What your DP's relationship is like with your own child

(15 Posts)
Fooso Wed 20-Mar-13 12:25:11

I think I've set high standards in my head as how my DP should be with DS. I've been with DP for 4 years and now his 2 DD's live with us too. On the whole we all get on very well - but due to circs I am more like a mum to my DP's DDs. My DP is a lovely guy but I think he's quite detached from my DS. My DS is 13 and is a happy boy and is fond of my DP, and gets on great with his dad who he sees every other weekend. I know its going to be different between 2 "boys" but I just wanted to know what sort of relationship your DP has with your own child. I think I am expecting too much and should be happy they seem to rub along ok...

Itssnowingagain Wed 20-Mar-13 15:59:11

OP, we have a similar situation. I feel my dss, 12, wants to be "mothered" by me, more strongly perhaps than my ds, nearly 15. My dsd 16, only considers her dad relevant, and my dh is friendly enough to my ds, who also likes him, although I'd prefer to see an equal measure of parental involvement.
Dh in turn would like to see his dd more loving (a lot of tension between us) and his ds a little less loving (he almost prefers to cuddle up with me on sofa) towards me. Ah well....

flurp Wed 20-Mar-13 17:29:24

Same here Fooso.
IT used to upset me that DP is very detached from my kids whereas I am very motherly with his but they aren't bothered by it. They see him simply as Mums boyfriend, they like him, chat to him but there isn't much of a bond there if I'm honest! But I can't force it so I leave them all to it!
My dc and the DSC have bonded nicely which is the main thing I guess.

purpleroses Wed 20-Mar-13 21:35:16

I think relationships all differ really. I'm much more motherly to my two younger DSC (aged 10 and 12) than I am to the two teens. DP is different again with my two DCs. Like you I have a 13 year old DS, who is quite close to his own dad. He is growing quite aware that DP and his own dad are very different people - with different values in life, and sometimes challenges DP on things (voting habits, etc) trying to work out how it all works. I think my DP doesn't try and push things too much and fears putting DS in a situation where he feels torn at all. As long as they're amicable, then I think it's fine. They may end up closer in time, or they may not. But I'm fine with it either way.

DSD2 (12) on the other hand comes looking to me for quite a lot - she wants to be taken shopping, learn to cook, etc - things that DP really isn't much good at, and I'm enjoying doing some of that stuff with her.

I also think when your DP has more kids than you do, then it's natural to end up doing more for them than your DP does with your own, as he is stretched more thinly as it is. I often end up stepping in to help do stuff where he's struggling to give enough to all the kids. But if you've only got the one DS, the your DP probably isn't getting that opportunity so often. Nice if you can find something they can do together (watch crap action movies that you hate?) but if nothing comes to mind (eg you like crap action moves grin) then you can't really force it.

Fooso Thu 21-Mar-13 09:07:55

Thanks so much for your replies. It's reassuring to know its quite common. And as you say I can't really change it .. they may get closer in time I guess.

theredhen Thu 21-Mar-13 14:04:53

Hi Fooso,

I think you've posted about this before,is it an ongoing issue?

My DP is getting on MUCH better these days with DS but I still wouldn't really say they are close, but then I don't feel particularly close to his kids either.

I have always been very close to my own DS and I don't think anything could come near to that. DP has a more distant relationship with his own kids anyway. DP is polite and chatty with DS nowadays and DS now opens up to him rather than just saying yes or no. I'm happy with that.

Can I ask you all, do you find yourself feeling resentful of the time and energy that you put into your step children if you feel your partner isn't giving it back to yours?

I think it's particularly difficult for those of us who have more DSC than DC, because you will be spread thinner, meaning less time for your own DC anyway.

Sometimes I find myself feeling resentful of the kids who seem to want a lot of my time whilst I seem to be denied getting the time I miss with my DS.

Fooso Thu 21-Mar-13 17:00:30

Hi Redhen - yes I have posted before - its the only problem we have really sad I agree with you I feel myself pulling back from DSDs because I resent the fact that I'm putting so much more in - but on the other hand my DS doesn't need anything from my DP. Like you I was with my DS for a long time on my own and we are very close - and I think i;m over sensitive around him.

theredhen Thu 21-Mar-13 18:32:33

I think one of the things about being a lone parent is that you want a positive role model for your dc and sometimes you feel you just want someone else to appreciate all the wonderful qualities you see in your own kids. grin

When you meet someone else who has kids, they feel the same in reverse and if you're outnumbered it can feel like you're putting more in than you're getting out.

