kids like dads GF but not moms BF after divorce

Elisel - posted on 01/15/2015 ( 9 moms have responded )

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my daughter 12 and son 8 like their dads GF but my daughter openly says she does not like my BF. When I sit with her to have open conversation about WHY, Or if her feelings are from underlying issues about the divorce she says she has no reason except she just doesn't like him. the BF is a full time single dad. I spend all my kid free time with him and his kids(15 and 10) and about 25% of my kid time with all 4 kids and 2 adults. My 8 yr old son likes him enough to tell people its his step dad. I was shocked when I heard him say that! the Ex's GF is very young, Barely 10 yrs older than my daughter and younger than my kids cousins. so im thinking she views it like a friend or cousin. I don't get mad that she likes the GF I would rather it be that than hate.
I have plans however to move closer or move in with my BF in the coming summer. One min she enjoys being at his house the next she hates. One min she wants to be at dads the next she texts me and wants to come home.
I, the mom, have primary custody with the dad seeing the kids 4 days per month. Zero extra days in summer and alternating school breaks.
so is she just being 12 nearly 13? Is it because I am the mom and always been the primary caretaker? Is it just harder for daughters to accept new men/dad figures than it is sons?

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Amy - posted on 01/15/2015

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It could just be she's more comfortable airing her frustration about you dating then she is with her father. My 8 year old has never met anyone I've dated he knows I date and he openly airs his feelings about me dating. His father at one point introduced a girlfriend to the kids, when I questioned my son why he didn't say anything to his father his response to me was because he'll get mad at me.

Elisel - posted on 01/15/2015

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Sorry Shawnn, I will clarify.
The 2-4 days per month my kids go with their dad I spend with my BF. My kids are not with me. The other 26+ days of a month that I have my kids with me I spend maybe 1 day per week with him at his house in which my kids come along(maybe dinner, hang out etc), or we all go out as a group with all 4 kids(2 his, 2 mine). We have gone on little over night trips as well and all kids have fun. (I stay in one room with my kids, he in another with his kids)
He and I have been dating 8 mo. I waited 5mo to intro him to my kids. However they already knew I was dating because my ex let that one out of the bag. And I waited 7 mo to let him know where I live.

Harango - posted on 01/15/2015

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HI Elisel,

Maybe I can shed some light in the matter. I have been divorced from my ex-wife now for about 4 months now. She is now remarried and I am dating someone. My ex-wife and I have 5 kids together ranging in ages from 12,10, 9, 7, and 5. In case your wondering. Boy, boy, girl, boy, and boy. ok, stop laughing, i know..thats ALOT! Anyhow, the kids took my my GF fairly quickly. My GF has two older daughters herself (14 and 15 That's another story). Anyhow, when my ex-wife remarried (month after divorce was final) i know..i know... My oldest had a very hard time accepting his new step dad, and still this day he struggles to respect him and what makes it worse is my ex-wife constantly takes the husbands side over our sons. The younger kids seemed to adjust fairly quickly as the new step dad also has 2 young daughters that he gets 25% custody so mt daughter inherited 2 step sisters. Anyhow, back to my oldest. He does struggle and also tries to play the divorce game with me and my ex-wife. In his case, I know he struggles to like him because he feels that he would be betraying me even though I have told him countless times that I want him to have a good relationship with his step dad as I would want him to have that with my GF should we end up married down the road. Kids at that age (11-15) where there still finding out who they are, going through puberty, and just realizing that their family dynamics have changed forever can be quite traumatizing despite them putting on a brave face for us as parents. The advice I can give you and your BF is to just be patient with her, have your BF spend time with you and her, don't push anything. Let their relationship grow slowly over time. she will eventually see your BF as no longer a threat but someone that she can learn to eventually love.

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Elisel - posted on 01/16/2015

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Thanks for the insight MOMS!
I was able to talk a bit with her more last night. She said she doesn't like my BF because he has kids. If he didn't have kids then he would be fine. She also said she doesn't like me dating anyone. I told her well I'm not asking her to be BFF with anyone but to just be respectful. And I told her my BF isn't going anywhere either.

Her grandmother offered some good insight as well saying that she may be having a somewhat of a "princess" complex. Before she was the only girl. she didn't get much attention from her dad at all growing up but what he did give was all hers. Now she has to share it with his new GF and her 2 younger daughters. perhaps she sees her dad being a better dad to the younger girls and is bothered that she never got that. And now that my BF has kids she knows she cant get all the attention from him either. And since shes primarily with me I get the brunt of the attitude.

Thankfully my BF has a 15 yr old daughter that hes raised alone since she was 11(mother passed) so he takes it all in stride.

Raye - posted on 01/16/2015

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I think she's just being a kid. I think it is harder for some kids to see their primary guardian begin to date someone else. Your love interest will end up playing a bigger role in their lives, and kids fear losing their mother's attention. I agree with Amy, also that she may feel more comfortable sharing her frustrations with you about your boyfriend, which is really a good thing. Be patient with her.

If they've only known him a few months, they still need time to get better acquainted with him. Don't try to force it, but do let her know that it's not her choice who you date. Keep an objective eye on the situation and see if you notice any behavior on his part that would cause concern for your daughter. It may be something he does unintentionally that is just striking her the wrong way, and if noticed and addressed could make the difference.

Elisel - posted on 01/15/2015

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My kids regularly say "dad will mad at me". Over anything from simple things like they don't like his cooking to they don't want to go to his house.
I feel tho being 12 just about 13, everything on earth is just horrible when it's not her way.

Elisel - posted on 01/15/2015

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I have not mentioned anything to my kids about moving since its not happening for 5-6 mo from now. But I also don't want severe resentment when it comes times to move.
I'm trying to beat her to the punch and break through any major issues BEFORE the word "move" is used.
I have asked her about me dating someone bothers her, if she has issues with the divorce, questions to be asked. The most I get is -its ok for dad to date, but not for you- to sum it up. (of course she has no idea that Dad had 2 affairs and has become verbally abusive with threats to me). I protect my kids from all that mess.
I imagine she sees the GF as more a friend and after 6 mo of dating the GF has moved in with her 2 kids. The dynamic in her dads house I would describe as more "free for all" and its easier for him to be the "fun" parent for 2-4 days a month.
I have always been the "mean" one and shouldered almost all of the parenting responsibilities aside from financial support. which is why EX only gets 2-4 days per month.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/15/2015

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So, I'm confused. Do you spend every waking moment with your boyfriend, whether you have your kids or not? Here it says: "I spend all my kid free time with him and his kids...and about 25% of my kid time with all 4 kids and 2 adults"

So, at first glance, I'd say that your daughter probably doesn't like spending every hour that she has with you, with your boyfriend as well. She may have fun, and all, but its not the purpose of her time with you, to share with your boyfriend and his kids.

If I'm reading it backwards (which is entirely possible!), in an average 30 day month, your children are with you 26 of those days. If you spend 25% of that time with your boyfriend and his kids, perhaps your daughter's looking for less time with the 'other' kids and time with just you. How long have you been in the relationship?

Trisha - posted on 01/15/2015

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Your daughter probably identifies more with the GF. At this point she likely treats the kids more like a friend, than any sort of authority figure.
She also recognizes that your BF is going to be a larger part of her life, and knows that any time you spend with him is going to be time you spend not 100% focuses on you. It could be jealousy thing.
Perhaps ask her if she has any fears about you being in a relationship. Approach it from a less "about him" perspective, and more of a "how our family dynamic is going to change" perspective.

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