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Old 4th January 2017, 10:41 PM   #31
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It's easier for him to go with the flow and only see his kids once a month. He doesn't have to give up his time with you or disrupt his own schedule to make special time with his kids. A text and/or a phone call? That's nothing and actually effortless. He should be going to their sporting games, offering to drive them places, just to catch half an hour of time with them.
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There is no rushing into this. almost 30 years of friendship. He didn't end his prior marriage to be free, he left it to be with me. This wasn't something that just happened. No we aren't proud of how our relationship started but we are proud of our relationship.
For you and him, fine! But NOT for his kids. Basically he's lived a lie with his wife and family with you waiting in the wings. Now that their kids know, I can totally understand why they need a hell of a lot of time to heal and rebuild something with their dad. There's no trust and just a lot of pain and feeling abandoned. I hope you allow him to go on his alone to repair his R with his kids. I do think getting married even in 18 months is a mistake and one that will push his kids further away. You two have waiting so many years, why rush? You live with him, isn't that enough?
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Old 5th January 2017, 8:14 AM   #32
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They shouldn't have to hang out at his boring house to see their boring dad. Why should they always be the one expected to drop their lives so they can fit into his. If they are involved with sports then dad can also get involved in their sports. Go to their games and practices. Find out what else they like to do and get involved in that. If they like bike riding then no reason why dad can't get himself a bike and get out there riding. Oh they're too busy to come to dad's all day on Saturday. Okay well then how about dad picks them one evening during the week and takes them to dinner? How about a quick breakfast on a Sunday. How about a movie on Friday night? then they get to go home so they can attend to their other plans. Dad picks them up and drops them off.

I've raised teenagers and I'm telling they are not too busy that they can't spend a few hours here and there with their parents several times a week but the parents have to be willing to put forth the effort. If the attitude is "okay well you let me know when you want to hang out at my house all weekend and I'll let you do that" then that is not putting forth effort to have a relationship with one's children. Absent parents who blame their poor relationship with their children on the children are just being lazy. They are expecting the children to do all the heavy lifting and make all the concessions and when their kids don't do that (and they won't because they're kids) they just go "oh well, I guess there's just nothing I can do, my kids just don't care, not my fault" Lame


WOW... the judgement here is insane. Ive also raised teenagers and understand what schedules are like for kids who are involved. He does go to their games, their activities anything he can. I don't consider that actually spending time together since they aren't. They always go out to dinner or to the movies or bowling or whatever. My expression was simply that when his 17 year old daughter has school, work and activities 6 days a week and finally gets a Friday night off the last thing she wants to do is drive an hour to her dads and hang out with him. This is normal teenage behavior.
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Old 5th January 2017, 8:19 AM   #33
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It's easier for him to go with the flow and only see his kids once a month. He doesn't have to give up his time with you or disrupt his own schedule to make special time with his kids. A text and/or a phone call? That's nothing and actually effortless. He should be going to their sporting games, offering to drive them places, just to catch half an hour of time with them.

For you and him, fine! But NOT for his kids. Basically he's lived a lie with his wife and family with you waiting in the wings. Now that their kids know, I can totally understand why they need a hell of a lot of time to heal and rebuild something with their dad. There's no trust and just a lot of pain and feeling abandoned. I hope you allow him to go on his alone to repair his R with his kids. I do think getting married even in 18 months is a mistake and one that will push his kids further away. You two have waiting so many years, why rush? You live with him, isn't that enough?


I haven't stopped him or interfered with his relationship with his kids. We do not live together yet. We are working towards that in the future. We are committed to each other which is why we want to be married.


The original question in this post was for ideas on how to make the introductions, where to begin the relationship because I simply haven't been in this situation before. What I have found is nothing more than people being critical of a situation they know about 1% of. Sad.
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Old 5th January 2017, 6:04 PM   #34
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I've tried very hard not to be judgmental in my responses... I've given you my perspective from a similar situation and some strategies that would have helped to accept the new "step parent."

I also have the perspective of being the new "step parent" who recently met the child three months ago... We are taking it extrodinarily slow. We met for an hour to play mini golf. I have been to the house twice to play board games with my boyfriend and the child. The initial invitation came from the child... They needed an extra player and he wanted me to come and play. I bought him a small Christmas gift (with the assistance of his father). No public displays of affection. I stay for an hour or two and then leave. No expectations of the child. No plans to move in or get married (although we have been together for almost a year). And this, is happening when the separation was four years ago and the new relationship did not start as an affair.

