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I don't know how to make this work

(13 Posts)
TethersFrayedEnd Wed 14-Dec-16 17:41:55

I've been with BF over two years and we've had some hiccups along the way with the DC getting on. Contact (all of us together) has been limited to one evening EOW due to these issues but we spend a lot of time together separately. However, we recently went on holiday together for a week which is the longest we'd spent all together and it's really highlighted some major issues.

Over the course of the week I found myself getting increasingly irritated by BF's DS(8). He is an only child whereas I have three (DS(17), DD1(8) and DD2(5)) so I don't doubt that he is having to adjust to having 'siblings' but he is just soooo competitive. I can only describe his behaviour as constantly being on 'show'. He has to be first at everything, literally he will race to be first if we are walking anywhere or push past everyone to be first in the queue. If he is playing on a device he is always announcing his score or his rank. If he has watched a film or programme before, he will tell everyone what is about to happen and say the script ahead of the character saying their lines. Not just once or twice but the whole way through and celebrates vocally when he gets it right. We played cards one evening and he just talked constantly about how good his hand was, celebrating loudly every time he picked up a card he needed. I don't like competitive people generally, I've ditched friends in the past for being like this. It also completely rubs my two up the wrong way as you'd expect, particularly DD1 who we suspect has some sensory processing issues and MH issues also. DP is not a Disney dad by any stretch and is actually quite strict but doesn't always pull his DS up on these issues, I'm guessing because he sees no problem with it? what will often happen is that BF's son will do something to wind one of mine up (usually doing something that leaves the other out, like whispering a secret to only one) and DD1 will react spectacularly. It is then only her behaviour that gets punished as his pales in comparison but he is often the catalyst. My DC notice the needing to be first or complain when he is ruining a film for them but BF is quite defensive and denies that his DS is being competitive. I feel unable to bring this up with BF as he can be defensive.

BF has this dream that one day we will all live as one big happy family and is urging me to be more of a mother to his DS. This creates pressure on me as I'm not natural with DC other than my own. I also don't feel like it's my place as he has a mother already although BF says she is a workaholic who largely ignores his DS or dumps him with babysitters. At one point BF compared me to his own SM who he loathed which was upsetting.

Also, my DS and BF clashed spectacularly and were arguing with each other by the end. My DS is generally quite laid back but can be a little selfish which wound BF up as we were quite stressed with the younger kids arguing. DS is now saying he will never speak to BF again and wants nothing to do with him. This is particularly upsetting as they got on very well before, in fact, DS often confided in BF before me.

I don't even know where to begin in sorting out what feels like a huge mess. There's obviously a lot more to this but these are the main issues. I really do love BF, he's an incredible partner who loves me totally and is extremely supportive and helpful and whilst I want to make it work, I feel under pressure to separate from him, partly from my DC. BF was terrified all holiday that I was going to leave him when we got back. It's terrible timing too as he's had a horrendous run of luck lately being bullied out of his job, having to give up his flat, totalled his car and is struggling to find a new job. Unsurprisingly he's ended up with depression and I worry that losing me would tip him over the edge. Plus it would devastate me but of course I will put the DC first if it came to it.

What do I do? Has anyone experienced anything like this and can advise me? TIA flowers

LineyReborn Wed 14-Dec-16 17:52:34

Hang on a minute - he has no home, job or car?

The issues with the children are massively important - but you need stability to tackle them together.

You don't have that. I'd be thinking of asking him to give you space. A lot of space.

TethersFrayedEnd Wed 14-Dec-16 19:18:50

Yes Liney, but none of that was his fault, just awful bad luck. He's trying really really hard to get a job but they keep giving the same feedback - he lacks experience. He's more than pulling his weight in other ways.

It feels really cruel to distance myself right now but at the same time, I don't know what to do about the situation. Is it even salvageable?

Lunar1 Wed 14-Dec-16 19:25:31

His son is only 8 and there are aspects of his personality that you don't like and seek to avoid in friends. This is absolutely fine, you are entitled to your feelings and you don't have the unconditional love that a parent would to help you through it.

