Nervous posting this.

fdarlingJanuary 2, 2013

Ive been reading this forum for quite a while now, but been too nervous to post. Probably because it would finally be admitting that my relationship isnt as perfect as I would love it to be (nothings perfect though is it!).

So, Ive been with my boyfriend for nearly a year (Im 28, he is is 30). He has a 3 (nearly 4) yr old son with his ex girlfriend (Ill refer to him as his/her son for ease). They had been split up about 6 months when we got together. His previous relationship was not the healthiest, very turbulant and when she became pregnant, that is when they officially became boyfriend/girlfriend.

I knew my boyf had a son when I met him, I knew he was a very involved dad and I'd just like to say that as a parent I think he is doing a fantastic job. I met his son after 3 months and we have taken it slowly and he is a lovely little boy and I want nothing more for him to have a happy stable family environment (he doesnt get that from his mum).

So, why am I on here...I never appreciated how hard it was going to be to date somebody who had a child. I was very naive. I love my boyfriend but I dont think I am getting the support or understanding to help me with such a change. I have developed a good bond with his son, I have involved him in my family (I have nieces/nephews same age), I take him on days out just me and him and babysit him whenever I can, I have quite willingly changed a lot of my plans so we can do things together. Anything really to try and make life easier for my boyfriend, build a good bond with his son and as make it as happy for his son as possible. His ex girlfriend has tried to cause the usual problems and in all honesty, whilst Im not too keen on her or her parenting, Im aware that every story has two sides and I dont believe she is as bad as I am told. But never the less initially I had issues with my boyf not communicating with me about situations and dramas between him and her, I think we need to work as a team and I felt that I was an outsider when he was helping her sell her car (one example), and not telling me. If I was in the loop then fine, but I felt like an outsider not knowing why they were talking daily. Eventually he seen my side of things and now when I ask "have you heard from ???" im not met with so much defensiveness. But she is still a problem, but one I can deal with. I even went and picked his son up from his mums so that we could be amicable and meet, it went well. Whenever my boyf and myself go out for a nice day, she normally will try and cause an issue, but i realise this is jealousy and Im trying my best to be the bigger person and ignore it.

My boyf also has a very interferring mum. She is lovely, but I have never met anybody like her in my life. She undermines my boyf parenting infront of people, tells him what to do and goes behind his back contacting his ex (who she says she doesnt like) to be as involved in her grandsons life as much as possible. I think involved grandparents are fantastic, but she borders on obsessed. I spoke to my boyf about this and he agreed it was an issue and spoke to her, she still does what she wants and he still has to tell her everytime. I want to give examples of what she has done so you can understand that Im not being irrational;

-boy asked her to go through him if she wanted to see his son, she ignored this and would ring his ex and ask if she could have the grandchild on the baby mums days with him. (my boyf has his son 4 nights a week and at one stage because his mum was interferring the baby mum was only having him 1 night - baby mum is very weak!).

-to show her irrational behavious - she woke him up at 10.30pm the other night to give him chocolate cake because she knows he likes it and a glass of coke to fill him up for the night (?!?)? i was in shock. He is 3 by the way and was fast asleep.

She acts like she is the little boys mum, not his grandparent.

My boyf is dealing with these issues, but daily just the ex and his mum is a lot to deal with.

I am trying my hardest to be there for him, support him and help make his life easier and happier any way i can, and he is a very loving man, who I adore. But, lately we have been having a lot of arguements, because I feel as though he has become complacent with me. I enjoy spending time with him and his son, we have great time together but I also need alone time too. But I feel as though I cant express this. He loves me being there when he has his son, and I dont think he really tries to see things from my point of view. I know that it is going to be a hard journey but I just dont feel as though he is supporting me as much as I am supporting him and everytime I try to broach it, he gets super defensive and it turns nasty. EG. I spend a lot of time with him and his son and naturally we talk and I give my opinions on how to do certain things etc which he welcomes, but today he turned it round and said "I tell him how to parent his son". I genuinely just want to work together as a team I think he is a fantastic dad and any advice I give is just to try and help. Little things really hurt sometimes, and it sounds ridiculous typing this but we went away on a family break for new year and i was packing the car with all our bedding/wellies etc and when i come back to the room he had packed all his and his sons items and left all mine in the room. I asked him why and he was so nasty saying "Im doing mine and my babys - not yours"...I felt like Id been kicked in the stomach, it was a harsh reminder that for all the effort and work i put in, Ill always be an outsider, or thats what it feels like anyway. It really hurt.

Im at my wits end, Im so in love, but I just dont know what else to try or do. I suppose I really just want him to put as much effort into our relationship as I do into my relationship with him and his son and understand the difficulties I am dealing with.... any advice on how to tackle such a sensitive issue would be very grateful.

