My Partner Can’t Accept My Child (5 Tips)
In this brief article, we will discuss the reasons why your partner can’t accept your child and what you need to do to manoeuver this difficult situation.
Why can’t your partner accept your child?
Getting into a relationship with someone who already has children is a unique situation to be in and a tough one at that. Let’s look at some of the reasons why your partner can’t accept your child.
- They are not ready to be a parent
- They do not want to share you
- They do not know how to be around kids
- They need some time to get to know them
- They do not want to get attached
- They find it difficult to have a relationship with the child
- They do not feel accepted by your child
- They do not feel any responsibility towards them
- You have unrealistic expectations of them
- They feel like an outsider
How do you get your partner to accept your child?
Getting your partner to accept your child is forceful, rather here are some ways you can encourage a positive bond between them.
- Talk to your partner about the role they would like to play
- Encourage them to get to know your child
- Focus on positives that they have
- Don’t make them rush into it. Let them take their time,
- Think about former partners and let those experiences guide you
- Leave them both to figure it out
How do you make a relationship work when one has a child?
- Wait until you are in a committed relationship till you make your partner meet your child
- Be honest about your intentions with both your child and partner
- Try not to choose one over the other
- Ask your partner to follow your lead
What are some things you should remember when dating as a single parent?
- Wait until you are in a committed relationship before introducing your kids to your new partner
- Be honest about your expectations
- Request them to follow your lead
It is not realistic to assume that your partner will have an amazing bond with your child, but it is reasonable that you hope that they can at least accept them as they come.
You are the only link between your current partner and child from a previous relationship. They need to develop at least their own minor connection for there to be acceptance.
If they do not accept your child, you will be caught in the middle of friction leading to the inevitable outcome of breaking up or giving up your child. Both of which (especially the latter) are not what you want.
To help navigate this difficult situation, you need to make your expectations clear to your partner, ask them to open their mind and heart a little more.
It certainly helps to understand where they are coming from, so let’s take a look at some of the reasons why your partner can’t accept your child.
Why can’t your partner accept your child?
They are not ready to be a parent
Not everyone has a maternal or paternal instinct in them. They may not have children for this very reason.
If your partner can’t accept your child, it may be because they are not ready to be a parent.
They do not have to fulfil the role of a parent to accept the child though. All they have to be is supportive. Talk to them about their concerns and wade through these murky waters together as partners.
They do not want to share you
It’s quite possible that your partner can’t accept your child because they do not want to share you with them.
While on the surface this may sound utterly ridiculous, to them your child is a constant reminder of your previous relationship. It may bring up feelings of jealousy and competition for your attention.
This is something they have to get over on their own. You can assure them of your love, but your child is going to be in your life and for this relationship to work, your partner will have to make an effort.
They do not know how to be around kids
Does your partner look uncomfortable around your child or around all kids in general? This may be why your partner can’t accept your child.
This is a bit odd, but some people, especially those that have not been around that many kids and have little to no interaction with them may just want to keep away.
They just need to get used to your child a little bit more for it to be less awkward. Involve them in activities with the three of you and let them get to know each other.
If all goes well, your partner should be able to have a relationship with your kid that is independent of you.
They need some time to get to know them
With time, almost everything becomes easier. One should not expect their current partner and child from a previous relationship to get along immediately.
If your partner can’t accept your child, it could be because they do not have a kid yet.
These relationships are delicate and take time to develop. To help them get to know each other, you can plan a few activities that involve the both of them.
Do not force them to have a connection though. These things happen naturally, so do give your partner some space and they should come around.
They do not want to get attached
Your partner and you may have a great relationship, but when you bring a child into the equation it can get challenging.
Since your child will always come first and there is a chance that the relationship will not work out, it may be why your partner is afraid to let them and can’t accept your child.
They may not want to get attached to the kid because they are afraid of what could happen if it didn’t work out between you two.
They find it difficult have a relationship with the child
Dating someone with a child comes with its own set of challenges. Your partner may find it difficult to have a relationship with your child because they do not want to overstep their boundaries.
They have to make peace with the fact that your child will always come first. They may have to step aside more frequently than is ideal, spend less time with you and accept the presence of your ex in the child’s life.
If it is all too much for them, it could be why your partner can’t accept your child.
They do not feel accepted by your child
When it comes to new relationships involving their parents, a child may not always be receptive. In fact, they may even show hostile behaviour towards their parent’s new partner.
Although this may be hard to come to terms with, if your partner can’t accept your child, it may be because they do not feel accepted in return either.
For there to be any kind of connection or bond, both your partner and child have to make an effort to get to know each other. Encourage your child to give your current partner a chance by explaining what this relationship means to you.
They do not feel any responsibility towards them
Your partner can’t accept your child if they do not feel any responsibility for them, especially if your ex is still in the picture.
Parenting a child who is not theirs by birth is not something that they want to do and it shows in their behaviour.
They might experience loyalty conflicts and feel as if they are in the middle between your previous family and you.
Talk to them and let them know that they need not take on the parenting role, but they do need to understand and accept that your child is not going anywhere.
You have unrealistic expectations of them
Since you love them both, you obviously want your partner to have a bond with your child. Both your current partner and your child may need more time to get to know each other though. It will not happen overnight.
Besides, projecting your expectations on either of them will result in them backing off. It may also be why your partner can’t accept your child.
Having false expectations as to what your relationship and family life will look like will lead to disappointments. You need to let go of what you want and let them decide how they want to connect.
They feel like an outsider
It’s likely that at some point your partner may feel like an outsider, as well as jealous, lonely, resentful, confused and inadequate when it comes to the relationship between your child and you.
They may probably experience hostility, indifference or rejection from your children, which may even lead to fights with you more than they expected.
While this is normal, it could be overwhelming and probably why your partner can’t accept your child.
Exploring a new relationship as a single parent cannot be easy. You are treading a difficult line with people that you love that may not necessarily be accepting of each other.
More than worrying about why your partner can’t accept your child, it may be wise to come to terms with what you want and are willing to do about it now.
Have an honest conversation with your partner and if things do not get any better, you may have to mentally prepare to let go of the relationship.
FAQs: My partner can’t accept my child
What do you do if your partner doesn’t want your child?
If your partner doesn’t want your child, you should be able to have a conversation about why that is. Understanding their reluctance can help make things better.
If they are still adamant about their stance, you need to take a call on what is more important to you. Please remember that this is your child and they should come before your new relationship.
Should your partner or child come first?
Children emulate what they see and the relationship between their parents has a great effect on their psyche. However, when it comes to new partners and your children, you need to be their parent first. For your current relationship to work, there needs to be acceptance on both sides.
Is it normal to not love stepchildren?
Yes, it is perfectly normal for new partners to not immediately love your child. It can take years for them to get comfortable, let alone a relationship to be established between them.
Why Can’t My New Partner Love My Child?