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Stepson living with Grandparents

badcat's picture

Hello everyone,

Just a newbie here. Signed up because basically i don't know what to do..

First off i would like to clarify these important things that will help you guys weigh in on the situation and hopefully give me an honest answer to my dilemma.

1. Grandma is a narcissist. She is verbally absusive. She is a hoarder, their place is literally messed up. Living room is full of her trash and the place, filthy and full of roaches. Helicopter parent. She once advised me to abort our now 7 mo old babyafter she learned her daughter was pregnant so i dont like her at all.A Helicopter parent.

2. Grandpa is a 69 yr old senior vp for a bank(not really sure why the bank lets him stick around considering his age), a compulsive gambler and spoiler. A man who loves to brag and showboat, someone who wants people to think he is rich. Helicopter parent as well.

3. wife - we just had our wedding anniversary last march, 2013. She was physically abusive before to the point where my face was all bruised up but now, her physical abuse has mellowed to verbal and emotional after i walked away and threatened to divorce. I am continuously making her see the error of her ways, and gently pointing out the bad parenting she received. She is also a flight stewardess and is almost always away. She has NPD like her mom and doesnt know the word responsibility and accountability. ALways blames others for her mistakes.


I married my wife a year ago and we have a 7 mo old baby girl. She has a 7 year old son from her previous boyfriend currently living with her parents away from us.

We're living an hour's drive away from the grandparent's place and we try to visit once or twice every 2 weeks because our work schedule does not permit us to do so on a regular basis.

The 7 yr SS is very warm to me. He even call me his 'dada' and i am very fond of him except.. When he throws fits everytime he doesn't get what he want, he is starting to use emotional blackmail when he doesnt get what he wants, doesn't have great social skills to the point where he gets mad and frustrated whenever he loses a game (videogames/sports). He is basically a spoiled brat. Might also have ADHD, since he always pinches my finger when he's near me. Now, i dont fault him for what he has become but the parenting he has endured from his grandparents.

The problem here is that, even if i wanted to take the child into our own place, my wife won't let me since she says that the kid is the only thing keeping her dad 'alive'. She says, without SS, her dad would fall into depression and something bad might happen (he has diabetes, has heart problems, weighs 270 pounds on a 5'10 frame).

I tried my best to explain to her that her decision is basically ruining SS' childhood and that she has to make a choice soon. That their parenting is literally turning him into a brat and we should be taking him away and raise her under our wing as a normal parent would do before it's too late. She always says to me that she wants to take SS but when the day comes, she flakes.

I genuinely care for the child but this situation is driving me nuts, the fact that you want to save the child from being spoiled and there is never a day that passes that you want to straighen him out and instill good values and discipline. But every day that he is not with us, makes it harder for me to bond and be close to him.

Last night, wife asked me a question that threw me off: When will you adopt your SS??

I was completely caugh off guard and obviously didnt know what to say, i just told her, that we should first get the boy and raise him before i can answer the question, which btw made her hysterical. She said some nasty and unfair statements like what will SS think when he grows up and notice that he and BioD have different surnames, that i dont really care for the boy and its ok with her(passive agressive stlye), when you feel it's not, etc..

So my question is, what should i do? I cannot adopt the child and give him my name without first bonding with him. Im also having this what if bad thoughts that he might be someone i wont be able to control and that adopting him will be another mistake. First one being, marrying the wife.

I would like to giver her a chance, because i can see she's trying to change, but get demoralized when she has her occasional breakdowns. Which is very stressful for me. I am getting used to the flight/fight feeling and i feel that it's killing me slowly from the inside out just like seeing SS being transformed into a narcissistic, spoiled, irresponsible kid right in front of my eyes.



badcat's picture

Thanks for the reply! Really appreciate to see someone reply at 4:51 in the afternoon.. Blum 3

Anyway, what about the possibility that something bad might happen to FIL when we decide to take SS away for good? I'm already hearing the words 'its your fault!!!'


badcat's picture

face got bruised up, a black eye and a long cut on the cheek which put a permanent albeit, cool looking scar.

wasn't defending at the time, since it was the first time a girl attacked me and i was in shock plus i was thought by my dad not to hit a girl back. Anyway, i let her do her damaging for a good 2-4 minutes, can't really remember the exact time but when i came to my senses, i subdued her and shoved her. Happened 2-3 more times, sometimes with bite marks to show for after our scuffle. After that i walked away and told her i will file for divorce. She tried to be good after that last incident.

Yeah, FIL and MIL are selfish as expected. Not thinking about the ramifications on SS' childhood. I on the other hand will not let this injustice go on. Thanks for helping clear the view for me.

At the end of the day, it's about a child's childhood as well as his future we're talking about here are we not? So to hell with FIL and MILs feelings. They're adults, (seniors for that matter) and they should know better..,. DAMMN!

badcat's picture

Well, taking custody of SS is really what i want. DOnt want the kid to be causing trouble when he grows up. but more importantly, it sucks to see a kid get corrupted day by day. When your with FIL,MIL and family, and you see him running around the restaurant with MIL and FIL tolerating the behaviour and not doing anything while you watch - That is painful man. Just 1 of the many sick things i am seeing.

ybarra357's picture

Sorry dude and I'm gnna be brutally honest - why are you putting up with this nut? No wonder the grandparents have custody of her kid. Dayam - major trainwreck.

badcat's picture

HOnestly, i have thought of leaving her multiple times except that BioD is still 7 months old and id want to give her a chance, you know, hoping that she can see the error of her ways and change and it would be real nice if she does change. Not for me, my baby but for herself. Thats whats keeping me from walking away.

