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Don't Get Involved With A Man With Kids

I got involved with a man about 5 years ago that has two children ages 10 and 14.  I was warned by everybody how hard it was. I told myself as long as I have my own life I would be able to handle it. The truth is, there is no room for you when it comes to dating a man with children. True, you will have moments together alone but everything you do will be revolved around his children. The children that you will have no emotional attachment to. What's even worse is that his children like me more than their own mother and I still hate being their soon to be stepmom. They are respectful and overall pretty good kids. But for my spouse's and I relationship, it never feels like ours. You need to accept that fact that you will be marrying him and his 1, 2, 3 , four or however many kids. You will be miserable.  You will yearn for a man with no kids. You will have regrets. You will feel lonely. You will feel pushed aside, even when he makes every attempt to put you first. You will be angry and resentful.  I don't recommend it. Always date someone with no children if possible. That way it will be your life together. Not his life and you just feel like your tagging along. There is no room for you with a man with kids,even when he tries his hardest to do his best to keep you first, you never will be. 

dfilbert dfilbert 36-40, F 83 Responses Oct 25, 2009

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You are absolutely right ,in my experience dating man with kids

So thankful for these posts! I was in a relationship with a man with children (I don't have kids), and always felt like #2, even treated flat out cold when they were around. I was so heartbroken over him, but feel that I dodged a bullet. I also feel like there is something wrong with me that I felt like I should have been higher on the totem pole of priorities. Reading these posts makes me feel like I am not crazy to feel that way. Of course I expect children's needs to come first, I would have no respect for a man that wasn't a good father. On the other hand, your marriage/relationship should also be a priority. I never wanted the kids to be pushed aside for my needs ever, but felt that spending alone time with me should be on the 'to do' list at least once a week. Even if we were married and they were my children, the same thing would be true. I think men forget to date their wives and make the marriage a priority. His attitude about that makes me now see why he is divorced. I would have been miserable had it continued, I was miserable when it was going on (also, this was not his only issue). Every article you read about dating men with children tells you you just have to accept that you are second and that you should basically not ever expect more than that, and if you don't it's your fault. I disagree with that, but was always feeling like that was wrong and I'm just a selfish person. Thanks for making me realize it's normal to feel this way and it doesn't make you a terrible person. There should be room for both children and a SO in a man's life and no one should feel like they are just around to fill in the gaps or for physical needs.

So true and we'll said

My man and i fell madly inlove, and he showed me so much affection, and was super proud to show my pictures and talk about all the positive. I was for the first time entering a relationship with a man who is 10yrs older, with two grown daughters from 2 different mothers. Something i never imagined doing! But because i was soooo into him and he into me too i just accepted this with no issue at all. Flash forward to months later, and already the signs of disrespect were showing. His mom would bring up things that were painful to me as the current woman. Not only is it painful to be slapped in the face with his past being mentioned about his ex's, but to add insult, i have to hear over and over again about how BEAUTIFUL his 24yr old is, how successful she is, i get to see him CONSTANTLY looking at all her facebook pictures of her dressed SEXY in Higheels, partying with her friends, crop tops, bikini's etc. She posts pics of her modeling and he prints them off, frames them. She took thousands of pictures, some of her 100's of pairs of higheels on her shoe racks, he brags about all this superficial ****!!!!! I say I DONT CARE about all that crap!!!! Instead of paying SO MUCH attention to her social life and sexy photos why not use that energy to focus some attention on your woman!!! Its WEIRD!!! and hurts my feelings that he is acting obsessive with her photos, and nonstop bs., Then turns around and Neglects me in so many ways, NO SEX for month or two at a time, no bragging about how hot his woman is ... NOTHING!!!! its like i am watching him ignore a sexy WOMAN to pay extensive attention to his KID who is 24!!!!! She lives at home with her mother still, pays no rent , so she can afford to spoil herself on clothes and shoes and he actually rubs that **** in my face when i have very little !!! And deserve to treat myself once in a while. He has invited resentment in and its at the cost of my heart to glorify a grown kid who is all about herself!!!! He has also used his 25yrold sort of in the same way, but she is not as pretty so i guess she doesnt get all the attention like the other one. ITs so ****** up!!! How am i suppose to feel?? I signed up to be with a man who loves me and is proud of me, not to be with someone who is sending me the message to take a back seat while he glorifies his sexy grown up daughter who he didnt raise or support! totally ******* unreal!!!!!

PS, i am 37 and very fit and youthful, he is 47. We have been together for 5yrs, and no engagment, he still hasnt divorced his wife that he left about 14 yrs ago. i mention the fit and youthful part so you know as the reader i am not a frumpy insecure baby. I am someone who knows i deserve to be loved and felt like the WOMAN ... he is making a mockery of my role at every turn, and its with his kids! He calls me names, makes jokes saying i am fat (when i am thin and fit) and has no concept of how hurt i am. He just adds to it when i tell him how horrible this all feels. I get called a child, a *****, etc. Instead of him saying, "i love you, you're my woman" , its just more hurt piled on. Then he gets worse, and does more to glorify his kids and add more insult to me, and more neglect. So fed Up!!!

It's one thing to be with a man you absolutely love and don't want to live without while struggling to find a place in your heart for his children and baggage from a previous relationship. It's quite different to stay with a married man who doesn't treat you well. You should leave him.

Being a stepmom can be just plain awful. It is just an unnatural situation. I would suggest to all you single women out there to find out before you date a man whether they have kids.

I knew my husband was divorced when I met him but since I was young I didn't automatically think he had kids. I assumed he didn't because the person who introduced me who I barely knew didn't mention it. By the time he told me about his two kids I had fallen pretty hard for him plus he seemed to have a ton of time for me.

Like a lot of guys he was on good behavior showering me with attention, gifts, fun dates, but I think he spent less time with his kids while we were dating and then after the marriage started making up for lost time. It was a whole different world after that.

And I do really resent in laws who bring up the ex in conversation when absolutely unnecessary or invite her to family funerals when even my spouse doesn't want her there.

