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Old 02-11-2013, 12:34 PM   #31
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I'd wait a while before I exposed my kid to a boyfriend/girlfirend.I'd feel the need to get to know the person fairly well first so I could be sure I could trust them around my child.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:44 PM   #32
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I'm still dumbfounded by this thread. Don't ever have another romantic relationship because that might give people access to your kids?? Huh?

Can't you say this about ANY relationship? Do your kids not meet ANYONE you know. I have friends, platonic, male and female should NONE of those people meet my kids because they may not be in my life forever? That makes ZERO sense.

My ex-husband's best friend got divorced, his wife and my son were super close. She left their marriage. My son hasn't seen her since the day she left. I haven't either. Should she not have been part of our lives? We've moved a lot. People come and go. No one has been heartbroken.

I have said I haven't introduced any "dates" because, for the most part, since my divorce I've only dated people. No one has been serious enough that I feel like they need to know my kids. They haven't met my parents either.

No one is talking about playing house. They are talking about going to lunch or a ball game or something.

Do I think you should be moving "boyfriends" in and out all the time. Of course not. But I think kids can meet people w/out getting heartbroken.

And to think a single woman (or man but since mothers usually have primary custody) should 100% put her life on hold and focus ONLY on her children is .... sad. I should be a spinster or wait another 13 years till my last child is out of the house to date or be involved with anyone? Because my ex decided that he wanted a girlfriend and I had the guts to leave? Frankly, I'm slightly insulted by the thought. As if being a single parent wasn't hard enough.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:57 PM   #33
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Unlike some on here, I don't think this is only about what the mom does. I think the rules apply to a dad too. I also can't believe some would expect a person to not date until their child was grown or be without companionship that long. Only the parent knows what timing is best for the relationship and the children. I do know of those that have had almost every date acting like another parent (), but for the most part, parents are in tune with their children enough to know what is best.
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:02 PM   #34
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I am out and about and can't reply very fully at this time. But I respect other parents' rights to parent in a way they feel is best. For ME I'm pretty sure the hassle and risks would not be remotely worth it. I just do not think I could handle the blended family thing well. Too much effort, drama and risk involved. By risks I mean all risks: physical and emotional as described in his thread.

Personally I feel a romantic relationship Is hugely different from a platonic one. But yes I am cautious about any adult I allow to have a relationship with my kids. Especially men. That's my choice. My kids have men in their lives besides my husband. But my radar is always on and I don't like them tO be alone with them. It's just not necessary. That is much harder to avoid if someone is spending a lot of time in your home.

In a nutshell, a man could never love my children the way their father does. There might be some exceptions out there but for me the risk of finding one of those people wouldnt be worth it. I could wait for a later season in life.
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:07 PM   #35
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I am out and about and can't reply very fully at this time. But I respect other parents' rights to parent in a way they feel is best. For ME I'm pretty sure the hassle and risks would not be remotely worth it. I just do not think I could handle the blended family thing well. Too much effort, drama and risk involved. By risks I mean all risks: physical and emotional as described in his thread.

Personally I feel a romantic relationship Is hugely different from a platonic one. But yes I am cautious about any adult I allow to have a relationship with my kids. Especially men. That's my choice. My kids have men in their lives besides my husband. But my radar is always on and I don't like them tO be alone with them. It's just not necessary. That is much harder to avoid if someone is spending a lot of time in your home.

In a nutshell, a man could never love my children the way their father does. There might be some exceptions out there but for me the risk of finding one of those people wouldnt be worth it. I could wait for a later season in life.
Who called it? The whole men are pedophiles and perverts thing...except fathers. Because no father has ever acted inappropriate with their child.

And I know several step-fathers who loved and did a better job as "fathers" then the biological father did.
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:46 PM   #36
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Who called it? The whole men are pedophiles and perverts thing...except fathers. Because no father has ever acted inappropriate with their child.

And I know several step-fathers who loved and did a better job as "fathers" then the biological father did.
I totally get what you are saying. It's just for me it isn't worth the risk.

I also believe that you know what is best for you and for your kids just like I do for me and my kids.
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:00 PM   #37
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Interesting thread for me being that I'm going through this very thing. I agree you should hold out a looooooong time until you absolutely know you are going to be with the person permanently. I have a kinda sorta new GF I've been seeing for about 6 months now and still have not allowed her around my baby. I don't want to confuse her. My ex has a new BF that I got major bad reports on in the beginning so I had to go off on her (when I caught her after she said she wouldn't) having this guy around her. (He even had a history of meth addiction, supposedly reformed )

Score another point for Facebook because without it, I would not have known she was letting her around this guy. (The guy had posted pictures on FB of them over at his house). So I go off, and threatened to take her to court to get custody. (We have never fought about this issue at all until this.) I told her if she chose to date a decent guy that didn't have a history of being a meth head I would be a little more sympathetic, but under the circumstances I put my foot down about it. And it has worked after I went off on her about it.
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:10 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by bethy View Post
I am out and about and can't reply very fully at this time. But I respect other parents' rights to parent in a way they feel is best. For ME I'm pretty sure the hassle and risks would not be remotely worth it. I just do not think I could handle the blended family thing well. Too much effort, drama and risk involved. By risks I mean all risks: physical and emotional as described in his thread.

