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Adult Stepson Making Our Marriage Miserable

My husband & I have been married for 12 years.   When I met him, he told me he had 2 children from a previous marriage -- one boy who was 10 at the time & one girl who was 8.  Their mother was (& still is) uninvolved in their lives & was negligient in their care.    They lived with her in another state.    My husband is a recovering alcoholic who missed alot of their formative years drunk.    Fast forward 12 years later & MANY MANY stories, arguments and problems with our new blended family.   My husband & I have one child together who is now 7. 

My stepson is worthless & 23.  He is employed (a job my husband got for him) making $45k a year & paying $600/month rent.     List of his issues since I've known him -- He is constantly struggling with losing his license or his job, making excuses for all of his problems.  Single, in debt, does not pay his bills, dishonarable discharge from the Air Force, dyslexic, ADHD, issues with his mother & her neglect, disrespectful towards me, problems in school not doing homework, not wanting to do chores, not participting in holidays because he doesn't like them., etc. etc. etc.   The list is endless but these are just a few "issues" that come to mind.

Him & I do not get along at all -- never have, never will.  REason ?  While he lived with his mother she treated him as an equal, & confidante.   When he had to live with us because his mother abandoned him, he never accpeted me as a parent or his father's wife.   He argued with me, did not listen, challenged everything I told him.   His father did not consistently back me & is plagued with guilt over his own neglect when he was drinking.  As such, his son nor daughter can do no wrong.   They walk all over their father & do not help him at all -- neither of them live with us now.   The son has no relationship with his half-sister (my daughter) and is rude to her when he is aroudn her.

When we do have family events, such as Father's Day, it is tense & miserable to be in the same room with his son.   There is almost always a battle between him & I which ruins the day.  Today was no exception.   We took my husband out to breakfast & apparently my husband, stepdaughter & stepson all knew that my stepson had no money & my stepdaughter was paying for him.    They did NOT communicate that to me though in fear of me getting angry over the fact that he did not bring any money nor gift for my husband.  When the check came, I asked my stepson & stepdaughter if we could split it 3 ways.   My stepson did not immediately answer so I asked again.   Both my stepson & stepdaughter heard me ask.  My stepson replied yes, sure.   HOwever, my stepdaughter only handed me her money & I gave her change, expecting my stepson to pay his portion.   When I handed her change, she then said that she was paying for her brother.    I asked my stepson why he was not paying & he became rude & said he was broke.   I then replied I thought it pathetic since it was Father's Day.   My husband begain glaring at me immediately & my stepson abruptly excused himself.  

Now I'm being blamed for "ruining" anothe rFather's Day & to be honest, I am so sick of this.  Why does my husband continue to feel that their behaviour towards him is okay, when it is so obvious they treat him poorly?  Why did they lie to me about my stepson not having money?  Does a fear of me being upset excuse collaborating & lying to me & then blaming me for ruining the day?  

I'm ready to separate from my husband over his lack of support for me & his drivign guilt that steers his relationship with his children.  Most unattractive of all is the lack of his own self-worth to allow himself to be treated so poorly.   I am most sick of being blamed for every battle with his stepson.   SHouldn't my husband be supporting me & addressing his son's lack of respect for me?  

I truly dislike his son & belive me if I had a crystal ball when I had met my husband & this kid I would have RAN like crazy in the other direction.  

So what now?   Do I do counseling first?  I doubt my husband would even come?  We've tried this befoer & the counselor suggested I try to focus on one quality his son has instead of the negative ones.    Didn't work -- too many negatives .    We are like oil & water because this kid is always given a break or is allowed to find ways to avoid responsiblity for his actions.    Its my husbands fault too.

Help!!

