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User Topic: I'm childless woman dating a man w/ a child.. how should i feel?
betterlife
New Member
Member # 36867
Default  Posted: 6:07 AM, April 14th (Sunday)

This is new territory for me, so any advice would be much appreciated.

I'm 42 and I don't have children. I'm not sure if I've ever wanted children either, but I am not opposed to having children if I met the right guy (etc etc). I've never felt that I needed a man to complete me or a child to complete my life. But, I do want someone I can confide in and have life goals with.

I think I am pretty secure in who I am and what I want from life. It's other people (older people I work with) who dont feel comfortable that I am not married and dont have children.

The guy I am seeing has a child, a 3 year old. The Ex does not live in the same country, but comes to visit with the child and he goes to visit the child a couple times a year. He travels alot for work, so if he is flying in that direction, he will stay a few days to see the child.

I have several concerns, some of which, I have voiced to him, others that I am trying to process at the moment so I can evaluate if this is something I want to get into to not.

I know at 'this age' I cant expect the men that I meet not to have any sort of baggage (kids, etc.)

My concerns:

1. His attention (to me) is divided (and will forever be with respect to this child).

2. He wants to have another child (perhaps with me) but I'm not sure if I would want to share the limelight.

3. I don't have any baggage. I went to IC to help sort out any emotional issues that may be lingering post infidelity with my Ex. I have a good job etc. And, I like to think that I've got my shit together.

4. I am not close to my own parents. It has been over 10 years since we last spoke. (Long story and reconciliation is near to impossible.) I also went to IC 10 years ago to deal with emotional stuff from that split. I think I have a pretty level head about that.

5. I am feeling a little left out right now, as the child and Ex are visiting. There are no plans to introduce me at all, so I am on the side-lines for the next 2 weeks while they are here.

This is good and bad. On the one hand, it's good so I can see how or if he includes me at all in his life in the next 2 weeks. On the other hand, right now, I am feeling a bit jealous and not worthy at all.

We have been seeing each other since February. We enjoy each other's company alot. We connect very much in many ways. We have similar thinking and perspectives on a variety of topics. We both have very active and healthy lifestyles. We give each other space to do our jobs, meet up with our other friends. We are not in each other's faces and I dont feel I need to know what he is doing 24-7.

However, he has met several of my friends, I have only met one of his, so I am kind of feeling like a secret.

How should I be approaching this? Are there any specific things I am missing here?


Posts: 27 | Registered: Sep 2012
Amazonia
Member
Member # 32810
Default  Posted: 6:19 AM, April 14th (Sunday)

I'm a few years younger than you, but have also never really wanted children. However, if I were to date a man with children, I would certainly never expect him to put me before them, or to meet them until we had been together quite a long time. IMO those are qualities of being a good father and emotionally protecting his children, and that's the kind of man I would want to be with. It shows a deeper level of integrity than putting me on a pedestal or making me the center of his universe.

I think if you care for this man, you will care for his child by proxy, and want what's best for the child, at least while it is young enough that it's up to the parents to provide for those needs. I do think things change when the kids are older or more independent.

You sound like you had a full and happy life before meeting him; I would focus on filling your time with those same things while his child is in town, because it's too soon for you to meet the child.

Also, you are possibly the first person I've ever met with no baggage


"You yourself deserve your love and affection as much as anybody in the universe." -Buddha
"Let's face it, life is a crap shoot." -Sad in AZ

Posts: 13798 | Registered: Jul 2011
SBB
Member
Member # 35229
Default  Posted: 6:30 AM, April 14th (Sunday)

If I didn't have children I wouldn't date someone with children for some of the reasons you list here.

Come to think of it I'm not that keen on dating someone with children even though I DO have children . But that's another thread.

My children will always be my number 1. There is no man, no matter how perfect for *me* he is that will ever usurp them or even hold a candle to them. At this age I would expect him to be emotionally independent and not require so much of me - kids or no kids.

I am a package deal and if I even had an inkling of having to choose he would be gone in a heartbeat. No question about it.

That doesn't mean I won't have any time for him or that he won't be important to me or that I won't value him. I would be sad that it had to end. But if he needs to be my major focus it is simply not.going.to.happen.

You are absolutely entitled to feel what you're feeling - no 2x4s from me there. Its important to identify these feelings and to either work through them if they are causing problems in all of your relationships (even kids aside). There is no right or wrong way to feel about this situation IMO. Feelings are feelings.

But... IMO his position is clear here. Is yours? You may find when he does know how you feel he may make this decision for you.

You've been dating for only 2 months - I'm not surprised he hasn't integrated you into more of his life. I'd be worried if he did. He is still getting to know you himself.


I may have reached a point where I'd piss on him if he was on fire.... eventually!!

