Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I don't want to date a man with kids...

So far in my limited dating experience, the two biggest dating dealbreakers for me have been: religious beliefs and kids (either the guy doesn't want kids or he already has them).

I've received a very mixed reaction to my decision not to go out on a second date with a seemingly good guy (and super cute!) due to one simple fact: he has two daughters that live in Texas.

The first thing I should mention is that I love kids (at least the good ones!) and I want to have some of my own. So my reason for not dating a guy with kids has nothing to do with disliking children. In fact, it's the opposite! I think my decision to not date someone with kids is fortified by the fact that I want my own children. My own family. My own husband. Truth be told, I'm not good at sharing! I'm fine with giving, providing, nurturing, but really deep down, I'm not good at sharing. I'll do it, but I have to make an effort to and most likely I'm not truly happy about it. And I don't think it's wrong to be selfish about my husband and his time with me and our family. I do not want my husband's time and attention to have to be divided up between our kids and "his kids." Everything would be divided: weeks, weekends, summer vacations, holidays, birthdays, and the list could go on and on...

It's not just a question of dividing time either! If he has kids, most likely he is paying child support. Considering that I won't be working after I have kids, most likely we'll need every dollar to stay in our own household, not going to support the former wife and kids.

I'm also a firm believer that children need lots of face-to-face time. I'm a quantity over quality-time type person. Of course, the time spent with kids should be as high of a quality as possible, but I don't believe that spending a few "quality" hours on a weekend will make up for not being there every night to just be there to... hug, talk, cook dinner, help with homework, give baths, brush teeth, watch TV, play a game, etc. Sure, it's mundane and not that flashy "quality time," but ultimately, quantity is the less memorable thing that, in reality, is more important.

Here's what I do know: If I was dating someone, I would NOT be satisfied spending "quality time" with him every other weekend. Hell no! Give me quantity any day over that. I want to see him every day and really be with him. That would be the only way to truly get to know him and develop a relationship and I don't believe it's different for the parent-child relationship. It's probably even more exaggerated because kids (for the most part) yearn for their parents, no matter how crappy they are whereas an adult is more likely to make a decision to turn their attention elsewhere if their needs aren't being met. Therefore, I don't think someone with kids should be devoting any of their already limited time to me. Their kids should be their priority. And if their kids are not their priority, then I certainly wouldn't want to make more kids with him.

Ideally, I want an uncomplicated life. I consider myself a pretty lucky person. But I know that life is going to throw curveballs. Here's what I don't want: a crazy ex-wife who makes my life a living hell, kids who resent me for being with their father (and therefore taking time, money and attention away from them), a husband who can't say 'no' because of the guilt he feels for the marriage not working out... this list of irrational fears could go on and on. And I totally understand that these are in no way a "given" or absolute. The only way though to guarantee that those things don't happen is to not marry someone who brings that with them. I want a clean start with the man I love!

I had people say that I could be filtering out someone who is "perfect-perfect" for me simply by eliminating the guys with kids. Perhaps. But I don't believe that there is only one person on this planet for me. I believe there are many people I could be very happy with. So, maybe the guy with kids is "perfect" except for the fact that he has kids. In my ideal world, I take a pass and cross my fingers. However, if I'm ever faced with it, I might have to reconsider at the time.

The bottom line: I don't want to marry someone with kids, but life is fluid and ever-changing. I'm not naive enough to make a hard and fast decision about something like that. But if it came down to it, I think I'd rather date someone who had different religious beliefs, but was willing to go to church with me than date someone who has kids. (I mean, if I was going to have to prioritize the deal breakers!)


sedjtroll said...

I know you've taken some flaq about this decision, but I htink it's perfectly reasonable, and wel thought out. Even if you didn't have specific reasons and logic behind the decision, you're well within your right for 'having kids' to be a dealbreaker... and in this case it's not like you just pulled that requirement out of thin air.

So kudos to you for sticking to your guns! I don't think you should budge, no matter what anyone says. Not on this 'dealbreaker' anyway.

Anonymous said...

I also completely agree. You should be selfish (in the rational sense of the word) because it's your life.

I'm sure you feel some pressure because your biological clock is ticking, so to speak, but in my view there's no reason not to hold out for a while longer. You have a lot of admirable qualities and you shouldn't sell yourself short. I wish you all the best in finding the right man for you.

Carolyn said...

Steph --
this is the best deal breaker I have heard so far. I agree completely with each and every one of your arguments. If I were in your situation, that would be one of my deal breakers too.

I guess I'm not very good at sharing either. I can't imagine raising a kid with my husband and NOT having him here every night and every weekend. I wish he didn't have to go off to work every day, but I can handle that!

Stephanie said...

Carolyn - I swear we are twins separated at birth. I think it's so weird when people seem to really disagree with me. I just don't understand it at all. But I guess that's probably how they're feeling about me too!

Anonymous said...

Don't do it save you heart from misery. I have been married for 11 years with the same man with no children and still his step daughter at 23 is still an issue. Drama Drama Drama felt like I was always being squeezed out of there life. No in my thirties I realized I do not want to settle for anymore drama. Be selfish snap out of love with the man with kids. You will never be number 1 and there is always a babies mama that will be causing you drama. Be selfish, never be anybodys second best ever.

Anonymous said...

I agree with everything that you said. I have dated men with children twice in my life and I do NOT recommend it to anyone for so many reasons.
My ex boyfriend went trick or treating with his ex spouse and his 2 children last Halloween. I was supposed to be understanding as this was a "family event"...
These people are never really divorced... that is the problem.

The children being children go back and forth between 2 households and repeat everything that is going on in each house to the other party... this is rarely mentionned but it can cause many problems, not to mention a lack of privacy.

