My Boyfriend Doesn't Want to Be Around My Child Anymore

Updated on January 17, 2018
A.D. asks from New York, NY
25 answers

I have been in a relationship for about a year. A few months ago I introduced my bf to my 11yrs old son. Everything seemed to be fine for a couple of months and we all got along well. With time my son started to pay not attention to my bf and stopped acknowledging him when he was coming over. At first I didn't notice this ,but my bf did and told me he felt uncomfortable and not welcome at my house. I had a few conversations with my son about the situation and he finally told me that he didn't like my bf because he didn't want to have a step dad and was afraid to lose me and our time and space together. I reassured him that nothing would change in our relationship and I agree to see my bf only when he was not around until he would get used to him.
I have full custody of my son, he sees his father once every 2/3 weeks for a weekend. When I told my bf about my decision, explaining that I wanted my son to progressively getting use to him, he told me that he had no choice but accepting the situation and deal with it. He also told me that I was controlled by my son's wishes and was not acting like a parent. Even though I am working on changing the dynamic with my son to establish a more balanced mother/child relationship, he refuses to be in the presence of my son, now or in the future. He keeps saying that it's not his business and doesn't have anything to do with it. He tells me that he doesn't want to be controlled by my child and have his permission to see me, so he sometimes refuses to be free when I'm free because he doesn't feel like his schedule should depend on my free weekends. We are now seeing each other very little, even though we constantly text and talk all day everyday. I believe he really loves me and told me many times that he sees a future with me, but at the same times he doesn't know for how long he's going to accept the current situation. I find myself in the middle of two separate relationships, and I don't know how to navigate between the two or combine them. I am 52 and he is 50, Both of us professionals and financially stable and independent. He has two adult daughters and an 11yrs old son, whom he sees sporadically because has a bad relationship with the son's mother.
Any suggestions, thoughts? Thanks

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So What Happened?

Thank you so much for all your comments, some of them were more helpful than others. Clearly a relationship can not be summarized in a couple of paragraphs and there is much more to it. Just to clarify, he is paying a heavy child support for his son, with no hesitation, as he did for his two now adult daughters.
Thank you for taking some of your time to write your comments.

Featured Answers


answers from San Francisco on

The fact that he doesn't have much of a relationship with his own son (regardless of his relationship with his ex) speaks volumes.
"he sometimes refuses to be free when I'm free because he doesn't feel like his schedule should depend on my free weekends"
Stop wasting time with this jerk.

8 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from San Antonio on

ADD: Child support paid to the mother to house/clothe/feed the kids, while important, isn't a relationship WITH the kids.

ORIGINAL: He's a jerk. You don't need that in your life. He's not being a father to his biological child. He's being petty with his time. He's a childish 50 year old.

He "sees a future with you" - but you are not just YOU, you are a package deal with your child. You can do MUCH better than this person.

12 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

The boyfriend is fine as long as all you want is an occasional dinner or movie out.
But someone who's a fun date isn't always someone for the long haul.
If you are looking for a more permanent situation - marriage - step dad to your kid - this guy isn't him.

You and your son are a package deal.
Hold onto that thought.
Because even when he's grown and with a family of his own - you'll want to see the grandkids and know his wife.
While you might not always live together - he's a permanent part of your life.
This boyfriend seems like a diversion - most likely a waste of your time.

Boyfriend doesn't 'want you controlled by your child'.
That is NOT his call to make - and frankly it sounds like HE wants to be the one to 'control' you.
A man who can be jealous of a relationship between a mother and her 11 yr old son is not a confident man and too much work to deal with.
It's not your job to raise the boyfriend.
Bid the boyfriend 'so long - farewell'.
'Freeing' him is the best thing you can do.
You can do much better than this.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

While I don't endorse your 11 year old being rude to your boyfriend (because I don't think any child should ignore anyone who comes to the house at the invitation of the parent), I think he may be picking up on some cues. While it's normal for a child to not want a step parent, children don't get to make these decisions. So your agreeing to not see your boyfriend when your son was around until your son got used to him does show a little manipulation as well as an impossibility: how would your son get to know someone with whom he has no contact?

