This was originally my response to post http://www.steptalk.org/node/65112, but I wanted to put this out here for additional input. It's a long one.
Thank you for posting/sharing this. I know precisely how you feel. If you reversed the sexes in this story, it would be my household exactly. I get no support when it comes to my SS16 from my wife. She (like your husband) thinks that I am overly strict. She claims that I treat him differently than I do "OUR" children. She gets angry when I tell her that I do for a reason. SS16 is 16 years old; they are six & four years old. If I ask him to do, something SS16 should understand why I want it and simply do it. My little ones easily get distracted and lose focus (like all four & six year olds). My SS16 has had the same list of chores since SS16 was 10-years-old. The reason is that SS16 cannot EVER get these correct and complete.
My wife’s biggest pet peeve is that when I get home from work I walk through the door and greet my younger kids with a sweet greeting and smooches. I greet my SS16 with "Why didn't you [insert a portion of a chore here]?" I explain to her every time. The four & six year-olds do not (yet) have many chores or responsibilities. The SS16 does. After I drive home from work (80-minutes each way), I am greeted by the SS16 the same way every day. SS16 makes no eye contact, no verbal communication unless it is a mumbled response to my greeting, the SS16 leaving the immediate area as soon as possible, and ALWAYS one or more chore not completed. So, when I walk in I always make sure to say "HI [SS16]. How was your day?" SS16 sometimes responds with a mumble "good," or "ok." After that, I am "allowed" to inquire about the chores. I then explain what SS16 missed; SS16 fixes them as fast and half-assed as possible and then retreats to SS16's bedroom or to the basement. SS16 then holes-up there until the sound of dinner. SS16 makes a brief appearance to eat as fast as SS16 can and re-retreat. At dinner, there is no conversation with SS16. If dinner is not to SS16's liking, SS16 will make a pair of sandwiches and eat half-a-bag of barbecue potato chips. We throw a lot of food away; good food, food that most kids would love to eat on a regular basis. SS16 is texture-phobic. SS16 was/is super finicky; would not eat 90% of the family meals, wasted a lot of food. It was not until recently that SS16 began eating BBQ chicken (boneless breast, only) and steak (drenched in ranch dressing). SS16 was almost nine before SS16 ate his first assemble sandwich, and it was a battle. SS16 liked bread with ketchup spread on it, cheese, and bologna ~ on a plate. One day I assembled them together as an actual sandwich. You would have thought that I dished up a stinky dog-turd. Unbeknownst to me a sandwich was a pile of sandwich "fixings" not a real sandwich. After making him sit at the table for over an hour SS16 finally took a bite and loved it. That exact sandwich is a staple in his diet to this day!
Anyway, my marriage is on the rocks, too. During a battle over SS16, she told me that she did not love me anymore. It has been almost two years since we have had sex. About six-months ago, my daughter asked why mom and I never kiss or sit by each other. I told her to "ask mom." In the past few months, we have been friendlier, but never romantic. I have been on eggshells with SS16 and the wife. I do many of his chores, do not mention when SS16 fails to do them (as much) and let him get away with whatever SS16 wants. Like you, I have disengaged. SS16 will be a senior in HS this year and I am hoping that SS16 can go to college afterwards and move-on. I think SS16 needs to go into the military, she thinks otherwise. SS16 tried like hell to fail grades 9 & 10. When I stood strong and refused to let him take driver's training because SS16 was a D-student, mom (actually) stood strong with me. SS16 turned his grades around in grade 11 with all A's and B's, easily. SS16 gets his license on Saturday so we will see how grade 12 goes. SS16 and I speak military since SS16 wants to become a police officer. SS16 and mom speak Michigan State since SS16 tells her that SS16 wants to be a Marine Biologist... Both are delusional in my book.
I have raised this child as my own since SS16 was four years old. His biological dad (BD) has not seen him since SS16 was 8 years old. I found out recently that SS16 has been in contact with him (initiated by my son) via email and Facebook. I told my wife that I want SS16 to go to his BD’s for an extended stay this summer. She said that they had spoken of it and that they were considering over the Fourth of July weekend. I told SS16 yesterday to call his BD to make arrangements. He did not call, but says that he will. He might do it, but if he does, he will wait until the last minute making it impossible for BD or a thorn in the side for me or the wife. We are going 75-miles north for the Fourth of July weekend. The BD lives 125-miles east of our home. SS16 will expect us to take him to BD’s and pick him up. We cannot afford this but my wife will do it for him. I want to look into a Greyhound Bus ticket for him. Is this bad?