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Is it time to call it a day?

(14 Posts)
keepsmiling77 Mon 04-Dec-17 22:50:43

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Ok I'm a first time poster and feeling a bit fragile so please be kind.
My partner and I have been together for nearly 2.5yrs. He has 12yr old son full time and I have 7yr old son with joint custody.
We moved in together in January and it has not been as I'd hoped. Step parenting is way harder than i expected. We both naively thought that moving into a nice house together would bring us closer together and we'd be a happy family of 4. Ha!
My partner's son has been very difficult to live with and within a week was telling lies about me, is selfish, disrespectful of his dad and pretty much ignores my son who absolutely adores him. I knew he had insecurity issues before we moved in and was possibly jealous of my son as he thought his dad was spending too much time with my son.
I naively thought that he would see how happy we could all be together and he'd get better.
Over the last 11 months I have tried to bond with SS by taking him out places, bought him new clothes and things he's interested in. But whilst he plays along and smiles to my face, he slags me off to his Dad and criticises my son as soon as he thinks I'm out of earshot. It hurts. I'm at my wits end and honestly have no affection left for this boy anymore. Every time he slags off my son I just feel further and further away from him. He is very manipulative and I've recently discovered that he's been online bullying kids from school. Hes a proper butter wouldnt melt kinda kid and I'm shocked and appalled by his behaviour, but it shows me that I don't really know this kid at all.
A further problem is that my partner has been ill for the last 6 months due to chronic pain and pain killer addiction. I do love him but feel exhausted by him and his son. He is dealing with the problems with meds with his doctor and promises me he is doing everything to change to keep me in his life. When we are on our own we still get on really well. But I feel like he's been absent most of the time and I have been left trying to run the house and parent both kids. We used to have very similar parenting styles and both worshipped our kids but I feel that he has changed and is no longer interested in his son and often criticises me for being "obsessed" with my son. This sounds like jealousy to me. My partner is also jealous of my relationship with DS's dad. I maintain a good relationship with ex to make sure my son sees positive adults in his life.
So I'm at the end of the line...do I quit? Could it get better? I'm so unhappy at home. I do my best to be so positive and upbeat when my son is around but I'm not sure I can keep it up anymore. I'm concerned about partner's son's behaviour and how it could affect my son. Is it time to call it a day?

PSMum2 Mon 04-Dec-17 23:44:08

I am very sorry for what you are going through. It sounds just awful. What exactly is your partner doing other than “promising”? Is he in active recovery? Is he going to meetings? If he is not in ACTIVE recovery then yes, you should leave. Now.

Addiction is hard, the stats on people staying in recovery are not good and just getting there puts everyone through hell and that’s in the very very rare case the addict wants to get clean and sober. There is a very big difference between wanting to get clean and wanting to keep your partner. Addicts will do and say anything to keep the life they want.

There are few things worse for a child than growing up in a house with an addict. His son is already displaying typical behavior for the child of an addict. Please, please, please do not subject your own child to this as well.

There are plenty of places online where you can get support and information for families of addicts, spend some time reading any of the friends and families of addicts boards to get an idea of what the future has in store for you and your son.

Good luck to you.

Hedgehog2018London Tue 05-Dec-17 02:08:21

So sorry to hear you're going through this! Step-parents are always taken for granted and harboring the perfect blended family is not an easy job but it can be worth while in the long run. My brothers made it difficult for my step mum when they were younger and adore her now (so there is hope!).

For me, it sounds like the issue lies more with your partner rather then your step son. Your partner needs to support you and visa versa, maybe spend more time with him and open communication, be honest and non confrontational? And if he feels your relationship with your sons Dad is too close then back off a little, it's great to have an amicable relationship with your ex partner/ biological father of your son but it's not necessary to be buddies at all, especially if it upsets your current partner which later on affects his mood/behavior in the house consequentially affecting your son. You could speak with your ex partner as you would do with your child's teacher, keep it amicable but focus entirely on the child.

Would it help if you pushed yourself into the frame mind of: this is not my step son, this is MY son. Weather he moans about me, acts ungrateful or does things I don't like. I'm here as a care giver and I'm not going anywhere.

When you see them as a 'step child' that you're thinking about 'calling it a day on' you can almost fall into the wrong mind set of not wanting him around like it's an option.

It really sounds like you're trying hard and are the back bone of this blended family but if you could just re-train your brain to view your step son as your son, permanently, forever. It might help you overcome any difficult behavior.

Whenever your step son complains to your Dad about you, take a second to listen to what the complaint is and see if you can work on it and if it's just a rant with no basis, then get your partner to remind your step son how much you love him and talk about him all the time, love him to pieces and never want to upset or annoy him?

WhiteCat1704 Tue 05-Dec-17 06:19:19

I wouldn't puy my sons future at risk by being with an addict!! Your boy may model himself on his behaviour!

SandyY2K Tue 05-Dec-17 06:56:42

If I were in your position, I would leave. You and your son don't deserve this nonsense. Life is too short to put up with it.

