Back to Home

Active Questions

My boyfriend treats me differently when his kids are around...
Dating / 5:14 PM - Monday May 27, 2013

My boyfriend treats me differently when his kids are around...

I've been dating a man 10 years older than me for about 8 months. We both have children from previous relationships. I have my daughter full time while he has 2 of his kids every other weekend. The other one lives out of town. He and I get along fine when we are together however when the kids are present, it's a different story. For one, he treats me differently when his children are around (little affection, acts like I'm another child, even belittles my suggestions or wishes in front of them). He is also quick to demonize my child for the very same behavior his own children are guilty of. For example, his middle daughter constantly leaves a messy trail whenever she visits (dishes, clothes, hair items). When I point it out, he gets defensive and tells me my daughter does the same thing, which is always addressed at the time. His middle child is 13, mine is 6. Doesn't make it OK, but he is always dismissing his kids bad behavior to demonize my child. My child is not an angel and I don't make her out to be one however I do check her behavior when she's out of line. I'm hurt because rather than supporting one another as parents, I feel like its me and my daughter against him and his girls when we are all together. It's now to the point where it's extremely uncomfortable and I no longer want to be around him when his kids are present unless something changes. Any tips or advice??

- Asked by A Cool Mom, Female, 29-35, Political / Government

Read more about the Rating System


I've had this happen, where a guy I am dating and serious with allows his daughter to dictate his actions and behavior toward the person he is dating. I have also dated men who were able to compartmentalize and not treat their new gf as their ex spouse or as competition for a child.

I would like to say that you can have a conversation with him and explain yourself and things will be all right. But, from what I have seen personally and also my friends have experienced, many men are quite stubborn and blind-eyed in this area. One of my friends only had success when she made a firm line in the sand about his daughter not coming between them. For her, it was that she wouldnt marry him unless his (19 yr old) daughter moved out. The 19 yr old had been brought up as daddys princess and was pretty frightful company (I can attest, I know her.) For you, it may be exactly what you are saying now: "I can't be around you when your kids are around, if this is how its going to be."

Good luck. :(

- Response by norwegi, A Thinker, Female, 36-45

Rating Received:


I hada bf like this once

his kids were 13 15 20
mine were 6 and 9

it was always my kids fault / mess

I pointed out my kids don't wear make up or straighten their hair or take 3 showers a day

so no the mess at the end of the week end was not my kids

he expected my kids to make their beds everyday and be seen and not heard but his kids could do what ever they wanted --- up to and including breaking things on purpose

he would also treat me like a kid and I never had a say in anything (11 yr age difference)

I broke it off

- Response by galdeen, A Creative, Female, 36-45, Administrative

Rating Received:

Community Rating: Community Star

I've had this happen, where a guy I am dating and serious with allows his daughter to dictate his actions and behavior toward the person he is dating. I have also dated men who were able to compartmentalize and not treat their new gf as their ex spouse or as competition for a child.

I would like to say that you can have a conversation with him and explain yourself and things will be all right. But, from what I have seen personally and also my friends have experienced, many men are quite stubborn and blind-eyed in this area. One of my friends only had success when she made a firm line in the sand about his daughter not coming between them. For her, it was that she wouldnt marry him unless his (19 yr old) daughter moved out. The 19 yr old had been brought up as daddys princess and was pretty frightful company (I can attest, I know her.) For you, it may be exactly what you are saying now: "I can't be around you when your kids are around, if this is how its going to be."

Good luck. :(

- Response by norwegi, A Thinker, Female, 36-45

Rating Received:


It's the "guilty dad" syndrome. Not much you can do about it since, as I am sure you are well aware of, his children come first, even over you. And because he suffers from guilty dad syndrome, he will never "check" his children and due to the lack of discipline toward his kids, he'll then take it out on your daughter.

What you need to do is to discuss this calmly and rationally and if he can't do it, it may be time to re-think this relationship since he's making you and your daughter the "bad guy" in all of this and that's unfair and unreasonable.

- Response by msadvise, A Thinker, Female, 46-55, Transportation

Rating Received:


Also I meant to say that you should protect your child first and foremost. Men come and go. Don't let this person be destructive to your child, who is there for life.

- Response by norwegi, A Thinker, Female, 36-45

Rating Received:


All you can do is to talk to him. Explain everything to him. Maybe he doesn't realize that he is acting that way. After you talk to him, wait and see if things change. If they do, then great, but if they don't, then you have to decide if you want to continue on in the relationship.

- Response by iamboo2, A Thinker, Female, 46-55, Charlotte, Therapist

Rating Received:


If you don't like the treatment and you are uncomfortable..imagine how your child feels.

Personally I would get out of the relationship. Your child can't make that choice, but you can.

ijs

- Response by seajaih, Female, Who Cares?, Who Cares?

Rating Received:


8 months is long enough to have you eyes opened - please look closely at this situation and re-read your letter. You already know the answer. Anyone who demeans you and your children in ANY way at ANY time, doesn't love you. He is catering to his friends and kids and preferring them over you and yours. This is not a yours mine and ours situation, it's an all mine and maybe yours when mine are not around. This man could be shown that he is not treating you fairly, but this shouldn't be your job. I advise a couples counseling session and if he doesn't respect you and your children after that, or stick by you in the midst of friends and his kids, then you know you need to bow out of this relationship. I advise, since kids are involved, to go slow in relationships in the future. Do not move in with someone until you have dated long enough to know how he will be with you and your children and how he acts around friends, etc. But I advise counseling or bow out of this relationship. Good luck and bless you!


- Response by marciaroom72, A Career Woman, Female, 56-65, Administrative

Rating Received: