Should I Break Up with Him?

juliet3December 13, 2007

I have been dating this guy for about 4 months. He's divorced with partial custody of his 2 kids (ages 12 and 16). We get along nicely. He has pursued me more than me him, and he has asked me to be monogamous which I agreed to. I have never met his kids, cause he is worried about me meeting them when we are still getting to know each other. I am fine with that. However, I just learned that he has his kids from Christmas Eve through to New Years Day. That doesn't bother me at all, except for New Years Eve. He said he can't spend New Years Eve with me because he has his kids that night. I told him that bothered me, which he said he couldn't understand.

I feel I am between a rock and a hard place. I have a boyfriend, yet no date for New Years Eve. I can either sit at home alone, or go out with my girlfriends to parties/bars, where I will be tempted to hook up with someone, or at least get that big kiss at midnight. But I can't cause I supposedly have a boyfriend, yet have no date for New Years Eve. Grrr. I feel embarassed at the whole situation. People ask me what he and I are doing New Years Eve, and I have to give the awkward explanation, that, um, I am not going to be with my boyfriend at New Years Eve. I tried telling him that I don't need to be at a party, but would be fine hanging out with him and his kids, watching TV at home, but he doesn't want to do that, cause I haven't even met his kids yet. I am thinking of breaking up with him cause I feel he has put me in a bad spot, I am depressed about being dateless New Years Eve, and I am not wanting a relationship that makes me feel depressed and resentful. Do you agree or not? Advice please!

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I am going to say what you don't want to hear:

First - how OLD are you - five?

This guy is a great father and is being responsible and very mature, with his kids in mind. You, on the other hand, must be very young. You are asking him to be irresponsible and immature - shame on you!

He is doing what's in the best interest of his kids. If I were in his shoes and getting this feedback from you, I would definently break up with YOU. I am afraid you are being very naive and self-centered. You are not the sunshine in his world - his kids are! Get over YOUR NEEDS and think of someone else for a change!

I would say: go out with your friends, do what you need to do to make it through the night and move on. He doesn't need the crap that you seem to be heaping on him.

GROW UP you whiney-arsed little brat!

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 9:01AM
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I'm sorry, but I disagree Kay. That's not being a responsible parent, that's being selfish. I think four months together and being monogamous is enough to warrant meeting the kids. I don't see anything wrong with introducing you to the kids before Christmas, letting him spend Christmas with them, then your coming over on New Year's Eve and spend it with all of them.

My gut tells me he's hiding something, and it may be his ex wife. Why would a woman want to give her ex the kids for Christmas AND New Years. I'll bet dimes to dollars that she's going to be there.

Something isn't right here. He's met all your friends, obviously, and you have yet to meet his kids? How old are his kids? I'm thinking there is a problem with the ex. I've been through this a couple of times, and it was always a problem with the ex. Once, the guy was still seeing his ex, even though divorced, and she knew nothing about me. The other time, they all spend holidays together...I mean EVERY holiday and birthday, and I was excluded. I dumped them both.

I think you should tell him that you feel it's been long enough that you should meet the kids, and if he disagrees, tell him that if he is going to exclude you from the holidays, that you are going to exclude him from your life.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 9:24AM
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I agree with kay. She is thinking about breaking up with him because she is embarrassed to tell people they are not spending NYE together? Life happens; sometimes you can't spend nye, or valentine's day, or a birthday together; this should not be a big deal, in a good relationship. Plus she's worried about being tempted to "hook up with someone" if she's out at parties without him? This is childish, selfish, and suggests she is not all that serious in the relationship (really, who can't restrain themselves from hooking up with someone just because they're out at parties w/o their SO?), so why should he bring his kids into it unless and until it becomes more serious?

She probably should break up with him, though. Not because he is being unreasonable, but because she is obviously not ready to be in a monogamous relationship- whether at all, or just with him, I don't know, but having a date for new year's eve or not should just not be such a big deal.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 9:48AM
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Thanks for your advice (even the critical ones). First, about the ex-wife--she has re-married. Whenever they talk (only about the kids), it's usually somewhat argumentative. Their marriage was very bad for a long time, but they stayed together for the kids, until neither could take it anymore. They've been divorced two years. I agree that I find it odd that the mom is not with the kids for these holidays--BTW, the kids were with their dad for Thanksgiving too (which was also fine with me--I would never want to interfere with that family time).

As to Kay Jones' message, I probably wasn't clear about how I have never once interfered or gotten in the way of him being with his kids. He has them half the time, so I do not see him half the time--that's fine cause I agree that the kids come first. Any time there have been plans that need to be cancelled cause of his kids, I don't say anything. Any plans I might have, that he can't make it cause of the kids, I have never objected to. I have never once said one word that would put me before his kids. In fact, one of the things I like about him is his parenting, cause I've seen so many fathers who, once divorced, seem to separate themselves from their kids too. And, by the way, I have not "heaped this crap on him". I told him ONCE that it bothered me, got his answer, and have not again mentioned it. My underlying and unspoken resentment I am afraid will start to chip away at our relationship. And as to it being in the best interest of his kids--he will be with them every day and night between Christmas and Jan. 1. I am surprised the kids even want to spend New Years Eve home with their dad at their ages. New Years Eve is not a family holiday or religious holiday--it's traditionally when you spend time with your significant other and I will be alone for it. The fact that he doesn't seem to give it any thought bothers me too.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 11:44AM
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He pursued you.
He pushed for an early exclusivity commitment.

but he doesn't want his children to meet you because you're "just getting to know each other".

Those two requirements don't describe the same relationship, it's gotta be one or the other.

2 thoughts occur:

1. Pursuit & pushing for a commitment are the classic initial manipulative steps of controllers/abusers.

2. He's keeping a secret, & my bet would be another woman.

If the children meet you, they might blurt out something about her, & they might blurt out something about you to her.

& as long as he's such a "concerned" father that he wants to protect them from you (what are you, an ax murderer? & they're not little kids who are going to be all confused about dad seeing someone, they're 12 & 16), as long as you don't actually see these don't know whether they're there or not.

My guess is that, while you might not have a date, he does.

Get away before you lose all your self-confidence.

& it's already started: he's got you all alone on New Year's Eve, & you're not feeling anger at him, you're feeling sad & embarrassed to tell your friends & depressed & resentful because you "can't" have a date.

Throw this one back.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 12:43PM
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Even if he's all you say he is and his sole reason for not introducing you to his kids is not to expose them to a multitude of girlfriends too soon into a relationship, he does not have the right to expect you to be exclusive to him when it is obvious he is keeping his options open. He expects failure in this relationship and fully expects to be involved with someone else in the future. His feelings are not strong enough to support a sustained relationship at this time. If you still want to see him, tell him that until he decides that you are important enough to him to introduce you to his kids, you need to be able to see other people. Taking yourself out of circulation limits your chances of meeting someone that really does value you and would be proud to "take you home" to the family.

Sorry for the run on sentences but I'm leaving them like they are. So there!!

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 1:02PM
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I agree with a lot of what you say Sylvia. That's why I am on the verge here of breaking up, but still not sure. Some other things though to consider:

-whenever he hasn't been able to see me cause he has the kids, he calls me, and I can hear them in the background. He calls me every night. So I don't think he has another woman he is dating on the nights he doesn't see me.

- I do believe that his lack of empathy and callousness about what I am doing New Years Eve is the crux of this problem. I am at his convenience.

- it bothers me too that he is "protecting" the kids from me. I am the type of woman that guys usually like to bring home to their families; I am well-mannered, polite, girl-next-door type. This is the first relationship I have ever had with this reluctance to meet family.

Another wrinkle - we have a mutual acquaintance that he used to work at the same company a few years ago. They haven't seen each other since they went on separate career paths a few years ago. Neither of us realized we knew this woman in common; it is one of those odd coincidences (for those suspicious people out there, really, there is no possible way whatsoever we could have known we know this person in common). When she found out I was dating him, she told me how she had worked with him for several years, especially during the difficult times with his ex-wife. She said what a great guy he is, how lucky I am, what a warm father he is, how it was too bad that his wife was so horrible, and that he is a good caring man. So I am going back and forth - good men are hard to come by, yet I don't like a relationship in which I am feeling resentful, and scheduled at his convenience. Would I be giving up a good thing to be done with him, or should I just wait and see, but continue to feel sad and resentful? That's why I am on this forum--to help me decide!

