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Am I wrong to feel offended?


Britney02184
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I’ve been with my boyfriend for about 8 years and he’s always been a weekend dad which has made it hard for me to bond but we always have had fun and gotten along wonderful. Within the past few years his kids have been getting older and not wanting to hang out as much, and because of that their mom wants them to try to bond with him more and suggested he come over without me. (We live over an hour away with plans to move close to them soon). Now I understand I’m just a girlfriend and we aren’t married by choice, but I still have been around all these years we live together and everything, always gotten along with the kids And mom with no issues. I’m not some random New girlfriend. Is it wrong of me to want to feel included? I’ve never come in between them and never would so I don’t want to bring up my feelings and have someone get offended. Signed, a slightly frustrated girl.

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Honestly, If I were in that situation (kid), I would want some time with my dad. Is there some reason that you have to be there every time? Why don't you make plans with your friends and take a day off from one another. That's healthy. Do you have a social life outside of him?

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Having been a single mom, a step mom, and now a gf to a dad with a young daughter, my take is that it's important to acknowledge the bond the kids have with their bio parents and also to acknowledge that even if you were married and a step mom, it's still best to take a step back in these situations and not take things personally. My bf's daughter is super awkward around me even after a couple of years... I just engage with her when she wants to and I give her and her dad lots of space together when she is visiting, and that seems to take the pressure off of both of them.

 

My relationship with my step daughter is really good because I never tried to parent her... nor did I ever get involved in parenting topics with her parents... we learnt over time that it was a disaster waiting to happen... I am more like a fun aunt than a parent... and that works really well for all of us.

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I think the mom is right and I hope your boyfriend feels the same. What's this term "weekend dad?" He's a father. To his children. The end. If he chooses only to see him on weekends and not to make efforts to face time or see him otherwise that's his choice but he is still the kids' father. Not just on weekend. You are the father's girlfriend. You are not married to the dad or their mother or stepmother or adoptive mother. As the very wise (RIP) Dr. Joy Browne said -even a stepmom should be a good host and a good friend - not the person who fills in for the mom, or disciplines, etc. Certainly the child should behave respectfully to you just like anyone in your boyfriend's family should.

 

Let the kids be with their parents. It's really important. You being there changes the dynamic and apparently not in a positive way according to the mom. And the mom and the dad get to make this decision (what's your boyfriend's take on this?).

 

Also this is just part of a weekend -I agree you should just do your own thing. It's fine you don't want to get married and it's also fine that the mother has ideas about her status as the mom and how that compares to your relationship with the father of her children.

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It's absolutely normal for children to start detaching from their parents and focus more on their friends, school, hobbies, etc as they grow old and older. That is the norm. Children are supposed to grow up and detach from their parents in order to lead their own adult lives eventually. I don't mean discard their family, I mean detach in a healthy way.

 

However, it's equally normal for parents, especially mothers (not necessarily though), to have a really hard time letting them have that freedom and handling that detachment process.

 

It sounds to me like the mother isn't handling it very well and like she is quite desperate to hang on by any means possible. That is HER problem though.

 

The wise choice for you is to stay out of it. This isn't about you, your relationship, etc. This is about the children growing up and the mother will need to adjust whether she likes it or not. The last and the worst thing you can do here is to add to the drama. Let your bf and the ex and the kids work it out amongst themselves. Again, this is just a normal part of growing pains...more so for the parents than the kids. Basically, don't make this about you, because it's not and it's the sort of drama you actually do want to steer clear of. A better way to look at is that you are the fun aunt who only appears for the fun stuff rather than the gf who must be included in ALL the drama. Drama leads to hate - don't forget that.

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I think your feelings highlight the conflict that can happen when a person without kids dates someone with kids. I think it comes down to a fundamental truth to the children, mom and dad are permanent to them. Any step parents or significant others to their parents are not on that same level.

 

Yes, there can be a happy and healthy coexistence but sometimes they (you) are the outsider. And you should encourage that family unit, because that's what children need. They need to have time with mom and dad to see happy co-parenting and to feel that just because mom and dad aren't married anymore, we're still a family. That doesn't mean you don't exist or you shouldn't come around. But understand what you are a part of and your role. Its ok for your boyfriend to have a friendship with his ex wife and mother of his children, separate from you.

 

If you can't do that, then find a guy without kids. And I agree there is no such thing as a weekend dad. The children were always a priority, I suspect it just never became a problem for whatever reason.

 

As the children start having their own lives, with possibly families of their own, this should pass. So its on you to decide, is this a deal breaker?

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So, yes, definitely he should spend time with his kids by himself. My parents are married to this day and there are things we did with just mom or just dad. He should see his kids without you as well as see them individually (do things one on one with each child).

 

She is not shutting you out --she is addressing the needs of the kids. They need their dad. If you are not invited to the big things like birthdays where extended people are invited for a party, that's different, but a parent should be able to speak with their child one on one without their significant other whether you were married or not (or even if you were the child's mother)

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Just my two cents, he needs time with his kids, where it's just him and his kids.

