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7 things you need to know before dating a man with kids in 2024

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I meet most men that I date online. 

If you decide you will be dating a man with kids, it's very common for guys with children to write in their dating profiles:

“My kids come first,”


“My daughter is the center of my world!”

Should a man put his girlfriend first?

A man texting beside a woman who is looking far and ignoring him. Check out these 7 things you need to know before dating a man with kids in 2024.

If you ask me should a man put his girlfriend first, here’s my quick answer:

At first, no.

But once the relationship becomes a serious, long-term commitment, the relationship should come before the kids' every whim. However, child wellbeing is first.

More details on:

7 thing to know when dating a man with kids

  1. “My boyfriend puts his child before me”
  2. You may be introduced as “the new friend”
  3. “Dating a man with kids and feeling left out”
  4. Sometimes you will not feel like a priority
  5. “Boyfriend not bonding with my child”
  6. “My boyfriend's child is ruining our relationship”
  7. Some women report feeling unimportant in a relationship

How to date a man with a child

Red flags when dating a man with kids

Pros and cons of dating a man with kids

Dating a man with kids FAQs

Emma's takeaway on dating a man with kids

Hey single mom— Do you tell your son he’s the man of the house? 16 tips for raising sons

7 things to know when dating a man with kids

Do these statements ring true to you?

1. “My boyfriend puts his child before me”

A man lifting a baby in the air. Check out these 7 things you need to know before dating a man with kids in 2024.

This is so common and can be a tricky situation. Especially early in a new relationship with kids, when you crave more time with your man, he prioritizes his children, and you feel left out.

2. You may be introduced as “the new friend”

A man and a woman giving a high five, , each of them with a kid. Read more about 7 things you need to know before dating a man with kids in 2024.

It’s hard to date when you have kids — it can be confusing and overwhelming, parents can feel guilty and ashamed (whether that is justified or not). Maybe you and your lover don’t really know what to call each other yet, or your boyfriend is worried that saying “girlfriend” will be confusing or overly committal. 

Just talk about it ahead of time and be honest about your feelings. Also, be sensitive to how he is feeling and his confusion or overwhelm.

3. “Dating a man with kids and feeling left out”

A woman in shades and corporate attire talks to a man driving a motorcycle. Here are 7 things you need to know before dating a man with kids in 2024. You can check them.

Perhaps he wants to mostly keep his kids separate from his romantic life, or he is taking slower to blend his relationship with his home life. Or, maybe you expect more from the relationship than is healthy. Or, maybe you each want different things from the relationship.

Consider filling your own life with meaningful friendships, a career, hobbies and fitness. Perhaps your boyfriend will invite you into his homelife if you are less clingy. Or, you will each realize you want different things from the partnership and go your separate ways.

4. Sometimes you will not feel like a priority

A man packing his suitcase while a woman looks at him. Want to know 7 things you need to know before dating a man with kids in 2024? Find them here.

When your boyfriend puts his kids first, it is natural to feel left out, and sometimes you will not feel like a priority. And maybe you’re not — after all, your relationship may be new, he may not be that serious about you or the relationship, or maybe he is just busy with things outside of his relationship. 

Also: you may be especially vulnerable or needy for reasons that have nothing to do with him, and are issues that you bring to the relationship. Everyone is a human here. 

5. “Boyfriend not bonding with my child”

There are so many reasons why a boyfriend/girlfriend does not bond with the other partner's child. These include:

  • The child is jealous of the new partner
  • The partner is jealous of the child
  • Their personalities just don't jibe—just like two adults do not naturally get along, this can be true for a child-adult relationship, too.

Here are some tips:

  • Be patient. Once both the partner and child realize there is enough love to go around, everyone may calm down and connect
  • Find ways for your boyfriend or girlfriend to spend one-on-one time together. Focus on everyday tasks (rather than big special outings or treats), like a grocery store run, washing the car, or cooking together. Once you remove yourself, they have a chance to create their own bond
  • Keep in mind that children go through phases they quickly grow out of, as do adults. Likewise, relationships have ups and downs and seasons.
  • Seek outside perspectives. Ask your friends with blended families for advice, and ask them to watch how your new brood interacts — and be open to feedback. Consider therapy.

6. “My boyfriend's child is ruining our relationship”

A couple arguing while a child tries to cover her ears. Find out more about these 7 things you need to know before dating a man with kids in 2024.

Or, his kids start to manipulate him and have an upper hand in the family — and he lets them.

Men, just like moms, can feel the pressure to prioritize children above all else. Maybe he feels guilty that he is not with his child's mom, or that he left the relationship, or he wants to be a better father than his own dad.

Or, maybe he is using his child as an excuse not to get close to you. This may be a conscious decision — or it could be percolating at an unconscious level. We all have ways we sabotage relationships out of fear of intimacy, and we need to be aware of red flags when we are dating someone with kids.

7. Some women report feeling unimportant in a relationship

If a man makes a point of consistently prioritizing his children over you, you might feel like you don’t matter in comparison, and feelings of jealousy may start to arise.

Relationships are all about communication, and if you don’t feel like you are an important part of your partner’s life, tell him that — or evaluate whether this is the right relationship for you. 

This Reddit user is the perfect example of someone who got into a relationship with a single father without realizing she wouldn’t always be the priority. People in the comments were quick to point out that she was the red flag — not her widowed boyfriend: 

I hear that so many times from both women and men who are heartbroken, abused or otherwise disappointed that a relationship or marriage didn't work out. In hindsight, red flags were always there >>

Into older men? Do’s and don’ts for dating an older man

Check out this video of Adrienne Bailon from The Real talking about dating a man with a child:

Is it hard to date a man with kids? Challenges to be aware of:

Yes, it can be hard dating someone with a child because you have to contend with things like custody schedules, ex partners, and eventually meeting his kids. That being said, every single dad has different circumstances, and if you are willing to be flexible, you can have a meaningful relationship with a man who has kids. 

When it comes to relationships, I'm fond of saying, “You never really know what goes on between people.” 

But there are a few couples in my life who I look to as models of the kind of marriage I'd like one day.

People who really enjoy each other. Respect and support one another.

In these families, the parents put their relationship before the kids. They are the dynamic force around which the family's life orbits. And everyone thrives as a result.

There is lots of research to suggest that a happy marriage is the cornerstone of well-adjusted kids.

Celebrity sex therapist Laura Berman, Ph.D., writes in her relationship guide, The Book of Love:

“No matter how sacrilegious it sounds, you need to put your relationship before your children. A strong relationship provides security for your children and demonstrates how a loving, respectful partnership should be. What could be more important?”

That's a tricky proposition for single parents. If you're not in a committed relationship, it is very easy to make your children the prominent focus of your life and tell partners: My kids come first.

After all, children can be so demanding — not to mention fulfilling.

Plus, if you've gone through a divorce or another crisis that landed you as a single parent, you are no doubt concerned about giving your kids extra care and a sense of security.

A few tips for dating single dads that may apply, though of course every dad is unique:

  • Be respectful of his time with his kids. 
  • Be mindful that if he doesn’t have his kids 50% of the time, that may not be his choice.
  • He’s the parent — not you.

Continue reading more tips here on dating a man with kids: The benefits of dating a single dad

Red flags when dating a man with kids

Some dating red flags include addiction, violent behavior, poor money management, infidelity, and other forms of undesirable behavior. Although no one is perfect, how your partner chooses to handle those problems is important.

Here’s how to spot red flags when dating a man with kids:

Non-existent or contradictory digital footprint

While not everyone is on social media, you should be able to find something online about him. If your Google search turns up nothing, it’s possible that it’s on purpose. He might be running from the law or not truthful about his identity. 

Conversely, a quick check of socials could reveal tons of information that contradicts what he told you, such as:

  • Being married or in a committed relationship
  • Criminal activity
  • Extreme political stances
  • Co-parenting drama

Poor dating etiquette

If you decide to go on a first date, pay attention to his behavior. Any of these actions or reactions could be deal breakers:

  • Being late or not showing with no explanation or apology
  • Being rude to waitstaff
  • Getting drunk
  • Speaking negatively about his ex
  • Starts talking about sex early in the date
  • Doesn't ask questions or share his thoughts
  • Being disrespectful of your boundaries

While a sick child or parental duties can impact plans, red flags shouldn’t be ignored. Pay attention to common red flags to ensure that you are walking into a healthy relationship and keep your eyes open for bad behavior as you progress and get to know him better.

Signs of narcissistic behavior

Narcissists are all about themselves. They often lack empathy for others, require and show excessive admiration, and see themselves as superior to others. 

Here are some relationship red flags that you are dating a man with a narcissistic personality:

  • He showers you with excessive gifts early in the relationship and may pressure you to return the favor
  • He calls you names or lashes out at you if you don’t agree with his point of view
  • He gaslights you — making you feel crazy for bringing up issues about you relationship that bother you

Even if he does not show these behaviors toward you, watch how he treats others, especially his children.

You can always do a background check on someone who seems shady:

Consumed with their past, their child, or themselves

Does he always talk about his ex? Does he only talk about his child? Maybe he makes it a point to talk only about himself, taking over any conversation you try to have. Be aware of how you communicate with each other. It can be a telltale sign that something is not right.

No access to family or friends

If you’re seriously dating but have never met his child, family, or friends, you should ask why. It can be normal to wait to introduce a new person, but if the timeframe is excessive (a year or more), there could be an issue.

Pros and cons of dating a man with kids

While dating can be a fulfilling experience, there are some pros and cons to consider when dating a man with kids:

Pros of dating a man with kids 

  • If you progress in your relationship you’ll get a chance to meet his kids. Getting to know them and being a part of their lives can be rewarding.
  • You get to see how he treats his children and the mother of his children, so you know what you’re potentially getting into. Is he patient? Loving? Responsible? If so, he’ll probably make a great partner and parent if you eventually have kids.
  • You’ll cherish the moments you spend together because time is often limited.
  • As a girlfriend, the responsibility of raising children is not in your hands. But you get a real-world look at what life would be like if you had children of your own.

Cons of dating a man with kids

  • His kids will come first. He can’t provide the kind of spontaneity you might crave. Even with planning, expect cancellations if his child isn’t feeling well or needs him at the last minute. 
  • His kids might not accept you at first. It’s nothing personal. Just be yourself and give them time to warm up to you.
  • Eventually, you’ll probably have to interact with his kids’ mom. This can be stressful depending on the circumstances of the former relationship. 
  • If he has full physical custody and his children are young, it will be hard to have alone time with him.

Dating a man with kids FAQs

Is dating a man with a child worth it?

Emyli Lovz, dating coach for men and co-founder of emlovz, a matchmaking and coaching business, says dating a man with a child can absolutely be worth it.

“If he's a loving father, it shows that he has the capacity for deep love, that he can nurture others, and that he's responsible (hopefully),” she says. “It's best if the woman is also a mother so they can better understand one another and the priorities that come with being a parent.”

This single father on Reddit wanted to know what women thought about dating a man with a child:

These Reddit users shared their thoughts and experiences about dating a man with kids:

Reddit users share opinions on dating a man with kids.
Reddit user talks about the struggles of dating a man with kids.
Reddit user shares a positive experience about dating a man with kids.
Reddit user talks about the hard part of dating a man with kids.

What about those who say never date a man with a child?

Never is a strong word. Lovz says we should be wary of people who use blanket statements about who you should and shouldn't date. 

“It’s about the person, not the checklist,” Lovz says. “As a mother, if I was ever to become single, I would want to date someone who also understood parenthood.”

This Redditor agrees that it helps to have the common ground of parenthood when dating a man with kids:

Reddit user shares thoughts about why common ground matters when dating a man with kids.

Meanwhile, some have decided that never is the right word for how they feel about dating a man with children:

Ultimately, it will boil down to personal preferences, details, and experiences. Whether dating a single mom or a single father, you have to make sure that the choice is right for you and consider the benefits and consequences.

Should I be dating a man with a baby on the way?

When a baby is on the way, you need to consider whether dating is a good idea. Lovz says you might be involving yourself in an emotional tornado. However, it will all depend on the context.

“You might want to understand why he isn't in a relationship with the woman having his child,” she says.

Here’s what some Reddit users thought about dating a man with a baby on the way:

Bottom line: Emma’s final word on dating a man with kids

If you find yourself dating a man with kids, remember that he is juggling parenthood with his desire to date, he may or may not want more kids, and he may prioritize his kids over you — at least for now.

You may be hesitant to date a guy with children but find yourself surprised by this new relationship with both him and his children — or you may be satisfied with spending time alone with him during the time his kids are with their mom, and keeping that part of his life separate.

When dating a man with kids, be open to some magic, while also honoring your own dating goals and feelings — pretty much like every other relationship.

Should a man put his girlfriend first?

No. But once the relationship becomes a serious, long-term commitment, the relationship should come before the kids' every whim. However, child wellbeing is first.


This is a difficult topic to approach and you are brave to do so. So many valid points on both sides. As a child of divorce my father had other women to which i detest today for just making me one of the clan who came over for holidays and never allowed me to build a relationship with my dad. My mother abstained from any relationship for 15 years until i moved out and i had no male role models whatsoever. Now my 3 young girls are first on my life as their mum walked out. She left me not knowing who i was after 10 years of working long hours for my family. I was either working or with my family. I am slowly at 5 years working back to me and realise we need time for us, family, partner and each child. Quite a juggling act. I have tried the focus on relationship side, maybe i need to do more. But it tears me apart when my girls get close to someone and it all falls apart. I thought i found someone until yesterday. My 10 yr old broke down and told me how she has been so sad for so long amd she wants to kill herself. I wrapped her up in a big hug while on the verge of tears to take her home. I dound my gf as we were at a fete and explained what happened and i was going home with my kids to support my eldest. The response was a cold and angry “oh that’s bullshit she just doesn’t want to be around me”. That crossed the line and i ended it right there. I guess i haven’t found the right person who has the same balance of values morals and understanding as me. Isn’t that what we are looking for in the end despite our views or where we sit on a topic like this.

You are SO wrong. People who think like you, both men and women, are what is ruining society. It is hard enough for children to watch their families be torn apart. When someone new is introduced into the mix, they need to be reminded by mothers and fathers that they, their biological responsibility, the children they chose to have and raise within a family unit, are their most important concern until they reach an age where they are on their own. This doesn’t mean you can’t love your new significant other, but any new man or woman worth their salt will understand the importance of considering their children’s wellbeing above all else. Child psychology will back this up. Children from broken families do worse in school, have more anxiety, and the list goes on. This is likely because of selfish parents who handle it wrong. I grew up in a together family and watched as my friends had to endure mistreatment at the hands of step parents who were downright jealous and cruel to them. I watched as one selfish mother trotted man after man into the home (note: this is when female children are the most vulnerable to sexual abuse – especially the mother is bringing home men she met online! Predators look for single women with children) and they never had stability. They were miserable. The narcissism and selfishness of this generation knows no bounds. This article disgusts me.

Also completely disagree with this article. Both people have to put children first biological or not. And they can and will have a healthy relationship

Being the victim of discrimination by a stepfather who clearly wanted what I had (he is illiterate) couldnt stand how school came so easy to me and made huge outbursts if anyone did something nice or made a kind gesture towards me. I am a gay male and he knew upon meeting me at 8 years old this was a probability. He mentioned to my mother that he knew i was “going to be gay” He knew I was goinng to be gay before I knew it. Something in him still told him it was a lifestyle choice i would be making so he began the forcing me into stereotypical hetereosexual male activities and the punishment/manipulating me off my mothers tit (not literally) began. He was so judgemental and turned a slap on the wrist infraction into a third degree felony over everything. Making unreasonable rules and there was no attempt on his part to bond with me because he saw me the way a non educated straight male typically sees someone like me. A disease. Anyway, Im sure everyone can just imagine how life was for me. I was very very close to my mother when she divorced my father and i was so young I can barely remember the divorce and dont think it affected me. It was the day of my mom’s remarriage that I felt as if she died and this new woman emerged. It was still my mom but taking his advice and giving him full control of a family and house that wasnt even his was the only way he would stay in the marriage. She became his wife but he didnt make any concessions to become her husband. I guess some men feel less than if they dont have full control and power. Another thing I should mention is my mother actually had a lot to gain financially from my stepfather and vice versa. They used eachother (partnership) to reach financial goals and have created a nice life for themselves. I dont have a relationship with my stepfather and I know I never will. We both fake nice when forced into having to be in the same vicinity. That is fine, never ever expected to be his friend. I just have a huge problem with the zero respect he showed me as a human being and energy… he went out of his way to make me pay the price for my sins. I realize now at the age of 42 that I am happy my mom is happy as she appears to be still with him 33 years later. I think I would feel really guilty if my mom was alone at the age she is now because he would have hit the road if she took any control from him. I still have major issues because for me it was simple.. Do not abuse my child. Thats all she had to say but for whatever reason she refused to do it. I have never been in a relationship with anyone because of course, I wont allow or give anyone the opportunity to love me and then decide otherwise at any point in time. That heartbreak my mother caused will be with me until the day I die. I was in the denial stage for 20+ years not even realizing it was abuse and not feeling comfortable calling myself a victim. Im angry and need to find someone to help me process my feelings because my life as it stands right now is teetering upon disaster due to isolation anxiety and depression. This issue of choosing isnt a black or white decision. There are grey areas that need to be taken into consideration. Each family has different issues. On a good day.. I tell myself that I dont have to feel bad when my mother is 90 and begs me not to put her in a home. SWEET JUSTICE! I wont feel guilty and it wont be something that I will have to think twice about doing.

I disagree with this article completely. I have a mom who always put her husband first. I moved out at 16 and our relationship never recovered. And guess what? She’s still unhappy in her crappy relationship with her husband. She says she regrets putting her husband first. It’s too late. I’m 26 and never moved home. Damage was done.

At age 26 why on earth would you think you should “move home”? Your parents raised you to be your own person and live your own life. Good for them.

I think people should stop thinking about it as a blended thing just on this topic alone. I know easier said than done BUT when a ‘still married with same kids couple’ maintains their relationship, usually it is because they stay on the same page. You can only put your significant other first with most things, some times the kids need to come first, again BUT, it is definitely a Parent Against Kids affair in any case, weather you are a ‘still married with same kids couple’ or dating someone with kids. The parent with kids, one or both, need to understand this concept and things roll on pretty darn good during those times…. its when one forgets and feels and makes the statement “well I don’t care…. that’s MY kid” when the time bomb blows up. Just food for thought and the decision should be made prior to entertaining the idea of a relationship with anyone. You MUST make a decision if you can or are willing to handle another WITH KIDS …. PERIOD. If you are not willing then begins the landslide…. again this is with both parties having a mutual understanding that it is us/you against kids…. not to be mean but even in a stay together family – this is the only strategy that works !! Enough babble – hope whoever reads can understand ….. ThanX

Dated a man with kids and I will NEVER do it again. It’s amazing to me people with no kids want to date those w/o the same baggage. How dare you come in my life, want to date me and want me to accept being a second class citizen out the gate. HECK NO!

i was perusing the internet looking for an article on single parents and dating. i had not looked at things this way. since my divorce almost 3 years ago i have had 2 dates that ended badly and just gave up. I have been so wrapped up in my sons life that i have forgotten that i need one to. I can agree that it’s healthy and necessary to put your needs first sometimes. Happy mommy happy kid right? After reading this i dont feel bad about the needs and wants i have and wanting to pursue them.

