Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Your Turn: “It’s Been Two Years and He Hasn’t Introduced Me to Anyone”

In a feature I call “Your Turn,” in which you, the readers, get to answer the question, I’m presenting the following letter without commentary from me:

I’m 24 and a mother of two boys. My current boyfriend is not the father of either child, we have been together for two years, and he is 35. I love this man to death, and he says he loves me which, at times, I believe, but I’ve started questioning our relationship. He has three children, one of whom I’ve met only once (he lives in the same area as us). I haven’t met the other two children. I’m wondering why I have yet to meet his family. I don’t know if it’s because of my age or what. My family is coming to visit next month and I’m excited for them to meet him. But I feel like if I haven’t met his family in two years then maybe he shouldn’t meet mine. I feel like a secret. It bothers me that I know none of his friends or anyone else he knows. I give him 100% and he gives me 30%. I don’t know what to do. I really love him, but I don’t know if I want to remain a secret. — Secret Love
62 comments… add one
  • avatar

    amy June 4, 2012, 9:05 am

    You shouldn’t remain a secret, it’s not fair and it can’t make you feel great.

    The problem is you need to find out why. You should ask, if you haven’t already, why you haven’t met anyone after two years.

    Unfortunately, you might have to face the possibility that he is excluding you for a reason. What if he is in another relationship, or still with the mother of his children etc. and that’s why he hasn’t introduced you to anyone in two years? That’s the worst case scenario, but I would definitely confront him with your feelings and see what happens.

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    • avatar

      Amy June 4, 2012, 9:55 am

      That was my thought – that there is another woman.

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      • avatar

        amy June 4, 2012, 10:00 am

        Hey there other Amy! That’s what I was thinking too. But, it doesn’t help that I am reading a book about a cheating husband lol my mind is tainted.

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  • avatar

    evanscr05 June 4, 2012, 9:20 am

    And what was your boyfriend’s response when you told him all the same stuff you just told us? Surely, after two years, you have no problem communicating to him when you are upset about something.

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    • avatar

      amy June 4, 2012, 9:25 am

      That’s the key 🙂 I think she came here first.

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      • avatar

        evanscr05 June 4, 2012, 9:31 am

        Yeah, I figured she had, as well (I was being sarcastic 🙂 ). Seems contradictory to me, though, to say she gives him 100% but she can’t even talk to him about something like this. That’s like relationship 101.

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      • avatar

        PFG-SCR June 4, 2012, 9:38 am

        Exactly!! She claims to have opened herself up (emotionally and sexually) to him, yet she can’t even ask him these questions.

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  • Amybelle

    Amybelle June 4, 2012, 9:25 am

    To quote Chris Rock “If you’ve been dating a man for four months
    and you haven’t met any of his friends, you are NOT his girlfriend!” I would say that applies after 2 years as well. And if it ain’t happened by now, it ain’t gonna happen. DTMFA

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    • theattack

      theattack June 4, 2012, 10:14 am

      But friends and children are very different topics.

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    • theattack

      theattack June 4, 2012, 10:20 am

      I’m not going to go so far and say that you’re not in a relationship, or that he’s cheating. Those are possibilities, but I’m guessing it’s something a bit more complicated socially. How old are his children, and how often does he see them himself? If he only sees them for holidays, it’s very easy to miss out on an introduction without it being intentional on his part.

      My biggest suspicion is that he’s cautious about introducing new partners to his children for fear of hurting them. It’s very common for parents to wait until the relationship is committed to allow their partner into their child’s life, which brings in factors like where your relationship is going and the seriousness and stability you currently have together. I still think two years is a long time for this, but he may have a hang up about it, and you definitely deserve to know.

      Please communicate with him about this thoroughly.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 4, 2012, 10:20 am

        Crap, this was supposed to be its own post.

