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kid(s) from another relationship

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cristinarosetti View Drop Down
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    Posted: 12/27/2005 at 10:28pm

hi everyone. i have a question. here's a bit of background... i have a child, who is 7, from previous relationship. i have been with my FI for 7 years (on 12/21/05). and he has literally been there with my son since he was a baby.  my son sees my FI as his stepdad already. we moved in together last year and bought a place together.

so my question is.. is it too much to expect that my FI treat my son like his own?  is it too soon?  is it too late?  sometimes i dont know if im expecting too much from my FI.  are you in the same boat as i, where you have a child, coming into a new relationship/marriage?  how is the relationship between your spouse and your child?  are you marrying someone who already has a child?  how do you feel about it?  how do you treat your new step-child?  is it wierd for you?  do you have kids with your new spouse? do you treat your step kid(s) the same?

my mind is just jumbled up right now. its just that i want my son to have a strong, loving, compassionate father figure/step dad who will treat my son like his "own".. even though they are not blood-related... and at times, i dont think my FI can provide that.  *sigh* i love my FI SO MUCH and he loves me, but i honestly dont know if my FI can love my son just as much... but should i even expect that?  am i expecting too much? or too little?  i honestly dont know. im not sure.  im just trying to re-evaluate the situation, because i have a wonderful 7 year old son who is in the picture, and i just want to make sure i make the best decision for both us. thanks in advance for any advice.

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ali179 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ali179 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/28/2005 at 7:34am

I don't have kids, so I'm certainly not an expert here, but I'll give my $.02.  I don't think that it's fair to expect your FI to treat your son like his own, especially if your son's father is still in the picture.  However, if you and your FI are planning on having kids, then it isn't fair to your son if you expect that your FI will treat his kids better than he will your son.  If that's the case, then I would think that your son will end up being resentful of your FI and his half brothers/sisters. 

You didn't mention anything about your son's father, so I don't know if this is relevant, but have you and your FI talked about your FI adopting your son once you're marrried?  Or, for that matter, have you talked to your FI about your concerns?  I don't know how old you two are, but in your picture you look pretty young which could also play a role in this.  Sometimes, I think that younger men don't exactly understand what's expected of them and he may not really know how to deal with kids as the father figure.

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cristinarosetti View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cristinarosetti Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/30/2005 at 8:39am
thanks ali.  you always give really good advice.  im glad you are giving me another point of view.  i guess i always took it personally he never really treated my son as his own.  my son's dad is not really in the picture, he sees his dad once every few months.  so really, rene is the father figure in mark's life. rene is 32, so at this age, hopefully rene knows what is to be a father.. but maybe im expecting too much again?  rene and i have spoken about my concerns in the past, and he wants to have kids.  when i asked him if he would treat my son and our child the same, he said he wasn't sure.. which was a complete shock to me. all i could think of was poor mark and how unfair. slowly though, he said he would try to change his outlook because he was able to see my perspective.  it was good for a while, but now we're back at square one.   i guess i could bring it up again, but how many times must i keep bringing this up?  i dunno. 
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stevesbride View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stevesbride Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/30/2005 at 9:01am

What are the issues with your FI and your son?  How does he treat him now?  If he has been in your son's life for the past 7 years, and treats him a certain way I wouldn't think he would be changing now that you are getting married.  Hopefully he understands that he in marrying to you, he also needs to accept the responsibility of being a great step father for your son.  Just make sure you express your concerns to your FI and let him know that this is very important to you.

