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Awkward atmosphere with stepson

Gh4975's picture

I definitely need to vent!  I feel like nobody understands my situation.  Since Covid I work every other week so I'm always around my annoying stepson since he has virtual school.  I basically avoid him at all cost if I can and we live in an apartment.  He doesn't really do the little chores that he has, he goofs off instead of doing schoolwork.  Everything he does just bothers me.  My husband doesn't really do anything about his schooling.  I don't want to be responsible for everything.  When I ask about his school stuff he lies or he's disrespectful to me.  My husband has full custoday so he's always here.  I look forward to when he stays over his grandmother's house once in awhile.  Some people say on here to disengage and not do much for your stepchild, but it can be difficult because then your spouse thinks that you don't care about there child.  I don't know what to do and it's definitely affecting our marriage.  I also think that he needs to be punished for not doing what he's supposed to.  He sets the example for out little guy.

GrudgingSM's picture

It always drives me nuts when I see posts from women have been put in impossible positions as SM's are still more worried about their DHS feelings they they are about their own. You were allowed to say there should be rules in your own household. You are allowed to correct behaviors. If you want! I'm a huge fan of disengaging! And honestly, I don't care if it hurts my dear just feelings. I am very sorry for that. And of course I want things to only be good and happy between us, but if I lie about it and put on a big Happy face and pretend everything is going swell, then he could also say but you never say anything about being unhappy! I don't vent to him about his kids, and I'm not unkind, but I'm also clear about what I find acceptable and not, and then I make him deal with it. They aren't my kids, so they aren't my responsibility. And if these men want their partners to be happier to spend time with their offspring, they should raise them to be less disrespectful and unpleasant. But definitely stop putting his emotions above your own! And also, him saying you just don't like my kid is blaming you. It's not recognizing how his lack of parenting is affecting his child, which is affecting you, a person he loves.

Gh4975's picture

Hi what are some ways to disengage?  How does it work in regards to the son we have together as far as fairness?

Harry's picture

Make the rules of the house. It's DH job to make sure rules are followed. As cleaning up after himself, doing his school work,  and what ever chores he's Is given 

LoftyDreams's picture

I had been in this same situation. We've all been at home for 14+ months. But this issue has been going on since stepson started middle school.

Spring Break 2021, everything came to a head. Stepson has been lying about doing homework/tests/projects and/or not turning in the assignments, I have been informing his father, but his father will become upset because he is overwhelmed with everything.

I believe the teachers are giving out passing grades if they think you will pass, because he isn't turning in work. However, he has one class that is for high school credit. I was literally sitting with him to turn in a ton of work before Spring Break, but it wasn't all completed. Stepson said he didn't want to go to Mom's house for Spring Break because 'no one was going to make him do the work'. I and my husband told him he is here right now- finish the work and you don't need to do it at Mom's house. So the morning his Mom comes to pick him up, stepson, father, and I are having a discussion and it boiled down to my husband says he doesn't care and I said, 'So, if [stepson] doesn't care, you [Dad] don't care, Mom doesn't care, then what do I look like [caring]?" My rationale is, why am I spending my energy and time trying to get you to do work, you obviously don't want to do or have figured out you don't need to do it. I had multiple discussions about the importance of keeping up with the work because learning is cumulative yada yada. So I have stopped mentioning anything schoolwork related. I have stopped looking at grades.

So for Q3 report card, he receives As,Bs, and a D in the high school credit class. I did 'congratulate' him on his As and Bs because I want to be supportive and acknowledge that regardless of what I see in the gradebook with regard to turning in work\ he did receive some As/Bs.

Later we receive- rather stepson receives a letter in the mail stating if he doesn't pass this high school class (Alegbra Honors), he will be held back (again,  although the first time was in 3rd grade after he moved from another state and I wouldn't blame this on him. Last year the school offered him the opportunity to skip a grade and one of the teacher's said statiscally him being now 2 years older there is a higher probablity he won't graduate high school) or have to attend and pay for summer school. . .Husband blows up.

I said nothing because what is there for me to say. I'm NOT driving him to/from summer school when he can't do the few things we/I ask him to do which are basically SCHOOLWORK and two chores that aren't directly related to him caring for himself.

This is an on-going issue that started years before the pandemic. My husband wants to blame the situation on the divorce, I said, I understand that, but life still goes on, if you think it's an issue why don't you pay for counseling. I personally don't believe that is the major issue. I think it's because of lack of enforcement (from parents and the school) and stepson will get away doing as little as possible. Stepson has as much said so. He talks about is laziness when it's something he doesn't want to do.

Stepson was accepted into an IB program (no transportation) that will be a 50-60 minute roundtrip pickup/dropoff Mon-Fri. Husband asked me if I would be willing to pick him up as husband will be at work and I have a more flexible job, I initially said Yes. I wanted him to go to this school because it would be a better education. After this I have changed my mind. He will be 16 y/o during the second quarter in high school as a freshman. However, Dad thinks he is in no way responsible or prepared enough to drive. I completely agree and I blame that on Dad, but I am not picking him up if he can't do what is asked without me daily asking for it to be completed. He 'forgets' to do his chore(s) *every* single day.

In the past, when I have said things to my husband about his son, he says to me 'what do I care if ____?' I say am I supposed to care about him or not? If I truly didn't care that would be a problem, but me voicing my concerns is also an issue. My husband says, well he also doesn't listen to me as if that's suppose to give me comfort.  One time my husband told me, that his Mom (child's grandmother) said all she cared about was 'his everlasting soul'. So you know what in the grand scheme, my husband is ultimately correct. It's no skin off my nose, until it is.

I don't worry about what he eats, drinks, brushing teeth, washing face/acne/sunscreen/wrinkles (my forehead is less wrinkled than my stepson's he asked me about it, lol I don't use anything it's genetics I assume or sun protection),  taking showers, grooming hair, homework, exercise, adequate sleep (he stays up late and sleeps during the day. Husband has found him sleep during classes, I have stopped checking in on him). I ask that he cleans the bathroom because our toddler uses it, but he generally doesn't and when I mention it to Dad, he gets mad at me so I clean the inside of the toilet when it starts to grow a ring and the toddler's sink and tub for baths.

Husband doesn't consistently clean up. I believe that contributes to stepson's behavior and it does make me very angry to live like this and I am moving forward with next steps in my mind. We purchased a new home 2 years ago, it's been cluttered since we moved in. I hate it. There are 2 'lofts' and another bedroom, not to mention our master bedroom and closet that are practically filled with his stuff. I am aggressively paying my debt, so I can assume this mortgage if/when we divorce.