Hi everyone. I am mommy to a beautiful 10 month old boy and an equally awesome 6 year old boy. They are both biologically mine but only the 10 month old is biologically my husband's. We are having a rough go at it.
The problem is that my husband completely favors *his* son. My 6 year old treats my husband like his daddy, he calls him daddy, I met my husband when my son was 3 so he IS daddy. I don't think my son ever remembers a time when my hubby wasn't in his life. My son loves him immensely and is devestated when my husband gets angry with him (which is all the time). My husband admits to all of this, he says that my son's existence annoys him sometimes. And since we've had our baby it's worse. Because he's such a GOOD dad to our baby. We had the baby at home, unassisted so dh delivered. Whenever dh comes home from work, he lights up around our youngest, plays with him all the time, and ignores our oldest. I have noticed days where he says nothing to our oldest AT ALL except to reprimand him or tell him to stop doing something.
I've suggested that my dh and my 6 year old have one-on-one time and go do things. DH says he hates doing things with our oldest and when they do, it always ends the same way, with them coming home, my dh angry and my ds in tears. They can't spend more than 20 minutes together without that being the result.
The other problem is that my son's temperment is opposite of my dh. DH is a "man's man" rough and tumble, extreme sportsman and my son is quiet, never gets mad or yells, likes to read, dance, build things, loves babies and animals, (loves his little brother so much it's heartbreaking). DS is homeschooled so he loves people, any age, he'll strike up a conversation with anyone and expects to be included with adults (another thing that drives my dh crazy). He is happy doing things with other people that he doesn't even like to do, as long as the other people are having fun. For example my dh and I love to rock climb, my 6 year old is too afraid to try but loves to go with us and cheer us on. Instead of being thankful that we have a son that will cheerfully watch us enjoy something DH laments at how much of a "sissy" 6 year old DS is because he won't try it.
All of our son's sensitivity brings out the "bully" in my DH. When my DH tries to "play" with DS, it's always the same thing, dh rough-houses and wrestles (which I have nothing against in and of itself) with him until DS can't take it anymore and asks dh to stop which only makes him do it more aggressively until ds starts to cry, then DH gets mad, calls him a "baby" and sometimes he will repeatedly "play" hit DS with a pillow (while DS is huddled in the fetal position in tears may I add) and say that he's just "playing" but any third party with a pair of eyes can see that it's aggression.
I don't know when to step in and say something (because it usually makes it worse and then me and DH are fighting in front of the kids) but the things that come out of dh's mouth, I feel like I have to say something. I feel like I'm in an impossible situation. Any action by me makes things worse.
After all the above it seems impossible for me to try and redeem him....but we are all loving people in this household. We are organic, non-vaxing, homebirth having, co-sleeping, cloth diapering, breast-feeding, baby slinging family etc. Of course most of that was born through me but DH is supportive (he struggles with his conservative upbringing) and he loves both children. He will do thoughtful things for our 6 year old but day to day....he just can't relate, something's in the way. I've heard "oh it's his (dh) pride, the fact that you had a child with someone else" Well, where does that leave us? Yes, I have a past, but he knew that when we met and it's not going to change. And I've heard "well, it takes time to build a relationship between step parents and children" ok, but it's gotten WORSE over the years, not slowly better. Do you think I would've married him if this was how he acted when we were dating and engaged? And, my DS's self-esteem and self-image are forming NOW. If 10 years from now they finally have some sort of relationship, that won't change the fact that from 3-16 years old my ds lived with a father that didn't act like he liked him.
I don't know what to do. If anyone out there has any words of wisdom or comfort....I would absolutely love to hear them.