boyfriend and son don't get along

Jackie - posted on 07/17/2010 ( 59 moms have responded )

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My boyfriend of 2 yrs and my 16 yr old son do not get along. I love my b/f, but I love my son. He wants me to "choose" between "having his back" and backing up my son. I don't want to have to choose between the two of them, but my child is a part of me. I was widowed 11 yrs ago when my son was 5 and my son has been without a father or father figure since. It is a HUGE battle. Need advice.....

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Meagan - posted on 07/17/2010

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Talk to your son. I mean, he's older and a teenager, so your boyfriend has 2 things working against him. But seriously, sit down and talk to your son. Find out whats wrong, and do it at a time when theres no tension or arguing. Maybe he feels he's losing you or doesnt get to spend as much time with you? Also, try taking your son out, just the 2 of you. Even if it's to a cheap diner or an arcade for an hour, try doing something weekly. It'll give your son some bonding time to look forward to, and reinforce that you love him and he will always be your number 1.

As for the boyfriend, talk to him. I personally find it unacceptable when a guy asks me to pick between my kid or him because I will ALWAYS pick my kid, whether she was right or not! All because he had the audacity to tell me to pick!

Ok, so my kid isn't old enough for that, but I had to yell at an ex of mine for bickering with her (a 1 year old) all the time, and he would pull the "she started it" card and I had to remind him of his age.

Talk to him though. Tell him that you will encourage a bond between the both of them, and if he is right, then you will back him up, but if you dont agree with him, then you will back up your son. Remind your boyfriend that your son is your number 1 priority, and that his emotional needs come before even your own. Tell him you are going on "date nights" per say with your son, and that is to help ease some of the tension.

And you should encourage them to bond. Even if it's over video games or whatever common interest 2 guys would share!

Laura - posted on 07/23/2010

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I have been in your situation. I learned that although NO ONE should ever come before your children..do not forget that YOU are the parent, and have the right to have a life, even if your child dose not agree with the man you choose. There may never be a man your child will see as 'good enough'.Fact is, you should not have to choose. Your boyfriend needs to be supportive and understanding. And your child will play the 'guilt card'. If you allow your Son to control you on this issue, he will continue to do so in other areas. Firmly establish your self as a Mother AND the adult. Make it very clear to them both that it is not fair for you to be backed against a wall, or be made to choose. Make them work it out for them selves. Explain to them both that you have the right to make you own choices, and they do not get a say in it. You love them both, and they need to show their love and respect for you with support, tolerance and understanding. If you give either the power to make a choice for you, it will become a hard habit to undo. Make your stand, do not try to be the mediator. Stand up for your self, make a firm point, and eventually they will get that your not going to be played this way.. Stay in control of you. The rest will fall into place once you have established that your not going to abide with this behavior. It will make a powerful statement. Things will not change over night, believe me! But they will change if you stay true to your self and stick to your guns. And attempt to express these things with love, not anger or irritation. You have my prayers and I wish you luck. It was a tough battle for me. but once both realized I wasn't going to be a part of an issue that needs to be solved between them... it came to a halt, because neither wanted to loose me. Of coarse, I would always put my child first... in issue of danger, abuse ect. But if this is a good man you have, your Son needs to come to grips with the fact that no one gets to control you and you will make your own decisions.

Cassandra - posted on 07/30/2010

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I saw your post that he is now your EX boyfriend, and all I can say is...GOOD FOR YOU!!! Any man that will try and force you to choose between you and your child is not worth the aggrivation. He was a grown man acting like a 13 year old...you need better

Karmi - posted on 07/18/2010

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My mom went though this same thing and I was that child that was put in the middle. To be honest, my mom chose her boyfriend and kept him around, now we don't really talk. I have such an anger towards my mom because your mom should be there for you through whatever. So honestly I would have to say get rid of the boyfriend. If a man is making you chose sides then he isn't a man you need to be with at all. My moms boyfriend did the samething and she ended up moving away from me because he made her chose, and I was only 16 also. Now she realized how badly she screwed up. But I wouldn't want your son to go through what I went through because of another person making you chose. I'm not in your shoes, but I know how your son feels just from experience. Good luck, I'm sure you'll make the right decision.

