22 answers

What to Do About a Boyfriend Who Is Jealous of My Son's Father

Ok so I've been split up from my son's father for six months, and I didn't plan on dating anyone because I didn't leave my husband to date someone else. But needless to say I did meet someone about a month and a half ago that I do like and care about. I've made a point since we've been together to let him know that my son's father is an important role to me. Any big event I invite his father to, anything that I feel is important I let his father know. Now needless to say sometimes he doesn't show up or he lets me know he can't make it, but I always make a point to let him know he's welcome. The guy that I'm dating doesn't really understand it and says that he doesn't see why I would go out of my way to invite him or clue him in on things with his son when he doesn't seem interested. I'm trying my best to co-parent I want my son to have the best relationship with both of us eventhough we aren't together. Am I being to nice or can co-parenting work ?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all so much for the support. I knew I was doing to right thing but now I definitely now it. I think he knows it too because he has backed off a little on the subject. Thanks again.

Featured Answers

Girl,I was in that same boat when i first stared dating my boyfriend.
Heres the story when I broke up with my kids dad he was heart broken but i made up my mind this wasnt going anywhere and I was done with him staying out all night with his friends,we havent been together for like 5 yrs but we are still friends my boyfriend was very jealous and I got to the point where I couldnt handle it anymore and I finally said look I love you he is just my kids dad and if you cant except that the we not going to make it,and that was it not more issues.
I also invite my kids dad to everything and he rarely shows up but my kids (9,8,6)see that Im at least doing my part and if he doent show up then thats on him.Hope this helps it did for me Chyste

More Answers

I feel like you are doing the right thing, only because you are putting your son first. Unfortunately, sometimes the "dad" doesn't show up, but your son will realize someday that you did make the effort and if he's not close with his father, that certainly won't be your fault. Now about the boyfriend. To be blunt... Good luck finding a man to be ok with that - unfortunately. That's a tough situation. Anyone in his shoes (or if the tables were turned to and it were the female) is going to feel threatened/jealous. All you can do is reassure him that while you do have a son with this man, he is not what you want and that you are doing this for your son, not to keep him in your own life. If the boyfriend cannot understand, perhaps he's not the right one either. Or maybe there's some way to work out a comprimise - like choose the very most important occasions to tell his father about and only invite him to those - i.e. birthdays, school events. Usually Christmas and "family" holidays are touchy here. Good luck to you!

I think Carrie nailed that one with her advice. Good Luck.

Hi E.:

Without knowing a bit more about your boyfriend's background it's hard to know how to answer this, but I'm going to give you the same advice I would give my daughter (as yes I have a grown child your age).

My concerns with him being jealous are two fold. The first is I am assuming he doesnt have children. If he had children he would understand that keeping the bonds with parents is important for your child's current and future growth. If his father chooses not to come than that's his problem.

I would tell this current boyfriend that he needs to understand that the involvement of your child's father is not only important to you but is important to your child. You also need to maybe look at not seeing this person, if he cant understand the importance.

If he does have children and still can't see it, than this is defiitely NOT the type of person you need in your life. If he has children and cant understand than I would question what kind of relationship he had/has with the mother of the children, etc. Also, I would listen for keys like how well he treats his mother, the server in a restaurant, etc.

It's really important that at this early stage of separation, you have someone that is supportive, NOT someone who questions your motives of having your ex-husband and child's father in the picture. He needs to understand that like it or not, this man will ALWAYS be around due to the fact you had a child together. If he can't accept that or feels the need to change it, sounds like you need to step away from him.

You may care about this new man, but if he doesnt empathize and understand, he may need someone without children or previous attachments.

As I grew the child of a single mother and now am a step-mother myself, I feel like I have lived some part of what you are going through. Do not ever compromise your son's relationship with his father for anyone. Co-parenting does work. My parents divorced when I was only 5 and my grandparents were divorced when she was a child. Whenever there is an event of any kind they are all there together. It has never been strained or akward. People have to just see that the child is the most important thing, and then they get over their own issues. As I mentioned, I am a step-mother myself, and we are often left out of my step-daughter's activities, and it causes a rift. My step-daughter thinks we don't want to be there, when the truth is we are left out of the loop. If your child's father chooses not to participate, that is on him; however you have to give him the opportunity to be his son's dad. Your son will one day thank you for it. It is tough for people who do not have children, to understand what a person with a child's priorities are. You should just make it clear to your boy-friend that you intend to co-parent as best you can, and then see if he can come to understand your position or at least appreciate it.

