My husband doesn't want my son (his stepson) to call him dad

Amy - posted on 09/19/2016 ( 8 moms have responded )

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Hello mommies. It's nearly 2am and I have been crying tonight. My husband came into my son's life just before he turned 2yo. My son still has a good relationship with his dad (and we do too as well).

Every now and then I discuss to my husband that I think my son wants to call him dad. He's always said he's got his dad and he wants to respect that role which is fair enough.

Last year I gave birth to our own son and I mentioned again that maybe it's better if his stepson calls him dad so the new baby hears it and copies it. I don't want the new baby to get confused. He still didn't want to.

Now that my son is 6yo and with the new baby. As a mother, I can really feel that he wants to call my husband dad. I know it's just a word but I can sense that he is finding himself lost and confused with his role in the family especially now that I'm pregnant with my second child with the husband. At one point my son said to me, "mommy you know I see my stepdad as my father. I love daddy but stepdad is my dad."

So anyway I mentioned it again after a long time and what my husband replied was quite painful to me. He said I AM NOT HIS DAD. I said it's not about the blood that flows in his vein. Why do you need to have that boundary? Then he said it's not fair on the real dad. To be honest I don't think the real sad minds if I discuss it with him. He also wants what's best for my son. And then my husband didn't reply. I said to him you dont even sound like you want to consider it? You could've said if it's ok with real dad why not?

I'm just so surprised after all these years it's like he really still sees him as he's not his. He does blurts out things sometimes emphasizijg that he's not his.

Help? 😢

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Jodi - posted on 09/19/2016

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Ok, I'm going to stop it right here. Your son can feel a part of your family whether he calls his stepdad "dad" or not. Sorry, but I think, in a way, because of how YOU are feeling about it, YOU are fuelling that fire. Believe me, I DO know what I am talking about - my son was never permitted to call my husband dad (his dad forbade it), and so he never really did. My husband and I have a child together too, who calls him "dad" and there is not "lost and confused".

You need to stop pushing your agenda and respect your husband's boundaries. If your son brings it up, you should be reinforcing that he already has a dad, and that this does not make him any less a part of the family. That your husband loves him very much, but he isn't his dad.

You also state "To be honest I don't think the real sad minds if I discuss it with him. " Have you asked him? To be fair, would you be okay with your son calling another woman "mom"? Ask yourself that question. Or would you find it hurtful?

Personally, I believe it is a child's choice, EXCEPT in this case, step-dad is wanting to be respectful of your son's real dad. And that's okay too. Maybe rather than continuing to push it, you need to step back and encourage your son to understand that it's just a name.

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Kim - posted on 09/21/2016

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Hi Amy,
First of all, you, dad, and stepdad should have discussed this and come to an agreement once you and husband decided to get married. I did feel your anguish thru out reading your post! Also, I do uderstand to a point; however, I do believe that you are creating this to be a bigger problem than it is.
Sit down and have a conversation with your son! Keep your personal feelings out the way. Whether or not he calls stepdad DAD, as a mom, you have to make sure your son knows and feels how important he is as apart of the family. Your husband NEEDS to do this as well!!! This doesn't have to be an issue as long as all adults are making sure that your son is loved and secured on all levels in the home.

Dove - posted on 09/19/2016

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I agree w/ Michelle and Jodi. If your son doesn't feel like he belongs that is certainly a topic to address, but not by what he calls his stepdad. He is a lucky little boy because he belongs to TWO families. Emphasize that in whatever wording will mean the most to him specifically.

Michelle - posted on 09/19/2016

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My 2 older children have had my husband around since they were young. They call him by his first name but know that he loves them just as much as the child we have together.
You've said that your son's bio dad is still around, why would you want your son to call your husband dad if his dad is in his life? That is disrespectful to dad.
Stop pushing your feelings on everyone else. Your husband isn't dad so he shouldn't be called dad.

Amy - posted on 09/19/2016

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I also have suggested the special name option. I understand where he's coming from but I am torn between my son and him. My son feels like he's not part of the family sometimes because he's calling him by his first name.

Ev - posted on 09/19/2016

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I agree with Dove, you can not force this man to be called dad by your son. There is a boundary there and what if his real dad did not like it? What then?

Dove - posted on 09/19/2016

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Personally speaking... I agree w/ your husband and you probably need to respect that boundary. If the love and commitment to caring for your child has always been there... the name is something to let go. Perhaps your husband and son can come up w/ a special name for him together that is more than his name, but is not actually the 'dad' title.

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