Hesitation with meeting son

Anonymous

Hesitation with meeting son

Hi mums, I have a question for any mums who have partners that arent their bio kids dads... step dads basically...

I'm 27, hes 30. I've been single for 2 years up until I met "A" roughly over 3 months ago. We clicked immediately and we have an incredible amount of fun together. He knew I was a single mum to a boy who's 7 when we met. Its come to the point now were we had "the talk" (where is this going, is this serious, how do we feel about each other etc). He is head over heels in love with me and loves every moment we spend together, he cannot see himself without me. One problem though... he isnt sure how he feels about becoming a step dad...

Now before anyone rips his head off and say just chuck him aside etc, I genuinely want to know if ANYONE out there has had this kind of hesitation before in becoming a step parent? Where it's the do or die decision of the relationship... he has no kids himself and my little angel has ADHD, plus also lives full time with his dad and I get him every second weekend.

He has dated single mums before, but their children were apparently quiet, and independant. Something my child is NOT haha. And the relationships didnt last (for other reasons)

I truly love this man and he loves me but he is so indecisive about my little one... can anyone offer me any helpful advice? Am I just fooling myself thinking this could work or can it work at all? Any step dads out there to shine some light on this?

Posted in:  Relationships & Marriage, Men's Business, Being a Dad, Relationships, Kids

31 Replies

Anonymous

I commend his honesty.

But it would be a deal breaker for me. I

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Anonymous

First thing to remember is that your son always comes first and that you and your boys are a packaged deal. Love is not enough in these instances.
My now husband met my son when he was 1 and we took it very slowly. When we moved in there was a very big adjustment period of 12 months where my husband had to find his place in our family. There were bumps of course but my husband always did his best. He became dad, and now my little man is nearly ten and they have a wonderful bond.
It takes a very very very special man to raise a child as his own. There are going to be times where there are bumps but you need to remember that if your bf can't handle it, he can't handle it and it will be your job to really watch their interactions. Good luck, I hope it works out for you.

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Anonymous

I'm worried how you said he has met children that are quiet and your child isn't. That could be problematic for him and since your child has special needs, could really add to stress. At least his was honest but I wouldn't introduce him for a few months still.

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Anonymous

I have 3 kids, I love kids in general.
I can say without a shadow of a doubt that i never want to step into the role of stepmum, for many reasons that I'm not going to delve into here.
Not wanting to be a step father doesn't make him a bad person, infact his honesty about things is admirable. I think it does unfortunately make you guys incompatible though, you and your son are a package deal.
If he's indecisive about your son, especially when you guys would only have him every second weekend it's unlikely that his hesitation will suddenly change to commitment.
I also think your son's additional needs is something else to factor in, it doesn't seem like this man is well suited to step parenting in general and step parenting a child with extra needs take things up a notch (especially as it sounds like he has no experience with kiddos with extra needs and the behaviours etc that can come along with the territory).

Im really not sure I'd take things further.

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Anonymous

I don't think it's a massive deal if your son is only with you every second weekend. Maybe they can meet briefly a few times but for the most part, keep your weekends with your son just for the two of you. And the rest of the time with your partner. He doesn't need to be a step dad in these circumstances in my opinion.
This is also where I worry about people labelling their kids. Don't get me wrong, he has ADHD, no question about it and that's fucking tough. But putting that label on him before your boyfriend has met him, is daunting. And probably feels way out of his league. He isn't ready to be a step dad, let alone to a boy you've described to him. He has probably made assumptions as soon as you said he has ADHD.

I'd leave it as it is for now. You only have hum every second weekend, so he doesn't have t ok step up into ANY step dad role, AT ALL

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Anonymous

My now partner knew I was a single mum and decided he didn't want more because I had children. We stayed friends and he hung out with my kids a few times and now we have a son of our own and he loves my children as his own.

On the other hand I was with my ex for 6 years and was a step mother to his daughter. After we separated I knew I couldn't do that again and as a result did not date anyone who had children.

Some called me hypocritical but I was just being honest with what I could handle.

I think you need to put your son first, you're a package regardless of how often he is with you. Can you see yourself in a long term relationship with someone who cannot accept your son?

I'm not in any way being negative towards A, I think his honesty is beautiful and you need to decide what to do with it.

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Anonymous

I have hesitations in regards to being a step parent. It’s not because I don’t like kids, it’s because of the adults!
Time after time I’ve seen female friends being treated like an unpaid nanny with benefits when they become involved with a guy with kids. I’ve had guys in my past try to push me into that role too.

I’ve also been on the other side of the equation where a guy wasn’t sure about being involved with my kid. It obviously didn’t work out. I commend someone for being honest and open about it (because a lot of people ignore the situation and everyone ends up miserable).

