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One quote that stood out to me when I watched last week's episode of Must Love Kids was when Vanessa said she would never date someone her kids didn't like. I think that's a pretty common sentiment. How about you? Have you ever found yourself in that position?

Interestingly, Bonny Albo, About.com's Guide to Dating, just forwarded a question to me from one of her readers, and it deals with this very issue. Here's the question:

I am 33 years old, I and have two kids, ages 6 and 9. My 6-year-old adores the man I'm dating, but my 9-year-old dislikes my boyfriend and is adamantly against him. This concerns me a great deal. We have been dating for almost three years, and this problem has become a big roadblock in our relationship. In addition, my boyfriend has said to me point blank that I need to change my 9-year-old's behavior before he will consider taking things "to the next level." What should I do?

What would you tell her? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

Personally, I didn't think the issue was that cut-and-dry. In my response to My Child Dislikes My Boyfriend, I asked the reader whether her child could be picking up on something about her boyfriend that she just doesn't see yet, or whether her son is rebelling against the idea of mom dating anyone at all. If it were me, those answers would strongly influence what I would do next.

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Comments
August 4, 2008 at 5:44 pm
(1) B says:

I would not move forward until the issue is resolved. Your first priority which is of utmost importance is as a mother. No harm intended but it also sounds like your boyfriend is not sensitive to the fact that you and your children are a package deal. Rather than threating you with not wanting to take it to the next level; if he is serious he should be strategizing with you on how you both can help the situation. Adding the additional stress of threats is not the answer and speaks to his character. As a single parent you must choose someone that not only loves you but loves and accepts your children as well because if not it will show up eventually and the results could be potentially disasterous. Love as you well know is not easy and if you only love when the person is doing what you want or acting how you think they should then its not really love at all. It takes a strong man of character to love enough to endure the relationship in spite of the difficulties but that is when true love is always tested anyway. Ask yourself this do you want your child to think that your love is conditional or unconditional?

August 4, 2008 at 5:51 pm
(2) Toni-EvinNRobsMom says:

Hi Jen, This is such a loaded question. On the one hand, the 9 y/o might not be comfortable with the idea that someone has his mother’s attention or the 9 y/o might be feeling like the new guy is trying to take his Dad’s place (been through that). However, if the boyfriend is saying that she needs to adjust the kid’s attitude-that says a lot too. Is the kid being that much of a brat? Does she not see it? But then again, who is this guy to say how she should parent her child? He’s walking into an “insta-family”. So I think there are some things that should be discussed before the new guy can start making demands.

August 4, 2008 at 7:14 pm
(3) charlotte says:

Well Jen, honestly your boyfriend says you need to change your daughter’s attitude, but has he ever attempted to accept the fact that maybe she just doesnt like him. If your children have to be open the the idea that this man is going to be in your life, then he has to accept that he is not thier dad and they may just not like him. Never put your child’s feelings on hold for someone else. Try talking to your daughter and see why she is not open to the idea of you having a boyfriend or the fact that she does not like him. Has your boyfriend ever tried discussing why they dont get along. If he is truly serious about you he has to understand that a relationship with previous kids is going to have fall backs. If he isnt willing to try to work things out with your kids then obviously he cant handle your relationship. You cant make your daughter like someone. If its been 3 years and she still has a problem with him its time to sit the both of them down and try to work out the situation. You dont want your daughter resenting you in the future because she felt that you weren’t concerned with her feelings. My mom was a single parent since I was 6. And she always put our feelings and thoughts before any man in her life. Men come and go girl but you kids will be there forever. I consult with my daughter about the people I haved dated before I ever let the relationship get serious. You are a package deal its not just you and him. He has got to realize your babies will always be there, and be your number one priority. Good luck!!!!

August 7, 2008 at 8:18 pm
(4) singleparents says:

So well said, all of you! I think part of the confusion for Jane is that one child adores him and the other absolutely doesn’t like him at all. “B” makes a good point, though, that the boyfriend making demands and threats isn’t a positive way to handle the situation. Jane, if you’re reading this, any way you can give us an update? Best wishes to you!

September 30, 2008 at 6:15 pm
(5) Tanja says:

WOW. This is great. I am actually having a similar situation. I could use some suggestions myself. My 11 yr old daughter has all of a sudden (within the past few months) doesn’t like my boyfriend. We split up for a few months and she is hurt. Her daddy died 5 years ago. The only reason she tells me that she doesn’t like him is that he’s too nice and that she’s afraid of getting hurt. I understand that so much, but I don’t see that as I reason to end my relationship with him. Any suggestions?? We do start counseling this week.

He was in a simliar situation with his 11 yr old son last year……one of the reasons that he backed off from us. I have two younger children (7 and 2) and they adore him and WANT to spend time with him. I struggle with pleasing EVEYONE!!! HELP!

November 26, 2008 at 8:26 am
(6) ming says:

My boyfriend’s sons have made it clear they don’t like me and treated me so disrespectfully at a family function I was invited to recently that I am totally devastated. My boyfriend insisted that their behavior was merely an extension of their attempt to battle his authority–he was asking them to do something for me and they ignored him. A little later I went over and sat down beside the pair and they looked at each other, stood up and walked away. They are 18 and 21. It is very hard to deal with rejection that is intentional on the part of “children” this age. I have gone out of my way to be pleasant and nice to both of them. I am only in their home once a week on average and my boyfriend. The 21 year old just moved back home when his younger brother left for college. He was nice to me when he moved back in but recently, after Halloween, started putting up a wall. You can ignore something like that but when they are rude to you in front of others at a family function it is hard not to take it seriously. I don’t know if it’s even the best thing for everybody to continue with the relationship. It’s one thing if two kids don’t like you; it’s another if they object to you and want you gone. Personally, I think it is very unkind and inconsiderate of them to treat their father with disrespect at a family function. For them to treat me disrespectfully is disrespectful to their father. However, children come first and I asked my boyfriend to find out how they feel. If they really object to him having me in his life, I don’t know what’s best to do. My boyfriend said it’s not up to them who is in his life but is that really true? Why would I want to intrude in their family or cause a conflict. My point is that it’s easy to blame the person in the couple who is the target of hostility from a child. Does anyone ever demand that their children behave nicely and politely? We can’t go through life being unpleasant to people we dislike. And why should we dislike anyone, really? Don’t we have to examine and reflect when we dislike someone who intends us no harm and is nice to us? It’s very painful to be rejected by children. I’ve had to weather rejection from immediate family members and bosses and co-workers. It’s no aphrodisiac when a boyfriend just expects you to ignore his hateful children.

December 15, 2008 at 6:27 pm
(7) Deanna says:

I agree with Ming. I am dating a man for 3 years and he is a great guy,he has 4 children
20, 18, 14, 13. The 20 year old and 13 year old do not cause anybody grief, but the two girls 14 and 18 are demanding, disrespectful
talk nasty to their father, they try to talk nasty to me, but I let them know that it is disrespectful to speak to me that way. Their father never said anything to them when they spoke disrespectful to me in the past, I have spoken to him about and he continues to do nothing, so I took matters into my own hands and make them respect my boundaries. They all like me, but the problem I am having is my boyfriend does NOT discipline his children or tell them no. He has set up the pattern when he and their mother seperated 7 years ago to just give them their way no matter what, just for peace, but the price of peace has gotten bigger and bigger to where those two girls are out of control and drama queens. There mother is no help she works 60 hours a week just to stay away from them and what annoys me is my boyfriend pays the ex-$2000. month and he has the kids all the time. Her working 60 week just started about 3 months ago and this is really putting a strain on our relationship, not because of me…he just does not control these girls and since he has them all the time now it is hard for me to be around them. I have two boys of my own 20 and 27 and they do not live at home anymore so NO i am not being selfish just annoyed by their behavior to the point that I am thinking of getting out of the best relationship I ever had. I don’t want to hear about the package deal..been there.. I was a single Mom for 15 years. I just would like for our time together to not be constantly interrupted. These two girls last month called him on his cell over 150 times. He does not let them do anything on their own. They ask him to do everything for them. His other two children are very independent. I am very sad as this was a beautiful relationship. Any advice?

January 5, 2009 at 3:25 pm
(8) Joshlynn says:

Well Im in a similar situation, my boyfriend who I move in with right after my separation, was also newly separated from his wife, left and came back. Me and my children were put thru alot with his ex, who was horrible to all of us. My boyfriend went back to her to be sure what he had done was the “right thing”. I tried to move on. 3 weeks later he was calling . Knowing he had made the wrong decision. I forgave him, I love him, we have so much fun together and I know our life will be great. However, my children, (and my parents) are very hesitant to forgive him. I really want him in my life but when my kids dont want anything to do with him it breaks my heart. I have been waiting along time for someone who truly makes me happy. Please help me ……

January 16, 2009 at 2:22 pm
(9) Morgan says:

I think this is totally normal, from someone who grew up with her parents dating a lot. Your kid doesn’t WANT to like them. For one thing.. they don’t know if they will be around forever.. how can they trust that.. and most of all it’s not their dad. I remember when I met my moms first new boyfriend the first thing I said to him was, “you’re not my daddy” I was like 4. Honestly I would be worried if your kid got along with him too much..

January 20, 2009 at 8:22 pm
(10) katria says:

I am having th esame problem with my little girl i have been with my boyfriend for nearly 5 years she is 10 years old now and today she has given me an ultimatium him or her which has left me shocked and in limbo she says she has never liked him from the wprd dot but because the other 2 didnt she didnt want toiht upset them. She has been through alot her dad use to beat her and grandad has also done something he shouldnt i am not sure if this something to do with that or not.
The boyfriend has agreed he will leave because he feels i shouldnt have to choose.

January 22, 2009 at 1:19 am
(11) Megan says:

I agree this is a very common problem and it seems the older the children are, the more critical they are of your friends. I would first find out exactly what it is that your daughter doesn’t like about your friend. And really listen and be honest with yourself. Sometimes we overlook a lot of bad behavior when we are lonely. But if the complaints are just untrue or because they “just don’t like them” don’t let them control your life. If they don’t learn boundaries when they are young, it only gets harder as they get older. As a single mother of three boys(5,6, and 9) I had the same problem with my 9 year old when my husband and I first met. He even threw rocks at his new car! (which was not like him at all.) My husband fortunately understood they were afraid of someone getting Mom’s attention (there is never enough when you’re a single parent). He did every thing he could to win them over (though he did always expect them to behave respectfully to both of us) He spent as much time as possible doing things with them and we never went anywhere without them (until much later) That seemed to do it -I think most children of divorced parents are afraid of losing their parents love and attention and being replaced by someone else. We have been married 20 years and are the proud parents of three kind, loving, respectful young men.

May 12, 2009 at 8:37 am
(12) Sarah says:

What ever happen? Did the boyfriend leave or did the child get an attitude adjustment? Kids are selfish although at 9 a child needs to be taught acceptance and respect. Talk to her ask her what she dislikes, if there is no grounds then it is pure selfishness…listen I have the sweetest boyfriend, will do anything for my kids and my teenager can pretend he doesnt even stand there like a brat…I allowed it untilhe alsmost walked out on me ,and thru no fault of his own…Hes done nothing wrong…Why should I and he pay the price because of this childs lack of?

July 25, 2009 at 1:12 am
(13) Percy says:

I’m in this situation. My boyfriend loves my eldest daughter dearly and seems to not care that much for my youngest child. I’m hurting because I want all of us to be cool… and it’s not.

