live through a lifetime of this sort of thing.

Edited: I wanted to kind of phrase things in a different way in addition to what I wrote above:
-His kids need him, love him, miss him (to varying degrees, depending on what they are doing) while he is gone. He wants to provide for their needs and their reasonable wants. He enjoys spending time with them. He loves them. He wants to be a good dad. He enjoys being loved, needed and, yes, he feels a little good about it if they miss him when he's gone and it warms his heart if they are happy to see him when he visits. He's a little amused or perhaps he feels a little oddly annoyed about it if they were too busy doing other stuff while he was gone to miss him just a little and he might comment (with perhaps a bit of an eye roll) that the little rugrats didn't miss him at all while he was gone. NORMAL
-He *needs* them to need him. He *needs* them want him. He *needs* them to miss him when he's gone or he feels like c***. RED FLAG, IMO.

Edited by: LOVE4KITTIES at: 11/4/2013 (14:30)
ANDILH Posts: 1,543
11/4/13 10:32 A

I think by acknowledging that you're feeling this way, you're recognizing feelings that most people wouldn't want to admit even to themselves. Because I work with children and see how parents treat them after a divorce, it sounds like you have a good man in your life as far as he deals with his children. Whatever led him to divorce, it sounds like they've been adult enough to put the children first.
As your for feelings, it's probably natural to feel a little jealous of your partner's children, but it's important to remember that the children should come first (which I know isn't always easy). I'm generally the more aloof one as well but sometimes jealousy or possessiveness sneaks up on me at surprising times. Don't be too hard on yourself and express interest in meeting his children when it comes up. Ask him how he (and possibly his ex) want you to treat the children and what you'll be called when the time comes. Sometimes partners are immediately like parents, sometimes like friends, etc. Take things as they come and work through your feelings. If it feels right, you could address some of them with your partner..."I don't want to feel this way, but I you have suggestions?" might help open lines of communication. If you end up staying jealous and this is a long term relationship you have a higher chance of taking it out on the kids eventually, which seems to be the opposite of what you want since you're addressing it now. Good luck!

11/4/13 9:44 A

You don't say how long your partner has been divorced and whether or not his ex has new relationships. If this divorce has been long already, maybe you could suggest that he and his kids all join you to do something together. Maybe this might take away some of your jealousy if you knew them. Of course, if the divorce is new, it may not be the proper time to introduce the children to dad's new friend yet. I can certainly see why you feel the way you do, however, if you make it apparent to your partner, it could push them further away. As others say, take your time and ease up. No one wants to be pressured, especially if it is going to take them away from first priorities. It will take a long time to prove that you are genuinely OK with including the children in your life and understanding his responsibilities toward them. Until then, you will always be second fiddle, unfortunately.

MATTHEW0498 SparkPoints: (32,853)
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11/4/13 9:18 A

I don't think you are any of the things you mentioned. You are in a new relationship and enjoy and want his attention, that's all it really is. As long as you don't start demanding he not see his kids so that he can see you, all should be fine. Good luck!

KRISUA SparkPoints: (289,588)
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11/4/13 1:23 A

I felt the same way even though his stepson lived with us and we had our own child as well!
Give it some time. It will ease after two to three years. Not kidding.

You can always write a personal message about the topic if you feel like it. I really wont judge you as I felt exactly the same.

Give t some time!

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (0)
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11/4/13 12:59 A

This is very early in the relationship. Give yourself some time to adjust to the situation and to find your own equilibrium.

I was in a relationship for 8 years with someone who had a child. While I don't remember ever feeling quite what you are describing, it's sometimes a tricky situation and it takes a while to figure out what your role will be and to sort out how to feel about things. Be kind to yourself and don't beat yourself up too much.