Money is ALWAYS an issue not to mention the phone calls, visits from the ex, the grandparents involvement, and the fact that the parents have to meet regularly to discuss certain issues.

These men are overwhelmed by guilt and will always assign you the place of second fiddle in order to overcompensate in the eyes of the children.

Relationships are difficult between 2 people, this is a scenario that does not lay the foundation for a solid relationship assuring that drama will always be present.

I have not met a man who is worth the trouble!

lafairy said...

I have dated in the past someone who had a child (and was divorced of course), that was the 1st and LAST time for me, EVER!

Your fears are WELL founded (at least by my personal experience), it's like they're in a TOTAL different page than you are and it's horrible, because you can't compete against his own blood! (even when you don't intend to, sometimes it happens and you can feel neglected)... And another thing, it's like, everything is new to you and he's been through everything already, it's not a nice feeling, I'm glad about my decision of not even consider dating someone with baggage.

There are SO MANY single men out there that I don't see why go with the divorced/guy with kids, just because he is "nice" and has "potential", well... So does the single one with no baggage guy!

Anonymous said...

Hi Steph.

Very interesting what you wrote and has helped me to confirm my feeling towards this subject.

I met a man through online dating and like his emails and we have also chatted on the phone last night. He sounds lovely and we got on really well. We are meeting tonight and I'm excited, but for one thing: He's got two kids!

Now, I love kids and want to have my own, just like you said about yourself...but I feel I deserve a clean/fresh start with a man. I know we haven't even been on one date yet, but this is something to seriously think about, you never know...it might turn into something.

I am 32 and friends and family keep saying that "at my age, you'd to expect meeting guys who already have kids, you can't be so choosy". But I think why not?

I am a happy, successful single woman, who has consciously chosen to stay single for a few years, so that I can truly work on myself to be a happier person, who knows what she really wants. I feel I have so much love and time to give to my future partner and I feel I have the right to say that I want to share this with someone, who also has as much to give as I do. Until now, I have never seriously considered marrying or having kids with a man, because I always wanted to do this with Mr. Right, now I think that my Mr. Right would have chosen the same path and that's where I believe I can be choosy.

Now, you probably ask yourself: Why then go on a date with a man who has children? Well, this is where I feel I don't want to discard someone right away for having children, I do want to be open-minded and get to know him at least and look at these thoughts and feelings a little closer, should it become anything serious. If he asks me honestly about my feelings towards him having kids, I will honestly answer. I think it is okay to know what you want, know where your limitations might be, but don't discard too early on without giving it at least a try.

All the Best to you Steph :-)

Tanja (ldngirl@ymail.com)

Anonymous said...

Hey Steph
I just so happen to see this blogg as I was looking for advice. I am in a situatuion that I do not want to be in at all!. I have a boyfriend that has four kids. Three of his children are by one woman and one child is by the other who also needs DNA testing for that one. I myself have one child also. My child has good manors but is your average preteen. His children are at the same age as mine but they are so freaking sneaky freash and bad! I dont want any of their behavior to rub off on my child. They are street kids campared to my child. I thought I could take on being with my boyfriend if I didnt have anything to do with his kids; however, he brings them around all the time. To make things worst the mother of his children is not independent and always need. Everytime I turn around the phone is ringing or text messages are coming through. Im losing focus here and my head is hurting me so bad. He would have been the perfect man for me if he didnt have all of those babies. I for one really dont like them because of their ways. My son was hit by a car and his foot was fractured because he was following them. One of his sons even came to my house one day and played on my street block until 12am. Someone brought him to my house because he was out all night playing in the street. His son did that because he wanted to see his dad but wtf was you doing outside with out anybody knowing where you were and no you cant stay here! His dad had to take him home. My boyfriends oldest son got caught with a gun in school in his back pack ask me why he didnt get in trouble or why it didnt end up in the news, Oh first time I met them they stole my cell phone or it grew legs and walked out my house. I was very disgusted but what hit me the most was the fact that I left them in my childs room and they cut his skate board pads up and my curtain, they opened his collectable hot wheel cars, they just have no home training. I think they get it from their mother who also has issues. when I first got with him she was comming to my neighborhood to scratch his car up because she was jealous of our relationship. The funny thing is that he takes care of his children and they dont need anything. The only thing is missing is their dad in the household with them. Well Ive been trying to break it off down to straight up telling him to go but he doesnt want to leave because he knows I love him in which I do but I want out because I know its not right. Will I date a man with kids again? NEVER! Do I think Im selfish? YES! Am I built for this Hell No!
~Helpless in NY

ko said...

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! I was looking for advice and I came across your blog and I agree with you %100. I am a successful single woman without kids and I get so much slack from everyone for not wanting to date a man with children. My reasons are identical to yours. I used to feel like I was a bitch and as if though I was asking for too much because the kid issue is a deal breaker. The way I see it, whoever ends up with me will be my one and only and I deserve to the same for them.

Jade Yahatsugiri said...

God, you hit the nail right on the nose and built a castle. I swear, it seems like ... actually, 99% of the time, whenever a guy tries to hit on me, he's got a kid. I mean, I don't want to be a nasty rush but I've become accustomed to my first question being "You have any kids?". I used protection when I became interested in sex. Never got pregnant, and specifically to avoid all the drama that comes with having kids out of wedlock. Those who did the same, ought to deserve the right to say no to a relationship already lined with baggage. Anyone getting upset about how I worded it as "baggage" is only mad because they know it's the truth without the sugary topping. I tried it out once, dated a guy who mhad a daughter. She was -the- Most spoiled child I ever met, almost like from some deranged Problem Child movie. Literally threw a fit when her father and I took her out, and her good for nothing father didn't bring any money with him since we were only supposed to be "sight-seeing". Ended up having to buy the kid some music CD because she flipped her wig and her daddy didn't bring any cash. I paid for it just to get it over with and because he was giving me the "dont make me look like a sh*ty father eyes". I know plenty of children, seeing as just about everyone I know has gotten knocked up before being married, that kid was out of the ordinary. SO damn glad the relationship didn't work out. I'm not saying all guys are like that or that all children from single parents are like that, but WHY roll around in someone elses sh*, literally. You're bound to come up funky. If you're in one of those types of relationships right now, more power to you and thank you ever so much for taking the extra baggages off the dating market for those who want a fresh start.

