When is it okay to introduce your kids to a date after divorce or separation?
This is a common question for newly separated or divorced parents. Like so many things involving children after divorce, the answer is “it all depends.” But there are a few ground rules that can help in the transition to dating.
In evaluating when to let children know about a new romantic partner, the goal is always to protect the child’s psychological best interests. Much depends on the child’s age and the quality of your relationship before and after your separation. As noted in a previous post, watching parents treat each other with disrespect and lack of affection harms kids even more than having to shuffle between two homes.
Everyone is different with regard to dating readiness. Some people will wait for months, some for years. Consider, though, that when a relationship has been unhappy, it’s important to give yourself time before jumping right into Match.com or eHarmony. Make use of this found time alone when you do not have the kids. Get to know yourself again. People are often surprised to discover that they can enjoy a kid-free weekend or weeknight without feeling guilty. Many have said it is an unsuspected silver lining in divorce. Time alone without kids is often a rarity in marriages where fathers and mothers both devote themselves to family life and the nurture and growth of their children.
Individual psychotherapy during this period can help you to reclaim the parts of yourself that have been lost or damaged. Taking this opportunity before dating again will help you, your kids, and your eventual romantic partner. No one wants to date someone on the rebound from a marriage. Dating to fill the void or to build your self-esteem will not work in the long term, bringing more harm than comfort.
Eventually, the time will come when you feel ready to explore relationships again. When the transition to living separately is established and custody has been worked out, agreed upon, and is going smoothly, parents will begin to think about dating.
Keep in mind the following suggestions to help you, your kids, and your ex ease into this new and often threatening territory.
Some Guidelines for Dating Post-Divorce
1. Children need to establish a routine with each parent. This is best done when the custodial parent is fully present, undistracted by a romantic interest.
2. Dating should be done during non-custodial times. The introduction of a new partner is often confusing to young children, especially during the first year after a divorce. In older kids, who may be exploring their own sexuality, seeing their parent with another partner can make them feel self-conscious and embarrassed.
3. It is important to not create a climate of anxiousness about where they belong in each parent’s lives. Children need to feel like they come first. If a romantic partner is introduced too soon, this sense of secure attachment will be compromised and can create anxiety.
4. Do not bring a partner home for the night on your evening with your child. Waking up in the morning and seeing that a parent’s boyfriend or girlfriend has slept over can be confusing and hurtful. Kids will feel an allegiance to their other parent and will feel protective of them, fearing they’d be hurt by knowing that there is someone else in the house.
5. When the time comes to date openly, it is a courtesy to inform the other parent. Letting your ex-partner know that you are dating and want to introduce a serious relationship to your children allows the non-dating partner to process this news without being blind-sided, for example by seeing you with another person at children’s events. Do not let your children be the ones to tell the other parent that mommy or daddy has a new love, and certainly don’t ask them to keep secrets from their other parent. They should not be put in this position. When children innocently expose this information, it can engender angry and painful reactions that can cause the children to feel guilty, sad, and embarrassed.
6. Always treat your ex-partner with respect whether their non-custodial parent is present or not. Kids learn from watching. When you begin to date, show respect to your ex-partner and to your children by not flaunting your new partner. Respect boundaries with regard to public displays of affection. For an ex-spouse to see their former partner kissing during a recreational event will most likely cause anger or hurt. It is common for one party to feel jealous or possessive when they realize that their former spouse is dating. This is a tender time for everyone. Remember to be kind and respectful to each other. This role-modeling will help your children to assimilate a new person into their lives in a healthy way.
- Teletherapy–One Year Later - April 26, 2021
- Passion and Sex in Long-Term Relationships - January 1, 2021
- (home video area 2 – mindfulness) - December 1, 2020
I wish someone told my ex these things, he introduced my children to his girlfriend after 2 weeks of knowing her, and she is spending the night everytime they are there.
better than first night.
maybe if relationships wernt so disposable nowadays.
Relationship with ex is key to this whole article.
my ex introduced someone she only just met to my children within a week of me leaving. he was living there by second week
That means she was already dating this person for a while. He will now get to have all the time with your kids he wants. You were rolled out like a sperm donor.
My boyfriend used to introduce his kids a new girlfriend every 3 months. He introduced them around 20 girlfriends in 4 yeast
The Truth says
I’m very sorry. My ex-wife waited about a month to introduce someone and I have a feeling they will be living together soon. This is what I am doing. When I am not with the kids I work my ass off to free up as much time or even extra time to spend with them. If you can be around and be that great dad, they will eventually blame her for everything. You still have a chance to have the kids to yourself and remove her by her own selfish behavior. YOU HAVE TO GIVE YOUR KID SOME PLACE TO RUN TOO.
Why is your goal to get your kids to yourself? The healthiest scenario for your children is to have a loving relationship with both parents.
My husband was on a dating website after ten days of being removed from the home and he hadn’t even spoken to me about a divorce yet.
He met someone and tried to have my daughter meet her within 2 weeks. I managed to stop this and asked him and his girlfriend to at least extend me the courtesy of letting me know so I could mentally prepare myself and my child. But they didn’t. And he brings the girlfriend to all the kids events and he sees nothing at all wrong with this.
He is teaching my daughter that respect and morals aren’t all too important, and whilst she has been fine with the new girlfriend, when she is of an age that she can understand the selfishness behind his actions, she won’t be too impressed I’m sure.
David Ryerson says
wow…. well my ex moved in with her affairpartner/lover 30 days after seperation… and was setting up a bedroom for the boys.
Funny you never read about adult children and this process…..might be a good article?
Dr. Susan O'Grady says
Cindy, that is such a great idea for a follow-up to this article. Stayed tuned.
Stacy Lawrence says
Yes please now
My son is two and my wife started a whole new relationship before she ended ours. She seems to think that since my son is so young that this has no impact on him. She has been bringing her new partner around my son probably before we separated. Do you think that at his age that would still have an impact on his psychological welfare. Thanks
Dr. Susan O'Grady says
Greg, it all depends. Your feelings and reaction to this could have a big impact on your son. If you are having a hard time adjusting and are hurting, your feelings will have a spill over effect on your child. It also depends on how your ex introduces a new person into his life, how she explains the relationship, and how she manages to stay present for your son, and balance a new relationship. This situation is one of the biggest, and most difficult transitions post divorce. It may be helpful to talk it over, in person, with a therapist experienced with these issues.
I am worried my 45 year old son’s plan to introduce his 3 girls to recent dating partner is not a gentle method. He proposes to have his three girls( 13, 10, 8) spend several days with him, his dating partner, and her 4 year old daughter.
He is aware his 13 year old daughter will find this stressful. In addition to the stress of the days together, his dating partner has convinced him to have his daughter give up her mobile phone while everyone is together. I worry that my granddaughter will have no outlet to talk about her feelings and could become extremely stressed. Help?
Great article but I’ve got a question that is in relation to a similar context but the theme would differ I guess. Here it is: the person that I’m dating has a precocious or in other words, alert (i.e.: quite intelligent) five year old – she never was married (I never was married too, but her and I plan to get married in the long term) and it’s been years since she has broken off with the biological father but he regularly spends time with his daughter. The latter tells her mom how she wants them to be together but her mom (which I’m dating) has turned this chapter of her life (the one she had with the bio father). She is afraid and/or unsure as to when introduce me to her daughter. I told her the best thing is to take things slowly (but when is a long time too long?) I am serious with her, and she is serious with me and we want our relationship to be an amazing one as we both work on it. She doesn’t want her child to suffer as she doesn’t know how she’ll react to being introduced to me. What would be the best way to go about it? Thank you for your advice.
Dr. Susan O'Grady says
Dexter, Good questions. I wish I had an easy answer, but you are clearly sensitive and thinking through the issues. For a precocious 5-year old, it may be fine to introduce you in low-key way. Children pick up on a parent’s anxiety so if her mother is comfortable having you around, you can ease into forming a relationship. The damage comes from multiple boyfriends, overnights, and jealousy of ex-partners influencing the child. If you both have any doubts, seeing a therapist for a couple of sessions for consultation makes good sense.
My husband of 14 years left the kids and I after he found a girlfriend. It has been four/five months since we told the kids about us getting a divorce. After a month my husband took our 13 year old son to an event with his girlfriend and told my son not to tell me. i obviously was not happy! Now he was supposed to take my son to a Haunted House that they always go to every year. I told him not to take his girlfriend. He said our son said it was ok if she went! I was going to let it be and let him go but at the last minute I couldn’t. I felt like by allowing my son to go I was telling him it was ok for his father to cheat while married and abandon his family. Even after all this, tonight my husband asked to take my son to the movies with him and his girlfriend! Am I being ridiculous by not letting my son go? How do I get my husband to understand he is going about this all wrong.
Dr. Susan O'Grady says
Jen, I understand how difficult this situation is. I cannot give advice on a blog, but I suggest you speak with a counselor in person about your situation. There are so many issues involved here and your feelings are completely understandable.
I’ve been dating a guy for 3 and a half months he’s been divorced for 2 years and has a 6 year old daughter. He’s never introduced her to anyone he’s dated I’m the 1st. I’m very excited but also extremely nervous. She knows of me as his friend because i made her a Halloween basket with a dress up costume. But is there anything i can do to make this go smoothly?
My ex and I have been divorced for 2 months. I happened to find someone I really love and want to be with for the rest of my life. I have a 9 year old son that lives 3 hours away. I usually drive up there to see him. Soon he is going to start coming down to stay with me. My ex and I lived apart for about 6 months before the divorce. My son seemed to take it pretty well. My new girlfriend wants to meet him and all I can worry about is if my ex is going to be mad. Should I really care if she is mad when I know this is the woman I want to be with? Is this too soon for my son?
I’m in almost the exact same boat, but with my two girls. Any advice here would be appreciated!
It’s too soon. The kids need at least a year to process. Remember this is your new life not theirs. They still remember what life use to be like and though they will want to please you. They still have not had enough time to deal with their lives falling apart. Divorce isn’t about you finding someone new to go re marry. You’ve already screwed that up. It’s about realizing your job is to now raise your children into stable human beings after basically putting them through a war zone. Your life can wait now. But your kids life hasn’t even begun. Work on them.
Ive been dating my girlfriend for 8 months. She brought me around her 10 year old son at about 4 months as a friend. Her son and I hit it off having a great time playing games and such. Last month when she told him about dating it made him uncomfortable. His father about 2 months ago on a whim got married. The son is a great kid, I love his mother, how do we get him on board and comfortable with his mom having a boyfriend?
Dr. Susan O'Grady says
Brett, You sound like you are very sensitive to him and that will be immensely helpful. It is a lot for a kid to have both parents dating, but taking it slowly and giving him attention such as you are, will go a long way in helping with the adjustment.
Or, the reason your first marriage fell apart was because your kids always trumped your relationship. If the ex wants to be upset about seeing your new displays of affection then that is their issue. Your kids will turn 18 and leave you. Nurture your new relationship or suffer the same fate as before.
Dr. Susan O'Grady says
Gina, you are so right that kids take so much time away from the relationship. It is very important to nurture the marriage both to keep it healthy, and to model for the kids that the world does not revolve around them. Nurturing your new relationship can be done with respect to the kids, and the ex but as you point out it is good to remember that we each have to take responsibility for our reactions and get help if needed.
A year ago I broke up with the father of our kids (5,10) he was unfaithful most of our 13 year relationship. I imidietly jumped into a new relationship still to date. Not planned at all and since then their father has introduced our kids to many different women. Seems like he has one each week, I find it crazy to see his true colors out in the open. My question is, do you think it’s ok for them to see many partners? I’m concerned not knowing who my children are around. I want to teach our son to respect women and relationship are something to honor and respect.
My boyfriends 9 yr old daughter does not accept our relationship. She says she likes me, but wants her dad to herself. At times, she will take this out on me. Anytime he is not giving her enough attention she is rude and mean to me. I shower her with attention, affection, anything she needs. Her mother is remarried and she is okay with him/situation. I think irs important that she respect me. My boyfriend gets upset that “im talking bad about his daughter.” We have been living together for 8 months and this started 3 months ago. He was never married to her mother, split at 2, and hes had a few serious girlfriends since. Do you have any advice/self help books to help our situation?
Susan O'Grady says
Tracy, I see this situation often. Kids naturally want their parent to themselves even when you are doing the best you can. Try not to take it personally – the challenge is not letting a child triangulate your relationship. A counselor could help this in just a few sessions. If it goes on too log it will cause harem between you and your boyfriend.
My soon to be ex already has bf at house all the time and insists my sons accept it and okay it. Crazy. She’s very selfish
Susan O'Grady says
Pepe, Insisting that kids accept a new bf is very hard on both you, and them. Kids need time to process these changes, both the loss of their parents being together, and anyone new. Time is essential, and ideally, after everyone has had time to heal and grieve the losses.
Aren’t we supposed to consider kids feelings first always??
Susan O'Grady says
Pepe, while we should always consider our kid’s needs and feelings, adult needs are also important. I have seen couples who stay together ‘for the kids’ but are miserable, and when they do eventually divorce, it is very harmful to their children’s emotional well-being. Struggles over money, and custody can be brutal. By providing a good role model for leaving a marriage, children can learn about adapting to change, but it is hard on everyone, no doubt.
It hasn’t even been a year since the divorce was final after 28 years of marriage. Ex was with someone during the divorce process and lied to my adult kids saying they were “just friends”, then months later said they “continue to see each other and enjoy each others company”. Well, no one knows what happened with that one, but he met someone new, introduced her to my kids (28, 25, 21, 17) by TEXT–sending selfies she sent him and typing a paragraph about her. Two weeks later they got engaged and the wedding will be this August. Our son hasn’t even met her. We’re all trying to process the insanity and pain of the divorce and my ex just feels entitled to do whatever he wants (and he can, I suppose)…but he doesn’t even think about what the kids needs are. They weren’t given any options and spend very little time with him. I’m just learning how to be alone now and still grieving and trying to heal from all of this. It feels like a nightmare.
Susan O'Grady says
Morgan, this is an excellent example of the impact of divorce and dating on older children and young adult children. Text, and selfies are not appropriate ways to introduce a new partner. Someone who can move on so quickly, and without loving attention to their kids needs — that is hard. I hope you have a good support system and access to counseling to help you heal.
My ex husband of a just over a year has announced to me he would like our 2 children 10 and 8 to meet his partner as he will soon be moving in with her I have said no as the children are still adjusting to very rarely seeing there dad but his partner is pregnant and I don’t know what is the best way to deal with this to help them cope
I been in a 6yr relationship taking care 3 kids that wasnt mines. I didn’t have a problem with it. No is perfect! Well she move back home and been gone for 3mos. I have full custody of my 6yr old son which she has been there since he was one. He only know her as mom. After 4mos being going she is dating someone and her new man been around her kids and my son which is her step son. I ask her who is this guy cause i have the rights to know who around my son. Well i got told its none of my business. Right now im not fianical stable. What should i do?
I have been seperated from my long term girlfriend of 11 years for 4 years now. We co parent better than most and are friends today. I have dated on and off in that time after a reconciliation was clearly not going to happen. My daughter is going to be 15 in November. In the last month I’ve told my daughter I was dating someone that I would like her to meet. I cried through the whole conversation worried I was going to hurt her. She was supportive and happy for me and also looking forward to meeting this new woman. I told her that I would speak to her mom the next day. I kept my end of the bargain and my ex is very upset. As a result, whether directly or indirectly of the anger and hurt my ex is feeling my daughter “isn’t ready” now to meet my new girlfriend. Not sure what I do now or how hard I push if at all. Help….
Ida Giovanni says
FOUR YEARS?? Your ex is tripping. SHE isn’t ready and is projecting that on your daughter. Your daughter has already shown you support. Her mom needs to let go.
My ex girlfriend and I split 4 yrs ago and I have a great relationship with my 3 children ,I met a girl 7mts ago and I have been trying to introduce my children to her ,my 15yr old daughter and my 9yr son have met her but my 12yr old son does not want to meet her because she is Chinese and we are about to move in together My X partner is telling my son that I am choosing her over him .I look after my children 3. days one week and 4 days the next week .My new partner is fed up with me telling her she can move in and then saying she cannot.This so hard but what can I do I love my children but I am entitled to have a life to. I am just back from a 2week holidays with my 3 children and my son said he would think about meeting. her and has changed his mind what should I do
Mr Allan Dickhart says
I would imagine that by 12 year old your son should be able to understand that you also have a need and the right to have a relationship -if you communicate this to him in a sensitive way. But bear in mind that he is at the age where he is discovering his own sexuality, so there is a lot of unfamiliar information and hormone change in the young lad’s mind! I too have a 12 year old son, and I foundd that talking to him frankly -one to one and man to man, but not forgetting his tender age- was the key to showing him that I too have the right to pursue a happy and healthy relationship. It helped that his mother remarried and seems to be in a happy and healthy marriage, so I could use them as an illustration. Good luck Mate! I wish you success.
Keith D says
I’m with a girl that has a 6 year old and pretty much stayed there straight away. Its only been less then 6 weeks and I’m staying over at least 5 nights a week everything is going ok I think it just depends on the situation as her Dad works away so she likes having the male role model around a lot more. Looking at moving in over the next couple of weeks and if all goes well we will be relocating to Ireland in 3 years.
I am planning to introduce my children to my New girl friend my children is 7 and 3, They already know her for most of there lives and already have an relationship with them, I am just wondering since they already known her as a “friend” and not a “girl friend” I would think theirs minimal effects on them? would that be true? i have been seeing her for a year plus now. My ex partner is loosing her mind over this and thinks im a terrible father
Divorcing Dad says
insightful article. Divorcing with children can be particularly stressful. Any additional advice fo divorcing dads?
I separated from my wife of 18 years a year ago after I found out she had been having an affair for over a year with a work colleague. She had introduced him as a friend to both myself and the children and he was regularly part of our family over that period without me suspecting anything.
Now I’ve met someone and have been dating consistently for a few months. She was divorced a few years ago and has 3 children. I have met her children and they have accepted me as their mothers boyfriend. However I haven’t spoken to my Ex about my new girlfriend and have yet to introduce her to my children. I’m unsure of what the etiquette is for informing a separated former spouse of your dating and new love interest. My eldest child is aware as she lives with me but all of our other children live with their mother. I am worried that they will not accept my new girlfriend even though they accept their mum having a male friend, but he is the same guy who she had the affair with and therefore they feel comfortable with him around as he was introduced to them earlier and became a “family friend”.
As we are still legally married, do I have any obligation to inform her? How should I approach this with my children who I suspect will not accept this new development, and my Ex will validate these feelings from them as she does not want to see me happy and moving on with my life.
Susan O'Grady says
Steve, This is indeed a difficult situation and without seeing all parties involved I cannot comment more than saying that 18 months is a good amount of time and you are entitled to date. It would be hard not to feel anger toward your wife and her boyfriend and that is one of the hard things about being adults. We must put our children’s needs — not ahead of our own–but in a prominent place so we don’t act out our anger in harmful ways. You seem to understand that and it is important that your ex does too. If you are unable to speak openly to her, I suggest you see a therapist to work on how to communicate these things to each other and ultimately the kids. It would be worth a couple of sessions since it will make it go more smoothly going forward.
My boyfriend is a single dad and has been separated from his ex for 3 years now. We’ve been dating for about 7 months now and are taking things slow. His ex is aware of who he is dating and so far seems ok with it. His daughter is 6 years old and lives with him mon-fri so he talks to her about me here and there to gauge how she’s feeling about him dating someone who isnt mommy. so far things are going very well and shes been very receptive to it. I am going to meet her come this Sunday. I’m very excited but yet very nervous because I too am a child of divorce and understand her feelings completely, so I want her to like me. Do you have any advice for me when it comes time to meet his daughter.
Susan O'Grady says
Karla, your sensitivity to this will help all involved adjust to these changes. Without knowing everyone involved, it is difficult to give more information but I respect your awareness of how this can impact a 6-year old, and an ex-partner. Best wishes to you.
Myself and my partner of seven years split up 8 weeks ago, together we have 2 girls (6&2) plus i have two older children (10 & 14) who have classed him as their stepdad for tge 7 years. Since we split he has had them for 2 nights only. He is now in a new relationship with a 18 year old ( hes 30 ) that has been happening for only 3 weeks, he believes now is the time to introduce our girls ( 2 & 6 ) to her.. Am i wrong for for thinking this is beyond wrong.??
I move to Florida to live with my girlfriend. We have been dating for 5 months prior. She has a son that is 8 and tgey havent been together for 8 years. Now he is bringing up a custody case. Her lawyer says i shouldnt live with my girlfriend for now. Can we get married and avoid any issues of living together? We are talking about getting married soon anyway.
My boyfriend and I have been dating over 2 years. Exwife left him n took his 1 year child in (Feb)2014, we met & started dating (Oct)2015, divorce decree issued 2017. Ex spouses each live in different states. We are in a serious long term healthy relationship and recently moved in together. I have met his daughter few times (after 1 year of dating). Child adores me. His vistation is limited due to job & long-distance, skype weekly. Ex-wife is controlling & narristic. Child is now 4 years old and is catching on to my status with her father. The custody battle is still ongoing and I dont want to add limitation onto his limited vistation time being whats best for the child. Child has been establishing relationship fairly recently, due to her yound age and situation. How should boyfriend introduce me to child/ex wife?
Hi Dr. Susan,
I had a boyfriend and he had a 4 year old son. He’s been separated to his ex almost a year now. And his son was living with his mom. My boyfriend used to work out of the country so he doesn’t have a full time bonding with his child. But constantly communicating with him online. He would like to introduce me to his child by the time he get home and borrow his son. All of his relatives wants to introduce me as well. Should I advice all the people around that they shouldn’t introduce me as a girlfriend rather than a friend?
I am dating a wonderful woman with two children and am well aware of her wanting to take time before introducing us to each other. I am a patient person and respect her decisions but I also would like to hear more from her about her concerns and what is going to give her a sign that it is time for that. We have been dating for 5 months now and her kids are 10 and 13. I understand where she comes from with this because I too am a divorced parent but not my children are grown adults so that is not so much of an issue. Is it wise or should I ask her what are her concerns and how will she know when it is right?
tia Miller says
I going through the same situation
My ex husband introduced my kids to his new gf after a week that they visited in summer and he told them don’t tell mommy why would he do this
M. Rubio says
Thank you for this advice. It’s amazing how many divorced adults take a ‘none of my ex’s biz’ stance. Ultimately dating is not the ex’s biz, but once you bring the kids into it, then you’ve brought the other parent too. I appreciate your respectful and transparent approach to this matter. Good work!
This is a great article. My ex-wife was having an affair and I caught her. She is your classic gold digger and when I attempted to control her outrageous spending, she decided to pursue an affair and found an older guy who will support her. She left that same day once I approached her about it. She has since introduced our young daughter (7 years old) to this guy, and they go on overnight trips together and stay in hotels together. It was less than 2 months since she began doing this and now it is on month 3. I do not think it is appropriate at all. She is also instructing our daughter to lie to me about this – that they are going on these trips alone. If the courts can come up with arbitrary and archaic guidelines around spousal and child support where the breadwinner gets hosed for everything (even when an affair is present), and if they really care about the well-being of the child, they should establish specific guidelines around this topic which I feel is much more damaging to the child long-term. Make it at least 6 months minimum before you introduce a child to a new boyfriend or girlfriend, and at least 9-12 months before you spend overnights together in the same house/hotel – especially for younger kids. Give the child time to process everything.