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 1:08PM
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Pris, I didn't see your post before I posted mine. I agree with you. In fact, you verbalized what I have been struggling to pin down--that he must have this expectation that it won't work out. Therefore, why juggle schedules, introduce to kids, spend New Years Eve, etc.? If that is what he is assuming, then it'll never work. The question is, should I even say any of that to him, or is it just not going to work out regardless.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 1:14PM
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You will never win the war over the children. They are his children. I have long ago decided never to get into any discussion about my SO's kids.

If I were you - and in a way I am - make plans to go out with your girlfriends or a guy who is just a friend. You can still be faithful and have a good time. If you need to "hook up" be sure to break up with him first - any decent human being deserves that consideration.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 1:19PM
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oh, please. You have been dating four months. You are thinking about dumping him. Of course he doesn't know yet for a fact it is going to work out. Neither do you. Would you accept an engagement ring if he gave you one today? If the answer is no, well why not unless you have this expectation that it won't work out? Because you are still getting to know each other and you know that's true.

If you only want to be monogamous with someone after you are reasonably confident you are going to work long term, then tell him that and continue to see other people. If you really feel that he is treating you overall like you are just around at his convenience, then tell him that and see if you can find a solution. If you think that he is dismissive of your feelings about not having a date for new year's eve, tell him that. You obviously think it is a big deal but honestly not everyone would. If you are an "occasions are important must never be neglected" person and he is an "occasions are nice but take a back seat to life" person, that might actually be an important incompatibility. If you are always going to expect his undivided attention for every "couple" occasion and that the occasion will take high priority and he is meanwhile always going to expect that everyday life is going to take priority and occasions are going to take a back seat, that really is likely to cause resentment long term. You don't even know that about each other yet. You *are* still getting to know each other.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 1:37PM
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"I don't like a relationship in which I am feeling resentful, and scheduled at his convenience. Would I be giving up a good thing to be done with him, or should I just wait and see, but continue to feel sad and resentful?"

Does this *feel* like a good thing?

This guy has known you 4 months & he's already not only taking you for granted, he maneuvered you into being "at his convenience."

When I hear people rave about what a "great person" someone is, I always wonder, especially if they then go on to say what a "horrible" person the ex-wife is;

I always wonder what the ex-wife would say.

I know, both from hearing other women's stories & from some personal experience, that control freaks & abusers are Jekyll-&-Hyde personalities:

Most people think they're wonderful, & the people whose lives they ruin always think they're wonderful, too, *until* that person has lost perspective & is under the control freak's thumb.

It wasn't an accident that this guy pushed for involvement *& commitment* from you so early on & then proceeded to cut you out of his schedule while controlling yours.

If he were a wonderful person, he'd be more cautious about quick involvement.

If he were a wonderful person, he wouldn't expect or want you to put yourself in mothballs for the holiday season, much less be unconcerned about it & act like it was no big deal.

If he were a wonderful person, he wouldn't be excluding you from massive parts of his life.

If he were a wonderful person, why don't you feel wonderful?

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 1:59PM
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Quirk, I really like your post. It hits the nail on the head. I think I am feeling blue cause I feel that for New Years Eve, I am in a limbo, where I don't have a boyfriend to be with, yet I somehow DO have a boyfriend. If a person is single and unattached, she can spend New Years Eve how she wants, either alone, or at a party, flirting, or not flirting, "hooking up" or not. But I am in some kind of in-between status. And on New Years Eve, if I am at a party, where do I draw the line at what is monogamy or not? Is it OK to dance with a guy? Slow dance? A light kiss at midnight OK? A french kiss at midnight OK? What are the rules? I gave my word for monogamy, and my word is my bond. But this limbo uncertain aspect is disturbing. I am in a relationship where the guy said he is serious and wants monogamy and calls me every night, but yet isn't with me for New Years Eve, and is indifferent to what what I am doing that night. The limbo aspect is uncomfortable emotionally.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 2:08PM
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His kids are priority #1 and will be for at least another six years. You're the only one that can say whether or not that's OK with you, but four months consideration isn't very long in the greater scheme. The kids are a fact of the fellow's life. Seems to me it's something that could be talked about if you're feeling this way about it. Just don't make it a contest between you and his kids because you'll lose that one. This is his life. He's probably considering whether or not you'll fit into the situation just like you are. Such discussions can be how new lives are created between people. You're not teenagers anymore. You can decide for yourselves -- but the kids will be part of whatever decisions are made.

