When/How to introduce the new SO

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from The Original Jeeps. Show The Original Jeeps's posts

    When/How to introduce the new SO

    Looking for advice, words of wisdom, suggestions, etc.... on introducing the child to a new SO. I tried to do this the right way, wanted to make sure it was a solid relationship. Told my son that I would only introduce him to someone that I felt was important and would be around long-term, when first discussing dating etc.... Been with my SO for almost 2 years now, I introduced them at Thanksgiving, which initially went fine. Then again at Christmas and it went downhill fast. My son told me I could do better, he didnt like him, etc...Which, I get giving no 14 year old is going to want their mother dating. I tried to explain that what was important was how he treated me, not what he looked like. I am not sure what next steps I should take. My SO has kids, one close to my son's age, and thinking that maybe if we do a 'group' outing, it would be easier. I have met my SO's kids and we get along great.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from RogerTaylor. Show RogerTaylor's posts

    Re: When/How to introduce the new SO

    Don't let the tail wag the dog!

    2 years? they've met? OK move on with the relationship.....your children are part of your life, they are not your life!

    Group outing? sure but don't expect the kiddies to be best buddies by the end of the outing!

    My kids - tolerate - their mom's BF and his kid's - that's it...no friendship, no BFF's

    End Note: Your kiddies won't like ANYONE you bring home - you will always be able to "do better" in your kid's eye's......

    EDIT: I also think you should have a discussion with your kid's and find out what they are feeling and thinking about your SO (depending on their age(s)) - talk with them.


    BE THE ADULT!
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from The Original Jeeps. Show The Original Jeeps's posts

    Re: When/How to introduce the new SO

    Thanks RT, I did talk to my son and really didnt get anywhere. He only met him twice, briefly and all he could say was that I could do better. I am definitely not looking for them to be BFF's, but I also dont want to have to deal with battles and animosity. This is a whole new experience for me, so trying to figure out the best way to handle it. Obviously his father is no help, so I am dealing with this kind of on my own.

    Blahhh. 
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from RogerTaylor. Show RogerTaylor's posts

    Re: When/How to introduce the new SO

    In Response to Re: When/How to introduce the new SO:
    [QUOTE]Thanks RT, I did talk to my son and really didnt get anywhere. He only met him twice, briefly and all he could say was that I could do better. I am definitely not looking for them to be BFF's, but I also dont want to have to deal with battles and animosity. This is a whole new experience for me, so trying to figure out the best way to handle it. Obviously his father is no help, so I am dealing with this kind of on my own. Blahhh. 
    Posted by The Original Jeeps[/QUOTE]
    *************************************
    Understood, can I ask how old your son is? age is a "huge" factor in how I would deal with my kid's.  My kid's bad mouth their noms BF and I know part of that is out of loyalty to me as their Dad.  I have told the, in front of mom, they will never have another Dad or another mom....

    It was funny  when I got my kid's on my weekends and week nights my kid's would "book end" me DD on one side DS on the other it reached the point where I had to ask...."Why are you guys all over me?" the response knocked on my butt..."because when moms BF comes over she won't let us sit with her, she says she doesn't get that much time with him".......another one was when their mom wasn't happy and my kids were blaming themselves.  I made the comment "You can't tell me 3 things that would make your mom happy!" without missing a beat my daughter said "BF and his son and daughter!"

    When I was dating a woman with children I never tried to cross the line and play parent to her children.  All I was guilty of was respecting them and for that I was rewarded with their friendship.  I miss them more than her - LOL.  Again their age made a huge difference IMHO - teens vs 6yo big maturity gap.

    It sounds like you're at least offering your children consideration and trying to understand their feelings.......your a great Mom compared to my ex

    Couple of books you may want to pick up:

    The Everthing Parent's Guide To Children and Divorce
    - Carl E. Pickhardt, Ph.D

    A Smart Girl's Guide to Her Parent's Divorce - American Girl Series
    - American Girl
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: When/How to introduce the new SO

    Hey, Jeeps. :)  This is rough because at 14 he's not a little child, but he's certainly not a co-decision maker of your family.  

    The only experience he has with adult SO relationships is yours which ended badly.  He is of the age that he's starting to feel protective of his mom, not just jealous of your time and affection.  Since your marriage didn't work and he probably sees his father as pretty special (regarless of what went down and how he actually is), he wonders how any relationship can ever work out if the two people he loves and admires the most on earth couldn't make it work. 

