How long is too long?

finedreamsJuly 29, 2007

Hi everybody,

I am new here! Here comes my story.

I am not married (divorced for a long time). I have a boyfriend of 9 months who is also divorced (very recently). We started our relationship very slowly, so things were developing slowly which I liked because mistakes were made in the past.

He knows my daughter (19) and is very nice to her, he also knows the rest of my family.

He does not feel ready for me to meet his daughters (25 and 19). Older one lives in NYC, younger one is in college 2-3 hour drive and she lives with him during school breaks. Both had hard time with his divorce (or he feels they did).

Not only he is not ready to introduce me he cannot even tell them he is dating. It makes our relationship rather complicated.

He keeps giving me different time frames: give me a month, give me two month, i don't know when, maybe 6 more months. etc.

He loves me and treats me nice. In his opinion 9 months is not that long and he also thinks that meeting children is too big of a step. On top of everything he is obsessed with his daughters, talks about them day and night, and I am under the impression they run his life (I can give you examples).

I wonder if I should end it now or wait longer. It feels like a bit too much to say the least

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It does sound a like a bit too much to me, too. If the kids were younger, I'd be a little more understanding as I don't like when single parents introduce the children to one bf/gf after another. It's hard for the kids who generally like the significant others, but find them only fleeting figures in their lives.

These are adult women for goodness sake. I wouldn't rush him, but he needs to tell them he IS dating a wonderful woman and if things continue to move forward, he'd love for them to meet her.

Has their mom dated at all that you know of? If so, how did they receive her bf(s)?

How recently has he been divorced? Also, be sure you were in no way the other woman or could be pinned as one by the BM or they'll never accept you. I assume you had nothing to do w/ the divorce but met shortly thereafter. I also assume he was faithful to his ex? If not, the daughters' problems may stem from that.

I think I'd give it til the one year mark and if still no introductions and still the tiptoeing around these adult women, I'd run for the hills. They'll run his and your life and I only see a lot of misery in the future. He'll never stand up to them - possibly even if they disrespect you, your DD, etc. Hopefully, it won't be the case because you sound very nice and level headed and don't deserve that scenario.

All the best,

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 12:30AM
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Thank you so much.

Oh no, most certainly I was not the other woman. I have met him when he was finishing his divorce (ugly divorce).

He was faithful to his wife, but she was not. She cheated few times (for whatever bizzare reason his daughters know about it) and she left him in awful fashion. She secretly rented an apartment and when he was on a business trip she packed her stuff and also a lot of their mutual stuff (dishes, furniture, children pictures etc) and moved out. he came back and thought he had a robbery. he had no clue she is planning on it, marriage was bad at that time but he did not know she arranged everything to move out. she did not tell children either, they have no clue. So they all are bitter about her. Plus she does not have very close relationship with her daughters.

I agree he needs to tell them but I have no control over it. When i tell him how it makes me feel he asks not to push him.

I don't know if his ex is dating, he thinks she does because she rarely sees her daughters, but if she does she keeps it a secret.

I doubt though they have major problem with him dating, i think he is afraid to get too close or something and makes up the reason. I think it is his problem not theirs. Although as i think of it they come across rather spoiled so it might be. My daughter was never a problem for neither me nor her father. She has common sense and boundaries. Not the case here....

I am not looking forward on leaving him, it would suck, but more than a year will be way too much

thanks for advice!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 12:56AM
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I once dated a guy who "loved" me, lavished attention on me, etc, but neither his family *nor his church* knew I existed!

It took me a while to figure it out, because it sounds melodramatic, but he was living a double life, & I was his "guilty secret".


This sounds like the same sort of thing.

"Not only he is not ready to introduce me he cannot even tell them he is dating."

Normal people date.
Normal people tell their children.

"In his opinion 9 months is not that long and he also thinks that meeting children is too big of a step."

Nine months is a very long time, & meeting the adult "children" is a normal step that should have happened long ago.

"On top of everything he is obsessed with his daughters"


"So they all are bitter about her. Plus she does not have very close relationship with her daughters."

wonder if the bitterness is a bond between father & daughters?

Ife moves on with his life, that bond would be stretched & it might snap.

My feeling is, I'd cut bait & take an aspirin & move on, but *if* you want to continue this, *you* give him a date.

& not 3 months or 6 months or whatever.

You want to *meet* them in, say, 1 month.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 7:50AM
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There is a lot to be said for the axiom that you should wait one year for each five years of marriage to date after divorce.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 8:00AM
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You met him while he was finishing his divorce? So he was still married. And I presume a long marriage.

And I am certain my X says I stopped loving him and moved out.

There is more than one way to look at a situation.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 8:46AM
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I would be alittle concerned with him not mentioning to his daughters that he is dating. There is nothing wrong with dating. I think waiting one year to be introduced would be my limit too.

In my opinion and this is my opinion (from experience with an 18 year old SD) it sounds as if his daughters have daddy wrapped around their little fingers. I have seen this with my own SD. After a few years of making daddy jump through hoops, pay for her foolishness, throwing daddy's money away and not blinking an eye, DH got fed up with it and woke up. He has put a stop to the jumping through hoops and SD finely at 26 years old has had to grow up alittle.

I want to let you know it was a rough 8 years and I really don't know how I/we did it. Help/support from friends, his and my family, and counceling did get us through. At times SD still attempts to wrap daddy around her finger and take advantage of his finances when she is capable of taking care of herself.

Hang in there and let BF know of your one year time frame. Keep communication open. Remember there are lots of caring men out there and some without alot of baggage.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 9:08AM
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kkny brought up a good point:

"I am certain my X says I stopped loving him and moved out."

If you never have met the ex or the daughters, the only information you have is what this guy says.

& the story about removing everything from the house is...odd.

If she did do that, why?

Is she just a nut case, or was she making an escape, guided by advice from a battered women's shelter?

& if she didn't do it, why is he telling you that she did?
unless it's to make sure that you won't have anything to do with her & wouldn't believe anythng she ever said.

& the daughters may not have bitter feelings toward their mother.
maybe their bitterness is toward their father.

Maybe it isn't so much that he doesn't want them to know about you as he doesn't want you to know whatever they could tell you.

He's isolated you from his past life.

Isolation is a powerful tool in controlling someone.

Have you checked this guy on or

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 9:15AM
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I find your post super interesting. It makes me think what would i do if i was in her position today, having the experience i have now as a spouse to a man who has three children.

This is what i would do : i wouldn't push to meet his daughters, i wouldn'talk about his daughters or make comments in regards to his daughters unless he specifically asks me what i think, i would not try to find out anything about his daughters, i would not ask him when can i meet his daughters, etc. etc.

Why would i act like this : Because it is with him that you are building a relationship. Not his daughters. If one day he wants them in your life, so be it. If one day, these daughters want to meet you, good. But in the meantime, i would not do a single thing in regards to his children.

You write :

« He loves me and treats me nice. In his opinion 9 months is not that long and he also thinks that meeting children is too big of a step. On top of everything he is obsessed with his daughters, talks about them day and night, and I am under the impression they run his life (I can give you examples). »

Nest time, he goes on and on and on about his daughters, just look at him. Don't comment, don't respond, nothing. If boyfriend notices this and says, ''what's wrong with you'', aren't you interested in what i am saying''.

You can reply : You don't want me to meet your daughters and you may have your reasons but i find it really hard you talking constantly about them when really i don't know them and i don't know when i will meet them. Not that it is super important to me cuz it is with you that i am having a relationship, but still it would be like kind of nice if i could put a face on the people you are constantly talking about!!! Who do you think i am? Your personal psychiatrist? Thank you but no thank you.

If you think the question of his children is creating a little wedge between you and him today, just imagine how it could be once they enter your life as his girlfriend/spouse/wife for real knowing how their father thinks the world of them so much so in fact, that after nine months with you, he still thinks its perhaps not a good idea for you to meet them,,,,just yet! I guess he'll tell you when HE thinks its a good idea. Men, men, men???

