10-08-2017 02:25 PM - last edited on 10-25-2021 12:04 PM by Philippa-RO
So my husband and I have been together for 10 years. We have my stepson, (10) and our daughter that we have together, (7). We have been together since my stepson was about 6 months old. Going into the relationship I was fine with being with someone having a child. I do not have issues with him not being mine. My stepson is just, difficult. He's lazy, short attention span. He smells- always! He doesn't wipe his butt very well( we have tried everything with him from punishing to rewards on teaching him correctly, he just doesn't wipe well.) His fee, etc. He's very socially awkward and can get annoying very quickly. He's behind at school. He's doesn't have many friends and gets bullied sometimes. We got custody of him from his mom about a year and a half ago. She's a loser. She voluntarily gave him to us. No courts involved. She never comes to get him. He's always here- and I hate it. It used to be me and my daughter and my husband. I feel like my relationship with my daughter isn't as close because I don't want to be a complete **bleep** and exclude him. I just really kinda feel like I'm on auto pilot when he's around. Grin and bearing it. I was fine with seeing him every other weekend! Now HE IS ALWAYS HERE. And my husband works a lot so it's pretty much me raising him. I'm sure my negative feeling are being picked up by him and I don't want that. This is starting to put a strain on my marriage and I need help. Please.
10-08-2017 03:49 PM
Hey @Norakirk0213 welcome to Reach Out and thanks for sharing your situation here. I can see how challenging it is for you to feel like you're raising your stepson full time, whereas before you saw him only every other weekend. It's even more difficult because his bio mom doesn't see him and on top of that, your husband works long hours. I also feel for your step son, having gone through some difficult situations in his life already. I think it's commendable that you want to protect him from the negativity you experience.
Have you discussed your feelings about all of this with your husband? Maybe before you do that, you can try and identify what your needs are at the moment (in relation to parenting your stepson). Do you need some time to yourself? Do you need for your stepson's dad to be there more than he currently is?
There are some parenting-related resources that you can look into (in addition to ReachOut Parents resources):
Sharing here on RO is a great step, sometimes talking about the things that are weighing us down can help us feel heard and 'lighter'. So please, continue to share here.
10-08-2017 05:33 PM - last edited on 10-25-2021 12:05 PM by Philippa-RO
Hi @Norakirk0213 wow! Thank you for your candour . To acknowledge that you " hate " a child must be so hard , especially your step son , and also very brave of you . To be able to recognise this is a sign to me that you are a very good person who is struggling deeply . It must be really hard if you are parenting him alone too !
I agree with you that he will feel or sense this in some way even if you are being really careful around him and trying your best .
I agree with @Mona-RO it is important that you express to your husband that you are " not coping " with both children alone and that you need more support with your son . If your relationship with him is strained and he has no regular buffer with his Dad around to be a mitigating force of calm , love and support then it will escalate . I know of an exact situation like this and the child is off the rails and the relationship went south . I don't want to scare you but the reality is it will get worse if you and your husband are not a united force with a plan of action .Some suggestions :
Your husband find time every week at the same time to spend time alone with his son doing "boy " things .
Yiu get time alone with your daughter to do " girl" things .
You get time to yourself without children to be with girlfriends , laugh and have fun .
You and your husband have nights without the children to connect and discuss ways to deal with the children .
You make sure you have dinner as a family at least a few nights a week, where you can chat and also discuss and reiterate rules of the house . Dad needs to step up and back you up if your stepson is being lazy . Rules and consequences - no video games or TV until chores are done . Stick to the plan .
In terms of your relationship with your stepson - you are the adult , you have to work to get along with him and teach him loving interaction and good behaviour . Catch him doing something good when he is not aware and praise him :" Wow you sat and read quietly so well in your room " , " Thank you for taking out the rubbish when I asked I really appreciate it "
" You have cleaned your room so well today well done " If he's not at that level praise him for the simplest of things : brushing his teeth ! Speaking nicely to his sister whatever you catch him doing well .
Pick your battles - if you argue with him over EVERYTHING it will define your relationship forever and you will be exhausted and stressed . If you pick a battle make sure you win - every time .
Try to find time to do something with just him each week , like a card game , UNO ? or read a book together and chat about the characters . Something that takes the focus away from his " annoying " traits and you can just " be " .
The less attention you give him , the more he will grab for it even if its negative attention it's better than nothing . He needs to feel valued and loved to behave better . Sounds like there needs to be a lot to repair from his mothers abandoment too . This must be difficult for you all . Perhaps Dad can talk to him about this and sort something out with his mum for visitations ?
Perhaps get in touch with a step parenting group for support and guidance?
Let us know how you go . Please seek family counselling if you can't find a resolution and soon . He will get older and it will get harder to reverse the damage .
So sorry to hear this is happening to you ! Best of luck 😊
10-08-2017 11:05 PM
10-09-2017 09:17 AM
Hi @Norakirk0213 So glad this was helpful . Please know we are here to support you and help you find strategies to deal with this. I am hoping parents with step kids will share their stories of dealing with blended families perhaps @Mona-RO may know some of these parents on the forum to tag them in with their tips ?
You are not alone, and I know there will be many step parents who struggle with this. Stay strong and work the problem. Your family is worth it. You are a great Mum .
10-09-2017 05:02 PM
hi @Norakirk0213, it can be very hard when we don't feel loving towards step children - I too struggle. And I don't think we are the only 2 either - its very common. There are so many dynamics in blended families and you have a couple of additional issues happening.
When I read your original post I must say though that one of my thoughts was has this boy been tested for any kind of delay or being on the spectrum ? His behaviours and habits do sound a bit unusual? I just wonder if that was able to be explored it might help with some intervention/therapy.
I think a frank conversation with your husband is needed for sure - how do you feel about talking to him about this? Are you worried?
10-25-2021 04:18 AM
10-25-2021 12:46 PM - edited 10-25-2021 12:51 PM
Hi @dmmorris98 and welcome to the forums - we're really glad you reached out here for support.
I wanted to say that if you'd like to create a new thread to share your thoughts and feelings, please feel free to do that here.
You're definitely not alone in feeling this way and we've had many posts on the forums about stepparents struggling with their feelings towards their stepchildren.
We have a response to one of these posts in our Ask a Professional section if you'd like to take a look here - there might be some helpful tips.
Do you have anyone you can talk to about it? For example, a counsellor or a trusted family member/friend? Are you able to talk to your partner about it?
I think it's very courageous of you to be honest about how you're feeling and to seek help to address it. It shows how much you care that you're willing to do that - we're here to support you.
10-25-2021 09:50 PM - last edited on 10-26-2021 01:36 PM by Bre-RO
I am so relieved to read these posts. I really struggle with my stepson. He doesn't help around the house, no social skills, poor personal hygiene and has zero interest in anything except computer games (which he is completely addicted to) and watching gamers on YT. My worst fear is that when he finishes school (he's 13) the situation won't improve. I never wanted children, my partner knows that but I really tried, I wanted to have a relationship with but I can form no common ground with him and now I have given up. He now lives with us full time (bio mother doesn't want him) and the only respite I used to get from him when I went to work everyday is now gone because of COVID. I really love my partner but I just don't know how much longer I can go on living like this.