I so relate to the article. I am in a 2 year relationship where I live with my partner who feels as if my 6 year old from a previous relationship runs the show. I view him as uptight, childishly argumentative with her, and non understanding. I also feel like we moved in too quickly before really thinking about how these dynamics should work healthily and what it means to be in a partnership with our specific situation.He provides housing for us as he makes exponentially more than I do and is constantly resentful that I cannot pay rent and that my income goes toward my daughters private school. Meanwhile, I am starting my own business, attending school, doing a lot of odds and ends just to buy food and gas. I am resentful that he cannot assume financial responsibility for a bit so that I can find a life balance that allows me to be a contributing partner emotionally financially and otherwise. I now sleep in my daughters room in the extra twin bed because we cannot seem to make it through a day without an anger explosion. Its time for me move on and I can’t really afford to. So the lesson here for me was to not introduce too soon when dating and make sure things are really a relaxed fit before moving in. In my case there isn’t enough love left to try.

Thanks for sharing, Carmen — I really appreciate how reflective you are — not blaming and taking responsibility. Lessons learned, onward and upward.

As the adult child of a mother who consistently put her boyfriends before her children ever since we were 12 and 8, I have to say: you have never been the child in a divorce, or you have only dated wonderful men. It is heartbreaking when your mother clearly cares more about some strange man than you. Some strange man who wants nothing to do with her kids, who doesn’t even care about -her-. You have never had to deal with being ditched by your mother for her boyfriend for no reason. He didn’t need her, they just decided to spend all day in bed rather than help you with whatever you really needed her help with. You have obviously never had a mother who would scream and yell at her eight year old children that they don’t want her to be happy simply because they might have hinted that they don’t like her boyfriend.

You have one (or more!) failed relationship already. What makes you think this one will be better? Why is it worth the risk of damaging the relationship you have with your children? By all means, get out there, date, and enjoy yourself, but don’t for a second think he is more important than your children, because you will just drive them away. I want my mother to have a man who makes her happy, and yes I hope she has a wonderful sex life that I never hear about. But if I need her help, and she ditches me to watch movies with her boyfriend, don’t be surprised when I eventually stop calling.

My dad has been in a relationship with the same woman ever since my parents first got divorced, and she is wonderful. They have both struck the balance between their relationship together and their relationship with their kids. That’s what it is, a BALANCE. Your dates are not more important than your kids,. They are differently important, but equally so.

I realise you’re probably not talking about women like my mother, but when you say “you shouldn’t put your kids first”, I hope you realise that there are women like my mother who take that to heart in the wrongest way possible (I’m sure you do, but I’m having a bad day, obviously because my mother has let me down again. Sorry).

Sorry to make a second comment but I feel the need to add… my problem with my mom is not just that she keeps letting my siblings and I down, but that she also keeps dating men that don’t respect her. Sorry to clog up your comments, I’m just frustrated today and all my friends have gone to bed, so I need to vent somewhere, anonymously.

Hi Sam – I’m glad you shared your experience. As you say, this post is not aimed at women like your mom, who it sounds like will prioritize men above their kids to fulfill their own needs. What I see is so many single parents (and married ones for that matter) so afraid of being like your mom that they swing to the other extreme – to the detriment of a good relationship and the health of their family.

I would like to think that marriage demands that you love, and are devoted to your spouse. If you don’t have that, you don’t have a marriage. Certainly, children are to be loved and cherished, but to place the children above all other interests, makes the marriage meaningless. How could you go into a marriage wondering how much of their mother’s time you would be allowed to have? A major part of parenting is to model good behavior, which includes loving and respecting your spouse. What do you think children learn if they are calling the shots? They will learn that “me first” is their birth right. They will not learn to be considerate of others, and they will treat everyone, including their parents, as if they were servants.

I feel I have to share my experience of the last 4 years with you. I have been living with a man who has 4 daughters. A 24 year old, a 21 year old, a 9 year old and a 8 year old. He is 52 I am 41. When I first met my partner when he saw his older girls either together or separately he used to ask me to go home as the girls wanted to see him on their own. I stayed every other night. He used to share a bed with them. I found this totally wrong we had many rows over this. I felt he should of given up his bed for them and slept on sofa or they should not stay the night. He also has the younger girls every other weekend and the same thing happened, but I didn’t used to go home I used to stay on the settee and he slept with them in our bed. Every other night we made love in this bed. I felt very unhappy about this. I even spoke to social services For advice. They were very concerned and said this was not appropriate and if I gave his name they would contact the mum and my partner to say if he didn’t have appropriate beds for his children they shouldn’t stay. For the last 2 years this hasn’t happened and they sleep on the settee and I share his bed.
I know my partner misses his kids all the time and can’t wai to see them. He really over compensates for this and they get away with blue murder. He gives them rules which they disobey and there is no consequence. Empty threats. I get so frustrated as I haven’t been brought up like this. On the few occasions he does tell them off they both cover their faces and burst in tears. He then forgets why he told them off in the first place and goes over the top making up for making them cry. They have no boundaries. We don’t smoke we hate it, but he lets his older girls smoke in the lounge. The curtains really smell when they go and it effects his asthma. They make such a fuss going outside so he gives in to them. No respect. They treat our home like a do what u want home. The oldest moved things round in the kitchen like tea coffee and sugar etc so I moved them back.
The latest row we had was a few weeks ago, it was bank holiday and it wasn’t his weekend. My parents invited us over for a bbq. I thought excellent nice relaxing day we haven’t got the kids so we can relax. His ex asked if he wanted the kids sat day Sunday night and Monday of her weekend so he didn’t come to the bbq with me even though he and the girls were invited. So I had to go alone. I felt so upset he said if he gets any extra time with the girls he wants it as much as possible. He sees me everyday. I pointed out day to day is not the same as us having QUALITY time together. He reply was that his children will always come first over any woman he struggles with only seeing them 4 days a month. Whilst I can see this I truly can is it right to make me feel so worthless?
His ex plays him like a violin, he just can’t see it. He gives her too much maintance for the money he gets and recently resulted in us being evicted from our home. She never turns up on time either dropping them off or picking them up. She says 6pm then we get a text saying she is still in London! The kids don’t leave till 8.30 sometimes, they have school next day I think this is unacceptable.
Then it all goes back to normal till they come again.
I think that there is a happy balance. I also think that some parents should also think how their actions are affecting their partners who every two weeks play and entertain children that are not theirs. Need to also remember there are two people in a relionship and not everything is about their children and their family, the other persons family is just as important.

I agree with putting your spouse first however, im looking for some advice/guidance for my situation which is….i divorced my husband exactly one year ago. Him & I have 2 children together a boy who is 4 years old & a girl who is 2 years old. I also have a 2 month old daughter with my current boyfriend. My current boyfriend has been around since my 2 YEAR old daughter was 5 months old however, we didnt start dating until i was divorced…my problem is that my boyfriend & my son (4 yrs old) do NOT get along or have any kind of bond at all but they use to up until my son realized that its no longer “mommy & daddy” & its now “mommy & rick” and my 2 year old daughter & my b/f get along so well and have an amazing bond! I have always put my son first & took up for him, “babied” him due to the fact that he makes me feel terrible & guilty. Is there any possibility of starting to put my relationship/spouse first NOW or is it too late? We’ve tried but we’re lost and not sure how to go about it!!! Please, any help and/or advice would be greatly appreciated.

You are nothing but a common whore who should never have had and should not have any more children. Seriously your first child deserves better than you for a mother.

Pitiful. No character at all. Just a shallow, hopeless carcass. A shell of a woman.
Your mother deserves more than you, as a bad mouth daughter.

Maybe you should let your children’s brain fully develop at least first. If you wanted to live your life with freedom without consequences you shouldn’t have had kids. Your son is being babied because that’s basically what he is, a toddler.

u didn’t chose your children but decided to have children. but think about children who neither chose their parents nor decided to be born. Now the problem with the family today is for your infidelity, mistrust, mental illness, abusive behaviour children have to pay the price. and at the time of your divorce u will tell your kids that ” we will always love u no matter what” and at the time of your date you tell your kids”he did not decide who I dated and when — that was my decision and my choice” at the time of your remarriage u will tell this broken kids ” it is ok not to be ok” and the time of your honeymoon u will keep yore children with someone because you are ashamed to include your children in your special moment . it is you who shown how to disrespect the marriage , not allowing them every moment of your life.After all this things you are expecting to get respected, to be loved so u are asking them to be mature, thats nice!!!!!!!!!!!!! i really don’t understand who need to be mature.
your children are broken they are dying inside. look into their marriage life how they are doing. i hope they will not do the same mistake what u have done.But most of the cases this children became abusive towards their spouses the cycle will do on and on.
U remarried because of your own physical and financial reason and so on. U divorced his/her bio parents for your own problem. if you feel u can provide and beautiful life to a child then bring child into this world other wise don’t . Nobody forced you or nobody can to have children if you don’t want to. if child life destroyed because of your stupidity and selfishness then u are only to be blamed. ” If the kids come first then why get remarried in the first place?” i can ask u another way– if marriage/remarriage is so important to u then why to bring a child into this world.

1) child is not your marriage cement,not your marriage symbol,not your pets. it is your flesh and blood. don’t destroy your grand children life by destroying their patents life because u are the adult and mature you are the one who have to sacrifice don’t ask your child to sacrifice.
2) Get remarried when your children are adult/independent and in this time only put your marriage first.
3)I think u are good as a girlfriend/boyfriend but u don’t deserved to mother/dad. I am truly sorry for your child.

Exactly, you’re 100% correct. It’s selfish. If you want freedom don’t have children. Other than that you’re forcing integration and removing autonomy from your child. Forcing them into situations without a choice.

I divorced when my children were in middle school. And my children DID come first. So, I did not date. I devoted myself exclusively to my children. It’s not that complicated.

When men say, “My children come first!” that is honorable. Go on and raise them with gusto during this season. No regrets.

But don’t try to get what you want from a woman without understanding her need to feel truly prioritized in your life as any soul mate would desire. Wait until you have more time. Successful relationships require a lot of WORK. It’s hard trying to figure all that out WHILE pouring all your energy into kids grades and extra curricular activities, their feelings and drama with their friends and teachers/coaches, all while trying to keep your career viable to be able to pay the mortgage and car notes so you can taxi them all over the place. That’s too much.

I didn’t want any man of mine to NOT feel cherished and prioritized. So, I didn’t get on my soapbox and declare on a bullhorn, “My children COME FIRST!” I just put my children first. Period. And now I date WITH ABANDON! I love men. My college-aged kids better NOT say nothing but, “Thank you for paying this tuition.” This is MY season now. No regrets. And we have all have great relationships.

JSy you are awesome!!! I couldn’t agree with you more. If you’re going to be a single parent, either do as you did and be a single parent, or make it clear to your partner that there is plenty of love to go around. I hope you land yourself a big fish, you deserve it!!!

JSy, you are very wise. Well said, well done! If more single parents did things the way you did, then maybe they wouldn’t be that defensive and negative. Single parents can’t have their cake and eat it too. As you said, while the kids are little, forget the dating and concentrate on the kids! And once they are grown, the world is yours! I wish you all the best, lady. :)

I cannot understand why divorced parents start new relationships while their children are young??? As a single mom I knew very well that a new man is out of the question. I was mom/dad every single day, taking care of my son and raising him with love and discipline, there was no time left to even think about starting a new relationship.

His dad abandoned him immediately. I never spoke one bad word about his dad, wanting to keep the slate clean if he ever would contact his son and bond with him – he was never forbidden from seeing his son, nor did my son know that he was abandoned, I took the blame for it.

His son was 11 years old when his dad all of a sudden wanted to contact him, probably trying to impress his latest GF. My son was so happy and so excited, he loved to tell about his ‘stepmom’ and his dad and I was equally happy for him. And I bonded with his ‘stepmom’ also, it was important for him to see that there are no hidden feelings of animosity or jealousy. After his ‘stepmom’ saw how wonderful and wellbehaved my son was, and how selfish and cruel his dad was, she left him.

Immediately after my son got independent, in other words didn’t need a mom anymore, that is when I started to date again.

He was in contact with his dad for two years, after which his dad had an insane rage attack on him, spewing out the worst one can think of – and my son came home, trashed his SIM-card and told that if his dad ever tries to come to him, he will wipe the floor with his dad. He had to find out for himself who his dad was and make his own choice based upon his experiences.

Last summer his dad tried to contact him and invite him to his grandad’s funeral. My son kept it very short, went to the funeral out of politeness, blew his dad away when he saw how handsome and tall his son was, and evaded to answer his questions about them spending the next summer together.

Last weekend I was crying out of happiness and joy; My son got married to his sweetheart girl, who had stood by him for 14 years. They were so in love and so so so happy.

What else can a mom wish for, than to see her child/children happy?

Oh and my son refused to invite his dad to his wedding, lol.

If one parent skips his or her responsibilities, then the other person has to be bot mom and dad. There is no room for any relationship. NONE!

This article is absulte crap the child should always come first and I’m speaking from experience what if your mother met some guy and treated you like crap afterwards and you was 12 years of age with no father how would you feel and then at the age of 16 your getting kicked out of the house for the husband is that really good parenting??

The childs needs should be met and the children respected, but kids should to run the house or rule adult relationships.
When parents let their kids act in the role of little wife or husband as far as making rules or running the show, it is both demeaning to adults, who work and pay for the whole thing, and it is bad for the children, who get the false idea that they are the center of the universe, which they are not.
As long as they are treated with love and respect, and their are cared for, they should not be able to demand that the adults revolve around them.
It is not healthy.
Look at all the young people failing in the world because some guilty or lonely parent made their kid the center of the world and revolved around them. They can’t go out into the world and succeed if they are tied to the apron strings too tight, or never taught what good relationships look like.
They are kids. Letting them run things is crazy.
If you let them rule your life, why not let them eat all the junk food they want, stay up late all the time, and anything else they want?
Adults need to have boundaries in order to teach kids how to respect boundaries.
And if you can not make your partner in life your priority, do not date until you can. You can’t expect someone to devote themselves to you if you can’t give back the same.

How can you agree when YOU come from a FAILED relationship You didn’t put into practicewhat yo ‘think’ or what you ‘think’ doesn’t work?

If you don’t see your child as equal and respect and consent and boundaries you’re equally as guilty for creating this cruel world. Because you’re selfish. If you wanted freedom don’t have kids. You’re teaching your child to not have consent and boundaries and they feel that same lack of control in adulthood. Because their parents weren’t ready to be parents. Because their parents never gave them autonomy and don’t respect their children. Teaching them to neglect their own needs because it’s not as important. You’re creating that dynamic with your child.

Male partners are always complaining about lack of love from their wives or that their wives love their children more. However if a grown man feels this way when he is aware that he is second to the children, just think how the little children would feel knowing that their moms loved a grown man more than them. There have been reported cases of depression in kids stemming from this, and I myself have grown up with my mom loving strange men and even other people’s children more than me.

Elyssa – I just wanted to say thank you for your comments. I recently very sadly came out of a relationship that was ended by a man who’s daughter acted the same way as you mentioned & who’s son just threw tantrums everytime he was at our house (he would refuse to eat the food that we cooked & would demand take aways etc which my x-fiance would alway give in to as he didn’t want his son to ‘go hungry’). He’s now decided he has to be on his own & focus on his 15 & 18 year old, while I’ve been left absolutely devasted. I too was in a blended family after my father died when I was 10 & my mum remarried & the only thing I wanted was my mum to be happy.

I agree completely with the author.
It may sound harsh but like the previous writer said, marriage is a partnership between two adults. it is important for kids to see that as this in turn will teach them what a healthy relationship is about.
Kids will move out, marry, have their own lives. All we have to do is be good teaches, good examples of healthy adult relationships. This will help them be happier and dare I say more fulfilled.

One additional slant that has not been brought up here is that there really is no longer an expectation that kids will “grow up and move out”. My boyfriend kept saying, this will just continue until his daughter turns 18, but considering that she has no plans for college, smokes weed, has never held a job in her life and attends a private school where the students focus on knitting and crafts, I don’t see at which point she will “suddenly” become independent and grown up. I think a more likely scenario is that she will hook up with a guy, get pregnant, and that this cycle will continue for decades.

She won’t leave home for many more years yet. She’ll spend random days at random boyfriends homes who are also living at home. Then random boyfriend will have a turn at your house too.

She probably will avoid getting pregnant because she won’t want to share her rescources, recreational time, get extra tasks to do.

Do understand that youth like that in average homes aren’t like this happily or completely by desire.

Not that it makes it any easier to live with, wether your a step or biological parent.

Actually such kids at this stage can cause divorces.Those of bio parents.It’s the intense blaming of any difference in parenting the other did/didn’t do as causing the kids arrested development. At least bio and step just get to grumble about the inconvenience.

I think most people who read this article misunderstood it. Being a child of a blended family that went sour I can tell you what went wrong. My step dad always put his kids before my mother so much so that it felt like his eldest daughter was little wife number 1. I don’t mean that in an incest way but there would be times where she would pick out his clothes or make him lunch or try to act like the woman of the house. It was nauseating. My mom always went above and beyond for him and his children but she was always disrespected and put on the back burner. He failed to make it clear to his kids that my mother was his partner in everything and that her word was just as good as his…no negotiations. He needed to demonstrate to all of us that marriage is a partnership between spouses not between children. Now that my mother is single I feel that her happiness is the most important thing. If the children are in a loving, stable environment and are getting enough attention why shouldn’t parents put their emotional needs first? Let me tell you having a lonely and sad mother/father does not make for happy children. I don’t think the author was encouraging single people to drop their kids like a bag of bricks the minute someone calls for a date but to encourage single people to make uninterrupted time for themselves to date or do whatever else that is fulfilling to them without kids. Now that I’m in an adult relationship we tell each other that we as a loving partnership come first before the children. Children will grow up and leave you and then it’s just you and your partner all over again so it’s important to nurture that relationship while raising children.

Elyssa – thank you so much for sharing your story. You 100% get it and your step dad/sister example illustrates how bad this can be.

Thank you for an excellent, reasonable. post. I am in the process of ending a wonderful, loving 15 year relationship because my boyfriend’s 17 year old daughter decided she had to come out to live here and be a faux surfer girl. My boyfriend stopped calling or texting as much. We had been looking for a house in the desert for months and months. He finally found one and wanted us both to buy it. He just told me that he wanted to buy it on his own so “he could give it to his daughter if anything happened to him”. He then informed me that “she was here before me so she’s his priority”. I am heartbroken. I will never, ever date a man with children, young or grown, again.

Oh man, Sarah. This is crazy. I’m not the hugest fan of couple’s therapy, but I wonder if a trusted third party could talk some sense into him?

As for never dating a man with kids … careful not to stigmatize half the male population :)

I’ve been dating a man for over 4 years. Unfortunately met him before his divorce was final, but have always been very supportive of his relationship with his ex and kids. He recently told me that he couldn’t take any vacation with me this Summer because he didn’t know when he was going to start building his “legacy house”, which I helped to design, etc. He needed to be home when he got the all go to put the shovel in the ground. Well, a couple of weeks later he booked a trip for 6 days to Arizona, which now turned into 9, to move his daughter back into her living arrangements at college, which was supposed to be the ex-wife’s job and was agreed upon by them since the moved her out in May. I am very hurt because I wasn’t even invited to go along, and he doesn’t have any intention of arranging a vacation for us even though he hasn’t started building the house. Also, he wants me to live with him in this “legacy house”, which would mean I would give up my well-paying secure job because I couldn’t commute from the new house. I pressed him to answer the question if anything happens to him where would that leave me? He said not in exactly these words, but that he is looking into purchasing other property in the area because the “legacy house” is for his daughters & their future families. He can’t understand why I’m so devastated.

