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DH talked to SS about his demands

goldieRet's picture

DH was upset with SS’s behavior this weekend and promised me he would address it, especially SS’s disrespect towards me.

DH drove down to SS’s game yesterday and had dinner with him. SS got a B+ on the project and he was mad about it I guess. DH told me he apologized and I barely stopped myself from saying anything.

DH finally addressed the list of demands that SS gave him and told him that they were not reasonable. And the compromise was that every two months, DH would go down to his mother’s house and spend time with SS there for Friday night before coming back here. And SS would get 1 hour bonding time with the puppy every Saturday morning. But that was it. He needed the shore the puppy with everyone.

And SS’s response was the silent treatment. He refused to answer DH’s questions the entire dinner. DH came home really frustrated and annoyed. Then this morning DH gets a text from SS that says “Looks like you made your choice. I won’t bother your family or your family’s dog anymore.”

DH immediately texts back saying there is no such thing as his/your family but SS has not responded since. I can’t deal with this passive aggressive behavior. And I know that DH is going to be grouchy this whole week now. I wonder what surprise this weekend will bring.

I’m sorry for not responding to some messages on my previous post. I couldn’t login all day yesterday and I have an issue submitting comments today.

goldieRet's picture

He's 13. I don't think the mother is behind this. She has a nice setup already. She works part-time, well-off husband. She has not caused much issues for us.

princessmofo's picture

Screw that kid. Your dh put up boundaries, he called your dh on it so now he can suffer and live with the consequences. Your dh did the right thing and should keep repeating that to himself. The child does not dictate the rules. It's called parenting.

goldieRet's picture

Hopefully DH stands by it. I realized from reading other posts that he is a guilty parent. It wasn't too bad before but the move and SS's new attitude is definitely making it worse.

paul_in_utah's picture

Man, I would love it if my DW would stand up to Porky (SD20). However, she wants Porky to like her, and doesn't want to hurt Porky's fee-fees, so she just rolls all the time.

furkidsforme's picture

Man, the kid sure does love to punish his Dad, doesn't he?

Too bad dad didn't nip this behavior in the bud when it was tiny, manageable infractions. Now it is a huge battle of wills with a hormonal teen. DH did not think this one all the way through.

goldieRet's picture

Yes, he definitely didn't. I am also annoyed at how the puppy has been the catalyst for a lot of these extreme behaviors. If I had a time machine I would go tell past DH to not get the damn puppy. And deal with SS's issues right when they started.

hereiam's picture

The kid is going to pout about it, that's obvious. Your DH needs to just stick with the plan, whether SS pouts or not. Eventually, he will see that your DH is not going to cave and will hopefully stop with this nonsense.

He thinks your DH is making a choice, but I hope your DH is letting his son know that he is also making a choice. He is choosing to not be a part of the family just because he is not getting his own way.

I remember giving my parents the silent treatment when I was young, it never lasted long. I don't think it bothered my parents but it was sure exhausting for me!

goldieRet's picture

See, I am the same way. If either of my kids tried to "punish" me with silent treatment, I wouldn't have cared. DH on the other hand let's it get to him.

I really hope DH does not cave too.

robin333's picture

Geez Goldie. I'm feel so badly for you. I suspect you are right, DH will be grumpy and you will get the brunt of it.

SS knows what buttons to push. Hopefully, DH will not cave.

SouthernBelle1908's picture

Exactly! It's not fair to not get something for kids that live in the home just because a kid that doesn't live in the home wants one too.

Let the BM get OP's SS a dog if she wants. Why should her kids do without because he doesn't live there?

Stepped in what momma's picture

It might not be a good idea but what does that mean? Does that mean that OP can't have a pool at her house bc skid doesn't have one at his primary residence?

IMHO kids need to be told straight up, you act like a shi* then you fine but you will not run my household. If you don't want to come over here we will miss you and I would also let them know how sad it is that he doesn't want to see his father.

I am a COD but my mom and dad didn't take any crap like this. My dad always had dogs at his house that didn't come to my house and I lived just fine.

goldieRet's picture

You are lying about me right now. I never said SS wasn't hurting.

However, we did ask SS if he was ok with the move and he said he was. So we made significant financial decisions to move based on his ok.

And as I have said before, SS gets more quality time with DH then before. Please don't make me out to be the bad guy. I do feel sad for both DH and SS. But at some point something has got to give.

DH made the decision with me. It isn't that easy to just move back.

goldieRet's picture

I never said he should just get over it. I told DH he needs to take SS to a professional to get this sorted, which SS has refused to do. But moving back is not an option. It simply isn't.

What do you suggest I personally do that would make this better? Especially since SS basically ignores me. I would love to hear your advice for this wicked stepmother.

robin333's picture

You're not an evil SM. You have been very patient through this and thoughtful in your approach.

Disregard any comment about getting the dog as unfair. That's beyond crazy and illogical.

