In a relationship with someone who doesn’t have children – experiences please!

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  • #28364 Report

    Flo87
    Participant

    I am a single mum to my very demanding 4 year old son and have found it really challenging over the past few years to navigate relationships with partners who don’t have children. There’s a lot of information online for people without children dating people with children but I’m looking some advice / support /experiences of the challenges the other way around. I feel a lot of guilt and find it hard to understand why someone who has not chosen to have children would then want to spend their free time doing “family” things. I often wonder if I should resign myself to it just being me and my boy until he is much older. I am interested in people’s experiences of this. Thanks in advance.

    #28367 Report

    Sherinam
    Participant

    Hi I have tried to “date” but it didn’t work because these people did not have children and expected me to rearrange to suit them.  One would  call  for a long chat when they knew I was about to give my daughter her dinner .

    The one that I was in a long term relationship  with had lots of  problems with his teenage children who just wanted money all the time &get  anything free that they could get off their father which included expensive holidays and clothes & was not motivated to get job after they finished university.

    I’m a little lonely but prefer order in my life so my girl in quite young still and I have to put her needs first.

     

    #28368 Report

    Flo87
    Participant

    Thank you for your reply Sherima. It is tricky because, I suppose, in a very human way we are all quite selfish before we have children and it’s so very difficult to comprehend the intricacies and how consuming it is to be solely responsible for a little human. My ex partner was incredibly selfish and did not understand at all what it meant for me to need to be “mum” first. My current partner is incredible and is so patient and tolerant and interested in my son, but I feel so guilty when we all spend time together (particularly because he often displays challenging behaviour) and I don’t feel that I’m doing either thing (as a parent or a partner) very well at all.

    #28370 Report

    Sherinam
    Participant

    Well you know everyone s parenting skills are different. My ex looked completely miserable because of his children who just wanted all the time . Personally I would not put with bad manners and I would not give in by buying their love.

    My daughter is getting much better and our nanny is a godsend if I want to get out .  At mo I just concentrate on work and my girl and I do have the opportunity of meeting people but for time being  I will just put her first..my ex wore me out and .glad we did not live together because he only put himself and kids first!

    #28381 Report

    Kathymumofone
    Participant

    I had a relationship with someone who had a daughter he parented 50:50.

    This worked, sort of, for a few years until his daughter turned 17, had car/boyfriend and basically didn’t need her dad anymore. He then regarded himself as free and asked me to “get rid of” – his words – my 10yo son, so we could travel, have adult life etc. My son’s dad live 90 mins away, so not sure who he thought would do school run, supervise homework etc

    Took me a second and a half to reach my decision 😁

    So I’ve given up. I’ll worry about it when son is 16.

    #28384 Report

    Flo87
    Participant

    Hi Kathy, thank you for your response. Wow. That’s harsh. And coming from someone who was, themselves, a parent?! Hmmmm. So it appears to be challenging whether one is in a relationship with a non-parent or a parent.

    #28407 Report

    Kathymumofone
    Participant

    It had its funny side. When I said no thanks, he actually looked shocked.

    But in a way, he was right. For the next 6 years, my son is my priority. It would take someone pretty special to cope with that.

    #28480 Report

    SarahJT
    Participant

    Hi hope you’re having a good day. I’ve been on dates but my relationships have been really short since I had my daughter. I don’t have a regular babysitter, wouldn’t want to spend much time away from my daughter anyway and think most guys just aren’t looking for the commitment. I would like a balance with an evening out a month, a day just us and the rest family days out (don’t feel guilty for those- if you’re looking for long tem he’d have to want that). Are you managing to spend time alone as well as family time? I have early nights with my daughter especially when I’m up early for work and need quiet, that’s difficult for a guy without kids to understand. There are difficulties getting involved with a guy with kids too though especially when you get attached.

    #28482 Report

    Flo87
    Participant

    Hi Sarah, thanks for your response. My current partner is amazing, she says that she firmly believes that my son comes first and would judge me if she felt I wasn’t putting him at the centre of everything, so I have found a really good egg, they get on really very well and he adores her. I think a lot of this is around my own feelings of guilt and feeling like I need to give both of them 100% when we’re all together, which obviously I can’t do! My son’s challenging behaviour makes it worse I suppose, because there are often times where it really isn’t pleasant for any of us, so that just makes me want to close ranks around me and him and not put that on anyone else.

    #28560 Report

    SarahJT
    Participant

    Hi Flo,

    Good to hear a positive story on here! Sounds like you should be giving us advice. Where did you meet?

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