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Is it just me, or my SO is overcompensating and it's creepy?

oodra's picture

I'll try to keep this brief. My SO (38M), his son (14M, we have full custody) and me (27F) have been living together for 1,5 years. My SO had a messy divorce (his wife left him for a woman) and I can only imagine how his son feels about that (he never opens up about it). Ever since we moved in together, I felt like my SO is trying to overcompensate things to his son in a really creepy way.

For example, last year my SO and I planed a weeklong vacation at the seaside. After our vacation he took his son to the same place for a week. Ok. Then this summer my SO and I planned another vacation and went to a cute town to spend some time together. Guess what, once we came back, he took his son there to the same exact hotel even. And now this week my SO and I are gonna spend some alone time in a remote town, enjoy ourselves in a SPA. Guess what - he's gonna take his son to the SPA once we come back.

To me it just seems WEIRD. Why can't we have our special moments and our special places? Why everything that we do as a couple has to be done again with his son?

P.S., we tried vacationing as a family, but it was a disaster, we were all unhappy. We spend quality time as a family playing boardgames, swimming at the lake, dining out. I just want to have some alone time with my SO.​​​​​

Mamabearof3's picture

It doesn't seem his son would enjoy the same stuff as you guys anyways. They can spend time without going to romantic spots. I'd ask him why he's taking him to the same places. 

Winterglow's picture

And the idea of taking a 14yo to a remote place to spend time in a spa just because he took you is really weird. I wonder how the kid is going to enjoy that? lol Bet he hates it.

Apart from that, he's showing his son that he is OP's equal and that is something I would be very wary of. He needs to get over his very misplaced guilt. 

oodra's picture

Yeah, his son, like most teenage boys, enjoys playing video games together, not SPAs. The problem is, when I asked my SO about it today, he got angry and defensive. He told me he is entitled to spend quality time with his son, and he made me feel like I was objecting to it.

tog redux's picture

Yes, and it is concerning - by doing this, he's telling his son you two are equals, rather than making sure his son knows the relationships are different, but loving you doesn't mean he doesn't love his son.  He's unwittingly setting up a competition, and he needs to stop now before it gets out of hand. 

oodra's picture

My first thought was that my SO is still feeling guilty about the divorce. Especially because his son hasn't talked about it with him, there are a lot of unprocessed feelings. My SO thinks he's feeling fine (maybe he is, but I doubt it...). But the thing you said about setting up a competition worries me.

stepmomnorth's picture

He's treating the son and you the same, as equals and that seems very odd. I kind of get it, like it was easy to plan and already knew a good place but this feels excessive and in a way possibly takes away from your experience to an extent? I think he should try to connect more with son by talking with him, figuring out his interests and hobbies and for goodness sake go to a different place next time!! 

oodra's picture

I haven't thought about him trying to treat us as equals. And, surely, that's not how a romantic relationship should work. BUT, if I'd tell my SO that I'm not comfortable with him treating us "as equals" I know he would again get angry and defensive, and tell me I'm crazy and imagining things.

stepmomnorth's picture

I think there has to be some kind of understanding that the relationship that you have with your partner is different, and unique from the relationship he has with his son, and that it's a good thing. I think that's the whole idea here. Perhaps telling DH that you value your couple time so much. You love to go out on the town and have fun with him and that is your special time together as a couple unit... For just you, and just you, and you certainly deserve that fun couple time!! 

And that the time he shares with his son is unique to them as well. They should spend time together doing fun and different things. I get the impression your DH feels guilty about your time and has to therefore "make it up" to the kid who he thinks might feel bad about it. You're entitled to having your own couple time together without any guilt. Kids can learn to deal with it.  Did he ever think maybe the son doesn't WANT to do the exact same thing that his dad and step mom do on the trip, lol. 

oodra's picture

"I get the impression your DH feels guilty about your time and has to therefore "make it up" to the kid who he thinks might feel bad about it", - that's exactly what I think. I'm just so angry that he gets all angry and defensive whenever I bring it up.

stepmomnorth's picture

I would probably phrase it as it would be nice for DH and son to find some new and fun interests together to have some variety. To really find what they both enjoy and go out and do that. That would be unique and fun way to bond and spend time together. And that allows you to have your own special couple time, that is just yours. 