If a New Year's Eve date is the make-or-break event, I don't think you're serious.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 2:23PM
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If you still don't know what's right, you can always email Dr. Laura and ask her. Please let us know what she tells you.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dr. Laura

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 2:48PM
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I don't read that Juliet has a problem with the children;
she understands & agrees that this father needs to take care of his children-
but she hasn't even been allowed to meet them!

What rings every alarm bell in the world to me is that, 4 months after having met this guy, she's given her commitment, or had it extracted from her, & he's treating her like a the worst of both worlds, a combination of unknown quantity that he doesn't want his children exposed to, & old wife that he can afford to take for granted.

limbo indeed!

& I'm extremely skeptical that he had the children all during Thanksgiving & that he's got them for every moment for the entire week of Christmas/New Year's, & that they're going to spend all their time together, just the 3 of them.

Keeping Juliet away from the children also keeps her away from him & whatever he's doing.

It still sounds like there's another woman in the mix.

Juliet, listen to what your head & your heart are telling you:
this is already (4 months into it!) bad, & things don't get better;
when somebody who's fresh in your life, when he should be on his best behavior, is treating you cavalierly, it's a sure bet that it'll get worse.

I do think that often we women lost our sense of self & our perspective very easily when we have a new man in our lives, & we find ourselves turning our entire lives upside down to accomodate him, often losing ourselves in the process.

One thing that I've found to be effective to clear my head with men is to "go cold turkey"-
cut off all contact for at least 2 weeks.

no dates, no sex, no dinner, no coffee, no phone calls, no emails.

Let the air clear, let me "sober up" or "get clean" from the narcotic effect of the new man.

Then I can look at the situation rationally & decide what to do.

Take care.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 3:09PM
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asolo don't know any of these things....beginning with the frequency, nature, degree, or depth of what has occurred between them during these four months. You've created a scenario out of nothing.

The kids may be an excuse, as you infer, or he may be good, caring dad that doesn't want to risk disrupting his kids' lives any more than they already have been by introducing a "competitor" into their lives prematurely. I don't know. You don't know. I suspect that's what the OP is likely trying to judge for herself. I don't see any sense in making up stories about it.

The only things the OP has told us she knows for sure about the guy is that she likes him, the kids are a factor, he's got an excellent rep., and she's miffed about missing a New Year's Eve date. I don't think there's anything there to launch over.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 3:33PM
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I don't know any more or any less than anyone else who's posted here, but I'm sure as heck not making up stories.

OP has voiced concerns about this guy's lack of concern about putting her in a position where she feels neglected & de-valued, & I have offered my support & my thoughts based on my experiences & on what I've heard from other people.

& I think her concern goes far beyond being "miffed" about "missing a New Year's Eve date".

Of course she's trying to judge for herself.
We all do, in the end, make our own decisions, *based on our best judgment & on information or insight we gather from others*.


ps: If a guy is concerned about introducing someone (I won't even go into "competitor") into the kids' lives, wouldn't he be likely to *not* "pursue" her & to *not* press her to commit to "monogamy"? Wouldn't he be the one who's more likely to slow down rather than speed up the process?

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 3:52PM
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I don't know, syliva, you and I must be reading different posts. She said he asked for monogamy, she agreed, not that he pushed her into something she wasn't ready for. Juliet, did he push? He doesn't want to introduce her to his kids because they are still in the getting to know you phase; that seems reasonable to me. Minor children are not the same as other family, and it is reasonable to expect a much higher level of commitment before bringing them into a relationship than for any other family/friend introduction. She doesn't say he is trying to control her time, her schedule, what she does, in fact she says she is upset in part because he is "indifferent" to what she is doing nye. In fact, she didn't complain about anything other than he isn't spending nye with her. The comment about being "at his convenience" was specifically related to new year's eve. She's not upset about not sharing "the holidays" with him, either. Christmas is not an issue for her, she is only upset about new year's eve.

