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Leaving relationship -: can't deal with stepson
49

Walkingawaysadly · 31/05/2022 13:13

I know that probably sounds really awful! I'm new on here but I'll give you the background.

DP and I have been together for just under a year, he has one son, 7, and I have 2 DC - 4 and 9. We're not married so his son is not actually my stepson but for ease of reference I used SS.

DP is a lovely and kind man but I just cannot stand his son.
it's really odd, I usually have good tolerance and find something to like in everyone..I'm generally good with friends' kids and have tons of patience, love doing imaginative play with them etc.

DP's son is very loud, tries to control everything, constantly tries to grab things from my 4 year old. He's just wants to be the boss all the time and to be in charge in EVERY situation. And he interrupts every single conversation. It's exhausting.
He's probably had a challenging time of it as his mum is very chaotic and either ignores him or shouts at him. And she is quite abusive to DP (I've seen/heard evidence, not just relayed from DP), so I get that an awful lot is probably learned behaviour and he's desperately trying to control his environment etc. In that way, I absolutely do have empathy and understanding towards him. He's just a kid.
But he is so in your face all the time, demanding attention all time, being mean to my youngest. He's always got to be the best at everything - everything is a competition. I just find him plain annoying and unlikeable.
That said both his parents think he may have ADHD, but the school doesn't and thinks he's an angel. I find that odd as I think if you have it you would present at school too?

My eldest DC isn't keen on him either as he's so full on and she's quite quiet and bookish.

It's got to the stage where I hate being around him and I'm worried I'm going to tell him off when he misbehaves. I did pull him up on something once when he was screaming at his Dad and I when we were talking and he told his mum I told him off (DP then got lots of abuse from her).

DP had him EOW at the moment.

there isn't an alternative but to walk away. I don't see it anyway. For both families.
That little boy deserves more than being around someone who can't stand him and is starting to resent him.

I've shocked myself with how I feel if I'm honest. I think that's why I've posted - because I thought I was a better person than that. I'm not fishing for reassurance that I'm an okay human but I think reassurance that the right thing to do is leave would help.

We don't live together at the moment so it's not too difficult. Thanks for reading

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Greensleeves · 31/05/2022 13:18

I definitely think you should leave. It's not fair on any of the children, the two families are incompatible and your feelings towards the 7yo - though I'm sure you try to hide them - will not be helping his behaviour, which almost certainly has roots in his disrupted childhood (he may or may not have a ND as well).

Living together would be a nightmare for all of you. If you accept that, then it's clear the relationship has no future and the best thing would be a clean break before people get any more invested.

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TiredButDancing · 31/05/2022 13:19

OP, well done for being honest and accepting that this isn't working for you. I think walking away now is a good move - for the sake of your own children and this little boy.

If his parents had a chaotic relationship and break up, that may also be impacting his behaviour and while you say your DP is lovely and kind and all the rest of it, and his ex is abusive.... I am afraid alarm bells are ringing here that the two of them were not good together or apart. For a start, the fact that you worry about telling him off.... if your DP was a half way decent father, he'd be telling his own son off when he behaves badly or aggressively. Also, men who claim their exes are emotionally abusive but happily leave their children with those women 12 days out of 14 get red flags.

I'm not saying your DP is lying to you or a bad person. But I am saying that the child's behaviour, lack of boundaries and self control and what your DP is saying all paint a picture of a situation you don't want to be in.

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DowntonCrabby · 31/05/2022 13:22

Leave, for all the DC’s sake.

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Walkingawaysadly · 31/05/2022 13:29

Thank you Greensleaves and Tiredbutdancing. You're spot on, both of you. It's so hard to see clearly when you in the situation, but my instincts have been telling me to leave, as I say - for both families.

I get what you're saying about DP Greensleaves, DP isn't a saint and their relationship sounded toxic from what I've heard about it. It was actually me that said she was behaving in an emotionally abusive way after I heard/read some messages and after I got to know their situation in much more detail. It's not my place to do that and I'm not qualified, but I did say that he's not helping himself or his son by just allowing that to continue. I think she maybe just needs more support or help managing her emotions too. We all struggle at times.
I think he's going to try and go for 50:50 as he recognises the issues and thinks it will help his son.

As much as my feelings are unpleasant and feel out of character, it's really helped me being honest about them and cemented my decision..

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Greaterthanthesumoftheparts · 31/05/2022 13:31

Since you don’t live together, is there any way you can stay in a relationship without blending with the children. I assume your partner doesn’t have SS full time, so why not just arrange to see DP when SS is not around?

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Walkingawaysadly · 31/05/2022 13:31

Thank you for replying Downton too

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Triffid1 · 31/05/2022 13:33

It was actually me that said she was behaving in an emotionally abusive way after I heard/read some messages and after I got to know their situation in much more detail.

SIL speaks to BIL in a very emotionally abusive way. And it's not okay. But quite honestly, it's the tip of the iceberg after years and years of him not stepping up, being passive aggressive, being manipulative and controlling. I'm not excusing her behaviour because frankly, it seems to me that if she'd just dumped him years ago, she wouldn't have got to this point in the first place, but the way she speaks to him is just one aspect of an overall toxic relationship that has the potential for long-term issues for their DC.

