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normad's picture

hi everyone, im new to this site and new to step parenting as well!

i have a soon to be step son who is 10.5 yrs old. he is an only child whose parents and grandparents do not believe in discipline at all, the mother blames the father who blames the mother who then blames the grand you can see its a vicious cycle of blame that never ends and in the meantime the child has grown up this far to be a very spoiled/disrespectful child.

the boy is fine and pleasant to be around as long as he's getting what he wants BUT when he isn't he yells at his dad asking him "why cant I?" over and over until the dad or grandparents give in. When i stress my point about how this type of behavior should not be given in to, the dad says things like he doesn't know what to do because he feels like its him against all of them. The child is always on his phone playing games(yes a 10.5 yr old with a phone) and when the dad tries to take the phone from him the child will bow up to him arguing about why he cant have his phone.

I have tried telling the dad that if he did not stop this behavior then when the child was old enough to drive it would be something along the lines of im taking the car whether you like it or not, what are you gonna do about it!
I have been around the child several times and some times its fine and other times it isn't. yesterday it wasn't.

He was in his grandparents room using the bathroom and when he came out we were all sitting in the living room, when he came out and saw me he rolled his eyes, huffed and went back in the bedroom, where he stayed until we( me and my grown son). everyone made excuses for him acting this way.

When we left granny and dad told me i needed to go in and say bye to him but i felt like if he didn't have enough respect for me to at least say hi before going back in the room then why should i chase him down and say bye to him?. i don't feel like i should have to kiss his butt to be my friend. anyhow if anyone has any suggestions for me, i would appreciate it!!
thank you!

Acratopotes's picture

oh dang.....

All I have for you Hon, disengage immediately, you are not his mother and you never will be thus you do not have to pretend to be his mother... read the link below and live by it, it's the only way you will survive the next 10 years, start making sure he will be out of the house and in college age 19 latest and working part time..

If you do get married to SO, always keep your finance separately, you do not pay for anything regarding SS, and you only pay your share of house hold expenses, you never bail SO out with money.... if you already share finances, stop it and go separate..... you will thank me in 5 years time.

When you get married ensure you have a water tight pre-nub stating what ever you accumulated before marriage will go to your bio children only, and all the other nice hings covering you and your kids.

if SS ignores you, ignore him back..

CatchyUserName's picture

You say "soon to be" step-son. You aren't married yet? So you can still get out without the hassle of a divorce? Spend some time on this site today. Read some people's experiences. You will find that it does not get better. Everyone who stays has their own good reasons and there is no judgement but most of us would probably have not gotten involved with our current partners with kids if we knew then what we know now. I know for me I would have made some different choices (waiting to get married, etc.). Save yourself and get out while you can. I promise you it won't get better.

ChiefGrownup's picture

My suggestion is do not marry or move in with this man until this kid is properly parented (never) or has run off to Timbuktu as an adult (not likely).

You really have no idea how much misery one hostile, ill-behaved child can cause in your life. I guarantee it will only get worse after you marry the guy. Right now you love this man and what could stand in your way, nothing! Your experience of children is that you can raise them and take joy in them or amusement (if they are stranger's kids) and occasional frustration and even anger. Adults are in control and there's a light at the end of the tunnel as you see their maturity growing every day.

But in a stepfamily such as you are contemplating, the child is the tail that wags the dog. You will end up in rages on a regular basis. You will feel insane at times. Your self-worth will spiral as you are continually made out to be the bad guy.

A perfect example is the very incident you describe. All the adults responsible for this kid enable and ignore his bad behavior then turn around and attack you for failing to bow and scrape to said ill-behaving kid. Right now you are on the love-high and you can still think rationally about it and it still feels bad. You can't even picture how horrible it will feel when you've gone through years of it and the limerance (love-high) has calmed down a bit and the destructive dynamic is inescapable because it's right in the house at all times.

Just don't marry this guy at this time. Give it years before you even consider it again. You will never have a positive impact on this kid and what you hope will be your influence on the man's parenting will be nothing but strife between you. Not to mention the entire extended family will frame you as a villain and this is not as much fun as it sounds.

That's my suggestion.

