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Jaysam

Step Mum

Hi all,
I am new here and I’m just really needing some outside help/advice.
My husband and I have been together for 5 years and married for 2. He has full custody of an 8 year old boy which means he lives with us full time (very unheard of) he doesn’t see his mum at all. We are also trying for a baby of our own and have been for 2 years now since the wedding. I am extremely emotional when I say my 8 year old step son is absolutely sucking the life out of me. I love my husband but I can’t help but wonder if I made a huge mistake marrying him knowing he comes with this child. My step son is naughty, very rude, highly hypo and has wished the worst possible things upon me like (I hope God never gives you a baby) - I just can’t take it anymore! I tell my husband and he will say things like “well what do you want to do?” There is really nothing I can say back to that as what would we do with this child? Can’t keep him out. We have tried punishments such as no iPad and naughty corner - nothing seems to work! He is the school bully and has no friends. In one week I got called into the school 4 times!!! I was in absolute tears like I am most days. I’m 30 years old and can feel myself becoming depressed and hating life when I’m usually a very happy person. I’m constantly moody now, crying, and just in general so unhappy and stressed out. I guess what I’m trying to say is how much is too much? Is there anyone else out there that has ended there marriage due to step kids?
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Mod
Andrea-RO

Re: Step Mum

Hi @Jaysam

 

That does sound like an extremely difficult and stressful situation. Have you been able to get into contact with any professional supports about how you're feeling about the situation? It also sounds like your step-son may be also experiencing a time a high stress, which can hugely impact a child. I was wondering if you had spoken to anyone about some of supports that might be helpful to him while he's going through this period of adjustment? It could be good to get in to contact with a counsellor or GP about the stress both of you are going through at the moment. 

Active scribe
Jaysam

Re: Step Mum

Thank you so much Andrea for getting back to me. Just to see at least one message is all I wanted from someone so this means a lot to me. To be completely honest with you, I have. My step son was diagnosed with ADHD and is on medication. Whilst it was great (at the start) I feel like it’s no longer working. He would also have what you call a “come down” so once the medication wore off (6pm) he was absolutely out of control. From this the doctor then prescribed him a higher dose and similar things were happening! He also stopped eating and I mean stopped eating completely and became very skinny! I had to give up the medication in order for him to put back on his weight due to weight loss being a side effect. This is where I’m at now.
As for me I saw a therapist. I had 6 sessions (all I needed) and although we went over my feelings, she also would telling me techniques and ways to deal with a child who has ADHD!!!!!
I tried everything!!! I did the whole poster in his room that has clear meanings such as “wake up, get dressed” I added pictures like she told me. I did Lolly charts, sticker charts, I even went as far money charts!! Yes money charts, 1 sticker = 1 dollar!!! Everything worked for a short period of time and then he would give up and get over it 😩

Mod
TOM-RO

Re: Step Mum

Message contains a hyperlink

Hey @Jaysam 

I've just caught up on your thread and I can understand why this is really getting to you. I imagine it would be difficult, because you're almost being pushed to choose between your husband and your mental health, as you mentioned you're feeling depressed which is completely unlike you. You'd almost be feeling a little trapped...like you don't want to leave your husband but you also don't want to live like this. So I really do feel for you as I imagine that would be a really difficult space to sit in!

It sounds like you have tried a lot of things to help and improve the situation. I'm wondering whether your husband has tried much else for his son other than medication. Has he seen a psychologist for advice on how to deal with the situation? Did he ever attend the psychology sessions with you? The reason I'm asking is because it may be beneficial if you both see a psychologist together, one with experience in treating ADHD. This is because the psychologist's tactics will work best if both you and your husband are employing them properly - such tactics aren't as effective if, say, you are employing them properly but your husband isn't. Also, if you both see the psychologist together, then at least you'll feel like you're tackling this issue as a team, rather than having to do it alone. If you are tackling it mostly alone, that could explain why it has become really overwhelming for you to the point where you're questioning your relationship, and could explain why you're feeling depressed.

What do you think?

Also, I almost forgot to mention that I had to edit the medication names/dosages out of your post, as it goes against one of our community guidelines. For a full list of the community guidelines, please see here.

Mod
Jess1-RO

Re: Step Mum

Hi @Jaysam,

 

You've had a few posts from ReachOut, but reading through your post I just had to jump in here too. I'm hearing all the things you have tried to support your step son to manage his health, wellbeing and behaviour- you are doing so much and I just wanted to acknowledge that again! You have really gone above and beyond to find a solution that works for you all Heart 

 

We are thinking of you this week- hoping that you are able to take some time to look after you and focus on your wellbeing Heart We are here if you need someone to chat to

 

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Active scribe
Jaysam

Re: Step Mum

Thank you very much Tom for your advice. I’m so overwhelmed with the response. When I wrote my first post I took it as to blow of steam, I never expected anyone to respond.