But, as others have said, your boyfriend's behavior is a much bigger red flag. Your boyfriend, who does not parent his son and cannot get alone with his ex even to the point of seeing the child, is now giving you parenting advice on an 11 year old. He's quite an expert for someone who cannot get along with any children and who blames both situations on the women who parent these children. And he's refusing to be in your son's presence, not only now, but in the future? What possible relationship could you have with this man? He doesn't see your son in your life at all and won't accommodate to the weekends you have free? He didn't say, "Can we get some counseling to help build a relationship with your son." He said he didn't want to have anything to do with any of it. He's run from his own son. Why would you think you can navigate a cessation of tensions with another child?

Stop talking to this man every day. Stop talking at all. You have nothing in common, at least not in the important areas of life. He doesn't value you, your priorities, your child, etc., and he's not willing to budge at all. Maybe he likes to go out, maybe he likes to have sex. But he doesn't want a life with you. Yes, he's independent - so independent that he has no one in his life on a regular basis to whom he is willing to adapt. Break up.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Your BF may love you but he doesn’t love you enough to make this relationship work. You must know you need to end this for your son’s sake.

Your BF thinks your son controls you. The irony is he is wants to control you by telling you he doesn’t know how long he will accept the current situation. Honestly, I am floored that a grown man is asking you to pick him above your 11 yo child. I know this will sound harsh but I’m also SMH that you actually feel put in the middle. There really is no middle. You and your son are a package deal. Move on and don’t waste more time with this guy.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

My thought is that your boyfriend is a jerk.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

i suggest you dump him and find a man willing to love you AND your son

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Open your eyes WIDE open and look at ALL the red flags here.

Your son is NOT controlling you. Your son should be your priority, not your love life.

The biggest flag for me is that this bf has no relationship with his children and has a bad relationship with the ex. RUN RUN FAR AWAY

Get out before it does more damage to your relationship with you son.

When something is right, it will happen. Your son can see through him because he is not the one infatuated with him. Thank your son.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Oh. My. God. Get rid of this guy, now. He is not worth your time. He's incredibly immature, especially for someone with kids of his own.

Heed everyone's warnings and move on. This will only get worse.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

You are parenting, hes being a big baby. Your first responsibility is to your son and not to a grown man acting like a child. Your son doesn't like the boyfriend and I don't expect that to change. You aren't being controlled by your son, your bf is trying to control you. This dynamic is a big change for your son and his feeling MUST be heard.

He doesn't have a relationship with his son because of the Mom. There is something wrong with him not you.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Your boyfriend sounds emotionally younger then your 11 year old son.

It sounds like your boyfriend is trying to manipulate you, not love you. He is forcing you to redefine your relationship with your son by criticizing your parenting (saying you are not acting like a parent from someone who clearly cannot parent his own children), emotional blackmail (you either see me or your son), and his unrealistic demands ( he won’t see you unless it is on his terms and his way).
Each time you react to these by blaming your son (telling your son he needs to change his behavior instead of your bf), adjusting your schedule to meet your bf’s unrealistic demands, and second guessing your parenting you are letting your bf manipulate you and redefine your relationship with your son so that it benefits the bf not your son.

It’s as if bf is saying “jump” and you respond to whatever he wants by making adjustments to you and your son.

You should not have to jump thru hoops to prove your love to him. Frankly bf sounds exhausting. You need support and understanding from a future partner, not more demands. Move on.

If YOU feel there is an issue with your parenting or your son, then get an objective professional opinion.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

My take is that your child has legitimate concerns and feelings. You boyfriend, on the other hand, seems childish and immature. You say you are rarely seeing him now. I would just break it off entirely at this point. Your child will grow up and mature, but I'm not sure your boyfriend will. This sounds like the making of a long-term awkward, difficult, and chilly relationship between your son and boyfriend. At age 11, my son would come first, no exceptions.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I remember the mom that Military Mom mentions below. It was a real mess for the poor mom, and poor son. The guy was not accepting of her son and the boy acted out. I just hope it all worked out in the end. She didn't see it coming unfortunately.

You can see the red flags - so good for you. One definitely is that he has a bad relationship with his own son's mom and only sees his child sporadically. The other is that he is kind of saying he won't do this for long. That sounds like an ultimatum to me.

To me - this guy is showing you who he is. Believe him the first time.

