Whits' end

(23 Posts)
StewDad Fri 09-Aug-19 13:57:13

Hi everyone, this is my first post in mumsnet although I've been reading some of the threads and comments on similar subjects.
My situation is this. I have two daughters (12 and 7) from previous and my partner has a 3 year old boy. She split with her husband last year and we have been together since around Christmas.
The dilemma I have is that I just cannot get on with her little boy. I know this makes me an awful person and he's only 3 etc... Trust me, I've been fighting with the guilt of how awful I am since January.
However, it doesn't change the fact that I am now actively avoiding him whenever I can now. I just can't stand being around him.
To add more information to the situation, these are the main 'beefs' (for want of a better word)that I am struggling with.
1: His father pays absolutely nothing toward his upkeep. I pay for everything in our household so the mother doesn't have to chase her ex for money (She can afford to clothe etc her boy from her wages as she doesn't pay rent, bills etc.). My partner also has no intention of chasing her ex for money either, even as a token gesture. I also recently paid for a holiday for us all, his first since his father cba.
2: Every communication is an incessant whine that just grinds at me; and that is before he's told 'no'.
3: Days with his father are spent eating junk, staying up late and being given everything he desires. As a result, we end up with a hyper, spoiled little brat. He will demand something to eat, take a couple of nibbles then whine about wanting something else.
4: My two daughters are both respectful, polite girls (they have their moments but otherwise are really well behaved) who must wonder why the boy gets away with murder. I particularly hate this as its not fair on them when he is given treats despite being rude and disrespectful.
5: He has no manners at all. Everything is 'I want' or 'I will have'. Both of my two were taught from a young age about please and thank you.

Those are the main points that highlight the issues. I know I'll get a barrage of comments saying that I'm not giving him a chance etc, that he's only 3. Save your characters. I already feel really bad about this. I just want some help and / or guidance as to what I can do. Speaking with my partner, she just takes it as an insult of her parenting and that 'I need to change'. I'd love to, I'll literally do anything to get beyond the anxiety and dread that I feel knowing I'll be going to my home and hearing the whining, seeing the disrespect and literally not wanting to be in the home that I work my tail off to provide.
Thank you if you have managed to get this far through war and peace. Thank you also for any worthwhile advice you can give. At the moment, the only thing I can think of to maintain my sanity is to call it a day.

OP’s posts: |
PennysPocket Fri 09-Aug-19 14:04:51

Been together since Christmas 2018 and you already live together have I read that right?

You need to be honest and tell her you don't like her child. It's cruel for you to stay because your resentment will be noticed by the little boy and it is unfair for you to be in his life when you don't like him.

Do the right thing and end the relationship now.

Goodnightjude1 Fri 09-Aug-19 14:06:02

It is hard, I know from experience! The best advice I can give you is to not avoid him. Try and find something you enjoy doing together, something that makes him feel part of the family unit. He’s probably playing up for attention. It’s a relatively new situation and at his age he’s probably struggling to try and find his place.
Could you take him to the park to play football?
Go on a bike ride?
Go swimming?

Children very quickly pick up on atmosphere and he may be well aware you’re avoiding him/don’t like him. It’s up to you, as an adult to get past that. Once you’ve gained his trust and he doesn’t see you as ‘competition’ for his mums attention, you’ll hopefully be able to set more boundaries and get on much better!

Good luck tho, I truly understand how hard it is!

Babdoc Fri 09-Aug-19 14:16:57

To be fair to your own DDs, you need consistency. If the wee lad demands something, you don’t hand it over. You do the “What about the little word?” routine. Every single time. Until he learns to say please.
Ideally, you need to get your DP on board with this too. I can’t imagine why she wouldn’t- we all want our DC to have good manners, surely.
Kids will play mum off against dad unless they see a united front.
At the moment you are being passive and getting horribly irritated.
Take control of the situation- you are the adult, not this little boy. It’s up to you to set boundaries and socialise the lad. Then when he finally does start saying please, you give him lots of praise and encouragement, to reinforce it. Kids like to have your good opinion of them - they feel insecure if they know they are loathed, and it makes their bratty behaviour worse. Encourage all his good points and you will soon get on better. Eventually you’ll be playing footie together, grumbling about the girls!

AnneLovesGilbert Fri 09-Aug-19 14:25:44

How long have you lived together and were you finding his as annoying before deciding to combine your families?