August 25, 2009 at 10:38 pm
(14) CB says:

Ive been on many forums ready many posts and articles and I don’t think that anyone says it better than the above post from Megan, “….older the children are, the more critical they are of your friends. I would first find out exactly what it is that your daughter doesn’t like about your friend. And really listen and be honest with yourself. Sometimes we overlook a lot of bad behavior when we are lonely. But if the complaints are just untrue or because they “just don’t like them” don’t let them control your life. If they don’t learn boundaries when they are young, it only gets harder as they get older.”

I am in a very similar situation I have two teenagers boy 14, girl 16 I have been dating the same guy for 10 years he has always been around, a good provider, we attend family gatherings together etc. everyone one whom know us assums we are married or that he is their father. My daughter has told me from a very young age that I would never live happily ever, when she’s asked why she says that he does not want anyone to take away the attention from her (which has never happened). Recently I informed my children that it only made sense especially financially for us to all live under the same roof, my son does not like the idea of having to answer to two adults, he also doesnt like the idea of us sleeping in the same room and my daughter is making the biggest fuss, she doesnt want anyone coming in her space, its fine if he comes over everyday, anytime, but not for him to live in our house (there is more than enough room), she doesnt want things around her changing (she hasnt specified anything), she doesnt want him sleeping in my room, if he moves in she will be uncomfortable in her own home and the list goes on. I understand my sons fear (if you call it that) of more rules (as they get away with murder and can be disrespectful at times, especially my daughter and my boyfriend will not tolerate it) but my son says that he will deal with it and he will let me know if at any point there is an issue. As for my daughter, well, she just refuses to understand and is being very selfish. He is not abusive physically or mentally, and the decision is making me feel sick, disappointed, disrespected and sad and almost like giving up because this will make life much better and easier for all of us.

October 2, 2009 at 10:56 am
(15) joanna says:

do not live your life just for your kids!They do not want U,they do need you for their own comfort.Before we become a parents we are a persons with our own needs and wants.we need to be loved.Ur kid not gonna hold U,not gonna adore U.Kids need to know where their place in your life is.The problem is that our kids can see us as a moms or dads.They need to see us as awomen and a man and respect uor need to have intimate life.

October 12, 2009 at 2:02 pm
(16) Becca says:

I have been dating this wonderful man for 2 years now. My oldest daughter (17) gets along with him, My youngest daughter (12) has all of a sudden in the past few months since her dad came back into the picture has decided that she doesn’t want me with him and is basically making me choose. My youngest dad has recently moved out to her dads house. I screwed up and made the comment that if the grass is green at your dads then go. My mistake, I talked to her and told her that I want her with me, that I love her and I want to know that she is well taken care of. I fear and think that her dad is brainwashing her and pulling on her strings to all of a sudden create this mess. I feelthat Ihave truely found my sole mate, and I just can’t see shoosing, but I can’t see giving up a good future. My boyfriend has never done anything to my youngest daughter… This is all since her Dad came back into the picture. She says that it’s hard for her to see me so Happy with someone else then her father.Okay~ Funny thing is she just moved out to her Dads house with him, hisnew girlfriend and kids that she accepts!!! Help!

October 15, 2009 at 10:01 pm
(17) Lea says:

Wow, I have had this battle off and on with my 11 year old daughter for over two and a half years now. I thought it was only me that is going through it. I have been dating off and on the same man who has two sons, who I get along with very well. My 8 year old daughter adores this man but my 11 year old has put up a wall all the time. This man and ours past seems to be we date, and things go along well, and then something will happen and then will break up, and then date, then break up…we have always been on the fence on whether or not to just take it to the next level as each of us would like more, but when asking my 11 year old the question would you like all of us to move in and be together, she had flatly refused, no reasons, just no. My 8 year old was all for it, but I get that due to her age, and loving the boyfriend…she was a shoe in. My thoughts are this…when do we stop being moms for once and say you know what, I dont want to be alone the rest of my life, and I understand her fears I think of our patterns, but she just needs to trust that we want to be together we just always seem to fight over something that she does, or something that she wears that isnt “girlie”, ..all of our issues seem to be over what she isnt doing etc…he just wants her love, and I dont think he ever will get it? When do we walk away and put our kids first despite of what we want??? I have divorced for four years now and just want to move on with my life. I am tired of being alone at nights, etc, but I dont want to hurt my daughter either. Maybe she fears the boyfriend will leave too? I dont know and when asking her she just says that she doesnt want to live with them…

October 18, 2009 at 4:23 pm
(18) nicole says:

I am also in a similar situation. My problem is my son is not quite three and having problems adjusting to his father not being around all the time. But its worse when my boyfriend of over a year stays the night. He’s getting up every hour at night and my boyfriend feels like I’m babying my son. Because my son says no (talking back to me ) he feels my son when I am askin him to do something… Pick up toys , that sorta thing. needs an attitude adjustment. But as a first time parent all I know to do is to follow my heart. I love my boyfriend but my son comes first and I think a jealousy is started to form between the two of them. I feel stuck in the spot I’m in and I want more!! Marriage , more kids, but I don’t know how to cope with the problem at hand. My boyfriend and I love each other but don’t know how to go forward when all my son wants is his daddy… And more than that that my boyfriend is constantly telling me how to raise my child . I feel like he wants me to have no feelings at all when it comes to disciplining my son. Like I love him to much ?? Any advice would be appreciated! Its still hard to sort it all. Thanks

October 28, 2009 at 8:34 pm
(19) Cindy says:

Anyone who chooses their partner over their children isn’t worthy of being called a parent and should burn in hell.Your child ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS comes first. The Child’s happiness is your priority not yours!!! If you’re the person who is getting in the relationship, get the fu**k out and stop trying to ruin a kid’s life. The child doesn’t want you there, so get out! You will never come first. EVER. The child will always be there, but you are replaceable!!!

November 4, 2009 at 6:46 pm
(20) Todd says:

Yes, Cindy, Youre right, you are definitely replaceable.

My dad dies when I was 7 and my mother started dating men when I was around ten. There was nothing that these men could do to have me like them, I did not like the idea of them taking my mother away from me. I became like the jealous boyfriend with my mom and would do everything to sabotage their happiness. My mom conceded to my dysfunction and silently resented me for “taking away her happiness”. Years later looking back, I think I really could have used some fatherly discipline and guidance. I wish my mother would have tried to sit down and talk to me about this, but she lived out the self-fulfilling prophecy of “how no man will ever take me because I have kids”.

Cindy, I know you live in a black and white world of heaven and hell, so it would make since that it would be “him or the kids”, but I have to say that by enabling your kids like that you are creating insecure little people. Treat, talk, and respect your kids like adults and tone down on the hell talk.

December 7, 2009 at 4:23 pm
(21) Cindy says:

Todd, You don’t know that I live in a black and whitE world of heaven and hell. You don’t know my world just like I don’t know yours. There is no “hell” talk in my house, in fact….there are no children in my house, either. I’ve decided to put having children on hold until I am sure that I will be a good mother and will not repeat mistakes. I am speaking from the child’s perspective as well. I was that child. What I said is that anyone who chooses a partner over their children should burn in hell and I’m not backing down from that statement.

I apologize if I’m about to use some language I shouldn’t, but whenever I read stuff like this it completely pisses me off that yet another child has to go through these situations. Whatever happened to being a parent? A real parent. Your children come first. ALWAYS. You decided that when you gave birth . The second you decided to become a mother, you also made the choice to make that child the top priority in your life. And NO, financially supporting your kids DOES NOT mean that you have done your job as a parent!! That is what you’re suppose to do!!! There’s nothing extraordinary about that!! I get sick to my stomach whenever I read about these women with children going off and dating men, moving them in w/ their children, getting pregnant again & again, and never once taking the children they already have into consideration, as iof they have no say. Here’s a foreign concept to you….How about keeping your legs closed and taking proper care of the kids you already have? Yeah, you can all use the excuse that “I deserve to be happy and have a family”…you know what? Your “happiness” is coming at the cost of losing your children and YOU ALREADY HAVE A FAMILY. YOUR KIDS ARE YOUR FAMILY. Does it seem fair to you that in order for you to be “happy” your children have to be unhappy & be forced to live with someone they don’t like? You hoping that they will eventually like him and in the mean time what…they have to be miserable? The child has to feel uncomfortable in their own home? The mom is the one being selfish and thinking only about herself and her “loneliness”, she is the one disrespecting her children, disrespecting herself, and disrespecting their home. Oh that’s right!…the child will just have to grin & bear it, get use to him being around & hopefully get to like him, or the other solution…the kids can move out when they are old enough and then they won’t have to live w/ him. And in the mean time what? The bond/relationship between mother & child has been completely broken!! Why? Because the mother chose a man over her child, the mother forced that child to live with someone they don’t like (regardless of the reasons why), the mother’s actions indicated that her happiness & her relationship/sex life come before her child, & that her child’s feelings & comfort don’t matter. Children are not suppose to sacrifice themselves for their parents, it’s suppose to be the other way around! Children don’t always tell you what they think & exactly how they feel because they don’t want to hurt your feelings or have you be angry at them, but in the end they grow up resenting that they had to keep all those feelings hidden FOR YOU. That resentment grows into anger. Those mother’s that say “My child doesn’t make the rules in my life, I do.” You may make the rules in your life, but don’t assume that those rules apply to and are the best for your children…and aren’t they suppose to be your top priority? Did your child ask to be born? No, you decided that. Did your child ask for his/her parents to divorce? No, you and the father decided that, so the least you can do for them is not bring some f**k buddy into their home, and make them ashamed of their mother. They’ve been through enough turmoil as it is. Just because you’re the adult (and I use that term loosely), doesn’t mean that you get to drag the kids down w/ you in your lifestyle, just because they are dependant on you & will have no other choice but to put up with it. Your “new man” telling you that he likes your kids or acting like he likes your kids doesn’t matter!! They are suppose to like him first and foremost, not the other way around!! What he likes is f**king you and getting a piece of a** from you. He could give two sh*ts about your kids and that I can guarantee you because given a choice he’d prefer that your kids didn’t exist. Set an example for crying out loud! Women who do this DO NOT deserve to be called mothers. Even dogs care for their litter better than that.
To those wondering, yes I am speaking from personal experience. I was the child in this situation NUMEROUS times. I am now about to be 30, & I’m even more sure now of how I felt and know that I was always right. It’s taken a lot of therapy for me to come to terms w/ the fact that “my mother” cared about no one but herself & her top priorities were always her boyfriends/husbands. Her children took a second seat in her life, if not a third seat. I stopped calling her “mom.” Because of the same situation as the one that was asked, I severed all ties with her many years ago when I was still a kid. I raised myself. Because of a man, she lost her child….I still wonder if she thinks it was worth it and if she finally found her “happiness”. I know now that I deserved a lot better, and that she WAS NOT a mother.
How dare you try and subject your kid into putting up w/ some stranger because YOU “have needs”, YOU ARE “lonely”, and YOU “deserve to be happy.” If YOUR “happiness” is worth losing your child then tell go right ahead w/ your plans because that is what will happen.

And in the statement above, when I said replaceable….I meant the boyfriend, not the kid.

