AIBU to think that just because our son is biologically his nephew, doesn't give him more rights?(63 Posts)
I had typed this out for relationships, but then realised it's kind of an AIBU, so thought I'd give here a shot.
I've obviously changed my username as this is rather identifying.
Bit of a backstory (don't want to drip feed):
DH's sister (they hardly ever see each other/get along) had a baby who she just couldn't look after. She never wanted him and was very quick to say she doesn't want him (the day of the birth). It's a rather sad situation (wants to be homeless doing drugs, etc. it just doesn't matter how much you try and help her she isn't ready for that) and she is in contact with none of us. None of us even know her whereabouts.
Anyway, we went through a very long process and ended up adopting him. We are his legal parents are both have parental responsibility. We are mum and dad. However, he is obviously biologically DH's nephew. He seems to think this gives him more rights... Morally, is that true? I obviously disagree with it. He's my son, I'm his mother. We are his parents. I don't understand why he has this mindset.
If we argue, he will always bring it up about how he's biologically his family, which I think is just spiteful. We are in no way unhappy in our marriage btw. It's just something that he has a view on and genuinely believes.
Morally, do you think that gives him the 'power' between us as parents??
It shouldn't make any difference. You are both your son's parents now and equal legally on that basis.
He obviously knows this bugs you and keeps repeating it. Not nice behaviour.
Nope. If you've both adopted him you're both legally and morally equal parents. None of us have a say over our blood nieces and nephews beyond their own parents so why would he?
I think dragging him into arguments will mess him up, tbh.
What additional rights does he believe it gives him? Or does he just refer to "rights" in a vague sense? If so, ask him to be more specific.
No. Not all, you both adopted the child. Yes they are biologically related but it certainly doesn't give him more rights than you.
It needs to stop.
You equally agreed to be parents so you are equal in all parts after that. I would draw a line under this immediately as you do not want your child to know the undermining language your DH is using.
He's undermining you in a subtle way, does he think he has the final say in any decisions over your son.
Biologically maybe he feels overprotective?
I reckon (in my uneducated mind) he needs a bit of counselling regarding what happened to his sister.
Do you have any other children?
I think he knows legally he doesn't, I know that too. I think it's more of a moral thing in his head. Which made me question it a bit to be honest. Which I hate to say
No, he's our only child.
Perhaps he sees it in the way that a step-parent often feels like they don't have the same rights as the natural parent, but that is wrong.
You both started at the same point with your son and you are both equal. There isn't a whole back story that only one of you is part of.
I'm trying to put myself in his shoes.
If we had adopted my sisters child, and then later on I split from my DH, tbh I probably would feel that it was "right" that my sisters child would come with me.
Not saying it's right, but it's probably how I would feel.
I think it's awful of your partner to do that to you as from your sons point of view you are just mum and dad. Blood is not relevant as you have both adopted him as your son. He should see himself as an adoptive father above all else and put his sons interests first and to try and use this to undermine you or make you feel inferior is not doing that.
Can you give an example of how he undermines you?
Obviously playing the biological card is wrong but conflicts of parenting styles can happen when it's both parents DNA!
This is something you'll have to work through but he can't throw the blood link in your face when he doesn't get his way.
You agreed to race this child together as your own not as his with you helping.
YANBU at all. That's an incredibly hurtful thing for him to say IMO and I actually think it's incredibly destructive. I imagine being in your shoes and taking on what you have, the both of you, is hard enough without him undermining the part you've played. I'd be shutting that right down.
Maybe he thinks he had an obligation to adopt your DS because it was his sisters child? If anything, from that perspective, it means you had no "obligation" to do anything, you had a choice. And you actively chose to be his mother. Be very proud of that.
It's simple things that really get to me. Things like "oh, I think this school will be best for DS" and I'll get a "oh, I don't think so" (absolutely fine with this) but with the added "as no one in my family ever enjoyed this this and this, so I know" and it's really annoying. Like he knows him more than me. Which is just stupid since I'm the primary care giver (I'm not saying this means I know more about him but I'm just saying).
Parents who make a fuss about their 'rights' have got it arse about face. Does your DH believe, and more to the point, behave as if he should take more responsibility than you?
Since you're not unhappily married, I assume he's not deliberately mean to you in other ways? Is this perhaps because he feels guilty for "making" you take on his nephew as a child and so, in his head, he feels he has to be responsible for the boy more than you? I think if, as well as assuming he has more "rights" over how your DS should be brought up he also shows more willingness to take on the grunt work of parenting so you don't have to, this might be the case. If he only thinks this is relevant when it means he gets his own way though, it seems that he's just being a bit of a dick about it.
In either case it's pretty insulting to you.
That's just bizarre.
How long has DS been with you because if it's not long then it probably will take a little while for things to find their natural place and I (although correcting him every time - "I'm his mother, you're his father - there is no other position") wouldn't overly stress about it.
If he's been with you for a while (say over a year) it would massivley piss me off because -
a) it's not good for DS to see you as somehow the inferior parent
b) if he wants to be some kind of parent plus then that surely comes with additional responsibilites - so whatever degree of extra parent he is then presu,ably he fulfills that extra percentage of parenting duties and childcare. Seems fair
c) it's not good for DS to see you as somehow the inferior parent, and good parenting is ll about putting the childs needs first. Only a dimwit would think that being biologically related makes him a more meaningful parent. What does DS take from that that his birth mother would have been a more meaningful mother than you because she too is biologically related. What a difficult and dangerous road that is for your DS to negotiate.
Adoption is tricky enough for children to negotiate without the adults putting in road blocks to assert their own position tripping the child up.
Ask him if he thinks his position is helpful to DS - that biology trumps love, nuture, dependability and steadfastness.
He's actually almost 3! He has been here ages. Definitely not new (I admit he was worse when he first came - very much 'he's mine' kind of thing). It just seems to be more annoying now though.
you also adopted this boy... he is by law your Son x
I always thought (and still think) that one of the benefits of adopting a child is that you have no preconceptions of what they "should" be good at or what they "should" be like.
Point out to your DH if you are prepared to be so blunt that DS has 50% of his DNA from a birth father who is unrelated to DH and 50% of his DNA from a birth mother who I would doubt DH sees as a torch bearer of the family values so he should be careful about insisting that DS is going to be anything other than his own person and should be treated accordingly.
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