Posted by: Debbie | 2009/07/07

Trouble adjusting to being a step mum

Hi Doc

I am 39 with a 10 year old daughter who I have raised on my own since she was 13 months old. We have lived on our own in our own house for these 9 years. Her dad lives in another province so we have had little man contact in terms of living arrangements.

I met the greatest man and we have been living together for nearly two years. He has a 14 year old son.
I am currently in a 12 step Al anon program as I was bought up by two alcholics. I know I have issues due to my dysfunctional childhood and have been in this program for over 3 years, I know I have insecurity issues and abandonment issues and I am jealous. I' m working on it !

I am having problems adjusting to my boyfriends son coming to visit now that the honeymoon period is fading. I think its because its an issue for my partner if I get grumpy. I feel very on edge when his son visits as I think the dad expects it to be a perfect pleasant stay for his son. He wants his son to feel welcome and feel at home. I try my best, but our space is small and someones there are 4 of us in a little two bedroomed home and I am overwhelmed with all these bodies in my home !

Its a tall order for his son to feel at home. Its been my home for 9 years and his son visits so little he wont automatically feel at home until maybe we move and he gets his own room (i' m looking into this). His son and I get on well. And I think he' s a great kid.

So I feel I have to be on my best behaviour and am getting anxiety about it. If I am honest with my partner he huffs and puffs and doesnt understand and thinks I am-|-for even feeling this way. I feel very left out when his son comes to visit. I do not want to mess up our relationship.But I have to be honest.

i felt very left out and like they both completely take over. I try not to sulk, but I feel very hurt so I go very quiet which they notice.

I asked my partner if he could handle me and his son differently when we' re all together because I feel very pushed aside. He says that he needs to focus on his son and its only once a week. I understand that but its not nice to be pushed aside once he turns up. My partner says I am probably jealous. I dont want my partner to move out so I have to fix this somehow. It feels like my boyfriend feels I am the problem and this is how it is. I dont feel very understood. I have a good heart. I dont mean to make his son feel unwelcome. I wish I was more laid back.

I' ve always wanted a family and now I have one, I' m not handling it very well.

I do let them do their own thing together. I' m happy for them to spend time together. They invite me out with them and often I say no you need time alone and off they go. I just find it difficult when I am ignored me in favour of his son for a day or two.

I also cannot stand having disagreements. So then I cannot sleep from worrying about it. And then I worry all day in case my partner says he is going to move out for the sake of the childen.

We hardly ever argue or have disagreements. But I know I am disappointing my partner in not accepting his child whole heartedly.

Please could you give me some advice,


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