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19 yr old SS crossed a line ‘the’ line

PandaGirl's picture

Hi guys I’m new here, I’ve been struggling with a situation that happened a couple of months ago, and so I’m here to vent and maybe get some advice on how to move forward, and would love to know of others who may have been through something similar. 

So bit of back ground info, I’ve been married to my partner for 5 years now and SS who lives with us full time is now 19 yrs old. Let’s be honest I’ve never really embraced being a stepmum, I haven’t been able to have my own children which has added to the frustration and pain of being a stepparent. But Ss and I have at least had a fairly respectful relationship not an overly close or warm one though.

So a couple of months back SS crossed a line, I caught him trying to video record up my skirt. I was horrified as was his dad. Now a lot of weird and awkward moments over the previous few weeks seemed to point to the fact that He obviously has some hormonal issues to work out. At first I couldn’t bare to be near him, I didn’t want to see him or look at him and I didn’t talk to him. After about a week we had a family discussion, where we acknowledged his problem that he and his dad were going to have to work on, he was very sorry and I forgave him for what he did but made it very clear I was extremely hurt and that it was going to take a long time for me to feel ok around him again and even longer for any kind of relationship to resume.

fast forward to now, I’m still struggling to feel relaxed and comfortable in my own home. It’s caused all kinds of stress between my hubby and I as he’s caught in the middle, he sees how bad his son feels and can see positive progress he’s making, but because I’m still struggling and not seeing what he sees it’s like I’m the one not getting over this.

I don’t know anyone who has been through anything like this, I mean who has to live with someone who has  violated them? How do I get past my feelings of complete dislike for what he did to me and try to feel relaxed, safe and normal in my own home? How is my life supposed to feel like a normal family again (as normal as a step family can be anyway) right now I hate my life and my situation and I can’t see a way through it. 

SteppedOut's picture

Ewwwwww I'm sorry that is HORRIBLE. I do not think I could ever feel "normal" being around someone that did that to me, much less live with them!

My formerSS13 used to sneak up behind me and scare me ("not on purpose" of course), but that was only if my babyBS was awake. If baby was sleeping he was loud as a heard of elephants ("not on purpose" of course).

I didn't like his sneaking and creeping around... But video up your skirt, someone he should be looking at as a pseudo parental figure...Good night... that's crazy person behavior.

futurobrillante99's picture

Not justified by any means but there is a LOT of “step porn” out on the inter webs. That’s probably what’s feeding his pervy little mind. Time for Jr. to move out.

JanRebecca's picture

He betrayed your trust I would find it hard to 'feel at home' and 'normal' after that as well. I hope SS got some kind of consequences for what happened - like whatever he was using to video tape - I hope was taken away for a period of time. I feel you but have no real advice to give. 

PandaGirl's picture

I wish he could just move out, but even though he’s 19 he’s not socially mature enough, or financially able to move out. That’s part of the problem, he is more like a 15 or 16yr old in maturity and well he obviously doesn’t understand the basics of what you should not do to another person.

My DH is committed to helping him but his ideas of growth and development of independence for his son are not quite the same as my expectations and what progress I would like to see. 

So in the meantime it’s find a way to live with it or let a stupid hormonal teenager ruin my marriage!

im just so p’d that he’s put us in this position. I’m now feeling like I’m battling depression because of how I feel, the fact that I’m not happy in my own home and my DH and I keep fighting about this crap. 

futurobrillante99's picture

Would you consider moving out until he's gone? I moved into my own home and it's amazing. Highly recommend.

disrestep's picture

UGH! Beyond unacceptable what your SS did. Why are you not pressing charges against him? I would. 

I hope your DH is not siding with this little pervert and making him seek counseling.

have you made sure to check there are not any cameras set up anywhere in your home? Check and double check.  If you find any, contact the authorities immediately. This is illegal.

I would want this little sicko removed from my home and would not forgive this ever. I would not trust him.


marblefawn's picture

Oh my gawd, I feel for you!

I think if it were me, I'd use this as leverage to quicken the pace to get SS out. Use this to set expectations for your husband to set expectations for SS.

If SS doesn't have a job, time for him to get something, even if it's only a couple of hours a week to start. Take a minimal piece (even if only $25 a month) as rent. It's a token and will get SS thinking the tide is turning and he must step up. Ask your husband when he expects SS to launch. If there is no plan now, time for you and your husband to set some goals. Your husband must do all the pushing of SS because you don't want anything to do with SS (neither would I!) Maybe push to get SS in a trade school or something moving him toward independence.

The point is, if SS is doing nothing but being a 19-year-old, why would he leave? If he's not in school, he should be working at that age. When SS is at work, you can take a breather and feel more comfortable in your home. You need this time!

I don't know from what you wrote if SS's problems are significant or if he's just failing to launch and no one is pushing him. Regardless, tell your husband for SS's sake, he must start pushing SS to act his age. Little steps to start with that exit date as the long term goal.

MoominMama's picture


He is a pervert. You will never feel any different about it, things will never be the same. He has crossed a line and theres no going back. 

Your Dh, by allowing him to stay in the home is condoning it.  He needs to get a job and get gone. Where is BM? Send him to her. 

