Ask Lisa: My boyfriend wants nothing more to do with my son

I am in a relationship and have been for 18 months. We both have kids to previous partners. He has 2 girls aged 4 and 6 and I have 1 aged 7. The issue is my partner has said he can’t deal with my son and wants nothing more to do with him. This was said today after my son woke up early and shouted through to my room before it was time to get up. He works away and so we don’t get much time together and when we do we usually have his kids. My son goes to his grandparents at the weekend so really when he is home he only has 1 night that he has to be around my son but even this seems too much for him. It’s like he actually hates my boy and I can’t understand it. I’m totally at my wits end with how to make this work as we are happy and do get on great but the kids are an issue.

Lisa’s thoughts…

If you and your partner are planning to continue to be in a relationship, having “nothing more to do with” your son is not an option.  If he loves you, your son is part of that package.  I suggest you are really clear in your message to him that your son is part of the deal with you.  If he loves you, he needs to figure out a way to work with that and ideally be positive and a good role model for your son.  He doesn’t need to be his “dad” but he should be accepting of this extension of you.  It’s the same as you accepting his daughters as an extension of him. Putting families together in this way can be tricky but with clear communication about expectations and a positive attitude about how to put the puzzle together, it can work out just fine.

If you love each other and want to figure out a way to make it work, I suggest you find family therapist in your area to help you figure it out.  If your boyfriend is not willing to budge in his negativity about your flesh and blood, imagine how your little one feels when he’s around him.  The early years are critical in the development of self.  Set your son up to thrive, surrounded by people who care about him.  And prepare yourself for the possibility that your boyfriend is not one of them.

If that’s the case, it might be time to take a different course.


Need advice?  Consider a Relationship Consultation for guidance.

Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT

Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT

Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT is the creator of with emotional and relationship health articles, guides, courses and other tools for individuals and couples. She is a frequent consultant for the media having appeared in,, and others. Lisa has a private practice in Marin County, CA and offers Emotional Health and Relationship Consultations via email, phone or video conference.

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