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I don't how I can invest myself in this.

tonyboy1337's picture


I had a long distance relationship with my now wife, for four years. We got married two years ago. She has a son who's now 14 yo.

As others here in this forum, I also thought I could just fake being emotionally attached to him or that his laziness and annoying ass teenager attitude wouldn't bother me. Ignorance.... We moved in together two years ago and since then, I have been dreading the days that I have to stay with him. I work from home and my wife works monday through friday starting @ 2 and all day on saturdays.
This means, I have to stay in the same house as him, a teenager who has the crappiest attitude ever and thinks he knows everything. I feel like I am being forced to care of a 14 yo baby. His dad moved out of state and only sees him on vacations (2/3 times a year)... Meaning, he only sees his dad when he can play his games and have fun and until then, I have to be with him, everyday, and do the REAL parenting.
I have to do my own job, still pay attention so he doesn't eat all our pantry and make him do his homework.

A bit of back story on the kid: Since I knew him, everytime his mom would take his games away, or take something from him because he is disrespectful or did something he shouldn't, he would throw a fit. I mean, a REAL FIT. He would cry and yell so damn loud. If he was in the car, he would hit himself and hit the car window... One time my wife had a neighbor coming to her house seeing what the fuck was going on. His yelling could easily be compared to someone being stabbed or something worse. And most of the times, she didn't even spanked him or anything. I feel like there is something wrong with him. I really do. As he grew older, he stopped throwing those fits, but he would, for example, kick a metal bed with his bare foot, because he was so upset. I feel like something is not right with him. He was having problems on a school so my wife tried homeschooling (via computer). They had classes and real teachers on the other side but it didn't work. He didn't want to do anything. So she moved him to a real school...(again...)

He had some testing done in this school he is in right now for ADHD and he passed but his behavior and attitude just doesn't seem normal to me (bear in mind that this is "my" first kid, I don't have kids of my own, so experience = 0.)
I have to stay with him, by myself, 6 days of the week. I try my hardest to help him succeed in school, I really do. I check his homework online and I email teachers about assignments.  I help him or try to help him with all his assignments but he simply, and sorry for the language, doesn't give a fuck.
He is the kind of kid that has the parent help him do his homework and he just doesn't deliver it. Like, I put it in his backpack, I put a paper inside, glued with scotch tape, stating exactly what he has to do or give to teacher and he simply doesn't do it. He doesn't care. He passed to the eight grade because of promotion, lack of summer school ( Yay for US Schools System ). This year, if they don't do promotion, he is not going to pass. His mom and I took his games and TV and then he improves, he gets his stuff back little by little, then goes back to not doing anything.

I wish we could switch with his dad and having him only for vacations for a week or so. Or at least I wished... My wife loves her son (obviously). We got into a lot of arguments because of him. For one, as SD, I have to remember that I am not allowed to discipline her son. But it's so difficult when I have to spend most of the days with him. I told her, before, that I wish I could just work outside of home all day and have her with him. I dread spending time with him but I am not good at faking it either, so that's why we get into a lot of arguments. The arguments usually get to the point of having her tell me that she feels like I don't want to be a part of this family and that I would be better with someone else and that I never want to spend time with him and that I don't see him as my own. Needless to say, whatever I might feel at the moment, the only way to cope is, when my wife arrives home, go to the room and be by myself and listen to music. It's IMPOSSIBLE for me to speak with my wife about her SPECIAL AND PRECIOUS son. She told me, angrily, couple of times for me to not worry about it and that would take her son with her to work (she goes to people's houses to teach).

But then, who is going to do homework with the kid? Not her. The years the kid has been with me, it's the most homework he's ever done. Because of her schedule, and arriving home at 8 or 9, before, she would not have the time to do it. So now, that responsibility, of course, falls on me. If something happened to me right now (God forbid), she would not have anyone to help him, his homework would never be done and I feel like he would always fail. He does not have any kind of motivation for schoolwork. I did not either, when I was a kid, but when i did homework with the tutor, I would freaking give it to the teachers!!!!

I try my best to be emotionally attached to him but I just can't. He is lazy and dirty. When I tell him something, sometimes he ignores me and sometimes he talks back to me and his mom. I told him, before, to watch his mouth because I am not one of his stupid friends. He plugs his toilet and doesn't tell anybody anything until the whole house smells like shit ( sorry for the language again ). He puts clean and folded clothes on the floor and then they end up on the laundry pile. I am tired of his crap. I can't wait until he goes visit his dad so I can have some "vacation time" for myself and for me to spend with my wife. I feel like my relationship took a real hard blow because of him, because of all the things that happen because of him. I love going to some friends house because there I don't feel stuck with him. His attitude, I believe, is also due to his grandparents that keep spoiling him every time he visits them, buying all kinds of things and giving him money. I don't feel hatred but I wish he would just not be here anymore, like he could live with his dad.

