Stepmom Central

Marriage is at stake -- at odds re stepson
February 6, 2013 at 8:09 AM

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.


  • FloridaMomma
    February 6, 2013 at 8:18 AM
    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?
  • FloridaMomma
    February 6, 2013 at 8:20 AM
    What does your counselor say?
  • newstepmom61811
    February 6, 2013 at 8:39 AM
    I see several approaches/questions to think about:
    1. Is this truly just between DH and SS. How he raises his son to fail REALLY is not your problem. Now if you are angry because any of your finance are involved or you are feeling "forced" to also enable in any way, pull back. Make yourself just your husband's wife again. Make sure your money isn't going to this car if you disagree and let them deal with one another.
    2. When DH complains about how Ss fails in life, refuse to listen, it ISN'T your problem and you have tried to head it off. Let him know that and tell him he and BM created it, they can complain to one another about SS and come up with an action plan to fix it.
    3. And last, it sounds like you simply need to really assess your level of respect for DH. Is this the only issue where you lack respect for him and how he runs his life. Something tells me there is more. I doubt one SS can break a marriage. I sense and undercurrent of dislike of DHs approach to you in the marriage, the communication, lack of honesty with you. Those are not SS issues. Those are issues with DH and how he generally functions. You need to ask yourself, do you generally respect him as a husband, and do you work well together as husband and wife?
  • lnr187
    by lnr187
    February 6, 2013 at 8:44 AM

     does dh lie about anything else besides ss? do you have any other problems in your marriage? if you think you can last 1 more year, ss will be 18 and can be on his own. if there are other issused, especially lying, then you might be headed for divorce. but if you two are good otherwise, try to stick it out til the kid is out of the house. you've put in 10 years, what's 1 more?

  • DDDaysh
    by DDDaysh
    February 6, 2013 at 8:45 AM

    This is a mess.  

    Dad can't have a relationship with his son on his own terms without upsetting you.  

    You don't have your husbands respect and can't expect him to follow through.  

    Truly disengaging would probably save your marriage if you can do it.  SS is 17 and that might help, but he's still his father's son and there will be college, so he might not move out and even if he does, he might move back in.  There will be holidays.  There will be gifts, and money spent, and vacations.  

    If you can't close yourself off from caring about all that stuff, you're going to keep getting hurt.  

  • Birdseed
    February 6, 2013 at 9:21 AM

    In the car situation, I think what would bother me most was that DH was planning a major purchase with OUR MONEY without talking to me about it.  THAT would piss me off.  

    As for the lack of follow through and such, I hear you on that.  But, son is 17.  So maybe it's time to take a step back and focus more on "after HS".  Is DH planning on letting his son live with you on an ongoing basis?  I guess if I were in your shoes, I'd picture the next 5 years.  And I'd think about how you WANT it to be vs what you're on track for right now.  Then go back to the counselor and work out a plan.

    Does your husband know how bad it is for you right now? How frustrated you really are?

  • baparrot2
    February 6, 2013 at 9:27 AM

    No license, no license no car? How does a 17 year old get and keep a job without a car? Maybe the "rule" was ridiculous to start with?

  • whatIknownow
    February 6, 2013 at 9:41 AM

    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.

  • Rhodin
    by Rhodin
    February 6, 2013 at 9:50 AM

    Yeah, I'd have had that in a different order, too.  Maybe do what both DH's and my parents did: Get yourself a clunker that's just good enough to run errands with and tell your kid he has to earn his own gas money and that gainful employment outside the home is a fantastic way to fill a tank.

    Quoting baparrot2:

    No license, no license no car? How does a 17 year old get and keep a job without a car? Maybe the "rule" was ridiculous to start with?

  • Birdseed
    February 6, 2013 at 9:52 AM

    Quoting baparrot2:

    No license, no license no car? How does a 17 year old get and keep a job without a car? Maybe the "rule" was ridiculous to start with?

    My girlfriend at work had this rule for both of her kids.  It wouldn't have worked for us because of where we live--other than for babysitting, but where she lived, there were many job options for her kids within walking distance of their house.  I think it just depends on  where you live.

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