Other than that, the first thing that comes to my mind when she's going nuts is to leave her, and then i think about paragraph 1 up and put up with her..

Honestly, i can't help but compare her with the last gf i had before her, i sometimes wonder why of all people her, you know. its kinda sick but looking back it was my choice to not see the warning signs of a NPD person and put up with her abuses, my choice why i believed she would completely change and married her...

Yeah. Her family is a major trainwreck. If this continues for 1-2 more years then i'm ditching her. Just wanted to make sure that i gave everything to make 'us' work. Thanks for the comment man!

Sunflower1's picture

Hello and welcome. You may want to pick up, why does he do that by Lundy Bancroft. It's written about abusive men, but if you change the he to she, abusive controlling behavior is just that regardless of which gender is abusive. It also has information for someone who is choosing to break the cycle, this may be helpful for both you and your wife.

badcat's picture

Thanks! Will check the nearest bookstore. Right now, im thinking of what excuse to say to her if in case she sees the book.. Right now im keeping my best to keep her 'in line' and not go ballistic..

hismineandours's picture

I don't even think you could adopt him now. They would want to do a home study and would obviously find that your ss doesn't even live with you guys.

cant win for losin's picture

Umm, im gonna just flat out say it. Your are a battered husband. Your responses clearly show that. "I'm thinking what excuse to tell her in case she sees the book." WTF?! You honestly think that people in normal healthy relationships, say our think these things? This is over a book! SMH
Then you say that you are trying to keep her "in line" and keep her from going ballistic. Oooh my, honestly it sounds like she is keeping YOU in line.
Please go seek help for battered spouses. You think is gonna get better? Seek help. Do this for your daughter.

lostmind's picture

Im sorry after looking at the comments i dont see anyone mentioning the hoarding/roaches. Spoiled be damned, physco mommy needs to get her kid out of that toxic unhealthy house. Health and well being should be top on list. Sounds to me by wife flaking thst she may not want ss to live with her. My DFH adds tell her to shit or get off the pot the living conditions alone would have dssstep in.

sasha101's picture

My first reaction when reading your post was what on earth are you doing putting up with such abuse? So she's downgraded from physically battering you to "just" emotional and verbal abuse, and you're okay with that? It sounds like your ss is in a horrible environment with grandparents who are clearly not up to the job of parenting a 7 year old properly, but if you really think about it, would he be any better off with his psycho mother? You sound like a genuinely good, caring guy who wants the best for his family, but she is the bio parent and I bet if you were to get him full time she would constantly use him as an excuse to create more arguments, emotional blackmail and undermining anything positive you tried to do for the boy. Your ss may not be any better off living with you, because however hard you try to parent him and raise him properly, his mother will hold the fact she is the bio parent over your head and ss will be in the middle of another war between you. If he has behavioural problems that will also cause added stress to you and your marriage and in an already strained environment, bringing more stress into it cannot be a good idea. I'm sorry to say that as sad as your ss's situation is, he is not your child and I think you have to make yourself and your own daughter a priority. It sounds like you care more about your ss than his own mother does and you cannot take on her responsibilities for her. She has no right to demand that you adopt your ss, and you're right in saying that you couldn't even consider it till you have had chance to form a strong bond with him - in fact I'm sure the authorities wouldn't allow it without that. I agree with the poster who suggested she might be hoping you adopt him so she can screw you financially further down the line if/when you separate.

Someone else has suggested you start documenting how much you are doing for your daughter, so when the inevitable split happens you'll be in a position to get custody. I would also document the abuse, keep a diary of everything abusive she does/says towards you, your daughter and her son. If she's neglectful of your daughter be sure to document that too. Whatever you do, don't tell her or let her see it. As you've probably learned by now, someone with a personality disorder never changes. There is no treatment and these people are simply incapable of learning to do things differently, so any hope you have of her taking responsibility for her behaviour and making a genuine effort to change are in vain because it will never happen. She comes from a family of psychos and the sad fact is your ss will probably end up just the same, so if I were you I would start planning a safe exit for you and your daughter before your daughter ends up being affected by the abuse her mother is clearly showing you. I hope you've had a chance to look at some websites about domestic abuse, as other posters suggested - the more information you can find the better, as it will give you a much clearer picture of what is really going on.

I can tell you from experience that kids who grow up seeing one of their parents abuse the other grow up with all sort of problems. My dh has custody of his 3 boys because their mother was proved to be unstable and unfit to look after them, as they were so badly affected by seeing their bm abuse their father every day - shouting, swearing, threatening, saying really vulgar, disgusting things and totally dominating him. She was also abusive towards them, both emotionally and physically. They all have behavioural issues which have taken years to sort out, and they're always going to have some issues. My own daughter grew up seeing me be verbally abused by her father. I have always been on the large side and my ex constantly ridiculed me and called me horrible names because of my size. My bd, now 20, has always had serious issues with her weight and appearance, has eating problems and also has difficulty with relationships because of her attitude towards men. My ex's abuse also made me mentally and physically ill and I still have lasting health problems 7 years after leaving him. I cannot tell you how damaging domestic abuse is to both the abused partner and the children who grow up witnessing it, and I hope you can take care of yourself and your daughter and keep yourselves safe.