I Feel My Fiancé Is to Hard on My 6 Year Old Son

Updated on August 25, 2015
M.K. asks from Herndon, VA
27 answers

My son just barely turned 6. I have been with my fiancé for about 2 1/5 years. It seems like he constantly corrects my son for everything. Talking, eating, playing. It seems like my son can't catch a break or be a kid. He is only 6.
Fiancé says that' he has to learn to be a kid before he can enjoy being a kid. I don't agree with this. When I try to talk to him about my feelings he gets upset. He says things like " you don't even pay attention to what's really going on half the time" or " you only hear what you want to hear". I can't even get a word out of my mouth that is acknowledged. It is only how wrong I am. How many times can you correct a 6 year old in an hour? It is like he is walking on eggshells. Isn't he supposed to be able to grow and have a personality? I am tired of this. I know my son is not perfect but what 6 year old is. He's a good kid, loving and sweet. I don't know any other kid that gets treated like this. He says it is for his own good but I feel it in my heart. It is wrong and my son is getting beaten down every day mentally. There is no balance. The tone of voice he uses ialways has a tinge of irritation in it. How can he claim to love my son but treat him this way, and blame it on me whenever I say something to him. If he loved us both wouldn't he want to talk to me about my feelings and try to fix this is there really was only good intentions behind it? I am stressed out and I can't take it anymore. We just had another argument and all he did was twist it around again instead of addressing the issue. There have been at least 8 other people who have made comments about how harsh he seems to be on my son. I tell him other people have noticed it to and he somehow changes it into "I'm making it up" or "over reacting" . These are people I have said nothing to about any of this, that have brought this up to me out of concern. I'm done. I will leave him if he can't level with me. It sucks because we have a child together and we love each other but I won't let my son be treated in a way I feel is harming him. I don't know what else to do or say. He must not really care if he can't even acknowledge this.

What can I do next?

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Featured Answers



answers from Washington DC on

And you stayed with this Jack@$$ long enough to have another child!!?? He should have been history the first week! It will only get worse.

12 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

What could you possibly love about a grown man that bullies a 6 yo? I'm glad you recognize that this is so wrong. I hope you now do something about it...like leaving him.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Run...as others have said this will only get worse after marriage. I would not bother with therapy either. If you stay and marry this guy, what will happen when you have kids with him?

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Washington DC on

no brainer, hon.
protect your child.
he's only 6.
do not let this go on.
:( khairete

20 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I'm sorry, but I couldn't figure out how to read the entire post without screaming.

Dump this guy. He's already making your life hell and being emotionally manipulative and abusive. You would do better with just you and your son. You have to consider the long term damage this man will do to all of you.

He's never going to be the person you want him to be. You have a baby with him and can't change that, but you don't have to subject yourself and the kids to a narcissistic, abusive person. It's not going to get better. Get yourself out of this relationship and your children will be FAR happier.

I mean, if he's like this now, what will it be like when your baby is a toddler? Have you seen a grown man in a power struggle with a toddler? I have and it's ugly--- just go.

17 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Your poor son, not only is he being severely mistreated and abused but his own mother actually loves the man who does this to him.
How do think that makes him feel?
Shame on you for allowing this and putting an innocent little boy in so much pain.

15 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Stop putting this man ahead of your son. He is not helping to grow your son into a man. Instead he's making himself feels better by making you and your son feel small and stupid. He isn't going to change. You owe your son better than that.

13 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

It's only going to get worse. Your son deserves a loving, respectful father figure, especially when puberty and the teen years hit.
I'm sorry for you but at least you're not married yet.
And hopefully you won't have another child with the next boyfriend.
Too many baby daddies is hard on everyone, ESPECIALLY the children who didn't ask for any of it :-(

13 moms found this helpful


answers from Salinas on

How could you love this man? How could you allow him to hurt your child this way? I feel kind of sick reading this as it's all too common and never ends well for the kid.

You're all he's got, grow up and protect him. Don't make him pay for your crappy choices.

12 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Please don't marry this man. It will only get worse after you get married. If he is this critical NOW, what's he going to be like when the boy is a teen? He will ruin your relationship with your son. He will ruin your son.

You need to go to counseling.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Damn, you have a kid with him. I was about to tell you to leave him. This is VERY harmful to your son.

