Just need to be heard

Been divorced for 3 years , ex cheated and i was lumbered (of sorts) with the children while they went out to 'fitness classes' , thos took me into a spiral of depression and self pity, hitting the bottle every night and hating life but the only thing that kept me alive was the children

so, been in and out of relationships for a few times but one thing that seems to come into the equation is my children

Now i'm in a relationship, theyve the best person i have ever found , makes me happy all the time, i love seeing and spending time with her. We have discussed many times about living together, getting married and being with each other for life, i can;t fault this.

The only thing that seems to be an issue is my children and their behavior around hers. I have one DD that could be my partners childs sister, they are so alike and get on superbly, my other DD also gets on but is older and my son also gets on, When they are together it seems they are a nightmare.

Don't get me wrong here, i love them to bits and enjoy having them round and vice versa but even asking them to be on their best behavior on day to day basis is becoming a struggle. On their own they are absolute angels, with my partners children they seem to become monsters , arguing, talking back and generally pushing their luck to a point where i snap and have a go at them. I don't want to do this as it makes my partner feel uncomfortable and question whether the relationship will work.

I can't let this person slip through my fingers and I know my kids can be well behaved but since my split they seem to have everything handed to them and i just cant do the same.

They are 6,9 and 12 so should be old enough to know better but their behavior is bringing me down and i cant lose what i have as it would absolutely destroy me. I have had a heart to heart with the eldest 2 and they love my partner to bits and they know how important this is to me but they still play up.

Apologies for what seems like a totally pointless post but i just had to get this out there and tell anyone , no matter who , what i was thinking.

i just need some advice or supportive comment as i really don't know what to do to make this all work.


  • Detroit
    Detroit Posts: 790 Forumite
    Can you say a bit more about how they don't get on?
    When do the arguments start and what are they about?
    Objectively, is any child the instigator? Is anyone behaving badly to anyone else?

    Even the arguments of young children have a cause, and the first step to resolving this problem is to identify what they are.

    Observe the children closely when they're together and identify the point where it starts to go wrong.

    Are they arguing over shared games? Is someone being spiteful or irritating?

    When you're clear what's going wrong, you and your partner can work together to minimise the triggers.

    I think the key at first is to reduce the time they are together without direct adult supervision. Not only will this help you see where the problems lie, but your presence should enable you to intervene to prevent arguments escalating while they learn what is acceptable and how to get along.

    You won't be able to force them to be the best of friends, but you should be able to achieve some basic standards of courtesy within the household so that you can coexist amicably.

    As a final point, if you don't already do this, can you give your children some time alone with you? It may not be easy for them to share you with your partner and her children, especially if you live with the other children and not your own. It would be natural for there to be some jealousy which won't help relationships.

    Put your hands up.
  • FBaby
    FBaby Posts: 18,367 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    edited 31 July 2016 at 7:00AM
    So you're not yet living together, which is good, very good. Still plenty of time to make it work. The question is, how is your time divided when you have your kids? Is it every other week-ends? Do you spend these entire week-ends all together, or do they act up when you get together for a few hours? Do you go to hers, does she and her kids come to yours, or do you all go out together? Do you get to spend any time with your kids alone? Do you spend time telling your kids what is going to happen during your week-end?

    From your kids' perspective, they used to come and see you and had ALL your attention during this time, attention they probably look forward to. They suddenly had to adjust to sharing this attention and time with someone else, so of course it is going to take time to adjust.

    My advice would be to 1/ make sure you still give them plenty of individual attention where she and your kids are not mentioned at all. Remember that although you are very happy and love to spend time with her, your kids are still in the mindset that they come to see you and not her. 2/ be clear in advance as to what is going to happen that week-end, when you are going to be get together and what you expect of them. When you do get together, remember that you are still a dad, so don't leave them to all get along whilst you enjoy the company of your new partner, it won't work. Give them a reward for behaving well, ideally, some activity you will do with them only that is something they really want to do.

    It is hard, very hard, especially with three children who all will want your attention, so not only they have to share amongst the three of them, but now a partner and more children. Remember that as much as you can expect them to be respectful and well-behaved, you can't expect them at this age to act to suit you and your future. You are responsible for their happiness but they are not responsible for yours.

    Finally, take things slowly, very slowly. You have plenty of time to enjoy the company of your new partner, but your children will grow quickly and you need to look after your relationship with them. I know how tempting it is to make everything work so you can all be a happy family, but trust me, it doesn't work like this in real life and those families who are recomposed successfully are those who do take the time to do it right taking everyone's need into consideration. Good luck, you'll get there.
  • arbrighton
    arbrighton Posts: 2,011 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I have no advice re becoming a blended family

    Mostly as I can't get past you saying you were lumbered with your children in the first line

    But it looks as though they're worried that you'll spend more time with her children than them so are playing up to get attention
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