My wife does not listen to me. An example of this is: I usually put the kid to sleep by 8 and when my wife gets home, she goes and talks to him. I keep telling her to not talk a lot of time, to just pray and let him lay there until he falls asleep. She never does that. She always spends at least an hour there talking and watching videos with him and I hate it. And of course, he has already a lot of tardys because he gets late to school. I feel like whatever I say about him is automatically disregarded by my wife because it's me who said it and it's so annoying. 

I need some tips, I don't know what else to do. My wife would rather divorce me than hearing me say that I don't want him with us anymore. This is driving me insane and me not being able to vent with my own wife is making it worse. 

How can I become a better SD?



GoingWicked's picture

This is not necessarily how to be a better stepparent, this is how not to go insane or have arguments with your spouse over your stepkid's bad behavior.  

Get him a cheap TV, an Xbox, some games and a TV subscription, and stockpile a bunch of cheap junk food in his room, and instruct him that it stays in his room.  He will rarely come out, he won't bug you, and he won't eat all your food.  

Stop worrying about whether he is late for school or not.  Stop worrying about homework.  If he and his mom aren't worried why on earth do you care? 

Shut his room door so you don't have to see the mess.  As for his messes in common areas, don't engage him directly, simply tell your wife that this is her son, it's her responsibility to clean up after him.

tonyboy1337's picture

I feel like I worry about those things because when it gets the time that she decides to ask for his homework or why the house is a mess, she is not just going to look at him, but look at me aswell, like it's my fault that he left wrappers or papers on the floor, or that the work is not being done for school. I also worry about getting to school late because if you get a certain amount of tardys, the school district will be envolved with his mom and it's just something that I did not want to happen. I don't want him to fail the grade either because then it will be a whole another 8th grade that I have to do with him, all over again.

GoingWicked's picture

Honestly, the kid needs some accountability, adhd or not, if he fails a grade, it's on him, that is the consequences of not completing his homework.  If his mother were doing her duty she would give him consequences well before that happened.  You really need to look at the disengagement essay, he is not your child, his problems are not your problems.  Your wife and stepson need to start respecting you and the rules you set and the time you put into raising/nurturing this kid, before you start putting any more effort towards him again.   If she has time to talk and watch videos with him in the evening, she has time to help him with homework, or issue consequences for chores and homework not done while she was away.

tonyboy1337's picture

I agree that he needs accountability. An issue I see is, as soon as his mom sees the tiniest improvement, she rewards him with game or so. I honestly think it's a bad idea, what do you think?

One of the problems is that the kid, currently, is grounded from everything, tv and games. So, how can we possibly issue any more consequences? He just sits in his room reading and napping 

I am going to have to disagree with you on her having time to do homework. She leaves home @ 3 and only comes back @ 8/9 o'clock. She would not have all the time she would need to do homework (specially because he does absolutely zero of it in class) but she also would say/says that because I am at home, I can help him with it. But I agree with you in all the other things.

Disneyfan's picture

Your wife needs to look for a job with hours that is conducive to her being a parent.  Since she's a teacher, she should look for a job in a traditional school setting.( public, charter or private)  That way she will be the one dealing with the day to day parenting issues.

Having a 14 year old go to bed at 8:00 is unreasonable.  Expecting a parent not to talk to and interact with her child after work each evening is absolutely ridiculous.  


ESMOD's picture

I agree that she needs to find a school with hours that more closely match her son's schedule.  Private school might be a good option if she isn't licensed (they don't always require that).. and the added bonus is that the boy might be eligable for cheap/reduced tuition.  

You are being expected to do too much for this child.  You are at home supposed to be WORKING.. yet instead you are babysitting him.. that is not fair to you.

tonyboy1337's picture

That is a possibility for the future, but for right now, it's impossible, she makes almost double what I make with far less hours (she does a lot of driving though)

Exactly, thank you. I feel like if I had an ordinary job, she would have to come up with a solution since I would not be able to stay @ home with him. I always worked in an office or factory, so working from home is a new thing for me. One of the problems is, when he is not grounded, and he can watch tv, that means I cannot work in the same room as him, because I have to call people for my job and I can't call people with TV on the background. So, if I work in my room, he will get into all kinds of things.

 Honestly, I would work 6 days/week if it meant I didn't stay with him. I feel like he is a good kid, in all my honesty, but I don't know if it's smelly teenager attitude, or if it is because he is not my kid so I don't have a unique bond with him, or what, it just drives me nuts.

I am also very new to the SP World, so I don't know if what I feel is wrong, or its normal or what... I don't have anyone to talk to about this kind of problems. I don't have any friends that are SP so I feel like I am by myself, just drowning in all these feelings of not belonging in here or being forced to be something I did not want to be in the first place. I mean, when I met her, after a year, I met the kid but we were in a long distance relationship then so I did not think of anything at the time :x


tonyboy1337's picture

I do agree with you that a traditional job for her would be best for her, she would be able to spend the day with him and, like you said, deal with the day to day parenting issues. Let's just say that her job as is right now, is paying a lot more than regular teaching settings would, so, for now, it's not a possibility, but maybe in the future?...

