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8 year old still sleeps with us

Football93's picture

Hi everyone! New here!

I have been with my SO for four years and we just moved into a place together last January. 
his son 8 lives with us 50% of the time 

at first he couldn't sleep alone without waking up screaming so my SO slept in his room. After countless fights he now sleeps in our bed.

recently he has been wanting to stay in his own room alone but at least once a week sleeps in our bed again. Am I wrong for being fed up? When he is in our bed my SO cuddles him all night and it's just another time I feel left out. I feel like I get no affection especially if he is in our bed. But if I say he should sleep in his own room because he is old enough I'm a bed girlfriend? I have so much anxiety around bed time most nights I can't even sleep. Any suggestions? I allow him in our bed because I also hate sleeping alone so I don't want my SO sleeping in his room. PLEASE HELP!

smproblems's picture

You are not a bad person. I am 100% against co-sleeping. It's so awful to break and children get conditioned knowing if they say "they are scared" or crying. They will get what they want. Recently had a baby and since he is a newborn he sleeps in the same room but I'm ready for when he gets older. DH has issues when SS comes to our house because when he actually stays with his mom, she lets him sleep with her. She works a lot & 12hr shifts so SS is bounced around places all the time. But we make him sleep in his room. He tries every night to sleep with us but we forbid it. He has 3 nightlights, stars on the ceiling and a projection light with sound at almost 4 to keep him in his room. We also have a child safety knob on his door now because he use to get up and try to go outside or do something he wasn't suppose to do. So, that's helps. He is a very tall 3.5 year old his daddy is 6'5". I feel like you need to discuss it with your SO that you feel it's putting a strain on your relationship and it's promoting bad habits. Is he going to still allow him to sleep with you guys when he is 11,12,13? When is SO cut off. Because I'm sorry but 8 is too old unless he is incredibly sick or something major. Every night at 8years old. That's ridiculous IMO 

Football93's picture

I have tried but it's basically a me against them. He also HAS to use the bathroom with his dad when they wake up together. Sometimes I'd love to be able to wake up to other my SO and have his son entertain himself. His son basically ignores me constantly and if I say anything about anything he starts whispering things to his dad about me. It's tough when it feels like your SO is I'm a relationship with his son and not you.

Rumplestiltskin's picture

I dealt with this situation. I had no privacy and after the kid walked in on me naked i put my foot down. You deserve privacy, and it's inappropriate for you to be sleeping with an unrelated child. It's also really codependent and kind of ick for your SO to cuddle the boy all night while you are im bed with them. 

Football93's picture

That is how I feel too. Anytime I bring anything up my SO acts as if im dilusional or that I make things up. 

1dad4kids's picture

His reaction is gaslighting you.

Tell him the kid goes or you do. Children should not be in the bedroom, certainly not the bed. 

New_to_this's picture

If it were me I would not allow it. I met my SS when he was 7 and he regularly would cuddle with DH overnight and in the morning. I made it clear to DH that that would never happen with me over at his house, so it was best if he stopped it. He tried to keep doing it when I didn't stay over, but he eventually had to stop when I moved in. It was all DH, imho. I think he was the one that didn't want to give up that time with his son, but eventually did so when completely forced to.

Maybe your SS will grow out of it. But if you are feeling a "me against them" vibe that's not good. You should also try and address your own issues of not wanting to sleep alone, because it's hard to tell an 8 year old to do it if you can't yourself.

Neither my 2 year old or 5 year old sleep with me. Even when they are sick, not in my bed. What I've done is dragged a mattress in my room so that my 5 year old can stay close when very ill. I think it isn't too hard to establish those boundaries. It may be a few days of tears, but I think most kids will adjust with being in their own room.

Football93's picture

I think my biggest peeve is I specifically moved into an apartment with them with his promise that he would take "ten days" to get him to sleep alone and now it's been a year. And any time I bring it up he tells me that he will never like him cry or "make him do anything he doesn't want to". When he sleeps in our bed he tells US when it's bedtime. I hate feeling guilty for wanting to be an adult. My SO was already married and he is older and doesn't care about alone time or "adult time". I guess because their lives have always been this way before I came along.