 

You two aren't married and until that happens, you're not considered the step mom and it wouldn't be fair to make demands.

 

I understand your feelings, they are valid, you want to be seen, and accepted and be made to feel important too. But this is a very touchy situation.

 

I think he should spend time with his kids and you should just let it happen without demanding to be a part of it.

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I'd keep my mouth shut and let them all work things out however they land.

 

I wouldn't expect a BF's ex to invite me into her kids' family time. When they get old enough to do that themselves, then it's an honor. Otherwise, I'm imposing, and I wouldn't do it.

 

Everything is temporary. Move your focus onto productive things while the chips fall however they will in this experiment. It's to be learned whether the kids will view this forced bonding time in a positive way or a resentful way. See how that goes without trying to influence anything. You will thank yourself later.

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Know your place and remain respectful. Keep the peace. Yes, it's wrong to feel offended because you're perceiving their mom excluding you as rejection which is not the case. I'm a mother. If it were me, I would want the father to bond with his kids without the girlfriend or wife in the picture. It's an uncomfortable situation for you for which I'm sorry, however, your feelings are universal.

 

In the future, if there's ever a time when your boyfriend has the kids closer to your geography, then this is the time when you can all be together. (However, if the mother has explicit instructions to exclude you, you have to abide by her rules in order to prevent discord and keep the peace.) During other scenarios where he drives over an hour to see his kids, it's best for you to remain at home and not bother. Stay in your lane, don't meddle and know that your boyfriend, his ex and their kids have their own life without you. Don't try to belong nor include yourself when you're not wanted as part of their group. Be better than that.

 

This is the situation whenever you are in a relationship with a man who has kids. He will always have a relationship with his kids and the mother of his children. This is the situation for your boyfriend's life. You will always have to share him and step aside. You will always have to acquiesce and yield. Your boyfriend comes with baggage and this is the price to pay for having a relationship with him and in other cases, it's the same for marriage. His ex and kids will never go away so he is a "package deal."

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No, it is not wrong of you to want to feel included. If you have together for 8 years, you are more then a girlfriend. You have spent enough time with the children to basically be family. So it's natural you would want to be in their life and would be upset when you are told to stay away.

 

Having said that, the focus here should be on the children. This isn't about your feelings or the mom's feelings. This is about the children. If they are at the point where they are pushing away from their parents, then it's probably a natural thing for them to do. You being there or not won't change the situation. If they are going through that, why not put it in their hands? Yes, it's good to spend time just with dad. But that shouldn't mean you get shut out. Maybe everyone needs to ask what the children would prefer? If they need alone time with dad, that should be respected. It's nothing personal. If they don'[t mind you there and have fun with you, then you should join in. And if they just want time to themselves and to hang out with their friends, that's fine as well. Ideally I would think you'd want to split the time so all the options are covered.

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No, it is not wrong of you to want to feel included. If you have together for 8 years, you are more then a girlfriend. You have spent enough time with the children to basically be family. So it's natural you would want to be in their life and would be upset when you are told to stay away.

 

Having said that, the focus here should be on the children. This isn't about your feelings or the mom's feelings. This is about the children. If they are at the point where they are pushing away from their parents, then it's probably a natural thing for them to do. You being there or not won't change the situation. If they are going through that, why not put it in their hands? Yes, it's good to spend time just with dad. But that shouldn't mean you get shut out. Maybe everyone needs to ask what the children would prefer? If they need alone time with dad, that should be respected. It's nothing personal. If they don'[t mind you there and have fun with you, then you should join in. And if they just want time to themselves and to hang out with their friends, that's fine as well. Ideally I would think you'd want to split the time so all the options are covered.

 

I respectfully disagree. She's not family to these kids She is not their stepmom and the children get to spend time with their parents. She is not a parent. We have people in our lives who have spent a lot of time with our son but they are not the parents. I wouldn't subject the children to the choice of whether she should be included. Unfair to the kids -if they ask to see her, that's different. Yes, she does get excluded if the parents want alone time with the kids. She's not shut out because she was never "shut in" as a parental role.

 

I really wouldn't put her on any footing with the parents. When it comes to parenting the kids she is an outsider. If it is a family event where the kids happen to be there and there are other family members and family friends then yes she should be included.

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Sorry to say, but she is just a live-in gf. She unfortunately got stuck with getting involved with his kids. They are Not family. The bf and his sons are family, the kid's mother and the sons are family.

 

She is the live-in gf. That is zero status legally. "Should" is not reality. "Shoulds" assign blame and create entitlement and false hope. The Father and the Mother and the sons can all decide what is preferred as a family. A powwow with the live-in gf is insulting to the kid's mother.

 

Now, the bf could still spend time with her and his sons together but why should she drag along like a 5th wheel to the kid's mother's house?

If you have together for 8 years, you are more then a girlfriend. You have spent enough time with the children to basically be family.

 

But that shouldn't mean you get shut out.

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Sorry to say, but she is just a live-in gf. She unfortunately got stuck with getting involved with his kids. They are Not family. The bf and his sons are family, the kid's mother and the sons are family.

