Problems with Partners Family(13 Posts)
This is my first post and I have been struggling to find the best place to post so am trying here.
This issue dates back a number of years. I have a son with my ex partner who is now ten years old, due to difficulties in our relationship (violence) and my inability to cope at the time my son went to live with my mother where he has remained since. I enjoy an excellent relationship with my son we spend a lot of time together and have a good mother and son relationship which has been built as well as it possibly could be.
My issue lies with the following:
Five years ago following the breakdown of the relationship with my childs father I met my current partner. He is a nice guy who has a very succesfull career, nice cars, nice house etc, he was raised by parents who were significantly older having him (40 years of age). The issue lies with the fact that his parents have never spoken openly to me about my son, and have never acknowleged the fact that he exists. In all fairness neither have I ever raised the subject with them as I thought that this was my boyfriends place. The first time I met them I could clearly identify that this was not something that they would naturally approve of. The longer time goes on (we are now five years into our relationship) the more this s getting to me and upsetting me to the point where I can't take it anymore. I have discussed it with my partner who has told me that he has allready discussed it with them and they have chosen to bury the matter, I have told him that this has to be addressed and he has told me that he will get round to it which frustrates me further. He also states that he doesn't care what they thing. My main worry is that he hasn't been fully honest with them and he is ashamed of me, or it could be the other way and they are totally disgusted with it. I really don't see how we can ever move forward if this is not addressed.
Any advice I would be most greatful for and sorry if I have posted in the wrong forum!
Perhaps they feel judgmental or embarrassed about you not living with your DC? Maybe they think you are upset about the situation and so don't want to hurt you.
Have they met your child? It doesn't sound as if they have and I find that strange. If you want them to consider your child as family, you have to introduce him to them as such.
tbh a lot of people would find it hard to reconcile why a mother would send her child to live with his grandmother and not reverse this situation once any issues were resolved.
If your child is not a part of your family then they will not necessarily see him as a part of their family either, and they may find it best to say nothing rather than to openly judge, which to be honest a lot of people would.
And your not talking to them about your child could be seen as your not wanting to talk about your child which again, you are quite possibly, likely even, being judged for. Best they say nothing than what they possibly really think.
Put yourself in their position. Your mother is raising your son. They must be wondering why. They're not going to be rude enough to interrogate you so they'll silently wonder. They must be worried and hoping their son doesn't get you pregnant. For all they know you could have lost custody due to abusing or neglecting your child, they will wonder about that. The 'best' scenario in their minds is that you couldn't cope (which seems to be the case) but obviously you still can't cope, why not? You've had years to provide a secure home for your child but you prefer to leave him with your mother. That reflects very badly on you.
They must dread the thought that any grandchild of theirs could end up being born to a woman who won't/can't provide it with the security, love and care it needs. That's normal. They love their son and by extension they would love any child he has in the future and want it raised properly. They would not want it at risk of abandonment or any of the far worse nightmare possibilities they must have considered you potentially guilty of toward your son.
Sorry if that sounds harsh but I suspect that's where they're coming from. I know that's what I would worry about if a child of mine turned up with you thirty years from now.
many thanks for your comments. I acknowledge that I deserve a lot of the critiscism . The truth of why my son lives with my parents is that I couldn't cope at the time due to an awful situation and I left him with my parents as I thoughout that they could give him a more secure home than me as I was ill, something which has haunted me every day since. The truth is also that I have tried to have him to come back and live with me and he has got extremely upset and would not settle and I felt cruel for taking him away. I have tried to build the best relationship with him that I can which has resulted in him visiting my house every day and spending 3 days a week with me. I always do my very best for him and would love for him to live with me permenantly but the truth is that is difficult now as he is ten years of age. I want to be open with my partners parents about the situation as my son is a huge part of my life and I am very proud of him. If I could change the past I would and would never of left him with my mum.
but op, he is a child. sometimes children have to accept that things change, and that might involve some upset. But ask yourself, what does it say about your relationship that he would rather stay living with his grandparents than come to live with his mother permanently?
There is no shame in asking for help when you couldn't cope, and it sounds as if your mum did an admirable job in raising her grandchild when you were unable to. But now that you are able to his being upset is not a valid reason for deciding to not change things back, presumably it hasn't only been recently that you decided to try and do that? he's been living with your mum for five years now, at what point did you decide that you would leave the decision as to where he lives up to a child?
You can't have it both ways. You have a child who doesn't live with you through your own choice, who you don't talk about, you can't then get upset when others don't talk about him or acknowledge that he exists in front of you when you've never actually mentioned him.
I agree that they are most likely very comcerned that you may actually have children with their son and where that might leave them if you were to split.
And he is ten now, he won't always be that small, and when he's eighteen and in a position to leave home, do you want it to be his grandmother he goes home to every weekend? because it will if you don't do something about this relationship before it's too late.
I would imagine they're leaving it for you to bring up. It sounds like you see a lot of your DS - maybe you could try to think of some ways to mention him in conversation, to give them a way in? Or ask your DP to help you bring him up in conversation?
I think if a child has lived with his gps for 5 years, he very much has the right to express an opinion about whether he moves to live with his mother or not.
He is happy where he is, he sees his mother every day and stays with her 3 times a week. Why should he move in full-time with his mother, just because she is his mother? He'd also have to adjust to living full-time with Op's DP. Above all, he would surely miss his gps who have been his parents all this time.
Unless there are external factors, such as his gps being unable to care for him any more through illness or age, I think his wishes should be paramount in this situation.
But that's not the point of OP's post. Your dp's family won't talk about your son unless you bring the subject up and make some effort to include him in social occasions with them. I can understand your reticence in the early days, but you've been with dp for 5 years now. I think it's up to you to be proactive and not leave it to dp and then complain when nothing happens. Start by mentioning him in conversation and work up to a meeting from there.
I would have thought as you have not mentioned your son to them they think you do not want to talk to them about him. Just mention him in conversation, nothing heavy just that he had a good Christmas, is enjoying school etc.
Does your DP have a good relationship with your son, that will be the key to his parents having one too in the future.
OP if your son spends three nights a week with you and vists every day, you essentially have shared care.
LOTS of parents have shared care. The oly difference here is a) that you are sharing with your DM rather than an ExP and b) you (the carer with slightly fewer nights) are a mother not a father.
You seem to be on the receiving end of some very sexist attitudes here.
Could you not invite DP's parents round for NY meal/drinks when your DS is due to be there? Break the ice?
OP, you really sound like you have done your best for your son; you have put his needs before your own. You sound very brave and decent and like you have nothing to feel guilty or embarassed or ashamed about. And I say that as a very judgy cow.
But yes, it is up to you to bring him into the reflationship you have with your partner's parents.
Well said Tinky and Arsenic!
I agree just gradually introduce him. It IS an odd situation but not one you should feel ashamed about. If they are all caring people, and I have no reason to assume they are not, they will bring over time even more love to his life, it seems a shame for you all to be missing out.
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