childcare issues… is it worth it?

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Liz Lemon 1 month, 1 week ago.

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  • #933657 Reply


    I have been seeing this guy for over a month now , everything was going great, he was making time for me, in fact he wanted to see me quite often, he started asking questions about relationships etc.
    He has a daughter and is divorced and from what I understood he always had long distance relationships.
    Last time we saw each other on Sunday and this is where the issues begun. His daughter goes to boarding school and he had her that weekend , we met when after he dropped her off.
    He received a phone call from school saying that his daughter was suspended for breaking the rules so she will need to be collected and stay with him for a week. He was obviously distracted so after we watched a movie together I went home.
    He texted me next day apologizing for being distracted. His Bday is tomorrow and he wanted to meet up , he also started making plans for us to spend this weekend together, however he needs to attend school meeting on Friday and it looks like his daughter might be expelled from the school.
    He also mentioned that his ex wife in the past caused problems with childcare , when he was dating someone, like when she knew his long distance gf was coming to see him , she will then come up with excuses why she can’t have the daughter and she needs to stay with him.
    We are meeting tomorrow for a quick walk as his daughter is staying with him so wouldn’t be fair to go on a proper date.

    I just wonder, I have never dated someone with a child or divorced and I am not sure what to do?
    He seems a bit distance today , possibly because of all the stress etc so I backed off.
    It seems like a lot of baggage for me and I understand he still wants to see me but I also feel like today for example he might have some issues with the child but he isn’t telling me because he might be worried it will completely scare me off?
    I know it is for me to decide whether I want to carry on or not but I want to see what others think of this situation and if I should give this a chance.

    #933658 Reply

    Amy S

    Really only you can answer this one. Is he worth it ? Thats up to you. To be fair if the kid is in boarding school it shouldnt be too much of an impact on his or your lives. Unless she does get expelled which is a whole other matter. Only thing that would annoy me here is that if he knows his wife will play funny why would he tell her what hes doing in his personal life ? Is he still under her control ?. Maybe he should use his brain and not tell his wife anything she doesnt need to know so she cant interfere with his life. x

    #933659 Reply


    I am not sure what the deal is with his ex wife, his daughter is 13 so it could be her telling her mum , for example she is going on holiday with dad and his new gf.

    #933660 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    This is a lot of drama and baggage for someone you’ve only been dating for a month. My bf has a child, and I have a child. Children do make dating more complicated, but it sounds like in your situation the child has behavioral problems, and more importantly, the ex-wife is deliberately sabatoging his dating life (“when she knew his long distance gf was coming to see him , she will then come up with excuses why she can’t have the daughter and she needs to stay with him”).

    Doesn’t this man have a custody agreement with his ex wife? The ex has to adhere to the custody agreement– if she’s supposed to have the daughter for certain days/weekends, for example, she can’t just make up an excuse and hand the daughter off to the father. My bf and his wife have a strict custody agreement, and his ex can’t just blow off her custodial time. So my bf and I are able to plan weekends away around that.

    If this man’s ex is constantly blowing off her designated custodial responsibilities, he should take her to court (or threaten to). It doesn’t sound like he’s established strong boundaries with his ex, if she jerks him around like this. But you’ve only been dating him a month, so you don’t know the full background of their relationship.

    Honestly, in my personal opinion, this situation doesn’t sound like it’s worth it to me. You’re only a month into dating this guy, and there’s a lot of drama with his daughter and ex wife. It’s not going to get better.

    #933661 Reply


    No I don’t know their background, but I am pretty sure his other relationships ended because of this, even though he never said it out loud.
    He has the custody , because it was easier for him to get the funding for boarding school etc but I know that when he was married he was away a lot so she was staying at home with the child and from what I gathered he moved on pretty quickly after divorce and she didn’t.

