Dear Coleen: I’m left alone to hold the fort with my boyfriend’s kids

  • James
  • April 3, 2018
  • Comments Off on Dear Coleen: I’m left alone to hold the fort with my boyfriend’s kids

Dear Coleen

I’ve been seeing my partner for just over a year and we moved in together in December last year.

A few months before I met him, his wife left him for another man, leaving him to look after their twin sons, who are 15 and doing exams this year, although they stay with their mum at weekends.

As much as I love my partner, I’m starting to think we got caught up in the thrill of our relationship and did too much too soon.

Both my kids are a few years older than his and away at ­university, but now I’m being mum to his sons. They are good kids, but I’m doing so much for them and I have hardly any time alone with my partner.

He also has a very demanding job that includes fairly frequent trips abroad, leaving me to hold the fort at home.

I’ve tried to bring it up a couple of times, but he just seems to have a blind spot when it comes to his sons and won’t see it from my point of
view.

I feel like I’ve done my bit with my own kids and I don’t really want to do it again for someone else’s.

Do you think I’m being needy or unreasonable? I just feel it’s important for us to be able to focus on our ­relationship if it’s going to survive

Coleen says

When you get involved with someone who has kids and an ex, you have to accept what you’re getting yourself into, but so many people don’t think about it.

As you say, it’s easy to get carried away by the excitement of a new relationship. I think this is a hard situation for you, but it’s also hard for his kids – in effect, their mum left them, too. So your partner is probably being overprotective right now.

I understand it’s frustrating and I can see why you’re feeling more like a nanny than a partner.

I think what you need to get across to him is that while you accept the current situation and are happy to help support the children, you also need to work out ways for the two of you to spend time together and get the chance to nurture your relationship.

And you’re right again when you say that your relationship won’t survive unless you’re both happy and getting what you want from it.

It’s a tricky time for his sons with exams coming up but, after that, perhaps your partner can talk to his ex about shouldering more responsibility when it comes to childcare.