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      • avatar

        jlyfsh June 4, 2012, 10:36 am

        i might agree with you on the kids but she hasn’t met anyone. that says a lot. 5

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      • avatar

        evanscr05 June 4, 2012, 10:51 am

        I think you bring up some very good points. My sister-in-law is going through a divorce right now and there is a child involved. She’s definitely been very hesitant to allow the new men in her life to meet her son as he’s at an age where he gets attached very easily and she doesn’t want to break his little heart if her relationships don’t work out. However, she always lets the guys know there is a kid involved because to deny that piece of information is to start the relationship with a lie, even if its by omission.

        That said, it’s STILL fishy that he hasn’t explained that to her. Anyone you date when you are a single parent has a right to know the situation so that they can assess whether or not they want to continue in it. So, if that’s what he’s going through, it’s incredibly unfair to keep her in the dark about where she stands in regards to meeting his children. This makes me feel like it may have more to do with him being shady than being a protective parent.

        I definitely think there’s something a little off with this guy, but there’s also a horrible lack of communication from BOTH of them. She owes him some questions and he owes her some answers, and then she can assess where they stand after that conversation.

        LW, we do not know you, your boyfriend, OR your respective family situations. How are we to read his mind and know if he’s being a jerk or not? The only person who can give you the information you seek is your boyfriend.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 4, 2012, 10:59 am

        I totally agree that he owes her an explanation for it. I’m not sure that it’s fishy, but that’s just because I assume everyone else is just as socially clueless as I am. I’m really hoping that he has an explanation for it here, and he just neglected to communicate with her about it (in much the same way that she’s neglected to ask him about it). Honestly, because of how she’s so uncomfortable communicating with him, I’m sure their entire relationship is like that.

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      • avatar

        evanscr05 June 4, 2012, 11:08 am

        I guess it’s hard to assume that a 35 year old man, with children, can be THIS socially cluless, though I’m sure it’s possible. I’m trying to refrain from assuming the worst in him, because he really could be that dense, but I, personally, find it hard to believe. I agree with you, though. Their communication is horrendous. They are parents – they need to be a little more mature so that their children have good role models to look up to. It’s a little ridiculous to be this clueless about their relationship after two years, and if she can’t ask him, she shouldn’t date him. She’s got a lot of growing up to do, which you’d think she’d have done by now with two little ones to look after.

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    • MandaNoA

      MandaNoA June 4, 2012, 11:16 am

      That quote was the first thing that came to my mind too. That Chris Rock, so full of wisdom… =)

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  • katie

    katie June 4, 2012, 9:32 am

    you give 100% and he gives 30%? well, i think thats your problem. you need to get through that before you should even care if you should/will ever meet his friends. even if you meet everyone in his life tomorrow, if that dynamic is still all messed up your still doomed to an unhappy relationship. you need to communicate with him and figure that out.

    so what is with all these LW’s who have never met their boyfriends friends and family? i have seriously never even heard of that, unless they are in a different state or something… like, i have never known anyone to deliberately not introduce a SO to their friends and family. is it really just all the shady guys who are hiding their real families? because i guess i dont know any of those types…

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    • avatar

      oldie June 4, 2012, 9:45 am

      Yes, SOs get introduced. These guys don’t see the recent LWs as SOs. It’s that simple. An older guy on the prowl for a young FWB sees a young single Mom as desperate, vulnerable, and willing to settle. Either they are currently married or don’t want to take on family responsibilities, because like this guy, they are already responsible for their own kids.

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  • avatar

    oldie June 4, 2012, 9:42 am

    It’s clear that you already know the answer — you need to MOA. This guy sees you as his much younger FWB, not as his girlfriend. Given your level of frustration, I’m sure you’ve already pushed to meet his family and been rebuffed. You’re hanging on, because you are desperate for any sort of ‘relationship’. It’s not going to get any better with this guy. He’s had two years to move toward a real relationship, if that’s what he wanted. You have to dump him, go back to square one, and start over with a new guy who is looking for a girlfriend.

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  • iwannatalktosampson

    iwannatalktosampson June 4, 2012, 9:45 am

    “I’ll keep you my dirty little secret – don’t tell anyone or you’ll be just another reject”

    That’s all I’ve got. Oh and you’re not his girlfriend.

