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Widower's kids won't talk to me...

 
 
Reply Mon 22 Sep, 2014 02:19 pm
Hi, I hope that someone will be able to give me clarity on my situation as I am ready to call it quits...
I have been involved with my boyfriend for one and a half years. He is 50 and I am 48. We started dating about a year after his wife died...a little catch to this is that we were high school sweethearts. We dated from the ages of 15-21, and have always remained far away friends. Meaning, we would catch-up every 10 years via phone to say hi. There was nothing more to it...my ex- husband knew this.
FEEL FREE TO SKIP THIS PART:
Anyway, when he found out that his wife was terminally ill, he called me hysterically crying. He is very closed-off with his emotions and I seem to be the only one he can let go with. (I was recently divorced at the time) My heart bled for him and his 3 children. Again, there were never left-over feelings from childhood.
He would phone sporadically and let out some emotion, and I listened. I should also add, that I lost MY mother to cancer when I was 10 years old and he knew that I know what his children were going through.
About 6 months passed and I heard about a Benefit they were having on his wife's behalf. Since we were only friends and his family were like my 2nd family when I was a teenager, I thought I would go, pay the entrance fee and leave...to show my support.
I bought a beautiful card for his WIFE, and signed my full name followed by "a friend of the family".
She passed away not long after. I heard about her passing through Facebook- 6 months after, he called, our friendship started up, and we fell in love all over.
THE REAL PROBLEM:
His kids! He has a (current ages) 8 year old daughter. We have a wonderful bond. Remember, I lost my mom when I was 10, so I know that stages of mourning through the years.
A 13 year old boy...this one never liked me- never tried- barely says 2 words to me...still. I will toot my own horn and say that I am such a fun-loving, kind, nice woman. I excepted his anger for a very long time as I really did understand. I tried talking to him...the whole (and sincere) I lost my mother at 10 and my father at 25, so I understand losing a parent. I also understand what it's like when a new woman comes into your father's life. I ensured him that I don't want to nor ever could take his mother's place, I would just like to have a nice relationship with him. Also, if he needs someone to talk to, I'm a good listener and that his mother's spirit should always stay alive in his heart.
Still nothing.
His oldest daughter is 23. She is awful. She still lives at home with 2 small children and her boyfriend. She told her father that she will be cordial to me, say hi but will never accept me. Much to her chagrin, her two sons ADORE ME!
All kids do.
When I come over the house, the 2 oldest will be in the living room and will clear out the moment I walk in. Whenever we want to go out by ourselves, the daughter always has something to do and can't watch her younger sister. So, we NEVER get alone time.
Although she always seems to be there when I'm there.
At this point, I am losing my patience and feel it's time for them to get over it. To open up a little.
Also, the father, I feel, is at fault the most for allowing THEIR behavior to continue and to defend them. He is as stubborn as heck and thinks that he "can't force them to like me". Yesterday he said " a lot of kids don't get along with their father's new love...it's common" Really...am I wrong, but is that the lamest answer? They don't know me not to like me. These conversations go on constantly between us were he thinks it's ok. I want to have a good relationship with his children. Shouldn't he want that too?
Shouldn't he put his foot down with his oldest daughter and make her babysit her sister so that he and I can have a date or two? After all, she has a live-in babysitter, cook and maid with her father, but he thinks that I am wrong about that too.
Yesterday, I got so frustrated about having the same argument about the lack of respect from the two oldest, I had to hang-up in his face. We haven't spoken since.
If I am wrong, please be honest and tell me. If you have advice, I would love to hear it. I don't have kids, and can be a push- over with them.
HELP...PLEASE!
Thanks for reading this ridiculously long post...
 
jespah
 
  3  
Reply Mon 22 Sep, 2014 02:36 pm
@TigerLilly007,
Sounds to me like some counseling is in order.

The kids need to open up about their loss to a professional (even the young girl who accepts you). Their father needs to hear it from an objective outsider that he shouldn't be letting his children run his love life.

As for you, don't try so hard with the eldest one. She's apparently made up her mind. But don't let her passive-aggressive crap keep you from having a good time. Hire an outside sitter if she won't babysit her sister, or take the younger girl to a play group or the like when you want to go out. Neither you nor the younger girl need to be paying for the older one's bad attitude.
TigerLilly007
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Sep, 2014 02:55 pm
@jespah,
Thank you for your very helpful and sensible reply- I agree with you 100%.

I have mentioned counseling over and over again and it just isn't sinking in. In his opinion "he's fine, they're fine".
I have been mentioning a babysitter for the past 8 months and he keeps blowing that off too.

As far as the oldest daughter? Yes, I do try too hard and will put that to a halt.

