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To Stay or Go?

Neon's picture

I will try to keep this brief although a little background is relevant. My wife and I have been together for 6 years. We have 6 children, 5 are my wife’s from her previous marriage and 1 (the youngest) is our son. Just to give you an idea of the kind of person their father is he was never interested in his children, to the extent that when he and their mother (my wife) split up he was not only happy, but made every effort, to put his wife and children out on the street.

For the first 4 years everything was really good. We went through some rough times with her ex (very expensive court battles over finances, property etc.) but we weathered the storm and came out the other side. I have never had a problem with any of the children we have always got on very well, until relatively recently.

My second SS ( who we will call Tom and was 10 when I met him and now 16) got in with what can only be described as “the wrong crowd” about 2 years ago when he started dating a girl who was a bad influence. He started staying out past his curfew, drinking, taking drugs and generally went off the rails. He was coming home under the influence, screaming, shouting and swearing being verbally abusive to his mother and scaring the living daylights out of his brothers and sisters. This culminated in almost becoming physical one day between the two of us. He ended up in the ED after blowing himself up with an aerosol can on an open fire. I spent 25 years in the military so disrespectful bullying behaviour does not go down well with me.

About a year ago the situation improved when he finally split from this girl, found a new girlfriend and started hanging out with different people (although some of them are still less than desirable).

My wife and I both work incredibly hard. I leave home at 5am every day to go to work and I am not back until 6pm and she works tirelessly to keep our house immaculate and look after the children one of whom is not yet school age. We therefore ask the children (the 3 older ones) to run the vacuum round the ground floor each evening after dinner which quite literally takes between 4 and 5 minutes, just to help out a little. That is quite literally ALL they are asked to do to help out round the house. However the wheels fell off again this weekend.

The children have pretty much everything they ask for X-boxes, TV’s, trunks full of toys (the younger ones) cell phones etc. Tom won’t wear anything unless it’s designer (Armani, Stone Island etc.) I do not agree with this it’s expensive, unnecessary and his mother and I are not like that but he gets it anyway.

On Saturday the kids were arguing about who was going to do the vacuuming. I intervened and said it would be nice if one of them could just be the bigger person and volunteer to do it, whereupon all hell broke loose. Tom looked at his mother and I and screamed “I’m sick of this f***** BS”. Strike one, you NEVER speak to your mother like that or use that language in front of your 4 year old brother and 7 year old sister. I stayed calm (although every fibre of me wanted to knock him on his a** and let me put that in perspective he’s 6”1 and built like a house and I’m only 5”8) I closed the living room door and said let’s have a conversation about this. His unbelievable reaction to this was to get right in my face and scream “Don’t f******* shut the door,  I don't want a f****** convbersation, I’m sick of this BS, get the f*** out of my way”. No I don't now about you but if I had even thought about talking to my mother or father like that when I was 16 my father would have taken me apart and rightly so. I wouldn't speak to them or anyone else like that even now and I am a very very long way past 16!

Tom has never been properly disciplined. His mother has been very soft on him because she felt his father had been too hard. I had warned in the past that it would end badly if he didn’t know where the line was and start showing some respect. His father may have been too hard but going the other way and letting him do pretty much anything was equally harmful.

We are in the middle of buying a new house and I have said to my wife that I have no desire to be in the same vicinity as Tom and neither do I want my (our) son and his young sisters being anywhere near someone as abusive, volatile and disrespectful as him and that I have no desire to put a roof over his head.

My wife’s reaction was to say that I knew she came as a package with the children when we got together, which is quite true I did and I have always supported them emotionally and financially as if they were my own. I have never favoured any of them not even my own son, I treat them all equally and they will all admit that. Yet she says if I want to be with her I take them all or none of them, she’s spoken to Tom and that’s all she will do.

My wife and children are my world I love them all.

But what a choice to be given for the sake of one person who should have been disciplined years ago. I stand to lose my wife and family or put up with being abused in my own home.

What would you do? Because I sure as hell don’t know anymore.




tog redux's picture

What will you do if your own son has these types of issues? Will you put him out of your home? I'm guessing no, so you can't ask your wife to put her son out.

