I live with my partner who has custody on his 8 year old boy. They have been living together in a very tight bound since the boy was 2, helped by my partner's parents. We have been together for 1 year and a half now.
I have real difficulties to build a real loving relationship with the little boy, it seems that their family cell is organised out of me and I battle to find my place (every morning his father drives him at his grand parent's, who drop him and collect him from school, he has his diner over there and come back home for bath and sleep). I have to confess that I am myself quite tired when I come back from work and I do not always have the energy to follow him in his very energetic plays.
I am used to children who love me and enjoy being cuddled by me but this one would not let me give him more than a kiss on the forehead ( I almost have to fight for that) and fiddle his hair (even though he does not really like it). He lets me cuddle him only when there are other children around coming to me. We have some moments of tenderness but that does not come naturally to him. He is very close to his father and I sometime feel has if he considered me as a rival (pushing me out of the bed when he comes in the morning, seating on the front seat in the car, excluding me from conversation and moment of cuddling with his father, ...). I was thinking that I had to give him time and go at his path, without forcing him in a relationship he was obviously not yet ready to accept but my partner has started to blame me for not cuddling him enough. Should I force him to accept my cuddles? I think that he likes me sometime, and tolerate me most of the time. he already has a Mum and doesn't want another one. His father would like me to behave as his mate but I do not have the energy to play their boyish games every night, neither to play with characters during the bath time every night. The little boy keeps on urging us to get married but does not let me coming further than a certain limit close to him. I would like him to accept me as his father's partner and someone who loves him and care for him but not as a "mate" who has to satisfy all his wishes. Should I go at his path or should I force him as his father would like me to? I'm sorry for my english (I'm not an english speaker) and thank you for your advices