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Given his past, do you think that this man would be a good parent to my daughter?

Tagged as: Big Questions, Dating, Family, Sex<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (20 October 2017) 5 Answers - (Newest, 22 October 2017)
A female United States age 30-35, anonymous writes:

I recently left an abusive marriage, and have been seeing a man from work for almost a year. He moved in with my kids and I over the summer. He has always been very sweet and caring to all of us, but the relationship isn't perfect, though I love him. I was aware that he had been with a lot of women before, having never been in a serious relationship, even though we are in our mid 30s. He recently admitted several things to me, and I'm very much bothered by them. He has had constant one night stands for his entire adult life and He essentially prostituted himself before, in exchange for things, etc. He's had alot of unsafe sex, though he has been tested now and managed not to have caught anything. And frankly the attitude he has towards the women he's slept with is horrible. He has never been this way towards me, and I try not to let this bother me, but I have a right to not think that this is someone I want raising my daughter. I'm not sure what to do here. Can someone who views these behaviors as acceptable ever really be a good partner/parent?

View related questions: moved in, one night stand, prostitute

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A female reader, Andie's Thoughts United Kingdom + , writes (22 October 2017):

Andie's Thoughts agony auntI'm very concerned that you've only been with him for less than a year and already had him move in. You are a mother - this is not safe for your children.

You must not expose your children to men you haven't been with for long. You've only recently left an abusive relationship, which has clouded your judgement and allowed you to rush this because you didn't want to be alone.

Also, his history is a red flag. The way he speaks about those women means he has no respect for them and could easily say things like that about you behind your back.

I'm absolutely certain you love your children and want what's best for them, but you have not done that by moving him in.

If you still want to give this relationship a go, you need him to move out until you know him better and have spent longer with him. Your children can't have a revolving door of your boyfriends coming in and out of their lives. You jumped from an abusive marriage into a relationship and moved him in. That does not show good judgement on your part.

Look, OP, I think you need a reality check and to prioritise differently. You need to heal from your abusive relationship before being with someone else. Not only that, but your children need to live with you, not you and a relatively new man.

Please OP, have him move out. Rushing things is a really bad idea and your children need stability, which he shouldn't be a part of in yet, the form of a live-in boyfriend.

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (21 October 2017):

Youcannotbeserious agony auntDifficult one. So many factors involved.

Firstly, few relationships are "perfect". Most people come with some sort of a past, especially with the passing of time. Many people choose to sow their "wild oats" in their youth and, once they reach maturity, or meet "the one", realize that there is more to life and leave their past behind them for something more worthwhile.

On the other hand, if he has a low opinion of women in general and sees them only in terms of what they can provide for him, then this is probably ingrained and unlikely to change.

You say he treats you and your children well. Does he contribute towards the running of the household or is he taking advantage of you financially, as he did with the other women? Being "sweet" is all well and good but it doesn't pay the bills or clean the house. Is he perhaps tapping into a need in you (after your abusive marriage) and giving you what you want emotionally in exchange for free lodgings? (I am thinking out loud here as I don't know the full situation.)

My other thought was, I wonder if what he is telling you is all actually true or whether he is "bigging himself up" and trying to sound tougher than he actually is? Also, whether he is running these women down because he thinks it wouldn't be "macho" to admit he might have actually liked or respected any of them? What is his view of women in general (as in ones he hasn't slept with)?

My gut feeling is that, if what he tells you is true, he may demand what he sees as very high standards of behaviour from your daughter as he will probably not want her to act the way he believes these women did. If you stay with him, you will have to be very firm on where the boundaries are with regard to your daughter. She cannot be expected to not have a bit of fun as she gets older just because he sees it as sluttish or whatever other terms he uses.

This relationship is still at a very early stage. Anyone can be sweet and caring for a short while. In your shoes I would watch and listen carefully - especially where your daughter is concerned - and see how he starts acting once his guard drops. A lot of people have bad pasts but manage to move past them. His CURRENT behaviour and attitudes are what you need to judge him on. If your gut instinct is telling you something is wrong though, please listen, not only for your own sake but, most importantly, for your children's sakes.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (21 October 2017):

Honeypie agony auntI don't think anyone who has an attitude towards women of his past really distinguishes between them all, as in, he calls the exes and past partners *insert derogatory name* but you are DIFFERENT. You are still a woman like the rest. Now he might not FEEL that you are a *insert derogatory name* because things are going good, but my guess is that IF things because wonky or problematic in the relationship he would talk that way about YOU as well. Because why not? I think someone who has the ATTITUDE he has about women, it IS a kind of "blanket" attitude towards them and it's also not taking responsibility for his OWN actions at the time.

If that makes sense?

Does that mean he is unsafe around your kid? It depends. Does he OFTEN bad mouth women or previous partners or was it in a conversation between you two privately about the past?