December 31, 2009 at 11:04 pm
(22) swtmonkeybaby says:

Cindy — most of these women on here are in “relationships” for 5 – 10 years with the same man. Same man is the key here. It doesn’t seem like they are like your mother “spreading their legs for multiple husbands/boyfriends”. At 30 years old it seems like you still need more counseling if you are surfing the web for strings like this to thrash people without even giving any positive feedback. You are a negative person because of your experience but to allow it to continue to eat at you like this is not healthy for you OR any relationships you have.
SINGLE LADIES WITH CHILDREN: I would read “Five Love Languages for Children” with your little ones to find out what they are missing. This book brought about so much conversation with my teenager to explain why it was he was feeling negative about my relationship. Children crying out isn’t necessarily just because of the man coming into their lives. Most of it has to deal with authority and rules (which children need). Most single parents give in way to much and having a new guy in your life means you both come together as a TEAM to ensure the child is part of the family, not just the only person in the family whose feelings matter.
You can’t put your life on hold just because you had a child and their father’s relationship with you didn’t work. If you as a parent are not happy then it becomes even more difficult to function. Your child cannot give you the fulfillment of a loving relationship that only a man and woman hold. This is not saying go get a man, but definately do not allow your child to get their way just because what they say is final. Listen to them, read the book, and if possible counseling is a must because there is typically something else deeper than just a man coming into the picture. Example: reading the book, my child rated the five love languages with me, another one with my boyfriend of 5 years, and then I asked him to rank the five love languages with a girl that he liked. All were different because in different relationships you look for love in a different ranking. Good luck to you all.

January 2, 2010 at 10:09 pm
(23) Madelaine says:

As a single mother and a psychologist am going to disagree. The moment you have children your life is to a certain extent on hold. My children are and always will be my priority and I will not date or remarry anyone until they are perfectly fine with my doing so. If you have been with a man 5-10 years and your children are not okay with it then you have put their feelings aside for yours for 5- 10 years. Honestly, does that seem okay to you?

I am going to thank those mothers who have solid advice and I am also going to thank Cindy for giving the children in these situations a voice, this is something that is rarely done and it serves to help those mothers in these situations. Listen and pay attention to what was said. It wasn’t an attack on the mind of children who are/have been forced to have a stranger in their life because their mother said so. Sometimes as parents we don’t want to hear what our children have to say because it isn’t what we want, so we ignore them. This is damaging to them as feelings must be acknowledged and responded to. None of this is about allowing your child to get their way, it’s about realizing that their needs come first and yours second. Motherhood means sacrifice and “selflessness”

January 5, 2010 at 7:57 pm
(24) tamekaangel says:

I’m a single mother myself, and even though i agree that our children comes first, i also strongly believes that my happiness comes first. i say this because i can remember times when i was feeling so down and it really affected how i deal with my children day to day lives. First thing i’ve always try and do is not to force my kids to like who i’m dateing, and i don’t allow them to be rude either, if they have something to say i allow them to talk but at the end of the day it’s my decision, my children will grow up and live their own lifes and i willl not choose love for them. It so unfair at times how hard we try to please our children and when they grow up they live their lifes how they want, when we miss out on our own. mothers or fathers treat your children with respect and love , teach them how to look for the good in people and not just put up a wall as soon as they think they don’t like them. do all you can to make things work out for everyone, but if your child is disrespectful for no reason, i don’t see why you should choose the child over someone who really loves and respect you.

February 19, 2010 at 12:15 am
(25) Untitled says:

I have read the comments here and think it is very easy to speculate. It seems quite popular to automatically use the word, ‘Demands’ with regards to the boyfriend. I am in a very similar situation; I knew my girlfriend 18 years ago when we were head over heels in love. We were very young and moved on with life. Just over a year ago however we got back in touch and basically continued where we left off, completely in love! She has a daughter, who is now almost 13. She has always liked me and has often asked when her mother and I are going to get married and have a baby. She has also been very very bad in many ways, even bringing the police home on several occasions. In the past week she has abused me with words that would shock all of you. She has basically told me to leave and never come back. She has also done this in the past. Yes it shocks me, especially after her wanting me to marry her mum.

It seems to me that marrying my girlfriend, having a baby or taking our relationship to the next level before these problems with my girlfriends daughter are resolved, is a bad idea. Mainly because whatever problems she has, either with me or in general, will get bigger. Now I ask you a question; does this mean I am making demands? Does this mean I don’t love my girlfriend? Does this mean I haven’t excepted that my girlfriend has a daughter and that she is the most important person in her life?

I think it’s very easy to speculate and blame. Be careful however, because as far as you know this man in question may be very in love with his girlfriend and realises that practically the situation with her daughter must be worked out first, as it is the most important. So really, he might actually be quite sensible.

Think before you pass judgment.

April 4, 2010 at 4:17 am
(26) Mike says:

Yeah Cindy you have some serious hate and anger issues seek councilling quickly, WOW

April 19, 2010 at 8:56 am
(27) kerry says:

Well done, lots of comments and advice from people who seem a little extreme. I have 4 adult children with their own families and am still getting grief from them over my choice of partner. I just hope time proves them wrong!!!

April 23, 2010 at 4:01 pm
(28) ADPompey says:

Help! I have been dating a lovely lady for just over a year. She has two daughters – 16 and 11. We decided to let the girls get used to me before we told them we were an “item”. The youngest had trouble at first accepting this but we were very honest with her and her mum answered every questin that came her way about our relationship.

I am the first man she has introduced as her boyfriend to her girls in 7years and have been
The 16 year old and I still get on fine and she is happy that her mum is happy. The 11 year old however has recently become very upset about the situation – she says she is fond of me but now doesn’t want her mum to have a boyfriend as she feels i am taking up too much of her time – I only se ethe mum one night a week – when the girls are at their Dad’s – and the occasional weekend – again when the girls are away.

She has started to have dreams about her mum and I having more babies (I’ve had the op, so can’t – she knows this), me moving in and us getting married. The sad and worrying thing is that she also has dreams about her mum hurting her – physically. They are a very close loving family and the thought of this little girl thinking her mum could hurt her is very upsetting to her mum.
Also and more worryingly is that her daughter has said that she has thoughts about ending her life.
This is so out of character as she is a bubbly, happy, gifted child with a wicked sense of humour and a real zest for life.

Obviously the girls should come first and the mum and I are considering putting our relationship on hold until the daughter can feel she can talk about the issues.
The mum is beside herself and doesn’t know where top turn.
She doesn’t want her 11yr old dictating how she should run her life but also doesn’t want to hurt her little girl
I cannot tell the mum how to be a parent or be selfish enough to tell her how this is making me feel as this isn’t about me or my feelings.

I’ve suggested that the mum speak to a GP for some advice and am thinking of suggesting we all sit down and talk this though – be honest with her
and if I am the reason for the way she feels I will walk away – Any thoughts / advice please?

April 26, 2010 at 10:59 am
(29) anthony stargell says:

you have to be parents at all times. i have an 17 year old an she has an opinion but im her father and she has to respect that i have the last word on everything. and once the decision is made i expect her to repect the decision her father has made. there are no negotions,we are parents and we are here to guide our children not for them to guide us. lets get back to being parents and letting children being children again.

May 6, 2010 at 2:55 pm
(30) hippigirl says:

I’m going to have to agree with Cindy on this. I didn’t feel she was being hateful or mean at all. Just honest and realistic. I was that kid once, too. Like Madelaine said, what difference does it make if you hop from jerk to jerk, or if you stay married to one jerk? The kid (that was there FIRST) is unhappy, nonetheless.My mom’s “husband” used to bounce me off walls, and beat me with belts until I bled, but she was married to him, so that makes it okay? I liked her better when she was an unmarried slut. At least she still loved me then. Then this guy comes along, labotomizes her, controls her, uses her up, breaks her bond with me,and ruins everything. She knew he was tyrannical and abusive, but she kept him around for 16 years, because she “had needs”. Just because you’re with a man for a long time, doesn’t mean he’s a good man. I hope he was worth it. I’ve not seen or spoken to them in 20 years. I’m 40 years old now, and the pain of being kicked to the curb for a man never goes away.

May 13, 2010 at 6:40 pm
(31) Julia Heckery says:

Mike, I think you need to reread what was written. It’s stated clearly by Cindy that therapy has helped her some to terms with her childhood. So you stating that she should get some counseling is redundant as it’s obvious that she has surpassed it. She just did all of you a major favor by stating what she did. If you don’t like what she said it’s because you don’t want to have to make a choice between a man/woman and your child. If anything, I think she has hit the nail on the head and those of you who didn’t like what she stated are upset because you know she’s right but you don’t to have to give up your bed buddy so you would much rather ignore your children’s feelings. I am going to have to agree with Cindy as well, although I was never in that situation as a child. I am a divorced mother and I would have never dated or remarried without my children truly being okay with it. Even now, should one of them state that he/she does not like my partner, I would end the relationship. My needs don’t come before my children’s happiness. I am a mother first. A good mother and I will never force anyone into my children’s lives.

May 14, 2010 at 4:59 pm
(32) hippigirl says:

Julia Heckery….I wish YOU had been my mom!

May 20, 2010 at 4:45 pm
(33) LeeAnn says:

Well, my ex left us, remarried as soon as he could. I found someone and started dating. My 11 year old daughter was fine with him until I started asking her to do chores. Then she said I don’t like him. She ran to her Dad telling him she didn’t like him and he said the kid cannot even LOOK at your boyfriend, she will now live with me. Iwant to tell ex, good, I will dump my boyfriend who I will eventually marry, IF you divorce your wife and kick her out the door saying you never want to see her again. Lets get real folks.

May 27, 2010 at 12:51 pm
(34) jeff says:

Very interesting points made by everyone.

All I can say and wish for all of the parents, children, and partners is seek help once an issue comes up. Listen to the children, work with the partener and their children. It may work it may not. Just don’t let it get to a point where it destroyes so many lives.

July 11, 2010 at 8:59 am
(35) rose says:

I have a 6 year old son that I adore. We recently moved bck in with my x boyfriend and I am regretting it big time. I left him b4 bcuz he was verbally abusive to both of us. I get my son back from his dad on saturdays. No planned time usually. I got my son back bcuz he wanted to come home earlier then usual and got a major reaming saying I was selfish. We have trouble with all of us being together. BIG TIME. My boyfriend is always making rude comments about the problem in front of my son and I honestly think that is very immature. What to do? There is much more going on. But this is just a crumb to throw out there. I am emotionally drained and unhappy. Help?

September 12, 2010 at 6:31 am
(36) rebecca says:

points, does anyone feel like its its just not worth walking around on egg-shells between your guy and kids, the endless frustrations and balancing acts we have to portray

December 17, 2010 at 7:41 am
(37) Sara says:

PLEASE someone tell me …..Why then will they accept my exhusbands choices in women and his relationships? Is he aloud to be happy and I’m not? He caused absolute termoil and kaois in our lives yet he is aloud to move on, to feel love, to be a sexual human being?
I would be the most miserable resentful mother if I had to sacrafice my own happiness and human needs. I believe there needs to be a balance and kids need to have an understanding of being loved. Maybe just maybe I can teach them what a normal and loving relationship is so they don’t choose the same type as their father, like I did mine. All relationships are individual and as a mother it is our responsibilty to choose relationships that are healthy and to teach our children. They need to know that they do come first but I won’t be lonely when it’s their turn to move on in life. I love my kids more then anything, more then any man but I love myself too.