What would be unfair would be to try and bring your families closer together. These problems would be magnified. I think from your post you know that and are hanging on because you feel sorry for your boyfriend.

pklme Wed 14-Dec-16 19:46:48

I had a fosterDS like this, who had attachment disorders. Infuriating though it is, it comes from a place of fear. Fear of not being good enough, fear of being ignored, forgotten, overlooked. Fear that he isn't as good as anyone else.

Your BF is being unreasonable in not allowing the relationships to develop at a natural pace.

You may need to ask DS to calm down a bit, point out that everyone is under a lot of pressure, remind him that they got on well in the past, and get him to be a bit patient. Don't try and knit the families closer though, especially with DS presumably having exams at some point...

BlueBlueSkies Wed 14-Dec-16 19:47:46

Holidays can be incredibly stressful. My DH and I have lived together for 9 years. The kids all live with us, and visit their other parents EOW and one day during the week. We muddle along, and have our ups and downs.

Every few years we have another go at all going on holiday together. Each time I come back saying never again. DSS winds me up, he annoys my DD, DS annoys DH and by the end I dying to get home. My DSS sounds like yours, has to tell everyone that he is better at their hobbies than they are, even though he has done it only once and they train weekly.

DH does not see this and came back this summer saying what a success it had been and where shall we go next year. I was confused.

Don't base your decisions on a holiday. It will all blow over and start thinking of the practicalities of living together. Your DP has to get a job first.

Somerville Wed 14-Dec-16 19:51:57

Is there an option in between blending your families and breaking up? Either seems quite extreme.
Can you continue to date but not have the children altogether?

LineyReborn Wed 14-Dec-16 20:23:06

What would ideally want to happen?

How much of that is, basically, within your control and how much outside of your control?

LineyReborn Wed 14-Dec-16 20:23:45

Sorry - What would you ideally want to happen?

twattymctwatterson Wed 14-Dec-16 23:09:49

If his mother is really a workaholic who doesn't have a lot of time for him do you think that could be why he is the way he is? He's showing off because he wants you and your DC to like him, plus he's 8 - 8 year olds can be annoying. The good news is that he probably won't always be annoying if made to feel loved and secure. Clearly you recognise that your DS isn't perfect either. Perhaps go back to just gradually building up the time you spend together?

Underthemoonlight Wed 14-Dec-16 23:33:57

HE sounds like a typical 8 year old boy I think your beingassovely hard on him it doesn't sound like you're willing to open up to him when you say you've dropped friends for simile behaviours he's still just a kid and learning.

mrssapphirebright Fri 16-Dec-16 10:05:56

Firstly i would be wary right now of your BF trying to rush things to make his life more secure. he seems keener than you to merge your two families. I may be being sceptical, but if he has lost his job he may want the security.

Anyway, I don't see this working from what you have said in your post. There seems like too many issues right now. i definately think you dp needs to sort his life out first. i would also be wary of how much he slags his exdp off and calling her a shit mum. Either she is, and what he is saying is true (in which case run a mile now) or she isn't and you dp is blaming her and trying to replace his ds's mum (in which case run a mile now).

if i'm honest, i don't think your dp's son sounds that bad. Annoying, yes. My ds was like this at this age, probably until he reached teens and chilled out a bit. Always had to be the winner, first, quite pushy and competitive with his little sister. It sounds a lot like sibling rivalry and maybe some insecurity mixed in. It never bothered me but my exdh (ds's dad) hated it as like you he really didn't like the over competitive nature. I imagine its harder to tollerate when its not your dc and when it upsets your dd's.

As for your ds, he is at a vulnerable age. his feelings towards your dp may chop and change. he possibly quite liked him as a mate when he was just hanign about to chat to etc, but the family holiday and having him around in a 'dad' role may have been too much for him.

Bananasinpyjamas1 Fri 16-Dec-16 10:55:05

I think that your BF needs you to be closer more than you need this. You are juggling three very different aged children of your own, and quite possibly have enough on your plate. Maybe spend another year with no pressure, see how you feel then?

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