Is it me?

CatherineG's picture

Hi, I am driving myself crazy and need to get some perspective....

I have been with my partner for almost 2 years and we have recently moved in together. I have 2 children from my previous marriage and he has 1. My children are with us 5 days a week. His child is with us 3 days a week. There is so much to be happy about - he has a great relationship with my kids and I have a great relationship with his kid. We all get on well and I'm really thankful for this. But for me, there is one issue that I'm struggling with. 

When my partner's child is with us 3 days a week, it's like me and my kids don't exist. He focuses all his attention on his own child from the moment they are awake till the moment they go to bed. He has extreme dad guilt and would love to have his child full time, so I feel he overcompensates when his child is there. They spend the entire time joined at the hip and me and my kids are not invited to join in with any of the things they do. To me, this is unacceptable. I treat his child as if they were my own. I treat all the kids the same. Involve them both in what me and my kids are doing. I want us to be a family, whereas I feel, he creates a "them and us" situation when his child is there. To me it's intense and totally over the top (the attention he gives his child) and it makes me feel pushed out. He absolutely doesn't see it and whenever I raise it, he accuses me of punishing him for spending time with his kid. He says I make him feel torn. I have said I just want things to feel more balanced and not have such a different dynamic in the house when his child is there. 

Am I being unfair?

Msh987's picture

Definitely not acceptable. You're his family too & should be treated as such. Maybe I'm biased I'm in the same boat.

JRI's picture

I agree with you.  I also understand why he feels the way he does.  When you discuss this, ask him how he would feel if you excluded him for the 5 days when your kids are there.

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

We are not a blended family and I doubt we ever will be. I just worry about doing things and making plans with mine and let SO worry about his.

I was a single parent for a long time and did everything for DS. I did try to blend at first but gave up. I just try to keep DS life as normal as possible. 

DS was raised much different than SKs. He plays sports, enjoys outdoor activities. SKs just like sitting on Thier phones all day and are allergic to physical activity of any kind.

tog redux's picture

Do the same to him and see if he gets it then. Stop everything you do for him and his kid when yours are there 5 days a week. You don't have to be mean to his kid, but don't include kid in your parenting or plans. If he notices, say, you are punishing me for spending time with my kids. If he doesn't notice and it all works for you, then carry on that way into the future. 

If all of your kids behave well there is no reason that they shouldn't do things together. And if he wanted his kid full-time, he shouldn't have gotten a divorce. 

Blended4213's picture

This would be a struggle. Although, I feel like this is my situation in the opposite direction. In my case, DH wants us to be more blended and I've chosen to step back from this. I tried in the beginning, I had good intentions. But in my case, so many negative things happened with his kids to make me see we will never be blended.

I try to forgive and forget and move on, but his kids continuously disrespect me and cause more stress in my life, and DH does try to some extent to fix this, but not as much as I wish. I'm sure some of the issue is my need to protect and defend my kids too and I'm working on that. On letting the kids just be kids and not trying to take sides. But so far in our history, two of his kids have caused physical harm to some of my kids and maybe not on purpose but by doing dumb stuff. They have also lied to TM and she has wreaked havoc on our lives. I do not trust these kids and am always on guard with them. But I will do group activities and try to include his kids at times, just not like I had originally planned to do. For DH, because it is important to him.

I'm not saying your kids are the problem, I'm not sure what the situation is. Do the kids seem to get along? Are they trying to divide you? I think all of our kids do this to some extent and it can be stressful. Could you compromise by asking DH to join you for some things but change your expectations to maybe that you will not ever be blended like you had hoped?

I would tell him how important it is to you, but try not to pressure him. When I feel pressured to do things with his kids, I want to rebel more and run away. Maybe do something fun with your kids and invite him/them. If they don't join you, their loss.

Dogmom1321's picture

You have valid feelings and concerns! It is totally understandable for your partner to want to spend some 1-1 time with his kid. Reading at night, walk in the neighborhood, etc. But purposefully excluding you and your children from activities? Not okay. He needs to find a balance. This is a problem he has created.