Posts: 5609 | Registered: Apr 2012 | From: Australia
SouthernGal
Member
Member # 27315
Default  Posted: 7:38 AM, April 14th (Sunday)

A few things came to mind as I read your post. I'm just going to quote parts and then post my thoughts.

But I want to start off by saying that I think it is really good that you're thinking about all of this as early as you are. This guy's child is VERY young so these issues are going to exist for a very long time so you have to figure out if this is what you want for the long haul.

1. His attention (to me) is divided (and will forever be with respect to this child).

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that with or without children, everyone's attention is (and should be) divided. You cannot provide, nor should you provide, 100% of your attention to one person.

But yes, his child will always be his child. And for the next 15 - 18 years the degree of division will be greater. It does change a bit for us parents when our children are older and more independent - but that won't be any time soon for you.

It seems like this is a problem for you, so you need to pay special attention to your feelings on this issue.

2. He wants to have another child (perhaps with me) but I'm not sure if I would want to share the limelight.

It's good that you recognize that now, rather than after you've had a child with him. Kudos to you for knowing yourself this well.

3. I don't have any baggage. I went to IC to help sort out any emotional issues that may be lingering post infidelity with my Ex. I have a good job etc. And, I like to think that I've got my shit together.

No matter how together your shit is, everyone has baggage. Everyone. Some people bring more baggage than others into a relationship, but everyone has some. And I hope you don't take this the wrong way, your post clearly shows that you do have some baggage.

5. I am feeling a little left out right now, as the child and Ex are visiting. There are no plans to introduce me at all, so I am on the side-lines for the next 2 weeks while they are here.

You keep saying that you've got a full life and you don't need to be together 24/7, that you have no baggage and you have your shit together ... but your post is saying something else.

Feeling left out because the guy you're dating is spending time with his child ... clearly you're not really okay with not being the center of his attention 24/7 because you've said a couple of times in a couple of different ways that you don't like sharing his attention.

Sadly, his child is 3. This situation isn't going to change any time soon, so this is the reality. You need to figure out if you can handle it.

As for not having plans to introduce you to his child, I applaud him for that. Too often people introduce their children to potential SOs way too soon and it hurts the children. You've only been together for a couple of months and you're expressing some very serious doubts and concerns that are directly related to his child. I'd have to say that not meeting the child now shows very clear judgement.

This is good and bad. On the one hand, it's good so I can see how or if he includes me at all in his life in the next 2 weeks. On the other hand, right now, I am feeling a bit jealous and not worthy at all.

If his child lives in another country and he has limited time with his child why would you expect him to include you?

Being jealous of a child and feeling "not worthy" because he is spending time being a parent just doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Particularly coming from someone who has professed to having no baggage and doesn't need to be with her significant other 24/7.

I think it is worth spending some time figuring out why you feel "not worthy" because he's spending time with his child.

However, he has met several of my friends, I have only met one of his, so I am kind of feeling like a secret.

I tend to think that at this early stage of a relationship it is fairly typical for a woman to have introduced a new man to her friends (to get the friends' opinions and to vet the new guy) and that it is fairly typical for the guy to not have introduced the woman to his friends.

Since you've only been dating for a couple of months I don't see that as you being a "secret." Though if this is a concern you have why haven't you addressed it with him?

I'm close to your age (will be 44 soon) and my only child is graduating high school in just a few weeks.

I'll be honest, even though I have a child, I have no desire to date a man or woman who has young children. I've already raised mine through the terrible twos, the fearsome fours, the hands on elementary education, and feeding the drama llama teen years. I have no desire to go back to that.

I also have no desire to date someone whose time is limited by child care concerns. I will be working as a nurse and I'm pretty sure my hours are going to be hard enough to work around ... I just don't want to do it.

But most of all, I don't want to date someone who is at a drastically different stage of life than I am.

Some of those reasons are practical considerations, some of it is personal preference (I don't really like kids), and some of it is my "baggage."

There's nothing at all wrong with feeling how you're feeling or wanting what you want. But I really think you need to do some very hard thinking about where you have issues in this relationship and address them with him when you can because the things you're not happy with cannot be changed and the circumstances won't change for many many years.


BS (Me) XWH (him) M nearly 16 yrs
1 DD (teens)
D-day #1 12/09, #2 2/10
Divorced 10/6/10

Posts: 3862 | Registered: Jan 2010 | From: The Deep (Fried) South
cayc
Member
Member # 21964
Default  Posted: 7:53 AM, April 14th (Sunday)

If I didn't have children I wouldn't date someone with children for some of the reasons you list here.

Ugg SBB, I don't have children, not by choice, so if I were to only focus on men w/o kids I would be completely SOL on the dating scene. I just think a kid/no kid rule sets one up for failure in the dating world once you're past 40.

