My Boyfriends Son

4shleighMarch 23, 2012

My boyfriend and I have been together for just under a year. I am 21 he is 34 but age is not a problem. I am English and he is Polish which is again not a problem as he can speak perfect english. We have a lovely relationship and get on brilliantly. I knew that he had a child from a previous relaitionship who is now 5. The boy is lovely so polite and sweet and we get on great. My issues are that when we go out as a 3 i am forced to sit in the back of the car as his boy "must sit in the front" and to make matters worse they will talk in polish so i feel incredibly pushed out!! I didnt have a problem with this for the first couple of weeks as i thought that if i said anything it could alienate me from his son, however it is now irritating me. I love the relationship he has with his son its so nice to see and be a part of but i do feel like sometimes im being treated as the child. Last week they came over to the house that i share with my boyfriend and because his son wasnt feeling well and didnt want to eat they both left the dinner table and went to watch cartoons leaving me to eat alone with 3 full plates on the table and clear up after. Im nervous to bring this up with him as i feel he will just dismiss this as me being silly. The ex is not a problem as she is with a new partner and seems quite happy to have the alone time. what do i do???

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I'm a little confused as the time line here - You say you share a house with your boyfriend and you say the first couple of weeks it didn't bother you that you had to sit in the back seat of the car - so for how long have the two of you been living together and for how long has this driving miss daisy situation been going on?

The first time BF asked me to sit in the back seat of the car because his son "must sit in the front" I would have told him HE was being silly! You say age is not a problem but right there the fact that you were afraid to speak up for yourself tells me that age might be part of the problem. I know you think you are mature and all, but 13 years difference between 20 somethings is not the same as 13 years age difference between 40 year olds. Simply put you have not experienced enough to know what you want in life, who you are and what you want in a partner.
If you are so worried about talking to your boyfriend about this, then maybe you are more intimated by his age and experience than you are willing to admit.

And why would he think you are being silly? Has he said that to you before? It's not being silly to insist that people pick up after themselves, put their plates away and help clean up after eating dinner. Was this a one time deal or does boyfriend do this all the time? I'd talk to him about it and ask him to make sure that he and his son help clean up after dinner.

I'd tell him that you feel like you are being treated like a child when he makes you sit in the back seat of the car. Besides . . . it's not safe for a five year old to sit in the front seat of a car anyway.

As for the speaking in Polish, I can understand that BF probably feels that he is sharing an important part of their heritage. Maybe you can start to learn some Polish so that way you won't feel so excluded.

If the main issues regarding BF's son is that you have to sit in the back seat of the car, they speak in Polish and one time they didn't clean up after themselves, I think you're doing pretty good. Hopefully you can talk to your BF about these things, he will respect how you feel and not make you feel like a third wheel anymore.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 8:50PM
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OP where do you live? Are you in US? A 5 yr old in the front seat in most places is illegal.. I'd start there. You could research and show bf statistics on why sitting in the front seat could kill his son. I've had this conversation and it went well especially showing statistics on deaths and injuries. In Texas a 5 yr old has to be in a booster seat in the back seat of a car.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 1:12AM
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I posted this on the other thread you posted to but I see you have started your own thread.
If you don't feel important enough to your BF that you feel he will dismiss your concerns as "silly", why do you stay? While his relationship with his son is important, so should yours be as well. You should be able to discuss your concerns and have them taken seriously.
Talking in Polish when it's just the three of you isolated in the car is just rude. It would be different if you were in another setting where you could talk with someone else, go off and do something else or whatever, and not be sitting there feeling like a fifth wheel. You should be able to say, "I feel pushed out when you do that. In the car it's not like I have the option of doing something else." If you see yourself in for the long haul you could ask them to teach you Polish and it could be fun for his son to help you.
While a child who is too ill to eat should not be forced to do so, the options IMO should be, sit quietly at the table while others finish their meal, or if too sick to do that, be in bed. Leaving you alone to go watch cartoons is thoughtless and rude.
If after raising these concerns your BF is dismissive, you really need to seriously consider whether you want to continue the relationship. It's unlikely things will improve for you if your BF thinks they are fine as they are and you will spend the rest of your time being low person on the totem pole.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 6:33AM
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Above poster has a point. Speaking in another language when you are left there not being able to contribute or follow along is rude. In my place of employment, there are a handful of Spanish speaking employees. They get to speaking Spanish while in the bathroom or breakroom leaving the one English only speaking person in the room wondering, are they talking about me, why not speak in english if nothing to hide?? So the HR department has banned speaking in Spanish when having a 'private' but public conversation. My employer did something to ease the tension between co-workers yet you're having to live in a home where no one cares about your feelings on the matter: I hate that for you.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 2:19PM
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Please!!! The little boy is only 5 years old. At that age, they still use some "baby talk", and definitely not well versed in one language, let alone two.

Are you bi-lingual? if you are not at age 24 why do you expect that of a 5 years old?

Some people cannot sit in the backseat due to motion sickness, I have a child and a friend are like that. It is not uncommon.

What is the big deal about letting the kid watch cartoons when he was not feeling well and did not feel like to eat? What do you expect them to do? Watching you eat, and doing the dishes after you finished?

It is ridiculous to expect a 5 years old who is too ill to eat "should sit quietly at the table while others finish their meal, or to be in bed". How many grown ups are following this "rule"? If I am eating, I don't want people who are ill sit quietly at the table waiting for me to finish my meal.

If you are keeping score on these types of petty stuff, you may not be ready for being in a relationship especially when step relationship is involved.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 7:01PM
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Jeez Azmom, why don't you say what you really think???

Ashleigh I agree with other posters and would ignore that last one :-)

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 10:42PM
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Sorry, the rule for my daughter if she claimed illness was bed rest. If she went without protest I knew she was _really_ sick and not just claiming to be so she could goof off and watch TV instead of doing something she didn't want to do. If I suspected "feeling ill" at the dinner table really meant "I don't want to eat what you're serving" then sitting quietly would be the requirement.
Yes, five year olds still are getting a grip on language but that's no reason they should use one language to the exclusion of others around them, or that their parents should be encouraging them to do so.
Raising successful adults includes teaching children how to conduct themselves well in company and to consider others.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 10:52PM
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Your comments are rather interesting, please enlight me as what I really think?

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 10:39AM
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The main issue here is what the father is teaching his child, not whether it is right or wrong to let a child ride in front or speak in a different language. Well, I personally think it is rude when people speak in another language, excluding someone they know can't speak their language, from the conversation. The ladies in my nail salon are asian & speak in their native tongue. It does make one wonder if they are saying something about me (or other customers). It is just rude. I used to work in an office where the bilingual ladies, all had lively conversations in spanish when the majority of office workers had no idea what they were saying. It's just inconsiderate and a man that speaks english, has an english speaking girlfriend/fiance, and a child that should be speaking english (I assume he is in school and attends a school where english is the primary language ~ I might change my opinion if the english only speaking person is living in another country where they are speaking their country's language) but if the child is learning english, even as a secondary language... why not speak english around OP? They can speak in their native tongue when nobody else is around... and it isn't about OP being the girlfriend, I would have the same opinion regardless of relationship. But, the father should have some consideration for his girlfriend's feelings of being left out of conversations in her presence. That is the issue that needs to be dealt with between OP and her boyfriend. Dad is the one leading his child, teaching him how to behave and what is or isn't acceptable.

A child sitting in front... may not be a big deal. In some places, it's illegal but that aside, again it is the father's responsibility to parent the child. Is it good parenting to teach a child that they have priority over an adult? Is there a reason for the child to sit in front, such as motion sickness? Once again, what is the father teaching his child? Is the child being taught to be self important? Entitled? or considerate of someone else? Again, it's not necessarily about the girlfriend's feelings, though I think her feelings should be a factor... but at what point would this father expect his son to give up the front seat & sit in back? What if they were riding a city bus? Would he teach his son to give up his seat for a pregnant lady or elderly person? What is this father teaching/demonstrating to his son? Personally, I have sat in back many times when we go pick up SD from BM. BUT, it isn't EXPECTED that I sit in back. There are times when I prefer to sit up front & talk to DH but when picking up SD, sitting in back allows him to talk to her about her weekend. It would depend on the circumstances of the trip but under no circumstances would I allow him to make me sit in back every time we go somewhere, just so a child can sit in front. He has every right to let her sit in front, but I have every right to end a relationship where my feelings don't matter and where I have no say.

As for meals... it is rude for the dad to leave the table to go play video games or watch tv with the child, while OP is still eating. Once again, what message is dad sending his child by allowing him to disrupt the dinner table & leave someone sitting there alone... ESPECIALLY if OP is the one that parepared the meal, which I would assume she did. It's one thing to allow a kid to leave the table to go play if you're at McDonald's or Chuck E. Cheese and there is a play area... BUT, is this dad teaching his son to be unappreciative of OP's efforts to prepare a nice meal? Whether the child liked it or not, it is rude to abandon her at the table. If OP was taking a long time to eat & they had already finished eating, it might not be such a big deal. It would be nice if the dad were to demonstrate to his son, politely sitting at the table and even (gasp!) clearing the table or maybe even washing dishes. My DGS3 loves to "help" cook, set the table, load the dishwasher... anything to help. What message is he sending his son, when he allows him to leave the table during a meal (whether he wasn't hungry or didn't like the food... doesn't make a difference IMO), to go play video games? I envision (possibly) a lazy, entitled young adult if that is the normal routine for this father's parenting of this son.

I also wonder if he (the dad) has no respect for women? I would be more concerned from a relationship aspect... is he treating you the way you want to be treated? It's a factor how he parents as well, especially if you ever plan on having children with him. Even if you don't, if he is set in this dynamic with his son... it won't get better unless he wants to make changes. (and from my own experience, even if he does make some changes, it could cause reentment from the child)

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 1:46PM
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Azmom, you seem like an angry poster looking for a bite?

Let me ask you a question: what are you doing on this forum?

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 7:34PM
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I'm neutral at this point on this one as far as the child and the front seat/dinner.

First question out of my thoughts is why after almost a year does OP feel communication between BF and OP will be thought of as 'silly'? If a person feels their thoughts and opinions (not to mention actual feelings) will be deemed silly, what are the chances of a longterm relationship? Do you really want to invest in a relationship where you feel you must bite your tongue and zip your lip for fear your concerns are inferior to your mate?

In the England children over 3 can sit in front seat under set conditions. So I will ask, why does BF say the child MUST sit in front? What is BF's reasoning? I'll assume from the get-go the guy gave OP a reason. The reason will have either 'stunk' from the start (and still does) or it's a valid reason (example, car sickness). OP appears to have readily accepted the situation the first few times...don't blame the child, your issue is with the father.

The dinner. Does the child have a bedroom to go to in your BF/your home? Was the child known to be sick prior to arrival? Was the child sick as in fever? Coming down with flu? Coughing his young head off and congested? Or was it a mere 'my tummy suddenly hurts the moment I was told dinner was being served'? Was child instantly much better after table cleared? Answers to these questions could sway my thoughts on the dinner.

Language? It's a slippery slope. If the child really can not communicate in your language, the father should be filling in these conversations. You should not be the third wheel in them. If you are a part of the setting at home and/or outting event, father should be , if nothing else, turning and translating the jest of the convo between the two. On the otherhand, if child/father are having a side converation meant to be between father/son (example father has pulled son aside and is correcting him for something) it's likely best to keep your nose out of it.

If the child lives most of the time in a home with one language spoken and only speaks and/or practices your language on occassional times, you have to give the child a break that at 5, it's a hard thing to remember to do. My ex DIL attended senior year of high school in the USA, yet she struggled with daily causual conversations for a while when she returned to the states a few years later. It would be great until I would use different words with the same meaning. My 'slang' would toss her for a loop.

In OP's case, why is the converation going to the other language? If OP feels it is rude and inappropriate, again where is the communication between BF and OP. If OP is too chicken in fear of being thought silly to speak up and/or approach BF about the subject in a private discussion after the child has left, I can't really feel too much sympathy. Does the BF have any clue these things bother you? If he does and he still thinks you're being silly, OP has a whole new set of issues bigger than a ' maybe sick child at dinner hour, who rides in the front seat and refuses to speak to be understood by all present'.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 7:20AM
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thankyou for all your comments, a certain few especially. just a couple of things that need clearing up
1 - i do not blame the child AT ALL, however i have had many conversations with him IN ENGLISH and he can speak perfectly well,NOT BABYTALK, he speaks english all day at school. I have raised this point with his father since my last post and he just says that 'its easier'.
2- The dinner incident, has not just happened once and yes after he left magically was lively and managed to sit for an hour screaming excitedly at the playstation and eat chocolate.
3- i am not sure where the front seat comes from, apparently it has always been that way with them, It is legal for him at the age of 5 to sit in the front seat as long as he has a booster.
Other than these three point all 3 of us get on relly well, and alone my relationship with my boyfriend is great.
imamommy u raised some very interesting points, things that i will definatley be discussing with my BF so thankyou again.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 9:39PM
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I have been with my boyfriend going on 4 years now and we have been living together for about 18 months. His son is almost 10 now and still sleeps in bed with his mom at her house and when he's at our house my BF has to lay down with him until he goes to sleep. For the first year I was there he slept with my BF and I slept in his bed. I never said anything, I just let it go. His son weighs 185lbs and is always hungry and asking for food. I told him to give him his ADHD meds and he wont be hungry but he doesnt want to give it to him on the weekend because he acts sad, but atleast he isnt starving. I don't know if I should say anything or not. He will take advice from anyone but me, it always ends up in a fight. I love this man dearly but I don't know if I can handle this. I am 44 and never had children and he is 47. What should I do about this situation?

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 4:15PM
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I would first like to say here that you feel jeopardized by his kid. No matter what you say, you feel disrespected and having your place taken away from you in that car.
Though i think this is a common feeling in relationships where one partner has a child. The other one who doesn't feels a bit pushed away by the kid when the kid comes along.
Should you feel this way? I'm not sure. As much as this is a common feeling, i think is smth rather irrational.
From one point of view this shouldn't be a problem and from the other it could be.
You know it yourself that with trivial things like this there is always many points of view and that's why you think your boyfriend will dismiss your point.
But that's call overtaking. You should be able to put out for yourself. Don't demand but if you feel disrespected i suggest you analyze why you feel this way and how do you feel in general about him having a kid.
Cuz kid in early 20s is not the same as from someone in early 30s.
I would think about this, cuz you reacting on trivial things (though not as unimportant) shows you feel endangered by the kid.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 5:24PM
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