January 14, 2011 at 2:49 pm
(38) Dede says:

I have something similar as well. I agree with Sarah. I was in abusive marriage to a man who was not my son’s father. However, my son (now 11) knew him since he was a baby and therefore, he is all he knows. I left this man because I just couldn’t handle it anymore. My son still loves him. I have recently started dating wonderful, loving and very giving man. My son hates him. He cannot bare the idea of me dating him. My bf is very understandibng and said we will take thing slowly and hopefully my son will warm up to him. I agree that sometimes you should liste n to your child and I do worry why does he act that way. Maybe he is simply dumbfounded by the fact that there are nice men out there who will not hit his mom and call her names. I believe time will heal…

January 30, 2011 at 7:31 pm
(39) Netter says:

I am a single mother of an 18 year old daughter. I have put my life on hold for years in order to make her as happy as I possibly could. She had health issues and I was there every step of the way as any parent should be. No questions asked it just was. Her father has not and never was there. Even though we were together at the time, he did not have time to visit the hospital where we were living, he did not have time to help with her recovery. He was just too busy. She disliked him greatly for that. She went threw the drugs and booze stage and i picked her up at police stations and in ditches. By myself as her father thought she was not worth the effort. Now that we are divorced and she only sees him twice a month she thinks he is wonderful. He currently has 3 girlfriends on the go and that is okay. I have been seeing 1 guy for a year and she is rude and disrespectful to him every chance she gets. He helps out every chance he gets…takes her to medical appointments if I am unable, helps with homework and tries to talk to her and still if the mood does not strike her she is down right evil to him. How is it that because I am a mother I do not deserve to be happy? I should just give up on life and be fulfilled tending to the house, grocery shopping and being a chauffeur? Some how I think there is more to life than that. Does your child really have the option to decide your life for you and you have no say because you are a mother? I love my child very much but when does she have to give a little too? When can I make a decision for me?

October 6, 2011 at 5:10 pm
(40) Nettie says:

I too am dealing with trying to help my child and boyfriend get along. My boyfriend and I have known each other for 4 years, dating on and off for the first 2 and now steadily these past 2 years. I have 3 kids all together. My 22 year old daughter is happy that I have found someone. My 16 year old son likes my boyfriend but doesn’t seem to show any interest in getting to know him. My 12 year old seems to be okay with him, and my boyfriend too with him. They just don’t seem to “click” I guess you could say. One of the problems I think, is that my boyfriend is a country boy who grew up on farms, hunting, and working hard all his life and lives that type of lifestyle. My kids pretty much are city slickers and enjoy sports and video games. My boyfriend seems to get dissappointed when my kids don’t take interest in the outdoor type of activities and he gets upset when they are resistant to yard work. He says they are smart and good boys for the most part, he just don’t know how to deal with them. My 12 year old thinks my boyfriend doesn’t like him, and is always afraid to make him mad or to mess up things. We are moving in together which I am estatic about for our relationship, but I worry how everyone will get along. So now what?
Nettie

October 30, 2011 at 2:41 pm
(41) Me says:

@Madelaine

“Motherhood means selflessness and sacrifice”

“I’m a mother and a psychologist”

Somehow I do not think a stable, centred psychologist would be writing either of the above.

A psychologist would know that Motherhood is not about selflessness and sacrifice for starters, and would most certainly not be putting such limited perspectives on sites such as these.

Additionally, a psychologist would also see that Cindy’s post is not coming from a centred, stable position hence utilising it as sound advice “giving children a voice” is at best damaging.

Besides, anyone can label themselves as anything on the internet, and a need to do as such cries incredulity.

Surely a psychologist would understand the basic precepts of child psychology and equally would have no need to report their status – you’d be able to tell by the quality of the writing, that is to say its style, maturity and content.

Additionally, a perspective would be expressed that addresses relevant roles, and that with a medium such as this no conclusions can be drawn without understanding each dynamic, each individual case, in further depth.

Sometimes a mother or a father may ignore legitimate needs of their children and date “irresponsibly”. To cite an example; the kind of parent that goes away on holiday, leaving a 6 year old and an 8 year old at home to fend for themselves for two weeks. That would be deemed to be irresponsible behaviour (assuming no other contexts are added). Sometimes a child may be aware of a new potential partner’s downfalls and the mother/father be ignoring those due to being lonely (as mentioned here already). That, too, can be seen to be dating “irresponsibly” and neglectful of a child’s welfare.

October 30, 2011 at 2:44 pm
(42) Me says:

A child that is angry that her mother has split from her father, and then spitefully and disrespectfully attempts to destroy any and all future relationships that the mother has is another matter, however. That issue lies with the child. In such instances should the mother take into account the child’s statements of “I don’t want you to be with him”? Perhaps not, and instead a deeper issue needs to be addressed – the child’s behaviour is inappropriate. (Or for a single parent Father – gender irrelevant).

Clearly there is a distinction between the two scenarios, and both would need to be addressed differently.

To say that a mother should sacrifice herself and her life in order for a child that is clearly acting up – that is hardly sound psychological advice, and no qualified psychologist would be stating such.

Balance is key. As is common sense. Children DO play up, there is no question about that. For those of you that have children, recall a time when in a shop where the child “wants” something.. something unhealthy, unnecessary, too costly, etc.. So you say “No” and a tantrum ensues… Have you hurt your child? No! Merely teaching them boundaries and respect, a clear cornerstone to a child’s development, along with other cornerstones of love, compassion and integrity.

When a child plays up *in this same way* within a relationship – not wanting the parent to date someone new (and this behaviour continuing for YEARS???) it may well be coming from that same place, or quite simply, an underlying issue that needs addressing. And of course it is the behaviour that needs addressing and not the child.

Similarly, if a parent is actually neglecting a child, then that is unacceptable behaviour and equally needs addressing.

October 30, 2011 at 2:45 pm
(43) Me says:

The two are clearly not the same, and both perspectives will incite a great deal of passion. Personally I find it helps to clarify the context when stating a passionate response for it is fair to say any decent, caring and genuine single parent that dates a new man (or woman) should not ‘burn in hell’ for doing so if the child in question is playing up.

A basis of understanding from the field of psychology (and indeed other related fields such as sociology, neuroscience and the like) clearly states that part of the human condition is to project our issues on those around us, so if we were mistreated as a child, and those wounds not resolved, it is most likely that projection is then put “out there” into the world, thus ending up on forums such as these.

Intriguingly I find many peoples’ comments say more about the person commenting than the intended expression of said comments.

To the original posting – is it healthy to have allowed that kind of behaviour to continue for three years? Most people know where the real issue lies, and it’s just a case of looking at it.

So… for readers who are struggling with their children, readers who are decent people with integrity and honesty and are not afraid to look at what’s really going on… I would simply say:

For each reply, ask yourself this: Is the advice you read “healthy”?

I’m not asking whether you want to hear it or not. I’m asking whether it is healthy, solid, sound advice. Would you anticipate, say, a Doctor coming online and writing in such a way, with such a perspective on a forum such as this?

Generally, sound guidance doesn’t tend to make one feel “bad”. Sometimes the guidance we hear from our Doctor or GP, etc, isn’t what we want to hear, but it doesn’t make us feel “bad”. This is because of where they are coming from, their intent to heal – and thus the delivery of said material is expressed a certain way.
I hope that helps.

November 29, 2011 at 4:58 pm
(44) gama sadie says:

I was 15 when my parents divorced, I grew up got married and was divorced by the age of 21. I had one teenage son that never really gave am any hassle when I started dating and the guy I dated I married. We three were fine never had any complaints from my son but the man was a very family orintated guy he liked the out doors like fishing camping and doing stuff so did my son so they had lots in common including playing nitendo together. I then became pregnant and had a daughter but my marrigage went to hell because of a outside influnence and certain illeagal substance abuse. So I got seperated and my daughter really resented the fact I left her dad. I never remarried I did date but she was never happy with any guy I ever dated or met. Now she my daughter is in the same boat her 9 year old son cant stand her boyfriend/ fiance of 3 years. My daughter dated a man from the time my grandson was 2 months old to the age of 4 so in his eyes this was his dad he loved Tom so much and then my daughter an him split up. ever since then she has dated many guys got pregnant again giving birth to a girl and still single. Why does my grandson not like his this guy my daughter is with I will tell you why he consumes my daughgers time ..this guy spends hours an hour alnone with her behind locke bedroom doors nither kid is alowed in the room he sits down on the couch most of the day watching TV .. Being shoved aside by your own mother is the worst thing any kid could go through .. so guess what I will side with cindy and the other mothers here with good judgement to first understand your children should come first .. it may put you in a situation of just having to be happy dating a man and living in seperate homes untill you meet a man your children do like .. but to put them through the pain of not caring what they think and just being selfish this is not what a true mom stands for ..

December 11, 2011 at 6:54 pm
(45) SingleMom says:

I have to agree with “Me” on most of what’s said. No psychologist would state those kind of things as advice, let alone post them on the internet.

And yes, there are so many scenarios and circumstances that it is merely impossible to view and advice with a black/white mindset. Not knowing the people involved, the past, childhood, etc. it’s hard to make a comment.

The bottom line starts with principles and values. We are parents and we all agree our children come first. No question about that. However, the bottom line is we also play other roles in life besides being a parent i.e. friend, daughter/son, WOMAN/MAN, etc. We are not JUST parents. Again, yes our kids come first but there needs to be a balance. I find if the communication is open, and we take the time (and PATIENCE) to speak to our children, give them the space to voice what concerns them or how they are feeling, etc. and share with them what we feel and how we feel, things ultimately get better. We all know if we are happy as individuals, we are happier parents – that’s just the way it is. Children always want their parents happy, even if they don’t express it, they do. They will act-up, they will try to manipulate situations and us, that’s just the way kids are. Think about that example when you go to a store, and the child always wants something, we say NO and the drama starts.

December 11, 2011 at 6:55 pm
(46) SingleMom says:

Most single Mom’s (my apologies if someone doesn’t agree) have a hard time with discipline, we do give in more than non-single parents, I find anyway. And we have that subconscious ‘guilt’ that resides behind this behaviour. Kids know that, and they use it to their advantage. It’s human, it’s natural.

I have been single for 5 years, I have dated for the last 2 but have never brought anyone home. I wanted to be sure that they were the right person for me first and did not want to be introducing guys to my son – it’s a respect thing. Two months ago, I did introduce this wonderful man to my son – first man he meets after his Dad. I realize it will take time for them to bond, it’s not easy but it’s too fresh right now. I get frustrated and sad inside, but I do have to give them both time. My son and I talk a lot, there are no grounds for him not to like him, he does admit it’s about “him not wanting to share mom”. Understandably enough since he’s been my little man for so long and I have devoted 100% of my time to him (dating only took place when he was with his Dad). Yet no reason for me to have to choose between my boyfriend and my 8 yo son. I set the ground rules, and he needs to respect them. I try to show him how happy I am, how happy this man makes me, and how much fun the 3 of us have together.

Again, it takes a lot of communication and patience but I think (and hope) that if it’s done the right way and never leaving your kids’ feelings aside, it should all work out in the end. I’m saying this just for those cases where there’s a jealousy reason or “mom not being all mine anymore”. This would not apply if the kid has a valid reason (abuse, etc.).

Having said that, I don’t agree with not dating because of your kids. I do think the dating needs to be left outside your home until it’s serious/committed enough and once you ‘know’ this is the right person, then yes, introductions are ok.

Again – communication and openness is key.

Good luck everyone :)

December 26, 2011 at 1:52 pm
(47) Carla says:

I am in the same situation. My boyfriend and I living together and 15 and 17 year old won’t move in with us. They don’t like our relationship. My 17 year old daughter think I betrayed her and my 15 year old think I hate her dad. I need help!! They think I don’t love them!

January 22, 2012 at 2:59 am
(48) Phil says:

Tough situation. No one situation is the same. I was once in a relationship with a woman who had three kids. The oldest kid (about 8, I was with them until he was 15) was absolutely the most defiant child I had ever experienced; he lived to make everyone miserable. I suggested and even paid for counseling, but it didn’t help. When he walked in the room all you could do was wait for the other shoe to drop, and it always did. Most of it had to do with the fact that the kid was never *consistently* disciplined at home (by either parent), and that he was extremely clever about playing one parent against the other.