Nancy - posted on 07/28/2010

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this is a really tough one but i know where your coming from. My son who is 14 now didnt like my b/f either but we have been together for 5yrs now. it was a really rocky start they fought constantly they did not get a long at all.
and it is not fair for you to have to choose and you shouldn't choose. If your boyfriend is the right man for you he will not make you choose. well teenage boys can be a bit selfish when it comes to their mom but just explain to him that he shouldn't make you choose either. what needs to happen is the two men need to sit down and talk and figure out what really bugs them about one another without either of them getting mad and flying off the handle at each other. once they figure out what really bugs them about one another they will be able to start figuring out how to work things out. Its a guy thing but it is hard for your son b/c he has been the man of the house for so many years it may be a territorial thing to b/c your son has been man of the house since he was 5yrs old. if it is a territorial thing than your boyfriend needs to be understanding and let him know that he's not trying to take over his position and maybe they can work it out to where for now while ya'll are dating your son can continue to be man of the house and then when you and your boyfriend get married he can take over roll of being man of the house. they have to come to some kind of joint decision. your b/f just b/c hes your b/f cant just come in after two years and think he owns everything it doesnt work that way especially since your son is 16 now.
Now for you i know that ya'll have been together for 2yrs and thats a good start but dont rush anything if you do plan on marrying this man at least wait until your son and him have worked out there differences or at least tried. if you jump right in thinking it will work itself out your wrong you will push your son away and possibly lose the respect of your b/f to. i jumped into two marriages and neither one of those lasted. i have been with my b/f for 5yrs now we plan on getting married next year. but my son and him had to find a meeting point in the middle where they were both happy and things have worked out nicely. good luck and i hope this info has helped.

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59 Comments

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Nikeisha - posted on 07/30/2010

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Even though you love ur bf, your child comes first. Personally, i think that your bf is being very inconsiderate in asking you to choose between him and ur son. Your child comes first. Man will come and man will go, but he will be your son forever.

Cathy - posted on 07/30/2010

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I was in a step family. My mom chose my step father and left me out in the cold. I know how your son feels. If you choose someone that's not his father and backs him, then you might damage your relationship with your son... You have to really think about what is best for you and your son, it might not be what you want.

Lasonta - posted on 07/30/2010

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sit down and chat with your son ask him what about your b/f that he don't like

Larna - posted on 07/30/2010

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your child should come 1st.. after all he is blood.. boyfriends will come and go but children will be there till the end
blood is thicker than water

Rebecca - posted on 07/30/2010

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You know what you need to do...give that man the boot. If he loves you, he'll come back beggin you to take him back. Your son is your baby no matter how old he may be. Number one priority is your son.

Siobhan - posted on 07/29/2010

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When it comes to this topic I feel so strongly as have been in this situation but was the child. I'm now 31 years of age and this still affects my way of life, my mother choose to stand by her man and now she only has 1 out of three daughters who speak to her. Your son comes first, when you bring a child into this world its very much for better or worse and they come first. I'm a single mum of a 5 year old and choose this lifestyle hands down first if it means that she has a happy healthy lifestyle and not battling against a boyfriend. Hope this helps

Laura - posted on 07/28/2010

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Why is it even a choice? You're boyfriend is an adult. If he was father material he wouldn't be asking (expecting) you to choose, he would be looking for ways to encourage your son to want him to be part of his life. I say dump the boyfriend there really are better men out there...why settle for an anchovie when you could hook a whale?

Susie - posted on 07/28/2010

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You should never lose a child over a man. If your boyfriend loves you, he would do his best to make it work with your son. His is the responsible adult in this scenario.
I speak from experience, when I met my second husband he knew I was a package deal and we have been together for over 15 years and he sometimes has to work at the relationship with my 20 year old son, but he does it because he loves me.

Anna Lisa - posted on 07/27/2010

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Jackie my problem is that my boyfriend is having problems with my son's behavior and finds that I does nothing about it. I has a lot of feeling for him but sometimes I am overwhelm and do not know what to do. My son will be 4yrs. next month.

Jessica - posted on 07/27/2010

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this is just my opinion, but my son comes first. no matter what. if he doesn't like the guy or get along with who i am with, bye bye. my son is too important to me to let anybody get between us.

