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The last straw...

LakesideChill19's picture

My head is pounding as I write this.  I'm not sure if it's the dismay talking, or the utter anger and disappointment that I'm feeling.  For anyone that has stumbled across the few things that I've written here or any of the replies to others, but my situation is like many of the souls that frequent these pages. While I’m not married, I have been with my SO for not quite four years.  The last 18 months or so have been not great and today, I think that final straw has dropped.

The biggest source of angst here (there are others but incrementally less so) is the behavior of SS9.  He is hard. Very hard.  I’ve been struggling with his behavior for months and months, but in the last nine weeks during the COVID lockdown, I’ve added to my daily fulltime job and majority domestic tasks, the role of being his instructor for homeschooling.  My SO is in Social Work and is constantly on the phone, or Zoom meetings and his BD is an ‘essential’ construction worker, so little help during the day.  My SO works with SD5 because she has an IEP and mild spectrum autism, and her BA in Early Childhood Ed leaves her better equipped for that role.  We tried to split up tasks as evenly as possible, but in all honesty, I feel like I got the short end of the stick by default.

Instructing this child is a daily battle over virtually every assignment.  He screams, yells and throws a fit over literally every assignment, especially if it requires effort.  Nothing that comes out of my mouth is met with a calm, unargued response.  Today was the end for me.  In between assignments, I hopped onto his iPad (purchased by BD for remote learning and used on Xfinity internet that I supply) to find a couple pages for his upcoming task.  I opened Safari and typed ‘P’ into the search bar only to have it auto-fill with PornHub… At first, I thought that I was hallucinating.  Then followed up by doing the math about when the device was back at BD’s house, only to arrive at the fact that it could only have been him.  Searching through the History, I found that Monday afternoon, he had been searching for Porn and then watching over thirty pages of hardcore porn.  To say that I was dumbfounded would be an understatement, followed by angry with myself because I didn’t check the permissions on the device, as I didn’t buy it.

After her Zoom meeting, I pulled SO aside and said, “We have a problem.”, walking her through the process of how it was discovered and the browser history.  Her response floored me, “I can’t wrap my head around this.  Can you talk to him because I don’t even know where to start and if (BD) does it, it will be horrible (BD has a short fuse and a temper at times).” – Really? You want me to tackle this?

I decided to take SS for a ride and during the drive discuss what had been searched for, where he learned about it, why he was searching for it, and then why, after realizing what it was, continued to do it.  His claim was that he heard the term on a YouTube video.  As a side note to this, I objected to YouTube months ago, and argued in favor of the kid's version, but was overruled in the end.  The conversation was clear and firm, that it was unacceptable.  I made it clear that he had really screwed up, especially in continuing to watch when he knew it wasn’t what he should be looking for (not to mention that I’m not completely buying that he heard about it on a YT video).  I also made it abundantly clear that videos like that didn’t represent real life, real women, how a woman should be treated, nor how a real woman would act, and finally nailing down my biggest point: he is nine damn years old. 

When we got back, we sat down with my SO and declares that his iPad and Xbox are gone indefinitely, among other stuff and that we are going to ‘handle this internally and not tell his BD’ – What, I never agreed to that!!  He proceeds to throw a fit and asks why he is losing stuff then he proceeds to declare that because we didn’t say that the television was gone, that he would still have that.  The only color I could see at that point was red but took a deep breath and just walked away.  Even this morning, he yelled at me, arguing that he could have his Xbox today, because ‘Mom only said yesterday.”

At the moment of this writing, there has been no apology given, no acknowledgment, and no remorse.  The only response that I’ve been met with how unfairly that he’s been treated.

This is the final straw.  I can’t seem to rationalize an objective reason to stay.  I’m angry with him, and my SO.  Clearly, I’m only here for the heavy lifting and doing the work that no one else wants to do; to have the hard conversations, but no have a say on tactics and outcome.  Last night, after they left for BDs, I tried to have a conversation with SO about the whole situation and was met with the 'nothing to see here, glass half full, not a big deal' response.  “It isn’t going to be the last time that he does something wrong.”, she said.

I’m concerned about the boy.  His inability to admit his mistakes, to no be able to stop constantly blaming others over his mistakes or be accountable scares the hell out of me.  Furthermore, to not express any feelings of guilt, regret, or to apologize, but instead lash out about how unfairly and unequally he is treated, screams of a bigger issue.  And for my SO to not see what we are dealing with, when it’s happening right in front of her, leaves me feeling sad, frustrated, and alone.

justmakingthebest's picture

Honestly I think you are making the right call to end it. I am really disturbed over her not wanting to tell BD. That is not ok. He needs to be aware of what the kid is doing and make sure that he has proper security features at his house as well. 

Also, the fact that she passed on doing one of hard parenting talks on to you and then discounts your opinions is disheartening. At the end of the day it seems as if you aren't her partner. More of the clean up the hard stuff and shut up about it- person. That isn't fair. You aren't being considered. 

