Needing advice, please help!...
Hi. New to this site and need some input or advice..
I'm married with 2 stepchildren, a boy and girl and we have a child of our own and have been together for 5 years. My stepchildren have different mothers and are close in age. I get along pretty well with his daughter.. My stepson is almost 10 and I am having and extremely difficult time with him and don't know what to do!!! He is ridiculously rude to me and has no respect for me. He doesn't listen to anything I say and always has this condescending attitude about him like everything I'm saying is stupid and ridiculous. He talks back to me all the time and questions and argues with me about anything I say and I'm really struggling with how to deal with this. Before I get bombarded with negative responses let me say that I do understand that I play a part in the way I am treated by him. Honestly, I try to avoid him any time I am able and I know I am not as friendly with him as I should be...I get it that if I made a bigger effort to be friends with him then maybe that might happen. It's hard to be friends with someone like that. This is not a new thing. I have had trouble with him since since his dad and I moved in together 4 years ago. I'm not sure how to discipline him other than to tell him to go to his room. I ask his dad for help in this matter but he feels that if he talks to him enough that maybe eventually the point will get across to him that he should not behave this way. When i suggest punishments like taking things away like not letting him play on the computer or taking toys away from him or something, my husband makes me feel guilty because he says he doesn't want him to see his time at our house negatively (we get them every weekend). When my husband agrees to a punishment like having him help with yard work or something, he does not follow through.
We get into a lot of arguments because of all this and it is very tolling on our relationship. I feel horrible for putting my husband in a situation where he feels torn between his wife and his son and believe me, I have tried everything i can think of over the last few years. I have tried the nice, friendly approach to things with talking and reward kind of system and spending time with him but that turned out not to work because it was taken advantage of and wouldn't do anything without getting something in return. I've had many heart to heart conversations with him making sure to let him know that I do care about him and that I don't let him play on the computer all day or watch TV all day or whatever to be mean, but because because it's not good for him and that I take his toys away or have him go to his room not to be mean but to help him learn right from wrong. I've tried to explain how it hurts my feelings when he acts like that to me and have asked him how I can do things differently to help the situation. For a while, all I get back is eye rolls and laughing. I've tried a more stern approach but that only make him more resentful and doesn't help at all. I understand that he's just getting to that age where this stuff happens. My husband points out that he doesn't to it to only me, that he acts like that with everyone, but i don't entirely agree. He doesn't go to the extreme with everyone else that he does with me. Please keep in mind that I have never had to take part or responsibility in the well being of a teen or preteen, but I myself being that age once know that it comes with the territory. It feels different in my situation though because he is so difficult with me primarily, as well as from a step parent perspective, where I feel I don't have the opportunity or right as a step parent to handle things as I would my own child in the sense of perhaps being a little more stern and following through with the rules and consequences of being disrespectful to your parents. Because of this, I rely on his parents to teach him right from wrong, but my husband is very hesitant about everything that might make him unhappy and his mother is also very difficult to deal with, often sending him to relatives or friends houses to lessen the burden and responsibility of her 5 children. She is unemployed and single and quite frankly a bad influence on him in my opinion.
It is also very difficult because my biological son is 4. He looks up to his big brother and is very impressionable. He is a very nice and well behaved kid overall. He sees that his big brother does not listen to me so he's getting the impression that he doesn't need to either. Above everything, I do not want my son to see me talked back to, argued with and questioned about everything by his big brother and go on thinking that it's ok. He copies everything his big brother does and I am finding that lately, I get a lot of the same comments and responses that I would from my step son.
I feel stuck and unsure how to help this situation. I feel like I am putting my husband in the same position by maybe making him feel like he has to choose a side or something. However, as his wife I don't think it is too much to ask for him to be more concerned about his wife being disrespected, especially in our home in front of our son. I don't know what to do. It is becoming much more difficult to be around my stepson each time I see him. I know I start to resent him and he can sense it and see it and it makes the situation worse. I'm an adult and he's 9 and maybe I should have a better handle on the situation and not take it so personal or have some better way to deal with it or something, and it's easy to say all that but more difficult to accomplish it. I was fully aware that he had kids when we started seeing each other. I made a commitment to him knowing that I would have some part in their lives and assumed that not everything is perfect and I would probably face some difficulty at some point. After all, I had a step father growing up and know that it's not easy having a step parent either...but I never expected it to be such a difficult thing to go through not only for myself but for my husband and I also.
If you've taken time to read all this, I appreciate you reading all my venting. If you have some words of wisdom, or ideas that might help me, please, please let me know. I'm at the end of my rope on this and I'm afraid of the affects it might have or is having on my family. please help!