Hi, I came across your site while looking for some information about a situation I am having. I do not want to post anything where my wife can see it and an kind of embarrassed but I need some insight into my issue.
I am finding myself jealous of my stepson. He’s nearly eight. I don’t know why and I don’t want it to be happening. I work late and come home after midnight. When I come home i usually find him in our bed with her. I don’t know why this bugs me so much but I get angry about it. I don’t bring it up to her because I don’t even understand it myself, so I don’t think she would. This happens from time to time when he gets what I think of as momma’s-boyish and won’t go to bed till she kisses him goodnight and spends a ridiculous amount of time putting him to bed. I really don’t know what to do about this. I love him and try to be a good role model for him. I work with his father to help raise him. I want to help him become a strong, independent young man. There’s no reason for this. None of our other kids sleep with us. I’m confused and don’t want this to become a bigger issue because the jealousy is just getting worse as this continues. Any insight will help. Thanks. -Frustrated
What you’re going through is quite common. Don’t overthink it. You actually nailed it when you said you felt jealous. If you look at it closely you’ll probably find it’s not at all about the boy, but about the lack of communication between you and your wife. The anger you’re feeling comes from bottling up the annoyance you’ve been feeling. When we hold in our emotions, they begin to build up. It doesn’t matter whether the emotion is love, or frustration; if you can’t resolve it, it needs to be expressed.
I recommend having a conversation with her about your frustration. The conversation shouldn’t be confrontational. Make it conversational -but pointed, so she knows this is important to you. There are bigger things at play than a child sleeping in your bed. You work late hours you don’t get to spend much time with your wife, so of course when you come home you want to have her all to yourself. She should understand that. Identify the concern you have and explain that eight year old boys need to be able to sleep in their own beds.
It’s time for your boy to stop sleeping with mommy. This is a common issue when single mothers raise sons without a full-time father figure around. I don’t know if that’s the case here, but he needs to be sleeping in his own room at that age.
I should probably note that poor communication is the root cause of break ups in Stepdad relationships. You can look at failed marriages and see all of the other reasons that the break ups happen, but lack of communication early on is what allows the other problems to develop. When couples learn to work together early as a parenting team, they prevent problems further down the road. For more help with communication read The Stepdad’s Guide. This will help lay a good foundation for shared parenting.