I am feeling better to hear other people feel this way - I got involved with a guy, who I love deeply, but who has 3 kids from 2 different women. I didn't mind for the first 7 months or so of the romance, but around 8 months into the relationship, his baggage started to affect me. Now, over 1.5 years later, I feel very isolated with him, and alone most of the time. Even when I am with him, I feel alone because he talks a lot about his 3 girls, and his exs. He talks a lot about his exs, even though he claims to be over them. They are just so present in his life. 2 of the 3 kids were unplanned, and the 3rd child, from the 2nd woman, was a result of her being jealous about him having 2 kids from the his first major partner, who he had kids with in his mid 20s. I know it is a modern society and people are expected to be able to deal with dating single parents, but I don't like it. I have tried for nearly 2 years and I am getting very tired, it requires a lot of understanding and emotional generosity on my part, and I am not always capable of it. I feel secretly upset every time I have to listen to him talking about his kids and his exs and I feel guilty for feeling upset. I don't know how to detach myself from the situation now - I know it is unhealthy for me, especially because I am just turning 30 and have no kids, and perhaps I want a child in my mid 30s. It would be nice to private message with any people who have made it work dating men with baggage, while not having kids themselves - because I have only seen negative feedback from women dating men with children.

well if you dont like it i am afraid u will never do!and my advice is pretty extreme wot it worked for me...needs guts too...hmm actually it dosent need guts i could not handle it so it was my way or the high way.i told him i cant live like that to hell with it,so he really didnt want a second divorce...
(crap!!,i still wonder why the hell did i do it!!)

problem is he is from an other country and i didnt realize where i was geting in to cause of the distance ,but when i married in one month it turn hell!exes stalking kids around ,money problems!i freaked out!if i had to do it all over again no no no!its a curse!and the worse is ur a victim of divorce tootheir divorce has huge impact on a new partner ,is by far not normal to have several kids spread around and multipute mothers, but the worst of the case is nobody will allow you to have any feelings,HOW YOU DARE HkAVE FEELINGS HUH EVIL STEP MOTHER!yo u gona cry endles nights ur husband wont get you,maybe not even ur own mother sigh!step situation is polarizing the couple,you are not same team on that matter actually ue ar husband sits in the other side of the team,which feels horrible,to me felt like i date a married guy,ur home can be invaded by intruders that ur husband will open the door gladly,ur just exposed to emotional heavy situation.

and ofcurse there is embathy only for the father and the kids NOT YOU.URare just not allowed and if you dare show it halhalhala mamama they gona eat you alive...e
problem is he didnt divorce me i would have been so releifed never ever hear about those kids and their mother EVER AGAIN!I SHEVER
and as the writer sais i was craving a guy with no kids.
cause the one with kids with out wanting it he is gona put you in a life roller coster...you gona be the bad guy and on top of it u gona be their pounching bag.

some people get along though dont ask me how i just cant,its a reallyavsituation,,but if some one wants to email me i would like it.to have somebody who has same trouble,its releifing to have somebody in same situation i am just fed up with all those smart ***** who have a nuclear family and they dare to tell me how i have to feel or what i have to do with MY LIFE.

wow and one last thing i notice,in a step situation, feels like you can not have privacy,tep kids is a huge personal problem with in your marrige ,that is completely exposed to the pubblic.i mean many couple have problems but it stays with in the couple to decide and is nonof a business to others,but with step kids,ergg, you gona have it from every side!all exposed!and the ex anouncing it around,ur parents in law tell you wot to do bleh well who want to date man with kids good luck...i would reccomend it only to people who want go adopt kids and they get the father as present next to it.

My BF talks a lot about his ex...not all the time but she will do things that make him angry. I can't imagine breaking up with someone or divorcing someone and still having to talk to and see them all the time because you share children. You can be over someone but when they're in your face all of the time, you can't really let go of some of the residual anger and hurt they may have caused.

My BF's ex moved to the city where we now live and then divorced him. He followed her here to be close to their children. He didn't want to live here but now he does because of choices that she made. He's still resentful about that. I'd be pissed too.

My advice to you is to take control of your life. They are his kids and his ex and his baggage NOT YOURS. Do this before you have kids of your own that will demand your time an attention. I'm not suggesting that you not be supportive of his life but be supportive of your own life first. If there are things that you want to do...DO THEM. See your friends, take a class, find a hobby that you love. When we date people with so much baggage, it's easy to get completely submerged in their mess. You can't let that happen. The more time you focus on yourself and doing what makes you happy, the less time you'll have to worry about what's going on in his life, with his kids and his ex.

If you have things going on in your life that you're passionate about, you can talk to him about those things when you're alone together and all of the talk won't be about his problems. It's easy for people with children to think that their lives are so much more important than everyone else's but their lives and issues are only more important to them. Your life is important to you and you should focus your energy there.

I am a step mom and I totally agree with everything you said. It's true , I am angry and resentful. Take this woman's advice , date a person with no children or children that are grown and gone with their own lives. This is just to much. I want to quit this job!

I totally agree, I am a step mom I am pregnant for my fiance now. He already has a now 4 year old daughter... And his baby mama is just not good at all. I do my best for her I do what I can. But yes its like im pregnant now And he cares an all its just like the attention and affection. Its like the feeling is resentful. Because he already has a child that was way before me. And now im pregnant with his second child. It just feels so different because his daughter is being raised in two different households. And she is very disrespectful because her mom tells her bad things about me. And you know I feel that is childish and not right at all to tell a child that. AND ITS NOTHING HE AND I CAN DO. HOW DO A WOMAN WHO LOVES THIS MAN DEARLY. HE IS ABOUT TO BE MY HUSBAND HOW DO I DEAL WITH THAT...

It actually does'nt matter how old they are even grown children who are living their own lives are a serious problem! They call all the time need favors, bring up their mom constantly, every time the phone rings its his kids, ex-wife calling! The sad truth is there's no such thing as divorce once you have kids they are in a permanant relationship forever eventually there's engagements, weddings, grandchildren it never ends.... on top of that there's feelings their for the ex they did share the priceless moments of life together it wasn't all bad (especally someone who had a normal white wedding in a church, and planned and wanted to have kids with his ex), they were in-love and happy....... I could go on and on its basically a nightmare, a prison, and why abuse yourself like that very hard miserable your never ever number one........ will he cry when your kid is born probably not, he won't be scared but you will be its lonely! Its not a good idea..... if you do your on your own men are selfish, woman are selfish, children are selfish, if you want him to tell his ex to stop calling he won't do it he will get mad and you will be the bad guy! No one is on your side his kids will take his side, his ex will do whatever she wants, and don't even get me started on the mother and rest of the family especially if they like the ex! Wow just writing this is giving me anxiety..... childbirth is very painful you want need compassion but don't count on it..... there's no genuine excitement, no enthusiasm, no fear on his part especially if he has more than one kid! He's been their done that he actually a pro at this point and you don't need a tour guide, you need a husband! His first wife stole the show and ran off with the prize..... but, if you do it goid luck try not to be resentful! Its hard and can get bitter!

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wow thank you lol you confirmed all my fears and thoughts. I thought I was being selfish on not wanting to get involved with a man with kids as I dont have any of my own. I feel I deserve to be number 1 I am currently seeing a man who claims to be miserable with the mother of his children he has 3 kids he says he loves them to death only reasons hes living with her is for the kids but he loves me and wants to move out... I am just very iffy about this entire situation I told him I think if he decides to move out he should move out for him not because he assumes me an him will be together... I just dont feel like I want to be anyones step mom and I really dont want a TOUR GUIDE lol but anyways love all these posts makes me feel like I am not a bad person and being selfish or judgemental :)

You're allowed to be selfish when it comes to your life. You don't have to put your needs aside for someone else if you don't want to do that. When it comes to children...they come first much of the time but not necessarily all of the time. Hopefully if your partner has children, he'll learn to prioritize. There are times when your jobs will come first, there are times when your parents or friends might need you, there are times when your kids will need you and there are times when you'll need each other. You'll never be first all time time, even for someone that doesn't have children. What happens if your partner is going through a busy time at work and has to put in extra hours? Life will always get in the way.

It's a balancing act but it doesn't need to be the end of the world.

Dating a man with children is no easy task but hopefully he'll understand how difficult it is for you and he'll have realistic expectations.

o my u say it so nice,basicly thats why i have problems with they say divorced but is like there is no divorce..

w but one defference with my baby i gave birth 4 months ago my husband hahah was so scared like he see it first time!and he has 3,plus he is reaetlly excited with our daughter,well when we saw the step kidss ecouple of years ago he was froozen with them,i think he dosent want to get attached with something he can not have,and thanks to that idiot ex, she was always puting the kids first,so he is kinda of damaged on that.i am not like the ex forcing things so..he is good with our little one.some men love their children through their wife,if you have one like that then maybe it will work, also verbal abused guys by the ex are more luckily to stay not so involved with the ex family.

I totally agree with all you said. Im.glad I found this site. I'm married to a man with 3 kids. I have no emotional support. Boy do I need some. Thanks for sharing.

By the way I'm strictly talking about girls that have no children..... not divorced mothers! Sorry for any misunderstanding! Single dads should marry single moms and god knows there's tons of divorced parents..... there's more balance understanding etc. I'm talking about having your first wedding, baby ect. it should be special and you need to be number one!

Grown children with their own lives are still ever-present. My DH still gets phone calls and texts asking for money or if they can move into our house! I told him that his ex wife's kids will NEVER live in our home. Ever. That would be a dealbreaker for me and we've been together for almost 20 years. It does not improve.

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OMG, reading all of these makes me feel so normal and my husband said it was me....thank you all so much

I agree with you. My fiance tells me "you're fine" when I tell him I read these boards for insight. However, he's not the one who feels like an outsider in his own home. And I'm not exactly being truthful when I tell him I read them for "insight", I actually read them for "comradery".

my husband sais,that those board are stupid and that is nhe majority having problems and is the minority,but i keep telling him many women are ashamed or have no guts to go against it so it goes unoticed, i mean kom on!!couples with no kids and divorce so often!!how the hell it works for step fam?

I have been married for four years to a man that has an 8 year old daughter, and I love her to death. She doesn't live with us but she visits often, and when she does, her 13 year old brother comes too. When my husband was dating their mother, the 13 year old was 2. After 3 years of being a father figure to the 2 year old(who was now 5), his daughter was born. Then a year after, my husband and his BM split. Keep in mind that even tho they split, my husband still took care of his daughter, and the 5 year old boy who was not his, because he had created a bond with him and said it wouldn't be right to just "kick him to the curb" just because he and the BM were no longer together. Fast forwarding to today. His daughter is now 8 and her brother is 13. They both come to stay with us, and we buy both of them christmas gifts and birthday gifts. He pays child support only for his daughter, but tells his BM if her son needs anything, to just let him know. I love both of the children and my husband and I have a 2 year old son together and he loves both of them and they love him. They play together and wrestle just like my son is as big as they are. I wouldn't say never marry someone with children, but you definitely must must know what you're getting yourself into and What comes along with marrying someone with children. You're going to have to deal with them thinking that you can't tell you what to do because you're not their parent but that's when you explain that you may not be their parent but you are married to their mom/dad and you are an adult and should be respected as an adult. Thankfully I didn't have to go through that and hopefully I never will. Then there's also the BM. I had issues with her but not major ones. I just explained to her that we may not like each other and we don't have to but this is the situation and for the kids sake we need to be civil and act like adults. So I won't sau don't marry someone with kids but be aware of what comes with it.

Wow! I thought I was the only woman who felt this way! I have been with my fiancé for 8yrs. He had two boys with ex. One of which is not his biological son. He found out bc the ex and her bf at the time of which they had another child afterwards with wanted to get a paternity test! So she has 3 children. One with my fiancé and two with her ex bf. the ex bf takes cars of the youngest child but not the middle one! But that's his biological child! Instead we take care of the middle as well. I feel she is getting over on us bc we are financially more stable than her and her ex. And my fiancé is in a messed up situation bc he don't want to neglect the child even though his real dad in still in the picture when it come sees the youngest child. In all I have resentment now towards both my fiancé real son and the other child he takes care of because of this. Not to mention my fiancé and I have a 3 yr old son and 1 yr old daughter. He knows I have never accept the children bc I feel like his ex is using us. What's sad is I feel like he puts this child that's not even his before me and sometimes our own children. It's a horrible feeling bc I put alot of my life into this relationship and I want to walk away bc I am for certain i will never get over this. On top of that, my fiancé lies about what he do for his children. And hides everything he does related to the mother. For example I never get to witness what conversations they have on the phone. And hues a very sweet guy. So I know for a fact he's doing more for her then what he says. So that's another issue. The lies are a deal breaker too. I'm just afraid to live bc I feel I will struggle being a single parent and I may never find a man to accept my children. I hate I am in this situation! Especially coming from a family raised only by women. I always dreamed of a small family with me my man and our children traveling and enjoying life. Oh for certain we travel but he always suggest we take his kids. When I want to do a family thing. I wish I could get him to realize yes you have other children u are responsible for but you have a family too! I cry cry cry so much over this. And it's ruining my life.

