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Marriage is at stake -- at odds re stepson

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My husband and I have been in counseling but the last two months not as regulalrly as we should have with Holidays etc. Now we are at a total crossroads and I really need some advice.

DH has never been married to his ex--in fact she called him 3 weeks aftter they broke up to say she was knocked up, that she had been cheating on him with a few guys and the baby was not his but she wanted him to know. Yup...real Jerry Springer stuff on her part. Anyway, 3 months go by she calls back to say she now knows the kid is his. DH clearly wanted a paternity test and sure enough he was the father.

Now it is nearly 17 years later and his sone gets everything, whenever, and wherever, however he wants it. From both his mother and more so from his father. His mother is on welfare and we have had him full time since he was 11 and could clearly see where the better household (according to a kid) would be and asked to live with us. I have been in there lives since SS was 7.

Dh and I parent totally differently. Rather than ramble on, I will sum this up: I have to either walk away from this marriage or truly learn to disengage from all forms of parenting. I have tried to disengage before and frankly I dont think I have been able to do it entirely. DH never folls through, we set rules and consequences and I am not lying 1 out of 10 times he may follow through. He will make a rule and after time will give in with an excuse as to why he is giving in. This makes me sick to watch and his son literally s**t grins as he walks away getting his way.

This time?  It is a car and drivers license. Rule set in Sept: No job, no license. No license, no car.

Guess what? DH has been taking him to test drive cars and has already scheduled his license test for 2 weeks from now. I found out by accident and DH lied to me until he knew I had him caught red handed.

This is two fold: one I am digusted by the lies and sneaking around. Two what a scrap message to teach your kid. I am angry, confused, and disgusted. This sort of this has been happening our entire marriage in regard to his son and I have had it. I feel like the 3rd wheel and it is a bad and sad place for me. I am typing this from a hotel room becasue I could not even look at them. SS does not know that we are fighting -- he was not home and thinks I am away for work, fyi.

Any thoughts?!? Need more information? Ugh...I feel terrible. :o(  I love my husband and want to be with him in so many ways and then when this happens I find him unappealing in so many ways.

by on Feb. 6, 2013 at 8:09 AM
Replies (11-20):
Derdriu
by Gold Member on Feb. 6, 2013 at 10:18 AM

Ugh, I so don't want to be a downer, but 18 doesn't guarantee a finish line.   The poster's house rule was, "No job, no license.  No license, no car."  Life has another rule, "No job, no independence."  I'm not sure it's realistic to anticipate a kid with no accountability to be in any type of rush to abandon his meal ticket by moving out.


Quoting whatIknownow:

 

Quoting FloridaMomma:

It does sound like your marriage has issues. Sorry. :-( If SS is 17, won't he be moving out soon? Can you hang in there until then?

 This would be my advice - hang in there for another year.

Don't focus on SS. Don't be accountable for how he turns out. Just focus on his good points, and leave all parenting to your DH. You are so close to the finish line now.


 

whatIknownow
by Emerald Member on Feb. 6, 2013 at 11:01 AM
1 mom liked this

yes, but that's not the OP's problem. None of that is the OP's problem.

Eventually he will move out. Maybe not next year, but in the next few years. 

At 17 my SS got his first job ever. My DD didn't work when she was 17. My son is 19, in college and has never had a job. I don't think getting a job is a huge deal and not having one at 17 doesn't mean he will be stuck at home forever. 

This poster has no way to influence events, so her best bet is to stop trying to influence them, and just accept that this is how it is... and just focus on whatever positives there are regarding her SS.


Quoting Derdriu:

Ugh, I so don't want to be a downer, but 18 doesn't guarantee a finish line.   The poster's house rule was, "No job, no license.  No license, no car."  Life has another rule, "No job, no independence."  I'm not sure it's realistic to anticipate a kid with no accountability to be in any type of rush to abandon his meal ticket by moving out.


Quoting whatIknownow:


Quoting FloridaMomma:

It does sound like your marriage has issues. Sorry. :-( If SS is 17, won't he be moving out soon? Can you hang in there until then?

 This would be my advice - hang in there for another year.

Don't focus on SS. Don't be accountable for how he turns out. Just focus on his good points, and leave all parenting to your DH. You are so close to the finish line now.





OvrMyHead
by Silver Member on Feb. 6, 2013 at 11:54 AM

I'm assuming the 'job' request in order to get a license was reasonable?  Like your SS has a way to get back and forth from some sort of job?  And the job could be part time in order to accomodate school, ECs, etc?  If this was all perfectly reasonable on your part then it makes total sense and you absolutely can have a say in that given that SS live with you.

I see your marital issues more between you and DH and the SS helps to highlight the problems.  I feel for you, I think that some major changes need to be put in place in your marriage in order for you to be happy.  GL

Troubleswife
by on Feb. 6, 2013 at 12:06 PM

OP, do you have kids of your own?

Go with me a bit.....

I have seen your situation occur in a lot of families. Not just ones from stepfamilies. I think there are tactics you can take without disengaging and allowing the person who makes the decision to be responsible for it. This is the case with any family where children reside. 