Jackie - posted on 07/26/2010

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Thank you all for all of your advice; it has really helped out. The majority of you have advice what I have thought and that is to support my son. I will miss my now ex b/f and I do love him very much. I guess there are just some issues that can not be overcome. Time will tell if we can work this out and get past it. If not, I don't think I will be dating until my son is off to college; only 2 yrs from now. I waited 7 yrs after my husband died to date, what's another 2 yrs.... Again, thank you all and my best wishes and prayers to you all.

Jen - posted on 07/26/2010

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Jackie,

Honestly if the boyfriend really wants to be a part of your life he has to accept your son as well. You are a package deal end of story. Talk with both of them one and one to see if you can find out what the problem is. Maybe your son feels threatened by the boyfriend like he is going to take you away from him. I know from experience that with or with out a father figure your son will do just fine. You need to get to the bottom of what the real issue is. Maybe your son is just being a typical 16 year old or maybe there is truly an underlying issue going on. Your boyfriend needs to understand and accept the fact that no mother should have to choose between their own child and a boyfriend. I wish you the best!

Destinee - posted on 07/25/2010

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First of all Single Moms are a package deal & no man would ever ask you to choose between him or your child if he truly loved & respected you. As a mother there is never a choice My children ALWAYS come first before ANY & EVERYONE including myself!! Any man would be stupid to even ask me that!!

It may be something you can work on, it is hard to accept a person coming into your life as a father figure specially as a teenager. You need to find the reason behind them not getting along because there is one, whether it is your son trying to protect you, or feeling pushed out of your life, or your bf trying to act like a parent or be in control. I know from my experience as the child that you son will probably never take you bf as an authority figure, it only caused more resentment for me. Your son needs to respect him as an adult but you bf should not try to be a disciplinarian, that is your job!! The rules, the enforcement & the consequences of not following them needs to come from you!

My advice it to talk to your son one on one and get him to be completely open & honest with you about what the problem is with you bf & see if there is something that can be corrected in the relationship. Also talk to you bf & make him understand that you son comes 1st and he has to not only accept but be happy with 2nd seat. He is also the "adult" and needs to act like one and not fight with a child for your attention & do what he needs to do to mend the problems & develop a relationship with your son.

Tia - posted on 07/24/2010

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If your bf is the one saying that.. back your son up.. he should know.. you are always there for your son..
however.. if it's your son saying that.. find out what's going on with him.. could be some underlying problems, like thinking he'll take over his dad's spot though he passed away 11 years ago.. he's 16 so he probably knows what his dad was like and misses him

Jessi - posted on 07/24/2010

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first of all if your boyfriend loves you as much as you do him he wouldn't make you chose between him and your son.....that's not right. have you asked your son why he doesn't like your boyfriend (i mean actually sit down and discuss it)?

Seeta - posted on 07/24/2010

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Having a teenager and a boyfriend you're bound to have problems. You don't need to choose between the two but you need to find a way to make things work between them. Encourage them to go out together and spend time talking. Try to include him whenever you make plans for trips and outings. If things doesn't change then I hate to tell you, you may have to let the boyfriend go because your child will resent you for the rest of his teenage life and even some of his early adulthood life. Good luck.

Michelle - posted on 07/24/2010

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I have seen this happen in my own family between my mother and step-dad and my brother who was the same age and they were married. I hated everything about the situation but there are always other factors to considere. If he is abusive to your son or the other way round speak to them. Consider family couselling would probably be the best option.
If your boyfriend really does love you and want you happy then he would never ask you to choose but we all know teenagers are a menace at the best of times :).
Counselling can help because if this isn't resolved then it could get alot worse which happened in my family.
Good luck to you and think seriously on what you want and the safety of everyone in the relationship.
Michelle x

Janice - posted on 07/24/2010

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I would very suspect about a man that asks you to choose between your son and him. Your son is probably struggling with the cocept of mum having someone in her life and at 16 you should be able to sit down ith him and explain that you will always be his mother no matter what but that someday he will leave home and have his own life and you will be alone. Unless he is an incredibly selfish young man he should understand why you need someone in your life. As for the bf well he has got to man up and realise that you are a package deal and that the one who makes you choose is the one who will ultimately lose. If he loves you he will find a way to at least co-exist with you son. They both have a lot of growing up to do by the sounds of it and I hope it all goes well.

