I'll try to make this brief...My husband and I separated last year and since then I have now entered into another relationship. The man I'm with is wonderful. My kids (girls 12 and 9) were very good friends with him before and when I first moved out on my own(my new boyfriend and I were previously just friends). Since they have found out that he and I have decided to try "dating" they have completely rejected him. More my 12 year old I guess. I get complete and utter disrespectful reactions to anything regarding him. What is very difficult is that he has stepped up in helping me financially during this time and has helped me out with many things that the girls have wanted. Sometimes they are great with him, other times my eldest is downright rude. I know they are going through a difficult time of adjustment therefore my boyfriend and I are sure to spend our "quality time" together when the girls are at their father's house. The hard part is getting her to "let" him come over for dinner now and again, or a movie. My 12 year old has issues with him coming over even when she has chosen to go to a friend's house. It has been 5-6 month since we let them know that we decided to "date" (we hid it for 5-6 before that) and things are ok somedays and HORRIBLE others. We would like to eventually start planning our future together but it is scary that it has become this difficult. Right now he is living in a friend's basement with a single bed and a tv so he can make sure that the girls and I are financially secure. How fair is it that he cannot be here to visit or even to live? Any suggestions on steps to take? I have been trying baby steps for nearly a year and they haven't gotten us very far. HELP!!! Thank you!!
You are really going to have to take this very slowly. I mean it has only been a year and you let them know about the new relationship 6 months after yall were seperated. That is not very long. It's going to be difficult at any time but please don't try to rush it. I would suggest some family therapy as well.
I think him not living with you is a very good idea. Yall definately need to know that it is going to work 100% before taking that kind of step. Your children have just been though an extremely challenging time with you and your husbands divorce and if you don't give them adequate time your children will end up resenting you for the rest of their lives.
No matter how you feel about this person, your children have to come FIRST. If you take it really slow and have lots of time together with and without him, as well as getting some intensive therapy you might be able to help your children come to an understanding.
I wouldn't let him move in for atleast another year so your children don't think he is trying to take over.
This is a very delicate situation and with your daughters being a little older it can go very wrong in a matter of just a few instances. Please, please make sure they come first. I know you also need to take care of yourself as well but right now they don't have that much control and you have to look out for thier best interest.
Also, if he really loves you and your girls, he will wait for them to get used to it. It could take another year or two but he will do it if yall really mean that much to him. Please, go get some family therapy. And maybe some one on one for your girls and yourself. Good luck!
Just wanted to let you know that you're not alone - my two girls (12 & 6) became downright horrible every time they came in contact with the new man in my life. And I'd been divorced for 5 years at that point. I just didn't recognize my own kids - it's like they became the kids from hell. And like yours, my 12-year-old was downright rude, mean and vindictive.
I think the above advice is good - live separately for now. Things will calm down.
I was a month away from my 12th birthday when my mom got remarried...
12 is just SOOO awkward and hormonal anyhow, especially for girls... and to throw in a divorce AND a new man can be unbearable...even though as adults, we look at it as "our" issue, not the childrens.
In hindsight...my parents often NOW say, that family counseling would have been a good idea. They would send my brother and I over the years, and tell the counselors we had issues with "bad friends"....I remember once telling a counselor its not my friends, it was my parents..and he would NOT let me talk about them!!
My mom used to do so much with us when my dad was gone... she took us to plays, on trips with our grandparents.... and the MINUTE she got remarried...we never had those experiences again...everything became she and the stepdad. He even actually sat us down, and told us, at 9 and 12, that HE came first to our mother now, and we came second...because someday we'd be grown and gone, and they'd only have each other.
I couldn't get out fast enough...i counted the days until i turned 18...moved out immediately, and never went back....but also never finished college...started having children at 19....sigh.
The other posters are right... take it slow....put the kids first for a few more years... and I'd suggest family counseling.... step parenting (whenever you make it official) is complex, and it can never hurt to have some guidelines and outside interferrence!!
Thank you for all of your input, I appreciate it. I have been in therapy and am now setting it up for my eldest to go as well. Both girls have been seeing the counselor at school once a week since all of this started. My boyfriend agrees, that the kids come first, so that is not an issue thank goodness. He has just made arrangements to move in with a couple other friends so his living situation is more comfortable while we wait for the girls to be ready. I understand it will take time. We definately put the kids needs first, but yet try to sustain a sense of control of the situation. My oldest continues to manipulate any and all situations, even when they don't include my bf, but I understand she is not only dealing with the severe life change, but also age and hormones. It will be a long haul, but I am willing to do anything to make this work out for everyone...including me. We will continue to take baby steps, as long as we head in the right direction. Thank you again for the support.