Keep posting.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 10:18AM
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Yes, he tried to tell this to our teenage daughter, that I fell out of love and moved out, and she LOL

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 10:33AM
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Have you met other members of his family or any close friends? Do you spend time in his home? Does he take you to any work functions?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 10:41AM
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After dating you for 9 months, he should know if your relationship has long term potential or not. In his mind, are you "strictly temporary?" Or are you "still in the running" as possible future marriage material? (NOT that he's thinking of marrying right away.)

If you're in the "temporary" camp, there's no point in introducing you to his daughters. And no point in wasting your time with him if you ever do want a permanent relationship.

But if he thinks you might possibly be "the one" then it's high time he admitted to his daughters that he's dating someone and gave them a chance to meet you.

I'd give him a deadline --

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 10:52AM
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Oh wow what great replies and so helpful. I do not have much time right this minute I will reply briefly and then write more tonight.

Let's see.
Sylviatexas, you are absoluelly right, he and his odler daughter bond on their bitterness, all the talk is about how her mom and his ex wife left the family abruptly and how she hurt them all. Thats all they talk about. If that's bitterness would stop I wonder if their bond will be there, I don't see them having anything else to talk about.

Oh i absolutelly do not think he was this angel and she just run away all of a suden. I have no doubt that there is two sides to everything. he is a faithful man but he was no angel. In fact he is trying to not repeat the same mistakes: he critisized her and wanted her to be like him (neat-freak which she was not. Then she had couple of affairs (probably because she was unhappy). She did not remove evrything but took what she wanted to have in her aprtment wihout consulting anybody. Including things that belonged to both of them. She was probably angry and fed up, who knows. In fact I don't judge her because people sometimes do things because they are driven into it by somebody else (him in this case I guess).

lavefem, yes, he does not hide me from friends at all. They all know about me, met me, talked to me etc He in fact talks about me all the time. Yes I spend a lot of time in his house (when daughters are not visiting of course). He only hides me from family.

More to follow
Thanks everybody, so helpful!!!!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 12:08PM
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I also think there might be another reason. From few things I picked up it sounded like his daughters might not be as easy going or as well mannered. In fact I suspect they are way more difficult than my daughter. ...He might worry they will be mean to me.

i asked him why if he does not want me to know his kids, he is so fine with my daughter. he gave her handsome graduation gift, helped with stuff like taking her to airport etc

He answered me that he wants my daughter to know that there is somebody who takes care of her mother but also of her when there is a need. And then he said that she is a special person, very nice young lady and it is very ncie that he met her etc.

Now my responce was that his daughters are certainly very special nice ladies as well and thats why i want to meet them too. All he said was: "you don't know them" and he was completely silent after that.

Is he implying his daughters are not as nice...? Is that why he avoids me meeting them?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 4:46PM
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With the age of his children, I say this is a little long too. Maybe he is afraid his kids will resent you. It's not an excuse, please don't get me wrong.

If I were in your shoes, I would sit down with him and tell him that you feel you are not impotant enough to him for him to inroduce his children to you. Also tell him that if a problem developes you will work it out together.

Without giving him an atltimatum, (sp?), give him one. Don't make it in "in your face" subtle and he'll get the picture without putting up a barrier.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 5:30PM
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I'm not sure what the proper etiquitte is on meeting children who are older. My SS's are teenagers now, but my DH and I waited over a year for me to meet them. For all the obvious reasons. So to me a year isn't so bad. However, with older (adult) children, that does seem a bit long. If your b/f is afraid of you meeting his children, and how they will treat you, you may want to take that as a sign. If he thinks they will not be nice to you, then they probablly won't.
So, keep in mind what may lay ahead. If they are not accepting of you, or treat you poorly, why hang around? The reason this board exists is because with Step families, come some problems. Think of the impact this could have on your relationship.
I would tell him outright that if he's concerned about how they will handle it, then you need to discuss the future of your relationship. I'm not suggesting that you borrow trouble, so much as be realistic. Why invest more time in a relationship when he clearly sees issues before you have even met his family?
I guess that is how I would look at it.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 6:54PM
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I may be totally off the beam, but I'm getting very bad feelings here:

