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Guy time? *Long, kind of a vent.*

Maybe this is more of a vent than a question, but your ideas are appreciated anyway. My stepson had been saying he wanted more 'guy time' with his dad. So last week, in spite of the fact that he hadn't been doing well in school, the two of them went to the Bronco game by themselves and spent the whole day together. Then Friday night two days ago, my stepson came up for the weekend, and he and his dad sat down and watched some Stephen King movie after the little one went to bed. I happened to be in the room because I was working and that's where my desk is, but I wasn't paying attention to the movie or to their conversation. I made them some popcorn, and I got a "Thanks, do you want some, too?" from my boyfriend and a "Yuck, I don't want that, it smells like burnt cardboard." from my stepson. Fine, whatever.

The next day after Dad got off work, we were supposed to go to the corn maze, but it was closed. My stepson was furious with me because my text-to-speech software didn't pick up the big banner on the Web site that said there would be no maze due to unpredictable farming conditions, so we drove fifteen minutes out to where the maze would have been for nothing. I chalked his outrage at me up to his disappointment, there was nothing I could do about the fact that my screen reader skipped the banner as an image instead of saying it out loud as text. My five-year-old took the whole thing better than my stepson did. I just apologized to him for my mistake, and we went to Casa Bonita instead. No harm, no foul, I thought. But even after running around with the little one playing ten bucks worth of games--and yes, botof them had fun--he was still in a snit because he didn't get to go through the corn maze with his dad while I took my daughter to the kiddie farm activities. Well damn, maybe I have a big ass, but it's not quite wide enough to pull a corn maze out of!

Sunday afternoon, my stepson and my boyfriend watched the football game on TV. I was in the room working, and the five-year-old was watching the game off and on and playing with her toys. She and I live here, so we can't exactly disappear. My stepson was a royal grouch, but he wouldn't say why. Dad and the little one drove him home, I stayed behind working.

Well, this morning, we get up and find that the kid has posted on FB, for all the world to see, "I didn't get any guy time with my dad this weekend, as usual, damn it!"

Okay, I'm really trying to understand. The movie didn't count because I was in the same room? Even if I didn't bother them? It's a small house, where am I supposed to go? And Casa Bonita seemed fun enough for him. I paid for half of that. The football game didn't count, again, because I was in the room, and so was the five-year-old? We live here. What else am I supposed to do? I try to set up family fun, and my stepson gets to do stuff occasionally with just his dad like the football game last weekend or the drag races or the Kiss concert they went to. Sometimes they launch model rockets, but the five-year-old likes to tag along and watch.

I guess it shouldn't matter how I feel because it's all about the kids, but I'm feeling like a third wheel in my own house. I feel like I'm fine as long as I'm cooking the meals and shelling outthe cash but then I'm supposed to disappear and take the little one with me so the guys can have their time. And when I ask that my stepson help to clean up the unholy mess he and the little one left in the living room--yes, I made her pitch in as well--and he just shrugs and shakes his head, I'm supposed to be fine wit that because "he doesn't live here." His dad made him clean up, and that really turned me into the Wicked Witch of the West, by default I guess.

So am I overreacting? If so, how do I not feel hurt and used? And how do I make sure there's more "guy time" when my daughter and I live here, too? It's a small place, and we shouldn't have to vacate.


Asked by Ballad at 1:56 PM on Oct. 21, 2013 in General Parenting

Level 45 (193,996 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (46)
  • Sounds to me like the boyfriend needs to step up and tell his son that "guy time" is a priority and some alone time will happen, but guy time does not have to exclude the whole family all of the time. After raising three boys, I am well aware that there concept of "guy time" means no girls. They want to go out togeher, bond, burp, fart, scratch, swear, etc without the normal expectations of society to be polite... Not sure why this is so important, but it seems to be. So it sounds like dad and son need to compromise that some guy time will be outings and adventures while some guy time will be watching scary movies after the little sister is in bed.

    Now the attitude about the corn field... Yeah. I'd put a stop to that. Tell him next time he makes some type of honest mistake, you are going to make his life miserable for it and see if he likes how that feels. He's old enough to get his attitude in line.