I think you can find someone who is a better fit for you and your son. Thing is, you won't meet him if you're with this guy. I'd give the same advice to my friend or a sister. You and your son sound very reasonable. You deserve someone who accepts you both as you are and is willing to wait till everyone is comfortable.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

So wait . . . this guy has an 11 yr old son as well? My guess is that the "bad relationship" with the mother has a whole lot to do with this guys attitude about kids. I'm guessing he doesn't like how she is "parenting" his son, and has basically washed his hands of the situation - much like he is doing with your son. Yuck!

Run. Run like hell. There was a mom on here awhile back. First she started talking about how she had met this guy. Then there were problems between the son and the boyfriend. Then the boyfriend started throwing out ultimatums to the mom. The mom decided to "side" with the boyfriend and kept him around. Last we heard, the kid was kicked out of school (again), in trouble with the law (again) and had most recently broken into her home and stole items because he was in trouble with drugs. She finally kicked out the boyfriend, but it was too late . . . she put the boyfriend first and her kid second and her kid wasn't going to forget that. So many times on this site, we hear moms complain on how her teen is acting and then it comes out that the kid was thrown under the bus for a man.

No real man would EVER force you to choose between him and your child. Never. Never ever never. Oh and as for his comment that YOU are not acting like a parent? Holy sh*t! I think I would have throat punched him and walked away. Here is a man who has nearly NO contact with his own son and is lecturing YOU on how to be a good parent?

P.S. - huge red flag for me would have been went he said that he barely saw his not even teenaged son because of the relationship with the mom . . . I'd also be curious to hear how his relationship is with his daughters.

Good luck to your son . . . my guess is like the mom I described, you will pick the man over your kid, continue to make excuses for the guy and then wonder in 3 years why everything went to hell.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

I'm sorry. I know this is probably not what you want to hear, but your boyfriend is the one being rigid, controlling, and unreasonable. Mature adults understand that it takes time for children to get used to a parent's new partner, that it is threatening for the child and takes time, patience, and a long history of positive shared experiences before the child can become receptive to the idea of someone new in his parent's life.

It's up to the child's parent to put the child's needs first (not saying allowing the child to control---just putting his need for emotional security and stability and time with you first). It is up to the new partner to be mature, understanding, and patient with this process and allow the child to become acquainted over time.

Your boyfriend says he loves you and sees a future with you, but he MUST realize that any future with you INCLUDES your son, with your child's needs coming first. Maybe your boyfriend just can't wrap his head around this quite yet.

IF he is willing to work on expanding his concept of the relationship with you to include your son, it would be helpful to do so with a trained marriage and family therapist or psychologist specializing in this area. This means that you and your boyfriend would attend sessions together to help navigate how your relationship will need to grow to include your son. It may also include your child at a later time, if the first part of the therapy progresses well.

Right now, your boyfriend just wants it to be you and him. Well, that's not at all realistic. If he can't or won't commit to recognizing this relationship includes both you and your son and to working on being a positive, kind adult who will also share in your son's life, then you will have to ask yourself why you would ever settle for a such a man and why you'd subject your son to such treatment.

Again, not trying to be harsh, but it would be sad to waste your time and hurt your son in the process if this guy (who's also a parent!) can't see that your little boy's needs must come first here.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

Your son is not controlling you. You are meeting your son's needs. Your son SHOULD come first. Your boyfriend needs to understand that the two of you (you and your son) are a package deal. He should be doing everything in his power to get to know your son and bond with him, not stay as far away as possible.

You said, "he sees a future with me, but at the same times he doesn't know for how long he's going to accept the current situation." What does he mean by "the current situation?" You are always going to have a son. Is he hoping you will somehow stop having a son? That's very alarming!

I think you need to make it clear to your boyfriend that your son comes first and that he can either take it or leave it. You are too good for this, and your son deserves so much better. If your boyfirend can't accept that, you need to tell him to hit the road. There are better men out there, and you deserve to find one of them.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

His first relationship: he doesn't like mom's behavior so the kid pays the price.

His current relationship: he doesn't like kid's behavior so the mom pays the price until he gets his way. And eventually the kid would suffer.

Sounds like a real winner, to me.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

this is a serious no brainer. seriously.

a 50 year old man is sulking and guilt-tripping you because your 11 year old is struggling? a man who already has proven willing to screw up his relationship with his OWN son because he's miffed at his ex?

put your son first.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

seems like your son is manipulating you. And it's working.

it also seems like the boyfriend is a jerk...I'd ditch the boyfriend because he doesn't sound mature enough to handle being a step.