In so far as meeting a man's kids? I wouldn't expect that to happen until we were in a committed relationship, and even then that would be an age-related thing too. So young adults sooner than teens sooner than toddlers.

I don't see it as attention divided though, and I think that black & white thinking is going to get you in trouble, especially if you go into super analytical mode. People are capable of loving more than one person at a time (in a healthy way I mean, not in an A way ). I love my parents (sometimes lol), my best friends, my dog, my brother .... and I still have room in my heart for a partner. And his kids if that happens.

Yes, sometimes a kid's needs will come first. But wouldn't you put your best friend in a crisis's needs before your partner sometimes? Hey honey, can't make dinner tonight, BFF needs me? Again, people do that all the time too and it's how life is. The crux is when you are consistently dismissed.

Idk, I think the real issue that has sent you into analysis/defense/protect yourself mode is that xW is here with child and your SO is going dark on you for 2 weeks. That would hurt my feelings and scare me about xW being here. Again, I wouldn't expect to meet the child necessarily, nor the xW, but ... where is xW staying? He can't meet you for lunch one day? He's not calling you everyday to regale you of tales of how cute his kid is and how glad he is to see him/her?

Anyhoo, somehow I suspect what's really going on is not kid-related but that you're feeling not communicated with, and maybe he's not taking getting to know you as seriously as you are him. So ... you're 2-3 months into this relationship? That's what you need to talk to him about.

So: Honey, it feels odd to me that I've only met 1 of your friends; honey, I understand you need to focus on your child when you've only got 2 weeks to see him/her, but it hurt a little that you didn't communicate well with me while she was here; or honey, your xW being here/staying with you was a trigger for me. Or whatever it is that you're really feeling. Because despite your claim that you've got no baggage, something is bothering you and it's priming you to implement a scorched earth policy with this guy (all this is in your head, you aren't talking to him about it) and that would be a shame if a little talking could ease your mind and help things along.


"The difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved, the pig is committed." -Martina Navratilova
"The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

Posts: 3122 | Registered: Dec 2008 | From: Mexico
SBB
Member
Member # 35229
Default  Posted: 7:59 AM, April 14th (Sunday)

Ugg SBB, I don't have children, not by choice, so if I were to only focus on men w/o kids I would be completely SOL on the dating scene. I just think a kid/no kid rule sets one up for failure in the dating world once you're past 40.

Sorry, I meant small children. Older/grown up kids - AOK.

I haven't historically liked older men so I suspect I am going to be single for a very long time.... although a few silver foxes have caught my attention of late. I know its only a few years but I was 26 when my mum was 46. It bends my brain that I might date someone that age. Even though *I* am almost that age.

I should just go out and adopt 12 cats now.


I may have reached a point where I'd piss on him if he was on fire.... eventually!!

Posts: 5609 | Registered: Apr 2012 | From: Australia
permanentpain
Member
Member # 38312
Default  Posted: 8:10 AM, April 14th (Sunday)

Here's the thing:

While I was reading your post, several things stand out. You clearly have baggage, it seems you have gone through several difficult situations with family and your ex in which you needed IC and even though you may have a great handle on it, these things from time to time are a trigger of some sort. I think that your SO seems to be putting healthy boundaries, not only for his child but for you as well. Quick introductions to a person's kids are not healthy for them or you. Attachments occur and it just creates a really unstable base for everyone involved. I agree with cayc, maybe the Xw visit may be a source of discomfort for you, not necessarily the time he spends with his child. Communication is definitely the key to success. Think about it, would you like to be with a man that would abandon his only child, which he has limited time with, to be with you? I wouldn't. It would scream doosh to me. Good luck.


Me: 32 y/o, student and mom of two of the best kids in the world
Him: 33 y/o scumbag
Divorcing
Feels good to start laughing and feeling better again...

Posts: 270 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Island
Sad in AZ
Member
Member # 24239
Default  Posted: 8:17 AM, April 14th (Sunday)

How should I be approaching this?

I'm not sure if I would want to share the limelight

^^^You need to come to a conclusion about this.

If you decide that you absolutely do not want to share the limelight with a man's child, it's very simple: Never get involved with a man who has children

Or, only seek out men who do not care about their children. If you've been reading these boards, you'll know that there are plenty of these men out there. I do think, though, that they are very personality disordered, so they're probably not the best catch.


I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.

Posts: 20284 | Registered: Jun 2009 | From: Upstate NY
She11ybeanz
Member
Member # 27457
Default  Posted: 9:29 AM, April 14th (Sunday)

THIS.

I should just go out and adopt 12 cats now.

