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What to think?

(43 Posts)
freeish Sun 08-May-16 02:05:00

I was having a conversation with my partner earlier about a family activity planned for the morning. He does not want to do it as he doesn't want to get up in the morning. I said I thought it was important as my DS is keen and this is the only activity he is interested in and we should support him. We have been attending as a family for four weeks. My partner said that I can't expect him to feel the same way about my son as I do as he is not his biological father and never will be. We have been in a relationship for 5 years and living together for nearly a year. He couldn't understand why I was upset. My son is 12 and his biological father has never really bothered with him. I had hoped for more from my partner. I thought we were being a family. Am I wrong to be upset? He said he loves my son but will never feel for him like he would his own son. (He doesn't have any children of his own). My son is lovely. I feel devastated. Am I over reacting?

Aussiebean Sun 08-May-16 02:11:58

No. My dh has a step father who is he father, there is not 'step' in anyone's eyes.

He has now told you how he feels, you have to decide if you are willing to accept it.

freeish Sun 08-May-16 02:17:56

Yes. I told him I had hoped for much more. I feel like moving out but what would the upheaval do to my son? He adores my partner. We have relocated to be with him. I sold my home. I put my trust in him. We plan to marry. I feel as though the rug has just been pulled out from under me.

freeish Sun 08-May-16 02:22:00

My son deserves more than this. I am upset and awake in the spare room while my partner is snoring away.

wishiwasntme Sun 08-May-16 02:30:34

Wow. That's a really hurtful thing to say. I could maybe understand if you hadn't been together very long, but 6 yrs, and he doesn't love him like his own!? I feel sorry for your son and I hope he doesn't realise this himself as it would really knock his self esteem.
I'm surprised that's it's only just come to the surface now though. Were there no clues previously?
You've obviously put everything into this relationship; so whatever you decide to do is going to be difficult and messy in terms of feelings. I don't envy you your decision and I wish you luck in making the right one.

freeish Sun 08-May-16 02:30:58

Aussie would you accept it? I really don't know what to do.

wishiwasntme Sun 08-May-16 02:32:15

Yeah. Why is it that men can just switch off and fall straight asleep whilst we lie awake worrying? confused

wishiwasntme Sun 08-May-16 02:34:51

How is he in other areas? Does he work hard? Is he normally kind & caring? Do you get on well? Etc. Maybe the answers to all these other questions would help you to come to a decision.

Aussiebean Sun 08-May-16 02:35:43

I am not a step, but someone once commented on Facebook about his dad being a step grandparent. My dh put them in their place.

He loves his step dad, our ds has his name. And dh has a distinction between 'Pete' his biological father versus 'John' his dad.

I agree that I hope you son never knows. If you decide to end it, emphasie that it is about the relationship between you and your dp, and it is nothing to do with him.

freeish Sun 08-May-16 02:37:57

Thank you Wish. I feel shocked. We have been together since my son was 7 and my partner said that he loved him. He tried to explain his feelings / justify what he had said and I said 'so you're fond of him like you would be of a Labrador or something' and my partner just stormed off and went to bed. He was asleep five minutes later. I feel as though our world has just fallen apart and he jsst goes to sleep.

freeish Sun 08-May-16 02:47:26

I can never let my son know what my partner thinks. He has already been rejected by his biological father who just can't be bothered. I thought my partner cared. I can't believe I got it so wrong (again). I feel like a part of me has just shut down. I took so long to make the decision to move in with this man because it had to be right for me and my son too. Now I have got us in a really difficult position. I only work part time and to an extent am financially dependent on this man.

freeish Sun 08-May-16 02:54:06

Wish - he works hard at full time work. He does school run twice a week when I am at work ( I have two hour commute). But doesn't do anything much at home outside of the days he does school run and cooks a pizza two days a week. He is quite lazy but is lovely in other ways.

ConcreteUnderpants Sun 08-May-16 04:57:22

How is he with your son? Does he interact with him? Show an interest? Talk to him without being prompted or your son making the first move?
Does his general behaviour support what he's said?

Lunar1 Sun 08-May-16 05:27:13

I mean this kindly, but I think you are over reacting. You haven't even lived together a year. Your dp loves your son, but doesn't have that unconditional love for him that you do, which is pretty normal. And I think it's fair enough if he doesn't want to be got up every Sunday morning for a forced family activity ge doesn't want to do.

Is your dp kind to him and do they get on? You can't expect to replace a useless, deadbeat dad with someone else and recreate the perfect family. But you can create a happy, loving family for your ds, give things time. Over the next ten years they will have so many shared memories things will seem different.

