Whiny teenage boy has issues with mom's boyfriend

(12 Posts)
punkasskid Fri 11-Nov-16 16:03:53

I figured the best people to ask about this were maybe other moms of teenagers. Or "mums" as this site appears to be UK-based. I'm American but I don't think geographical location really matters with this.

I'm 16, my parents split when I was 5, it's not a big deal. My mom has dated a few times over the years and has now been with her current boyfriend for almost a year now. I don't have a problem with that in itself, I have a little more of a problem with him.

He doesn't officially live with us but he's here often enough that it would be easy to make the mistake. He's a typical white middle aged man. He's not particularly unique. He's kind of socially unaware (some casual racism etc) and a bit obnoxious but objectively he could be worse. But somehow he is both horrifically boring and horrifically annoying at the same time. He's not someone I would try to spend any more time with than strictly necessary in any other circumstance. We've had a couple of minor arguments/disagreements but for the most part I just try to avoid him when he's around.

The problem is that my mom isn't happy with this. She seems to think that we should be bonding and when I was helping her with her computer yesterday I saw that she'd been googling things along those lines. Most of the things she was looking at were about step parents and much younger children. She doesn't seem to get that I'm a near adult with a near adult mind, and my issue with this guy isn't based on jealousy or anger about my dad or whatever the Internet says, but just that we don't really mesh as people. I tolerate him because he's her boyfriend and she likes him, but he's not my boyfriend - I don't know why she'd expect me to bond with him.

How can I tell her that whatever stepfather/stepson relationship she's dreamt up for us isn't going to come to fruition without pissing her off or upsetting her? I'm also afraid she might get a little bitter because I get along fine with my dad's wife and she's still weird about the divorce.

It would also be great if there was a way to ask her to not have him around so much and not let him move in until I'm out of the house because I don't want to have to be around him 24/7 like that but I'll stick to what's practical.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Fri 11-Nov-16 16:26:20

Firstly, give it time. I accept you haven't immediately bonded with this man but these things can't be forced. It's only been a year since he's been on the scene and I assume he's started fairly recently staying at your house.

You seem to have a huge resistance to getting to know him and have already decided you don't like him, he's "boring" and "annoying". For your mum's sake, try to get along with him rather than avoiding him. Of course you don't have to be best friends or immediately adopt him as some sort of father figure. That's not realistic at all but think carefully about why you have built up barriers and have made a snap judgement of him.

Your post is well written, in fact suspiciously articulate for a 16 year old but if you can portray your opinions so clearly in writing, there's no reason you can't have this conversation with your mum. Try to employ some empathy and consider how everyone else is feeling too.

pasanda Fri 11-Nov-16 17:13:10

I agree - a very articulate post.

You don't have to like him. You mum can't make you bond with him. I think you are doing just fine with 'tolerating him' to be honest, so long as you are not being rude. You have no obligation to do any more than that. And I'm afraid if you mum gets pissed off with this, then tough. You sound like you are trying to be diplomatic about it and if she can't see this, then that's her problem.

With regard to the last part of your post, particularly him actually moving in, I would word such a request along the lines of ' I like it when it's just you and me mum'. 'I would miss our time together, just the two of us'. for example. Kind of word it in a positive mum/daughter way rather than an 'I dislike him' way (iyswim)

punkasskid Fri 11-Nov-16 18:06:21

Sorry, I'm not sure if I can directly reply on here:

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties - He's been hanging around like this - in my house - for the past six months. I know it's not much time but I wouldn't necessarily call that a snap judgement. It's not hard to get to know someone when you're living on top of them for that long.

For my mom's sake I do try to get along with him, but a big part of that is limiting the time we spend in the same room together. When I say I'm avoiding him it's not like I'm coming home from school and staying in my room until I leave again in the morning. We talk at dinner and when we're all watching TV, and when my mom makes me go out with them to do whatever. The thing is that for my mom's sake I'm also trying to keep it civil. Those little arguments I mentioned stress her out like we're in a fist fight. But it's hard to keep my mouth shut when he's being ignorant sometimes (for example, a few weeks ago he referred to someone as a "tranny" and when I said that wasn't cool he got bent out of shape about it, and then I got the "can't you just TRY" bit from my mom, because she doesn't see those things the way I do either so I was the bad guy).

Pasanda - Thanks, but while I'll admit to some light guilt tripping to get my way sometimes I don't really want to imply that it's a kind of jealousy situation when it's really more like "I don't want to spend the next two years tiptoeing around some asshole" and that having someone else around all the time piques my anxiety and makes me feel like I'm not in my own home.

Actually, maybe "I like it when it's just you and me" would be a more polite way of getting that across.

As for the articulacy thing - I don't know what to say. I do some recreational writing and I'm dating an art student?

Sugarpiehoneyeye Fri 11-Nov-16 18:20:36

Hey Punk, you sound wised up ,
You don't have to like him, and you'll know by now, if you do, or not !
Speak to your Mother, when he's not around. You need to tell her, that you don't exactly dislike him, but he's not exactly your bag. His views are not yours etc.
Tell her you want her to be happy, you really do, but could she put off, him moving in, 'til you go to Uni, or wherever.
You're right, you're not a child, people marry at your age.
Voice how you feel at the appropriate time, don't keep it inside.
Tell your DM that you love her.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Fri 11-Nov-16 18:20:43

Keep up with the writing, you have a real flair smile.