"he criticized her and wanted her to be like him (neat-freak which she was not. Then she had couple of affairs (probably because she was unhappy). She did not remove evrything but took what she wanted to have in her aprtment wihout consulting anybody. Including things that belonged to both of them. She was probably angry and fed up"

"Neat freak" can often indicate an intolerant, demanding person.

"Criticizing" her & wanting her to be like him can mean he was a terror for whom nothing was ever good enough, an indication of an abuser.

She had a couple of affairs? don't know about that one, but I did once sell a home for a family in which the husband scared the living you-know-what out of me; I thought he was going to hit his wife right there at the kitchen table. His take on the situation was that she messed around on him & he was taking vengence.
Much later, I heard her story;
she was isolated & miserable for years, not allowed normal friendships, & the only people she knew were the guys at work.

Back to your situation:
the ex-wife didn't clean everything out of the home like a burglar; she took her things, & she took some things that belonged to both of them "without asking".
Assuming that she did take some things that belonged to both of them:
1. She had as much right to them as he had, &
2. Do you think he'd have allowed her to take any of them had she asked?

Being over-the-top nice to your daughter, saying that he wants her to know that he'll take care of you, sounds wonderful *at face value*.

But it can also be "grooming", the courtship-type behavior that people use to gain cooperation that a person wouldn't normally give.

Silence might also indicate that you asked him an unexpected question for which he didn't have a prepared answer.

The fact remains that all you know about his family is what he has told you, but you do know that he's hiding something-maybe them, maybe you, but hiding something is very very very bad.

Please be careful, & please *get the truth*.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 7:39PM
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Oh sylviatexas I totally agree that there is always two sides of the issue.

When I hear that people cheated, I always want to find out how they were treated. People sometimes do it out of misery and desperation. My mother cheated on my father once (what we know of). When they were young my father was extremelly controling and jealous up to the point that he would calculate how long it takes my mom to get home from work etc. They have way nicer relationship now when they are in their 60s.

Anyways when me and my brother accidentally found it out (we were teenagers) we in fact said to each other: No wonder she did it, why did she have to put up with that stuff? finally she did something about it. We still think this way. haha In fact I think our father changed his attitude rather quickly after her cheating. I think he realized if you want people to be faithful, treat them accordingly.

So the fact that his ex cheated means very little to me. She was miserable. happy people don't cheat.

I do think that being recently divorced explains everything in my bf case.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 8:00PM
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I hate to bring this up, but my Mamma taught me
that when I man doesn't let you meet his family, it
often means that he's married.

My ex- moved out while I was at was a big shock.
I knew he had a girl-friend, but he didn't move in with her.

I still remember the way the house echoed when I got home from work. I believed that the reason he did it that was because he wanted to go through the house and have "first pickins'" of everything he wanted. He even took the toddler bed and the toys. The only things that he left were the things that I already had when we got married.

My last point is that when I started dating, I found that men who were newly divorced weren't looking for a relationship...they were looking for a "transitional girl"
to help them get their self-esteem back. The ones who
didn't introduce me to kids often dumped me for a "real" long term relationship, once they got their heads on straight.

I could tell how they felt about me, by whether or not they introduced me to their families. It would worry me if they didn't even mention me to their families / kids after 9 months. Does he tell you he loves you? Does he talk about his intentions, or about the future? I would be very nervous.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 8:52PM
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Hi finedreams -
I think the other ladies on this post have asked you some good questions and given some great advice. My question would be: Is this the type of partner you're looking for?

If you are the type of woman who wants a marriage that will work as a team, this may not be the right guy. He sounds like he's holding all the cards here by denying you something that is important to you emotionally and keeping you in the dark on several major issues.

