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SO meeting the kids...yay or nay?

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NWfleur posted 6/3/2013 00:20 AM

I haven't posted in so long...I'm still a regular but have been quiet for a bit.
Here goes...

After a year and a half of hell...then divorce, slow healing, and the long process of this all, I feel like I'm doing great. And really, now as I reflect, I see the marriage was over several years ago when I'm honest with myself.

I ended up meeting a wonderful man in...of all places...a divorce/seperation support group I joined about a year and a half ago. He was also dealing with infidelity, although their break was not as contentious and 'ugly" as ours. We became friends, and talked and talked and talked some more...given our backgrounds we had a common bond. After about a year, it evolved into something more. He's nine years older, and yet we have a lot in common and make each other laugh and he is such a gentle, kind, caring person. He opened my eyes!

My whether it is right to have him meet my kids. They do know he exists, but I've been quite protective about having him around them. I feel very confident about us, and he has three (older) kids of his own and seems to be a great dad so I know he would be great with them. My two boys (9 and 6) ask to meet him, which sort of surprises me.

He and his ex have put their house on the market, have lived apart since I met him, share joint custody of the kids, are seeing a mediator because of some very complicated asset division matters...but have not yet filed the divorce papers. He talks about how it's a piece of paper and they are waiting on the mediators. I know that's true, and it's a mountain of dealing with some business matters they shared, etc...but still...
I don't want to pressure him AT ALL so I don't talk about it. It's clear they are completely done. But there is this part of me that wonders if I should wait, to have him meet my kids, until those papers are filed and/or the divorce is final.

I guess my guard will always be up because of the past, to some extent. And definitely when it comes to my kids.

Two btw's...
I haven't met his kids. He says he wants me to, but I am hesitant right now because their mother has been diagnosed with possible MS and I just don't think it's the right time to throw this on three teenagers who are probably reeling from that news... EXWH recently moved across the country for a new job. He's such an ass, but that's a whole different topic. So, our DS's have been abandoned again from their dad, although he claims he's going to fly out once per month to see them. Which I doubt... The boys seem to be doing okay...but still, it breaks my heart for them.

And on a selfish note, it has meant that I have almost no free time to myself. So, another reason I am considering having them meet SO, so we can all hang out together and I don't feel like I'm sneaking around. But perhaps that is being selfish.

So...anyone have any thoughts or similar experiences? I trust this person and truly care for him. Is it too soon...or am I just being guarded? I want to do what is best for my kids...

[This message edited by NWfleur at 12:22 AM, June 3rd (Monday)]

Amazonia posted 6/3/2013 06:01 AM

You mentioned knowing each other a year before it evolved; how long have you actually been dating?

inconnu posted 6/3/2013 06:11 AM

just the fact that he has not filed for the divorce yet would keep me from introducing him to your kids. I get that it's complicated, but imo, filing for divorce should be the 1st step. Then you work on the mediated settlements, etc. Not the other way around. Sorry, but that he hasn't filed raises a red flag for me. So does his comment that it's just a piece of paper, for that matter.

Your kids are still young. I'd keep them out of your relationship with this guy for now. In fact, they shouldn't even know this guy exists yet, much less be able to ask about meeting him.

Betrayal posted 6/3/2013 08:01 AM

Big nay. HUGE nay. You went through a year and a half of hell, take the time now to slow down and really let the healing process being, we've all been there, and we all look back knowing we weren't even close to being healed, and are able to learn from our mistakes. Way too soon for you to throw your kids into the equation, it is not fair to them, and yes the motivation to introduce them is selfish. This guy hasn't even filed? His wife may have MS? Geez..that's alot to deal with.

Griefstricken25 posted 6/3/2013 08:13 AM

Nay. Personally, if he's not divorced, he shouldn't be dating at all. Opinions vary widely on that.

wildbananas posted 6/3/2013 08:13 AM

I vote for waiting as well... I learned the hard way that it's best to finish one thing before starting another. I'd wait for him to get his life together and let the dust settle before introducing and integrating everyone. It's difficult enough even under the best of circumstances, let alone one where there are divorce and illness involved.

cayc posted 6/3/2013 08:19 AM

I vote for no because he's not D yet and it's not just a piece of paper. Don't involve your kids until he's legally free and clear, and you are clear what his obligations to his xWW will be.

When I was in the midst of my D, and hating my philandering xWH, and demonizing him for what a complete and utter worthless fuck up he is, still, in the back of my mind .... so I think a pending D is not D no matter how many try to sell it as so.

I get that in some states you have to have a signed property settlement agreement *before* a judge will grant a divorce, but if the D isn't a contentious arguing over assets then it's not that complicated. I'm a little confused as to why you're saying his D process isn't ugly when it sounds like they are having trouble agreeing on things.

Idk, I think the limits placed on your time with this guy are still a good protector for you and you should take advantage of that and just let things roll on for a bit.

I'm sorry for your kids about their dad. I'm sure that's heightened everyone's sense of loss and maybe making all of you think in terms of speeding up on your SO front attractive.


Nature_Girl posted 6/3/2013 08:28 AM

He isn't "free 'n clear". So no, I wouldn't introduce him.

Honestly, stories like yours disturb me. My STBX is a prowler, looking for his next victim. When I read your tale it occurs to me that your guy could be my STBX. Please do yourself a favor and verify all information this man tells you.

NWfleur posted 6/3/2013 12:24 PM

Ouch, got some 2x4's!

But thank you for your honesty. While I don't think he's a predator...looking for a victim...I think it's better to wait. What's the rush, really. And if the divorce doesn't roll along in the next month or two, now that we have been getting more serious, I'll will probably gently let him know I'd like to put things on hold until that happens. We've been involved romantically for six months, btw.

It's no easy matter, starting over at 40. I don't know what I'm doing at all. So, thanks for your insights. I've had enough relationships and feel I am a well educated and worldly enough person that I don't intuitively feel any red flags in terms of him being a creep, and I have "checked into him" enough to feel pretty secure, but I DO think it's more a case of needing to wait out his tangled divorce situation before involving kids. Actually, I think part of the reason their divorce has gone slow is BECAUSE of his kids. Their kids come first, which I see as a good thing as mine do too. He coaches their teams, teaching skiing with his older boy, and keeps joint custody even though for now he has to have them in a tiny condo.

Maybe we need to slow down a bit. Until it's all finalized on his end and the dust has settled.

Thanks friends...

[This message edited by NWfleur at 12:29 PM, June 3rd (Monday)]

gma56 posted 6/3/2013 13:54 PM

I was a horrible single mom years ago and did introduce men to my DD before I should have.
One thing I did learn is that once they know the new man, then he is part of their world. When it didn't work out there was another adult that abandoned her and more drama.
I regret so much during those years and tainted my DD's childhood memories. She is now 40 yrs old and a Mom herself, I have apologized and asked for her forgiveness.
You can't undo what has already been done but waiting to expose the kids gives you more time to be sure he is a keeper after his divorce drama is over.

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