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adult stepson is spoiled

stepmomtoadultchild's picture

I got married to my wife when my stepson was 12 year old. He didn't seem to care that his mom was marrying another woman. However he kept his distance. He rarely said hi or hello to me at home. Soon that behavior bled into the way he treated his mom. He clearly preferred to be at his dad's place. He is a 27 year old phd student in biophyiscs/ biochemistry. When ever he gets free time he always visits his dad. He only sees his mom once a year and he is only one state away, yet he has been at his dad's place four times yearly. Last Thursday was my wife's birthday. He couldn't even facetime her for at least 20 minutes if not visit. He just said happy birthday for five minutes and told us he was busy with his friends on a trip. My wife's mood was soured for the entire day. I got really upset and personally called him to have a meeting for three of us. He reluctantly said ok after saying it was urgent.

We met at the cafe nearby his university. I basically told him how I felt the way he treats his mother for all these years. His expression was stone cold. He told me I was being unreasonable. He openly admitted he loves his dad way more than his mother. My stepson said the moment I entered into the family, was the moment he felt sidelined. He seemed upset at the fact whenever he asked to do stuff with just his mother, she would always suggested me to tag along or would have made plans with me before. He said "I have nothing against you guys. I wasn't neglected or anything, but, let's be honest I was just a temporary member of the household. You guys are were too wrapped up in each other. Despite being remarried and having another child, that man who I call dad still made sure I was a priority in life. When my half sister was old enough to manage, he would occasionally take weekend getaways with just me. I didn't even have to ask. He should me in multiple ways that I was an individual who he wanted a life long relationship with. With mom on the other hand I actually had to put in more work despite her being the parent."

My wife burst into tear and begging for forgiveness. That's when he said he had to leave and apologized for causing any pain.

tfsimmons's picture

Can understand you and the young man's mother's feelings are hurt - but why is his honesty being defined as spoiled?  Please explain if there's something I'm missing!  Best to you all!

diver111's picture

Honestly, I would just step back on this situation. The mom is the one who should be addressing it, not you. I understand that you don't want to see her hurt, but I can't imagine your calling a meeting has helped the situation. My mom and dad divorced about 10 years ago. My brother visits my dad much more than my mom, and they live just down the street from each other. He is just closer to my dad. I have tried to talk my brother because this hurts my mom, but it doesn't change anything except make him angry with me. And we are siblings who grew up in the same household. All the adults are responsible for their own relationships. Another example is that my dad remarried within a year of being divorced from my mom (they were married 36 years). Dad's wife is a very nice person, but anytime she tries to talk to me about my family (my mom, brother), I just want her to butt out. It is not her business. There are lots of blogs on this site about disengaging that you can read, if you are interested. 

AgedOut's picture

I don't think that's spoiled behaviors at all. It sounds like a young man who felt left out of his mom's life while seperately and at the same time, Dad made him feel wanted and loved. 


This can be one of several things:

- it can be a starting point for Mom to attempt to heal her relationship w/ her child. but that will not happen unless mom and mom alone makes the effort. 

- it can be a precurser for the relationship mom & son have forever. 

- it can be a reason for mom to use to become a non-stop victim. 


Her son was honest. He can feel how he feels but he was openly honest nd now it's up to mom to either start to mend things or accept the new standard.


Carriem's picture

I understand this would be hurtful to the mother especially if she is learning for the first time how she has contributed to the reasoning behind her son's behaviour. It would be a hard realisation but I think SS has done a great job of letting you both know why he feels and behaves the way he does. 

He is keeping her at a distance he feels will keep him safe and that won't cause him to end up feeling rejected again and that I can completely understand. This is a hurt child who feels neglected. He's not outwardly doing anything to make your wife's life hard, he's protecting himself and your wife is having a hard time dealing with how she feels about it. Perhaps she can have a little empathy for how her son feels now that she has some insight as to why and is now feeling the rejection he felt as a child. 

You may not like to hear it because you were the one chosen over him but it sounds like your wife wasn't around in a way that he needed her to be and it sounds like the dad provided safety and stepped in. Children are children and have needs.

To me, this is not a spoilt child, it's a deprived one.

The hope is that now that you guys understand SS lack of connection with your wife is the direct result of his experience with his mother and work to build on that or accept it for what it is. 

Therapy together and individually would be beneficial for both of them. 


Birchclimber's picture

I can't imagine myself demanding a 3 way meeting with our toxic YSD who has always been much closer to her BM, and then making her feel that she needs to come clean and actually state that fact, which has always being obvious to us anyway. Giving her a forum to actually say those words to my DH would do nothing more than hurt him even more then when she doesn't say them but when she allows her actions to speak for her. 

