40 answers

Need Some Advice with My Boyfriend Regarding My Son....

Hi Ladies, I am turning to you again for your advice since you have always been there to help me out..... I have only been in one relationship since my divorce that was final in May of 06'. My son was 7mos old when my divorce was final. He and I dated for about a year and then we went our seperate ways. I am now in a real relationship after being single for over 2 years and he is living with my son and I. My son is now 3 1/2 years old. My son adores him as well as I, BUT there are some issues....

Ok.....I have tried to get my boyfriend to understand that he has to earn being able to discipline my child (in a way by getting him to pick up his toys, etc.) He sees how stressed I get and just wants to help me. My ex-husband is just a one day a week Dad and only takes my son Saturday when he gets out of work until Sunday at 5 p.m. My son is crazy about his father, and there are some Saturday's that he doesn't want to go, he is a big time mommy's boy and just wants to stay home with me.

The other problem is that my boyfriend expects to be able to adopt my son when we get married. (We have not yet gotten engaged but have talked about getting married next July). I have explained to him that there is no way that he can adopt my son because he already has a father and the only way that he could ever adopt my son is if my ex signed over all of his rights, and that will never happen. He already has a Daddy (not a great one, but he does have one..) So he will have to accept the role of being a "Step-Dad". There is only one home that my son Michael will be able to experience a real family life and that is with me. My boyrfriend's fear is that someday my son will look at him and say "You're not my father!" Well, in reality, he never will be, but he will play the real role of a father, he will be able to do things with him that his real father will never have time to. My son is very loving and very appreciative, but who knows how he will be when he is a teen ager.

The biggest part of all of this is that he is trying to put his foot down that my ex doesn't get any extra time with my son above what is in our divorce decree (Sat - Sun). On the holidays or if he has a day off from work. I told him that he doesn't have a choice when it comes to me giving my ex extra time with our son. My ex lives with his parents (he moved right in with another girl, they had a child and he left her too, so with all of the money he has to pay out, he can't afford a place of his own, and also not being able to manage his own money doesn't help either..... By the way he is 36). So, with my ex living there, my son "owns" 2 women. Me and Grandma. He is head over heels crazy about Grandma. So, even though he is over there with his father, he is actually attached to his grandma's hip. So with that said, my BF expects me to take my son away from his grandparents too since he doesn't want him at all involved with my ex-inlaws. But still doesn't understand that he doens't have a choice. I am still very close with my mother in law. We have been very close for over 10 years. He just thinks that he can just cancel them out, but to help with day care, his grandparents pick him up at 1pm on Thursday and Friday for a couple of hours until I go and pick my son up...

This has been the only fight that we have (other than me still having my married last name which I kept for my sons sake, that would change when and if I got married again.....)

So ladies, I know that I typed all over the place here, but this is where I desperately need your advice. He insists that he knows how the system works but in fact doesn't. He feels that I can just take my ex back to court "because I feel like it" and take all of his money... No, it doens't work that way. Now I need to lean on you for the best advice ever.

Every other aspect of our relationship is great.. This will just end up being the reason why we don't work. And when we bicker about this he has thrown in a number of times "This is why I don't date single moms!" God that makes me feel sooooo good!! So if we can't get passed this, then I will have to end it and pack up his things and show him the door. I have spoken to my mom about all of this and even she has told me that he needs to suck it up because he doesn't have a say in what happens between Michael and his Dad or when he sees him or his grandparents... And she is right. I just cannot get this through to him... Please help...

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Hi - I am a single Mom too. My kids come first and while I would love to restrict my ex's time I have to do what is right for the kids. It is important for them to have a relationship with the father even if it is minimal. I personally find it more important for my son then for my daughter. I think it is wonderful that the child has a loving grandmother that helps you. This BF seems pretty selfish and ignorant of the system. I say beware he will probably beome more unreasonable with his own children. Show him the door..... If you can't resolve these issues things will probably not get better.