I think I have a lot going for me...physically fit runner...masters degree...career....BUT...I am a single mom of an 8 month old baby girl...and my sperm donor told me that no man wants to date a single mom... and I'm starting to think that may be true. I guess I should hit up the SPCA now! UGH....


"Sometimes your knight in shining armor ...is just a douchebag in tin foil!!"

ME - BW - 35
HIM - XWH - 39
D day: November 15th, 2009
Married: 5 Years, together 8
Divorced: December 13th, 2010
New Beginning: Piper/8-3-12


Posts: 2724 | Registered: Feb 2010 | From: Virginia
She11ybeanz
Member
Member # 27457
Default  Posted: 9:33 AM, April 14th (Sunday)

Or, only seek out men who do not care about their children. If you've been reading these boards, you'll know that there are plenty of these men out there. I do think, though, that they are very personality disordered, so they're probably not the best catch.

My baby's daddy is single...and hasn't seen her since she was 4 months old or helped me financially! She is almost 9 months old now... AND he has 2 other children that he might see for a couple of hours a month...

It sounds to me that you have a GOOD man there! You might want to take a step back and reevaluate what you want because there are a lot of women out there who would love to find a good man like that. If children are a problem and the limelight is what you seek....I would definitely cut your losses now before anyone gets more involved and seek out a single man WITHOUT kids. That might be better suited for you. But, if you find a man like my ex....you might be better converting to lesbianism.... IMO.


"Sometimes your knight in shining armor ...is just a douchebag in tin foil!!"

ME - BW - 35
HIM - XWH - 39
D day: November 15th, 2009
Married: 5 Years, together 8
Divorced: December 13th, 2010
New Beginning: Piper/8-3-12


Posts: 2724 | Registered: Feb 2010 | From: Virginia
SouthernGal
Member
Member # 27315
Default  Posted: 9:37 AM, April 14th (Sunday)

Shelly,

There are some men who won't want to date a woman with a young child and there are others who will. There are no absolutes in life - and your ex is an ex for a reason. He's a jackass. So don't listen to him.

As for the fact that you're not dating now and you think that is indicative of your future ... Honey, you're not dating now because it's not the right time for you to be dating and you're likely throwing out "not available" signals.

Which is, in my opinion, just about right. Piper is 8 months old. This is a very demanding age and keeping up with what she needs is time consuming.

When she gets older and she is into groups and activities and school you'll probably find that you have more time and energy (mental and physical) to devote to dating and trying to develop a new relationship ... and you'll also find new venues for meeting people (not just men people).

It will happen when the timing is right. But don't assume that you're never going to find someone just because you're not dating up a storm when you've got an 8 month old baby.

And don't listen to the ex. I mean what the fuck does he know? If he was so smart and knew so much he would have been smart enough to be with you. But he's not. Therefore, he's an idiot.


BS (Me) XWH (him) M nearly 16 yrs
1 DD (teens)
D-day #1 12/09, #2 2/10
Divorced 10/6/10

Posts: 3862 | Registered: Jan 2010 | From: The Deep (Fried) South
suckstobeme
Member
Member # 30853
Default  Posted: 2:54 PM, April 14th (Sunday)

I too think that these issues are serious and need to be worked out in your own mind before you get in any deeper with this man.

I have small kids and would never want to be with someone who, especially in the beginning, put me before his own kids. I put my kids first, so why shouldn't he?

Now, that doesn't mean that he can't give you attention too and that the level of attention can change and intensify and even include the child as more time goes on. But, at this early of a stage, and particularly because this baby lives in a different country, all attention has to focus on the kid right now.

If that makes you feel jealous or left out, that's a big red flag that dating a guy with kids, especially a very young kid, is just not a good idea. There's no stigma there, its just what likely makes you comfortable and secure in a relationship.

The other major issue is that you've said this man wants another child. On the other hand, you are not too jazzed about it. At least not so jazzed that it's been a lifelong goal.

I would seriously think about this and determine how this is going to impact the relationship. If this is what he wants, it won't go away. He won't change his mind or forget about it. It will come up again. It wouldn't be fair to him to stay with him if this really isn't what you want out of the end game. I've seen this IRL all too often. People will voice one opinion about wanting kids and the partners either will lie and say they want them too when they really don't OR they will think that if they stay together long enough, one person will change his or her mind on the subject. It never turns out well in those cases.

It's ok to steer clear of potential partners who don't share the same goals. It's not a badge of dishonor if you don't want or even like kids. It's reality. Just always be strong enough to fight for your convictions and be guided by what is best for you.

This man is a father. He always will be.


BW - me
ExWH - "that one"
D - 2011
You get what you put in, and people get what they deserve.
Hard as it may be, try to never give the OP any of your power or head space.

Posts: 2840 | Registered: Jan 2011
Topic Posts: 12