I'm new to the stepparent role, and I feel like a fish out of water. I have two sons of mine from my first marriage, but I don't feel like I can parent my stepson the way I parent my children. It's hard to feel like I'm being fair all the way around though. How do I find balance? How do I ensure that I don't overstep my bounds? Even when we were just dating, my husband told his son and myself that I had my husband's blessing to discipline his son. However, I also know that the ex-wife doesn't think to kindly of me at all. (I'm hoping that will change in time, as it did between myself and my ex's wife.) I don't want to create any trouble.
At the same time, my stepson is significantly different than my sons. My sons are quite independent and self-sufficient for their ages - which is how I raised them to be. They can take their own showers, trim their own nails, can do some cooking on their own, etc. (My sons are 11 and 10.) My stepson is 10 and doesn't do anything for himself. He can't shower without someone getting the shower ready for him, he can't trim his own nails, doesn't get himself anything to eat or drink or pick up after himself - he expects it to be done for him, he can't tie shoes, etc. He wets the bed every night unless someone gets up to wake him up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. (We've had times even during the day where he wets himself too; and the boy had admitted to knowingly doing it.) I hate to say it, but it drives me crazy! I keep trying to teach him how to be a "normal" 10 year old, but he sulks and spouts a serious attitude. Often his father will get so angry that he ends up doing the things for his son, then carries on about how useless his son is. I really can't stand that.
But I also can't stand the lies this child spins to tell his mother, which gets her angry at us. He's even done it between his father and I, and to my sons. My sons have even been witness to things that he's lied about, who have told the truth to my husband. Sometimes, though, it's been turned around that my sons and I gang up on my stepson because of our telling the truth to his lies.
Unfortunately, it's getting to the point that I'm starting to resent my stepson... to the point where I'm starting to not like him. What do I do? How can I help him without crossing the line with his mother? How do I stop myself from not liking him? How do I repair the damage to my relationship with my stepson?