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BF's Toxic Teenage Son

Soniki's picture

Im 27 years old and got into a relationship with an older man at the age of 22. At the time he had a 10 year old son. His son has always been rude but every laughed it off as cheeky because he was cute and the youngest in his family.

I have always done my best to care for him despite this, bought food, clothing, looked after him, took him on days out, spoilt him even though he doesn't deserve it, cooked and cleaned for him. 

But he has always been abusive toward me. He is a narcissist who pretends to be kind, caring, generous and polite when other people are watching or the camera is on but he's a devil at home. Never listens, repeats the same behaviour despite being told off/punished and is a pathological liar and schemer. One time when he was 13 I told him not leave his shoes all around the house and put his one shoe that he left downstairs in his room. I come back later to see just that one shoe thrown on the landing. I go back and fourth telling him not to do that but he continued to throw it on the landing. Finally I tell his dad who was washing up and he did nothing about it. 

More recently during the lockdown I noticed all the bowls had gone missing over a couple of weeks. His son has been told before not to leave the bowls in his bedroom because he will leave it there until mold grows. My bf asked his son where the bowls were and of course he denied even touching them. We both know he had them but he kept lying and trying to turn it on us, never believing him, always on his case, he hasn't done anything we're the crazy ones for getting angry, moaning the whole while under his breath when we're making a point, creates a huge argument between himself and my bf then walks off like we're just insane. Another few weeks go by and now all the bowls have gone so I've had enough, I go into his room and search all the draws, under the bed, cupboards etc. Low and behold all the bowls are found in various areas full of food and mold as it has been sitting there for over a month. My bf goes mad at him this time for the lying, denial and argument he built up a few weeks ago. He punishes him by taking PlayStation away and the  we go to the supermarket whilst his son is still at home. Instead of apologising and explaining himself he ramped it up even more, when we got back home he hid the tv remote in the living room and our bedroom because he didn't like being exposed and punished. Again he lies about touching them, never seen them (bedroom remote is only ever in one place and never gets misplaced), my bf threatens with a heavier punishment and 15 mins later both remotes are miraculously found and the bedroom remote was apparently found in an area it would have been impossible to be put in anyway. But of course his son had no idea how it got there he just found both remotes - more lies. Then after everything he will speak in a soft innocent voice and be nice, polite and good for a day or so to get him back on your good side before something else to happen.

These kinds of scenarios have been the going on and getting worse and more extreme over the last 5 years. But now he also walks around and talks with a sense of superiority, arrogance and denial of his own faults). He thinks he's gods gift and he has all the looks and personality that makes him better than anyone, constantly disrepecting anything I say or do for him. His dad is starting to see how horrible his son can be and how psychologically and emotionally manipulative he is but feel like theres nothing we can do. The sons mother is a heavy alcoholic, a liar, abusive when drunk and always lives in denial (like her son).

With everyone else he is good as gold and people only have praise about him because he's completely fake and lies about who he is and what he does. When he retells stories about what happened he twists the story to make himself look good.

Im so fed up, I actually hate my bf's son and don't know what to do about it. He's now 16 and I dont want to be around him but we live together


tog redux's picture

Well, some of this may be genetic from his mother, but your SO has not helped by treating him like he's cute and funny instead of giving him consequences. And now he decides there is "nothing he can do?"

Seems to me that you need an exit plan, because this kid isn't going anywhere if your BF doesn't feel he has any authority in the home. 

Soniki's picture

My BF has always done everything for his son. Really done his best because of how bad his mum has been in their lives. He made sure his sons emotional side was taken care of because his mum was either drunk or trying to physically hurt them, when she was sober she was as sweet as pie.


My bf has also tried to educate him up until he was 8 years old, taught him French as my bf is French but living in the UK, tried teaching him school subjects, taking him to all sorts of sports and recreational activities. But his son is so resistant to learning anything, always arguing or destroying structure that my bf gave up when he was 8 years old. That coupled with lack of dicipline has landed him and I to an extent, here.

I love my bf, he is a good and caring man. I think we both recognise that there isn't really much we can to do to change his sons behaviour and attitude towards us. He only talks to us or spends time with is or does as he's told because he wants something, not because he's being considerate and caring towards is.

In the same time I'm finding living with his son day to day difficult, I clean, he creates mess and takes no responsibility for it. I cook, he says thanks and runs to his room to eat. He doesn't want to study for his exams so he says he'll come to the supermarket with us "to spend time with us" just to get out of working. Never wants to spend genuine time with us, never apologises but expects to always be loving, caring and nice towards him. 

I feel anxious because of his mere presense in the house even if he's just in his room all day. I don't like talking to him because when he's nice I know he's being fake so whenever I do end up talking to him its in a full blow argument.

I just can't stand being around him, he treats his dad so poorly despite him literally fighting to have full custody to look after him, giving up his life so his son can stay in the UK and grow up around his friends whilst his own family and friends are in France. He's done all he can for him and son has lived a luxurious life compared to most other kids. 

