Difficulties with Kids! Autism & Guilt

(8 Posts)
summerlass Sun 27-Mar-16 18:28:39

Hi all, I have 2 boys ages 9 & 7. My oldest son was diagnosed with ASD (Aspergers) 2 years ago. I separated from their father when boys were 1 & 3 and he sees them every other weekend. He has moved on and has another child now so support is of a minimum. I've been with my current partner for nearly 3 years and we lived together 6 months in to the relationship due to many factors. However we have had so many difficulties. He has a now 12 year old son who lives with his mum and spends every other weekend with us (same as my boys). He has been seperated from his ex for 10 yeas but she has never moved on and I feel has put insecurities into their son and dictates our time with the kids at the weekend. He can't see the damage she has caused and has huge guilt living with my boys and has backed away from trying to bond with them due to not wanting to upset his son. It doesn't help that my son has Aspergers and is very defiant so it's a daily battle. Sadly he moved out couple of weeks ago as he is unable to connect to the boys and also due to the fact that I am not happy to have a relationship where the ex controls our family time. It makes me so angry and undervalued.

I'm now feeling like I may never meet a man who can accept the full package as it comes. Can I ask if anyone else has had similar problems and how your men handled the ex?

Bananasinpyjamas1 Mon 28-Mar-16 00:46:37

Some similar problems. Do you mean his Ex specifically says what DP did at weekends? If so, I had a bit of this, it's slow to change but can happen.

With your sons, its a big ask to bond with your kids. Especially if one is defiant, have you considered whether your sons want to bond with your DP? Probably not. I had a 'defiant' DSC with lots of asperger tendencies. We didn't bond because she didn't want to. But you can live together.

It sounds like your expectations were high. I'd love my DP to love my son, but he also wouldn't because of guilt from wanting to give that only to his own children. I've told him it's not my sons fault that he feels guilt, so don't leave him high and dry. He doesn't bond at all but he is considerate, which is the best he can give.

It is tough, it's no wonder most second families break down. But don't give up!

summerlass Mon 28-Mar-16 11:27:05

Hi, thanks for your response. Both my boys are very loving and accepted my partner and his son. Even my son with Aspergers, always wanted to interact with him. They both yearn for a male figure to want to play with them and give them attention as their father doesn't do much of that when he sees them.

My DP ex would say things like why can't it be just you and your son, and his son never came on holidays with us nor would he sleep over. I think she had issues of us being a family and clearly has insecurities herself. But he allowed her to dictate and never stood up to her and it made it very difficult for us. Maybe I do have high expectations as I know myself however I just wanted him to be friends with my boys, not to love them. And yes guilt can be so difficult as I also had to say it was not our fault he wasn't living with his son and he hasn't done since his son was 2, however we can make our time together fun and memorable. We did do a lot of time on our own with our kids, but it seemed it became more and more due to his ex making his son feel insecure by questioning his when he got home. 3 years in things got very difficult......I treated his son as I would treat my own but that's just me.

It is very hard and heartbreaking at the same time. How long have you been with your DP?

swingofthings Mon 28-Mar-16 13:26:11

I'm really sorry things ended the way they did, but I do think for the sake of moving on, you shouldn't put the blame on the ex. Ultimately, if he moved out, it's not because his ex wanted him to but because it came to his mind that you and he didn't want the same thing from the relationship. You wanted a normal family unit between you, him and your boys, but it sounds like he didn't see it like that and didn't want to.

So maybe he did feel guilty going on holiday with your boys and not his, but is it wrong that he did? There will be different views here.

It is really hard to make a new relationship work when they are children on both sides and it rarely end up being what we imagined when first established. It works when both can move on from the idyllic image of how the new family will be and accepting compromises. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. You've tried though so don't beat yourself up for it.

Bananasinpyjamas1 Tue 29-Mar-16 00:52:47

Summer that sounds very sad for you all. I've been with my DP for 7 years now, his Ex did still treat him like a husband too but in a different way to you. Sometimes an Ex really doesn't move on, sounds like your DP wants to have a lot of control over him still. But how will that help her son? It's also very damaging for her son to be questioned all the time by her, when he's older he'll feel that as a real burden.

His son doesn't want the burden of having a lonely dependent Dad when he gets older surely? Because that is the reality isn't it. I just don't get this fantasy when people split but treat their Ex as still a partner, dictating their lives, where everything is different but the same.

Do you think that this is the end? Your partner, does he not consider mediation or a court order with his Ex? She shouldn't be putting conditions on whether the boy can stay or not. Would you be prepared to try again?

summerlass Tue 29-Mar-16 20:45:58

Hi Banana,

Thanks for your reply. I totally agree with everything you wrote. I think one day when his son grows up and has his own relationships he will realise and see it's all been wrong as he too has demanded things from his dad. (All from his mum as a child cannot think half this stuff!!) It's a shame as he is an only child and boys loved him and accepted him. He could have gained 2 step brothers who are very loyal and such fun kids to be around (minus the defiance and challenging side) Friends to grow up with. But hey no family is perfect and there is no such thing as normal. I always say the larger your family is the richer you are in life.
So much has happened between us that's upset me. I'd like to think my DP could change but we all know people don't really change. He may one day realise he has lost out on a family but sometimes we need to accept the reality.
Who knows what the future holds? There is no perfect family or relationship but for me there are 2 very important factors. 1. My kids must be tolerated and at least a friendship can be formed through trying, 2. I will not be second best lady to any Ex or have another women dictate what we do as a family and affect us all. Enough is enough.

Bananasinpyjamas1 Tue 29-Mar-16 21:59:04

Fair enough, you sound like you tried. It's just too much for some people to be able to form a family again. It's a shame as it sounds like this boy would have had a lot to gain. My son loved being part of a bigger family, step siblings. You are right a relationship can't survive if there is an Ex still controlling things.

Guilt can really get to men especially it seems, mine was full of guilt even though he'd not cheated, it was a mutual split, he bought ExW a house and we met 5 years after the split. His Ex will still text asking for favours, would send the kids to ours without asking, was too lazy to attend any school stuff or clubs but demanded DP did on our weekends without ever asking. Basically a pain in the arse. His older kids also made him feel guilty. Eldest DSD wanted to live with BF in our house, he said no she'd have to move out for that (she was 20), she did but didn't speak to DP for ages, argued a lot with her BF and told her mum and everyone that it was me who wanted her out and how terrible it was for her. I never said a word. So the pressures on a relationship can be intolerable I sympathise!

If I hadn't had a child with DP I would have left years ago!

summerlass Wed 30-Mar-16 21:04:25

Oh wow Banana, seems like you have had a tough time yourself. And yes having a child together forces that commitment. Sounds like you have had a really tough time.

It's crazy to think how hard blended families can be. We all want to be happy in life yet obstacles always seem to prevent that. I think us woman know what we want and we are strong minded. Men just want a simple life but in my opinion NEVER should an ex be put before you and never should they get to dictate. Their are your child's mother and respect should be there for that. I jut don't understand how some woman just can't move on with their lives. My DP was never married so he never had that larger commitment there.. 10 years on and still causing problems.... It's just madness.
I have never manipulated my boys with their dad, and he has gone on to have another child. Yet my boys are happy and are not insecure!! I just don't understand why people feel the need to still have control, I certainly don't Im happy my boy's father has a family as its a better environment for my boys to go to when they see him. Never will I be jealous as I am happy with who I am.
So sorry to hear you have had a lot of problems. Hopefully after 7 years things have settled down now and hopefully your man stood your corner and defended you when needed otherwise what is the point!? That's how I felt when I said enough was enough.

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