I need help....
I'm 26 years old. I've been dating my boyfriend for 2 years. He has a son that is 7 and a daughter that is 3. Let me preface this by saying they are great kids and my boyfriend is a great dad, however I feel like I'm living in the twilight zone. The 3 year old loves me. She always talks to me and wants to play with me and snuggle with me. She even told me she loved me. I was so happy I could've cried when that happened.
On the other end of the spectrum, the 7 year old treats me like I'm invisible, except when he stops to give me a dirty look. And YES I know he's 7 but I don't know what to do. For the past 2 years, I've tried everything under the sun to get in him to at least respond to me. In the beginning, I totally understood that he was cold to me. I was patient and understanding. My parents divorced when I was 2 and they've both been remarried for over 20 years so I was more than willing to put in the work to have a relationship with my boyfriend's kids.
I have tried everything to connect with his son......I ask him to play every game known to man, I ask him to color or draw, play catch, I ask him to pick out movies, I ask him about school and his friends. I've bought movies, and circus tickets for them. I threw them I valentines day party with a heart shaped pizza and 25 red balloons. I've personally thrown them birthday parties.....and it doesn't matter....when his dad is around, he'll give me one word answers. When his dad is not around, he flat out ignores me or he gives me a dirty look and says nothing.
The ultimate kick in the heart is when we are all together and his son says, "I liked it better when it was just the 4 of us" (talking about when my boyfriend and his ex were together) or when he's drawing something and he says, "I'm going to write the
names of the people that are just in OUR family" (and he writes his, his dad's, his mom's, and his sister's name)....and yes, no joke, he does put the emphasis on OUR. Or when My boyfriend's 3 year old daughter told me she loved me for the first time and the 7 year old said, "DON'T SAY THAT".
I've talked to my boyfriend about it and he just tells me that it's going to take time and that I'm doing a good job and to be patient. But I feel like he has no idea what it's like to be me in this position. I feel like he has no idea how bad I feel on a DAILY basis about this. I've cried so many times about this I can't even count. And don't get me wrong, I don't have unrealistic expectations. I'm not expecting him to call me mom and tell me he loves me. I just want him to be okay with me. I just want him to say hi or bye. I just want him to say anything to me when I say something to him. I just want it to be okay that I'm around. My greatest fear is that the 7 year old hates me and I ruin his time he gets to spend with his dad. I would rather bow out of the situation than spoil any of the kids' time with their dad.
The reason I'm writing now is that I'm having serious doubts about my ability to continue to handle this situation. My self worth in this situation is so low I don't know how it's possible to be any worse. I keep telling myself to be mature and patient but that's not working for me anymore.
I love my boyfriend and love the kids and all I want is for everything to be okay....or at least I want to know that I'm doing everything I can to be proactive. I'm willing to try anything so if anyone has any words of wisdom or encouragement or any books I can read or tips I can try please let me know.