Dear Coleen: Why is my new partner so set against his children meeting me?

Dear Coleen

I’m a woman in my mid-40s and have been in a relationship with someone for just over a year. I’d known him through work previously and knew he had an ex-wife and two grown-up kids of 18 and 21.

He moved into my place a couple of months ago and it’s been great, but it bothers me that he’s not keen for me to meet his kids, even though he split from their mum three years ago, way before I came on to the scene. Whenever I bring it up, he fobs me off and admitted the other day that he hasn’t told them we’re living together yet.

He still goes over to the family home several times a week to see the kids, although he usually times it for when his ex is at work. They are civil to one another for the sake of the children, but there’s no love lost between them.

I was really irritated last week when he told me he wanted to take the kids on holiday on his own this summer.

When is he going to factor me into the equation? I’d be happy to have them visit us.

Coleen says

I don’t think it has anything to do with you, so you shouldn’t take it personally.

It sounds as if he’s struggling with guilt over his marriage ending and leaving the family home, so now he’s very sensitive to anything that might upset the apple cart in terms of his kids. And I know they’re grown up, but age won’t come into it for him – they’re just his kids and he’ll want to do his best by them whatever age they are.

He might have been giving your relationship a bit of time to develop before making the kids a part of things, but now you’ve been together a year and are living together, I think he should explain to them that things are serious with you and, when they feel ready, he’d like them to meet you.

At 18 and 21 they ought to be able to handle that information.

When you talk to your partner, instead of making it all about meeting the kids, explain the situation is making you feel insecure about the relationship and how committed he is to it going forward.


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