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Partner with child issues

(29 Posts)
ChocolateCupcake123 Mon 06-Nov-17 13:40:59

Hi, long story short. Been dating someone for 6 months who has a 6 year old son. Things between me and partner are very good, no issues. I vaguely knew his son already so there was no “introducing or meeting” him as such, I just sort of slipped into a routine of being around even when he’s there. We went on holiday in the summer, I get on well with his son.

Understandably there has been some jealousy in his part and I do my best to let them have father/son time, not interfere but at the same time I want to bond with him. There are some things my partner does in terms of parenting that I don’t agree with, but hey that’s another story.

At first his son asked for me to do things with them, was very affectionate and seemed to want me around. Recently he has said a few things like “what time are you going home?” Or “why aren’t you working today?” As in...please go away. I get it, really do. But my partner doesn’t really talk to him about things, has never actually sat him down and said I’m his girlfriend and how does he feel. He’s seen us kiss, knows we share a bed etc but still refers to me as daddy’s friend, and talks about how one day Daddy might have a girlfriend.

I e tried talking to my partner but he sort of shrugs it off. Problem is, we are talking about moving in together in the spring/summer and I want his son to be comfortable with it all.

I’m the first girlfriend since the ex, and I want to get this right!

Should I try speaking to my partner again? Speak to the son? Drop in conversation how Daddy is my boyfriend and gauge reaction? Sometimes I think he says things because he wants one of us to say “no, she is my girlfriend silly!”, I think he’s too embarrassed to ask outright.

Help please?

BatteredBreadedOrSouthernFried Mon 06-Nov-17 13:43:18

Sorry, you started dating in May and went on holiday with his child 2-3 months later? hmm

BatteredBreadedOrSouthernFried Mon 06-Nov-17 13:44:25

And neither of you have had the decency to even tell the child you’re in a relationship.

Mintychoc1 Mon 06-Nov-17 13:45:10

Is your partner the resident parent, or does his son not live with him?

It sounds to me as if you're rushing things a bit, and expecting too much too soon.

Ellisandra Mon 06-Nov-17 14:21:02

When did you decide you wanted to "get it right"?

Before you started hanging out with his son present?
Before you shared a bed with his father?
Before you went on holiday with this poor confused uninformed kid?

Love, the time for wanting to get it right has long since passed! hmm

How to do it right, from now on?

You refuse to continue dating this pathetic excuse for a father until his son is aware. Why would you be remotely attracted to someone who doesn't care about his son's emotional wellbeing?!! angry

Ellisandra Mon 06-Nov-17 14:27:43

Oh and please... bonding with a child should be for them, not for you.

You might want to play happy families with your shiny new (useless) boyfriend - doesn't mean his poor son has to be dragged into it.

A respectful distance at first, followed by gradual building of a relationship. "Bonding" is a natural process, and you have to accept that this boy may have no need on his part to bond with you.

I have older stepdaughters. We like each other. They are really pleased their dad has met someone. But they don't want to "bond" with me. They're perfectly happy to just get along with me.

I can't believe you've even entertained discussions about the timing of moving in when this boy doesn't even know.

I'm actually quite happy with quick intros in the right circumstances. But you're talking about moving in to this kids home after a year, and I think that's too quick.

You have to be really sure of a relationship before dragging a child's home into it - and one year is not enough.

I was engaged after 3 months - but we delayed the wedding and cohabiting for 2.5 years to do the right thing for the kids.

I feel sorry for your boyfriend's ex, who has a child caught up in this shitstorm.

Hermonie2016 Mon 06-Nov-17 14:29:14

Like everyone else I feel its all rushed and perhaps your partner was using you for company rather than recognising you are a serious relationship.If he thought this might last he will have planned it better so his son was happy.

If you don't have children you may not be able to see the other side of this but it's pretty poor parenting on his behalf and now you are compounding it by trying to make it work.Plaster over a gaping hole.

His son must have a whole range of questions as at 6 he will be very aware.Displays of affection are really difficult for children if they don't feel comfortable.

I think you need to back off and see your partner without his son..for your own sake.I think your partner isn't dealing with this well so your relationship with his son could be problematic for some time.