All I can say is “good luck” with this. It takes a lot of patience and you have to *expect* that a kid who is abusive has some real issues and that they will *continue* to act out. Try not to take it personally, because if you do you will find yourself miserable.

What gets me about kids today is there really doesn’t seem to be any limits placed on behavior. Sure, kids will be kids, and nobody is perfect, but when I hear kids dropping f-bombs on their parents and teachers, and see *nothing* happen, something is terribly wrong.

If he had been my kid (and I suggested this, but it never lasted), I would have made him earn every single privilege in the house. As it was he had every electronic device imaginable, and always had a lot of money, yet he performed no chores (even though he was asked).

If you can get all of you into a group counseling scenario, that might help – just 3-4 sessions might help clear the air, with an impartial observer. If the kid has deeper issues, you are in for a tough ride, and have to accept that as part of the deal.

January 22, 2012 at 3:00 am
(49) phil says:

Last, don’t take any BS! If someone swears at you, or treats you like dirt, let them know in no uncertain terms that you will not tolerate it. Otherwise, YOU will end up with anger issues and lowered self-esteem. No child or adult should have the right to treat another person like dirt, period. Draw the line and keep it firm; if you put out good effort and find nothing changing, it’s best to leave, or limit your time with your love interest when the kids are not around. Again, good luck!

February 6, 2012 at 11:39 am
(50) Dustin Adams says:

I don’t know if I agree with other people.. I was single for 2 years after my divorce and now I have this great girlfriend who is simply amazing and she’s wonderful with my kids, but my kids just despise her and her daughter. Nothing but attitude towards them and things like that.. Although I love my children more than life itself, I cannot let them run my life and run who I am with.. It’s really really hard because I don’t like seeing them like that and it hurts my girlfriends feeling a lot, but she still tries and tries.. My girls are 9 and 11. Her daughter is 8. What do ya do? It kills me inside

February 27, 2012 at 8:33 pm
(51) Catherine says:

@Me “Motherhood means selflessness and sacrifice”
“I’m a mother and a psychologist” Somehow I do not think a stable, centred psychologist would be writing either of the above.”

- How so? I myself am also a Psychologist. Are you saying that because I posted on this site, that I am therefore not a stable, centered individual? What credentials do you possess to make such a statement? Case studies bring us to questions like these on the Internet, hence, why we can choose to give advice. A case study is precisely what lead me to this site. I don’t think my posting this message to you should mean that my credibilty is in question. I read Madelaine’s statement, and I agree w/ her. Her advice is not something that is easy for a struggling parent to read. It makes the parent question themselves. It makes them realize the truth. The triuh is not something that most people can take. Some parents will not admit that they have chosen a partner over their children….because that means accepting fault and accepting failure. Neither of those feelings is easy for a narcisstic individual to admit. Somehow, I don’t think that people who are themselves; stable, centered, and open-minded will take it upon themselves to question someone’s credibilty simply because their opinion does not suit their own needs and wants.

March 21, 2012 at 2:56 pm
(52) Dad says:

I am in a great relationship for almost two years now. We’ve been living together for over 1 year. We are both divorced. She has 3 girls that are 3, 11, and 13. I have a 7 year old son. It all started out great with everyone getting along. We like to take weekend trips and do stuff with them all the time which we all enjoyed. The last few months now have been torture. My girlfriends 13 year old hates my 7 year old son. Constantly bullying him and starting fights. Her attitude is also with me. She goes against me every chance she gets and tries to get the other ones to go along with her. For the most part they don’t. Latley its been getting to the point that I don’t know how this relationship can survive this way. I love my girlfriend and want to marry her and I’ve grown to love her kids. I feel so bad for my son all the time. All he tries to do is fit in and I see him liking coming here less and less every day. I’m so scared that soon he’s gonna be at the age where he doesn’t have to come if he doesn’t want to. If that where to happen I think I would have to put my happines aside and move out. He gets along great with the 11 year old and the 3 year old who can be trying at times I love to death. I don’t know what to do. My girlfriend is trying to be the peacekeeper and doing what she can. Anyways, I don’t know what to do. Her daughters additude is getting worse and worse and I don’t even want to come home or be there sometimes if she’s gonna be there. Hopefully it’s a phase and when she starts Highschool next year she’ll be more involved in other things and not be so worried about the younger kids and childish. OK don’t know if anyone has advice but it was nice to vent either way. Thanks

March 28, 2012 at 5:14 pm
(53) Tina says:

Wow – what a great thread I have found!
Well, I am in a relationship that I am pretty sure I am going to end. Especially after reading all this.
I am 100% in love with this guy, but he is not tolerant/patient enough with my son I have from the ex. He seems to think my son should behave like an adult. For God’s sake – he is just a 10 year old child. He takes offense when my 10 year old says things like “my daddy says you’re fat.” Or, “my daddy says he can beat you up.” Now, I know that is not good and not respectful to say to my boyfriend, but I just laugh it off. I do, however, tell my son that is not nice, but I don’t get histerical like my boyfriend does. I mark it off as childish behavior. I feel like my boyfriend is acting like a child and taking the comments too far that my ex sends to my kids. The relationship with my boyfriend is healthy in other ways. Like, he supports himself, has his own place, and doesn’t live with mommy like my ex. However, because of his “terms” and all his pouting about my 10 year olds behavior, I think I am going to end it. It’s not easy, because I do love him so much. But, I just got out of a relationship with a man-child, and now I feel like I am with another cry-baby, man-child. LOL – where the grown ups at?????? hahaha

April 17, 2012 at 2:24 pm
(54) Serenity says:

My adult children, 23, 25, daughters, 27 year old son, have now put me all in the same tough spot. I have been living with the same man for over 5 years now, (we have been friends for over 30 years) and my children, and my mother don’t want me to have anything to do with him. They believe he “controls and manipulates” me. This is so very far from the truth. What’s worse, is that my children don’t EVEN live with me, and are still trying to dictate how I live my life. I put off dating or having a man in my life, (even though all of them lived with their father) until they became young adults, out of respect for them.
My male friend has never been invited or included to any family functions or dinners, but the exhusband always gets an invite, and all I ever hear is glowing reports of how wonderful he is…(I left the ex because he was verbally and physically abusive). My children never invite me out for tea, or dinner or are willing to spend anytime with me. One daughter lives half a dozen houses away from me. The only time I hear from them is when they need a ride or want money, (they are not working) which by the way I have know stopped giving them. So at this point in my life, ( I am 59 years soon to be 60) I believe that I do not have to live my life alone just because “they” want me to. Children grow up, move away from home, start families of their own perhaps, why should the “parent” not have a friend to spend time with as well?

April 24, 2012 at 1:22 pm
(55) Michelle says:

I have been with my partner for almost 4 years now! My children are 19,16,13 and my 2 daughters think my partner is lovely but my son says nasty and hurtful things to my partner such as you’re not my father etc! My partner has never tried to replace my sons dad at all and my partner is the kindest most gentle man on the planet! My ex-husband was controlling and manipulative and treated me like dirt until I could take no more! In the last 2 years my ex husband has only seen the children twice ( hus choice completely I have given him every opportunity to spend time with them) my son had hardly spoken to his dad in 6 months then in the last 2 weeks he has spoken to him lots and since then my son has been horrid to my partner! I love my son very much but I am entitled to some happiness in my life and my ex-husband has a new partner who has 2 children but he encourages my son to be nasty to my partner yet he’s in the same position as my partner!
Why does my son have to hurt my partner just because ge can? My partner never raises his voice or anything he is patient and kind to my son and tries his best all the time! What do I do?

May 21, 2012 at 11:35 am
(56) ariel says:

I have the same situation I have four kids all young they all love him except one he doesnt give me any reason except he rather have his.dad there but of course his own dad is a deadbeat and he feels like hes always being picked on gettin in trouble but I explain if he behaves in school and bring his grades up and stop hitting girls he wouldnt get grounded all the time.by us he 5 and of course his dad.doesnt make it better by encouraging our son son I dont know what to do for my son to cooperate and my boyfriends says I shouldnt pressure him hell come around

June 21, 2012 at 4:36 pm
(57) lucy says:

I AM THE CHILD OF THESE RELATION SHIPS TOO CINDY…I’M 31 TODAY, AND HAVE LIFE LONG SCARES, SO MUCH SO I AM TERRIFIED TO HAVE CHILDREN, FOR THE FIRST 8 YEARS OLF MY LIFE MY MOTHER WAS GREAT, I’LL GIVE HER THAT, SHE LEFT MY FATHER…WHEN I WAS 1 I HAD NOT CHOICE IN HER DIVORCE OR MY BIRTH..IF I DID I WOULD HAVE ABORTED MYSELF…I AM JUST CRYING IN TEARS READING ALL THIS…ITS NOT MY FAULT THAT I HAD TO LIVE AND I PAID THE PRICE FOR MY MOTHERS HAPPINESS, WHEN I WAS 7 MY MOTHER BOUGHT HER OWN HOUSE SHE WAS DOING WELL, HAD RELATIVES AND A LITTLE GIRL – HER LIFE WAS PEACEFUL, BUT ONE THING WAS MISSING FROM HER LIFE “SEX” SHE STARTED DATING A MARRIED MAN HE LEFT HIS WIFE FOR MY MOTHER…THEY WERE VERY HAPPY TOGETHER AS HER BOYFRIEND TREATED MY MOTHER VERY WELL, BUT WHEN I WAS 8 I ALWAYS KNEW SOMETHING WAS OFF ABOUT HIM, THEY SAY CHILDREN HAVE A STRONGER SENSE THEN ADULTS DO, I KNEW HE NEVER CARED ABOUT ME…BUT MY MOTHER WOULD SAY TO PEOPLE OH HE LOVES MY CHILD, HE IS SO GOOD TO MY DAUGHTER…THEN HE GOT MY MOTHER PREGNANT REALLY FAST TO TRAP HER, MY MOTHER COULD NOT SEE THIS AND WAS SO HAPPY, HE MOVED IN, I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW…HE WOULD SMIRK AT ME WHEN MY MOTHER WASN’T AROUND, WHEN SHE WENT TO WORK HE WOULD BEAT ME, AFTER MY MOTHER HAD HIS CHILD, HE WAS ALREADY SETTLED AND WOULD NOT TREAT ME EQUALLY AS HE HAS HIS OWN BIO CHILD NOW, WHEN I TURNED 12 HE MOLESTED ME, MY MOTHER NEVER BELIEVED ME, WHY? BECAUSE ITS IMPOSSIBLE, HE’S A GOOD GUY I’M 12 I AM THE LIAR, HE’S 40 IMPOSSIBLE…I WAS SENT TO LIVE IN A FOSTER HOME. MY MOTHER BECAME STUCK IN A SENSE BECAUSE SHE HAD A NEW HOUSE WITH THEM AND 2 S**T SON’S BY HIM and then theres me I MOVED BACK HOME AT 15 AND IT WAS HELL ON WHEELS, HE WOULD SAY THINGS TO ME LIKE I WISH YOUR DAUGHTER WAS DEAD, I NEVER CARRED ABOUT HER…I ONLY HAD TO PUT UP WITH HER BECAUSE YOU ARE MY WIFE…AFTER 7 YEARS INTO HER MARRIAGE MY MOTHER REALIZED THE HELL SHE CAUSED, BUT DIDN’T CARE ITS TO LATE,

June 21, 2012 at 4:38 pm
(58) lucy says:

CINDY YOU ARE SO RIGHT NON OF THESE WOMEN UNDERSTAND THAT NONE OF THESE MEN REALLY CARE ABOUT THEIR GF’S CHILDREN…THEY WANT A RELATIONSHIP WITH THE WOMAN, SEX AND THE KIDS ARE JUST IN THE WAY…I LIVED THOUGH HELL, THESE WOMEN DON’T REALIZE – I AM TELLING YOU PLEASE RECONSIDER IF YOUR CHILD IS NOT HAPPY, IT WILL ONLY CREATE MORE STRESS IN THE HOME…I AM THE PRODUCT OF WHAT WILL HAPPEN…I LIVED THE LIFE OF A STEP-DAUGHTER FROM 8 TO 23 AND WAS THROWN OUT WITH NO WHERE TO GO, BECAUSE MY MOTHERS HUSBAND SAID ITS NOT MY PROBLEM WHERE SHE ENDS UP…I DON’T CARE…GET OUT YOUR DONE SCHOOL…I DID…I NEVER LOOKED BACK…I DON’T HAVE A MOTHER IN MY LIFE, BECAUSE MY MOTHER NEEDED HAPPINESS…I HAVE TRIED TO KILL MY SELF 4 TIMES 2 TIMES AT 12 AND 2 TIMES WHEN I WAS 13…IT DIDN’T WORK…I HAVE BEEN THOUGH SO MUCH HELP…THERAPY, WHAT CINDY IS TELLING YOU IS RIGHT, I JUST FOUND THE WORDS, MY MOTHER CALLED ME ON MY 25TH BIRTHDAY AND I TOLD HER SHE IS NOT MY MOTHER, I WANT NOTHING TO DO WITH HER….I CAN’T STAND HER HUSBAND, I WAS THE CHILD, HE WAS THE ADULT…REMEMBER CHILDREN ARE CHILDREN THEY HAVEN’T LIVED LONE ENOUGH…TO KNOW ALL THE RIGHTS AND WRONGS…I TOLD MY MOTHER ALL MY FEELINGS FOR THE FIRST TIME I BLEW IT OUT, SHE WAS SO SUPRISED AND CRIED AS I WAS TO…THIS IS WHAT 1 MAN FOR SEX CAUSED OUR FAMILY! i TOLD HER I CAN’T HAVE HER IN MY LIFE…

June 21, 2012 at 4:41 pm
(59) lucy says:

I NEED TO HEAL FROM THE DAMAGE..I SEE MY MOTHER AS A VER SELFISH PERSON…DO NOT CALL YOUR CHILDREN SELFISH, THEY ARE JUST PROTECTING THEM SELVES, YOU HAVE TO RAISE THEM, THEY NEED TO BE COMFORTABLE IN THEIR OWN HOMES AFTER THEY ALL REACH OVER 18 OR 21 WHATEVER DONE SCHOOL, GO FOR IT…THE CHILDREN AT THAT POINT DON’T REALLY NEED A SAY…BECAUSE THEY ARE ABLE BODIES TO LIVE ON THEIR OWN, BUT ANY CHILD THAT IS YOUNG NEEDS A SAY…I WAS 8 I RAISED MY SELF, I FOUGHT FOR AN EDUCATION TO PUT MY SELF THOUGH SCHOOL BECAUSE MY MOTHER WASN’T GOING TO HELP HER HUSBAND SAID NO!

REALITY TO THESE WOMEN …PROVEN FACT THAT 80% TO 90% OF BLENDED FAMILIES NEVER WORK OUT!

JUST TYPE IN GOOGLE ” MY HUSBAND HATES MY KIDS” OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT…if the child tells you they are not happy with the man or woman listen to them…it could be deeper and or molestation or rape, or that they get a bad vibe, remember dating someone is different then living with them everyday, these children are like 3 to 16 or so, they have been in the middle of being raised a certain way…to change that is very hard, the man after moving in can end up resenting your children…in fact most of these men put up an act, and you women know it…but will never admit to it, becuase you just want a “F-buddy” and don’t want to be lonely but you will be when your children leave they won’t look back…becuase even i have heard of the man telling the wife do not talk to your own children…etc…

June 21, 2012 at 4:46 pm
(60) lucy says:

(cont…last part)

My mothers husband that was her best boyfriend at one time…even said to my mother to choose between her daughter or him…she said in front of me…oh know i can’t do that….i never once asked her to choose all i wanted was MOTHER…AND BEING A MOTHER REQUIRES TIME…IF YOU HAVE A BOYFRIEND YOU DON’T HAVE TIME FOR YOUR CHILDREN THE GROWN MAN WILL GET JEALOUS OF YOUR CHILDREN…he started to get so jealous of me…that my mother evenually choose him because i was the weaker one, i was the child, i can’t do anything for my mother, but he can he can give her sex, and pay her bills and have lots of fun…i felt like the out sider in my own home…again perhaps your children don’t want what happen to me to happen to them…LISTEN TO YOUR CHILDREN, PLEASE ALWAYS PUT YOUR BABIES FIRST..PLEASE I BEG YOU, LOVE YOUR CHILDREN YOU WILL DIE HAPPY KNOWING YOU WERE A GOOD MOTHER WHAT YOUR CHILDREN FEEL IS THE PAIN YOU WILL FEEL WHEN YOU ARE INFRONT OF GOD! THE PAIN YOU MOTHER CAN CAUSE CAN DO SO MUCH DAMAGE…I AM AT 31 A DAMAGED CHILD…I CAN’T TRUST MEN, BECUSE OF MY MOTHER’S 5 YEAR BOYFRIEND!

What do i know…i’m the victim of what children can go through, when a mother puts her children 2nd best, you owe us, when you have children they become your life, after we are older 20 you want to date and have as many men, thats fine cause at that point your children aren’t damaged, because they can move out…be a good mother, not think of your happiness first, when you and your child are stuck on a boat with no food, but just a slice of bread, do you not feed your child first? then your self? or are you the type of mother that feeds yourself first and or gives the bread to your boyfriend and if anything is leave over the child could have some…children aren’t selfish they have a right to fight for security, its their home becuase its your home, they are part of you, these are your children…YOU ARE A PACKAGE DEAL,!!! NOT SINGLE! PACKAGE DEAL!!!

August 12, 2012 at 11:19 am
(61) Single Dad says:

I believe that adults have to first accept that their children are individuals and that all individuals are not good fits. We all have relationships that click and many more that don’t, never did and never will. When we have a significant other that our child (after a reasonable amount of time and exposure) does click with or worse does not connect with at all, we are forced with the difficult situation of changing the round hole or square peg. The child is the hole the boyfriend or girlfriend is the peg. For me I can’t change the child so I change the girl friend as she must fit into my life which includes my child. My responsibility it to my child and I would much rather find a new love that attempt to force an unwanted relationship onto my child. I believe that is one of the costs of divorce that parents should be willing to pay. Otherwise their choice is self-serving and does not create the healthiest environment for the child that I can give them. Children have had too much to accept and adjust to just with a divorce for us to then force an unwanted relationship on them. Stretch yourself and find a relationship that works for all. It’s not that difficult.

August 14, 2012 at 1:47 pm
(62) Terri says:

I myself am not a single parent, I do however have a child AND come from a step family. Yes our childrens needs come first. I love my daughter more than anything in this world, however every night at 8pm with very few exceptions she needs to go find something to do that doesn’t involve me or her dad. I let her know that it is our time and that it’s important for us to have. I grew up in a house where my mom devoted 100 percent of her time to us kids – so not only did she smother us but she learned to only find value and love from her children. And now that we are all out of the house her and my step dad have no relationship whatsoever. You don’t have to be a therapist to realize how UNHEALTHY it is. Parents, single or not, need to find value and love from people outside their children. Whether it is dating or spending time with their friends away from their kids. Deciding to date even though your child doesn’t agree is in no way shape or form choosing them over your kid! Happy parents make happy children!!

August 24, 2012 at 9:50 am
(63) JB says:

my friend (ex-girlfriend) and i have started kinda seeing each other, she has recently left her fiance of one year, and was together a total of 5 years…Her daughter is now 12, they had a up and down relationship (kid and fiance) he constantly told her mother that there was never enough time for anything but cheerleading, and complained about about everything, also the daughter does not know the personal disrespect that he always did to her mother. She is for the most part very nice towards me, but recently has started asking her mom questions. She wants to move back to the ex’s house more than anything because she living with her aunt, no room of her own, and the ex is playing them both. She has recently started acting out at her mom, telling her she hates her, and is affraid that mom will stop liking the ex, and start liking me….I’m a firm believer of you DON’T stay in a relationship for the sake of a child, you move on, pick yourself up, and move on. the worst thing you can do to a child is stay in a loveless, oneway, mentally abusive relationship….I’m 99.9% sure once mom gets her own house, and the daughter get her own room, things will be just fine….what do you think??

August 27, 2012 at 3:50 pm
(64) comfort says:

Have been in such situation. The child is thinking that someone else is touching her beloved, tresspassing his territory. Talk to him, tell him you need to have a companion, and he will understand. slowly. go slowly.

September 20, 2012 at 1:54 pm
(65) jacki says:

HELP I am in a similar situation my 11 yr old son and live in boyfriend of 2 years can not see eye 2 eye. Much of the problem has been caused from my son being highly disrespectful 2 my boyfriend in public and family gatherings the most recent incident happened over the summer and I have been struggling 2 find a common ground or some way to make things better. My boyfriend has basically thrown in the towel and says he is done and dont want anything 2 do with my son, which I know is not the best way to handle it and it probably isolating my son more but at the same time my 7 yr old adores this man and has actually cried at the thought of us splitting up. My boyfriend is an amazing man and is wonderful though I am frustrated with his reaction to this situation how can I get him to be more understanding? He was raised by his army father and his mother was not in the picture and I sometimes think that he does not understand a mothers love IDK I’m at a loss I don’t want to lose the best man that has came in my life but I am trying to be there for my son through his rough times.

October 4, 2012 at 11:27 pm
(66) Duane says:

“Whoooooa” wait a minute here!. I am reading these as if the parents are letting their kids control them and know what/or who is best for mom/dad”. Yes, you are supposed to love your children!. No, you dont let your children control you!! So you and your girlfriend/boyfriend etc.. get on very well and have everything going,except the child does not like who the parent is with?.. since when does the child know more than the parents/grownups? Your child likes someone who is an total idiot/abuser/etc..towards you, so you are supposed to stay with that person because the child likes him/her?.. I think not!! this is where you draw the line and the children have to learn to accept! It facinates me to read of people here that really seem to have it all wrong”. It dispicable to think that anyone would choose their parents partner!! no wonder why people are so screwed up”.

October 24, 2012 at 2:53 pm
(67) a father too says:

I looked this up too see what I could find on the subject as I am finding some moments hard in my new relationship. She and I have been friends for over 13 years 8 of those years we hadn’t seen each other at all. But since we refound oneanother things have moved very fast. We both have children and we both have seperate lives we are contending with. What we do know and fought hard against untilled we couldent deny it without having serious regret is how we feel about each other. We are both lost in this as I know neither of us though of our previous relationships as temp situations that would end up in single parenthood. We just want what’s best for our children but have unexpectedly found a deep loving situation outside of what was for both of us hellish seperations.

October 24, 2012 at 3:05 pm
(68) a father too says:

Now to compound the issue I have known her ex for many years though most of them we have have neither been friends or spoken. When she and I re met eachother her ex was not around for his Kids in any way. Not until he found out she was seeing me. I am very happy he is in his kids life’s again as they were very sad and felt quite abandoned by him. I never engage in negative conversation about her ex with the kids around and stay out of their situation completely except to be there for her. I adore her kids and she does mine. But since dad has come back into their lives he has taught her youngest to simply not listen to me and be rude.

