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Accepting a step

LizzyJ's picture

Ok so I have an 11 yr old daughter from a previous relationship. I've been with my partner for almost 6 years (co-habbiting) so she and he are really close, they both have the same ridiculously confident personalities and a fantastic mutual respect for one another (I am so so lucky). I, on the other hand are more introverted, I have a few good friends, not a large circle, find it difficult forming new relationships etc etc (I'm fine with this). My partner has a 9 year old from a previous relationship. Theres no jealousy or similar issues - I sometimes collect him, friends on fb with ex. I really really want to like this boy, I just find it difficult. He seems so different from the 3 of us, I really dont want him to pick up on that when hes older. I just can't bond. I feel so guilty as my partner and daughter are so close. I think its partly due to my introverted personality but I really dont want this to escalate and become a major issue. Can anyone suggest some games, activities, anything to help! 

Rumplestiltskin's picture

You are putting too much pressure on yourself. Are you kind to him? Do you try to include him in family things when you are all together? Do those things and you are doing just fine. Be yourself. I hope you don't feel pressured by your partner to be "better" or closer or some kind of Julie Andrews character. Also, please don't feel pressured to be friends with BM. 

Rags's picture

How are the three of you so alike if your DD and DH are extreme extroverts and you are an extreme introvert?  How is he different than the three of you. In the "three of  you" grouping, you are the one not like the others.  So, where does SS fit on the Extrovert/Introvert scale?

I found that action was the key ingredient to creating the family bond between my DW, SS and I.  I knew in short order that my amazing bride was my life long love very early in our relationship and I also knew that for she and I to make a life together I had to accept her son as my own, raise him as my own, and to learn to love him as my own.  So... I got actively involved with him

When we were out and about, I put him on my shoulders or his mom and I would each hold one his hands and swing him.  I chased him through McD's play scapes, when she studied he and I would go chase ducks on the golf course outside of their apartment or if she was studying at my condo we would chase ducks and hunt lizards around my community lake.

It did not take long for the actions of love that I was investing to return a deep and caring love for my son.

So, chip away a bit of  your introversion and make an effort some 1:1 time with SS upon occasion.  Since he is not a resident in  your home it will take some time to invest the actions to return the outcome but... it will be a valuable investment.

The three of us became a family when SS was a toddler.  He asked me to adopt him 20 years later and we made that happen when he was 22.  That never would have happened if I had not taken the actions of love.

Take the actions.

Just my thoughts of course.

Rumplestiltskin's picture

Rags, your story is an inspiration to me and i value the advice you give. What if your situation were different, though, in that the child was older when you came into the picture and the biofather was more present, such as in a case of 50/50 custody with frequent swaps? Looking back, do you think you would have done things differently? I appreciate your no-nonsense approach so i wonder, would you see it as a no-win situation and write it off, or, do you think it could still work? 

Rags's picture

No doubt had my Skid been older when his mom and I met and if it would have been a 50/50 CO rather than a full physical and legal situation, things would have been different.

I for sure would not have written off my wife.  She is truly incredible and no doubt would be just as incredible had we met later in both of our lives and in SS's life.

One thing that I am confident would not have been different is that I would have dealt with the Skid, his Spermidiot, the SpermClan and just about anything related to the whole situation on a case by case basis as the behaviors anyone chose to perpetrate unfolded.

The outcomes would have been based on their choices.  I would have addressed their behaviors on a case by case basis  just as I dealt with what turned out to be our blended reality..

I think this approach sets up any outcome to be the best it can be.  If people behave reasonably, they earn being dealt with reasonably. If they are incapable of behaveing reasonably, they suffer the consequences that they choose with their behaviors.

I would have welcomed the SpermClan being reasonable.  That was not their choice and by any measure and considering that they are who they are.... they invariably would not have been reasonable by any measure in any situation that may have existed.

We, my bride, our son (my Skid) and I, would have welcomed reasonable. The three of us together would have made it work..... regardless of what the SpermClan had chosen, and regardless of what SS's age may have been and regardless of the the structure of the CO.

At least I hope that would have been the case.

Ugh.. Don't give me nightmares.