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

Just found your blog & I have to say I agree wholeheartedly with everything you've posted - it makes sense to me & you sound like an intelligent woman who should stick to her guns.

I feel the same as you, however I know also that I do not want any of my own kids, alongside a partner who has kids already.

I am currently trying online dating and have been outright abused and called all manner of names by men (who usually have a tribe of kids to their name!) when I inform them of my decision.

Below are some of the 'gems' I have been labelled with for the sole reason of not wanting my own children :

"Selfish cow"
"Lower your standards, you're pathetic"
"Superficial b*tch"
"You're up yourself and will end up alone"
"Barren, heartless b*tch"

:( I know my decision is definately different to many women's, but putting up with this abuse from strangers purely for having my own point of view is exhausting....and yet, I'm trying to remain positive.

I think I'm an okay kinda gal in all other respects, but some men just seem to attack we women who wish to remain childless!
I'm 34 by the way.

I enjoyed reading your post & will return again to your blog

More power to you and I hope you find the lovely partner you deserve

Katheryn :)

A Hinds said...

This is a great post. I'm in my early 30s and plan to have children of my own someday but I have no interest whatsoever in taking care of a man's children from his previous relationship. I shouldn't have to sacrifice my life and my future for someone else's past decisions. I don't date men with kids and I'm glad to see that other smart women are making the right decision. I've dated men with kids before and I will not be heading down that path again.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you. I'm currently dating a father of 3 and I wish I was not in that situation...

I love the guy and get along great with his kids but like it or not I will always be the 'outsider' and don't feel like I have a family. I live with them in their house but I don't feel home.

And I love those kids like my nephews... but you know what I wouldn't spend half my free time with my nephews no matter how much I love them.

So I feel like I'm not living my life, but just living theirs with them... and feeling trapped and sad because I love my boyfriend but I can't see myself being in that situation for years and years...

Life sucks sometimes :(

Stephanie said...

Dear Anonymous,

Just remember that you have control of your life and it's never too late to make changes. It's now been years since I wrote this post and having kissed a lot of frogs, here's what I've learned...

Even when it seems like there's no hope to meet the right person, there is hope.

There's always someone else you will click with and find attractive and interesting.

And finally... Love is not enough. You need to create the life you want, so don't settle for feeling like an outsider!

It's not too late to make tough decisions to better your life. I hope you do it!


Anonymous said...

I'm in the same situation kind of. My bf of a year and a half has 5 kids and 4 baby mothers. I have two kids of my own. I have already told him I didn't want a man with that many kids and mothers but he convinced me that it wouldn't be a problem and wouldn't interfere with our relationship. But he keeps bringing them around me and my kids. I don't know if he thinks that will change my mind but it won't. My ex husband isn't in their lives right now and my kids are young 5 and 2. I want someone that's able to devote his time to us not 5 different households. And what kind of future will my kids have with 5 other kids that always come before them. Personally I am selfish but I dont care. Its not like I came from a babys daddy situation. I was married and now I'm separated. It was just the 4 of us. So why should I settle for a 6 more or 7 because his dad lives with him. I'm 25 and he's 28 if it matters. I feel trapped because I know its wrong for me to feel like that because I am in his same boat...being a single parent I mean..but maybe I'm not mature enough for this situation or I need a older man in my life who may have kids but maybe they could be older and out of the house....am I a bad person. I love my bf and he treats my kids like his own I just can't do the same

Anonymous said...

Any update on this blog? I am going through some really hard situations and I feel like my happiness has been compromised because I am still in a situation with a man with kids. Any chance of reviving the thread?

Anonymous said...

Get out. That's what I did. Over 12 months with a man with 3 kids and he never told his ex or his kids about me, and now he's begging me to cone back and for me to meet them. The problem is their men they don't know how to juggle their life, between their kids and their partners. Dont get me wrong some men can make it work and have made it work, but if your feeling Is that it's not right, then
something probably us wrong.. It's hard I'm going
through it now but I know I did the right thing. If I
stayed with him I will never know if their is someone more suitable for me and neither will you. You need to hold on to the hope and never give up, their is someone out there

Anonymous said...

I agree with every single word you say. You really inspired me to change my life even
though i already went way further with this relationship than I ever intended to. I met my
now-husband four years ago, when I was only 20 years old, and he was 30. Knowing too little
about being in a relationship, him having two children with two women did not seem like hell of a problem to me at first. That was until one of baby mothers broke up with her boyfriend and started turning my life into a nightmare.

She was definitely not over my husband, and did everything possible to destroy our relationship. That includes calling him in the middle of the night demanding to come immediately saying his daughter was in the hospital (that turned out to be a lie). Constant phone calls, texts, demands. Like somebody in the previous comments said, people who have children together never really break up. And I had to hear on multiple occasions from my husband that I am a nobody comparing to his own blood (even though I never intended to compete with his children).

Every time we go out it seems like he's never really here, with me. He feels guilty having fun
while his kids aren’t.