October 24, 2012 at 3:15 pm
(69) a father too says:

It is to say the least. Very hurtful. On several levles. Of course though I know its not to be taken personally it does hurt me but also I feel as though it is adding more difficult complexities to an already hard situation. These things are all things I knew would happen but it doesent make it easier. We both just want to do what’s best for our kids and are very loving affectionate and understanding people and parents. But wholly crap it is hard and there is a lot of frustration involved. I am coming from a broken mixed family so I get the kids side very well. Just saying its hard and there is a lot at stake. So we just try to do what feels right and listen to each other and our kids and talk and play and laugh and cry togeather and just keep on keeping on. In our case it is what it is. We all got bruises and we just want what’s best for each other.

October 31, 2012 at 2:00 am
(70) Atta Loss says:

My boy friend of 8 years has known my kids since they were 4 & 6. They were close. Then my boyfriends mother of 80 fell ill. She has dementia that demanded more and more of his time over the past 5 years. Understandably. However, explaining that to the kids is an ongoing deal. So now my daughter is 12 and my son is 14. With the more demands being made on my boyfriend, he has really not been around. The kids have taken it badly. They see that things we used to do together are now done alone. Which lets me down but I always say he has to take care of his mom.The kids say “let me guess. He’s not coming. Ya. He has to take care of his mom.” So this past weekend we agreed that since we were not going trick or treating that we would have a scary movie night with pizza. I left with my son and got a pizza. I called to invite him but he was too tired from taking care of mom. I stressed that he had not seen them at all this week. So I returned home with the pizza and my daughter asked if he was coming. I said no. She must have heard the disappointment in my voice? Because she did something way out of character. She, unbeknownst to me, texted him that she didn’t care if her text cost him money but that he needed to keep his stress away from momma and he needed to apologize to me. I called him the next day and he unwillingly told me that he was not coming around because my kids are disrespectful. I tried to explain it was not that simple,that his abandonment over the years has taken its tole on more than just him and I. He accused me of bad parenting because he felt I was incapable of punishing my child for her disrepect. I said that I did not condone the text message but there is more to it. So, he hung up on me. He hasn’t called in 2days. I understand my daughters feelings. I have no idea how to make it better between them.

November 3, 2012 at 4:24 am
(71) Emma says:

My situation is similar, my daughter of 7 had told me she doesn’t like my partner of 2 yrs. He can be difficult at times and vents his frustrations easily, shouting at times, and sometimes swearing.(not at her, just in general) I am 7 months pregnant and we had planned a future together with him and my daughter previously getting on.. the issues have arisen since he moved in. I love my daughter so much and am always asking how she feels. She started off just laughing at my partner calling him a ‘whinge bag’ but now she is being more honest. She’s close to her dad an has told him that my partner sometimes shouts and he is now questioning me about it. I’m worried and have spoken to my partner on several occasions that it is not tolerable or acceptable but he sometimes still does it. I worry about my daughter and am of course seriously considering ending the relationship before my baby is born even though we are both so excited about it, as is my daughter. She also says she likes the family unit we have, and I can see she is torn and a 7 yr old should not have to feel that way. She’s never really had discipline from her dad whereas the new partner has rules like shoes and toys being put away- normal stuff but she sees it as him being hard on her.

December 11, 2012 at 8:30 am
(72) Dewy says:

Hello”
Very concerning to read many of these comments that the child comes first”.Yes, the child comes 1rst in the aspect that, the child has to be cared and nurtured(in my case a 12 year old daughter).we have been together now for 2 years. we get along very good. her daughter liked me very much only until recently 6-8+months. it is very simple”.she does not like when we are close, or touching-affection etc…(yes we dont purposely do this in front of her).if mom is laying in the bed when i come over,and i go to sit with her for a bit, her daughter will come in from the living room(watching TV)and tell me that i cant be there..i think most of you readers get the point”…i have stressed that she needs some counciling etc.., and that mom has to disipline her to as the boundries and rules of our relationship.(BTW”..the bio father has been deceaced for a few years). i feel that mom is afraid to lay down the rules as to not hurt her daughter and friend..i do understand that is part of her and her daughter, but the thing that disturbs me is reading that people would not date unless there child likes them”?..1rst off”..someone who lets their child run and control who the parent can and cannot love is totally wrong and will lead to problems. so the child likes the boyfriend at 1rst, but then when the child learns that this man/woman is more than just a friend then the boyfriend/girlfriend is automaticly hated?..my girlfriends daughter gets very defiant and starts to have a tantrum and says ” she wont stop until i leave”.
The issue is not that you will or willnot date someone that your child does not like, but whether you are going to let your child control your life”.

December 11, 2012 at 9:10 am
(73) dewy says:

responce to Todd(20)

Thank you! very much for being so accurate in your responce to Cindy”.

Children are the love of our lives, but they are still children and dont have a clue accept to feel selfish and protect the love they get from the parent.

learning respect and rules!

A REAL destructive parent is one who will cater to ALL of their childs selfishness and let the child take control of the parents life”..in this case CINDY”..

December 11, 2012 at 9:27 am
(74) dewy says:

oh boy” here we go again!
Even though I am a very careing and loving guy that would sacrifice all for my girlfriend”…

Hence, I am now labeled as a bad guy simply because my girlfriends 12 yr old daughter is jealous”..

“Just Great!!..Hurts very much!

February 6, 2013 at 1:01 pm
(75) J says:

I truly feel sorry for those of you who had terrible experiences as children with abusive “step” parents. I truly hope you find peace in your lives and can have meaningful relationships. However, you have no right to judge others based on those experiences. The single parents who are posting on this site looking for answers clearly love their children and are devoted to them. They would not be looking for answers if they didn’t care. For those of you claiming to be psychologists, just because you may be educated does not mean you don’t have deep seeded issues of your own that need healing. My mother remarried when I was 4 yrs old. He was a great father, loved my brother/I very much. He did make mistakes, as all parents do, that didn’t destroy our lives. My sons father passed away when he was 4 yrs old. He is now 12, and is struggling with my dating. I have been seeing the same man for almost 2 yrs and our relationship is not based on sex. It’s been quite a while actually. Lol, family life doesn’t always leave room for intimacy. I do not force my son in any way to interact with my boyfriend, and do not expect him to like him, he has a right to his opinions. My son and I have a great relationship as well, I spend time with him everyday. He always has some wood project he wants me to work on with him, we rebuild a make-shift skate ramp in our back yard almost daily lol. Would I love for him to bond with my boyfriend, yes. It would be great for him to have a male role model, and ask “guy” questions to. Is that going to happen any time soon? No, not likely. I am completely open to positive suggestions as to ways to get them talking and hanging out a little. My son leaves the room every time my boyfriend enters. My boyfriend understands though, and doesn’t try to force a relationship. He is patient and kind. He had 2 daughters of his own. Well I really could go on and on, but I must get on with my morning. I wish all of you the best of luck in each of your situations :)

April 8, 2013 at 2:52 pm
(76) warreng says:

I must say that reading alot of this saddens me. My girlfriend and I have been dating for two and a half years. We love each other very much. We both have two children, each with a boy and a girl. Her daughter is 18 and son 9, my son 10 and daughter 7. There have been many difficulties along the way. We have managed to bring everyone along except for her 9 year old son. He is completely opposed to our dating. He body blocks me when she and I spend time together, even cries when he knows we are spending time together when he goes to his dads (every other weekend). However, all of his other behaviors are very interesting. One-on-one, he is the most lovable kid with me. He loves to hang out with me and my son. He takes every chance he can to do so. My home is the only home he will spend the night at without his mother. He and I go to dinner together and sometimes the movies. I help him with his homework. I taught him how to swim, ride a bike, work on car, grill, and throw a football. He loves my kids. I just got a call from my girlfriend and she let me know my son came home with her from school based on her sons request. They are playing together right now. I am the only person (besides her mother) that can talk him down when he gets upset (he’s super sensitive). He adores my family (especially my mother) and calls all my brothers and sisters aunt and uncle. If he needs to come from school early, he asks his mother to call me…not his dad. However, he still doesn’t like his mother and I dating. It took me a while to understand what was going on. Was I not doing enough? What more could I do? He has gone to therapist, etc. The reality of it is he is in a vulnerable situation. He has seen horrible things in his parents relationship. His father has left him. He has seen his mother vulnerable and hurt. HE HAS GONE THROUGH THINGS. (continued in comment below)

April 8, 2013 at 2:53 pm
(77) warren g says:

He also can’t be expected to understand the complexity of it all. No matter how much he wants to. He will continue to evolve, some of it at his pace and some with assitance. However, in the long run he can’t be expected to know what near term decisions return the best long run benefits. All I can say is his mother and I will continue to work together as we move forward. We will continue to show him love every chance we get. One day, god willing, things will be different. However, I will fight for him just as I would my own children. This is because I love him, his sister, and of course their adorable mother. Coming from a home where my father adopted my mom’s two children (both having different fathers), I have seen the difficulties such a situation can present over the decades. However, I will never forget my older brother at our fathers recent 75th birthday. Regardless of all the difficulties our blended family experienced. At the age of 41, my older wept in front of a crowd of one hundred people as he talked about what our father went through by adopting him. Nothing was more beautiful than him letting my dad know he was the man he was today because of him. That he only hoped he could do half of what was done for him for his own son.

My point to everyone on this exchange is we are the adults. We must act in our childrens best interest. We can’t expect for them to know whats best, that’s not the place or expectation of a child. We can expect for them to act out. We can expect for them to be emotional. We can expect they will need our combined guidance to ensure their physical, mental, and emotion health. To achieve this maturity is key. Love must be presented and extended openly. And of course, we must have emotional and mental endurance. Each child is different, will need different assistance, and will have their own timeline.

My best to you all.

May 29, 2013 at 10:43 pm
(78) Diane says:

My Adult Daughter Hates MyNewHusband. I WIsh Her The Best. No One Comes Between A Husband And wife

June 25, 2013 at 5:10 am
(79) Louisa says:

Very interesting posts. I don’t even know how I got on this page but it can only be said…I was supposed to! Anyway, tonight was awful. I got back together with my old boyfriend, we have been together on and off for 4 years. My 17.5 year old son is very protective of me. I have been a single mom since the day he was born. He had to go to foster care due to the fact that I lost my housing. But we see and talk to each other all the time and I see him as much as I can…But my son hates this guy and blames him for losing my housing but he has gone in a different direction by looking for a stable job so he can get benefits and housing for me and him. My son appeared tonigjht at AA with HIM there and went off on him running him off the property as he was throwing filled cans of soda at him. He left and so did my son by the time I was out of the meeting. My father and stepmother were married for 48 years until he died last year. I was raised with them sticking together no matter what my complaints about her and my fear. We never got along but she made him happy until the day he died. I see so many posts about parents staying on the side of their kids and yet he helped me financially and we have spent hours together both looking for jobs…I put my kids first their entire lives and sacrificed working and making close friends. My son also has a twin who lives independently now. I am confused and just want to disappear from everything

July 5, 2013 at 1:13 am
(80) David says:

Wondering how a divorced parent like my sister who’s ex husband has boundary issues and has actively harrassed verbally and near stalking every guy my sister has tried to date in the 10 yrs they have been divorced. Now the middle daughter is a JR in high school and is so snowed by her dad thinking they will get back together or something and refuses to believe anything my sister tells her. He’s a master manipulator so now the daughter is moving out to live with him saying my sister chose the guy over her. If she broke up with him she’d be back in a minute. How do you deal with a kids who’s a brat and a violent ex with apparent mental issues? At some point parents can’t be blackmailed emotionally by their kids because those kids will never like anyone. She will be gone to college in a yr if her dad doesn’t screw up her education. Is it wrong she keeps seeing the guy and calling my niece on her BS? An unhappy lonely parent isn’t a parent at their best.

