April 19, 2007,
E.R. asks from Lexington, KY on April 10, 2007
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 ?
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.
C.T. answers from Indianapolis on April 19, 2007
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
C.J. answers from Indianapolis on April 10, 2007
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!
J.W. answers from Evansville on April 10, 2007
I think Carrie nailed that one with her advice. Good Luck.
T.D. answers from Indianapolis on April 11, 2007
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.
R.M. answers from Lexington on April 10, 2007
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.
S.D. answers from Indianapolis on April 11, 2007
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.
W.S. answers from Decatur on April 11, 2007
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
R.A. answers from Louisville on April 13, 2007
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
S.S. answers from Terre Haute on April 11, 2007
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!