Reading your reply, I have to concede you are handling the situation well and are attempting to be civil to this man, eating together and engaging in some conversation.

You need to ask your mum to stop trying to force a relationship between you and this man. I think that would actually drive you further apart. Ask her to trust that you'll accept him but want to get to know him slowly on your own terms.

Edit your posts here and send them to your mum in letter form if it's difficult to discuss. your requests are not unreasonable.

Good luck smile

hotdiggedy Sun 13-Nov-16 10:10:39

I think I would find it very annoying if someone came and lived in my house pretty much all the time, especially if I wasn't keen on them. Your mum is being quite selfish and is caught up in herself. Tell her straight that you like spending time with just her, that you cant agree with some of his views and that it would be really nice if he just wouldn't come over so often.

AvocadoGirl Sun 13-Nov-16 21:29:03

I think, to be honest, you probably wouldn't like anyone your mum dated. That's just normal and natural. I've got a lot of friends who have brought partners in to meet their kids, or been the partner having to meet the kids, and the kids never like the boyfriend / girlfriend if they're about 12 or above. It just seems to be the way it is.

If this guy makes your mum happy, and treats her well, and treats you well, it sounds like he's a good guy. He's also never going to be your dad, which means he's never going to measure up in your eyes.

And, putting it bluntly, maybe this guy never wanted you in his life either, and is making the best of things too - have you thought about that?

Look, you guys are here together because of your mum, and I'm assuming you both love her and want her to be happy. So you have something in common. You don't have to be best buds, but you do have to at least try to be friendly towards each other, respect each other, and give each other a chance.

What I'm saying is, give it a chance. Get to know him and give him a go. If your mum likes him, maybe he's okay, and the reason you find him not up to scratch is because of standards no person could ever meet who wasn't your dad.

Then, in the end, if you find you can't get along, remember that your mum is still your mum, and that she deserves your love and respect through all this, even if he doesn't necessarily.

Best wishes smile

Blossomflowers Mon 14-Nov-16 15:22:28

Umm this is interesting, I am a mother of a 16 lad and have been with my man for a year, stays with us often. Relationships are very strained between then and I feel stuck in the middle. It is causing me issues. OP is this is for real, I do sympathise will involved.

swingofthings Wed 16-Nov-16 14:57:25

I think it's very interesting to get the perspective of a teenager on a site where many step-parents come to try to explain the behaviour of their step-children. You are the evidence that parent/SP often try to read way too much into their kid's behaviour when often it comes down to just what you've described: you don't like the person.

As a parent who love two people, it is natural to desperately want to them to love each other too, and if you are not on totally disillusioned and therefore know that this might be too much, expect that they at least like each other. It is not easy to understand why two people you love deeply can't at least care for each other.

The reality is that it can take little to consider yourself very different and therefore have little in common. I think you are dealing with it the right way. You recognise that you owe your mum to be polite to him and respect their relationship. She can't force you to like him. Who knows, maybe things will change in the future. I use to hate my SM with a vengeance when I was a teen. I wouldn't have cried if she'd died. I'm now 45 and actually like her. I think she changed a lot over the years. She says I have too. I'm sure we both have and even though we are still very different, we've learned to see the positives rather than focusing on the negatives.

By the way, love how you expressed yourself. Wish my 16yo wrote like you!

Catinthecorner Wed 16-Nov-16 17:23:33

OP I'm about 20 years older then you. My mother died some years back. My father is dating (now living with) a new lady friend.

She isn't the person I expected to see my father choose. We don't have a huge amount in common. But we both make the effort because the thing we do have in common is love for my father.

If you don't want to bond with this man no one can force you. But it would please your mother. And, to be frank, even as an adult there is family stuff. You have potentially decades of family stuff with this man. It will be easy if you and 'Bob' can find some middle ground. And it's good practice for if you meet a significant other - not all in-law relationships are easy.

For context I talk gardening with my in-laws. Animals with my father's partner. Holidays and cooking with both. Nothing world changing but enough to give us a focus when the person who joins us is out of the room. We all avoid political discussions because they don't go well.

You just need to figure out one topic you both don't hate. Sport? Building stuff? Chilli growing competition? Who cooks the best thanksgiving dinner? It doesn't really matter. The effort is what counts.

BarryTheKestrel Thu 17-Nov-16 22:32:26

As someone who has been in your position, it's a difficult one. I tried being civil and polite even though we clearly were never going to be close and had nothing in common. My mum forced the issue and it got to the point where I spent every waking minute out of the house or in my room. I eventually moved out at 17.
We have spent the past 10 or so years in difficult awkward social situations where, whilst we were civil to one another, it was clear there was no relationship of any kind.

They broke up this year (for context I am now 27). My mum has since told me that she regrets forcing me into making some kind of step dad relationship with him when he made no effort with me beyond idle chitchat.

Continue to be civil. Explain to your mum that whilst you have no issue with him, you have nothing in common so won't be the best of friends but you are glad she is happy. Explain that whilst she may pay the bills this is also your home and that you do not feel comfortable sharing it every night of the week and would like a few nights a week where it's just you and her and that in a few years when you've moved out it can be different. Whilst it's likely she won't be overly receptive initially, you need to speak with your mum openly and honestly. Should I ever be in the position of your mum I would hope my child would be able to voice her concerns to me, even if I didn't like them I would take it into consideration. Every child deserves to enjoy their home without feeling uncomfortable.

You have been very mature in your dealing of this up until now.

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