You need to get really, really tough, right now, and tell your fiance this is unacceptable, and he needs to see a counselor and/or go to parenting classes with you right away, or you will leave him. And you need to be ready to do follow through and leave him. You cannot keep allowing your son to be harmed by this man.

He is WRONG, wrong, wrong, in his approach to your son. If this keeps up, your son is going to have a lot of problems in later life. If you stay and keep watching this brute mistreat your son, you will learn to hate him anyway, if you don't already, so you might as well take care of this now.

Please protect your son. He is being damaged.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

So...your "man" is more important than your child?
Important enough to you that you can sentence your child to s lifetime of this type of treatment?
Here's something to think about when choosing a mate: it's all in the picking. Choose WELL; child together or not.
Poor kid.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Appleton on

This man is an emotional abuser. Make a plan and leave him.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Sounds like this engagement should be over and done with asap.
This man is not and will not be a good father for your son.
Your son is unhappy and his entire childhood will be a nightmare if you live with/marry this guy - so break it off with this boyfriend and move on.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

If you know in your heart that this is wrong (your words) and that your son is being "beaten down every day mentally," why would you continue to allow this?

If he won't seek family therapy and learn how to parent without being emotionally abusive, then you have to ask yourself why on earth you'd continue to stay and expose your son, and eventually, your baby to this kind of treatment.

Find a family therapist and make an appointment. If he refuses to go, that tells you that his priorities are not with you and the kids.

You have to learn to be strong and protect your child. It IS affecting him.

Get some outside, objective, professional help and show your son that HE is YOUR priority.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Beaumont on

I realize that this must be very hard on you but if I were you, this would end immediately. If you end up with this man, your life will be hell.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Who is more important to you... your son, or your fiance'? Please put the well-being of your son at the front.

You already see this treatment. It may only get worse, not better... and then, will he turn it on you, also?

PLEASE get some counseling or just totally kick him to the curb!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I think this is twofold. 1. that he really could be seeing things you do not and 2. if he's not had experience with kids, he may have unrealistic expectations. If you've been together for a couple of years, how long have you been in the same house? Why is he disciplining your son vs you?

My mother married a man who came down like a brick on my sister and I and she didn't stand up for us. It made us very resentful. Kids need to have manners, but there are a lot of ways to teach a child manners. I bet there is room for improvement with your son, but if HOW your fiance is doing it is wrong, then you have a big problem. Please do not marry him unless you can sort this out. You and your fiance should go to premarital counseling and take a parenting class. If he refuses, then call off the wedding. It is hard enough to be a blended family without being at odds over little things regarding behavior.

If other people are bringing it up out of concern for your son, please listen.

You also said you have another child - did this behavior start after the other child was born? Is he harder on his soon to be stepson and favor his other child? It is worth considering. For both children's sakes, please take a parenting class with him.

If he loves you, he won't be dismissive of your concerns about his treatment of your son. He'd want to fix it. If he doesn't, then I would consider this a red flag for any large issue you'll encounter in your marriage. Don't marry him just because you have a child together. Marry him only if it is the right thing to do for everyone. Right now, that's not it.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

You've answered your own questions. You need to not marry him. Yes it sucks that you'll upend your son's world again, yes it sucks that the baby you have with him will also grow up without married parents. But you know, you can't change that. What's done is done. What you can do is salvage your children's childhood.

Let me tell you what it's like to stay in your relationship, because I've been there. I married my husband when my oldest son and his daughter were both 5. We met when our kids were 2 and took our time moving forward, so it was the most careful decision I've ever made, and it was horribly wrong. Shortly after we moved into a house together, a few months before our wedding, I got pregnant. Unfortunately, I was starting to catch a glimpse of how he would treat my son and had serious doubts about tying the knot, but my fear of being a single mom again won out and I had faith that things would get better between my husband and son.

They didn't. By age 10, my son was openly asking me if I could divorce him (we were too entangled with finances and 4 kids total at that point). I didn't want my younger sons to also grow up with a single mom, and didn't want to wreak havoc on my step-daughter, so I sacrificed my son's happiness for that of his siblings. Luckily for both of us, he's strong and resilient. But at the end of the day, it was all for nothing as my husband is moving out next month anyway. My son is now 17 and the end result is still the same - my younger boys will have divorced parents, my SD will see yet another marriage fall apart, I'll be in a financial mess, and my son has suffered for 12 years for nothing. It would have been better to cut my losses years ago and spare him from a childhood where he felt unwelcome in his own home. My husband's hostility towards him has pushed him to spend more time at friends' houses than at ours, and his friends won't come here because they don't feel welcome around my husband.