I’d probably shut the relationship down now. He’s been honest and I think it would be really uncomfortable, sad and just delaying the inevitable for all involved to drag it out. This could also be emotionally damaging for your son, kids sense things and know when someone doesn’t really want them around.

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Anonymous

It’s early days. He doesn’t have to be a step dad. He’s your friend like any of your friends. Even if it does progress he doesn’t have to take on a step parent role. As long as he is kind and respectful to your child. I’m sure you wouldn’t keep a friend who wasn’t, this is no different.
I think partners are often pushed into a parenting role when they shouldn’t be. You can have a perfectly happy and healthy relationship without him having to play step parent.

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Anonymous

No there's no way to make that work. Put a time limit on it so he doesnt waste your time if he's not intending to come around.

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Anonymous

You see your kid 4 days a month. He doesn’t need a step dad

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Anonymous

He doesn't need his mums partner to dislike or make no effort with him more.
Unless the plan would be for her to fly solo when she had her child. What if plans changed? Is that really acceptable when you're in a partnership?

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Anonymous

With the tiny amount of time that she spends with her child, wouldn’t she want it to be alone time? And he didn’t say he wouldn’t get along with him just that he doesn’t want to be “step dad” which is completely understandable.

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Anonymous

Also at “roughly 3 months” of dating somebody I wouldn’t be introducing a child to a boyfriend anyway. There is nothing at all to say that they will be together in a few weeks even taking out the issues around her child.

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Anonymous

I completely agree for the short term, but it's not a long term plan. I guess there's a middle ground somewhere where you need to decide is he in or out, not right in being a step parent, but on board with the child and that package deal and working towards him being a good adult connection his life if it was to get serious. Sure not right now but you don't want to be strung along either if it's never going to happen.

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Anonymous

If you were the primary caregiver, I would say deal breaker but as you are the part time parent, it should be fine. As another poster said, it’s only four days a month. Is this going to be the ongoing plan or is the custody arrangement temporary? If this is it, then I would say it should be fine, if not and you plan to change things, I would think very carefully.

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Anonymous

I have a friend whose fiancée has 4 kids and she will categorically correct you if you refer to her as their stepmum “no I am their dad’s partner”. Doesn’t mean she doesn’t care, it just means she has left the parenting to the parents. She has built a wonderful kind respectful friendship with the kids (one of whom is my sons best friend). I think if more new partners were like her there would be less breakdown of subsequent relationships.
The only question you need to know is “do you love me enough to be kind and respectful to my child”. Good luck

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Anonymous

Does he understand that there's literally no pressure and that he never has to step into a parental or authoritative role at all of he doesn't want to?
That all that would be expected of him is to treat your son with kindness, respect and be welcoming?

Is his trepidation more about his role in your sons life and what exactly that might entail, the unknowns about it all perhaps? Or is it more erring on the side of not wanting a kid around at all?

Have you seen him engage with children before? Does he have experience with any children (nieces/nephews/friend's children/encounter children in his line of work etc)? Are his expectations or perceptions of children reasonable and realistic?
Does he like kids in general?

Do you want to have more children one day?
Is it likely that the visitation schedule you have with your son will change to something more full time, such as a 50/50 arrangement? He may be okay with 4 days a month but how would he feel if that were potentially to change?
What do you want your future to look like? Do your future goals align with his?

These (and many more) are all questions that I'd be exploring before making any further decisions.

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Anonymous

P.S.

I don't expect you to answer those questions, some are quite personal. I just mean that these are things I'd be asking myself if i were in your position. The answers would help me decide on how to proceed.

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Anonymous

When someone shows you themselves and their limitations - believe them. Send them on their way. Don’t try and prove your worth to him. If he doesn’t see it let him go on his way!

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Anonymous

My husband and I love our Adhd son, but his barriers are primarily huuuge anxiety and difficulties with regulating emotions rather than hyperactivity etc. So some days, weeks, months etc are really exhausting. We've often said that it would be a deal breaker if the kid wasn't ours (though only during rough periods. Other times he's really delightful). But we don't get a break. Ever. You do, so he will too if you move in together. I think he's being honest about his reservations and I think his reservations are valid. However, when it's not every day, all year, he may find that he actually copes just fine. Find something that they have in common so that he likes your son and he may find that the hard parts are then not so hard. I really think only time will tell. I also think any person would need to work out if they could cope so the only difference between him and a future man you could meet is that he is being honest.

