Cutter's picture

The eclipse trip didn't go as I expected

We got there Saturday afternoon and checked into the hotel at 3. His kids claimed one room and ds and I went to the other. We were on different floors and on the other side of the hotel from each other. After ds and I dropped all our stuff off and went to their room they were already in their bathing suits to go swim. I had wanted to walk around Helen for a while since I heard how breath taking the Alpine village is. I told SO I'd like it if we could go walk around and he said he already told the kids they could swim. I asked his kids if they wanted to go walk around and they said they wanted to swim first. Ds was excited because he really wanted to swim with them but they pretty much ignored him and ds made the mistake of jumping on So's yds back. He flung him off and splashed him and told him not to touch him. I told ds to leave him alone and I could tell ds was upset. After 2 1/2 hours I got them out and we headed into the village to window shop and have dinner.

Well So's dd had brought money to shop so instead of casually walking around just looking at things we had to go into all the stores and help her decide what she wanted. She brought $200. I asked SO if she should spend that much and he said she earned the money babysitting so she could spend it how she wanted. I was bored and ds was bored, we aren't shoppers. SO's sons bought candy from Hansel and Gretel's candy shop and shared it between themselves and So. The didn't offer any to ds and I know he wanted some. I bought ds his own and when he tried to share with them they didn't want any of his. I could tell he felt left out. By 7 I was starving and I wanted to eat in the village but his kids wanted pizza which ds chimed in on wanting. I didn't want to upset everyone so we ordered pizza and went back to the rooms. SO invited us to their room to eat and watch tv. His kids were so hyped up on candy that they gave me a headache. They were nicer to ds and included him in on their rowdiness, which was nice for ds.

Sunday his kids slept in so, So, I and ds went to breakfast and walked around waiting for them to get up. At 11 I was annoyed and told So that I was going to go ahead and take ds tubing and they could come later (the plan was we all go). He said to wait and went and got his kids up. They had to get ready and eat so they weren't ready till 12:30. By then ds was hungry and i had another headache. I got ds something to eat and we left to go tube. His boys latched their tubes together and when I suggested ds latch to them they said no and when I turned around SO and his daughter were latched. I suggested to SO that ds and his dd be latched so him and I could latch together and float down. His dd threw a fit insisting she didn't want to be latched to ds and that she asked SO first and he said yes. I floated down with ds and we were by ourselves because SO and his kids floated down faster. When we got to the bottom I wanted to go again with SO this time but his dd said she was on her period and needed to change her tampon. I couldn't believe she said that in front of her dad and brothers. I was embarrassed for her. So we had to leave. I thought we could have a snack and come back but she complained she was cramping and she needed to rest. SO told me to take ds and go back but they were going to stay and let her rest. We decided to stay with them since this is supposed to be a family vacation. After a few hours his kids started complaining they were bored and hungry so we went to dinner.

I suggested a place i had seen the night before and we went there. Once our food came the kids were cutting up and having a great time and SO was grinning from ear to ear. It felt like we could do this!!! After dinner SO wanted to try a beer so we went over to the live band area and had a beer and then next thing I know him and his dd were out there dancing together. I went out there with ds and we danced. Eventually SO cut in and then him and I danced. His dd took a ton of pictures and posted them online saying things like #relationship goals and #love. I couldn't believe it. I still can't believe it.

Sunday we got up and had breakfast and went to set up and watch the eclipse. The kids went off exploring and SO and I got some us time. When the eclipse hit totality everyone cheered and screamed. It was amazing. We packed up at soon as it peaked and tried to beat traffic. It took us 6 hours to get home. His kids whined and complained the whole time. His dd constantly needed to pee and change her tampon (I wonder if I need to talk to her about not saying that?) By the time he dropped ds and I off we were both mentally and physically exhausted. I still have a headache. His kids are great and all but this weekend was an eye opening experience.


secret's picture

To what did it open your

To what did it open your eyes?

Cutter's picture

It's going to be harder than

It's going to be harder than I thought.

secret's picture

I would hazard a guess as to

I would hazard a guess as to say this:

-you felt left out and/or unimportant
-you felt second place to his kids' desires
-you felt your DS got left out and/or unimportant
-you felt disappointment in that this trip you planned and had high hopes for was just completely pooped on by your BF caving to his kids
-because of this, you feel his kids might be a bit entitled...selfish...

getting warm?

Cutter's picture

This is exactly how I felt!

