hard time accepting boyfriend's son and ex


Our daughter is 6 months. My boyfriend has a now 8 year old son from a previous marriage. I'm having a hard time bonding with his son. I feel like I cannot relate to him at all. He is so serious and distant. I'm good with kids that are friendly but I feel somewhat intimidated by him. Maybe I am insecure because I want him to like me. My boyfriend spoils him because he wants to win him over and be the cool patent. He doesn't know how to teach his son responsibility so the house is always a mess and I feel like I am always telling his son to clean this or shut the door or do that and I don't want my only communication with him to be a demand. We try to play family games which seems to help open him up but it only happens every once in a while because my boyfriend allows his son to play at the neighbors house a lot and then he comes home to eat and sleep. The fact that he is always out of the house makes it difficult to bond as well. He will come in and out and make messes then leave and I feel like he is all over the place and there is no stability with this child. My boyfriend doesn't want to be 'mean' and make him come home which I think is ridiculous.

I also feel resentful and jealous because he has been a single father for almost all of his son's life so he has a strong bond with him and is always thinking of him, meanwhile our baby gets very little attention from him. I mean like an hour total per week. My baby is my life and I had the idea in my head that we would enjoy her together but I feel alone. I don't even get time to myself. If I need time I have to ask my sister to babysit.

Then there is the ex. Ugh the ex. She's very selfish and has 70% custody and gets child support however she only sees their son two days per week and that's only when she feels like being a mother. Most of the time she won't show up to pick up their son or will try to get out of it. Then when she does spend time with her son she tells him false things about my boyfriend so she feels better about herself as a parent. When I was in labor in the hospital it was her weekend but of coarse she didn't show. My boyfriend had to leave me multiple times to make sure his son was taken care of because we didn't have a babysitter. He finally got her to take their son and on the day I was discharged she calls asking why he wasn't there to pick him up. It's still her weekend mind you. She told their son while he was on the phone that my boring loves the baby more. Went would anyone tell a child such things? We just had the baby and were leaving the hospital RUSHING to convenience her schedule. Today he came to our house telling us that she said my boyfriend is a dunk and lies. He has never touched alcohol since I've known him. Neither of us drink meanwhile she is out with her friends drinking when she is supposed to be with their son. She has come to our house to pick up their son and harassed me because she is jealous. (She had an affair on my boyfriend while he was going through chemotherapy and left him to take care of the baby while he had cancer). She may be jealous that he is happy with me and she couldn't be? They had a court date this week and she didn't show yet the judge still said my boyfriend needs to pay child support. He doesn't have a job because he got fired a couple times from her dropping their son off at his work. He doesn't know how to make her take their son on her days so he can do what he needs to do and when he asks the courts they laugh at him. She doesn't want the responsibility but she wants the money. My boyfriend has given up and lets her get away with it. I wish he had a back bone and just kept dropping their son off with her every time she flakes but he doesn't want his son to feel like he doesn't love him. I'm sick of having to plan our life around her schedule and having to pay her money we don't have so that we can keep his son full time. By boyfriend won't take the blame and keeps telling me that she's winning, she wants us to break up so she's doing things to piss me off. My problem is that he won't stand up to her. I don't know what to do.

I want to continue to work on things with him but I feel like he has too much drama and baggage that needs to be cleared up. I also feel like his son has hopes that his parents will get back together and he respects me but doesn't accept me as a step mother figure. It feels like there is so much chaos and no structure and I need that. I am fighting a battle that I feel like I can't win. I feel more and more discouraged as time goes on. Our situation isn't ideal in the first place and to add on his son and ex makes it harder. He's a great father in many many ways and I adore him for so many things. He treats me so well. But I feel like giving up some days.
I just want to know how to not let his situation with his ex get to me and how to bond with his son or at least do my best to make his son feel loved from me and accept that maybe we will never be close??? Any recommendations?

This post was edited by MichelleB88 on Wed, Feb 26, 14 at 11:30

Comments (2)
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I really feel for you, it seems as if your heart is in the right place and that you have alot of love to give those in your life.

Your boyfriend is letting you down I feel. He is not only the link/bridge between you and his son. He is also the barrier between you and his ex and should be protecting you more from her and not leave you so exposed to her bad behaviour. He is also not enabling or creating that many opportunities for you to bond with his son.

1) It is his job to do the discipline/parenting etc.
2) You need opportunities to have a bit of fun with the boy rather than him relying on the neighbour's. That is just lazy parenting on dad's behalf, you need time to be a family together.
3) He should deal with the ex. End of. Keep out of the way, let him see to her. And he doesn't need to tell you every gory detail if it is emotionally draining for you.
4) Talk to you boyfriend about his bond with the baby and perhaps about getting his son involved with the baby too, helping out, etc.

The big picture is so frustrating, as I have a similar situation. My bf's ex is absolutely toxic, an evil, depressing person, not happy unless she is causing chaos, making the children upset and trying to control everyone. You will not change you bf's ex, nor can I mine. What you have to change is how he deals with her. And negative things that are said, that happen, can be dealt with directly with your bf's son (in an age appropriate way).

If inroads are not made, nor opportunites to bond with his son created by bf, this situation will only get worse. And I've read enough on here and experienced enough to know that the step mum usually gets the raw deal no matter how hard she tries and it can be a relationship breaker unfortunately. Hugs.

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Thank you for your wise insight. It helps to confirm that I'm not just being irrational. My boyfriend at times doesn't want to admit to his faults so he will say it's me and the way I think... Ugh.
I'm sorry about your situation however you seem to be very knowledgeable so I'm sure you gave a good handle on it.

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