Hi Christine,

Read my comment above yours. We are in very similar situations, I totally feel your pain and get it. My boyfriend of 15 years and I took a trip where we first went to look at the property he had just bought to be handed down to his trust fund daughter, then later that day drove around to look at a SECOND property for me to buy on my own but in the next town over. Thank God I didn’t buy anything. I am now planning on buying my own place at a later time, possibly in a foreign country. This business of putting kids from previous relationships FIRST and ahead of a current relationship….particularly a stable, long term relationship….is, quite simply, cruel. If a man cannot fully love both his kid and his new woman, he is NOT fit to be dating. I have better ways to spend my time than hurting as the second or third place woman. I truly wish you well.

I think this article drastically over-simplifies matters. My mother and her ‘new’ (4 years, not that new…) husband put each other first, followed by his children, followed by my brother and I. This has led to us both feeling extremely isolated and alienated. Although I acknowledge that my mum and her husband need time to themselves, I think that there still needs to be a definite element of love from a parent in a child’s life for them to be happy. My step-father has manipulated my mother and she now has no friends of her own and has completely lost touch with all members of her family except for me (including her own mother, sister, and son, who now lives with our father,) and the way my step siblings are treated is vastly superior to the way I live. Although they live separately from us, when they visit we buy food from Waitrose, as opposed to our usual Sainsburys. If I try to watch the television with them or eat with them, I am shunned or constantly mocked under the pretence of ‘sarcastic wit’, which, if returned by myself, is treated as abject rudeness. I know do not feel like I can engage in the family at all; I am an outsider, banished to my bedroom and scared to leave for fear of encountering the dreaded husband. I feel more relaxed at school than at home. I have been diagnosed with depression and anxiety. So, although this article seems to be very pro ‘single-independant-women-living-life-to-the-full etc. etc,’ which I am completely up for, I feel the need to point out the dangers of continuing this sort of attitude into a long term relationship.

Sorry for the rant. :)

Hi A – thanks for sharing and I’m so sorry you are in such a horrible situation. It sounds like your mom is in an abusive relationship and that affects the entire family. I hope she gets the help she needs.

@JNETT…oh, you pitiful troll. Children are NOT “worthless” although that seems to be the attitude of many people today.

And it’s THEIR, honey, not “there”.

Actually no, let me rephrase that to “THEY’RE”…as in, they are. I was so pissed off by your comment that I made an error myself.

Hi. Thanks for your comment as I am a single Mum with a 2 and 5 yr old.
I am now living with my partner who has 3 kids of his own but they visit every fortnight on a weekend.
I am scared as all hell to not lose who I am or the Mother I was before I met my partner.
I have read lots about putting your kids second but it has never sat well with me and I always wondered how grown kids feel that have witnessed it.
Thanks for the insight and I Wil be careful not to fall into the same trap as your Mother.

I really believe that if you are genuinely taking care of yourself, being true to yourself, you are going to be a happy, healthy woman and great role model for your kids, and a thriving mom. For example, if you commit to regular exercise, that may mean you spend, say, 5 fewer hours per week with your children. But you a) will be happier, more energetic and less stressed (take this from me — two days without exercise and my kids pay the price!), setting a great example of healthy living for your family, and more likely to live a longer, healthier life and not be a burden on your kids down the road.

Apply this to dating … if you are happily dating or searching for love or enjoying a great relationship or getting regular, fantastic sex, then a) you will feel fantastic and your kids will benefit from that, b) you will model an adult woman who recognizes her needs as a person and acts on them, responsibly, c), you will set an example of happy, healthy dating and maybe a relationship, d) you will teach your kids that the sun does not rise and set on their asses.

Well said!!!
I did not date as my children grew. My youngest is now 26. Introduced him to some as a friend that was coming to help him with his car problems. He flipped out and was very rude to him. He still seems to think the mommy world revolves around him.

@chgo doll…sorry to hear that. You were wise to not date while your children were growing up. Your son, at 26, is an adult so he should be more open to you having your own life now.

However, maybe there is more to it. Is it possible that he is overly protective of you, as some kids are of their mothers?
Or could it be that he sees something in this guy that you don’t? Sometimes other people pick up on bad vibes that we are “love-blind” to.

There is no excuse for him to flip out and be rude to your boyfriend, but these are just some things to consider.
I had a bad feeling about my mother’s husband way before they were ever married…a lot of red flags in his behavior. He was arrogant, selfish, rude, verbally abusive, not a nice person in general.

Read the research on girls who had single mothers who dated at will, it has a far worse affect than you realize! Very little on about single dad’s dating and how it affects the child, I suppose that is to do with research not catching up to the times though. We should in my opinion keep it in our pants and/or keep the partner away from our children until we see that a long-term future is possible with that person! Let’s try to teach our children that we don’t need a bedmate to be happy and that sleeping around is not a good trait, be it male or female! Also it it perfectly fine for my children to think that daddy’s world revolves around them or that the sun rises and sets with them. It does seem as though you have some issues you need to work out, therapy may with your me issues! Better yet if the sex is what your after just plant your ass outside a male penitentiary and let each and every inmate getting relaesed have their way with you!

David, you are a disgusting pig and don’t think your kids won’t have issues when they are older because you are providing them a world that revolves around them. That would never happen in a non-broken family and you are setting an unrealistic premise for them in the real world.

It’s no wonder you are divorced. Is that the way you talk to women? Lord help your daughter if you have one…hopefully you don’t!!

Here I’ll help you out Molly I’m 33 my girlfriend is 27 together we have 6 kids two of which are mine and three of which are hers, one is our newborn daughter she’ll be a year old December 5th….. my oldest is 13 years old she’ll be turning 14 on December 26th of this year I’ve been with this girl for two and a half almost 3 years…. my kids before I meet her, I would see them every weekend Saturdays and Sundays, I raise them this way since they were around 4yes old and 2 years old being that me and my ex wife split we finally where to a point, where we were pretty all leveled out, I was single for a while before I met my new girlfriend then I finally got lonely to the point where I wanted a relationship I have bent over backwards for my new girlfriend and it never seems enough when dealing with my children having time for her. Come to find out she was put second growing up and it’s affected her tremendously she wants to be put first over anything no matter what so. We’re to the point now where I tried to be understanding of her feelings, and her wants, and her needs…. to the point where I started slowly pushing my kids away it became to the point where when my kids did come over to the house her house mind you to visit me they began to feel unwelcome because she always had and attitude towards them, because whenever they are around I tend to show them a little attention I only get to see them every other week now by choice to work in favorism of keeping my girlfriend happy. It was so bad to the point that when my 10 year old son came over I would be out cutting the lawn or some oddball chore, or thing to do around the house, that I would show him how to do it and let him help she began to freak out on me because her sons couldn’t help although her sons ranged in age from 3 5 and 6 there was no way that her could have pushed a lawn mower so because of this she wouldn’t let me have my son learn responsibilities and help cut the lawn. I had to push them so far away from me to give her all the attention and put her first that my children now resent me, they don’t like to be around me because I’m with her had she been a little bit more caring as somewhat what should be expected towards someone else’s kids and not straight up rude to the point where they don’t want to be around you my kids would be fine my daughter as a result of this so-called putting your kids second theory, has already tried cutting her wrist a couple times used to be a normal dressing type of girl now she switched almost completely gothic whenever she does come around us she doesn’t even listen she puts on her headphones I’ve done everything I can possibly do to try to adjust the situation but if your significant other that you are with does not want to share their time with you or your children I’ve came to the point where I’m starting to realize that I can do this on my own I don’t necessary need drama constant fights every weekend over my children being around or my children not being around it selfishness for anyone to think that you can put children second… I’m a living and prime example of this scenario and it doesn’t work out great for either person I love my girlfriend but I hate the way she thinks her mentality I’m with her all week for two weeks straight I go to work come home we do random things we go shopping on Sundays at night just the simple shape but she always claims that I never spend enough time towards her and…. so my story continues…

Although I’m not as far in, I am starting to experience some of what you have just mentioned with my fiance when my son visits or I spend time with him. She feels excluded with her boy, even tho I only get to see my son 25 days a year but spend the rest with her (me ex ran off abroad with my son)

I come from a family and have dated within families who ostracize or team up on a member of the family just because they are dysfunctional. My family did it with me, and I dated a man for a decade whose family did it to each other, abusing under the sarcasm title, but if you give it back you are being a jerk.
In the end, it doesn’t matter if you are blood or if it is a blended family, without respect for each other you will have problems.
Demanding respect from kids and from adults is the key, and sadly since we are just animals operating on a reptile brain it is necessary.
Teaching empathy and insisting on respect is all we can do, and if you can’t get it then you have to either leave the situation or suffer with it.
I left my family of origin in my late teens and my life has been much better for doing so.
People speak of the hell of step-families, but when so many blood ties are alcoholics, or whatever their damage is, being with your birth parents is not always so grand either.
In the end it is the family you choose to be with that matters, and those people should respect your boundaries and employ empathy and compassion if they want it in return.

Sorry to hear of your situation . Sounds like you are being crushed in your famly heirarchy. It does interest me that you have commented on this blog purely because there seems to be so few forums for kids to voice their feelings., when there are an endless number self- congratulatory, head patting, we deserve respect – step parent forums. I guess this is hitting harder because the rejection seems to be coming from your mother. Can I ask where your dad is in all this?

@ Lola….thank you! A lot of step-parents miss the forest for the trees. Not all, of course, but many do.

They don’t understand that respect goes both ways. You don’t treat your partner’s kids like crap, then turn around and whine about not being respected.
You have to build a relationship with the child where you both trust and respect one another. Until then, no good can come of it.

My stepfather was all about demanding respect from me, but he never treated me kindly or fairly. And as a result, there were SERIOUS problems for years.
But to many of these people, they don’t look at their own attitudes and try to work on themselves. They focus only on the child’s behavior, not on their own behavior and how it influences a child to act.

There is even a forum of step-parents calling their partner’s children vile names, saying they hate the kids, etc…I’m sure it shows in how they treat the kids as well.

Now there are situations where some kids really are nightmares to deal with and the parent is overly indulgent, but this is usually not the case.

My stepfather used to accuse my mom of “spoiling” me just because she hugged me in front of him. Or anytime she was nice to me, really.
He wanted her to shut me out of her life completely so they could ride off into the sunset and do whatever the hell they wanted.

I feel for you. Your mom failed to understand, that what you needed was a mom and dad, not a mom and boyfriend/stepfather. If dad is absent, then your mom would have the responsibility to be both mom and dad to you. Nothing self-gratifying like sex or being in love. A mom and dad to a child. That is the only way a child can grow up in a broken family, mom taking on both parental roles. Parents should sacrifice their children, not the other way. Take care xxx

Thinking of the single dad I dated who never once visited me while I was in the hospital for a week with an infection. He used his kids as an excuse, then having no money for gas.
Yeah, well it really spelled out what his priorities were.

This is such a BS piece. Here’s the deal. Single people need to find someone single with NO kids. There are plenty of people out there. Single people with kids find someone else ‘single’, with kids – you are already both on the same page. BUT if you can’t meet someone amongst those in the same situation as yourself, then work on the best relationship you can have in the all the circumstances ,with the other parent and share the child care right down the MIDDLE. That way you can both have good relationships with your kids. and it is fair When kids are grown and independent then you can BOTH do as you like. Parenting is no different to any other job although it is arguably more important than most. If you slacked off in your day job or decided that you could re-prioritise your duties to give yourself more freedom, you’d get the sack. ” BUT I HAVE A RIGHT TO A PERSONAL LIFE ” I hear you bleat” – too bad, you CHOSE to be parents – not part time parents or when I feel like it parents. Then there is the fact, that single people who end up with someone else’s left over family have already sent out the message that they don’t deserve better – so don’t start belly aching about lack of respect or coming second – you chose to be SECOND. People who come with baggage and kids in tow have already re-aligned their expectations, people who hook up with them need to do the same. If you don’t like it, then you only have yourselves to blame.

*slow clap* YES, Lola…amen!

This is the choice that they make and then they complain about it. They resent the child, who in most cases, had no say in the matter because adults make all the decisions.

Look at all the stories we see in the media where some innocent child has been hurt or killed by Mom or Dad’s new partner, all because of selfishness. They chose to date or marry a person with kids and then they get mad when they realize that the child isn’t going away.

These people need a reality check…they need to grow up and accept the situation, make it work somehow, or move on.
But no…they come into a package deal and they try to change the dynamics with their own selfish interests in mind. They automatically see the kids as annoying brats even if that isn’t true, and they resent their partner for (oh, the horror!) actually being PARENTS.

This is why I have never ever considered giving single dads a chance. This is exactly what they really mean when they say “My kids come first, deal with it!”. I’m glad you left him. I bet that guy is still single. :D

L. He sounds like a total jerk. I hope you guys are no longer together. You deserve better. WAAAAY better

Agreed that the hockey coach thing is ridiculous, and that if you are dating someone, you need to make time alone as a couple to get to know each other and to be adults and not just mommies and daddies.

However, knowing too many single parents, moms and dads, who have placed too much of a priority on their significant other of the week rather than their kids’ stability, I think I would rather go the other way. I would be much more comfortable with the dad who says his kids come first than the one who is willing to drop them at a moment’s notice for a good date. Which I suppose is why I’ve always been most comfortable dating (good) single dads, because they seem to get where I’m coming from in terms of the time, energy, and responsibility devoted to our kids.

Ultimately, I would like to have a great relationship with the right man, but I certainly couldn’t say that someone I’d been dating for a few months would become a priority over my son. It’s hard to find that balance and admittedly I err on the side of “my kid comes first”. I’m ok with that for now. If the right man comes along, hopefully we will both gradually be able to make room for each other. But he may have to accept one night a week with a sitter for my son at first.

As the stepmother of an adult daughter that is bringing a different man into into her three small children’s lives every few months I say hogwash!! The fact that
she is not even legally divorced makes the situation worse.

Ask yourself-what am I teaching the kids by this example? The priority of any parent -single or married- is to provide a safe, secure and stable home life for their children!

This goes to show what a hedonistic society we still live in. I hope my stepdaughter hasn;t seen your pathetic blog. The idea that putting your kids second to a boyfriend is acceptable is terrible. If a single parent is engaged to be married then that is a game changer. But up until a commitment is made-the children come first.

Wise words, Angela! “Adult time” IS very important but should not come at the expense of the children.

My mother always put her social/dating life above my needs and it sucked. It taught me that while she loved me in her own way, the men in her life would always be more important.

We rarely had quality time together. As it is, my biological father was absent from my life, so you can imagine the sadness I felt at not having my mom around either.
There was always somebody more important, more worthy of her time and attention.

People need to understand the pain and hurt this causes a child. After all, the child came from the mother or the father.
When a selfish partner expects somebody to cast aside their own flesh and blood, that is wrong. I never understood how my stepfather could say that he loved my mother, yet he hated me…aren’t I a part of her?

I honestly believe that it is jealousy, insecurity, and a lack of maturity with these people who feel entitled to come before their partner’s kids.

I’d forgotten about my post for this article, so I’m back a few weeks later…

An elaboration on the sentence you referenced…I don’t want to go so far as to say, “look out for #1.” But I will say that nobody cares about your life as much as you do. So I guess the moral of the story is be a giving person, but don’t be played for a sucker.

“So I guess the moral of the story is be a giving person, but don’t be played for a sucker.”

Can’t argue with that!

we ne ver spend much time together at all, the minute his daughter calls to demand things like i need you to go with me to the haul company to get a truck and measure it so i know what i’m getting, or when she got married he had to go and get the walls measured and than take all day to decorate the place with his ex-wife and some of her family members, and their mutual friends, but i was not invited to go help by him or her, the ex wife knows he is in a relationship with me, and she/he constantly put themselves in together to be side by side, we had a family table that we sat at and low and behold we had to sit right across from her and her friend where i had to listen to them talk about the pass people in their lives. now she text last night to say dad i need you to go with me to look at this footlocker she found on craigslist and it is 36 miles away, this is on a Sunday when we usually relax because we work all week long.we have not been intimate in months, we are in our mid 50’s and she does not live with us, but will be staying with us for a couple of weeks until she moves to California where her husband is stationed at, sad to say i really cannot wait till she moved. it is very hard for us to even get a relationship going because of her high demands to come between us all the time. when we dated i live 123 miles away from him, he invited me to move where he is because of his JOB, and i have 6 adult children and 14 grand children, but i go see them usually on Wednesday when my day off is, but i am always back and have dinner either ready for him after he has worked all day, or i purchase something out to eat, but any which way you look at it i have dinner on the table waiting for him when he gets right in the door, i treat him like a king and i am the last thing on his mind, or at lease that’s what it feels like he is always putting me on the back burner. that i am at wits ends, and am to the point that i really want to give up. any advise will be helpful, Thank You and God Bless

Think of it this way, with reversed psychology: Imagine you are BM, his child is a woman he is cheating with, and he is the BD – in a marriage. Of course he drops everything for his child, is secretive (not wanting the ‘affair’ revealed) and you as the BM feels less and less secure as time goes by. If daddy dearest breaks up their family, then the children are more than equipped to break daddy’s new marriage. Children are not mature or adults, and if your husband falls for their manipulation then he is just as immature and childish as they are… Often the children restend their divorced dad and have no respect for him, just like he behaved towards them. That is how a mini wife is born. It is not the bio-mom’s fault.

Harry – really interesting points I had not considered. This really got me thinking:

>Most of them had been putting their wives first, drifted away from friends over the years, and look where it got them.

The hockey coach thing was ridiculous.

But think about it…most divorced guys spent a bloody fortune on a divorce that – statistically – was most likely initiated by the wife. Some of those guys were lucky enough to get joint custody, others got stiffed by a judge who gave them every other weekend, and most of them had to split the assets with the ex.

Most of them had been putting their wives first, drifted away from friends over the years, and look where it got them.

If I were to divorce while my kids are still minors, any woman will be second to them, and a distant second at that.

Let’s be real. If a man were putting his wife first, the chances of divorce are dramatically decreased. Even so, men and women need to get over their pasts and give respect to the person they select instead of punishing them for the ex’s behavior.

I’m 28 and i have been dating my bf for a year this coming sunday. He has a 5 year old son, who I think is great and enjoy spending time with. I usually don’t see my bf during the week because our work schedules can be crazy. When we first started dating he spent more one on one time with me through out the week. I spend my weekends at his house with his son. Sometimes on Fridays we get alone time, but usually it is all three of us. I feel bad even saying I want more alone time with him because I don’t want him to feel like he has to choose between me and his son. He is a loner so Before we started dating his son consumed his whole life and I feel like he doesn’t know how to balance a relationship and his son. I asked him what we were doing for our anniversary and he said he had his son this weekend, basically meaning we were doing nothing. I feel like he has gotten comfortable with the fact that me and his son have a great relationship and forgets I need adult time too. Am I being selfish?

No she is not being selfish. He needs to learn how to balance his commitments to his son and to her. A real man can take care of his children and his significant other.

You are not being selfish. It’s Biblical. God, spouse, children. You sound like such a caring and sweet lady. It is healthy for a couple to spend time alone without the children. God Bless you.