This is exactly how I felt!

secret's picture

Well - and don't take this

Well - and don't take this the wrong way - but you've had some pretty strong opinions in other posts on the site, about what you felt being a step-parent was all about. Which of course, you're entitled to.... but.... you've now had a taste of what many of us who might disagree with your stance on certain topics might be going through - not just over one weekend trip - but EVERY DAY.... and you've now felt what many of us have felt for a long time.

Some have it easier than others.

I would strongly suggest you really take a good read through older posts and really acquaint yourself with these feelings... because your bf has already told you, in no uncertain terms, that you will not be a priority while the kids are still kids. You've now had a taste of what that's going to be like... and this was just over swimming/sleeping/walking/shopping.

This weekend was a short glimpse of what life could be like for you.... but consider that it didn't involve a constant mess, filth, disrespect, underhandedness, attempts to split you up, attempts to get between you, lies, manipulation... can you imagine if it was? If he makes you feel second class because his kids wanted to go swimming, how are you going to feel when he starts telling you to butt out, you're not the mom?

Again - not trying to be offensive - but this is a really good time for you to look at the things that "could be" versus the way things "are". You've said you're really in love with this man... but is that love really worth being treated like you mean nothing, for the next several years....which MAY turn into several years after that? What if they stay home to go to school?

I know you might feel like it it will be different for you, and it might very well be.... but far and few are the successfully blended families. You've gotten good advice so far - keep living apart... date the man, not the family... disengage from the kids - I don't mean ignore the kids and have nothing to do with them, I mean disengage from the parental responsibilities... don't make plans for them, don't do stuff for them... unless you want to... but you shouldn't "want" to take over being a second parent, know what I mean?

Cutter's picture

Strong opinions? Like what? I

Strong opinions? Like what? I just offer advice like all other posters do. So and I will be discussing what happened on this trip and how we can better prepare for our next trip in 2 weeks.
I'm not their mom and I've got no issue butting out if he asks.

secret's picture

OH I can't think of any of it

OH I can't think of any of it off the top of my head - I didn't mean it negatively - I just meant that the advice you offer tends to be based on your life experiences, which isn't what most of us have been going through - as in, you're not offering the advice as a Been There Done That position, you're offering it based on what you think things should be like and how you imagine it would be like for you.

Anyway, my point was... you're getting a taste of what things could be like - the negative feelings - and I'm just saying this is a good time to REALLY think hard about whether it's something you think you can handle for the next several years. Not many can.

Cutter's picture

OH!! My bad. Your assuming I

OH!! My bad. Your assuming I haven't been in a relationship with a man who has kids before. I guess it's my fault, I didn't give all of my dating history when I did my intro. SO may be my soul mate but I've dated and lived with 2 other men who have had kids. First one being ds father. I knew it wasn't going to work and declined his marriage proposal and moved out. He had 2 kids and we lived together for 5 years. I found out I was pregnant a week later. The second guy was when ds was 3 and we lived together for 6 years when I realized he wasn't for me. I kept trying to convince myself it was love when it wasn't and our split up had nothing to do with his 2 dds. I give advice about things I know about. Thanks for offering advice to me. How long have you been a sm? How old are your stepkids?

secret's picture

I assumed that, yes... only

I assumed that, yes... only because your advice is sometimes so different than the majority of others that post, it made me think maybe you hadn't experienced the same things. No harm meant.

I've been in a SM role long enough to have a successfully blended family...I knew my SO for about 3 years before we started our relationship, I'd already met his kid, he'd already met mine, we'd already spent some time together as people with common interests.

Other than issues with BM, the blended family life is actually working out really well for us and has been for quite some time... we had some hiccups at the beginning of course... but only once was I really made to feel like you've admitted to feeling... after we talked about it, it never happened again - and whatever advice I'm giving you is coming from a place of "it is possible" to blend nicely, mixed in with some repeated advice given by mostly everyone throughout the site.

Take it for what it's worth... or leave it if it doesn't apply. No biggie.

