My boyfriend worries I will try to take the kids away

Dear Dr. Patty Ann,
I have been with my current boyfriend for 4 years and we have been living together for about 3 years now. I have a 5 year old from a previous relationship and a 1 year old from this relationship. We get along great and rarely fight but when we do fight he always goes to the extreme and says I’m going to try and take the kids away from him because in my previous relationship I gained custody of my five year old son. He will always apologize for saying it after we make up and I have told him how much it hurts me when he says these things. How can I help this situation so he does not always assume I will take the kids away from him?
– Frantic in Frisco


Dear Frantic in Frisco,
Thank you for sharing your situation! Based upon the information you provided, there appears to be nothing you can do to change your boyfriend’s behavior during the heat of the fight. Therefore, I would strongly recommend you have an honest conversation with him – at some time when things are going well – and you are not fighting – and emphasize to him how much it hurts you when he says those things to you that you referenced. Let him know that although he says he doesn’t mean to hurt you once the fight is over – that doesn’t take away the pain it causes you. THEN – the next time you are in a fight – before things escalate too much – remind him of this conversation! Hope this helps.



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