Well, good luck keeping an intimate, mature, equal, adult relationship going. Guess you’ll be single for a long time. Why can’t parents realise that these two loves are different? Just don’t treat your children like a partner and your partner like a (disowned) child and you’ll be fine. It isn’t a competition but so many thoughtless partners make it one. Your spouse is your spouse, your children are your children. You are capable of loving both and then everyone wins. Why does everyone think that these loves are mutually exclusive – they are not!! Just treat your spouse with respect, affection and a little thoughtfulness when you are with your kids and try not to lick your kids boots – its nauseating! Kids need a loving parent, not a pushover sycophant.
My husband asks his 15 year old daughter if she is ok every 5-10 minutes, then checks in on me as an afterthought because he realises how uneven he is being. As I’m newly pregnant, tired and nauseous, you think he might show a little consideration. I get he loves his daughter and dotes on her and he’s a great Dad. Just don’t expect a reasonably self-respecting woman to like walking behind you two cuddling like lovers, or eating her lunch while you both get up and walk away, or the two of you walking off repeatedly whilst in Paris when you promised not to, or you singing her name repeatedly, or paying too much child support, etc etc etc. If we hadn’t moved overseas I would have left him as I hate being spoken down to when she’s around. His coolness towards me and his over the top affection for her cannot help but leave me feeling rejected, alone and replaced. How does this help me feel love towards them? How does it create a family unit? My mistake for thinking he could love us both in a balanced way. I just do my own thing now and leave them to it. Not a good way to maintain your marriage though so I wouldn’t recommend it. Balance people, its all about balance!!

Wow. I feel for you. My husband has a 13 year old son but he doesn’t put him first. He always makes me feel loved, included, and important. When his son had a slightly snotty phase with me and tried to make me feel excluded too, I spoke to my husband about it openly and calmly. My husband then spoke to his son (in private – which was wise of him) calmly but firmly. The behavior stopped. His son tried to push the boundaries again a few months later, but my husband told his son (again privately) that I’m an adult and he must treat me with respect, just as he must treat his teachers and other adults with respect, and he must also be polite and say “thank you” when I do things for him (like cook him a meal, etc.) His son’s snotty behavior stopped to my relief. We are kind and respectful in our home. Our marriage does come first. We are having a baby now, and I am currently reading a book called “To Have Happy Kids, Put Your Marriage First” because I believe that a strong, loving, healthy marriage makes a secure home for a child. If we don’t have a strong, positive, loving marriage, how would his son (or our daughter) feel if we were to divorce? It took his son a few years to get used to me. If we don’t put our marriage first – we would lose the cornerstone of our home and family, (the bedrock of our family!) So thank God my husband does put our marriage first, and you can see by our home being peaceful and thankfully free of the kind of unfairness, step-mom bashing, or other madness that I hear about in so many stepfamilies. Frankly, his son seems happier when we are happy together. He seems more relaxed and relieved when we are happy and peaceful in our marriage. I guess he knows all is well. My husband and his ex-wife had no relationship at all for 10 years. They didn’t fight, but they didn’t talk, hug, kiss or even share a bedroom. They stayed together for their son, and finally split when he was 10.
I wouldn’t have married my husband if he had behaved how your husband does. You deserve better. And before people on this site bash me for being an selfish step-mom, be aware that I do plenty of nice things for this boy, like making his favorite – my homemade chicken soup, which I spend hours picking meat from bones and making it from scratch, and I do it in the darn summer, because he loves my soup so much and always asks for it. I don’t even eat soup in the summer, just make it for him. So, we nourish him and we care about him, but he doesn’t rule our home, we don’t pay homage to him, and when our baby is born, same goes for her. They are members of a loving family, not reigning princesses or princes who’s every whim is put above and before the adults’ needs. I wish you luck in your situation. Please speak up for yourself calmly, and don’t be afraid to. And don’t kiss the daughter’s ass as your husband is clearly doing. The situation is clearly dysfunctional, but a very common stepfamily dynamic. No the stepkid shouldn’t come first, but frankly, our own kid won’t come first. The marriage, and the family UNIT comes first. Today’s kids are way too spoiled, and children of divorce are often even more so, due to parental guilt, which is understandable, but is all too often mishandled by spoiling, overindulging, etc.

Thanks for this perspective – I love hearing from conscientious step-parents who always lend a really interesting and important perspective to the divorced-families challenges and joys.

I totally agree with you! My daughters father is newly dating a younger woman and totally ignores our daughter. He works, comes home, showers and goes to his girlfriends or goes to bed. It irritates me that he doesn’t make the time to have a day to spend with our daughter. Any suggestions on how I can get over this and be ok? I’ve confronted him over this and his reply is he wants to have a life, but he’s never made time for our daughter and I think it’s important for him to include her in on activities and gradually get her use to this new relationship.

Well, one don’t assume you can change someone else, ever. But maybe start from a place of compassion. “I’m worried about our daughter. How can I support your relationship with her?” But it sounds like he just never got it, so probably never will.

Then you let go of any notions of controlling him, and move on.

why do you people take children…… plz don’t have children if you think you can treat children like second class citizen….. nobody ask you to have children if you can’t pput frist in your life ……don’t be stupid like author!!!!!!

I agree it sounds like the author is very emotionally demanding which can be very physically straining on any relationship no man wants to have to choose this children over his woman just like a real man wouldn’t expect a woman to choose him over her kids I’m in the same situation right now and its f****** Old a very old it’s so bad to the point where my kids can’t even come around anymore because she gets so jealous because I spend my time or some of my time towards them you’re not going to f****** die women if your man who has children with another woman chooses to spend some time with his children if he’s with you all week and you get to spend time with him all week one day out of that week should be reasonable to devote to his kids without getting any childish backlash or jealousy sounds to me like the author is a little selfish and self-centered when you’re in a relationship and you have kids you can’t choose yourself over your own kids

And putting them before everything and everyone else is no way to maintain a healthy marriage. Treating children like children and not constantly kissing their asses would solve a lot of problems. Tell me, at what point does a person stop being precious. People have a tendency to say that children are precious but u never hear that of adults. Why is that? Maybe its because we perceive everything that they do, when they are rude, obnoxious little assholes even, as not their fault-even when they are capable of understanding their actions. When adults are assholes, they are just assholes, but when a kid is an asshole, they are going through something. If we held children accountable for their actions, there would probably be a lot fewer assholes in the world.

Wow, I am very impress with your post. I support you 100%. I just broke up with my fiancé because he told me his daughter comes before me.

And so she should be his 1st Priority! Are you that selfish to think that you should prioritize over and above a Child? Clearly…some of you Women have lost your Humanity! I seriously pity you!!!

I agree with you, DGGould…the selfishness is unbelievable. Maybe I’m a bit biased because I WAS the unwanted stepchild who was pushed aside by an abusive stepfather, who felt that HIS needs were more important.
And my mother, bless her heart, allowed him to treat me badly and she put him first in every situation. It showed me that I didn’t matter.

Emma does make a few valid points about making time for one’s partner. But what people need to understand is that ADULTS choose to be in relationships with people who have children. The kids usually don’t have much of a say about anything because hello! They’re still KIDS.

If you (general “you”) don’t want to come second, maybe you should try dating somebody without kids? Just a thought. Because otherwise you will resent that child and they will KNOW it. They will know that you see them as a burden or a brat standing in the way of your happiness.
With these selfish people, it’s all about them.

They can’t see that the kid might be acting out due to sadness or fear or anxiety in a situation where they have no control.
They can’t see that maybe the kid might actually NEED the parent to be focused on them…giving them love, attention, support, and anything a kid needs to grow into a healthy person.

Men who are there for their children? That should be applauded, because it is rare. I’m not saying that anyone should be a “helicopter” parent smothering their kids.
But to expect somebody to put YOU and YOUR needs above that of their child? Um, no. You either accept that they are trying to raise their kids to the best of their ability or you find somebody who is child-free.

DGG, it’s about being ranked. I’m a single mother who was recently dating a single dad who was very keen to establish emotional intimacy very quickly, gave all signs of wanting something committed, and then backed out, saying a relationship is not a priority: kids, work and football come first. Having a child should not preclude a commitment to a partner. If it does, that’s your choice obviously, but then you shouldn’t be in a relationship with someone to the point where you are engaged. DebbieDD, spot on. I’m so sorry for your loss, and I think it’s absolutely immature of your ex to put it like that. There are situations where a child will come first, as will a partner. The love for each is different.

I agree, the children come first. There is too much child sexually abuse and neglect going on. If your spouse is letting the kids walk all over you and they know your issue.You need to leave. Also, if the relationship started as an affair; you need to be understanding. The stepparent or parent is building a relationship from the ashes of betrayal in this cause. The child my not respect you, remember respect is earned. You may need to spend sometime with the child and this includes adult children. Do something together and buy them something. Show them you are not a narcissist and care.

First priority does NOT mean that the children are ignored, neglected, or in any way abused to meet the needs of the woman. It simply means that she is honored and given a position of respect in the home . Of course, every situation is different. If the child is harmed and needs to go to the hospital, that person is priority. If the children need or want to spend some time with their dad alone on a child- father date, great , let them go. It also depends on how old the children are and what level of supervision they need to be healthy.

If a woman, a reasonable woman, is feeling threatened it could be because she somehow is given the impression she isn’t prioritized. There may be valid reasons she feels this way However, if she never lets you see your children, that is a good reason to stop seeing her. That isn’t reasonable. , not
There isn’t any easy answer here because everyone is in a unique situation with many various factors and personalities. It would be lovely if we lived in a world where every child grew up with their biological mom and dad that loved each other and placed the children in their secure spot as children, taking care of their needs as children, not competing with children.

Divorce is not good. Pick your spouse wisely and do not have premarital sex. You can avoid a lot of issues that cause people pain.

Most men say that meaning, hey if my child is sick or hurt and we’re in the middle of having a romantic dinner, we’re going to stop what we’re doing, and rush them to the hospital, not push them second and say hold on will finish eating and then I’ll go take care of any important issue….. if you had your own kids with another man you want him expect him to treat them that way would you? No you wouldn’t! If you had your own child and she was injured or hurt and needed to be taken to the hospital and no one else was around to do it you would stop the dinner too I believe that’s all your ex husband was trying to say not put you second completely, but letting you know that hey, I do have other people in this world to pay attention to other than just you

Man, you should really reread what you just wrote. So you just kick open the door and scream Debbie’s here, all others to the back of the line? Lol. You are disposable, his daughter isn’t. He made the right choice and saved himself a lifetime of drama with a jealous insecure woman.

You are so right, I’m struggling a it as we don’t get much private time, he is so loving tho, we kiss and cuddle but very rarely get quality time. I have two sons in their 20s he has 18 yr old daughter, 15 yr old son and a 7 year old daughter. The 18 year old lies but is also very mixed up and he’s not addressing the issues, 15yr old son and 7year all is good, with my two sons all is good. We are sticking together regarding the 18year old showing a united front but it grinding me down, as the strops and tantrums aren’t stopping, he doesn’t want to talk to her as all it is,is lies, but I feel this won’t make the problem go away. I love him so much, he’s so amazing and treats me so right. Any advice would be so helpful

You are a wise woman, who has a wise husband. It’s a blessing how you both are able to adjust so smoothly. i am so glad you shared this. All children, no matter what age, know instinctively that should show respect to their elders. Your discussing it calmly and privately explained what you saw to your husband, he took care of it like a man. It also showed respect for him.

He didn’t take a defensive stance, but considered your feedback, because he respected your viewpoint. That was mature of him. Not every man has that level of maturity. In some cases, the natural parent does not acknowledge the , “snotty ” behavior. In fact, they may have no idea what you are talking about.

In some ways, not having another female figure around to be bounced back and fourth to, has been a gift to your family, as it introduces lots of other dynamics. God knows exactly what each family needs. Blessings on your blended forever family and with the addition of your new family member.

My bf of a year broke up with me a week ago “because he needs to put his kids first” he has full custody of his 2 kids, the 9yr old I got on fine with but the 5yr old daughter spoke to me like sh*t, had no respect and was in general a nasty little mare- no matter how good I was to her and all the nice things I did with her, until on holiday a few weeks ago I got fed up with this behaviour and fed up of him smothering her and treating me like my feelings don’t matter. If I wanted alone time with him without either of our kids he said that was me saying they’re a hindrance etc when really I just wanted 1on1 with my partner! My daughter treated him with respect and was polite and I don’t understand how it’s asking too much for him to teach his daughter the correct way to behave towards another adult, his kids don’t see their mum and had a rough start in life with her, and his excuse to me was basically along the line of the daughter has free reign to behave however she wants no matter how terrible because of how their mum neglected them and i should basically like it or lump it. He will never teach his kids what a healthy relationship is and mould them into decent adults if he makes his daughter behave in such a way, its not healthy. Her terrible behaviour has been validated, and I feel sorry for the next girl he brings to their unit as she will be treated like crap too. My parents have been happily married for 42 years so I’ve grown up with a strong healthy example of a strong partnership. I would have loved his daughter to warm to me, but because they were removed from their mum they show signs of insecurities that they will loose their Dad too, no matter how hard I’ve tried to reassure them I won’t get in the way of their relationship with their Dad the daughter just behaves like she just wants her Dad to herself and not “share” my ex has made a rod for his back now as he will never have a fulfilling relationship with another woman because he can’t differentiate between being a good Dad and being a Good partner and felt he could only do one, not learn a healthy balance

Amen Elsie. The type of relationship you have with your partner now, determines your children’s belief in  their relationships for life.

Hi. I don’t mean to disrespect, but the incidents you describe….sound very inappropriate to say the least. I know from dating someone who was way too close to his sister, and reading your post was making my stomach get a sick feeling (same as when I dated the guy with the sister thing). Since, I have learned to trust that gut feeling.

I hope this is not the case for you, and that you can find truth, and enjoy a normal, healthy and balanced life.


Hearing you! How do you do it! My fiancé treats me so badly when his kids are with us. Admittingly it’s only school holidays. It’s the only time we argue! I dread this time! They play him against me and it works! I try and stay away but sometimes it can’t be helped! nothing I do is right! My cooking etc! It’s like I’m a maid to them! And money?!?! It’s a very expensive time! It grows on trees! And I still haven’t caught up by the next holidays!

This is exactly the same for me. I am 37 weeks pregnant and have had nothing from him or his daughter. He tells me his daughter will be more of a priority as her mother is not capable of looking after their 11 year old. The fact he even tells her you come first etc and they hold hands and walk off. She speaks down at me and he does nothing . I feel alone and trapped when she is around like I have to go to another part of the house so that events like this do not occur. I can’t even sit on the sofa with him with out either her crying for him to get in to bed with her until she sleeps or for her to me invited in between us on the sofa.

Wow, i’m going thru the ssme exact situations and it’s kinda a relief to know i’m not crazy. My bf of 4 years and his daughter behave and treat me the same way as you described…like an outsider. I’ve tried everything. We have reg discysdions about this topic and he tells me i’m being “crazy” or “mental” when all i’m trying to do is get him to realize how unbalanced things really are. Thanks for posting your experience.

Sorry, but you are just wrong, when you decide to have kids you make a choice in that moment to put yourself second, that is just a fact. Those kids did not ask you, YOU asked them.

I don’t think anyone suggests a parent must give into every single demand a child makes, but saying a boyfriend or girlfriend should be on equal, or even greater footing than your child is just plain disturbing.

Agreed, Matt. I feel bad for the kids in most of these situations…they don’t ask to be in that position; the adults are the ones making all the decisions.
The people who complain about their partners putting the kids (from previous relationships) first are showing their immaturity and selfishness. They CHOSE to be involved with a person who had children. What do they expect, that the kid should simply go away now that they are in the picture?

Because that is honestly the vibe I’m getting. If they don’t want to come second to anyone, they would be better off finding somebody without children or responsibilities.

Yes, when you had kids you decided to put yourself second. YOU did that, not the person that would be your next partner, you decided that for them.

I 100% believe that if a single parent wants to date they should do it with another single parent or not at all. If a single childless person wants to date a parent I feel it’s the parenst responsibility to turn them down. If you don’t you create a responsibility to your new partner. That responsibility being that they should suffer as little as possible from tour previous life and they should get the life as they would have had with another childless person. Meaning it’s your obligation to your partner, that you chose to make sure your children stay out of their lives. Every penny and every second you spent on your children after you decide to partner up with a childless person is a betrayal to that relationship and hurts your partner. Don’t even think about saying that they knew what they were getting into because they don’t. You can only know what it’s like when you’ve lived it. You should be wiser than to selfishly drag another person into that world of neglect and pain.

Parents should just choose which of the two they find more important. Taking care of their children or having a relationship. You can’t have it both ways. I hope with all my heart that people who choose to have children stick by those kids and take care of them but if they are desperate for a relationship they should at least have the decensy to not burden another with their mistakes.

This stance is insanely narrow — there are plenty of success stories of childless people partnering with single parents. Life doesn’t have to be any more complicated than you make it.

It’s not. I grew up with living with two psychologists. One specialized in family counseling directen towards stepfamilies and one specialized in children of divorce.

Things get discussed around the dinner table. Not with actual names of course but facts and numers, absolutely. Over 60% of women who date men who have children fall into depression or get a burnout. More than 75% of women who date men who have children regret getting involved in it and I have seen dozens of suicides because of the exsistence of a partners children in what otherwise would have been very normal and good relationships. There was nothing wrong with the people who killed themselves except for the fact thet got involved with a parent.

Divorce rates in second marriages are somewhere between 65-70%. Divorce rates in second marriages without children are only 15%, you do the math on how much chance a relationship with a parent is.

People that created children should take their responsibilities and realize they’re horrible for dragging others down with them if those others don’t have children yet.

No it isn’t. I didn’t choose my mother to pick a new man. I didn’t choose to be hit, and molested. She put him first, he saw that, after he got my mother pregnant and trapped her as they both wanted children of their own – I was no longer part of the family…I was the now “step-daughter” “the girl that just lives in the house” as my Half-brother used to say…he had 2 biological parents and I only had 1. He was 8 years younger than me…I ended up resenting him and beating him up because his father used to beat me, when his father called me names, I turned around and called my half brother names. I was not allowed to watch TV with them or go to family events, I could but he would have given me terrible looks and taunted me so I stayed in my room and starved. Mother didn’t care much she was too busy cooking and loving her “new family” One time when my mother and her newly created children went out, the man came up to me and raped me and said whos going to believe you? you are a troubled child. I was raped badly, bleeding, and ended up pregnant, had an abortion and tried to kill myself 3 times was put in a special house/mental ward. I cannot have children today because my mother put a new lover over me. I paid the price! I paid the price dearly for her to be happy. I didn’t ask to be born. I wish I was dead. I wish people would stop going after others that have children. The moral family is mother & father and children together…its not normal to have different partners…like animals you cannot 90% of cases love someone elses children. There is a special place in hell for these types of step-fathers.

“I 100% believe that if a single parent wants to date they should do it with another single parent or not at all.”

“Every penny and every second you spent on your children after you decide to partner up with a childless person is a betrayal to that relationship and hurts your partner.”

“Over 60% of women who date men who have children fall into depression or get a burnout. More than 75% of women who date men who have children regret getting involved in it.” And “Divorce rates in second marriages are somewhere between 65-70%. Divorce rates in second marriages without children are only 15%, you do the math on how much chance a relationship with a parent is.”

