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I'm not sure I can do this

(20 Posts)
zqu76y Sun 09-Mar-14 10:39:33

Im leaving myself open wide to criticism here but I'm hoping to get some advice.

My partners son has come to live with us. He's 6 years old. I posted last year as I was struggling to warm to him, I was pregnant at the time and didn't feel I could love him as much as my own child.

So my girl is here - she's 3months. DDS is getting worse by the day. He doesn't listen to me, goes to his dad for everything (Disney dad) and tries to manipulate every situation. I don't think it's jealousy. He gets ALL his dad's attention - my girl only gets it from partner when dss is in bed.

You may think how can a 6 year old know to do this but I tell you he's got the mind of a 10 year old.

I struggling even more to like him. I look forward to when he goes to his mum. I don't love him. In fact I resent him on a daily basis - his attitude, his personality, his manipulative behaviour. I give him his needs, I try my hardest with him I really do but I get absolutely nothing back from him.

I love my partner to bits but I do wonder how long I can do this for. My girl doesn't like going to her dad as he hardly gets any time with her. I feel like I'm going out of my mind. I'm kinda desperate to know what to do.

heidiwine Sun 09-Mar-14 11:01:13

I'm going to be tough on you but before I am here's my situation: been with DP for 7 years, he has 2 children (13 and 10), we have no children together (despite trying very hard). I don't particularly like DPs eldest child and would find it difficult if she lived with us full time but I like to think that I would put her (as a child) first and try to understand where her behaviour is coming from.

What I'm about to say is meant to be kind...

Your DPs son is seven - he's very young. I don't know the circumstances but he's also had a big change in his living arrangements (potentially stressful esp for a little one who doesn't have the emotional maturity to communicate his feelings and needs). I'm not surprised he's playing up: new sibling, new home where he's not welcome (he'll pick up on that). As the adult in this situation you must do everything you can to help him, he's in your life and because of that it's your responsibility to help him grow into a good, secure man. To do that you must try to understand him and to nurture him (you may never love him)

I also notice that you talk about your daughter as 'mine' she's not exclusively yours she's also your husbands. Could you try correcting that and saying 'ours' it might help you see things from your DPs point of view. Can you imagine how you would feel if (at 7 years old) your daughter was going through what her half brother is going through now?
Also I don't know a whole lot about babies but she's 3 months, compared with a 7 year old her needs must be more physical than emotional? (Food, comfort, sleep, warmth etc.)

I think you need to take a deep breath and be kind to your step son and I you can't do that easily perhaps you could all go to a specialist family counsellor?

Kaluki Sun 09-Mar-14 11:18:04

Sorry Heidi I disagree.
It's not OPs responsibility - it is her DPs.
He should be making sure BOTH his dc feel loved and secure and teaching his son not to be manipulative.
You are right that at 3 months old their needs are more physical than emotional but the baby will grow up and need time with her father and a healthy relationship with her big brother and this won't happen if she feels second place in her dad's affections.
OP my advice is to try not to let DSS know how you feel - he is just a child and his behaviour is mostly down to his parents. Talk to your DP at length about what HE can do to resolve things as any changes must come from him!

lunar1 Sun 09-Mar-14 11:33:18

I think with your dss you need to fake it till you make it. You need to put the blame and responsibility firmly with you dh. He needs to parent his children. I would be very clear with him that you cannot go on as you are.

I think in your situation I would try and spend ten mins each day exclusively with your dss. I would hand over dd, and say to dss come on let's go do something for ten mins. It could help the two of you bond and ensure that your dh spends some time with your dd.

FrogbyAnotherName Sun 09-Mar-14 12:14:18

Your DSS is behaving in a perfectly natural and expected manner for a DC who is pandered to and Disney patented.
Unless your DH changes his approach, your DSS will continue to disrespect you (by ignoring you) and take advantage of the fact that he can manipulate his own way, avoid negative consequences and wrap daddy round his little finger.

Why is your DH so Disney? Is it guilt for moving on with his life, fear of losing his son or just a lack of understanding of what young DCs need?

Would attending parenting classes together help?

zqu76y Sun 09-Mar-14 15:53:00

Thank you ladies.

I agree with all of you. Dss is like this because dh and his family were led to believe by the mother that he would die. So all his life has got what he had wanted and if not would almost use emotional blackmail to get it - this too is learned behaviour from the mother. This is the reason he is with us. I'm sure the upheaval hasn't helped and I do think he has been told not to listen to me but all this doesn't help the way I feel. I do fake it. I grit my teeth with the Disney parenting as I don't want him to think of me as the 'baddy'.

I do call dd 'my girl' and that's because it's how it feels. Like it's just me and her. Your right it's just physical needs but she needs to spend time with her dad and dss needs to understand that.

I do try and spend more time with him but very often it gets refused. For example now I'm not pregnant and it's a gorgeous day I said let's get our roller skates on and I'll teach some tricks. He just said no and walked off. I offered to open a drink for him as he was obviously struggling and he ignores me, turns to his dad and asks him to open it. It breaks my heart because although my other post may have sounded heartless, I do actually want this to work but I really don't know what to do.

Counselling is out of the question as a family at the min as dss has enough 'interventions' going on through school and social services.

gingermop Sun 09-Mar-14 16:05:44

his refusal of spending with u and the rudeness of ignoring and not wanting help from u but asking dad, hows that met by ur dp, does he say anything?

zqu76y Sun 09-Mar-14 16:15:02

Previously no. He just does what dss is asking of him. He caught me crying earlier and I explained I'm at my wits end and he said he will speak to him, personally I don't think it will make a difference.

