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Help and advice needed!

childlessstepmom's picture

Has anyone been in the same situation as me, i.e. my 3 year boyfriend (we live together) has a 13 year old son with extremely bad behavior. He started high school this year and has already failed his first year. He lies, steals, skips school, and started doing things that 13 year old's dont do yet. BUT he is a very nice kid. He feels guilt and he's very smart. He understands that what he does is wrong, but he does it anyway. 

My boyfriend has FULL custody, aka EVERY SINGLE DAY. The child doesnt go see his mother anymore, explained later (shes too lazy to pick him up on her weekends). Thus, I'm the one "forced" to take care of him - feed him, do homework, talk etc (I willingly do this, no one really asks me to but who else will). At first, we got along great. I loved my new role and enjoyed spending time with him. We had a cool relationship, he opened up to me and told me his darkest secrets. He doesnt tell his father anything. However, its been a few months we've been having many problems with him. He started lying and turning stories around. He managed to make my boyfriend's family dislike me. I have done everything I could for this kid, never got a thank you. I'm the one who always backed him up and got him out of trouble, yet he makes it sound like im the bad guy.

Now, things are worst than ever and I'm starting to ask myself if I should just end it. I do not have kids of my own, and im in my mid 20s, why am I bothering with a child that isnt mine? He's causing fights between my partner and I (to the point we stop talking to eahc other). We have completely different ways of dealing with things. I guess you can say im the severe one. My partner seems to be very passive about his son's bad behavior. The consequences are minimal and do not last long. My boyfriend will ask him to do something, if he doesnt, sometimes he'll insist, other times he just leaves him be. I'm always telling him that he has no autority. His son doesnt have much respect for him and steps all over him. Yet, when i talk to him about it, he tells me that its getting better and that his son is doing fine. We just dont seem to agree on parenting methods. 

My partner keeps telling me that it will get better, but its been months of this. Is it right for me to stay with a man, build a future, but I cant stand his kid? I know its only going to get worst but I love my boyfriend. It breaks my heart to think that things may end because of a child. I try to help, but my efforts arent completely ignored. Nothing I do seems to ever be good - they see it as me "complaining all the time". 

My partner keeps talking about getting married, having kids and buying a house together - he tells me that at least his kid will be in the basement, but I know that no solution. I'm alwayys telling him that we need to fix our issues before moving forward. That we need to stabilize the situation. He tells me that everything will be fine with time. 

Any advice? Anyone in the same situation? It's frustrating and stressful and im torn. This is SO MEAN TO SAY but I cant stand his child - his presence annoys me. He's rude to me but acts like the victim around his father. I tried everything, being nice, mean, ignoring him, nothing works. HELP

 

PS***: I forgot to add somthing very important, I guess it somewhat justifies the reason my BF acts the way he does with his son. He was a mistake. Well, not a mistake, its more like his ex girlfriend didnt want him to leave her so she stopped the pill without advising him and got pregnant. He stayed an extra 5 years with her just for his son. He really tried to make it work with her. Obviously he was miserable so he left her. I would also like to add that his ex is broke, with no education. She tried to get full custody of the kid for MONEY. She tried 3 times to be exact. Each time the court decided she was unfit to have full custody, so my BF was kinda stuck with it. He wanted shared, the court decided otherwise.

In a way, I guess he feels a bit of anger towards his son. He couldnt go to university to become an engineer (his dream), he was kicked out of his parents house at 19 years old, he had to work nights for 7 years, he was forced responsabilities at 19 years old and had no one to help him. It was not his choice and he was loud and clear to his ex that he did not want the kid. She had him anyways and didnt care about the consequences on my BF life. He is constantly telling me that it will not be the same if he has kids with me beause he WANTS THEM. Obviously its not the kids fault and my BF NEVER told his kid he was a mistake, but in a way, im sure the child knows it. His mom doesnt want to see him (since she lost for the 3rd time in court) and his father is somewhat distant with him (even though its not on purpose). We are in no position to judge him because most of us cant understand what he was forced to go through. So I wouldnt say he's a bad parent, i think its much deeper than that. 

Comments

hereiam's picture

Why are you the one taking care of this kid?

I don't think this is the relationship for you, better to realize that now. I certainly wouldn't want to have a kid with him.

Oh, and everything doesn't get better with time.

 

ESMOD's picture

"I have done everything I could for this kid, never got a thank you."

You don't necessarily need to expect a child to say "thank you" for doing things for them that would be considered normal daily care activities.. it is his FATHER that should be on his knees thanking you for taking care of his son.

