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My husband's attitude towards my son makes me want a divorce.

purple_rose's picture

I have been with my husband for over 5 years, married for 3 years. We live with my 14 year old son, he has no kids of his own. My son's father is out of the picture. In the beginning of my relationship with my husband my son was 8, my husband would go places with us, taught my son to ride a bike, did normal family type activities and was kind to my son. Over time he has gotten more and more disrespectful towards my son. My son has bipolar and ADHD which can be difficult to deal with but he has been to counseling and takes meds. As my son has gotten older things have improved with his illness, but things continue to get worse between him and my husband. My husband makes no effort to do things with my son, he NEVER takes him anywhere and gets mad if I take him by myself. He never askes about his day, nothing. All he does is "bark" at my son whether its telling him to take the trash out, clean his room, whatever. When husband comes home from work he sits on the couch to watch tv, if my son comes around and wants to sit and watch too he tells him he cant because its not for kids ("off you go" is what he tells my son), mind you I have asked him to watch anything thats not appropriate for kids after my son goes to bed. So my son is constantly being told to go to his room and watch his own tv. I tell my husband all the time that I rather enjoy spending time with my son and like when he is out here with us. He complains that it is his tv and he worked all day and should be able to watch what he wants. This is just 1 example of how he treats my son. We cannot even sit at the table and have dinner without him nit picking on my son... you are drinking too much, why did you take such a big bite, move your plate, blah blah blah, I get so sick of it half the time I cannot even finish my dinner without some sort of argument because I have to tell him to quit picking on my son and just let him eat in peace. Every time my son tries to talk about something he is inturrupting him and telling him hes wrong, or telling him no before he can even finish what hes trying to say. My son is bigger now and I can see his frusterations growing, I am afarid he is going to blow one day and go after my husband. Last night my son wanted to ask me something, in his bedroom, who could blame the kid when my husband always says no or gets yelled at. Husband got mad and hasn't spoken to either of us since. I could go on and on about how downright mean he can be towards my son. Last week my son came to me and said "mom I wish we didn't have to live with dad anymore, he is always mean to me". Hearing my son say this makes me want to leave my husband. We do love each other but I am feeling like that is not enough anymore. I need to do right by my son and make sure he is not being verbally abused. I am in a bad situation because I am not working due to health problems and I feel if I left my husband now maybe I would be making things worse for my son. I am venting, looking for answers, trying to see if anyone is in the same situation or has been in it before.

ctnmom's picture

I wouldn't be with someone who treated my kid this way. My SS dealt drugs in front of my then 9 and 6 year old kids and I never treated him this way. Can't watch tv in the FAMILY room? "Off you go"? Off I would go, with my kid. AND my DH would be in the ER getting my shoe surgically removed from his anus.

purple_rose's picture

We did try counseling, he said the counselor was a dumb bi*** and didn't know what she was talking about. Tried another and same thing. I have tried talking with my husband about this on several occasions but he just dosen't seem to get it. My son goes away for respite weekends about every 6 weeks but the time away dosen't seem to help. Whenever we go pick him up he gets back into his attitude of wanting nothing to do with my son. I do not baby my son, in fact I tell him a lot now that he is growing up and needs to start doing more things for himself, he is going to high school in the fall and people will be expecting him to be more mature. About all I can do is go watch tv with my son in his room when my husband starts acting that way. I was going to leave my husband about a year and a half ago, he begged me to stay, said he would change, things were better for about a month then he slowly slipped back into the same thing all over again. I feel lost right now, I love him but I love my son more.

Orange County Ca's picture

Is it worse than having no father figure? I.e. is his attitude actually harming the boy? If so you'll have to consider leaving at least until the boy can go out on his own.

If husband is not doing any harm lets not worry about it so much.

stepmisery's picture

I see a distinct difference between the disengaging as advocated here and what this man is doing.

Disengaging means still being polite, it is doing things yourself. Disengaging is a choice you make about your own actions. This is not the same thing as forcing a young teen to his room all the time, speaking only critically to him and creating a painful, poisonous atmosphere in the home.

