Is it just me??? Please read and help!

mavis_2009May 12, 2009

Hi, I feel as though I really need to get this all out and would be really grateful of any help or advice.

I met my partner when i was 18/19 yrs old and he already had a daughter from his previous marriage.

I am now 22 years old and we are engaged and have a son together now 7 months old.

At first his daughter thought I was great as I have a friendly and outgoing personality and she loved having a girl here to have girly nights with but as things have got more serious between me and her dad it's obvious she's not very happy.

She doesn't mind it when it is just us and we get along great but if her dad is there she acts off with me.

If we are sitting down she will sit inbetween us, she also walks inbetween us if we are shopping etc.. She will follow her dad around the house and does silly little things such as we all have our own spounges that stick to the side of the bath. She will move my spounge right on it's own and put her and her dads next to each other, and take my toothbrush out of the holder and place her and her dads together. She hates it that she has to go to bed (her dad has always gave her a bedtime) and that I get to stay downstairs with her dad, and she wants whatever I have such as food and drink or where i sit etc..

I've talked to her about these things and she admitted that she is jealous that I get to spend time with her dad when she goes back to her mams (she stays at ours 3 days through the week) and I told her that it is okay to feel that way but it's not my fault her mam and dad aren't together anymore and even if I wasn't here they wouldn't get back together and when she isn't here with us all we do is miss her and look forward to when she comes back, she cries as though she feels guilty for feeling how she does and says she knows this yet this behaviour continues. She will give me dirty looks sometimes and when she asks a question and her dad doesn't know the answer (eg homework) and I do, I tell her and she blankly ignores me. He tells her it's rude to ignore me yet she continues. Also if i say something, for example a programmes not on tonight or a shop closes at a certain time (all little small things) she will argue with me and back chat.

She is 10 years old now and I understand she's going to senior school in September and a lot of her behaviour boils down to the dreaded hormones, I just want her to be happy and sometimes feel like she doesn't want me here and to have her dad back to herself (they have always had a extremely close relationship which i admire, he is also brilliant with our little boy) she has admitted in the past that she wants her mam and dad back together, but they broke up nearly 6 years ago now and she has had a baby with someone else and I wonder how long it is going to be before she finds some peace with the situation?

One of the hardest parts is with my partners mother.

She is close friends with my partners ex (refers to her as her daughter) and is bringing her daughter to someone else up as her own grand daughter. We are civil and get along with the ex for the sake of my partners daughter, but his mother will invite her to all family occasions and when things are a little awkard as expected, my partners mother tells me I am not doing my best by my partners daughter, that she doesn't think I love him because I don't defend him to her and that I must have a problem with the ex and be jealous of her.

Prior to that latest arguement, (rewind!) during my pregnancy I made a effort to get closer to his mam and invited her to some scans of the baby, shopping for a pram etc..

It really hurts me because she minds my partners daughter and his ex's daughter regularly through the week and spoils them a lot but has not spent one day with my son since he has been born.

I thought maybe she feels uneasy so have made the first step and asked her to mind him for a few hours one night (she did but I felt as though she felt oblidged and didn't really want to as she has not offered again) and I asked her if she'd like to take him to town shopping when she was taking my partners daughter one day but she just said she didn't get the message.

It hurts me because my baby is always left out, yet she will critize me and how I am doing with my partners daughter when I try my very best and she doesn't make any effort with my son.

I have tried to form a relationship with her and get to know her and she even asked me to go to a show with her and I said yes, only for my partners daughter to phone me and say that her nanna and mam had gone to the show, when my partner asked his mam why she did it she said she forgot I offered to go with her and she wouldn't have cared cos she had a extra ticket n all but seems to have a good memory when it suits.

I talked to my partner about how I feel and he said he feels the same, especially about our son been left out and he agrees and has spoke to his parents but they continue not to bother with him and spend a lot of time with my partners ex's daughter and his daughter and he said he doesn't want to say anything else because he doesn't want to force our son on them.

