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How do I get my BF (live-in) to discipline the way I do?

Posted by on Oct. 7, 2013 at 4:36 PM
  • 25 Replies

I'm at a crossroads in my relationship and life.

I have been a single mother almost since the day my son was born (10years). The few men I had dated, never really interfered with how I raise my son. My son is a very well disciplined child and extremely polite and well natured. I have always been complimented on how well behaved my son is. And I have always had a great relationship with him.

In the last year, my BF has moved in with us and almost from day 1 wanted to have a say in how the house was run and how my son is to be disciplined. I am in no way a "soft" mom, I expect a lot from my son in how he acts and behaves at home, school, anywhere. My BF basically thinks I'm too nice and let my son get away with not doing things. Since moving in, my son has been given chores (my BF's idea but one that I am fully on board with) and is held to a higher standard than what I normally would hold him to. My BF has been good about showing my son how to do the things he is now responsible for (ie, clean his room, put dishes and put away his clothes). But there is almost no room for mistakes and I feel that he is too hard on him. He is only 10 years old and will not do things the way an adult would do, even if you show them 10 times. My BF thinks that because he is 10 he should know better and there are no excuses for making a mistake. My BF will yell at him and get upset if my son makes mistakes and it has gotten to the point that I can no longer deal with this. My son is starting to show signs of depression. He thinks that he is a bad kid because he is always getting in trouble. There is rarely a day where my BF is happy with my son. Now to be fair, my son has also started the bad habit of lying to us about things. I have also gotten upset with my son and have grounded him when I have caught him lying. The relationship between the 2 has dramatically changed. It went from them hanging out and playing Bey Blades together and having nicknames and inside jokes to a relationship that is filled with resentment and anger. My BF is always accusing my son of lying or complaining about him to me.

I was away this past weekend due to work so my son stayed at the house with my BF. I came back Sunday night and was talking to my son about how it's going to be a new week and that he is off punishment now and just about everything in general. My son tells me that when he was going to the mailbox to check the mail on Saturday, he thought about running away! He told me that he had the house key in his pocket and that he thought that him running away would make my life easier because he wouldn't be making mistakes anymore. Naturally, this broke my heart and has me extremely concerned.

How do you compromise on discipline with your SO when you feel they are too demanding? How do you bring up this topic when your SO is very difficult to talk to about things, especially when they feel they are always right? Is the relationship even worth it if my son is suffering emotionally? Is there a way to fix this without causing further emotional harm to my son or is the relationship doomed?

by on Oct. 7, 2013 at 4:36 PM
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by on Oct. 7, 2013 at 4:59 PM
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Does your bf hold himself to the same high standards? Or are these just the rules for "your" son?
He sounds like a bully. My ex pulled the same stuff with my son. Nothing my son did was ever good enough.
The fact that your son is talking about running away should be a wake up call for you! He's depressed, he's unhappy, he thinks that "you" will be happier without him.
Your son is crying out for help. You need to get him counseling ASAP.

My son's paternal grandmother told me this. "Husbands and boyfriends come and go, but your child is yours forever"

I left her son and have never regretted it
by on Oct. 7, 2013 at 5:25 PM
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Put your son first!! He sounds like the mean boyfriend or step dad. I wouldn't hesitate to get rid of this guy. Of course you can sit down and have a talk with him but don't you want someone whose first nature is to be loving and nurturing to your son? Idk maybe it's just me. Good luck andbi hope you and esp your son the best. That would break my heart as well hearing what your son said. Poor baby, I hope he is able to see hoe much you love him : )
by Platinum Member on Oct. 7, 2013 at 9:34 PM
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You need to tell your SO to back off!  This is YOUR son, not his and he is alienating him and making him uncomfortable in his own home.

If your SO doesn't back off, maybe it's time to rethink the relationship.  (((hug)))

by Bronze Member on Oct. 7, 2013 at 9:53 PM

I would sit the boyfriend and tell him that things between him and DS are not working.  DS is depressed and suffering from self esteem issues as a direct result of his behavior.  Doing chores is not just about responsibility but to gain a sense of accomplishment and to build their self esteem.  Tell him that the way he treats your son and constantly complains about him is really not acceptable and is detrimental to your son's well being.  If his reaction is that he is right and you are wrong, you need to walk away.  If he is open to adjusting himself, give him some time but if it's a temporary thing and he goes back to being a jackass then you need to show him the door. 