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Anonymous

My partner was like this. He didn’t know if he could do the step dad thing. I didn’t push it. We didn’t introduce the kids for approx six months and even then it was weekends only. After a couple of years we moved in together and had a baby (we moved in with him) and he’s slipped into the step dad role just fine and is Dad to the youngest and the older ones call him Dad (name) or just his name. They also have their issues.

He’s been honest, make sure he understands that your child comes with you as a package even if you only see him 4 days a month. That you always tell him that you enjoy his company but if he ever wants an out it’s there because as much as you like being around him and as much as it would hurt letting him walk away there’s no chance you’re going to abandon your child. If he simply doesn’t want to be in the parenting/friend role but live with you it’s not going to work either.

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Anonymous

OP here. So on tuesday we had a massive conversation over the phone where he said he loved me very much and couldnt see himself without me and would be willing to meet my son when the time came. We of course would take it very slow and he said when I was ready I could introduce little one. 2 days later (today) he says he doesnt remember any of our conversation and said he couldnt do a relationship with me at all. I feel so angry... I feel played... I feel like a damn fool for ever believing I could find my own happiness again... I'm so damn angry at him for saying all these wonderous things like he would want a family with me, he hasn't cared or loved anyone like me in a long time and all the other romantic BS that you can imagine. He had me hook line and sinker and I bloody fell for it... I feel disgusting :(

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Anonymous

Good on you for calling him on it. So you figured out he says what gets him through while he thinks something different until he's pushed to it.
It's completely fair of him to feel how he feels, but not fair at all to play you. He did come clean within a few days I guess, so now you just need to accept he's not the one and better you find out sooner rather than investing more time into it.
You did right, mama. Don't accept anything less.

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Anonymous

OP here- dont get me wrong, I respect his decision in the end and he has full right to say he cant deal. I just wish for the last 3 months he hadn't led me on... at first I was shocked... then very angry... now I feel sad... very sad... I even thought to myself if I wasnt a mum would he... *sigh* it doesnt matter now anyway.... I just feel like I'm the dregs of society and I'm never going to find happiness again... will we forever be put into this "too much burden box?"

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Anonymous

Focus on your son babe and you will find someone willing to accept you and your son as a package deal! He wasn’t your person so seek solace that you found out now rather than even further down the track. Your son does not need a stepdad he has a dad... all he needs is to see his mum happy (whatever that look like). When kids are involved you can’t settle for anyone unless they are all in and without question. Wish you all the best.

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Anonymous

Aw Hun, I'm sorry to hear that this is how it all played out.
Clearly kids are a dealbreaker for him, which makes him a dick for leading you on.

There's a silver lining here though, at least you discovered his true colours early on. That leaves you free to get on with your life, to enjoy your child and to persue happiness on terms that suit you!

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Anonymous

He doesn't remember? Was he drunk? The not remembering part is more concerning to me than anything and may mean you have dodged a bullet. You'll find someone. This stage of your life might just be a harder time for that to happen but it won't always be

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Anonymous

If it’s possible, maybe you need to spend more time with your son?
Focus on him?
The fact you even thought, if I didn’t have a son, this guy might have wanted me speaks of maybe you and your son being disconnected a bit and your priorities are a little skewed at the moment.
I’m a single mum and if someone even looked at my son the wrong way, let alone not want to meet or accept them, they would be out.
Also, all that bull shot he said, very early on is a definite red flag. Learn from it, take to the next potential relationship. The quick intense relationships are quick to fizzle, the ones that build over time, slowly, are enduring.

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Anonymous

I feel like he's a manipulator.' Can't remember' stinks of it. No accountability, completely changing what he's saying.
What it actually looks like is that he has zeto interest in kids and your kid, but because you never have your son he thought he could get by, but you held him accountable so he wasn't able to skirt around it. Being the gormless ape he is, he didn't think fast enough and said what he knew you wanted to hear when pushed. But he knew he didn't feel that way and had no interest in actually acting that out and even being in that place where he had promised it made him uncomfortable. So it took him 3 days to come clean to you.

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Anonymous

OP here again: Looking back on it now he was waving massive red flags and I was too stupid to see it. I literally just got played hardcore due to my own stupidity. Why do men have to do this to women? I havent so much as been out on a date in 2 years, I decide to start looking again and this a**hole is what I get put with. His behaviour is disgusting. His hot and cold behaviour kept me in it for 3 months and now I call him on it, the fun is gone. It's no longer a game of "how long can i keep screwing this woman around until she wakes up to herself". I feel physically used for sex... like that's all he kept me around for... I feel... yuck :(

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Anonymous

Oh honey, you dodged a massive bullet this time.
None of this is your fault at all. This guy is a piece of shit. He clearly a commitment phobe and I bet this isn’t the first time he’s pulled this stunt.

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