Fiancé expects too much of my relationship with step-son

(16 Posts)
Callie29 Wed 29-Jan-20 06:18:54

I’m new here, very stressed and a bit fragile so please be nice. I’m not looking for criticism, just maybe someone who’s been in a similar situation to me to sound off to.
I have two children with my fiancé, a 2 year old and a 6 month old.
Four months ago my fiancé’s son (12) (my soon to be step son) came to live with us full time and no longer sees his mum. This was a massive shock as things have always been rocky with my step-son. (Heavily influenced by his mother who has a terrible relationship with my fiancé despite the fact they separated 10 years ago.) My fiancé and I have been together for 5 and during this time we’ve gone through massive periods where we haven’t seen step-son at all. During this time his step-son has degraded me, lied about me, abused and manipulated his father and yet still expects to run our house- holding the threat over his father that if something doesn’t go his way he’ll leave again for a long period of time.
And yes, I know he’s only 12, and he does have some real deep seated emotional and attachment issues but that doesn’t make everything we’ve been through any less stressful and upsetting.
The past few weeks we have been through a rough patch, he’s been speaking to his mum and at the same time starting to become emotional abusive to my fiancé again, spewing vile words to hurt him that no 12 year old should even have in their minds and acting as if his parents broke up last month.
I naturally refuse to put up with this and have made it very clear to my stepson it’s not acceptable.
Anyway; things finally started moving to a more positive place again when fiancé brought up that he was going on a trip for work for a week in a few months and I just lost it.
When fiancé is around to act as a buffer, step-son and I genuinley get on ok, but when he’s not things are a bit awkward. We are both civil and polite but don’t actively seek each other’s company. When he comes home from school he’ll say hello then go and play Xbox and that suits the two of us. (That and I have two infants to run around after.)
But the thought of spending a whole week like this is horrible, it’s too much pressure and I know stepson doesn’t want it either.
The biggest issue is my fiancé just doesn’t seem/want to accept that this is just the way things are, he continues to push this notion that we’ll be best of friends one day and one big happy family, but I don’t want that and I know step-son doesn’t either. We maybe aren’t in the greatest situation but we can live in it and it works.
He loves his son unconditionally, and rightly so, but I just wish he could even try to understand that due to circumstances this is just the way the things are and actually by trying to push this notion of everyone being one happy family on us he’s actually doing more damage to his son and to me.

And please I could really do without the ‘his child was there before you’ and the ‘you knew he had a child before you got together’ comments because you have no idea about the extent of the full situation and how bloody hard I have tried and everything I’ve sacrificed to try and make step-son a part of my family.

Just hoping there’s some step-parents out there who also find things really bloody hard sometimes and could lend an ear.


OP’s posts: |
ukgift2016 Wed 29-Jan-20 06:26:16

And please I could really do without the ‘his child was there before you’ and the ‘you knew he had a child before you got together’ comments

Well it's true no?

You said your relationship with your step son and his mother was always rocky and toxic. You continued your relationship with your partner and had two children with him knowing he came with this huge baggage.

SS is your partner son. He is not going kick him out on the streets. It's suck it up time. Maybe attend family counseling.

ItWillBeBetterinAugust Wed 29-Jan-20 06:42:07

You have a partner problem here. Your stepsons dad needs to wake up and devote himself properly to the issues with his twelve year old as a matter of pressing urgency, before adolescence properly sets in and he's a 6 ft tall 15 year old.

The solution probably lies in addressing your step sons issues, and obviously his dad should be taking the lead on this. He does sound as though he'd benefit from therapy around his attachment and emotional issues. His dad needs to be seriously concentrating on his son to get him on an even keel.

Why did he suddenly move to live with you full time?

The long term set-up is very unsatisfactory, but why is the thought of a week of him essentially playing Xbox and being polite but distant quite so awful? I absolutely understand that you are frustrated and disappointed with his father for expecting you to be fine to parent his son when he knows how difficult the relationship is, but the way you describe the likely pattern for the week sounds manageable.

pictish Wed 29-Jan-20 06:52:52

I don’t think a week of polite avoidance and Xbox sounds too awful either. I’m not sure why you’re dreading it as much as you are. Your partner needs to work and given your stepson is a member of the household what else can you do but suck that up?

I can appreciate that things have been really tricky with him but you can’t be in a situation whereby your partner can’t go anywhere because you won’t be left with his son.

FoxtrotOscarPoppet Wed 29-Jan-20 07:21:16

OP you have a stepson and a fiancé problem.

SS is old enough to know the difference between right and wrong and his behaviour towards you all is manipulative and unacceptable.

