Resenting boyfriend and his child.. advice appreciated!

bchy5April 10, 2013

Lately I've been really confused with my current relationship and came across this forum while googling to see if there's anyone out there going through a situation similar to mine.
I've been with my current boyfriend a little over a year, i'm 23, he's 32.. with a 13 year old son. When we first got together, this didn't bother me at all. I admired how great of a father he was (gets his son 2 days a week) and was thrilled after a few months of being together when he included me in these days. We always seemed to have a great time and his son seemed really happy that his dad was finally with someone who enjoyed the same things... bike rides, mud runs, snowboarding etc. (Apparently, the few girls in his past did not really actively engage with his son and just hung out watching tv). So for a while, everything was great. And then his son became jealous. Of course, my boyfriend was pretty unaware of any of this. Long story short, eventually every moment that the three of us are together his son is now joined at his hip. If I hold my boyfriends hand, his 13 year old son holds his other. If I sit beside him on the couch, and his son is on the other couch.. he gets up and moves to the other side of him. If i lay my head on his shoulder, he lays his head on his shoulder. My boyfriend feels guilty for not being in his life full time and he feels as though he's abandoned his son. I guess it's just hard for me because everything was going so well and now it's taken a 180 and i'm not sure how to deal with it. I avoid spending time with the 3 of them at all costs and resent him. I refuse to spend my time with them when I feel like it's a fight for attention. I'm not fighting for anyones attention and when i don't I feel like i don't even exist.. that i'm just there. So instead I avoid the situation. I've expressed these feelings to my boyfriend and in his defense he has tried to make it better, however what do you do? Tell your son to stop holding your hand? I honestly don't know the answer. Tell him to sit on the other couch? I mean what do you do in this situation? I don't want to upset the son and make him angry but I feel that his behavior is unacceptable at his age. It's not like his father is ignoring him or leaving him in the living room to go in another room with me. We're doing things TOGETHER and he's getting plenty of attention, it's just not enough and i don't know how much more of this I can take. No matter how hard I try I can't get over the fact that he's already experienced getting married and already had a child and ill never get to experience those firsts. I try and try and try to get over it and keep hoping that with time, I will be able to get past this. However, as time goes on and the situation between the three of us continues to get worse I feel as though my outlook and optimism is fading away. I know he's a good father, I just can't help but wish the situation was different and resent him for being in the situation he is. And i know that is beyond unfair to him and if I'm going to be in a relationship I need to accept him for who he is and understand that his son will be a part of our lives forever, but I cant. And that's where I need help! In addition, about 6 months ago, I found out he was STILL MARRIED to his son's mother. I found this out from one of his good friends, not from him. And immediately had a huge problem with it. He married her when she got pregnant (they were both fresh out of highschool and he said he was trying to do the right thing). He said he felt as though she trapped him because she didn't want him to leave her. He stayed with her until his son was about 8 and finally left her(claims he never really loved her or felt how he feels about me with any other women before, he just felt like he was doing the right thing by staying with her even though he was miserable for the sake of his son) She just recently got in another relationship, however before then, she was trying her hardest always to get back with him. Of course, when I found out they were still married I insisted it get taken care of immediately. Of course, he says it doesnt mean anything, it never ment anything, it's just a piece of paper. He hasen't done it because it's just expensive and if it doesnt mean anything blah blah. I dont care, it's unacceptable. And he did see a lawyer right away and has gotten this taken care of. Regardless, this still bothers me. Additionally, I think his ex is a piece of crap. He pays substantial child support to her, which I feel that she uses just for herself. My boyfriend pays for EVERYTHING for his son. His school lunch, his clothes, school supplies, health insurance, doctor bills...EVERYTHING. And sure, that's what a great dad would do and I applaud him for stepping up to the plate.. but what I don't agree with is that he pays her so much money and I feel like she only uses it for herself, for trips for her and her now boyfriends and for going out and partying on days his son is away. She doesn't use that money to support her son. My boyfriend also, up until last month when i stepped in and said enough still payed his ex's car insurace ($145 a month). He again claims he feels bad that he abandoned his family and just didn't want to fight so did what he felt was right. He says up until me he had no reason to have more money and no reason to save. All of this is becoming an issue because recently he moved in with me and can barely afford half of the bills. This frustrates me because I feel like instead of supporting me and a future with me, he's still supporting his ex. His defense is he has to pay her what he pays her by law and what not, i see that.. however it bothers me that what he's paying her is not bettering their son, but her. She also doesn't even have him that much! My boyfriend gets his son 2 days a week and at least 2 or 3 of these days, he's staying with my boyfriends mom. So she really only has him 2 or 3 days a week as well! Which again, drives me crazy because all this child support he's paying and she's not supporting her child! I guess I just would like to hear if anyone's experiencing or has experienced what i'm going through and how they dealt with it. The hardest part for me is that I do love him, and I can see myself with him. However, on days that his son is around, my whole outlook changes and I feel like I can't deal with this and I don't want this. I just graduated and have all these goals and aspirations for what I want to accomplish in my life and unfortunately I feel as though continuing this relationship will inevitably hold me back. I want to move away and start a real career and a family. He says he wants to move away as well, just not "right now." I just can't see my life without him in it... but as horrible as I sound I just can't help but wish he made different choices. I'd just love to here anyone's opinions or stories. Thanks!

