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Joining an already formed family......

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Hello Everyone,

I searched the web to find help, and support and found your group.  I am hoping for advice, and discussion from others who share my experience to help me and get thru a challenging time.

My partner and now fiancee have found ourselves back in each others lives after first meeting 21 years ago.  Since losing touch 19 years ago she had her son who is now 19.  I live in New York and her and her son live in Canada.

Due to my work, we are now in a 1 year  long distant relationship and thru which most of it has spent for long periods of time just her and I here in New York.  I am planning a move this summer to live with her and her son.

I have been living a single life for more then half of my life and have fear over the changes and personal challenges I will face by living with a young adult.  My only experience with young adults is with my two nephews who live in another state.

But to be completely honest and not proudly, I selfishly want my fiancee and I to be able to start our lives living together, just the two of us.  And to be even more painfully honest and what I know simmers under all of this is my inability to share her.  I know this behavior is childish.  I am not proud of my weakness.

I know this is the underlying issue for me and is what makes me judgmental of her son and his behavior, which in all honesty is not bad.  He loves his mom deeply I know that to be true.  My judgement of him and his typical young male behavior of not picking up after himself, and in my unsolicited opinion of not helping his single mother out enough, has been hurtful to my partner and unfair to him.

I also know that I will be losing out of a wonderful relationship with an interesting young man if I don't change my view of the situation.  I also know that I am hurting his mother, the one person I love the most.

I know in my heart that the underlying issues are my own fears.  Fears of entering a family as an outsider and feeling alone, even though my partner couldn't be more supportive of me and the changes I will be facing.  And the changes we all will be facing.  Just one example of her love and support to help with some of those changes, has been her wisely instilling more responsibilities on her son which in turn she knows will be helpful in his development and growth.

How does a person cope with these irrational feelings?  Logic and sensibility wipe away the fears at times, but those fears can creep back in and seem overwhelming and are so hurtful and painful.

Can anyone suggest reading material or words of advice?

Thanks for your help.


by on Feb. 25, 2013 at 12:19 PM
Replies (11-15):
by Platinum Member on Feb. 25, 2013 at 6:12 PM

A very wise

Quoting nashnyc:

...take one day at a time and try not to stress over things that haven't happened yet and might not ever happen. As they saying goes,"Don't go borrowing trouble." 

Thank you for this.  I have to laugh.  My partner says this to me too. 

by on Feb. 25, 2013 at 6:31 PM

I am going to stick with the counseling suggestion too. 

And I want to really add this in more than anything: let her parent him. You don't have to. Yes, you'd choose to parent slightly differently if he were your son, but he isn't and she's set things up her way with him. Trying to change that will just give you a headache and won't make the relationship with him work in any way. 
He is 19 years old-he's an adult in almost every way. He doesn't need another parent and he doesn't need to be parented like a young child.

As for things like leaving his stuff lying around, etc. you and she need to talk things through first-then all 3 of you need to talk and set up some ground rules. You will be 3 adults living together for all intents and purposes. It's the same as having room mates-not children.  

In short: quit looking at him as a child and instead as a friend and roommate. 

ETA: and remember that for ANY guy living with two female roommates can be HELL. Women are women. They have a completely different sense of, well, everything than a guy does. So, while you are worrying bout HIM remember that he is having to adjust to an all girl household. 

by Louann on Feb. 25, 2013 at 6:41 PM

It's good that you recognize that it will be a problem and especially in the future if not dealt with.  You have to understand that her love for him is very different than the love and relationship she has with you.  I think counseling would help and also maybe you and the son need some one on one time together.  Maybe if your bond was strengthened with him it might make things better.  Good luck!!  :)

by Silver Member on Feb. 26, 2013 at 8:40 AM

its all normal I have 2 teens my Hubby has 1 we married still trying to sell houses and house hunt 1 day they will all be gone or in college but it is so hard and your life is not your own just wait it out and enjoy each other   and remember to pick your fights wisely and bite your tongue alot (esp $ issues)

by Amy on Feb. 26, 2013 at 12:39 PM

 You have already done the hardest thing--admitting your issues and seeking help for it.  Maybe just be honest with both of them as well and let them know that you are actively working on it and they can help you.  It sounds like you already have amazing communication with your partner.  I'm sure it will all work out since no one is hiding anything and smothering resentments instead of working with them!  I am a single mother and my 19 yo son (he is 1 of 4 kids) still lives with me so I understand completely.  He is such a sweet kid, but such a...BOY sometimes!!  Messy and mouthy and always right (in his eyes)!

Good luck and welcome to the group!!

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