Besides baby mama drama, it is another problem. On one hand, I don't really want him to be a
good father to his children (here, i finally said, i guess I am a really bad person) because it means less time and attention for me, but, on the other hand, him not being a great father to
his children makes me not want to have children with him ever. So now i am asking myself why I
wanted to settle down with a person I am never going to be able to have a family with and be
truly happy (even if I really love him).

To all the women with no children: think twice before you even consider going out with a man
who has kids and don't get yourself into something I got myself into.

Anonymous said...

Hi Steph,

I am subscribing to your credo from now on. I've been with a guy who has an almost 6-year-old daughter for the last six months. I've known him thou for over a year and really thought about what it would mean to get involved with him before taking the plunge. I love him dearly and he is a great dad, but I say goodbye to him almost every weekend so that he can see his daughter who lives in a different city about two hours away. This in itself though is not as difficult to deal with as the fact that he usually makes NO attempt to stay in contact when he's with her. I'm lucky if I get a text message asking me how my weekend was on Sunday night. He just took her on a ten day vacation to Mexico and we barely even skyped. Every time I wanted to talk we got cut short by his daughter demanding his attention.

It's really easy for people who have never dated someone with kids to say that you just need to be less selfish and more patient. These people don't understand how awful it feels when you make every effort to include the kid in your life and pave the way for your boyfriend to spend time with her, only to feel like you're some sort of appendage to his "real" family. And you will NEVER be acknowledged for the sacrifices you make because of all this....you are just expected to do it all--and with a smile nonetheless--or you will be portrayed as the heartless bitch who wants to drive a wedge between a father and his child.

I'm 28 and have never been married or gotten pregnant. The relationship I'm in is unequal BY DEFAULT. I am always the one to scramble to fit into his schedule because we obviously can only go out on weeknights and we both work late. And MONEY is important! My boyfriend works his ass off and takes on freelance side projects (which also limit the time we can spend together) so that he can pay $750 a month in child support. We both have advanced degrees, but despite this don't make so much money between us that those payments don't hurt. I mean, it really amounts to the difference between being able to buy property one day vs. renting. I'm pretty far from a gold-digger too, pay have the time when we go out, don't expect (or receive) expensive gifts. But yeah, nobody likes to feel like there's never money to go out and splurge on a fancy dinner or something. These feelings are not insignificant!

I don't know what's in store for me. I had a string of terrible luck with guys and really love my boyfriend. He genuinely tries to do the right thing and I wouldn't want to be with him if he was a deadbeat dad. But yeah, it's a rough journey in a lot of ways.

Anonymous said...

I totally understand what all of you ladies are going through. I have been dating a guy for a year now with a 9 year olf daughter. I love this man dearly and would do anything in the world for him. The only time we ever get into an argument is when it has to do with his daughter. Of course I want him to be a good father to her but I just can't stand coming in second place next to her. I also do not agree with the way the child is being raised. It is almost like she is on vacation when she is at her dad's house because he is afraid she won't want to see him. He doesnt make her clean her room, put her dishes away, pick up her clothes, etc. It drives me nuts! Why am I still so much in love with her father when I really can't stand coming in second??? His ex wife is about to take him back to court for more child support....i guess i can kiss being a stay at home mom one day goodbye!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this blog entry, Stephanie. I'm going on 42, and I knew by the time I was 28, I either wanted to have kids with my husband for the rest of my life out remain single and Childfree. I truly identify with everything in your article completely. to add, my personal experiences with dating men with kids have been mixed, but asst this point in my life, I will not date a man with kids. I lee babies and kids, but dealing with ex wives issues regarding child support, visitation, negative attitudes about parents divorce, guilt trips, less time spent with me,etc. I'd rather be with a child free man, no matter how deep our connection is, great chemistry,etc.all. none of that will be enough to keep or relationship together. Personal experiences have shaped my perspective on this preference. I also encourage single parents to date each other because that way they have mire in common. I've had friends hypocritically saying they'd prefer to date a child less man and I laugh in there faces because they are delusional in having unrealistic standards based on drama that would come from the ex girlfriend and ex wife. Anyhow....

There are a few this career wise I'm still working towards and I'd rather date child free men. I've had so many men with kids approaching me and Fromm this point on, I decline dates because I am sticking to my boundaries and I'll go out with then, but do not get to close because just don't want to hear complaints about the ex and issues regarding kida. I've worked hard on my personal issues and to lessen personal baggage I have, and I do not think it's fair to put myself in a position that will cause more drama in my life.

So to the ladies who are child free, stay strong and confident in your life choices. resist guilt trips by family and friends pressuring you to lower your standards. I have a friend who asked about my biological click, and I told her I'm not going to be part of the problem. All of him or none of him.

Anonymous said...

Very honest and helpful article. It's really hard to date someone with a kid/s, and it's frustrating because no one will understand your situation as a childless person, unless its another childless person. I read a lot of blogs and it's all the same frustrations no matter what the situation is when it comes to dating a parent. When it comes down to it, it's what you are willing to sacrifice and tolerate, just like any issue in a relationship.
I just left my 11 month relationship with a single dad. Him having a kid and ex-wife wasn't the deal-breaker, but it didn't help matters either. There were a lot of red flags and problems, but when I honestly asked myself, "can I spend my life this way, with this person, even if he was the so-called perfect guy?" and the answer was a definite "no".
Everyone deserves to be happy. And everyone should be honest with themselves. I cannot handle dating someone with a kid. It weighs on my emotions too much. I decided to do him a favor and let him find a woman that can embrace all that accompanies him-and it's not me.I did myself a favor by sticking to what I want and believe in, and that's a fresh start with someone in a healthy happy relationship where we can decide as partners if marriage and children are in the cards.

Anonymous said...

