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Will a good man be willing to have a serious relationship with a single mom of 5?

Tagged as: Dating, Family<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (14 December 2010) 4 Answers - (Newest, 14 December 2010)
A female United States age 30-35, anonymous writes:

At the age of 15 I had a very abusive boyfriend. When he got me pregnant I broke up with him because I feared he would hurt my baby. I got back together with an ex-boyfriend and we wound up getting married and he has raised my daughter as his own. We had 3 additional children. It was a rocky marriage that ended in divorce a little over a year ago. He is still very much involved with the children, we have 50/50 custody. We have no drama at all and speak only about the children once a week during exchanges. As soon as we split I began going out all the time a dating around although I had no interest in a realtionship. I had been what felt like in prison from the time I was 16-25 because when I was married I was rarely let out of the house (grocery store, kids school, and that was it.) I wound up falling in love with a co-worker. After just a few months of dating I became pregnant. He told me he loved me and wanted to move in together and eventually get married. He had 2 children of his own and all of our children got along well and he was very good with my kids. He was wonderful to me, very caring and affectionate, and attentative, not controlling at all- nothing like my ex-husband. Things were going great until shortly after I moved in with him. It became apparent that he could not handle all of the children under one roof. We decided it was too much too soon so I bought a house and moved out. We remained in a relationship. I was hoping with time things would get better with the kids. I thought he may develop feelings for my kids which would make it easier to deal with the stress and responsibility. This never happened. A month after our baby was born we split because it was clear things were going no where since he just couldn't accept my kids. We still have a decent relationship and share custody of our son.

I now am 26, single, and with 5 children! I'm concerned I'm not going to be able to find somebody that has all the qualities I'm looking for that will accept my children. Many have told me I should wait to start dating until my kids are grown and just focus on them right now. Or to just casually date but not introdue anyone to my kids or expect a long term relationship out of it. But I want to raise my kids in a two parent home. I want to model a healthy relationship for them. I want a partner. Its very hard and stressful to not have any adult conversation while at home and to have no help with the children. Sure I only have them half the time, but I'd rather do half the work 100% of the time than 100% of the work half the time... A big part of the reason I left their dad was because it was an unhealthy, unequal relationship and I didn't want my kids to grow up thinking that was normal and wind up in a similar situation.

If my ex-boyfriend wouldn't stay with my because I have 4 kids when his children absolutely loved me (had never excepted any other gf he had), I have his baby, and he says he loves with all of his heart, then who will want me with 5 children, 2 different fathers in the picture, and me unwilling to have a biological child with them (besides the fact I have more than I can handle now, I had extremely difficult pregnancies, not safe for me to have anymore)?

My kids are good kids. I do not view them as baggage but I know so many people do. I am a good mother. I own my own home and vehicle, I have a college degree and good career. I am independent, I cook, I clean, I am attractive. I take good care of myself. People are shocked to find out a have a child let alone 5. I don't want to have to settle. That would defeat the whole purpose of me wanting to model a healthy, loving relationship for my children. Are there men out there that are educated, successful, romantic, loving, caring, honest, not jealous, not child molesting perverts, and who are good with kids out there who will seriously date a woman with 5 children by different men?

Please if you are going to respond to tell me what I should've done, don't. I don't need to hear that I should've kept my legs shut blah blah blah. That does nothing for my situation now. Thank you.

View related questions: broke up, co-worker, divorce, got back together, in jail, jealous, moved in, moved out, my ex

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (14 December 2010):

Its very unlikely to be honest and let me tell you why:

1. Guys your age are not looking to take on a ready made family. Especially one with FIVE children. Thats a lot to handle for any parent but to take care of five kids that are not your own, well thats really asking for a lot.

2. Guys who are older than you might find you attractive and be interested, but having five kids is a turn off as they would have done their child rearing and will be looking to enjoy their retirement time without the burden of caring for small kids ESPECIALLY kids that are not their own.

Humans are genetically programmed to look after their own, to propagate their OWN genes and yes, of course you get lots of step parents who take on other peoples kids and even raise them as their own but there is a LOT of difference between taking on one kid and taking on five. With each kid you had you really reduced the chance of finding a partner ever again.

Also add to the fact that men do NOT like to think about their partners with other men before them. Five kids by two different dads is not something that sits comfortably with a lot of men.

So yes, its unlikely you will find someone now to take on you and your five kids, act as a role model (the role model which lets face it, you havent been to your own kids) and completely your happy family. In your position, I would take care of my kids, enjoy my job, help them grow up to be THE BEST kids you can and THEN think about dating later on. You already made some sacrifices and decisions like leaving an abusive relationship which untimely is the best for your kids, so continue with that and be the best mum you can be and think about dating later.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (14 December 2010):

i'm not going to tell you that you should have shut your legs but i'm going to say you should not expect anyone to look after your kids.

are you looking for someone to love and someone to love you or a sucker to look after your kids? if you want a two parent household you should go back to one of the natural fathers.

How do you feel about giving a new partner legal rights of your children? If a man is going to sacrifice his life to look after your kids then it better be worth it for him.

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A female reader, CindyCares Italy + , writes (14 December 2010):

CindyCares agony aunt I don't quite know how to answer because I sense that mostly you are seeking reassurance, which I can give you only partially.

In the sense that yes, never say never,in love anything can happen.

The hottest , most popular girl in my high school got married to a guy forever nailed to his wheelchair ( not that having kids is a disability ) and many years later they are still crazily in love with each other.

Statistically speaking , it's another story. Most men in your age range do not look for a ready made family , at least one of 5 kids. They may want their own kid too- and this is something you can't offer.

It's complicated. Factually ,you are at a disadvantage on the dating market.

Maybe the best is putting dating on the back burner for a while as you have been suggested to do. Do not give up hope- but do not make finding a mate the focus of your whole life. Focus instead on your blessings : your 5 kids and all the love and affection you are surrounded by, your strength and independence, your education, your accomplishments. You have many things to be happy about even without a new dad for your kids.

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A male reader, killer bee United States +, writes (14 December 2010):

killer bee agony auntsounds to me like you need a man who can handle some work but still keeps things kind so no drill sgt. but a man who knows how to keep things in order,so i say keep things how you like them and see how things go for now, if you need help try to find a friend who is willing to help.

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