Personally I feel a romantic relationship Is hugely different from a platonic one. But yes I am cautious about any adult I allow to have a relationship with my kids. Especially men. That's my choice. My kids have men in their lives besides my husband. But my radar is always on and I don't like them tO be alone with them. It's just not necessary. That is much harder to avoid if someone is spending a lot of time in your home.

In a nutshell, a man could never love my children the way their father does. There might be some exceptions out there but for me the risk of finding one of those people wouldnt be worth it. I could wait for a later season in life.
As you have stated, this is about the relationship with your children and their father, but it doesn't work that way for every family. There are many families where the bio-parent is just that. He has no desire or business taking care of the children. In many cases, the step parent loves the children as much if not more than the bio-parent. The children respect the step parent more than the bio-parent in these cases also.

Just for the record, not every male out there is a pedophile. That's quite a sexist remark.
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:32 PM   #39
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Interesting thread for me being that I'm going through this very thing. I agree you should hold out a looooooong time until you absolutely know you are going to be with the person permanently. I have a kinda sorta new GF I've been seeing for about 6 months now and still have not allowed her around my baby. I don't want to confuse her. My ex has a new BF that I got major bad reports on in the beginning so I had to go off on her (when I caught her after she said she wouldn't) having this guy around her. (He even had a history of meth addiction, supposedly reformed )

Score another point for Facebook because without it, I would not have known she was letting her around this guy. (The guy had posted pictures on FB of them over at his house). So I go off, and threatened to take her to court to get custody. (We have never fought about this issue at all until this.) I told her if she chose to date a decent guy that didn't have a history of being a meth head I would be a little more sympathetic, but under the circumstances I put my foot down about it. And it has worked after I went off on her about it.
I don't even understand how you can make a decision about having someone in your life permanently until you know how they feel about your kids and more importantly how your kids feel about them. And nothing is guaranteed to be permanent. I thought my marriage was permanent. I wouldn't have had kids at all if, at the time, I didn't think that there family would be intact forever. But that didn't happen. Things happen.

As a child, who's parents were divorced. I can't imagine having being told that one of my parents were going to MARRY someone that I hadn't even met. That my feelings on the matter were so inconsequential that I couldn't even be introduced to the person before a life changing decision was made.

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As you have stated, this is about the relationship with your children and their father, but it doesn't work that way for every family. There are many families where the bio-parent is just that. He has no desire or business taking care of the children. In many cases, the step parent loves the children as much if not more than the bio-parent. The children respect the step parent more than the bio-parent in these cases also.

Just for the record, not every male out there is a pedophile. That's quite a sexist remark.
And for the record. I TOTALLY agree. But that is the vibe I was getting. OF COURSE not all men are pedophiles and I find it really sad that people seem to think there is some extreme risk present with having males in their children's lives. That they have to be "on guard" when anyone but their child's father has access to their children. I don't understand instilling that fear into your kids.
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:10 PM   #40
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I think to each their own on this, but for me, my ex has already said she doesn't want to get married so that's not really at issue with me.
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:16 PM   #41
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I totally get what you are saying. It's just for me it isn't worth the risk.

I also believe that you know what is best for you and for your kids just like I do for me and my kids.
I'm unclear on what isn't worth the risk? What's the risk?
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:19 PM   #42
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My kids have men in their lives besides my husband. But my radar is always on and I don't like them tO be alone with them. It's just not necessary. That is much harder to avoid if someone is spending a lot of time in your home.

So do you not allow your children to go to their friends houses if only the dad is around and mom's not home? Why? Is the mom more trustworthy than dad? Thankfully I have a nice circle of friends and it's not uncommon for the kids to gather and play and it only be dad home to supervise (and these are girls ages 8 to 11), including my own husband. Heck, my DH probably supervises the kids way better than I do most of the time. Why does it have to be me, the mom, the woman, to supervise playdates?

Now, if DD is going to friend's house of someone I don't know well, say a classmate, then I make it a point to have a meet & greet and DD has my number and knows to call me in a heartbeat if she needs me for anything. There are just as many unsavory ladies out there these days as there are men...unfortunately.
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:07 PM   #43
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I'm unclear on what isn't worth the risk? What's the risk?
For ME, the simplest way to put it is that no man could have enough skin in the game for me to trust them implicitly with my children day in and day out in my home and every day life. Personally for me I am not referring to a more casual relationship consisting of bowling dates and ball games on the weekends.

By skin in the game I personally mean having interacted with and been responsible for my kids every day of their lives, interacted with them, loved on them, provided for them, sacrificed for them and put them first before himself. Every single day for years. And loved me, their mother every day for many years before that (10). No man would have had that history. And that's the only kind of man I personally want involved in my kids' home lives and helping raise them. Other relationships - like coaches, uncles, teachers - those have tangible value yet are different and not nearly as intimate. My kids would not be as vulnerable in those relationships as they would be every day in their own home.