Calling a 3 year old a spoiled brat and referring to him as “the boy” is pretty grim. You don’t sound like you’ve tried to bond with him at all. He’s a toddler. He doesn’t give a shit you’re paying for rent or holidays, you make out like he’s ungrateful?! It’s not his fault his dad is useless. It’s not his fault him mum isn’t chasing child support. If you’ve got issues with her about your finances then take them up with her. This should have been properly discussed before you moved in together. You appeared in his young life less than a year ago, moved into his home or had him lose the home he knew by moving in with you and you expect respect from him. Big ask OP.

If you can’t find common ground with your partner and really can’t stand him then just leave and go your separate ways. He doesn’t need someone in his life who clearly loathes him. You can hardly know your partner as it is so cut your losses.

AnneLovesGilbert Fri 09-Aug-19 14:30:05

You do the “What about the little word?” routine. Every single time. Until he learns to say please.
Ideally, you need to get your DP on board with this too.

“Ideally”?! She’s his mum. OP is hardly in a position to start dishing out this sort of parenting, he’s mum’s still new boyfriend.

bloodywhitecat Fri 09-Aug-19 14:40:53

Call it a day, that poor lad has been through one hell of a lot in the last year and he is now living with a person who dislikes him. He deserves better, he is doing the best he can at the age of 3 and needs to be living with someone who likes him.


kmammamalto Fri 09-Aug-19 15:19:00

I don't think anyone should 'save their characters' on this.
Your points are literally only half to do with the little boy, and the others are about his dad! Its not the toddlers fault that his dad doesn't pay, or that he hasn't been taught manners, or that he's fed loads of crap and treats by the adults in his life!
I agree with pps. Just leave. That poor poor little boy, being avoided and being compared to your perfect kids who are way older and presumably had both parents with them when they were small.

readitandwept Fri 09-Aug-19 15:28:45

All the negativity from you about him and his dad, when his irresponsible mother has shacked him up with her brand spanking new boyfriend at the speed of light! How selfish you both are.

And if she's paying nothing to the household and letting you pay for the holiday, you're a mug as well.

StewDad Fri 09-Aug-19 15:31:47

Hi everyone,
thank you for the comments.
I'm well aware that it isn't his fault and that is one of the reasons that I feel so bad and low about it all. Some of you mentioned that the issues are with his father / mother and I do agree with you.

I think that a degree of resentment has come about from the fact that his father does so little and his mother seems unwilling / unable to try and implement any change for the boy's good; let alone anything else. I know I am being unfair to him and want to change but I honestly don't know how. Whenever I try and talk about the issues I'm having or ask for help, an argument starts.
The concensus seems to be to make a break. While it is something I have already considered, it has helped that is a popular suggestion.
Thank you everyone for your comments.

OP’s posts: |
AnneLovesGilbert Fri 09-Aug-19 15:39:16

You don’t respect your partner as a parent and that’s fatal in a blended situation. He’s 3, you’d have 15+ years of this ahead of you.

Apart from saying it’s not fair on your daughters that he gets away with behaviour they wouldn’t - easy to explain given the age difference... - you don’t mention how they feel about moving in with your partner when they can barely have known her. If you’re miserable then they must be too. It’s completely unfair on everyone to continue with this set up.

Who moved in with whom? You’re not responsible for your partner’s living costs, she must have been paying for the roof over her head and keeping the lights on before Christmas so go back to how you both were before and wait a lot longer with anyone else before jumping in head first.

RoLaren Fri 09-Aug-19 15:42:00

Break up now. This situation will not improve and he is the most vulnerable player in it.

CarolDanvers Fri 09-Aug-19 15:42:22

Leave them alone and end the relationship. You can't stand a THREE YEAR OLD child, barely more than a toddler and it will only get worse. It's definitely you that's the problem here, you're seething with resentment, so take yourself out of it.

Summerwellunderway Fri 09-Aug-19 15:47:24

If she is unwilling to parent her ds to your degree - and I agree whining spoilt dc are awful - you should split up. Your dc will be affected and that is something you can change. Put your dd's and your mh first. That's quite an acceptable thing to do you know!!
I married a man who's dd was similar. She bounced between several homes and took it as being top dc wherever she went.
Bloody nightmare.
Best day of our relationship was when I threw him out, realising no more dsd!

lunar1 Fri 09-Aug-19 15:50:46

I'd be asking yourself why your partner is happy to live off you but not seek maintenance that she is owed. Your relationship is new, this should be the fun period. If she won't make changes walk away, you can't control how other adults parent and it's just going to piss you off.

SandyY2K Fri 09-Aug-19 16:49:22

At the moment, the only thing I can think of to maintain my sanity is to call it a day.