New_to_this's picture

You shouldn't feel guilty for not wanting to share a bed with a child or for wanting adult time in your own bedroom. The fact that this has been going on for a year means that your SO needs to take a hard stance. And if he's not doing the hard work of making this right, he's probably lenient on other things as well.

It wasn't like my son (DS5) just upped and decided that he liked sleeping alone. He certainly tried to sleep with me and DH. And he was led back to his room every time. He said he was scared of the dark, so we got him a nightlight (several actually). He's got his stuffed animals and a special one in particular that he sleeps with every night. He also had a flashlight so he could make his way to the bathroom and back alone. I just tried to work with him to make him the most comfortable in his room but made it clear that he sleeps there and not with me.

Football93's picture

I wish he would do that!!! He has every game tv activity you could want in his room. We actually got in a fight today because he is in our bed again even though he's been sleeping alone the past few nights. I also think it comes down to he doesn't want to miss anything and doesn't want us to be awake without him. He also doesn't like when me and his dad are alone together. I guess it comes down to he isn't going to change so it's my decision to make if I'm ultimately okay with things staying this way for who knows how long. 

New_to_this's picture

Ugh...yeah, it's on your SO to change this and it doesn't sound like he wants to. I'm sorry.

I also dealt with the skids who were afraid of missing out, in particular, SS  who hated that we did stuff without him and would get super upset. He got upset that DH and I would have a life outside of him when he was with BM. It's really something that parents need to deal with and my DH took a long time to figure that one out.

Maybe, make it seem like nothing fun happens after 8pm. DS will sometimes ask what DH and I do while he's in bed. I tell him we watch shows that he doesn't like while folding laundry and then finish washing dishes. He doesn't ask to stay up with us.

Winterglow's picture

"He also doesn't like when me and his dad are alone together. "

Well, there you have it - he sleeps in your bed to make sure you don't get any time alone with his father.

What is he like at his mother's place? Does he sleep with her and her bf?

Winterglow's picture

Sooooo, in other words, he's perfectly capable of sleeping alone and the screaming at night, scared to sleep alone is all just a performance. Like I said above, he's doing his utmost to get between you and your SO. Seems to me that it's ultimatum time. Either your SO grows up and behaves like a parent, an adult parent, or you're outta there... permanently. 

Don't waste any more time on this pathetic apology for a father. 

Winterglow's picture

'My SO was already married and he is older and doesn't care about alone time or "adult time".'

Your SO is only 39 for goodness sake! What is wrong with him?! He's not interested in sex anymore? Time he saw a doctor, in that case. 

The problem is quite simple (as seen from here), your SO is suffering from divorce guilt and feels that he has to compensate "breaking up" his son's home (how I hate that expression). So, he gives his son everything he wants. Consequently, the son cannot accept that there is anyone more important in his daddy's life than him. It's a vicious circle - one feeds off the other. This is unlikely to change any time in the future. His son is already convinced the world revolves around him (he decides when is bedtime, where you eat, etc.) and he will continue to find ways to push you out. You've also observed that your SO will do nothing to change the situation and tries to tell you that you're the bad guy. Well, you're not. You're not the one who is stunting his child's development by putting him in a bubble where he's king of the world. How will he ever learn to cope with the realities of life out there in the big bad world?

How much of this can you stand? Yes, it's scary to go back out there alone but think of the relief you'll feel at being in charge of your life again as opposed to being subjected to an 8 yo dictator. Imagine how you'd like your life to be in 5 years time. Now ask yourself if that's possible with your current SO... Imagine how you'd feel if you realized that, after all, you wanted a child of your own and that it's too late because you threw all of your fertile years away on a guy who wasn't interested enough in you or in having sex with you to have one.

Don't waste all the rest of your young years on this selfish duo. You deserve so much better, really, you do.

Left out mama's picture

Been there. SO let SD9 sleep in the bed with him one night I had gone out of town. I was upset and told him that it was my understanding that our bed was a pet and kid free zone... it was the only place for us as a couple.