    Let him know you understand that he's afraid nothing will work if it didn't work out before and he wants to protect you and him from another failed relationship even if it means never having one at all.  He knows that at one time you and his father were happy and in love or you wouldn't have gotten married.  It makes sense, therefore, to a 14 year old that all SO relationships are doomed.  

    Explain that you don't see it that way.  That everyone is different, and that while it did turn out that you and his father were not compatible, it doesn't imply that all men are incompatible with you and that you need to explore new relationships even though that does incur some risk.  He's old enough to learn that life without risks is no life at all.  Living a guarded, sheltered, "perfect" life in fear of making another mistake is not living at all.

    Ask him what he thinks about that and let him talk.  If he can't answer - it is kind of heavy for a 14 year old - ask him to think about it awhile and you'll ask again in a few days.  At the time you talk about risk taking with respect to relationships, ask him if there's something specific that he doesn't care for about this man or is he just afraid it won't work out because it didn't work out with Dad.

    He's fearful for you and him and how this will play out in the next few years.  We all know the stats on remarriage and divorce (don't bring those up!), so he statistically speaking (saying nothing of you and your SO) has good reason to fear.  Of course, don't bring that part up, but do everything you can to let him give voice to what is really going on.  Maybe encourage him to write you a letter over the next couple of weeks if he's uncomfortable talking face to face, but make sure he talks about this somehow as specifically as possible and make all your questions engaging, not ones with "yes/no" answers.

    GL!

    ~kar

    P.S.  I'd have this discussion with him before the outing so he can get his true fears off his chest beforehand.  Otherwise, they'll weigh on him the whole time and he won't let his guard down for one second.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from The Original Jeeps. Show The Original Jeeps's posts

    Re: When/How to introduce the new SO

    Thanks RT, he is 14, just the one to deal with, which sometimes I think is harder. I have a pretty good relationship with my SO's kids, but they have been exposed to other dating partners of their parents before, so its not a new experience for them. I have kept my son pretty sheltered from it. He knew I was dating, but I never introduced him to anyone. This guy is different and for sure more serious. He has always been dead set against my dating. His 'rule' was I can date, once he goes off to college. But then there was somewhat of a compromise that I told him I would only introduce him, if I felt it was a serious enough relationship. Which this is. I will look into that book though!! Thanks!

    Hey Kar ;) I agree to a certain extent that he is protective of me, but I also think there is some of his father coming into play here. In my head and heart, I want to show my son that there is such thing as a good relationship. That not all relationships are as volatile and angry as his fathers and mine. I think really it is just going to take time and my not shoving my SO down his throat. I have kind of tabled the whole thing until he finishes school (graduating 8th grade) because I dont want it to stress him any more than he already is with tests and end of the school year stuff. And will revisit this during the summer. There really is no rush, we aren't looking to get married any time soon, though maybe looking at moving in together in a year.

    I guess like RT and you said, its really about communication and I cant really do much more than that :)

    Thanks!!
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: When/How to introduce the new SO

    His rule makes me all the more sure his entire issue is that he doesn't want you to go through another breakup.  Self-protectively, he wants to be out of the house so whatever goes wrong he won't have to deal with.  His ONLY experience is that a relationship you were SURE was good went bad.  So, there's no amount of "this relationship is different" that will persuade him, unfortunately, because you were sure enough to get married before, and in a child's mind there's "no difference" between then and now no matter how you explain it.  You're going to just let time do its thing over the long haul because right now all he knows is that he doesn't want to be in the household when the s__t hits the fan, again, as he's sure it will.  He needs more perspective on life to understand what you want him to know, and you can't force that.  It's not going to be easy, but it will work itself out over the years.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from RogerTaylor. Show RogerTaylor's posts

    Re: When/How to introduce the new SO

    His [your 14 yo son] 'rule' was I can date, once he goes off to college. But then there was somewhat of a compromise that I told him I would only introduce him, if I felt it was a serious enough relationship. Which this is. I will look into that book though!! Thanks!


    This is what I meant by "the tail wagging the dog"!

    Turn this situation around! Tell your son it will be OK for him to date once he's off to college! He's 14? I can tell you for a fact, much like my son, he's VERY immature and will continue to try and "control" you as long as you LET him - DON'T!!!!

