His Ex-girlfriend Is Trying To Break You Up
What do you do when your fiance's ex-girlfreind uses her kids to breakup your relationship?
Dear April Masini,
My fiance and I have been together for 4 years and his ex girlfriend has a five year old. The child had the potential to be his. He was honest with me about this up front -- he didn't even know about the child until 4 months into our relationship. Well, he just got a DNA test that turned out negative and he was devastated. We are in the process of trying to conceive a child ourselves, and part of me was happy that the child wasn't his since the mother of the girl is actually trying to break us up and get back with him, and uses her four kids by four different fathers as leverage to keep my fiance around - because his weakness is children and he is a good man. Her oldest child who is 13, sees my fiance as her father figure."
I love that about him, but I don't like that she is now back in the picture. I think it's unfair that he has bonded with these children, for me to make him choose between the kids or me. Also, I have bonded with the kids too and they see me as his wife. We've talked about it many times - but he assures me that he loves me and wants to be with me, but still wants relationships with the kids. I don't want to be controlling of him - but I don't want to be walked all over either. He knows how I feel, but I'm also trying to respect his feelings. I'm just so confused.... Advice???
Signed, Ticking Clock
April Masini's Advice :
Dear Ticking Clock:
It's fine for your fiance and you to be family friends who show up together as a couple at birthday parties and even send Christmas presents, to these children. But if your fiance wants to start his own family with you, he needs to clear up this potential chaos first. His ex-girlfriend is not his ex-wife or the mother of his child, and he is not the father to these children. Since his ex-girlfriend is trying to interfere in your relationship with him, there is no reason for her to be in his life any more, since he's not her child's father. It's time for him to step away from his old life, and start his new one with you. That doesn’t mean he can’t have relationships with these children, but it does mean the relationship with their mother has to begin to fade fast.
To maintain relationships with these children, you need to start establishing some boundaries, which is going to be good for everyone. Instead of seeing the kids at their mom’s house or bringing them to yours, make bi-monthly outings where you take the children to the movies, to a park, or on a hike with a picnic so that the kids don’t identify you with their home. This will help them sort out that you and your fiance are like god parents than actual parents.
Your husband loves kids, but he can’t act like one! He needs to understand that structure and boundaries with visits and relationships are what children want and need, and it sounds like his last relationship was missing some boundaries and structure. Four years was a long time for him to wait to get a DNA test, and a flashing yellow light that he’s not big on order. Now is the time for him to grow into the role of a parent as the two of you get ready to have your own baby.
My suggestion is that you get married first and then have the baby, ESPECIALLY, since there’s been some chaos in his past. You’re already engaged, and if your goal is having a baby, make the wedding small, quick and easy, and very lovely. You can do it in your home, a restaurant or a hotel. You can get married at City Hall and have a reception at a later date to celebrate, but the big relationship tool you need to employ is structure and order -- life brings enough surprises as it is!