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Question
Posted by: Anon | 2010-11-04

Step parenting and hubby

My husband and I have been together for 3 years and married for 4. the problem is that we are experiencing some problems at the moment. He always drops everything to be with his son, even if it means that I have to stay home and eat dinner alone.
Last night he told me that his role as a father is his priority and to me that says that our marriage isn''t as important as that role.
Am I being unreasonable? It is just so tough being a stepmother when his ex makes life difficult and I just feel like his statement means that his son will always come before me and how marriage. How will our marriage last if this is how he thinks and feels. Why did he marry me then if I will not be a priority then, if his role as my husband is not as important.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Its hard to respond usefully without knowing the circumstances, such as the age of the child. 18 months or 18 years ? It makes a difference.
Is the child's mother useless or feckless ? Or is he merely spending social time with the son ?
Apart from Maria, the other respondents are makin assumptions about the situation for which we have no basis yet. Ava might be right or wholly wrong about you, the child and his ex.
I agree, though, that it may be worth exploring whether he can't include you in some of his time with the son, and whether he can't set aside some time each week specifically for you and him.
Lego makes the important point that a father's duties include showing his son how a responsible man behaves towards his wife and his current family. Couples counselling does seem indicated



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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010-11-05

Its hard to respond usefully without knowing the circumstances, such as the age of the child. 18 months or 18 years ? It makes a difference.
Is the child's mother useless or feckless ? Or is he merely spending social time with the son ?
Apart from Maria, the other respondents are makin assumptions about the situation for which we have no basis yet. Ava might be right or wholly wrong about you, the child and his ex.
I agree, though, that it may be worth exploring whether he can't include you in some of his time with the son, and whether he can't set aside some time each week specifically for you and him.
Lego makes the important point that a father's duties include showing his son how a responsible man behaves towards his wife and his current family. Couples counselling does seem indicated



Reply to cybershrink
Posted by: Maria | 2010-11-04

How old is the son? And can you explain the circumstances a bit more? If his ex is using him as a babysitter who is available at all times without any notice, then he needs to set some boundaries.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Lego | 2010-11-04

I don''t necessarily agree with Ava. A father''s first priority should be his wife, not his children! By that I don''t mean the children are unimportant. But it is much better for the children to see his father''s love and commitment towards his wife (especially if she is their mother), than being spoilt rotten and seeing the parents at one another''s throats. The greatest gift a father can give his children, is to love their mother (or stepmother for that matter). It provides stability. Yes, time with your children is vitally important! But your marriage should take first priority.

But I do agree with what Ava said regarding comprimising. Maybe the two of you should go for couples counselling and talk about your compromises and boundaries.

Reply to Lego
Posted by: Ava | 2010-11-04

A parent''s first priority should ALWAYS be their children, you should be immensely proud of and look at your husband with great respect for not simply throwing money at his ex to support his child (like so many parents do), but actually setting aside time to spend with and raise his son.
Your husband made a commitment to you, he married you, you shouldn''t be having doubts about whether you are important to him, of course you are. I''m sure you knew that he had a son when you married him? And I''m sure that when you got married, he did so thinking of you as a mature, grown woman who has accepted him with all of his baggage and knowing that he would have to spend time raising, parenting and bonding with his son.

Bottom line & mdash >  Your husband wants to spend time with his son, you cannot change this, whining about it to him will only worsen your relationship. Don''t try to compete with your step son for you husbands attention, people are more than capable of holding up multiple relationships, your husband included :)

Why don''t you rather try and think of some solutions? Marriage is supposed to be about compromising, on both ends. Here are some suggestion:
Ask your husband to include you in some of their activities, instead of the two of them going to watch a rugby match alone, suggest that all three of you go somewhere such as Dros, they can watch it on tele from there and you all get to eat dinner together.
Ask you husband to set aside certain weeknights that he can spend just with you. You can go out or just stay in, the emphasis is on his willingness to devote some time to you as he does with his son.
When your husband does decide that he would like to spend some time with his son alone, visit your family or phone one of your friends and organize a girls night :) You don''t have to eat alone just because your husband isn''t home.
You could also find some form of a hobby, I started attending painting classes for example. You can learn new skills, have the opportunity to socialize with new people and enjoy yourself while your husband and his son is having their bonding time.

Trying being a little less selfish, he is YOUR husband but all of his time doesn''t solely belong to you. And be supportive of his son, and of their relationship, is obviously important to him.

Reply to Ava

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