Am I capable of loving someone else's children????

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-10-2013
Am I capable of loving someone else's children????
5
Mon, 06-03-2013 - 7:12pm

I've been divorced for 2 years.  Have been seeing a guy off and on over that time but I've never been able to truly commit.  I just don't care to be in a relationship at this point.  BUT....one thing I have noticed is this.  I have 2 children of my own.  I'm used to my children.  I know their behavior, I know how they act...I know them....they are my children.  My "friend" also has 2 children.  They are COMPLETE opposites of my own children.  His kids are loud, rude, disruptive, etc.  And he doesn't really discipline them.  Everyone always compliments my kids on their behavior and how polite they are and well behaved...and that's what I'm used to.  I've always loved children and always knew I wanted to be a mom.  Of course I never thought I would be divorced and in a situation like this.  My "friend's" kids tell me they love me when I see them.  I say it back.  But to be honest....deep down...I just don't.  I feel so horrible saying that or even admitting that.  Am I even capable of loving someone else's children?  If not his...anyone else's????  It's sad to me that I have always loved kids and I of course adore my own, but I don't really care to get to know anyone else's kids or love them.  I don't know if it's even possible for me.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

I think it's good that you are admitting this and I also think there is nothing wrong with you.  Because of movies/TV shows (The Brady Bunch) everyone acts like if you remarry and have stepchildren that everyone is going to be one big happy family and it's not always that way.  For my 2nd marriage, I married a guy who was a widower w/ one DD so she was actually with us more than my kids since I've divorced & my kids saw their dad approx. 3x/ week.  At the time of the marriage, his DD was about 13, and I had a DD 14 and a DS 7.  His DD & my DD were so different--it was like night & day.  I was always very close to my kids and my DD is very much like me--not so much in personality but we like the same things--we both like sports as well as girly things like clothes shopping & getting manicures.  Well DSD was nothing like that.  Now that she is an adult I think she is either lesbian or maybe even transgender--so she hated clothes shopping, she hardly talked to me (even though she liked me and it wasn't like we ever really had arguments or didn't get along).  Where my kids were good students and generally obeyed the rules, DSD (once she got to high school) ended up really being a difficult child--she did so many things and it caused a lot of discord in the house.  I would say to really beware of getting together with someone who has very different ideas of child rearing than you do--I had the naive idea that I would just be in charge of my kids and he would be in charge of his--well that doesn't work out if everybody is living together or has to spend a lot of time together (even if he is the non-custodial parent, if his kids are spending weekend with you, it will still affect everyone).  If you think his kids are rude and not well behaved AND HE DOESN'T CARE ABOUT THAT, then how do you think things are going to work out if you are together?  It's going to be very stressful for everybody.  I know I rambled on a lot here--I guess it just hit a nerve.  I also have to say that it might just be these particular kids--you could meet another guy who has well behaved kids and the guy thinks the same that you do about how to raise kids and although you might never love his kids the same as your own (I don't think most people do--at least at first) it might just be that you could see that living with his kids wouldn't be that bad if you actually liked the kids.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-10-2013
That's funny that you say that...I've actually thought many times "well, maybe if we did end up together...he could just deal with his own kids and i deal with mine." But then it clicks that that would never ever work. I also have a hard time keeping my mouth shut about it. We have been good friends for several years and I usually find it very easy to speak to him about things. And I have mentioned things regarding his kids that bother me because I just feel like he is going to be in a world of mess if he doesn't straighten them out. How in the world do you explain to someone that you just can't deal with their kids and their lack of parental guidance and I'm not willing to put myself in that position. You're probably right...if the guy is the right guy and he has kids, I will find it easier to love or care for his kids. Now if I can just figure out how to explain that to him!
Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010

  Forget the "Right Guy" myth.  There is not one but many.  it is you that must adapt to get your needs met. Some people are great as friends and lovers but never to live with.

chaika

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-25-2013

I think you're putting too much pressure on yourself to have "loving" others kids as a goal. When I was dating my future husband who has a teen daughter, my rule and goal was that she and I have respect for each other, and that we be pleasant toward each other. Since her mother is toxic, my future husband wanted me to be a substitute mother. I told him, "Don't pressure us into the relationship you want. Our relationship will form organically and I don't know what it will turn out to be, but whatever it will be, it needs to form naturally." I give her advice about boys and education, and curl her hair sometimes, but I'm not a mother to her. I care about her but don't believe that I love her. That's okay. There are also times where it's awkward between us because we live in a small house and I had an empty nest for a while and can't wait til she finishes college and moves out, which probably won't be for another 5 years.

Don't feel bad about not loving someone. It's something that happens or doesn't happen. I'm not the type who loves very easily outside my immediate family and spouse. If a child says they love you, it's okay to say it back, even if you don't, since it would hurt the child's feelings if you didn't say it. As far as staying with your bf is concerned, you will have to weigh the pros and cons of an eventual future of living together with all the kids.

My stepdaughter is basically a good kid, but is a normal self centered selfish teen and we have to deal with the normal stress of this in our daily lives. To me, my husband was worth not having an empty nest for awhile, so I chose this life. I have been able to influence him somewhat in his treatment of her. He spoiled her too much which I didn't think would be good for her character and expectations in life. If it benefits the kids, I don't see anything wrong with giving your bf advice. Just do it in a way that he'll be receptive. Phrase it that it will benefit his kids.Good luck in whatever you decide.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-10-2013
Thank you very much