I feel as though they patronize me sometimes as I am 9 years younger than my partner, but am I wrong to think I'm not the one been immature?

Please help, I hope some of this makes sense!

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Just read through what I wrote there. I think my partners daughter is funny with me sometimes because the situation with her mam and my partners mam been so close makes her feel disloyal to them by been friends with me?
I'm not sure what does everyone else think? I know that when her mother phones even if she's having a great time with me she will tell her mam she 'is doing nowt'.
I think that it's good my partners mam is close to his daughter and nice for them that she gets on so well with his ex (although awkard for me) I think it's good of her to bring up the ex's daughter to someone else as her own grandchild but feel she should make some effort with my son too? I hurt for him, Does anyone understand? Please help!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 6:53PM
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Well I am going to assume your were not your husbands mistress when he was previously married. But how long after his split with his ex did you two get together? Sometimes if it was too quick it can be difficult on the child.

10 years old is a tough time in a childs life. I have a 10 year old and the talking back thing is an issue, and he is my biological child. In his mind he is explaining his viewpoint, in my mind he is arguing with my decisions. My son still gets jealous of my hubby at times. There are times when we are going to all watch a movie together and my son wants to almost sit on my lap. I allow it. I make sure to give him that time he needs. My 6 year old ss follows my hubby around the house like they are attached at the hip on my hubbys days off. Sometimes I really think that if my hubby stopped too quick my ss's head would get stuck in my hubbys bottom! LOL But I think that is kind of normal for a kid to want their parents attention.

I would say just ignore the little stuff (moving sponges, toothbrushes, and sd wanting to sit next to daddy). You do get his time to yourself when sd goes to bed and when she goes home. Let her have her daddy to herself sometimes if that is what she craves. Have her dad plan stuff for just them 2 at times, and stuff for all 4 of you other times.

As for you mother-in-law, well I doubt you will change her. Its obvious that she formed a good relationship with your hubbys ex while they were married and you can't be mad at her for that. All you can do is continue to try to form a relationship with her and not get down when she puts you off. Maybe when your son is a bit older she will take more interest. A 7 month old is not exactly a joy to take shopping! But a 10 year old can be.

Just put on a smile around her and do your best...thats all you can do. And don't get on your hubby a lot about his mom as he can't change her behavior.

I still have a good relationship with my ex's whole family. They did not stop liking me just because we split up.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 10:23AM
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Mom2 gave you good advice but at the same time I understand it's easier said than done. I can see why you feel the way you feel. I thank god every day my DH's dad doesn't care for J's Ex because I wouldn't want to hang out with her at family functions either. I have always thought it's cool for the in laws to keep up relations with the Ex but more than a tad bit unsensitive to invite Ex AND the new wife to the same family functions. I can see very clearly how that could feel gross.

As far as your SD goes....give her time. I know the stupid little things she does is annoying as hell but she's just a kid afraid she's losing her daddy to another woman. I know that's also easier said than done but the more patience you show her now the more likely she will be to except you down the road.

Good Luck!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 10:47AM
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I am understanding that you have a 7 month old and are a good bit younger and not married to her son. She has a tight relationship with the Ex??

I am not putting you down but looking at it from what a put off mother and the Beloved Ex Wife have cooked up for putting you and your child off for. My Grandmother was well to do and worried what others thought of our family and her. After mom and dad divorced, Daddy's other wifes and any child that was born outside that first union was second class citizens. Sounds to me like that is what you are looking at. She was okay with the SM that was around the longest but was always second to my mom and mom will never do wrong in her eyes. I am sure that the Ex has MIL ear of anything you might do that isn't up to the highest standard. Also with Memories you only remember what you want to so it is easy for MIL to remember the best of the Ex and any mis-steps you make are fresh and easy to talk about. Ex may be sour that her ex has a SON with his younger woman. She can feed her ill feelings with why didn't he marry her or what ever stabs she and MIL can feed on. SD feeds that too by they don't love me and they are going to back that up for their own feelings, not helping things with the little girl.

