Struggling - new stepparent
I am new to this site. This will be a long post, but I'm in need of advice. Here's some general background information about me: I have been with my current boyfriend for nearly 3 years. He has a 5 y/o son with his ex (they were not together when I met him). I met his son about 4 months after we started dating. Even though we are not married yet, I do consider him my stepson.
Although I have been in his life for over 2 years, I have not met his mother. She does not want to meet me. I have heard from several people that it is best to not meet her because she is simply "crazy" and unpredictably goes from one mood to another. Basically, in her mind I am the "bad guy" and she won't change her mind about me. I am not looking to become best friends with her, but it bothers me that she won't give me a chance. When she found out that I had met her son, she sent angry messages to my boyfriend's mother - threatening to keep their son from them. She also claimed that I gave her a heart attack, when her son asked her about me. Ever since then, she has blocked me on all social media platform's and seems to purposefully avoid me. She rarely gets out of the car when she arrives to pick him up from our house, and if she does, I have noticed that she will hide or immediately go back into her car if she sees me. On his last birthday, she also decided last minute that she wasn't going to have a party. Which my bf found a little strange - his past birthday's have always had a big celebration. We eventually found out, she did throw a party with her family and current bf and did not invite us. Perhaps I am paranoid...I just cannot help but feel guilty that maybe she chose that simply bc she didn't want to be around me.
I love my stepson, he is the spitting image of his father. He's funny and caring. But he does have his moments towards me where he gets an attitude. These moments seem to happen whenever his father leaves the room. He lately has been mentioning about how I don't care about him, which is absolutely untrue! He mentions that a lot, and once again, I feel that it might be coming from his mother. He has a hard time listening. He is very good a manipulating people. He does not listen to his father or me. When he gets in trouble or put in time-out, he makes himself throw-up bc he knows that'll get him out of it bc then we're worried about how he's feeling. He talks back a lot, and does not listen. He disrespect me, and purposefully does the opposite of what is asked. Which I know is normal for a 5 y/o, but I feel like this is more than the average kid his age. My bf does not want to punish him too harshly, and let's a lot of things slide since he rarely gets to see him (he is not on the birth certificate, so she tends to keep him away until she needs something).
I have expressed my frustrations to my bf. It hurts when I am disrespected and to have nothing done about it. Everything is let go and I feel like it's getting relayed to his son that it is ok to treat me this way. He suggested that I could punish him, but I don't bc I know I do not have the right to do so. I do not have a child of my own, but I try to be a loving, parent figure when he's with his father. I do not let him call me 'mom', although he has tried to several times. I try to take him out and treat him to things here and there. But nothing changes. I'm frustrated. I give my all and try to show him that I do love him, but my efforts seem to go unnoticed.
Has anyone been in a similar situation? Similar problems with the child's other parent, or feeling defeated and underappreciated by the child themselves? None of my friends or family have been in my situation, and it's beginning to feel like I'm alone