Cutter's picture

I don't think my advice is

I don't think my advice is all that different. I try to tell it how it is and not just what people want to hear. That is what makes this board so great. Everyone is free to express their opinions and they are all different. I'm glad it's working out for you. I've always tried to get along with the bms to keep the peace. I feel it's very important for the kids to see us working together and putting them first no matter how uncomfortable it is for us. Once the kids see that we have each others back they tend to stop trying to play us off each other. I still talk to bm#1, she has my sons siblings. We get them together about once every month. She has even thanked me for putting aside any insecurities I may have had and welcomed her into mine and my exs family life. Unfortunately ds's dad got into drugs after we split and is still searching for rock bottom. Do you need advice on how to deal with bm? I'd be happy to share some ways I put aside my insecurities to put the kids first.
I won't be made to feel the way I felt this weekend again. I will talk to So and let him know what I am willing and not willing to accept. If it doesn't work out I will be heart broken as I believe he is my soul mate and I love him more than anything (except ds)but I will never be made to feel this way again. It's all about personal choice and I choose to be happy.

secret's picture

No, I'm good. I have no

No, I'm good. I have no insecurities when it comes to BM - I'm just following the advice I got from here, which is to stay far far away from BM - the parenting is between BM and dad, I'm not involved. It's got nothing to do with insecurities.

Anyhoo, good luck with all that, I hope it works out the way you want.

WalkOnBy's picture

"His kids are great and all

"His kids are great and all but this weekend was an eye opening experience."

doesn't sound like great kids to me, nor does it sound like a good time.

—

Reading...it's fundamental

"Maybe it should be "reading comprehension..... it's fundamental" - ItsGrowingOld

Cutter's picture

They weren't all that bad

They weren't all that bad just normal kid stuff. I don't know. I expected more meshing and family - ness.

Disneyfan's picture

But you are not a family.

But you are not a family. You are dating a man who had made it clear that he isn't looking for a wife or to have a SO move in with him and his children.

Your vacation turned out to be exactly what it was: 2 separate families traveling together.

—

"Some of you nonstepparents should have disclaimers in your signature lines. Disney isn't a SM any more, but her's could read, "Was a SM. That shit is for the birds! I don't hate all SMs, though. I'm cool."" LadyFace

Cutter's picture

We're giving it a go to see

We're giving it a go to see how it works. We are camping over Labor day weekend so we'll see how that goes.

Dovina's picture

I know you want this to work,

I know you want this to work, like so many of us do. But do you really want to ruin BS last long weekend of the summer. Trust me if you feel second in all of this, magnify this for your son. Maybe you love this man and want to try and make this a family. However from everything you stated from the Eclipse Vacation your son felt not part of it. Its 3 skids against one. An awful feeling for your little boy. My heart goes out to him. If I knowingly put my son in an awkward, lesser position I would feel terrible.
IMO date this man slowly. Two vacations in a such short period of time is way too much for everyone. Your SO does not seem eager, and he has told you his wishes regarding his late wife. Back off the Brady Bunch experiment for now. Slow and steady wins the race.
Good luck to you.

—

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result" ~ Albert Einstein

Cutter's picture

Your right about backing off

Your right about backing off some. I am going to talk to SO about our upcoming camping trip and what my expectations are and what needs to be different from our eclipse trip. If he agrees and sets some limits then we are on for the trip, if he disagrees then ds, a friend of his and I will go.

There were times So's kids did put my son in a lower position but at times, my son was annoying on purpose like a little brother and I had to get on him. I know SO will have some complaints about ds and will want some limits set with him. I'm not a blind mommy. Laughing out loud Overall I think the kids meshed well for a starting point. From here on out it's about standards and what we are willing to accept and not accept.

downsouthinTX's picture

when you go camping and his

when you go camping and his kids want to go on a hike by themselves...dont say "take DS with you"
if they say "DS do you want to go?" then let him but be weary they arent going to pick on him away from parental sight.

if DS wants to go fishing and you want to take him ask your DS if he wants to invite any of the other kids...if not then YOU take DS alone. dont invite the other kids FOR DS...thats forcing him to hang with the other kids.

dont expect all kids in one tent and you and SO in the other. at this point it seems as though DS is not part of their "clique" yet and forcing him into it will create bigger issues.

IDontCare3117's picture

You're trying to force a lot

You're trying to force a lot of things here and it's a recipe for disaster. It really seems you're trying to prove to your boyfriend what a great little family all of you would make. He's been perfectly clear he's not going to break his promise to his deceased wife about not moving a woman in with his kids. If you can wait until his kids are launched, go for it. He isn't giving any indication he's going to change his mind.

Cutter's picture

He has given some. I told him

He has given some. I told him I can't put my life on hold to wait so he agreed to some trips to see how we blend.

Livingoutloud's picture

It sounded like vacation from

It sounded like vacation from he$$ to me. I would need a vacation after this kind of vacation

AshMar654's picture

Sounds like some bad moments

Sounds like some bad moments in there. While a lot of this does sound normal kid behavior it would be your SO that I would be concerned about. Really seems like he puts his DD's needs above yours. Just an observation from what you are posting. Not saying this will not change just to be aware and to keep an eye out for it all.