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    • avatar

      evanscr05 June 4, 2012, 9:48 am

      I thought of that song, as well!

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  • lurkerliz

    Medie711 June 4, 2012, 9:53 am

    Could he have another family and you be his unknowing mistress?

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  • bagge72

    bagge72 June 4, 2012, 10:04 am

    Just here to really reiterate what everyone else is saying. If you can’t talk to him about this then you aren’t giving him 100%. I think you are maybe just afraid to find out what the answer is, because you probably have the same feeling as everyone else that there might be somebody else in his life and that is why. So I say go back, and tell him how you feel, and if he hesitates in his answer, or tries to bring any of this back on you, there is a very very good chance he is telling you lies. Hopefully there is an easy answer, but you will never know unless you ask him.

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  • avatar

    EricaSwagger June 4, 2012, 9:08 am

    “I give him a 100% and he gives me 30%.”

    LW. This isn’t a relationship. Partners should work equally hard at what they have. You shouldn’t have to ask to meet the people in his life. If you’d been dating for half a year I’d understand his not wanting to introduce you right away. But 2 years is a long time to go without meeting ANYONE he knows.

    If you want to try it, ask him why you haven’t met anyone and tell him that you don’t feel like a true part of his life unless the other people in his know about you, etc. If he still doesn’t introduce you, or (especially) if he gets defensive, gtfo.

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  • avatar

    sarolabelle June 4, 2012, 10:10 am

    Have a conversation!

    LW: Why haven’t I met any of your family? I want to meet your other two children and your parents, brothers and sisters. I feel like I’m a big secret to them. So why haven’t we been introduced yet?

    HIM: [he says something here]

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  • avatar

    Nadine June 4, 2012, 10:11 am

    If he has gone two years without feeling the need to show you off, and have a key person in his life (you) meet other key people in his life, then he is not at all serious about you.

    OR, just to side-step the obvious “he has a wife along with those kids” option, maybe he is in Witness Protection! And no longer has any access to people in his former life! Or maybe he is on the run from the law, and has to maintain a low profile!
    Maybe he is a vampire, and all his family are long dead, and he cant stay in one place too long or people will realise that he never ages?

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    • rainbow

      rainbow June 4, 2012, 10:37 am

      Maybe he killed his whole family, and that’s why he can’t introduce them!

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  • avatar

    PFG-SCR June 4, 2012, 10:11 am

    The more that I think about this letter, I’m just baffled that two people could be in a relationship for two years (not a short amount of time), yet one (possibly both) aren’t comfortable with even a basic level of communication. This shouldn’t be a difficult discussion to have.

    Any successful long-term relationship needs to have effective communication. However, as I’m learning more and more through some of these letters, it’s lacking in many relationships. The number of letters where the LWs write in with a problem that they have not yet talked to their significant other about is staggering. No one is a mind reader, and while it is odd that this LW’s boyfriend hasn’t introduced her to his other kids, family and friends, she’s just as much to blame for the situation as he is.

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    • avatar

      temperance June 4, 2012, 5:18 pm

      I wrote in a letter a few months ago asking for help on how to approach a subject. It’s not always as simple as “TALK TO HIM/HER!”. Sometimes, you need help on figuring that out.

      However, this is not that time. Seriously girl, you are not his girlfriend.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray June 4, 2012, 5:19 pm

        ooooooh which letter? and did i provide the best advice out of everyone? and did you give an update stating that? that’d be cool.

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  • avatar

    laxhaxtax June 4, 2012, 10:20 am

    The sign of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different outcome. You have been with this man 2 years and know nothing about him. You are living your own prince charming dream hoping this guy is going to become him at some point. Stop being insane. You can’t change him, you can only change yourself. Get assertive. Demand to meet his friends and family and if he says “no” you have your answer. He doesn’t want you in his life. He just gets in yours when he needs sex or food etc. I think a major confrontation will give you your answers and then if not buh bye.