To me, her description of the relationship seems pretty normal. After 4 months, an agreement of monogamy and that we like each other enough to try to pursue something serious seems normal. At the same time, liking each other enough to *pursue* something serious isn't the same as knowing it will last, and very very few relationships are far enough along at 4 months that people really know it will last. Some think they do, but rather a lot of them are wrong. He is a father. He is being cautious about bringing a new person into his children's lives until it has gotten to the point of being fairly sure it's going to last. There's nothing wrong with that. They are obviously not there yet.

Juliet, why are you suddenly so concerned about what the definition of monogamy is in relation to nye? Why do you not worry about it every other day, or if you do, why have you not already defined it? It just sounds to me like you are peeved that you are not going to kiss someone at midnight and are considering breaking up with him so that you can. That, imo, indicates that you are not serious about him, for whatever reason. You are concerned for the appearance, or the status, being able to "have someone to kiss at midnight", not for the person, or the relationship. If that's what you want, break up with him and go play. Or break up with him and find a relationship with someone who takes nye as seriously as you do. Seriously, whether he pushed or you just agreed too soon, I do not think you are ready for a monogamous relationship with this man.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 4:07PM
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Yo Juliet3....better get back here and straighten us out!

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 4:25PM
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Thank you all for your thoughtful messages. Just to be clear, he asked (not pushed) me for monogamy, and I agreed, cause I like him. Also, I want to reiterate that I would never come between him and his kids or expect him to put me above his kids' needs. But what are his kids' needs at NYE? Is the 16-year-old going to want to hang with dad and watch TV? Could he not find a sitter? Could his ex-wife have the kids for just that one holiday? I have accomodated his every scheduling need, but this one time I ask for the one night of NYE he is indifferent. Also, regarding NYE, it's not the status of having a a kiss at midnight that is bothering me. What is disturbing me is the loneliness and the conflict. It's the loneliness of being in a room full of merry-making people while being alone. It's the loneliness of thinking I have a boyfriend, who is someone who opted out from spending the NYE with me. It's the conflict of perhaps not being alone at that party (i.e. meeting someone there), but keeping a promise of monogamy to someone who chose not to be there, and who didn't see why I would feel lonely and conflicted. As I said, I feel I am between a rock and a hard place.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 4:30PM
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my 2 cents for what it's worth....1..I think you are placing too much value on that kiss at midnight, even if it's not with him.. 2..I think that after 4 months of a monogamous relationship, that it's time for him to at least introduce his kids to his new friend on New Years Eve. Then find a way to sneak a kiss at midnight with him.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 7:28PM
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I agree about this sounding like a controlling situation. I've been with a controller, and it wasn't his kids, it was his mom that got everything. He would leave my house while I was sleeping in the middle of the night on Sunday morning, to go spend Sunday with his mom, although he admitted that she told him not to.

He was rather estranged from his son, long story, but there came a time when they reconciled when the boy was 13. He had been treating my son, same age, like his own, but when his son came back into the picture, he dropped my son like a hot potato and started spending whole weekends taking his son to Disneyworld (he had promised my son that), fishing (promised him that too), and all sorts of other stuff. Then he would come and tell my son all about it. We never had even met his son, although we were not only serious, but planning to get married.

I dumped him after a petty argument one weekend, where he threw a tantrum and left the house. My son told me that if I ever saw him again, he would leave home for good. I never did. I never really missed him.

The point is, it was clear to me that I was just something to do when he wasn't with his family. He never invited us to go out with him and his mother on Sundays. He never invited us to spend time with him and his son. We were treated like disposable pieces of trash.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 7:52PM
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Listen to tinmantu....thinking of cake and eating it, too. Opportunity? Provided that's where you'd like to be...would be an indication of seriousness...which may not be a 4-month thing for either of you. Or may be.

In any event, I must fall back on importance of the father/kids relationship. Don't know what that's made of but, surely, it's in the mix.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 7:59PM
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For CRIPES SAKE - get over it and move on!

I have been out on NYE only ONE TIME - I had my future husband at my side - we swore we would NEVER do it again and we didn't - it's a BIG WASTE of an evening - why don't YOU invite him and his kids to come to YOUR house to spend NYE?

I, too, think this smacks of 'status, prestige, being the center of attention' - I still think you are too immature to be with a single man with kids!

You need to hook up with a man who has no sense of responsibility!

