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,