I've dated men with kids three times (I married one of them) and regretted it all three times. You will NEVER be first in their life, yet you will be expected to make them first in yours because you don't have kids of your own to be in that default first position. Call me selfish all you want but I'm like you Steph - no men with kids! Not even adult kids, because while the child support obligation may end the relationship never will.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I have just left my partner or rather he asked me to leave. we have been together 5 years. He has 2 teenagers. The ex wife wasn't that much of a problem but she would stick to the visitation scheduled and would not change weekends if were asked to go anywhere with friends so we very rarely went out. I moved halfway across the country to move in with him and left everything i know. I had only lived there a few months and he took a job working away during the week so i would only see him at weekends and we had the kids every other weekend and all the school holidays. I would arrange everything round him and his kids and yes, i felt very much like an outsider. It was like the kids were on holiday when they came and he let them do what they liked. They wanted his constant attention from friday through sunday when he took them home and that was a 3 hour round trip. I would get dirty looks if i sat next to him on the couch. We had some really bad arguments about the kids and about money. He earned a fortune but was very tight with money. I paid half if we went out and he wouldn't think twice about spending a fortune on a meal out for the kids. I asked for a holiday on our own as well as going with the kids but he would say he didn't want to go without his kids, he was on dating sites looking for someone else the week after i moved out. i'm going through hell at the moment and trying to transfer with work so i can go back home. I will NEVER get involved with a man with dependent kids again.

Anonymous said...

thank you SO much for this post - it really resonated with me as I have recently ended a relationship based on the exact same thought process. I felt (and still do to an ever-decreasing extent) guilty and selfish but it's not wrong to want the life you want and that's the empowerment that comes from the clarity of knowing what you want in life.

Anonymous said...

Omg Thank you.so much.for this blog. I have a bf of 2 yrs now he has a 5 yr old and mamma drama. I am currently pregnant yes I know what was I thinkin right??? The ex is so jealous of me being pregnant she took him to court to try to get more money, accorfing to.her getting what belongs to her kid. She txt and calls whenever she feels like it. My bf feels guilty wit kid spoils her and seems to.b afraid of ex. We fight everytime she calls or txt for no reason. My.baby is due soon but I am fed up of this drama, it will never change and I want a man for me and my baby only. So pls run away single ladies dont date a guy wit kids. Big mistake. You will never b number 1. I think after havin my baby I will run away too and just focus my life to my baby. Too much drama for me, cant handle ut anymore.

Carla Kah said...

OMG! Thank you for this!!! I leep getting slack over wanting a man that doesn't have a kid... I am in my late twenties by the way...

Anonymous said...

I am in graduate school now ,but still being naive a lot of time(I never had thought I should ask a guy when we were out if he was married or had kids. because for me if he never tell me and draw me every single picture that he has no wife no kids to worry in his life ,then there must be nothing he hiidden from of me) I use to be young and stupid to say that I woudn't care to marry someone who has adorable children(I loved children very much and work in school) but now with my whole heart I deeply PRAY to God who would please forgive what I have said,and bless me having a bright simple fair relationship in the future. that was stupid and arrogant to say you should be a 'good' woman to love your man's kid as much as he does. when we were angels who takes care of us? who think about us when we were alone because the time sharing. after I knew he had kid,there had four weeks time was HELL-too many broken pieces of my heart needed to be mended,I felt I was a the biggest fool.at frist I still missed him dearly and wanted to talk with him again,I guess I was very emotional and lost,and peole would say '' you are crazy about him now ,you are dramatic now,he had enough his crazy dramatic ex wife already he doesn't need any more drama ...'' so that was all MY fault -I was the bad person who was heartless to his daughter,who was 'drama' at the end just because I just found out he had never really told me the truth of he had kid. so that was all what I get after I had given my fresh pure innocent and trust. You really learn from the hard way but thankfully I am away from that kind of situation or luckly I never really got deeply involved by God's dear protection,but the hurt was strong ,like one lady said'' when you are unmarried and have no kids,how would you know the hurting when you really face the things''
Ladies,I never think we are bad people toward the issue of men' kids,if he was a good person who expected me to put him as the only one in my young life while I was never supposed to have as much time with him as any woman being in love deserved. he wasn't belong to me! that was unfair! that was 1st time and LAST time ,I will never take less care for my happniess in the future again. God bless us.

Anonymous said...

OMG!!! I’m in this situation now. I have had previous awful relationships with men. Then I meet the perfect man, with a exception he has a daughter of four. This was with a woman which was a "friend with benefits" not a girlfriend or wife. I can stand her for what she’s done, she trapped deliberately....which is another story. I know he played his part too, but I’m so angry at how stupid and naive he has been. Most men would of walked away and though it is commendable that he stuck around. This woman takes the biscuit with him!!! I love him too bits but, I’ve left because I cannot take being second best to her. He begs me to be with him and says he will do anything for me, but no matter what he says! I cannot get passed this girl and child being in my life. Everyone acts like I’m the Bitch but, I’m not the one who slept around, I have standards and I would not have a child with someone unless I was in a relationship. Yet somehow I am the bad person in this. I just cannot deal with this, don’t I deserve to be number one.

Anonymous said...

