Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Do I mean nothing?

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  • #1096212 Reply

    My partner has 2 kids from prev relationship.
    He always says that his kids are the best thing to ever happen to him.

    We want children and want to get married and have spoke about it.
    I know it might sound immature but it hurts my feelings when he says his kids are the best thing to ever happen to him. Like we are in a serious relationship and planning a further future I would hope that I am at least one of the best things to happen to him, but he’s never said that to me.

    #1096214 Reply

    Does he make you feel loved and appreciated, or no? I mean, I think it’s ridiculous and fruitless to try to compete with his kids, but it’s also possible he just isn’t all that into you. If he’s not making you feel special and cherished, you can move on.

    #1096217 Reply

    I’m not sure how you jump from “We want children and want to get married and have spoke about it.” to “I would hope that I am at least one of the best things to happen to him, but he’s never said that to me.”

    When the two of you talk about children and marriage, does he sound enthusiastic and all-in, or do you get the impression that he isn’t into it and just jollying you along to avoid a fight/break-up?

    Does he tell you he loves you? Do his actions and level of attention tell you that this is more than empty words to you?

    Do you think that if you and he do have kids together that he will also consider them the best thing that ever happened to him?

    Are your discussion of kids together/marriage detailed, with at least an approximate time schedule? Have you talked about the list of things Wendy has posted for discussion prior to marriage? Or does it seem he is just encouraging fantasy thinking to pass the time?

    How long have the two of you been a couple?

    I don’t thin someone thinking their kids are the best thing that happened to them is uncommon or any sort of red flag. If you have questions about what you mean to him, what future he sees, and when… then just ask them. Being jealous of a partners kids from a prior relationship is a bad look. If you can’t handle a man’s competing affection for his kids, then you shouldn’t date men with kids.

    On the bright side, you don’t mention a fear that he is still emotionally invested in his ex or pursuing other women.

    #1096221 Reply

    A lot of time when people say “best thing that happened to me” it’s because they’re referencing something that was transformative in their life, something that significantly changed who they are. Kids do that a lot of times. They often have quite a way of upending your life and making people shift their priorities to a longer term, other-centric way of thinking.

    This doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you, but it may just be a phrase he doesn’t apply to your relationship. I wouldn’t try to make it a competition, where he needs to rank YOU against his kids. If you aren’t feeling loved, that’s an issue in itself that maybe you need to address, but him not using this particular phrase isn’t enough of an indicator on it’s own to mean anything. So, if this is the only reason you don’t feel loved, I’d let it go.

    #1096222 Reply

    I agree with prog. Kids fundamentally upend your life. For many, the immense responsibility, coupled with loving and caring for someone else is a huge shift. I also think that’s what he means.

    Since he hasn’t told you that you are the best thing that ever happened to him, you push that to question “do I mean nothing?” That’s a really shitty way to think about that. You should be thrilled he loves his children and is comfortable expressing that. Men expressing tender emotions is not normally begrudged by their partner.

    You are choosing to feel jealous of the way he expresses how he loves his children. I can tell you that trying to make this into a competition of who he loves best, you are not going to win. The love of children and the love of a partner are not the same thing. Love is not pie, there is plenty for everyone.

    Stop being petty to the man you say you want to marry and have children with.

    #1096224 Reply

    I’ve got to say, my daughter is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. My husband will tell you she’s the best thing to ever happen to him. That doesn’t take away from our love for one another, it’s just that parenthood is on a whole ‘nother level.

    I hope you can come to see that this is actually a really good sign that your partner is a dedicated, caring father.

    #1096226 Reply

    You mean less to him than his kids which is how it should be.

    #1096229 Reply

    I so sick of straight people popping out a litter of kids with each and every person they fucking play house with. Newsflash: your genes aren’t that fucking great. Your kids are always pretty fucked up. Do the olanet a favor and knock it off.

    #1096272 Reply

    @BGM – I believe childbirth numbers are steadily decreasing so you can calm down. Your wish is coming true.

    As for the issue, @Ron asks a lot of the right questions. I’d add a couple more:
    Do the kids live with him full time or does he have shared parenting responsibilities?
    Is he saying this apropos of nothing or is there usually a trigger, perhaps some criticism of his children or some wish for just the two of you to be together in the future?
    Have you met them? Do you get along with them? If you haven’t met them, then you should not be discussing marriage – you’re not there yet.

    I think he’s (appropriately) saying that his kids come first and that adding any new children will not change that. All children would be treated the same. If you feel you have to compete or that you have to be on the same tier on the podium – then you should not be dating people who have kids.

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