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This man is way too demanding and overbearing. If he is like this now imagine what he will become if you got married. Show him the door. Which will not be an easy job because he sounds very spoiled and used to getting his own way. But for the safety of your son get rid of him. I can see him dictating you and your son's lives once he has full power. He is a red flag and dangerous.

3 moms found this helpful

As I read your post I got the feeling your boyfriend is controlling (is he insecure in himself?). He has no stake in the child except he is in a relationship with you. Does that mean down the line he can dictate your car, where and when you can leave, the clothes you wear... ok, I'm over the top, but you don't know....
Your boyfriend is trying to find his position in this relationship, and he going about it the wrong way. The child's father and grandparents are part of the package. If HE can't live with it, (which it sounds like he can't) then you are better off without him. And why is he wanting to cut the father and grandparents out? Competition for the "father" title? He has an issue with single moms. Does he feel he has to "be the father" because he's in a relationship with the mom? The issues of "not my father" from the child will be there at some point. No way to get around that. If handled well, it shouldn't be there often.

Yes, BF will have to have some discipline authority. He's living in the household. The degree has to be spelled out, because you don't know his decline style. Does it match yours?

Good luck. Hope the relationship works out.

2 moms found this helpful

I've been in your situation before and let me tell ya.... you have to put your foot down or get out of the relationship.

The guy I dated at the time was wanting my kids to call him daddy after just a few weeks...was insisting he was going to adopt them after we got married (I had no plans to marry him at that point, it had only been a few weeks), he also wanted me to have nothing to do with my former in-laws, who had been part of my life for over 6 years at that point. I wasn't willing to walk away from them and their relationship with me and my kids.
I also wasn't willing to allow him to rule over my kids and what they did, especially with their bio-dad. He had basically nothing to do with them anyway,. however, I felt he was still their father at that point.
I broke it off with the guy and I am so thankful I did.

My husband and I have been together for almost 12 years now, married for 9 of them. He never asked me to stop the relationship with my former in-laws and he always went there with me for dinner, holidays, ect. He also took the kids to see them when I was at work and couldn't do it. He also never tried to come between the kids and their bio-dad (not that he had anything to do with them).

Point is...my in-laws are still part of my life. They treat me as their own daughter and my husband is their son-in-law.
My husband adopted my kids a few years ago and he needed references to do so...my father-in-law was kind enough to be one of those references. It just about knocked the judge out of his seat when he read it. He had never had a grandparent ask for a step parent to be allowed to adopt their grandchildren. My father-in-law gave my husband an incredible reference and the papers were signed immediately because of it.
My ex still has nothing to do with the kids, even though we told him he is allowed to talk to them and see them if he is in town....he chooses not to.

Anyway.... the point is...there are guys out there who are willing to be (step)fathers without stepping on the toes of the bio-parent. There are those out there who are willing to be part of extended (former-in-laws) family.

If a man isn't willing to let you be the mother you need to be, and willing to let your child be part of a family they belong in, then he isn't worth you being with.
What are you willing to sacrifice for him? Are you willing to sacrifice your mother-in-law? your son?
In the end they will be the ones getting hurt if you continue to allow your boyfriend to try to control the relationships you have.

