Post # 31
Thank you for your insight, you make good points and I agree that my resentment may be clouding my judgment. To be clear, I would never outright ask him to abandon this kid; I’m not really sure why everyone on here keeps jumping to that assumption.
I’m clearly not doing a good job at explaining the many, many feelings involved. My SO is frustrated and vents constantly about his sister’s lack of responsibility, and frustrates me that she is causing him so much heartache. He wants his own kids, and he has said before that he’s frustrated that he can’t just be an uncle to his nephew, and that its not fair to him for his sister to shun her parenting duties and put all this on him. This, in turn, makes me resent his sister for holding him back from the life that, as HE said, he wants, and it makes me worry that things will never change. As we’ve determined, as cold and selfish as it may sound, I simply don’t want this life for myself. I don’t want to deal with his sister coming by everyday trying to leech off of me and force me to parent her child as she pleases. I just want her to take responsibility for her own child, so that we can all have a healthy family dynamic. I don’t know how to make that more clear.
Raw feelings are ugly and difficult to navigate as it is; as I work through this, I appreciate the kindness and understanding from the few here who have offered it.
Post # 32
This is not the relationship for you. My Dh has a neice that everyone in their family takes care of. She is autistic and his sister is not capable of stepping up.
His commitment to his family and this little girl is what made me fall in love with him. It means that we have to go out of our way and yes I’m expected to step up and help all the time and I happily do it because otherwise who would be there for her?
To top it off we’re CFBC and don’t have any plans for children so this situation was not what I envisioned however it’s what most compassionate people would do. If it’s not what you want then I think you should move on because you’re asking him to choose you or his nephew and that’s not fair.
Post # 33
All very good points, thank you for sharing this perspective.
Post # 34
Also I understand your frustration with his sister but that may never change. Unfortunately he can’t force her to be a better person. Good luck.
Post # 35
Dang do we have the same sister? Except mine is 10 years younger than yours and has gone through so many men and made the worst decisions. She thinks they are good choices and no matter how much we tell her she’s doing wrong she ignores it. People like that will never change.
OP I helped raise my niece the first 5 years of her life as well as my parents and my niece’s paternal grandmother because both parents are irresponsible AF. Sister always looking for a man and not having a job at all until a year ago and my niece is 6. Lived off government assistance and all and off our family for free. It WAS enabling her and it disgusts me to this day because she’s pregnant again by a guy she doesn’t even really know. Ultimately we stopped supporting her and she moved to a different state otherwise I don’t think everyone would have stopped enabling her. I know what it’s like to love a niece/nephew and not want their life to be ruined by the parents so it’s hard to not be that stable figure for them. I don’t have kids yet but I don’t think it would effect parenting your own children because you can only give so much and do so much when you have to take care of your own family first. But agreeing with PPs that if you don’t like the dynamic it might not be the relationship for you.
Post # 36
I didn’t get the impression you wanted your SO to “completely abandon” the child – but it’s clear you do want him to play a smaller role in the child’s life, and what we’re saying is that while you’re entitled to feel that way, it’s not right to ask him to do that.
I agree with pp’s suggestion to take a step back and really do some introspection about about why the idea of this child being “around all the time” bothers you so much. I could understand it more if you were CFBC, but you say you want your own children one day. Is your issue that having this child around is not the image you had pictured for married life, with you, your husband, and your biological children? Or is it more about not wanting to be with a man who gives so much of himself to his extended family? I’m not judging you for any of these possible reasons, just thinking that if you can pinpoint the real underlying reason why this is such a problem for you, it would give you more clarity on what to do going forward.
Post # 37
Bee you HAVE a family. This child is your family of you stay with this man. Families arent some magical biological thing—they are the people we care for and who need us. Your so is this child’s father figure and might st some point be his own parental figure. This child needs parents. If you stay with this man, you will have this child in your life and it will be your family with whom you share responsibility—- your “own” family. Should you have biological children you will be no less responsible for this child.
Your so sounds like a good man who does the right thing. It’s ok for you to not want to be involved with a man who has a child that is his responsibility, but that is what you have. If you don’t want that, you need to leave him, not expect him not to care for a dependent child.
But I urge you to recognize that family had a broader definition than you may have considered and this child is already part of yours.
Post # 38
It will be a lot easier for you to find another boyfriend than for this kid to find another parent-figure. Do everyone (including yourself) a favor and bow out. Otherwise you’re going to snatch away the only stable person who might make a difference in his life. You’re allowed to not want your life or relationship to involve someone else’s kid, but the way to make that happen is to choose a partner who isn’t involved with someone else’s kid.
Post # 39
I have a female colleague who, along with her parents, care for her sister’s two children (from two different fathers) because she’s irresponsible and I think does drugs and is a complete mess.
