Future Possibility of Stepkids Moving In

MsB815

My problem is one that may never actually become a problem, but nevertheless I want to find a way to properly communicate my concerns without coming off as mean. My boyfriend and I have been considering marriage possibly in the next year. We're not officially engaged though. He knows how I feel about privacy and space, but I feel we also need to discuss this in detail, so it will all be on the table. I have no kids, and aside from a previous marriage, I have always lived alone. Overall I have no conflict with his 3 kids. They are all grown, 21,23, and 24, BUT they are not very self sufficient and responsible as adults. They haven't lived with him because he really didn't have room, BUT I know that once we get married and get a larger and nicer home, the possibility will be there, and I can almost sense it coming at some point, and it scares me to death. He loves his kids, and I would not have a problem with being there for them if they were in a situation of urgent need, "temporarily"..BUT I have no desire to set myself up for the possibility of grown children living in my home indefinitely, especially ones who are not motivated to have goals, and prepare themselves to get decent paying jobs, and be independent. Right now as it stands, they usually only call him when they want something. I want to lay all this out on the table with my boyfriend, so he will know exactly how I feel, but I don't know the exact words to bring it up, without sounding uncaring. If these kids were college students, and not seeming comfortable or entitled to have someone always helping them, it would be different, but so far, I'm not seeing any of that, not to mention his oldest has had trouble with the law off and on. At times I am starting to feel like marriage to him might be too much of a risk for this ending up being my existence, and that we'll just have more peace in our relationship never marrying. He loves and respects me, and is a good man, and has expressed desire to want to be married, but of course he also loves his kids. He knows and admits though that they have issues, and need to get it together, but I also know he would never tell them NO...not that I would expect him to turn his back on them, but I just don't want the neediness of them to be neverending....PLUS 2 of them have children of their own, (not married)...and I know I could never be happy sharing space with other people, even though his sons children would be with their Mothers, (2) and his daughter has a 5 year old.. Any suggestions on how to handle this would be welcome...Either way I know I still will have to discuss it with him, or we'll need some counseling beforehand. I just need to know the right words, because I don't want to say anything hurtful related to his kids, but I'm taking this very seriously because I've seen these type of scenarios far too often, and I feel I need to be 100% clear on where I stand.

This post was edited by MsB815 on Mon, Apr 28, 14 at 19:44

SaveComment7Like
Comments (7)
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Amber3902

You are very smart to want to discuss these things BEFORE you get married and live together.

The best way to discuss this without sounding insensitive or uncaring is to simply ask "what would you do?" questions.

Without being confrontational, ask him "what would you do if your son got in trouble with the law?" "What would you do if your son needed to move in with us? What kinds of rules would you lay down? For how long would you allow him to stay with us?"

Ask him your questions. See what his answer is. Be sure you get specifics. Your definition of "temporary" may be three months, his may be 12, or a vague "let's just see how it goes".

Be careful that he doesn't just tell you what you want to hear. The best way to encourage him to do this is by acting like you don't care what his answer is.

You are right that this scenario happens a lot and causes a lot of issues in a marriage. It's better to be sure where you both stand before getting married.
His inability to say no to his kids is a big red flag. Maybe it's better you live in separate residences for a while longer, until you feel more confident about how he would handle his kids and their issues.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
emma

My husband and I were married for a year or so when his ex called and wanted us to take the son, his wife and their baby off her hands. She couldn't stand them any longer. I was a bit upset. Luckily I was in the hospital recovering from serious surgery, the doc knew I was upset and he ask "what's wrong". I explained and he said "don't worry about it, it's not going to happen". He talked to my husband and told him we cannot have a baby in the house. He said it's to much for me, I don't need a baby climbing all over me.

Later I told my husband we can't have your kids live with us because if your son gets mad at me (bad temper) he will stay mad at me for ever. If he gets mad at his mom he will get over it. My husband understood that.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
colleenoz

Amber's suggestion is good. You need to make it clear to your BF that while you value your relationship with him, you also value your own space and that while you understand his wish to help his kids you're not up for sharing your space with them. To that end it would be happier for you both to have separate living arrangements until the kids are truly self-sufficient.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Amber3902

I have a feeling these kids will never truly be "self-sufficient". If the OP is already concerned about this enough to post on an internet forum, that's not a good sign.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
OOTM_Mom

This is a tough one. I know you said you do not have kids, but if you did and they were having trouble, would you let them move in with you? That's pretty much how you have to look at it. Are you OK with extended holiday visits? Week or so at a time with the kids and grandkids? Or does that cause anxiety too? Talking in hypotheticals with potential husband isnt the same as reality. He may say he wouldnt want them moving in, and even mean it, and then a year later his mind can change. And even though you can say, "but when we discussed this you said they wouldnt move in", that will be a moot point if he suddenly needs to help his kids. Can you live with that possibility? As you put it - "ending up being my existence". It might not go that way, but it could. Good luck.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
MsB815

Thanks to all of you for your responses. They are all good advice, and something to really think about. I am leaning toward not rushing into marriage just yet, but regardless this will still be a topic we will have to discuss in great detail, when and if we ever do marry.. I see so many people just "jump into" situations and families when red flags are already up, but I knew I needed some advice on how to approach a delicate topic of children, because once you say certain things, you cannot take it back...Thanks again!!

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
emma

I think you are very smart to think about this and discuss it before marriage, not after when the problem comes up. I was very naive when I married.

Save    
Browse Gardening and Landscaping Stories on Houzz See all Stories
Life Retirement Reinvention: Boomers Plot Their Next Big Move
Choosing a place to settle in for the golden years? You're not alone. Where boomers are going and what it might look like
Full Story
Architecture The Good House: Big Design Moves That Matter
Where to begin when designing a home? Think about your site, its context and the story you want it to tell
Full Story
Remodeling Guides Should You Remodel or Just Move?
If you're waffling whether 'tis better to work with what you've got or start fresh somewhere else, this architect's insight can help
Full Story