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  • avatar

    Caris June 4, 2012, 10:24 am

    Here are a couple questions for you LW:

    1) How often do you see each other?

    2) Where do you hang out?

    3) Did you ever go to his place?

    4) Does he live with his kids or alone?

    5) Do you know if he is divorced?

    6) Do you know ANY of his friends?

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    • avatar

      Caris June 4, 2012, 11:49 am

      7) Did you ever ask him why you haven’t met anyone? If so, what was his answer??

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray June 4, 2012, 5:22 pm

        8) Have you pooped in front of each other yet?

        9) Do you pop each other’s back zits?

        10) Do you think I can pull of the color yellow?

        [Eh, I wanted 10 questions. It just felt better to me having 10 here for some reason. 7 is just an odd number.]

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      • avatar

        Caris June 4, 2012, 10:20 pm

        You crack me up AP

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  • avatar

    Calm June 4, 2012, 10:26 am

    Wait wha? Two years and you haven’t met anyone? What do you do, never leave the bedroom?

    I’m really confused here about how this is even possible.

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  • avatar

    jlyfsh June 4, 2012, 10:38 am

    You really need to have a conversation with him. You should have met someone in his life by now, to have just met one child and no family or friends is just odd. And remaining a secret is not what you want, unless you want to never have a full commitment from him.

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest June 4, 2012, 10:46 am

    So for TWO YEARS you have:
    1. slept with this man,
    2. shared your children with him,
    3. brought him into your home

    and yet not ONCE did you ask why he hides everyone in his life from you? Why? Just MOA and get a real boyfriend, or accept that you are just someone this guy sleeps with when he feels like it. And grow up for God sake, you’re 24 and you’re in a quasi-relationship where you aren’t comfortable to ask him a normal question.

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    • CatsMeow

      CatsMeow June 4, 2012, 11:17 am

      I just can’t comprehend how something like this could even happen. 2 years!?

      LW, maybe you just don’t know what a healthy relationship is supposed to feel like. (And that’s OK, because I don’t think I really did at your age either). But lemme tell ya, what ya got ain’t it.

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  • avatar

    stilgar666 June 4, 2012, 11:10 am

    Classy situation LW. You’re getting played for a fool,but continue with the denial. No matter what is going on this is shady (lack of communication, you might be a secret, and he is definitely hiding something).

    Only you can stop shadiness from occurring around your children.

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  • avatar

    Lindsay June 4, 2012, 11:24 am

    I hope you have brought this up with him, LW. I second what everyone else has said. But I will add that i didn’t meet my now-stepmother until a couple months before she and my dad got engaged. I have found that people tend not to understand how to handle post-divorce situations, so it would be best for you to talk to your boyfriend and make sure he isn’t just being a dolt. Though if you haven’t met anyone else, like friends and other family, then that is a big problem in itself.

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  • avatar

    bethany June 4, 2012, 11:26 am

    I could understand not meeting his children after only 6 months or a year… But it’s not just his children that you haven’t met… You haven’t met anyone in his life! That’s bizarro. There hasn’t been a wedding or a party or any sort of event where you’ve met people who are in his life? What about when you’re out in public? You’ve never met anyone he knows?!

    To me, that’s a huge red flag. Have you actually asked him why you haven’t met any of his friends? If you haven’t, you need to start there!

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle June 4, 2012, 11:52 am

    I wish these LWs would include whether or not they’ve even TRIED talking to the S/O that’s being complained about. If not, then obviously, like others have mentioned– talk to the guy!

    If you HAVE brought the subject up & he’s brushing you off, then I’m sorry to say that the situation sounds very shady. You haven’t met ANYONE in his life? There’s no legitimate reason why he wouldn’t introduce you to his friends or family, unless he 1.) doesn’t have any or 2.) isn’t on good terms with them.

