Partners son no respect

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Active scribe

Partners son no respect

I’ve been with my partner for 3 years, he stays with me on the weekends as he lives 2 hours away. His son has often come along since he was 16 years old. Earlier this year my partners son came to stay with me for “a while” with me (he is now 18) because his relationship broke down with his mum and she three him out for not being respectful (going out to all hours, not doing anything to help around the house, hooning in his car, speaking badly to his mum and taking drugs)
He’s been with me for over 3 months. ( his dad still lives away) and I have two of my own kids. I noticed that he was regularly high when coming home, he didn’t engage with me or my kids very often and certainly did nothing around the house. It was all ok though until I realised how his behaviour was affecting my kids. Not to mention that he doesn’t look for work and does nothing all day nd his dad just gives him money even though he talks like crap to him. I’ve been encouraging my partner to think about moving down permanently and support his child with a home for themselves. He has bern sweeping the issues under a rug and doesn’t think his drug taking was an issue. Easter was coming up and recently his son had been bringing his girlfriend around every day to mine. I made a rule that this could not occur every day as it’s a small home and I don’t provide it for him to bring his girlfriend to use the house. He didn’t like this rule and so has packed up all his stuff and left in an angry state. This has driven a wedge between me and my partner because he has now no other option than to move down to provide him with a home ( we had plans to build our own together but that doesn’t look good now) so mNy other things have happened but I know I can’t live with his disrespectful and lazy son. Is our relationship over? Can we recover? Did I do the right thing by enforcing the rules?
Parent Community Champion

Re: Partners son no respect

Hi @RMBF79 


Step children are tough work any time. 

When they don't respect or listen to their biological parent you have no chance to "parent" them.

Especially if you have a different set or rule or expectation you want them to abide by.

If you try you are likely to cop it from both your new partner and the child.


I absolutely think you are doing the right thing in setting rules in your house about acceptable behaviour.  It is you and your children's home and any guest needs to respect that.    If the partners son "didn’t like this rule and so has packed up all his stuff and left in an angry state" that is his choice. 


Given your partners son behaviour and how that becomes a role model for your children I think may be the best for your family if your partners son is no longer living with you.


If this has driven a wedge between me and my partner then that is not good.  I hope your partner is just venting his frustration that his son is causing and not blaming you for his son's choices.


You offered a temporary place for the son to stay, if the son then leaves that is not on you it is on the son. 

Hopefully the "wedge" is your partners frustration at his son is what you are feeling.


Certainly you are not responsible for his son and by offering him a place when his father is NOT living with you is IMHO generous. If your partner thinks it is your obligation then he really should get a reality check.


I would hope that these circumstances in themselves would not be the end of your relationship.

My partner had her daughters boyfriend move in when his parents kicked him out and that was tough.  And he was not displaying any of the behaviours you describe.


I expect your partner is going through a tough time  and might just be venting and you are in the blast zone.

If your partner is truly expecting you to accept his son no mater what the son's behaviour then I think he needs a reality check.


One thing I think you need to discuss with your partner is the statement "now (has) no other option than to move down to provide him with a home".  The son is 18 and making choices about where he is living.   If he chooses to behave in a manner that his mother kicks him out and chooses to move to a different location then in no way does this mean the parent has to move.


The last point is building a house together.  Presuming you are going to jointly own it, this is a HUGE step.  I mean really HUGE.  You are talking about a binding financial commitment that if you should separate in the future will likely end up at the lawyers to seperate.


My partner and I looked at doing this when we were in our relationship honeymoon (not marriage) but now we realise we have very different financial priorities and ways of looking at work and money.  

I don't know your current status (Renting/owning) but I strongly suggest you don't let your partners son choices determine if you enter the huge commitment of joint property ownership with your partner.


Thats a big reply so in summary

  • Good on ya for being willing to offer a place in your home of a struggling Team
  • You definitely have the right to set the rules in your house 
  • If he doesn't like the rule and leaves.. well that's his choice
  • Don't let the sons behaviour dictate how and where you and your partner live.



Re: Partners son no respect

Hey @RMBF79 


Welcome to ReachOut and thank you for sharing. 


@PapaBill has provided you with a great response. I personally think it was absolutely generous of you to offer your home to this boy, given he's not your responsibility. I think this is especially the case if having him around is negatively impacting your own children. It is perfectly fine to enforce rules in your own home. Your partner should be appreciative of the fact that you welcomed his son into your home. He should be thanking you. I see no reason as to why it should draw a wedge between the two of you, and if it does, it's definitely not your fault. You mentioned your partner keeps sweeping his son's issues under the rug while he's living with you - which, to me, is incredibly unfair on you. 


Sorry if my answer was a bit blunt - but that's my honest opinion. Don't blame yourself here. It sounds like you have gone over and above for your partner and his son. You've done nothing wrong from what you've told us. Just be strong and do what is right for you and your children. 

Parent Community Champion

Re: Partners son no respect

Hey @RMBF79 ,


@PapaBill and @TOM-RO have provided a great response Smiley Happy


It can seem almost impossible when the people you love are also contributing to the problem. And so, you really do deserve a huge "pat on the back" for protecting your values.


I hope your partner can come to see that. Best of luck!  

Active scribe

Re: Partners son no respect

The k you so much for taking the time to provide such a considered answer.
Unfortunately in the craziness of the situation my partner has decided to stay at his parents over Easter instead of with me.
We will try to work though this but you have given me lots of points that make me feel like I’ve not done the Wrong thing. Thank you again so much. Sounds like you have lots of experience.
Active scribe

Re: Partners son no respect

I don’t think your Answer is blunt - I think it’s wise
Thank you for being so giving with your advice and I will certainly take it on much appreciated
Active scribe

Re: Partners son no respect

So true - thank you for your well wishes Smiley Happy
Active scribe

Re: Partners son no respect

Thank you so much
Parent Community Champion

Re: Partners son no respect

Hi @RMBF79

I hope things do work out for you

Either way keep in mind you were generous and caring

The world would be a better place if more parents were like you

Community Manager

Re: Partners son no respect

Hi @RMBF79


I completely agree with some of the posts here from @PapaBill , @TOM-RO and @Dad4good - what you did for your partners son was incredibly generous and brave Heart It takes so much strength to welcome a teen into your home and to support him for the time you did. Both he and your partner are lucky to having such a compassionate person in their lives, as are your kids!


I can imagine it must be so painful to watch your relationship come under strain as a result of what your partner's son is going through at the moment- my heart really goes out to you Heart


I am wondering if you have heard of Relationships Australia before? They offer some really great services, including over the phone support, counselling and fact sheets on dealing with these types of challenging dynamics. We have referred a lot of parents and young people to these services before, and really recommend them if you feel they could be helpful in reconnecting with your partner.


How have your kids been going with all of this? You mentioned that your partners' son's drug use was really impacting them. How are they going now he has left the house?


I hope that you were able to do something nice for yourself over the Easter break Smiley Happy We are always here to listen Heart


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