Moving in with boyfriend when our kids don't get along

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-09-2012
Moving in with boyfriend when our kids don't get along
Wed, 12-19-2012 - 1:35pm

Hi there, new to this blended family situation and I could really use some advice!

I have one six year old son from a previous relationship, and my boyfriend has a seven year old boy and a five year old girl. We've been talking about moving in together lately, however our sons do not get along well. My son is quite sensitive and used to being an only child, whereas his son has some behaviour issues (mostly aggressiveness and the doctors suspect he has ADD).

It doesn't help that my boyfriend's ex is making our lives hell, and tells her kids often that my son and I are bad and they should not be around us. It makes no sense as to why she does this, given that I met my boyfriend after they'd been apart for more than 2 years and I've never been anything but nice to their kids! My boyfriend talks to his kids about it (especially his son) and they ease up after they've been with him and out of their mother's house for a few days, but his son especially is very selfish/aggressive towards my son. 

I'm just struggling with bringing my son into this atmosphere. I love my boyfriend but I don't want my son to suffer or feel like he's getting bullied at home. We would be moving into "their" home, which I'm sure my boyfriend's son will take issue with, not to mention he'll have to move to the basement room as my son moves into his old room (my boyfriend has suggested that they share, but I think it's important for them to each have their own space, at least until they get used to each other). 

Is this doomed? I mean, my boyfriend and I have talked about wanting another baby together in the next couple of years, and at that point the boys may have to share rooms as it's going to be tough to find a decently priced 5 bedroom home. Either that or we somehow find a way to build another bedroom. 

One step at a time, I know, and I'm stressing over stuff that hasn't even happened yet, but I want to know how to handle this before I jump in. I'm really worried about my son having a hard time in this situation. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2011

I don't think it's doomed, but I would tread very carefully. How does your boyfriend handle it when his son is not behaving well towards your son? He needs to be pretty strict were this is concerned, and he also needs to tell his ex to knock it off. He also needs to keep reassuring his son that your son won't change their relationship, I'm sure that he is stressed about that. Maybe you can arrange for them to have some father/son time on their own so he doesn't feel displaced? I would probably leave it up to his son on if he's willing to change bedrooms, or give him a very nice incentive to do it. If that were me as a child, I would be very resentful to be forced to give up my room. If you have another baby in a few years, the baby can aways bunk in with a sibling. I hope that they move forward to getting help for his son, you might see some changes if they can get a diagnosis and start some form of treatment.  

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

I would say do not move in at this point unless you want to be in a very stressful situation all the time.  I married my 2nd DH when I had a 13 yr old girl & 5 yr old boy & he had a 12 yr old girl.  My DD hated his DD--however, they were at the age when at least they could control their emotions so actually there was never any arguing or doing bad things--they were civil to each other but definitely not friends.  My DSD actually got along quite well at that point w/ my DS as being an only child up to that point I think she liked being the "older sister" and having a little kid look up to her and of course my DS liked it then cause there was someone else to play with.  But it was very tense in a lot of situations knowing that my DD was barely tolerating having her DSS around.  I think where your kids are much smaller it's harder to appeal to good behavior and understanding what is going on and I would not put your son in that situation where another little boy is going to be mean to him--your responsibility is to do what's best for your son.  Maybe your BF's son's behavior will change in time and you can revisit this situation. Oh and adding another baby to the mix will just make things more complicated and maybe add more resentments.

As far as switching rooms, too, your BF's son would have to be made to think he was getting something great out of this or this isn't going to go well--and you can imagine his mom putting stuff in his head about why does he have to sleep in the basement?  My 2nd DH & his DD did move into my house cause I had a 4 BR house & his house was much smaller.  One of the BRs was much smaller than the others so since my DS was small we convinced him to move in there--but we really did the room up nice--painted it, put up glow in the dark star wallpaper border that matched the sheets--it really looked nice so he didn't mind.  As for why the ex is causing trouble?  Some people are just like that.  Maybe your BF is the one who wanted the divorce & she didn't, so now she is going to make his life miserable--it actually has nothing to do with you, she would do it to anyone.