Blending families takes time. This seemed like a nice test to see where you all stand and how things are going. Your son is younger than the other boys so may find him annoying right now just give it time.

Sorry for the headache hopefully you and SO can take a couple only trip soon. Even if it is just for one night. All couples need time for just the two of them.

Good luck.

Cutter's picture

I felt like he did to. I

I felt like he did to. I would have asked her why she wasn't prepared and brought extra knowing we would be in the water.

IDontCare3117's picture

Do yourself a favor and don't

Do yourself a favor and don't get involved in his daughter's menstrual cycle. If the two of them don't mind her advertising she's on her period, let it go. The only thing you might get away with is asking her not to talk about such a personal matter in front of you.

Cutter's picture

I don't know, it seems she

I don't know, it seems she needs someone to tell her not to talk about it in public.

IDontCare3117's picture

If her father didn't tell her

If her father didn't tell her not to talk about her period publicly, then it's not your place. Say something to him, and he can address it with her. Teenage girls these days aren't shy about sharing this kind of information. I'm not a fan of it, personally.

secret's picture

This is a great example of

This is a great example of what I meant above when I said you shouldn't be wanting to take over parental responsibilities... if dad doesn't think it's an issue, it's not your place to make it one, even though you might want to with every fiber of your being.

Cutter's picture

I will be talking to SO about

I will be talking to SO about it. He can make the decision to talk with her or not but he needs to be aware it's not decent.

Aniki's picture

It's your *opinion* that it

It's your *opinion* that it isn't decent. Your SO might be okay with his daughter saying those things.

—

I decided to stop reaching out. It's just asking to get my hand slapped. ~Aniki

The juice ain't worth the squeeze. ~SourGrapes

Shun her like an Amish chick who got caught wearing a thong. ~Echo

AshMar654's picture

She is a teenage girl who

She is a teenage girl who does not think far ahead. She is hormonal and and will be all over the place with her emotions. While I think she should know to be a little more discrete about her personal things she will continue to be like this. Are you prepared for the emotional roller coaster that is too come. Besides just a teenage girl she lost her mom as well.

Your SO is the one who will really need to have a talk with her. I think maybe you should try talking to him about you feel but this is new for him too. You are the first woman, (I might be wrong here) that he has really tried to get his kids use to. He is scared as well because they already lost a mom. I am sure he skeptical and taking it slow because he does not want to have kids with broken hearts again.

Talk to him tell him that you felt a little left out on this trip. Maybe ask on the next trip before you say yes to your son or before he says yes to his kids you two discuss it and make the decision together on what to do. Just talk to him and be honest and open. I sounds like the trip was really not that bad.

Also maybe she was excited for you to be there as woman and giving your feedback while she was shopping. She is a 13 year old girl with all boys around her and no mom. I will not lie this relationship will have many ups and downs and emotions will be high for everyone involved. You need to ask yourself if you can have the patience and the thick skin for all the things that may come with three kids that have lost a parent.

advice.only2's picture

Well it appears the DD is

Well it appears the DD is comfortable enough around you and your BS to share all of her personal bodily functions and you are comfortable enough to come and share it here with us...so I think you guys will be fine, sounds like you are already blending beautifully...#relationship goals.

IDontCare3117's picture

I don't understand these

I don't understand these teenage girls who want to take out a neon sign when they are having their periods. Absolutely NO decorum.

Cutter's picture

I was so embarrassed for her,

I was so embarrassed for her, I feel like I need to pull her aside and let her know she shouldn't be saying these things. Should I check with So first or just give her some womanly advice?

IDontCare3117's picture

See my above post. Don't get

See my above post. Don't get involved with this issue. Your boyfriend can speak to her if he sees fit.

DaizyDuke's picture

Hate to say it, but we told

Hate to say it, but we told you so. But continue trying to force your SO and skids to be one big happy family and see how that works out for you. I feel bad for your DS, that he has to be drug along on this quest to "change your SO" Sad

—

ღIt's all fun and games until someone doesn't pick up on the sarcasm ღ
ツ I try to act nonchalant but underneath, I am chalant AF ツ

zerostepdrama's picture

Sounds like every trip I have

Sounds like every trip I have ever taken with DH and his kids and my BS. Which was a total of 3 trips. I guess I needed to do it 3 times to realize- Yep this is truly hell.

