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Ok so how does it work when a stepkid hates you for no apparent reason?

(7 Posts)
5oClockInTheMorning Sun 19-May-13 13:26:29

I've posted a fuller version of the story in relationships but to condense - I get the feeling DP's eldest son hates me. He was standoffish (but polite) when we first met and DP said he's always like that and not to read too much into it but all the times we've met since then he's been visibly off with me, negative body language, avoids talking to me and more or less ignores me. If I talk directly to him he'll be polite and reply with minimum requirements but that's it.

Just now, DP pulled up outside my house with his kids in the car to pick something up. DP said to me "the kids are in the car, give them a wave" so I went outside, waved and eldest seemed to almost roll his eyes, flung his arm in the air in a forced wave without even looking at me and instantly went back to his texting. DP laughed, gave me a kiss and then left.

DP either doesn't see what is happening here or see's it and doesn't want to mention it because he keeps telling me the kids are fine with me and he's glad everyone is getting on great!! Since the lad is 18 it's not the end of the world if we don't end up being best mates but we're buying our first house and moving in a few weeks, the kids will be coming every saturday night so how will this work? I'm fine with staying out of the way, entertaining myself, going out with friends and basically leaving them to it but will that really work from 6pm Saturday until 6pm Sunday EVERY weekend??

I'm nothing to do with their parents splitting btw, he was divorced two years before we even met.

purpleroses Sun 19-May-13 14:07:41

Don't take it personally - he probably just doesn't really know how to relate to you, or doesn't want another person in his dad's live. But nor can you necessarily to like you or really want to spend time with you.

Do insist completely on him being polite and respectful around you. You can do your own thing on a Saturday evening/Sunday some of the time but you're bound to want to spend some of the time just doing stuff round the house and being at home. Otherwise you won't feel like it's your home when he's around. If your DSS really wants time one to one with his dad, then encourage the two of them to go out together sometimes - don't feel you always need to get out of their way.

You may build up a bit of a closer relationship in time, or maybe not. But at 18 he'll soon be very much an adult and able to choose whether he spends time with his dad and you or not.

Lostinsuffolk Sun 19-May-13 16:24:07

How long have you been together?

breaktheroutine Mon 20-May-13 09:38:49

One thing that occurs to me is calling him a "kid". He's 18. As an adult, he should always behave courteously to you. Is he still coming on "access" visits?

Secretlifeofplants Mon 20-May-13 09:56:05

There's courteous and there's courteous.
Saying the right words with contempt accompanied by eye-rolling is hardly being polite, but dads tend to overlook this stuff and insist their dears are making such an effort.
In my experience this never actually changes. Once they've decided to be rude and aren't pulled up on it immediately and regularly they'll continue along this path.
Best let dp meet dss alone, this boy ( hardly adult behaviour ) might come round eventually if you hardly see each other, and therefore are no longer perceived as a threat.

brdgrl Mon 20-May-13 11:27:42

Saying the right words with contempt accompanied by eye-rolling is hardly being polite, but dads tend to overlook this stuff and insist their dears are making such an effort.

Exactly. A couple of days ago DSD knew DH and I were having a bit of an argument (which is when this kind of behaviour surfaces most in my experience). As we were leaving to go to work together, she said to me a cheery "have a nice day!", accompanied by a huge eye-roll. I ignored it and when we were in the car, turned to DH...of course, he'd managed to clock the "have a nice day!" (isn't it lovely that DSD is wishing me a nice day...) but completely miss the eye roll and the sarcastic tone. As for 15 year-old DSS, he frequently gets through an entire meal without saying a single civil word - shows up late, doesn't greet anyone, bolts down the food, grabs stuff from the other side of the table rather than ask for it to be passed, and races off the second the plate is clean. But DH is oblivious to it all, and particularly to DSS's attitude.

I try to cope by insisting on 'house rules', but there is very little one can do to enforce attitudes. It is possible to address open rudeness, but low-level constant disrespect or indifference is much trickier to address - which of course is why the DSCs do it.

The 'kid or adult' issue is another real nightmare. I categorically disagree that an 18 year-old should be treated as an adult purely on basis of age. Is your DSS supporting himself and living outside the home and working and taking on adult responsibilities? If not, he's not an adult in terms of family dynamics, no matter what his legal status.

On the other hand, he is certainly old enough to catch himself on. If I had it to do over again, I would have pulled my DSCs (teens when I met them, but younger than your's) up much more strongly each and every time they spoke disrespectfully to or around me, right from the start.

Eliza22 Fri 24-May-13 09:05:05

Oh dear. You may be about to fully commit (moving in together) to a lifetime of this behaviour.

I'm married to a wonderful man who has 3 grown up "kids". We've been together 8 years. Get on fine with 2 but, the youngest 18 yr old SD, has refused contact for 2 yrs. She does not like me. There is no real reason other than dad has someone else in his life.

I don't think there is anything you can do. Just don't make too much effort to be liked. For me, the more "allowances" made for her indifference and rudeness/the harder I tried with her, the more she disliked me. She'd give me a look which was pure disdain (for trying, I think). She is no longer in my life as she refuses to see dad if I'm there. He sees little of her and because he hasn't "protected her / come down on her side" she has removed herself from our lives. I don't miss her, in fact when I think of her now, it makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up!

Her siblings are lovely.

I feel very sorry for you.

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