SHERYLDS Posts: 17,456
11/3/13 9:29 P

I think it is not uncommon to suffer the occasional bout of jealous...whether it is toward step-children, your own children, siblings...even parents. We witness love and affection we dearly want being given to someone else and our Inner Child rears its jealous little head and wants some of that attention. The good thing is recognize it's not right and therefore you can correct yourself. You fell in love with this guy because of the kind of person he is...and part of him is a loving father. That's a good guy, and he picked imagine the wonderful relationship you can have with him and his loved ones. Best of luck

MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 17,527
11/3/13 8:53 P

You're not a bad person because I dated a guy with kids and I had those feelings too

JAMIRBLAZE Posts: 1,805
11/3/13 8:40 P

I'm also on the dating scene and could see myself in a similar situation, so I can definitely understand your response. It's not that he values his children more than you-he should- but the comment he made seems to undermine the value of the time that you spent together since he didn't get the response or validation from his children that he wanted. Especially since it doesn't seem like you demanded that he leave them for 2 nights, but that it was his idea. That probably wasn't what he meant when he said that he felt like crud, but it's a message that I would have picked up. The fact that they weren't anxious about his absence is probably a good thing. He seems to be the only one who was worried about it which seems a little strange to me when it was only 2 nights and presumably the kids have another competent parent that doesn't probably feel like she gets night time with them due to her work and their school or whatever. (I'm not a parent, but 2 nights with a trusted individual doesn't seem that long.)

He needs to figure out how to balance his kids, a relationship and his needs. You have to decide if you want to stick around while he does it, and whether you can live with the result.

JANIEWWJD SparkPoints: (575,881)
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11/3/13 7:58 P

Online Now  • ))
I don't think you are a bad person. I just think you are wanting more attention from him, and that's ok. God bless you!!! I hope things get better for you.

FENWAYGIRL18 Posts: 5,868
11/3/13 7:30 P

I don't think your a bad person, is this your first relationship dealing with children? Someday when you have a child of your own your going to experience a love beyond what you ever could of imagined. I mean I love my husband with all my heart, but my son there is a special love when you have children and someday you'll know it for yourself ( whether you have them naturally or adopt).
You should look at this man and think wow he's something special because you don't see many men step up to the plate after a divorce ( well let me correct that and say it happens with both men and women ). My hubbys cousin is going through this with his ex wife she just wants to be single and doesn't want to deal with the kids.
I don't think you'll be an evil step mom you've only been in this relationship for 2 months, if it should last longer you'll bond with these children and love them.
He's always going to put his children first, which he should you need to look deep down and see if you can handle being second to his children.
Good Luck!

LOLEMA SparkPoints: (105,894)
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11/3/13 6:53 P

I think it is ok to feel that way, having been in the same situation.

MISSRUTH Posts: 4,290
11/3/13 5:43 P

I think it's normal for the non-custodial parent to want the kids to miss them. Really though he gets to spend a lot of time with them, and they know that. So maybe they're secure in his love for them, and that he'll be coming back in a couple days. Therefore they don't "miss" him per se.

And your reaction to his text... Sometimes we get weird feelings/ thoughts that come at us out of left field somewhere. Maybe a little subconscious jealousy. Maybe it has something to do with your own childhood, and how perhaps you missed your dad and didn't get to see him often. Maybe he was just sounding whine-y and it bent you out of shape. Maybe "the kids don't miss me" is a refrain he uses often. Maybe he ignored whatever you had texted about, and launched into "the kids don't miss me". IDK.

Like a pp mentioned, we all sometimes have weird thoughts. Sometimes what we hear someone else say, isn't what they really meant at all. That goes for texts, too. The important thing is not acting on a thought that appears to be well, from out of left field. And Archii is right, it's still early in this relationship. Find something else to do, preferably something that is good for you. Like a long soak in the bath, or reading a good book, or meeting up with some friends for a coffee.

BLUENOSE63 SparkPoints: (108,021)
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11/3/13 4:14 P

It is very important to retain "who you are" in a relationship and not become the other person. As long as you keep the time balanced and still go out with your friends as well, it will go a long way in decreasing the needy and desperate fa├žade you do not wish to show! You are 26 and this is the time to learn and make mistakes and then learn from those mistakes. If you know the difference between being along and being lonely that will go a long way.

Have a good one and be your best self!

DARK_WONDERFUL SparkPoints: (3,610)
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11/3/13 3:46 P

Quick responses-thank you! I guess I do come across as possessive and needy in that post, which is exactly what I dreaded. I actually like the fact that I'm with someone who doesn't want to see me every evening, and the issue that I was trying to ask for advice on was the fact that a) I was having these irrational emotions that I don't usually have and b) were they normal? I guess not.