    Answer by Nimue930 at 2:26 PM on Oct. 21, 2013

  • Throw the ball into your boyfriend's court. Let him come up with an activity that doesn't cost a fortune that he can do with his son preferrably outside of the home. That's what his son wants anyway, effort and attention directly from your bf, not you.Step teens get snittiest when they feel neglected by the bio, and it falls squarely on the bio to solve it. I have lots of experience in this department. I see it less as a rejection of you and more of a need to be filled by your bf. It doesn't make you feel any less crapped on, but I'm pretty sure that is what is going on.

    Answer by tessiedawg at 2:08 PM on Oct. 21, 2013

  • Your boyfriend needs to fix it and he needs to fix it by finding things he can do outside the house with his son - or alternatively, finding something fun that you and your daughter can go do while he spends time at home with his son. You don't have to disappear in your own house, but this isn't your problem to fix. At the same time, if the son wants to spend time alone with his dad so badly, why doesn't HE come up with something they can go do together? Sounds to me like they're both being lazy and blaming others for it.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 2:11 PM on Oct. 21, 2013

  • sorry, he needs his dad! Guy time or dad time to my girls was taking a picnic to the park and tossing a ball or going to feed the deer, going fishing etc. ALONE no step mom or step siblings anywhere near.

    He does need that, I understand it because my girls needed it. have to side with him on the not having guy time. The attitude well, I would not like it but I do see where it comes from.

    Answer by luvmygrandgirl at 2:02 PM on Oct. 21, 2013

  • His dad needs to address this with him. Don't change anything you do, but don't go out of your way either. If he want's 'guy time' with his dad, then he will need to learn to speak up about it and request it along with suggestions of how to spend father / son time together. They could have gone somewhere to eat wings while watching the game and not have to be around anyone else. It's your house too. If he doesn't want to share his dad, then he needs to find somewhere for his dad to take him.

    Answer by QuinnMae at 2:53 PM on Oct. 21, 2013

  • OP, what a child says and what a child actually feels are often very different. A child's survival depends on the opinions and actions of the adults in their life. Most children cannot identify the depth of their emotion. They say, "yeah, everything is okay", because frankly, it has to be okay. As long as they can make it okay in their world, they will survive. But unless the underlying causes are addressed and dealt with, the trauma still remains. The river of emotion still remains. He has to be okay because he has no other choice. Not until he is out on his own, making his own decisions and holding the power of his life in his own hands. Until then, he has to be okay, he has to play the game, because otherwise everything falls apart. And that is just not okay.

    You cannot deny the possibility that this is behavior lingering from the betrayal that he has experienced. That is my only point.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:46 PM on Oct. 21, 2013

  • "His mom was coming up with excuses about why the hours were too hard to get done, and why she couldn't transport him. And his dad thought the number of hours he got was stupid and that the courts would drop the requirement if they didn't get fulfilled. They were both clueless. At times, it does feel like I'm the only one in his corner."

    I'm going to weigh in on this comment. It may be in everyone involved's best interests to let the chips fall where they may. You are not the only one in his corner, because based on what you write his bio parents both care about him even if they don't take the actions you think they should. I am in a slightly different situation because my SD's mom is deceased, but I ran into a lot of problems with my MIL who helped raise SD. I finally wised up and let DH battle things out with SD and MIL. Everyone is happier.

    Answer by tessiedawg at 6:16 PM on Oct. 21, 2013

  • How do you feel less hurt? You just have to suck it up and remember that kids like alone time with their parents ESPECIALLY in a broken family situation.

    Answer by luvmygrandgirl at 2:03 PM on Oct. 21, 2013

  • Sounds like he's being a bit of a jerk- but he is still a teen so- kinda goes with the territory.
    Yes- guy time would be important, and *some* of it without you guys, but to have it that way all teh time is just unrealistic.

    take a breath, there isn't much you can do. It sounds like you are trying to give them their time ( I mean they just went to a game without you last week so...)

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 2:09 PM on Oct. 21, 2013

  • I really hope that my ex is giving my girls quality time with just him & not always doing things as a quasi family with my kids, with his live in gf/baby mama. Children need time with just their parents. This is even true in families that are still intact. Sometimes they need mom time & sometimes they need dad time.

    Answer by 3libras at 2:13 PM on Oct. 21, 2013