My best friend did exactly this, she met a man, had an affair, and left her husband. It took about two years for things to improve for her kids, their grades suffered and everyone was very unhappy. Her new boyfriend did not live in the same city, so this was two years without any pressure for the children to meet the new boyfriend or accept the new relationship. It's been three years since this drama started and as much as I love her and want her to be happy, I still have a difficult time accepting her new relationship and I've lost a certain amount of respect for her. Having lived through the experience with my father, I really do believe to each their own... But, when someone makes a decision that is hurtful to others, you can forgive but you never forget.

If I'm being really honest, you have been more defensive about your relationship than empathetic toward the huge life changes these children have experienced. I think you are fooling yourself if you think you have given these children enough time to accept your relationship - particularly because of how it started. What his ex wife did by telling the children all the details was not ok, but it's done and now you have to deal with it. In my family, the hurt caused by the pushy way my parents tried to bring our blended family together has resulted in the process taking years to come together... We are at five years now and we are just finally able to come together without hurt feelings. The pushy way that my father forced this relationship on us and dismissed my feelings almost cost him the relationship with both my brother, and myself... But the thing is, he didn't think they were pushy... He thought, as you think, that enough time had passed and that because they were happy together, we should be happy for them. He could not see any other perspective than his own - and I hated him for that!

My honest advice would be to slow things down and don't place any expectations on the children... They are children, their needs should always come first, not yours! The blending of this family should occur at their pace, not yours.

If you must marry on your timeline, then maybe you should go to a beach somewhere and have a private ceremony. Try to be respectful of the fact that not everyone may be really happy to see you get your happy ending...

If I may, you and your boyfriend have already been selfish enough... Now you accept the consequences of your decisions. You must slow down and respect the fact that these children will need more time than you think they should to accept you and your relationship... If you push it, they will get angry with you and they will walk away...
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Last edited by BaileyB; 5th January 2017 at 6:58 PM..
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Old 5th January 2017, 7:07 PM   #35
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WOW... the judgement here is insane. Ive also raised teenagers and understand what schedules are like for kids who are involved. He does go to their games, their activities anything he can. I don't consider that actually spending time together since they aren't. They always go out to dinner or to the movies or bowling or whatever. My expression was simply that when his 17 year old daughter has school, work and activities 6 days a week and finally gets a Friday night off the last thing she wants to do is drive an hour to her dads and hang out with him. This is normal teenage behavior.
You are the one who first posted that he sees his children once a month and so that's what I'm responding to. Now all of a sudden you are backtracking and saying he sees them all the time. Make up your mind.
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Old 5th January 2017, 7:28 PM   #36
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Why would you expect his teenage daughter to drive to see her father? Surely he should be driving to see her?
He's the one that split up her family.
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Old 5th January 2017, 7:29 PM   #37
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You are the one who first posted that he sees his children once a month and so that's what I'm responding to. Now all of a sudden you are backtracking and saying he sees them all the time. Make up your mind.
I am guessing that on the "once a month visit" that they "go out to dinner or to the movies or bowling"
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Old 5th January 2017, 10:11 PM   #38
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I am guessing that on the "once a month visit" that they "go out to dinner or to the movies or bowling"
If that's the case then I stand by what I said before. When it comes to having a relationship with kids/teenagers the parents need to go the extra distance and make the extra effort. Once a month is unacceptable. Sitting at home and waiting for the kid to feel like driving an hour to his place is unacceptable. The OP will never have a relationship with those kids until their dad steps up and fixes his own relationship with his kids. And OP you can be offended as you want at what I say but that doesn't stop it from being true.
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Old 6th January 2017, 11:10 AM   #39
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You are the one who first posted that he sees his children once a month and so that's what I'm responding to. Now all of a sudden you are backtracking and saying he sees them all the time. Make up your mind.


I stated they have an agreement to see each other once a month. And this is due to their work, school, sports etc schedules. This isn't due to his time, its theirs that's busy. This weekend is a prime example, He asked for Friday night but the daughter works, he asked for Saturday, but the son works, he asked for sunday but the daughter has a work party. So he will take them out to breakfast on Saturday. We understand their schedules. Do we wish they would be more diligent about planning days off so this doesn't happen, of course. But there isn't anything we can do when they have limited free time. These aren't babies, these are teenagers with cars and jobs and lives.
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Old 6th January 2017, 11:24 AM   #40
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I've tried very hard not to be judgmental in my responses... I've given you my perspective from a similar situation and some strategies that would have helped to accept the new "step parent."

I also have the perspective of being the new "step parent" who recently met the child three months ago... We are taking it extrodinarily slow. We met for an hour to play mini golf. I have been to the house twice to play board games with my boyfriend and the child. The initial invitation came from the child... They needed an extra player and he wanted me to come and play. I bought him a small Christmas gift (with the assistance of his father). No public displays of affection. I stay for an hour or two and then leave. No expectations of the child. No plans to move in or get married (although we have been together for almost a year). And this, is happening when the separation was four years ago and the new relationship did not start as an affair.

