I’ve been living with my partner for 10 months and he has a son that stays 2.5 days per week and for longer during the holidays. Me and my partner have had and still have very different expectations for when his son visits.
He expects a 50/50 parenting style where I am with them for the whole time and gets upset if I want to do my own thing for a couple or have half a day to myself. Ideally I want a whole day to myself and to feel also during some part of all our time I can go to my room for a couple of hours and do my own thing. My partner says he feels lonely.
I’ve explained that I like to do trips, I like to hang out for a few hours and this is enough for me. He says they feel rejected and he feels like a single parent and we should be parenting together.
We are not married. I’m his girlfriend. I feel like there is pressure and guilt every week and I start to get overwhelmed before his son even arrives.
I accept that my partner is emotionally unavailable to me when his son is here and that we don’t spend time together til the son is asleep and that also his son does need quality time with his dad.
We have been going in circles where I think he understands and then he acts hurt when I want to do my own thing. I want to come and go and build a relationship with his son with what feels right. Often I feel like my partner tries to make me fill the hole left by his ex wife when she left and he is scared of being a single parent. I feel my role is to be a supportive girlfriend and a fun person for his son. I feel suffocated and want things to be different for 2023.
Hi rayslounge, I'm new to this forum and just seen your post which really resonated with me! How are things going now? Are the boundaries working? I'm in a very similar situation but further down the line: we're married now but only been together 1.5yrs. His autistic son is 12 and with us every other weekend (I have no children and always been very independent). Especially since we've been married he's been v keen for us to be this happy little nuclear family and thinks as I'm now a stepmum I should behave in a certain way, doing everything together etc. His son is v sweet but I def don't feel like his 'mum'. It seems that he wants me to do all the caring mum stuff, but only if it fits with their well-established routines and likes. Once or twice I have done my own thing when his son is visiting, but I know my husband wouldn't like it if I done it too often. This is v difficult for me as I like my own space and feel claustrophobic with other people's expectations on how I should fit into some 'norm'. On a positive note, I feel that - with honest and caring conversations - we will eventually relax more into our own dynamic and find our groove. So hang in there! :-)
This sounds really tough! we had a bit of this when I first moved in with my partner (I’m a very indépendant person) But my partner was very keen that we bonded together as a group. I think it probably comes from a good place, in that he wants to share the experience with you and for you to be a part of things but it’s not fair of him to expect these things from you (especially very early on).
Also a lot hsrder if his son is autistic! I think you definitely need to lay out some boundaries. I don’t think a day to yourself is unreasonable. Let me know how it goes!