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How to help DP and DS' relationship?

(28 Posts)
backonthewagon Tue 28-Jul-15 09:15:20

Bit of a backstory.

Me and DS lived with my mum until he was 5 and a half. My Mum is quite a toxic person. She tried to take over everything to do with my DS, she made me think I was useless and so I let her. Mum and DS have got a very close relationship. The problem is that my Mum thinks that her time with him is as important, if not more important than my time with him.

An example of this is on his birthday even though I had the day booked off to be reasonable I said to my Mum do you want to pick him up from school as normal so you can spend some time with him, then I will pick him up about 4.30 to go out for tea and bring him back to sleep after. She was fine with this until I went to pick him up and I mentioned we were popping to see DP's Mum on the way to the restaurant. Then she kicked off saying she had hardly seen him etc. So I said so "you think you should spend time with him over me? I tried to be nice by letting him come here after school and to sleep as usual and it's just given me agro, in future I will be selfish and spend as much time with him as I can."

Due to mine and DPs working pattern (I start at 5 and he gets home after 7) DS still sleeps at my Mum's 2 nights a week. I have 2 more years at college and hopefully then I can get a 9-5 type job and DS won't have to spend so much time there.

DP's mum paid for us to go on a cruise for her 60th birthday. We had 1 night at home then we had a few days in Devon booked. As DS had not seen my Mum in 2 weeks we agreed he could spend an extra night there the night we got home.

On the morning of coming home from Devon it was raining so we decided to leave early. DS was asking because we were leaving early did I think he would be able to go out somewhere with Grandma.

DP lost it. He said DS was an ungrateful spoilt brat. We had taken him on 2 holidays and he wanted to leave early so he could go on a bus with Grandma. (Buses are his thing and that's what they do together). He said he didn't want to hear him mention Grandma ever again.

Well of course DS told my Mum what DP had said. I didn't deny it. Why would I? How could I? DP is now mad cos my Mum will know it gets to him. Apparently I was meant to say that it was said behind closed doors, not in front of DS and that DS must have overheard. Personally I don't see that it makes much difference.

The heartbreaking thing DP said last night is "DS doesn't love me. I tuck him up and say I love him and I get nothing back. Don't say he does cos he doesn't. I just want a son that loves me" I am not sure but he looked like he was welling up sad

AlpacaMyBags Tue 28-Jul-15 09:21:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

basgetti Tue 28-Jul-15 13:48:06

Your DP was massively out of order. How dare he speak to your son like that and tell him he isn't allowed to mention his grandmother, and even worse try to get you to lie to cover up the fact that he verbally abused your child.

You have created a situation where your mother is in the role of a co parent. If you are concerned about her influence on your son and feel she is undermining your own role then you take steps son that she doesn't have him staying over 2 nights a week. Quit college if it means your child will be back with you full time. Saying to have no choice but for it to carry on for 2 years is ridiculous. But what is really unfair is punishing your son for his bond with and understandable desire to see his grandmother. What do you expect when he lives with her part of the week?

basgetti Tue 28-Jul-15 13:50:54

Oh and if anyone spike to m child like that for something as harmless as expressing a desire to see their grandmother, they would be out the door. It never fails to amaze me, the crap some people expect their kids to endure for the sake of their adult relationships.

horsewalksintoabar Tue 28-Jul-15 14:07:46

Step parents, parents, grandparents...seems to me the adults have focused too much on their 'title' and forgotten their roles here, one of which is to stop behaving like kids themselves. So boo boo "I want a son who loves me". Cry me a river. Your DP sounds like a brat who hasn't grown up. We expect kids to just be happy and love us back unconditionally. Why should your son feel compelled to be all lovely doves with a guy playing 'dad'? Step parents moan a lot but they take little account into the fact that kids can't just switch on and be perfect little darlings for them. Childhood behaviour is not linear or predictable. Your son loves your mum, warts and all. And say what you will, she's been there for him. So you and DP need to respect that bond. You need to decide, college or no college? Mum's influence and support or no? Because at the moment it sounds like there's a bubbling cauldron of bad and mixed feelings. Sort it for your son's sake. Your DP must have lovely qualities but in this case, he is a childish pr*ck. Nothing more wussy and manipulative than when I person makes you feel like sh*t then cries, "Poor me... if only I had my own flesh of my flesh, my own son." Ego lies underneath those pathetic crocodile tears.

lilacclery Tue 28-Jul-15 14:09:37

* Quit college if it means your child will be back with you full time*
Hardly the best solution to a parenting dilemna!

Having been a step parent for almost 10 years and last 3.5 were torture, I can say you can't make a child love you but you can be loving towards them. It is a bit unreasonable for your dp to be jealous of your ds's bond with his grandmother too.

Faithless Tue 28-Jul-15 14:11:34

Yes op, give up college, any further adult relationship, ambition, dreams of a better life, just martyr yourself as a good mother should and devote your whole being to your ds, forever.

Or, if this is just a blip in the behaviour of a usually even tempered man, maybe ask your DP to apologise to your son and mother whilst explaining that it's not your sons fault he hadn't known your DP since he was a baby and you've had to rely on your mum a lot over the years. Your son will learn to love him given time, if your DP is kind, gentle and patient with him.

basgetti Tue 28-Jul-15 14:16:52

Yes quit college, go part time, distance learning, whatever. Tough decisions that many parents have to make every day which don't involve sending their child to live part time with someone they describe as "toxic". Having your child actually living with you full time isn't being a martyr, it's being a parent.

Kkaty Tue 28-Jul-15 14:29:43

It wasn't good that your DP spoke to your DS like that - and I think he needs to apologies to the DS and say that of course he can talk about grandma. I don't know whether he is calm the rest of the time so I can't judge.