Angela - posted on 07/23/2010

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I had that same problem with my ex. My advice, if your kids dont like them, theres a reason for it. I choose my son over my ex and it was the best decision I ever made. I wish you luck!

Shona - posted on 07/23/2010

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ive been in the situation where my mum chose a b/f over her kids...now i do not speak to her! in turn i would never let a man come between my boys and myself...i gave birth to them, they are mine and any man has a problem with that, then he is not worth the air hes breathing...if you keep him he will bring nothing but more trouble and heartache!

Michelle - posted on 07/23/2010

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You need to sit your BF down and explain that YOUR rules are the ones that are law in your house; not his. If he cannot deal with that, he is too immature to be dating a woman with a child of ANY age.
If you really still see this guy as permanent material after that chat suggest group counseling for all 3 of you to see if you can get to the root of the issue. A good family counselor will see you separately and as a unit to help deal with internal and group dynamic issues to see what areas you might all work on.
But IMHO, any guy who bluntly says you need to take his back over your son's back in all arguments probably isn't going to be worth the effort.

Kori - posted on 07/23/2010

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What an asshole that boyfriend is. I have only date one person since my kids father and I have split up and we have been together 5 years. Thankfully my son LOVES him and has known him since birth. I would never date some POS that my kid didn't like. Truth be told thats what my mother did to me and my brother and I ALWAYS came second and to this day we both resent her for that. No guy is worth losing a relationship with my kid. I did mention yesterday that guys come and go. Your kids are there for life.

Victoria - posted on 07/23/2010

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talking from the childs point of view... because I am in the same situation as your son... i dont get along with my mothers boyfriend.. your child is your child depending on what the fights are about.... with me my mothers boyfriend sets me up to get in trouble with my mom.. while my mother is at work he will follow me around and pick fights with me.. and when my mom comes home he blames it all on me and I get in trouble... it is to the point now that I am moving out next week, and I dont know if I will ever talk to my mother again.... My mother use to be my bestfriend my whole life.. and now it feels that this guy has torn my family apart and I will hate him anf my mom for the rest of my life for letting it happen.... dont let this guy tear your son and you apart...

Mary - posted on 07/23/2010

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Well at 16 he is a young man and with support aka counceling between son and parental figures there might be a way out of this situation. Your son is most likely not to like any man due to the fact that part of him is just waiting for them to leave. I suggest family counceling.

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Maybe your son feels like he losing you to your boyfriend, especially i you have begun to talk about marriage or anything like that. I think that maybe your son just needs reassurance that your boyfriend isn't taking you from him, and that your son has your heart but you deserve to be happy too.

Janet - posted on 07/22/2010

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at the end of the day after everything your son is the one who is going to be there and love you unconditionally....i honestly can not date anybody that my children do not like....i made a oath when i conceived my children and that is that i live for them and my duties as a mother is to protect them and keep them happy....i may be overlooking my wants and needs but when they are grown up and on their own then i can live for me....

Kathy - posted on 07/22/2010

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Your son is the one who needs you right now the B/F can just go on the back burner for now. If he makes you choose its time to show him the door.

April - posted on 07/22/2010

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I have 2 daughters and they didn't like my bf too much. I stuck it out for a little while just to see if he would grow on them. But it didn't happen. I agree that if your bf is worth keeping, hold on to him., but manage your time very wisely. But if he's not, then do what I did and get rid of him. The teen years are difficult enough, and there are a lot more men out there like your son will like

Kori - posted on 07/22/2010

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OH I forgot another thing, your b/f should know that your son will ALWAYS come first and any man that knows that and that is okay with that would never ask you to choose! I know this doesn't help to hear this but your post made me value my own b/f even more. My b/f will NEVER be my number one and he knows that and not only is he okay with that but he is HAPPY about it.

Kori - posted on 07/22/2010

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Talk to the b/f and your son and find out what can be fixed and what can't. At the end of the day men come and go. Your son will ALWAYS be your blood. You can't let him dictate your whole life but you also can't turn your back on him over someone that could walk out on you tomorrow for any reason at all. your blood will always be your blood.

