Being a stepparent is no joke, especially if the other parent is still in the picture. And if the kids don’t support the new relationship, it can be even harder – in fact, the discord has even led to relationships coming to an end. These 15 people are ready to dish on why their SO’s child was the reason the relationship didn’t work out.

#15. Went to the nearest airport and flew home

“My parents know someone who was dating a woman, and he really liked her so he decided to pay for them and her son to go on a cruise. The guy hadn’t really met the son yet (who’s 11 or 12 iirc), but within a day of leaving on the cruise, realized the kid was a nightmare. The mom didn’t discipline him at all and he was causing a lot of trouble. The guy was so shocked and fed up by the situation that when they got to their second stop of the trip, he left the ship and flew home. Left the woman and her son on the cruise, didn’t ask her to pay him back or anything. Just left the ship, went to the nearest airport and flew home.

Edit: Been at work, so haven’t been able to check in, but to answer a few questions/comments- checked with my mom, and apparently he had had some prior interaction with the child (just not any day-long meetings), and was also dating the woman for several months before the fateful cruise. Also, he did tell them he was leaving and offered if they wanted to go home or stay on the cruise. They chose to stay on the cruise.”

#14. Just a miserable kid

“Kid was diagnosed with adhd but was not being treated for it, so he was a handful. It was like he had the 1am kitty zoomies all. the. time. His two volumes were yelling and air raid siren. He was five and considered himself an old school thug. He referred to women, including his mother, as bitches, hos, and tricks. He was just a miserable kid to be around and neither of his parents were addressing it. What brought things to a head was my boyfriend telling me I needed to watch his son the next day. Not asking, telling. I realized that I was about to become this kid’s new unpaid babysitter, and I already dreaded spending time with him, so I ended it with his dad. Not that the dad was any loss to begin with, to be fair.”

#13. I don’t blame him really

“this hasn’t happened to me but my dad divorced his third wife over her child.

it amazes me because honestly his third wife, we will call her K, is such a cool and sweet person. they’re still friends. but somehow her son turned into a total piece of shit.

the kid has had experience with drinking and drugs from a young age and doing other illegal activities. my dad is pretty square esp when it comes to any drug use such as marijuana, so all of this bothered him a lot. also, my stepbrother (we will call him B) was also a pervert who molested my sister and i on multiple occasions. (later on after the divorce he ended up in jail for sexual assault)

then one day B decides to steal a boat with his buddies. they get caught of course and arrested. K was way too soft on her son and didn’t really invoke an appropriate reaction/punishment to what happened. (she did this with all of his fuck ups) i think she had extreme guilt over the fact that B’s dad abandoned them and instead of trying to use a firm hand when necessary she let him get away with everything.

after the boat incident my dad was out of there. i don’t blame him really.”

#12. Because I existed

“Not me, but a guy my mom was dating dumped her because I existed.

My mom was a shift manger for a truck stop and this guy was a truck driver. At the time I was 20, still lived at home, but I worked and was saving up to get a car (we shared at the time) and a place with my then boyfriend. This guy knew about me, and knew my boyfriend’s mom because they worked together.

My mom goes out on date #3, and I guess the dude starts laying into my mom about how she shouldn’t let me use the car (that my boyfriend and I helped maintain), and that I should get my own place. My mom gets pissed, looks him in the eye and asked him when is he going to get his own place. I guess the guy divorced awhile back and lived in his parent’s guest room.”

#11. Team Cat

“Saw a snapchat video of the > 1 year old just smacking the hell out of their cat……noped out…im team cat”

#10. Nope

“Got invited to a poker game at girls place. 4yr old kid is up at 11pm running around, and takes silverware drawer out and dumps entire contents on the kitchen floor. His mom looks at me and says “what are you gonna do about that?”. She wanted me to discipline her kid, after dating for 2 weeks. She was looking for a dad for the kid. Nope.”

#9. She was hiding them.

“I have an odd one from a series of dates I went on with a girl.

I met a girl of Tinder – cute, short, blonde and a handful in the sack so seemingly everything was great. We went on multiple dates, got along great and the relationship was at the point of developing from just dating & fucking to actually spending quality time together and going for days out with one another etc…

After about 3 months together, I was travelling back home from a 10hr road trip to collected my blueprinted motorcycle engine for the upcoming race season and thought I’d drop in to her place on my way home to break up the journey a bit (she lived a hour from mine in another town). I sent her a quick text stating I’m close to hers and I’ll be there in 20 minutes or so, to which she responded that’s great see you soon. When I pulled up to her place and started towards the front door, she opened it and three children with a woman about 10 years or so older than her (she was 23, so assuming women was mid 30’s) came out and walked passed me very nonchalant, the women even saying “hi” to me as I walked passed. The children looked to be aged about 9, 5 and 3 or 4 years old but paying little attention I went up to the girl I was dating and said “friend of yours? and she responded “yeah she pops round every so often with the kids and those little monsters always trash my house”. That was the end of the conversation, nothing more was said of the kids and we went about the remainder of the day going for a nice walk, getting some takeout and watching a movie before heading off to bed for the evening.

