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I am fed up and just don't care anymore!

Posted by on Apr. 5, 2013 at 8:20 AM
  • 13 Replies
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I have been with my husband for 4 years now. This is the second marriage for both of us. I have 3 kids of my own and he has 2. My ex husband does is part 100% and we get along great. It hasn't been so easy with my husband's ex. She has caused problems the entire time. She has actually taken us to court 3x trying for full custody, which she has never gotten. Nonetheless, she takes no financial responsibilty for the kids although she is court ordered.

My stepson is 13 yo and gets an I.E.P in school for being born with hydrocephalus. They have had him down for learning disabilities since pre-k. Fortunately for him, he doesnt look or act any different than other kids his age. He has managed to take advantage of his iep and simply does NOTHING in the terms of homework. He lies and says he doesn't have any or he finished it in school. He doesnt study at all and he barely completes any of his school work.

His grades all reflect an "f" during the whole grading period but they curve them to a "d"in on his report card. My husband can clearly see what is going on. He does absolutely nothing to fix it. His son gets no discipline for failing grades.

I got so tired of his laziness last year that we implemented the same punishment for him as my children had. D/F on report cards meant grounding. The minute he had limits set, all hell broke loose and mommy dearest played his game by taking us back to court.

I have tried explaining to my husband that he is doing his son no justice by allowing him to skate by with no consequences. He just makes excuses that the boys mother won't follow through, so what's the point?

We can't get him to lift a finger around the house. I am given the excuse that they dont have to do chores at their moms so they aren't use to it here. We have been a family for 4 yrs!

Really, what it all boils down to is this:
1. Our kids aren't raised with the same values.
2. I am a disciplinarian, my husband isn't
3. None of the other kids get by with the same things this boy does.
4. My husband is a pushover with his ex wife and is afraid of court so he parents on a guilt based level.

I have tried getting the boy into therapy but as a step mom, those plans we revoked by bio mom and she failed to take him back, as she didnt think it was needed. I am so sick and tired of trying. I am feeling used and i am feeling fed up. I am on the verge of taking my kids and leaving.

What else can i possibly do?
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by on Apr. 5, 2013 at 8:20 AM
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by Barbara on Apr. 5, 2013 at 12:24 PM
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I completely get why you're frustrated, and I wish I had some advice to help you. You can't force your husband to change. All you can do is continue trying to get him to see your point of view on the whole issue. Here's a bump.

by on Apr. 5, 2013 at 1:19 PM
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That's definitely hard.  I would be that if you went over to the Stepmom Central group that there are a lot of other moms in similar circumstances who can give you advice or tell you what's helping them.

by on Apr. 5, 2013 at 1:32 PM

hugsYou have the right to fell the way you do.....I am so sorry you have to go through all of this....really sorry!!!

by on Apr. 5, 2013 at 2:17 PM
Thanks so much for understanding my frustrations. I really just needed to vent.
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by Emily on Apr. 5, 2013 at 2:29 PM

Not a blended family here but I would be so frustrated also.All I can think actually is I feel for your step son.His dad is doing him no favor by not helping him mature and blocking your efforts..

