If you and your partner are, as they say, “unequally yoked”, it has the potential to cause resentment in your children. As you’re trying to bring your partner to ‘full-blown’ maturity, or responsibility, or adulthood, or religion, or spirituality, or strength or whatever it is, your children are going to subconsciously resent the fact that you are working so hard to get another person ‘together’ and they are going to wonder what are you getting out of the deal, besides a partner to lay next to?
Leanna felt that her fiance, while pretty book-smart in some areas, was still quite childlike in certain aspects of his thinking. He had a timidity that she thought could be cured by his simply trying out suggestions—her suggestions. She was trying to grow him up, raise him to a level that she knew he could attain. The problem was that such development of a person has to occur internally. He had to do the dirty work that it took to decide where he wanted to go and how he was going to get there and he naturally resented her constant interference on that level. Leanna did what many women do: fall for a man’s potential and take them in, with the intentions of developing them, of changing them to suit their personal desires/needs. Her fiance felt that pressure and naturally begin to rebel and withdraw. Meanwhile, the children watched the whole ordeal from the sidelines, silently resenting the entire situation and acting out in subconscious ways. As their mother became more preoccupied with re-making her fiance to suit her own image, her children started acting out in school and at home and their grades dropped, which only added to Leanna’s stress of trying to hold her new family together.
When your partner is a fixer-upper, or comes with a sticker labeled ‘assembly-required’ and you are fixated on helping them develop their potential (because you aren’t satisfied with who they are now), then they are not the man for you. They might not be a bad guy, they might, in fact, be wonderful—for somebody else. Just not for you. Men are not projects, they are not things to be developed by the woman who loves them. They are human beings in their own right, with the freedom and authority to have their own beliefs and make their own choices, including their own mistakes. If you have taken on a project with the hopes of making him ready to be what he needs to be for you or for your children, then you are setting yourself up for a potentially explosive situation. Your children are going to resent time that you spend trying to get him together and the sadness and frustration that you may feel trying to make everything ‘right’. When children are in the picture, you simple don’t have the luxury of taking on a man who is not already what you want and need him to be for you and your children.
Your foremost responsibility is to your children. They are the little people whom you chose to bring into the world. So, while this does not require that you sacrifice your own desires for love and companionship, what it does mean is that you don’t want to risk their sense of well-being because you are putting all or most of your energy into making your relationship work, i.e., making your man into what you wish he would be. Believe me, though it may not seem like it, there are plenty of men who are already assembled and are capable of being a suitable, responsible, capable, caring, wise, and emotionally healthy partner and parental figure. All you need is one. And you have the ability to attract such a partner in your life.