partnered with a teen mom

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
partnered with a teen mom
Tue, 03-25-2003 - 11:31pm
hi , i am in a 9 month relationship with a women who's 17 year relationship ended last january. we have been friends for two years previous. Her last relationship ended due her partners changed feelings and wanting to be one her own again. Maxine my lover , had got involved with someone right away. then we stated seeing one another that june, while she was dating this other women. now we are together. my honeymoon stadge feels over for me.

She has two sons. one 27 and one 16. The 16 year old is in the process of staying for two weeks at his co parents place and two weeks at his blood moms place. he has accepted me a his moms lover. his behavior has been rather frustrating for me. as he hardly goes to school. he steels money from me and others in the home. he has stole his moms car keys twice has got caught. his present consquence is he has no house keys and can not get in his house till his mom comes home. as he had been hanging out at home instead of going to school. today was the first day of this con.. he skipped school again and spent the day at his friends house. he is also not getting rides to his friends house. tomorrow maxine is taking to the school counseller.

I am not sure what my role is here. She certainly does want me around this i do not doubt. i ve told her she needs some professional help and her freinds have also have told her. i am starting to get exasperated with her x and her figuring things out as maxine one minute is fine then becomes upset about her son and her x. i am beginning to not want to go to her place as much, as i get uncomfortable when she is getting into conflict situations with her son. i feel its not my place to say anything, as i am not his parent. We are not living together as we are not at that place yet. so how do i stay clear in this situation. i am not her sons parent

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 03-26-2003 - 12:11am
I don't know man, I would just stay out of it...if you say somthing she doesn't like, she may regret it, than regret you. That is a really hard situation to be in. You said it is only for two weeks? (if i read right) then I would stick it out.
Avatar for lou302000
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 03-26-2003 - 3:56am
Hi Movine, and welcome to our humble abode. I'm no expert on your situation and not really sure I know what to say that might help, but I can empathise a little. I too have a partner with two teens. She's actually a member of this board, but she's not had chance to post on the new-look board yet. Her name's Nony, and I'm pretty sure she and some of the other moms on this board will give you some of their own thoughts. They're in a much better position to advise you than I am, that's for sure.

For what it's worth though, I'll add a few thoughts of my own. When I met Nony I knew that she had two kids, so entered into our relationship with my eyes well and truly open. Being a secondary school teacher, I also knew that I was entering her life at a very changeable and volatile time...the teen years are tough for most kids and their parents. It's Nature's way, minx that she is. So, I knew it might be tough, and that the chances were, the kids would present many challenges. But, the way I looked at it is this: yes, they're not my kids, but they are the children of the woman I love. If I want my relationship to work out with Nony, the kids have to be an unequivocal part of the package. They are part of her, they are a huge part of her life, therefore I had to be prepared to make them a big part of mine also. It was a responsibility I was willing and able to take on. As yet, I've not actually lived under the same roof as them, though I have had some long stays at their house. I'm in that predicament where I know I'm not their parent and they don't see me as one, yet I'm an adult with some measure of authority. It's tough to get involved and to help enforce the boundaries when you don't know what your role is...I'm sure, for me, it'll still take a good while yet before I have that figured out.

Have you and your partner sat down and discussed what kind of a role both YOU and SHE would like you to play in her kids' lives? Have you discussed what happens if her 16yr old does something that oversteps the boundaries? Have you come up with some joint measures that you think might be put to good use in problem situations? Nony and I did this very early on in our relationship and it's made me feel like I'm a part of their lives. I don't attempt to parent the kids (that would be impossible unless we were all living under the same roof), but I do help HER to parent them in whatever way I'm able. If she has a problem, if they do something wrong or get into trouble, we talk, talk, talk. We explore the possible range of action and what the outcome of each might be and then we decide on what we think fits best. She then puts it into action...we keep talking throughout that action period, being flexible about what we'd decided as and when the occasion suits. It's not always easy, but what it does do is this: it makes me a part of their family life, part of the life that I want with her; it also makes her feel supported and it takes some of the pressure off. We both feel like we have a role to play and we both feel 'included' in helping the kids to get through adolescence in one piece.

I don't know whether you have had this type of conversation with Maxine...the one in which you sit down and figure out your role in her kids' lives. If so, what did you come up with? If not, you NEED to. It sounds to me like your input would be gratefully received by her, but that you feel too much of an 'outsider' to offer any real help. Do you communicate well? If you CAN talk about this, I think you could clear up a lot of confusion and establish a bit more security and harmony in your relationship. If you want to be with this woman long term, this is something you'll have to deal with, hon. Her kids will ALWAYS be a part of her life and a fundamental part of HER too. You need to be able to develop a relationship which includes all of you....or that's my opinion at least.

I hope I haven't said anything out of turn or anything way off the mark, Movine. Forgive me if I have...just trying to offer some thoughts based on my own experience. As I said, earlier, there are women on this board much better qualified than I am to offer advice and help. Hope you get some of the answers you're looking for and that you find a way to resolve this difficult situation. Have you tried out Aimjo's board perchance? She hosts a board for Gay/Lesbian parents...not sure of the exact name of it though. I bet you'd get some good advice there.

Wishing you the best of luck ~ Lou

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Wed, 03-26-2003 - 8:21am
Welcome to LL Movine! I don't know that I can add much to what the other 2 posters have said. I do live in a house with a teenager. She belongs to my roomie who is not my partner. My rule of thumb for steering clear of trouble is "She's not my child. Therefore, I don't tell her what to do nor do I correct her any differently than I would tell any other child visiting my home." In other words, I respect her space and she is required to respect mine. If she steps on my toes I'll let her know as courteously as I would any other person. In 4 years, there haven't been half a dozen times where I have had to say, "R, you have to do this or that." Oh! My other big rule is that she knows I will never rat her out to mom unless she is putting herself in serious danger. But if mom asks, I will not lie for her. ;^)
Avatar for nony4
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 1:10am
Movine, you'll have to excuse me but your post has left me a bit confused. The co-parent is the children's father? The one you call the x.. is that the same person or the lover who followed?

Overall, I'd have to ask you this> How involved are you with this woman? How much are you PREPARED to be involved with her?

Because the fact is, the co-parent will be somehow.. ever peripherally (sp?) be abutting your lives till the kids are on their own. If you picture something long term, for heaven's sake, start talking with her over the management of the kids and your role, if any is expected.

Best of luck ~~ Nony

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 04-02-2003 - 11:30pm
hi all didnt know this got posted. any way the coparent is not the birth mom. and she is a lesbian.

Just last week maxine and her x went to a peer counciling gruop fro parents of teens who are into drugs. So now they will be going to a gruop once a week.

they aslo meet with his school coucilor. now i feel better that some constructive things are happening. wow i cant beleive the responce i have to this. since i am so new to this.

We have been involved for 9 months now and we were freinds for two years previous.

yes i will talk to her about his and my role. i feel relieved in that i don't feel so alone now. thanks all