For my sis: What happens to a relationship once you meet his kids?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    We've been talking about this a lot, but neither of us have any experience first hand.

    Background: She has been dating Kevin (not his real name) for over a year and it is getting serious. She has two girls in college and one son, who adores his own father, who is fourteen. Kevin has a daughter who is in eighth grade (seems like a nice kid) and a son who is elevin. Both children are VERY attached to him as he has been the primary parent, although they allegedly live with Mom (she is not with them half as much). Before Kevin met Sis, his life was his kids and it still sort of is.

    Sis and Kevin have decided that it is time for them all to meet. Sis is going to meet his two kids first. She is wondering how this changes a relationship. What is a likely reaction to her from these kids? How does it change the relationship's dynamics?

    Since I couldn't help her I thought I'd ask you. I know there is a lot of experience here.
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I will pretzel for her!

    If the kids already know they're dating, it might not be so bad - they'll be somewhat ready for it. Yes, there will be changes - and exactly what really depends on the kids. If they like her, or are at least willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, things with him might start to move faster. If not... That could be a huge deal-breaker.

    husband made it very clear to me that he was a package deal. In fact our first date was 8 years ago tonight. Haunted house, with the kids. Second date - bowling. With the kids. It wasn't till our third date that we were alone. And he made it crystal that if the kids hadn't liked me that bowling would never have happened.

    And even so - our dynamic changed, too. It's hard to quantify, since we went from - living separately, kids every other weekend and Weds. for 3 hours - to - living together, then add kids every weekend (including every other Thursday) - then married, and in a house - then kids living with us, visiting bio mom every other weekend, Weds. for 3 hours, then Tues. & Thurs. 3 hours, then only Jett going, now Onyxx out and bio gone. It's a constant shift...
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    husband had been divorced (not his choice) for eight years and I had been single again for six years. My kids had only met one man in that time and he was not a love interest for me. My girls were ok with husband. My easy child son was not a happy camper and, in fact, insisted on calling husband "Mr. xxxx" for two years after we ended up married. husband's twins took to me right away. His oldest daughter still hasn't taken to me. LOL!

    Tell you the truth I was shocked how difficult it was. Without exception to this day I always faded into the background when one of husband's or all of them wanted their Dad to themselves. The four of them had a pattern of playing tennis, going to State parks etc. that was "their thing" and my kids and I let them continue their bond...and the four of us did our thing with-o interference either.

    Discipline, by the way, was always handled by the birth parent because I had seen too many kids inherit a "new Daddy" who became the boss. Not at my house. Over the years the bond has grown. I had visions of The Brady Bunch. The kids from both sides like each other but they don't love each other like they do their birth siblings.

    I wish your Sis well but hope she is prepared for a challenge. After years of having undivided attention by a single parent it is not an easy transition. Suggest that she go very slowly and not expect to be genuinely accepted for a long time. The reverse is likely to be true with her kids reluctance. Plus be prepared for the kids not to like each other either. Hard. That's what it is, lol. DDD
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Yeesh! That's not very Kevin has made it clear that he didn't want the kids to even know he was dating for a LONG time. But he knows he will lose Sis if he doesn't take it further...she is tired of being in the closet. Should be interesting.
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Speaking only with experience as a step-daughter, not a step-parent, but having two experiences and one being a nightmare and one being as good as I could ever hoped for, the two main things to remember are that the kids and the possible future step parent need to build their own relationship, and that the potential step parent shouldn't approach this as anyone needing to compete for the bio parent's attention- it should never be "either me or the kids" or "if you love him/her, you are taking something from us kids".
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Guess I should have pitched out a more positive note. We've been married 35 years and still counting.
  7. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    Matt was 11 when s/o and I met. He had no relationship with his bio dad so there was no competition. On the other hand Matt trusted NO man. Period. He was not welcoming and only was polite as he knew I drew the line at rude yet he knew I would not force a relationship and I stuck to that. I'm grateful till this day that s/o forced nothing. Matt spoke polite and formally to him but kept talk to bare minimum, basically when it was rude to not converse. S/O respected that yet he spoke warmly and didn't let the formal minimal conversations faze him. He didn't try to schmooze Matt or create artificial conversation. Over time Matt saw S/O wasn't going to try to be "daddy" and conversation evolved at Matt's pace until it flowed naturally. They discovered common interests over time and began talking more etc. 8 years later I've heard Matt refer to him as step dad. They prank each other, jokingly gang up on me, enjoy one another. S/O I believe I've stepped in when Matt was brig hurtful to me and just said something like your relationship with your mom is not for me to interfere but right now? You are far out of line and no man who loves your mother would stand by and let it happen without speaking up. I do love your mom so I'm speaking up. I'd appreciate it I'd you'd never be that hurtful to your mom in my presence because you hurt her it means you hurt me. I expected a blow up but it didn't happen. Later in time Matt told me that how S/O handled that made him respect S/O in a way he hadn't. Matt said he knew the that S/O was a good man who loved me and stand for me and things grew with them from there on.

    I wish your sis the best. I get her boyfriend wanted to wait until the relationship was long term before merging the kids.good move in my opinion. At the same time it's his job to help the kids understand her importance to him as much as your sis should understand the kids importance. If he is going to merge them then they need to know from him that she's here to stay and to be inclusive not separative. There is a balance and too far either side can doom blending kids and new partners. I think sometimes the two don't meet if the bio parent weighs too far in favor of the kids or the partner. To me it's key from day 1. Beautiful blended families are created every day and it CAN be a good experience for all.
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well came as a package deal when I met Tony but Billy was very young so that probably made a bigger difference. Tony never treated him any different than he did his own boys. As far as he is concerned, Billy is his. This has worked for us for 28 years.
  9. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I didn't introduce Miss KT to anyone I was dating unless the relationship had evolved to a bit more serious. I think she only met two of the guys before Hubby, and I was single for about 5 years. Husband 1.0 had three kids, and looking back, I think we would probably have stayed together if we had been able to have a relationship with just the two of us and not had to deal with kid stuff and ex drama from the very beginning. Of course, I was invincible when we met...I was 19, we got married (after living together and a dramatic breakup and reconciliation) when I was 21, and divorced when I was 24.