My mother's husband is just like you are describing your BF.  I lived with them as an adult and he was always complaining about something.  It really strained my relationship with my mom and I went months without speaking to her because she did absolutely nothing while the man verbally abused me for months.

by on Oct. 7, 2013 at 10:07 PM
Now I normally advocatr finding middle ground with discipline. Taljing about why a certain approach is better or listening to the reasons your SO thinks a firmer hand is necessary in a certain monent. I'm not going to say those things though. Your son is losing trust in you. He does not feel you are on his side. He feels he is far inferior in importance to your bf. These are all red flags. I personally would sacrifice the relationship. It doesn't sound like your bf is going to compromise. He has unrealistic expectations. I see two things happening. One it will escalate to abusem and two this scrutiny will turn on you. Neither are acceptable. You don't say hut it sounds like your bf has never been a father himself. He doesn't sound ready now either. I'd walk away dear. Or at least take a step back and make bf move out. I'm sorry you are in this situation but its a dealbreaker. My bf makes suggestions in disciplining my ds. If I kbow a certain approach doesn't work I say so but most of the time I back him ip because he has two excellent sons. I have evidence he knows hwat he's doing and because his expectations and consequences are appropriate. We have talked extensively about it and have found our middle ground. He expects more obedience than I do but at the same time he uses softer discipline techniques in my opinion. We balance out and that's how it should be
by Member on Oct. 7, 2013 at 10:09 PM

 Your son needs to come first. Obviously living together isn't working. Maybe start with your bf moving back out. I was living with my bf and he felt he had soo much say over everything, including my son b/c it's his house too. I'm glad we're not living together now and I don't see him as much. My son is happier. I think a complete break up is in our near furture. It's hard to say. But once you see the difference in your son, you will both be happier without him. It's not easy. I've gone back and forth with my bf. And I know part of me is afraid of being completely alone. As long as my son is happy, I know I will be happy too.

by on Oct. 7, 2013 at 10:44 PM
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You need to put your foot down and tell him not to discipline your son at all. My bf was trying too hard to discipline my son and my son was feeling like he was always wrong. And mind you my bf wasn't as bad as yours. But I spoke to him and told him not to tell my son what to do, that it he saw something wrong to let me know in private and I will decide what to do. It's been months and things are much better, he never corrects my son anymore and let's me parent hm son. We us it's different becasue we each have a kid so he understood where I was coming from. If he hadn't change , I would have left him. My son comes first no matter how much I love a man
by on Oct. 7, 2013 at 10:50 PM

I agree with everyone else.  Your son is sending up red flags...and do not be surprised if things continue as they are if he does attempt to run away or possibly considers hurting himself.  You need to have a serious talk with bf about discipline.  Kids respond much better to positive reinforcement than negative.  He needs to totally change the way he relates to your son or move out and move on. 

I'm not surprised that your son has started to lie. In this situation, it's probably a defense mechanism as he has become afraid to tell the truth as he just gets punished.  Again, you need to change the way your household is run and get the bf to back off or leave.

by on Oct. 7, 2013 at 11:30 PM

This man is your boyfirend, not the child's father.  He should have zero say in how your son is raised or disciplined.  He (the boyfriend) needs to learn his place and you need to put him in it.

by on Oct. 8, 2013 at 9:46 AM
I have been in this same boat for the last few months! My son is only six, but this sounds very much like my story. The difference being my BF and I just had a baby, three weeks ago... I moved out a few months ago and started staying at my moms. Then BF started talking about 50/50 of the baby.... So for now I'm back at the house with my BF, under the condition that I am to discipline my son, so we can still live together and co parent our new baby girl. I'm hoping that it will be easier with the baby... I didn't have advice for you, but sending support from someone who understands.
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