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I feel very guilty!

Hi Caroline,

I'm faced with a very difficult decision at the moment which I would like some advice on please.

I have been going out with my girlfriend for 2 years now. She has two kids (4 and 8) and she now wants us to buy a house and live together. The problem I have is that I love her very much but I do not like her kids. I don't want kids at the moment and I am not ready for any father type role. When we first started going out I knew she had kids but I did make it clear from the beginning that I didn't want to be too involved with the children. Now, of course, after 2 years she expected my feelings for the kids to have changed but unfortunately they haven't. We have tried living together for a month and although we got on OK, it was only when the kids went to bed that I could relax. Also, when they were running around at the weekends and I had to spend the whole day with them I found it very difficult and just wanted to be alone with my girlfriend.

I feel very guilty and selfish about it. I would do anything to make her happy but I think taking on her kids as well is too much. We have talked about it and she knows my feelings but neither of us want to make the decision to break up.

Can you offer any advice for me please I am desperate.

Thank you,


Dear Erik,

It's a case of love me love my dog/kids/animals/mother/friends etc.etc. I'm afraid.

If you love your girlfriend and have a good relationship with her and don't want to lose her or the relationship. then you've got to try to like her kids, you can do it. If you're not used to kids it's very hard, I've got a male friend with a similar problem and he's conquered his, by taking them out on his own and getting to know them a little better, take them to the picture, or to the park on a Saturday pm feed the ducks, go to the supermarket, anywhere you can build a kind of family bond,

It's a case of getting to know them really that's the main link here. Just like you spending time with your girlfriend in the early stages of your relationship, the kids need to build a relationship with you too, it doesn't happen like magic, it has to be worked on I'm afraid, but in time it will happen, if you genuinely want to know them, kids aren't fools either, you have to learn to love them and they will love and respect you in return. talking to them rather than at them also helps try that too, when you're eating meals together get to ask questions about what they did at school, or what they want to do at the weekend, ask them their interests, have some laughs with them chase them in the garden, the list is endless......... remember when you were a kid yourself....

well what are you waiting for??? get on with it.

All the best