This also shows how things are going to be if you decide to have a child with her. Red flag are flying big time.

DPW's picture

I loved how she passed the buck to you. You should have declined the offer to speak to her son about this; this was her job. 

Next time, please say no. She needs to step up. It's okay to have boundaries. 

LakesideChill19's picture

Agreed, I should have, but I was afraid that the 'glass half full, oh my little boy just made a mistake' approach would be used and fail to acknowledge that what he did was absolutely not ok.

Gimlet's picture

You really are in a no win situation.

Like beebeel said below, this is going to continue to escalate.  Hardcore porn at 9?  No way would I stick around for more.

I know ending a relationship is hard, especially when the partner aspect of it is good, but her parenting is such a huge issue that it's going to destroy any chance you have for a peaceful life.  I really do think you should leave.

Best of luck, lakeside. 

ldvilen's picture

Bio-dad should have been informed right away.  His parents are supposed to parent.  Too often bio-parents in these types of situations turn their spouse or SO into a "sometimes" parent, meaning they want you to be a parent when it comes to the bad stuff, and stay out when it comes to the good stuff.  Often I've heard step-parenting described as getting all of the bad things about being a parent (disciplining) and very little of the good (hugs, kisses).  As you've found out first hand, this is why--too often the bioparents put you in that position.

And, in addition, it appears BM wants to come across as the good cop and make bio-dad the bad cop.  As someone stated above, never let her pass the buck to you again.  H-, I'd even call up bio-dad and tell him about it, because I think he still needs to know, AND I get the feeling he'd handle it more strongly/ appropriately.  This wasn't something the kid just did wrong, like leaving the refrigerator door open.  This was something that could mess him up for life.

If you want to stay, stay out of any parenting with this kid, and get ready to deal with a feral child the rest of the time he is with you, which could be age 20+, I'm thinking, at this point.  He'll be home, playing video games, smoking weed, looking at porn 1/2 the day, claiming he can't get a job, bellyaching about everything and PLOM.  Yeah--not a pretty picture. 

LakesideChill19's picture

True words as always.  When we got together, I felt that it was important that I be active in the raising of these kids and SO agreed. It seems that over time, that has changed almost imperceptably, to a different role.  That wasn't what I signed up.  You never get what you think, and that's ok, but this isn't the same thing.  I made it clear last night that BD should know, and that if she didn't say something, I wouldn't stand by that decision.

Kes's picture

You are being used by your SO.  If she can't see this, and it seems that she can't, then I really don't think this relationship is viable.  

beebeel's picture

This is a SO problem rather than a kid problem. Kid reacts that way because he knows mom has a squishy spine and won't actually follow through on punishments.

It's porn at 9, it will be booze or pot by 12. And mom will continue to be a weak ass parent, allowing it to go on and on. Booze and pot get boring fast, so what is a unparented feral boy to do at 15 to get his thrills? I wouldn't want to stick around to find out.

tog redux's picture

It's not your job to school her 9-year-old - if she can work with the 5-year-old, then she can work with the 9-year-old as well - or find some other kind of child care, like Grandma or something.

I also agree that making Bio Dad out to be a mean ogre is wrong. What, is she worried he might actually parent the kid, unlike her, and give him consequences? She needs to let him be Dad - you aren't.

You have zero obligation to help her out with her kids. None whatsoever.

Rags's picture

Pre pubesent and pubesent kids go through this phase at some level. At least many of them. Whether it is going through the underwear pages of the Sears catalog, sneaking a look at mom and dad's Penthouse or PlayBoy issues, watching a rated R movie , etc....

While this does seem extreme, it will take a balanced approach to prevent it from growing into an obsession while not demonizing sexuality for this kid.

Your SO is a coward and needs to be dealing with this.

Maplesugar's picture

I have a feeling she will try to placate you if you try to leave. Don't fall for it. She will pull this crap again next time something hard comes along. 

And why are you teaching her kid? Come on man, grow a pair.

Newuser333's picture

I read your other post and was also dealing with a very disrespectful 9 year old ss a few months back. Feel free to read my post for the details but I just could not take it anymore. He was the only thing making mine and my daughter's lives hell. He never listened to me, would swear at me, was mean to my kids and made the household constant drama with his seflish self entitled attitude. Wouldnt share anything. Would freak out if my kids even LOOKED at his toys, god forbid touch one (but of course he would play with all their toys without asking). Would throw a full fit of my kids had some of the food his mom made. Wouldnt even let my daughter sit by his mom without pushing her away from her and throwing a full fit because it was "his mom". And she thought it was "cute" because hes her little "protector".

Mom always took his side and would get angry at me anytime I got frustrated with him. She coddled him so much, it was almost like he was her boyfriend and I was just the babysitter. One day I had enough of his lip and kicked them out because he would talk to me in the most disrespectful tone and she just sat there and did nothing.

