Hi all, longtime lurker and very seldom poster. I’m a little shy and I feel incredibly awkward starting a thread about this, but I need some advice. I’m sorry I don’t know how to make this any more concise:
Boyfriend and I have been together for 4 years, living together for 3. I have 1 son and he has 2 daughters. We are both very devoted to our kids and work hard to keep a positive dynamic in our blended family. He has his kids 50% of the time and my son’s dad is not in the picture so littledorky is with us 100% of the time.
A little over a year ago, my son’s behavior was a little unruly and he was doing some things (acting out in class, et c) which I found unacceptable. My boyfriend, as my partner, is my sounding board. So I talked to him about the issue, sought his advice, and told him my position on things. Basically, my position was that I thought some of his behavior warranted possible corporal punishment. Here’s the gist of what I said:
"I'm afraid I might have to usher in an era of spankings to deal with this. I'm not comfortable with you doing it, and I don't know if I'll ever be"
He okd and mmhmmd and understood at the time. Problem solved. Fast forward almost two years later. I work weekends and he has the kids. They have a great time, do stuff, go places, and play together. Last night, I come home from work and things are fine for hours. Then I settle in with my son, who tells me that he did not have a good day because he got a spanking for hitting one of the other kids with a toy hammer (a metal toy hammer !).
After the kids went to bed I told my boyfriend that I was incredibly upset about this, as I had specifically requested he NOT do that very thing. I said that my son’s action was unacceptable but not the issue. That he should have called me, emailed me, or shouted it from the hills. That the fact he didn’t stop to do this says to me he acted in anger when he hit my kid. I asked how he would feel if I did that to one of his kids, whom I don’t even feel comfortable sending to time out. Further, he didn’t tell me, and wasn’t going to tell me, about what happened. Instead, I had to hear it from my 6 year old.
I am the type of person who needs to get something aired out or I stew and it becomes dark and horrible. But last night, I surprised myself because I was so incredibly angry that I thought it unwise to discuss this any further. I mean, I was so angry that when he was very genuinely saying, “I’m sorry”, it was like he wasn’t even talking. I couldn’t even accept that, it meant nothing to me.
We’ll have to talk about it soon. I need him to recognize what he did, not just to littledorky, but to me. But I do appreciate his massive contribution and valued presence in my son’s life. I respect and admire him immensely as a parent and he does care for my son a great deal. I don’t want to diminish that. I just need help working out what to say so that it’s effective. I tend to come apart and ramble or withdraw when it’s a Big Deal. I have prepared a statement:
"I am still very angry and hurt about yesterday. I pretty much said everything I needed to say, but I would like to add this: what you did made me feel that you have no respect for me as a parent. It also made me feel like I can’t trust you with my son. I don’t want to diminish your importance or my appreciation for your part in our lives, but I can’t be with someone who makes me feel this way. I need to know that you hear where I’m coming from and that you take it seriously. I also need to know that this will never happen again. "
I really don’t know what to say to him. Is the above saying it well at all? I’m at work so I may not reply quickly but I will as soon as I’m able. Thanks!