I think this is a good idea.

Seems like she depends on you financially. How did she manage before you lived together?

Why did you move in together so quickly? You should have ascertained if you can live with him first.

Your girls are older and you've probably outgrown a tantrum throwing toddler.

Added to the fact his dad is useless...it doesn't help. To me your GF is seeking a step up dad, because her son's dad is a waste of space.

You'd be better getting out of this now...as it won't improve. If she can't even acknowledge the issues, he'll be a nightmare as he gets older.

Do you really need the headache? Go for a relationship where you don't live together until you're very sure about things.

Tbh its unfair on all the children to jump into these living arrangements. If care isn't taken, it will just irritate your DDs and as they will reduce their visits.

Do make sure you spend time with your girls, doing your own thing.

Toronto70 Fri 09-Aug-19 16:51:03

Hi stew
I’ve never responded to a message before but your post stirred very familiar past feelings for me. I too felt this way about my SD and she was three. I ignored them and stayed, it was the worst decision of my life. i too thought “ she’s only three, it will get better, I’ll try harder,” etc etc. Sometimes it just not get better. I couldn’t stand my step daughter, still can’t. In the last 13 years I’ve been her step mother she has lied, broken my nose - at three yrs old! - smeared her own faeces all over my carpet and bathroom walls, bullied her younger disabled brother. It will not get better, I promise u. Don’t do it for the boy, do it for your sanity. My husband has only in recent years supported me after looking through her phone and finding the awful lies she was telling her mother. But for years he never supported me and was always scarred of his ex wife. I’m free now, we’re still together but I have at last found the strength to say NO and step back. I advise you to run, very fast and not look back. And not experience the pain of step parenting in this situation.

HeckyPeck Fri 09-Aug-19 17:34:44

If she is unwilling to parent her ds to your degree - and I agree whining spoilt dc are awful - you should split up. Your dc will be affected and that is something you can change. Put your dd's and your mh first. That's quite an acceptable thing to do you know!!

Agreed. Also agree with the other poster who said his behaviour is likely to only get worse as his mum doesn’t want to parent him.

You’re also paying for everything and she can’t even be bothered to claim maintenance from the ex.

Walk away before you’re in too deep!

StewDad Tue 01-Oct-19 09:31:11

I know it's been over a month since I posted this but I've only just had chance to get back to viewing the site.
There does seem to be a common theme and, speaking to friends who I trust, the main notion seems to be to end it.
I think you're right and recent events have added weight to this.

To answer your questions....
I've known her for about 7 years now and we moved in together because she quite literally had nowhere to go at the time.

Financially, her and her ex had struggled for money as long as they'd been together, swuandering money on things they didn't need and getting them in to debt. Turns out one of her main outgoings is a loan she took on to clear his/their debt.
Recently it came to a head and I ended up walking out my own house. This was following an incident where the wee man had been playing with the dog and, while she was settling down for a poochy-snooze, he went and grabbed her leg and dragged her across the floor. I told him that this was very naughty (Didn't shout, but raised my voice a little to convey the importance of it) and that he shouldn't do it. 30 seconds later, he's doing it again!!. Then I shouted at him for doing it (he was clearly hurting her) and got an earful from his mum for shouting at her son.

It's now getting to the point where I actively avoid going home if I know he's there. Work is the usual excuse or bad traffic, coincidentally arriving home just after he's gone to bed.

It can't go on and everyone I have spoken to about it can see the effect it is having on me.

Time to call it a day.

OP’s posts: |
AnneLovesGilbert Tue 01-Oct-19 12:05:02

Time to call it a day.

Yep. Get your home back.

swingofthings Tue 01-Oct-19 13:17:01

Sadly it sounds you are both very stressed and resentful of each other and now in a position of defensiveness that any resolution would demand a massive change in your set up.

It sounds like your dds were easier at that age but it doesn't make him a horrible unloveable child, just one more demanding. Re. the incident of the dog, when he did it again he should have been given time out, or punished with no TV. Shouting never gets a good response but you are clearly at the end of your tether.

Ultimately, it sounds like you accepted that your partner came with a child to some extend, but clearly not a demanding one. He is demanding, so either you accept it and you too come up with ways to manage it, or you just have to accept that it's not into you to cope with a challenging toddler and you are indeed better off going your seperate way.

PinkCrayon Tue 01-Oct-19 13:20:11

Split up

Witchydearest Tue 01-Oct-19 16:47:27

Don’t join my club mate, please leave. I know it’s difficult to make these decisions but you’ve actually already made it, just tell her.

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