 

 

 

 

fedup12 fedup12 41-45 63 Responses Jun 15, 2008

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I can only tell you how my husband and I deal with his children. My stepson came to live with us for awhile after stepson's divorce. It worked for a time until he started disrespecting both myself and my husband. I told my husband that stepson had to go. Husband said "what do you want me to do, put him out in the street." I said " No, but he needs to find a job." Guess what, he found a job in California. Thank you God. My husband thankfully backs me up. Since then things have gotten better. You have to demand respect from stepchildren and don't let them get away with anything. It does to some extent work both ways. We all make mistakes. One thing you have to be careful of is not embarrassing them in front of others. Take one aside both of you and if they continue to disrespect they are toast. Give them a warning but do not allow them to visit until their behavior improves. My husband backed me up on this and it worked, thank God. They are almost angels now. I say almost. You need a supportive partner or none of this will work.

wow, ive read all of these post and I already knew I wasn't alone. now I know I am a statistic. Been with my husband 7years. two boys in their early teens, now 19 and 21. Both have been manipulated by their mother their entire lives. She turned them against my husband at an early age. Also they never stayed together so the kids don't even know what its like for them to be a family. Go back to the beginning and both kids moving back and forth playing each parent manipulating them both. All the while Im feeling bad for them and trying to provide some stability in their lives. Have done everything for them and I mean everything. Im the one available and I basically have been raising them. Of course in my mind I thought they would grow to appreciate me and realize that I do care for them as my own but sadly that is not the case. Both live with us over 2yrs, mother doesn't exist to them because she no longer has child support. Live here rent free, do nothing and I mean nothing. In their minds its my job to take care of everything in the house and I get no backing from my husband at all. Not because he doesn't see what they do but he has no coping skills whatsoever and just wont deal with them. would rather walk on eggshells around them then to deal with the issues of disrespect etc. After reading all of the comments I know what ive already known. It is not going to change. Im the bad guy even though because of me they both graduated and have jobs. They can do no wrong in their fathers eye and its killing me. Seriously I just expect them to clean their rooms and put dishes in dishwasher. way too much to ask. not even worth it while I take care of entire house, dogs ,shopping, etc. Either I run like hell or live in hell...

ok I know its only been 16 minutes but would someone reply to my comment from me.. so I don't feel so crazy..thanks would like feedback

Hi --- in my experience, I took the bull by the horns. I stuck to my guns and demanded the kids do weekly chores which were written down every week. We had family meetings once a week where there were ground rules and open discussion. That being said, my stepkids were 13 and 10 when they moved in with us --so perhaps fighting the battle when they were young helped? In any case, would your spouse consider going to counseling with you?

Thank you fedup for responding. All support is greatly appreciated. When the kids were younger I did make lists and sometimes it worked. The problem is im still making lists because if we ask anything from them we get nothing but disrespectful excessive backlash. Its very sad that at their age they still have this sense of entitlement attitude because my husband doesn't make them responsible for any of their actions. He pays for their cars, insurance, cell phones everything. While they get to save every cent of their paychecks and contribute nothing to the household as far as chores or even cleaning up after themselves. I pay for all groceries, dog food for their dogs etc. and just feel like a full time care provider. My husband would not be willing to go to counseling because to him its just kids being kids. He cant deal with them on any level but to be their friend. Ive explained to him that they need a father right now not a friend and he is only making it harder for them when they do leave the nest. As always he changes the subject. I even told him this morning how I posted a blog that I have to run like hell or live in hell and of course I know this hurt him. again the man of many words had nothing to say. I don't doubt that he loves me he is a hardworking kind man but I can no longer live in this environment.

First, not to be too judgmental here but you've kind of made your bed on this one and now you can decide to sleep in it if you wish. How could you not expect possible step-child problems involving an alcoholic father who was not there during the "formative" years, and why would you want to have a child with this person?

Your question is a valid one and I have made the choice to "sleep in my bed" for the long haul. I guess your inferring that I should have seen warning flags and ran the other way. In my opinion, life and who we choose to love is not that simple. No one truly knows what they will do in a certain situation until they are actually in it. It's very easy to judge someone else's actions by what you assume your own would be, if you were in their shoes. But we only know what we THINK we would do, not what we WOULD do.

Of note here is my husband has overcome the odds in staying sober 22 years this year. Despite his battles with alcoholism during my stepchildren's formative years, both of his children (the two mentioned above) are out of our home, working full-time, supporting themselves. Our daughter together (now 13) is a self-confident, honors student who is extremely close with a loving, caring father. I couldn't have picked a better man for her father. He has learned so much from his mistakes and is determined to get his one chance at full-time fatherhood right!