2 moms found this helpful

L., I have heard these situations before and I am not a counselor in marriages, but what I can say that if he can't accept that you have relationships with in-laws and they help out and you mustn't break and ruin relationships between your son and others, then he's not going to be an understandable person in other issues and I hate to see you get into a marriage with a man who wasn't and won't be understandable and accepting. If you two have talked and he's not willing to accept then you may have to call it quits and let him go. Your concerns about your child and his relationships and your relationships and allowing the father to spend time with his son is VERY important to the father and son, is great for you as a mother and you are great about that!! Kudos for you Mom. Your BF wanting to be a dad so soon, scares me because that is a great responsibility and usually men who want to be the "dad" in the child's life because there is no father around and they want the child to have a male role model in their lives which they were lacking. This BF of yours, does he want to be a dad so he can boss and rule over your son and when you marry him, he thinks he can tell you what you must do and what you have to do because he's the boss at that point? He is trying to do that already and he can't get you to change your mind because he can't have it it his way, let him go and let him see that relationships are very important to you and your son and if he can't accept....just be careful that if he says okay and accepts now because after marriage he may go back to his old ways and boss you and your son and "cut" relationships right after. Watch out, please! I have seen too m;any of that changes after marriages in my friends' lives regarding to other issues, it's ridiculous!! He's NOT the only man hout there...there are good men out there who are accpetable and understandable and like women who are not easily changed, but "stick to their guns". :) Let us know how it went, please.

1 mom found this helpful


I hate to rain on your parade because I have been in the same situation where a bf wanted to control the times my only son spent with his father and paternal grandparents but you are stuck with a manipulative control freak. I dont see any way around this issue as he clearly does not look to be the one willing to make compromises. If you back down and give in to his tirades you will be the one who loses the wonderful family support you already have in your son's grandparents. IT is not a situation that will go away if you get married and will only get worse. From experience I can tell you that even though it will hurt you are better off with out this jerk. You are a strong lady - you will be able to get through this but for your own piece of mind do not allow this man to "own" you or your son.

1 mom found this helpful

I am seeing so many red flags popping up reading your post. Your BF sounds controlling, wanted to take control of your son's life when he really has zero say in any of it. It will only get worse if you marry him. And it is perfectly normal that one day your son will say, "you're not my father"--and he will be right! The fact that you are living with this man and he has the gall to say to you:"this is why I don't date single moms" should be sending off your emergency alert signal. Because, hello, he is not dating you he is LIVING WITH YOU!! Your son needs to be your top priority, but how can he be when you are trying to manage a controlling live in love interest? I know I sound harsh, but you need to get out of this relationship and realize that your son deserves better than this, you deserve better than this. This guy seems to have a bit of an entitlement complex--entitled to adopt your son, entitled to discipline him, entitled to dictate custody arrangements. If you think that you can change this about him or it will get better if you marry him you are WRONG. One of the biggest universal mistakes we as women make is thinking we can change a man. The only person you can change is you. Please listen to these warning signals and take care of yourself and your son.

And please, whatever you do, do not get pregnant by this new guy!!

1 mom found this helpful

Okay first off. I've been through this before.

Your boyfriend is a control freak but he is so convincing and charming that you can't see it. Number one...he is ONLY your boyfriend. He has no say in how and what you do with YOUR child. He is trying to get you and your son isolated from everyone else. If you marry him, things will get WORSE not better.(Especially if you two have a child together!!)

Trust me, I know. I almost married the biggest control freak and manipulator out there. He was loving,kind, and accepted my children and played the best step-father role...until I found him 2 years later and three weeks before the wedding on the kitchen floor on top of my 13 year old son screaming and threatening to punch him in the face if he didn't listen to him. I had to make a choice...let our daughter grow up without a father or stay and have my son living in fear. Needless to say, my son is safe.

Your son has a father and a great support group within the family. Do you really want this guy to ruin that? I pray you don't.Please listen to your mother. I wish I had listened to mine.

The only way to get past this in this relationship is if you give in and compromise your beliefs and let him take control...please don't do that.


P.S. Your boyfriend is right about one thing, you can take your ex back to court for more support and get a better visitation order every 6 months.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi - I am a single Mom too. My kids come first and while I would love to restrict my ex's time I have to do what is right for the kids. It is important for them to have a relationship with the father even if it is minimal. I personally find it more important for my son then for my daughter. I think it is wonderful that the child has a loving grandmother that helps you. This BF seems pretty selfish and ignorant of the system. I say beware he will probably beome more unreasonable with his own children. Show him the door..... If you can't resolve these issues things will probably not get better.

1 mom found this helpful

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