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Walkingawaysadly · 31/05/2022 13:35

We could Greater. And certainly we stopped doing play dates at our houses, just did meeting up when we were out, which was better. Sort of.
I just feel so negatively about his son that I feel I wouldn't be able to support them...surely it's better to give DP the chance to meet someone who really likes and loves them both, they are a package after all (especially if he gets 50:50)

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Walkingawaysadly · 31/05/2022 13:37

Agreed Triffid, you're spot on too. As I say, DP is no saint. Whilst I've not observed any emotional manipulation on his part (towards me), I do see how toxic their relationship probably was and how frustrated she gets..

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Greensleeves · 31/05/2022 13:39

I also think, if you're having a relationship with a non-resident parent, you should always have in the back of your mind that there's a possibility of full custody at some point - something could happen to the other parent, or they could fail in their care of the child and residency could change. If you can't look at that child as someone you could deal with on an everyday basis, then you would be unwise to get close to the parent. It sounds as though it would be your worst nightmare for that to happen here.

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gumballbarry · 31/05/2022 13:40

I had a step mother growing up from the age of 7, and I was a little shit. But she soon got me in line.

I don't understand why it's bad for you to tell him off? That's your job when he's with you, otherwise he'll know he can do what he likes with no consequences.

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Walkingawaysadly · 31/05/2022 13:41

Given some of the recent incidents and the situation with his mum and their home life, I think that's a distinct possibility Greensleaves. I think it would break me. I know that sounds very dramatic and selfish. But again - just being honest.

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Shehasadiamondinthesky · 31/05/2022 13:43

I wouldn't put my DS through this either, it's not fair on your kids.
This is why I'd never date men with kids.

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RedPlumbob · 31/05/2022 13:45

Not all kids with ADHD present at school, however I’m utterly fucked off with the constant suggestions that any badly behaved child must have ADHD. It’s gross.

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Walkingawaysadly · 31/05/2022 13:46

I think I would get on much better with him Gumball if I could tell him off! I just get so fed up of him going on and on and not being able to say anything. His Dad tells him off a lot and is working really hard on his parenting skills, trying different approaches, but his son generally doesn't pay much attention.
The one time I told him off he looked really hurt (and I felt awful), but it worked and his behaviour changed.
The problem is the fallout with his mum if I told him off. I think it's all a bit too toxic.

Thanks for sharing your experiences growing up

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Greensleeves · 31/05/2022 13:48

FWIW I don't think you're being selfish at all. Selfish would be staying, privileging your relationship with DP above the interests of everyone else in the family, and trying to gradually force your stepson out of the family and weaken the bond between him and his father so that he visits less and permanent custody isn't a danger. I've seen that happen and it's gross. You're being sensible and considerate of everyone's needs, including your own. There's nothing dramatic or selfish about that.

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YellowTools · 31/05/2022 13:50

I’m in a similar situation but some years ahead with our own shared dc. Unfortunately the bad behaviour manifested to aggression and physical violence. Protect your kids now whilst you can.

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Walkingawaysadly · 31/05/2022 13:51

Red plum - it was his parents that suggested ADHD.

I actually have strong traits too; I recognise them more as I've got older, we didn't have the education and knowledge of it when I was a kid, but I do have many traits. My Dad did too.

I don't think that's why I don't like SS (just thinking aloud now..) as he's similar to me as I was much quieter, but I still did present.

But yes - I would never diagnose someone else, especially a child, as I'm not qualified.
I think they've contacted the doctor and school for an assessment.

And yes - I agree - he may just be badly behaved.

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2bazookas · 31/05/2022 13:52

  • we don't live together at the moment*

Which made me wonder how many other women and their children that little boy is expected to fit in with at weekends, holidays, because his Daddy's shagging them
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Fenella123 · 31/05/2022 13:52

You sound very sensible OP.
If you like, think of it as freeing up more time for the kid's Dad to spend with his son and learn about setting a good example, setting boundaries etc.

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Walkingawaysadly · 31/05/2022 13:53

Shehasadiamond, I understand and absolutely appreciate that more now

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YellowTools · 31/05/2022 13:54

Whether or not he has adhd is just academic though? If he does, you might be more inclined to make allowances but that won’t change your own feelings.

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RedPlumbob · 31/05/2022 13:55

@Walkingawaysadly sorry, I did see that it was his parents suggesting it - should have clarified and expanded - it seems to the excuse of the moment because it’s easier than admitting they are terrible parents, which is why he behaved that way - they’re raising him in a chaotic, toxic, hostile environment and they are the ones that need to do the work and sort their shit out.

I have ADHD. So do 2/3 of my DC. None of them have behavioural issues, nor did I.

Absolutely walk away. It won’t get better. It’s been less than a year and you’re already at your wits end. It’s also not fair on your own DC, they don’t need to be exposed to this bollocks.

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Walkingawaysadly · 31/05/2022 13:55

Thank you Greensleaves, that's kind of you

And sorry to hear that Yellowtools; that sound very hard.

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Walkingawaysadly · 31/05/2022 13:56

Thanks Fenella; yes - I see it as a positive too. His son needs some solid uninterrupted time with his dad to feel secure and hopefully things will move forward for them

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