This topic contains 34 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Hannanas 1 week, 6 days ago.
March 6, 2019 at 6:07 am #834706
I’ve been with my boyfriend for nearly two years. He now lives with me and my 6 year old son. I would say we have a very good relationship, he’s supportive and amazing with my son, would happily suggest to do school run etc and my son has established a very good bond with him too.
My sons real dad however, is a lot more unstable and will not see my son for a month once, then will want to have him the entire half term and is just inconsistent in general. Our co-parenting relationship is practically non existent. I sense that this person genuinely despises me. He will avoid all contact or sight of me. He still lives with his mum so most of the time arrangements, pick ups & drop offs are all mainly done through her. He will ignore calls and messages and when there is any conversation it will be me expressing a concern about his behavior or absence or if my son comes home saying something that I want to quiz his dad about whilst he was with him.
The problem is yes, my sons dad and I have a poor co-parenting relationship in place and I also don’t see this changing but I want to continue working with him rather than against him no matter how difficult I find him because my son has that right to a relationship with his dad and I am no one to stand in the way of it. I should also mention that before my son was even born I have been told that he will seek, at first sole then later joint custody. So I do everything, with this in mind and wanting to do everything politically correct.
Of course, all of this can be very difficult, tiring and stressful. You bare it and carry on. On some occasions I might off-load to my boyfriend. He knows of our history very well. He knows there’s no chance of anything romantic ever being present. I don’t spend time around my sons dad at all. They are also very different people and individuals where I would find it impossible for my partner to feel threatened by him in any way. And yet, as soon as I mention that my sons dad is so-this, so-that, he’s lazy and un-bothered, he’s ignorant or that I feel he hates me – my partner is so fast to jump and tell me I shouldn’t have these feelings, it’s not healthy. When I say my co-parenting relationship has improved, it’s true, and my partner is always quick to remind me. “You’ve made so much progress” “You shouldn’t care what he thinks of you or if he hates you”. All in all I think he comes from a good place but I don’t understand why he can’t be supportive, understand that I will have these feelings because I am faced and making the best of a difficult situation. He knows very well about all the (at the time, what seemed like threats) of custody hearings and he knows I want to go about everything the right way to avoid that. Personally, I haven’t come around to letting my sons dad taking him away anywhere (on holiday for example) he very little cares for himself as his mum does so for him and my son. My partner is fast to jump in that maybe I should let him take him out of the country and that all these powerful feelings are negative ?
What’s frustrating is we will genuinely have a row over this. He will apologize and tell me it’s only because he cares. That line get’s me annoyed the most. That’s not the type of care I would want but I’m also unable to tell him how he can support me in these situations and he doesn’t know how to. He speaks of me being on a ‘journey’ and i feel so irritated that he is dictating how I should feel, I feel that after everything I tell him (and probably overshare) he is unable to sympathize with me and see my point of view and is practically telling me to ‘heal’ (?) what I can’t remove form my life because he will be around as my sons dad.
Is this just something I can’t open up to him about ? Should I just call up one of my female friends instead when I feel overwhelmed?March 6, 2019 at 6:19 am #834708
I should probably say as just a general picture that my boyfriend does also have children from a previous relationship. He is quite literally the opposite of my sons dad and moves heaven and earth for his kids. But when he shares anything with me about his kids mum, that she is refusing to return back to work or she’s missing all the kids football practice sessions and this means he has to drive hours to do it – I simply sympathize, rationalize or praise him if he’s done something admirable. I have never once butted in or said how he should go about things with his ex – even when it has affected our relationship. I just expect him to make a decision that he feels is right for his kids and not how something might affect our relationship, because his kids come first. Why can’t can’t he do the same with me ? – So I asked him and his response was that he wishes I did but in because at least it shows I care ! (This makes no sense to me at all either) I don’t know if he just said it in the heat of the moment but his thinking does not make sense to me.March 6, 2019 at 6:55 am #834716
Well it turns out Ghandi was a misogynistic ass who was unbelievably cruel to his wife so you may want to think that comparison.
Have you asked your bf to simply shut up and agree with you? That you need a safe space in which to vent and you’re asking him to just listen and nod and acknowledge that this guy is a shit father? Have you told him that telling you how to feel is a shit move on his part – you have feelings, you’re allowed to have those feelings. He is not the arbiter of who feels what.
Because no one gets to tell you how to feel. They only get to determine how they react.March 6, 2019 at 7:24 am #834717
I think that you might benefit from talking to a therapist.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s truly obnoxious when people who haven’t dealt with toxic relationships try to lecture you about not being upset, but I think that you would benefit from better coping strategies so that you’re less of a raw nerve about this. A therapist might also help you articulate your needs better to your partner.March 6, 2019 at 7:25 am #834718
See a lawyer and get a set custody arrangement in place. Keep good records on when he shows up.March 6, 2019 at 7:26 am #834719
Don’t get me wrong. You are right to be upset about this stuff. But being right only gets you so far.March 6, 2019 at 8:03 am #834722
I mean he sounds annoying but my first thought is that he is exhausted with hearing your complain about it so encouraging when it is better and trying to help you get your feelings in a better place so he doesn’t have to hear it anymore. Don’t get me wrong, that is exhausting but it happens. My mother was this way about her old job. I just COULD not hear the same crap anymore so I would encourage her to see it from a different perspective or appreciate the good. I am sure she got a bit annoyed as she just wanted to vent but I couldn’t listen to it anymore. A partner is someone you should be able to vent and share with but that doesn’t mean they have to bear the brunt of all your stress. You sound like you could use a therapist to get some stuff off your chest with.March 6, 2019 at 8:47 am #834723
“I’m also unable to tell him how he can support me in these situations and he doesn’t know how to.”
This seems like the problem. He wants to help, or maybe as JD said, he’s tired of the complaining. He may even identify with your ex since they are both fathers. You need to figure out how to tell him what way you want him to react or support you.
“I simply sympathize, rationalize or praise him if he’s done something admirable. I have never once butted in or said how he should go about things with his ex – even when it has affected our relationship.”
If that’s what you want-tell him that. Or, know your audience and take it to someone else as you mentioned. Maybe your best gf will have a better take on letting you vent.March 6, 2019 at 9:14 am #834738
Also to note that you don’t try to tell him what to do to fix it. Men tend to do that. They tend to see things more black and white. If you are complaining about a problem he wants to give you a way to fix it. It’s pretty common for men to think that way and for women to be frustrated since they just want to vent. You need to explain that to him though. Preface it with “there’s no advice i need but I really want to get this off my chest”.March 6, 2019 at 9:25 am #834739
Do you not have any kind of formal custody agreement with your son’s father? It seems like having that framework in place could really reduce your stress around your co-parenting situation. You could speak to an attorney at least, to find out what that would entail (I understand that any sort of going-to-court situation could worsen the situation in the short term). Otherwise, agree with the others and especially Fyodor that speaking with a therapist would help sort some of your feelings, and give you the tools to communicate better with your bf. It doesn’t sound like he’s intentionally being a jerk, just that you have different styles.March 6, 2019 at 9:49 am #834740
Honestly? Your boyfriend has a point. No good will come of constantly complaining about your son’s father. I, too, suspect your boyfriend is simply sick of endlessly hearing about it. NEWSFLASH: You and you alone picked this mess of person with which to create a baby. It’d do you all a world of good to try to make the best of things.
PS — I sure as fuck hope your child isn’t witness to what I suspect is constant, endless bitching…March 6, 2019 at 10:08 am #834741
Yeah, I really hope you aren’t badmouthing your ex in front of your son.