After reading my reply, do you have a clearer understanding as to why I am frustrated with the father?
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  2  
Reply Mon 22 Sep, 2014 03:01 pm
@TigerLilly007,
Hi TigerLilly,
well there are several issues here and I am not sure that you'll be able to
change any of them. Why on earth is he allowing his adult daughter with 2 kids and a boyfriend live in his house? They should be living someplace else.

The teenage son is probably siding with his big sister for no particular reason as just to agree to dislike you.

As jespah said, all family members should go to counseling. They are all clearly not ready to have their mom replaced, or his wife for that matter.

In the meantime, I don't think it's a good idea for you to go to their house. If your sweetheart wants to see you, he should come and visit you and he should be the one making arrangements for his 8 year old one. If he wants to date you, he has to make an effort to see you. Whatever it entails, it is his problem, not yours.

Give them all the space they need and accept invitations only if it's outside of their house. It's his job to deal with his kids and make them understand that daddy is seeing someone.
PUNKEY
 
  3  
Reply Mon 22 Sep, 2014 03:04 pm

Wow - you walked into a lion's cage - no wonder you are getting scratched!

This death is still very new and you are a threat to their grieving, as dysfunctional as it is. Counseling is in order for the whole bunch.

He needs to stand up to his family to make them be at least cordial to you. Don't expect them to LIKE you.

Sorry, but this is all wrong for you: Wrong timing, wrong place, wrong person. Please consider moving on and giving him a lot of time to sort out what he wants for his future.

But don't count on it. Sounds like things are very entrenched in that home.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  3  
Reply Mon 22 Sep, 2014 05:10 pm
@TigerLilly007,
What I am about to say is not fair to you. But, in this situation the needs and wishes of the kids are the most important thing. This is their family and they didn't choose to be in any part of this situation.

I think the oldest child is within her rights. She should be cordial to you, but she has no obligation beyond that. I think you are making a mistake to demand more. Any of us would hope for more but you can't force a relationship with someone who doesn't want one.

You can't force these kids to like you or to open up to you. I am sorry that you are faced with emotions that you don't deserve, but your presence in the life of their father is clearly difficult for these kids who are dealing with grief. If you are going to be with your boyfriend then you are going to have to accept this.

My advice for you is to back off. Build your relationship with your boyfriend. Let the kids come to you. Understand that they may never come to you (or they may but it must be their choice). You should offer a relationship with them but you shouldn't expect or pressure anything.

Counseling may be a good idea, but that is a decision for the father and his children. It is not your place to push this. You can never replace the person they lost. They may resent you being in her place more than is fair to you, but sorry their feelings are the most important thing rights now.

You really can't force your way into a family like this. If the kids are ever going to accept you, they need to do it on their own terms. You need to be patient. The more you try to force them, the more you will drive them away.

I am sorry that this is difficult. But this is a situation that you are in by choice. Give these kids the space they need to heal on their own.


0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Sep, 2014 05:31 pm
@CalamityJane,
I'm agreeing with C.Jane twice in one day.. and max and punky and Jespah ...
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Mon 22 Sep, 2014 05:34 pm
@ossobuco,
I'll add that a wise a2ker used to say that generally it took at least two years after the death of a loved mate to deal well with a new relationship. Not always, of course, but worth considering.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Sep, 2014 06:08 pm
I think she has every right to go to her boyfriends house. The older daughter is in her 20's and the son is 13.

They are the one's in need of counseling.

Like has been said, I wouldn't push myself on them.
I'd just go on and have a happy life with the man you feel in love with.

If they don't like it....tough.

Maybe they won't ever like you. It sure wouldn't stop me from enjoying life.
0 Replies
 
One Eyed Mind
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Sep, 2014 06:57 pm
I feel like your post is telling me a subconscious story about your depression, OP. Throughout the entire post you tell us about your issues with kids, but throughout the same entire post, on a subconscious level, you kept saying "kids love me" in more than one way. That's an issue. A massive issue you need to work with before you do anything else with the kids. You have an insecurity scar that is between yourself and the kids - a scar that has yet to admit to the possibility you are "not good with kids". You have a problem, and you're covering that up. Deal with yourself before you do anything else.
0 Replies
 
elenahao
 
  0  
Reply Mon 22 Sep, 2014 10:34 pm
@TigerLilly007,
Dear Lilly,

I could understand your feeling,lilly.My suggestions are as below,hope it could help you a little.Because your situation so that even a stone would show pity!
As the saying goes,"One step back today for two steps forward tomorrow."
If I were you,I could not go to his house during these days firstly.Give him enough time to think his problems,that is the relations between you and his children.During these tenuous times
I believe no matter what he said,he know the problems in his heart,just do not want to face it.
Secondly,I will see what is he feedback?
If he want to go further with you,he will contact with you anyway.If not,you should let he go.Do not be sad.That is his decision.
Thirdly,if you are still together,tell him your opinions ,such as the oldest girl should live with her boyfriend in another place.No matter what opinions,pls remember let him know it is good to this familiy.
Give time to let him think about it.Do not push him or his children.
During these tenuous times,you should enjoy your live by yourself.Perhaps,go to shopping or having a journey is a good choice,right?
0 Replies
 