I was told that I did not accept his daughter like I claimed i did and she had a right to know that daddy was always going to be there for her.

funny how when we don't want to share a bed with someone who is not our SO that we are villains.

tog redux's picture

I would never have allowed this. No way I sleep with someone else's stinky farting kid in my bed - YUCK. Your DH is a lousy parent, he'll "never make him do something he doesn't want to do"? That's how you ruin a kid's life. But he sure has no problem making you do something you don't want to do. 

Move into another bedroom if you plan to stay with this selfish man. 

hereiam's picture

I agree with tog, ew.

I never allowed my DH's kid to sleep in bed with us and she's a female. There is certainly no way I would be allowing someone elses SON to sleep in bed with me.

My SD29 went through a period of being afraid of the dark when she was young. We still didn't let her sleep with us. Instead, we taught her to not be afraid of the dark.

ndc's picture

There is no way on God's green earth that I would sleep in the same bed with an unrelated child of the opposite sex.  I would be sleeping in another bedroom before I did that.  NO GOOD can come of that.

One of the first things I insisted upon when I started living with DH was that both SDs (then 2 and 5) sleep in their own room.  They had previously slept with DH.  He moved them into their own room - cold turkey - although a few times at the beginning he had to stay in their room with them until they fell asleep.  Luckily they had each other, which I'm sure made things easier.  But there was no way I was sharing my bed with unrelated children.  And these were little girls, not an 8 year old boy.  Heck, I allowed our bio to sleep in her pack and play in our bedroom for about 9 months, and then she was banished to her crib in her own bedroom.  I don't even want to be in the same bedroom as my own child.

I would make this a hill to die on.  And if the skid wasn't out of the bedroom immediately, I would be. 

Football93's picture

I just feel like is it fair that I HAVE to sleep somewhere else?! Everything since we've moved out is me respecting their "transition". What about me?! Not only do I not have children's but sure as hell haven't lived with one. 

1dad4kids's picture

No, it's not fair. It's f*cking weird. It is weird. 

There is something very strange about an adult man that would choose to share a bed with his child over his partner. 

I would not stand for this even one more night. 

ndc's picture

It's NOT fair, just intended to send a message.  And if it lasted more than a few nights, I'd be sleeping in a separate bedroom in a separate place.  

bonesbugy's picture

I love sleeping with my 9 year-old. She doesn't expect it but appreciates it. I would never do this with SO in the bed though. that's just too creepy

Lndsy747's picture

I see red flags here if he doesn't want to upset his son. I mean think about the big picture and what kind of behavioral issues that attitude could cause.

I met my SD when she was 6 and she's never slept in our bed with us but was still sleeping with her mom regularly at 16. I'm not even a fan of my BD who's 3 sleeping with us and would definitely never let an unrelated cold sleep with me. SO used to take naps cuddled up on the couch with SD sometimes and even that seemed weird to me.

Football93's picture

Yes, he back talks, does not do chores, does not have a bed time. We can't even eat at the kitchen table because "they don't do that". So he eats in his room and we eat in the living room. 

Winterglow's picture

Ask your bf why he is hellbent on stunting his son's emotional development. 

Then ask him if he'd be ok with his son hopping into bed with BM and her bf/dh. Would he call CPS for abuse? 

Finally, does he expect you to still tolerate his son in the bed when he starts getting morning wood? 

What is so good about this guy that you're willing to put up with his mini-husband? 

I should also point out that the fact he has been married before doesn't mean that it's normal for him not to seek adult time! I'll tell you what isn't normal though, a man who has a hot woman in his bed, who is begging for alone time but he prefers to cuddle his son instead... Is it possible that he's hiding something from you? Like ED? And he'd be using his son as a shield? 

I don't mean to pry, but how old are you both? 

Football93's picture

I am 29 and he is 39!!! I have read books, articles, everything on how to successfully stop for sleeping and he won't hear any of it. We e had screaming matches about this. They have been co sleeping since SS was 1 year. So 7 years later I understand it's not an easy thing to change. But you'd think if your young gf of 4 years is saying it's making her uncomfortable something would change. That you for all of the advice, everyone!!

tog redux's picture

OP, you ask above if it's "fair" that you have to sleep elsewhere, and the answer is no. But if he won't change anything, all you can do is make changes yourself. Having screaming matches won't work, that just becomes part of how you relate, and changes nothing.