If I am reading right you have been with him for 3 years. That is a good amount of time but this is is going to be a long road.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 11:59AM
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This may seem like an out-of-place question, but why have you not gotten married? You have a baby together and I assume neither of you is married to another person.

Perhaps your boyfriend's mother, father, and so on will view things differently if you take the step of marriage. Show your commitment to the relationship and then perhaps they will show commitment to it too!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 11:46PM
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ok....several points to give you.
1. THe petty little stuff with the sponges..etc.etc..dont let that get to you. Every time she does it, switch things around. Do it constantly! as she does , you switch it around and its a 'family' all together things. Put a basket. My sd did that at the beginning...i just kept putting everythignin a basket. Looked neater, didn't want things spread across the bathroom anyway!:)
2. The sitting in between u...nope...put yoruselves on either side of your bf. My husband did this with my sd. She would also try to split our handholding as well...he would put her on one side as well. She lost her temper one time in front of family and he told her off. Said dont you dare behave in such a manner. You will not do this! i love you both and you will not push another person out of the way. Share!
3. Your motherinlaw....-a. you not being married to her son could be a reason for the damper on it. b. she's close with she may be stuck inthe middle and guilty if she begins 'liking' you. She doesn't want to stir the pot so to speak with ex daugherinlaw... c. Sd is 10 and your son is 7 or 9 months old....ITS a HUGE age gap and shopping is much easier with a 10 year old and you wouldn't want to have a 7 month old crying and needing alot of physical holding. Your in a want ot be free with your 10 year old granddaughter....its not the time or place for a baby.
You've taken the outtings a bit personal. you baby is way too young to acknowlegde or enjoy these if he was3 or 4..then yah i would say maybe she is putting him to the side.
BUT, from what you say in other does sound that she doesn't favor your relationship and therefore is not giving any attention to her new grandson.....does she come over to baby sit in a while orhold her new grandson or ask for pictures? Cause if she doesn't....theni can understand you being pissed over the going out scenario.... That you anticipate in the future he will be left out when old enough because of the way she behaves now....that is a shame if that is the case. You cannot control that. ANd youdont want your son to be arounda person who doesn't appreciate when this does occur, focus more on him and when he's left out, you guys go out for a treat andleave sd and her grandma to do their own thing. Nothing wrong there.
Dont involve people or get hurt from them if they dont want to participate. they become sour....
oh the show thing by the way....she didn't forget...your sd intervened and gave grief to her grandmother ( to me it a sign she is trying but was put ont he spot with granddaughter)---and your sd phoning you to say they already wnet was her rubbing it in that they went and left youout.
Dont be too quick on grandma...i think she is stuck in the middle and wants to please her grand daughter. Its obvious sd is jealous and needs time to adjust . Any 'girl' time with grandma will be fiercely guarded by sd. Mine was the same dont worry. It will pass
And your husband has to keep standing his ground with his daughter.
oh yah, and maybe grandma is not be so quick on the new baby as to not hurt her grand daughters feelings. the 'you love him now more than me ' scenario.
THe main ingredient to this situation is your sd jealousy. She has to be told fromall sides. This include grandma.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 6:43AM
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Hey everyone. Thanks so much for all the messages, you all gave great advice and it's really good to hear things from somebody elses point of view. I should have put in my original post that me and my partner are getting married soon and only haven't yet for financial reasons, and yes we have been together over 3 years and he and the ex had broke up 5 years previous to us getting together, she has a baby to his used to be friend.
Sorry if I was unclear before, just had a quick mad rant while baby had a rare nap lol!
Well things have kicked off big style lastnight.
My mother in law calls the ex's daughter (not my partners) her grand-daughter and minds her 5 nights a week most times.
She also has my step daughter sleep over every week and takes them BOTH out on day trips regularly including the ex's baby who is only 1 year old and on shopping trips too so im guessing she doesn't mind the baby in the mall scenario!
Anyhow the arguements kicked off because my son is 7 months old and she has only been to see him once and only lives around the corner.
It's his Christening on Sunday and my partner let his mam know 5 months ago, and told her the ex and her baby weren't invited. He said he respects her choice to be so close to them both but they are not our sons family and it is his family occasion. She said she understood.
He's reminded her often since.
Now the mother in law is saying she is bringing the baby to our sons Christening because she is minding her as her mam is working and there's nothing she can do about it.
My partner is really upset and said she never bothers with our son when we both have encouraged her to and he doesn't want to have to force him on her all the time. And he thought she would have made the effort to spend some quality time with our son for one day.
Now nobody is talking to anybody.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 10:09AM
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She sounds like she's being difficult and probably doesn't accept you yet as a family member. She may be old-school, she may think you're too young, or she may just be slow to embrace new things and people. The thing is, you really can't MAKE her do anything or rush her into accepting you. Not saying you're pushing it or doing anything out of line, but just that SHE isn't going to do anything SHE doesn't yet feel like doing.