Good for you! It sounds like you neither push dad to "be a part of son's life" nor deliberately leave him out. The best thing you can do is invite him to be involved and let him make the decision. If your new boyfriend doesn't understand this, keep it in mind as you more forward with your relationship, what is a mild non-understanding could turn in to a resentment and jealousy later on. If this is someone you want to stay with and eventually decide to spend your life with, I would get family counseling if he continues to voice his opinions. It may be his business, but it is certainly not his decision.
Good Luck!

there is nothing wrong with what you are doing. I use to do that. the guy you are with now will understand in time. when you are with some that doesn't have kids it takes a little time.my finace' took a little time.
just to let you know if the ex keeps acting like he not interested let it be you will be to nice and wasting your time.just because you and the dad doesn't get along on terms like when you were together doesn't mean your son will love him less or you less kids are really funny that way know matter how mad the parents get at each other the kids still love both the same they won't think ones better than the other

well hope that helped

it is very hard to coparent but it can be done if you both still get along and he does want to be part of the childs life then yes inform him on those things the boyfreind needs to try to understand those things sounds like he is wanting to protect you and your son maybe all 3 of you an sit down and discuss all this

I had the same situation when I started dating my now husband after my divorce. He didn't understand why I was calling him and he was calling me all the time. He eventually realized that we weren't talking about anything other than our daughter and he had nothing to worry about. It takes some time for them to get used to especially if they don't have kids. I also talked to my ex to find out if he wanted clued in on everything. Come to find out, he really didn't. He just wanted to know about the big things (ex: losing a tooth, sick, report card day, etc.) Madi was 4 when we separated so he started calling her a couple of times a week to see how she was doing and she would fill him in on the "major" events in her 4-5 year old life. Well I hope this helps. Just hang in there, it will get better!


I think you are doing the mature thing. You are supposed to co-parent with your ex. A lot of parents aren't good at this kind of thing, but it sounds like you are doing a great job. Tell your boyfriend that your son is your #1 priority and always will be. Let him know that you are not in love with you son's father and you are only doing what is necessary for your son. If he doesn't understand then you have to do what is best for your son (which apparently is keeping his father in the picture). Best of luck and you are doing what is right :)

I have been in your shoes in that same situation with a boyfriend jealous of my kids father. It is sheer misery! That was many years ago and needless to say that jealous man is no longer a part of my life. If I can stress one important fact more than anything else it would be that children need their mom and dad regardless of whether or not they are still married. If your boyfriend can't deal with it then that is his problem. He needs to grow up and show some maturity. That just shows me that he is not willing to put what is best for the child first and what he wants last. Does he have any children? If he has children and he does not understand the importance of this support system for your child...that should be a HUGE RED FLAG! The man I am married to now supports any and all communication between me and my kids dad. he encourages us to get along at all costs for the kids. He and his kids mother are friends. I think it is wonderful. Well...that is my 2 cents worth and believe me after what I went through I could go on and on and on about this subject. I hope this information is some help.

I think you are doing what is best for your son!!! I am in a similar situation where I haven't been with my son's father for 3 years, but we still b-day parties together, holidays,etc...My boyfriend of 2 yrs. has the hugest problem with it. He keeps making it an issue of me wanting to be with my son's father, when that is not the case. My son's father has a fiancee that lives with him and she is fine with the situation. I think it is just an issue of jealousy, and since I'm pregnant with my fiance's child now, I'm hoping that his tune will change after he has a child of his own. I think the most important thing in a situation where the parents aren't together is being able to communicate without fighting. If you are able to do that and the child knows that mommy and daddy aren't together, but are able to be in the same room with each other, that is fantastic. I'm convinced that it will be good for my son in the long run!!

Hey E.
I think you are doing RIght!!! I think you shoud still inform the father of events that is going on in your childs life. I think your new friend need to be a gentelman and let you go ahead with what you are doing. Staying in cantact , in the long run will be good for your little one. You do what you feel is right. If your friend gives you any static igore it or just go on with out him. Just because you are single know does not mean you can not have a social life.. But if you have your new friend complains on what you do with your little boy then maybe you should look else where. Enjoy your independence!! Take charge ! If you feel you are doing right then keep it going. !! Good Luck!!
R. Cain

I haven't experienced this for my own children, but I can tell you about my parents. They split up when I was a young teenager and my younger brother was still young. My parents always tried to keep a friendly relationship and they still go out to dinner once in a while just to talk about us kids. They BOTH attend many holidays and events in our lives or grandkids lives and it's very refreshing. I like that I never have to worry about them being in the same place at the same time. My mom has had several boyfriends through the years and my dad has met almost all of them as they all comfortably share events and gatherings. (like at my brother's or my weddings) I am proud that my parents can set aside their differences so that their children don't have to be uncomfortable about inviting them both to whatever. I know I am grown now, but this has been going on since I was younger and I think it has benefited my brothers and I in a big way. I think you should keep it up, it's something that will be huge to your kids in the long run! Hopefully your new friend can understand the importance. Good luck!