If you are the type of woman who is raising her daughter to become self-sufficient and unselfish, this guy may not be your man - you've suggested that he has raised his daughters by a different philosophy....sometimes it's called 'entitlement'. Could you live happily with this philosophy?

Bottomline is this: You may need to do some deep soul-searching and ask yourself exactly what type of partner YOU desire in life. If you find that you are making a lot of excuses for this guy (in your mind) or trying to push and squeeze him into your mold, he probably isn't the guy for you. Step situations do not usually get better after marriage - in fact, the opposite is generally true (sadly).

You sound like a loving, caring and sensitive woman and you deserve to be loved and cared for exactly the way you will love your man. If you are not a match with this guy right now, move on. If you haven't read "He's Just Not THAT Into You", it may be a good read to pick up at the library.

Life has a funny way of closing one door and then opening a window which holds many more bright & sunny days. Be patient & very careful right now. Don't invest more than you're willing to walk away from.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 9:04PM
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Thanks again.
The thing is that everything else works well in a relationship. I am satisfied in all other aspects of our relationship. I don't want to rush with decsions and then regret. I think i will give it some more time and see. I will keep you posted.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 8:29PM
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*Please* at least check him out on or or some similar site.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 9:12AM
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Thanks sylviatexas, I did. I also know number of other people who know him, worked with him etc, and all possible dangerous situations are checked. I am very catious about that stuff (one can't be too careful...). I will keep you posted on updates or changes.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 3:41PM
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Hi Finedreams

I think it would really bother me if he was stalling about meeting his family.

If I had someone really special in my life, as you do, I would want to introduce him to everybody !

Sometimes I think people analyse things too much.

I think you have lots of different advice here !

Good luck with it all.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 3:07AM
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kkny was even questioning if FD was the TOW ..... maybe she knows more sides to a story than she is telling.

And I am going back through all the post ... just to show FD is not a know it all ... she couldn't stand her Future SD's and resented the way her BF treated her with regards to them.

Lesson learned I am sure so she can tell us all how we are so wrong and she is so knowing and all powerful ....

Unless you have badmouthed your child's SM or they have badmouthed you and your children repeat those phrases to you ... you cannot begin to understand a blended family situation.... to hear adult words coming out a child...who has no idea what they are really saying... and only getting one sided stories the side of the bitter person... Do not comment on what you do not know about.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 5:53PM
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I think what it means is that FD has lived with a variety of situations.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 6:05PM
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But never once as a SM. She was just the GF/ow and like you have pointed out many many times the GF is not allowed an opinion of anything with regards to the children :)

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 6:20PM
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I still think she has lived with quite a variety of situations. But if all you ever want to listen to is the SM is perfect, mom and kids are terrible, thats your perogatve.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 7:07PM
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"But if all you ever want to listen to is the SM is perfect, mom and kids are terrible, thats your perogatve."

I don't think that is the attitude here at all. I DO think, though, that there are more "wacky" BMs in the lives of posters on this board than not. It seems a great deal of us are NOT dealing with rational, emotionally healthy BMs, but instead are dealing with moms that have abandoned their children, that are drug addicts, alcoholics, or have other mental issues. I KNOW that there are plenty of SFs where both parents (mom and dad) are rational, "normal" people and work together for the good of their children, in spite of being divorced. They marry other good people and life is generally fine.

The step-parents in THOSE situations are generally not the step-parents that are going to be posting here. Most of us posting here are doing so because we have valid, legitimate concerns and issues---and like it or not, KKNY, a lot of those issues DO stem from the behaviors of BMs.

It just makes me sad that stepmoms (and some stepdads) come here to get advice and are hounded by people that really cannot relate to the situation on ANY level.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 8:08PM
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this post is from July 2007. lol It is Feruary 2009. things changed. I see that people who love conflict and drama in their own life, love to stir up some drama everywhere even on the Internet forum lol. It does not bother me, but I do find it funny. :)

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 8:42AM
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