Glad you enjoyed the eclipse experience.

—

"I don't take stuff personal from a person who doesn't know me personally."

"It so doesn't matter who likes us... WE like Us."
-Pom Pom Squad

BrightFuture99's picture

That is a trip I would never

That is a trip I would never repeat. So thankful my DH doesn't have daughters and his kids are generally not turds. Also, DH isn't so far up their butts that we have to wait for the precious darlings to sleep in or get something to eat.

Ugh. I would have a headache for a week after that trip. Note: I even get annoyed with my own kids and sometimes DH if there's too much "togetherness."

secondplace's picture

"The eclipse trip didn't go

"The eclipse trip didn't go as I expected"

Actually, it kinda did.

—

---------------------------------------------
Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today. -James Dean

"Why? Because fuck em. That's why" -GoodbyeNormaJean

Cutter's picture

Not in the way you are

Not in the way you are thinking. I expected SO and I to be a team and lead our players. Instead I was left following behind which was unacceptable to me. That is what I didn't expect. I think he was so nervous about his kids that he went out of character and allowed them to rule because he was worried how they were feeling. If this is his norm then this isn't going to work but nothing I have seen has indicated that it is.

Aniki's picture

Have you considered that your

Have you considered that your SO preferred you all to act like 2 families vacationing together and NOT like a team? That he may have preferred leading HIS children while you lead YOUR child??

At this point, it may still be too soon for him to be any more involved with you and your son because he still intends to keep that promise to his deceased wife.

I've said it before... it honestly seems like you are determined to push forward when he is uncomfortable doing so. You and he are definitely moving at the same pace.

—

I decided to stop reaching out. It's just asking to get my hand slapped. ~Aniki

The juice ain't worth the squeeze. ~SourGrapes

Shun her like an Amish chick who got caught wearing a thong. ~Echo

Disneyfan's picture

"If this is his norm then

"If this is his norm then this isn't going to work but nothing I have seen has indicated that it is."

LOLLOLLOL

I must be crazy,but if I wanted a husband, and the man I was dating told me that living with him wasn't an option, that would be enough for me to that THIS ISN'T GOING TO WORK

—

"Some of you nonstepparents should have disclaimers in your signature lines. Disney isn't a SM any more, but her's could read, "Was a SM. That shit is for the birds! I don't hate all SMs, though. I'm cool."" LadyFace

Cutter's picture

Not living together right now

Not living together right now because of his promise to his dead wife. We are slowly working through this, others have pointed out that 8 months together is a short amount of time and my expectations may have been off. I can respect that and admit when I am wrong. As long as we are moving forward I am okay. If we stop then decisions will have to be made.

Disneyfan's picture

Did he TELL you that he wants

Did he TELL you that he wants to work through this?

Or did he tell you that he's keeping his promise and that he is perfectly fine with the current situation?

Is this working through and moving forward stuff a MY plan or a WE plan?

—

"Some of you nonstepparents should have disclaimers in your signature lines. Disney isn't a SM any more, but her's could read, "Was a SM. That shit is for the birds! I don't hate all SMs, though. I'm cool."" LadyFace

Cutter's picture

I let him know what I needed

I let him know what I needed to stay in this relationship and he agreed to move forward with me.

WagiMorri's picture

So you're dating a man who is

So you're dating a man who is still in a committed relationship with another woman?

IDontCare3117's picture

Are you both slowly working

Are you both slowly working through this, or are you getting your hopes up and seeing only what you want to see in the situation? I'm inclined to think it's the latter. It's completely your choice if you want to date this man. I don't think it's going to end up with you living together or in a marriage proposal, at least not any time soon. He's been honest and upfront about his promise to his first wife. You'd be wise to take it at face value.

You need to finish raising your child, he needs to finish raising his children. The more you post the more it really seems you're trying to convince him of what a splendid idea it is for y'all to be together and blend your families. If you have convince someone to be with you, chances are they aren't the right person for you.

Livingoutloud's picture

Since you aren't married or

Since you aren't married or engaged or even cohabiting, you are simply dating, So it's unreasonable to expect to be a "family" with someone you date (for only 8 months!) and his kids. You can still have a good time though.

Neither you nor your son had a good time though. I mean is it worth it to suffer like this? What for? SO isn't interested in commitment or being a family with you. its unrealistic to try change grown people into somebody they aren't.

He doesn't want to live with you or marry you. I think trying to persuade him otherwise is just kind of degrading for you. Surely there are men out there whom you don't need to pursue and convince in anything.

