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My Girlfriend & her Kids - What should I do?

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TomP | 15:07 Wed 12th Apr 2006 | Body & Soul
16 Answers
About 3 years ago (when I was with my now ex) I meet this great girl; I really fancied her and she felt the same, but because I was living with someone we kept it at just good friends. Since then, ive become single and about a year ago started a relationship with this other girl. And now things are going great with her and me.
Only problem is she has 2 children (aged 4 & 7) both with different dads. I'm not really a children guy at the moment, being 29 and very career minded, and am starting to find that 75% of my income & time with my girlfriend is being taken up by these children. And neither of the 2 dads wants to know anything about their kids.
We've spoken about all of us living together, but I'm not sure im that comfortable with the idea of taking it all on
What should I do? � I love her so much, and she says she loves me too and wants the whole 9 yards for all of us, but I'm not happy with the situation and every time I bring it up she just says, that she understands my worries, but it will all work out in the future once were all living together.

Any suggestions?

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If you are at all unsure about being a step parent (which is what you will be if you are with the kids' mum and living with her even though you are not married) then you shouldn't be so. It is not something that you can just try out to see if it fits, you have to be 100% sure that you want it to work and accept that it will at times be very difficult, and expensive and awkward and heartbreaking, the whole nine yards. You can't just walk away easily without breaking the hearts of two youngsters. And believe me, Youngsters know when you don't really want them and that can be more hurtful than not having anyone in the first place.

on the other hand, it is cliche to say but, when you are old and then dead, no one will talk about whether you were rich, or successful, or had a big house or drove a big car or wore posh clothes. But they will talk about whether or not you were important in the life of a child.

It is a big decision and not one that should be based purely on your feelings for the mum. They are a package and should always be considered so.
If you're not sure dont do it. It'l end in tears for all of you; your partner, you and her two children.

It's tough, and I hate to say it. But your gut instincts are usually right. Of course,I rarely listen to my instincts, but that's life.


Take things real slow, especially because there are kids involved. It's VERY detrimental on children to be tossed from one man to the next..on top of being abandoned by your own biological father. So this women needs to be incredibly careful, and from the sound of everything she hasn't done such a good job.


If you are having these doubts she needs to know about it. And it's OK that you feel this way. It's a huge responsibility, plus on top of all that, what if it doesn't work out with this woman,...then where are the children going to be,..are you going to still help her? Or when it's over with you and her, ..it's over with the children as well. Put the kids first and be honest to your needs.

Great answer, mimififi. I was a step child. My mum's husband (he was not my step-dad) despised me. I was only 11 and had never been rude to him, etc. He'd never experienced life with children. My teenage years were hell for me as I felt like I wasn't wanted.


mimififi, is right, I don't think it's right for you, if you're doubting it all already. x

I was going to start by saying that I once loved my best friends sister(still do) but it never even got to the starting blocks so I decided in the end to view it as a sister


However reading further into your question you seem particularly concerned about the aspect of children taking 75% of your income and time. This is largely what children bring along with copious quantities of love.


Those children have the stability of their mother and I'm sorry that neither of their fathers want to know but it is no reason to committ to a relationship unless you are 100% certain.


It would be unfair all round to give you specific advice but I would feel that there is obviously some firm foundations in that relationship from which if you take the time could be turned into a good relationship.


Take the opportunity over the upcoming holiday to think about your future, I wish you well for the future whatever you decide


mimififi- well said!!

Yeah, my heroine mimififi has resurfaced!!!! :-)


Seriously though, I have to agree with what has already been said, this sadly doesn't appear to be the relationship for you. This lady comes as a package with her children (and quite rightly too!) and if you can't accept one part of this package- it's not for you.


I would also like to say- not that it will help you mind!- but my husband and me got together when my daughter was 6 years old and he has always called her his daughter.


I hope you make the right decision for you.

You're right to be cautious about moving in if you're unhappy about the situation. Things will not magically 'work out' overnight once you start living together and I'm sure you know this. You've only been together for a year, so what's the rush in living together? Give it another year and see how things stand then. Having children in your life (whether your own or not) is not a decision to be taken lightly so don't feel pressured or made to feel guilty if you're not ready for family life yet.
It is hard enough moving in with a partner! No matter HOW LONG you've spent together beforehand. I practically lived with my other half at his house before we got our own place. Suddenly, littke things id never noticed (or prob blocked out!) because i was ' a guest' really irritated me and we argued non stop for 2 months! Things were great after we settled down but if you're already on shaky ground AND you're adjusting to two children too........ well it casts a whole new dimension on an already hard situation! Good luck!
I haven't had any experience like this but what I would say is don't let your girlfriend fob you off. She's probably sacred to talk about it in case you threaten to leave her over it, because she can probably sense your anxiety over the situation. But the fact is you do have to talk about it and figure out some sort of strategy of getting your alone time, and sorting out the finances etc (does she have a job for example?) because otherwise even if you do stick together, you'll either become bitter about being stuck in a situation you're not happy with, or you'll subconsciously take it out on the kids (I'm sure you're a nice guy but kids are really perceptive) and that's really not fair on them considering they've had abs no say in any of this. Keep us posted on how you get on xxx
I also should have added TomP that my husband and I met when my daughter was 1. He married me and she calls him 'daddy'.

He never knew me without children. In fact she was with me when he first met me. I was always a 'package'.

The point to the tale is: He never had to ask the question.

If you don't love her kids already, you might never. And that is just unfair, in fact bordering on cruel. Tread carefully Tom.

(Hi Boo, nice to see you too. I've been lurking, but just too busy to answer/ask. However the last week, I seem to have done little else....hehehehehe )
I notice you don't actually say how you feel about the kids. They take time and money of course, all kids do, and so do adults. But do you like them? If you really do then I'd say go ahead; even if it doesn't work out you can still be friends with all of them. But if you dislike them, don't want them around your house, resent them for obstructing your relationship with their mother, then better stop where you are.
It would be good to get some feedback from you TomP??? This is a really thought provoking post
This is a difficult dilemma for you but I suspect your gut feeling that this might not work is the right one. Taking on two small children (both with different fathers) is a tremendous undertaking and if you can't wholehearted commit to it you will be causing them long-term serious emotional damage, especially as they have both been rejected once before. If you can't take the whole package, I suspect it would be kinder to walk away and find somebody who more closely fits your future aspirations. These children will continue to take up a great dea; of your spare time until they are young adults and if you can't commit fully to them it will also damage your relationship with your girlfriend. However hard it is for you, perhaps you should spend some time apart to try and think through exactly whether you have what it takes to make this commitment. If you move in together and then she decides she would like another child with you, how will you deal with this and will you be able to give the same unconditional affection to all three children? You've already had one failed relationship. I don't know what caused this but make sure you really understand yourself really well and your limitation before you enter into another one.

If you love her, whats the problem? Its the same when us girls meet men who have children.

when i met my wife her son was 11, he was a right little b*stard.. he made my life a misery through making my now wife's life a misery!!


i put up with it because i loved his mom!!


he is now 19, we get on very well! i never tried to take the place of his father but it was me who took him to his first football match,me that tought him to drive, it is me he turn's to when he has a problem!!


i think your feelings for this girl should overtake the doubt in your mind about the kids!!


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