Girl,I was in that same boat when i first stared dating my boyfriend.
Heres the story when I broke up with my kids dad he was heart broken but i made up my mind this wasnt going anywhere and I was done with him staying out all night with his friends,we havent been together for like 5 yrs but we are still friends my boyfriend was very jealous and I got to the point where I couldnt handle it anymore and I finally said look I love you he is just my kids dad and if you cant except that the we not going to make it,and that was it not more issues.
I also invite my kids dad to everything and he rarely shows up but my kids (9,8,6)see that Im at least doing my part and if he doent show up then thats on him.Hope this helps it did for me Chyste

Apparently your new associate does not have any children or he never had a father and does not know the importance of your son's father remaining in his life. He will become a problem as your son grows older. I am the mother of 3 sons- (27,20, and 11) and I would never let another human being interfere with the welfare of my children unless it is positive and beneficial.

You have got to make the boyfriend understand or it will never work because he will always be jealous and that will tear your relationship with both men down. It is hard to be a co-parent especially when it feels like you are working both sides. My daughter is almost 8 now and my husband still has a problem with her father even though he lives 8 hours away from us. Just lay down the ground rules with new bf and stick to it. your son needs his father and as a mother it is your job to make him happy.

Hi E.! This is just my opinion...but I have been in your shoes. I am 23 and have an almost 3 year old daughter. My marriage did not work out and my ex and I have decided to remain friends and co-parents. I had 3 boyfriends with whom I tried to make relationships work...there was always something they didn't like or understand about the way my daughter's father and I decided to parent her. What you have to remember is that as long as you and the father want a healthy relationship for the sake of your child, you both must make that the priority! I figured out fast that if my ex and I talking on a regular basis about our child and her needs was even a bit of a problem then this was not the new guy for me. It takes a special person to be in childs life who is not their birth child, and anyone worth having in your childs life will want whats best for the child:a relationship with both parents. Luckily I found that guy. My fiancee now is great. I was so depressed for awhile thinking that I'd never find someone who would "fit". My daughter,my fiancee,my ex and myself spend time together alot. They have became pretty good friends and we all want whats best for our daughter. I would not change a thing. If this situation is one that you decide you must move on from have faith that you will find someone who keeps your childs best interest at heart. Best of luck!

I had this same problem a couple of years ago. I had recently split from an 11 year relationship and we split as friends trying to do what was best for our sons. The new man in my life hated it! I mean to the point of us arguing on a continual basis. I had refused to allow him to dictate how my past relationship was going to be and that I was doing what was best for my sons. Mine ended on a different note. My ex became involved and soon married her and it became the exact opposite. But he allowed her to dictate how our relationship would go. We no longer talk or even communicate about our sons.

My advice to you is don't let a new person come in between what you are doing for the good of raising your kids. As long as it is working out for you and your child, you cannot let someones jealousy ruin that.

My sons are now having to pay for there dad allowing someone to dictate their relationship. You have to be strong and if it ends up leaving you single than you will be stronger for it.

This is only my opinion, so take it for what it's worth...
The marriage didn't work, the parenting has to. I say good job on trying to include the X in all the things that you feel are important. If the boyfriend doesn't understand then move on. Does he have any kids that help him to understand why this is important for you to let dad know about? If tables were turned I would hope this man would understand. If he can't and it's going to continue, some other man will understand. I wish you luck.

I really respect what you are doing. Don't let your new bf make you feel bad about it. If he can't handle it, he can't handle being with you.

This isnt going to sound nice, but if the boyfriend is jealous it's not good. The father may not be interested, but he has a right to know what's goin on with his son. Co-Parenting is a good thing. It works out great if both parents are will to let eachother know what's going on. When it comes to your son let his father know whatever you want him know. Let the boyfriend know that you are atleast tryin to be nice to your sons father and weather or not he comes aronud is his choice.

Co-parenting can work!!! If both of you are committed to it. The best thing you can do is keep up the invites, calls, etc; then your child will never be able to blame you. I fboyfriend is jealous tell him to get over it or move on. Your #1 priority is your child, find a man that accepts this, if they don't and use stupid jealousy as an excuse then they are too immature and selfish to take on you and your child!

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