Your mum has parented your DS for all his young years and 2 nights a week now makes her a co parent - you'll have to accept that I think. Just minimise any conflict by having very clear regular times and say in advance that there will be a couple of times a year where you are either on holiday/birthdays where she will have to accept less.

hoobygalooby Tue 28-Jul-15 17:29:28

It seems to me like you are using your Mum for free childcare.
She has a bond with your son and vice versa and if they want to see each other then that is of your doing by letting him stay there 2 nights a week.
Saying that Your DP was bang out of order. If my DP spoke to one of my kids like that I would be seriously thinking about whether we had a future together.

TendonQueen Tue 28-Jul-15 17:58:01

don't see this as irretrievable but everyone needs to calm down a bit. Both your DP and your mum are being very dramatic in their reaction to minor things and it isn't fair for them to punish your DS for that. Your DP will have to learn to be patient and your mum to accept a bit of a step back. I do think it would help to make changing your working pattern a priority, so that DS spending time at his grandma's can be genuine choice, not something you are forced into.

Faithless Wed 29-Jul-15 08:43:15

I used to have my friend's child overnight weekly to clash with the day she had overnight respite for her other disabled DC. This was so she could go to college and then out for drinks with other students. She was not "using me for free childcare", I was glad to do it. This kind of arrangement is very common, especially among single mothers and their parents. I would do it for my own grandchildren. It's not wrong for other people, in addition to parents, to help with raising a child, it is in fact perfectly normal. No one is "using" anyone. A child won't wither away or turn into a delinquent from spending a couple of nights away from his/ her mother.

backonthewagon Wed 29-Jul-15 08:48:26

Changing working hours is not an option atm sad I have tried to get so many jobs with daytime hours but without qualifications/experience I am getting nowhere. That is why I made the decision to go to college 1 day a week so I could change this situation. I can't just quit my job. We have a roof to keep over our heads, bills to pay, food to buy and we couldn't do it on 1 income.

Me and DP have been together since May 2010 and the 3 of us have lived together since December 2011, so it's not a new relationship. If DP and DS don't have this bond now, will they ever?

I wouldn't want to totally stop DS seeing his Grandma as that would not be in his best interests. He would be devastated. The problem is Grandma lets DS get away with murder and then uses ringing Daddy to come and fetch him as a threat.

HoldYerWhist Wed 29-Jul-15 08:49:02

How fucking dare he speak to your son like that! And you just let him??

You were both massively, massively out of order. Is your ds his child?

Anyway, she's toxic but he spends two nights a week there?

If he lived with her for so long and still does part time, it's no wonder the boundaries are blurred.

lunar1 Wed 29-Jul-15 10:11:43

It took me about ten years to love my stepdad, and I had so many step mums I mostly ignored them in the end.

Your partner needs to be patient and never ever speak to your son like that again. You son is never going to love a manipulative bully.

backonthewagon Wed 29-Jul-15 12:48:51

lunar1 how old were you when he first came into your life?

lunar1 Wed 29-Jul-15 13:21:00

I was 8, my mum didn't Handle things well though, she made us call him dad right away. She almost wanted to erase my dad and replace him so the first few years were very hard. Now I'm an adult he is without question my favourite parent, he has been the most consistent stable person in my life. He is fantastic with my children and I've loved seeing him doing all the things with my boys that he missed with us.

backonthewagon Wed 29-Jul-15 13:26:44

I can't remember how, when or why DS started calling DP Daddy. It was nothing we pushed onto him and he called him by his name for quite a while IIRC. DS has never known his Dad so we don't have any loyalty issues or anything like that.

backonthewagon Wed 29-Jul-15 13:27:31

DS was nearly 4 when they first met.

HoldYerWhist Wed 29-Jul-15 13:38:46

Yes, you do have loyalty issues.

Your loyalty should be to your son. Nowhere have you said that you even pulled your partner up on his speaking to your ds like that.

backonthewagon Wed 29-Jul-15 14:23:58

Of course I did!!

Faithless Wed 29-Jul-15 15:07:30

I note there is another thread on here where a father lost his temper and swore at his son. The mother was advised to let it go, as it was a one off/ temper tantrum thing.
While I am by no means advocating shouting and swearing at children, it's only fair to make the op aware of the step parent bashing that goes on here. Your DP's status is diminished in the eyes of some here for having no shared genes with your DS before you even start to raise your specific issues.
I'm my family there are loads of step parents and step children. I, my brother, my mother, my DP are step parents. My own children are step children, I am a step child etc. We all seem to do more or less fine, no better or worse than the bio set ups around us and the step children are treated the same as the bio children. The main thing is that we all treat each other with kindness. Yes, people get moody and lose their temper now and again, but as long as your DP is kind and patient for the majority of the time, to both your ds and your mum, you can all rub along ok. As for love, that can't be forced but deep fondness, at least, will develop over time as shared experiences accumulate.

backonthewagon Sat 01-Aug-15 08:56:37

When I discussed it with DP he said "I didn't say he can't speak about his Grandma I said I didn't want to hear about his Grandma - because it upsets me that he'd rather be there than here with us" so he doesn't think he needs to apologise.

HoldYerWhist Sat 01-Aug-15 11:49:00

He upset a small child because he threw a jealous little strop. He's a twat.

NerrSnerr Sat 01-Aug-15 11:55:58

He was out of order speaking to your son like that but I can't understand why you would allow your son to stay with someone two nights a week who is 'toxic'. If she is that bad you need to get different childcare or change your college arrangements.

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