Stacey1982
Hello, Could really use some advice. I have 2 children, daughter 9 and son 18. Different fathers. My relationship with BD of 9 yr old fell apart, and we have been separated for about 2 years. I met a new man who is so sweet and caring, and I love him. We have been together for just over a year now. BUT, I don't know how to do this and I fear I may have rushed into this.

We now live together in a place we rent with eachother and my two children (bd lives in a different city, and will see his daughter maybe once a month for the weekend, sometimes once every couple months, so pretty much full custody) My new partner has no children of his own, and never really wanted children, but he has been a good father figure and role model for my kids. He behaves more like a 'friend' to my son, but offers him advice and guidance and helps him out (drives him around, teaches him things etc).

Now my daughter he wants to be much more involved with. He would like to be able to take the reigns a little bit, and actually be able to discipline etc. He's also not comfortable with things like her coming in our room (I allow her to enter freely, which annoys my partner when we are in bed or aspleep) he likes privacy and boundaries. He says he's not comfortable because she is a minor of the opposite sex, and doesn't feel it's appropriate for her to see him in his underwear. He also reminds me thatbshebis not his child, and he has only known her for a year. My children will also go through his drawer, take things from our closet, and play with his things without asking, which also irritates him.

These are just things I have always allowed my children to do, maybe I have been too lax, but I don't want my children to resent him because he introduces all these new rules. On the other hand, I don't want him to resent me and my children.

We also disagree when it comes to my ex. I want her father to be a part of her life, and would like him to be able to be present at Things like birthday parties and events, and at times like graduation, I want us all to be there, sitting together for the sake of the child. I would hate for her to feel awkward or uncomfortable in those situations. My partner is willing to behave amicably with the ex, but wants minimal contact. Doesn't want him at parties etc and said there's no way he is gonna sit with my ex at sporting events/graduation. He's happy to be in the same room, but doesn't want to have to make small talk for an extended period of time. I see where he is coming from, but I also feel it's important to my child, and we should put her first.
Sometimes I just feel guilty about everything. HELP! Did I rush this? 
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familylives
Hi, I understand that this is a difficult and complex situation. It's great that he's involved and wants to be a part of their lives. On the matter of boundaries, speak to your partner and work out what is and isn't acceptable and slowly introduce these to your daughter so that the change does not overwhelm her. With you ex/birth father of your daughter, unless stated otherwise by a court he has the legal right to access to his child. Your current partner can either deal with the fact that your ex is going to be a part of your daughter's life or he can go away whenever he's around. If you want more information on the law surrounding children the Child Law Advice website has an extensive archive of information on that law. You may also find it helpful to read our articles on divorce and separation. If you feel you need further support please e-mail us at askus@familylives.org.uk or call our freephone helpline on 0808 800 2222.
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