PandaGirl's picture

As much as I would love him gone, or even to press charges that would be the end of my relationship with DH. I’m not willing to give that up because of a horny little boy!

DH is trying to get him to ‘grow up’ and be more responsible but it’s not at the pace I would like and when I try to talk to him about it or make suggestions it usually causes arguments.

i guess I believe there is hope for SS to get sorted but I just can’t help my negative feelings towards him and how much I dislike being around him at the moment. 

He does work, but with dad and not for a lot of money. So if DH is at work so is he and if he’s home so is SS, so I rarely get time alone with DH. 

Oh and he was told that if there was another incident then he would be reported and out of the house (whether that would actually stick or not I don’t know)

 Apart from being obviously behind in his social skills i don’t think there is actually anything wrong mentally with SS (although I do wonder with all this)  he isn’t the smartest or brightest kid and left school early cos he hated it. But no obvious mental issues or disorders.


futurobrillante99's picture

If there are no obvious disorders, then the child has been coddled and lacks experience. Can he go into military service? They would grow his snowflake behind up right quick. You see the military is kind of like trading parents. You trade mommy and daddy for your commanding officer who tells you when you can eat, when you can sleep, when to do everything you can possibly do. And you have to earn privileges and suffer consequences for bad behavior.

Might be something to consider for your SS. If he does this again, he needs to get out and he will grow up really fast, I promise.

Indigo's picture


I would love him gone, or even to press charges that would be the end of my relationship with DH. I’m not willing to give that up

I wish that you would value yourself more. 

elkclan's picture

I really hope that 'upskirt' incident was treated as harshly as it ought to have been. And if he's still skeeving on you that's not ok. You need to feel safe in your home. 

Rags's picture

This is not a minor we are talking about. This is a criminal adult.  If his dad is so ball-less as to not bring the fullest extent of the law down on this POS pervy criminal tells me enough about your DH's quality as a parent.  Which apparently isn't much.  That your DH didn't beat this kid's ass for his up-skirt attempts on your DH's wife tells me more than I need to know about your DH.


MoominMama's picture

The pervert works for dad for 'not much money'  maybe that plays a part in the dynamic of why daddy wont give him his marching orders. 

Aunt Agatha's picture

Your DH is more worried about upsetting his pervert of a son than you?

Frankly, what he did is not an incident for a Disney Daddy talking to.  It’s an absolute violation of trust by an adult - obviously too coddled and poorly parented.

I would be out of there and in an apartment until the pervert was gone.  Your SO had a choice and chose his man baby not you the only responsible adult it seems in the house.

If he dared to get upset with me, both their butts would be out the freaking door.

Jzell67's picture

He's not a hormonal teenage boy.

he is a man with boundary issues. These issues can escalate. If he had no moral code stopping himself from up skirting you I can't imagine what he would do to a stranger. Someone's daughter, wife, sister, mother.


This is not a hormone issue and if your DH's doesn't move him out then it shows where YOU stand in your relationship.

His son comes first. Lock your bathroom door and check your room for cameras. 

PandaGirl's picture

I do appreciate everyone’s view of the incident it helps me understand my current feeling about it better. But please don’t attack my DH. While he may not have done everything right in the past bringing up this kid he is trying to help him through this now, before he winds up in jail, after all it is his son!

and as I said he’s not functioning as a 19 yr old yet and would probably get himself into serious trouble if he was just kicked out now. He needs support right now to grow up and become independent and that’s his dads job. 

He was delt with very harshly when it happened and has had consequences. 

My reason for coming on her was to get some validation on my feelings and struggle and maybe hear from those who may have been through something similar. 

I’ve decided to try and stick this out for the sake of my marriage and hopefully provide this kid with a better start to adulthood.

Maria10's picture

Barring an actually diagnosed mental illness your SS might have there is no excuse for this.

You can choose to stay with your husband but the idea that a 19 year old needs his daddy's help through victimizing YOU just does not make sense to me. Again if SS is diagnosed by a doctor/shrink then this makes it a different problem which can be addressed like a family in front of said doctor/ shrink.

My 2 cents:

If my adult ss was living with me and tried to upskirt me he would be out in 2 seconds flat. If his dad was making excuses for him he would be finding his own place. As far as the marriage aspect goes I believe both people in a marriage need to value eachother and their relationship above all else.(including children).

MoominMama's picture

I'm sorry, but i think you and his father are fooling yourselves. You stated that he has no special needs or problems apart from being immature in your eyes. This is a parenting issue and if he is showing deviant criminal sexual predatory behaviour then it isnt going to change by you guys helping him. They dont just go 'ok i wont do this anymore' and are then forever cured.

This will not get better. Is your dh afraid of losing cheap labour and is prepared to have you live with this threat?  IMO this is not a marriage worth keeping. 

thinkthrice's picture

realizes that his man-child is one step away from the lock up and put the fear of god into him.  

Its a criminal offense and something tells me he KNEW what he was doing.  Guilty BFFing parents often find all sorts of excuses and "syndromes" to smokescreen for their poor parenting during the formative years.  And believe me... the offspring take full advantage to push the envelope. 