SacrificialLamb's picture

Chief, thank you for now saying what your super fancy words mean so I didn't have to go to You had to be the Vocabulary Queen of your school growing up!

And great advice that OP should definitely follow. Imagine years and years of the same. Then consider that it doesn't necessarily end when the child becomes an adult. A coddled child with success at manipulation has no incentive to stop. Imagine that child as a petulant 42 year old.

The child being the tail that wags the dog is a great analogy. And I have never been prone to rage but boy does step life bring it out of you. You have a hateful person who wants you to go away in charge of your life and marriage. You can't complain to your spouse because he is all warm fuzzies, wants everyone to get along, and how dare you rock the boat and make his life hard on him by expecting that his child treat you in a civil manner.

OP, please take heed of the advice you are given here.

ChiefGrownup's picture

"Limerance?" Hahaha! I think psychologists came up with that just a few years ago. I certainly did not know it in high school. But it's an awesome and precise way to describe that pink cloud glitter haze phase of love so I liked it and tucked it in my back pocket.

Thank you for all your kind words.

Your vision of the petulant 42 year old will give me nightmares tonight. Thanks.

SacrificialLamb's picture

Nah, I was just babbling your eloquence. But your writing style still reminds me so much of another StepTalker..... }:)

CLove's picture

Winona SD18 only uses those manners on people worthy of her. Myself and BM boyfriend Tweedles are considered pond scum, and therefore not deserving of any manners.

SMforever's picture

You have already raised a son so you know what a challenge it is. Are you so desperate for a husband that you would expose yourself to another ten years or more of this grief? Why take on this clearly dysfunctional group of numpties...sperm clan... Whatever.

One thing is sure: you are not going to,change their family dynamic.

Please please value your freedom and do not make yourself hostage. Tell fiance look your kid clearly is a problem child who dislikes me! Adios! Off to better prospects. Problem kids don't age out so he will torment you Forever. Bad now? They only get worse.

normad's picture

i have actually raised 3 boys of my own ages 24, 27 and 32 so yes i do know the challenges.
im definitely not desperate for a husband but i do love this man and was hoping there was some kind of positive advice out there that could help me. if its as bad as you say then why are you still in it and putting up with the grief?

ChiefGrownup's picture

I am still with it for these most important reasons:

1. My husband listens to me and tries very hard. This goes a long way in a marriage with steps. Many of the SMs here are not so lucky. Even so, it turns out his brain does not work like mine (newsflash) and so much gets garbled in implementation. I have to give him credit for trying and for always showing how much he values me.

2. The BM is not personally fixated on me or my dh. She's a bad mother but she does keep a stable job and maintain proper visitation. She is polite to me and we all keep a cordial distance. She is not stalking us or doing drugs or ending up in jail or flailing about for attention every five minutes.

3. DH promised me SD would not live here when she turned 18. We are coming up against that very soon and he is holding to it. She has accepted it and it's going more or less smoothly. No barnacle failure to launch at our house. BM gets that pleasure.

4. My SS is a pleasure. The most lovable human ever born. His presence goes a long way toward mitigating all the rest. Most SM's do not have that, either.

5. I have the full, enthusiastic, one million percent support of my in-laws. They think I'm the bee's knees and they support me in real ways. They have backed me up and dh has had to listen to their chorus of voices backing me up. Few SM's have this. It's very rare.

So it's more than the love we two share, which is very strong, there are tangible behaviors I can identify that have made this possible. And it is still hard.

CLove's picture

I love that whole "barnacle, failure to launch" thing. My brain automatically added "barnacle, failure to launch, parasite" to that.

notsurehowtodeal's picture

Women are still in it for various reasons. Most did not have someone to warn them before they got married. You are lucky enough to have people trying to warn you - whether you decide to heed them is up to you. Odds are you will be back in a few years with warnings of your own.

SMforever's picture

We waited until all five of our kids were over 21 and independent before we moved in together. I certainly would not have married a guy who had such an obvious problem child and problem extended family. My adult skids treat me fine. My sons are very respectful of DH and are happy we are together. I wouldn't put up with a 10 year old whose spoiled behaviour was being reinforced by his father. That would be a game ender for me. As it is, a good steplife does not come with grief.

twoviewpoints's picture

Does your SO live with his parents? Another question, how long together? I ask because you stated "I have been around the child several times and some times its fine and other times it isn't. yesterday it wasn't."