Stepped in what momma's picture

I have to wonder what kind of

I have to wonder what kind of woman your SO was married to that would make him promise to never let another woman live with them. Seems like a whacko if you ask me. If I died I'd want my SO to move on with a meaningful relationship with someone else because I love him that much, I wouldn't want him to be alone, I'd want him to go to all the places his heart desires with someone else, some else to share his secrets with, someone else to take care of him if he was sick, etc., after all if we aren't happy then how do you make kids happy? His ex sounds like she is still controlling him from the grave.

—

Ain't going to lie- skids make me want to poke myself in the eye

Stepped in what momma's picture

I also have to wonder why in

I also have to wonder why in the world someone would even promise something like that, just seems really unrealistic. If my SO told me today he had cancer and if he died he wouldn't want me to move on I would have to be honest with him.

—

Ain't going to lie- skids make me want to poke myself in the eye

Livingoutloud's picture

Men who don't want to commit

Men who don't want to commit sometimes go to great length to invent excuses why they can't commit. Who knows what really happened age how his late wife worded: promise you will not live with wackos or live with them unmarried or let them mistreat our kids etc He interprets it to his advantage

Dovina's picture

I agree on that. What a

I agree on that. What a perfect way for the widowed man to avoid commitment. I am surprised this wasn't a George Constanza (spelling?) Seinfeld episode.

—

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result" ~ Albert Einstein

IDontCare3117's picture

The boyfriend has dated since

The boyfriend has dated since his wife died. He hasn't been without companionship. The first wife asked that he not move a woman in with her kids, and raise them. He seems content too honor the wish, and he's been upfront about that. There's nothing preventing them from taking trips and whatever else. It's problematic OP wants to live together or get married, and that doesn't appear to be this guy's plan.

MollyBrown's picture

I know you don't want to hear

I know you don't want to hear this, but I worry your in for a world of hurt.

Hennypenny's picture

Eight months is way too early

Eight months is way too early for "family" trips. And definitely too early To expect a sibling relationship between kids. The fact that they were civil at all is amazing to me.

Stop forcing things. You are putting all those kids in a very difficult situation, including you son. I don't even have my own kids to blend and. we still waited over a year before I met his. What is the huge rush?

Harry's picture

You have to except, that he

You have to except, that he will never change. This is the way it hoping to be. His kids will come first, he will do what ever that want, when they want and where they want. You can follow and play second if you want and may be get a little loving or not.
Just strange that you were away for three days and there was no "LOVING " time. Didn't have time to do it someplace.
We used to go away with three kids, one room and still found time to do it

Harry's picture

You have to except, that he

You have to except, that he will never change. This is the way it hoping to be. His kids will come first, he will do what ever that want, when they want and where they want. You can follow and play second if you want and may be get a little loving or not.
Just strange that you were away for three days and there was no "LOVING " time. Didn't have time to do it someplace.
We used to go away with three kids, one room and still found time to do it

downsouthinTX's picture

when i tell people how my

when i tell people how my DD15 and SD18 dont even speak they are shocked.
i would never in a million years force my kids to be friends or like someone elses kids.
and the more forcing the more it drives the wedge.

but you are trying to force his kids to like and be friends with your kid and frankly those types of situations almost never ever work out.

if you had a bestie GF and she had a kid that your kid didnt like...your kid would be pretty irritated if you always tried to force him to play with her kid just for the sake of you and bestie having a good time.

you wanted your son to be latched to his kids river tube just so you could be latched to your SO's.
you should have wanted your kids tube latched to YOU...sorry but my kids safety is MY responsibility not anyone elses.(i have been tubing in a river with my kids)

i think you need to work on expectations with DS....knowing not everyone is the same type of kids/people and bottom line is repsect. you may never be BFF with any of those other kids but everyone needs to be respectful.
your DS doesnt need to be jumping on them or going wheres hes not invited. you shouldnt be forcing any of the kids to play or hang out together.

i have 2 kids, SO has 2 kids. after 18 mo together we moved in.
our bottom line has always been respect.
SS12 and DS11 share a room.
SS12 is sports and gaming
DS11 is nerd books and school
they are not the same and enjoy different things...but they have respect for each other spaces and likes/dislikes. we dont force DS11 to tutor SS12 in homework and we dont force SS12 to let DS11 come bike riding with him.
the girls never speak to each other-EVER. in 3.5 years.
BUT we dont have to deal with fights or drama either! its amazing. AND they are happy.

get it?