I agree with you fedup. No one can truly give you negative advice without walking in your shoes. No one understands until they experience the things in life that are frustrating and hard to deal with, easy to give an opinion until you are the one with a problem. its great that you have come as far as you have and the support that you are giving to your husband and daughter is what any good parent would do.

Having just read through this thread, it kind of made me realise that I'm not at fault in my thoughts towards my step-son. My wife always makes me question my feelings towards him and naturally enables and defends him all the time. Whilst this is a natural mothering instinct, it doesn't help him progress in life.
Basically, the stepson left school early at 17 because he felt it was pointless; he wouldn't go to college because again he thought it was pointless; he wouldn't create a CV to help him get a job; he had the chance to earn some money once and never pursued it; he always challenged me whenever I pushed him to do things with his life; he refused to help around the house because he was always TOO busy doing stuff, and by stuff I mean (watching tv in his room, in the middle of playing online multiplayer, talking to friends on phone) just excuses. He gradually started putting on weight because he never did anything. When he turned 19 he moved to Scotland with his girlfriend with the talk of going to college or university. Again he never did it, but the girlfriend did. He just spent his days in the flat doing nothing but play games.

Fast forward to present day, he is now 25, overweight with IBS, no job, no girlfriend, never done a hard days work in his life all because of the choices he made, and now he has moved back in to our house. I refuse to watch him sit around the house being a bone-idle lazy couch potatoe and continue this way of life. His presence just frustrates and irritates me... Everytime I come home from work, he is just sitting there in front of the TV with his laptop and the wife just seems to let it happen. This in my opinion is just enabling his lazy attitude and I only see it getting worse; he now has his meals prepared for him; his washing done for him, he now basically has no responsibilities. I have discussed all these frustrations with my wife, but she refuses to back me up and just defends him purely because she doesn't want to be in the middle. I will not just roll over AGAIN! and agree to her way of handling this. It isn't helping him at all....

You're in quite a difficult position! Your wife needs to wake up and realize that she is the problem...until that happens nothing will change. Your ss isn't going to wake up one day and be a responsible, productive member of society because he wasn't taught to be. Maybe some reverse psychology is in order here? Does your wife work?

Thanks for reading karma...

Yes, my wife does work, but only 3 days a week, 8am-2pm. Why you ask?

Just wondered if you could possibly use that as a tool. If she didn't work, and you were paying for everything, then it certainly is a lot more your call as to where the money goes and what help your ss gets. I know it's a stretch. Guess I was just thinking out loud.

I'm so glad I've found this forum this morning...I feel so alone in my own house right now and it's very painful. My stepson has ony been living with us for 6 mos. He decided last yr that he wanted to move in with his dad. I was very excited for my boyfriend (we are now commonlaw) as I knew it thrilled him to have one of his kids living with him. Jump forward to the past few months and the 16 yr old boy that I used to get along with so well has now said he wants to move back with his mother and has put all the blame on me. My spouse, who up until 3 days ago was as frustrated as I've been with his laziness and disrespect for curfews, rules etc, is now taking his son's side and saying this is all my fault for expecting too much of a teenager. Here's what I expected - bed made, cat litter cleaned and cat fed. That's it- those were his chores. I have done them 99% of the time and most of the time haven't even told my spouse and then I'll hit a wall of frustration and let him know that I'm actually the one doing everything. The son has failed a course in school this year, is almost failing summer school and is the most unmotivated teenager I have ever met. He does absolutely nothing. He will be17 next month and still has not gotten his learner's permit for driving and why would he since he dad jumps, even in the middle of our evenings together, to pick him up as soon as he calls saying he needs ride home. His mother is coming to pick him up at the end of this week and I am now sitting in our home, being completely ignored and blamed for everything. I had so many ppl warn me about this living situation and I honestly didn't anticipate any problem. I thought that when an adult lays out rules in the home, a child, as was the case in my home growing up, did what was asked of them and when they didn't, consequences were given. I am now the evil stepmother and my spouse refuses to listen to my side of anything. It is a lonely place to be and I'm fairly sure after his son leaves, he will be leaving shortly after. I'm almost relieved in all honesty, becaus in my books, your spouse has your back or, in the very least, is open to discussion and listening to your thoughts on a subject. This has opened my eyes a lot. What I'm learning most is that yes, the stepchild/stepparent relationships will almost always come with issues BUT if the partner doesn't support you or discuss the issues with you fairly about their child, they probably won't have your back in any other situation either.

