I am 38 years old and have been dating my boyfriend for a year and a half, during which time he has gone through a divorce and begun co-parenting with his ex. We have lived together for a year in my home. He has 50/50 custody of his son and I have my daughter the majority of the time. Both of our children are 5 years old.
In the past six months, his son has changed how he treats me. We used to enjoy our time together—he’d snuggle with me and tell me he loved me. Now he tells me he doesn’t have to listen to me, or that I’m mean, and he even told me to get out of his room when I tried to help him after he had an accident. I used to pick both kids up from school so they could play before dinnertime, and take them to school in the morning since they enjoyed each other’s company. But I haven’t been able to handle him, so I scaled back on caring for him without his father present.
In addition to his changed behavior toward me, he has been having issues at pre-K: biting, punching, and choking other children. To top things off, his mother has a drinking issue, and child protective services has gotten involved, including an interview with me and my child.
Although the son has never exhibited these behaviors toward my daughter, I don’t want to jeopardize my own parenting time because I have this angry little fellow in my home sometimes. I am also uncomfortable with some of the exchanges between my boyfriend and his ex. She is verbally abusive and has mental-health issues on top of the alcoholism. He will say he is going to speak to her only via email, then go back to texting and calling. He even offered to attend AA with her. I feel that he puts her feelings way higher on his list of priorities than he should. He is always verbally appreciative and grateful to me, but I almost get jealous when I think of his behavior toward his ex.