“Am I using my relationship because I’m not attracted to his kids?”

Kim (38) broke up with his permanent relationship last month Maurice. They were together for over a year. “Spending Christmas with one’s children: I don’t want to and I can’t.”

Bonus kids

“If you really care about him, the three kids won’t be a problem”, I can still hear my best friend say. We drank wine together for crisis consultations. I had fallen in love with Maurice, whom I had only known for four months at the time. Really everything about the man is great: he is attractive, funny, smart, has a nice owner-occupied house and good friends, some of whom I had already met at that time. Maurice wanted to show me his whole life almost from the beginning. Something I really liked. That way, I knew immediately what kind of meat I had in the tub. He still shielded a part of his life: his three children aged seven, nine and twelve. Because I had written ‘no’ in my dating profile under ‘want children’. On our second date he confessed his paternity. Because I was already feeling butterflies, it didn’t put me off. Not then anyway. I always knew I didn’t want children. And by that I mean both organic children and bonus offspring. I’m more upscale adults-only resort than family-friendly camping. My furniture is nice and white because I don’t have to worry about chocolate stains on my velvet chaise longue. After a long day at work, I want to open a red wine in peace, and yes, that was fine with Maurice. After all, he had an event every other weekend with his ex-wife.”


“In practice it worked fine. We spent many evenings together during the week. We also spent the weekends when he didn’t have children together. We also regularly went away for weekends together. I can still see us strolling through Paris last spring, hand hand in hand and madly in love… Crushing in the back of a boat on the Seine… We also had good and serious talks. Maurice said he could be himself with me, except for one aspect. After more than six months of dating he felt I barely acknowledged his paternity: I never asked about his children, I almost shrugged when he showed them a picture or a video. I watched it out of politeness, not interest. But I didn’t dare say that then. Maurice should also have been more decisive: the children are the most important thing in his life. And I should have accepted that choice. However, we were too in love to be honest with ourselves and each other. To think if we really match together.To see if we really had a fr time together. A shared life where everyone was optimally happy and could be themselves.”

“It would be so much easier if I could really open up. But the few times I have met Maurice’s children have been unsuccessful. The youngest showed me his dinosaur collection, much to Maurice’s delight. I saw his eyes light up as his son enthusiastically walked towards me. Well, it came from my toes, “Is that a T-Rex?” Gradually, more and more annoyances came: then I got mad when his ex wanted to trade again for a weekend. Or worse, wanted to dump the kids with Maurice more often. And then we got into a fight because I used the word dump. “You don’t even talk about a dog like that,” he said angrily.


“It was so frustrating because every discussion was only about the kids. Other than that, it was really perfect between us. Although there were cracks at the end. Maurice recovered less and less quickly after an argument. Or if a nice bonus mother came by on TV, I got a look like: so be it. Of course I cursed myself. What’s wrong with me that I don’t like kids? Maurice is seriously the real material. Do I want to risk it because I don’t attract his children? The answer turned out to be yes. Maurice had booked Austria for a week as a surprise, for the Christmas holidays. Him, his three children and me. To spend Christmas with his children, I want and I can’t. Not fine dining, but get chicken nuggets and pizza from the buffet. It made me sick to my stomach: am I really that selfish or am I entitled to this feeling? According to my best friend, I’m not the only one who thinks like this, but she hoped I would turn around a bit I broke up with him in tears the week after h an revealed the “surprise”. Maurice admitted that it was an ultimatum of sorts, although he had thought I would come along anyway. “And that you would really enjoy it with the four of us in the end,” he sobbed. “But it was obviously a bit naive.” I nodded and started whimpering too. Of sorrow and relief. Because as much as I love Maurice, our relationship and my bonus motherhood are not meant to be.”

Text: Agnes Hoffman | Image: iStock

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