Rumplestiltskin's picture

Wait, aren't you the one who has to put up with biodad in your home on a regular basis? And she still wants to keep it from him? If so, that is very strange. 

LakesideChill19's picture

Yup. That's me. And I actually brought up that I thought it was wrong to keep it from him again this weekend and was met with complete silence.  Not even a response.  I told her that I thought that it was unfair and that if she didn't tell him and it ever came back, that I would not support her on it and that I would be clear that I wanted to say something. 

In fact, he invited himself to a BBQ here at the house (and my expense) on Sunday.  When I went to the grocery store, I thought I was buying stuff for us and apparently he had worked out plans to hang here all afternoon, but nothing was (or will) be said about the porn search.

I've already started my exit plan. It is long and painfully apparent that this is not going to work and I'm going to continue to be a third wheel in my own life without my calling it quits.  My patience for all of this is done.  Between this last episode with the SS9, to the constant and continued presence of her ex-husband here, and everything else that goes with it (and there is plenty), I just don't see any other way.  Fortunately for me, I still own a home that I rent out, and can make plans.  The only thing that sucks is that most of my furniture, bedding, etc. is all gone, except for things that were personal and precious, so I will have to buy all of that again.  My plan is to start looking and piecemealing it together until I have what I need. 

ldvilen's picture

Just do it sooner than later, and consider yourself fortunate for only losing a couple of years (if even that).  Regarding furniture, bedding, etc., most of that is replaceable.  Some of us have been putting up with what you've been putting up with (for better or worse) for years, as in 10+ years!  Personally, I wouldn't let furniture stop me.  The rent lease may postpone things, but furniture!  Pfft!  All you need is your home available and a good mattress with a few plates, pots and pans.  Add to it later, once you are out.  Otherwise. . .  next thing you know, you've been somehow swayed back into staying.  Also, when kids are involved, even other people kids, bad kids even, and you are pretty set on leaving, I think it is best you leave ASAP, so these kids' lives don't get further enmeshed with yours.  Better for everyone for you to get out of there pronto, now that you've made that decision.

justmakingthebest's picture

Thankfully all you lost is a couple of years and furniture. This could be so much worse. I don't know how much longer your tennets have on the lease but the sooner you can get out of there the better. Also- facebook marketplace is great for 2nd hand stuff and when having to start over in a hurry, it is a great option for now. 

I am so glad you hear that you have a home to move back in to! 

LakesideChill19's picture

Agreed there.  I'm sure that I can wrangle up plenty of the stuff that I need.  The house that I own has been in my family since 1882, so I'm sure if I dig, there is probably something already there.  Thrift stores and things like that are pretty plentiful here in the Northeast.

As far as resolve, it's happening.  Not that I needed anymore reinforcement, but the ex just called because he is not working today (again) and delcared that he will be here to our house in twenty minutes. He told us that he going to stay here and 'play with the kids' outside while we work, because it's too hot in his apartment and he doesn't have a yard.  It wasn't discussed and my SO said, "I'm too tired and don't feel well.  I'm not in the mood for arguing."

She literally just put the wants of her ex-husband ahead of us.  Who does that? 

Texashley33's picture

I've been helping raise SS17 since he was 3. BM lost custody when he was like 7 or 9..i forget what age..and she would rather drink and party anyway. SS17 is and has been a nightmare. He has Autism, ADHD and Bipolar..He lies all the time, and we never know if he's ever telling the truth..he has tripped my daughter who is 6 now, and laughed. He pushed her into a weight machine, and she has a small scar on her lip bc of him, bc she had to get stiches..So since then, I told him to stay away from her and my 5 year old son. So he hides in his room so he won't get into trouble. How cowardly. He told his therapist that he likes his younger brother but not sister. He has two other half sisters from BMs second ex husband..and he never injured them from what I know. He also told the therapist I "rarely cook" .. Which is a lie..what he means is I rarely cook for HIM. He's a selfish brat. The therapist told him that he's old enough to cook for himself..which was awesome lol. SS17 just sits in his room all day and night and only comes out to eat or go to the bathroom. He doesn't talk to any of us and rarely his own Dad. I want SS17 out of my house when he's will be a great punishment to his BM to ship him off to live with her forever..i've dealt with this kid long enough..15 years of hell!

Rags's picture

Just hire two men and a truck to pack your stuff and take everything that is yours.

Unless the SKids have funked it out and destroyed it in which case just leave it and get new stuff.

nappisan's picture

It will never change ,, been there done it for 8 years .  all that will happen is you will get pushed further and further down the priority list until eventually you arent even thought of .  She needs to parent her own kids , you are not obligated to any of this for her.  get out as soon as possible .  It doesnt seem like you hvae a lot to lose from this relationship anyway