He can't hide behind, lack of a mother figure, they still talk every other day on the phone laughing away. He even slagged off my bf to her because he went mad at him for doing something he's been told not to do a million times.

I don't want to leave my  bf but don't know how to deal with the situation either

tog redux's picture

Good dads do the hard stuff too, not just the stuff that feels good. For a challenging kid like this, discipline and structure should have been at the top of the list, not language lessons and sports.  So your BF did not do the most essential part of parenting, which is to raise kids with a sense that they aren't the center of the universe. He did the fun stuff that made him feel like a good dad, not the hard stuff.  And he's still allowing his son to treat him poorly and not standing up for his right to be respected in his own home. He, as well as BM, has created this problem.

Love may not be enough when this kid is 27 and still living in your home because your BF feels sorry for him and "doesn't know what to do". 

Soniki's picture

Though maybe I wasn't clear. I'm 27 and have been with my bf for 5 years. He's older than me and his son is now 16 years old, not old enough to move out.

Thumper's picture

What do YOU want to do about 'all this?

Sometimes it is difficult to remember that you have a lot of power in your life.  We can become so wrapped UP in all the bs---we forget WE can decide our fate.


Soniki's picture

I dont want to leave my bf because of this. We are good together and there's more to our relationship than his son

 Please read my reply to the above comment, I explain a lot in there. But I don't want to leave or know how to deal with it either 

CLove's picture

So, you have full custody. All the things that you described are a direct result of a failure to parent effectively. By by the mother and father. He parented out of guilt. He spoiled the child so he is not very pleasant to be around. The child is disrespectful and lies all the time, and never cleans up. All this is because the parents failed to parent. They failed this child.

You need to disengage, if you decide to stay. Kiddo will be 18 soon, and your BF can launch the kiddo, as he will be an adult then. Disengagement means that YOU do not clean up after SS. "Sweety, can you clean your mess? Thats from SS? Ok can you take care of if please?"

Disengagement means that you do NOTHING for SS. You do not spend ANY $$$ on spoiled disrespectful child. You do not care if he completes his work or not, If he fails classes or not, you do not concern yourself, AT ALL. PERIOD.

If SS takes dishes? Get locks for cupboards. There is no eating in bedroom. We have a "food only in dining room" policy in our home. SDnow21 when she was living with us would try, and then when we said "no", would sneak food in at the middle of the night. I wish that we had been able to put locks on the cupboards.

Get lock boxes. Change wifi passwords. Ger things on camera. Nanny cams, or whatever devices you can get, or just the phone.

Your BF has failed as a parent but that doesnt mean you should suffer through this. I know that we are on a lockdown, but if you can find ways to not be around as much, and if you stop doing for SS, then maybe BF will step up.

Cover1W's picture

Exactly this.

That shoe would have been in the trash bin so fast in my house, or thrown out the front door - oh, you wanted your shoe? Then properly take care of it and leave it out of the shared space.

Bowls gone?  Well, no one wants them so serve nothing in bowls. You do not retrieve anything IF the father takes care of it. If the father does NOT do anything and there is mold in the bedroom and thus the threat of infestation or damage to the house itself, then you warn the Father ONE time, "if that is not cleaned up by X date - because mold in bedrooms is NOT acceptable in any circumstance, I will do it myself and no one gets any say in how I do it." Then do a clean sweep.

I did all of the above with zero regrets. DH did come to see the issue but he still cannot make himself actionable as a parent, thus the problem. I mean he cannot even make sure YSDalmost15 clean out and dispose of her empty soap containers (she will use no other soap thus I think it's HER responsiblity to deal with it, not anyone else's - she's almost 15!!) FFS. So I make sure HE does.

You, OP, need to stop helping at all. Nothing - no cooking for people who don't appreciate it, no cleaning up exept for your boundaries and you decide how, no replacing things no buying anything (not even special food) for your SS. Nothing.

Soniki's picture

But nothing lasts too long, my bf isn't consistent with punishments and his son knows how to get around him or moan at him enough until he get what he wants. 

No is met with why, every time. Then it becomes a discussion and then an argument. Nothing I say or do makes any difference for too long

Cover1W's picture

And that is why you ignore it or take the hard line for yourself. Nothing you say or do will help so stop trying to fix it.

Soniki's picture

And actually I have done just that over the last week. I feel so much lighter in myself and feel like I can focus on me again. I tried to build a good relationship with him for my boyfriends sake but its clear his kid is just growing into a person I would never accept in my life had he not been his son. So I've stopped every thing, even the small talk. I haven't spoken to him or spent time with him otherwise it becomes too easy to engage, he's the kind of kid that will keep talking nicely to you until you talk to him so its best for me to just not be around him even if we live in the same house

Soniki's picture

His son disrespects more than he does his dad. He treats me like im a stranger living with them and they are a family. But he still expects me to do all these things for him, buy him nice birthday and christmas presents.


