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Dear Wendy

Feeling like an outsider

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  • #854597 Reply

    I’m a 26 y/o female and my partner is 31.
    He has a 10 year old son. We get on well. He stays with us every weekend.

    We’ve been dating for 5 years, we have purchased a house and have plans for marriage and children in the future.

    The thing that is bothering me is he doesn’t tell me things that are happening with his son, for example, good feedback at school and stuff like that.
    I understand I am not the child’s mother and these are the types of things that my partner always will discuss with the mother, but I can’t help feeling like an outsider when he doesn’t mention things like that to me, why wouldn’t you want to share good news or just any news about something that’s so important In your life.

    I have mentioned it a few times but he says it’s no secret he Just “doesn’t think” to tell me.

    What I will say is that if it was something serious for example if his son got suspended from school Etc then I know he would tell me. But he doesn’t tell me the little things.
    I don’t know if I am coming across as controlling and demanding to know everything, that’s not the case at all.

    I have been involved in his son’s life for at least 6 years now.
    So I just don’t understand.
    But I understand that I am not the mother and I just have to accept certain things?

    am I overthinking the situation?

    #854599 Reply

    Hi-probably,to answer your question. He likely doesn’t think of it. Why not just ask him every now and then ,or go with him to parent-teacher interviews if he is fine with that. You can ask the son how school is going for him etc.
    If you constantly feel left out of the “father/son club” that is more of an issue,especially as you are to be married. But if it is just the school “thing” bugging you-try the above suggestions.

    #854601 Reply

    Thank you Peggy.
    I guess I do feel a bit left out of the “father/son club” but it doesn’t bother me too much because they do all their manly things together, soccer etc.
    We watch films together as a 3 etc.

    Thanks for the suggestions, i will try that next weekend.

    #854605 Reply

    If he finds out something about his son he should talk about it first with the mother or maybe she finds out something and passes it on to him. They together are the parents. Once you have discussed something with someone you are less inclined to go through it again with someone else. It’s human nature. The first person gets the greatest amount of detail and other people get less.

    The parent teacher conference will be with both parents at the same time so really not his place to add his girlfriend. Unless both parents agreed she could be there the school cannot discuss anything about the son with her because she has no legal standing and the law says that no one but a parent may have information about a minor.

    #854606 Reply

    Thank you

    I would never go to parent teacher conference, I was just using that as an example, that I feel upset that my partner doesn’t share that type of news with me.

    But like I said I understand that I am not the mother and therefore it’s something I have to accept that I won’t be the first person he will discuss with, it at all.

    #854612 Reply

    Yes,realized after posting that the mother would go to the interviews,so that one is not a solution. But in general try the tips,shift your thinking a bit. I agree with Skyblossom that he and the ex exchange kid info and he is kind of “been there,done that” after that happens.

    #854617 Reply

    @Comp unfortunately you are correct. You are not the mother and he’s not going to discuss his son with you as if you were the child’s mother. That means you’re not going to be told every little detail because very plainly it’s not your business. It’s good he tells you the big things and that you’re allowing them father/son time without you so that their bond can build. You’re doing great! Just need to adjust your expectations, and trust that your partner will tell you all the important bits. (also ask the son how school is going, though as he gets to teenager years i doubt he’ll answer very much)

    Obviously this is something that’s hard for you to accept since it’s been like this for years. Is there more of an underlying issue? Other things you want him to adjust his behavior on that he won’t/doesn’t? I ask because the above is such a non issue i wonder if there’s more.

    #854622 Reply

    It probably is a mix of that he’s not the person getting the daily feedback from the school and he just doesn’t think about it because most of the positive feedback probably isn’t that big of a deal. Do you ask him about it, like when he gets off the phone with the mother? If you want to know more, ask more.

    Otherwise, is this a harbinger or something else going on? Are there other things that make you feel like an outsider?

    #854646 Reply

    Thank you for the advice.

    I think the underlying problem is that I take things quite personally and I’ve caused arguments before because I’ve built it up in my head that he doesn’t want me to know and that it’s because I’m not important or he doesn’t want me involved etc.

    All stupid thoughts, we live together and I’ve had a relationship with his son for years so to think that it’s because of those things even I agree sounds ridiculous.

    #854672 Reply

    You are making his son’s school performance about you. His son’s school performance has nothing to do with you. You are using it as a gauge to judge whether you are fully and totally valued by your partner. Nobody is going to tell you every little thing that happens. I forget to tell my husband some of the little comments I get about our kids and he is their dad. In the natural flow of conversation things that were mentioned in passing don’t always come back up. In the moment your mind is focused on other things like when do I need to pick up the kid or what are we having for dinner or I hate what is on TV tonight or oh yeah, I still need to change that light bulb. We all have these competing things that take our attention and it can feel ridiculous to change the conversation from I need to pick up some more light bulbs to oh, yeah the kid got a good grade in math today.

    Why in the world would anyone not want you to know that their kid is doing well in school? I think you can assume that he knows that you know that his son is doing well in school and you don’t need to hear that day in and day out. This seems like such an odd thing to fixate on but it is the one thing where the mother knows more than you. I get the feeling that you feel threatened by their normal parenting relationship. You feel like you need to be on a par with the mother and you aren’t in this one area.

    #854675 Reply

    Skyblossom I totally agree with what you said.

    I think I got carried away with the school thing, I was just trying to use that as an example.

    I know I will never be on par with the mother on these types of things I am totally ok with that. What I meant was I couldn’t understand why you wouldn’t want to share these things with current partner, but like you said maybe it genuinely isn’t on his mind once already discussed.
    I don’t demand to know anything, just something that was playing on my mind,
    Thanks for the advice

    #854688 Reply

    I am saying this mostly tongue-in-cheek, but I *wish* I could get left out of all the details. We are three with one girl, and I am responsible for 95% percent of the communication, coordination and implementation of everything from clothing to school to friend stuff to transportation. I know you’re looking at it from a different angle, but I really truly wish I didn’t have to constantly worry about friend issues, puberty, tween sullenness and all the rest. Maybe that is a silver lining for you…..that you get on well (you might not have) with a 10 year old who you can have fun with, but you don’t have to ‘worry’ about all the unpleasantries.

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