I know SS refused therapy but he is 13 so that's not entirely his call.

moeilijk's picture

"He went from being in your house every other week, to being there a couple of weekends a month."

Not seeing a significant distinction here. I guess it adds up to 20 days per year. Is that 20 exchange days? So actual Dad-on-Son time of 10 days, including travel?

Still not seeing the significance. Regular contact continues, and time with Dad instead of Dad being at work during custody time seems ok to me.

Agreed that a 13 yo has no idea of how a move might affect him. I'm almost 43 and I've moved across countries and oceans and wouldn't make such a prediction for myself either. But I don't think his issue is the 'lost' time with his dad.

I agree he probably feels unimportant and out-of-place in the family unit. But, I think most kids feel that at some point no matter what the family situation is.

I think trying to fix the problem the kid has identified might mollify the kid, but it won't help him to feel like he belongs. It might give him a misplaced sense of power and control though.

It might be useful for the dad to do some reading about communication. Because he's got to learn how to connect with his kid, when his kid is feeling happy, sad, angry, hurt, not talking, talking too much or to the wrong people, and about tougher things than puppy-time.

moeilijk's picture

I totally see your perspective. And I think the way you described it is apt. Buuuuut... I strongly disagree with giving the kid space. OTOH, maybe we're defining space differently.

I'm thinking you mean giving the kid space as in, don't initiate contact or spend time with the boy unless he requests it. Which I think is bad, bad, bad.

Space, as in, a lot more listening and a lot less explaining/justifying - agreed.

Space, as in, rules are still rules and standards of behaviour apply even when angry or upset, but you can feel what you feel and dad will be ok with it even if he doesn't like it.

Space, as in, dad and son take up a shared hobby involving sitting or walking around doing nothing together (fishing, hunting, golf, repotting petunias) where they spend time just the two of them with no expectation of meaningful conversation and yet... the opportunity is available should kid want to take advantage.

That space I'm cool with.

moeilijk's picture

I've had it both ways - people who are intrusive and people who are so passive/cold that they do nothing. Both suck.

And maybe later will be ok to make sure the kid knows that he belongs, even if he doesn't want to right now.

But I don't know that I would allow that to happen if I were in the dad's shoes. I mean, things must be deeply, deeply wrong before I would allow my kid's feelings to interfere with my job as a parent. But... from the sounds of the guilty-parenting that's been going on and the passive-aggressive way father/son seem to interact... I guess things are wrong.

If the son were 18+, I'd keep the lines of communication open but not push. Under 18, I'd push because NOW is the time to be an example, to be there, to just be. But that's me.

princessmofo's picture

In the grown-up world, adults make the decisions regarding finances, jobs, etc. The universe is not child-centric. Did I hate it every time we moved when I was child (9 different schools) because we were a military family? Sure did. Did I have a say in it? Hell to the no. And even as a child I would not have dared to presume I did.

Disneyfan's picture

I'm pretty sure your parents didn't wait for your OK before they decided to move. LOL

The kid is hurt, which is understandable. But the way he's handling his hurt is just wrong.

The OP stated on another blog that they didn't make the final decision to move until the kid told them he was OK with them moving. :? SO the kid has been lead to believe that he has a huge say in adult decisions. Parents should never give kids that kind of power. Dad is going to catch pure hell trying to put that Genie back into the bottle.

I really feel bad for this kid, but every time he opens his mouth, he shoots himself in the foot.

princessmofo's picture

"SO the kid has been lead to believe that he has a huge say in adult decisions. Parents should never give kids that kind of power. Dad is going to catch pure hell trying to put that Genie back into the bottle."

Thanks, Disney. That was kind of the point I was trying to illustrate. Putting adult power and adult expectations on a child blurs the lines too much. I agree the child is probably hurt but his "power play" isn't going to help the situation.

goldieRet's picture

I agree SS needs therapy with DH.

Although BM does not cause problems, DH doesn't communicate with her beyond drop-off/pick-up texts.

I don't think DH wants to involve BM just yet. He probably think that he is in a good spot with her right now and does not want to rock the boat.

goldieRet's picture

I guess DH should have asked BM before he even married me right? Because it seems like you think I am the main problem behind all this.

You still have not answered my question. What do want me, the wicked stepmother, to do personally to make this situation better?

goldieRet's picture

You asked if DH got BM's approval before moving. He asked SS first. When SS said ok, he informed BM. That's it. DH does not consult with BM over everything, just like she does not with him.

I am still waiting for the answer to my question.

twoviewpoints's picture

"“Looks like you made your choice. I won’t bother your family or your family’s dog anymore.”

Uh, the kid just wrote Dad off. He's telling Dad kid isn't coming back. Exactly what Dad feared aka he'd lose his kid.

Based on what you've written in your previous postings, I don't think you'll have a "grouchy" husband, but instead one in full panic mode.

