DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: My boyfriend and I are getting pretty serious and have begun talking at least about the possibility of getting married. He has two kids from his first marriage. The oldest is a 12-year-old girl and the youngest is a 9-year-old boy. The son seems to be okay with me, until his sister starts in giving me attitude, usually by pretending I don’t exist, even when we’re in the same room. Once that starts, her brother does the same thing. This usually only happens when my boyfriend isn’t around, so he hasn’t seen what is going on.
I have told their dad a little about how the kids treat me when he’s not there. He thinks I’m just being supersensitive and that his kids wouldn’t act like that, and he insists they never have with anyone else he’s dated.
I love the guy, but don’t know if I’m up to dealing with his kids’ attitude. How long do I put up with their freezing me out when their dad isn’t looking? --- MAYBE WOULD-BE STEPMOM
DEAR MAYBE WOULD-BE STEPMOM: If you’re seriously thinking of marrying the man, I’d say you’re going to have to take the kids as part of the whole package. It wouldn’t be wise to give your boyfriend an either them or me ultimatum, because with young kids in the picture, any dad worth his salt will choose his kids.
Unless there’s a reason to rush into marriage, I’d say give it more time. Don’t let the kids know they’re getting to you, but rather show them you’re not going anywhere, and they need to get used to your being in their dad’s life.