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My girlfriend and I have been together about about a year. We are both 45 with 2 kids each. She has two girls (12 and 15) and I have two boys (12 and 15). For various reasons, we have a long distance relationship until the kids go of to college. We know this is several years down the road but we are both committed to the relationship and have talked about getting married when the time is right. So our question revolves around the bedroom and sleeping arrangements. When she comes to visit (sometimes with her girls, sometimes without) and my boys are in the house, we don't sleep in the same room. Basically, any time 1 or more kids are with us for the night, we sleep separate. Neither one of us knows what is appropriate in this situation. All 4 kids are do well in school, are respectful and in general, just good kids. Separately, we have told the kids that it's not ok to sleep with someone unless your committed and plan on a long term relationship with that person. I'm trying to send the right message to the kids. By not sleeping together, are we sending the wrong message? Should we continue this practice of sleeping separate or is it ok to make arrangements to sleep in the same room while the kids are around?

No clue! TIA!
 

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I would imagine if you have explained to your sons what you wrote in your post (that the two of you are committed/in a long-term relationship and do plan on marrying in a few years) that you aren't going against what you taught them about physical intimacy.

However, I would caution you (if you have not already) to explain what "committed" and "long-term" mean to you, or ask your kids what they think those words mean and then have a discussion about it. That way, you don't get "well, you and (girlfriend) did it, why can't I?!" in a few years. :)

Just suggestions. Hopefully they help.
 

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So your children are at the age where they are old enough to understand life even more than we parents think they do. =)

It sounds like your partner and you have been together quite some time. Also, Kudos for setting a good example for your kids.

So are your kids aware of how you and your partner feel about each other? Do they know about the marriage discussions? They have already observed the long term commitment since you have been together so long, but are they aware of your plans to marry. If they are, then I think they realize and understand that the relationship you have with your partner is going to continue for a long time. =)

I like LoveatDaisys suggestion to talk with your kids about the long term definition..
 

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OP,

From the sound of it you and your girlfriend seem to have found a system that works for you and your families.

I agree that you should each speak to your own children about the relationship and how you hope it will develop.

The only question I would raise is why if you are happy to sleep together when there are no children in the house do you feel it necessary to sleep apart when they are around?

If you are honest and open with your children then I think it might be easier for them to understand. As for the example it might set for them, is there anything wrong with two consenting adults having a physical relationship before they are married?

The answers to these questions are different for each couple (we are all individuals). Some people would have an objection to sex outside of marriage others would consider anything acceptable between consenting adults regardless of the duration of any relationship. You will need to draw the line where it best suits your feelings. The only word of caution I would add is that if your are having a physical relationship but keeping it secret from the children that may be seen as license for them to have relationships that are secret from you.
 

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They are all old enough to KNOW you're having sex. Pretending you aren't is disrespectful of their intelligence. Just be honest with them, assuming you've been together for some time (and won't disappear); if they understand you're basically engaged, they'll understand what you're doing behind closed doors.
 
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