Hi --- I totally know the feeling of being alone and abandoned by someone you thought was your soulmate. However, speaking from experience, when it comes to their flesh and blood, the reality that you will take a back seat is all too real. I do think my husband "has my back" in other situations, but in the past he has felt that his children needed him to defend them from ME, more than I needed him to support me. What I have learned is that the power of GUILT combined with a need to be the hero are personal issues that my husband had that, in a way, I felt were selfish. They were selfish on his part because they fulfilled a need within him, but did not benefit his child in the sense that he was not teaching them respect, obedience, hard work, self-sufficiency, teamwork and overcoming conflict. All of these things are things that we are supposed to teach our children. Maybe your husband is filling some personal needs of his own right now that he feels he has neglected in some way. Have you tried talking to his son directly, as you say you used to have a good relationship with him? (at least you had that :) Unfortunately, I could not help "heal" my husband of his guilt. It has taken years for him to forgive himself somewhat. I hope all turns out okay for you

Unfortunately, sounds like a familiar stepparent situation. I am married to a woman who I love, and I do love her son, but we have problems due to the son's lack of respect for me. He is 18 and living at home, which is fine, but I request that he does what should be obvious, like keep his room clean. However, he often does not keep things clean, and then when I ask him to come home and clean things (he spends a lot of time with friends), he will ignore my text message of voice message. So, when he comes home, I ask him why he ignored the message. He pretends he didn't get it, when I know he did. He has been ignoring me for months. My wife says that he doesn't want to be at home because I get onto him about things when he comes home. But, if he would just keep things clean, or acknowledge me, then I wouldn't have to say much. So, it's as though I'm in the wrong for asking an 18 year old, living rent-free, in my house, to keep things clean. In sum, the step-son ignores me, and his mother makes excuses. Since this isn't the first time she's back him, or his sister, up for completely irresponsible behavior, I've learned that a parent will almost always side with their children against you, regardless of how illogical it is.
If you weren't already married, I would advise not to get married, but that isn't the case. Honestly, I've seriously considered divorcing my wife multiple times because of her siding, illogically, with her children on self-evident things. I guess my advice (and I am really trying, albeit hard, to take my own advice) is to try to "unjoin" yourself - in the scenario you explained, you could have just handed your stepdaughter the change and said "ok, then, you and your brother take care of it." In my situation, I plan on ignoring my stepson the next time he needs any help from me. I also plan on ignoring my wife for the next 24 hours - maybe they can see how it feels when someone ignores you.
It's hard - very hard. I'm amazed any marriages with stepchildren work out. In the end, I made a commitment and I will stick to it, but I have to realize that I cannot control what they do, but only what I do and how I respond to things. This means also that I may have them be upset, but I have to be able to respect myself and have the confidence that when I'm right, I'm right.
I have no idea if all this helped you at all, but I wish you the best.

Hi -- my original post was 5 years ago and I still get comments !! I am still married (18 years this summer) and can say that the situation with my stepson is still strained. we are able to have "civil" infrequent family gatherings and this past Fathers Day was not without incident. He avoids spending time as a family with myself, my husband, our daughter and my stepdaughter (his full sister). He is often angry and this year, took out his frustration about going out to dinner for Fathers Day vs. a breakfast. He explained that breakfast would have been much more convenient for him, as he has other people to see in the evening. However, interestingly enough, his anger was directed at his sister, not me this year. The one thing that has changed is that my husband has become less defensive of him. I do believe he is beginning to see the monster that he has helped created.