Disengaging is not something you inflict on someone else by primarily driving them away.

Look at how hurt some posters say they are when they walk into a room and a kid gets up and walks out. Now be a child and be treated that way by an adult who plays a parental role in your life.

purple_rose's picture

I guess it is quite apparent that he will not change. He has a very hard time dealing with my son. It is very sad when my son says to me "mom he was only nice to me in the beginning so you would like him". My son is very bright and has a big heart, he so does not deserve to be treated like he is less of a human being simply because my husband does not know how to deal with children. Looks like there is only one answer to this, as much as I hate to admit it. Sad's picture

I read something today about disciplining children, and one of the things it said was to make sure you are taking care of yourself, so that you don't take out your own woes on your child. It sounds like he is unhappy. Not with your son, but just in general. And he is taking it out on your son. Perhaps he hates his job, has had a hard life, doesn't like not getting his way, etc. but he is angry. If he were happy, he wouldn't be acting this way all the time.

purple_rose's picture

I agree, he is unhappy. He hates his job, misses living in his own country and knows I won't move there, HATES not getting his way, misses playing in bands and hates the fact that I am not working due to health reasons that are beyond my control. I have told him before that maybe he would be happier without me so he could quit his job, go play in the bands, or move back home. I honestly don't know if he stays here out of love or out of not wanting to be alone. He never really has been alone.

purple_rose's picture

It is also human nature, and makes perfect sense, to love the child I gave birth to more than I would love a man that came along after years after. It does not mean I do not love my husband. If he had a child of his own before he met me I would fully expect the same from him, otherwise I would wonder what kind of a parent he was to put me before his own child.

fruststepmama's picture

Love for child and love for spouse are apples and oranges--can't compare. It's not the same kind of love and different needs are being met in each case. The fact that you think they are comparable enough to rank one as "more" is weird. I would feel resentful in that situation as well.

Disneyfan's picture

He's a grown man, no need to sit around waiting for his wife to "set him free". If he's unhappy, he should walk away. Not remain in the relationship and mistreat the OP's child.

purple_rose's picture

Yes of course they are different types of love. But as a mom I have to protect my child. I cannot let my husband, or anyone for that matter, harm him, be it emotionally or physically, that is my job as his parent. I would think anyone that has a child would understand this. Perhaps you are not a biological parent? And to say I love my son more than a man that entered the picture later in life is not weird, it's quite normal. Many many women have left men that are hurtful to their child/ren, even the biological fathers.

Disneyfan's picture


I don't ever want to experience the type of love that would make me stay with a man that treats my minor child like shit.

The love I have for my child is unconditional. Can't say the same for a SO.

Disneyfan's picture

Not loving a SO unconditionally doesn't make you spineless.

It means you refuse to be a doormat. It means you refuse to stay in a toxic relationship because you're afraid\don't want to be alone.

It means you won't sit back and allow your SO to hurt you, disrepect you, treat you like crap...

Refusing to remain in a relationship with a SO who cheats is a condition. Refusing to stay with someone who puts their kids before you is a condition.

Most of us have deal breakers and deal breakers are conditions.

Tantoon's picture

Hello. I am so happy to have read ur post. I was googling "how can I make my husband love my son" when I came across ur story! My situation is VERY much similar to urs, with a few changes... I married my husband 2 years ago.. I have three boys, aged 10,8 and 6. My 10 year old has ADHD and Tourette Syndrome. I feel like my husband "barks" at him allll the time. He never shows any emotion or love towards him. He is great with the other two boys, but with this one (who has ADHD) he is so cold and mean. I feel like he is just waiting for him to do the tiniest thing wrong to yell at him. I feel like he hates him. As a mother it is KILLING me inside!! I am so lost and I don't know what to do. My son tells me all the time that he hates his life and he hates the way my husband treats him.
I have spoken to my husband many many many times and he keeps promising that he will try harder to be nice to him. I'm not sure what to do anymore. Sad why can't he treat them all the same? Sad
Has anything worked for you?? What have u tried??