I do apologise about the guidelines. Then you for editing it - clearly I didn’t read them properly.

It’s a very hard situation to tackle with my husband. I know he loves me a great deal. At first when I bought up that I thought maybe his son had an issue, I was totally shut down. I don’t have kids of my own so I guess you could say it’s hard for me to understand when someone makes judgements about them. I actually took it upon myself to get him diagnosed. Of course being a step mum and not a blood line I couldn’t do this without my husband which to me was fine because I needed my husband to hear it for himself! I needed the doctor to say this, this and that. He agreed and along we went.
Since then there has been many arguments over this topic with both my husband and step son (who just copies what his dad says) I think I’ve done well to block it out and just done what I was told and what the teachers advised me to do. My husband owns 2 business so a lot of this nonsense that goes on at home, seem to always be in the hours that I have his son. I also have noticed that when “daddy” comes home.... son is a “good” boy for daddy. This kinda makes me look like the bad person because when I explain things that he has done or said, I guess you could say, it’s hard for my husband to fully get on board as he sees a different child. Not defending him but I’ll say it again that I don’t have kids so I do wonder if this is just a natural instinct that happens when your child is born or is this me being the odd one out? - I mean he could of come to the counselling but if I’m being totally honest, I think I needed a good cry each session without my husband there. I needed to express my true feelings without him knowing to the full extent of them if that makes sense. The therapist also never advised me to bring him either so I never did. I guess you might be right though, perhaps if he saw it, heard it, things might be different now but I guess I was afraid of the “you hate my son” talk which I TOTALLY DONT!!!

Where I’m up to now: I’m still around. I’m still with my husband. I guess what I can say now is I feel a little better only because I’ve taken a HUGE leap back! For my own health, I had to caring so much and focus on my wellbeing. I work, take long baths lol and go for extra long walks now just to get some “me time” as far as my stepson goes, I can’t entertain his behaviour. If I see he is trying to get my attention by being rude, silly or naughty I will totally walk away or count to 10 in my head.

Thank you so much for getting back to me. Really appreciate it.
Active scribe
Jaysam

Re: Step Mum

Thank you a great deal! You’re so sweet!! Like I said in my previous post, I’m doing much better. I’m taking time for me now. I guess you could say maybe I’ve done all I can and I’m so drained so now I’m getting back to me! I might feel differently tomorrow but everyday is just a new day right? I’m just doing baby steps whilst not being as involved. By doing this it also gives my husband a chance to do the night time routines and he is staring to see for himself how he son is! I’m remaining hopeful and have my mum and you all for huge support.

Really means so much to me xxxxx
Community Manager
Ronan-RO

Re: Step Mum

Hey @Jaysam ,

 

Hope this finds you well.  I'm so glad that you've decided to take a step back for yourself Smiley Happy.  It is so important to take the past to care for ourselves.  We know intuitively that caring for ourselves can help us care for others, but actually actioning that can be difficult.  I'm so glad you've found a way Heart.


Enjoy the long baths, sounds like you've certainly earned them!

 

 

Casual scribe
Lerc100

Re: Step Mum

God I really feel for you. I have my step-son 50% of the time and even that drains me and makes me become very subdued. Why do you have to him full time? Shouldn't his mum have him sometimes otherwise it;s not really fair on you. Your husband should definitely try and take the boy out and give you some respite for sure. I get my partner to collect his son from school and go to the park for a while afterwards so I can spend some qaulity time with my daughters. I basically just try and avoid the boy when he's here and hope he doesn't pick up on my loathing of him. It is so hard and I feel really bad for you. You are NOT alone. Your hubby needs to realise how much of a negative impact this is having on you. 

Mod
Jess1-RO

Re: Step Mum

Hi @Lerc100,

 

It sounds like you can relate to the difficulties of coping with step parenting in blended families, and have worked with your husband to find ways that makes this easier on both of you. Respite is important. 

 

You mentioned that your husband makes sure to have time alone with his son, and to give you time with your girls. How do you find this approach? Is it something that makes it easier for you at home? It sounds like a good way to strength their relationship too. 

 

Your words of encouragement and reminders that @Jaysam is not alone are really powerful Heart It's not easy what you are going through, and hearing that you have found ways to make it work and look after yourself too is so important. 

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