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I'm sorry, thirteen years old is TOO old to still be holding his dad's hand and laying his head on his shoulder. Ewwww.

There are so many problems with this relationship.

- he babies his THIRTEEN year old son

- his son is jealous of you

- he pays for everything for his son when he already gives BM child support

- he pays for BM's expenses

- thinks he abandoned his family - he did not abandon his family but because he feels this way BM will use this to her advantage to squeeze more money out of him

- because he feels guilty he will probably let his son get away with bad behavior

- pays all this CS and BM does not support her child

It's funny that your BF says he gives BM all this money because he had no reason to have money for himself or save, yet he can barely afford to pay his half of the bills. There is always a reason to save. He is giving BM all his money to his own detriment. What will he do if something unexpected were to happen to himself - car repair, medical bill? What is he saving for retirement?

You are right this relationship will hold you back. You're young, you're 23, you have your whole life ahead of you. The only problem is you have fallen in love with him so you can't see that this relationship will not work.

My story - I dated a man for two years that had a 8 year old son. Because he felt guilty that he didn't see his son every day, he spoiled him. His son was spoiled and treated like a little adult. BF even let him sleep in the bed with him! I was like this kid is TOO big to still be sleeping with you. This kid was always walking on the furniture and jumping on things. I told BF his son was TOO big to be doing that, but BF was like what's the big deal? Those couches are old anyway. Don't you know one time BF and I were laying bed watching TV, and his kid JUMPS into the bed, and lands right on my shin! I screamed because this kid was heavy and it really hurt when he landed on my leg. I told BF that was the reason why he needed to stop this kid from jumping on things all the time.

Needless to say, BF continued to be a guilty/lazy parent. He would not make his son mind. I have two daughters of my own, and I made them listen. I disciplined them when they needed it. BF never wanted to discipline his son because he "didn't want to ruin the limited amount of time" they had together. As a result, his son was rude, spoiled, and never did what he was told.

In addition, he too, struggled fiancially to pay his bills because of CS. He was very eager for me and my daughters to move in with him. He kept saying how wonderful it would be to have someone to share the bills with. I realized he was more interested in me helping him pay his bills than in sharing a life together.

Eventually I broke up with BF. It was hard at first, because I loved BF so much, but as time went on, it got better.

I realized I would not have been happy. And that's what you have to think about. Are you really happy in this relationship with the way things are? Sure, when the son's not around, things are probably great, but the real test of a relationship is not when things are good, it's when things are bad.

And what if dad decides to get more time with his son?
That's what happened to me. I never in a million years thought my BF would get more time with his son. His BM depended on CS too much, or so we thought. Don't you know one day she tells BF she is too busy with work and school to handle the son and lets BF have him. So BF went from every other weekend to his son to having him 24/7. I knew I could not handle dealing with his son on a daily basis. Sure, he didn't have to pay CS anymore, but getting full custody brought on a whole another set of problems.