Per your point of view, now that I think about it, it is ridiculous and maybe I should not feel this way about his mom talking to him when she gets home, but sometimes she gets home late(9ish-10) that I feel that it is too late for her to have all kinds of fun with him. Don't you think if a kid get his mind startled by messing around with him and having fun, he will most likely not go to sleep right away and consequently, go to sleep at a later time and then be late for school? What time do you think it's appropriate for a 14 yo that is constantly late for school?

 I feel like I put him to sleep @ 8 for several reasons:

  1. He gets constantly late to school.
  2. If I have him laying down, I have more freedom to do my own stuff (work/youtube/etc)
  3. His mom is also the one who came up with the time 8. But when she is home, she NEVER puts him to sleep @ 8


justmakingthebest's picture

This is a wife problem as much as it is a SS problem. Reading what you have here, I don't think there is much more YOU can do. 

I will say that you don't have kids together and if this is how your life is going to be- it might be better to cut your losses now. Your wife won't parent. That is a serious concern. And while you might be thinking he will be 18 in a few years and this will be over... with a kid like that and a parent like your wife, he will live with you until he is 30! 

I would disengage with the teen. Like the others suggested if he stays up too late or is late to school- not your problem. If he doesn't do homework- not your problem. If he is gross- not your problem. If he leaves a mess in common areas- dump it in his room. His mother needs to be the parent. He is old enough to be left home alone. Start going to the gym every evening - say around 5. That can start monopolizing your evenings and take the SS stress away. 

tonyboy1337's picture

Unfortunately, I don't have the guts to do that. I love my wife to pieces, it's her son that is messing up my life. When I went through with this, I thought I would be ok with all of it. But looking back, I wish I hadn't. My love for my wife completely blinded me from her son. And now I pay the price *help* lol
The days that he is not here are a complete heaven (at least for me). I can just work and relax with my wife without having to worry about a thing. It's funny that you say that because that's how my wife is, she loves him so much, she would/will let him stay until he is 30, if he does not move out on his own *sorry2*

I will try to do exactly that, I will try to not care about those things and if he leaves a mess, I will dump it in his room and let his mom tell him to clean it. I wish we could leave him alone but he would tear the house apart and then I would definitely go crazy lol 

I actually been trying to do exactly that, we have a gym in our complex and we have been working out every now and then, we definitely need to get back to it and start doing it every day.
That is the time that we usually go workout, he likes lifting weights but he messes too much on the treadmill (when I say messes too much, I mean he does not really walk or run. He does it for a minute and then puts his feet on the side of the treadmill for like 5 min and then starts again. I told my wife that he messes too much doing that  and I don't want to take him if that is all he is going to do and she told me to leave him alone..)


Isn't it bad to disengage completely with the kid? Doesn't that make me a bad person?

justmakingthebest's picture

It most certainly doesn't make you a bad person or even step father. I think that disengagment has to come into play you when your partner refuses to meet you at least in the midde with parenting. It is a sanity saver. 

As for leaving him along for a couple of hours- let him tear up the house, then make a HUGE deal about him and your wife dealing with the aftermath. If you can't make her see his behavior when you are explaining it, make her PHYSICALLY see it. 

SteppedOut's picture

You have only been married 2 years, what did your wife do about her work schedule and care for her son before you moved there?

tonyboy1337's picture

That is a good question... Before, honestly, I do not know. I feel like, she would pick him up from school, then she would drive to her lessons and tell him to do his homework while she teaches. Ofc he would not do it and then it would be impossible for my wife to know exactly what he is supposed to do for homework, so whenever he decided to tell her that he had homework, she would make him stay up late finishing that work assignment, even if he did not want to.

So now, in terms of homework, it is still the same thing, he NEVER, EVER knows what his homework is. I have to login on his school portal to find out the due assignments. And a lot of the time (70%), he does not have the necessary papers to do the work, so I have to write on a paper what papers he needs to bring so we can do the assignments that were due the previous day and then I also email teachers to give him the papers.... It's weird, but for some reason, I feel like he is one of the only kids that, according to him, the teachers do not give the worksheets to.. A bunch of bs, I say...

SteppedOut's picture

Not trying to be mean, you sound like a really nice guy... but your wife is a crap parent that is foisting HER responsibility on you. She is a freaking TEACHER and doesn't help HER kid with his homework, yet expects that YOU help him. 

tonyboy1337's picture

I did not mention but she is actually a music teacher, but she does count on me for a lot of things related to him. I just would like to not be forced to be with him all  the darn time.