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my adult stepson

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.

Rags's picture

At some point, we have to write off the toxic regardless of who they are.


it is time for your DW to write this toxic moron off.  

Tried out's picture

said than done.

Rags's picture

Though far more effective than continually serving one's self up to the toxic spawn for years on end.

ESMOD's picture

Look.. your wife feels hurt.  but it's clear her son also had his own perspective and set of feelings as well.

I don't think it would be odd for a boy to feel more kinship with his father.. and he may have struggled a bit with his mom's relationshp not being "traditional" like those of his peers. it's hard to be different when you are that age. 

And.. he may really have felt that way.. and while it may be hurtful to hear.. it sounds like he was honest.  I think he may still love his mom.. but there is so much water under the bridge.. and maybe he feels that her "concern" over their relationship at this late date.. is not enough to salvage more?

But, her son has a right to his own feelings.. just like you and she have that right.  

Merry's picture

Why isn't your wife having this conversation with her son herself?

It seems the son feels disconnected from his Mom, and the way to put that back together is to have the two of them work it out themselves, with you supporting your wife in the background.

There are plenty of things I'd like to say to my adult stepkids, but it's not something I'm going to do even when they hurt his feelings, which they do with some regularity. It's their relationship to manage, while I focus on my relationship with my DH. I support his relationship with his kids 1000%, but no way am I getting involved in it.

caninelover's picture

I don't know why OP is 'setting up meetings' about this.  OP really sounds like a bully to me.  OP's wife should be talking to SS directly, not OP.   This series of posts kind of upsets me because OP seems like a bully.  I was bullied as a child and this behavior really yanks my chain.

StrawberryPie's picture

Does not sound like your SS is spoiled or an a$$hole as I think was mentioned in a different posts. Your SS sounds articulate and shared w his mom (and you) his issues.  I think you really need to let your wife navigate her relationship w her son. And for you to be a supporting role but not insert yourself in their relationship. He needs to bond w his mom one on one to repair the relationship. Let your wife have the oppty to repair her relationship w him.  It probably took a lot for him to share all those feelings and be honest. Now your wife can take some steps to show she is interested in a relationship w him and it doesn't have to be w her AND you. 

tfsimmons's picture

Would be to read other posts here - especially in Adult Stepchildren forum!  Your SS is not a disappointment - he is a success story - and I bet his relationship with his Mother can be salvaged if you give them some  space...  Many of us have been dealing with decades of narcissistic manipulation and addiction. Your wife can be grateful her ex was a great father and show pride in her son.  That would be a great place to start again.

reedle2021's picture

I'm so sorry your wife is hurting and you are hurting for her.  I agree with above posts that perhaps your wife needs to navigate her relationship with her son.  It sounds like he felt pushed to the side (even though I am sure that was not the intent of either of you) over the years and may be resentful?  Let him and his mother work through this.  He must be an upstanding and intelligent person if he has a degree and is on his own.  I'm sure he can be reasonable, he just sounds hurt.

Please keep us posted!  Be supportive of your wife like you have been, but I would let her work on her relationship with him in any way she can to help mend her heart.  It might take some time to repair the relationship, but hopefully it can be done and everyone will benefit from that. 

Take care of yourselves!  Smile