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When Your Kids Don’t Like Your Partner, What Do You Do?

Picture this: You have a good man, but your kids can’t stand him for some reason, so what do you do?

If you were raised with a stepparent or grew up watching the in and out boyfriend/girlfriend in your parent’s life, then you know it’s not always easy taking a liking to them. The earliest example we have of ‘*itchy’ (yes we said it) stepparents is Cinderella. When Cinderella’s dad was around, sis was treated like a princess. But as soon as he dies, she’s scrubbing floors, and rats are her best friends. Then we have Snow White; her stepmother wanted to cut her heart out, need we say more?

For Phoenix Brown, it’s her mother’s ex-husband who apparently gave her hell. The 19-year-old is the oldest daughter of former Spice Girl Mel-B ( Melanie Brown), the ex-wife of Eddie Murphy and Jimmy Gulzar. According to theJasmineBRAND, it was hate at first sight for Brown and her mom’s new beau, Stephen Belafonte.

HOLLYWOOD, CA – JANUARY 10: (L-R) Singer Melanie Brown and Stephen Belafonte arrive with their family on the red carpet for the premiere of TWC-Dimension’s “Paddington” at TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX on January 10, 2015, in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for TWC-Dimension)

“The first time I set eyes on Stephen, I didn’t like him,” Brown told the blog site. “My mom had just had a baby, and I was with my grandma in our hotel room when this big, loud dude appeared, being super-friendly and all over her and Angel.”

Brown went on to explain how Belafonte transitioned himself in their family and told her he and her mother were getting married; which in the teen’s eyes meant, the end of their perfect life.

“And then Stephen was around all the time. He was driving me to school, living in our house, telling me when I could have something to eat and drink, telling me him and my mom were getting married.”

She continued,  “by then I was nearly ten years old and I’d woken up to the fact that life can just suddenly turn into a pile of crap. I’d had it so good for years. I had this amazing, funny, strong mother. I had this great family in Leeds. I had a dad who was my best friend. I had this movie- perfect life in Los Angeles, with sunshine, loads of great people in our lives and my dog, Lordy.”

Brown claimed Belafonte never liked her and called him a big kid.

“Stephen didn’t like me,” she said. “Not in a grown-up ‘I disapprove of you ‘way. He was like a kid, a bigger, sneakier kid.

She claimed Belefonte beat up her dog, Lordy. When Lordy got sick, the family had to put it down, and instead of stepping in to be the sympathetic, comforting, father figure, when the dog died,  Brown says he laughed at her.

“He beat up my dog and laughed when Lordy got so ill he had to be put down. Now you don’t have to walk him.”

“The first time I set eyes on Stephen, I didn’t like him.”

She continued to talk about his housekeeping, his temper towards her and how he would break the teen down verbally. Brown admitted she never told her mother about it because she didn’t want to “ruin it for her.”

“He left s**t in my room. He would start screaming about things like me leaving food, and go so ballistic it was as if I’d committed a crime,” she said.  “I couldn’t talk to my mom — someone else who looked like her was in her body. She believed every word he said. She loved him. Maybe I had to suck it up. I didn’t want to ruin it for her.

“I thought if I told my grandma how mean he was to me, she’d be able to do something,” Brown added.  “I always felt like I was in trouble. He told me I was retarded and ugly. He cursed at me and shouted so close to my face I’d get spit all over me.”

PASADENA, CA – MARCH 12: Phoenix Chi Gulzar and Mel B attend the red carpet kickoff for “America’s Got Talent” season 13 at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on March 12, 2018, in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

But the problem worked itself out when the couple finally divorced in March 2017, after the teen told her grandmother about the loaded gun Belafonte left in the house. But before the ‘wicked stepfather,’ there was Eddie Murphy. He and Mel B dated and split up in 2006.  The couple shares a daughter today, Angel Iris. But during Murphy’s time in Brown’s life, it was heaven.

“He treated me like one of his kids, and I started doing really well in school,” she recalled.  “And then it was like someone just switched the channel to this total s**tstorm show. The Stephen Show.”

The two remain close to this day.  Her mother’s memoir, Brutally Honest is expected to dish out all the juicy details of the Spice Girl’s life, including her relationships with Murphy and Belafonte. The book comes out on Nov. 27.

Photo Credit: 123rf

So what do you do when your kids don’t like your significant other? Well obviously, they will tell you. But if they’re afraid of “ruining it for you” like Brown was, they may not. offers tips on hazards signs you can look out for yourself to see if your partner is interested in having a relationship with your kids:

Photo Credit: 123rf

  1. They don’t want to talk directly to your children

Communication is just as important between your potential spouse and your kids, as it is between you and them

  1. They buy presents that keep the children away from the two of you.

Flat screens, laptops and PlayStation 4’s in the room, although the gesture is nice and expensive, it could be seen as another way not to be bothered by the kids.

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  1. When they suggest vacations, it’s only for the two of you 

Trips to Disney World, cruises to the Caribbean and overseas trips to Europe are priceless memories to share with someone you love, including your kids. So the next time he/she talks about a romantic getaway, suggest bringing the whole family and watch their reaction.

  1. They’re jealous of your children

We like to think that adults are too “adulty” to be hating over children, but apparently, that’s not the case all the time. If you find that he or she tends to pout every time you opt to take your kids out over date night, it’s time to reevaluate your relationship.

  1. They expect your children to behave like adults 

The more mature your kid is, the less responsibility they have to watch them. But what does a toddler know about making up the bed?  Little kids can be especially aggravating to your partner, if they’re not used to being around kids. Watch their actions and how they talk to them.

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  1. You’re hesitant for your kids to meet your new boo 

Well, you should already know not to bring your kids around everyone who’s in your bedroom. Listen to your gut; it will never steer your wrong. If something doesn’t seem right about Johnny or Sue, most likely, you’re right.


By Alexia McKay
Twitter: @alexiamckayprod