I don't have any children nor does my FI, so I don't know what it's like to be in your boat.  That is just my view on it.  Good luck!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shdlady Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/30/2005 at 10:38am
ok i don't have kids either but i have had a step dad....and my opinon might be a little more harsh than others.....you have been with this guy since your boy was born 7 years is a longtime.....i hate to tell you but he is bascially "the father figure" in your childlife.....your FI is marrying you and your son.....the only way i see this not a big deal if your son was older, but your son is young and impressionable....think of this to if you and your FI decided to have kids of your own is he going to treat his kids one way and yours another....thats going to lead to issues down the line......honestly think long and hard before you walk  the isle.....your child should be #1 in your life everything eles should come second.....i wish you all the best...like i said this is just  my opinon
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bubbles View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bubbles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/30/2005 at 11:41am

I have to agree with shdlady, I was raised by my dad....he always made sure that I was first because relationships come and go, but your child will always be your child....yes, he made sacrifices for me in terms of who he dated, but it all worked out in the end.  I have a wonderful stepmom (who I call mom, even though they are no longer married) and my dads current "wife" is wonderful! 

 I guess my advice would be to find out why your FI feels that he would treat your son differently and really discuss it at length calmly to make sure there are no misunderstandings At 32 he should understand what it is to be a stepfather and the importance of his presence in this childs life.  Maybe some pre marital counseling to deal with these issues?

. It's really important to think LONG term here, for your sake and your sons!  I have a friend who is dealing with her 14 year old son giving her major attitude and being disrespectful because he has anger issues dealing with his parents divorce and her subsequent dating....trust me, not fun!  Sorry to ramble, but I hope some of this helps! 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SDGrrl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/30/2005 at 12:49pm

I agree that your FI needs to understand that loving you means loving your son & marrying you means he will be full-time dad to your son as well & the responsibility that comes with it. I also agree that family counseling may be a great idea & explore why he has issues accepting your son & why he can't being himself to see beyond the "he's not my own flesh & blood" mindset & love him for the great little kid he is. I feel for you because you are stuck between a rock and a hard place! On the one had you have to do what is right for your son & marrying a man that wouldn't love him & accept him as his own wouldn't be the best thing for your son. But also you love this man & have planned on building a life with him . It's a big gamble to marry someone & hope they  change & come around to love your son as their own. But you are the only one who knows him well enough & trusts in his character enough to make that decision.   

I am coming from a different point of view. I have 3 adopted nieces & nephews & even though they are "not my own" genetically we love them unconditionally & it has never been an issue as to who the birth parent was. I have to be honest that if your FI doesn't think he can treat all your children the same (if you do have more children) then that is a concern.  



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chadanderika View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chadanderika Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/31/2005 at 9:54am

Christina-

I may be one of the few on this board in your situation. My FI met my son Marc when he was 3 and my daughter was 18 months. We still don't live together, but we are about 5 minutes away from each other.

He has been Marc's best friend since we have been together. Not a dad or step dad, although he does a great job in the role. Marc honestly listens to him about as well as he listens to me. Marc will cuddle up with us on the couch on his own accord. But through it all we have impressed that he has one dad, who is still in the picture, and Chad will not replace him.

Katy on the other hand has never not known Chad in her life. She calls him Chaddy, and can't be without him. She will call him on my cell phone (without my knowledge), climb into bed with us when we are over at his house. She loves Chad and he looks at her like his little girl.

Chad does wish that both his, but knows at the same time that they wouldn't be the kids they are - even if we are just speaking genetically.

We have discussed having kids in the future, and he promises that they will all be treated equally. It is hard to promise something like that, but I truely believe him. The way he is always thinking about the kids before us, even has my parents convinced.

One thing that I can recommend to you: before you go down the aisle, see if your parents can watch Mark for a weekend. Take that time and not do anything romantic but discuss the roles you both are looking for with respect to Mark and any future children. You will need to unplug the tv, order pizza, and lock yourselves at home just talking about that. It might get intense, and if it does take a walk together. But once you are in the house, the conversation is back on. Trust me, it will show him how devoted you are to your kids and you will see how really feels about your son.

We did this early on, even before Chad met the kids. I told him that if we got involved that the kids will be a part of our lives forever and not just til they are 18. He insisted that if anything ever happens to us or me, he would always be there for the kids.

