Ask Lisa: Relationship with a Man with Kids I want Nothing to Do With

I’ve been in a relationship for 2 years with someone I am completely compatible with.  My problem is that he has 2 kids, and I have never wanted kids.  I don’t like being around kids, I have a short patience span and I’ve especially never wanted to live with kids.  There are times I have a lot of fun with his kids, but I’m always able to go home.  We are talking about moving in together and huge arguments have come up because I don’t want to live with his kids (he has joint custody, so he has them 3-5 days per week).  Is this relationship doomed because I don’t have the “mother” gene?  Is it possible to stay satisfied in a relationship without being able to move forward?  And should I even stay in a relationship with someone who has kids that I really don’t want to have anything to do with?

Lisa’s thoughts…

That’s a tough situation for everyone.  This is certainly one of those situations in life where you can’t change what “is.”  Your boyfriend has two kids who he has 3-5 days a week.  You have never wanted kids and in fact don’t even like being around kids.  If you were to decide to move in together, gone is the escape route of going home.

The question you pose isn’t only for you to consider but for him.  As hard as it is to imagine taking on kids when you don’t want to – he has to ponder what it will be like for his kids to have a “stepmom” who clearly doesn’t want to be around them.  I think it would be pretty hard to shield them from your energy.  Kids are highly sensitive and more aware then many give them credit.

When you connect with another person in the way in which it sounds like you have, it’s pretty hard not to accept all of them, especially when “all of them” means they have children.  If you can’t do that, it will be hard and possibly painful for everyone.

I think you need to think carefully about what life would be like without him and if you’re able to shift your thinking a bit so he doesn’t feel badly that the woman he loves can’t ever love the children he created.  If you just can’t get there, perhaps you’re just better suited to a partner with no children!  Remember, this isn’t about judging you for not being into kids, it’s about accepting what “is” for him AND for you.  Not everyone wants children – and there’s nothing wrong with that choice either.


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Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT

Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT

Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT is the creator of with emotional and relationship health articles, guides, courses and other tools for individuals and couples. She is a frequent consultant for the media having appeared in,, and others. Lisa has a private practice in Marin County, CA and offers Emotional Health and Relationship Consultations via email, phone or video conference.