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I blew it- engaged & DH lost it, left

StepUltimate's picture

DH left about a little while ago after getting mad at and mocking me for being disguested that SS17 came home over 20 minutes late (15 minutes late last night), disrespected DH, shut DH down, and went to his room - with ZERO consequences. It's 11:44pm. Always in the past, I've left to get away from angry yelling, but tonight I said "I've HAD it!" and took bedding to go sleep on the couch after SS disrespected the curfew and DH when DD told him he needs to be home on timw or there will be consequences. That's when I snapped and told DH I can't believe he's not going to correct that, and that I can't WAIT to not live like this any more, got a blanket & pillow, and went to the couch. DH then got up, opened SS's door, and raged at him he better start foming home on time (& got more snarky comment from SS) and then yelled at SS "You're destroying my marriage!, and told me on his way out the door thwt I can sleep in my own bed now. Not good. I waited 10 minutes then called DH asking "What the hell?!" but he raged at me so I hung up. Very sad, frusterated, snd concerned for my DH and our marriage. My heart hurts. I am at a loss because I will NEVER be okay with SS ignoring or re-interpreting the few rules we have, and DH doesn't even think SS was disrespwctful.

We go to our 2nd marriage counseling session tbis week. I love DH but based on what I've seen and what I've read here, not gonna get into any real estate commitments until after SS is out (which DH assures me he will be a year from now). I will not live in another home likw this! I really love my DH & hate what his ex, BM of SS17, did to both of them. I think DH is still afraid to "lose" SS by correcting him. I'm clear that I can't change SS but it's also clear it's not okay letting a teenager run the show here. I'm sick about this.

StepUltimate's picture

Well he just came home, but staying on the couch in the living room. I'm gonna let it be, not gonna give him another opportunity to yell at me or mock me again.

StepUltimate's picture

Also not gonna go out there & say anything. I'm pissed & concerned. The triangulation pattern of SS disrespecting, me getting offended, DH minimizing and not correcting with consequences, SS continuing & escalating his b.s. very confidently and arrogantly, me being more angry, DH getting angry at me, SS continuing same b.s., ae nauseum.

It's nowhere near as bad as some of the situations I read about here on ST, but very real & ppainful in my heart.

StepUltimate's picture

When I went to the couch I'd repeated "I've HAD it! I've HAD it! I've HAD it - I can't WAIT to not live like this anymore!"

StepUltimate's picture

My childhood Family Role was peacemaker. It's hard to not go to my DH now- I want him to hold me and let me know it's going to get better, not rage out, bail, then go to the couch instead of apologizing. Need a serious break from th3 stress!

StepUltimate's picture

I don't want conflict. I'm an adult child of an alcoholic & co-dependent and they fought so much and so miserably I worked hard to afford my own place of serenity- I hate the SS drama!

Peppersprout's picture

I read your post and your follow up posts and I had no response but understand exactly where you're coming from... BUT I can physically feel how you feel at this time and when you put this post, I was instantly clear about the connection and I hope you don't mind if I point it child of alcoholic...yeah, I get it. You are really far less annoyed by ss being 15 minutes late, IT IS YOUR COMPULSIVE DESIRE TO CONTROL THIS HOME! Hear me out....I get it. As adults we seek that controlled environment and I think you get this because of your comment here. He will be gone within a couple years and you will have your man to yourself and you can keep your serenity....Try really hard to ignore him. IGNORE HIM. Keep your peace and then your man will be seeing that self control ...he went in and chewed out his kid for you...and you still were not happy...were you justified to sit and stew? Certainly you suffered the punishment that you wished on your ss. All I'm saying and, this is like im talking to myself is ....IGNORE HIM. and live in peace.

StepUltimate's picture

Thank you. Your feedback was on-target. Damn right I want to control so I can eliminate the b.s. that's eating me up to have to live with (shades of tbe afore-mentioned alcoholic). I have not been willing to "accept" it and it seems change is critical to survival, but I have to do as you suggest & ignore him.

notsurehowtodeal's picture

Do not try and talk to DH right now - it will get you no where. I get why you are upset, especially about SS disrespecting DH, but there is nothing you are going to do that is going to change that dynamic. SS is 17 and DH has been treating him this way for too long for anything to change now unless DH really wants it to.

In one of your previous blogs you talked about disengaging - that is what you need to do now to save your sanity. Unless SS does something that directly affects you, ignore it. If SS disrespects DH, then it is up to DH to deal with it. If he doesn't, then the behavior must not bother him much.