Did he reveal his past to you BEFORE you moved in with you? OR did he wait to tell you until he had a foot in the door? For that... that is pretty important. Again, it goes a little towards HOW much/little responsibility he owns up to.

Can it be that he decided his PREVIOUS life-style was NOT all that it was cracked up to be? That going from bed to bed and living like a prostitute is something he DOESN'T ever want to do anymore and he is starting over with you? Turning a new leaf?

Is he contributing to the finances?

Is he helping out around the house?

How is the dynamics? Does he follow your lead or does he try and make up new rules now that you live together?

How is his relationship with his mother? (I'm really curious about that one) because it's usually VERY telling.

I can't judge by the little you write whether he will be a good co-parent or not. YOU are the parent, he can help raise her.But ultimately YOU have to decide if he is a GOOD influence on YOU and your daughter or not. His sexual past is mostly irrelevant unless due to his past he now "hates" women or expects your daughter to act like the perfect nun.

Having an open conversation about his past (with you) doesn't make him a potentially bad parent. What it does mean is that he is willing to admit that he made bad choices (sexually) in the past and that he seems to be blaming the women he MADE those choices with.

Something besides this conversation have you go... hmmmmm

What is it?

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A female reader, femmenoir Australia +, writes (21 October 2017):

femmenoir agony auntYou already see the signs, yet it appears that you'd like somebody else to tell you that this type of relationship is ok.

You know within your own heart that this is not ok.

It appears that your self esteem is very low and that you are not a very good judge of character.

You have suffered before, by way of an abusive husband and now, you've attracted a man that is not worth your while.

This man, cannot be an ideal fit for the job of step-dad.

He has led a dark path, whereby women are concerned and quite frankly, he is still childish and needs to grow up and mature within himself.

This is something that you must not do, are not obligated to do and actually cannot do.

Remember, you cannot FIX anybody but yourself.

Why place yourself in this type of relationship, when all the warning signs are there.

I would strongly encourage you to place your innocent children first and foremost and break ties with this guy.

As i mentioned before, your self esteem is poor and requires much work, because a woman with a healthy sense of self, would never sell herself so short and settle for such a guy.

This guy, he is carrying a lot of baggage from his past and there is still a lot you don't actually know about him.

It doesn't matter how nice he may appear on the outside, because there may be specific things that you still don't know about him and his past.

It's very possible that he has fathered numerous children to different women and he will most likely tell you, no, i'm positive that i've no children to anybody that i had a one night stand with, but truly, can you ever be 100% certain?

Do you honestly know if he always wore a condom and if the ladies were on the pill?

No, you don't, because men who've slept around to such a degree, will never disclose such things regarding their sexual past.

The fact that he's slept around to such an extent and the fact that he has obviously belittled the women he's slept with, shows he doesn't actually carry a great deal of respect for women.

Sorry to say, but you may be no different in the long run.

I'm not sure what his childhood what like, i know nothing about his upbringing, however, it sounds as though something happened that has caused him some major insecurities and he cannot play the role of true gentleman properly.

I guess you must ask yourself, how can i be so sure that he's finally redeemed himself?

He has admitted to you, negative things regarding the women from his past, so what makes you think that he's suddenly going to become the perfect male partner to you and for the long term?

It sounds as though at this stage, you're both still wearing the rose coloured glasses, but eventually, you'll come to see his truest of colours.

I'm afraid that a leopard doesn't and can't change it's spots so quickly.

The other serious issue here, is that this guy, he's never, ever made any type of commitment to any woman in his past and this should be a serious red flag for you, considering you have children involved.

You and your children have already been through a lot, at the hands of your abusive ex and now, you are placing yourself and your children, who btw, didn't ask for any of this, in harms way once again, at the hands of a guy with a seemingly very sleazy past.

Do you honestly think that this guy is going to be a stable and secure role model to your children?

In my personal opinion, i doubt he even knows what stability and long term commitment is remotely all about.

Ultimately, regardless of all the wise and helpful advice you're given, it's YOU who must make the final decision.

If you are prepared to take a huge risk and a huge gamble, go ahead and do so, but i honestly would encourage you against doing so.

It appears that you are selling yourself so short and i'm sure that deep within yourself, you know that you can do much, much better.

This guy needs professional help and he needs to step up the plate and sort himself and his inner emotions out, before he can even start to process how messed up his headspace is and his life has so far been.

He must be able to become a proper role model to you and your children, or to anybody for that matter.

It's important that he has space and time to do this, just as you need time to find closure from your marital past.

If you both just jump into a new relationship so quickly, when it appears to be moreso on the rebounds, then you're both heading for real trouble.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (21 October 2017):

Have a chat to him tell him how you feel and that if he ever treats you or your child with disrespect that you will finish it... you say he is nice to you so enjoy ... but maybe moving in was to fast going as you clearly don't know him well .

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