Advice please :( ?(75 Posts)
I've been reading here for a while but never posted but I'm at my wits end lately. Sorry in advance for the huge rant of a post...!
I've been dating my partner who has a 2 year old boy for just about a year and things have always been pretty serious, I see my future with them both. I love my boyfriend and his son so much but very often I find it difficult to be in this situation, especially dealing with bad anxiety and depression. This is made worse very frequently by disagreeing on parenting - I KNOW that I'm not the parent and some might argue I shouldn't have any say at all but I've known my SS since he was just 1yo and my partner has always asked for my advice, support and given me 'permission' to take on a parenting role.
But when it comes to disagreements, the arguments get pretty nasty and result in my partner disrespecting me, insulting me and shouting at me - and even worse, in front of his son. He has a very short temper... so my only response is to walk out the room and isolate myself (usually resulting in a panic attack). I'm beginning to hate myself, and truly believe the things that he's saying, that I'm cruel and horrible and out to make his and his sons life miserable (he has said this in front of SS!!!).
I've given myself up to live with them both, cook their dinners, clean the house, do the laundry, everything. I plan meals that everyone will eat to avoid conflict, go out and do the grocery shopping to ensure everything is in, plan things to do at the weekend, buy him toys that will help him learn and develop (as opposed to the assorted dinosaur figures and kinder surprises that boyfriend always goes for!). I've bought him fun dinner sets to help his eating (partner and BM don't make an effort to improve his very fussy, almost non-existent appetite!). I went out and bought him a dinosaur bedding and now he LOVES to stay in his own bed - but partner always takes him into our bed when I'm not there anyway... just one example of his inconsistency to discipline.
I love them both and only have everybody's best interests at heart but my partner sees it as nagging and thinks I'm being too harsh by suggesting, what I think, is very basic discipline / teaching. Communication is almost out of the question at this point, he jumps straight to the defensive and refuses to speak (at least, without yelling) and I feel lost.
Am I being too harsh? Is it my place to say anything? I'm at a loss.
Your partner sounds like an abusive arse. Why are you dedicating yourself to being his skivvy?
He's showing you exactly the level of contempt he has for you.
Why do you want to remain in this relationship?
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
The majority of the time this man is lovely, kind and caring and will go massively out of his way to make me happy. But when it comes to his little boy, he has a very defensive attitude. He obviously feels guilty for his son not having the traditional family set up, but at the same time I see it as this being all his son has ever known since they split before he was born.
He makes up for this by spoiling him, coddling and meeting his every demand - to which I'm completely opposed... But if I say this to him he implies that I'm 'bullying' a 2 year old boy and that I don't like his son. He says these arguments are due to me hating the fact he has a son with somebody else (yes, I find it difficult, but I knew what I was getting myself into) and that I have issues with the little boy himself!
Basically he thinks all of our fall outs are caused by my anxiety and 'I need to get help' because I'm taking my own issues out on him, his son and our relationship. I know this isn't true, I know myself enough to know this isn't true. It is only triggered when I start to feel disrespected and upset.
80-90% of the time we are so happy and I've never met someone who cares so much. That's why I'm still with him.
Sorry for another rant...!!
I agree with all the PPs. Leave. "Giving yourself up" for an abusive guy with a toddler from a previous relationship isn't going to end well. You will end up feeling used, angry and resentful if you're not already.
This issue will never go away. Ever. You could write this post in 18 years time and it will still be the same because it's not things that are the issue - it people.
Regardless if your dp is lovely most of the time - when it comes to his son he is abusive. Shouting and calling you names - infront of his son ... Come on now don't be so nieve.
No matter how far you put yourself out - in your dp eyes you are not his bio mum do have no say what so ever unless it's spoiling him. This will never change and will cause you no end of resentment.
Do you think it's fair and healthy for your dp to see his father shouting and calling his dp names ? Do you think it might cause your ds to grow up thinking that that you are to be afforded no respect as his father shouts and calls you names of he disagrees with you?
My Dh and I do not call each other names. We are not perfect but our DC have never seen us do that to each other. I grew up in that kind of house hold. I swore I would never be that mother/wife.
I have anxiety and Dh can spot when I'm 'revving' up. its s tricky one because it can completly overwhelm you and make you feel like the sky is falling in and everything is emploading. So are you having attacks because things are not going your way as control is a part of anxiety OR aid your anxiety triggered because of him calling you names and shouting?
Men that scream and shout and call names are not for me. I would not stick that out.
On another note. Toddlers climbing in to bed in the middle of the night is s part of life. My three year old does it, I normally get in her bed if she goes straight to sleep in ours.
