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Advice and help needed on dp's son who is refusing to talk or come over for weekend.(long! apologies)

(8 Posts)
MissrufusJflywheel Sat 09-Jul-11 13:26:53

My partner is at a loss of what to do and how to handle this and needs some advice. We have been together for 3 and a half years I have 2 young children from a different relationship. My partners son is 12 and a half now. Up until we were together dp saw him every other weekend but it was a strict only 24 hrs so he would pick him up on a sat around 1 or 2 o'clock and then have to be back for 5 on the sunday. For a year into our relationship we eased him in gently to the family by only having one day on a sunday once a month were we would spend the day together with the littluns and me together.

The father of my kids lives in france, as do my brother and mum and dad. My plans before we had got together was to finish a course and then go to France so I had my family around me for the kids as I had been a single mum for two years and needed a support network.

Dp knew of my plans and as time went on we discussed the possibility of trying this on a trial basis as he knew I had to give the kids and their dad a chance to be together as he wasn't going to make the effort to be near them , Just to see how it went. my partner was able to work remotely and needed to commute from time to time from France and every one or two months and in the holidays dp was able to go back and spend more quality time with his son for sometimes up to four days at a time and weekends over a two week period, and his son was able to come out in the holidays for two weeks sometimes but basically saw him on the weekends and in the week constantly when he was back and was alone without the kids but although dp was spending probably as much if not more volume of time with his son but it wasn't regular enough. We stayed in France for around 20 months before deciding it was too much. The kids were unhappy, dp found it hard coming back and forth.

We have been back two months now, it started off everyother week with his son but dp's son has decided he only wants to come over once a month for 24 hours, has guitar lessons lots of friends he doesn't want to miss out on seeing. Seems to enjoy the time when he is here, tells his dad he doesn't want to go home. I take the kids out to give them time together and again we spend time together on sundays before he goes back for 5. Now he is saying on the one weekend he has he doesn't want to come over today. just sunday afternoon this time, and has told his mum that my kids take over that he's too afraid to tell his dad what he wants to do and has even gone as far as texting his mum to tell his dad that he wants to go home one weekend (dp is firm but fair and very careful about how he speaks to his son and not at all overbearing). this weekend it went wrong when dp said they would go out alone to have a little chat about how they could improve the time together, and the meer mention of 'a chat' scared him off completely. Dp feels he can't communicate directly with his son as it 'scares' him according to his mum. Dp feels everything he does pushes DP further away, and is so scared of losing him completely. Does anyone else have any good advice or even just input on what to think about this, and how to handle this any good advice welcomed on how to handle a confused pre teen and this situation without destroying everything! Thanks . smile

Flyonthewindscreen Sat 09-Jul-11 17:36:57

Has your DP asked his DS how and when he would like to spend time with him? Do visits have to the rigid 24 hours at set times? If friends/guitar lessons or whatever are important to your step DS, would he feel more listened to if your DP asked him to agree times instead/as well as the 24 hours on set weekends. The routine with the set time spent with your DC sounds a bit rigid for a 12yo tbh.

MissrufusJflywheel Sat 09-Jul-11 18:07:56

Hi Thanks so much for the reply. This has been an issue. He has asked and his son has said he wants to come over more, when he has spoken to him about it. Given all the green positive signals, tells his dad he had a great time and although finds the kids slightly annoying he is great with them and helps out, says he likes it. Then his mum calls and says he has lessons, that he is confused that he is upset, and that he doesn't want to come or talk about anything to his dad bcs he is scared of his reaction, and feels hurt. My dp thinks she is sincere, I believe his judgement is ok, although I do know she can play on his guilt about their split.She has set the time of the 24 hour thing from when he was young and it has stayed that way up until now. he just doesn't know whether to force the issue or believe everything when his son is giving him some signals and the only way he will communicate is through his mum. Its all very confusing. :/

swash Sat 09-Jul-11 20:15:32

I think the child is getting too much power and choice here. It's only 24 hours. Just stick to the arrangement and take the flak is my advice (as an SM and having grown up with both a SM and SD). The mum should just butt out too - it's important that your dss and dp have a father-son relationship and she shouldn't do anything to undermine it.

follyfoot Sat 09-Jul-11 20:17:39

Are there two threads the same going on? I swear I've just responded to this elsewhere along with another poster confused

MissrufusJflywheel Sat 09-Jul-11 22:05:18

Sorry follyfoot I posted twice by mistake and noticed straight after and deleted. it showed as nobody having posted on the other thread so I apologise. Would still like to hear your views if you have posted and can re-post? if not no worries. Thanks Swash, I think the same. I think my dp should make his mark a little. Neither of us have been in this situation before and its hard to know what is the right thing to do, especially when I personally think there is guilt, a little hormones and control coming into play from everyone. Swash you have confirmed a little of what I thought, and don't really know how to put into action as dp is so scared of alienating his son.

follyfoot Sat 09-Jul-11 22:31:37

Phew, thought I was losing the plot. I can still see the other thread with its answers on, so have copied my response (dunno if it even made sense first time though!).

'Been there too rufus. If you think back, having a 'chat' about improving your relationship with your parents would have been excruciating as brehon has said. I cant think of anything I would have found more embarrassing.

Perhaps your DSS could bring friends over to yours more or go and see his friends whilst based at yours at the weekend rather than spending full on time with his Dad, you and the other children. That worked for us, trying to think about what he would be doing if he was at 'home' and doing those kind of things rather than having loads of parent and child time. Its good to start thinking about this anyway; in our experience the fixed visits became much less fixed as my DSSs got older, we just fitted in with their lives more eg seeing them during the week if they preferred. Hard as it is, its not about being rejected (which is what I guess your DP is feeling), loosening the ties is entirely normal for children of this age, it just feels like it when you dont see them as much.'

MissrufusJflywheel Sat 09-Jul-11 22:59:37

Thats really good advice follyfoot! hadn't thought of that. gutted I missed the posts from rufus and brehon though! sad am such a nob!;) Thanks for reposting though and just about spot the idea behind what they had said. I think my dp is more worried about the affect that going away may have had. feels guilty about taking on another family. Maybe what you suggested by having a friend over with him may make him a little less apprehensive. sound advice. smile

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