Alisha - posted on 07/22/2010

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That is super hard! You need for both of them to understand that you love both of them. If your boyfriend is verbally or physically abusive to your son or you then it's honestly not worth saving the relationship and you should strongly consider ending it with your boyfriend. If your boyfriend has done nothing wrong to either of you then have a nice chat with your son and ask him what he's thinking about the whole situation and how he would like to see things. 16 year olds can be challenging and opinionated in general! I don't think it's right your boyfriend is asking you to choose and so shame on him for that! Your job as a parent is to protect your children and to love them forever no matter what and for your boyfriend to try and tell you not to do that isn't right. You are going to have to talk to both of them, possibly get some counseling? Tell both of them how much this hurts you and how you would like your life to be like.

Rebecca - posted on 07/22/2010

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SORRY BUT SON COMES FIRST....IS YOUR SON TROUBLED??is the advice of boyfriend to help or hendar son??????your son will be 18 in two years.. maybe you should be pataint.

LaToya - posted on 07/22/2010

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I agree with a lot of these comments. I think you should talk to your son and find out want the problem is. You can also talk with your boyfriend seperately. Like some have said, your son maybe feeling left out, and because he is older, you may not spend as much time with him because you know that he can fend for himself. My son is 8, and if my boyfriend and my son didn't get a long, it would really be a problem for me because my son is more important than any man. Because your son is a little older, I would talk with him, and the boyfriend and see if you can come to some common ground and if you can't, then the boyfriend has got to go. You are a package deal.

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I agree with most of the other Mom's here...a person who loves you will never ask you to choose between them and someone else you love, especially your child. Good luck!

Carrie - posted on 07/21/2010

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Forget your BFs back and Forget your sons Back.. Who has your back? They both need to step up becuse in two years your son is 18 and ready for the world leaving you at home alone and manless because they couldnt get along if anything they both need to have your back. I have a 16 yr old, an ex and a BF
and i just talk it out seperatly.

I also arrange for my BF to do things for my daughter when ever posible. They dont have to like each other but just be nice around me.
The only way I go against my heart is if there is any kind of abuse towards my kid. that is uncalled for and she knows it. if she really didnt like him she would have been able to say he hurt her but she hasnt, so they will come around.

Shayna - posted on 07/21/2010

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16 is a hard age as it is and i'm sure your son probably feels like your b/f is stealing you so to speak. Have you talked to him? In my opinion your b/f should try to understand your sons side, he's a teenager who until recently didn't have a father figure, they aren't always going to get along. Maybe they could find something they have in common so they are not always butting heads. It's not fair and its kinda childish to be told you have to choose.

Erika - posted on 07/21/2010

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If your boyfriend loved you he would never ask you to choose between him and your son. Boyfriends come and go, but children are not the same. If you lose your son due to this you can never replace if, if your boyfriend leaves well he was never worth the time anyhow and HE can be replaced.

Brittany - posted on 07/21/2010

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my advice is to ALWAYS take your sons side. No matter what age. How is he going to be able to come to you in life when he feels you don't care about him or trust in him? Honestly, I'm one that would NEVER let a man come between me and my children. If something is happening where they do not get a long and they have both tried then bye bye boyfriend. I think that your boyfriend should have no over stepped the line in making you chose between the child you gave life to and him. This man has only been around 2 years in with in those short 2 years you still can not know enough about him to not side with your son whom you've known his entire life. Stand up, you can find a man better than that and can treat you and your son with respect and never make you choose sides. No matter who is right or wrong I will always choose my son.

Vickci - posted on 07/21/2010

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Ms. Jackie, first of all, I believe children should always come first, no matter what the parent has to sacrifice. But with your son being 16, looks like you could sit the two of them down and try to work out some kind of common ground for them to find something in common. It is a very hard decision to make I know. Have you thought about asking what it is between the two of them that has them with problems so they don't get along? I mean have you asked your son what issues he has with the b/f and what issues the b/f has with your son? That would be a good beginning to try and get to the heart of the issue.
Something I have to deal with from time to time with my 15 year old is the fact of him being jealous because his "mommy time" is deviated and he doesn't have me all to himself all the time. It takes some adjustments, but I can usually get the chip knocked off his shoulders within a few days or maybe a week depending on the situation. (Kind of like now--I am sitting here trying to get my thoughts together and he is bored so of course he wants to be right up under me.)
Mind you, my children (i have a 22 month old daughter also) come before myself or anyone else. But with my son, I also remind him that if he makes me choose between my b/f and him, he will always be my choice. However, I will be glued to him 24/7 and he won't be allowed to hang out with his friends at all either and has to stay home with me. That usually does the trick and he curbs whatever attitude he might have. I believe over the last few years, he has only had one ligitimate problem with a guy I was dating and that was only because he didn't fully understand something he overheard.
But other than having the little "sit down", I don't know what else to suggest for you. But I do wish you all the best in dealing with your situation and hope everything works out for the best.