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 8:10PM
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I have teenagers. Until recently they loved hanging with mom on NYE and drinking sparkling apple juice and watching the ball drop. He might find it important to treasure these last few years together on NYE.

My thoughts: cut him some slack, be flexible about this. Embarrassment is not a reason to break-up with someone. As you go through a long life, you learn to embrace embarrassment as a part of being fully human. Why not suggest your own private celebration of the New Year a few days later. Personally, I have never been a fan of bringing in the new year in a crowd of strangers or anyone who isn't a close acquaintance. The fact that loyalty to children and family is important to him is a GOOD thing.

As for introducing you to the kids right now, I'd let this one go, too. In my dating life I have introduced only two men to my children. One was already at friend status and not a beau. The other is another longer story. At this point I feel that I need to be accountable to my very aware children regarding my romantic life. I would not introduce a man to my children until I felt very certain he either had long term potential or had become a buddy.

You don't really know the measure of a person after 4 months. If he has a lot of fine qualities and you truly care for him, give it more time.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 8:25PM
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Kay Jones - As I mentioned above, I would be happy to spend the time with him and his kids, at my house or at his, rather than at some party. Either any day of the week, or on NYE. He turned me down. That's what I have been saying several times in this thread--he doesn't want me to meet his kids. Kay, I don't know why you are so terribly angry with me. I haven't said anything that indicates I need to be the center of attention. I haven't pushed this guy about NYE, just mentioned it to him once. I have re-arranged my schedule to his repeatedly. I have never objected once to any change of plans. I have emphasized that his kids' needs are above mine. Kay, you are very angry at me and I don't know why. I was OK to receive your initial criticism, but I think you haven't been hearing/reading what I am saying and stuck somehow that I need prestige (how did you arrive at that?). In summary, I am with a man who is only available to me on his terms. I am empathetic and understanding about his kids. I am talking about one night out of the year. Oh, Kay, never mind. Please stop responding on this thread, since you are on a one-way track, and I would prefer no more repetition of what you've already made clear.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 8:28PM
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Barnmom, thank you for your kind words, and sage advice. I wonder though, when someone dates for several months, and the kids are aware their dad is dating, are they wondering what is the big secret? I always think secrets are bad in families. His kids are aware I exist (one wants to know how I make such good coffee, cause his Dad can't--they ask these questions through him, which I think is weird). Which creates more strain-- to conceal a relationship from the kids, or to introduce that relationship too soon? I don't know. Since their mom has re-married, the kids are well aware that their parents are going to be with other people after the divorce. These questions are very hard, but I still feel being evasive with children is worse than being up-front.

(P.S. Love the name "Barnmom". Do you have a horse?)

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 8:42PM
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Welcome juliet3...sorry I missed that earlier.......have you voiced your concerns to him as you have us?...sometimes a good argument allows both parties to get things off their chests that may never be mentioned otherwise. After that, he may help you make the decision more than some strangers (some stranger than others) on the internet.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 8:44PM
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Knowing your parent is dating and meeting them are very different. He isn't concealing the fact that you exist. It's a big step for both the parent and the kids. Not everyone is cavalier about introducing people to each other where emotional portent exists.

I don't own a horse. My daughter rides daily at a riding facility. I went from being a gym mom to being a barn mom.

The conditional terms of the relationship may grow old for you. I know it would for me. But that's a larger issue than not having a date for NYE and one you need to give thought to. I think more time together will make things clear.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 9:26PM
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Q: At what point do you introduce a woman youÂre dating to your children?

Robert: I think itÂs important for women to know that we as single dads want women to let us figure out when the timing is right to introduce them. ItÂs not that weÂre keeping you a secret from our kids but we want to be sure weÂre going to be serious. I usually introduce a woman when I think things are going to work out long-term.
Mark: I used to introduce my kids to my dates but now I wait a little longer because my kids are at an age where they bond really quickly to people. I also think itÂs not a good thing to keep bringing people in and out of their lives.
Dan: Right; I wouldnÂt just bring a date over to say hello. IÂd have to be going out with her for at least six months before IÂd invite her to meet my kidsÂI just think itÂs best that way.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 9:29PM
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I disagree with Kay and think she went way off the deep end.

Your suggestion of spending New Year's Eve at his house with him and his kids was quite reasonable. Since he rejected it, though, I would go out with my friends. If you meet somebody new, you meet somebody new.