I couldn’t agree more. My husband’s daughter is 20 years old. She’s earned up to 1k/week for the last 10 months or so and always complains about how broke she is. She would spend couple thousand dollars on her tattoos, couple thousand dollars on her cat’s face surgery plus multiple times of $100 to get her hair and nail done from the shop but nagging her dad for food money and a blown type! Of course all that ended up hurting our pocket because as my husband said his daughter needed help and how hurt she would feel if he turned his back on her!! But guess what, my husband always boasts about how independent she is!!!

Whenever I make a comment about his daughter, he either ignores it or rushes into defend. My husband is an intelligent man but when it comes to parenting, very little of what he has done makes sense to me. My relationship with my husband is great… only when his daughter is not around. I swear to God that if I ever divorce, I will never get involved in a relationship with a single parent again! Not in a million years!!!

I’m sorry to hear about this situation you placed yourself in and its terrible that you probably thought getting pregnant would EVEN the playing field for you. (selfish)SHAME on you for using a precious baby to do that. You should’ve MOVED on from this man as soon as you saw this type of behavior going on between him and his daughter. Its not your place to come into someone else’s life and change things. If they don’t want you there which ( obviously they don’t) you should’ve moved on to a MORE meaning, loving, fulfilling relationship with someone else. Now….You have to take off that selfish mask and be ALL you can be for that wonderful gift you’re about to receive which is your baby. Don’t let anyone make your kid feel like a second class citizen in your life now that you are a parent but not take it to the extreme like your husband and his daughter which is a bit OVERKILL. Best wishes!!!

I fricken LOVE this post and it is SOOO SPOT ON! It IS all about ‘balance’. Just as EVERYTHING in life is……or is it not? I BELIEVE thats the problem and the reason WHY Ive known sooo many people to eventually DIVORCE omce their kids leave the home, to live their own lives and raise their own families.

As if the ONLY fricken reason the even got married was to raise kids….its sad and I shake my head. Some people really just dont get what marriage is all about. They really dont.
Your husband/wife is the person YOU chose to spend the rest of your life with AND to build a future with….NOT ur children. Your CHILDREN will most likely LEAVE and GO OFF to raise their OWN families…..and then YOUR stuck with someone you BARELY know all because you CHOSE to neglect your marriage, in the.process….and thats not fair to YOU, your children OR your mate. Its just not RIGHT.

Again, I so appreciate this thoughtful post!

Also….I hate to say it but I think a LOT of parents who are LONELY or lonely in their relationships and/ or have given up on love and finding a mate, tend to gravitate toward making their.children ‘everything’ in their lives. Just my opinion….but something to think.about.

I deal with the same exact problem if only my boyfriend (because I refuse to marry him due to your same issues) could treat me like he does his daughters I’d be the happiest girl ever. I mean he treats me great but his grown daughters get treated and act like spoiled princesses and he hates when I even mention it, like it’s totally normal. And I myself am a daddy’s girl so I get it at least to a certain extent but sometimes it just obnoxious an drives me crazy I’m glad to know its not just me and I’m not crazy

On Danielle that sounds awful, I can identify with a few of those things, maybe when your baby comes things will change, the daughter will definitely have to deal with not always coming first then x

Very sad dear. And warped. My apologies to you for the starement. The priorities here are off balance totally. My heart goes out to you.

you can’t blame other women for what the first one did to you. A woman deserves all of you or you shouldn’t be seeking a relationship until that thinking is gone.

Carol you’re incorrect, I’m sorry Im a living result of this scenario…… what you and your partner need to do in the scenario you sit down and have a long talk not a betch fest… but a talk, a woman does deserve to be first but she also has to understand her place and at what correct times should she be placed first. Not a constant first position that just can’t happen when you have children if you can’t show your children guidance because you’re too busy showing your loved one how much you love them, then that’s a sad story for everyone!

Haha, that’s funny!! Most guys aren’t always the bread winner lets get that straight… It’s not always, “his fortune.” Secondly, men cheat big time my friend… Matter a fact many men cheat on their wives every week for years with all different women. You know what the sad part is they are still married because the wife doesn’t know… That just threw your statistics right out the door… I love my kids dearly if you find an amazing person to spend your life with I agree your partner comes first, you just need to create a good balance… No relationships are easy it takes a lot of love, work and commitment…

He very clearly said most of the time the man is the bread winner, pretty sad you have to twist his words because your argument is so weak. Men cheat, sure, so do women, I find cheating deplorable regardless of the sex of the person but I would bet both sexes these days are equally guilty.

I must say I’m shocked how many of you are so self-centered that you actually think your romantic life should come before your children, but look around at how screwed kids are and it doesn’t surprise me when they are being raised by people like you.

Once again, Matt, thank you for your words of wisdom.

I think what certain people believe is that we’re saying that single parents should be sexless martyrs who only live for their children to an unhealthy degree.
No one is saying that.

The real issue, based on my own experiences as an unwanted stepchild and seeing the attitudes of these selfish people, is that the children SHOULD come first.
They didn’t bring themselves into this world. They did not ask for their parents to be divorced or separated or whatever. So it is the job of the parent they live with to nurture them, take care of them, provide for them and love them. Period.

These people knowingly get involved with a person who has children and then they complain about being second to the child’s needs? Really? They knew what they signed up for. They can leave if they don’t like it. There are plenty of single childless men and women out there who will devote ALL their time and attention.

This!!! A simple example from real life; our son was only two months old when I had to flee with him. I was ready to stay and suffer for our son’s sake, but when it became clear that he was going to destroy our son’s life, a moment of clarity dawned and I knew that our son had to be saved. As for CS he and his dad came up with a plan to put him in debt, that way he didn’t have to pay CS. When the loan was paid I told him to come up with something new, otherwise he has to pay CS. He laughed at me and said that he had everything covered; his 17-years old GF was in evening school and he had to take care of her. BUAHAHAA…. he was running from place to place in total rage, because they laughed him out saying “your child comes first, not your GF *insert idiot*” The child comes first, not the 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th wife/girlfriend!!!

Kids can screwed up BECAUSE there is no balance. The article does not mention that you should neglect your children for your partner. Its about not making your partner feel neglected because you have children. Just because there are more people to love does not mean ANYONE be it partner or children should get any less love. There are times when children should be a priority but so should your partner. Kids need to see what a healthy relationship and family unit looks like so they can replicate it when the time comes for them to grow up and start families of their own. Just a question to finish how would you feel if your little prince or princess was feeling neglected by their partners in say 20 or 30 years time and they were the ones writing these comments on how neglected they were feeling and some heartless people were bagging them about how they were feeling?? Nuff said

So basically what you are teaching your own little girl is that no matter how great you are; the mom isnt important and always on the back burner, right? If you do not show your little kids, how important a relationship is then you are merely showing them how to mistreat one another. Its great you want to show them im a good dad, but what they see you in love is how you are teaching them to treat a spouse yourself. So I disagree with you, you always show the kids they are included, but you should never put anyone nor anything above your spouse, they married you in a union, not marriage gone divided.

No that’s not what you’re teaching your children you’re teaching them A there will always be someone around who loves you any mother or parent can say they love their child but actions speak louder than words

If he is getting remarried then she would not be their mother, and she is not his flesh and blood and he did not bring her into the world, your comment is plain absurd.

@ Shelia…I understand what you’re saying and you make a good point. However, people tend to take this whole “union” concept a bit too far (which is most likely tied to religion in some ways).

We should definitely cherish our spouses and partners, there is no question about that. But when a person knowingly enters a relationship with somebody who has kids from a previous relationship, they should be aware of what it might entail.

They should also understand that until the child is old enough to fend for themselves and be independent, the child needs the parent much more than they (the partner) does.

The child needs their parent to be there, esp. in cases where the other biological parent is dead or absent for whatever reason.

Children can suffer if their emotional needs are neglected in favor of Mom or Dad’s selfish partner.

Amen. It’s scriptural if you are a believer. You spouse comes after God and then your children. Doesn’t mean you neglect them. God’s order is in balance not only is it in balance it’s Perfect. Families are struggling because of theirl lack of knowledge. Your significant other shouldn’t have to compete with the kids or feel neglected because you are consumed with your children this is not healthy for the relationship or for the children. God Bless you

Shelia if this union marriage thing is so important to the 2nd, 3rd spouse? why not make your FIRST marriage work, the one you had the CHILDREN with! so this is why I say a new partner 2,3,4, 5, 10th guy don’t go around saying marriage is a union, sealed, marriage comes first…when the kids were there first from your FIRST RELATIONSHIP! Make that relationship work. Mother and Father putting the children’s needs ahead…works better than a new lover.

Amen to that! The Bible only talks about the first, the one and only marriage. That is a sacred union and their children are part of their union. It is so easy to see that the next relationships/marriages start with a huge IMBALANCE. Of course roles are reversed, stepmoms’ only do themself a huge disfavor if they so much as dare to utter anything negative about their spouse’s children. The men come with a package and going after their children is the same as going after him. Children are a part of the divorced dad, take it or leave it!

Then, why are you dating? If you can’t put the time/effort into a relationship why put that person in your life in the first place. We have feeling too. Yes your children should be first but don’t put another person through the tortue we have feeling too. Did you date your ex wife obviously not that’s why your divorced. You can have your kids every weekend (no saying its your situation), sports during the week and use the days your kids to bail on you to work on a new relationship. If you can’t put the effort then don’t bring someone into your life. Who is being selfish when you do? Together for 4 years I’m still not allowed to stay the night when his soon is there His son told his father. I don’t want you to have a gf. I’m your gf.

@ chgo doll…well, you always have the option of ending the relationship if you’re unhappy. I see your point about the son’s behavior and you not being able to spend the night. I’m sorry about that.

And I agree, some people shouldn’t date at all. But you’ve been putting up with this for 4 years. Maybe you should leave if you’re so unhappy with the situation.

At this point, you can’t blame anyone but yourself because you are choosing to stay in this situation.

I can see why you’re single. You sound like a very bitter angry little man. I’d say the idea that you’ll ever be in the position to get married and therefore get divorced or have kids is severe wishful thinking on your part.

They will be alone . Remember it is not our fault they got divorced. It is their fault and their failure. So be alone in the nursing home..

I ‘think’ Emma should have put a bit more effort into her marriage and show a bit more respect for her kids instead of acting like a desperado hitting dating sites.

A young woman want all of her attention focused on herself even if she’s a single mother with kids that’s not possible when you have kids you wanted that much attention you shouldn’t have spread your legs that just goes to with the territory if you put your kids second I’m a prime example of being forced to put my kids second in order to keep my relationship somewhat functional then your children all of a sudden don’t feel that attention anymore my daughter have gotten to the point where she tried cutting herself a few times those little precious minds need all the help and wisdom and guidance that they can get especially from their fathers and no woman should feel right just from taking that alone time away from another child that’s very f****** selfish in my girlfriend is very f****** selfish I tell her this all the time I don’t f****** cry wine and b**** and complain when she has to do s*** for her children but the moment I do something for one of my children he’s a f****** wreck very nasty ugly person to be around then she wonders why we never get along it’s because he can’t accept my children being around there’s no time and her own world for them to fit in but on another note I can sit there all week with her and her children everything’s fine but the minute the weekend comes around usually becomes an argument I get my children on the weekends I used to get him every weekend I split up my parenting time every other weekend so that me and her could have some time and now its to the point where she keeps pushing the issue of her selfishness that I don’t even want to be with her there’s got to be a woman out there a mature woman who understands that you can’t take that attention that a father feels for his children away from a man think that it’s okay I didn’t say it has to be 24/7 7 days a week devoted towards your children which I don’t do but I’m f****** day out of the week isn’t going to hurt anyone and if you can’t deal with that then you need to move on

I TOTALLY AGREE with you. We have ONE chance at raising our kids right!!! We will ALWAYS be our kids parents but we may not always be our lovers partner. When our kids see that we care and devote more time to someone else more than them which are our OWN flesh and blood, then resentment and hatred can creep in. Now you may start to hate and resent your partner so everyONE loses. I can’t love someone who doesn’t love and respect my kids. Children are very resilient but feeling the abandonment of a parent or both parents has LIFETIME REPERCUSSIONS. Sacrifices must be made for the betterment of the child or children because they will be grown and out the house quick enough so we can then find someone to be our partners and thats when its appropriate to put that person first and ONLY to a certain extent then. Best wishes to all!!!

Not true at all. If I can have more than one child and still love them all equally and have room in my heart and life to be sure that they all get what they deserve I am capable of doing the same for the man in my life as well. It’s about balance.

That’s a two way street… people with children should rather not date single people, if they do, it is also their job to then help the single person to adjust to a lifestyle with children… but then also the single person should also realise that they are jumping into a relationship with children… both parties need to be mature and work together… giving each other time to be alone together… not everything is about the kids… most things are though… but not everything… I know, I’ve been down this road already… and I found that I needed to love the children as if they were my own… I’ve had to work very hard .. and I succeeded.. because WE wanted to succeed, otherwise don’t get involved. It was tough for the first year… learning about the children, setting boundaries and what I would have done had they been my flesh and blood children… once over that hurdle you begin to be a parent and you do need to make time for each other… them, you and her/him… it’s not easy at first, but it does get easy once you are all on the same page. WORK… WORK… WORK… and the rewards come. If you are that serious…

I very much do not agree with Tam. If a parent dates a single person without children they might have room in your heart for that single person. But that single person gives you their whole entire heart. Their heart all yours, no sharing, no compensating and no restrictions. It’s not enough to just give them a part of you because there happens to be some extra room in your heart next to the children. Not even close to enough! Single parents sould just stick with dating other single parents instead of feeling they have the right to take someone else’s happiness away just to cater to their own.

Again, really a limited view on the capacities of the human heart. Lots and lots of stories that suggest all kinds of people can successfully partner — to the benefit of all parties involved.

It’s not a limited view on the capacities of the human heart. It’s reality. Being someones one and only is very different from being just another face in the crowd that needs time and attention.

I’m not questioning the ability to love more people at one time. I’m questioning the ability to show that love. You only have 1 sunday every week, you only have 1 summer holiday and 1 christmas and 1 birthday each year. A childfree person will spend those times with their partner, working on their relationship, strengtening that bond and show the love that is felt. The partner who has children needs to divede their time and attention. It’s just plain and simple, we have limited resourcers.

You might love your partner as much as any other person does, I don’t doubt that. But you can’t show it in a sufficient way. Don’t kid yourself by pretending that does not hurt the childfree person because studies show it does in 100% of the cases. Every single study on the subject shows people would have been happier in their relationships if the partners children had not been there.

I date a man with a child and he puts me first. He recognizes that in order for the system to function, he must put his partner’s needs before his child’s and in doing so we have an excellent dynamic where I feel appreciated and his son feels loved by both of us and adores spending time with us. It’s also a great example to show the child because he sees us always making an effort to communicate with each other about parenting decisions and anything else.

I disagree. I’ve dated women with children and we were able to schedule our time to coincide with when her ex had the kids, or she would get a babysitter. If the other person always has the kids, it may mean getting a babysitter or arranging for the child to do a sleepover at a friend’s house. Seeing the parent being happy is good for children, as long as the child isn’t being ignored.

Exactly! I learned my mistake the hard way. Was in a 10 year plus relationship with my bf who has two kids of his own. We have no children of our own. At this point I’m just so exhausted with everything that entails being a step parent I really have no interest of having children of my own. I’m a 32 female too. I will probably never date another single father, even if I have to be alone for the rest of my life. Good luck to everyone.

So true that is why i wont date a man with kids. I do not want to take care of someone elses. If they have an adult child it would be somewhat different. That is provided the child is an adult in every sense of the word. The parents need to grow up a bit and realize that they their children will eventually want to have relationships of their own someday. The adult child will put their husband/wife above them.

Thank you for being such a amazing voice of reason. So many needy, insecure women here feeling like they have to compete with a child. It’s sickening.

If your child is number one all the time. A partner does not want to feel like somebody else is always more important are better than them whether it’s another person your romantically interested in our a kid. If you make your partner feel like number one and they know they are loved… Then they give love.

I think you are wrong. You are dating a woman to have a relationship with , because the child can not love you the Way a man needs Love.
If you center all you time on that child, he will never understand how to share, how to love or understand the dynamics of a relationship.
I dated/was engaged to a man who Never brought me into that child life. He only had spurts I was allowed. That child played Mature video games of shooting and Violence, But I was a Bad Influence?
I think you have not resolved your guilt from the Marriage, and Guilt from being a Parent. The child Will not break from Seeing you Happy.
He may crumble later, and make more mistakes.

You are correct. This IS what happens when a stranger is put before the child. I no longer speak to my mother after she started this behavior when we were all ADULTS. Think of my resentment had she done this when I was a kid!?

Thank you! This is exactly what I am trying to avoid in my current relationship. My daughters’ father abandoned them years ago and I refuse to do that also.

I can actually attest to that. I’m not old enough to leave the house yet and I have to deal with always being put last. Yes I’m older and can take care of myself but when my mom is gone for a full week without checking to see if I’m ok it crosses a line. I don’t care how much fun she’s having with her boyfriend (who completely changed her into this emotionally vacan and uncaring mother) she has resposibilities. I’m not the one who asked to be born. I’m not the one who asked to have my parents marriage fail. I’m not saying that single parents shouldn’t be able to date, but they need to realize that all of their decisions affect us in ways they could never even think of. Their child has probably already thought about how they were the ones to break their parents up and now you’re going to tell me that it’s ok to kick them to the curb just to get a little action? And what of the man you decide to date has complete different parenting view than you? And you decide to move in with them? That’s what my situation is. My mom went from a caring and loving mother to the next coming of hitler and it’s all because she puts her stupid asinine boyfriend first. He’s verbally abusive and has no respect for me as a person and that’s alright with me mom because she “puts him first”. Yes I believe that mothers lives should be more centered around their children’s lives that some boy toy they met at a bar. Your child is solely dependent on you. You’re all they’ve ever know. How could you push you kids aside for someone you just met? It’s selfish. It’s not even fathomable to me. You chose to have children and in doing that you realized that they are now your priority. Not some dude you think is the love of your life. I can’t even believe someone had the nerve to write this.

I was a devoted single mother of two son’s. Always put them ahead of dating or anything onyone else in my life. Today, both boys are well educated, have great jobs, and are both married. Also, they are such dedicated husband’s to their respective spouses and their spouses family’s, they place me last in their lives. I used to be very close to both son’s prier to their getting married, and was close to the wives also. However, all that has changed and they, especially my older don (30), see,’s his inlaws weekly, but never makes time to visit or come to my home when invited for dinner. Of course, I always ask their spouses just as I would my son’s. As I have been told many times “when boys get married, the inlaws gain a son. And, his mother loses a son.” So unfortunate, but true in many cases such as mine. I gave my children my love, time, attention, and care; I was also their sole bread winner in ourhousehold. They never went w/o anything they needed, and we traveled annually outside the state we lived, and did famy outings most every weekend.

Ann it did upset me a lot to read what has happened to you. My mum was very close to me and I was the one trying to support her while ill for few years, and the last holding her hands as she was leaving. I think it is important for ourselves to be able to say “I have done everything I could”. We all know good actions are often forgotten .

Keep strong.


You are making a valid point and the other people who commented on your grammar are cruel. Yours son’s behavior is a warning to many people including myself.

good for you , singlemother hood should be out lawed ..the father is the rightful leader of the family

If you had a daughter it would be different, as you’d be more close and she would tell you every thing about her husband lol. I know a lot of close mothers and daughters as the daughters (adult) they get closer. Its not that you are last…they still come around, imagine if you made your son’s feel abandoned they would never come around. My mother abandoned me to start a new family and let her 2nd husband molest me. She put him first. I tried to kill myself 4 times already.

