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step children putting lots of pressure on our relationship

My Partner and I have been together for over a year now. I love him dearly and He makes me happier than I have ever felt before. He has two children from a previous marriage that ended unexpectidly when she left him for his best friend. The children have suffered terribly as a result of the pressure of divided loyaties and as a result their behaviour is appauling. the eldest especially is very bad..truanting, swearing, disrepectful, angry, hits his younger sister, ( he is 11) and for the first time this evening squeezed my little 3 year olds head in anger. My partner is so so wonderful but has had his armour ( I fear) irripairablely dented...his self confidence is shattered and becasue they get a hard time at mums he feels the need to give  a lack of discipline becasue he wants the children to feel this is the best place to be....I have tried so hard with both of his children and sometimes I reaslie to my own sons detrement. Ive tried including them in everything, arranging days out, finding support for the family i.e councelling, parenting courses...you name it. It just doesnt seem to be getting anywhere.....I feel myself getting resentful becasue my own dreas are pushed aside for their sake and from them I get so Little in terms of emotion or respect. I would love for us to have a child together one day but that Dream seems to be further and further away. It scares me to think of their influence on my little boy. I have no doubt in my mind that my partner loves me he does everything to demonstrate this when we are on our own but when the children are here he finds it hard. I am honestly at my wits end of what to do...I love him so much. It breaks my heart to think that the problems with the children will break us. When I think of what my son means to me i instantly understand how he feels about his own children but how can we change things to make it work and long lasting. I find myself thinking of us living seperatly but that devestates me at the same time. Im scared...any advise out there?
4 Responses
973741 tn?1342342773
First, let me say that I am a stickler for unmarried folks with kids NOT living together.  It is the wrong message to send and yes, creates this drama you describe. So, I do think that living in seperate households for now is essential.  If you whether the things you write of and there is hope that you ALL can be a cohesive unit, then consider marriage and living together after that.  I'm not some puriten speaking here but find these living arrangements hard on kids (yours and his).  

The rule of thumb when it comes to step parenting (and you are not a step parent at this point--------- so this is even more important) is to have open communication with their partner while that partner handles the dynamics of discipline with the kids.  Your role to his children is to be their friend, a positive force in their life, a pleasant person when they are with their dad . .. and oh yeah, giving them space to be with dad without you always around.

Divorce is hard on kids.  His are older and are going to show the emotional impact more than your toddler.  Kids of your boyfriends son's age are very vulnerable emotionally.  Instability with parents can create such distress.  His dad needs to set up with his mother what their plan of action will be for their son and then you can be part of it as a side kick to dad.  And understanding that it would hurt an 11 year old that he doesn't get to be with his dad all the time and then your son which is not his gets too.  I'm not saying he is right for feeling that way---------  but it is pretty common and pretty natural.  So, put yourself in his shoes and think about how he is feeling.

Also, let's face it.  3 year olds are not always charming beings (I've had a couple of them myself, I know this to be true) and 11 year old boys aren't always in a great mood.  No, he absolutely shouldn't lay his hands on your son but what do you do to keep your son from annoying him?  If he is at his father's home----------- it is HIS house too and he should be respected as well.  

I'm not saying his behavior is okay----------.  I am not.  But I think that you've picked a man that has a priority over and above you as your son is over and above him.  If you feel his son is a danger to your son, then you have an obligation to not be with this man.  If you don't like his son and see him as infringing on your life, he has an obligation to not be with you.

Some blended families blend and others do not.  Time will tell here but I think you'll have to work on how you feel about it first.  If it goes the route of your post, your boyfriend -------- if he is a good dad, will leave.  good luck
13167 tn?1327194124
Please don't even consider having another child with him.  As it is,  you are free to leave when this family dynamic becomes unbearable - and you won't be free to leave if you have a baby together.  Adding yet another child to the three you two have will just make a worse dynamic for all of the kids - and it's quite likely that your boyfriend will favor his first two more than the one you make together - because of guilt.  And you'd be in a worse situation then than you are already as far as dynamics.
1731970 tn?1328087070
Hi, Coliving with step kids is hard on anyone. Try to get your partner to see that they need discipline when they are with him. The kids will respect him more for being consisitent with them. He needs to not let them disrespect you. If they do he needs to be the one that steps up and says he won't tolerate their behaviour. If he can't do this he is showing them that this is the way to treat you. Unfortunately it needs to start with him. Remember if you treat them the same evreytime the kids will respect you too. Try to get your Partner to spend time with each of his children seperately and get him to talk to them and ask what bothers them so much about everything that is happening in their lives. Suggest he take each child to something they like eg: The movies or ten pin bowling this will make them feel like they are special individually and if this is done regularly they will start to feel more secure. Their behaviour will change only if you guys change things. You could also use this approach after a while. Try to build an individual relationship with them. Ask them what is thier favourite food and have cooking nights with them. What child doesn't love an adults full attention. If they say things like my mum does it better just try really hard to say calmly Mum does things differently so maybe you can show me how she does it. It is very hard but remember these are kids and we are the adults. I would take the eldest child aside and let him know that you are unhappy with him physically hurting your child and next time this happens they will have privledges that you allow them taken away such as sitting up watching tv pon the weekend. Kids are smarter than we give them credit for so explain to him that you wat his dad tyo be happy and so soes he so can we work together to make this happen for him. Let him know that you need him to respect your son as this your house as well as his fathers. Your son will be ok some of this is normal sibling behaviour and it could signal that you are actually getting somewhere. All boys fight occasionally as long as it isn't everday i would try hard not to get too upset about it. We ahve three boys and every now and then our eldest fights with the youngest and it upsets me but I just send the eldest off to his room for a minute every year old he is. When he comes out he has to apologise to his brother and hopefully he will keep his hands to himself for the rest of the day. If something happens again then the privledges are taken away like the X-box, ipods etc. A good way to make kids behave is promise them a sleep over with thier best friend next time they visit but use this as a tool to remove if they are not showing they deserve it. Hopefully some of these suggestions work. Good luck let us know how you go.
535822 tn?1443976780
I agree with melipops the ideas she presents here will work ..good luck.
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