 

She is the live-in gf. That is zero status legally. "Should" is not reality. "Shoulds" assign blame and create entitlement and false hope. The Father and the Mother and the sons can all decide what is preferred as a family. A powwow with the live-in gf is insulting to the kid's mother.

 

Now, the bf could still spend time with her and his sons together but why should she drag along like a 5th wheel to the kid's mother's house?

 

Then she's been a live-in girlfriend for 8 years. At a certain point, it's more then just a girlfriend. No one is suggesting she is trying to be the mom or take her place. All she wants is to be able to spend time with the children that she has gotten to know and grow close to over an 8 year period. She said she has spent time with them before and they get along fine. Now the mom is suggesting that she not be around them. If someone suggested to be that I should not spend time with someone I've gotten to know over 8 years, i would feel hurt and upset as well. I was trying to say that her feelings are understandable and she is not wrong to feel them.

 

My brother become involved with and eventually married a woman who already had two children. They lived together and even had a child together before they married. Even though they were not married and he was technically not their dad, he considered himself to be because he was looking after them. And even if they didn't call him dad, they looked up to him as one. Being a parent is more then a matter of legal status. It has to do with the relationship between all involved.

 

"Should" is not assigning blame or creating entitlement. It is recognizing that after nearly a decade of being an active part of their lives, she does have the right to feel left out. Everyone is "entitled" to having their own feelings about a situation. It's not really fair to tell someone that they suddenly can't do something that they have always done and which has never caused a problem. And it's not fair to act like they can't be upset over it.

 

And the point of my post was actually to say they should all be working together for the sake of the children - mom, dad, and girlfriend. Instead of telling her she shouldn't come to the house, work together to have a plan that works for everyone, especially the children.

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I respectfully disagree. She's not family to these kids She is not their stepmom and the children get to spend time with their parents. She is not a parent. We have people in our lives who have spent a lot of time with our son but they are not the parents. I wouldn't subject the children to the choice of whether she should be included. Unfair to the kids -if they ask to see her, that's different. Yes, she does get excluded if the parents want alone time with the kids. She's not shut out because she was never "shut in" as a parental role.

 

I really wouldn't put her on any footing with the parents. When it comes to parenting the kids she is an outsider. If it is a family event where the kids happen to be there and there are other family members and family friends then yes she should be included.

 

See my above post. I wasn't trying to say that she is on equal footing as the mom. But 8 years seems like a pretty long and stable relationship, one in which she has had time to get to know and grow close to the children. Depending on her relationship with them, she could at least be extended family. My brother never tried to get in the way of their relationship with the children's father and never considered himself a replacement. But he felt just as close and protective as if they were his children. I was trying to show sympathy to the poster and explain that her feelings are not out of line.

 

I want what's best for the children, as should any parent, biological or otherwise. I think they are probably just growing up and want time to themselves. I think they should be able to have alone time with dad and probably won't mind other times also with his girlfriend, someone they've gotten along with for years. I just think instead of making decisions for them, treat them like grownups (which I get the feeling they are fast nearing that age where they at least want to be seen as grownups) and let them do what they want to do. If they don't seem to have a problem with the girlfriend, why exclude her?

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See my above post. I wasn't trying to say that she is on equal footing as the mom. But 8 years seems like a pretty long and stable relationship, one in which she has had time to get to know and grow close to the children. Depending on her relationship with them, she could at least be extended family. My brother never tried to get in the way of their relationship with the children's father and never considered himself a replacement. But he felt just as close and protective as if they were his children. I was trying to show sympathy to the poster and explain that her feelings are not out of line.

 

I want what's best for the children, as should any parent, biological or otherwise. I think they are probably just growing up and want time to themselves. I think they should be able to have alone time with dad and probably won't mind other times also with his girlfriend, someone they've gotten along with for years. I just think instead of making decisions for them, treat them like grownups (which I get the feeling they are fast nearing that age where they at least want to be seen as grownups) and let them do what they want to do. If they don't seem to have a problem with the girlfriend, why exclude her?

 

I read every word and feel exactly the same - and I wrote that if there are family events she should be included since she is in a serious relationship with a family member. This is different. It doesn't matter if she has grown close to the children in this particular situation which has to do with the family unit -parents and children. She is not part of the family unit. Yet. I mean then under your analysis they should always include close family friends who have known the children for 8 years or so, right? I don't think the analysis to include her in parent-kids time because "they don't have a problem with her so why exclude her" - she's not being excluded. She's not a parent to these children so everyone other than parents isn't included. I think it's really unfair to ask these children to choose especially if it would mean upsetting their mother in any way or any perception of it. Puts them in a really unfair position.

 

This is a downside of choosing to be in a long term committed relationship where one person has kids and the couple decides not to marry and/or established stepparent role -in an official way. She's upset about this downside because it means she won't be with her boyfriend on a particular day and because it's in her face that she is not a parent. Oh well. Such is life. And she doesn't come first in this situation -the kids do.

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