TigerLilly007
 
  2  
Reply Wed 24 Sep, 2014 09:37 am
Hi all,
Thank you for taking the time to respond! Most of you were so helpful.
Just a couple of reminders before I respond...
- I lost my mother when I was 10, so I am very sensitive to how they feel
- In November it will be 3 years that their mother passed away
- 8 months ago I had a really nice (so I thought) conversation with the 2 older children...separately. I let them know that I wasn't here to replace their mother as she can't be replaced. How I, too lost my mother at a young age and knows what it feels like to have your dad start dating again.
- I have a very tight bond with his 8 year old daughter. It's really beautiful.
However, I am scared to put her through another loss, should I walk away from this.

CALAMITY JANE:
Yes! Exactly, the teenage son sides with his sister. I know that she tried to get the little one to dislike me, too. You know how honest an 8 year old can be...about 1 year ago she, her daddy and I were at the zoo having a great time.
She and I were by ourselves and she said " I don't know why my sister doesn't like you, but I do". Oops!
I DO think that his son is having a particularly hard time with the loss, but his dad claims he's fine when I have brought up counseling.
Not going to his house will set an example for the 2 older ones that THEY pull the strings in our relationship, so I will continue to go.
Yes, it IS HIS problem to fix...agree!
Thanks again, Calamity J!

PUNKEY:
Everything that you advised is everything I have thought...we our on the same page! Thanks for validating my feelings Smile

MAX DANCONA:
As Jesper said, "kids can't run his love life". Their father deserves happiness too and the oldest daughter should know this and want this for him.
You are right when you say that I can't expect them to like me. I am guilty...all I want is that chance, but as you rightly said...I can't force it. Good advice.

CHAI2:
We are on the same page, too!
The biggest problem is that we never have one-on-one time, and I
am always at his house. As much as I love the little one- we need adult
time, as well.
I haven't seen him since Saturday (by my choice) and today is Wednesday. I am getting to that place of moving on. Thanks!

ONE EYED MIND:
Suiting screen name. As sure as you sound, I'm sorry but you couldn't be further from the truth. I re-read your post 6 times and none of it was accurate.
Entertaining, though!

ELENAHAO:
I agree, my next step is to let go and move on...that's the zone I seem to be entering as I type this.
If you read my other responses, you know that staying away from the house is something I won't do.
He DOES need that space to think through things and I need to keep doing what I enjoy doing. Great and thoughtful advice, thank you!

Thanks again, all.

It's agreed that I have been trying too hard to get his 2 older children to like me.
I'm glad I heard it...
Your advice was very helpful...I greatly appreciate it!

jespah
 
  2  
Reply Wed 24 Sep, 2014 10:42 am
@TigerLilly007,
Oy - hang in there.

And feel free to hang around. We do things other than give relationships advice. Someone is bound to post a music video soon enough ....
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Sep, 2014 04:43 pm
@jespah,
Like this?



chai2
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Sep, 2014 05:01 pm
@chai2,
You know tiger lilly, the only time I remember dislikiing my step daughter was when she was 13 (she lived with her mom, but we'd go on vacation with her, and she lived nearby). That's an awful age. I remember being 13 myself.

What I came back to say was that I remember when I was a kid, then teenager, it was all about "you're the young one, we're the adults." They were in charge of the world. Then when I was a young adult, it was "listen to your older, more experienced managers/teachers/bosses. They know the ropes.

Now, as a wise elder, I'm told that I need to be learning from people whose college diplomas are still wet. That they know how the world of business should be run.
I'm informed that I need to not do anything, engage in relationships that might upset the delicate balance of young children or teenagers. Their whims must be catered to, and God forbid you tell a child, teen, young adult that they are stepping on your toes, let alone tell them to do anything.....I see a billboard almost every day that has part of that old saying "it takes a village...." and then pictures of teddy bears dressed up like doctors and nurses. Each time I think, "yeah, it takes a village of people who are going to cater to your child, and let each and every one of them know how special and wonderful they are."
It takes a village until someone in that village dares to tell a kid or teen to stop kicking the back of your seat, or go mope around somewhere else, because their attitude is a downer to you.

The 13 year old is being a 13 year old. Whatever. The young adult daughter is just being an ass.
You say the 2 of them leave the room whenever you enter it? I say that's terrific. Let them find someplace else to go and figure out you're not bothered by them, and that in fact this is a good time to be alone with your man.
0 Replies
 
elenahao
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Sep, 2014 06:23 pm
@TigerLilly007,
Dear Lilly,
I just want you to be happy.
Anything you like,you should do it.I support you.
0 Replies
 
 

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