Thanks for reading and sorry its so long xxx

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Being a step mom is the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I love kids but I've found no matter how much you want to be a family when it comes to step kids to some degree we have to accept being an outsider at some levels. Hang in there sounds like you are doing a great job where the son is concerned!

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 10:21PM
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I am worried for you. You sound like you are a very very good woman. Be careful. Step parenting in the best of situations is difficult and it sounds like this is not the best of situations. Please please keep reading posts here to see what other women are going through and have gone through. If I had to do it over I would have gotten here 15 years ago. What you read here may happen to you. Do not assume it won't because you are a good stepmom and a good person. Other people have their own issues and you will be an easy target. You deserve to be treated well. If they cannot treat you well, then you must find a way to protect yourself and/or leave. Believe, I wish I had seen this site before although i probably would have thought it didn't apply to me. First off, like you I did not believe everything about the ex but when she made our life miserable I responded. I supported my DH. DO NOT. Build your own life. Have a safety net from THEIR craziness. Okay, I'm preaching and I didn't mean to. I am 58 and I want to help you avoid what I didn't avoid. Just take care of YOU.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 2:24PM
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"he had packed all his and his sons items and left all mine in the room. I asked him why and he was so nasty saying "Im doing mine and my babys - not yours".."

"Im at my wits end, Im so in love, but I just dont know what else to try or do. I suppose I really just want him to put as much effort into our relationship as I do into my relationship with him and his son and understand the difficulties I am dealing with.... any advice on how to tackle such a sensitive issue would be very grateful."

Whatever you do, it won't work;
why would he change anything or "understand" anything?

He's got it made!

He has a girlfriend who

is exceptionally compassionate & sensitive & caring toward his son, who

takes responsibility for the entire relationship & for keeping his entire disfunctional life on track, who

accepts disrespect & ill treatment from him & his mother & his ex, & who

takes whatever he dishes out.

("I'm doing mine & my baby's, not yours" is a clear statement of what you can expect if you stay with someone who doesn't have any respect for you.)

time to get outta there before he shreds your personality any further.

You can change being in love the minute you decide you're not in love any more.
Look at this with a fresh perspective;
you're with a person who takes what you have to offer & who not only doesn't even show you the manners you would expect from a total stranger but who treats you badly in return.

The only bright spot in this is the little one, & if you stay with his dad, this boy will learn by example, his dad's *& yours*, that you & other women are to be used & despised.

Contemplating has posted with the wisdom born of hard experience.

Take her words to heart.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 2:46PM
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Agree with Sylvia. It would seem he likes your convenience in terms of physical assistance (babysitting, picking up etc) but does not want your input in terms of advice. This is more the attitude of (not clued up) boss towards an employee, than an equal partnership. And being nasty about it makes it even worse.
You can do better for yourself. Leave him to run his life himself.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 10:13PM
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I have another concern. With the best of intentions you stepped quite quickly into a parental role before you and your boyfriend had resolved your own issues.

If you have doubts about this relationship (and I concur absolutely with sylviatexas and colleenoz that you should) you need to back out now. This little boy is forming an attachment that will make a breakup hard on him.

That is not a sufficient reason to stay in this relationship. But it is a good reminder that when children are involved, sometimes distance is a good thing, especially when the relationship itself has not matured.

The good thing is it has shown your boyfriend's true colors. If you marry him things will only get worse.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 1:28AM
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The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.
Don't count on things changing......they won't.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 9:20PM
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I'm sorry you're going through this. I agree with the others, but I'm posting too to add that I think the little boy and everything to do with him isn't really the problem in this relationship -- it's the way this guy treats you. He's nasty to you? Not acceptable! Period, son or no son.

As to his son, I don't doubt that your criticisms of the actions of his mother, his grandmother, and for that matter his father are all 100% valid. But even if you do know better than all of them, the fact is that they are his parents and grandmother. You are his dad's girlfriend. No matter how involved you are, you aren't his family, at least not yet. Even if you are right and they are wrong, you're overstepping. We all know parents who aren't doing things the best way, and (with the obvious exception of intervening to prevent outright abuse) it's none of our business -- knowing better doesn't give us the right to tell other parents how to raise their children. Of course you care more and are more involved than a casual friend. But you still are not his parent or grandparent or stepparent.

As others have told you, it's not easy to be a stepparent, so think carefully before you marry a man with a child. You may love him to pieces, but that doesn't mean that marrying him will be a happy choice for you.

I'm sorry that things aren't going well, and I hope that they will improve. The situation doesn't sound entirely hopeless.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 1:16AM
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