And if a man who was a part of my daily life didn't have enough skin in the game then he doesn't have enough to lose, in my opinion if he makes choices that affect my kids negatively.

To answer your question specifically, by risks I refer to all the emotional ones listed in this thread - those of heartbreak and abandonment. But also just the emotional risk every day of interacting with and possibly even being parented by someone who has not been invested enough in my kids to be trusted to keep their best interests at heart no matter what. I don't know about everyone else, but being a parent is the hardest thing I've ever done. It takes EVERYTHING I've got - and much more - to be the best parent I can be every day. I always joke that it's a good thing they are so cute and that I love them so much - because that's my motivation to make the best choices possible day after day after day. That's my skin in the game. I'm human and my love and devotion to them keeps me in check.

And yes to a lessor extent I do consider any physical risks involved of my kids regularly sleeping under the same roof as a man who is not their father. I am on alert every time we have houseguests no matter who they are. If I have time I will look up links later but have always been under the impression that statistically males are far more likely to molest children than women are. I also would never hire a male babysitter for this reason - just not worth the risk for ME. I get to choose who they spend time with at this time in their lives and am the only one who needs to understand my choices.

As for my extra caution with men I have actually never mentioned it to my kids other than making a point to my oldest DD that I need to meet the BOTH the moms and dads of any of her friends - maybe not for an hour or two of hanging out after school but any time she starts hanging out at someone's house often. I don't worry too much about occasional sleepovers with families whom we know and socialize with. But my radar would ping if she spent a lot of time at one house - especially for sleepovers and it was mostly just the dad there supervising. Not OK for me. The older my kids get the less I will worry. Honestly my views on this are not unusual in our community. Parents make it a point to know each other, even though there is no guarantee there.

About step parents I know there are many, MANY wonderful ones out there - hopefully even the vast majority are. Yes I know there are some terrible bio parents out there, unfortunately, but I am not one of them and neither is my DH. The final risk for me is just upheaval and chaos. Honestly I don't have it in me to add more complications to my life. To add my partner's children and manage my relationships with them and also the relationships between all the kids AND the mother of my partner's kids. I wouldn't do well with all the complexities. I know my vast limitations. I'd wait for another season in my life to possibly seek out a new partner.

Again, this is easy to say when I'm not in the situation. However, given my kids' ages if anything were heaven forbid to happen to my DH now, then it's not like I'd have to wait 20 years before I could seriously date again. It's just a season for me.

I get that many other adults would choose differently for their families and that it would be for the best.
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:35 PM   #44
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You weren't responding to me, but I'll expand on my comment about how a single parent needs to put their child first.

It is my opinion (and only that) that my number one job right now is to be a good wife to my husband. Just slightly below that is my job to be a good mother to my child. Those two things go hand-in-hand, though. Part of being a good mother is loving my daughter's father. Part of being a good wife is loving my husband's daughter. Through my relationship with my husband, my daughter will see how a man should treat a woman and what a loving relationship should look like. Jointly, my husband and I raise our daughter to be strong and independent. If something were to happen and my husband were to no longer be in the picture, it is a disruption to my daughter's life, to say the least. She is used to having my husband there everyday having dinner with us, taking her to the park, going swimming together, and all sorts of other family activities. If he was no longer there, that is a huge adjustment for her and as her mother, it is my responsibility to try and keep her life as stable as possible. For me, that means not going out and trying to find a new man for me and hoping that he gets along with her, will be able to fit into her life, and won't end up breaking up with us and further disrupting her life. This is very different from going out with my husband and leaving my daughter with a relative or family friend. Her father is in her life and in mine. He is not going anywhere. You have no such commitment (and should not expect to) from a man you are just dating.
I find this really interesting. Can I ask a question that springs from genuine curiosity and not judgement?

If, God forbid, your husband were no longer in your life and you did find a man who you loved and who worked well with your life, do you think you could get remarried? And if you did get remarried, would being a good wife to your new husband be your number one priority again, or would your daughter remain your top priority?
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:44 PM   #45
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I find this really interesting. Can I ask a question that springs from genuine curiosity and not judgement?

If, God forbid, your husband were no longer in your life and you did find a man who you loved and who worked well with your life, do you think you could get remarried? And if you did get remarried, would being a good wife to your new husband be your number one priority again, or would your daughter remain your top priority?
Feel free to ask away. Personally, I can't really see myself getting into a situation without another man where I was close enough to him to see myself marrying him. I wouldn't want to put myself into that sort of situation because I wouldn't want to have to face that sort of decision. Now, once my daughter is an adult and out of the house (in other words, an adult), that is the only situation in which I would considering letting myself get that close to a man. If that were to occur and he and I were to marry, he would become my number one priority (this stems from religious beliefs that I really can't get into here but I can PM you if you want) but again, it is just slightly above my priority to be a mother to my daughter who, again, would be grown.
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