I am sad to know that this has happened to you. I hope that your sons will begin to make much more time and space for your relationship.

I also understand. I was widowed when my kids were 6 and 11. I worked multiple jobs to keep our home which is in a wonderful neighborhood and excellent school system. I was always very involved in their activities – team parent, chaperone on color guard trips – and spent many many hours helping with homework, listening to problems, having their friends over, and taking them out to eat and on nice vacations. We live a few blocks from my parents – I chose to stay in a small town so they could have a relationship with their grandparents and uncle and aunt. We were a very close loving family (or so I thought). My oldest (when a senior in college) decided to go on a week long trip to a beach town nearly 1000 miles away with an older friend and her friend’s small children. When she came home, she texted that she loved me but that she was going to move to that beach town. My oldest also texted that she wanted to act like an adult and be independent. This happened very suddenly and unexpectedly. All of sudden, no phone calls or requests to meet for lunch. No going to movies on Sunday nights with the family or family dinners. Just a text once every few weeks. I have not seen my oldest in over 3 weeks. The few times I’ve called her, she often does not call back. My parents are beside themselves as she used to visit them for an 1 hour each week. She actually was the one who wanted family dinners each week – we did this for years. My parents have not seen her in nearly 3 months.

I broke up with a man who I was engaged to because he was too critical of my children and me (and for other reasons). After that, I dated only occasionally, I never introduced a date to the children. I took the advice to focus on your children first and to give everything up for them.

So I think this advice to find love and a partner first is right on the mark. If this hadn’t happened with my oldest child, I would have disagreed with this advice. So just because your child, teen, or even young adult child tells you that they love you and visits you often, it doesn’t mean it won’t change suddenly for no reason at all. So I’ve now learned the hard way that I need to find a partner for myself. I really really don’t think (I hope) that my youngest will treat me the way that my oldest has. However, it is clear to me now that sacrifices made, even great sacrifices, may not be appreciated by an adult child. So, yes, you need to take care of yourself because later in life, your children may not have any interest in being around you no matter how good a parent you are (were).

I’m a single woman without kids and my fiancée has three daughters – two grown (& living out of state) and one 7 year old. He has his youngest part time. I love her dearly, but I don’t have a close bond with her. i’ve had to tell him I expected to sit in the front seat in his truck and not in the back. That did change shortly after I expressed my frustration, but I shouldn’t had to ask to sit in the front seat. I grew up with parents, grandparents, and friends whose parents stayed married. Never did the parents place the kids above the spouse (or another adult for that matter). I believe this is just leading to entitlement issues and done out of guilt in his case. I always felt love from my parents and I knew one parent wouldn’t override the other parent to side with me or my brother. They would discuss and then decided. From my experience I see that dads are big softies and give into their kids’ every wish. This is the line I’m walking – my fiancée would do most anything for his daughter. She is a smart and for the most time well behaved child. I just don’t have the motherly instinct for her. Plus, she has a mom and I don’t want to take that place. However, if I’m going to be put in the back seat or not made a priority then I’m not so sure I’m cut out for step kids. With that said my fiancée does love me, but I don’t think he realizes the toll it is taken on me. I’m not expecting him to choose to love me more, but I do expect to be a top priority. Right now I’m a close second with his ex wife , but after three years this might be closely increasing…. Oh wait, no it isn’t. He moved her and she didn’t have enough room so it’s now in his living room and garage. Hmm… not sure why I’m still around, except I do feel he loves me, but his actions are lacking the love.

I’m just now reading this thread because I have found myself in this predicament and no matter what I say, nothing ever seems to change. I live with my partner of 3 years and her 4 children from 2 previous marriages (yes, to men) I knew being a step-parent would be difficult but I never imagined it would be this hard- or LONELY. My girlfriend spends all her time and energy on doting on the kids’ every request. She simply has no time for me. And it leaves me feeling like nothing more than the hired help. I do all the cooking and cleaning. We NEVER get any time alone. Every night, her 17 year old son comes in our bedroom after the little kids have gone to bed, and hangs out in there on the recliner until my girlfriend falls asleep. We have no privacy, no time to be alone and talk. I’m at the end of my rope. I’ve told her so many times how I feel and she says she’ll change but nothing ever does. Bottom line- if you don’t make your partner/spouse a priority, someone else will.

I am with Jac. Leave the dude. Also, a good significant other will realize and honor time that you need alone with your children as well. I am in a relationship, and I have three sons. My significant other has a son as well. We have the same values and parenting styles – a discussion I recommend any single parent has early on with any potential ‘significant’ partner. He understands me when I say “I am have QT time with my bambinos this weekend, I’ll be in touch”, and vice versa. We both have plenty to do outside of spending time always together. I think it is important to balance out QT time with you and your kiddos, and you and your partner, and then all together as a family. See, single parenting and dating requires those of us to manage more relationships – which is totally possible. The deal is that I’ve learned there are people who are so boxed into a certain cultural ideal or upbringing that if you had to do anything outside of that, or tragedy befell you , you’d break at the slightest obligation of having to move beyond the comforts of your own limiting life philosophy. I prefer to set sail, navigate some uncharted territory, and learn new relational skills along this path —-p.s. I’m going to teach all of my kids how to be emotionally healthy, resilient, and wise along the way – after all, we take our children with us along this road of life. My children will have (and currently do not have) any doubts of my love for them. I am forever a mother, and will always be, AND, I will always be myself, which I was before I was a mother. I believe your ultimate success in life depends on your outlook – are you a passenger, or are you going to choose to be the grown up – the navigator, the parent, the spouse? Good thing it’s up to you! Here’s to setting sail to brighter and beautiful destinations!

I agree but only slightly because no mother should put there child..second to any man or no man should put his child before any woman.. This generation has’s not the same like how it was back in the day..there are millions of kids who get abused sexual harassed or who end up dead or kidnapped…all because of the lack of attention parents give…to there own seed..all because the mother wants attention that she never had from a’s ok to date n get out there but it’s never ok or safe to interduce your kids to plp you date..but with so much going on in the younger generation it’s important to pay close close attention to your child first..because most kids don’t speak up for themselves for a mother to know what’s really going on with there child my point is it’s ok to have fun as single mother but always pay attention to your kid and put no man or woman before you kid no kid should be second Ever!! Otherwise don’t lay down spreading your wings and poppin a baby out you V if your not wanting to be a full time single parent.. It’s sickening to choose to a whore over being a parent first..but who ever the bloggers that wrote this hopefully your child don’t end up put you second when you can no longer do for yourself and need help of the return from your kids. Think about it..

I’m in a relationship with a man with 2 girls that he has fulltime. All I have to say is OMG

Yes! My mother choose a man over me now i have emotional scars. I haven’t spoken to my mother in over 12 years! She let her boyfriend hit me in private – i never said anything to her, because i was only 7 and didn’t understand it was abuse. When I was 10 he molested me and kept touching me. I told a relative and was taken away. He told her to choose me or him and reminded her that daughters grow up and get married, so once a child is 18 they don’t need a mother anymore. Not true. so she choose him. Today as a woman I crave a mother and daughter relationship but I cannot forgive her. I wish she knew the adult I am and I wish we were close…but its not true! children do not just grow up and disappear – look around you it is your kids that help you to doctors appts when you are 85, after your husband is dead and gone. We are the ones that drive mom or dad to get groceries it all depends how you raise us. I hate my mother and could care less if she dies! She abandoned me for another man. Why not make your first relationship work then? If the spouse is more important in “gods” eyes why not stay with the man you created life with? why choose a 2nd, 3rd. You only have so many kids! They aren’t replaceable but the man is.

I am so sorry to read.about children being abused by step fathers and that the mum then chooses that man. I am a single mum to a 9 year old special needs little girl. She is my whole world. Her dad abused me in all ways and then left my poor little Angel- promised her the world and never calls or speaks to her of course it is my fault- am I hurt yes i am heart broken for her and for my broken marriage. I didnt marry an abusive man or want my child to hate me that he has gone and forgotten she exists. All I ever wanted was a family. My family is now different me and my little girl. She didnt ask for this life and nor did I but she is a child with special needs and I am the adult Mum who will always fight for her. If I end uo alone- thats fine NO MAN will ever be more important than that little lady ever.

I understand the point that the writer is trying to make- IE, sexuality and self-fulfillment don’t make you a bad mother and role modeling a strong relationship is important to children- but agree with you. My mother chose a partner when I was 7 that she’s absolutely in love with and is still the center of her world, but he was not good to me. He would swear at me, call me a whore, and was not loving towards me, and she never asked me how I felt about him or his behavior towards me. The message I received was that it was more important for her to serve him than to be my mom. It had major effects on my self esteem and the way I view relationships. I thought I would never marry because I viewed marriage as giving up your own life, which is not at all the point the writer is trying to make. I think a single parent should date, should have their own life, but should also choose a mate based on the life they now have, which involves children being more important than some guy online, at least until you’ve established that he’s worthy.

With the relationSHIT you’re in it’s hard to imagine anyone taking advice from you. The woman who wrote this article isn’t saying it’s wise to be with a woman who resents your children and their presence. You’re taking the wrong idea from the article.

Thank you thank you thank you! I am 43, no kids, recently divorced. Doing the online dating thing. So far I have been told while our first date was being cancelled because of his kids that his kids will always take precedence . I have been told, sorry can’t talk on the phone I have my kids tonight and lastly I can’t talk because I’m watching my granddaughter. If you don’t have time to talk on the phone why are they even trying to date??? I didn’t have kids for a reason, I knew dating a man with kids might be difficult… But come on… Talk on the phone?!?!???? I would rather stay single then play second best to some kid with ice cream all over their face or who plays soccer every stinking day and daddy can’t miss one practice.

Preach! In my opinion single parents should date other single parents (they are in the same boat after all and “like attracts like”) or just wait with dating until the kids grow up and fly out. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. Most single parents need a serious reality check.

That is too limiting. Plenty of childless people who make great step-parents or additions to single-parent families, and are thrilled to do so.

Funny you say that Emma, because the last time I checked 75% of stepparents resent the kids being there, 17% outright hates the kids, 5% are ok with the kids but would rather they hadn’t been there and that leaves 3% who actually enjoy their partners kids and that group mostly consists of women who married a widdowed man who’s child was under 2 years old when they met. Suicide rates are highest among stepparents, so are depression, burn-outs and a large group of stepparents ends up with ptss or other related mental problems often seen in domestic abuse situations. But I’m sure many people are just thrilled to give up their own life, fit in the mold of someone else’s and be punished for the rest of their lives for their partners indiscretions.

Then don’t date anyone with kids. Like you said you didn’t have kids for a reason. Might wanna stick to that

Exactly, whoever wrote this article is the most self serving person ever! My Mom put her relationship with my stepdad first over her kids, he abused the shit out of us but my Mom was to love blind to see it. It effected my brother the most, ended up doing 10 years in prison. Very saf.

I don’t think a dating relationship should come before a child. Thats craziness parenthood requires sacrifice. And dating is a good way to see if said person is willing to sacrifice.

HOWEVER yes you have to make relationship with spouse a priority that means date nights going away sometimes. It is the best thing you can do for your kid.

The key is finding Someone who will your priority loves and cares for your child. And puts your child’s well being above themselves because that is their values.

Take it from a daughter who just recently lost her mother to a new man. Put your children first. My parents filed for divorce less than a year ago and have just recently completed it. Even though it’s been a tough journey and it broke my heart, I respected my parents dicsion. A very short while after their divorce way finalized, I realized my mother was starting to see another man. I confronted her and she confessed but assured me that they were only friends at that point. I told her I was happy for her and asked her if he was cute. We had a mature talk about it and I was satisfied. The next night I came home late to find them in bed with each other. Some friend. Again, I confronted her but this time I explained how the quickness of this relationship bothered me deeply. I ended up moving out of my mothers house because every time I came home, either this man would be there or my mother would be out with him. It sickened me how quickly she moved on from my father. A few weeks later, she asked me to stay with her again because she missed having me around. Of course, I missed my momma too so I agreed as long as I didn’t have to hang out with her “friend”. I called and called all night to no avail. I continued calling in fear that something happened to her as she ususally will pick up her phone quickly. I rushed to her house only to find her “friends” belongings in the house. As a young adult in this generation, I knew she had been online after the time I called her. This confirmed that she knew I called and had chosen to ignore me. She’s chosen this stranger she’s know for a little over a month, over her first child and only daughter. I’m absolutely devastated. I love my mother with all of my heart but the more and more she chooses him over me, the less and less I want to even attempt to catch her attention. Please, parents, pay attention to your children. By all means, go on dates and find love again, you deserve it. But don’t let your children suffer as a result. I’m leaving in a few months and won’t be able to see my mother for a long time. She’s burning a bridge I didn’t even know could be burnt.

I am on your mother side. You are an adult right. She raised she gets to live her life now.

Start working on building your own life.

Okay first off if you were still married to your partner or were with the biological father of your children, your children would just deal with the fact that mom and dad have time, but because a man you are dating/ sleeping with, kissing, hugging, holding hands with should be treated any different bc he’s not as you say FLESH IN BLOOD.
and you say your child need to be respected by whom ever it is that your dating, that’s earned, and as we all know children don’t know how to share, children even my 27 yr old son and my 20 year old daughter are selfish, we have an amazing relationship, but lets face it kids or millennials are selfish/ or feel a self entitlement because its parenting skills, its parents who put them first and now they are brats that have joined the human race, and their all about themselves bc they where never taught to share, they speak to their elders as if the elders know nothing.
Im telling you this is the world that we live in now.
If children see us in a healthy relationship, and see us respecting out partner’s, this is how they learn, not by mommy or daddy bending over backwards to kiss the ground they walk on.
Bc children meet their partners and guess what? they will put the parent sec and not blink an eye about it. Then the parent who did all this bending over backwards… is left alone…to try and find someone to be a partner, and now that the parent is older.. it to hard to find anyone who wants to be with them, bc all their youth is gone.. Im telling you I’ve seen it a ton of times..

I had two stepdads (with whom I lived at some point) and three stepmoms (with whom I didn’t) growing up. My mom and I remained very close throughout all this turmoil. She put me “first” until it was time to break away and I was a teenager. I was glad that she found the right person to spend her life with when I was about 15. I always thought I’d make a great stepmom, having been through all of that. Recently met a man I really liked; he has a couple of teenagers and a college-aged kid and told me he was free all week and all weekend. But when I said Great, how about __day? He gave me this sudden caveat that his kids’ plans weren’t yet set but yeah let’s plan for that. Sure enough, he kept me hanging all week without a word until the evening before our date to tell me the date was “on” – only to cancel (via text) hours later on account of his kids and guilt over taking time away from them. To me, that warranted a phone call or even a grander gesture or at least an “I’ll make it up to you – I’m excited to see you” (perhaps he wasn’t). The worst of it? I didn’t feel comfortable complaining about his handling of this, because he said, “My kids come first.” Impossible to argue with that; it’s quite the trump card, but in my view putting teens and older first shouldn’t mean making your would-be date wait all week for a confirmation only to be canceled on; it means promptly checking with your kids, informing your date one way or another, and setting some boundaries. If you want to date you have to make room for the other person, just as the other person needs to make room for the kids. If either can’t do that, don’t date. I won’t even speak to the ugly comments on this site (mainly from men) referring to women sluts and whores just for having kids (spreading their legs?!) or the supposed crime of dating or wanting to date — except to say it’s repulsive.

I think that in your first marriage, you should put your relationship first before the kids because if that relationship fails, everyone suffers, sometimes for a very long time after a split. It models how to treat a significant other, etc. We do live in a kid centered world now, more so than in the past, which can be harmful to kids in the long run.
However, after a divorce, I don’t necessarily agree with putting dating and relationships first before kids. The divorce rate is almost 70% with second marriages that involve kids, and I can’t imagine what the lifetime consequences would be for a child going through that again after becoming attached to a step parent, step sibling, etc. I don’t buy the line that says, “kids are resilient, they’ll bounce back!” Studies have shown that kids bounce back better from a death of parent more so than a divorce. I think that when a child is in the 10-16 yr old range during the critical developmental stages, it’s not a good time to date and get remarried. This is why I’m not even contemplating dating now. All of what I just said is backed up by studies and facts, I’m not just throwing out how I feel about it.
Yes, there are exceptions, such as when a spouse disappears, when a spouse is abusive, then another person can come in and be a good role model. Most marriages don’t end this way in this day and age, they end usually because someone is not putting the work in to “feel love” or to meet another person’s needs as best as they can.

Your post makes no sense. Learn some grammar. Also, you r not looking for a mature woman. U are looking for a woman who is willing to accept that she is not important to you. There is a big difference. Good luck with that. May I suggest finding one who was raised like u are raising your kids. She should already be acquainted with the idea that women are disposable, as u are teaching your children.

You bitches sound extremely desperate and needy. So needy that you have to compete with children for their parent’s (who was THEIR parent LONG before they met you) attention. You’re a whore that needs to know that you don’t come before someone’s kid.

You’re a dipshit who is raising future narcissistic fucktards who think the world revolves around them. You will never touch a fine, thin, beautiful, educated woman like myself with those little mistakes chained to you. Id be angry too. Single fathers should stay out of the dating circuit and date their damn daughters the way you all slobber over their every whine. Little brats should have never been born; if they were meant to exist, youd still be with their mother; but it wasn’t meant to be, was it? Save the indignant hate; I know YOU know it’s true.

I think you’re projecting, dude. No self-respecting woman is going to want to date somebody who sees them like that. You have a crappy attitude. If you want to model a bad relationship for your kids where you treat your girlfriend as a third wheel, you should just let her go. Nobody is winning there, especially not your kids. Your boys will grow up thinking it’s okay to belittle women, girls will grow up thinking they should be treated like you’re treating your girlfriend.

(And maybe incorporate some punctuation in your next rant.)

This is one of the BEST articles on this subject I have ever read! Thank you for clearly communicating what I have been trying to explain for too long! My goal a a single Mom, is to meet a man that really gets this. In their defense, men are riddled with guilt about being a great parent however, what I have experienced is a cultural shift from a ‘hands-off’ Dad to an overcompensating, smothering one….not attractive and so unintentionally harmful to the very children they are trying to care for!

“I have experienced is a cultural shift from a ‘hands-off’ Dad to an overcompensating, smothering one….not attractive and so unintentionally harmful to the very children they are trying to care for!”

Wow – so true, really great observation! Future blog material, that!

Absolutely true. My ex smothers our son like Tiger Wood’s dad did to Tiger Woods….constantly making him practice basketball, baseball or football. Quizzes him about the game (any and all 3) like our son is a monkey at a circus!!! Trying to live the dream thru his son that he missed for whatever reason. I try to add the balance by encouraging him to build lego’s or I give him some of my paint brushes and he paints with me! I just became engaged after being divorced from my son’s dad for 2 1/2 years. My fiance is respectful of my son’s father and has offered to meet so he can reassure him that he has no desire to replace him as a father and that he is more of an uncle figure. My son’s father says, no way I don’t ever care to meet that guy. ” (he knows his first name but immaturely refuses to refer to him by that). Which makes no sense to me…I’d want to know everything about someone my ex was going to marry! If she’s going to be around my son …I would absolutely want to meet her. BUT….my ex who was emotionally abusive to me for 10 years…. is now suddenly the victim. lol He is acting in front of everyone to try and cast me as a bad mom because I chose to extricate my son and I before I totally sunk into deep depression. My son’s father is 46 years old and I am 45 years old….but in terms of emotional age, he’s like 17. In the process of dating this wonderful man, I had no sleep overs, I introduced him to my son at a Panera Bread and as my friend only. We met to play at a bounce house and i slowly increased the time. Now my son runs into his arms and screams…I missed you…let’s go build something (my fiance is very handy and teaching him to use tools etc.). There is an appropriate way to do dating after divorce. I also received guidance from my therapist who I continue to see every 3 months. Oh, yes the ex hasn’t gone to his therapist since I left.

