46 answers

Boyfriend Won't Get Close to My Son

I am a single mother of an eight year old boy. I have been with my boyfriend for almost 2 years and he has not developed any connection with my son. He loves me and treats both of us well, but will not let the relationship progress beyond the "dating" stage. As in he is unwilling to work towards being a family though he says he wants to be with me forever. At first I thought over time a relationship would naturally develop between them, my boyfriend did too, but I realize now that no bond will ever be formed because my boyfriend won't let my son get close. When I brought it up to him, he freaked out and said he is not a family man, doesn't feel comfortable getting close to him. He wants to be able to connect with him, but doesn't know how. I have given him many options of how to develop a relationship with him but it comes down to the fact that he is too uncomfortable try any suggestions. I have decided and told him, that if he cannot strive towards becoming a family with my son and I, we will have to break up.
I'm just wondering, is there anyone out there who managed to help their partner become a "family man"? Or, is it something that men just naturally want or don't want? Should I give up and move on? Does therapy help? I just keep thinking if he loved and wanted me enough, that would be enough to want to be close to my son and become a family with us.
DETAILS: My boyfriend and I are 30. He says he has always been distant to children. He has always been aware I have a son, but I did not let him meet my son until our relationship was stable (6 months)because my son gets attached quickly...except in this case, my boyfriend is so distant (but still nice) that he is just a person who is sometimes around to my son. I have always been up front that I am looking for a serious partner to join my son and I as a family. I am asking for my boyfriend to become a family with us ONLY in emotional needs, I support myself and my sons needs financially.
Any help would be appreciated : )
Thanks!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I have two sons, I had a boyfriend after my divorce for three years. He had no children of his own, but a grown stepson from his previous marriage. He was not a "kid person". He knew it and was honest about it. He always told me he felt bad for his stepson because he knew he wasn't the greatest stepdad to him. I think he tried, but like someone said his childhood really prevented this to happen. He tried with my kids. He was always nice to them, watched one one time for me when my kid was sick. Made school project for the other. But was not able to bond with them. He was a great guy, the "nice" guy we all look for. But kids come first, we weren't going to go forward and move on, so I ended up breaking up with him.

3 moms found this helpful

He's got to want to be a family man. You can't make him. He's being honest with you and you need to accept it. Thank him for not lying to you, and keep looking for Mr Right.

3 moms found this helpful

Yes, try counseling, but don't expect major changes. He was up front with you and you were up front with him. The counseling will probably help you come to terms with who the two of you are. Honesty is a specially is a special gift the two of you can give to each other.

More Answers

Mom. seriously, if I were you I would run and take my son with as fast as I can out of this relationship; there are so many red flags. THis may sound harsh, but you have wasted 2 yrs w/this guy and have not done your children any favors hanging out with a non-family man who has no interest in them, nice to youn(not your child) or not. Pls tell me you are not living with or supporting this guy. Where is the boys bio father? You need to realize your top priority must be your children, not your love life. The boy needs a positive male role model in his life, like a dad (even if you are divorced, or a grandfather). Your boy will soon be entering his teen years which are very crucial, put your love life on the back burner for a few yrs. You owe it to your children, they need to come 1st.

8 moms found this helpful

Sorry to say this, but I think you need to find a man more willing to enjoy your package deal. Your BF shouldn't have to be asked or taught to develop a relationship with your son.

5 moms found this helpful

I think you need to cut your losses. If he hasn't warmed up to your son by now, he never will. Any man you date needs to understand that you are a package deal. Think how much it will hurt your son in the long run to be treated like a non-entity in his own home. Plus, your boyfriend is not a good role model for him. Would you want him to grow up the same way? During my single Mom dating days, I found that men who also had children were more warm and accepting towards my daughter. I ended up married to one.

5 moms found this helpful

I am sorry. It seems that you are doing everything right, but he's just not the right man. It stinks to find someone who is so great to you, but not bonding with your son. The right man for both of you IS out there. Don't stay with this guy at the expense of Mr. Right passing you up because you are already spoken for.

4 moms found this helpful

If your boyfriend flat out says " I'm not a family man " .. AND it's been 2 years. (well a year and a half he's known your son), I'm sorry, but that is bad. I would listen to what he's saying and .... believe him. So sorry, I'm sure that's not what you wanted to hear. I'm 31 and a single mom. I recently got out of a 3 year relationship with a man who I think deep down I knew he wasn't a family man either. Looking back, I wish it would have ended sooner to be honest with you. Us single mommies might not need for a man to be "daddy" to our child... but in my opinion we do need a man that is wililng to be part of a family and find his role in our existing "mini" family.

4 moms found this helpful

I think you need to let him go. he's not a family man. after two years of dating he should have gotten close to your son. it's not fair to your son to give him the feeling of rejection which he most likely has by now. you can talk to your boyfriend again and explain to him that you and your son come as a package and that he either gets close to both of none of you. but remember, the day your son was born is the day your self became second priority. you'll find someone who will embrace both you and your son. those who don't are not worth wasting time on.

4 moms found this helpful

He's got to want to be a family man. You can't make him. He's being honest with you and you need to accept it. Thank him for not lying to you, and keep looking for Mr Right.

3 moms found this helpful

I think that at much as you love this man, you cannot pretend you didn't hear his words. I think he was being as honest with you as he could. He does not see himself as a family man.
As much as you love him, you have a child. You and your son are a family.
You need someone who looks forward to being a part of it and wants to accentuate things as a man in your life and your son's life.
I would be afraid of getting any closer if there is a chance he will bolt and take off.
It's just my opinion, but if he couldn't help falling in love with your son, you would know it.
He seems to be showing some reticence.
He may love you, but not be ready to be a daddy.
There's nothing wrong with that honesty. But, you have the right to find someone who just "fits" and loves you and your son as a package deal and wants you both.
I wouldn't have sex with this guy. Not to be mean, but what if you got pregnant? He's already said he's not a family man.
If that's what you are looking for, I would look somewhere else.
But that's just me.
"I like you and I'll have sex with you but I'm not a family man and don't want to be a father to your kid..."
That would be a deal breaker for me. At least as far as any long term plans.

That's just my opinion and I mean no offense.

Best wishes.

3 moms found this helpful

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