Your fiancé needs to take his rose tinted lenses off and stop being a “Disney Dad”.

If your fiancé wants to go on a work trip then fine but in your position and with how your SS behaves I would be telling him to make alternative arrangements for his son (unless there is a HUGE turnaround in his behaviour before then).

That week will potentially be tiring enough running around after two infants, you don’t need the added stress of his son acting up with no one else there to help.

No one appreciates how hard step-parenting can be unless you are one. It would indeed be lovely to be one big happy family and you may be one day but that needs everyone to work at it. You can’t be the only one to keep giving in and making sacrifices.

I speak from experience so you have my sympathy.

allthedamnvampires Wed 29-Jan-20 07:42:00

Your fiancé just told you he was going abroad for a week and leaving you with three kids including your stepson with whom things are clearly very difficult? Didn't discuss this or empathise as to how hard this would be for you? Just expects you to suck it up? You need to have a serious discussion. His son has just moved back and the circumstances don't sound good. Why did his son move in? Right now you all need him there and actively engaging to help you and his son. Can you hold off on wedding plans until you feel more sure he's taking this seriously?

Mintjulia Wed 29-Jan-20 07:59:05

Ok, deal with it practically because the reality is you both have to get through it. Make it clear to dp that you need some help. Find a local nanny agency and explain the problem. Can you hire some professional help every evening for that week?
Or will his paternal gran come and help? An aunt? Your mum?
Good luck.


Magda72 Wed 29-Jan-20 08:00:18

Everything @allthedamnvampires says!

aSofaNearYou Wed 29-Jan-20 10:09:28

I agree with allthedamnvampires

He can't just decide he's leaving you to look after his son for the week, it shouldn't work like that.

ColaFreezePop Wed 29-Jan-20 11:57:14

Agree with allthedamnvampires

It's worth reminding your fiancé that you have no parental responsibility over his son and as you are not his son's blood relation, if he wants to go on any work trips he needs to make alternative arrangements for his son's care. He can't just dump you on each other.

Techway Fri 31-Jan-20 08:33:22

Your partner has everything he wants, his career and his son living with him.

He needs to wake up and realise he is the only parent to his son (who clearly has emotional issues) and he can't disappear for a week. He has to tell his employer that family circumstances mean he can't travel until home life settles down.

He is abidicating his parental responsibility.
How does your SS cope with school? Is he getting counselling?

Bibidy Fri 31-Jan-20 10:42:38

Agree with @ColaFreezePop.

It is one thing for your SS to move in but quite another for your DP to assume that you'll automatically look after him because he 'has' to go away with with work. If he was a single dad to SS he wouldn't be able to go would he? I'm sure someone else could go in his place if necessary.

If you and SS had a great relationship then I'd still expect your partner to ask if you were OK with having him for a week while he went away. To leave you both in an uncomfortable situation like this is just not on.

Love51 Fri 31-Jan-20 10:49:27

I'm the mother of the children in this house (not step mum) and my husband still asks me before he commits to working away! I never say no, I often say 'have you considered...' but he knows that family is more important than work. I know that he enjoys the work he does when he's away, so we work as a team to make that possible. If he knew I was finding it difficult, he wouldn't go!

loststarling Sun 02-Feb-20 10:27:50

I have a nearly 12yo SS, and I work with kids same age. At this age, they can be quite vicious in their words without the maturity to think how it hurts others. I'm sorry to hear about the abuse you received. It doesn't make you a bad person to feel stressed by it. Too many people think that it's EITHER feel sorry for the child OR acknowledge the impact on the adult. Both are possible.

When I got pregnant, I got kneed in the stomach and repeatedly insulted by my SS, he used every swear word in the book, he threw food, he suddenly "fancied" buying foods that were dangerous for pregnancy, he openly asked to not have me here. He calmed down and is now polite to me. But has this made it awkward for me to be around him alone, knowing what he can be like? Yes. I totally get where you are coming from. Your DP is very lucky you stick with it. He should get his son some help. And be open to at least listening to how you feel!

meme70 Sun 02-Feb-20 12:20:06

I’m 100% with you I have a 13 year old SD and it’s awful and I disagree with she’s a child she comes first blah blah

No your SS needs to learn he has to respect his SM his father can’t go away for work unless he finds alternative care for his son knowing how his son treats you he simply can’t expect that. I’ve looked after SS when her dads gone away never again

Has SA got grandparents aunts and uncles he can go stay with
Also BM should have supervised visits and not be allowed to poison her son.

allthedamnvampires Mon 03-Feb-20 11:00:54

@Callie29 how are you getting on?

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in