I was not ready to deal with a kid that I did not raise, that did not want to listen to me and that I could not discipline the way he needed to be. The way I dealt with the situation is I ended it. I know that's not what you want to hear, but now that I am able to look back I realize it was the right decision.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 10:50AM
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Not only all that, Amber you forgot to mention he was happy to be in a relationship with the OP even though he was still actually married to his (I hope now ex) wife. That's a whole level of honesty missing I would have serious issues with, whether it's "taken care of" now or not.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 1:20PM
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Colleenoz - you're right! Knew I was forgetting something on the list!

OP says they've been dating a year and 6 months ago she found out he was still married to BM. Sooooo that means he was dating her for SIX months and did not tell her he was still married.

I hate to go there but makes me wonder if this 32 year old man thought he could pull a fast one over on this 23 year old. The only reason OP found out was because one of the guy's friends told her, so I wonder if 32 yr old was ever planning on telling OP he was still married.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 2:35PM
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I'm going to give the son a bit of a break. I'm not viewing him as 'jealous' of the Op as much as , say, threatened. Why? Well Dad left Mom like five yrs ago, but up until "about six months ago" kid's life was pretty much unchanged.

Sure Dad left Mom (no longer lived together), but they were still married. Sure Dad had a handful of new female friends, but Mom and Dad were still married and life was still pretty much the same (time with Mom, time with Dad, time with grandparents, everything financially the same ol same ol in that if kid needed something it was just automatically provided and present)....but then something changed. After all this time (and various girlfriends) Dad is divorcing Mom for this woman, (from kid's eyeview).

I think given time the kid will adjust. But for now for the first time really in all his 13 yr long life, his sense of security (both emotionally and financially) is being rocked. Kid thought Op was pretty cool and enjoyed her company and the time the three (Dad/OP/kid) spent together and the activities they all did...right up until OP found out Dad was still married and demanded change.

Anyway...I think the 'secrets' are more red flagging and alarming than what the kid is suddenly doing. I'd be wondering just what else this guy forgot to tell me. I'd also find my own world just as rocked (but in a different way) as the kid did his. What the h*ll? Still married and it never occurred to guy to tell OP?

--"I just graduated and have all these goals and aspirations for what I want to accomplish in my life and unfortunately I feel as though continuing this relationship will inevitably hold me back. I want to move away and start a real career and a family. "--

Go chase your dreams. Accomplish your goals. You're 23. Don't resign yourself and just settle for a 'life' you know is not right for you. Your head is telling you this, you're just having a bit of trouble getting your 'heart' to let go.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 10:31AM
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"Go chase your dreams. Accomplish your goals. You're 23. Don't resign yourself and just settle for a 'life' you know is not right for you. Your head is telling you this, you're just having a bit of trouble getting your 'heart' to let go."

People are always at their best early in a relationship;
they (we) put the best foot forward, show the best behavior, etc.

This guy did not act in good faith;
he didn't just "forget" to tell you he was married, he did that on purpose because he figured he wouldn't have "gotten" you if he'd been honest.

If deceiving a decent young woman, manipulating/tricking her into a relationship she wouldn't have entered otherwise (I'm figuring you wouldn't have dated a married man) is this guy's "best", think what his behavior will be like in the future.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 11:18AM
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I agree with pretty much everything everyone has written.
I don't think the son is THAT much of a problem though, I think he's a little threatened by you taking over the spot as his dad's 'favourite'....and he's gonna test you, and his dad and push all those boundaries that teenagers are gonna push...that's their job :P

You could do a little 'reverse psychology', and let him have dad to himself, you go sit on the other couch, you don't put your head on dad's shoulder or hold dad's hand - let the dad seek you out could play it this kid you're not in competition for his dad. Show the kids extra attention, make him feel more secure....investing extra upfront would pay down the road!

BUT.... there are too many other red flags, AND you still haven't reconciled your feelings about starting a life 'fresh', having all the first with someone else, etc.

So, really, you're only don't need anyones' 'permission' to walk away from this because of all these 'red flags'. Just be honest with yourself and what's really important to you, and do what's right for you. Even without the red flags, you're 'allowed' to choose a life with someone without all this history, and questionable trust and motives...

There's so much opportunity out there, don't stay because you have one reason to (love); go because you have too many reasons to look for it elsewhere.
You teach people how to treat you.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 7:52PM
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