You need to tell your son that YOU deserve someone to ADD to your happiness and be with. Your son needs to realize that ONE DAY he WILL have a step and he can't be a jerk about it. As one day he will be leaving to be on his own and you will want a companion. Is he going to give up HIS life to stay with you? No.

Your son might be picking up on something don't see because you're too close to the situation. However, I feel like BOTH are manipulating you.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Barbara on

Come on momma, gotta let the boyfriend go. Your son must be your priority.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

um, honestly... i find your boyfriend is in the wrong here.. your son needs you more then your boyfriend does. i think you should try to raise your son in a more happy environment over having your boyfriend around. because your boyfriend doesn't seem to see how this could affect your son. and if he has a bad relationship with his sons mother then theirs probably a reason plus there is the fact he is losing his son to her so he wasn't much of a good parent there. and a good parent-ship is probably the most important relationship in a persons life. neglecting your sons feelings is never a good idea.... BAD MEN AND CHILDREN DO NOT MESH i got into a full on fight with my last step-father who my mom thought was alright until then. i was neglected and so was my siblings and i dont think you want your son to feel neglected or anything... this man is not good

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

Your boyfriend is immature and a jerk. He shouldn't be blaming an 11 year old! He should be understanding of your son's feelings because they are perfectly valid...and it sounds like you son is actually right here. If you stayed with this man it would not be good for your son. Your priority should go to your son. If your boyfriend were good stepdad material he would be working on bonding with your son, doing cool things with him, and he'd be loving and understanding towards him. He would be understanding about why your son feels this way (which by the way is very normal). He'd be happy to see him, full of smiles, and would make a huge effort. He would engage your son in what your son likes to do...such as playing his favorite video game with him. He would reassure your son that he would never take his mom away from him and that he is there for him. He would be supportive and not critical of your parenting. Instead he is actually refusing to be in the presence of your son!!! That's insane. He is 50 years old. I would dump the boyfriend. PS - Do talk to your son about how you will have a new boyfriend or husband one day and that he will have to get used to it. That this boyfriend was not the right guy, but that you do want to spend your life with a partner/husband and you will get remarried one day and that he needs to accepting of that. Tell him that he will grow up and have his own family one day and he will understand.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

He sounds like an a$$hole and you should dump him.
Your son is your SON and he gets to have stability in his house. You slowly introduced this man to him (which is great) and your son has not taken an instant liking to the boyfriend. What a surprise.
Your boyfriend needs to stop acting like a petulant baby and deal with it. Wait....I just re-read the last line. He has an 11 year old that he rarely sees because he doesn't get along with the mother? What kind of baloney is that?
This man-child needs to figure out how to be a MAN and a FATHER. He is not worth your time. Get out now.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I'm so confused by this whole thing. You don't make sense, I don't know what it means when you said you've been seeing this guy for a year but only recently introduced your son to him.

Where was your son before? If you had him at a babysitter's house and left him to go out with your boyfriend then what's changed?

You stopped spending as much time with your boyfriend to appease your child. Who told you he wants you to be single.

So now you've putting off your boyfriend to stay home with your child?

I can see how this has messed up your relationship. But you're the one who's messing it up in my opinion.

You had a balance and now your child is in control of you. Yes, he's a child and should be your first priority but what you're teaching him is that he's in control of you, of your relationships, and of your time.

That isn't something your child should be in control of. You need to talk to your child and tell him that he's important and that his wishes aren't going to happen. That you are an adult and have a boyfriend. He doesn't have to spend time with him if he doesn't want to but you shouldn't cut your boyfriend out of your life like this and expect him to feel cherished and cared about.

Your child will adjust. He was doing fine for a year, right? And now you're bowing to his wishes and he's learning that all he has to do is say "I don't like this, I want you to stop" and you'll give up your life and sit at home with him while he's in his room playing video games or watching TV or reading a book. But he'll be in control of you and happy.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

DUMP him!!!!! Your child must come first no matter what!!!! My husband knew when we started dating my son was 1st above anything not matter what. And he's always put the kids first. If he doesn't understand that it's not worth the relationship your son will always be your son. If they don't connect that's not your son's fault or responsibility.

1 mom found this helpful
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