ChocolateCupcake123 Mon 06-Nov-17 14:33:49

I’ve known my partner - and his son for a couple of years. We have socialised before we started dating so I’m not a new person in his sons life.

He cares very much for his sons emotional well-being, but in the early days when we started dating we didn’t want to tell him in case it didn’t work out, but I was already seeing them both regularly so would be weird to just stop seeing each other. Things progressed but they haven’t spoken about it. I totally agree that it’s not fair on his son, what I’m asking is, how can I rectify this?

His mother knows we are in a relationship but she obviously hasn’t told him either. I think they both thought he’d pick up on it, and I think he has, he just doesn’t want to ask. I don’t feel it’s my place to correct him.

His son doesn’t live with him, no. He has him 2 or 3 nights per week. And yes, we went on holiday together. Partner and I booked a last minute holiday, his son got upset because he wanted to come with us, so spoke to his mum to check she was comfortable and then made arrangements for him to come along with us.

It’s hard to understand this situation without me outing myself I’m adraid.

hollowtree Mon 06-Nov-17 14:37:28

Woah some of these responses are full on! OP try to convince your partner to establish the nature of the relationship to the son so he is well informed and can adjust.

It is entirely up to you how soon you share a bed, go on holiday, etc. Those things aren't for other people to judge.

But I do think it will help his son to understand your place in the dynamic if your partner is more upfront about it.

BatteredBreadedOrSouthernFried Mon 06-Nov-17 14:44:15

We have socialised before we started dating so I’m not a new person in his sons life.

No, but you are his father’s first girlfriend since he split from his mother! You are new to him in the context of being dad’s girlfriend, kissing Dad, sleeping in dad’s bed and going on family holidays (2/3 months into the relationship!)

It’s not at all hard to understand the situation. It’s just yet another case of immature adults too keen on getting their bits sticky to think about the children caught up in the middle of it.

BatteredBreadedOrSouthernFried Mon 06-Nov-17 14:44:54

And your partner needs to grow up and tell his child that he has a girlfriend!

HotNatured Mon 06-Nov-17 14:49:05

The usual OTT MN responses !

OP, pls ignore all the judgemental hysterical posts. I've been in your position, it's v difficult, and as well as feeling for the little boy who must be confused, I feel for you. His dad really needs to rectify this issue forthwith, he sounds a bit pathetic to be honest.

Tell him outright you will not be moving in together until he sorts this and stops burying his head in the sand, he is being so selfish.

RavingRoo Mon 06-Nov-17 14:53:28

I think you shouldn’t come round at all when he has his son. Let them have their time. Let your dh be the one to raise when (or if) you will meet his son. Also be aware that after he finds out, his son might not want anything to do with you for a while. Be prepared to honour his wishes there. Too many step parents force their way into a child’s lives, then wonder why they aren’t invited to weddings or christenings when those kids grow up. Give him time now and you will probably be closer overall for it.

hellsbellsmelons Mon 06-Nov-17 15:39:27

Do not move in together any time soon.
Don't be around when he has his son.
Job done!
Just enjoy dating when no DC are around.
Stop rushing into everything!

Mintychoc1 Mon 06-Nov-17 16:01:31

I really think that if he only has his son 2-3 nights per week, you shouldn't be there at the same time as his son at this stage, except for specific events at which you would have been present anyway. You have 4-5 nights per week to spend together, presumably including some full weekends - that's masses of time to enjoy eachother's company.

FrogFairy Mon 06-Nov-17 16:05:26

There are some things my partner does in terms of parenting that I don’t agree with, but hey that’s another story.

Long term, this is going to be a big problem. Especially if you have children together.

mindutopia Mon 06-Nov-17 16:17:57

I think you need to let your partner set the pace of the relationship with your son (though talking moving in together after 6 months seems quite rushed). But also I would try not to take it too personally, my 4 year old sometimes says things like, when are you leaving? to me when she wants time alone with my dh. Sometimes kids can be quite brutally honest. It sounds like maybe your partner wants to still keep things maybe less serious than he is actually saying to you, so I would just be careful going forward and take your time.

ChocolateCupcake123 Mon 06-Nov-17 16:45:21

I just wrote a really long reply but then realised I don’t need to justify my relationship to strangers on the internet.

