I have been with my boyfriend for 18 months. Our relationship began whilst he was still with his wife (but very unhappily married) but he left his wife very shortly afterwards. His wife and his son (12) took it badly (unsurprisingly), although both knew that the marriage was really bad - his ex though thought it was capable of being saved. I am significantly younger than my partner so this has been a source of ridicule for ex and son - and I suspect meant that they thought/think he would have epiphany and return home. His son remains focused on reuniting his parents - meaning my bf's time with him is focused on pacifying him and to a certain extent denying my existence (his son is often v nasty to him). The problem is that our relationship has stalled (from my perspective) because, although we are very close and happy, he has a separate life. Result being I cannot move on with my life and having gone through difficult times, then separation and with new relationship I need that to happen. I cant expect him to do anything but put his son's interests first but what do I do?
Also, he first met my DD (8) and ds (6) about 9 months ago and their relationship with him has developed really well - we do lots of nice things together (which creates guilt for me). I have a good relationship with my ex and they see him often - so all good in that respect.
Put it this way. From the POV of his ex, her husband has gone off with a younger woman. From the POV of his son, you are the reason why his family has fallen to pieces. Your partner should have finished his relationship with his wife if it was that bad, before he got with someone else.
That aside, there's nothing you can do to change this. He will keep on pacifying his son. You will have to put up with it. That's the long and the short of it. He will always have a separate life. Even in step-families where there was no break up there is a separate life.
Sorry, but just because they were unhappily married doesn't justify your relationship with him. It could take years, and he will always have the family he left behind. You can't erase them, or make them behave in the way that you want. One day he will realise his parents won't reunite...but I can tell you my kids spent two and a half years wishing that would happen until their dad married the other woman, then they spent the day happy and sobbing...utterly confused in the emotions of it all.
So frankly. there's not alot you can do about it really. Divorce sucks.
* Even in step-families where there was no break up there is a separate life.* I'm not sure this is true, or maybe I misunderstand what you are saying. My DH does not have a separate life from me, or not any more than every person has a separate life from their partner, anyway.
OP, I know you will get a lot of crap for being the OW, and I'm not going to go there. Of course it does explain a hostile reception from your partner's son - but actually, many children have trouble accepting the 'new' partner regardless of who ended things or how.
I think perhaps it would be more useful to focus on what kind of relationship you and your DP have now, and where it is going. Your DP can't expect you to remain in a relationship where he is acting out of guilt or where he isn't willing to build a strong partnership with you. I don't agree that you have to accept that he will always seek to pacify his son, or that you have to accept it. You two can work together on changing things, and if they don't change, you don't have to accept that.
What I mean brdgrl is that my DH's relationship with my DSD had 10 years in it before we got together. They have part of a relationship and a history that I am not part of at all. I love her, she's just as part of our family as she is part of her mum's new family, but there's always a separate element of their life that I'll never be part of.
To be honest Stepchildren are often hostile regardless of when/where their parents marriage ended and how. Even if your DP had met you three years after his marriage ended, there are no guarantees that the stepson would accept you. Some children do not.
You have to maintain a friendly but not over familiar manner w/ him. You may have to have the relationship w/ DP and accept that for now, it isn't going to happen with the son. Often as they get older and especially when they start having relationships that go wrong, they will reach a rapproachment w/ you.
My DH has three children. I have two. I have not tried to be their stepmother. I was the partner of their Father and then his wife. That has suited us all much better.
Can I just ask what on earth you expected? Did you think he was going to welcome you with open arms? Imagine where their marriage would be if be had put the same effort he made with you into his relationship with his wife. The boy is 12. What were you thinking, seriously, I've always wanted an answer to this from people who are no. 3 in the marriage but never seem to get it. FFS.
To be clear: I know that he will always have relationship with his ex and that will be a life I will not be part of. Reality of divorce with kids. I have same with my ex. The 'separate life' that I'm talking about is fractured new relationship. Relationships breakdown in all manner of ways. You can't judge people because of the way things play out - you have no idea about what drives someone down a certain path.
Of course he's judging you by how things have played out! How can he not? He is 12! He will have had his own mother's misery to contend with as well as his own. They have been left to pick up the pieces after the deceit and betrayal, and there is no doubt that he will ruing the day that you showed up in town!
Your boyfriends son has every right to judge you. why on earth would he want you to be part of his life? you helped split his parents up and he shouldn't feel forced into accepting you, he probably feels loyal to his mum.
I have had four step parents. I hated one and liked the other three. The one i liked best was the one who appeared before my parents lawfully separated. Life isn't as simple as some people would like to depict it OP