My best friend did exactly this, she met a man, had an affair, and left her husband. It took about two years for things to improve for her kids, their grades suffered and everyone was very unhappy. Her new boyfriend did not live in the same city, so this was two years without any pressure for the children to meet the new boyfriend or accept the new relationship. It's been three years since this drama started and as much as I love her and want her to be happy, I still have a difficult time accepting her new relationship and I've lost a certain amount of respect for her. Having lived through the experience with my father, I really do believe to each their own... But, when someone makes a decision that is hurtful to others, you can forgive but you never forget.

If I'm being really honest, you have been more defensive about your relationship than empathetic toward the huge life changes these children have experienced. I think you are fooling yourself if you think you have given these children enough time to accept your relationship - particularly because of how it started. What his ex wife did by telling the children all the details was not ok, but it's done and now you have to deal with it. In my family, the hurt caused by the pushy way my parents tried to bring our blended family together has resulted in the process taking years to come together... We are at five years now and we are just finally able to come together without hurt feelings. The pushy way that my father forced this relationship on us and dismissed my feelings almost cost him the relationship with both my brother, and myself... But the thing is, he didn't think they were pushy... He thought, as you think, that enough time had passed and that because they were happy together, we should be happy for them. He could not see any other perspective than his own - and I hated him for that!

My honest advice would be to slow things down and don't place any expectations on the children... They are children, their needs should always come first, not yours! The blending of this family should occur at their pace, not yours.

If you must marry on your timeline, then maybe you should go to a beach somewhere and have a private ceremony. Try to be respectful of the fact that not everyone may be really happy to see you get your happy ending...

If I may, you and your boyfriend have already been selfish enough... Now you accept the consequences of your decisions. You must slow down and respect the fact that these children will need more time than you think they should to accept you and your relationship... If you push it, they will get angry with you and they will walk away...


The point of my post was for advice on how to start the introduction process. What to do, be it dinner or mini golf or whatever. I never stated that we are doing this tomorrow. I stated that in about 18 months or so we want to get married. We understand completely that our relationship started off wrong. So the questions were regarding how do we make a better situation of it. We are giving the kids time to get used to just being with their dad, to getting used to his new home, to life with him. Eventually we want to start to introduce the idea of him and I together. They are well aware of me, they have asked some questions so the interest is there. But they are close to be adults themselves, so I don't want to put them in a awkward position when meeting me face to face. Their needs are always met - above and beyond what is normal. They are respected with their wishes on this situation. When the ex contacted my boyfriend about the son being upset, it was handled immediately. A conversation was had and I have stayed away and given them their time alone. We are doing the best we can to make them comfortable. But eventually they will need to atleast meet me. Do I expect them to like me - not for a while. But with time that will get better.
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Old 6th January 2017, 11:51 AM   #41
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My boyfriend and I have known each other for many years. There was always something between us but we were both married to others. My marriage ended. We ran into each other and the connection between us began to grow. After a few months, he left his family. His ex gave intimate details to his teenage children about why their father was leaving. He and his children see each other about once a month but its still strained.


I briefly met the younger child (16) a few times. But we stopped that interaction because his ex claimed it was troublesome for the child. I have not met the older child (17).


We have been together for a year. We plan on marrying. We are well aware that we didn't start our relationship properly. But we are committed to making our life together work. Its a struggle for both of us that I am not ever around his children. He has built a wonderful relationship with my children. We really don't know where to go from here?


How do we make the introduction and make it in the least awkward manner as possible? What does he say to them, what do I say to them? Should I apologize for breaking up their family?
The bolded is what you said. You said he sees his children once a month and it's strained but go ahead and keep changing your story to for the sake of defending his poor parenting skills.

He doesn't have to see both of the kids at the same time. He could do something with his daughter on Saturday while the son works and something with his son on Sunday while his daughter is busy. The boy and the girl probably don't like the same things anyways. I make more of an effort with my grandchildren then your husband makes for his own children. I don't wait for them to come to me and I don't expect them to all want to do the same things. I do different things with the girls than I do with the boy. I find out what they want to do and then I do those things with them. I don't wait for them to take time out of their lives I get involved in their lives. If your husband was building a relationship with the kids as individuals and showing an interest in doing things they like to do then they would be more eager to see him.