The point where things took a turn were in the morning I was awoken by hushed arguing downstairs, she wasn’t next to me but one of those three kids I saw the day before with the older women was sat at the end of the bed and the other two on the floor quietly rummaging through my jeans pockets (not maliciously I don’t think just a mix of boredom and being inquisitive). I stood up, put my clothes on, the kids not saying a single word to me or even really acknowledging me and when I got to the top of the stairs looking down towards the front door, there she was arguing with her friend I had seen the day before, they both went quiet when I appeared and the girl I was with stormed up the stairs passed me into the bedroom and slammed the door and the other woman left.

Confused as fuck at this point I went downstairs to get my boots and jacket, while she remained in the bedroom in which I assumed she was getting dressed but after 20 minutes passed I went up stairs and knocked on the door. I was met with a stern “just fucking leave!”. It was said in a tone that I knew she was in the ‘don’t fuck with me’ frame of mind so I left. I tried ringing/texting multiple times over the following days in an attempt to get in touch with her but nothing, she eventually blocked me on everything. When I think back on it, she never had pictures on the walls, there were never any toys or kids stuff around the house so I can only assume those were her children and she had been palming them off on her friend every time she met up with me, and either cleaned the house and stored everything in the kids rooms (the second bedroom door was always closed, never had any reason to go in it so never saw what was inside) or just didn’t really have that much kids stuff. The fact that she hid them from me for 3 months is impressive but she must have known I would eventually find out. Can only speculate to the reason, perhaps embarrassment because the oldest kid looked almost 10 so she must have been very young when she had the first 2 kids so whether a mistake or abuse I don’t know.

Either way I’ll never know and it’s a shame, wouldn’t have bothered me if she had just told me from the get go but I get a feeling she didn’t want to let me know about them.

TL;DR – Hook up with a girl for three months to find out she’s been hiding 3 kids from me, thank god there’s was never a “Are you my new Daddy” moment.”

#8. Different parenting styles

“A few years back I met a guy with a kid at the museum. We happened to click and the kids seemed to like each other. He made a couple comments about how nicely our kids were playing together because his son really does not play much with others, and another comment about how well behaved and polite my kids were.

We made a couple dates with no kids and a couple dates with kids. One time I went over to their house for dinner. My kids were at their dads house and I got to experience this kid in full force. We were eating dinner and his son, who was 8, took one bite and said, “Peace out suckas!” and left the dinner table. Then he went to play with legos and brought a whole bunch onto the table while we were eating. He says, “Dad, my plate is in the way”. Dad moves the plate. Then the kid gets more toys and starts playing in the living room. Dad says, “You should put the legos away first.” Kid says, “Yeah right. Thats your job”. Dad did it! While he was picking up his kids mess I started washing the dishes. I asked, “Should I cover kids plate and stick it in the fridge for later?” he responds, “Oh no, he will ask for waffles later and I’ll make them. Just toss it”

I realized that this kid was never told no. This kid didn’t have any rules or chores. He was just awful. I broke it off by saying that we had completely different parenting styles and I don’t think we should go any further.”

#7. They were sneaky boys

“Oh also had dated a guy with four boys. He got to only see them every other weekend. He would barely watch them and just go outside to get away from them, or go inside if they went out. Me personally I can’t leave kids alone by themselves, but he didn’t seem to think anything of it. Well one day the kids get under and electric fence, with a horse. The horse was very tame but still. The oldest goes inside and says hey dad kid 3,2, and 1 got in the horse fence. They personally wouldn’t listen to me, although I’m not bossy or rude to children I tried the no we aren’t going to go in there bit. Obviously didn’t work and they went in anyways, so there I am yelling and attempting to get to them,but damn they were sneaky boys.”

#6. His whole family

“Not really his kid but like, his whole family. His older sister was an addict and had a son who was 6 ish. Kid would act out all the time, destroying things and what not. Not a surprise since his mom was an addict that wouldn’t give a shit about him. Grandma took care of the kid and would demand his son to pay for their expenses. So guy i was dating paid for his living accommodations, mom’s living accommodations (they lived inn another city so just visited sometimes) and nephew’s expenses (including private school for him) and sister’s expenses when she was home and not in rehab.

I’m not high maintenance when it comes to dates but on my birthday he complained about taking me out and paying the bill. The bill was like $20. He got me a cheap tshirt from Walmart as a birthday gift, when on his bday (2 weeks before) I baked him a cake, made him a nice dinner and bought him a jersey of his favorite soccer team.

The final straw was when he said his sister was pregnant again, again from an unknown father and when he asked what gift i was planning to buy her for the baby shower. Laughed my ass off and left right there.

Last I heard about him, his sister has 3 kids now and he still pays for all their expenses.”