I'm a 17 year old girl in this SAME situation! YES!!!17!!! My bf is 19 and he has a 2 year old daughter who he doesn't do ANYTHING for. He baby mama tried to break us up. I'm so over this. I've been with him for 1 year and a half. It was long distance. He moved to Texas to be with me...he's from Pennsylvania. I guess he was doing stuff for his daughter while he was there.(So people say.) But I talked to him ALL day EVERY day. It didn't seem like he was doing much for her if he was calling/video chatting me all the time. But his ex has a new bf./fiance, or whatever he is to her. I'm NEVER putting myself in something like this again. He'd tell me one thing and then tell her another. I'm SO over it. I went out of my way to be with him. (Meaning, I never wanted to be with someone who had a kid or kids.I know better.) Lesson learned 100%. Thank you for this post. I knew I was done with it when I started resenting the baby mama and the kid.x) Plus, yeah, I felt the same way about how he's already experienced everything with another girl/woman..whatever. Teen parents piss me off, especially when they don't know what they're doing. Also, he doesn't want anything to do with the mom or daughter. I KNOW why, but still. I don't want to be with someone like that. I just don't want to be with someone who has kids period. I'm better than that. I'm better than 2nd place. Nope. I want to be #1 just like he'd be my #1. I know what I want. Thanks again for this post and everyone who commented!!!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Wow! All I can say is everything you put is so true. I am currently engaged to a man who has a son from a previous relationship and there are days I just don't know if I can do it anymore. His ex used to cause so much drama. She would text him from random numbers acting like she was someone I was cheating on him with. TOTAL LIE! and to make matters worse he would believe her and come home questioning me. He finally cut all communication between the two of them because I was going to leave him. Now his parents talk to her for him which bother me too cause his parents put me in second place. They always bring her up and it makes me sick. If you want to be in third place to everyone in your mans life then go date a man with children. If you don't have children please run as fast as you can the other way because you shouldn't have to lay in a bed that someone else made. Its not worth it.

Stephanie said...

So, are you staying? Or have you had enough?

Anonymous said...

Wellll that's the thing. I wish I would've known about all the drama that comes with a man with kids before I started a relationship with him. I know I can leave, it's just hard because I do love and care for him. He also has all the qualities I love and we get along great. The only " downfall" is that he has a child and all the things that come with the territory. I find myself questioning everyday if I want to do this for the rest of my life because that's what it is. I will have to hear about the childs mother for the rest of my life! I will have to see her at events. The money that I work hard to make will go to a child that is not mine! The mother of the child will always be first place and that depresses me. So im not sure what to do.. stay with the guy I love and get over my feelings(if that's possible) or leave the man I love and try to find happiness with someone who doesn't have baggage? HELPPPPP

Stephanie said...

Obviously this was a deal breaker for me, so I would probably leave. It won't change. If you do stay, you need to make total peace with it. But I don't think I'd want the headache of someone actively trying to make my life miserable (the ex).

Do you think you are worth having someone who loves you and will put you first? You get one life and it's up to you to choose your path. Breaking up is the difficult thing to do in the short-term, but the payoff is likely worth it.

cheatedagain said...

I just came across this blog and I am so glad I did! I've been trying to piece my life back together and if there is one single bit of advice I have for single ladies, it is to RUN!!!!! DO NOT DATE A MAN WITH CHILDREN...EVER!! I dated a man with four boys for 8 years..yes, EIGHT YEARS!! we were engaged. I have ONE son who is almost grown. I have no baby daddy drama, he relinquished his rights. HOWEVER, I did have MASSIVE baby mama drama!! she left the children and the dad got full custody. however, that did not stop harassment by said baby mama. not only that but I found out that they were still sleeping together! she would get jealous if I took pictures with the children or spent any time with them. she turned the children against me after I invested 8 years into them. ive been to every graduation, practice, game, holiday, etc. she never showed up. but in the end, that never mattered to them. I was still placed on the back burner. Always. I feel like I have wasted my life with this man! I loved him dearly only to find out that he never truly stopped loving the ex-wife. Is it selfish to look out for yourself, to not want baggage another has left. NO! its not!! you are cheating yourself more by staying and by settling!! Like someone else said, if you roll around in someone else's sh*t, you're gonna come up funky! I WILL NEVER DATE A MAN WITH CHILDREN AGAIN. wish I had known this earlier. it would've saved a lot of heartbreak..."to thine own self be true.."_Shakespeare said it best.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness! I have known I am not alone but sometimes really beat myself up because I struggle so much. I have been in a relationship with a man with 2 children from a previous marriage. I am 37 and I was always open to who may be the right man. In the beginning of course I thought I would really be ok and honestly the kids have been so accepting of me. He has them over 50 percent of the time so is a very involved and good father. I feel guilty for my struggle but It is so much harder than I ever imagined it would be emotionally in a relationship with a man and his children who established a family before I came along. I don't like being the woman who came along next. My boyfriend has really tried but I have developed more and more resentment and struggles. Say a prayer and put me I'm your thoughts as Him and I make a decision. I think I know this relationship is not going to work for me its just so hard to ultimately accept and swallow. Any ladies out they contemplating a man with children really really do some sole searching with what you can accept and handle. Put all the "rules" out the window that you may have had with childless men because a man with children is all different.

Anonymous said...

This article and collection of comments is utterly disgusting. I'm a 28 year old professional male with a young daughter. She was born into a loving and hopeful home. Her mother and I split up for the same reasons every one splits up - We fell out of love. Forgive us for losing our crystal ball ya freakin' idealist nut bags.

A few seconds of scrubbing over the personal accounts posted here over the past five years is like experiencing a written version of Jerry Springer. Straight outa Compton, ya hurr? These guys have eight kids? The exes did what to you? Why are there so many misspellings in your posts?

Ladies - You're lives don't suck because of the men in your life, whether they have kids or not. They suck because you're from an impoverished socio-economic class and you have low IQ's. Jesus....Get a better job and go to school.

Anonymous said...

The only reason I am commenting is because of the comment before mine. Why is this guy hateful that there are some women who do not want to date men with children? It's not his problem because clearly the ladies commenting here don't want to date him. Not to mention, they must be too 'low class' and stupid for him anyway. Whatever, dude. Don't stereo-type a group just because their opinions differ from yours.