That rather really indicates 1)you've not been with this guy long, 2)you and guy have been dating for a while but are just now being exposed to his child.

If it's #1, think long and hard before you continue on with this relationship. If it's #2, know that the newcomer (you) are not going to be able to erase the last ten and a half years of parenting and come out of it with any brownie points under your name.

It sounds like too many Mommies and Daddies in this child's life. Unfortunately, Dad should have been parenting and standing up as the parent all along. He hasn't been. Look up AshMar654 blogs and take a look at her saga.

twoviewpoints's picture

*picturing Sue tossing her skids their father's car keys*

Here, but don't you dare touch my car *gives kid the Evil Sue, eyebrow lift*


Exjuliemccoy's picture

Welcome! I hope you spend some time surfing and reading other posts. Check out the Adult Skid forum, where there are some members who've been struggling to cope with hateful skids for DECADES.

A lot of us came to this site to vent about our skid problems, only to learn that skid misbehavior is the manifestation of much deeper issues with the adults involved. Dysfunction can be multi-generational (my own step situation is), meaning a cultural norm exists within a family that creates and enables such behavior, and that's what you've described. FOO dysfunction plus diluted, post-divorce poor parenting creates a nightmare for future partners.

My biggest mistake was failing to thoroughly vet my husband's Family of Origin or recognize the degree to which their crazy would bleed into my life. We marry INTO this abnormal norm, and are expected to participate in it. Are you willing to do that, accepting and practicing it and tolerating being the target of skid disrespect? As a seasoned, successful parent you can see how awful this boy will be in a few years.

I'm curious to know why you describe yourself as a soon-to-be SM if you've only met your SO's son a few times? If your are already experiencing skid disrespect in the early, halcyon honeymoon period of courtship, you need to take a step back and slow the relationship down. Think critically about whether this man AND his baggage fit with YOUR values. Vet the dynamic as a whole rather than just the man.

normad's picture

Sorry for not responding sooner, I have been busy with work then haven't had time until now.
I have been with him for almost 6 years, he and his wife have been separated and we thought it would be better if we waited until they were divorced. I was fine with waiting because I thought it would be easier the older the child got, boy was I wrong!

normad's picture

Because he wanted to wait until his son was older so she couldn't keep him from seeing his son

ChiefGrownup's picture

That seems a bit backward to me. With a divorce, you have a court ordered visitation schedule. Without a divorce BM can take off with kids and move to a different country and there's nothing he can do about it because it's just a marital spat. Courts won't get involved. There is the famous case of Elizabeth Johnson who took off and murdered her baby to spite the dad but was acquitted on the kidnapping charge because they didn't have a proper custody agreement in place.

So they just lived apart for 6 years and did not file? How very stressful for you. All those years every transaction she makes exposes his credit rating, he is liable for her debts. All while your life is on hold. Ick ick ick.

I would be re-thinking the whole thing if I were you.

CLove's picture

Hi there and welcome.

My advice to you is two-fold:

#1. First and foremost, the separated but not divorced situation is not a very good one. The divorce will be ugly, so get that going as soon as you and he can. It affects everything.

#2. The child needs parenting. You will need to have some heart-to-hearts with stDH. Trust me, it doesnt get any better over time it only gets worse. As they get older, their anger, bitterness, jealousy and capacity to do bad only increases not decreases.

normad's picture

Hi y'all
Thanks for answering my post I do appreciate the time it took for you to post your advice. He filed 7 months ago and now it's just a waiting game. As far as me waiting the 6 years it was just as much my idea as it was his to wait so I didn't mind that part. And me leaving him over a child will not happen, im very much in love with this man and that isn't something I can change even if I wanted to. As I've told my boyfriend I don't have to like/love his family or his son. I'm just here to love him. If it turns out that his son accepts me for who I am and what I have to offer him great but if it turns out the other way there's no love loss so either way I'm good with it. After all I've raised my 3 boys!