Winterglow's picture

Maybe point out that his son night prefer doing other things with him rather than having a to copy the stuff he did with you... 

oodra's picture

Thanks for the advice! I'll make sure to encourage him to find something that might be of interest to both of them.

shellpell's picture

Just read your other post. SO doesn't respect you too r take your feelings into consideration, you're only 27, find a childless man your own age! Do you really want to deal with guilty daddy getting angry with you every time you bring up a concern? Or with guilty daddy taking skid to all the places he takes you? So creepy!

oodra's picture

Sometimes I think about breaking up and leaving all this shit behind. But it's not that easy, because I am actually deeply in love with this man, so we've been trying couples counselling and I’m hoping it’ll help us. If not, fuck this shit (pardon my French).

BethAnne's picture

I've been deeply in love a few times. Trust me, there are other realtionships where you will also feel deeply in love. It is not a unique feeling. The unique part of a good partnership is when all the other parts align as well as the love factor. 

Rumplestiltskin's picture

Too weird. If you and DH booked a couples' massage, would he do that with his son, too? 

oodra's picture

His main interest is video games. Coincidentally, his dad loves them too, so they spend some time playing together. Regarding other interests, I’m actually not sure if anyone ever bothered asking the kid.

SeeYouNever's picture

I think this is less about overcompensating and more about laziness. I am willing to bet that you are the one that plans these trips and your so just goes and replicates them with his son. Obviously you're so enjoys doing these things because he is willing to do them twice! 

I think he has got some sort of guilt about spending money and time with you and he is trying his best to keep it equal between his son and you. I'm not sure where this thinking came from perhaps his ex or his son guilt tripped him. 

It sounds like he is a lazy parent and a lazy partner and that he doesn't listen to you or his son. He thinks his son is doing fine after the divorce because he probably has told him how he should be feeling rather than listening to how he is actually feeling obviously he doesn't listen to his son if he is taking him on romantic vacations and to a spa I can't imagine any teenage boy like that. 

I don't usually advise people to leave relationships unless there is abuse because I think it's lazy advice to just say to leave somebody. But from the short description you've given of this guy he sounds like a lousy parent and a lousy partner. I think you can do better.

oodra's picture

I'm actually willing to try and work on out relationship. Yes, I know he has faults as a parent, but I’m hoping that with the help of therapy he’ll listen to what I have to say, to hear that my concerns are valid, too. I wouldn’t like to break up, unless there’s no other way.


But I actually agree with you that he’s a lazy parent. When I brought up that he’s just copying our activities, his first reaction was that he doesn’t know of any other things to do. Are you freaking kidding me? We live in a big capital city with loads of thing to do… You’re just lazy to even think.

hereiam's picture

Overcompensating, lazy, or just flat out in denial about what his son is feeling and what he needs (counseling?), it doesn't really matter because the real issue is that you cannot communicate with him to get anything resolved. Your feelings and concerns are brushed aside and he becomes angry when you bring anything up.

In relationships, there are issues that can be worked through, there are issues that cannot be worked through, but if the issues cannot even be discussed, they become issues that cannot be worked through.

He is showing you that there is nothing about your relationship that is special. Your feelings and opinions don't matter, either. He wants you to shut up and put up. So, I'd say, no, he does not see you and his son as equals.

Even if you were older, I'd say don't settle for this relationship. At 27? Hell, no.

Before even getting into a relationship, your SO needed to deal with his son regarding the divorce, and deal with his own feelings of guilt, or whatever.

advice.only2's picture

That's odd I don't think I would take my children on romantic vacations I had gone on with my DH.  It would appear your SO has zero clue about how to deal with his kid and how his kid is dealing with the dirovce.  Does he maybe feel like "Oh I made happy memories here doing xyz with maybe I can do this with BS?"  If so he's totally missing the mark of what he should be doing to help his son heal and deal with the divorce and his mother's relationship status.

Rags's picture

It is weird, it is creepy, and your BF is a Disney dad, child coddling idiot.

He is dating his son.  


Which means he should not be dating you or anyone else.

Respect yourself and leave this dipshit and his shallow and polluted gene pool in your past.