    Lets assume some things here.... your divorced and want to find a loving caring partner....have your 14 yo son explain what he feels is wrong about that? ask your son why he feels you should put your life on hold until he's in college? have your son explain what he means by "not good enough"? Do you share the same definition of "not good enough"? if not - discuss and the crème de la crème of questions - ask DS what being "selfish" means.....trust me you won't get a text book answer and you will be lucky if he even comes close to the meaning that's not the goal of the question....the goal is to get his little 14yo mind do something that it hasn't done since your divorce - think about YOU!


    I know I sound harsh but I firmly believe my kid's are meant to be part of my life but not my life. One other note - YOU deserve to be happy! as does your ex-husband and your son.....it's called moving on!

    Best of luck!
    Smile
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: When/How to introduce the new SO

    It's not a matter of control; it's a matter of his not wanting to be part of another breakup.  That's why he doesn't want to live in the house when she has another serious relationship.  He'll have to deal, for sure, but it's not a control issue, it's an escape/coping/anxiety issue.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from RogerTaylor. Show RogerTaylor's posts

    Re: When/How to introduce the new SO

    In Response to Re: When/How to introduce the new SO:
    [QUOTE]It's not a matter of control; it's a matter of his not wanting to be part of another breakup.  That's why he doesn't want to live in the house when she has another serious relationship.  He'll have to deal, for sure, but it's not a control issue, it's an escape/coping/anxiety issue.
    Posted by kargiver[/QUOTE]




    You're only correct in part but don't make the mistake of dismissing the "control" aspect - He, like most children, want mom and Dad to get back together, want
    un-divided attention, want everything to be the same as it was....."You can date when I go to college" and then Jeep compromises? that's giving him control. And as long as she lets him he will control her dating life. Controlling can, and I think in this case, is part of the way the son is "coping" and "dealing with anxiety" - if I disapprove of Mom's SO then I get my way and my world stays the way I want it!

    Trust me there is a HUGE life lesson here for Jr.  14 is old enough to learn about relationships - 15, 16, 17 he starts dating....what will his example be?
    His divorced mom and Dad or his Mom & her SO or Dad & his SO?

    File this one under "Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus"........
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: When/How to introduce the new SO

    I suspect he may be a bit fearful that the outcome is a "fait accompli" no matter what he does. You flat out told him he wouldn't meet any boyfriend unless it was serious. So he KNOWS you are serious about this guy. He probably thinks he can say whatever he wants and it doens't matter. He has no input into whether or not this person will be his stepdad.
    I wish you all the best. I'm sure this is really hard for you. You want your son to be happy. You want to be happy. I'd continue to take things really slowly. Try and reassure him that there is a middle ground between you being alone and getting married.
    Good luck.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from The Original Jeeps. Show The Original Jeeps's posts

    Re: When/How to introduce the new SO

    RT, I see what you are saying about coping. In this case, he will not get his way, because I am not breaking up with this guy simply because Jr does not like him. And my relationship with this guy is a great example of what a healthy relationship is, vs the extremely unhealthy relationship his father and I had.  The other thing is, Jr doesnt think his father is dating. Which I know is not true, but his father has him convinced that he is his priority, not dating. I dont get involved in that. I dont think he wants us back together, per se, I just think he wants us to himself. 

    Thanks misslily!
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: When/How to introduce the new SO

    Jeeps, I know your relationship with this man is the polar opposite of what you had with his father, but a 14 year old isn't mature enough to see that right away.  All he knows is that someone you thought was great and married didn't work out.  He assumes it will happen every time.  It will take time and lots of evidence for him to relax a little about where the relationship is going.

    I hope you know I wasn't saying in the least bit that I think all your relationships will fail - nothing could be further from how I feel about you.  I've been where you son is, that's all, and either I know how he feels or I'm projecting inappropriately...who knows which it is, but there it is.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from Winter2011Bride. Show Winter2011Bride's posts

    Re: When/How to introduce the new SO

    My son is younger (11.5) but I was remarried last year.  My son was younger when we starting dating (4) so it's a bit different.  My DS loves my husband, but the moment he knew we were getting married he did a 180 and suddenly didn't want any part of him.  We talked to him and my husband explained that he was not replacing his father he was just another person to love him.  Once that was explained to him things got much better. 

