At first it was great because it meant we would see each other every other week, could take it slow, etc. Best of both worlds, I could date with little pressure, and still have plenty of time to myself.
We split up in April of 13 because he realized he had gone straight from a recent divorce into a new relationship and it was too fast, which I understood. We had occasional contact, and then he initiated getting back together in early September, and it's been going well since. He has made me much more of a priority in his life, and he also keeps in touch during the weeks he has his kids.
However, I haven't met his children. He's met mine a couple of times, primarily in passing when he's been at my house, but my children are 19 and 21. It's not something I've pushed because the most important priority is that his kids have time to heal as well, I completely get that.
But it is starting to bother me that I'm only in a part of his life. How can we truly know each other to see if a long term relationship makes sense if our only time together is his "single" time?
There are so many dealbreaker possibilities to consider. What if I can't deal with how he deals with his XW? I stay out of it, but with 50/50 custody there is a lot of interaction because they are both very involved in the kids activities. And, what if his kids don't like me? Or me them? Blending is not an easy road, I've done it before, but XWH and I did well in that area, I'm still close to his DD (now 20).
We had a serious talk recently, which is good because, as he admits, he is not great about relationship communication, and it's something he has been working on since we started seeing each other again. I was honest and said, "This is not meant as pressure, just honesty, but I hold back a lot because I'm not sure this relationship is going anywhere, and at a certain point that won't work for me." We talked about his kids as well, including his DD who has difficulty with change which concerns him. I didn't put a timeline in place with regard to meeting his kids, but I was clear that not working towards that concerned me. So he acknowledged my concern and said he was glad I discussed it with him but did not say, "Yes, it's time to plan that out."
And nothing has been said since. Now, granted it's been two weeks since the talk, and he had his kids one of those weeks and I was out of town most of the other. I will see him tomorrow evening. But, if I'm typing this out here, clearly it's bothering me.
I guess I'm reaching the point where I want a LTR, not just every other week, and if that's not a possibility here, then I'm wasting my time.
I've always been all about what's best for the kids in divorce situations, so I'm somewhat uncomfortable that this bothers me, and I don't want to "force" this, but if he's heard my concerns and doesn't respond to resolve them, is he telling me what I need to know?
If you've made it this far, thank you, and I apologize for rambling.
Above all, be the heroine, not the victim. - Nora Ephron
It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
- J. K. Rowling
They're only a year and a half out from their lives changing, and for a nine-year old, that's a big chunk of their lives.
It doesn't seem like so much time to us, but to them it probably is.
If he is devoting himself to their needs and not meeting yours, then it's probably time to re-evaluate.
You may be needing something from him that he can't give you right now.
But, gently, reading this made me feel that if I was R I would have no reason to change the situation as it is at the moment. He has time with you, time with his children and none of the challenges of combining these two worlds. His motives may be mixed: a genuine concern for his children but also a desire not to rock the boat with his ex wife. Their current parenting arrangement may work well in part because he is not dating anyone else? I'm speculating, of course.
In some ways I could see myself being like R. I am not dating and have no desire to but if I did meet someone it would be far easier for me to keep it separate from my life with my daughter. I have a shared parenting arrangement which is working very well and I wouldn't want to rock the boat. I have no desire to get married or cohabit. Really I want a relationship which is exclusive and commited but not live-in/marriage.
I wonder if R wants a live apart relationship whereas you want something more committed. There is nothing wrong with you wanting that! But you also have the prospect of two pre-teen/teenage girls to deal with for the next ten years. Is he the man to give you what you want, even if he was willing?
BUT, on the other hand, you ARE dating and children are not naive. I don't see anything wrong with him gradually introducing the subject to his kids. Then, very causal "meet ups".
With my fSO, we all met at a park "accidentally" and hung out. We also met "accidentally" at Starbucks once or twice. It was our way of kinda feeling the kids out a little. My kids then asked me if I WOULD date him. I told them we were just friends, but I would consider it. It wasn't soon after, we broke up.
It was a good test for me to see how it could work with the right person. fSO wanted to have all the kids hang out, and I was against it. I didn't feel that secure with us, and I was right.
My kids are now pushing me to date. I am 3 years out and they are 8 and 10.
Your children and what you decide is best is a personal decision. If you make it about you not meeting his kinds then your not focused on the real issue. You want that.
That being said I would be ok to be with the person as they are and I know I wouldn't want to feel obligated tO introduce someone special.
If you feel it is too much you can end it or simply figure when it is time he will be ready. If you feel a bit of I shared my kids etc then you can limit times with your kids. Honestly I think I would have to be engaged to introduce my kids to anyone.
That being said you may need to move on or accept the situation.
Good luck! Not to be harsh but post divorce I have met a ton of women who have needs but then blame another. The power is within you.
[This message edited by fireproof at 6:22 PM, February 2nd (Sunday)]
Part of this stemmed from recent conversations with friends of mine, who tend to be protective of me, esp since Dday. They like R but want me happy, and they are married, and saw me go through Dday and beyond, and they don't think I should have to wait for it. (And they have no perspective for dating as a single parent).
He's a good man, and I knew I was ahead of him in healing when we met, so it's not really fair to expect him to be ready to move forward just because I think I am. And, as was pointed out, if it's that important to me then I may need to re-evaluate this.
And, to be clear, it's not just about meeting his kids, but that just seemed like the most logical goal to consider. However, as fireproof mentioned, I need to think about what my true goal is here, and for me, it's to determine if we want to move forward toward something more serious, and that may not be fair to expect right now.
And, Fireproof, even when my kids were younger, I don't think I would ever wait until I was engaged to introduce them. I couldn't accept a marriage proposal without my kids having an opportunity to know this person, because they are the priority, and them having some level of a positive friendship/relationship with this person is an important factor in whether I could accept the proprosal or not.
Thanks again for the replies - this has been really helpful and caused me to reconsider my thought process a little. You all are awesome.
They are surly and dont much care to meet him. They like it status quo and since their dad pushed his new partner on them within months of the divorce i take that into account.
6 months out from his D? Those kids aren't ready for you.
Becareful what you ask for. Right now, I'd enjoy the "me" time you get when he is with his kids. (which is what my BF does)
However, it's not something I would ever try to force anyway, I was just trying to work through a few things in my head, but I certainly appreciate your feedback.