My partners 11 year old son hates me.

Fran - posted on 02/01/2016 ( 2 moms have responded )

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My partner of 2 yrs & I moved in together 2 months ago as my rental home sold and there was no where available for me to lease, in hindsight we realised we didn't go about things the best way, we were pretty ignorant as to how kids can react going into it and I have now moved out. My partner has 3 boys - 4,9 & 11. I have a daughter 9 yrs.
His 11 year old son, who is very close to his mum, does not like me no matter what I do or have tried over the last 6-9 months, this is why I moved out (my partners decision). My partners ex doesn't like me & blames me verbally to her friends and family that I broke their marriage up, although she now has her own partner she still tells those around her I am to blame even though they broke up 2 1/2-3 years ago & I definitely had nothing to do with it. The ex wife has tried to get back with him many times since they broke up (inc whilst we have been together) but the marriage is completely over, his son is aware that she wants the marriage back.
So unfortunately my relationship with him has never blossomed as he has heard bad things about me from his mum for a long while now. He is very critical of me and the day to day things I do, and he will stop talking to me & avoid walking past me in the house for the smallest reason. Recently my partner told me it wasn't working and the stress of the home life was too much so we agreed that I would move out, we decided to stay together but go back to separate living arrangements and work slowly over the next 6-12 months to get the kids feeling happy. My partner & I are very much in love and want to do the right things by the kids and make a happy home, we just aren't sure which is the best way to go. Initially (the evening we broke up) he told his boys we had broken up and the 11 year old was happy about it. My partner had said he would tell the boys we have decided to keep working on things but we wont be in each others lives all the time, we will just get together every now & then till things are more comfortable for everyone (or something similar to that). Now he is telling me he wont tell the boys until the eldest boy is in counselling which starts in a few weeks time. I am concerned that if the eldest son thinks I am completely out of the picture & then finds out I am back in a few weeks or months time he may react badly again but if he knew I was still around but not in his face when he starts counselling then the counsellor could help him with ways to deal with his emotions and situations he doesn't like in life but has to accept.
We are unsure what to do and we really don't want to stuff it up again, does anyone have any advice? Should we tell the eldest boy we are still together or should we leave it until he is well into his counselling?
Thanks in advance!

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Raye - posted on 02/02/2016

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It's sad that the mother, in her unhappiness, is poisoning her own child(ren). Some parents are too self-absorbed that they don't realize the damage they're doing to their kids.

I don't think the children should be lied to. If you are still in a relationship, and both people are serious about making it work, then the kids should know. Maybe your BF just wants a neutral third party in the room when he tells his son, to try to reduce the negative reaction. But, I don't think the son will appreciate being cornered in that way, and will be more unhappy about having been lied to.

I am a step-mom, and I can say that it is a very difficult thing. How often are the boys at your BF's? Do you have primary care of your daughter? All the children need to factor into your future plans... what if the mother died and your BF got full custody? Dynamics can change in these "blended families" and things gain more momentum going downhill than up. So, just be prepared for the struggles ahead. If it starts out with so much negativity, it will be hard to overcome it except with time and a lot of effort.

Also consider it might not be the right relationship for you. While your BF does need to be there for his son, and try to help him with his emotions, he should also be dedicated and respectful to you. If he's denying your relationship, lying to his kids, and keeping you on the back burner just waiting around for him, that is so very not good. You need to think about your daughter, too. Is this a good situation for her as it is? If she were grown and in a relationship similar to where you are now, would you want better for her?

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Fran - posted on 02/02/2016

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Thanks for your reply! I feel as you did that lying isn't a good idea. We have committed to staying together and making it work so he should be honest with him. Do you think my partner telling the eldest boy with a family friend he respects could help? I's probably be best to stay out of it as to not upset him further.
Custody is 50/50 but he tends to have them more than that, his ex finds them a handful so he often has them additional times, he is very devoted and takes his eldest boys to martial arts training most nights during the week (the middle boy is aust champ for his age & the eldest is a world champ for his age so they are very committed) & gets heavily involved in the boys football on the weekends during winter. He sees a lot of his boys and gets down when they are not around.
My partner has tended to focus mainly on how the eldest boy has coped with the break up & our relationship, more so than the other kids, the family home very heavily revolves around the eldest boy. My partner struggles with what we call "tough love" & struggles to teach him/them how to deal with situations in life they wont or don't like but have to accept so they can learn a valuable life tool & better deal with those situations later in life, instead he will remove or avoid the negative situation so all is happy again.

I hear what you are saying with regards to is the relationship for me, I love him with all my heart but my daughter & I do tend to get tossed to the side when things arent going the way my partner wants, he hates and avoids confrontation & will take off if it gets too much. I definitely wouldn't encourage my daughter to be in a relationship like this, so why am I? As prepared as i have been & still want to give 100% to the relationship (I have organised counselling sessions for my partner & I to learn ways to get the eldest boy on track & my partner cancelled them, I joined an aussie parenting website & tried to get him to do the modules with me but he didn't & I am still looking for help & ways to make this work - and that show I found you guys!) it doesnt appear he is.

Thank you for your help Raye!

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