    #933662 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    I don’t understand- even if he is the custodial parent, his ex-wife must have court ordered custodial time? Doesn’t she get weekends, etc? That’s what I’m talking about. If she’s supposed to have the child every other weekend, for example, per court order- she can’t just back out of that on a whim.

    If he’s the custodial parent, I assume she pays him child support, then?

    I can most definitely imagine his other relationships ended over this. It doesn’t sound like he has a good handle on his ex, honestly. My bf’s ex didn’t move on quickly after their divorce either– she actively tried to get him to reconcile with her, but he totally shut her down. And he didn’t tolerate any messing around with custody of their child– he would threaten her in writing with going back to court if he needed to. Unfortunately when someone has an ex like that, they have to put strong boundaries, or the ex walks all over them…like what your bf’s ex is doing now.

    This is why I’m saying it’s not worth dating a guy like this. You’re only a month in! It should be the honeymoon period and everything should be wonderful. This is way too much drama and hassle for this early on in a relationship.

    #933663 Reply


    Hi Denise

    My first feeling on reading your post was to feel sorry for the guy as I know how challenging it is where there are issues with children and the ex. My heart goes out to him a little bit.

    However I get what Liz Lemon is saying. It’s certainly not going to be a walk in the park.

    Maybe only time will tell, and it probably will require a great deal of understanding and emotional strength on your part. (Kids are hard work anyway and being a potential step mum somewhere down the line will be more challenging than usual if the child’s behavioural problems are bad enough to get her expelled.)

    I guess the question is, is he / getting to be in a relationship with this particular man worth it?

    #933668 Reply


    The child has behavioural problem because her parents are seperated and she’s in a boarding school probably is getting bullied and has abandonment issues etc. Who knows?

    Since you’re both new to eachother, have a conversation about what happened between the ex wife, how are their coparenting style and what will happen if the child does get expelled. Your guy has a lot on his plate but I can see that he’s not using it as an excuse to ignore you and cancel on you etc.

    Dig a little deeper and understand the fundamentals clearly and then you can decide if this is what you want to get yourself into.

    And until your guy is able to set boundaries he won’t be able to have a successful serious relationship with anyone. So question him on his thoughts on that.

    #933669 Reply


    What is your purpose in dating? To meet someone to marry, have children with, what exactly? And in what time frame, ideally?

    Let’s see what you’re dealing with.

    The child. This is a 13 year old girl with divorced parents. She’s just done something serious enough to get kicked out of a boarding school. Those schools don’t kick kids out over nothing. Either she did something that was a one-off or she’s got ongoing behavioral issues. Would be helpful if you could find out which it is. Keep in mind this is a young teen who could potentially not appreciate sharing her father’s attention with another woman. If she’s got issues, he’s facing 5 long years of that before she’s 18 and off to university. What exactly is the custody schedule and how might that change if she doesn’t return to a boarding school situation?

    The ex-wife. Who initiated the divorce, her or him? How long were they married and how long have they been divorced? You already know she’s not really moved on from him and has displayed a tendency to use the child as a weapon against him, and she will try to sabotage him spending time with a girlfriend. Does she work? Is he paying her alimony and if so, how much and for how long?

    Him. If his other relationships are LD and they’re ending because of these problems, that’s a couple of red flags right there. Why is he not dating locally? What do you mean exactly by LD and are you LD too? Is he willing and able to stand up to his ex regarding child schedule? How many women has he dated since the divorce? Have you seen cases where he puts his foot down with the ex or is he always placating her? Do you have any idea what his purpose for dating is?

    I’m not telling you to sit down and grill him about all of this – I’m saying this is the kind of information you need to make a decision as to whether it’s worth it to you to keep dating him or look for someone without children or in a more stable situation with an ex and the children.

    From what you said so far, this might be one you have to throw back.