If this behavior is recent and a somewhat sudden change then I think there is a chance it can be turned around but everyone needs to be on board with making the changes needed.  Is the boy hanging with the wrong crowd?  too much time on his hands?  typical teenitis?  Consequences need to be set up so that he feels the impact of his actions as well.

Now, on to his father.  With full custody.. he basically made this kid the way he is right?  would you really want to have kids with a man with such poor parenting skills.. or ideas that dramatically differ from your own?  Perhaps counseling as a "family" would help sort out some of these issues.

Bottom line is anything you do for his son is voluntary.  At any time, you can tell him that the current set up isn't working and that he needs to figure out other options.

childlessstepmom's picture

PS***: I forgot to add somthing very important, I guess it somewhat justifies the reason my BF acts the way he does with his son. He was a mistake. Well, not a mistake, its more like his ex girlfriend didnt want him to leave her so she stopped the pill without advising him and got pregnant. He stayed an extra 5 years with her just for his son. He really tried to make it work with her. Obviously he was miserable so he left her. I would also like to add that his ex is broke, with no education. She tried to get full custody of the kid for MONEY. She tried 3 times to be exact. Each time the court decided she was unfit to have full custody, so my BF was kinda stuck with it. He wanted shared, the court decided otherwise.

In a way, I guess he feels a bit of anger towards his son. He couldnt go to university to become an engineer (his dream), he was kicked out of his parents house at 19 years old, he had to work nights for 7 years, he was forced responsabilities at 19 years old and had no one to help him. It was not his choice and he was loud and clear to his ex that he did not want the kid. She had him anyways and didnt care about the consequences on my BF life. He is constantly telling me that it will not be the same if he has kids with me beause he WANTS THEM. He never gave his son the love he deserves because deep down, he never wanted him. Obviously its not the kids fault and my BF NEVER told his kid he was a mistake, but in a way, im sure the child knows it. His mom doesnt want to see him (since she lost for the 3rd time in court) and his father is somewhat distant with him (even though its not on purpose). We are in no position to judge him because most of us cant understand what he was forced to go through. So I wouldnt say he's a bad parent, i think its much deeper than that. 

ESMOD's picture

Sorry to say but your BF needs counseling and how sad for his son to be raised by someone that didn't want him.  I only have so much sympathy for the "trapped" excuse... he did things that result in pregnancy.. it happened.  BC fails.. so there is ALWAYS that risk.  He is responsible and while it sounds like he has taken on this child's care.. he doesn't appear to be doing it in a loving manner towards the boy.  I honestly think that I would still have reservations having a child with someone like your BF that can't stop blaming the child for mistakes he and the boy's mother made.

I mean, what will happen if you have a child with a disability?  will he be angry at THAT burden?  Will he blame you.. the child?  What if he turns it around on you and says... "well I only had kids because you wanted them"... then you have a guy with more kids when he is not cut out to be a dad.

There is so much that they need to resolve and I almost don't think I blame the kid for being off course given the fact that his dad has been such a turd.

futurobrillante99's picture

We all have to live with our choices and you seem to be making excuses for your BF. He chose to trust BM and have sex with her without a condom. Yes, she lied, but your BF CHOSE to have sex with her without protection. He, in actuality, took a risk that didn't go in his favor, therefore he thrust himself into adulthood and parenthood.

For some people on this board, paying their dues has paid off and they have improved relationships and a homelife, but that is because their partner admitted the problems and made some changes.

Many of us are with partners who refuse to admit there are problems and pay lip service to making changes, but don't and/or make us the scapegoat for their parenting failures.

You've described someone in your BF who does sound like a good bet for making any changes. It sounds to me as if you are in for a long, long experience beating your head against the wall.

Please stop making excuses for your BF and his son. Your BF is old enough to decide to make changes and the kids is not a baby. He's also making choices about his behavior.

You are very young and should give some serious thought to what you need in a relationship and in your home. If you can't get those needs met with this guy, please cut loose and find a guy without kids. At your age, you should have plenty of options. More than those of us who are in their 40s and 50s.

ybarra357's picture

You said you're forced to take care of this kid?? Who is forcing you? No, that won't get better.  Your BF will not magically step up and parent his kid.  Too bad really.  I kinda feel bad for the kid.  Crappy parents for sure. 

childlessstepmom's picture

His mother, yes, crappy parent; his father is a great dad, he was always there for him and takes care of him. It's much deeper than that.

ybarra357's picture

Sorry, no, great dads don't foist their parenting responsibilites onto someone else.  You yourself indicate that you're 'forced' to take care of his kid.  That's NOT a great dad, by a longshot. 