I guess what I am saying is that sometimes words unspoken are easier to accept and deal with and less hurtful then when someone comes right out and says "I love you less then...". 

The protective side of me would never purposely put my husband in the position of hearing the truth from my ysd's venomous lips.  As tempting as it may be to try to mend the fences in their situations, it's simply not our job. I believe that their dysfunctional dynamic really began before we entered the picture and it is theirs to deal with. If your wife wants to call a meeting with ss, then she should do so, but you don't really need to be there as a mediator unless she specifically asks you to be in which case you should go along as her support system, but not as a moderator.  However, if she didn't call this meeting herself,  then she probably didn't feel emotionally or mentally prepared for what she knew she was going to hear during this one, and clearly she hadn't prepared herself with a strategy on how to deal with the inevitable comments that he had made.

I am very sorry to hear that it all ended up that way and I hope that she will feel comforted by you in your continued support of her.

relationshipguru's picture

I am sorry to hear this. I can understand your wife's feelings being hurt however I would not describe him as spoiled. I would step back from the situation. As frustrating as it is there is really nothing you can do to change it. He is going to feel the way he feels. These situations are complicated and even though your wife is hurting, his feelings may very well be valid.

Rags's picture

"adult" spouted about how he loves his dad more than his mom, spouts about how mom did not do the work he wanted done the way he wanted it done regarding their relationship then when called out on how he treats his mom is too much of a coward to continue the conversation and abandons the his mother and SM when they call him on his part in the whole thing.  Then the Skidult gets a notable amout of support from this community of all places.


I basically told him how I felt the way he treats his mother for all these years. His expression was stone cold.He told me I was being unreasonable. He openly admitted he loves his dad way more than his mother......

The preponderance of support for this kid being open and honest about his feelings while mom and SM are being demonized for openly and honestly expressing their feelings in a three way conversation between adults is interesting to me.

He seemed upset at the fact whenever he asked to do stuff with just his mother, she would always suggested me to tag along or would have made plans with me before. 

Nearly countless posts have been made on STalk by SParents complaining that their SO abandons them at the drop of the hat to run off for mommy/kid or daddy/kid time leaving their Sparent/Spouse behind yet... in this situation this kid is supported for trying to do what countless Skids have been complained about doing in our community for years.  This BioParent does not allow her child to alienate her Sparent spouse. Which in this case seems like a bad thing? 

Another historical STalk juxtaposition counter to the preponderance of the historical STalk tides on this discussion thread.  Another interesting thing that I am finding odd.



Anyone who hurts my wife would have a pointed talk with me whether they wanted to or not.   Regardless of who they may be.  She would have clear and present support from me. PERIOD! DOT!

I would have the same from her if it were necessary without having to ask.  Her support would be proactivley present.

I applaud this SM for demonstrating clear support for her DW and for leading the attempt to start the communication to get the issue out and a resolution initiated.  Jr. got his fee fees hurt and was not man enough to continue the conversation.  Tossing an over the shoulder "appology" while walking away after dropping flaming turds in his mother's lap is not the behavior of a man of character or maturity IMHO.  If I were the SM in this, it would be game on regarding rubbing this Skidult's nose in his hurful behavior toward his mother.

My wife burst into tear.....

Countless STalkers have complained about not having the support of their spouse in a blended family marriage. This BioParent spouse supports her bride and included her spouse as an equity life partner and parent and for some reason that appears to be a bad thing in this discussion.  While I recognize that  in this case it is the SParent leading the discussion and supporting the BioParent, this is another thing that makes me go Hmmmm?

What am I missing?


TooManyStepsBetween's picture

I too was reading the OP and with seeing what I was missing. I understand the feeling of being left out after the new relationship, but I think SS forced this upon himself based on his words. My DH comes first, over everyone, period. If we are not strong then I can't be strong for the family. It hurts me for the DW and OP that he would so bluntly state that he loved his father more because his father basically bowed to his every need. I can understand favoring the man as a son does, but loving him more is a harsh statement. I also agree with Rags that I'll fight, speak, and maybe even overstep on DHs behalf, when I feel he is being disrespected or used as a doormat, regardless of if he might not want the confrontation. Sometimes it works out well and others not so much, but he's my partner until he's not. I give you kudos for standing up and having the tough conversations. Now that it's out in the open I can only imagine your DW will want to do everything to reverse his feelings, which she is not at fault for. I think I'd just try and reassure her of this as often as I could. Jealousy is a tough emotion and can only be resolved when the "victim" of it feels better about it or they finally grow up and see the other ther side of things. I am assuming he doesn't have a family of his own yet, this may be when he realizes the importance of it all, or he may choose not to take that step in life and hold in his frustrations, either way, do not let it torment you or DW.