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psychlady, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 6893
Experience:  I have over 16 years experience in treating adults presenting with a variety of relationship issues
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Hi, I am a divorced mum to three little boys under the age

Customer Question

Hi, I am a divorced mum to three little boys under the age of 5. I have been on my own for 2-3 years now. Two months ago I started dating a man - the first relationship I've had since my divorce. I fell head over heels in love with him and whats more he loves my boys and they like him. However, he has a 7 year old son who stays with him most weekends. In the first few weeks the boys all appeared to get along well, but then his son became very jealous and distressed by the fact that his father appeared to have a "new family". His son lives a distance away with his mother during the week. For the whole of December we kept the boys separate and we would see each other on weekday evenings at my home. However, the evenings we spent together became less and less - he was very busy at work, had a period when he wasn't well and so on. I also felt I wasn't getting the "attention" I had been getting in the first few weeks, eg frequent phone calls/text messages became less and less. I constantly asked him for reassurance about our relationship and he has told me not to worry. I did not see him over Christmas as his son was with him, though I did have phone calls. However when I hoped to see him between Christmas and New Year I had texts from him saying he had problems with his son being distressed and he needed space and time to himself. He said he would call me. He hasn't called. On New Year's Eve I wrote him a note explaining how I felt - that I loved him, but I needed him to be honest with me about our relationship as I was hurting, and if he wanted to end it do it soon. He answered the door, said his son was unexpectedly with him but again reassured me that "we are fine". I gave him my note to read anyway. Yesterday I bumped into him outside with his son - we live close by. He seemed amiable but conversation was difficult as all our boys were there. He said we'd catch up today. He has not been in contact and I am at a total loss as to what to do. I love him and want to support him through the difficulties he has with his son. He has always said that our children should come first and us second, but I feel like I'm right at the bottom of the pile and have been cast aside. And yet he keeps reassuring me that we're ok - why would he do this? Also, it was clear he'd gone to a lot of trouble with the Christmas card he gave me. Why would he do this if he was going to end it? I'm confused and not sure what to do next. I'm hurting and would rather him end it and me try and move on rather than be kept dangling. I feel I've been patient and given him space but I also feel just some small contact once a day wouldn't go amiss - eg a text message. Do you think I should sit it out and wait longer to see what he does, or should I go round and see him and ask him to talk - or is that too confrontational? I'd be really grateful for any advice you can give. Thank you.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  psychlady replied 6 years ago.

It sounds like he is sending you some serious mixed messages. If is very unfair for him to let you be so torn instead of being clear about his feelings and intentions. It is also very troubling that the children don't get along.


You sound like you can approach him without being confrontational (confrontational is never good). You should let him know how distressed you are and the impact of his lack of communication. There's no harm in that. With the right approach, you may be able to find compromises and ground rules that would make you both happy. Make sure you lay your needs out to be resolved. You may be surprised that his stress and obligations may be the reason for his distance and not you at all.


If you do challenge him and he says it's over then he would have said that anyway and everything else is just a smokescreen.


If you really can work this out, you may eventually be able to gradually expose the children to each other and find a way to better mix them which could benefit your situation as well


Be courageous and go for it

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thank you for your help here. I will go and talk to him soon.


If we manage to sort things out and go forward with our relationship, I wonder if you have any suggestions on how the children could get along. The problem seems to be that his son feels threatened and jealous of my three boys living next door to his father, despite reassurance. I'm told his mother has not helped the situation by making comments like "Daddy has a new family now". Naturally this only makes him even more insecure!. Do you think this is something only time will resolve? Any further suggestions would be gratefully received! Thank you.

Expert:  psychlady replied 6 years ago.
I am glad and find it very disappointing that mom would be that selfish. Because this makes them insecure and rebellious. Try to take small amounts of time at first for them to be together. As they learn to tolerate each other, schedule events outside home that can be enjoyed together. Make sure dad pay his son lots of attention in the presence of your kids. This help reassure them that they are important. Lastly if you give presents at first during holidays offer the other children a small gift. Always include all children in any function when this is resolved. Make all feel important. Try to distance yourself from mom's comments and have dad try indifference. In the meantime make sure you are showing them otherwise.

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