This post is for you if you do not have children but are dating a man who does.
You love your partner, you love that he adores his kids, but do you sometimes feel a little jealous when he puts them before you?
Do you feel hurt when you are with him and all he can talk about is how much he misses his kids?
Or do you worry that he doesn’t love you enough because his face never lights up for you the same way it does when his children come home?
Don’t panic. I understand how you feel and these feeling are very natural. The problem is that if you let them take a hold of you they may destroy what could be a wonderful relationship with your partner and a special relationship with his children. So what can you do to help yourself and stop yourself from running when it all feels too much? Here are 4 key points to remember.
1. It is not about you!!
The love your Partner has for his children is separate from the love he has for you. When he demonstrates his affection towards them it is not saying anything about how much he loves you. I know it doesn’t feel like that. There is a bond between him and them that has been there for years. They are a unit, a family unit, and may be they are working very hard to secure that unit after a stressful divorce or the death of the children’s mother. Your partner will not have introduced you to his children straight away so you and he have had time for your relationship to grow. However he cannot be as affectionate towards you when he first introduces you to them. You may feel that space as he takes a step back and it doesn’t feel good to you but it is temporary. You are being invited into his family unit but it will take some time to become a part of that family.
So what can you do? Well you can change the thoughts you are having about the situation. Stop focusing on what is not happening and start focusing on what is happening. He cares about you enough to introduce you to his children. If all goes well you have the opportunity to play a role in their lives and the unconditional love of a child really is a gift. But you can’t have that gift straight away. If you love a man with children and want to be a part of his life, and consequently their lives, then you have to accept that the rate at which all this happens is about what is best for the children not what is best for you.
2. Don’t compete with his children.
When you are feeling a bit wobbly at being on the outside of this family unit it is very easy to choose to take a step back. You don’t feel included so you exclude yourself further. It is a natural reaction but not very useful. For example you are walking down the road. Your partner has a child holding each of his hands and so you tend to drop behind them which excludes you from any conversation. Remember relationships are about communication so walk with them and join in the conversation. You may find that one day as you are doing this a small hand takes hold of yours. That moment is priceless.
Getting to know the children can be tricky. Don’t try too hard. Just be yourself. Don’t try to buy their affection. The one thing every child wants above all else is to be heard so spend time with them, play with them, listen to them. Don’t try to be their mother. You are not their mother and never will be. You are an adult who is a friend. You may grow to love them and in time get involved with taking care of them but you will never be Mum. If Mum and Dad are divorced no matter what your Partner says or thinks about his ex wife always allow the children to speak freely about her in front of you. Never say anything bad about their Mum and encourage your partner to do the same when he is with his children.
Remember when that voice in your head says ‘he loves them more than he loves me’ it is not about your partner it is your limiting belief that you are not good enough bubbling to the surface. Take a look at that belief. Many of us have carried around with us for most of our lives and it does not serve us. Of course you are good enough. Your Partner believes so otherwise he would never have introduced you to his children.
3. Create happy memories with and without the children
Life is about experiences. Yes the children will always come first but make sure you spend time with your partner with and without his children. When it is just the two of you arrange to do something that you both enjoy. Remind him that he can have fun when his children are not with him. But don’t put your efforts only into date nights, suggest things that you can all do that will create new happy memories for you all together. Be creative. Ask the children what they like doing. Introduce them to something you like doing. I have found that whilst my partner is not a huge fan of my dogs his children adore them. They each have a favourite dog and love to hold the leads when we walk them. I love being outside in nature and it was easy to build a relationship with the children as we walked. Also watching the bonds grow between the children and the dogs has been an absolute joy.
4. See how everything unfolds
It is great to have a dream or a goal but sometimes we often have a bad habit of running ahead of ourselves. We write every detail of how we expect things to develop and when they don’t go to plan we get disappointed or worse disillusioned. Have the goal but don’t plan too far ahead. Let the relationship you are in develop naturally and watch how it unfolds. Live in the moment and enjoy each moment without adding the pressure that this relationship has to be for life. It very well may be but it has more of a chance of being so if you take away the expectation and live each day as it comes.
Getting involved with a man with children can be challenging but it can also be incredibly rewarding.
If this post has touched you and you feel you would like some help with your situation then contact me now to arrange a Discovery Call.
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