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Step-parenting role (we are not married, just have dated for awhile)

his kids are both under 11, we are a couple, but he does not want to show any emotion to me in front of the kids, because that is what his ex-wife wants. I feel that I can not do anything right, and feel left out sometimes. I want him to have time alone with the kids, but he takes it that I don't want to participate, but then tells me later that he needs to have time with them alone. ??? I am confused, i feel like I am just a friend when his kids are around and then a girlfriend when they are gone, I am just at a loss and since I have no children of my own it is worse. I get along with the smaller child great but the older one is always trying to get the mother over and trying to get her dad and mom to do things together and has even said in front of me that she wants them back together. I know this can be her dream but do not see it happening, but she treats me bad and says hateful hurtful things even at her young age>


Asked by Anonymous at 11:19 AM on Jan. 2, 2009 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (11)
  • How long have they been divorced?

    Answer by Farrahann at 11:24 AM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • Sounds like you two need to have a serious talk, and like he needs to have one with his children about you being in his life and exactly what you mean to him.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:26 AM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • I don't think it matters how long they have been divorced. His EX shouldn't be controlling his feelings and his day to day life. Maybe he is just be over protective with his children because if it doesn't work out with you two everyone is going to be hurt. Talk to him about your feelings and go from there. I wouldn't dare say anything to the mother.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:26 AM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • you need to talk to him about your feelings and he needs to talk to the kids and ex about you being in his life

    Answer by bi-polarmommy at 11:43 AM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • Sorry, but I'm with him on this one....maybe not for his reasons (doing it because his ex wants it that way).

    You're dating. You're not married. I personally think care should be taken until the relationship is more permanent. You guys show all this emotion in front of the kids, the kids develop strong relations with you, seeing their dad being so "emotional" with you...and then things don't work out. Now, he's going to eventually be with someone else and go through it all again...a major rollercoaster for the kids.

    Until your relationship is more permanent....engaged, maybe...I think you should hold back a bit when around the kids....until you are married, you're not the step-parent.

    Answer by TiccledBlue at 12:23 PM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • I have to agree with TiccledBlue. Honestly, I would not even have someone around my children that I was just dating. Until a more serious commitment was made (engaged or something close), a man that I am dating would not be around my kids at all. As for the child being hateful to you, well, sorry, but kids generally do dream of their parents getting back together. I understand it hurts your feelings, but why don't you put yourself in the shoes of this child who has had her life ripped apart by her parents divorce. I imagine, in her shoes, I'd be a bit hostile too. Her father should step in if she is disrespectful, but you can't make her like you and you really shouldn't expect it at this point.

    Answer by tropicalmama at 12:28 PM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • First, I have experience as a step mom and as a bio Mom.....your role is to support what the Mom and Dad say. You never discipline, you never put yourself in that role. Discipline is for the parents, NOT the steps! You are there as a help mate, NOT as the parent. If you take the role of not being "Mom", the child will respect you more. You aren't trying to take Mom's place in the child's eye, and that will be the HUGE difference to the child! A child HATES when ANYONE tries to be their Mom or Dad. They resent and become disrespectful. As far as showing affection toward one another, I believe that is completely appropriate. The children should see you and bf holding hands, arm and arm, even kissing....just appropriate affection in front of them. That is healthy.


    Answer by blessed5x at 1:20 PM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • I agree with Tropicalmama--well said!!! One main reason it has been said a divorced parent NEEDS to put his children first before any other person. There is also opinion that divorced parents should finish raising the kids before they "date"--not that I totally agree with that--but his first commitment is to his kids. You are NOT a step mom until there are vows taken--even living together doesn't make you one! He needs some good counseling on how to handle the divorce and his life before he EVER gets in another relationship. The best thing you can do for yourself is break it off. He needs time to heal and so do his kids!!!! Tell him with love that he needs the time to heal and to find a good counselor to help.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:37 PM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • He needs to maintain his relationship with his kids---and I think he is doing the right thing by keeping it between him and them for now. Even if things progress, you should remain a friend to them and not try to take on a mother's role if they have a mother already.Let him discipline them and deal with rules and things like that. In time, things will develop on their own as you earn your place in their lives. As a divorced parent, I wouldn't let anyone come between me and my kids. I couldn't allow my kids to be judged or controlled by a man just because I was dating him. I wouldn't want their Dad's girlfriend to take too much on---just to be a friend to them. Especially in the beginning.

    Answer by BJoan at 3:14 PM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • You have to ask yourself why he isn't showing you emotions because that is how his ex wants it? Whether he shows emotions in front of the kids or not it doesn't affect them and if it's for the sake of the children it does them no benefit to give them false hope they might get back together. I hate to say this but maybe you should start thinking that this guy isn't that great and if he is going to jump and follow his exes commands then he isn't worth the energy you're wasting on trying to make him happy

    Answer by bubblycute at 3:18 PM on Jan. 2, 2009