Wow..reading your post sounds like my life. On my.phone it's hard to type but hopefully we can support one another.

Are you really in a similar situation? Meaning non biological children. Can you elaborate? I would love to know.

I married my husband 3 yrs ago. He has 3 kids. 1 of which is not really his. He was never married to his ex. Supposedly never even in love but because of their 1st daughter together he accepted her 2nd daughter as his, which she had during a long break up of theirs after they had their 1st daughter. They were together off and on about 17 yrs..and had another kid during those last yrs. So they have a boy who is 6 now.

Basically the last 3 yrs of my.life since being with him has been beyond stressful and chaotic. During probably the first almost 2 yrs straight his ex would call CONSTANTLY, sometimes up to 10 times a day or more. She would call super early or super late mostly asking stupid stuff that didn't need a phone call. She would ask the same questions over and over. She would call and then say she forgot why she called. She even called my husband on our wedding day just to say "did you call me?" ....!!!...bit....If you don't know if he called you, I guess he didnt. But what it is is she is the type who just has to keep her presence known. She demands to be IN his life even when she shouldnt. She knows that guilt is his motivator so she takes FULL advantage. She would ask for extras all the time -- extra money from.him so they all could be in her friends wedding, her car broke down so she calls him for money, extra for HER to buy their kids xmas gifts, extra money for a deposit for a better apartment. To me these are all things that if you are still together then you would work out together. But he has a wife now and you can't just call another man's wife all the time. Period!. The hardest part has been that EVERYTHING time his ex behave rude or bad or annoying etc, he always defends her and gets mad and yells at me. No matter what. But if I say anything about her or to her that hurts her feelings he again will come down on me and not her. His family, omg, they don't even acknowledge me unless they have to. It's not the life I wanted. I had always been close toy exes families. Their moms and everyone always adored me. So it never even occurred to me that my marriage would be different. But for instance on facebook I will post numerous pics of my husband and I and sometimes even with his kids. They must have a pact together, not to give a like or comment. Especially they would never say I look nice. But they will say the sweetest things to eachother and to the other daughter in laws.

There's so much I've put up with. To them I'm definitely the bad guy. In the beginning I bent over backwards to make a connection with these people but no more of that. I've never been a celebrated member of that family. It's a very bazaar way to live. Nothing about it is normal.

I also think my husband still does things for his ex on the side. He also avoids talking to her when I'm around. Back when we met he wanted me to help him get his big mess of finances together. So he gave me all access to his bank accounts with no problem. But when I started putting my foot down about all the extra money going to his ex he changed all his passwords and now I have no access. I never know how much money we even have. And we work together. We drive a truck together. He is the owner operator and I'm a Co driver. But still I am not allowed to see his bank accounts.

Even worse is i have no support. My friends have cut me off. For some reason when you stay with a guy who treats you this way that's grounds for defriending someone. I could go on and on but that's just the tip of the ice berg.

Oh and I can't have kids. Obviously that's the most traumatizing thing to deal with. But Yep even his ex through that in my face during a call I made to her. How she even knew I couldn't have kids......hmmmmm. that was another big fight between my husband and I.

4 years ago...how is the situation now?

Yes check list for my situation:

You will be miserable.

You will yearn for a man with no kids.

You will have regrets.

You will feel pushed aside,

You will be angry and resentful.

I don't recommend it.

Always date someone with no children if possible. That way it will be your life together. Not his life and you just feel like your tagging along.

There is no room for you with a man with kids,even ***********when he tries his hardest to do his best to keep you first, you never will be. ************


Man with kids will always have an eyes for his children first and when you are not their mother, you just can not teach them, it is the rule of nature. When you have a misunderstanding with them, you will have to bend to them, first.

I am regret for taking that choice. The kids can do no wrong. They can slam the door, they can shout (18 for my case), they show no respect to you. It is a very crazy world.. and when it comes to a point, you would just have to be strong and ask if this is the what you want for the rest of your life. For sure you will not see it as "I made a good choice to be with him"

thats not really fair to say avoid dating man with kids. i am 30 i have 2 little girls 6 and 4 and i recently split from my fiance of 8 years. this is the type of information that will make a man feel hopeless in a time of need. everyone is different and every situation is different. i think if you connect with someone then if he has children are she has children it should not matter.

You shouldnt have been knocking women up then wrap it up because at the end of the day as you can obviously see those bastard children will pay the price

I think you're only thinking about yourself. Youwant woman with no kids and ex spouse bagage to accept yours. Selfish.

So, if every situation is different, then would your ex and her kids be willing to disappear for the sake of a new love interest? Doubt it. An ex and kids is always a pain.

*Thanks* to the OP and responders for sharing so openly. I've started to date a 44-yr old man with a grown son (24) and 2 daughters (15 and 10). The son is from a casual teen situation; the mom shared custody until she dropped the boy off at 7 yrs for the dad to raise - the "kid" still lives w/dad and now has a daughter who lives with her mom. The 2 daughters are from a marriage that ended due to the wife's cheating; custody is shared, week on/week off.

Without the kids, this man would be such a great match for me; smart, kind, and the chemistry is amazing. I told him the kids were an issue; I have none. I support single dads, but told him I need someone who actually has time for me. He declared he would make me a priority. I said I needed to see how it would work in real time. Well, it's not working - he has no time for me, really. Even on his week "off," he has the 10-yr old until 8pm+ when the mom picks her up after work, so we can't even have dinner. He makes no special plans to work around this and I can see it won't work.

I'm crying and can't even type anymore; I know I need to break this thing off. I like this man so much; I should have known from the start this was a bad idea. The only smart thing I've done is not to sleep with him, so 'recovery' won't be as bad as it could be. Thank you ladies, for the warnings - I need to end this NOW.