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  • rilooyah

    rilooyah June 4, 2012, 12:25 pm

    “I feel like a secret.” That is because you ARE a secret, LW. And the whole 100%/30% thing- ummm WTF?1? You are a mother, and a young one at that. Please please MOA and maybe stay single for a bit, find yourself, all that stuff. THEN, and only then, find yourself a happy and healthy relationship. Your children DO see what is going on, and will model their future selves on not only how you treat others, but how you allow others to treat you.

    Lemme just tell you from my own experience- I am 31 years old, dating since 16. (Ugh, I just realized that is basically half my life, WHOA.) I have said ‘I love you’ (and gotten it back) to 8 different boyfriends (and meant it obviously). EVERY ONE of them I met friends and family almost immediately. The longest time for me to meet the parents was, I believe 3 months, and that was because they lived in another state while we were in undergrad- he had me come visit over summer break to meet them.

    Also, I agree with someone’s comment above- that a man who is in love with you and you are in a committed relationship WANTS to show you off to friends and family. He thinks you are awesome, and wants to show/prove to other people in his life said awesomeness. A few months ago, my (now former) business partner (at the age of 28) told his present gf that he loved her (which I NEVER thought he’d do- serial monogamist, but never able to actually believe he was in love with a girl) and asked me what he needed to do to keep current gf. Basically asking me how to be a “good bf” (as history here, I never thought he treated gfs as well as they deserved, and knew *I* wouldnt have taken his shit). I told him that he needed to think about her needs as much as, if not more than his. And that every chick likes to have *that* boyfriend that other girls say “Oh, you are so lucky. he is such a great guy! I wish I could find such a good guy!” He told me later that this <– was what resonated most with him. LW, I refuse to believe any of your friends would tell you you are lucky to be with your "bf." And yes, I put bf in quotes bc I do not think this is what he really is.

    End rant.

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    • avatar

      SpaceySteph June 4, 2012, 12:48 pm

      I think you nailed it. My best friend’s ex, my ex, and others I know… the warning signs that all the friends could see but the girl was too blind to notice. If your friends don’t like him or don’t think you are lucky to have that guy or don’t wish they had a boyfriend like yours… then that should tell you something.

      Or think about your sons. Would you want them to treat their girlfriends the way your guy treats you? If you want them to grow up to be good men who treat women well, show them that this behavior is not ok.

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  • landygirl

    landygirl June 4, 2012, 12:50 pm

    When will women ever learn that it isn’t enough just to be in a relationship if it isn’t healthy?

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    • avatar

      Muffy June 5, 2012, 7:37 am

      Yes exactly!! Too many women want to be able to SAY they are with someone but then complain about how miserable that person makes them. I’d rather be alone.

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  • avatar

    Taylor June 4, 2012, 12:51 pm

    In general…never make someone a priority if to them you are an option!

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  • avatar

    Sue Jones June 4, 2012, 1:52 pm

    While I agree with most of the comments, there may be another reason. That his family members are difficult or somehow embarrassing to him. My parents were so overbearing and judgemental that I managed to avoid having them meet most of my SO’s. It was helpful that I no longer lived nearby. It was for the protection of myself and the relationship to keep them away until the relationship was strong enough to deal with my parents.

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    • avatar

      rachel June 4, 2012, 1:59 pm

      She says she doesn’t know his friends either though.

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    • avatar

      cporoski June 4, 2012, 2:08 pm

      Good point. What will fix this is talking about it.

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  • mandalee

    mandalee June 4, 2012, 2:30 pm

    Oh, god. I know sometimes we try to convince ourselves that a problem in a relationship is “no big deal” so we don’t look crazy, but in this case, really?? It’s been two years. Even in the most slowly developing, long distance relationship, you should have met at least a handful of people at this point. The fact that you haven’t is a huge, huge problem, not even a red flag. I would assume, that for some reason or another, he is ashamed, embarrassed, or hiding your relationship for a variety of shady reasons. People in love that are fully committed want to show you off to everyone in the world, not keep you a secret.

    Move on. I don’t think I’d even waste time talking it out at this point.