This is often a precursor to violent attacks.  I would never be alone with him that's for sure. 

PandaGirl's picture

SS was also very remorseful, and admitted he needed help and was willing to accept consequences and do what is asked of him. 

So what are we supposed to do? You can’t turn your back on someone when they need and want help. But he is very aware there are no more chances. 

I just need to find a way I can cope with my feelings about it, and not let it get me down so much until he moves out. 

thinkthrice's picture

can be feigned.

Java_Junkie's picture

I just need to find a way I can cope with my feelings about it, and not let it get me down so much until he moves out.

 Go see a counselor. I know this is all about your feelings, but I hate to say it... this is a teenage boy who's just got some hormones and he surely didn't mean anything by it. A counselor will help YOU put THAT into perspective... and will help SS put into perspective that YOU are like MOM to HIM... and what he did was beyond creepy.

notsurehowtodeal's picture

Is he going to therapy? What were the consequences - did DH take the camera away from him? I would think if he did it to you he is doing it to others.

DH needs to seize all his electronics and search his history. There is lots of "step" porn out there, but I would be curious as to what else he is looking at or searching for.

I completely understand why you feel the way you do - I would as well. I'm not sure I cold get over it and ever be comfortable with the kid. You mentioned that you and DH rarely get alone time - that needs to change. DH needs to make an effort to separate from SS19. If they work together and SS19 is home most of the time, how is he going to develop the skills to be independent?

PandaGirl's picture

He is talking to someone outside of the family as well as his dad having lots of discussions with him about what’s not acceptable and the gravity of what he has done, and what would happen if anything else happened (to me or another female).

his phone (what he used) was taken away from him as well as internet access and computer use. He’s since got his phone back but with no camera or internet capability. His now limited use of internet is monitored. He’s been expected to do more around the house and work toward getting his license. And I made sure he felt my complete disgust, he wasn’t to be anywhere near me and had to wait till I was finished in the kitchen etc before he could go there. I don’t do much for him now, he’s cooking his own food etc and needs to pay for all his own stuff. The not being in the same room as me has changed now, I can be around him and have needed conversation with him but I’m not interested in being ‘chatty’ or ‘friendly’ with him.

DH and I  just went away this weekend, which was nice but driving home after I felt myself just slipping into depressed me again. Going away and being able to relax for that short time just makes me realise how much I’m not myself the rest of the time and how much this is affecting me. 

notsurehowtodeal's picture

But, he needs therapy with a psychologist or psychiatrist. Talking with DH is fine, but he needs a professional to help him figure out what is going on and how to fix it. Given the subject matter, he may not be telling DH the complete truth.

I am sorry you are having to deal with this. Have you considered some therapy for yourself? It might be helpful for you to talk to a professional about your feelings and how to deal with them.

Harry's picture

First he needs a real MD for help. Not somebody outside the family.  Second, has to be an exit plan in place. As to how long until he’s out. One year or ten years ?  Your DH is gaslighting you, He will never feel that SS is ready to leave.  With out a plan you will be living like this forever  

lorlors's picture

I seriously wouldn’t care how ‘undercooked’ SS is or if he presents as a 15/16 year old. Who cares? He is 19. Time for him to go. I wouldn’t have a sex pest living with me even if it was DH’s son. That is seriously deviant behaviour. No wonder you feel depressed!! Behaviour like that is a serious red flag. You shouldn’t have to share your space with him.

Merry's picture

You have been violated in a criminal way. And you and your DH have decided it's best for the young man to still live at home and have his dad "help" him. But what is best for YOU? You bet this can lead to a stress disorder and you may never be able to be around him again. You need to be seeing a counselor yourself to help with this, and to help figure out why it is OK to you to live in a house with someone who treated you as a sex object.

Here's what my DH and I did when my young adult SS wanted and needed our help due to a drug addiction. WE LET HIM FIGURE OUT HIS OWN LIFE. Once we stopped the money flow, he got himself into rehab and has been clean now 3 years. We're very proud of him, but I still do not and never will completely trust him after all the lying and stealing.

Your SS might have an addiction as well. Sex addiction is a real thing, and no amount of punishment or dad's help will give him the tools he needs to cope with it. I'm not saying he is an addict, but given how far he went to get some jollies, it's something he must explore with a licensed therapist. This wasn't a one-time oops, I dropped my phone with the video running. He spent time planning this. And then acted it out. 

There is no way I would live in the same house with him. Sure, you love your DH, but if you don't get some help and relief from your living situation that won't last long either. Tell us what your DH is doing to help YOU through this? Or is all attention focused on the son?


Harry's picture

A talk with his son going to do ?  This kid needs help. Like from a MD.  Maybe in hospital treatment !  Not talking to someone outside of the family.  In stead of trying to help this kid, if there any hope of that.  You are playing games.  Thinking it going to fix itself.  This kid should be out of your house, Who knows what else he been doing to your stuff.  At 19. This kid is not going to get any better is a short amount of time.  Are you going to be writing this same thing in five years.  You 24 yo can’t live on his own, you have to put up with it !!!