#5. Creeped me out

“A really nice guy who had custody of his 2 yr old daughter. I was cool with things until he continued the baby talk voice in the bedroom. No thanks, creeped me out.”

#4. I didn’t want to be the dad

“Was goin out with an old friend, her kiddo was 1.5 at this time. Custody was evenly split between her and the dad. No worries.

Started getting bad when I was getting roped into buying clothes and stuff for the little kid after about a month of dating. And it was done very passive-aggressively. “It’s getting colder, (kid) doesn’t have a jacket or shoes, and I can’t rely on her piece of shit father for anything, he’s just going to give me shit” then she starts crying and having an anxiety attack, so I would get stuff.

Little kiddo starts calling me da-da by month 3. That is nowhere near the pronunciation of my name and I didn’t want to be the dad, because despite previous paragraph, the kid’s dad was actually a good dad, it’s just the mom who was an intolerable bitch. A fact that fully came to light when I found out she was cheating on me with a different ex-boyfriend who ended up getting her hooked on pills. So the cheating thing and me becoming what I had no right to being as her kid’s dad had me “nope” the fuck out of that by month 4.”

#3. A very awkward situation

“I had a situation that was quite the opposite to a lot of the stories on here. Met a guy on a dating site that was a single dad to the sweetest little girl. It was very casual and slow and he was very wary of her not seeing us together in intimate/romantic moments at first, which was understandable because he didn’t want her to get attached to someone in her life that may or may not be sticking around. He didn’t have very much of a close social circle and the mother lived in another country (he had a rocky relationship with her and his daughter was way better off in his custody), so sometimes I would babysit for him on afternoons when he had work commitments or when he needed a night off with the boys just to have the freedom of a social life again. He’s an excellent father, and his daughter is so charming and lovely.

To be honest, our dating life fizzled for me because I didn’t think we were very compatible, but I still saw them both very often. I think it got to a point where I was spending time with them and persisting in dating him because I adored his daughter so much, and it took me a little while to realise that. It really became awkward and a little wrong and I stopped engaging with him romantically because it felt like I was taking advantage of our relationship to spend time with his daughter more than I was interested in spending time with him. I ended up moving away and we kept in touch casually, and I would still ask how they were both doing. He did remark sadly once that it seemed that I cared more about how she was doing than I cared about him. It was a very awkward situation I never imagined myself ending up in.”

#2. That’s why

“They didn’t spend time with their kid and it bothered me. Turned out he was a sex offender and that’s why.”

#1. Became terrifying to me

“I (26M) broke up with my girlfriend (25, with a 5 year old daughter) literally yesterday.

I started dating her in the first place because I thought that a kid was no big deal. My exact words were “We’ll be a good match or we won’t. Either way, her daughter won’t affect that.” I was wrong.

Her daughter actually played a relatively small role in our relationship. She had plenty of family to watch her daughter while we were out doing other things so I probably only saw her daughter less than a dozen times. When I did see her, she was always a cute, sweet, all around cool little girl. My ex told me straight up at the beginning that she wasn’t looking for someone to be a dad, and I really do believe that she meant it.

The thing is, it’s never that simple. As you progress further and further in a relationship you realize that if you’re serious about being with them long term, you need to be willing to accept their baggage as well.

For a couple of weeks now, I’ve been gradually coming to terms with the fact that being in a relationship with her meant taking on a relationship with her daughter as well. I’d paid lip service to that idea since the beginning, but only really internalized it recently.

On Saturday, two things happened.

First, she told me that on Friday an ex (not the daughter’s father, but someone who was a father figure to her) showed up at her house asking to spend time with the daughter.

Second, I met her family.

Both of these happening drove home something that I’d been realizing more and more. That while I loved spending time with her and loved having her as a girlfriend, I’d never be willing to take on the role of a father figure to her daughter. Despite her insistence otherwise, at some point that would be a necessary step in moving the relationship forward.

Because of this, I subconsciously became okay with integrating her into my life (she’d long since met most of my family and friends, we’d taken road trips together, and she was at my place quite often) but integrating myself into her life became terrifying to me because I knew it was an inevitable step towards fatherhood.

That’s how meeting her family was the last straw, despite them being lovely people who I got along well with on our first meeting. I loved her becoming a bigger and bigger part of my life, but I didn’t want to be a bigger part of hers.

Things clarified for me then, and I came to the conclusion that I’d been leading toward. That I loved spending time with her, but had no interest in developing in our relationship. I had no long term romantic interest in her and wouldn’t ever seriously consider making her a partner in my life.

I respect her too much to waste her time, so yesterday morning I told her we needed to talk and I went to her house and broke it off with her.

It took less than five minutes to do, but it fucking sucked. I’m not sure if she was hiding her feelings from me when I told her or if she was just seething, but she didn’t seem too outwardly upset about it at the time and said she had seen it coming.

I’ve been miserable since then though. She really was a fantastic girlfriend, and if not for her daughter being in the picture, I think we could’ve taken this a long, long way.”