They went so far as to go to court to fight for the children’s custody with the sister/mum. I think they won. They all live at my colleague’s parents house. She help took care of them of course. She was engaged from what I heard, at the time this all went down, it was when the children were still babies. The guy broke off the engagement, I speculate have a lot to do with this. She’s now 45, the children are mid teens. She’s still single. It’s really sad but sometimes you get put into shitty situations like this and you can’t simply back off and let the other person step up because they won’t, otherwise you wouldn’t have had to step in in the first place! And for the interest of the children, you just have to do it.
I do wonder if her then fiancé loved her enough and was tolerant of the situation, if things would’ve turned out different for her. Whether she would’ve been happier and could’ve had her own family. But of course, this would’ve meant that the guy would’ve had to help take on the responsibilities for these children too and that’s not for everyone.
Post # 40
Thanks, I did calm down and think about it a bit more, and I think the bottom line is that I’m feeling resentful about having this kid around all the time not because of any ill feelings towards the child himself, but because I’m resentful towards his mother for pushing the parenting responsibilities onto my SO. When her son is constantly around and when my SO talks about how frustrated he is that his sister won’t parent her own kid, it makes me feel more and more anger towards his sister. She is using her family members and hurting them, and I’m so angry about it because I honestly can’t understand how anybody can be ok with treating their family like this. Obviously, as anyone can tell, my SO and his family have hearts of gold, and I HATE to see them being taken advantage of like this. They don’t deserve it and it truly hurts to witness this behavior.
So, and I know that this is misdirected, but for his nephew to be around him all the time, I can’t help but to look at him as a symbol of his mother’s refusal to take responsibility, which makes me upset. And just for the record, I know that its not fair at all for me to feel any sort of resentment towards her child, nor would I ever tell the kid or the sister or even my SO. These are very deep, personal feelings that I understand are being misdirected, and would never share with my SO. It just helps sometimes to use the internet to work through them anonymously lol.
Post # 41
I get it bee, that honestly makes a lot of sense. No, those aren’t the most “noble” feelings, but you’re only human. Your SO’s sister has put him in a terrible position, and now it’s affecting your life and your future too…it’s natural to feel resentful about that. I guess the question then becomes, is this resentment something you can swallow? If you think you can let go of the anger toward your SO’s sister and accept that this child may well be a part of your core family unit for the rest of his childhood, then I’d stay with your boyfriend (assuming everything else about the relationship is great of course). If you can’t see that happening then you should walk away. There’s no right or wrong answer bee.
Post # 42
I do understand your frustration with raising someone else’s child, really I do, but why are you so upset with having this child around? He doesn’t seem particularly ill behaved, and I’m assuming you don’t hate children because you stated that you want your own. I mean I get being aggravated about this lady not owning up to her responsibilities, but aside from that, why don’t you want the child around? Is he taking too much of your SO’s attention from you? All judgement of you aside, I’m genuinely curious.
If your SO said he wanted to adopt his nephew, would you be resentful? I think you need to address *why* you feel the way you do, because I kinda fell in love with your SO as a human being when you described what he’s doing for that child. It is seriously one of the most selfless things I can imagine someone doing.
Maybe confront why you’re having these negative feelings towards your SO and the nephew, when it seems like the only one deserving of ill feelings here is the POS “mother”…please disassociate your resentment of her from this innocent little boy. He’s just a child and didn’t choose to be in this situation.
Youre not a bad or evil person for how you feel, but if your SO decided to adopt his nephew, or even just continue with things as they are, this isn’t the man for you. You two clearly have different values and priorities about family and children who are not your own, and that is okay. But don’t take away his nephews only shot at a decent life just because you don’t like having him around.
Post # 43
I’m 100% with KittyYogi here. The SIL and you being with someone who is caring for a child are separate issues. If you’re afraid your SO can only care for one child at a time, that sounds like it would conflict with your desire to have children (plural) anyway. Right?
I doubt that is something you need to worry about affecting your ability to have children with your SO. As for you having a family of your own, just because his nephew might live with you someday does not affect your ability to have children and build a family unit. If it did, no stepmom would ever be able to have children and build a family within her home. Family is truly who and what you make it to be. As someone who is doing it, I’ll say it’s not always easy, but that has nothing to do with the kids. They’re honestly the easiest part of my blended family life.
If marrying someone who already “has” kids is a deal breaker for you, this is probably not the relationship for you. I would just suggest taking the time to step back and think about it logically, since millions of blended families navigate more complicated situations every day and still manage to have successful marriages, children, and families.
Post # 44
Ah man, I thought this post was going to be a swoon post about how cute your Boyfriend or Best Friend is when he acts parent-y to nieces/nephews.
Post # 45
1. SO is de facto parent to his sister’s child. But without any legal power in the situation.
2. SO complains to you about his sister all the time.
3. SO is caretaker of his grandmother.
So, if you marry him, he comes with a ready-made child, a dependent and increasingly needy grandmother (I predict she’ll live with him till she dies), and a bunch of complaining from SO. It’s not the child that would cause me to re-think the relationship; it’s the wacko sister with legal power, the endless complaining from SO, the care-taking unto death of his grandmother, and his need to take on solving all of his extended family’s needs.
He’s already got a family. I don’t see how he has room to make one with you.