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  • avatar

    DMR June 4, 2012, 8:15 pm

    “I feel like a secret.”

    Hate to break it to you, but you are a secret. Actually, you are THE secret.

    It’s quite likely there’s another woman too; one that meets his family and friends, goes to weddings with him, and so on.

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  • avatar

    DMR June 4, 2012, 8:34 pm

    Some people are suggesting that LW talk to him. No. This is beyond “talking about.”
    “Talking” only works if there’s a foundation that can be repaired.

    This lack of contact with anyone in his life is a clue that the entire foundation for their relationship is rotten. He’s taking her for a ride. He’s using her. Talking about it won’t change that. It will just give him a chance to spin more bullshit and string her along a while more.

    Talking about it is worse than useless. It’s playing into his hands. It buys him more time and more sex that he doesn’t deserve.

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  • avatar

    Muffy June 4, 2012, 9:05 pm

    2 years!!!!! I are you effing kidding me – how are you only asking that question now?

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    • avatar

      DMR June 4, 2012, 9:21 pm

      Honestly I think single mothers are more vulnerable. Also they’re constrained by kids and more predictable. She’s unlikely to rock up to his place late Saturday night, for example, or do other unexpected things.

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      • avatar

        Muffy June 5, 2012, 7:42 am

        I would think she’s still capable of bringing up a simple question, kids or no kids. A telephone call saying she would like to talk and arranging a time would suffice.

        I refuse to believe that the reason she hasn’t asked this simple question in 2 years is time constraints because of kids. She clearly has the time to get together and have sex with the guy – what about not having sex at that time and instead asking why no one knows of her existence.

        My mom was a single mom of 4 kids and worked full time – yet she still found alone time with her dates just fine.

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      • avatar

        DMR June 5, 2012, 10:52 pm

        I never said the reason was merely ‘time constraints’, it was that because of the ‘constraints’ of kids, single mothers are more vulnerable. Not only are they more predictable but they are often more lonely. So cut her some slack.

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  • avatar

    Mabel June 9, 2012, 10:05 pm

    Sheeeeeeet. I’m in this now. No kids, though. It’s long distance. I was hating on myself for it too, but then I thought “Take me for a ride, I’ll take you too, then. I’m a placeholder? How ’bout you?”

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  • avatar

    pam December 26, 2012, 2:38 pm

    I havent met my inlaws yet either in 3 years. It has been my experience that it IS NOT YOU…IT IS THEM. he may not want to impose his awful family and all their disfucntion onto your shoulders, because they are JUST NOT WORTH IT! If you notice he doesnt talk to them often or only on hollidays then it is THEIR PROBLEM, and you would be better off by NOT HAVING THEM IN YOUR LIFE. he is hiding something HE COMES FROM A DISFUNCTIONAL FAMILY WITH NO VALUES, OR ARE JUST SO HATEFUL THAT YOU DONT DESERVE TO BE THRUST INTO THEIR FAMILY, WHICH IS SO SCREWED UP THAT THEY WILL BE THE ONES…..WHO LOOSE, BECAUSE THEY NEVER MET YOU! It is also possable that your husband HAS NO BALLS WHAT SO EVER, AND WILL NEVER INTRODUCE YOU BECAUSE HE IS A LOOSER.

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  • avatar

    lullaby January 18, 2013, 8:34 pm

    My bf and I have a daughter and live together. We have been together two years. He leaves the state and makes business trips every three months for two to three months. That is to his home state. He doesn’t really communicate with his family even on the holidays. He barely goes around when he is there. I still feel like I deserve to meet his family even if he doesnt talk to them because of our daught. I have completely cut him off. I felt like a SECRET.

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  • avatar

    mercy coker March 20, 2017, 11:04 am

    I think she needs explanation from the man. Am also having the same problem and i dnt know what to do. i just want to end the relationship but the man is not ready to end the relationship and he is not ready to introduce me to any of his family. Two years in a relationship am really confused and don’t know what to do. He knows all my family members but to you none.

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