LostTeacher Sun 09-Mar-14 16:17:39


lunar1 Sun 09-Mar-14 16:21:40

Why did everyone think dss was going to die?

zqu76y Sun 09-Mar-14 16:26:38

Mum although has not been properly diagnosed fabricated and induced illness on him. Ie - muchausen by proxy. Such a massive case it was dealt with by the high court. Unfortunately his mother proves to manipulate too. Dss has basically admitted to his dad that certain behaviours 'work for mummy and I get what I want'. Dh doesn't want to he too hard on him as he's been through a lot but then I wonder by not doing anything - is that worse

Ludways Sun 09-Mar-14 16:38:38

I used to find it very hard to love my dsd, however it really is "you get out, what you put in" with children, you can't expect his behaviour to you to change until your behaviour towards him changes. Your dh has a job to do with him but you're the mother figure in his home and you need to start acting it. Granted you'll never be his mother but you need to be a nurturing female in his life.

It's been hard work but I adore my dsd now, we have a lovely relationship. It's been well worth the effort. Good luck!

purpleroses Sun 09-Mar-14 16:52:05

I think to your dp needs to make it clear to DSS that you are a part of the family. Of I offered to help a DSC with opening a drink and they turned and asked DP to help instead I'd expect him to say "Purpleroses has just offered to help hasn't she?" or even hand the drink to me to open. Is make it really clear that he is to treat you as a responsible adult in his life.

purpleroses Sun 09-Mar-14 17:12:58

I think to your dp needs to make it clear to DSS that you are a part of the family. Of I offered to help a DSC with opening a drink and they turned and asked DP to help instead I'd expect him to say "Purpleroses has just offered to help hasn't she?" or even hand the drink to me to open. Is make it really clear that he is to treat you as a responsible adult in his life.

FrogbyAnotherName Sun 09-Mar-14 18:46:32

Counselling is out of the question as a family at the min as dss has enough 'interventions' going on through school and social services.

Are neither the school or SServ recommending counselling for a DC who has been subject to a high-court battle between his parents and sudden change of primary carer?

Your family needs support and therapy to come to terms with the deceit you have all been subject to and your DH owes it to his DS to ensure that he provides a suitable environment for him to recover. That is unlikely to include pandering and Disney parenting.
At 7 years old, your DSS will be very damaged by his mothers behaviour. Your DH is no better if he doesn't seek and accept help and intervention.

Your poor DSS. He has suddenly discovered that the person who he trusts, loved and relied on emotionally and physically has lied and done very bad things. He no longer knows what is true and what is not. He doesn't know who he can trust and who will be taken away. And he's dealing with all that on his own. No wonder he's acting out.

Your DH needs to get a grip.

heidiwine Sun 09-Mar-14 21:19:40

Gosh - with that back story you need all the support you can get!
I know that you say therapy's not an option for all of you but do you think it's something you and your partner could do? I don't want to defend his Disneyness but I think he'll need to realise the impact of his behaviour on your family unit (which includes both his children).
I'm sorry I was harsh in my first post. Good luck.

RandomMess Sun 09-Mar-14 21:24:39

Sadly your dh needs to stop the disney dad routine asap. It sounds like your dds needs firm consistant boundaries (not harsh) but he needs to learn that you and dh are the parents and you make fair rules. How can you get through to your dh that the dynamics need to change for your dds sake?

mymiraclebubba Sun 09-Mar-14 21:28:27

Wow you have my sympathy hun cos I had similar issues with my dss when I first moved in with dp, and to a certain extent we still do. When it's just me and the kids it's great but they are used to being able to wrap daddy round their fingers (dss more than dsd) and so behaviour is a bloody nightmare etc.

As the other ladies say, try hard not to show you don't like him esp given the circumstances but give your DP a ruddy big kick in the nuts over Disney parenting. His son needs a firm hand to guide him and teach him that dp's behaviour was not right. Dp also needs to grow a pair and back you up, tell his son that he is having time with dd and he needs to talk to you if he needs something.

There is no quick fix, it won't change in days or weeks but slowly it will change!

If i am brutally honest after a particularly awful experience at a local aquarium for my dp's birthday parties where dsd kicked the shit out of my ankles because I had made his egg mayo sarnies from hand instead of mum's out of a tub stuff I literally wound up sat on the floor in my kitchen (4 months pg and suffering awful hg) sobbing after having a screaming hiss fit with dp over not squashing his sons disgusting behaviour. To my shame the kids were in the next room, but I think it actually hit a cord somewhere with dss because he came and hugged me, cried with me and told me he was sorry. I actually asked him why he hated me so much! He told me he didn't hate me and actually he loved me - I think he was unsure if that was ok to feel and was acting out - from that day on things have been a lot better.

We have off days when (like today) I could wring his neck for his crappy attitude but he is a preteen and a lothas changed in the last few weeks so he is uunsettled again, but it blows over as fast as it starts and a look is enough these days.

It will get better hun!! But a word to the wise, don't try to love him like your own. It will never happen, you will always feel differently about him. But that is ok!! He isn't your son so you will never have that unconditional love and that bond that you have with your own dd. Trying to feel it will make it harder and more stressful.

Start by trying to tolerate him and make allowance for some of the crap behaviour, once you can donate aim for liking short periods with him and build on it from there.

Good luck!!

mymiraclebubba Sun 09-Mar-14 21:30:04

Sorry bloody phone - it was dss that kicked the crap out of me not dsd!

maggiemight Mon 10-Mar-14 21:36:35

In another 6 months time your DD will be making her feelings known and DSS and DP will not be able to ignore her! She will be a very cute, demanding little person by then.

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