    Good luck.  
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from The Original Jeeps. Show The Original Jeeps's posts

    Re: When/How to introduce the new SO

    Not at all Kar. I agree, 14 is still immature to understand and 'proving' to him what a normal relationship is, I am sure is more in my head than what he needs to know or understand. 

    I have also been where my son is, maybe in a different circumstance though. I adore my stepmom more than my bio-parents ;) I dont expect Jr to go that route, I just dont want any arguments etc....I am sure his father his feeding into his dislike of this guy, so that doesnt help either. I think I may try and get a 3rd party involved to help with this.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: When/How to introduce the new SO

    I think that's a great idea because this is not a situation that is new, it's just new to your son.  

    You are not imagining the need to model a healthy SO relationship to your son, but modeling it takes years.  During that time getting professional guidance would be immeasurably helpful for ANY parent in this situation, great idea.  Therapists are well-trained and highly experienced in navigating all the ins and outs of how divorce and life thereafter affects teens and can offer insight that no parent could just come up with out of thin air.  Getting a therapist involved now, before things have a chance to go south, works really well because it takes a certain amount of time to develop trust between the therapist and you and your son.  If things are relatively calm at the onset of building that trust it will be far easier.  If things get volatile and extremely stressful, a therapist can be viewed as the outside enemy who "doesn't understand," not a valuable resource.

    I maintain my belief (from your first thread) that you are an excellent parent from what I can see, and your son will be more than OK.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from The Original Jeeps. Show The Original Jeeps's posts

    Re: When/How to introduce the new SO

    Thanks Kar :)!!! It's definitely not an easy situation, but I want it to be as easy of a transition for my son as possible. 
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: When/How to introduce the new SO

    You can do the best any parent could do, and it still won't be easy so don't be hard on yourself when the waters get rough.  Your son will benefit, too, from your believing wholeheartedly in yourself.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from miscricket. Show miscricket's posts

    Re: When/How to introduce the new SO

    I think now that they've met, you should also try to do something now and then that includes your son. When you say it "went downhill fast" what does that mean? How is your SO reacting to this..because if indeed it is going to be a long term relationship, your son and SO are going to have to deal with each other. I am, frankly, amazed that you were able to wait 2 years before introducing them to each other. Your son must have known you were serious after say..a year?
    I don't know...it seems to me if you kept them separate for so long..your son may be viewing him as competition for your attention/affection. After all..time you were spending with the SO was time you weren't spending with your son.  Fourteen is a tough age for boys in the best of circumstances. Unless the SO and your son really can't be in the same room..I would get them together on a regular basis.
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from RogerTaylor. Show RogerTaylor's posts

    Re: When/How to introduce the new SO

    In Response to Re: When/How to introduce the new SO:
    [QUOTE]I think now that they've met, you should also try to do something now and then that includes your son. When you say it "went downhill fast" what does that mean? How is your SO reacting to this..because if indeed it is going to be a long term relationship, your son and SO are going to have to deal with each other. I am, frankly, amazed that you were able to wait 2 years before introducing them to each other. Your son must have known you were serious after say..a year? I don't know...it seems to me if you kept them separate for so long..your son may be viewing him as competition for your attention/affection. After all..time you were spending with the SO was time you weren't spending with your son.  Fourteen is a tough age for boys in the best of circumstances. Unless the SO and your son really can't be in the same room..I would get them together on a regular basis.
    Posted by miscricket[/QUOTE]

    Spot on miscricket but

    .......that can't happen until JR stops controlling the situation......
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: When/How to introduce the new SO

    That's the general wisdom (and Freudian explanation), but since he says he doesn't care if she dates after he doesn't live there, I doubt it's all about competition.  He'd not make the distinction between his being home and his being out of the house if it were all about his mother's affections toward him; he's not foresightful enough to draw that.  His "rule" about it not mattering after he leaves the house says to me that it's more about his not wanting to be emotionally invested in a guy/relationship that he probably predicts won't be around forever, just like Dad wasn't.