If Your man is putting You last he needs to stop. No one wants to be last on their Man's list of priorities. Maybe You should express that You feel You need to spend more time together alone, maybe a date night once a week is the go? Surely he can put You first one night a week. If he can't You may end up breaking it off. Don't be miserable for years and years waiting around for him to give you a scrap of his attention. You deserve more than that

It really is so hard to know. My husband died 4 years ago and I was a recluse until I met my male companion. I worked with emotionally disturbed children as a therapist for 15 years and thought I could take anything...my mother died right before we met (she was my best friend) and now I feel like a train wreck. I can relate to almost all of these posts...I try to be a fixer and honestly felt I would never find love and I do love this man...I'm so afraid of EVERYTHING ! So glad I found this.... Stressed out!!! Thanks!

My situation is a little different. I am married to a guy that has a son from a previous girlfriend. He hates the fact that he has a child with her because she is evil but he loves his son. He doesn't love him like a parent would though because he can not stand his mother. He has lots of resentment and guilt built up from the situation, which makes him an angry person. Even though he feels this way he still defends the son and the situation when we get in fights about it. We have him every 3rd weekend but I still hate those weekends. He is a very whiney 6 year old, who still sucks his thumb and carries around a blankie. I feel like I can never talk to my husband about it because he gets so angry. He admits he does not like the situation but still he defends it. I don't understand. I just wish he would let go of all the guilt and resentment! It is a very tough situation and I feel like if he would just let go of his feelings, he would be able to talk more about it and understand where I am coming from. Even if he can see my side, he argues about it. The BM is very manipulative and controlling! My husband's parents are very pushy and push the son on my husband. I think they know how much my husband dislikes the situation so the try to push the son on my husband. His parents claim not to like the BM, but keep in contact with her because of the kid. His parents will go get his son for the weekend (arrange everything through the mother) and never even tell my husband they had him for the weekend until later. It is a very strange situation and makes me resent my in-laws as well. I just hate the whole situation and my husband will not listen to my feelings about it even though he has resentment feelings built up about it too.

I think you're my life twin! Just had a major fight with the Hubz about stepson who's 16, and my mother-in-law who pushes him off on us. We have been married for 13 years and have a great life. BM has married, and has 3 other kids and struggles. Why does MIL feel the need to compare? I went to college, grad school and kept my legs shut until I was married. She did not. Our lives will never be the same. No amount of visitation will change that. And BM is resentful. But my MIL acts like her son is a teen dad, and he does not stop her.
After 13 years I'm as disgusted as I was at year one. I really should've listened to my mother. There's no need for me to divorce, because I don't want my kids to have a stepparent. It SUCKS!!!

The in laws sound toxic. Is there any way You can both move away from them all

So glad I found this thread...I'm not the only person with these feelings, I am normal after all!

Omg! It's not the fault of a man with children that you're unhappy. All of that could have been avoided if you had realized what everyone else already knows - A significant other with kids is a package deal and the kids come first! You speak as though this were a surprise or that you were tricked! I just don't understand that.

How would you get the impression that you would get to have "your own life" if you share it with a man and that man has children? If you share it with anyone, it's no longer just yours alone.

My ex had children with others. I was never able to spend much time with or get to know 2 of the 3, but the oldest and I are still close even now that his father and I aren't together. When he got his first gf, he texted me immediately to tell me all about it.

How sad for your stepchildren that you resent the role that you, as an adult, took responsibility for. You've chosen not to truly become a part of the family YOU CHOSE.

How you view it is all how you choose to see it. Choose to see it differently or quit wasting your new family's time, effort and love.

First, the person wrote the post 4 years ago, probably as a one off, probably like how you signed up just to have a go at someone, as a one off. People come on Experience Project to share real experiences, and if that involves venting, then we're supportive rather than being critical because maybe people come on here to escape the chastisement of majority ideology. If you're here to stay, welcome to E.P. but please be respectful towards others' feelings and beliefs. T

wow!! I thought that it was me feeling this way and that I was depressed or just angry. I feel all those things. I have been with this "family" for six years and now have a sone with him, yet I feel like both my son and myself always take a back seat. I know how much he loves my son, but his kids get better treatment than I do! I am so lonely and always wish for something else. I feel horrible thinking that way. I resent his kids and can't stand to be around them. We have never been on a vacation alone without them, we never had a honeymoon. When I ask about it, I am told that "they came before me and I can suck it". I am so lost and sad, and the only thing that makes me happy is my son.

Oh I agree, that is so true!!!

i hate to say it, but what dfilbert says is true. my husband and i have been married for 11 years! what a wonderful life we have! but the area where the stepkids are involved (them directly, not them directly, anything related to them) is a constant burden that is always, ALWAYS there ready to cause problems between me and my husband. ALWAYS. i'm so sad to say it. i hate this part of my life. do understand, i say this even when i recognize that 99% of our life together and our own kids are wonderful. even when i have a good relationship with the stepkids, my husband and i still fight about or something related to them. and we think we have a pretty strong marriage (been through so much together), and that we have things figured out. not true. can NEVER be true in a blended family. i'm so sad :(

I totally understand both arguments and debates. However, I feel in order to make things right : one must understand and realized that moving on with your life can and will. It's a difficult process to do, but it must be done in order to live happier.

I myself am going through a similar situation and I've come to a cross road and I need to decide whether to stay or leave. What makes it harder is we have a daughter together.

Perhaps it's about managing expectations. If you are happy with 99% of your life then by most people's measures you've done bloody well! Can I suggest you accept that your feelings about the stepkids are valid and that they don't make you a bad person but that on balance you're doing pretty darn well and should feel happy about the fact almost all your life is going well.
Think about it! :-)

It was nice reading all your posts because i felt like the only one going through something like this. however my situation is still somewhat different than all yours. Here it goes. I am 25 and have been married to my husband for almost 3 years and just 2 days ago he drops the bomb on me.. Tells me he has a son that will be turning 13 soon.. I would never have gotten involved with him if I knew he had a son, let alone marry him. Perhaps thats why he kept it from me..still no excuse. It gets better! His son is coming to this country to live with his daddy for good! Yippee! So..I was in a trusting faithful loyal kid-free relationship which was shattered in a matter of seconds. A 13 year old kid that i never knew existed will be living with us. As you probably guessed I dont have any kids of my own or with him..in fact I never wanted kids, let alone someone elses. And whats worse is he almost at "that age".. Teenage acting out...... So even if I somehow came to terms with this and could trust him again.. I would probably not treat that kid well at all (i have no tolerance for kids attitude and its not even my own), let alone fill the spot for his lost mother. Its hard to say whether or not I will still be his priority, but judging by your shared experiences Im guessing things will change.. DRAMATICALLY. if youre interested i will keep you posted... He will be picking him up from the airport about 2 weeks from now. SURPRISE! Youre a stepmom. Ugh, i think not. SO at this point Im not sure whether I will be kicking him and his son out or not... i just cant handle this dramatic change... It will hurt me to be going to suddenly lonely from happily married so fast..but maybe its for the best..because my trust is completely betrayed and it wont be the same anymore.. I dont believe anything he tells me. Besides, I am already hurt like never before. Like I said, couple of days ago I was happily married. Whats even making the siatuation worse is that I could really use a friend to talk to now.. But when i needed to talk to someone he was it..i have no friends and no siblings. I guess thats why i formed such a --what i thought was-- strong bond with him.. But turns out i didnt know him at all. Boo hoo on me for Not keeping any secrets from him while he was holding this bomb above my head. Any advice is welcome as I have a whole lot of different feelings (all bad) going through me right now.. And some logic would be refreshing.

Bellhavens, i may be the wrong person to talk to right now because i just got in a fight with my husband (stepkids related, as always) and i have a whole lot of different feelings -- ALL BAD -- going through me right now myself. Usually a logical person, but no logic here for now.

I just wanted to let you know I hear you, and I feel your pain. I hope the very best for you.

hugs,
stepnotmom

That's truly tough. I have no advice but am here for support. Step parenting is not easy knowing it is coming let alone when u r blindsided by it. I am here to chat f u need but can't imagine what is going through your mind right now. I am not happy being a step parent and I "knew" what I was getting in to.

I feel so bad for you! My situation is different from yours, but in a sense similiar. Agains't some warnings from people, I got involved with a man who had a daughter. BIG MISTAKE. He was never married to his ex (Baby Mama) but she is a nightmare to deal with, and expects large sums of money from us. I have two children and am married to this guy now. When we were planning our wedding years ago I found out that he had another child out there with a different woman! After I called off the wedding understandably, but than decided to get married last year. I felt that I owed it to the kids to try and make it work. This is where it gets really bad. This woman was one of his co-workers friends wives, and he slept with her and got her pregnant! He took off and avoided her when she informed him that she was pregnant and than started dating me and I got pregnant 7 months later. I never had a clue about this other lady. This other woman was pregnant for two months and had her baby in the same year that I had mine. She had hers in May/05, and I had mine in Dec/05. Absolutely sickening. I would NOT wish this situation on my worse enemy. It has been pure HELL to deal with. I did not find out about this kid until April/08, when the kid was 3 years old. By this time my child was now 1 years old! Had I known what he did I would have NEVER gotton involved with him....ever!!!! This has been the biggest mistake of my life. I feel so sorry for you, and you have my heartfelt sympathy. What a bomb you had dropped on your head! Where you are fortunate is that you have no kids with your husband. In my opinion you are definately within your full right to divorce him on grounds of major lies and deception! The only reason I married my guy after years of trying to come to terms with this, was for the sake of the kids. Had we not had kids, I would NOT be here. The stress and pain is NOT worth it. My husband has 4 kids with 3 different woman. It's disgusting!!! I feel very trapped at times and unhappy and stressed alot of the time. The pain and headache's from this is NOT worth it. I am so angry with myself because before I found out I was pregnant I thought I couldn't. I thought I would be having a hysterectomy within 2 years because of some rather serious "woman" problems with my ovaries and cervix. I was careless because I assumed I couldn't get pregnant. I love my kids, but would have NEVER been so careless if I knew I could get pregnant. My number one regret, is ever getting involved with a man who has kids already! This situation has ruined my life! You are still young and could have a fresh start. For that, I am very envious!

@Bellhavens

LEAVE HIM!!! Get that marriage annulled and find a better man to share your life with!

Wow, I'm so sorry. I'd tell myself, "Hey it could be worse." And that definitely is. You poor woman! I am wondering what you ended up doing. Hope it all worked out, and that you're happy.

Bellhavens, this post was awhile ago so just wondering how things worked out? I found out a year into dating my ex-bf that he had knocked up the girl he'd been sleeping with (not really a gf), about a week before we met. We met Sept. 2011, his daughter was born May 2012, and he told me August 2012 after DNA test came back positive. SO almost a full year of being with him, and risking getting pregnant with him all the while not knowing he had a baby on the way (his BM said it could be some other guys, so that was his excuse for not telling me sooner). We had been talking about moving in together, I had even been thinking of bringing up the topic of kids (we are both in our 30's, work professional jobs and, I had thought, childless), then he dropped that bomb. He ended up fighting for visitation and having to pay support, and after a few family events where BM would show up (e.g. his brother's wedding), I couldnt take it and had to leave. Not the life I wanted. I wonder if you have made the same choice.

hi I just read your story. I would like to know how's it going now. The good the bad? Thx

4 More Responses

In a way you are right, I live with my boyfriend he has a little 5 year old boy whom calls me mommy. The boy or baby as he and his ex call him lives with his mom. We have had our share of baby mama drama, I was pregnant we were excited, she stopped letting us see his son because she was jealous, put me under so much stress I had the worst pregnancy I felt alone and this resulted in a stillbirth of my precious Elizabeth Hazel, and because he has a baby still, but his little boy he can't be too sad or is as sad as I am about loosing our daughter. Watching him play with his son laughing and things only a week later really hurt, but what hurts the most was when I asked him 5 months into my pregnancy if he was going to feel the same about our daughter, and his answer was "I don't know, I I hope so, no one will ever take my sons place because he was my first but I think I'll love her a lot too" let me tell you that it's not enough for me, or for my baby, she was my first born and I had waited till I was 29 to have a baby. You will always wonder if he loves you more than he loved his ex, if he will love children that you bare as much as he loves his first, the questions will always be there even if you are confident that he lives you and your children it comes down to the amount of love and attention and if it's enough. Right now I think that what bothers me the most is that his son sleeps between us in our bed on the weekends the only time we really have to spend together. Think about it, my fiance is wonderful he really is, but are you willing to overlook something this major that sooner or later will cause friction between you both. I thought I could handle it, but i was wrong.