I am an educated and intelligent young professional with relatively high SES, dating a man with kids. Yet, I am stuck trying to decide if/how/when to end it. I really don't have much drama with the children's mom. I am not a jealous person by nature and respect the kids' time with their dad and the fact that the ex and dad will need to communicate. Heck, the kids even really like me. The problem is, I'm withering. It is exhausting being there for everyone all of the time on top of my own needs. No one stops to regard my feelings. Sure, my boyfriend will throw out a thank you here and there, and I know he is generally appreciative of what I do. However, the occasional acknowledgement doesn't help me get the cooking and cleaning done for his family any sooner, nor does it make me feel any less like an interloper.

When I started dating this man, I was in my mid/early 20's and did not foresee children in my future. However, I have come to realize that I like children and really want my own. I don't think it would be appropriate to force my boyfriend's children to see any less of their dad or feel like they are being replaced. I also don't want to take care of more children (two are plenty!). So, do I forego my own needs and just sit their quietly on the sidelines for *my* entire life? Or, more reasonably, should I live my own life and achieve everything I need so I can reflect on an accomplished life when I'm old and gray? Yeah, exactly.

Now, here is the trouble. I have to break a man's heart and possibly hurt his beautiful children by leaving him/them in order to live my own life and no longer feel like an outsider to his lovely family. Wow. This is hard.

Getting involved with a man with children is an incredibly tangled web that will prove to be difficult to extricate yourself from. My advice is to not date a man with children unless you are really, really, really, really sure you know what it will entail.

Anonymous said...

I dated a man for a total of 6 years. He has 2 boys by his ex-wife and let me tell you...dating him was the worst decision I had ever made. The kids were down right disrespectful, the ex-wife constantly wanted more money for everything the boys wanted(not needed). He has been paying child support(as he should) every month and she still wants more. He has to pick them up from her house an hour away every Friday and return them on Sunday. She will not help him with the travel.
She found out that he was dating me and tried to have a court order state that he could not date someone unless she knew who it was because she didn't want strangers around her kids. This woman is married with 2 other children by her husband.
The guy that I am dating has never once taken me to pick up his kids and he only talks on the phone with her when I am not around. His kids which are now 12 and 16 curse, are lazy, and want everything just because they can have it.
He is always feeling guilty if he doesn't get them what they want. It is so pathetic. His oldest son is an absolute terror. He already put his fist up to fight his father and curses him out every chance he gets. The mother put the oldest son out so now he lives with his father. I am so thankful that I didn't fall for the "nice guy" that the father truly is and marry him. I would have been miserable. I would never choose to leave my peace of mind over a man an his lack of control as a man.
I would never recommend dating a man with kids unless you are willing to accept being in 2nd or even 3rd place.
There are some good men out there...just take your time and observe the situation before putting your heart out there. Once your heart is in it the situation becomes a bit more complicated. It is not worth the stress of an already made family just to be in last place.
And this is coming from a 38 year woman!
Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

I was dating a guy who had a child but didn't tell me until months into dating. As soon as the date ended, I was polite and explained why I dont date guys with children over text. He had a really hard time accepting it. Oh well, thats not my problem. I choose to stay childfree and I can only be with a good guy who feels the exact same. I cant settle and I'm at the point where I rather be alone enjoying my own company for the rest of my life than to deal with all that BULLSHIT. I'm sorry, I'm just not that desperate.

Anonymous said...

Me, a divorced man: 37
Been on both sides. Married a woman with 2 kids. Regret it. Ruined plans, dreams, and personal growth.
Post divorce, have 2 kids full and full, mom has no visits and hasn't seen them for 3 years.No drama.
Been dating a wonderful woman,(divorced) no kids for 2 1/2 years. I know what she gives up. I did it. I don't let her work for me. I support her nights out (doing what I want to be doing). I make time for our dates and my kids have firm boundaries. My kids emulate the caring and respect I show her.
She gets bored. She goes out with other men and brushes the boundaries of inappropriate. She gets tired of waiting for her turn with me. She wants her chance at having a baby. We may get there.
I will start over child rearing with her because of the ultra high value of a woman that will step into my life. She will give up the "first" experience because of the ultra high value of a man with a proven track record of good parenting. I am more rare than 1 in a million, and so is she.
That said, I wouldn't pass the tiniest negative judgment if she walks away today.

Anonymous said...

The author has the right idea. I met my husband when I was 19 years old and I thought he having a three-year-old daughter was going to be fun. I was sooooo wrong. The experience has been so frustrating and basically his daughter is the main reason we have had issues throughout our relationship. We are still together simply because his ex and daughter have been living 500 miles away for most of our relationship, but the issues remain. The daughter has always been an insecure, competitive, manipulative nightmare. Now at 16 she's still the same but with more hypocrisy toward me. Subtract the awful child's attitude and you still have the ex communicating, the child support, the divided time, the endless summers when she's visiting, and me as the stepmonster no matter what I do or how nice I am who feels like an outsider when they are together. My husband and I have been together over a decade and he is wonderful although he feels guilty about the lack of time he spends with his daughter. However, if the kid would have lived nearby and would have over every weekend I would have either been single or with a man without kids. I suffered just enough and refuse to suffer any more. Luckily now the kid lives in another state, but a man with kids is always going to have to deal with them and you as his partner are along for a very unpleasant ride most of the time. Mostly because even when the kid turns 18 he or she will drain dad monetarily for college or rent so on and so forth. Ladies...don't settle. He may be gold but his kids and his prior life and the hassle on you is not worth it. A good man can't help being involved with his child and you will resent the whole situation. You must come first!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm 39 (never married, no kids) and currently dating a divorced father of one eight-year-old boy. Prior to this relationship I REFUSED to even consider dating a man with children, but this guy and I have known each other since childhood and the timing was just never quite right for us in our 20s, so I made an exception. I always avoided dating men with kids because I'm not cut out to be number 2, don't want the complications and don't want my life dictated by choices made in prior relationships. I can now confirm that I was pretty much right about all of it. And one more aspect: I have never in the past thought about how much money a guy makes. If he has children, he needs to have much better than a decent job... He needs to make a lot of money if you want to have any kind of a life together. I haven't even met the child yet and the ex-wife is a quality person with a good career. Even so, it is something I will never do again.