My approach kinda works like this. Instead of taking the approach of thinking I really have a voice and/or can be involved over the situation, I take the approach of letting the other person take the lead and let them make the final decision. What it creates is a situation where they are fully responsible and it is something THEY will follow through on. :)

Here's something I used when my kids were young and opted to ONLY come to me for everything. They would even come to me and say, "Mom would get me juice?" when dad was standing by the refridgerator or I would discipline and he'd come in and discpline too. SO, what I did was start saying, "Ask your Dad." or "Since you are the one who will enforce this or not enforce this please deal with _________. "  and after a bit it worked, I was able to step back from being the only go to person the kids go to as well as allowing my husband to learn to follow through on his discipline. :)

It's not easy. It can make you feel not as important or needed in your home and maybe that is what you struggle with sometimes? I primarily have struggled with some inequality in rules I have had to disengage from both BM and DH on certain things. I had to learn to not be available in the same way I was so I no longer was the fall back person for either of them. I learned I could be a caring stepmom to my stepson more by stepping back and being included as a primary parent role. I am clearly NOT a primary parent when his parents are able to circumvent me so I quit being available to them to change my role as they saw fit. ;)

If you share finances. I would look into separating them at this point. I'd wash my hands of the car and tell him, he knows your opinion and drop it then let him make his own parenting mistakes. We aren't perfect (as parents) but the only way we learn is by it not working out for us.  Let them all fall a bit.

macbudsmom
by Silver Member on Feb. 6, 2013 at 1:01 PM
1 mom liked this

I would worry that if DH does not respect or value your opinion concerning ss, that he probably doesn't in general...?

Sadmomtrying
by on Feb. 6, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Hi everyone, well there are certainly a lot of differing opinons.

posting re car/job etc: We live across the road from a major mall--not a strip mall a huge one with department stores. No reason he is not working other than he is lazy and no one is holding him to the rules. We also live listerally a 3 minute walk to a coffee shop, 7 restaurants, a grocery store, and a Walgreens.

DH respectful of me: apparently not. I think when I allow myself to say this is when I start to cry again. I deserve better than that. It is breaking my heart...he is such a clueless man sometimes yet perfectly willing to go to therapy as couples and by himself. So if he did not want to try or change he would not go--at least that is my belief. So confusing..

We have a counseling appointment tomorrow and I am not going home until after that. I am in the hotel for another night.

shanlee42
by on Feb. 6, 2013 at 9:43 PM
I understand bending in the rule if it is difficult for him to have a job without a car. I would be very upset about the lying and the potential for him making a big purchase with join money.

Have you told your DH that this is going to end your marriage if it keeps up? Maybe telling him this with the counselor's help will really make him see what he is doing. I'm so sorry you are dealing with this.
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stepdiva
by Silver Member on Feb. 6, 2013 at 9:51 PM
It won't change a year from now. Unfortunately you lose, he made his choice. My DH lies and makes excuses and this kid is an adult. Sad sad situation. Sorry, honey. Good luck.
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Seychelles1409
by Gold Member on Feb. 6, 2013 at 11:18 PM
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I would disengage from parenting the SS and leave that and the rules for SS to DH.  How SS turns out is his and BM's responsibility.  If SS "S**" grins as he walks away from you, then he can learn to do his own laundry and do other  cleaning, etc. chores for himself; I sure wouldn't be doing them, nor would I go out of my way to cook his favorite meals or cater to his every whim!   Secondly, I think your real issue is with your DH who is lying to you which shows a HUGE lack of respect for you and your marriage.  Continue with the counseling and make your feelings on the lying clear to DH and let him know how SS treats you with disrepect when he "s**t" grins.   Don't think this problem will go away when SS turns 18.  He will likely be around for at least 5 more years and after that, DH may still continue to give him money and spoil him.  Solve it now if you can.  Ignore SS as much as you can and let DH deal with him, but don't let DH use your money to buy him a car even if it means putting your finances into separate accounts.  You aren't being treated as a parent in this matter so you shouldn't be expected to contribute financially as a parent. 

Sadmomtrying
by on Feb. 6, 2013 at 11:32 PM

Thanks everyone...this is so hard it is unreal. The sad and scary part I did not mention:

Friday SS came into living room barking about not getting a ride from his friend somewghere. I mentioned that well he can get a job and get his own car and then he shouted to his dad in the other other, "Well if someone hurries up and gets me my car!!!" Then it clicked--I knew at that moment they had made some deal "behind my back" to get him the car and license regardless of him working or not. So I bring up this gut feeling to DH. I say that I would literally considerin divorce if he lied to me about this and I point blank asked him if he made a deal with SS outside of the rules we put in place in September. DH said he absolutely did not. Then, I go to charge my device on his computer and see the page to Cars.com open and his email is open to a sent messgage to his son. Yup I opened it and sure enough it was confirmation of his license test in two weeks and the car he wanted to buy him. This was literally sent and done the day AFTER i inform DH that I would consider a divorce if he was lying to me.

Hence, I am in a hotel room and wondering if I need to leave this marriage. Hopefully the counselor can help tomorrow...at this point I am not sure how though. I will touch base...thanks everyine for your input and listening.

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