Managing children from multiple partners doesn’t have to be complicated.
I have a friend, my friend in his youth has sowed his oaths and brought into this world beautiful children with 3 different women. He is now married to one of the three women. My friend loves his children and irrespective of his complicated situation, he has been doing his possible best to show and make sure his children know he loves them. Recently, my friend went to celebrate his first daughters birthday. She is from a previous relationship (not from his wife). This is not a big deal right? Wrong! Some people felt the need to harass and insult my friend and the child’s mom over this decision. How does going to celebrate your child’s birthday or being there for your kids warrant insult you ask? Well, it baffles me too.
It took me a few days to decide to write this piece. I wanted to be as objective as possible, not writing from an overly emotional standpoint. But… how can you not be angry or emotional when innocent children are involved? I read some of the comments and backlash and a few times I would put my phone down to take a deep breath. I kept asking myself who raised these commentators. I kept telling myself, no they couldn’t be for real.
I do not care if they were raised in a two parent home, single parent home, multiple parent home, but those people commenting negatively because a FATHER wants to be a FATHER, obviously grew up WITHOUT love. I honestly feel anyone who grew up with a lot of love cannot see and go as far as spewing negativity about something as positive as a child spending time with her father for her birthday.
I am also sure his current wife was aware of these kids and knew they were an important part of his life before she married him. I believe she knows their value and can respect that. I also believe she trusts her man and his judgement enough to know he is simply performing his duties as a father… because truth is, why marry someone if you do not trust them. I also believe my friend has done his possible best to assure his wife that she has nothing to worry about. Their situation is complicated but not so complicated that it cant have a peaceful resolution if wisdom, trust and understanding is applied.
So I wonder about these outsiders getting angry that a father is spending time with his daughter, I wonder what their problem is. I wonder who raised them and how they were raised. I can almost certainly state that most are women, and most of these women, if they find themselves in the same situation, would not want their child(ren) to be abandoned so why wish it for someone else?
What do you do if your partner has kids from a previous relationship?
First of all let me start by saying all situations are different. Some people are active in their child(ren)’s lives while some are not. So this applies to those you meet who have BOTH parents active in the child(ren)’s lives. If you meet someone whose ex is not active in the child(ren)’s life even before meeting you, then this may not apply to you. You can feel free to Russell Wilson and Ciara things. Build that happy family.
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I can understand a new partner’s reluctance with accepting the situation where both parents are very active and cordial but it is what it is and the deed is done. At this stage you have to understand that if you wish to continue, trust is key and all feelings of jealousy will need to be put aside. Children are a blessing and should be treated as such, irrespective of the past decisions made by the adults in their lives.
Before you accept a man or woman with kids, it is always wise to sit down and discuss how you BOTH plan to make the best of out things. It is also not a bad idea to reach out to their ex and help them understand you are on the kid(s) side and you want everyone to be happy. Do not fool yourself into thinking it is his or her problem because most times, it doesn’t pan out that way. Again this applies to a situation where both parents are active and cordial.
A clear plan is needed so there are no feelings of “this is not what I bargained for” in the future. Do not look at it from a perspective of, “yeah the kids stay with the other parent so who cares,” always remember, life is about constant change, so you have to play out and discuss all possible scenarios before moving forward.
If you know you are the type that can deal with all the scenarios, then go ahead and be with this person. If you know you are the type that can’t, please move on. The child(ren) are going no where and even if you try your possible best to keep your partner away from them, one day he or she will realize his or her mistakes and may end up feeling resentment towards you.
Why Kids Should ALWAYS come first
The kids with your current partner are not more important than the kids with your previous partner(s). Children who find themselves in situations where the father or mother has to be shared should not be treated different from kids who don’t. I always say it’s just more love to go around. Most times, parents who find themselves in this situation tend to be closer to the kids that live with them. This is where it is important to apply wisdom.
Even if your child does not live with you, it should never stop you from communicating with that child regularly and showing that child as much love as you show the ones under your roof. Playing favorites can sometimes create animosity or feelings of being “left out.” It can also create problems between these children in the future.
Also, never leave a woman or man feeling slighted that you do not love his or her kids because of someone else. This only fuels more drama. When you show your children love irrespective, even the most unreasonable man or woman will search his or her conscience someday and know that you did your best. Some men and women make the mistake of abandoning the kids with previous partners because they are not with the parent or they want to avoid drama and forget that they are simply setting themselves up for a future of resentment and explanations that may not end up anywhere. They key is to remember, when you use the word family – it should never exclude kids from previous relationships. Doing so if affirming to those kids that they are not an important part of your family and this can create feelings that will possibly tear you apart for good.
Remember, if you take care of one child and not the others, it still classifies you as a deadbeat parent. In my opinion, this form of deadbeat is even worse because they are selective about who they care for. It is not about not being able to, it’s about not wanting to.
What do you if you are the other parent?
If you are a mother or father of a child(ren) whose other parent has gone on to have kids and start a family with another person, first and foremost try to reach a favorable neutral ground for and with everybody. Always respect the situation. Even if your ex’s current partner is nasty and rude, respect that he or she has moved on with him or her and do not see him or her as some sort of rival. Focus on what is important – the well being of the child(ren). If the other parent still feels the need to abandon the child(ren) to please his or her new partner, or for whatever reasons known to them, it may not be easy but simply move on.
Move on knowing deep in your heart you have tried your best, while putting your child(ren)’s interest first. The saying you cannot force a camel to drink water is still very valid. You cannot force anyone to love your child(ren) even if they did father or mother them. Sometimes, biological means just that, someone who helped produce but it does not always mean that person is capable of being a parent.
I personally do not mind being with someone with kids. I love children and do not see them as a threat to a relationship. If anything, it makes it easier to choose activities without leaving the kids out. This point of view applies to me because I have a child. It may not apply to you if you don’t. A real threat to a relationship is lack of trust. I would not be with someone I don’t trust around his ex. If I feel he still has feelings for his ex, I will allow him go sort himself out. A confused man has no place in my life because I have learned about self love and what I can and cannot deal with. Life is too short not to live it peacefully.
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2 thoughts on “My Partner has kids from a previous relationship. What do I do?”
Wow, nice write up with beautiful illustration and demonstration, u ve neva dissapointed me, wen it com to relationshp matters, bt @ tonipayne this is ntn bt d life of a Nigeria music superstar, I wnt say d name…..am I right or wrong?
Petiant Allah will reward you