What's his big deal about meeting the kids? They're old enough to handle Dad's GF.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2007 at 8:26PM
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Glug, glug, glug!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2007 at 9:14PM
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Ok - I'm with kayjones here - 100%. Your boyfriend has his kids half the time. Listen to what you said. 1/2 the time! So why wouldn't he want to get the absolute most out of that 1/2 time? Especially when his eldest is on the verge of not wanting to be caught dead in his/her father's presence?

Get over it. You're placing a very immature importance on New Year's Eve. So make the next night your New Year's Eve with your boyfriend. Why wouldn't you be PROUD to say, when asked why you're alone at a party, that your boyfriend is with his kids? If you find that embarassing and your friends see reason for you to be embarassed, then none of you, in my opinion, meet the respectability and admiration that your boyfriend deserves.

Regarding your being monogamous - that's up to you. I'd thank my lucky stars that a man of his (apparent) caliber wants to be my one and only, and I'd ask the same of him.

You didn't answer kayjones' question. How old are you?


    Bookmark   December 14, 2007 at 9:43PM
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OK, haven't read each word of each post, but I got a couple a thoughts here. Firstly, unfortunatley, maybe this guy's mind probably is more with trying to balance you and his kids and he really wasn't thinking (stressing "not thinking") about the joint thing for New Year's. While it's honorable that he is spending time with his kids, after 4 months, I would think he would have pitched an alternate celebration time for the two of you. Yes, dissapointing that you can't be together on the "day of", but at least his head would have been in the right direction - including YOU in his plans. This is not to say that he's not worth it - he probably is, but sometimes, espcially when kid's are involved, men just don't think as creatively as women. He may even be doing this to keep arguments down with his ex - this may have happened to him before and he knows the ocnsequences.

The other possibility - I really think the control issue is involved with suggesting monogomy. Why on earth would a man ask someone about that after 4 months!! Something like that comes's naturally - you don't ask someone to do that!! He's probably carrying baggage from the former marriage or someone else since the divorce. If he is bold enough to ask that at this stage, he should be willing to fasttrack the rest of the relationoship by possibly spending at least one day of the Season as a group - with the kids.

My real concern here is the commitment issue. Spending time on NY's with the kids, may force him to think about that, and he may not be ready. If he really hasn't decided on "the one", that makes sense. We wouldn't want our kids to be exposed to each girlfriend the ex brought home for the holidays.

OK, FEAR - of being hurt by a woman, including the ex (no matter his thoughts about her), or her wrath, and of a commitment.

With all else being equal, this guy might be worth it. However, if you are talking about breaking up over this, there has to be something else missing - like chemistry, maybe...

I sincerely hope that something nice works out for you, but give it some time before making that decision, unless of course you are sure you don't want to deal with the family thing. Remember, this WON'T be the only disappointng time when it comes decisions related to kids of their age.

If someone has touch on my points - well, great ideas!

K-J: BOLD post Kid, but also very thoughts to consider. In these types of situations, it isn't easy, no matter how you look at it. Times are a changn' and in this day and age, one really has to consider the whole compromise thing. Seems like everyone has in this boat these days. Four months really isn't a long time to know about a relationship. While it's disappointing not to spend the holiday with someone special, partying like it's 2099 pales in comparison with being with your kids! Very Good Points!!

OK, I know, big soapbox, so I'll get off.

Hi to everyone!!


    Bookmark   December 14, 2007 at 9:44PM
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Also, imagine how thrilled the 16-year-old is to be spending New Year's Eve with Dad.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2007 at 8:12AM
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If you've learned anything here, it seems like it should be that no one agrees on what "normal" or "reasonable" time frames for relationship progression should be.

People do seem to agree you should be dating exclusively for some time *before* bringing kids into it; you don't want to be introducing the kids to 2 or 3 different people you're dating concurrently.

But some people think 4 months is too soon for monogamy.

Some people think it is too long to have not met his kids.

So no matter what your boyfriend does, at least one person who answered your question thinks he's wrong!

    Bookmark   December 15, 2007 at 3:37PM
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So right you are quirk....simply discussing it with HIM instead of asking strangers is the only real answer to her question, as I suggested earlier.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2007 at 3:39PM
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