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My Partner’s Children Don’t Accept Me

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From the U.S.: I am in a homosexual relationship with a man who has two children from a previous heterosexual relationship. From the beginning of our relationship they were fairly clear that they weren’t totally on board with me joining the family, but my partner decided that we would continue our relationship regardless. We have been together for 9 years and during that time I have felt extremely unwanted by his children and it is becoming hard to continue being a part of the family because the three of them frequently make me feel like I do not belong.

I saw a therapist a while back and explained the situation and his response to me was that I shouldn’t be in the relationship because it would only lead to more problems in the long run. Against his advice I stayed in the relationship because I love my partner.

Recently it seems as like this problem is only amplifying. I have got to the point that I try to just stay quiet because I know that nearly everything I say is met with an argument from one of the three of them and I have been becoming extremely depressed because of it. When my partner and I met, I was excited to learn that he had kids because I always wanted a family but thought that because I was gay I would never have that chance. But now I find myself wondering if it was the right choice. I don’t want to leave but I do feel like something has to change for me to have a chance at being happy in life. My question to you is, do you think my therapist was right, is it hopeless and I should just move on, or if is there a way to make them see that I am a part of the family and start treating me like we aren’t on opposing teams?

My Partner’s Children Don’t Accept Me

Answered by on -

A.

Your primary problem is not with the kids. It is with your partner. It is up to him to make it clear that you are one of the “parents” of the children. If, after 9 years, he is unwilling or unable to do that, it’s serious — and unlikely to change. You either have to accept things as they are or think about leaving to find someone who will have a family with you. But if he is willing yet doesn’t know how to help the children accept you, it might be helpful for the two of you to see a family therapist for a while to help both of you understand how to integrate you all into a new family.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

My Partner’s Children Don’t Accept Me

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). My Partner’s Children Don’t Accept Me. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 22, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2018/08/23/my-partners-children-dont-accept-me/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 21 Aug 2018 (Originally: 23 Aug 2018)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 21 Aug 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.