Shawna - posted on 07/21/2010

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I think that before you make any choice at all you need to sit down with your son and talk...Ask him why he doesn't like your bf?...Let him know that no matter his answer there is no downside...You need to better understand his feelings on the issue...Get him to open up...It could be something easy to fix...Just never given the chance...No matter what...Your kids come first...That is never a choice...

Gina - posted on 07/21/2010

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A real man would not even ask you to choose. I can't believe some of these women said to choose the boyfriend. Over your own flesh and blood. I can't even imagine. Boyfriends can come and go, but your son will always be your son. It bothers me that the boyfriend even asked you that question. I would wait until your son at least graduates from high school before bringing a man into his life. Your son is at a delicate age right now, and you have to be very careful. But ultimately it is your decision. I just hope you make the right one.

Alison - posted on 07/21/2010

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hi i have the same exact problem my b/f dosnt want to be around my son he dosnt like teens its been over 2 years too i was going to break up with him but i really love him im stuck too if u wanna chat call me

Brianna - posted on 07/20/2010

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Jackie he is not right for your if he is asking you to chose him or your child and if your son is causing problems you need to deal with him yourself since your his parent and your boyfriend back you up but not argue with him or be childish

Brianna - posted on 07/20/2010

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This should not even be a question I have a 3mth old daughter and i would never let anyone come in between us. If he is a REAL man he would not ask you to choose between him or your child like men like him pisses me off. Your bf is the adult here he should act like it and try and talk to him as an adult. Your son is YOUR responsibility you gave birth your his parent and all he has honestly in my opinion this should not even be a question you never chose any man or any person over your child.

J Jeanne - posted on 07/20/2010

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Your child is your God-given treasure to raise and nurture, another man has no business telling you to choose! I have been widowed almost 8 years and have not dated, but my sister in law who has been widowed 9 years has dated some and whenever a guy has had the least little "attitude" about her sons, they get the boot. If she has problems with her kids, she deals with them on her own and there should not be a choice when it comes to your kids. Who else did God give them to to raise, for whatever reason you don't have his Dad's help anymore, you still have the responsibility to him. My son is almost 16, so I understand how teens can irritate other adults, but if love is at the root of the relationship than your b/f should back you up on parenting.

Cassie - posted on 07/20/2010

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I agree with karmi if ur mn is making you choose than get rid off him. He is not worth the time I wVsted typing this

Susan - posted on 07/20/2010

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my live-ins daughter hates me at this time. she is 21 and lives with her mom when she is not at college. My BF told her "you arent required to like her but I will not tolerate disrespect. Kids dont have to like your partner or vice a versa. I am as friendly as she allows and maybe someday she will get over what ever she has against me. As for your BF not liking your son that to me is non negotiable he is the adult and if he cant get over himself and act accordingly than to me that would be an invitation to see ya later nice knowing you. I love the saying "We are known by our actions not by our words" Good luck I know it can be really painful.

Frances - posted on 07/20/2010

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If your boyfriend is so insecure, that he has to ask you to choose, then that is his problem. Your son will always be your son, he is at an age that, although he may act up or make out he doesn't need you, he really needs you to be strong and supportive. If you feel that yr boyfriend could be in for the long haul, then explain to him that you will not make a choice and that he must learn to accept his differences with your son, not take any insults to heart, and treat him as he would a work colleague, and maybe a real friendship might develop in time.
Your son needs you, and you have your needs. If your boyfriend is really in love with you he will accept and allow your son to grow, supporting where possible, or at least emotionally supporting you. I would suggest living separately until at least yr son and boyfriend are able to realise that they are both important to you. (I would also spend more time with yr son to allow him to air any probs he has with yr boyfriend, could be something simple and easily dealt with). Good luck, never hang on to a relationship, for the sake of not being lonely, what will be will be.

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