Again, your very first post you said he sees his children once a month
i'm guessing that the true statement and the rest is back tracking on the truth. They will not fit you into their lives as long as their relationship with their father is limited to a strained visit once a month (your words)
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Old 6th January 2017, 9:32 PM   #42
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These aren't babies, these are teenagers with cars and jobs and lives.
right --- young adults who can prioritize. and the truth is... spending time with their father isn't their priority. you keep mentioning their BUSY schedule... i mean, these kids sound busier than me and i'm an adult with a super demanding job. the relationship between the kids & the father is obviously not super close, he is not their primary caretaker & i have no idea why you have such a hard time admitting that. if they wanted to spend more time with their dad - they would. i was THAT teenager and still managed to see my dad more than 2 days a month... and he lived in ANOTHER CITY.

you gotta work on yourself 1st - you're super defensive & don't really seem like someone who worked through the entire post-affair process. it seems like you're still very much sensitive to the criticism. they're teenagers - you can't really make them or force them to do anything so if they don't want to meet you or have a relationship with you... there is nothing you can do about it. and that might be the possibility for you. you have to deal with it.
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Old 7th January 2017, 7:30 AM   #43
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The point of my post was for advice on how to start the introduction process. What to do, be it dinner or mini golf or whatever. I never stated that we are doing this tomorrow. I stated that in about 18 months or so we want to get married. We understand completely that our relationship started off wrong. So the questions were regarding how do we make a better situation of it. We are giving the kids time to get used to just being with their dad, to getting used to his new home, to life with him. Eventually we want to start to introduce the idea of him and I together. They are well aware of me, they have asked some questions so the interest is there. But they are close to be adults themselves, so I don't want to put them in a awkward position when meeting me face to face. Their needs are always met - above and beyond what is normal. They are respected with their wishes on this situation. When the ex contacted my boyfriend about the son being upset, it was handled immediately. A conversation was had and I have stayed away and given them their time alone. We are doing the best we can to make them comfortable. But eventually they will need to atleast meet me. Do I expect them to like me - not for a while. But with time that will get better.
They're damn near adults and they know you and their father are a couple. I don't see why this is so complicated. Simply have your SO invite his children for nice dinner at home or a decent restaurant. Let them know in advance the purpose of the dinner is to meet you. If they are willing, great! If they aren't, then continue on living your lives and extend invitations every so often in hopes they'll change their minds.
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Old 7th January 2017, 2:45 PM   #44
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They're damn near adults and they know you and their father are a couple. I don't see why this is so complicated. Simply have your SO invite his children for nice dinner at home or a decent restaurant. Let them know in advance the purpose of the dinner is to meet you. If they are willing, great! If they aren't, then continue on living your lives and extend invitations every so often in hopes they'll change their minds.
With all due respect, these kids are kids. They are kids who's father had an affair, left their mother, and broke up their family. It's complicated.

For it to be less complicated, he should have ended one relationship before beginning another. He should be spending time with his kids and developing a relationship with them, separate from their mother.

I once saw a statistic that said for "adult" children, it takes seven years for a family to truly blend. I would assume that this is without all the hurt feelings, anger, and pain that is caused when a divorce occurs because of an affair.

I actually think that you have it much harder because of their ages... If they were younger, they wouldn't really understand and they would likely be more open to meeting. If they were older, they may be busy with their own lives and they would have more life experiences to help them to understand the complexities of adult relationships. What you have are teens, their brains are not fully developed and their moods and emotions can be unpredictable... And they have not any life experience to help them understand these kinds of relationships and how to deal with difficult situations. They may well see things as very black and white, and they are likely to be very honest about what they think and feel.

I really do hope that these kids will accept you in their lives Jill, because it would be a shame if they didn't have a strong relationship with their father. That's why I encourage you to go slow... Give them time and when you think it is enough to time, give them more time... And really, it is their fathers responsibility to ensure that they feel safe and secure in their relationship with him, before HE introduces another woman into the "family." And when you do actually meet them, do it in a neutral, third party location like bowling or a restaurant... Expect that it will take time for them to become comfortable seeing you with their father, particularly in your home.

I know it's not what you want to hear, but it's my honest advice. Patience will offer the best result this situation.

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Old 7th January 2017, 6:30 PM   #45
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With all due respect, these kids are kids. They are kids who's father had an affair, left their mother, and broke up their family. It's complicated.
No, it really isn't complicated at all. They're damn near adults. They may be years away from full maturity, but they do have rudimentary understanding of adult relationships. Hell, they're old enough that it's reasonable to say one or both of them could have already been involved one or more sexual relationships themselves.

They know their father had an affair. They know he is now openly dating his affair partner. If they are invited to dinner to meet with and get to know the woman their father is involved with, they have the ability to understand what is being asked of them and to decide if they want to participate. If one or neither want to attend now or in the future, there isn't a whole lot either parent can do.
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