Here’s a recent question from one of our regular guy readers. I thought you might have some suggestions.
There are usually inequalities when you are dating. One person has a more successful career. One person is better at interpersonal skills, and the other is better at technical skills. Differences that makes life interesting and the world go around.
I have accomplished kids. All of them will graduate from college, and have the potential for decent careers. They have their flaws, but are typical middle class, suburban, kids. The kind of kids where you can share their accomplishments when friends are talking about their kids.
I’m getting to know a woman who I think may be someone special. She seems like a decent middle-class person, but has made some bad choices in men — philanderer, alcoholic, etc. However, her kids are a lot less successful than mine. One had a promising military career until a genetic predisposition to alcoholism reared its ugly head. The younger two are content to just get by in life. In talking with her about her past relationships, she mentioned wanting the American Dream: husband, house, and kids.
We are both past the having babies stage, but I wonder about the inequality of our families. All the kids are old enough that they won’t be living together. But, I just started wondering if the inequality will bread resentment. I can provide a husband and a house. But for kids, we will have to play the cards that have already been dealt.
While I don’t have kids, that won’t stop me from having an opinion!
If you do become connected with this woman, you can’t help but hear about her kids and sharing about yours. At some point, they will meet each other. If she wasn’t secure that she did the very best job she could in parenting and admitting that some of how kids turn out is a crap shoot, I imagine she’d feel a bit jealous of your kids’ accomplishments.
If she does show any feelings of inadequacy or jealousy and they are unabated, it will ruin the relationship. However, even two parents with accomplished children can have issues about one-up-manship. If you decide to continue seeing her, you have to be conscious about not oversharing about your kids and offering advice about hers. Let this unfold as you build trust and confidence with each other. And wait until she asks you for advice on her offspring.
Readers: what do those of you with children have to say on this issue?