The only thing you can do is give it time, refrain from insisting she do/feel anything, and just be yourself. Maybe she just wants to see how mature you are and what your staying power is (may very well be the case if she already perceives you as being too young). So the best way to handle that sort of test is to outclass it. Don't lose your cool, don't ask or insist on anything from her that she could reasonably or not-so-reasonably refuse or feel put out by, and handle whatever snubs you may feel from her direction as though you didn't even notice it. Refuse to be drawn into any arguments or power struggles so that if one starts it's HER being immature, not you. Basically just be as mature as possible, because it sounds like that's what she's "testing" you on. If you show any immaturity she will never accept you and things could escalate to the point where she could make your life hell. Don't let it get to that point, even if you have to suck up a few things at first. (The more years you're with her son, the less you will have to suck up.) You will probably have to lose a few battles to "win the war", as they say... at least if you're in this for the long haul, which it sounds like you'd like to be.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 10:46AM
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Could she be judging you (and taking it out on the child) because you had the child out of wedlock?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 12:26PM
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My mom is from a large family where there are definite "favorites", and I have friends from families where there are definite "favorites", so I think I can relate to your post.

The situation you describe with your future MIL sounds similar to situations I've seen. With the people I know, however, it wouldn't be anything personal with the future MIL judging you or taking anything out on the child because of you. Here's the way it would play out in some of my friends' and my families:

Grandma would form a strong attachment to a particular grandchild - either the oldest grandchild, or the grandchild who lived next door, or the grandchild who she kept while mom worked, or the grandchild of the "favorite" child (maybe the baby of the family). For whatever reason, grandma has a strong attachment to this particular grandchild. For 9 years (you said your partner's daughter is 10?) this has been grandma's special grandchild. If the mom of the special grandchild gets along well with grandma, of course the mom of the special grandchild will have a bond with grandma, too. Then the grandchild has a sibling (your partner's ex's baby), and that sibling is a package deal with the favored 10 year old grandchild. Of course grandma is going to keep both kids - they're a package deal. And of course she's going to take them both shopping together, they're a package deal.

Grandma is going to keep them together, she's going to take them shopping together. There are probably reasons why she doesn't want to take your son shopping with them - a 1 year old, 10 year old, and 7 month old is probably too much for her. And if by some chance she doesn't have the 1 year old along, grandma probably doesn't want to take your 7 month old shopping along with the 10 year old because she relishes the trip with just her older granddaughter.

And the grandmas I know who are like this would naturally be upset if you forbid her bringing the 1 year old with her to your son's celebration, if she was keeping the 1 year old on that day. To her, asking for the ex to stay away might be reasonable, but asking her not to bring a 1 year old baby wouldn't be.

I'm not saying what I'm describing is the "right" way for a grandma to be, or that it's fair to your son. But in my extended family, grandma would have a routine and a relationship she's comfortable with, and that's the way it would be. She'd have 10 years of history with this child and this routine, and your 7 month old baby wouldn't change that.