My DH used to get quite defensive if I said anything about DSD's behaviour, etc. He would act as though I was attacking her and went completely OTT. I sat down with him and told him that what he was doing was ridiculous and unacceptable way of treating me. Since then he has been much better. He too feels the guilt of not being with her every day, but like yourself he split with DSD's DM when she was 1 year old so she knows no different really.
Maybe you need to just take a slight step back and not be so involved in everything. I know it's hard as you obviously care about this little boy a lot, but you haven't been in his life that long. You also have to understand that your DP isn't going to be as strict and rigid with things like discipline,etc with you as he has all these mushy feelings for him that always win. I have a 3yo DS and so understand how they can just win you over.
Maybe have a couple of days to yourself to really think about what you want. If you want to stay with this guy then you need to have a serious conversation about how he treats you in front of his son, he is the living example of how he should behave when he grows up.
He definitely acts as though I'm attacking his son. Problem is I have spoken about it, or at least try to but it just turns around on me having the problem. Likewise, the problem is he just doesn't discipline full stop... tantrum at dinner table because he wont eat due to his favourite movie being on TV in front of him - poor boy come give me a cuddle. throw a hard toy across the room - laugh and continues playing. smack daddy in the face because he is busy doing work on laptop - puts laptop down and gives attention. I can't be the only one who thinks there should be basic boundaries. It's hard to take a step back and watch this go on.
This little boy is not bad - he's extremely clever and picks up on new things quickly but it seems that BM and partner don't want to try with him. He loves helping me with the laundry or taking dishes through to the kitchen after meals, he gets excited about cleaning up spills. It's a change from BM sticking an iPad in front of him or sitting on sofa watching the same movie. The look on his face when he was playing animal dominoes with me and being praised on how smart he was matching the right cards together made me so happy. But along with the disrespect this little boy is seeing, and the lack of correction and effort drives me over the edge, I can't hold back my feelings.
Personally, I don't agree that toddlers coming into bed is part of life - it's normal but it should be taught otherwise. Our bed is our alone time and space together. BM refuses to allow me to sleep in same bed as her son - understandably - which means kicking me to the sofa. There's a sofa bed in his bedroom that partner can sleep on if he needs to. But as I said he loves his bed and will come through to check we are still there then walk back. He is so good at staying in bed all night (until 4am wake up guys its morning!!! aaah).
You have a chance to get out of this without looking back on your life and thinking you have wasted too much of your life on a man and his child.
If you're going to take on someone else's child, that person needs to make it worth it. If you're unhappy being with him then you definitely won't be happy being a stepmum to his child.
I know from bitter experience.
I don't think that you can continue in a relationship with someone who's parenting style is so different from yours. It will be a constant bone of contention and will just become worse, especially if/when you have your own children. You need to either respect your DP's parenting style or leave. FWIW I agree with your outlook but I don't think that you can expect to impose it.
As an aside, I think it's a bit insulting to call DSS's Mum "Birth Mother". She's his Mum, just that.
You sound really sensible and loving towards this little boy and all his father is doing is disrespecting you.
If you don't want to leave for yourself (why you wouldn't want to is anyone's guess - are you used to being treated badly at home? What were your parents like?) then please leave for the little boy's sake. While you are clearly giving him a better standard of living, he's having to watch someone he loves being abused and that will inevitably affect him.
I don't think it's understandable that Mum refuses to allow you to sleep with her son OP. What happens in Dad's house isn't something she gets to dictate. Of course you shouldn't be delegated to the sofa.
I have a 2 year old. She sleeps with us when she's ill. Not otherwise. She'd like to, but I couldn't function if she did. I'd be shattered with a wriggly toddler squeezed between us all night.
Honestly, get out. He won't see your point of view, ever, all that will happen is this little boy will start to disrespect you too. He'll learn the shit storm and art of manipulation of playing mum and dad against you.
I know you've invested a lot, but sometimes cutting your losses is better
It is a doubt that I can stay in this relationship. I know it's wrong how I'm being treated but somehow I justify it with the good times. It's difficult on the inside to just drop someone you love, especially when there's a desire to help this little boy to some extent. I'm not ready to leave.. I don't argue with him in front of his son hence walking out the room, he doesn't see the arguments but he is not stupid and he definitely understands that I'm the stricter one and daddy will do whatever he wants.
My parents were both alcoholics and had a very rough break up when I was coming into my teens. Shortly after my mum died. My dad met another lady who is now my step mum and I look back and thank her for the things she did for our family. I truly hope that by sticking things out, this little boy will feel the same way about me.
Regarding birth mother, I'm merely using the abbreviations I've seen and read everywhere else. No offence or insult meant.