Wanting some advice please. I have been separated for two months and I met someone I really like three weeks ago. I introduced my daughter 5 and son 2 to him yesterday at the playground for play and dinner. we had some very clear rules in place about affection I only want my children to see him as a friend for a long time anywhere between six-twelve months. We have no intentions of rushing anything, I do not want to jump into anything just being friends who really like each other.
My daughter had a lot of questions about the situation she thought I kissed him which I didn’t and thought I could still kiss my ex too and be friends.my daughter said to me she likes the new guy but doesn’t want me kissing him which is fair and I would never want the kids to be uncomfortable. I am doing my best to work with my ex on things and assure him that no one can replace him and he is the only one who can be there father which I truly believe.
My ex still lives a long way away till April he just came up for a visit but won’t be back till end March early April. Just for background we both agreed for me to come back to live with family and we he had applied for a transfer closer up this way before separating.
I did talk things over with my ex and he would prefer I didn’t. I don’t know what to say to any of them now. I don’t get anytime away from the kids unless they are in daycare but I am working longer now, I can’t keep asking family to babysit. I love my kids and want what is best for all of us.
Good comments but disagree with a lot of it. When you divorce why would I consider the person I’m divorcing and any decision. It’s called being an adult..
So.. here’s my story, and I apologize for the length of it…
It’s been a little over 6 weeks now since my ex and I broke up after an almost 6yr relationship(didn’t get married but started discussing it) and have a daughter that just turned two in July. Since then, she has “recently reconnected” with someone over FB she went to High School with and drove to a different state to go get him and his 2 children (or one I’m not sure) and bring him back so that she could start dating him and have him start staying over and watching my daughter when nobody else can. She now claims he loves my daughter and loves her and wants to marry her and she says she’s going to marry him and has adopted his 2 kids in her heart already and says I should know who my daughters new step dad is going to be. We broke up on bad terms and now she’s using all the anger to do this, considering the fact that it took us 3yrs to move in together and 8 short months later we found out she was pregnant it doesn’t seem she’s in the right mentality to be doing this. I spent all my time taking care of her and my daughter over the last 2 years of our lives together. I guess I’m not really looking for advice considering the fact that I can’t stop her from doing anything, it’s her life but there’s no way this rebound relationship is going to last, I’m a clean cut type of guy with no piercings or tattoos although I wouldn’t mind a tattoo some day but this guy is trashy looking (hate to say it) and has face and neck tattoos and has been in and out of jail a few different times and I’m pretty sure he’s already lying to her about being offered a “plant manager” position at a job he applied for, (based on the fact that he didn’t even know what they do in a shipping and receiving department..) but he’d need to move to a different state in order to take it she told me. I’m trying to be civil with her and I want to see my daughter because I love her unconditionally, the last year I went to work from 4pm-12am or until 2am sometimes then coming home and getting back up at 7am when my daughter woke up and spending all day with her until I had to go to work again. There is no way of breaking that bond I built with my daughter and it’s killing me inside knowing that her mother is using her as a pawn against me just to make me suffer and crash emotionally because she knows how much I love my child. I’m just feeling lost some days and the only thing I want is to be the man my daughter can look up to and say one day “I’m proud of you daddy”, I never even fully got to teach her how to say certain things like I love you or spent enough time coloring with her and playing games together. I’m crying as I type this because I’m in so much pain of not being with my baby girl and it breaks my heart to see her have to deal with this confusion of who this guy that isn’t her father be around her and her mommy. She said she doesn’t want to get courts involved but I don’t know if that’s another lie from her just toying with me..
God bless anyone that reads this, I know I need him in my life more than ever if I’m going to make it through the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my 28yrs of living in this world.