July 7, 2013 at 1:00 am
(81) Lillian 'Matli says:

My mother was also a sngl parent at first i was fine wth the dating whatever until it got to me.The thing is i felt she had more time with her boyfriend instead of her children all activities we had with her like watching a movie,painting,going for lunch in town were always delayed n never done that is why i hated my mother’s boyfriend.i think you should spend some time with your children and always try to keep your promices!

July 15, 2013 at 8:53 pm
(82) Lynn says:

This is about the most unhelpful article I have ever read. There is no sort of advice for what to do in this situation.

July 29, 2013 at 10:45 pm
(83) Lindsey says:

My daughter dislikes my partner, I was with her father for 13 years which included the first 12 years of her life. However we broke up as it wasn’t working. After 5 months I met someone and my then 12 year old daughter instantly disliked him, he wasn’t her father and she wasn’t used to it. I visited my new boyfriend and sent my daughter to her aunt’s. When it came to going home she refused to come home unless I broke up with him. Even though I love my daughter, I deserve to be happy and refused to be dictated to by a 12 year old, she does as I say, not the other way round. I did give her the option of moving in with her father, which she did. He then met someone and she bought my daughter all kinds of presents, buying her way into her life, unfortunately this woman lived in Scotland (I live in England) and my ex and daughter have moved up there, he refuses to tell me their address so I have not seen my daughter for 3 years. That said I am now happily married and do not regret my decision. I refused to be given an ultimatum by a 12 year old and I stand by that. She is always welcome if she changes her mind, and my new husband knows and completely supports this. In life today far too much time is taken catering for spoilt kids who manage to wrap parents round them. I still think about her everyday, but I love my husband unconditionally and always will. Even if my daughter (now 15) does come and live with us my husband will always come first (as it says in the Bible – 1. God, 2. Spouse 3. Kids). I regret nothing and just hope and pray my daughter will one day wish to contact me.

August 3, 2013 at 11:21 pm
(84) Duane says:

This is in response to the comments by CINDY.

I know these postings are older, but some very interesting stuff’. The first thing I would say to Cindy is, Lets reverse the role and place the child as living with the father. You see my point? Cindy has an issue with MEN”. She is saying all men are JERKS! The real problem is that Cindys mother really wasn’t fit to be a mother. Of course cindy did not know any better as a child. Mom is still mom to any child. I had this same situation with my ex and her daughter. her father deceased when she was 8 yrs. we met when she was 10. daughter was a total sweetheart and clung to me like a father. I made it a point to not show affection to mom in front of her. this is not easy because children have eyes too. and they notice things. Daughter started to feel jealousy later on and started to get very nasty. I was respectful to her. Anyway she got mom to be frustrated and end up choosing to end the relation. Basically let her daughter control her life instead of wanting to council and face the issues. In no way have I ever had any intentions to push the daughter or become a control to fight for moms attention. I loved her so dearly and would love to be a father/friend, but kids just don’t see that. this is what happens when the parent does not talk and disapline. the child see’s that mom or dad will do nothing, so the child takes control.

You have no clue how deep this pain is!! Its like giving a child the keys to the kingdom.

August 10, 2013 at 5:16 am
(85) Single mum(25) says:

Im a single parent to an 8year old boy and have a 30year old boyfriend. My son has adhd and post-traumatic stress disorder because of my last relationship(it was violent and abusive everyday for 8months).i was eventually finally able to leave him after eight mnths.my sons behaviour probs started while i was in that relationship and still occure today.he has cronic post traumatic stress disorder and it affects his behaviour very badly and he is very rude to my partner every day and my partner argues back all the time too which drives me nuts and really hurts me to see my son miserable and him telling me he hates my bf.he tells me my bf pulls the tounge at him all the time and it really maks my son angry.Im always telling my bf to grow up and act like an adult(he has no kids).and tell him to dicipline my son if he dosnt like the way my son talks to him.i know my boy is rude to him all the time but i feel sorry for him and what him and i went though with the violent relationship and it really affected my son .so i agree what cindy said in some way…single mothers really need to be very carefull who they get involved with and bring into there home.i didnt know at first my x was a nutter untill after he moved in with us….

September 21, 2013 at 10:01 pm
(86) Renee says:

You need to be sure your child is not disliked by the boyfriend or some other problem your not aware of I was in this situation. I was lied on constantly resulting in wrongful punishment.Then later sexual abuse. Proceed with caution investigate the reason.

October 23, 2013 at 8:40 am
(87) me says:

I don’t know even what to do I meet a wonderful man after three years of being single, he loves my kids I love his kids, but the big issue is my 18yr old who doesn’t work, quit school at 16, im pretty sure hes into drugs, he has stolen money from me, and the other day was the last straw he stole from my boyfriend, so now my bf says that he will not live in a home with a stealer and lier, which I don’t blame him but I know I’m gonna loose the best thing that has ever happened to me, because of my 18yr old.. I just dont’ know what to do.

November 26, 2013 at 12:46 pm
(88) Brittany says:

Ok guys, I need some help. My boyfriend and I have been together for 2 1/2 years now and has been around since my daughter was 1. She’s is now 3 1/2 but seems to be extremely inconsiderate and unappreciative towards my boyfriend. He does nothing but nice things for her and she is very manipulative and only goes to him when it’s convenient for her or if he has something she wants. He always comes up with family ideas for us to do and has always said he doesn’t mind having her around at all. Lately, we both agreed that there needed to be some discipline instilled and have her learn a little bit more of respect towards people and she isn’t having it. I have tried taking away tv, iPad, and other privileges and she still doesn’t seem to show any respect towards him. I went from not letting him have a say so to completely letting him lay down the rules and I’m afraid it’s only making things worse. What can I do?

January 13, 2014 at 11:38 pm
(89) Meez says:

OJust like any internet advice thread, this one has its’ ups and downs. One truth that abounds is that there are many forms of truth! For some people,mother means Mother Theresa or the Virgin Mary. The majority are not so astringent, and realize that parenthood doesn’t have to include being a social and emotional martyr. It can actually be unhealthy for children to have parents who stifle their humanity and normal needs in order to portray a fake and unrealistic rendition of “family”. I agree that the emotional needs and views of children are highly important in regard to family environment changes. However, children are not the heads of households and their feelings should not completely rule over their parents’ adult needs. No one should start or end their relationships based solely on their kids’ preferences. My teenager loathes my father, her grandfather because he’s a musty old guy who talks too much. Guess what? He’s her family and they have to deal with each other. The same goes for my husband, who is not her father. I made the executive decision to bring him into our family and he’s here to stay, regardless of his faults and her disdain. She has to respect him as an adult and her mom’s husband. He has to respect her as a young woman and his step-daughter. I have to foster a healthy relationship between all family members. None of them deserve to have their familial security jeapordized over personality differences, immaturity, and selfishness. Ability to reconcile major differences and live/work and respect others is an envaluable social skill learned in childhood, in the FAMILY. A child with ultimate veto power over parents is a tyrant in the making.

January 13, 2014 at 11:40 pm
(90) Meez says:

Neither your children or your mate should be considered disposable. Of course abuse of any kind is intolerable. I notice those who feel so strongly in the negative have been abused or at least exposed to a traumatic level of family dysfunction. Those situations often do require severance of the single parent from the abuser. However, the child orchestrating a break up and consciously controlling the life of their parent is also dysfunctional and abusive for everyone in the family unit.
As adults we are responsible for guiding and preparing our children for dealing with the world. Maintaining fake environments where the children lord over adults and parents live to serve and placate is not ideal IMO. BUT, every family has their own dynamics and every person has different needs. As head of your household, you have to define your own truth.

February 3, 2014 at 12:03 am
(91) Diane says:

, I too am in the situation where my son and my boyfriend don’t really like , each other. I have 4 kids, 3 daughters, 29,27, and 21; and a son who is 15. The 15 year old is the only one left at home. Initially he liked my boyfriend, we have been dating for a year and a half, but this past fall they had a difference of opinion, I sided with my boyfriend, because I thought my son’s behavior was out of hand, and my son got upset and punched his hand into a wall and broke his hand. Ever since then, he and my boyfriend just tolerate each other. I actually think that both of them could have behaved better, but it is water under the bridge and I can’t seem to fix it.
I have been divorced for 10 years now, and I had another relationship before this one, the same thing happened, although there were many more issues involved, we broke up over my not having enough time for him and not putting him first. I always put my kids first and I worked 40+ hours a week and was going to school as well.
This time I am out of school, I still work 40+ hours a week, but I am trying to figure out how to balance so no one will feel neglected. If they would get along better, we could all spend time together. I have read what alot of you have to say and I want to be there for my son. He does have a tendency to want me all to himself, I know. I love him dearly and want him to grow up to be a strong, self reliant, happy person.
He says he is not comfortable in his own house when my boyfriend is here, and just stays in his room all the time.
My boyfriend doesn’t understand why he doesn’t want to talk to him or hang out with him, thinks he is reclusive and lazy and disrespectful to me. I have heard this before, from his own siblings, and from others.
I realize he is my kid and mine to raise. I just don’t know that giving in to him is actually the best thing for him.

February 8, 2014 at 8:02 pm
(92) Robert says:

I will love to share my testimony to all the people in this site because i never thought i will have my girlfriend back and she means so much to me..The girl i want to get marry to left me four weeks to our wedding for another man..,When i called her she never picked my calls, She deleted me on her facebook and she changed her facebook status from married to Single…when i went to her to her place of work she never want to see me..I was confuse as a result of this because i cant get myself anymore, my life was upside down and everything did not go smooth with my life…I tried all i could do to have her back to all did not work out until i came across a spiritual man when i was browsing online.. I told him my problem and all have passed through in getting her back…he told me he gonna help me… he said he will cast a spell for me and i will see the results in the next couple of hours… My girlfriend called me at exactly 12:35pm on Thursday and apologies for all she had done ..she said,she never knew what she’s doing and her sudden behavior was not intentional and she promised not to do that again.it was like am dreaming when i heard that from her and when we ended the call,i called the man and told him my wife called and he said i haven’t seen anything yet… My life is back into shape,i have my girlfriend back and we are happily married now with kids and i have my job back too.This man is really powerful..if we have up to 20 people like him in the world,the world would have been a better place..he has also helped many of my friends to solve many problems and they are all happy now..Am posting this to this site for anybody that is interested in meeting the man for help.you can mail him to templesaibaba@yahoo.com hope he helped u out too..good luck

February 26, 2014 at 9:46 am
(93) Kandi says:

s any consolation, men are not good in handling heartaches.
When you accept reality instead of avoiding it, you eliminate an enormous amount of tension
and worry that is being felt by both you and your boyfriend.
One of the signs that your ex boyfriend is still in love with you is if he often contacts you.

March 18, 2014 at 10:49 am
(94) Firedawg89 says:

Wow, I personally think you should cut the guy some slack. He’s dated you for over 3 years and sounds like he’s been there for you and ALL your children this whole time. That on it’s own speaks volumes. I can understand talking to your 9year old and trying to explain to them and dig deeper on the issue but as long as he has never intentionally hurt the child and treats them good, I can’t see where he is to blame/ get rid of. As for fixing this before going to the next level, I understand. He probably wants to make sure everyone is on the same page and that it will work before he commits himself anymore. But if your going to base YOUR relationship off the emotions and reasoning of a 9 year old then I have to say he would be smart to run now. I understand wanting to do right by your children, but there’s a difference in doing right and letting them make your decisions.

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