I've already said to my bf that I'm not doing anything for him, not making him nice snacks or looking after him in the way I used to and I'm not buying any presents for him. My bf always shouts consequences when he's mad at his son and then never follows through.

His son didn't study for his maths exams that happened last week and he said he will stop doing everything for him other than the basics, no phone, no christmas presents etc. He put a block on his phone but he can still call whoever he wants, he still has his PlayStation and laptop (blocks on social media for this) and he cooks and cleans for him. I can guarantee as the exams are over now he will go back go bending over backwards for this kid.

So regardless of me not doing anything for him, it doesn't make a difference. For his son he will just be like "oh well, a few less christmas presents and one less person to talk to"

He just wouldn't care if I did anything for him or not. If I do its a bonus and he'll take it, if I don't he does give a F#@k

I can see some similarities in your situation with the empty soap bottles. Today my bf found his son spilt cream all over the fridge and instead of getting him to clean it, in order to avoid an argument he cleaned it and said "I love my son and I want to stop focusing on the negatives with him, he's also a result of how I bought him up so for now I just want to accept, care and love him for who he is.

Cover1W's picture

Oh, I get it, you are in the stage of reality and your bf is in the disney stage forever more.

1. Stop commenting on anything about the SS. No more discussions with your bf about SS behavior or what you think. Your bf will never come to agreement with you and continue to interpret it only as negativity and "you hate my child." Once I stopped this it got much better to ignore. Even now, almost 8 years later, I cannot comment on much at all unless it's a specific thing, "DH pleaase take care of the empty container in the bath that YSD left there again." Is it.  Even if your bf complains, stick to "Uh huh" "that's too bad" "what do YOU think?" etc.

2. I didn't really tell DH want I wasn't doing any longer unless it was something essential, like laundry. (I showed the SDs how to use washer/dryer and posted instructions for them then I was done). I just slowly stopped or if asked, "I'm sorry, I didn't know that was my responsibility" or "I have other plans." Or just don't do it. Leave it. DH refuses to make YSD do her own dishes, so they stack up all day - I do not touch them. Ever. If there's too much of a mess I don't cook dinner. DH always, always ends up doing them and I remain silent.

3. Your bf "expects" you to do all these nice things - well, stop. You don't do all those nice things for regular people who treat you poorly, why should his son get a pass. He's supposed to be learning how to function in the world and special treatment will not help him be a responsible and productive, well liked adult. At all. My DH could rant all he wanted about my "lack of help" at one point when he had to actually come to terms that I wasn't helping with ALL of it any longer and he had to step up - I remained calm, told him how exactly was it my responsibility, not my kids, I get all the RESPONSIBILITY WITHOUT AUTHORITY and that is where it ends. You cannot be responsible if you have no way to mitigate the actions or way it plays out.


Soniki's picture

For this advice! I really have questioned everything I've been feeling lately and if I'm a bad person for feeling that way. This has helped me understand that I don't have to put in effort or care for those who wouldn't for me.

I will just try to keep myself to myself and see how things go. I will keep you posted with different blogs on the next issue that arises, do doubt it will be soon

Merry's picture

If your BF won't parent this boy (gave up on him when he was EIGHT years old), then all you can do is go gray rock on SS. Ignore him. You have no responsibilities toward him, and you are not going to assume any. No cooking, cleaning, anything. It's hard to do and will take practice. Or, find a small place for you to live without BF and SS until SS has launched. Date your BF if you want to, but you surely don't have to live in misery with SS.  It's not too early to start talking about a launch plan for him.

But, sadly, we see on here that these types of kids just don't launch. They have it so good, why would they? No responsibilities, all the food they can eat, wifi, playstation, etc. And, these kids are generally not prepared to live independently in the world at 18 either, because their parents failed them.

Soniki's picture

I will try to do this and see how it goes. It becomes so hard to not get involved when an argument happens because his knows exactly how to get around my bf and push his buttons. He will say what ever bulls$#!+ even if it makes no sense and sounds stupid just to have something to say and get away from the real issue. In the end its unresolved and the same thing will happen again.

Good to know I'm not totally crazy with this, thank you for your advice 

Merry's picture

The truth is that there actually IS NOTHING you can do. And if you try, SS just digs in and declares "you're not my mom" or some such and BF says "you just hate my kid" or similar. There is no winning here, unless the two warring parties (BF and SS) decide to make changes. They do their dysfunctional dance over and over again.

That your BF tolerates his kid arguing with him is just another sign of weak parenting.

When the arguing starts, leave the room. Go read a book, take a walk, take a bubble bath, do whatever you do for relaxation. Remember, always, that this is not your problem to solve. If you BF is steamed and wants to decompress with you, I don't think I'd even allow that. "BF, I've told you what I think you should do, and that's really all I have to say about it." Make it HIS problem, and his alone. Find yourself some peace and quiet and don't engage in the crazy surrounding you.

Soniki's picture

My bf and I always work on issues together but with this its just a vicious cycle. 

I will spend time on myself everytime this crops up. Thanks for your help