So thanks to those with actual help and advice and to those drama queens suggesting I leave him, or that he’s a bad parent, or judging my relationship...I hope you have a lovely day in your perfect life smile

BatteredBreadedOrSouthernFried Mon 06-Nov-17 16:57:00

grin I really do wonder what people expect when they post about their bad situation and ask for advice and then get in a huff when people comment on their bad situation (which is the reason they need advice)

ChocolateCupcake123 Mon 06-Nov-17 17:00:00

Not a bad situation battered. A perfectly fine one, all parties are happy.
Just asking for advice on one particular issue, yet being judged on every other aspect of the post and no offer of help on the actual issue in hand.

Not helpful, not kind.

KinkyAfro Mon 06-Nov-17 17:12:01

Doesn't sound like the son is happy from what you posted earlier

BatteredBreadedOrSouthernFried Mon 06-Nov-17 17:12:28

Just asking for advice on one particular issue,

Yes, an issue caused by you and your boyfriend jumping straight into “family” holidays and you being present every time his child has contact with his dad. Of course the child is wondering when the hell youre going to go away give him some time with his dad! He only gets a couple of days a week with him and he has to share with you since day 1 of your relationship!

No offer of help?

A respectful distance at first, followed by gradual building of a relationship. "Bonding" is a natural process, and you have to accept that this boy may have no need on his part to bond with you.

I think you need to back off and see your partner without his son..for your own sake.

OP try to convince your partner to establish the nature of the relationship to the son so he is well informed and can adjust.

And your partner needs to grow up and tell his child that he has a girlfriend!

Tell him outright you will not be moving in together until he sorts this and stops burying his head in the sand, he is being so selfish.

I think you shouldn’t come round at all when he has his son. Let them have their time. Let your dh be the one to raise when (or if) you will meet his son. Also be aware that after he finds out, his son might not want anything to do with you for a while. Be prepared to honour his wishes there. Too many step parents force their way into a child’s lives, then wonder why they aren’t invited to weddings or christenings when those kids grow up. Give him time now and you will probably be closer overall for it.

Do not move in together any time soon.
Don't be around when he has his son.
Job done!
Just enjoy dating when no DC are around.
Stop rushing into everything!

I really think that if he only has his son 2-3 nights per week, you shouldn't be there at the same time as his son at this stage

I think you need to let your partner set the pace of the relationship with your son (though talking moving in together after 6 months seems quite rushed). But also I would try not to take it too personally, my 4 year old sometimes says things like, when are you leaving? to me when she wants time alone with my dh. Sometimes kids can be quite brutally honest. It sounds like maybe your partner wants to still keep things maybe less serious than he is actually saying to you, so I would just be careful going forward and take your time.

What’s all that^ then? hmm

Mintychoc1 Mon 06-Nov-17 17:13:10

I think flouncing after just 16 replies is a bit hasty. Sure some people will have extreme views, but you clearly aren't completely happy about how things are going, and therefore you should stick around to hear what other people can contribute. And this "one particular issue" is actually the single most important thing in your partner's life. Or at least he should be.

Ellisandra Mon 06-Nov-17 18:20:52

Yep everyone's happy.
Accept the powerless one - the 6yo.

How is your boyfriend a good parent if he allows his 6yo to be confused and unhappy?

Your flounce just goes to show why you are part of the issue. You don't want to listen, you don't want to do it properly - you just want what you want. Poor kid.

Josuk Mon 06-Nov-17 19:04:44

OP - there is a whole range of responses here. Some angry, some judgy.

I don’t know what the right answer here is. But a few things jumped at me.
The boy is only 6. In his mind - ‘friend’ and ‘girl-friend’ are not alltogether different. And - I don’t know if he needs to really understand the difference at that age.

Even if you lived together - the by will want time with his dad on his own. NOT with you and his dad. You are not family. So - please, don’t deprive him of that; and don’t take it personally.

Finally - you seem a bit controlling and in a rush too. His parenting - is his choice, not yours.
And - you don’t need to mandate what your BF says to his child.
It almost seems like you are testing your BF by how how explains you to his son.
If you are feeling insecure in a relationship - deal with the adult side of it. Don’t get the kid in the middle.

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