Step-girlfriend's picture

This must be a standard accusation. I too am always "complaining all the time" about my SO's kids. SD9 and SS12. At least they aren't terrible, and although SS can be sneaky and I catch him in small lies occasionally, it's manageable. It could get worse, which i'm not sure I could handle. But, my SO is exactly the same- sometimes he follows through on demands of skids, sometimes he lets it go, but either way, we have completely different parenting styles. I have discussed this with a good friend of mine who has 2 teenage daughters, and she says that happens with her and her husband as well, and their kids are bio's. So, apparently disagreeing on parenting styles is not just a skid thing.

It seems like you're kind of at a crossroads too, which is where I'm at. I love my BF and want to stay with him, but man, when we disagree on skids, we really disagree. Sometimes I feel like my SO knows he's not being logical, but he has this blind allegiance to skids and feels obligated to defend them no matter what. It's really frustrating. I'm not sure I have advice for you, but I do plan on presenting the idea of counseling (not just for skid stuff) to my SO tonight. At the same time, I'm in the market for a house, and 1 of 2 things will happen: I will buy a house in the town we live in now that will fit my SO and skids, or, I will buy a house in a different town for just me. I look for both, but am completely torn on what to do. The idea of not dealing with skids and the bullshit fighting with SO that goes with it sounds sooo appealing sometimes...

As an add-on, I will say that what has helped me recently is stepping back from the responsibilities I have taken on in the house. I used to make dinner at least 3 nights a week- no more. SO can handle that. I still do sometimes, but was feeling really resentful that I was doing everything with no appreciation. You have tried your best, and it hasn't worked. It's hard, but stepping back and not being as involved helps! A lot of people on here have disengaged from their skids, and it works for them. It might help for you also.

twoviewpoints's picture

You need to set back and insist your BF parent his son. Which he may or may not do so. You can't change people who don't wish to change.

I don't know what bubble your BF is living in, but he's delusional if he seriously believes this young teen male just just somehow turn things round and get better. Nope. What is going to happen is the kid is going to get worse. 

Sure the kid knows what he is doing and he knows why he can do what he pleases. His father. Dad is being the ostrich with head in hole pretending everything is great, nothing to see here. 

Only you can decide what is best for you. If you stay or if you go. The decision must be made for what is in your own best interest. Not because you 'love' a man. Your Mr Wonderful actually sounds like Mr Very Wrong for what your hope for a future and lifestyle is. 

The suddenly evil SM your BF and SS are spreading? That's because you are poohing on their party. You are objecting to the teen's behavior and nagging Daddy to do something about it. Daddy doesn't want to properly parent. I suppose it is easier for BF to pretend all is great than stand up and parent his son. Dad is simply playing his teen's BFF. The kid doesn't need an adult best friend.... he needs a father. 

This kid is going to ramp up and your BF shows no signs nor desire to face a father's responsibility of necessary hard duty parenting. 

childlessstepmom's picture

PS***: I forgot to add somthing very important, I guess it somewhat justifies the reason my BF acts the way he does with his son. He was a mistake. Well, not a mistake, its more like his ex girlfriend didnt want him to leave her so she stopped the pill without advising him and got pregnant. He stayed an extra 5 years with her just for his son. He really tried to make it work with her. Obviously he was miserable so he left her. I would also like to add that his ex is broke, with no education. She tried to get full custody of the kid for MONEY. She tried 3 times to be exact. Each time the court decided she was unfit to have full custody, so my BF was kinda stuck with it. He wanted shared, the court decided otherwise.

In a way, I guess he feels a bit of anger towards his son. He couldnt go to university to become an engineer (his dream), he was kicked out of his parents house at 19 years old, he had to work nights for 7 years, he was forced responsabilities at 19 years old and had no one to help him. It was not his choice and he was loud and clear to his ex that he did not want the kid. She had him anyways and didnt care about the consequences on my BF life. He is constantly telling me that it will not be the same if he has kids with me beause he WANTS THEM. He never gave his son the love he deserves because deep down, he never wanted him. Obviously its not the kids fault and my BF NEVER told his kid he was a mistake, but in a way, im sure the child knows it. His mom doesnt want to see him (since she lost for the 3rd time in court) and his father is somewhat distant with him (even though its not on purpose). We are in no position to judge him because most of us cant understand what he was forced to go through. So I wouldnt say he's a bad parent, i think its much deeper than that. 

ybarra357's picture

'He never gave his son the love he deserves because deep down, he never wanted him' - There we have it.  WONDERFUL father!

twoviewpoints's picture

My SS never had a 'Mother". She dumped him and left him in the hospital at birth. 

