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Struggling to make it work!

Momof2sons's picture

So, I have 2 boys of my own and my SS lives with us full time. I have been with his father since he was two years old. My DH and I have been married for two years. He and I have each been married twice before. He has two other children both adults. I have one adult son who is going to school and lives with us and another in high school. Though I was married before they were very short marriages and I really was a single mother for most of my son's lives. My husband did not raise his two older children and had them every weekend until they were teens. His youngest son that lives with us is from his second marriage that ended in a huge disaster. In each of my prior marriages, I had step children, ex's and I was always able to speak to their moms. (Each of the step children lived with me). I come from a divorced home as well and have plenty of step family memebers as well as what you would call "half". 

I love children, always have and always will. I will admit, I love my step kids but I sure don't like them. Because of their allowed behavior and disrespect, I hold that against my husband. The only time that my husband and I argue it is due to his son. My children were taught to be respectful, helpful and caring. I know that I won't be around for all of their life and I want to make sure that they are prepared for anything in this world without me. My step children not so much. Everything is done for them, now granted my second oldest step son had cancer when he was 8 years old. It through my husband into dispare, I totally get that and respect it. Fast forward he is now surviving and thriving at the age of 27. His daughter is 28 and is on her own and married. Sorry to go all over the place. My boys call me all the time checking in with me telling me about their days etc. My husbands kids only call upon him when they need something. My 11 year old step son is the greatest manipulator that I have ever seen at this age. He just entered the 6th grade and does not know his times tables or basic math. He has learned how to manipulate my husband into doing his homework for him. My husband still babies him tooooo much. My husband has told me that he wants to give to him and be there for the times he missed with his other children. I have had to explain you cannot make up the past, he understands that and wants to move out of that rut but then goes right back to the whole baby the baby. 

I have always said it's important to teach children life skills, aka: cleaning, cooking, laundry, basic auto repair, gardening etc. Well, my boys literally thrive on this. They drop things to help others and teach them, they know that schooling is their first job in life and they need to do it well. I never required straight A's, I required giving it their all and truly learning the lessons non just memorizing them. Since my step son has struggled so much, I had been asked to step in, well what a disaster! He is so defiant in everything and disrespectful. He slams doors, he throws things down and oh baby bring on the tears. He has done the wonderful name calling (which sounds just like my mother in law) and then goes to his father crying about how hard I am on him. I will turn to my husband and let him be the one who disciplines him. I won't have anything to do with it anymore. not my problem..... oh yes it is! My husband will allow my step son to control everything in our house and it has taken me to the point of telling my husband he either changes or I am out. In this time and age, we need two full time working parents if you are not wealthy beyond all means. Well, I go work my 40 plus a week and my step kids determine how much time my husband will work so where does that leave me? That's right over worked! Yesterday was my step sons first day of school, my husband took it off and then went car shopping with his oldest son who had the day off. I actually did not know about this until last night when I got home. Then I noticed that the 11 year old was in his room on his phone (which is what he does all day long). My husband fixed himself and his son something for dinner because I was not hungry (I usually do the cooking) they ate and my step son went back into his room on his phone. About an hour later, they worked on homework. It's the first day of 6th grade and it took an hour and a half. WOW! Oh did I mention that not once did my step son come out of his room and say hello? Yep, that's normal. Now here is why I get really frustrated over this, a couple of weeks ago my husband asked me to help out with getting my step son ready for school. He has NO friends, literally none. All he does is play video games and stay in his room. He is short and is already a size 32 (mens). There are so many issues that my husband has no idea how to handle any of this. So I said ok, I came up with a way to try and teach him his times tables, well it worked until my husband came into the picture then it was back to the same thing, this is too hard I can't do it and then my husband gives him the answers. That was the last day we did anything.

My 17 year old has enlisted into the Marines and this is my last year with him before he goes. He playes football, wrestles and hunts and is very very active. He suffered a major TBI when he was 2 and was told he would struggle with speaking, reading and comprehession. He also had a major seizure that left him deaf in one ear. Well, that boy has strived as high as the mountains and NEVER lets it hold him back. He's not straight A's but he's close enough.  This weekend was the opener for the elk hunt, My youngest and I have made it a tradition to go out together and hunt. Since this is the last guaranteed year to do this, I told my younger brother that next year would be my step son and his daughter since they both expressed they wanted to do it. So we all loaded up into the truck, before we left I explained all of the things that we were going to see and do etc. Well my niece was eager as they come. My step son, not so much. He had done everything in his power to distract my niece and then to top it off had inappropriate comments as well. His jokes were meant to be said in a bar not in my truck. My husband claims he didn't hear anything but everyone else did. Of course he got away with it. This is a frequent occurance.

When we are at home or shopping, whispering is constantly taking place. It drives me nuts. I have excellent hearing so it's not like I cannot hear what they are saying but it's my step son asking his father for things he knows is off limits. 

Now just to clarify a couple of things. I have another step son from my previous marriage which ended 15 years ago. This young man and I are still very close. His dad (my ex) just passed away in February and he and I were not super close by any means but there was no hatred. He was with another woman as well. My step son has his mother still in his life but he's just a sweet kid. When I was married to his father he struggled with reading and math. I did the same thing with him as I was doing with my now step son. It worked and just a couple of months ago he said that he uses the same skills to teach his kids. Now, I love this boy. He's smart talented, hard working and determined loving young man. Is it possible to love step children and like them,  yes because I love and like this one and have for 20 years. My husbands kids have made it to where we cannot have family functions with them because they are disrespectful and manipulative. A year and a half ago, my step daughter caused such a huge fight that I practically left. Once my husband found out the truth (I refused to fight) he then understood things. I have encouraged him to speak to others and get counceling to understand that kids like structure and discipline. All in all, he will do it if I am there but if I am not, NOPE. They got him where they want him. 

Just an FYI, they are going to counceling crossing fingers but.... and it's a big but, some of my 11 year olds issues are getting worse since. Ever since this weekend as well, we haven't even spoken and that bothers me big time. I just want a normal family. My kids love and adore my husband, they even call him out of the blue to just talk. My husband says he wants that with his kids too. I am exahusted and I am not going to lie, I cannot wait for my step son to go visit his mother for the weekend. I need a break with no stress. 


Again, I love him.... I just don't like him.


SRS1980's picture

Oh my gosh!  You are right... we do have very similar situations.  I CANNOT wait for him to go to his Mom's house.  There's no tension and everyone gets along.  My SS is the 'cool' kid or at least he thinks he is.  His head is so big that he's not concerned about anyone else but himself.  I see it even with his friends that come over.  He bosses them around and makes them clean up after him.  It's nuts. 

Seriously, it's nice to know I'm not the only one.  My DH really is so loving and wonderful.  His divorce guilt is incredibly large and consumes him.  Sounds like yours is the same way.