I couldn’t agree more!!!!!! I am a single mother of 4 and it’s absolutely ridiculous. I don’t understand why these men think they have time to date when they are NEVER available to actually date. I get that the kids will always come first, because my kids always come first as well. BUT, c’mon, you can miss one soccer practice here and there….their world will not crumble if you aren’t there every single time. Extremely frustrating.

I broke up with a guy who told me even though he has the summer off and a week before he gets daughter he cannot commit to one Weekeend night with me because he first has to make sure all errands are done for daughters week long visit! Gosh forbid quite literally the little girl go on one errand. I told him nope don’t understand that one you should be able to do all three. Do your errands, spend time with me and your daughter.

I’m a 51 year old woman who was married for 27 years and have a 23 year old son who has always been the center of my world I’ve been divorced now for 3 years and I’m in a commented relationship with a man who can’t understand that my son comes first in my life he says he feels like a 3 rd wheel and I get upset when he says that we don’t live together my son still lives with me a college graduate and has good job but not ready for buying house has college to pay off I don’t care what some say I think your child should always come first

Dear William, I tried to read you message, but it was very difficult to follow as you have not used any punctuation. You just went off on a rant. If you want people to sympathize with your feelings, perhaps you should put a little more effort into expressing them. Otherwise you just sound like a cry baby tool.

Wow, William. It sounds like instead of blasting Emma, you should be working on – or ending – your relationship, and brush up on the structure of a sentence.

I love how people exaggerate things when they are guilty of something. No where in this article does it say to abandon your kids! It simply states the obvious, if you don’t take care of your relationship then everyone loses. If you get up in the middle of dinner to talk to your son or daughter it is disrespectful to your partner. There is nothing wrong with saying son, I’m having dinner with my wife I will call you back as soon as I’m done. There are so many divorces now a day because couples once they have kids lose themselves in their kids; they are living for their kids, not with them. Most parents feel so guilty because of divorces that they try to make up for it somehow. The kids see that and take advantage as well. If children see a loving relationship where the husband and wife respect each other kids will follow. If your daughter is slitting her wrists, well, I believe their is something else wrong. Try a psychologist!

You are so right Diana. After reading your post, I thought you are right man….. Then I scrolled back up and realized the post was written by a woman…… A good woman who would be a devoted companion.
I just broke up with my girlfriend of 2 years because she wouldn’t make me a priority over her 21 year old son. I loved her, but I felt like I would be 2nd, always.
I am 48 years old, I wanted to marry this woman I love, but I can’t deal with #2 when my girlfriend wants one on one time with her son constantly. One on one time means I am excluded.
My 2 adult son’s knew how I felt about my companion being
She enjoyed being my top priority above all else, but wouldn’t do that for me.
When you are my age, in the empty nest stage of life, it’s very important to be devoted to eachother and put no one before your future mate.
My 2 son’s are happily married, and treat their wives as their #1 priority too.

Mike & Diana,

I could not have said it better. I just got out of a 3 year relationship 2 days ago because his kids come first. I mean as every weekend/weekday and he has full custody of his 15 1/2 daughter and 18 year old son. Especially when she calls and says jump.. he says HOW HIGH!

The main problem was just not only that he not spending time cultivating our relationship but his 15 1/2 daughter thought she could run the house. ( they moved into my condo ) . When daddy stopped being twisted around her finger all hell broke loose. They ended up moving out after 6 months. She even told her dad that she was going to break us up . She pulled all of the strings and daddy’s princess got her way.

Same thing happened to me. I’m 49-Girlfriend broke up with me after two and a half years of dating. Her one son hated me and he wouldn’t allow me to visit. I slowly but surely was pushed out of the picture. I felt hurt which lead to arguements. I always came last.

I am in the same boat my friends. My boyfriend of two years, who currently lives with me and has his 12 year old daughter half the time, told me that his daughter wants to live with him alone. So he will be moving out to give her what she wants. I always have understood Daddy Daughter time and actually like when they have it. She is a good kid and we get along quite well. However, when she is here, we don’t even sleep in the same bed, he sleeps next to her. I think this is a recipe for disaster, she seems way underdeveloped and actually acts more like a 6 year old than a 12 year old. Still calls her father Dada, talks like a young child, can’t get herself a glass of water etc. I hope for her sake he wakes up, or she will be an adult acting like a 6 year old

You sound like a damn crybaby. All of you desperate “parents” who meet someone one day, and the next day you treat your kids like chopped fucking liver.

Exactly diana!! You said it right.. There’s nothing really wrong on putting your relationship first before your kids..How will that person love your kids when you’re just letting that person feels like she’s/he’s just your option..I was there actually, that moment when you’re tired for being the 2nd in everything..I mean, i was fully committed to that person, we’ve been together for 7 years, and within those years i was there beside him trying to lift him up when he’s totally down, i was there trying to understand everything about him an tried to be the best i can be to his daughter..And then suddenly, i felt left out after doing those things..He can’t actually give time for me, we can’t have time together even in bed, the 3 of us shared the same bed..Most of the time, we fight even with small things, he shouts and yells at me in front of his kid..He sometimes never listens to me but to her kid..And they sometimes go somewhere without me..He’s spoiling her that much but he can’t even share his salary with me..Sometimes, i kept on asking myself, if i’m that really selfish for feeling this way?? Am i that stupid??or what?? jealous??i dunno now..

and by the way, here comes to the point where his daughter disrespects and disobeys him even after spoiling her that much..

William, I completely agree with you! My 6 year old is a mommas baby! I cuddle with my 6 year old at bedtime; which of course is hours before my fiance and I go to bed… My fiance is bothered by my 6 year old and I having our short cuddle/story time. Yet, its ok for my fiance to cuddle with the older and younger kids… This has been going on for almost a year now, and if something doesn’t start to give, I’ll walk away and never look back! Some people are just far too selfish, jealous and controlling to make a priority! They demand all of everything and leave nothing for anyone else! It’s BS and its sickening!

are you serious writing like that? i bet you expect people to kiss you when you don’t brush your teeth. how about speaking real close with bad breath? punctuation doesn’t have to be perfect (note i’m not capping) but dang, bet you’re an abusive f*ck.

How is it possible that you managed to write that entire page without any “.”? I have heard of ” run-on sentences “, but that was a ” rant -on ” page.

Omg william I’m late but yes I can’t c myself putting any1 B4 my 2 awesome kids. when U R a well mature adult U learn time shared is important for a spouse & UR children. Society has so many varieties of single parents that do decide to put kids 2nd…. I ended up taking in 2 neighborhood kids & a friends 12yrold daughter for that reason. Its hard for a child to adjust to that situation after its been just themselve & mom/dad. So to remove them from #1 is damaging… But yet we wonder why so many kids commit suicide, run away, hate a parent, end up in domestic relationships , or try killing…Its neglect. now Little Robby, Ashley, Sandquan, or Tyasia looking for that attention/LOVE else where. will they be confident, strong, determined, and respectful as the King or Queen they R? Nope they end up settling because that 1 person that always put them 1st, showed them what love was, has now moved he/she down the priority list. 2nd hand….
What about the kids abused, assaulted,or raped that feel they can’t talk to their parents because they know 9times out ta 10 mom/dad will discuss this with that man/woman and probably won’t believe them. calling the child jealous. I wish we came programmed when it came to parenting. But hey Maybe I’m wrong or just don’t understand… But as for me when I love I love hard that comes with the excepting& respecting my man rather its just him or him and 10kids. Thats a #1 in my book. If I deal with any1 its a must for me to see what his bond is like with his child/den… He and I vacation with my 2, his coming to. School shopping bring his along. They have a fall & is at the ER I’m there to. His kids Need some1 to talk to but not ready to tell mom/dad I’m there. His play sports I’m there cheerleader. Birthday parties I’m calling mom to c what I can do to help. I let any man I dated know I’m a ready made family u will not be dating me alone. U Have to show me & my boys love, respect, and U want us. So no matter time or day if mine call I’m running & I’ll except nothing less from him its a team relationship. If they don’t understand that then we are not gonna work. BYE LOL NO ROOM FOR A MAN TO EVEN TRY ME IF HE DOESN’T UNDERSTAND.

Just stay single and raise your kids if that is your priority and don’t start a relatationship. A man that can’t make a woman feel loved and secure next to him will make her feel miserable.

Not necessarily. It depends on the woman who is with a divorced dad. I dated a divorced dad for four years – us breaking up had nothing to do with his lovely children, on the contrary, because of them I tried to stay in the relationship. Anyway, the first time I met his D13 and S11 they looked at me very suspiciously. The same evening we were all (minus their dad) having absolutely wonderful discussions. I wanted them to tell about their mom. Everything they said got the same response from me: “OMG, your mom really loves you, imagine her doing this and that for you, how selfless and loving can a mom be. You are truly blessed with a mom like her.” I also went to the other room to tell their dad about some great things their mom had done for them. Always stunned and asking them ‘did you remember to thank her?’ etc. The kids were in 11th heaven, because they could freely talk about their mom to me and be certain that I always had their mom’s back. Everything changed. The children wanted to spend time with me and tell everything good about their mom – proudly! The way to the stepchildren’s hearts is to learn to know about their absent mom/dad and always have her/his back, when kids sometimes try to put their parent down. If you truly love your spouse with children, then you have to learn the first and most important lesson: The children are half-dad and half-mom. If you love your spouse then you have to love his children also – fully and totally. I had no alterior motives, but then I heard that their mom had started to cry while praising me?!? Turned out the children had been rude and acting out against their mom, but after we chatted about everything good she did for the children they had transformed into angels. Doing all chores without complaining and thanking her for everything she did. Children of divorced parents have problems because every single time the other parent bashes the other parent, the kids suffer and deny that part of themself. Bring out their BM/BD in the most positive light – always positive – and you will be surprised how healing it is for everyone involved.

Agreed. While yes, a strong and healthy marriage provides a strong backbone for a family, kids who have been through something as traumatic as divorce should most definitely come first in their parent’s lives, before their dating life. My siblings and I were unfortunately put last before my mom’s dating needs, this meant ditching us at dad’s so she could go on a date. This rips kids apart and the state of our relationship now as adults with our mother, clearly speaks volumes. If you decided to put them on this earth, it is your responsibility to ensure their needs are met before your own.

Not only is this article poorly written, lacking in strong evidence, and oddly stating that mothers are penalized for sexuality, but it is also insulting to men.
Through dull anecdotes the writer tries to convince us that it is healthier to put a lover before their children. The author uses terms such as ” putting first” but fails to realize that there is no need to put anyone first, or second, or third. Romantic love is completely different from the love you have for a child. While making time for romantic love is important, putting a lover “first” over the creature that came out of your body, the one you would die for, is completely ridiculous.
You get one shot at being a decent parent. You have hundreds of shots to date. Hang up the push up bra, put away the lace thong, and remember, men will always be there, however your children will not.

Yes, they will not be there and you have to make your future spouse feel just as equal. It is not their fault you divorced. it is your failure and only yours.

Jennifer and mom_be_trippin,

As a 45 yr old divorced dad of two teen daughters, I seriously question your motives. It sounds like you try to take ownership of your kids’ feelings…like you are in charge of their happiness. Kids that lash out when they don’t get enough attention is because they lack a HEALTHY level of independence and self-esteem. Always putting them first does NOT help build self-esteem, it supports UNHEALTHY independence on others – in your case, dependence on you. What happens when they turn 18, and they’re expected to live on their own? I completely agree with the author that modeling a healthy, prioritized partnership with your significant other, whether that person is the biological parent or otherwise, shows kids that they need to learn to be in charge of their own health and happiness. Of course, this depends on the age of the children, but teens that are approaching independence will learn a lot from seeing their single parent prioritizing themselves TO SOME EXTENT. I’m not suggesting at all to ignore the kids, but they should not be calling the shots by always expecting to come first, or WORSE… being told they come first. That is what breeds selfishness in our kids.

No kid wants to play second fiddle to some hag his Dad brought home to bang in the basement. But the kid that got to witness the steady rotiserie of men coming over to fuck his mom. Shit. That boy is gonna be a serial killer. You filthy whores just dont understand the lasting damage you cause with all of your whorish behavior.

I totally agree. My mom and I barely speak but its not because she doesn’t love me. She’s busy with a 5 and 6 year old. Just like I’m busy with a 1 and 2 year old. I’ve been out of her house since I was 18 n function well. My mom was a single mother my whole life. She provided us with everything we needed and managed to take time for herself to go to Vegas and the Bahamas. She went to Cancun a few times and other places. She had boyfriends when I was growing up and I never once felt neglected or unloved. She supported me in all of my extra curricular activities and made sure I excelled in school. Every professional I’ve came across in my life has said mom has to take care of herself first in order to take care of her children. Having a lover is important to most people. If mom has a boyfriend that’s considered her taking care of herself. I’m not saying women need to act like their kids don’t exist but they also can’t have them attached to the hip forever either. A parent who smothers their children will createcodcodependent, unproductive adults. Since kindergarten I’ve been able to play independently andddevelop friendships

Unfortunately what you have written is a full parallel for how i was treated. I haven’t had a relationship with my father for over 5 years, due to him always putting my needs, and interests 2nd. This was my situation, my mother passed in our home from cancer when i was 12 over my summer holiday, and not a year latter my dad started to date. He met a women who was 40 at the time and began to spend all of his time with her, if i wanted to just have a one on one with him, his new women just had to be there. From going out to eat, to trips, and hobbies i was second to her. I tried to deal with the fact that it seemed that for all of his habbits of promising to love and protect me from the monsters, under my bed, to being my rock, to simply being my dad, i had become irrelevant. I knew he loved her so i kept quiet for his his sake. When it finally seemed like he had noticed me, and my distance simply her calling, walking in, or just saying she was going to the store, swept him away. Eventually i couldn’t take it anymore so i just quietly packed my things and left while he was having dinner with her. And i havent gone back or had contact with my dad scene.

David u are spot on and people should always remember u is going to take care of them when thd kids is old enough to date or get married are they going to push aside their spouse or family for the parent

David, I don’t disagree with you so, why did you address me? This blog is weird because it is confusing with who says what to whom.

Thank you! You sound like an excellent father! This doting and indulging and child worship trend is what has created the young millienial narcissist epidemic!

Agree totally. I’m no expert but in the past I have felt like I have come second as a daughter and as a partner in this regard, both of which hurt me deeply. This is why I believe there is a time and a place for the partner and the children. Everyone should be important. I don’t believe Emma is saying to ditch your kids but reminding single parents to ensure your partner feels loved and respected also. Its about how the situation is managed. Kids should get the love and attention and the support they need (not demand) from their parents, but at the same time not disregarding the needs and feelings of their partner.

Emma has made a valid point which is correct. All relationships need to be balanced and given equal importance

your future spouse can leave you anytime too! Put your children first they are your blood, family, love is unconditional…but if you put boyfriends, lovers, new partners over them…you teach them that family love is not important. your children mostly likely will out live your new husband/lover…you will need your adult children one day more!

Put your spouse last, and see how that works out at the end of the day. Guaranteed your spouse will end up leaving. Everyone…including the spouse should have time set aside for them. By putting your spouse on the back burner all the time, you are taking “family love” away from your children. You’re showing your children that relationships are disposable. Making children the centre of the universe all the time turns them into self centred human beings.

I so agree. I have a fiancé of 3 years now. He gets so offended if we are even hanging out on the couch talking & one of my kids interrupts to talk about anything!!! I find it childish & selfish. We were raised very differently & that’s playing a large role in our relationship I feel. Just tonight…. Laying in bed talking… My teenage daughter is distraught about breaking up with her boyfriend… Instead of being at all concerned… He throws a lil fit like a 10 yr old & grabs his charger, pillow & goes to the couch! Who is the adult here?!!! Any comments??’

Is the child sick? No? Then anything else isn’t an emergency. Boundaries need to be set or else kids will ruin your relationship.

This is too far left for any Conservative mentality even moderate

The kids always come first and tell the parents job is done they are raising future adults and if they’re not careful their kids will be just like them giving up and becoming single parents and doing the same thing over again. It’s extremely important you raise your kids properly with the emphasis in marriage and family. I never put my dating first and my kids are much better off than the other broken families that were raised around them

David, I am a Christian And hold those values, like sexual purity, and courtship rather than dating in the secular sense. Those values are important to me as well and I understand where you are coming from. I don’t agree with everything in this article. However, there is a nugget of truth in it that might help some folks that have gotten off balance during a very challenging season of their lives. Mainly , that children of divorce shouldnt run your life live, or be your world. That is not good for them, or you. Yes, met their needs ,but be the parent, not a peer. Nor a replacement for the missing spouse relationship.

I was a single parent for years and not, ” dating around” due to wanting to lead an upright life and not expose my children to different men until I was certain that God was leading it. I think , looking back, I made the mistake of relying too heavily on my children to meet my emotional needs, and this gave them a distortioned view of their importance. Not only that, but it can be stressful for them to grow up feeling that their parent needs them for companionship. It’s common, I think. I did allow God to do a lot of healing and went into codependency recovery, but it was a long process. Sometimes, when the kids are all you have, and you don’t, for whatever reason have other emotionally healthy adult relationships, this can happen.

I remarried two years ago, to a man with adult children, one of whom lives with us. He also is a Christian with similar values similar story of redemption. Just be aware, when God brings you that special lady, to let your children know, no matter what age they are, that she, your wife, comes first. God first, then her, then them. If your children are used to your elevating them to “most important ” in your life, then suddenly, that is challenged, be prepared for serious tension.

They will, and always will be your children. You love them deeply. You would give your life for them. You do want to do the best parenting job you can, given their ages and stage of development. However, as they grow up , they are supposed to grow up, find their own spouse and make a life apart from you. Your wife will be there as a lover, best friend, companion for the rest of your life. It’s a bond that supersedes the parent relationship, as important as this is, is not meant to take the place of a spouse relationship. God intended for the bond between husband and wife to last forever.

I pray that you continue to be a caring and responsible dad, putting God first, and working on your ability to form and sustain healthy adult relationships. I know it’s very lonely and temptations are many, but continue to pray for a wife. I hope someday you will remarry and remember this post. You don’t have to forsake your children to give attention, value and honor to a new woman. You just prioritize her. The kids might not like it, they may not like her, but your showing her respect, deference, will speak volumes about the importance of a wife and the place of honor she holds in your life. Having not had to share you for however long it has been, will create struggles for them, as they adjust to the new situation, but God will help you all as you adjust. If you side with them while having power struggles, you alienate the one person you vowed to live as one with for the rest of your life, and that just isn’t wise.
Your children are blessed to have a father who cares so much about them. It’s Godly to want a wife ; he who finds one finds a good thing.
May you be blessed in the finding.

that as a single parent, you must be sacrificial and place the welfare of your children as paramount, God also doesn’t want us to place them on a petastal. Giving them that power is not good for them and also prevents God from perhaps moving you into another marriage.