Obviously other needs of yours are not met either - so I think it's better to ask yourself what you are getting from this relationship, when so many fundamental needs go unmet. And please don't say he's "amazing" in other ways. 

Football93's picture

To be completely honest, I think I'm comfortable and scared of the unknown if I were to leave. Sounds pathetic but that's how I feel.

tog redux's picture

It's not pathetic at all. But fear is almost always what keeps people stuck in bad situations. Maybe a therapist could help you sort that out? You are young and have lots of options - including childless men who will treat you with respect. You deserve better and a neutral party can help you sort out why you don't believe that. 

Merry's picture

Really, it's pretty normal. I fantasized and planned my departure from my ex for ten years. TEN years.

I am a big fan of individual counseling to help sort through what you really want and need. I suspect that this sleeping thing is only the tip of the iceberg. And that is bad enough, but I bet you also feel like your wants and needs come second to an 8 year old and that your SO cares less about your feelings than the child's. In a nutshell, you're feeling unloved. Right?

Your SO is setting his child up for failure, that's for sure, but he won't listen and it's not your problem to solve anyway. But it IS your responsibility to make sure YOU are living a full, happy life. Please don't settle for this.

In order to make any progress, you have to take an active step. Otherwise, nothing will change. What is that step for you? I already mentioned counseling. Others have suggested sleeping elsewhere when the child is in Daddy's bed. Is it fair that you have to do this? No, but that's life in adult world. YOU take care of YOU, and sometimes that means making a strong statement.

Dogmom1321's picture

Totally inappropriate. Not only would this make me uncomfortable, but you are putting youself in a compromising situation. Does BM know about this? Be prepared to have potential abuse allegations against you. You have to protect yourself. If DH doesn't understand that, he's selfish and I would rethink this relationship. 

Stop sleeping in there ASAP. No you shouldn't have ot be the one to "move", but unfortunately your DH doesn't have a spine and can't say "no". His inability to tell his child no, not only for this situation, but everything else, is going to turn him into an entitled brat that thinks all decisions revolve around him (if this isn't the case already).Personally, I wouldn't want my life to revolve around what an 8 year old wants, even if he was my Bio. I am one of those people that think a solid marriage starts with husband and wife. That should be the focus and should come first. I would discuss these points with DH. This would be a deal breaker for me. I would talk to your therapist also and try to figure out the best steps to get out of this crummy situation. 

Winterglow's picture

Have you ever thought about taking a photo of them while in your bed and posting it on FB with the caption "Look what I found in my bed tonight! It's my bf and his 8yo son - is this cute or what! What would you guys do?" And then see what kind of responses you get (I doubt you'll be surprised ...) and then show them to your bf ... 

Winterglow's picture

And proud of it! LOL

Seriously though, some people need an electroshock to get in touch with reality and OP's SO sounds like one of those.

notarelative's picture

Every time SS jumps into the bed, you need to jump out. You risk a CPS investigation if he mentions to someone outside your household that he shares a bed with his father's girlfriend. 

If Dad  (aka BF) wants to continue to sleep with him, you need to move out.

Rags's picture

Leave. Now.  Your emotionally if not physically incestuous BF is not worthy of you.  Until you move out, have a keyed lock put on the MBR door and when you go to bed lock them both out.

Or... start initiating intimacy with deep passionate kisses with your BF whether the kid is there or not.  If your BF insists on having his child in the adult bedroom and bed,  make his choice abundantly clear..... every night. Heck, make him choose every minute his kid is in YOUR home.  

No one in your MBR but the two of you. PERIOD.  If he insists on continuing this likely incestuous crap with his kid he can do it locked out of YOUR bedroom.

You are not a bad GF. He is a failed man, failed husband, failed father, with a failed family and failed family progeny and worst of off.... he has failed as your BF,