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Question
Posted by: sunshine girl | 2011-07-28

Relationship advice needed

I recently broke up with my boyfriend of 15 months and moved out the house. We both have one child and all four of us lived together under the same roof. I had issues with how my boyfriend would handle the issues I had with the kids when I tried to talk to him about them.. When trying to address a problem with him, he would act like he was busy, or just say " ya ya"  and walk away or he would get really angry.. All these things weren''t conducive to sorting out the problems. And they made me feel betrayed.. Because, before I moved in, he would have been more open to hearing my issues. I felt like he had LURED me in and now wasn''t willing to hear my gripes.
I felt that i was a fair " step mom"  and wanted what was best for the househol.. I didn''t bring up issues unles I felt that they were pertunant and were going to cause other issues in the long run.
My boyfriend''s son was not very accepting of my daughter (the youngest child in the house), and in fact, the son was allowed to be rude from time to time to my daughter infront of his dad, and his dad would just allow the behaviour. On the other hand, I would always step in and discipline my daughter if I thought she was starting to annoy her " step brother" ..
Not only was my " step son"  alllowed me to rude to my daughter, but he was able to get away with being rude to me (from time to time) infront of his dad too.. His dad would never step in. And would later tell me that he didn''t hear what had happened if I voiced my concerns.
Anyway, as you can hear, there were many problems to contend with in our " mixed families"  home.. However, my boyfriend and I had a good relationship and love each other very much..
Even though we loved one another, I decided to move out. My daughter wasn''t always happy in the home.. She came last in the house.. First came my boyfriend''s son, then me, then my daugther.. And I didn''t want my daughter to grow up feeling that she didn''t belong or wasn''t accepted (first by her own dad and now by the stepbrother and my boyfriend)... I felt very torn and guilty and sorry for my little girl..
So, it''s been about 2 months since I moved out and I still love my boyfriend and he still loves me and I dont want to be apart from him.. We have started speaking about getting back together, however my exboyfriend as MAJOR trust issues with me now, and says that he feels like he cant trust me.. He is seeing a psychologist but I am not..
In order to get over his trust issue, he wants to know how he can trust me again..and my answer to that question is always the same: I feel that we should go and talk to someone together to get to the root of the problem of why I left and sort that out FIRST (or to hear if we wil ever be able to get over the issues I had when we were all living together)... before I can assure him that I will never leave again and that I am trustworthy. I dont have a committment issue - my reason for leaving was that I felt that the home set up was not conducive to my daughter growing up with a stable, healthy, " feeling of belonging"  , confident character..
He feels he was working on the issues I had , but I just feel that he was pacifying me and not actually working on them for good because he didn''t actually comprehend what I was saying because his son wasn''t really suffering from being rejected by my daughter..
So.. anyway, my question to you is:
My boyfriend feels like I am giving him CONDITIONS and not solutions to his trust issue..
I feel that there''s a step one to sorting out the problems so that i can truthfully tell him that I am comitted to staying..
I dont see them as CONDITIONS/WANTING THINGS ON MY TERMS.
Aren''t these just my bounderies??
What is your advice to me please? I am not a psychologist, I''ve told him that I dont really have the SOLUTIONS, but i do know that i need peace of mind about my concerns..
At the end of the day, both of us are afraid of getting hurt and it''s almost like a trust vs trust issue that we both have.
Please help.
I love him and at the same time I''m a worried mom.. I am all my daughter has.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Maybe its not easy to recognize these differences in problem-solving styles, etc., before moving in together, but it's worth trying to do so.
ANY problems in disciplining and bringing up kids have to be solved by discussion between the "grown-ups" and both adults having the SAME policies and procedures in dealing with problems, or the kids get understandably confused.
Rudeness and especially cruelty between the kids is unaceptable, and for either parent to tolerate either child being rude and unpleasant to the other adult, is a bad breach of reasonable expectations, and no help at all to either child.
Your partner doesn't have to agree with you about everything, but should be prepared to listen to you, and to try to work out a shared approach which you can both follow.
The sort of solutions your b is seeking for his "trust issues" are unreasonable and would solve nothing - he's asking for absolute obedience, not trust.
Why shouldn't you join him in sessions with his psychologist, who already knows his viewpoint, and work out a shared policy towards trust and the related issues ? You are seeking viable solutions, not laying down conditions, except the condition that you should both share an agreed approach to solving the problems.
You sound like a most responsible mom, and he may feel the same way about his son, but in practise he may be spoiling the boy rather than bringing him up as well as he thinks

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

3
Our users say:
Posted by: flower 1980 | 2011-07-28

YOU ARE THE BEST MOM EVER FOR PUTTING YOU DAUGTHER CONCERNS FIRST. I SALUTE YOU DEAR WOMAN, I DO HOPE YOU AND YOUR BOYFRIEND WORKS THINGS OUT. HAVING AND MOVING ON WITH SOMEONE ELSE ESPECIALY LIKE ME WHERE THEY DON''T HAVE KIDS ON OF THEIR OWN IS DIFFICULT. THAT''S PART OF THE REASON WHY MY BOYFRIEND AND I SPLIT, NOW WE GOT BACK TOGETHER, WE WORK OUT A SCHEDULE WHERE HE DOES''NT SPEND TIME WITH MY SON:-( BUT I LOVE THEM BOTH SO MUCH I HAVE TO BE CONTENT WITH WHAT I GET

Reply to flower 1980
Posted by: Caro | 2011-07-28

I admire you so much for putting your daughter''s interests first. You are absolutely right to make her your first priority. I hope that you and your bf can sort out the problems but it should be before you move in together again as it will make both children feel insecure to be to-ing and fro-ing.

Good luck and keep being a good mom.

Reply to Caro
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011-07-28

Maybe its not easy to recognize these differences in problem-solving styles, etc., before moving in together, but it's worth trying to do so.
ANY problems in disciplining and bringing up kids have to be solved by discussion between the "grown-ups" and both adults having the SAME policies and procedures in dealing with problems, or the kids get understandably confused.
Rudeness and especially cruelty between the kids is unaceptable, and for either parent to tolerate either child being rude and unpleasant to the other adult, is a bad breach of reasonable expectations, and no help at all to either child.
Your partner doesn't have to agree with you about everything, but should be prepared to listen to you, and to try to work out a shared approach which you can both follow.
The sort of solutions your b is seeking for his "trust issues" are unreasonable and would solve nothing - he's asking for absolute obedience, not trust.
Why shouldn't you join him in sessions with his psychologist, who already knows his viewpoint, and work out a shared policy towards trust and the related issues ? You are seeking viable solutions, not laying down conditions, except the condition that you should both share an agreed approach to solving the problems.
You sound like a most responsible mom, and he may feel the same way about his son, but in practise he may be spoiling the boy rather than bringing him up as well as he thinks

Reply to cybershrink

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