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My boyfriend thinks I treat my kids better than him...


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Old 7th March 2011, 12:58 PM   #1
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My boyfriend thinks I treat my kids better than him...

I am 35 and a mother of 3 kids ages 14,12 and 4. My sons are the oldest. They are respectful kids, I can talk to them about anything and have a good open sense of humor about everything. I've been with my boyfriend, age 37, for a year now and he is quite the opposite of me. He is the quiet type. When he laughs its mostly just a smile or internal hmph sound. His jokes are usually sarcastic. Sometimes I have a hard time knowing when he's joking, critisizing or serious, but I try not to take his comments to heart when I don't know. He's a hard worker, very loving and likes to stay home and relax rather than go out. I'm bubbly, loving, loud sometimes, and hate confrontations.

I've never had this problem before so I don't even know how to address it. There are times when my boyfriend, says that I laugh more, joke around more, and respect my kids more than I do him. This only comes up when I get offended or upset by something that he says...then he retorts that if it were one of my kids saying it I would probably have just laughed it off or blown it off, so therefore, I probably respect them more or think my kids are funnier than him.

For example: I was playing "teacher" with his child, age 5, and my daughter age 4. I was flashing ABC cards. When it came to the letter "o" I pronounced the "o" as in ostrich or octogon. He interfered to say why would I say it like that and not "oh", then hmph'd and said there aren't many words that start with that sound. So I placed the flashcards in front of him and jokingly said "well then I guess I'm not that good of a teacher, here, you teach them then". He then threw the cards aside and then said "well then I guess we're done playing". I got the cards back and said "I was just joking" and continued to play for a while longer. After the kids left the room he was quiet and I knew he was mad. I knew I was going to get the silent treatment for the rest of the night. He then complained about the same thing: if it were one of my kids I probably would have blown it off or laughed about it.

Another one of his complaints is that I change my demeanor when we're alone. I don't see it. When we're alone, I'm quiet. I enjoy the feeling of peacefulness with him. We cuddle alot, watch youtube together, play games, watch tv shows, etc. I love our quiet time. But again, he says if my kids are around I am loud, joking around, hee-hee-hee, ha-ha-ha. My kids are jokers, they make me laugh out loud, are goofballs and get that extra laugh out of me, I can't help it. I guess it bothers him that I'm not loud like that with him, but he is so quiet so in return, I act the same way I guess, but not because I'm holding back or anything. He says sometimes I answer his questions with just a yes or no, but if it were my kids I would give them a lengthy explanation.

Again, this issue only comes up when I take something he said offensivley. Let me add, that when I take something offensivley, I get quiet for a second. I don't over-react or storm out of the room or anything. I've learned to think in my head that it wasn't that serious and then I quickly get over it. AND THAT'S IT. I don't linger, or hold a grudge. Usually I try to say something funny afterwards to let him know I'm not mad or upset. BUT once he gets the sense that what he said offended me, THAT WHEN he becomes withdrawn and then he gets mad because I took what he said the wrong way. This is when the problem begings....even after I told him that what he said did offend me and I got over it within seconds!

I'm a very affectionate and nurturing person. I cater to this man. Occasionally I do his laundry, cook for him, and rub his feet or back and he does the same for me. I'm a fixer, so if I mess up, I say I'm sorry.

It's killing me that I don't know how to "fix" this issue and I don't want this to continue hurting our relationship. Is there something I'm not seeing? What am I doing wrong and what can I do that can resolve this? I love this man and I hate that he feels this way.
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Old 7th March 2011, 1:47 PM   #2
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Mommy,

I am very close in age to your bf.. And my Live in GF has a child as do i.

It doesnt sound like what he is complaining about is the underlyning problem he is feeling.. I would ask him directly is anything about them has been bothering you... Maybe he feels like you do not give him enough attention or the attention in a way he craves.. But dont let him deflect the issue as you treat your kids better than him.. Honestly you probably should treat them better.
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Old 7th March 2011, 2:08 PM   #3
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To: Enlighten ME...

He comes over everyday after work. Usually he's at my house by around 8pm.

My daughter is in bed by 8pm. My boys go to bed by 10:30pm. But by the time he gets to my house, we hang out together. So he gets a lot of attention from me. He just says I'm "nicer" to them. But I don't get it since I'm in love with him and show him that I love him with the things I do everyday. It makes me feel like I'm not enough.
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Old 7th March 2011, 2:16 PM   #4
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Yeah seems like i always struggle with this in all my relationships..

Ask him how he likes to be shown love.. And then try to do one act a day that makes him feel loved.. even through you show love by doing x y z, and he may notice it and appreciate it.. It may not be the thing that makes him think wow this woman really loves me and appreciates me...

I read a great book on the subject.. i want to say its the "7 signs of love".. but i do not remember exactly... I will take a look when i get home tonight.
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Old 7th March 2011, 2:32 PM   #5
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He sounds like he is competing with children. Why would he want you to love him as you do children?

Perhaps he just can't deal with seeing someone who is HIS source of affection being amused by and affectionate with anyone including children? I'd mix him more in adult social situations and see if he makes the same claims about anyone you interact with in that setting too.