In my experience, grandmas who are this way don't change. If your partner has tried explaining and grandma hasn't budged, then I doubt it will do any good to get mad or be hurt. If I were in your shoes, I'd just accept that it is what it is, and move on with life. It's your partner's mother's loss if she passes up the opportunity to have a close relationship with her grandson - boys are a blast.

Many, many people have extended families that have strong "favorites" among the cousins or the grandchildren. Accept it and move on and you'll be much happier in the long run. You're certainly not wrong to wish grandma would reach out to your son and be the terrific grandma to all her grandchildren. That's a normal and natural wish, but it doesn't sound like you're going to get it. Try not to take it personally, it's probably not about you or your son - it's probably about the bond and the routine grandma has with the older granddaughter.

My mom is wonderful, and she would always work hard to make things equal among her grandchildren. But not all grandmas are that way.

One piece of advice I'd give a young mother in your situation - your son will take a lot of his cues from you. If it doesn't bother you that grandma plays favorites, it probably won't bother him. You and your partner create a warm, loving home that is a fun, happy place to be, and your son will be fine. My kids' grandparents don't exactly have "favorites', but because of circumstances they are much closer to their other grandchildren. They babysit them, take them on trips, go to their school functions, etc. It doesn't bother me at all and it doesn't bother my kids, either.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 2:56PM
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Thanks so much to everyone for the great advice. It is really hard, and I think you's are definately right about a lot of things I didn't think of, (apart from the grandma is judging me because I had our baby out of wedlock because all of her grand kids were and she's fine with that) and I think your right she will never change.
I'm just thankful my son has such a close relationship with my mam, it hurts my partner a lot more because he feels his mam choses the ex over him constantly, even when they broke up and she really hurt him. Now he feels like she favours the ex's baby over his son constantly.
I don't think the reason she wants the one year old to come is because she would be naturally upset, It was only last week she asked if both the ex and baby could attend so I don't see why the ex could get the day off work to come to the Christening but not to mind her daughter?
The ex does always want to be involved in all parts of my partners life. She used to use their daughter as a weapon all the time and although she doesn't want my partner in that way anymore and has moved on herself, she seems to like to keep him there anyways. (For example if we are going out and she finds out she will ring and say can you mind your daughter I'm going out and she wants to stay with you. So I always encourage him to say yes as I know how close they are and enjoy seeing her too and we can always go another night. But then she will ring up and say will you pick me and my friends up and take us into town) I know this would be understandable if they had a friendship but they don't. Oh and a few weeks ago we invited his mam around for a takeaway because my partner missed her and she said the ex wanted to come.
I understand about been close but surely theres some lines?
The ex asked me months ago when my sons christening was and I told her and she said 'that's my sisters birthday' We had a chat then and I explained about them not coming and said I think it would be awkard for all of us with all my family been there that she doesn't know and it would be good for the grandparents to spend some quality time with my son and she said she agrees totally and understands. I think she's narked she's going to miss out and I think she's told the mother in law she cant get the time off work as the mother in law will never say no to her and now she feels like she's in a impossible situation. Yes, I said I think, but she's done that before and it wouldn't surprise me.
I understand where the mother in law is coming from, but at the same time I understand more how my partner feels and obviously support him 100%.
She phoned today and said she is thinking about taking it in turns with the father in law in coming to the christening and driving home to mind the ex's baby.
He keeps saying to me that if we budge and let her get her own way then they will end up coming to our wedding and all our sons future occasions (which he has already told them firmly NO to when they asked!).
He's explained to his mam and the ex that he doesn't want our son and the ex's baby been brought up as family and therefore he doesn't want them to come to his family occasion, and they both said they understood. My partner said he doesn't want our son to have a relationship with his ex and her daughter when he hasn't got one with his grandma and grandad first.
I just hope something gets sorted and my little boys day doesn't get ruined when i have family who have travelled far to be there for him. I think your very right about her testing me though, that's what it feels like every day, I left home young and are naturally very independent and mature but right now i will admit I feel like pulling my hair, stamping my feet and yelling ARRRRGH!!!!!!!!!!!!! Lol Thanks for the advice. :-)

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 3:36PM
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