    #933670 Reply


    To clarify re: the boarding school. I’m reading it as it’s very likely he’s going to hear on Friday that she’s expelled, or will be on strict probation or something. Either way it’s going to cause a raft of problems and you should be watching very closely how he handles his ex and his daughter. If you really like him, might be best to step way back and let him deal with it for 2-4 weeks, since you two haven’t been dating long. And you really should be prepared that this isn’t the time in his life for him to have anything other than casual dates for a little fun and companionship.

    #933672 Reply


    I second everything Rubi says 🌟

    I like AngieBabys thought process in terms of info to understand as you’re getting to know each other. And also space as he prioritises (rightly) his daughter. Observing how he handles these challenges is going to give you some quality info perhaps, who is he at his core and how does he show up when things get tough.

    I love that you’re not stressing or pressuring him. That is definitely very cool. Because as well as you watching him, he’s definitely aware of how you’re showing up at this time too.

    Also, whilst I don’t want to seem negative about him, it’s worth perhaps remembering that how he talks about his ex isn’t necessarily the way she is.

    You know what, these are interesting times. As long as you stay slightly back just as you are, you’re going to learn so much.

    As a single mum who has similar challenges to the guy you’re with, I can’t help rooting for him! I really hope you both can navigate this time successfully and come out the other side beautifully.

    Assuming of course that his character is sound at its core. Time will tell….

    #933675 Reply

    I come in peace

    You’re entertainment to fill an emotional void in his life.

    Think about it.

    He’s dealing with you
    His hormonal teenage daughter
    His ex wife.

    That’s a lot of estrogen.

    Of the 3 stresses in his life, you’re the relief.

    Take it how you want it but you’re honestly thinking waaaayyy too far ahead with this guy who is currently dealing with what is going on now. It is what it is you could compliment him on well he is handling it all…

    Communication is important. Keeping eachother in the loop…

    Keep living your life according to your plans, see him as a happy addition to it that is likely to change so do your best from getting too attached.

    Whatever flows, flows whatever crashes crashes.

    #933683 Reply


    From what I gathered they were married for 10 years, married quite young and I also understand he was away with work a lot so she was the one staying at home. She doesn’t pay him because apparently she doesn’t work = have no money. I didn’t ask why etc
    But like someone said I don’t necessarily believe in everything he says about his ex because it is obvious he won’t be putting him in a bad light. Apparently she cheated while he was away with work but again it might have been him, who knows . Fact is that he moved on pretty quickly, she didn’t so …

    I am not LD I live 20 min from him, from what I understand he only had 2 relationships , one marriage and one long distance on and off for 4 years. But he also dated some girls abroad. Why he doesn’t date local? Probably because of all the issues he has and the fact that he might not be local girls type if you know what I mean. Or maybe he likes free holidays haha

    I do like the fact that he isn’t using this situation he is in against me , I know he could easily say I am busy, won’t be able to see you but he doesn’t do that.

    I am trying not to think too much about the future etc but I know with summer coming and his child being off school we might have the same problem in 2 months time .
    And I also understand that his child probably needs some psychological support but it is not my role really to tell him that even though I feel sorry for his daughter.

    #933686 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    It’s ok to think about the future in the sense that you should evaluate whether this man will make a good boyfriend/partner.

    It’s very early days yet, you’ve only dated a month. So all you can do is observe and see what he does. Is he able to keep the ex wife in check? Is he able to parent and support his daughter while still giving you time and attention? I suspect from what you’ve written so far that the answers to both these questions will be no.

    It makes perfect sense to me that most of his relationships have been LDR, because LDR has a huge element of fantasy to it. (And I’ve had LDRs). You don’t have to see the person’s day to day issues, and over the phone/video chat they can present whatever persona they want. When you go visit the person, its a holiday– not real life. In this guy’s case, he can easily compartmentalize a LDR so that his personal issues with his ex and child remain separate from his relationships. This won’t be the case if you get into a relationship with him- in fact you’ve barely started dating and you can already see the amount of baggage he has. That kind of thing is much easier to hide when you’re long distance.

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