Any way you can leave for a day or two - just to get some distance and get the emotions calmed down?

oneoffour's picture

I went through what you are. My ssons would come and go as they wished. I would get angry and rage. And where did it get me? Digestive upsets, the forming of an ulcer and stress eating I am trying to resolve. So what did I do?
I gave up. I just gave up. I became 2 different people. To DH I was the sweet lady he married and loved. The ssons? Totally ignored them. I did not speak to them, The only thing I insisted on was knowing of they were in or out of the house for safety reasons. If there was a house fire I wanted to know how many people were in the house.
They came in late and DH fumed and did nothing "I 'm sorry." They mouthed off at their father? "I'm sorry." Blew him off? "I'm sorry."
DH had to learn how much he was accepting and I was not in that equation. This was his battle.

See, being nice and calm and ignoring (oh how hard that was!) ssons shitfest behavior I actually defeated them. I won my husband. They were not awful kids and did not want to upset their father as much as they didn't care if they upset me. But teen boys are like this. My YSS knew the door was locked at 10pm. So he just didn't come home. Yeah, dick move.

Eventually they found out I am not the enemy. I was not the mum replacement. I am their fathers wife and I can pick and choose what to do and not do for them without a blink of an eye.

I kept to myself. Stayed happy and calm. DH LOVED it and still does. Ssons know their limit with me and have found that keeping me happy makes their father a LOT more happy about helping them.

twoviewpoints's picture

I'm not sure what all that bedding grabbing, mumbling "I've had it" and stomping to the sofa was suppose to accomplish.

Just what does your SS17 care if you're p*ssed and threatening to sleep apart from DH? How were these tantrums and actions the solution or helpful to what was immediately happening. Disobedient SS17 came home 20mins late, second evening in a row, but somehow you raging at DH and refusing to sleep in the same room was the answer?

And what consequences at 11:44pm do you think your DH could dish out? I've never found it beneficial to scream and punish in the heat of the moment. In fact doing so can escalate the confrontation....which it obviously did in your case.

This is a rebellious teenager who is sliding into drugs and per your previous blogs, making terrible decisions. So again, what consequences can your DH hand out at 11:44pm at night that is going to make a difference between then and perhaps early this morning? Ground him? Take electronics away? Physically fight? Open the door and pitch the kid to the curb? Would any of that made everything 'all better' , changed the kid around, and then Dad and you would have been able to go off to bed together and everything would be sunshine and roses this morning?

Your DH and you need a real game plan. Or if you're 'done', then your DH. What the plan will be, the expectations of following it. Whether that is drug counseling rehab along with family counseling (with someone that is trained in stepfamilies also). Perhaps the plan will instead be zero tolerance and out the door the kid goes. Maybe the plan will be to simply drop kid off at BM's and be done with him (however it's BM who you seem to blame for t=all the kid's faults). Maybe it will be a combination of different approaches including removing the kid from the current environment (yes, moving to another school district and therefore omitting the current friends and temptations). Maybe a military type boy's school. IDK.

But I do know what happened last evening solved nothing. Not for you, not for DH and certainly not the teen.

sammigirl's picture

Been there, done this. It is miserable to raise Step-teens. Just walk away, out of ear shot, when this all begins. If you cannot, like late at night, tell DH to take it up with his son the next day, away from your ears and presence.

Turn the entire situation over to your DH, never engage with SS17. Do not get involved, it will only destroy your marriage.

When DH and I met, YSS was age 15; same issues, only SS15 would run to BM, if he didn't get his way with DH. Therefore, it only became a more difficult situation. Finally with BM and DH enabling YSS15 he got into serious trouble with the law.

Long story short, he was in and out of the Justice system since age 16, until 3 years ago. YSS is now age 53. He spent the last 15 years in State prison, many years in Juvenile system, then County jails, then State Prison. With all of this said, I was the mean SM that cut the purse strings and booted him out at age 20. He wrecked our vehicles, run up our phone bill, destroyed and sold our personal properties.

The day I put my foot down, not a word from DH, and it was the first time I had put my two cents in. SD56 hates me and says I hate YSS53. OSS58 says I did the right thing, because nobody else would take the action to stop the turmoil in our home.

You are damned if you do and damned if you don't. Leave it up to your DH until your SS17 is emancipated. I did this. YSS lived with us, until he joined the Air Force at age 18. I left DH in charge until then, I would just make sure they took their problems away from me. YSS also received a dishonorable discharge from the Air Force. YSS53 has not had any connection with our life for 30+ years, only because I put my foot down. He has been out of prison 3 years, we have had lunch with him once, and he stopped by for 45 minutes to visit his Dad once; total twice in 3 years. I say nothing and never discuss it with anyone. I was never engaged with this SS anyway; therefore, it was easy; I can't even tell you what he is doing or for sure where he lives. DH knows, I'm sure, but it's not my problem as long as SS53 stays away from our home.