You two are committed to each other, but really don't expect that your FI will be able to step into the step-dad or daddy role. It is hard for a man to be a dad to someone that they know isn't theirs, but you know by now how he feels for your son.

Best of luck!

Erika Lowery and Chad Stevens
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cristinarosetti Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/31/2005 at 11:11am

thank you all SOOO much for your advice and thoughts on this. 

stevesbride thank you.  well FI gets mad at mark a lot because he's pretty strict.  and sometimes i think he's like that because mark isn't his.  and yes, that has crossed my mind... about how it has been 7 years and i still feel this way.  rene and i will definitely have a talk about all my concerns.. again.

shylady  no need to apologize about being "harsh!" im actually very appreciative that im able to see different sides of the situation.  im glad it isn't sugar coated.  yes i also agree that my son is the #1 prioity right now... that's how i've always seen it, but sometimes FI and i but heads on this.  thank you too for your words of wisdom.

bubbles never really thought about pursuing pre-marital counseling. we did attend engagement encounter, but that didn't really bring into the picture this issue. i did speak to our pastor about this a few months ago when it really started to bother me.  maybe rene and i should plan to meet with our pastor for more guidance and advice.  it will only help us in the long run.  thanks for your thoughtful advice!

sdgirl yup, you are right on point. that is exactly how i feel.. a rock in a hard place.  mark is a wonderful kid and it does pain me to see rene sometimes does not accept that.  the thing is, rene grew up in a traditional filipino house and he is deeply rooted in those traditions. a lot of times they look "down" on an unmarried mother... and i can't help but feel that is also the way rene looks at me and mark. i know he is trying very hard to adjust to the american culture... but bottom-line, that's just him.  but what a wonderful story of you and your 3 nieces.  i hope rene will learn to love mark the way you love your nieces.  thank you too for your great advice. 

chadanderika its nice to know i am not the only one in this situation.   i will definitely try that weekend alone with rene to talk about both of our concerns... engagement encounter part 2!  i actually have spoken to him about this, but not too in depth and if we do have a weekend to ourselves, that would help out a lot.  chad sounds like a great guy  i wish you two (and family =D) the best also.  thanks for sharing your story.

wow ladies, i have learned so much and it really helped to refresh my mind.  sometimes i get into the habit of believing only my thoughts are correct and set in stone, so it helps to break away from that.  i think a main issue is rene's traditional filipino upbringings.   he grew up there, so he is deeply rooted in them.. this is a wonderful thing to be connected to your roots, but i, being raised up in america, often clash heads in terms of the idea of family.  i dont think neither of us is right or wrong or better than the other.  but right now, i truly believe, if we continue on this path, we will only grow further away from eachother.  therefore, i really appreciate the advice on the pre-marital counseling and the weekend alone.  a lot of our ideologies are different, but i guess it is just a matter of bringing those to light and seeing how we can adjust them to help our relationship.  but bottom line is my son comes first, no matter what, and we go from there.  its just hard, because i totally LOVE rene.. i've never felt so happy, he does complete me, but i love my little man too, more than life itself. 

i will definitely seek pre-marital counseling and will set up some time alone with rene to discuss these concerns.  thank you all again for your advice, it is very much appreciated.

 


 

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summerbride2005 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote summerbride2005 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/31/2005 at 12:05pm
I'm glad that you are going to be seeking pre-marital counseling. It
helped out my husband and I before we got married on some of our
smaller issues. We even got homework that we had to practice on each
week.

I was actually in your sons position, and it didn't work out well for me and
my mom. I don't mean to be harsh or rude, but please put your sons
needs first. My stepdad knew that my mom and I were a package deal,
but I was treated very differently from his kids that he had with my mom.
I am 28 years old and this situation still effects my life. I know that you
love both of them very much, but you need to be the protector of your
son. I hope that everything works out for both you and your son.
Finally married after almost 10 years together!!!! We are so happy!!!!!!!!

August 7, 2005
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