Oh and to those with kids who'll right nasty comments to the poor lady on here thats suffering because of her mans bad choices....you are the selfish ones. Why would you wont a Step anything for your kids- cause you can't do the job then want to hod wink some poor, loving kind hearted women - it's sad. Raise your oh dam kids - believe anyone would rather be single than deal with your crap so happy single parent dating!

Ladies please, please, don't just walk ...run!! I’ve just come out of another ‘Man with baggage’ relationship –Never again will I put myself through this.
I am talking from experience. I am 30+, attractive, professional woman on a positive path and working hard to get a good solid career behind me so I never have to rely on a man. Life is challenging and I've made it through so many tricky situations and come so far that I can't believe that I would ever 'settle' for this type of 2nd best situation! But I did I ignored my gut, because he was 'a nice guy'. I don't have kids but do want them some day. In fact I have now dated 3 guys with kids over the years...it never works. And until I lived with the guy and his kids I didn't know why - because I really like kids. But when you're living with someone else’s it's a whole different story. Let me just say that I have soooo much respect for any man that faces up to his responsibilities. That is what they should, as Dad’s do. But they should also be realistic about the type of women they can now get with. The trouble was my ex did tell me he wanted his kids to live with him, but it wasn’t ‘real’ until it happened and I just had to sit back and be 2nd best or get out.
It’s the worst feeling ever, for a woman to be told time and time again I can’t do this or that because I have the kids. Grrrr.
None of the guy’s (in my experience) was able to manage things properly-either lack of time, money, or mental patience cause their so tired from the kids an all their drama. They would cancel dates, not have money to spend on you or make it down right clear about all the lovely plans they have with their kids – and you can either tag along or get out. It’s such a shame because I get it, I get what they’re trying to do –BUT it DOESN’T work.
MEN- Your woman will always feel 2nd best and that’s not fair. Single dads should date single mums or not at all.
I had to put up with hearing – “I’m taking the kids to Israel this year so don’t have money for our holiday!” What.... really?
“I can’t see you this weekend cause the kids are sick”- and so on so on.
Ladies the worst part is if you say to anyone –this isn’t right I wont to be number 1 in my mans life –your made to feel like the worst person in the world cause he’s just doing right by his kids. Which he is BUT ,,,HE made this mistake, not you and your being told to put up or shut up! How dare they not realise that actually they’re no longer as desirable as they once were they’re now a man with baggage. They no longer the hot guy that everyone wants to be with. Lets be honest they’ve probably lost their looks now their older, the finances have now taken a battering cause they have to provide and not many women will put up with ‘baby moma’ crap

I read on another site about this and a lady (lets call her J) said: It’s usually women with low self esteem, single moms, or ones that haven’t yet caught on how BAD this situation will be. Well let me tell you I WAS that woman – the one who thought ‘kids are lovely’ how bad can this be –WRONG. Even if the kids are well behaved as all the ones I met were, you will STILL resent it. Believe me now you WILL no matter how hard you fight it. When you romantic evening is being interrupted by the kids or worst the kids mom! Those feeling will crop up no matter how much you love him.
Please never listen to anyone that’s puts you down because you smart enough to say – actually didn’t weren’t stupid enough to get preggers so why do I have to deal with this....YOU DON’T unless you choose to.

Funny thing is I have traditional homely values – I love looking after my man, family values are so dear to me, but I want that to be my family. You cannot create your family with some baby moma hanging around and dictating your schedule. Even if they have a good relationship as friends it’s too fractured and eventually cracks will show.
I’ll cook clean etc. And I expect to be looked after in return. But men have seemed to add their kids to this. So not only are you doing their washing, cooking cleaning but their kids. Who are usually highly ungrateful. I now come to realise that I have just been too nice to these guys with kids. From this point on I’ll be true to myself and put myself first. It’s okay to say actually I’m a good woman who knows how to treat her man, so yeah I want my man to take ME on vacations, spend money and time on me, have me as his main focus.

I do somewhat agree with what J said that low self esteem plays a big part and if your in that situation you maybe thinking I’m a strong woman, I don’t feel threatened by their prev’ relationship, I don’t have low self esteem, I just love him. I know this because I felt it too. Believe me now just take some time out – without him in your ear promising the world to make up for his crap and you’ll see things clearly. Also beware of the man who didn’t even commit Marriage to the mother of his kids – it screams bad judgement on his part. Or who says ‘I stayed for the baby’ and try and work it out – this isn’t as noble as it sounds. Why would you stay in something your not happy in? Surely you’d be big enough to admit that it wont work – no many men stay around cause it’s convenient to THEM. Look at things closer. Would he have been homeless if he left her? Di HE have such low self esteem that he couldn’t make proper arrangements or not have the guts to admit actually I still have feelings for her. Was he just ‘having his cake and eating it’?
If you still going to stick with Mr Dad know this; you’ll never come first no matter what crap he says, his time money and prob’ yours will be spent on the kids, you , not them will be made to feel like an outsider and you’ll have to make all the sacrifices.
If you’re looking at the celeb’s or someone you know and thinking, so and so is a Stepmom and they’re okay, right? Wrong, she has put up and shut up and for what ever reason thinks she can’t do better. Some men will really do a number on you, get into your head with promises of happy ever after, he loves you so much, you’ll always come first and even worst the one excuse everyone seems to make ‘ oh well I’ve seen him with his kids and he’s a good Dad to them so he’ll be a good Dad to mine’. Don’t be Baby moma number 2 ! That’s even worst cause now he can leave you with a kid. Do you really wana be like “her”.
In the end we’re all free to CHOOSE as we wish – make no mistake he should thank his lucky stars that you’ve chosen him.....but my bet is he wont and it wont be long before the resentment creeps in. I wish you ladies love and luck on your journey – there good are guy’s with no kids btw. Mr Dads – no offense as I’m sure your trying so hard to be good Dads just don’t forget to put yourselves in the shoes of your woman, it’s soooo not easy and if she is staying with you – your extremely blessed. Thank you.

huni77 -- you sound like me in a parallel universe. the me version of not choosing this life of blended family ****.

don't get me wrong, ladies, my man is amazing, life is great. but that tiny fracture called "blended family," it's a pain and a constant strain to our "strong" marriage.

if you're a single woman and can still NOT choose a life with a man with kids, make the right decision. don't do it.