Good Luck
If you want your marriage, let DH handle this for now. Obtain your own space and insist they take it out of your home.

thinkthrice's picture

Unfortunately SS won because your DH said that "he is ruining your marriage;" that is exactly what SS wants.

Time to disengage and ignore SS--let your DH deal with him as hard as that may be. It immediately takes you out of ogre status. DH is trying to please two people; which will never happen. DH needs to realize that you are right and SS is wrong but he will never come to that realization if you try to parent SS. Sounds counter intuitive but that's the way it works in the mixed up world of step families.

Curious Georgetta's picture

The 17 year old behaving like a 17 year old. Coming home late for curfew by 15 or 20 minutes is not a big deal ,As a 17 year old your husband probably remembers doing the same thing on occasion

Your step son is not concerned with the state of your marriage ; he is concerned with having fun with his friends. Clearly your husband does not feel disrespected. Your efforts to convince him of your belief that he is being ignored and disrespected may do more damage to your marriage than anything that your stepson can do.

No one likes a nag, and your husband in perfectly capable of managing his relationship with his son without input from you . Do you want to be right about your step son more than you want to be happily married?

You are in no way damaged by your stepson or for that matter by any child being 15 or 20 minutes late for curfew.

Relax and pick battles that really matter.

thinkthrice's picture

"Your step son is not concerned with the state of your marriage"

I beg to differ; if he's being PASed out by the BM, then yes he IS concerned with the state of the evvvviiiiiiiiiiiiillllll SM's marriage to HIS dad.

Java_Junkie's picture

The 17 year old behaving like a 17 year old. Coming home late for curfew by 15 or 20 minutes is not a big deal ,As a 17 year old your husband probably remembers doing the same thing on occasion.

I think this is where a lot of parents differ. I'm a grumpy old man, I guess. I know 15 minutes late is something that was TOTALLY avoidable - and, therefore, totally unacceptable. I want the story - was it SPACE ALIENS? Was it BANK ROBBERS? Was it A HORRIBLE ACCIDENT and the road was unpassable? Was it you simply lost track of the time? Was it that it took that long to dry up the bong water off your jeans? Honesty brings leniency - a web of lies brings MANIFOLD TROUBLES.

"If you care, you'll make it a priority. If you don't you'll make an excuse."

That said, midnight means MIDNIGHT. If your friends are with you, feel free to pop in and say you're home, alive, and all is well, and ask if it's OK to hang out with your friends at the house - I'd say if it's OK with the other kids' families and they keep quiet and respectful of the neighbors, etc - no problem - AND THANK YOU for checking in.

But this kid, 15-20m late, is just pushing his limit. He's "Toddler Testing." If DH didn't take action, SS would start coming home 30m late... then 45m late... then 60m late... because there's NO CONSEQUENCE. This is HOW IT WORKS.

So, really... where I work, 6 minutes late is considered LATE because employees can line up at the time clock, and they shouldn't be penalized for that. I can go with that, in the first five minutes... more than that, I'd have to "dock them" or "give demerits" or something like a true life experience would give. A 17 year old needs to learn this for college, work, in a marriage - it's universally accepted that LATE is LATE, and it's UNACCEPTABLE.

Not related, aside from it being about behaviors and boundaries, DW was talking about her kids going through a "passing phase." It was a degree of snarkiness or disrespect or something... I had to tell her, "A boy's voice cracking is a passing phase. A boy mouthing off is a behavior, and it's up to the adults in his life to correct that behavior. The best thing is to get some consequences he'll FEEL, and be consistent. He's not a child; he's an adult in training, and I won't let flying monkeys be the critters we release from this house." She got it and actually has been doing a lot better. But I promise this... if those kids mouth off at her and she doesn't say something, I will look at her and say (in front of them), "Will you be addressing the disrespect, or would you like me to?" I'm sure she'll address it, but I want her kids to know we're on the same page - that we won't accept disrespect. They will know how to treat others - AND what they should expect FROM others. Even if I'm not a "parent figure" to her kids by her request, I'm consistent, and as I learned in the USMC, to be FAIR, FIRM, and IMPARTIAL.