Good luck 

by on Apr. 5, 2013 at 5:20 PM

Oh Mamma!  I know this is incredibly difficult and frustrating.  You see the current reality and are concerned for the future for your stepson, and this whole thing is even making you question your commitment to your husband.  Let me just say that I have seen couples, with work, with the help of a professional, make practically miraculous changes in their relationships and their ways of parenting their children.  It is possible and yet realistically, it so very much helps to have an unbiased therapist helping you see situations in a new way, help you communicate and learn some new skills, and help you make decisions about how to proceed.  Sometimes people just get in a sort of rut and find themselves unable to find their way around/through various difficulties.  I hope you'll consider this option before you take any drastic steps, and then in the meantime perhaps you can consider the Serenity Prayer.  It is actually very good advice in this little prayer.  "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."  when we continue to focus on what other people need to change, whether our perceptions are right or not, we find ourselves in situations where our "serenity/peace of mind" is in the hands of other people, rather than us.  Sometimes, even when only one person in a family unit makes certain changes, the whole system, of necessity, changes around the new decisions this person makes.  Example might be:  I choose not to expect this child will help, as he has not learned this skill, and apparently cares not to, and I choose to recognize that while this situation is hardly ideal, I can make changes to take care of my self and explain to my own children how I will be handling things differently.  That means perhaps, you can tell them that you understand their feelings about having to help when someone else doesn't, as this can be quite frustrating and seem unfair, so please understand I am going to be taking a new approach.  This is a complex situation because it involves two people I can not really expect to have an impact on in the short term.  Therefore, rather than insisting on help that you and I both know I will not get without some real changes going on here, I am going to choose to spend a lot of time focusing on all the good things that you and even he manages to do.  I am going to be noticing and thanking you and him for all the things I notice that show any sense of care for self, any independent thought, any accomplishments, and any kindnesses displayed.  I wnat to be able to focus on noticing those things for a while, because I have just been so distressed and feeling helpless about this situation that I have been putting too much of my emotional energy into it.  I just don't want to do that anymore, and besides it isn't working.  What I am hoping by taking this new approach is that I can develop some more awareness, and build some closer relationships with all of you.  This will of course look different for each person as each person has their own strengths and makes their own choices.  Hopefully I will build a better relationship with him,(the stepson) and won't be putting so much pressure on my husband.  In reality he does have an ex-wife to deal with, he is not parenting alone, and is probably feeling a sense of failure about things as well, even though he might not express that.  Hopefull if I start encouaraging and noticing positive things, we may all develop a new perspective around here.  After all I can't change other people, I can only change myself.  I can try to have an impact on people, I can try to express my feelings and beliefs, but the fact is, people have to choose to change on their own and people have a right to disagree.  I would really appreciate that you girls understand that I Love you, and I Love (husband) and I even feel some love and concern for (stepson) as well, and I may make mistakes and not notice the good stuff and instead focus on the other stuff off and on for a while here, coz this is a new approach for me, but please know I will be trying.  And anything you can do to continue to be your helpful selves and follow through on your responsibilities is both appreciated and needed or I will find myself doing way too much around here, I will get bitter and this won't work.  HOw about we talk about the responsibilites you have now and waht frustrated you about them and see if we can find some common ground and make some healthy, loving and respectful decisions here?"  then a little family meeting just you and your girls, and encouarge them to remember that when (stepson) isn't following through on his responsibilites you just are no longer going to try to get him to do things for now, rather you are going to be noticing anything decent, caring, helpful, independent, etc that he does so that perhaps he can feel some new confidence and security when he is with us and may start following through and seeing how you girls are still helping and he isn't.  I promised if this doesn't change things within three months, then we can look at things again.  Blessings Mamma!!!  You are obviously a caring, loving and concerned parent who wants to do the right things by everyone.  Sometimes we just have to accept our own powerlessness. 

by on Apr. 5, 2013 at 5:34 PM
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I sure sense your frustration mom - it's tough stepping into a new famiy and feeling overwhelmed!  I know of some great articles on smart stepparenting if you are interested.  Take care of yourself mom, so you can care for your other kids and handle this challenge well.

by Kimberly on Apr. 5, 2013 at 10:23 PM
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Have you tried reversing your discipline technique to include positive reinforcement?    Rewarding the kids for good grades and doing chores?     On report card day, make plans to do something fun for all those who have earned good grades.... those who haven't are not included.       Reward for chores as well.

It may not change the behavior of your step son, but at least it will show the other kids that their effort is not wasted or ignored.

by on Apr. 5, 2013 at 10:39 PM
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Well if he has an iep he should be getting help with his work and not having bad grades. My son has an iep and he gets help with class work and luckily home work. If he has a learning disability that's why he has an iep. Contact the school they may be failing him punishing him may further push him behind. He could also be embarrassed to have an iep because it makes it different from the rest. So talk with him see what is going on. My son is 13 in 6tb grade elementary goes to middle school next year. I worry about how he will be treated because its not his small school that he has been at since kintergarten where everyone knows how he is. It's been ok untill this year when a kid started bullying him and another kid in his situation but I took care of that. I try to be patient with him there are days when his teacher says he gets easily frustrated and just quits because he can't do it luckily they are encouraging and supportive of him but I know next year on that won't always be that way!
Well good luck! I hope everything works out call the school see what's up
by on Apr. 5, 2013 at 10:48 PM
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That's exactly what you need to tell your husband. Look, husband, this is the deal and either we do something or I have to go. 

Then try family counseling or even just the two of you for starters. Haivng YOU tell him isn't getting anywhere. Maybe having someone who is an expert in the field tell him will make him realize that you aren't full of hot air. 

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