Dear Ms Peirano,

My boyfriend (38) and I (25) have been together for about a year.

Everything went so well at the beginning that everything happened relatively quickly. We now live together in an apartment – ​​more or less his apartment. At first he wanted it to be OUR apartment, but I don’t really feel comfortable there anymore.

I have a dog and he has a child – unfortunately they don’t like each other. That’s the first big problem. He himself isn’t really a dog fan either – so I had to hand the dog over to my parents (which I don’t think is fair and was very detrimental to my dog).

But I’m also not really happy that his child is with us every other weekend and now every Wednesday. His child is really very sweet and basically not difficult – his son is allowed to watch a lot of TV so that my boyfriend and I can do sports and have time for ourselves. However, on the Sunday after the weekend with his son, I’m feeling dizzy and I can’t wait for him to take him to school early on Monday.

I’m already in a bad mood on Wednesdays when I know his son is coming over the weekend. Although he really isn’t doing anything bad… I think I just feel like I’m being forced into a “family” life, which I haven’t chosen myself. I want a family too, but only later when I want kids of my own. I want to start a family with my boyfriend and I get a stomach ache watching him super cute in bed cuddling and cuddling with his son – I want him to do this to MY kids and not his ex girlfriend’s… I want now enjoying life, travelling, doing sports, studying – and so does he. To be honest, his son doesn’t really stop us either – we just divide it up differently.

Nevertheless, I sometimes wish he didn’t have a child or I’ve already considered ending the relationship, which is actually beautiful and very harmonious. But the fact that he has a child that is not mine affects and interferes with my life. I sometimes catch myself imagining what it would be like if I had another partner – of course there would be other problems, but these might be easier to solve. You can’t just give a child away.

Is the relationship doomed to fail if I already have so many reasons and thoughts to let it be?

I still can’t really take the step…

I would greatly appreciate your advice and views.

Best regards

Patricia B.

Dear Patricia B,

I can understand that now – at the age of 25 – you want to enjoy your life carefree and concentrate on your studies, sports and your relationship. You don’t have any children of your own, so it’s your right.

But you have chosen a man who already has a child and who apparently also lovingly cares for his child. That speaks a lot for him. He takes responsibility, is reliable and apparently also very loving and tender with his son.

I work as a behavioral therapist and love coach in private practice in Hamburg-Blankenese and St. Pauli. In my PhD, I researched the connection between relationship personality and happiness in love and then wrote two books about love.

Information about my therapeutic work can be found at

Do you have questions, problems or lovesickness? Please write to me (maximum one A4 page). I would like to point out that inquiries and answers can be published anonymously on

But how do you think he feels about the fact that you’re annoyed by his son’s visits and can’t wait for him to leave? does he know? He will certainly feel it, and he tries to make compromises in his own way: the son is allowed to watch a lot of TV so that you and your partner can live your own life and do sports.

Can you imagine that your partner’s son also feels that he is not welcome, at least in your home, even though – as you say – he doesn’t do anything bad? Here I have to think of my adult patients who grew up in a blended family in which they received at least one signal from one person not to be loved or to be a nuisance. As a result, children develop certain thought and behavior patterns that can be harmful: “I have to be very quiet and adapt so that I don’t become a burden. I mustn’t make any demands so that I don’t create a conflict. I can’t yet expressing my wants and needs, because there is no room for that.”

Can you imagine how a child feels who is regularly with his father and feels that he is not wanted? What feelings does that evoke in you?

I imagine you’re having a bit of a hard time feeling empathy here because your own desires are getting in the way. You want light-heartedness, time with your partner, time for yourself and peace. Only we therapists are often reality waitresses, and on my tray I would serve you the reality that your partner only exists in connection with his son.

And if one day you want to have your own children with your partner, then the son would also be part of the blended family. If nothing changes, he would feel very much like a third wheel as he spends time with his father who loves him, his girlfriend who doesn’t want him around, and their beloved and desired birth child of theirs. I know such constellations, and they are stressful for all parties and leave a lot of suffering for the affected children from a previous relationship. I could suggest three possible solutions.

I hope that you can decide for yourself which path is right for you.

Best regards

Julia Peirano