Nineteen? So was my husband when he went to court and fought like heck to keep and raise his baby. Back then it was all but unheard of. But he won. He was part of bringing his son into this world and he was determined to do right by his child. 

Raised his son 100%. Dh's mother and two neighbor housewife ladies helped do the babysitting (wasn't much in way of daycare back then). 

DH chose to keep and raise his child. He loves his son. He loved him and properly parented the kiddo. He did it while working, educating himself (both in parenting and academics) and both father and son thrived. 

If your BF "got stuck" with a child he never wanted nor wanted around to properly parent and raise, he should have given the child up for adoption and let a family who would take the young little guy in. 

But I guess your BF was too busy feeling sorry for himself and not responsible enough to do what (regardless of which path) was best for the child. *shrugs*

Nope. Not a "wonderful father".... but to each their own I suppose. 

moving_on_again's picture

Typically I feel like once people are thinking about ending it, they already know the answer. Just sucks it's becaue of the kid's behavior. 

lieutenant_dad's picture

Hogwash. What you have is a BF problem, not a skid problem.

Your BF knew how condoms worked, but he took the risk of having sex without one. If he was THAT adament about not having kids, he should have wrapped it time and time again. He didn't, and this is the consequence.

His son isn't the reason he couldn't go to university. He and his ex are. They did the deed, and SS was the result. He takes half the blame for that. She didn't get pregnant on her own.

I say this as a 30 YO SM to a 16 and 12 year old. My DH was a teen dad. He has had it rough, but he'll fully admit that he was equally at fault. He wanted to go to college, plan his future, etc. He got saddled with parenthood, but he'll tell you it is no one's fault but his own.

Your BF is a parent. He needs to ACT like one whether he wants to be one or not. This is HIS responsibility to bear, not yours. The courts have deemed him the only fit parent whether it's what he wants or not. He does a major disservice to his son by not trying and by blaming his son and ex for his own mistakes.

You'll never be able to fix your BF or your SS. At best, you can disengage and let your BF handle all the work. You do need to decide, though, if you want to spend another 5+ years with a kid who has no rules or structure while your BF lets him walk all over everyone.

You have a BF problem, which is resulting in problems for your SS. You cannot fix these problems. You either learn to live with them or leave. Unfortunately, there is no middle ground here unless your BF changes his tune about parenting his son.

AshMar654's picture

Hello, People on here can be harsh and sometimes mean and it may all seem like it is an attack on your BF and everything in your relationship. You and I have a few things in common. My SO had his son at 20, the BM pretty much bailed, was never involved much when he was an infant and has not contacted in about 6 or 7 years at this point.

My SO was kinda thrown into being a parent, his parents however helped him and super enabled him. His whole freaking family did, it was ridiculous how bad the enabled him. He was a child with a child. It took him years and I mean years to clean up his act and get it together. He went through some crappy jobs and what not. My SS is 9 and he is a really great kid but he had some behaviors that had to be nipped in the but when we got together. Since my SO and his son lived with his parents and SO traveled a ton for work SS learned the art of manipulating a situation to get his way. He would go from one adult to the next till he got a yes because none of them were on the same page.

I do agree with many posters on here you have a BF problem. He needs to let go of the resentment that he seems to be carrying. My SO never planned on being a father and I think he too wanted her to not have the baby but she decided to keep it. She broke up with him at 6 months and slept with SO's best friend. She never even told SO she was in labor or at the hospital. Yet she bailed. My SO has said that SS was not planned or expected at that point in his life, I can tell with some things he does and how he acts that he sometimes thinks how things would have been a little different. He has never voiced it or said it out loud. SS and I are my SO life and total world at this point. SS and my SO are my world. I am lucky that I had it easy for now. I also laid down the law and said if I was going to be with him, knowing that SS would be with us 24/7 in future, I would be treated as an equal. Him and I would parent together and we would back one another up and be a team. SO agreed and he has never once in our relations has he ever pulled that is my kid card.

Honestly that is huge. My parents my mom and step-dad were the same. My mother and him worked as a team and they did not agree how to raise me, they talked in private.

I am not sure what you are looking for here all I can tell you is my experience and hope it helps.