with much love,
stepnotmom

Part of me wishes I would have seen these posts before I was a step parent but I now have the most precious twin girls that make it worth it and one of the biggest reasons I stay.. I am very good at hiding my low self esteem and I saw all the warning signs. The day we got engaged was even postponed bc he had to keep my step kids an xtra day . At the time I was not allowed to spend time with him and the kids so u truly didn't understand what I was getting myself into. I love my husband so much but am constantly questioning whether I am cut out to be a stepmom. I am made to feel like being a stepparent is all about giving and not receiving respect in return. The remarks are " they do that to me too!" We'll I don't feel it is acceptable either way so it makes me question how we going to do raising our girls. He also says that the dads are usually laid back while the moms are the ones who are supposed to be upset about this and that. Sorry ranting bc we had another "talk" bout it last nite. But as he says, it's been how long since the last time? I don't care! It keeps happening and the feelings never go away

I had a friend who warned me about dating and marrying a man with kids. What did I know? I wish I had listened. All my money goes to support his kids, his kids who think that we "have" money. We don't. His one daugher who completely disowned both of us because she was not going to school (college) and so we had her emancipated. She took emancipation from his money as disownment. It isn't. She has not called nor spoken to him in over a year and with Christmas coming I'm supposed to pull a diamond out of my *** and pay to give her Christmas presents? NO, I don't think so. I don't even know her address. Ok, well I actually do. She moved down the street, but yet has not told us nor forwarded an address to us. The only reason I know her addy is because a piece of mail was misdelivered here for her, but it had her address on it. Then there is the other one, E, who plays these games with her father and he gets all bent and twisted. Seriously, it's stupid. She thinks I am the monster because I don't take her bulls*it and lies. She can tell everyone else straight up, but when you call out her BS it's never HER fault. Whatever. I asked for a Christmas list for months and got nothing, so I went and got a couple of items. If she comes to get them, fine. If not, oh well, I have reciepts and I will return them.

I'm tired of kids who think and have this self important expectation that I am supposed to fill in where their deadbeat mothers are. RIDICULOUS!

I cannot tell you how many times I wish I had headed the advice of my friend who told me not to marry a man with kids. I wish I had listened.

bless you, its true.i yearn for a simple, one unit.

I'm dating a man with a young son who is out of control, foul mouthed, & inappropriate.
Reading these posts scare the Hell out of me.
I love my bf but hate the child's behavior & am unsure if it'll change.
I have a teen daughter who is respectful, well mannered, & does what is told.
I didn't put up with BS from my kid. I won't put up with someone else's.

Before I met my husband, I had never dated anyone who had kids and said I never would. I wish I had stuck to that. (Although now we have 2 beautiful angels, so I can't TRULY wish is never married him.) But if it were not for them, I would wish more than anything that I'd never made this horrible mistake. His son was 8 when we met...over-indulged, lazy, spoiled rotten brat. He waited on him hand and foot (and still does! The kid is 13 now.) There was NOTHING that kid did for himself. My husband would literally get down on his knees and put that lazy brat's shoes on FOR him! I mean, ANYTHING you can think of, his dad did/does it FOR him. That kid has never lifted a finger to do ANYTHING for himself and still doesn't. Before we got married, I tried to break it off, explaining that this was never going to work, because his kid was spoiled, lazy and ALWAYS around and we would NEVER have a life that was our own. I straight up told him that I didn't like that kid, didn't want to deal with his crazy criminal ex-wife and that at the very best case scenario would be that I MIGHT learn to accept that kid, but that I'd never be happy he existed and would always wish he'd never had that kid. Not much grey area there. He convinced me that things would change. They never did. EVERYTHING has always been about THAT kid, and still is. Even at the expense of our own children. THAT kid comes first. On weekends, my husband's only time off from work is spent 100% with ONLY THAT kid. He completely ignores his other 2 children (OUR children) and ONLY spends time with THAT kid. The list of things that have gone on in the last 5 years is far too much to write, but includes COUNTLESS and constant arguing about that kid, restraining orders against his ex-wife, he steals our children's Christmas and birthday money and buys things for THAT kid with it (despicable!) and a miserable marriage from the beginning, because it has NEVER been just US. It's always been "us" plus someone else's kid. Our children virtually have no father because he only seems to care about the mistake he made with his first wife. It breaks my heart for them and infuriates me beyond measue. Who does that??!!!! Who just chooses ONE of their children to be a father to and ignores the others??!!!! I am stuck, unable to divorce and take MY children because sharing custody of them is out of the question. They would not be safe alone with him. They are 1 and 3 and requires a lot of time and attention. Time and attention he cannot and will not give hem because he's too busy worshipping that brat. Anything that kid wants, he gets. A couple weekends ago, my daughter went downstairs to try to see her father and a found her playing outside all by herself! She's THREE! Thank God she didn't get kidnapped or hit by a car! He was too busy with that mistake of his to pay attention to her and he had irresponsibly left the door open, so she went outside. I was LIVID! If anyone is thinking about marrying a man with children, please save yourself an indescribable amount of stress and strain and pain and RUN AWAY! In fact, run as soon as you know they have children. Don't even bother getting involved in the first place. It is as horrible as everyone here has stated, and then some!

Omg run as fast as you can !!

I totally agree 100%! I married a man with a 3 year old daughter thinking that I could handle it. Boy was I wrong. I was wrong about thinking that I could handle being a stepmom and thinking that my husband was telling me the truth when he agreed that he would put our marriage first since having a strong marriage is one of the foundations for having a stable family. I've been married nearly 4 months to a man who I have since discovered is obsessed with his daughter and spoils her a lot more than I had originally thought. It turns out that he also lied about quitting smoking, has Adult ADD that he won't get treatment for, and is addicted to ****. I admit I was duped. So now I'm stuck with one of the most bratty, hyper active toddlers I have ever known, a husband who has lied to me about so many issues, not to mention a crazy BM who will always be apart of our lives like a shadow of darkness. If I could do it over again I would never have married him. The misery of this situation is just too difficult and painful to deal with.

If you are unhappy and having doubts NOW, they will only increase 100x over after you are married. It's hard enough just to make a marriage work, much less the addition of another family.... because it is another family... his life will always include another wife and children seperate from anything you may have.

its true but i dont want to admit it.