Respect and trust are feelings that take time and patience to grow. This is exceptionally true with a significant other’s child. However, if a valiant effort has been put forth to build a connection with your boyfriend’s son and he is still ruining your relationship, the first step is to address the issue with your significant other.
#1 – Talk About Respect
If your boyfriend’s son is being disrespectful to you, it is important that you have an open and honest discussion with your significant other about the problem. However, when having this conversation, it is also imperative that you remember that this is his flesh and blood. If you handle this in an accusatory way, it is likely that he will side with the child, no matter who is at fault.
Therefore, choose to talk to him while he is in a good mood. Remove any distractions and make sure that his focus is centered on you. Explain the situation in a calm and collected manner and talk about how his child’s actions make you feel.
Do not speculate on behalf of his kid. Finally, reiterate that you want to build a solid relationship with him and his son, but you need some help.
Moreover, inquire about how he wants you to handle these types of situations when he is not around. Are you allowed to address this type of behavior or does he want to handle it himself? What if it impacts his safety? Where is the line?
He is the parent and if the child is underage, you need to allow him to discipline his son as he sees fit, but there may be situations where you will have to intercede. Define these boundaries before more altercations occur.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not imply that this is a reflection of his parenting or that he needs to “fix” anything. Instead, ask him what he thinks is the best way for you to bridge this gap and move forward. If he truly cares for you, he will want to remedy this situation.
#2 – Find Ways To Relate To Your Boyfriend’s Son
The main hurdle that comes with dating a person with a child is the process of winning over the entire family. You are not just dating the man, you are dating his children as well. However, these kids had no choice in choosing you as their parents did. They were essentially told that they had to accept you.
Therefore take a step back. Do you like everyone you meet? Is there always an instant connection? How long does it really take for you to build a positive relationship with someone?
According to research conducted by the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, “it is possible to know someone for years, but not develop a friendship, and to know someone for 6 weeks and become best friends”. This study also noted research done by Hays in 1984. It states that the most “obvious difference [between relationships that developed intimacy and those who did not] was in sheer quantity of interaction”.
Thus, think long and hard about what have you truly done to build a relationship with your boyfriend’s son? The best way to create a solid foundation with anyone is to find commonalities that you share.
Talk to your boyfriend about his son’s likes and dislikes. Do any of them align with yours? Then engage with his son — both when his father is around and when it is just the two of you. Take him to a baseball game. Let him pick the restaurant you eat at as a family. Give him a thoughtful gift.
Moreover, take the focus off of you and your boyfriend and center it on his child until your connection starts to improve. Don’t forget, if you hope to have a future with this man, then you need to win over the son.
#3 – Look At The Big Picture
Your boyfriend’s son may also be ruining your relationship for a reason that is completely unrelated to you. Sometimes with children, it is important to look at the big picture and not just the individual instances that have occurred.
First and foremost, never judge a book by its cover. If your boyfriend’s son is making your relationship difficult, it is important to think about how the recent adjustments made to his life could be making him feel and act. If a lot has been changing, try to be patient and give him some grace.
Possible Issues & Remedies
When did his parents separate? Has he moved since the divorce? Is he struggling in school? Are you taking up more of his dad’s time? What is going on in his life that has changed since you entered his life?
If the separation was recent, he may feel as if you are trying to replace his parent. In this instance, find subtle ways to let him know that you are just hoping to be another person in his corner and not a new mom. If his father has a good rapport with his ex-wife, you can also try to build a relationship with her as well to help bridge the gap.
Moreover, if he is struggling in school, then he could just be taking his frustrations out on you. This can easily be solved with a tutor! Suggest the idea to his father and let him take the credit for the assist.
Additionally, if the divorce caused him to move into a different house, he could be missing his friends in the neighborhood. In this case, volunteer to take him on an excursion to see his buddies and blow off some steam!
Lastly, when a new relationship blossoms, many times the two individuals become hyper-focused on one another. When children are involved it is extremely beneficial to ensure that the time they have with their parent remains intact. This sometimes equates to you spending less time with their dad to accommodate for the time that he needs with his kids.
Final Thoughts – My Boyfriend’s Son Is Ruining Our Relationship
Children are forever. Even after his son grows up and leaves the house, he will always be a part of your boyfriend’s life. It is unfair to ask your boyfriend to choose between the two of you, and in this scenario, you will be fighting a losing battle. However, if he never validates your concerns about his child’s actions, this partnership will never work out. Take the first step and make your boyfriend aware of the problem. Then, give him ample time to solve it.
If his son is being blatantly and repeatedly rude to you, this behavior needs to be adjusted. It is the responsibility of the parent to handle this type of situation, but if your boyfriend disregards your feelings on this matter, it may be time to take a good hard look at your relationship.
Finally, be a part of the solution. If your boyfriend’s son is acting out, do not engage with him. Fighting back is not always the answer. When misbehavior occurs, ask him about his feelings and why he is acting in this manner. This strategy can help you to slowly break down these bad behaviors and create a real relationship with the kid!