Only child?
Weird relationship with his parents?
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Old 7th March 2011, 2:46 PM   #6
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So instead of acknowledging the fact that he offended or upset you, he turns it around by bringing your children into the picture claiming that had they acted similarly, your reaction would be to overlook it.

#1 He is invalidating how you feel
#2 He is getting defensive
#3 He is excusing his behavior by finding fault elsewhere


When he adds your children to the equation, let him know that this isn't about them, that this is about HIS actions impacting how YOU feel.

He fails to realize that different people invoke different emotional responses, particularly one's offspring. The personalities your children possess are different than his, so of course your reactions to them won't be the same toward him. He is not your child, he is your partner, and as a father himself, he needs to realize that being jealous of your children is really unnecessary.

You mention that you enjoy his quiet demeanor when you two are alone; that it creates a moment of peace. Tell him that.

Quote:
once he gets the sense that what he said offended me, THAT WHEN he becomes withdrawn and then he gets mad because I took what he said the wrong way. This is when the problem begings....even after I told him that what he said did offend me and I got over it within seconds!
Funny... didn't he take your joking around the wrong way, when you were playing with flash cards?
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Old 8th March 2011, 9:18 AM   #7
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Hey MommyofThree,

How did last night go? I would love an update, did you have a talk?

The book is called "The Seven Languages of Love"

It talks about how everyone shows and wants to receive love in different ways.. and its so hits the nail on the head.
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Old 8th March 2011, 10:13 AM   #8
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Of course you treat your kids better than him. They are your flesh and blood, your progeny, the people who exist on this Earth solely because you choose to create them. If he doesn't like a mother who has a strong, healthy mothering instinct and treats her children like the most important people in her life then he's in the wrong relationship.

As for the sarcasm, it's a form of passive aggressiveness. If you don't like it then you don't like it. Simple. If he excuses it as a joke, it doesn't matter. You don't like his sense of humour in that case.

He wants to complain that Mommy is being unfair and treating the other kids better than himself without saying it straight. Sounds like he enjoyed the honeymoon period and wants your relationship to be like that forever and ever. Sure, many of us do, but then we grow up and realise that a grown up relationship cannot sustain that. He wants to falling in love, to be mothered. If you want that too then great! If not, tell him what you want from the relationship, ask him what he wants and go from there.

But don't be ashamed of your love for your chidlren or your dislike of his sense of humour. You are what you are.
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Old 8th March 2011, 11:06 AM   #9
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Run for the hills! When a guy compares a child, or pet, to himself in a relationship, you know that you've got someone with serious issues.
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Old 8th March 2011, 12:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeaningIntoTheMuse View Post
Run for the hills! When a guy compares a child, or pet, to himself in a relationship, you know that you've got someone with serious issues.
I agree with Leaning. I'm a 42 yr old divorced male with no kids. My g/f has a child. A guy simply cannot compare his relationship with a mom to her relationship with her children. There is some deeper underlying issue here than laughing at each other's jokes and proper use of flash cards.
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Old 8th March 2011, 1:32 PM   #11
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Of course you're nicer to them... they're your children. He's your boyfriend. Just the different type of relationship itself means that you would never treat both of them in a similar way.

There's some deeper issue here, as others have said. Ask him for specifics, but absolutely refuse to change for him if he wants you to suddenly start treating him in a way that you wouldn't normal for you.
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Old 8th March 2011, 4:42 PM   #12
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FWIW, I think there's an underlying issue as well. Sounds like he's got some insecurities going on. He has a child, surely he doesn't equate his relationship to you with his child?

This is a toughie, b/c unless/until he's able to articulate what he's really feeling, all you have is guesswork. I hope you can find out what's really eating at him, and get some resolution.
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Old 8th March 2011, 5:02 PM   #13
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I want to delete my thread but i can't...no other replies needed here, thanks

I think its wrong that we can't delete the threads we post. I read what some director of this site said that it was unfair to all the people that replied to the threads we created...what a bunch of bs! The people that answered did so at free will, so what's unfair that they spent time replying? We spent the time to post it! Anyway...

*******NO OTHER RESPONSES ARE NECESSARY FOR THIS THREAD*****

I am a descriptive writer, and my reason for providing such details was for the readers to be able to envision our characters and therefore provide a more productive suggestion/solution. I posted in this forum, not to riducule, critisize, point fingers on who has issues, or to contemplate on leaving my man, but to get some sort of insight on things that can help my relationship or obtain a suggestion if anyone had gone through something similar. I see how easy it is for things get out of proportion and how easy people can get carried away and start leaving negative feedback. Everyone here is entitled to their opinion, wether it be positive or negative. But just because we have one little issue doesn't mean the whole relationship should be thrown away (goes for the comment saying -run for the hills). Come on people! I guess this is why there's such a high divorce rate, lol...nobody's willing to put in the legwork. With that said...

A sincere thank you to "Enlighten_Me" for suggesting the book Seven Languages of Love. I'll be cozing up next to my honey reading about the best way to show him just how much I love him!

************AGAIN, NO MORE REPLIES - PLEASE AND THANKS*******

Last edited by MommyofThree; 8th March 2011 at 5:19 PM..
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