Dating while divorced kids
And when a person who doesn’t have firsthand experience as a parent becomes romantically involved with a divorced parent, he or she can struggle to understand the parent’s experience and the directions he or she is pulled in, both emotionally and logistically.
It sounds like Adam is trying to please everyone and ends up feeling trapped.
They may be “on” when they’re around you, the way kids tend to be around people they don’t know well, but if you knew them on a deeper level, you might see more of a range of their internal experience, which probably has its ups and downs.
Of course they’ll be different around their mom; naturally, they’ll find it easier to self-regulate in Adam’s calmer, more stable household. After two and a half years, you’d have seen some less-than-pleasant behavior if you were making a concerted effort to integrate them into your life.
Quite often she calls Adam hoping that he can “set them straight.” I’m certain that she’s the cause of all that chaos, because the kids never go out of control with Adam, and I’ve only seen them be pleasant.
If you can begin to really accept and ultimately embrace the reality that his kids come first without taking it personally, then you and Adam can sit down and figure out what can be done to improve the situation with their mother.At the same time, I understand that in an ideal world, the kids would have a more stable and self-sufficient mother who wouldn’t intrude on your time with Adam.You say that you feel “robbed of something that should be” yours, and while you absolutely should have some uninterrupted time with Adam and parameters set in place, it will be important for you and Adam to talk about his needs as well.One option might be for Adam and his ex to see a therapist who can help them navigate their co-parenting arrangement, creating parameters and offering tools for handling the kids when his ex is alone with them.If it turns out that even with these parameters and tools, she’s unable to care for the kids without calling for help, he can try to change the custody arrangement until she works out her own issues and feels capable of caring for them solo.