“My Boyfriend Still Hasn’t Told His Kids About Me”

I have been seeing my boyfriend for about a year now but have known him for about two years. When we met each other, both he and I were in a similar situation. He had emotionally, mentally, and physically checked out of his twenty-something year marriage and I had checked out of my seven-year relationship. He finally moved out of his ex’s home and now lives with his adult children (youngest is 18) – three girls and one boy. He has been in the process of divorce but nothing has been official yet. My concern is that I have already introduced him to my family and friends, especially all my kids ranging from ages 5 months to 15 years (5 kids total) and I have yet to be introduced to his children as his girlfriend. I love this man, I feel we do have a strong connection, and I can see OUR future, but this has been an unsettling thought. I have brought this up to him as a concern of mine, but all he can tell me is he does not know how to tell his kids. Please advise. — When To Check Out

Have you ever been to his house? You say you have not been introduced to his children “as his girlfriend.” Do they know you at all? What do they think your relationship is with their father? And what reason does your boyfriend give for not knowing how to tell his children that you’re his girlfriend?

I’ve been there once but his kids were not home and it was just to pick up something. This person is my former manager; we still work together but I don’t work directly under him so I’ve met his girls at a company picnic but I was introduced as a co-worker. They know he comes over to hang out with me so he assumes they know about us, but he’s never opened up to them nor confirmed “us.” When I confronted him about this concern, all he told me is that he doesn’t know how to tell them.

He may have checked out of his 20+-year marriage, but I don’t think he had the time he needed to process the end of that chapter in his life and figure out who he was and what he wanted independent of that relationship and the life he’d built within it. His kids are all now adults and don’t need him in the same way. Their roles in each other’s lives changed at the same time his marriage status changed. It’s a lot to process. He is telling you through his behavior, through not introducing you to his kids or even talking to them about you, that as much as he has checked out of his former relationship, he hasn’t truly moved on yet and he’s not “checked in” with you. Whatever future you are envisioning with him is a long, long way off. If you have the patience to wait it out, go for it. But if, as a single mom of young children, you’re looking for someone you can integrate more fully into your life, this guy isn’t it. He’s not emotionally available in that way.

I am 24-years-old and from the Jersey Shore. I attended school at Penn State, where I met my boyfriend, 29. We have been long-distance for over a year and a half, driving 250 miles each way every three weeks to see each other. My boyfriend and I have been planning to live together, as he will be moving here to NJ in a couple months and relocating his career.

However, I live with old-fashioned parents who don’t think you should move in with a partner until marriage. Understandably, this is the way they were raised, but I’m at a point in this long-distance relationship where I want to find out if we’re compatible living together. I told them the news last week, and it’s been nothing but a nightmare in this house ever since.

My parents have been constantly crying, screaming at me, and bringing so much doubt into my head. They said I “destroyed this family,” “Nothing will ever the same between us,” and I am “getting cut off emotionally and financially.” I want my parents to be proud of my accomplishments, and I am so heartbroken by these words. I would gratefully appreciate any advice/help you have on this! — Ready to Move In

You know, normally I would say that you are a grown-up and need to make decisions for YOURSELF and live with the consequences of those decisions, even if that means a strained relationship with your family. However, I’m a little concerned that it sounds like you’ve maybe never lived alone as an adult and plan to go from very overbearing parents straight into living with your boyfriend, without ever establishing a home of your own, even if it’s for just a year. I think living in your own home – not with your parents and not with your boyfriend – would be so beneficial for you, and I would urge you to consider doing this as your boyfriend adjusts to living in your town and closing the gap in your long-distance relationship. It will allow you to develop some independence, which will be so helpful as you navigate the tricky relationship you’re going to have with your parents as you continue making decisions for yourself that don’t always complement their values or what they think you should do. I really can’t overstate this.

If you choose to forge ahead and live with your boyfriend immediately, as planned, please do at the very, very least have a back-up plan in case the relationship goes south.

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.


  1. Wendy’s advice to both LW,s is spot on. Nothing to add here. I hope the writers listen and follow her wisdom.

  2. Dear When to check out,
    I’m confused about this-you’ve been together for a year, but you said you introduced him to your 5 kids. One of which is 5 months old? Is that his child?

    1. Omg. I didn´t even think of this.
      I also need answers

  3. Omg. I didn´t even think of this.
    I also need answers

  4. So reading between the lines:

    LW1 had an affair with her married boss, while she was also in a relationship, and gave birth to her ex-partner’s child some months into the affair. And the boss is still married and she’s still a big secret.

    Run, LW1, run. You may see a future, but he sure doesn’t.

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