Thanks for your replies, clearly I just need to vent sometimes.
As a 'BM' ( I hate that term in a Mam my DS lives with me) . You need to stop slagging her off and her parenting. My two year old has a iPad they can pretty educational and widely used in schools. You meantioned her several times pulling her up on her parenting. You don't live there so how would you know? Are you guilty of being this conscending about your DP? Although some of his behaviour is uncalled for you sound incredibly judgemental when you yourself are not a parent.
I echo everyone else, why are you with this man?? He disrespects you, treats you like shit and you do everything for him. Re his son, you will never ever win. He will parent differently to you and unless you start compromising and communicating your relationship is doomed.
To be honest I would run while I could. No way would I put myself through all that.
I agree with others that you sound very caring and wise. And I think you deserve better.
Take the little boy out of the equation for a moment and look at what you have written about your partner.
You have depression an anxiety and yet he shouts and insults you to the extent that you have panic attacks.
No matter how good the good times are, nothing makes up for this. It won't change. You cannot change him. Please put yourself first.
Has he merely snapped due to the constant cristisms as you are so amazing op? You seem to big yourself up whilst being extremely negative about the actual child's parents. I'm just adding another prespective here as reading through the lines is what I've picked up on. It would be interested to hear his point of view on the situation.
I really don't think you should be slagging off his MOTHER's parenting. It's one thing being a weekend GF it's another being a full time parent with all the emotions that involves.
Actually a lot of people let their toddlers into their beds, it's fairly normal. If your DP is happy then that's his parenting choice nothing to do with his ex.
I think you have your view and he has his. His parenting choices over ride yours I'm afraid. You've only been on the scene a short while and who knows how long you will be around. Harsh but statistically true. Until you're married and in a more permanent position then imho he should make his own choices about how he wants to parent his son.
If this situation makes you uncomfortable now then walk away. It will not get better and may make you unhappy in the long run.
Yeah I must admit op you do big yourself up a fair bit. It's easy to be just amazing with a 2 year old when you are not with them all the time and you are not their parent. Toddlers are often better when not with tier parents.
looks at 2 year ds who is a angel at nursery, demon at home
JessicaRabbit3, you have a very judgemental and condescending tone yourself. No, I'm not a parent and I've never claimed to be - but I do have my own natural motherly instincts which kick in while I spend so much time with this little boy. I'm at a point of feeling like I am the horrible and unreasonable one here - so I certainly do not think I am "so amazing". Not once have I bigged myself up, than shared my feelings. Yes I'm being fairly negative but I've stated that I am venting and right now I am in a lost state.
Not once have I bad mouthed either parent, but merely mentioned the things that I like to do with my partner's son to enhance his own development as well as his play time. Again, didn't 'slag' the use of an iPad.. Of course it's educational, and a good method for distraction whilst doing chores or having a little bit of 'me time'.. but not to watch dinosaurs on repeat while she marathon watches the Real Housewives or orders in take away for his dinner. Yes, I'm bitter.
Thanks everybody else for your replies.
Going to go against the grain here slightly - you sound incredibly judgemental about how your DP and his ex parent their DS, even to the point you have said that you bought educational toys rather than dinosaurs as your DP does. What's wrong with dinosaurs? this child is two. Two year olds love dinosaurs.
As for him coming into his dad's bed, well, that's a matter of opinion, surely? It wasn't my thing either but to each their own. Two is just a baby still, and if his dad feels that he wants him to come into bed then that is something you either need to agree on or something which you feel you couldn't deal with in the relationship and might influence your decision to stay or not.
What are the incidents which provoke these arguments?
I do absolutely believe that a step parent can have a parenting role in the DSC's life, however there is a vast difference between having a parenting role and wanting to override and "correct" the parenting done by the child's parents.
If my DP decided that I was an inadequate parent and felt he had a duty to stick around for the benefit of my DS because he thought he knew better he wouldn't be my DP for long. And I have little doubt that arguments would ensue, although I wouldn't resort to name-calling.
While I don't necessarily think that you and your DP are compatible in terms of your parenting ideals, I think that there are issues on both sides which you need to address if you are going to stay together.
Leaving aside your involvement with your boyfriend's son (which is way over the top IMO, and you shouldn't comment on how his mother parents her own son), you do not have a good relationship. The relationship is not supportive and healthy, so it's best to walk away.
PS. I stated from the beginning that they moved in with me and I live with them full time - as full time as my partner. 50/50 custody.
How do you even know she plonks him in front of the ipad watching dinosaurs while she binge watches Real Housewives and orders takeaway? He's 2, he hardly has a clue, hardly a reliable witness!
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