I married a girl that had a 4 year old boy. I was divorced and had custody of my 3 year old son. When we dated I saw bad traits in him. He used to break things all the time, bully the neighbors kids and my son, and be disrespectful to everyone.
I contemplated ending the relationship and thought I may hate the boy! Then I realized, although he may be rambunctious inherently, that her son was just a baby and she and her family were to blame for reinforcing his bad behavior. We dated for 2 years before we married, in that time we stopped the majority of the negativity in her son including the bullying. My wife and I have been married for 25 years and we had 3 additional children together!
I have discovered that babies start learning the last 3 months in the womb. The brain is like plastic. It can be molded any way you want! The organ is developing and absorbing everything up until 13-17 years old, good, bad, right, and wrong. It doesn't know how to filter out the bad stuff. That is the parents job!
We as parents have the ability to steer our babies in whatever direction we want, just like a vehicle! We have the ability to predict their futures by our actions!
98% of how children turn out is a direct reflection of how they are raised at home! It was our parents job to teach us how to choose a responsible mate and how to become GREAT LOVING PARENTS so that we can teach our children, and they can teach their children, so on, and so on!. Love, Nurturing, Guidance, and Discipline are the cornerstones to rearing babies! Except in special circumstances, marriage must be permanent when children are born into it! Even if a marriage ends we still have to move towards the ultimate task of building great successful future loving parents!
In addition to what we provide for our children we must realize the government plays a big part as well. The average American child spends approximately 84% of the first 18 years of their life in the school system (whole other subject).
The problems don't typically start one day for no reason. They start when the baby is born.I believe that "a child can't miss what they've never had" The fact that your son has been dating and doing drugs means he was given the opportunity to begin bad habits A lot of parents ask the question, what happened to their child, forgetting the years they let them run around unsupervised! It is never too late to learn! You and your husband must do a careful evaluation of your son's life, and because your son is almost an adult, work with him now. Because of his age he's got to want whatever changes that are to take place in his life including what direction he's going in the next phase of his life. Hopefully college or trade school is in his future!
By no means am I perfect. I have 5 kids. The youngest 3 are still in college. I have been where you are. It was, and at times still is, very difficult! I work(ed) very hard at keeping our family together!
Don't Be Hard On
your son needs to accept that your in a new relationship, that your relationship is there for the long run, and nothing he does or says will change that, he needs to understand its also his step fathers home too and he has every right fell happy and comfortable in that home, however i think part of the problem is that you do have this new person in your life and he(your son) may be feeling isolated and abandoned,(maybe even paranoid if what you said about the cannibis is correct) try including him a little more in family activitys, i found when my child started a downward spiral of self desruction, that cooking the family meals together, and then sitting down a the table and taking about the days events we also go camping every 2 months and do regular activities espcially swimming and badminton, try to find a common intrest between you and your son and get you husband to do the same, giive it some time and things should gradually fall back into there rightful place take care and good luck