That's why I think it's especially important for the relationship of the adults to be rock solid because all these expectations put a hell of a lot of pressure on each if you.

Targetpractice Fri 22-Mar-13 06:43:27

Redhen, totally agree. Am also outnumbered by dh and dsc, and spent over 8 years alone with ds. I enjoy the time after school when ds comes homes, and if he's relaxed we can chat a bit before he disappears into his room again. But when dh and his dc are here it seems their collective problems are so overwhelming that they're the sole focus of attention. Admittedly, their poor little rich kids problems are quite drastic in comparison, but if I didn't have this downtime with own ds, I'd kick 'em all out feel a bit resentful myself.

flurp Fri 22-Mar-13 08:56:26

I do resent at times that I do more for the dsc than he does for mine but then I think if we had kids together I would do more than him simply because I am the mum!
Sometimes it bothers me that when I talk to him about my dc he doesn't seem that interested - like they are just 'someone else's kids' but we have to discuss his kids but then again his kids have more issues than mine so there is more to talk about!!

theredhen Fri 22-Mar-13 09:42:00

I find myself trying to find snatched moments to talk to ds. My dsc get home before him so I get plenty of one to one time with them but the moment ds gets in, they follow him around and literally sit by his side. It's nice they get on but sometimes I am a bit hmm that they can't give him or me any space.

I also get the long protracted conversations about dsc and the ex because there is always some "issue". Whereas I sort out any issues with my ds before they become the disasters that seem to follow dsc, dp and the ex!

I think some of us are good at looking after people and although we don't always like it, that's one reason why our dp's love us. We're great at supporting. grin

flurp Fri 22-Mar-13 11:05:19

I think some of us are good at looking after people and although we don't always like it, that's one reason why our dp's love us. We're great at supporting.
So so true Redhen.
But I do sometimes wonder what would happen if I needed someone to look after me? But then I'm sure a lot of women feel like that regardless of their situation!

purpleroses Fri 22-Mar-13 11:14:58

I think some of us are good at looking after people and although we don't always like it, that's one reason why our dp's love us. We're great at supporting That put a smile on my face smile

Do you think it's partly a gender thing? As mothers we're used to a certain kind of relationship with our own DCs, and replicate some of that very naturally with the DSC. Whereas my DP at least has never been a primary carer - he has always been the breadwinner. He's not as close to his own DCs as I am to mine, so it's not that surprising that I'm more of a mother to his than he is to mine.

Maybe we're looking for the wrong thing if we're expecting our DPs to relate to our DCs the way we do to theirs. Interestingly my DP gives all his kids a pocket money "bonus" once a year (at the time when he gets paid a bonus at work) - £5 per year of their age. He included my two DCs this year, and they were both really pleased. DS in particular has referred to it several times, enthusiastically - Not just that they were pleased to have the cash, but I think helped them a lot in seeing DP as someone who did stuff for them too - even though that's a different kind of stuff than the practical stuff that I do with DSC.

UC Fri 22-Mar-13 13:22:46

Redhen and Purpleroses, I agree with you both. I have the same thoughts too - I am more involved and "interested" in my DSSs than my DP appears to be in my DSs. So for example I make sure I go to all school things, esp if their mum and dad can't go - I don't work full time and they do, and these things often happen at 2 in the afternoon! He doesn't enjoy all that stuff for his own kids, so it's a struggle for him to be enthusiastic to go see a primary school play for my kids!

However, he spends more time building lego and stuff with all of them at the weekend, and digging dams with them on the beach on holiday, and making sure their computers work - not my forte..... We all have our strengths..

I too feel that we spend more time discussing his children than we do mine. But then actually it's because there is more to discuss. They have to deal with far more differing parenting styles as between DP and their mum than my children do, as my ex and I are much more on the same parenting wave length.

I also wonder what would happen if I was sick, and needed looking after. But then, what would happen if DP was sick and couldn't go out to work - that would be pretty dreadful too.

I KNOW that one of the reasons DP loves me is because I look after his children. He has said so on many many occasions grin!

Fooso Fri 22-Mar-13 14:10:58

Redhen - "I think one of the things about being a lone parent is that you want a positive role model for your dc and sometimes you feel you just want someone else to appreciate all the wonderful qualities you see in your own kids" - you hit the nail on the head. I think that's it - it's not that my son needs anything from my DP - it's that deep down I want him to see what i see.. I think as some of you have said its just more natural for us to "mother" than it his for men "to father"..

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