Be a better mom than I was - I failed my boy. Don't fail yours, it's not worth it. He gets one childhood - it should be filled with joy and wonder and peace, not criticism and tension and hostility.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

First and foremost: Men/dads are always tougher on sons than women/moms. It's a normal dynamic.

HOWEVER, your fiancee's behavior and treatment is beyond the level of "normal dad" toughness. He is using this issue to control you, outsiders have noticed it, and it has become an issue of "crazymaking" behavior, where he insists that you're losing your mind and making things up when you express concern. This is not at all normal or healthy.

As someone who has experienced similar treatment in a past relationship, I would venture a guess that this is not the only red flag. Perhaps you're not aware of what a healthy marriage relationship ought to look like, but one partner playing the high and might parental role and controlling the other is NOT it. Please, please reconsider marrying this man. Don't make the mistake of saying "yes" at the altar and wishing you'd said "no."


4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Is your priority your fiancé or your son? If it's the latter, and I truly hope for your son's sake that it is, you need to leave this man. I understand that you have a child with him and you may love him but your children's self-esteem is being shaped as we speak and their future happiness depends on you. You need to protect their childhood.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I've got news for you - he does NOT love you. he does NOT love your son. He is a worthless piece of S***. These are the FACTS. A real man does not treat ANYONE this way, least of all someone he loves. I know of what I speak, as my ex husband was a verbally abusive, word-twisting, blame-shifting, prime-time A-hole.

SO - why are you marrying this man?

Your first responsibility is your son's well being. Do YOU think this man is a good candidate for stepfather? It doesn't sound like you do. So again, WHY?

PLEASE don't ignore these red flags and marry this man - it is one thing for a "father" figure to be harder on a kid than a mom. It is a whole other thing to be dismissive, belittling, insulting, and accusatory to you when you try to bring up real concerns. Accusing you of making things up? Next he'll start calling you crazy. And then you'll start to realize, he's right, and HE is the one that's made you that way.

Take a good hard look at what your child will turn into being raised by this man. Be honest with yourself. Do you see him reaching adulthood happy, healthy, and a productive member of society? Do you think he will grow to respect women? I think if you're honest you'll realize, he'll be a train wreck. That is what it took for me to leave. Either that future is ok with you, or it's not. Decide now - BEFORE you are tied to this man legally.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

M., Please, please, please, do not marry this man!
You will regret it! Your son is being EMOTIONALLY ABUSED by your fiance and does not deserve it.
I know it will be hard since you have a child together, but how can you love a man who ABUSES your son? PLEASE get your son away from this man asap! Please let us know how you're doing.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

If he was beating your son, would you stay? Because he IS emotionally beating your son and you are allowing it to happen.

Don't know what to say and do? You say "stop" and you leave.

No he doesn't care. Now, what are you going to do?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Do not allow this man to continue abusing your son. Leave him. Now.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Tell him to lay off of your son.
Let him know that you are his mom, he is the fiance & will only be a step
parent. Tell him to leave the parenting up to you as he is your son. Lay
down the ground rules now before you get married. Also, because you've
been together for 2 1/2 years. You should have laid down the ground rules
long ago when you first got together but you need to do it now!!
He doesn't need to correct your son. You do it when you see fit. You decide
when he's doing something wrong. Of course, you want to set rules &
boundaries for your child. Just do it with love & reason.
When you tell him not to correct your son & he says you're over reacting, tell
him "No I am not and I'm his parent. I'll correct him. You need to leave his
parenting to me.".
Next time he speaks down to your son or in a nasty tone say "Don't talk to
him like that". The best thing time to say something is the minute he does it.
The very next time.". And if he says "how come you never said this before"
you say "I should have so again please stop. It's not your place. Leave the
parenting of my son to me".
What I'm gathering is that you had a child with him. That will be more difficult
to put the law down but you will still need to step in for your child you had
together even though he is that father of that child.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I wish someone other than my husband or myself would try to parent my kids.

He's your fiancé why?

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