Buckle in, Goldie... it's going to get real bumpy.

moeilijk's picture

Exactly. I truly believe kids at that age do need more independence and responsibility etc etc... but small doses! They are not in charge! Talk about it, over and over if you have to, but the kid needs to understand that his dad loves him and is there for him, even when things are not going as planned or as wanted, and certainly even when the kid is being an ass. It's just not as much fun. }:)

twoviewpoints's picture

What I was saying is that Dad has not shown one iota that he has what it would take to force this kid to do anything. Doesn't matter what any of us think Dad should do or how any one else has or would handle this. None of us are this Dad.

This is going to get worse.

Amcc13's picture

Honestly ? Someone should have spanked this kid long ago.

It's a tough situation to be sure. Your husband can only do his best - be present , bring kid to house, etc.
But you can't back down on this. This right here , it's the defining moment
Either step son caves or you do
Abd if you do you may as well leave

Disneyfan's picture

"Also, very hilarious to me that we're expecting the KID to behave in a more mature manner than his limp spine daddy."

We have adults here who have a hard time dealing with all the twist and turns that come their way in step life. Yet we expect kids to go with the flow.

Feeling replaced, like a 3rd wheel or an afterthought is a pretty common feeling expressed by many SMs here. Why does it become a problem when the kid feels like he's being replaced by dad's SKs?

goldieRet's picture

That was actually a very touching text babybugged. I'm tempted to suggest DH to send something like that. I know he has tried texting something similar today but there was no response from SS. Actually, I am not sure what he texted. But I feel like I should try to stay away from this and let DH handle it. I really don't want to make it worse.

DH sent his final text today and said he will wait until Friday for a heart to heart talk on the car ride home. SS is coming over because BM is leaving town for the weekend. And I am not sure if DH is ok with SS staying at BM's and missing his time here.

As expected, DH is grouchy and not talking much. I forwarded some info about a therapist to DH. Hopefully he makes the appointment and convinces SS to go with him.

And again, I appreciate all you ladies input.

Disneyfan's picture

"Hopefully he makes the appointment and convinces SS to go with him."

Dad has got to take back the power he gave this kid.

SS should not have a say in going to therapist. If dad feels talking to a therapist is in the kid's best interest, then that is what needs to happen. Dad has to change his mindset. He's the child's parent, not his peer.

goldieRet's picture

DH had a preliminary call with another therapist in SS's town that said that it would only useful if SS is a willing participant. She said it makes it worse to push therapy onto a child against his will.

I am assuming the therapist I found will say the same thing. That is why I said DH needs to convince SS.

Disneyfan's picture

He could take him during his visits. :?

I agree, you can't make him talk, but his butt would go to therapist. He will talk sooner or later.

I would not step back from my kid. No way, no how. When I hear folks say give the kid space, I think of it as continuing to give him power/control of the situation. Running away doesn't solve the problem. Shutting dad out won't solve the problem. Being a parent is tough work. Dad needs to buck up.

goldieRet's picture

Sally, I am not really sure BM is doing anything. She seems ok with the setup. She gets some CS and gets almost 3 weekends a month off. I don’t think she would try to mess with that.

And SS has to come here this weekend. BM is going out of town on a trip. I do think the hormones are playing a big part too. I hope DH does not cave this weekend. But I all I can do is give him support. The rest is up to him.

I also wanted to clarify that SS comes here 2-3 weekends a month. Not just every other weekend. And when SS isn’t here, DH will also go to his town on Saturday and spend several hours with him. This is in addition to the one weekday visit that DH also does. And we also get most of summer. With an entire year in mind, does 20 days really make that much of a difference? I am not saying SS doesn’t feel bad about it. I am just trying to look at the number of days logically.

goldieRet's picture

Thank you for the support Sally. BM has always been reasonable. But maybe you are right, I am probably naive.

I always believe in the good in people. It's probably why I hate conflict and I am such a wimp.

twoviewpoints's picture

Part of the difference isn't so much 'time with Dad', but also much less time during the school year as part of the family. SS spent seven days on, seven days off living in your home being a part of that 'whole family' thing. He felt one of you all whether Dad was home or not.

That part is now very different. Now he's like the weekend 48 hour visitor 2 to 3 weekends a month for like nine months. Sure, Dad comes to see him in his town for dinner and comes to see the sport event or just spend a few hours on the 'off' Saturday... but the home and family is missing. Kid doesn't view you and your kids as home and family as he use to. Now he views you as rivals.

Perhaps that's the part that needs to be focused on in therapy.

GhostWhoCooksDinner's picture

OMG, this kid sounds EXACTLY like DH's son, 17. When DH refused to cater to his ridiculous list of demands, he decided to just not show up one day after school. He was 15,filed a false CPS report against us and moved to BM's full time. (DH had him 50/50.) We haven't heard from him since, and it's been a year and a half. FUck him.