MardleBum Sun 08-May-16 05:50:01

I agree with Lunar

He hasn't raised your son since he was a baby or very small child so while I don't doubt that he is exceptionally fond of him and feels a sort of love, he feel as he suspects he would if it were his child from birth you can't necessarily expect him to. It's something that has to come naturally and can't be forced. Also, even if it was his son, is it really necessary given that he works all week and you don't, to both have to go to and watch every football training session or geocaching or whatever it is?

So long as your son gets there and someone takes an interest for his sake I don't think it matters.

MardleBum Sun 08-May-16 05:50:33

He doesn't feel

AyeAmarok Sun 08-May-16 05:55:11

I also think you're overreacting, sorry.

I think it's inevitable that a step parent who has only been living with you for a year won't feel the same way about your DS as you do. And would feel more strongly about any (hypothetical) DC of their own. That's not wrong, IMO. I think you're expecting far too much there.

However, I get the feeling your DP is just being lazy about the activity. Whether he feels as strongly about your DS or not, would ot kill him to just get up and go? Just to be nice? No. And for that reason I think he's being a bit of an arse.

Chlobee87 Sun 08-May-16 06:16:26

I agree with other PPs that it's understandable that your DP would not feel the same level of unconditional love for your DS as he would expect to feel for his own child. My DH is from a very loving family and grew up with his mum, bio brother, step dad and step brother. They all love each other and all are treated the same, but I would bet my bottom dollar that the parents love their bio children in a different way deep down and that's OK!

What is difficult to understand in your situation is why your partner felt the need to say this out loud to you, and why it came out off the back of something so trivial as a Saturday morning activity that he didn't quite fancy. Also the fact that he insinuated that he isn't willing to go because he is not your DS's bio dad (but would suck it up and attend for his own flesh and blood?). That's not OK in my book. Like I said, the key to my DH's happy family was that everyone was treated the same, as if they were all blood.

FinallyHere Sun 08-May-16 07:00:58

I'm on the maybe overreacting side of the fence. I wouldn't push the whole happy family bit. I get that parents put their children first but can see that maybe a morning in bed would seem more attractive to him than playing happy families.

How important is it for you all to do it together? I would tend to assume that he would stay in bed and go off with DC and a happy heart. * I *might be hoping that he would see us having fun and want to join us but i don't think i would push it.

By itself, this would not have me thinking of splitting from him. If it is the final cumulation of him being selfish, though, then iay be there nking about giving him a P45...

Startingover2016 Sun 08-May-16 07:10:10

I would say it must be perfectly natural to not 'love' a stepchild and to feel differently for a biological child. I am not a stepparent but I don't think I could love someone else's children in the way I love my own. I feel more for my niece and nephew then friends' children and I would have thought that was normal.

What is hurtful is that he told you in a discussion about an activity that he didn't want to go to and that was unnecessary. He is saying that he will put his own needs before your son's.

I agree with pps that the important thing is how he treats your son on a day to day basis.

HandyWoman Sun 08-May-16 07:36:21

I think it would be an overreaction to consider leaving over this. It sounds as though your dp just wants a lie in. There are probably thousands of biological fathers who would, rightly or wrongly, feel the same actually. Plus your dp just won't have the same unconditional love and feelings for what your son has been through, that you do. Family life is never perfect. I think you can get past this.

AddictedtoGreys Sun 08-May-16 07:52:44

I have to agree with PP. as a step parent myself I love my DSD but not quite the same way as my DS. I think it would be an over reaction to leave your DH over this. I also think in a family where there are no step children just bio children that parents share hobby responsibilities regularly and don't both go to everything.

Joysmum Sun 08-May-16 07:57:22

I too think it's normal not to have that same unconditional love for a child, and that for me isn't the issue.

The issue here is that he can't be arsed to support your DS in the only hobby he has and is using that as the excuse!

Notmydolly Sun 08-May-16 08:08:37

I am a step parent.... And (whispers as I know mn hates wicked stepmums) I don't love my stepkids unconditionally. As a mother there is a bond....but I don't have that for my step kids. However that doesn't mean I don't care, or want to help them grow, or feel proud!!

It's just different... Still lovely and still a family but different.

freeish Sun 08-May-16 08:38:19

Thank you for these helpful replies. They have helped me through a difficult night. I've had a couple of hours sleep and feel a bit calmer. Aye - I get that he won't feel the same as me but he could make more effort. This activity was supposed to be bond developing for us as a family unit. My son and I have had years of it just being me and him. He needs a father.
I don't think I can just up and leave over this but I am disappointed and feel like damage has been done to our relationship. I wish my partner hadn't even said it. He could have just said he didn't want to go.

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