Has he had any therapy? Have you guys reached out to agencies in the community who help with troubled kids?  You can't be the disciplinarian, it doesn't work for stepdad to do that with a teen.  Mom has to discipline, though you can back her up. The police can be called if he gets threatening.

Is the father out of his life completely? Where does he stand on this?

I personally think it's a little nuts that you guys vacuum every night, but if you insist, assign them to certain nights. You can't expect teenagers to jump up and volunteer.

SteppedOut's picture

OP, it sounds like your wife is a SHAM? She is threatening to leave you if you don't allow her eldest son to be abusive and lawless? How does she plan on supporting her brood of children? I guess, with your help it sounds like, made out ok in her first divorce? You must do well for yourself, if you are capable of supporting a family that large with little financial help from her? 

Honestly, I would not put up with this type of behavior, and certainly wouldn't want my child around it either. The kid is 16 now; what are plans when high school is finished? Does he do well in school with plans to go to college? Or is the plan for mommeeeee to coddle her abusive lawless child far into adulthood? 

What is her reasoning for allowing him to do as he pleases (including threating the person that has been providing for his ungrateful a$$)? 

tog redux's picture

I'm going to guess it's somehow the bio father's fault. He was "too hard" on the kid, so now she won't discipline him at all.

Harry's picture

It’s up to your DW to do something epithet her son.  Get him help, make him see a mental health professional.  Make sure he goes.  Make him follow the house rules, ect.  He is 16, you have to have him in your home, but he has to behave.

Rags's picture

Time for forced emancipation of this POS violent profane kid.  Gone, NOW. With no return until he delivers years of impeccable behavior.

No, a marriage is never a package deal.  The marriage is between the spouses and that is it.  Children, regardless of biology, are not a party to the marriage. Yes, they are the top marital responsibility but they never are priority over the marriage.

Time for Tom to learn that his crap has zero place in this home or family.

Buh-bye Tommy! Bon Voyage!

Neon's picture

Thanks for all your replies but let's get something straight. Firstly @ tog redux I never at any point suggested throwing him out or asked my wife to put him out. Secondly if you read my post properly I was not being the disciplinarian I was making a suggestion. Thirdly he is not troubled he's spoiled and undisciplined, it has long been a bone of contention with all the family (Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles etc.) that he is favoured over the other kids. And finally I could care less what your opinions are on how often we vacuum that's totally besides the point. If you think the issue is the vacuuming then you should probably join Tom sulking in his bedroom.For your information we have three dogs and to keep the house clean and fur free we vacuum every evening it takes 4 minutes we're talking about 2 rooms!

tog redux's picture

Sheesh, a bit defensive, are we? Vacuum six times a day if you must, but it's still unrealistic to expect kids to jump up and offer. Assign them a night.

"We are in the middle of buying a new house and I have said to my wife that I have no desire to be in the same vicinity as Tom and neither do I want my (our) son and his young sisters being anywhere near someone as abusive, volatile and disrespectful as him and that I have no desire to put a roof over his head."

I'm not sure how to read that except that you want her to send her son elsewhere?

Gimlet's picture

Yep, agreed.

For starters, Tom would be losing every piece of designer clothing he owned and I would be looking for a good counselor for you and your wife, as well as Tom.  It sounds like your wife means well, but by not holding him accountable she's doing as much, if not more, damage than his over-zealous biodad.

Good luck, OP.

MissTexas's picture

Since she and her kids were a "package deal" when you married her, they will also leave as a package deal. This will happen if your wife doesn't agree to get "Tom" the help he needs, and it doesn't prove successful.

There are all male residential schools across our nation, and that's where "Tom" needs to be vanquished to if the help doesn't work. You're a military man, open that can of "whoop ass" on him. Not physically, of course, but figuratively. YOU are the man of the house. Your wife can either hop aboard the marriage train, or the separation/divorce train. You absolutely MUST create healthy boundaries with her and her "Tom" as the other kids are taking his lead. What goes unaddressed for him, will be their blueprint for behavior. Then you'll have "Tom x 6." Factor in the teenaged years, and you have a dangerous mix; molotov cocktails in human flesh, under one roof, on a daily basis.

Please, take charge of this situation. If DW isn't going to get on board, you MUST take matters into your own hands. Her vote no longer counts.