Kids Relationships

My Fiance’ Doesn’t Like My Son

Written by Kristie McCollum

I never thought I would tell a story like this. I didn’t see myself coming to this crossroad in my life, or in my relationship. I am almost ashamed of it and almost didn’t write about it. But, I had to. I had to share it.

I have been a single mother for most of my daughter’s life and of my son’s life. I have never had to deal with the dynamic of a significant other and my children. When my fiance’ first met my children, they seemed to hit it off perfectly. Lots of smiles and giggles all around. Over the past year, it only appreared to get better, in my eyes. My daughter is very sweet and smart for her age. My son is very quirky and full of energy. He isn’t like my daughter. I have to speak to him numerous times, he is hard-headed, as my mom likes to say. But to me, he is just being a boy. 

My fiance’ doesn’t have a lot of experience with kids outside of a cousin or two. Definitely not to the point where he is around them 24/7. So I can understand that stepping into the shoes of being a step parent can be hard and even frightening. But I thought things were going well. 

I started noticing when he was over that when my daughter would do something, he wouldn’t say anything. But when my son would do something, even making the slightest thud,  he would go running to see what he did and tell him to stop. I didn’t say anything at first. I was simply observing. After about a month or two, I just had to know. So I asked. 


“Why are you so much harder on him?”

His response. “I don’t even know.”

Hm. Really? I mean, there had to be some reason. I thought back to my childhood and as I was growing up. It was the opposite for me. My father was so much harder on me than he was on my brothers. So seeing my fiance’ act differently made me wonder. 

And maybe because my son is the youngest and is still my baby, I feel like he was doing him wrong for no reason, most of the time

One evening, after dinner, my son was in his room bouncing his little ball. It didn’t even bother me but for some reason it annoyed my fiance’. 

“Stop bouncing that ball!” In my head I am thinking, “Really? That little ball is bothering you that much!?” 

I went on to start clearing away the dishes and was secretly ready for him to just leave. He called me over to the table and told me that he needed to talk to me. He looked at me and said, 

“For some reason, I don’t think I like him. I don’t know what it is. I don’t know why I feel this way. But I am afraid that if I don’t figure it out, I won’t be a good dad to him. I need you to help me.”

I had mixed feelings after his confession. I was relieved he finally told me how he was feeling but extremely sad to hear him say that he didn’t like my child. What do you say after that?

I don’t know how in the world I was supposed to be able to help him learn to like my son. Is that something you can learn to do? How can you teach someone to like someone else? Do I try to help him to see the good in him? Should we go to family counseling? 

I honestly am still at a loss here. I don’t know what to do or how to do it.

I know my fiance’ loves me and is willing to do what he has to for this family, but I absolutely want to throw up my hands and scream,

“I surrender…” 

About the author

Kristie McCollum

Kristie is a mom of 2 beautiful kiddos, a full time student, blogger, health coach, and lover of life! She loves all things pink and sparkly, decorating her planners, and spending hours on Pinterest. She enjoys writing, reading, traveling, and spending quality time with her family. She currently resides outside of Raleigh, North Carolina.


  • I haven’t been in your situation, but I think it is a very good thing he is willing to get you to help in this and was 100% honest. I would think family counseling would be a good first step. If it does have something to do with your fiancé not being around kids much they will be able to address that in a positive way and give you tools to move forward as you becom a family. Good luck!!!!

  • The tools offered in family therapy could be really helpful to the whole family as you make the transition to you fiance becoming a step-parent. I give your fiance a lot of credit for being able to openly say what he did about your son and ask for help; that had to be difficult for him to admit to how he is feeling so that he can overcome those feelings. Is there a common interest they share that could be a place to connect for the two of them or is there a skill that you fiance possesses that he could teach your son? Little moments of bonding may help the two of them connect and communicate better so that your fiance feels more comfortable around him.

  • Oh, mama. I am not sure I am in a place to give you advice but I will relate to you. My partner & I have been riding the learning curve of blended families for 2&1/2 years now. He too, didn’t have a ton of experience with children before we met. He was a bachelor & living it up… I made it very clear upfront that my child would always come first, what parenting philosophies were most important to me & that I needed him to be willing to sit the sidelines when needed. For a long time, I would have to pull him aside & ask him to not “say this to him” or “ease up” because he didn’t understand my parenting style. I am confident that whatever advice you accept, you will in time, figure out what works best for everyone in the home. Huge kudos to him for being open & honest & to you for the initiative to seek guidance. Best of luck to your family. xoxo

      • Naturally, not always. I found it hard to manage my co-parenting relationships for a while between my son’s biological dad & my partner. I felt pulled in different directions while trying to find a middle ground between all 3 of us. Since my son’s biological dad passed away, I am more committed to allowing my partner more freedom in his way of parenting. I think we’ve gotten to his place because we have set certain expectations around common issues & we openly talk about how to handle decisions & conflict moving forward. We know we will eventually have another child & feel comfortable with our dynamic being the way it is. Some don’t feel it’s right for a “step-parent” to have an equal role but that simply wouldn’t be appropriate in our home.

  • Wow-grateful to find a post even similar to what I am going thru. I am newly married and together we have blended a family. Our children our grown. I have 5 and 3 husband had only 1 child. In the beginning (dating) he loved and worshiped my children and grandchildren. He allowed them into our lives and home and lavished them with attention and things. My children and I are very close and we talk everyday. We spend time together a couple of times a year since almost all live on the West Coast and I am on the East Coast. My husband however, early on, had words with my oldest son who no longer speaks to me. Then it was my middle son, who no longer speaks to me. He has inserted his will into our relationship to the point of walking out on me (and my daughter and two little grandchildren who were visiting) Dec 1, taking his son with him. Devastated I flew my daughter and grandchildren home then packed up my things, took my youngest handicapped son with me and drove across country to live with them. In January, he told me to come home but my children were not welcome and I could not bring my youngest son home. I was to live with him and his son (whom I have my own issues with) and the 3 of us would be a family. He indicated that most men would not be happy that a woman talk to her children every day and thus is trying to further alienate me from my children. My thoughts….I am not sure if at the tender age of your children and with the best of intention that someone can actually change the way they feel. For me, having seen the love and care in the beginning, go thru with the marriage and then have this happen leaves me feeling trapped. Be careful…marriage is such a sacred thing and definitely seek counseling. I wish I had given it more time before getting married to see these things unravel with time. I think your fiancee is honorable for speaking out. You are lucky. But make sure this is something going forward as the days unfold that gets better and not worse as in my case. I just wanted to offer you the other side of how it can be when it doesn’t work itself out. Best of luck to you and your beautiful family.

  • This is such a common occurrence so know that you are certainly not alone! It took a lot of courage for your fiance to recognize his feelings, share them with you and then ask for help. I echo the suggestions of family counseling and I would also recommend the book – The Smart Stepfamily, by Ron Deal. Also, remember that blending a family is hard work! It’s take patience, time and a whole heck of a lot of understanding and forgiveness. Things will get better in time as long as everyone keeps communicating and working on the relationships. Check out my blog on remarriage if you have time, maybe it will contain something that will help 🙂