“It’s Been Six Months and My Boyfriend Still Hasn’t Introduced Me to His Kids”

I have been a widow for two years and have been dating a man, “Eric,” whom I met by accident, for six months. I have three kids – two in college and one, 13 years old, still at home. Eric is not divorced, but he has been separated and out his house for over a year. I have not met his kids, which has been ok up til now. It is very hard on both of us when he leaves on his weekend to be with his kids. Out of respect we have been waiting for the divorce to be finalized. He has a very difficult wife who can make this process seem to be never-ending. Now, as I said, it’s been six months and he feels terrible keeping me a secret from his kids, age 13, 11, and 9. My son has met Eric, and Eric and I plan to look at houses together once divorce is final. My son is anxious to meet Eric’s kids, and I’m wondering if you think it would be terrible if my son were to have a play date with Eric’s son, the middle child. And what If I met the kids for dinner one night as Eric’s “friend”? Would that be deceptive? I mean, the man can have friends, right? So, — Eager for Everyone to Get to Know Each Other

I mean, your situation isn’t like this one, fortunately, as that one doesn’t seem to allow any space for a new relationship. It sounds like things are moving at a reasonable pace with someone you’ve known for six months and who is still not legally divorced. I understand being eager to move things forward, but don’t rush this very big step. It’s not just the two of you who have a big stake in this relationship; your kids – particularly the four who are still minors living at home – have big stakes in this relationship, too. Should you actually buy a house with Eric and build a future together, you’re going to want the strongest foundation possible, and you should trust Eric when it comes to figuring out the timing of introducing you to his children.

If Eric isn’t ready yet to introduce you to his kids – and it doesn’t seem he is – then it’s for a reason. You can ask him what that reason is and whether he has a timeframe in mind, but don’t push him to make this happen before he’s ready or before he thinks his kids would be ready. And definitely don’t push to meet the kids under false pretenses like pretending you’re just a friend when, secretly, you have hopes of living with their father as his partner in a matter of months (also a timeframe you might want to reconsider with the kids’ best interests in mind).

My boyfriend and I have been dating almost a year. We used to have sex several times a day, but over the past six months it has decreased significantly. We are in an intense graduate program, so last semester both of us were quite swamped with work and lost our libidos. After the stress of the semester was over, things picked up again over winter break. But now, this semester, neither of us has the excuse of a “ton of work” anymore. I have asked him why we don’t have sex (at this point, it has been about three weeks) and his response is “because you’ve been mean to me recently, and when you’re mean, it does not make me attracted to you.” That’s fine. I can work on being a nicer person and better girlfriend. But I feel like it is perpetuating the vicious cycle: I’m mean, so he doesn’t want to bang. But then I am nice and, since we are still not banging, I freak out and get worried and thus become mean.

So the questions: When is it too long a time to go without sex with your significant other? I’m feeling unwanted, and honestly I am contemplating breaking it off unless things suddenly change. Should I shut up and work on me being nicer instead of expecting our sex life to turn around on its own? — Ready to Bang

Since you and your boyfriend are in intense graduate programs, I am guessing you are young, or young-ish. Maybe after 30? And at a young age, especially, it would be unusual to experience the lack of libido you’re describing unless there’s a physical or mental issue. If there’s not, then the lack of sex is a symptom of something going on in your relationship.

If you were married or lived together or had a child together or otherwise had invested in a commitment together, I’d suggest some things that might help you find your way back to each other, but given that you all have only been dating a year and this problem has lasted over half that time, I think you should just cut your losses and move on.

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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. LisforLeslie says:

    LW#1 – I would not jump into living with this guy right away if only for the sake of these kids. Clearly no one is actually thinking of their needs. You haven’t met them not because they aren’t ready but because the wife (not ex) could make things difficult. What the two of you are proposing is to keep this relationship completely secret and then when all the legal wrangling is done, not only are the kids going to be dealing with the finality of divorce, but now when they visit their father, they are visiting his new home, with his girlfriend, a teenager they don’t know, and possibly some near adult children they don’t know. That is a LOT of change and will likely be uncomfortable, scary and difficult for them.

    Do they have their own rooms when then visit now? Will they have their own rooms when they visit? Will they have to share a room? or stay in the “guest room”?

    Don’t rush to move in with this guy. He’s not even divorced yet. You barely know him. He’s barely out of his current relationship and he’s running full steam ahead without considering at all how his actions might affect his children.

    1. Amen. These poor kids.

  2. Element_Girl says:

    So for LW 2, we’re not going to address that she is actively being mean to her partner? If anyone should MOA, it’s him. She can’t honestly expect him to want to jump her bones because she’s suddenly been nice for a few days, it’s much more complicated than that and she is being unreasonable. Ultimately I agree with the advice given, but LW has a lot of emotional growth to do and she should be called out for her shitty behavior.

  3. Do not date people that are not divorced. Do not date people that are not divorced, for the love of GOD! Putting aside the fact that it is adultery in many states in the US it’s just setting yourself up for pain. He’s not ready to give you the type of relationship you are looking for right now and he’s almost certainly trying to mask the pain from his impending divorce by dating you. This is not going to end well.

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