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Help/Advice Full time step-mom and soon to be FTM

Allthefish's picture

So a little BG: I grew up in a sheltered cult, I left and met my husband. He was my first real relationship; I knew he had a son but I had nannyed my nieces and nephews was their favorite aunt so I really thought I knew what I was getting in to. None of my friends/family had dated someone with a kid so I didn't have someone to ask and naively thought I knew.

My husband shared 50/50 custody with his ex while we were dating. When we got engaged and married BM crazy came out! She got arrested for trespassing/theft, DUI. Multiple mental health/drug detox hospitalizations by the police but never long enough. There was a lot of DCFS we nvolvement and for the first 2-3years this woman got away with everything. BM severely injured her son (8) and DCFS just said she didn't meant to do it; no mention of neglecting medical care on multiple occasions. I was extremely worried about ss and stepped into every role. I quit my job when our lawyer recommended it to take care of him I drove an hour twice a day to take him to and from school. I volunteered at his school because he wanted me to. Signed him up for extracurricular activities, scheduled play dates, took him to dentist, dr appointments, watched him when husband took classes for fun went to men's group. I did everything! We have had full custody for over 3 yrs.

Last year I suffered a miscarriage I had been so excited about that pregnancy. I tried to involve ss, we told him first and he acted excited he had been asking me for years to adopt him and another boy. After my miscarriage he was just rude and never said anything sympathetic. 

Now I am pregnant again and so excited but scared to death of another miscarriage. I am 14 weeks but really don't want to tell ss. I can't stand to be around him! He used to be a sweet kid but now he is just a brat. I know that some of this is hormones for me pregnancy and for him (13). If I asked him to do something he either blatantly ignores me mouths off or does a half ass job. His dad will tell him to not talk back and be respectful but then ss will buddy up to his dad and it's all forgotten. Ss has 1 chore a day if that and they mostly clawing up after himself. I know he learned manipulative behaviors from BM and I am worried he has mental issues like his BM. I absolutely love my husband he is thoughtful and considerate but then I think he has dad guilt and gives in to son all the time!! He almost never asks ss to do his chores or anything. If they are together all they do is watch tv. 
Anytime my husband and I go out I have to find a babysitter, I have to take ss on vacations with me or when I visit my family. This would be ok but ss thinks he doesn't need to listen, ask or respect me whenever we are with my family. My family is easy on him because his BM . He has not seen biomom in close to 3yrs.

 Sorry this is so long but I don't know what to do. Reading other posts I know now that it was wrong of me to take on everything. How do I talk to my husband? I just want to focus on my pregnancy and not have to deal with ss. I feel bad and I feel like everyone is just going to think I'm an evil step-mom. 


Kes's picture

Basically, your husband needs to parent better and more firmly.  You often see Disney Dad type parenting from non custodial parents, but not so often from custodial.  The situation you have now is mainly of his creation.  When SS misbehaves you both need to come down on him like the wrath of God.  Often when kids have had a bad time with a neglectful parent, the other parent feels like they need to make it up to them by not exerting any discipline - this is hogwash.  Kids want guidelines and clear boundaries, it makes them feel safe.

Allthefish's picture

I think he is kinda Disney dad now is because his ex damaged his relationship with his son. He had been deployed part of the time they were together too. 

I tried talking to him about things tonight and he just goes off on how I'm treating his son like an enemy.

Winterglow's picture

It is high time your husband started behaving like a parent. YOU had to leave your job to take care of his child? YOU have to take him everywhere with you? WHY? Leave him with his father when you want to go anywhere. Remind him that he is HIS son, not yours. Sign yourself up for some fun things that will take you out of the house. Why should hubby be the only one who gets any time off? Start standing up for yourself. Your husband is treating you like a maid and nanny - put your foot down and put it down NOW.

Allthefish's picture

I really need to have me time! 
Thank you!

I've never learned how to stand up for myself; growing up how I did that made me selfish. I know it's good to stand up for myself I just need to learn how to deprogram and do it!

Lollybobs's picture

'I tried to involve ss, we told him first and he acted excited he had been asking me for years to adopt him and another boy. After my miscarriage he was just rude and never said anything sympathetic. '

I've seen this before with a friend's child. It took a long while to find out why but bottom line was child was grieving at the loss of the unborn baby too but nobody had realised that .  

Allthefish's picture

I really don't think he cares; it's been over a year and a half and he has never once mentioned it to anyone.

but I know what your talking about; my sister lost a baby and it affected all of the kids in a lot in different ways. Some detached and took a long time to process.

tog redux's picture

Let DH know that if won't parent his child adequately, you will no longer be his nanny. An 8yo doesn't need a full time SAHP anyway. Get a job and let DH deal with his son. You've held up your end of the deal, but he hasn't held up his with his guilty parenting. 

Rags's picture

Accountability must be forced on those who refuse to step up. Including adults.   As tog redux indicated, since DH won't step up and parent, he should not be given any other choice but to step up and parent.

Since this kid should not be allowed to run amok and DH won't parent you are going to have to do it.  If DH does not like how you do it then you tell him he can step up and get it done before you have to or have your back.

Even then, DH needs continual clarity that he is failing as a parent and as such he is failing as a man and as your husband.  

Mandy45's picture

Yes you get into a relationship with someone who has a kid you think you have to step up. Too keep everything wonderful think your helping then everyone turns on you. Takes it all for granted. The honeymoon over. Step back hard to totally disengage when everyone lives together fulltime  but you pick your battles. And stand up for yourself.

Stop doing everything make your husband be more involved in HIS son life. It not all up to you to make everything right for HIS son. You remind your husband that your given up everything to raise a child that not yours. Not a lot of women would do that. Some back up from him wouldnt hurt.

If you want 5 mins to go out by yourself without having your ss chained to your side your allowed to do that. Seems your giving all the sacrifices but hubby not.