Blending families….am I wrong to be upset?

posted 2 years ago in Emotional
Post # 16
Member
473 posts
Helper bee

Major red flag! I will add that it’s extremely unfair to his own son because this kind of treatment can only create resentment among the kids. 

Post # 17
Member
1096 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

View original reply
curiouscat2017 :  if that was the case though he should still have discussed it with her first and mentioned his worries and then given it to the son in private when the other boys were not around.

 

The fact he didn’t do it means he is 1. Totally clueless and this will likely happen again or 2. Deliberately excluding which I would really hope he would not do. Either way you need to talk, finances and blended families are tricky situations. A lot of people struggle to truly view all kids as their own, obviously OP can do this, but no guarantee he can. I would really suggest you guys have a trial of living together and sharing finances completely before marriage though, you don’t want to find out too late that you are on different pages, not when the well-being of your children are at stake. 

Post # 18
Member
2408 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I would be livid if he handled it this way. If he wants to buy a present for his son, he can give it to him in private and let him know that he hopes his son will be generous with sharing.

 

Post # 19
Member
14030 posts
Honey Beekeeper

“We have been talking for the last several months about buying the kids Go-Karts, which he initially brought up saying he wanted to “get Go-Karts for the boys.” “

Not to mention he went completely back on his word. 

Post # 20
Member
2290 posts
Buzzing bee

I’ll take a step back here and look at what is likely the root cause of the situation:

1) you two are not blended yet. You’re moving in that direction, but until you’re actively sharing a home and finances, you’re living two separate lives and under two sets of functioning rules for all the kids involved. With that in mind, he is absolutely within his right as a father to purchase a gift for his child, with his money, in his own home.

THAT SAID,

2) Moving towards a blended situation where you do live together, the kids all come home to the shared home with their stepsiblings and all things ARE shared… these types of things needs to be hammered out. Maybe he wants to reserve certain gifts and purchases for just his kids. Maybe moving forward, you should decide if you want to do the same. Neither option is necessarily wrong, but now is a good time to discuss it.

IMO, what he did was unnecessarily mean to your boys. Maybe he got caught up in the moment and as a father, was more excited about seeing Ryan play with it and was thinking only of him. As a stepparent and a biological parent, I can attest to being very excited seeing my child do/play with things to a higher degree than witnessing my stepkid doing it. It’s not fair, but it’s a hard switch to turn off or to a least not show openly at times. But honestly, that takes practice, time and patience. 

Also, it sounds like you two have talked about how things will be, but now you’re getting a chance to actually live them very soon since you just got engaged. How you THOUGHT things might go and how they ACTUALLY go can be very different in blended families. I know my husband struggled the first Christmas with us as a blended family and went “all out” for his kid, to an extreme degree, to try and show his kid that things weren’t going to change and that dad still had loads of time and love for them. However; looking back, DH agrees it was to make him feel better as a father and had little to do with the actual child. Not projecting here, but a scenrio going through your FI’s mind could be that he just dropped an engagement on his son, who he only sees infequently, and he wants to show him that he’s still dad and still thinking about him, will be there for him and will carve out special time (or in this case, presents) just for him– as “proof” that all this change isn’t a bad thing. Add on top of that, once you two do move in together, your Fiance will be FT dad to your kids, and his own child will be cared for 50% of the time by someone else. There’s a lot of potential guilt and jealousy mixed in there that I’m sure your Fiance is either sensing or trying to hedge against.

Just some insight to think about, it’s not just as surface as “he’s not being fair to all the kids!”. Being truly and completely fair to ALL kids, when multiple don’t live at home or are only with you part time, is a really hard reality to live up to when you’re actually in it.

Post # 21
Member
237 posts
Helper bee

Blending families is never going to be easy. There’s going to be heaps of mistakes made on BOTH sides.

If you want to give yourselves the best chance of success (and for the kids that are involved in your decisions), you’ll need to continuously negotiate how things work in your new household. This is a small thing to negotiate, considering the much larger life problems that everyone inevitably encounters. It doesn’t have to be as contentious as it feels. 

Reassure your kids that you’ve got their back. Discuss how to handle this better next time with your fiancé. 

Good luck, wishing you the smoothest of blending possible. 

Post # 22
Member
2290 posts
Buzzing bee

View original reply
curlybeans :  I totally agree, give it enough time and everyone will be learning as they go and messing up as they go! Mistakes will definitely be made by all, that much is a guarantee. Having some patience and grace can go a long way in these situations.

Post # 23
Member
2570 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: City, State

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MTmom :  How did your talk go, OP? Hopefully he was open to hearing your feelings and modifying his behavior going forward. 

Post # 24
Member
733 posts
Busy bee

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curiouscat2017 :  I’m in agreement with this. I’m wondering if he’s concerned about making his son feel special seeing as how he will actually be spending more time with the other boys once all is said and done. Could he have handled it better? Yes, but I wouldn’t assume he was specifically trying to slight the other two boys as much as do something to make his son feel important at a juncture where he will no longer be the only son. 

OP,  I think you have a right to be annoyed, but please be diplomatic when you address it with your SO. Blending families is hard to navigate, and chances are you will both make some missteps along the way. 

Post # 25
Member
8029 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

Yeah no, this wouldn’t fly with me at all. I have a daughter from my first marriage and my husband and I also have 2 little girls. This summer when we were taking a long road trip he bought each of the girls an iPad. He didn’t buy “his girls” an iPad and say to my oldest “come look at your sister’s iPad”. That would be shitty. I hope your conversation with him went well.

Post # 26
Member
1824 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

I am not seeing as much of a “red flag” here as some people.  You don’t live together.  In your post, you called your homes “his place” and “my place.”  So, until you actually move in together and merge your things, it could be completely innocent to call the toys at his house “his kid’s toys” and the toys at your house “your kids’ toys.”  When he said he wanted a go kart for the boys, I am assuming he meant for the boys to all play with.  He is probably intending for his son to share it with your boys when they are visiting.  But, until they live there, they *are* just visiting.  This does highlight a need for you two to discuss how this stuff will be dealt with once you are married and merge your living space and belongings.  But I don’t think he is a terrible person for not preemptively doing so.  He should probably have a discussion with your kids making it clear that they are welcome to use the go kart whenever they are over, because it seems he may have given them the wrong impression.

Post # 27
Member
10997 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

Why are we trying to analyze this guy’s motives?  We can’t possibly know what’s in his head.

We know the behavior (atrocious) and that OP has let it slide since “the other day”. WTAF?  And she is now ready to bring it up, by *phone*?

This does not sound like a couple with good, healthy communication. OP doesn’t feel confident and comfortable enough to bring up an issue over which she is losing sleep, for gawd’s sake.  What’s that all about?

Our concern here is the OP, not trying to mind read.

Post # 28
Member
134 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

Hmmm lack of empathy with this guy?  All you have say in private to him, is ”I bought this game system (or whatever) for my boys only to use, not Ryan” Ask him how he feels about that?  Tell him to never ever do anything like that again

Post # 29
Member
10313 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

I don’t like him. 

Post # 30
Member
36 posts
Newbee

Blending families is very hard. And I think people fumble at it a little (or a lot) until they figure out what works for their blended family. 

I hope what he did was just a blunder and he will see how insensitive it was to your boys once you chat with him. His response will give you a better picture of whether this is truly a red flag. 

But never be hesitant to talk to your partner about stuff like this. All that does is leave room for assumtions and for negative feelings to fester. If he gets pissed at you for bringing it up, THAT is a true red flag. 

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