Emma’s mentality about marriage and relationships is very disturbing. She comes across as the typical millennial who feels entitlement and self-serving is number one priority. For this reason alone she never should’ve become a parent in the first place. I would never consider dating a woman with the mentality that Emma house if I had 1234 kids to raise. Those kids come first no matter what because your relationship with them for the rest of your life with their lives matters more than any temporary relationship you can hopefully promise yourself with another person of the opposite sex or the same-sex for that matter

This is awful! Sorry but no parent married or divorced should put their partner before their own child! As a teen my mother always put my stepfather first. Guess where that led me? Living with a boy at 16 and I starting drinking because I felt unloved and unworthy of a mother’s love. My dad had a new family he started yet he stepped up to the plate and took me in and loved and supported me. I am forever grateful I had my dad who know how to be a parent. Today as a recently divorced mother of 2 teen boys their father has chosen to put his girlfriend first! They never see him or spend time with him. The few times they do she has to be there. God forbid the kids want alone time to go fishing with their dad or talking privately about guy advice, etc… Guess how my son’s are doing? One is starting to be resentful towards their dad and the other doesn’t say much but his grades are going down and he’s starting to get depressed. This leaves me as a full-time mother trying to be a mom and dad to them so they have at least one parent in their lives. I make sure they are loved, fed, clothed, warm and supported in every way. There’s NO reason a parent can’t put their child ahead of their own needs for now. They are kids once….We as adults have a lifetime to be in a relationship. Partners can come and go. Kids are your flesh and blood. Priorities.
(I’m not saying a parent should drop everything and run home from their date because the kid is having a tantrum about bedtime. That’s a little extreme.)

It’s funny how the majority of those commenting that the relationship comes first are still together. The ones arguing that the children come first are single parents for that reason. I believe a strong healthy relationship should be the foundation. Everything else should follow.

It’s okay because when she’s old, her kids won’t be taking care of her because she didn’t put her kids first. :)

While agree, I am a man who is marrying in one month to a woman with two children. We have them alternating weekends. However, I agree that the relationship goes first and kids second. We are expecting soon with a child of our own, and without my fiancee, the child would have no support. I would promote a healthy relationship of selflessness, compassion, and fidelity to be an example to the children, rather than be second to children who in a couple of years are no longer part of a decree. People say “Children are Blessings” while that is true to healthy relationships but “Children are not blessings” based on how they were raised situations of divorce.

P.S. We are not marrying because of the child.. She is early 1st trimester and we have dated 3 years and in our mid 30’s

Hey I totally agree, when my kids got grown, they told me that their mates and spouses came before me and that was that. They Love me very much. But will not let anyone ruin their happiness even me. I am now dating a younger guy and he has a 5 year old and he always make time for him, and make sure he has the best gifts possible but when it comes to me although he does things for me it’s a struggle. I never ask for anything from him because I am very self sufficient. I love to shop he took me on a 5 hour shopping spree with his son and expected me to just help him pick out Christmas Gifts all day. After he got what he needed for him he was ready to go. He will sit up and spend quality time with him. Take off from work to have his wknd every two weeks and will not ever take off a wknd for me. At first he would stay at his mom house the 3 days he would keep him. Now he is here every other wknd. The child has no connection to me and don’t talk to me at all when his dad is around. I wanna leave so bad just asking God for the strength. I am not happy most of the time. The sex is still ok. But he says that he is happy I just wanna know why I don’t feel like he does. Today he told me I’m not going to lie yes my son does come before you, I’m sorry that’s the way it is. I kinda knew that, but to hear it man.

LEAVE HIM. If he can’t appreciate the essential value a woman has over his son, he’s creepy in the head.

Ms Truth,
As a single dad that has fought for my son’s life (literally), I find it hard to believe that you can say that. You seem delusional to me rather than speaking the truth. Sure relationships need to be given priority (all relationships not just one or the other), but you continue to sew discontent because you are salty to the core. I hope you never have kids or date a man that does, because you will just ruin them.

Wow. What a load of crap. This just goes to show how neurotic women really are. When men don’t pay enough attention to their kids they are deadbeats. When they meet a man that actually wants to be a dad and make his kids a priority women bitch about that. Here’s an idea for an article Emma: I’m a Crazy Bitch That Will Never Be Happy

Right, she definitely sounds like a terrible mother. People with that mentality should never have children to begin with. She will regret it one day, if she lives until her elderly years, when her children throw her in the worst nursing home. Then she will wonder why they never visit. Maybe because of all the time she spent with these fly by night men that the relationship never worked out anyways. First of all chances are, your kids will be around much longer than any man, considering you treat them right. Second of all, even if you have a life lasting relationship, chances are your partner who is at the same age as you in the later stages of life won’t even be able to care for you. If you’re partner is younger, they don’t want to be changing their partners diapers.

My bf does not believe in this. We are together 6 years now, I never met his kid, only in the 6th year I met his family, his ex says she does not want the kid near me, and neither him nor her wants me meeting the kid. For his birthday, he is saying again, I cannot be invited, because the kid is planning it, a 9 year old Kid, I suggested that since I never got invited, I can come in the evening, he said no, the kid would have things planned for the evening too…..My gosh! Life is great yes, love this man, and do not know how to deal with this frustration!!!!

It sounds to me like his ex is jealous and that may be her reason for not wanting you around the kids. I have been with my boyfriend for a year now he’s much older than me, I hate saying that bc it’s totally irrelevant to us but it does matter to society. But my actual point is we live together for about 6 months now and I have met his kids and get along great with them but when they come to the house I leave bc I know how much their time with dad means. So it does seem a little strange to me that you still haven’t met his kid. I’m 26 and my boyfriend is 55 his kids are 20, 19 and 15 so it was awkward no doubt the first time we met and when they first found out about me and my age but it’s necessary in a relationship that both people believe in.

Im also 26 and my partner is 52 weve been together for 3 years. He has 2 kids, both teenagers. Although at times they make me feel like utter rubbish, it would feel strange if my partner didn’t introduce us. He was very wary for a while and tried to play down our relationship when they were around. Dating a man with children is probably the hardest thing i’ve ever done in my life its even harder as his kids are spoiled and rude. Having said all of that, I would be extremely angry if i hadn’t had been introduced. I think if it is making you feel so down you may have to really question as to if the relationship is worth feeling like that as hes not opening up all of his world to you.

Jennifer, I’ve noticed how judgmental you are in so many of your comments. Get over yourself and visit your own therapist!!

Smally get out! six years and your relationship hasn’t progressed, how much longer do you have to wait before your life with him can actually begin! I’m sorry but hes being selfish to just expect you to hang around in the background til it suits him x

Yet again, salty af. Are you for real or just a troll? My bet is you haven’t crawled out from underneath of your bridge yet. Please stay there troll.

Take note that somehow this story has been twisted from being about single parents to being about single fathers that neglect women… key into a search engine anything about single parent and you will find the majority of information available is for women. Unfortunately most discussions end up becoming a rant session for women that feel hard done by.

Not by our own choice are we absentee fathers!!
I call absentee fathering , every other weekend and 3 hrs on Wednesday . Oh, throw in a few ball games where you sit in the stands and “watch ” your kids but have no contact with them after. The court system seems to think this is just sufficient time to be a good father, couple that with an ex wife who just wants you to disappear and it’s a disaster , and I’ll catch hell for this , but I’m going to say 90% of “parental alienators” are woman. I’m just tired of divorced Dads being demonized .

It is women that have desroyed the American family. Hell, only a woman could decide to abort a baby. Only a woman can cheat and then still get the house, the kids, alimony, child support. Only women. Selfish, greedy, whorish, narcissistic women are responsible for all of these single parent families. 70% of no fault divorce cases are initiated by women for no reason at all other then their own weekness and a wife and mother. You worthless wretches dont deserve a real man.

The Messenger, as you’re very far from ever being a real man, this is not a concern for you. Shoo back to the red pill forums now. You’re impressing no-one with your lunatic ravings here. People see you for what you really are.

“Parental alienators” is a term invented by abusive woman-haters to justify why they weren’t granted custody of their kids, and why their kids don’t want to see them, diddums. Pretty idiotic of you to parrot a lie that’s already been debunked. You’re revealing your true abusive colors without even realising it. Run along now.

I agree with RonRon! My brother is being bullied by the ex wife. He tried so hard and wants to date but the ex and the 16, 20, & 22 yr-old kids are putting on the guilt trips and cussing him out. It’s so frustrating for him and he feels like he can never do anything right.
Ex cheated on him and took him to the cleaners just to get his money and she manipulates the kids…they are so spoiled because she put them ahead of the relationship and uses them to hurt their dad.
He adores his kids but they don’t respect him. It’s his turn to live his life now. He needs to stick up for himself with the ex, continue loving his kids, and go ahead and date. There has to be a balance!

How about you tell that to my son’s mother? She put herself before our son and almost died from meth, got thrown into prison and still continues to put herself first, while i was the one there for my son, night and day while he was going through chemo. To this day, she has nothing to do with him. Your numbers might be correct but thats an insult to every man who has fought tooth and nail for their children’s future. By all means, please go out and tickle your fancy, but leave the insults towards honest men who care about their children’s wellbeing out of this.

My sister was a single mom of two children and married the guy of her dreams. He molested her girls and she told them to forget it happened because she did not want to lose her husband. Husband was convicted of molestation and she moved on two man number 2 while she lost custody of her girls for covering it up. My niece committing suicide due to her mother putting her children second and the man first. Sister ended up marrying another man and wanted nothing to do with the other two kids conceived with the molestor. The kids again were in her way of finding happiness with a man. She would constantly drop the kids off so with my mother so she can have alone time with new man while we grieve over my neice. Ladies, a real man will accept you and your children. If u have to push your kids to the side for a man think about my neice cutting her wrist and dying of a broken heart. God bless you all.

This blog is incorrect advice. This how children’s lives get ruined at the expense of adult relationships. The real issue is that single parents should never be put in a position where they have to prioritise children over girlfriend and vice versa. If it doesn’t work in a marriage or relationship post divorce then it never will, kids or no kids. People just need to relax and stop being so dependent on their own self importance.

I think this is spot on. There has to be a balance in romantic relationships and relationships with ones children. Most people are too black and white about it by putting their all into one and neglecting the other. That is why relationships fall apart. It is ok to miss a baseball game once in a while if you go more often than not. It is not ok to hire a babysitter during your scheduled time with kids – in fact it’s frowned upon by courts. It’s also not ok to take calls from a son who is upset about hockey while you’re on a date. To have healthy kids you need to teach them that while they are a top priority, they are not the center of the universe. Otherwise they will be in for a rude awakening when they leave home. I question the logic of moving a partner in and remarrying when the kids are adolescents. I think the kids canard mom or dad with a new partner without them having to become part of the family while you’re trying to raise them. Unfortunately, there are many people out there, male and female, who are jealous of their partners kids. Those are the people who you should run from. Romance is great but moving in together and remarrying can wait if your kids are of a certain age. There is a reason why more than 60% of second marriages end in divorce. No relationship is worth that stress. Have a romantic relationship, but keep it balanced- a priority but not before the children you had and quite frankly, the person who you had them with and who shares custody of them. That’s the other adult the kids care about, not your current gf or bf.

No, dear. Every single parenting expert will tell you your partner needs to come before the kids. Actual experts. Not armchair experts in comment sections.

As well as the Bible. All these self righteous parents with their “values”…yet they are divorced or having kids that are illegitimate; and go against the word that says a man shall love his woman as he does his god. Not the kids, the WOMAN. False christians on their libtard rants are in for a big surprise upon their deaths.

My soon to be ex wife would agree with this! I do not! She has already moved a stranger into her home, she met him online and the day they met he moved in. My girl she a room with mom though, this is wrong! I already knew her children before we got together but was still unsure about moving in. I did move in after a while as the outsider, but the kids seen that I helped focus mom on them and the needs they had! We were together for 9 years and had 2 girls together. I swear my girls will come first before anyone else, a relationship would be nice but my first priority is the happiness of the 2 girls! Of course mom asked them dont you want mommy to be happy? That is wrong, what kind of bs is she trying to teach my girls? Mommy needs a man in her bed to be happy! I think there’s a right way to go about being a single parent trying to date and a wrong way and putting the kid’s second is wrong.
BTW I should be getting full custody of my girls in 2 weeks and I still have a good relationship with 3 of the 4 step children, they will always be my boys!

Fantastic real advise…thank you and why my parents and their dynasty is in their 66 year of marriage.

Beautiful article. If you are a Christian it’s Biblical to put God first and in the center of your marriage so the order is God, spouse, children. It’s very sad to see how many families end up broken they re marry and it repeats all over again due to the inability to prioritize what has already been instructed. I see this all the time and the sad thing is people fail to realize that kids grown up get married and start their own lives and that’s how you end up with the empty nest syndrome. If you are Blessed to be in the same committed relationship the children are an add on to your marriage a Blessing to the marriage a product of your love for each other you should still however put your spouse first. (NEVER STOP DATING) that is the recipe for a healthy home and healthy and well balanced marriage. Blended families are extremely difficult I believe I’ve spoken with many women that have struggled and literally have ended up with a broken marriage due to the step children and the difficulties that come along with it. Very wise and truthful article. God Bless you.

I think this is a good post, emphasis on the relationship and in turn being able to share that love and commitment trickling through the whole family. It can provide a stable secure environment for children and teach them good relationship skills. I don’t think that this post means your spouse is supposed to be your sole and only person in the family you concentrate on and give attention and love. You should be able to balance family life much better when you and your spouse are on the same page and getting what you need from the relationship. Too often do people think thAt putting your children after your spouses needs in a relationship means to neglect them?, I guess if you think that putting your commitments as a partner first is a terrible thing and you must be a horrible person then you should not commit yourself to a relationship and stick to your children.

Parents need too take notes!! Lol. Good idia. Lol if your anything like the man I was with!! His kids are grown adults. Drop outs. Daughter pregnant. Still 8 years later. Still in same position!! Myself. I say ofcourse if you have a tight loving family. Like mine!! My 4 adult kids graduated. Some too collage!! Good jobs. Have homes!! Normal!! We laugh. Visit. Kids come first! Yes when they were baby’s. Structure!! Bottom line!! Respect!!! You parents want your kids too come first. That’s so beatifull!! Me too!!!! Know that they are grown up. Have a life too!! You would think they would be happy for you! Unless you like that your grown kids need your bank account. You feeling guilty about something you did or didn’t do!! Yes a lot of parents use that!! Past!! Move on. So true!! Did my best for my kids! No guilt here. Only guilt I had was waiting too long. All should be happy!! Mainly if you have adult kids. Sadly enough my ex will always provide for his. Never too hold down a job. Live with parents with their kids. Pays for their covage. His grandkids. His phone never stopped ringing!! Too the point. I got too hear it. Then will turn it off for days. Guess for a break. You parents that want too carry your kids forever!! And your divorced!! Very much agree. Let your new partner now!! Mainly if still caring for your adult kids and theirs!! It will be never ending!! That way no one is waiting their time!!

I am ten years old and my mum is putting me second and its ruining our relationship. And she breaks up with them that week and she makes me used to them and get to like them. I hate it she broke up with one 2 days.And I found her on tinder this morning. I also found nude photos on her phone. And it does scar me when I see my mother expressing sexuality

My own opinion…this whole thing is a piece of sh*t…children needs their parents to guide, comfort and be there for them. Your partner can find someone else to put him/her first and you can find someone who needs to understand your children needs you more but your children have only one mom and dad they have no chance of getting attention and being put first from other parents…this is the most important time of their life to have someone to guide them…don’t throw it away for someone you met…it will make your children feel worthless and unimportant for seeing their own parent they have know their whole life, chooses someone else.

Err NOPE! I am a single mom and I would never date a guy who won’t put his kids first before me. What it would be if I have more kids with him???

Actually I don’t think single mums should date when they have young children at all – note this is coming from a single mum .
Research out there shows disturbing results not to mention. The non genetic factor can and sometimes come into play with devastating effects. Children are well adjusted when the are safe and physical and emotional needs are meet your time is better spent on that rather than justifying your entitlement to date and fiful your own needs or perhaps insecurities. This is not judgemental this is my personal opinion and it has paid off for me i have a wonderful marriage now I had the time to invest guilt free once my children were raised 17 my youngest . Let’s be real your children need you and you will never regret putting them first. Trust me as a social worker and a degree in psychology majoring in human behaviour- it’s not worth the risk

Kids should ALWAYS come FIRST especially if your a single mother I get wanting to be happy and what not but at the end of the day your children should ALWAYS matter before any boyfriend or girlfriend you have.! There your children you chose to have then and it’s your responsibility to take care of them. And what’s worse is if your relationship puts your child in danger like he or she abuses them or anything you should protect your child not blow it off and you should definitely not neglect them. These things could leave really bad physical are mental issues grow up and into adult hood soo I completely disagree children always come first no matter what!

I think you are a very selfish women…. One thing about it that man might leave you but your kids will always be there… My mother didn’t put me first and I therefore grew up with very low confidence from feeling unloved… So if you want your kids to not care about you when you get old then keep it up… Wow some people are so ignorantly arrogant…

I have been dating a wonderful man for over a year now, and I am in love with him. He has four daughters and I have two daughters and one son from previous marriages. His daughters do not want anything to do with me. I recently met his youngest daughter and she was very nice. Last night we went on a date and she was home with her sitter. She texted him all night long wondering when he is coming home. My children have met him and really like him. He puts his girls first and has spoiled each one of them. They are all daddy girl’s and don’t respect his needs and wants. I am just confused right now and not certain where this is going?

I agree to a point. My boyfriend and I have been dating for over 10 years he has a daughter who is 16 and she makes all the rules in our home it’s very awkward and we all stay distant because of it half the time I feel on eggshells in front of her. If it was him and I we would be making decisions that would be best for everyone as I love her like she is my own as well. Now I am pregnant with my first daughter and very worried at how it’s going to play out. She already says what she is and isn’t going to do with my kid and she tries to tell us what’s best for our child as if we wouldn’t know. And any name my boyfriend and I like she disagrees with so we always have to change it. I even offered her the middle name because she didn’t like the first name, she was happy for two days then decided she hated the spelling of the first name and wants the middle name so now my boyfriend demands I change the spelling. I know this whole situation is off and I don’t know the best way to bring all of us together I pray and I know things will eventually work out but I would love advice in this. I put his daughter first in our relationship and him as well to the point that everything we do and plan has to go by her first and if she doesn’t like it then we will not do it if I like something but she doesn’t he demands we change it. I have lost my voice almost completely So yes I agree with this article adults should come first to build a strong ground of guidance for their children to grow and be happy as a family.

The author of this article should write a book called: How To Be Single Forever With Only Cats As Friends, because that’s what her advice leads to.

I believe The type of relationship you have with your partner now, determines your children’s belief in  their relationships for life.

how terrible to promote either going to work or staying home. mothers should do what fulfills them until it no longer does, and they should do what works for their families. And what if a marriage isn’t “respectful and loving”? They’re already not a good model to their children, but they should put each other first? and the ridiculous idea that dating should come before a child. Any child from a single home can tell you the emotional scars of a revolving door of men or women and hearing your parent have sex in another room. Children should come first until there is a viable long term partner so that children have the example of inconsistency.

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