Nervous posting this.
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