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Old 04-13-2012, 11:42 PM   #1
STEPMOMNTRANING
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Default In Need of Clarity

Hello Posters,

Forgive me if I don't express this in the best way.

I am a new parent, a new step-parent.

My boyfriend is a wonderful father to a 9 year old boy. He hasn't been with his son's mother in 7 years. Since then, he has been pretty much fighting for his son alone. His son's mother and her husband have been trying to get DSS on medication because they believe he has ADHD and my boyfriend doesn't believe he needs it and doesn't believe that medication will solve the problems. This is just one example where he has been trying to fight for his sons best interests.

I am providing this little bit of history because it pertains to the present. Because my boyfriend has been so used to fighting for his son by himself, he is used to talking to him, encouraging him and teaching him as a singular. When he speaks to him he uses "You and I" a lot, like it's the two of them against the world. He's not used to having someone around who wants to be apart of the solution and the fighting for rights. He's used to having that role by himself. Therefore, with me trying to be part of the fight and wanting to be included in things and conversations, he continues to forget. My boyfriend talks to his son like "I will always this" or "You can come to me" "I'm here for you" kind of stuff. It cuts me like a knife when I hear him talk this way because in some parts of my brain it makes me feel like an outsider in this family. It makes me feel like he doesn't believe that I am, or that he doesn't want me to be so involved. Now, I know intellectually that's not true because we've talked about it before, and I know he wants me included. I've pointed out the "me and him against he world" kind of talk and how it hurts me. I know he's not doing it on purpose. I'm just not sure what I can do to stop being hurt when this happens. I know that the process of change is hard and takes time.

Anyone have any suggestions for me, or ideas to suggest for us?

Thanks for your help

STEPMOMINTRAINING
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Old 04-14-2012, 12:20 AM   #2
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Default Re: In Need of Clarity

How long have you two been together?
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Old 04-14-2012, 06:13 AM   #3
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Default Re: In Need of Clarity

Quote:
Originally Posted by STEPMOMNTRANING View Post
"I will always this" or "You can come to me" "I'm here for you"
STEPMOMINTRAINING
Hello. Well this is just my opinion. But I think your BF us doing the right thing. I don't say this because of any belief that you are not a great stand up person. But those statements and support of that kind of statement has to come from you.

Part of the lesson aside from statements like, he will always be there. Is that he (BF) and them (BF & Son) can only be accountable for themselves. That is not a bad lesson. And I dont think it restricts you from being on the team. But those kind of statements are the kind that you never stop proving. And that is the kind of thing you have to do for yourself.

As far as the ADHD. Not enough information. Thats a really hard call for an outsider (us, not you).
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Old 04-14-2012, 06:15 AM   #4
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Default Re: In Need of Clarity

If you have talked to him already, and you know he does not feel that way then I would say just give it time. This is not meant to be offensive but this is all a newer thing, and nautural speech does not change over night. I know a year and a half might feel like a long time to you, however you have to think it takes about six months to a year for a relationship to get serious and to start feeling more secure.... and that is just to start feeling secure not to even completely feel that way. So basically you can not expect 7 years of behavior to change in that time.

When my boyfriend and I moved in together he would still say "my bedroom" "my house" "my this or that", to be honest it did not bother me because I knew he had been in the habit of it so long. One day he said "my bedroom" to me and afterwards he said, "Does that hurt your feelings? I know I still say my a lot, but it is just habit, I do not mean anything by it." Even though it had not been a bother to me just hearing that made it even better because I knew he noticed it.

That is just a normal relationship thing that takes time. To be honest with regards to his son, it might take even longer and that is not such a bad thing, like it or not you are new to the picture and it will take time for the son to feel security in your roll also, right now he takes security in his father and those words... I would find it unfair to the son to change that too quickly. Yes, your feelings matter also, but you are the adult and you are able to handle those feelings better. So I would just keep talking openly with your boyfriend, do not put too much pressure on the change and just give it time.
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Old 04-14-2012, 06:31 AM   #5
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Default Re: In Need of Clarity

Also I should add that even after it starts to change, it will never go away completely probably. Even though my boyfriend and I are a team, a family and we always want our child to know that... I still say things like "I will always be there for you" not "we will always be there for you" because it is important I have that relationship, and he has that relationship with the child on top of our relationship as a family. Your boyfriend would not be a very good father in my opinion if he did not continue to nuture that personal relationship with his son. Just as if you are going to be his stepmother you will need to create and nuture your own relationship with him on top of the one that will happen over time as a family.
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:50 AM   #6
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Default Re: In Need of Clarity

Thank you for all of your kind words and suggestions.

I never thought about it in that context, in that you have to nuture both individual relationships as well as let DSS know that we're working as a team. My BF said that he doesn't really even realize that he's always saying "I" because its so much of a habit. I've told him before that I know it's hard to change something that has become so natural for him and that it's hard to remember. We've talked about different things that we can do to help that change, but understanding that it's not going to change overnight.

I know that there are things that I have to do individually as a person in order to continue to grow the relationship I have with DSS, and that it's not just about the combined relationship.
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