InfiniteSheldon Tue 05-Dec-17 07:01:27

Life is too short and your ds too precious walk away

Bumdishcloths Tue 05-Dec-17 07:36:38

When you get to the point where everything is annoying you, it's time to leave. Your happiness is important. You're not obliged to set yourself on fire to keep others warm, and life is too short as others have said. Ultimately you need to decide whether you think there will ever be an improvement.

Biglettuce Tue 05-Dec-17 13:37:09

I think you know that you need to leave. Your partner is not coping and is an addict, no wonder your DSS is messed up. Don’t ruin your sons life. It is an oppressive environment.

Your DSS needs help, where is his mum? This is not going to get any better with you living there. Move out. Get your DP to step up and concentrate in his son.

keepsmiling77 Tue 05-Dec-17 17:53:45

Thank you all so much for your responses. I'm really pleased to read all the messages. The balance of staying and going seems strong on the going side. In truth i feel I should've left months ago but wanted to be sure I had really exhausted every avenue before giving up.
It's interesting to read the responses regarding addicts. Whilst my sensible brain knows my partner is addict and still on a ridiculous amount of pain meds, which will take at least 6months to reduce to zero, my emotional side kept thinking our love can get thru this. But there are ugly sides to his personality when going thru withdrawal. In particular his attitude towards his son is quite disinterested and this is so unattractive. I have told him no end of times to do stuff with him, take him places that interest him, book him trips or weekends away...just spend time with him!
Sadly his son has no contact with his mum because she was controlling and over disciplined him he says. He says she hit him frequently but she denied this. She seemed like a good mum in some ways, took him lots of places and hobbies but he has told so many lies I don't know what is the truth. Social services were involved and they asked him if wanted to maintain contact with her and he said no. She didn't even put up a fight! I'll never understand that. So he hasn't seen her properly in nearly 2 years.
The truth is I'm tired of dealing with the drama that comes with this part of my life and there is a safe way out for me and my precious son. He Is my absolute treasure and deserves the best of me and my time.

PSMum2 Tue 05-Dec-17 18:34:45

Keepsmilling you seem like a lovely caring person. As someone above pointed out - you don’t have to set yourself on fire to keep someone else warm. There is no shame in walking away. In situations like this, where the pull to stay and save people is so strong, it’s actually the brave thing to do. And your son will thank you for the stability you will give back to him.

If it were possible to love an addict clean and sober addiction wouldn’t be an issue for anyone. Only your partner can help himself and he has to really, really want it.

I’m all for compromise and working things through as blending families is so hard, but nothing you have mentioned is a “blending families” issue. There is dysfunction and addiction here, both of which take time and commitment to overcome and it doesn’t seem like your partner has the commitment and your son certainly doesn’t have the time during his precious formative years.

It is very, very sad for your stepson to have an addict for a father and an absent mother. Those are things that cause a lot of trauma for children. You cannot fix this for any of them, you can only give your son, and yourself, a happy, stable family. And who knows, your leaving may well be your partner’s rock bottom and he finally starts turning things around for his son.

MoseShrute Tue 05-Dec-17 18:40:16

Sorry OP, you have a dh problem more than a stepson problem. I feel sorry for the kid. His behaviour sounds horrendous and hard to love, but he's been abandoned and abused by his mum and now his dad is, by your own admission, disinterested and neglectful. Honestly, you sound quite nice and are trying hard, but dont do it. Just leave. It will only get worse

MyBrilliantDisguise Tue 05-Dec-17 18:45:41

I wouldn't stay. Frankly, your partner doesn't sound nice at all and I wouldn't live with a child who was slagging me off for the sake of a partner who was an addict and not very nice to boot. Addiction is a really selfish disease as you're finding out. It's time for you to put yourself and your child first and get out. Your son will be so grateful; I think it's only when you leave you'll know just how unhappy you both were.

whatkatydidnext1 Tue 05-Dec-17 19:15:29

Really I can't add what's already been said but I just wanted to say it was nice to hear you looking for the good in his mum. I suspect there is more to that side of things that you are yet to discover. Or may be not. Put your son first. I have a feeling your going to thanks

keepsmiling77 Tue 05-Dec-17 21:19:12

Thank you all so much. I really appreciate your thoughtful responses and they've made me think hard about decisions I have made and question the reasons behind them. I am truly grateful for the honesty and kindness you've shown me.
I particularly love the phrase, "you're not obliged to set yourself on fire to keep others warm." That shall be my mantra!

I feel that I may have done my partner a disservice with some of my comments as he is a truly wonderful, kind man, who is very caring but is in the grips of hideous addiction and is just not himself. I understand now that I cannot be his crutch any longer and i am now looking at my moving out options. This won't be a swift solution due to Christmas as it wouldn't be fair to my son to try to move out before Christmas now. However i will sort this for the end of Dec/Jan, and my son and i will have a smashing New Year and hopefully many more after that! Xx

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