I don't, nor did I at the time of writing, intend to demand more time with this man, or that he give up time with his children-if you re-read my post, you will see that my parents separated when I was a child and I didn't see my father even 1/4 as much as this guy sees his kids, so I think what he is doing is great. I just wanted some help or advice on how to deal with the negative emotions that I have had upon reading a text, especially when I have previously considered myself to be the more aloof one in a relationship. Granted at 26, how many serious ones can I have had, but ya know! Although, I do appreciate the honesty-I can't fix myself if I don't know the exact problems!

TIME2BLOOM4ME SparkPoints: (0)
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11/3/13 3:33 P

The ex. boyfriend was jealous of my daughter. He got mad when she needed a winter coat. He demanded I purchase one for him too. It was so stupid. It ended up where I kicked him out as my child was more important than taking care of a man who did nothing for me. Children's needs always come first and probably will over your needs.

I am now married with a husband who has an older child in her 30's. He sends her tons of money. It's his, so it really is none of my business. She rarely calls or stays in contact with him other than for financial needs. It hurts him, but when I mention his pain that she causes he got upset at me. In other words stay out of relationships where you feel the need to interfere with a child's needs no matter what age. Children always come first in any relationship.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (198,476)
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11/3/13 3:25 P


One thing that strikes me is that you're being awfully possessive for someone who's only been in a relationship for two months. It's only been two months and you're already wondering if you're going to end up as a wicked step mother. Don't project into the future. For all you know, this relationship could go south in another couple of months.

Slow down, what's the rush ? Your friend has already established that the needs of his children come first. You're going to have to learn to respect that. But right now, you really are worrying about stuff that hasn't happened or might not happened.

Have you even met his children ? if not, how do you know you're going to end up as the wicked witch ? That's my point. there is so much that you just don't know. So, why worry about stuff that you don't have any control over ? Yes, he kids take precedence over you and that doesn't mean that he doesn't care about you. It just means there may be weekends he can't spend with you. And you're going to have to respect that.

Mostly, I think it's really way too early to be worrying about these things. Let's see if the relationship makes it past one year. Then you can ask these questions again.

For now, stop being so possessive and needy. If you're with him a couple of days a week, but not on the weekends, that's not such a dreadful situation. Enjoy the days you are with him and don't worry about days you're not.

LOUNMOUN Posts: 1,334
11/3/13 3:16 P

Of course you are a human being. Feeling something doesn't make you a bad person. How you act on it is what defines you.

Do you think you are going to start saying nasty comments to your SO about the kids or treating them badly? Are you going to start demanding that your SO only spend time with you?

You might feel like your SO was saying being with you was a huge mistake. I think it would be most productive for your relationship to recognize that in this instance your SO was likely just feeling hurt that his kids didn't seem to miss him, even though he probably missed them. That has nothing to do with how he feels about being with you. I think a lot of parents are a bit sad when told their young kids didn't miss them.

Think about what can you do to support him or help him deal with his feelings and you'll probably feel better about yourself.

DARK_WONDERFUL SparkPoints: (3,610)
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11/3/13 2:50 P

Before I get started, I totally understand any judgement that gets thrown my way-hell, I'm judging myself pretty harshly here.

So, I've been seeing someone for about two months now and it's going really well. He has two young kids and he spends a lot of time looking after them, because his ex is a health worker, so he spends a few nights a week at the children's house looking after them and taking them to school in the morning etc, and he has the kids most weekends. This suits me fine, and coming from divorced parents myself, I feel that that is how it should be-in fact I wish my father had wanted to spend that much time with myself and my brother. Anyway, back to my partner. He comes over and spends about 1 or 2 evenings a week with me, but this weekend just gone, he actually spend Friday night and Saturday with me, and left the kids with his ex. Tonight, he has gone over to their house to look after them, and has texted me saying how down he feels that they didn't seem to miss him, he feels like c*** because of it etc. And all of a sudden, I've gone into this crazy jealous stink eye mode, and I'm really shocked at myself! I don't begrudge his children ANY time with him at all, I think it's the right thing, but I do feel really pouty and angry. And I'm not sure why.

I suddenly have an understanding of how both my mother AND my fathers girlfriend felt when I was a child

I guess I want to know: A) Am I destined to be some wicked stepmother type, B) Am I a b (rhymes with witch) C) Am I crazy or D) is this normal and not something I need to worry about, I'm not a bad person, just a human being?

Again, say what you like about me, I feel like a total c***bag now anyway. emoticon

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