I have 2 children, I was married for 19 years and I have been separated for 2 years. My oldest child (19yrs old) lives with me and my youngest (14yrs old) lives with his dad (by his choice).I have been seeing this man for 9 months. We have been very serious and what I thought very much in love.He is going through a messy divorce. He also sees a therapist for some personal problems.He says he wishes I could love him like I do my son. I do love him and have put everything into our relationship.My children have always come first in my life. I was in a bad marriage and I focused a lot of my time to my boys, which I loved. I don’t think I take anytime away from either my boyfriend or my boys.I don’t get to see my boys much. They are involved in sports, hunting and such.Some of my girlfriends gathered at my home recently and my oldest son came home late that night and mingled with us and my boyfriend said he felt left out and that he couldn’t compete.Am I missing something here. It sounds like he is jealous of my son. Please give me some advise.
I often tell people, ‘Don’t try to interfere with your partner’s emotional distortions.’ What I mean by this is that all of us come to our adult relationships with the scars of childhood just barely scarred over.Whenever our mates say or do something that reminds us of similar situations in which we suffered in childhood, all the buried hurt and anger of the past comes leaping to the surface. We find ourselves going ballistic on our mates, when, in fact, our minds are using our mates as a ‘blank screen’onto which we project feelings from the past.Since most of us aren’t completely out-of-touch with reality, there is always a germ of truth to our reactions. The germ of truth in your case is that you do love your sons, and you loved them long before he was ever on the scene.When he sees your love for them, I suspect that feelings from his childhood erupt. I further suspect that he felt that one or both of his parents favored a brother or sister over him, so that when he sees your attachment to your son, his old wound is ignited.Only one problem: he doesn’t know what is happening inside himself. His emotional associations are going on on an unconscious level. The question is what do we do with this knowledge?I think you need to work on two different levels: on the here and now level and on the historical level. On the here and now front, ask him to explain what you are doing that makes him feel that you don’t love him most of all, and what you can do to make him feel more loved. Just asking these questions will make him feel how much you care.This will do much to heal your relationship in the present and to help him heal the old wounds that are being awakened.If you sense that he is open, then you can be even more direct about addressing the historical factors that are triggering his response. If you feel that he is willing, then gently question him in the following way: Ask him if he felt that his parents loved one of his brothers or sisters more than they loved him. That should get the ball rolling.Be patient and loving and you should be able to work this through.