FWIW, DW would probably say, "15-20m late is no big deal" because she WISHES her folks would have had that attitude. Once, she was late, and came home to the PD in the driveway with lights going, etc... She was VERY late, thought she could get away with it. She got a tough lecture, then sent to her room... and lost her phone in her room FOREVER. I think she was grounded for MONTHS.

OTOH, growing up, I knew 15-20m late was LATE. 1m late was LATE. If I wanted to avoid a lot of hassle, be there EARLY. I was sort of afraid of the Wrath Of Dad, and once I got out into the world, it was easier to transition because I thought my bosses were so easy to get along with LOL...

Tomatoe's picture

Oh geez, ss isn't trying to ruin your marriage. Don't listen to that. He is all about doing his own thing and you are the annoying B in his ear. He thinks he is grown and doesn't want to follow the rules. Let dh handle it and it looks like dh doesn't care. My kids have no curfew. At 17 they are almost grown and need to be able to make wise decisions. My kids make their own decisons with me watching and advising. We've not had one come in past 11:30 and that one asked about staying out that late. What time is his curfew?

Willow2010's picture

I am trying to wrap my brain around the fact that you are this "disgusted" over a kid, THAT IS NOT YOURS, being 20 minutes late on a curfew his FATHER does not care about.

Totally honest... you are causing all the drama. YOU are the one that is probably making your DH "not want to live like this anymore."

You need to chill. I mean really chill. Stop talking to your DH about his son. Stop talking to SS unless it is to say hi and bye. Just be married. You marriage has to be worth more than a SS that was 20 minutes late.

Next time SS is late, just say Hi SS how was your night. And say it with a smile. If DH wants to discipline him, he will. But it should not matter to you one iota if he does or not.

Girl,,,disengage yesterday.

Rags's picture

Kids should never be tolerated in jeopardizing a marriage. Particularly a 17 yo toxic spawn.That DH has not jerked a knot in his toxic spawn's tail is sad. We would have rued the day that we put our father in that position with his bride and at 17 would have been on the curb after getting our asses kicked.

When I was 16 I made the mistake of getting lippy with my parents when they informed me that I was going to Military School. My father gave me the look, opened his brief case, wrote out a check for $500 and told me to do what I was told or GTFO and write my mom when I found a place to live but that $500 was the last support I would receive from my parents. Fortunately we were in an airport waiting to put my dad on a plane because if we had been at home I would have been in a world of hurt. I held that check with my mouth agape for a significant amount of time until the flight was called for boarding. At which point I handed the check back to my dad, apologized to he and my mom, and agreed to comply with their instructions. So.... off to Military School I went. My parents and I have always been very close and remain so nearly 40 years after that incident. I was fortunate to survive that bout of teen boy Cranio-Rectitis.

That your DH tolerates his toxic spawns behavior makes me nauseous and makes me hurt for you. DH's tolerance of this little asshole jeopardizing your marriage is just wrong.

Take care of you.

Good luck.

ldvilen's picture

There was another post. I think it is gone now, where BM was leaving her husband (at least for a while) because her 20-year-old daughter cried, ranted, and raved and threatened to kill herself, etc. unless BM left step-dad. The 20-year-old was diagnosed with a learning disability, but that was still no pass re: her behavior.

I wanted to tell her so bad that if I did that to my dad, even at age 10-- cried, ranted, and raved and threatened to kill myself to get my way—he would have told me something like, “Enjoy the trip.” And, like you, I feel I won the lottery with excellent parents. Parents nowadays don’t know how to call their children’s bluffs, even at age 20; thus, they are still largely adolescents until they get closer to age 30, and have had to figure out by themselves that whining and threats don’t work with anyone other than immediate family.

I told that poster a few things, but I didn’t tell her that, because I knew she would figure that was being too harsh, to just tell your pleading adult-child to "enjoy the trip." To me, what is harsher tho. is lackadaisical, wishy-washy parenting. No wonder these adultolescents have such a hard time launching. Heck, if I were the 17-year-old above I’d be throwing my weight around and manipulating right and left with dad too, if he was weak (dumb?) enough to let me do so. If anything, it’d be entertaining. I’d then sit back and watch dad and SM go at it and enjoy the show and enjoy all the power I’ve been given.

openhkheart's picture

I’m so sorry. I can definitely relate. I’m with the father to an almost 16 year old who also ignores the rules, is disrespectful, entitled, lazy, etc. He’s caused quite a bit of trouble between his father and I quite a few times. I’ve gotten so upset that I’ve left before. My fiancé babies this teen and sometimes does nothing to avoid more of a fit from the kid. I’m more one to get the kid to realize life involves structure, responsibility and respect.