    But, I don't think the competition idea is wrong, per se.  It's that if your assumption is that it's all about that you might miss some good communication opportunities that focus on other facets of the situation.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from RogerTaylor. Show RogerTaylor's posts

    Re: When/How to introduce the new SO

    Maybe not competition entirely but maybe he, 14yo son, is thinking his Mom was so embarrassed by her son that he feels hurt? Why wont Mom introduce me it's been 6 months? - I don't believe that for a SECOND - but I'm an adult.  A kid's mind can think some pretty crazy thoughts ad the fact that he's only 14 and a boy on top of that there is no way of knowing what's going through his emotional roller coaster. The one thing that I think is GREAT is that JEEPS is at least communicating with her son and acknowledging his feelings...It's gotta suck trying to do the right thing as JEEPS is doing and have to wrestle with her SO's feelings and her sons...Don't you wish kid's came with instruction manuals? LOL

    My daughter turns 15 this month, I'm sure I will have some great stories about my experience to post here too....Laughing
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from miscricket. Show miscricket's posts

    Re: When/How to introduce the new SO

    In Response to Re: When/How to introduce the new SO:
    [QUOTE]Maybe not competition entirely but maybe he, 14yo son, is thinking his Mom was so embarrassed by her son that he feels hurt? Why wont Mom introduce me it's been 6 months? - I don't believe that for a SECOND - but I'm an adult.  A kid's mind can think some pretty crazy thoughts ad the fact that he's only 14 and a boy on top of that there is no way of knowing what's going through his emotional roller coaster. The one thing that I think is GREAT is that JEEPS is at least communicating with her son and acknowledging his feelings...It's gotta suck trying to do the right thing as JEEPS is doing and have to wrestle with her SO's feelings and her sons...Don't you wish kid's came with instruction manuals? LOL My daughter turns 15 this month, I'm sure I will have some great stories about my experience to post here too....
    Posted by RogerTaylor[/QUOTE]

    I actually think you probably hit on something. A 14 year old's emotional development and the accompanying insecurities are very complicated. Jeep's SO also has children..which makes it more complicated for a 14 year old. 14 year old boys don't like to show weakness, vulnerability or insecurity. Instead..they will simply show indifference. This was one of the reasons I suggested that rather than just continue the status quo...Jeeps arrange it so that her son spends quality time with all parties..her and the SO..the SO..and her the SO and his kids. After all, if this is going to be a long term relationship..it is going to involve all of them.

    RT..too funny. I am sure you are going to have no shortage of stories with your 15 year old daughter.
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: When/How to introduce the new SO

    Again, not a bad theory, generally speaking, but the "wait 'til I'm not living here then do what you want" rule he's come up with is very telling, and it doesn't say, "I don't think you think I'm worthy of being introduced and included," to me.  Unless, it's a passive aggressive, "Well, if you don't want to introduce and include me, anyway, then you should just wait to date until I don't live here," which I highly doubt, actually.

    Misdiagnosing the root problem can inadvertantly make things worse.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: When/How to introduce the new SO

    In Response to Re: When/How to introduce the new SO:
    [QUOTE]My daughter turns 15 this month, I'm sure I will have some great stories about my experience to post here too....
    Posted by RogerTaylor[/QUOTE]

    Speaking of the differences between boys and girls as it pertains to their divorced parents' dating patterns and issues, I have a fun story.   

    This speaks volumes for how differently girls handle their parents' dating, then boys do.   Teenage girls are vastly more mature than boys, and that includes potentially seeing their parents more as "people" and not just as parental units.
      
    A fitness instructor of mine (approx. age 36-38 at the time) had (still has) a teen-aged daughter.   Her daughter and a  14/15-year old friend whose father was also divorced / single, got the brainy idea to introduce their parents.  Well, they're married now.  That's right.  :)

    The two parents hit it off immediately, and would never have met if their respective daughters had not introduced them.  Mind you, the kids are not all in love with each other, but they get along fine.  My fitness instructor had 4 kids (3 bio, one adopted) and  this guy had 2 kids, including a son in college at the time, making 6 kids in total.   Okay, are you listening?   They had a NEW BABY together, now a total of 7 kids.  The age range is wide; I don't know how many kids are at home ATM, but when they got together, all but ONE was in college. 


    ALL the kids loved the baby when she was an infant (she's no longer an infant, this was a few years ago).   The kids were not that friendly at first -- the whole thing was a big adjustment.   But all's well that ends well.   Can you imagine your kid(s) playing cupid for you -- and having it work out?   :)  
     

Share