There seems to be this sense that at a certain point in your 30s you should just settle for whatever is there. When I think of the experience he had with his ex when they first started dating... All of the fun, with great dinners and bars. We do almost none of that and we live in a major city with great restaurants and bars all around. He also mentioned that he spent way too much on his ex's ring and would never do that again. I told him if that's how he feels he should only date divorced women who have already done the engagement and marriage thing. Bottomline: he will either figure out a way to make me feel like a top priority or it won't work. No intimate relationship will work long-term if you can't put your partner at the top. If you ask most of these divorced men with kids what happened in their failed marriages, they will tell you that someone stopped making the marriage a priority once the kids came along. Think about that: two people who share these children can't make a relationship work when they don't make each other a priority. So how can they expect these relationships to work if the partners are taking a backseat to children who are NOT theirs.

Anonymous said...

I am tired of dating a man with kids. Im in the situation now with a young man who has 4 children. One from his ex and 3 from another. I fell for him because we have a lot in common but then there is alot of stuff we dont have in common. He tries his best to do for his kids. But the situation is dragging me down and i dont think its going to work for me. It was always a deal breaker when i was in my 20s for a man to have kids. I tried to be less judgemental as i approached my 30s to make the deal breaker be a man with multiple baby mothers. The drama is real but its also annoying. The kids like me. But im not happy

Anonymous said...

Last night I ended it with my boyfriend because I couldn't get over the fact he had a kid. His kid is one of the cutest, sweetest kids out there. However I started to get resentful that every Sunday at 5pm he would have to leave to pick up his kid. Or I could only see him after 5pm on Sundays when he dropped off his kid. Or he was tired after work and taking care of his kid. Always hearing how amazing his kid is (and I agree but its different when its not your kid!) He also told me if his Ex ever met me she would be a B**** to me which got in my head. He would tell me the drama of her making his life difficult and in my head would think do I need this in my life? He was such a good dad though always putting the kid first. But I felt that I had to give up too much and it would only get harder as time goes on. I also felt he didn't understand any of my concerns or think of them as valid. I felt a lot of guilt and sadness with we broke up because he had many admirable qualities and I loved him. He told me I made a big mistake which hurt a lot. I have been crying all day but this post helped confirm the feelings I had for some while. I hope this temporary pain will save me a life full of it. I hope the right man for me is out there and I genuinely hope he finds a girl who accepts him and his son as is as he deserves lots of love.

Nadine said...

I dated a man who was not over his ex-wife and the last straw was when he took her to a set of parties with his friends. He was all over her and happy to be with her. I have been through this before with a boyfriend I lived with for almost four years and dated for seven. Everytime his ex-wife needed something, he rushed over and helped with a broken vacuum cleaner, flooded toilet, wine stains on the carpet, grocery shopping, and other stupid things. He started meeting her at his offices and private music studio alone when I was out or working, and taking her to lunch. Do not put up with this behavior. These men do not want to be divorced. They are divorced against their will.

I won't say don't date divorced men or men with kids but I passed on a guy with a three-year-old and six-month-old recently. I don't care what he thinks. Nobody has the right to be verbally abusive or offended by another's preferences. There are plenty of men who won't date women who are short, older, overweight, divorced, single parents, etc. Do what makes you happy. You don't need an explanation. No means no. Nobody has the right to question, criticize, or verbally abuse a person for this decision. That is harassment and verbal abuse.

It is too bad about the difficult situations with people dating single parents, but I would like to think most people are not that way. I would avoid a man who sees his ex beyond a couple of holidays or lunches each year. He does have to talk to her if there are kids but that is about it. It doesn't matter if she is friends with a few of his friends or sees her ex in-laws from time to time or attends two or three family events or holidays a year. There is no need to be friends with your ex, pay them money beyond child support, or bail them out. I do not hang with, speak to, send gifts to, or rescue my ex-husband. I think it is mean and selfish to put a current boyfriend or new husband through that, along with making them responsible for any kids (I don't have any), debts, chores, or anything else. I might take care of someone's kid once a week and take the kid out once every two weeks, but beyond that they are not my kids and I am not a parent. If you had them, they are your responsibility.

It is a matter of respect. I do not allow my parents to chew out boyfriends or husbands. I do not make them responsible for myself financially, get mad if they have bills to pay, and require them to spend lots of money on me. I do not make the accountable for my debts. I do not require them to do all sorts of cooking and cleaning for me, drive me around, bring me dinner, or run errands. They are not my servants.

I do not expect them to rescue me from stupid decisions or irresponsibility or put up with bad behavior. I do not subject them to exes, cheat, or put them in the middle of family/relationship conflict included exes who step over the line. I do not hang with exes. If you really care, you will be thinking of a holiday for them or a birthday present, what you can do for them, not what they can do for you.

These single/divorced people you write about are emotionally retarded and exploitative narcissists. That is really the problem. But don't date divorced men/men with kids if you don't want to. It is perfectly understandable and not selfish. Demanding that someone take care of your kids full-time when they are not the parents is incredibly selfish.