Hi - you probably still get comments because there are a lot of stepparents that are frustrated. Congratulations on seeing things through - it probably took more will power and patience than most people can imagine. It seems that Father's Day is a sticking point for the family for some reason. I think your husband is starting to see that you are not the probable, but rather that his own son is the problem and maybe (whether you know it or not), your husband is starting to realize that by making excuses for his son, he hasn't helped him.
I can tell you that my wife used to make a lot more excuses for both the children, but it's become less as they have grown older. Maybe it's just paternal instinct - I don't know.
I can tell you that since I wrote what I did about two hours ago, I feel better and, actually forgiving. I probably won't ignore my wife once she gets home. If anything, reading your post made me understand that others go through the same pain. So, thank you!!!
Also, thank you for taking the time to write back. I hope that your stepson will change, but if he's 28 and still acting that way, he may or may not. I do believe people can change and I will hope that for you. Thanks again.

I thought I too was alone. I completely dispose my step son. When I first met my husband. His son at 9 years old would throw himself on the ground and cry till he got his way. He would punch things, scream, run around pulling his hair. He also stated that he fuc@&$ hated me. This went on for a while. We started counseling and my counselor also said for me to focus on one positive. I can't. I have so much hatred I can't find anything good. When he eats he chews with his mouth open and lays his elbows on the table. My husband for 5 years now say "Zach" come on buddy sit up. I want to scream stop!!! How many times do we have to tell you this? So now we are at the point that I can't even say anything to my husband because he gets mad and blows up. I am ready to walk away. If I would have known his son was this bad I would have not have married my husband.

I cannot believe the number of responses! For almost two years, I thought I was alone in the issues my husband's sons inflicted upon us.
I wish I would have found this forum three years ago.

Anyhow, I've been there, done that with his criminal, deadbeat, lying, manipulative, uneducated, jobless sons. I no longer speak to any of them, they are not allowed in my home, and I do not ever want to see them or have them near our daughter, ever again.

My husband and I fought constantly over his sons. And, he constantly defended them, or excused their criminal behavior, lying, stealing, manipulation. They youngest has tried, over and over, to separate us through lies and manipulations. He actually stated his father used to hit him as a child. What he doesn't know is that I recorded our conversations towards the end of our relationship. When his father confronted him, he outright lied (as usual). His Dad now knew. Especially after hearing him lie to me about numerous things, on tape. That was my final straw. I had one final conversation with him where I outright told him his and brother's BS weren't overlooked by me, and that they were a total disappointment and embarrassment to their father. What does this pathetic, fat **** do? Do what he always does-tried to throw his half-sister under the bus by saying she "wasn't the angel we think she is" and that she does illegal things, yack-yack-yack. I dropped him off at his psycho Mother's house, and I've never seen him, or his equally pathetic brothers since. After all three of them stole from us, lied, manipulated, caused strife and drama (with the help of their emotionally disturbed bio-Mom). My story has drugs, felony larceny, Grand Theft Auto, neglect of one of their own children (the oldest had visitation about two years ago with his then 4 y/o and was growing, smoking and dealing pot out of his apartment. With his two brothers, who were complicit in the neglect and abuse. ******* POS!), bad-mouthing me so badly to my husband's mother and sister we no longer speak.

My husband will have to financially provide for his youngest and middle son in some fashion for the rest of their lives. And, for his grandson that his oldest son abandoned, doesn't pay child support for. Because they're druggies, with felony and misdemeanor convictions, minimal education, cannot conduct themselves within socially acceptable boundaries, lie, can never be trusted. I despise what they have done, all the trouble they have caused (with the help of their bio-Mom. She must be so proud that all three of her sons, under her care and custody when they were toddlers and young school age children are now jobless criminals), and their negative intentions. Even if these disgraceful human lots supposedly turn themselves around, I will never trust them, and will still refuse to have anything to do with them. They are adults, and chose to do the things they did, and to continue doing it. I don't give a damn if they're family or not. If they want to **** up their own lives, have at it. Just not on my dime, in my time, at my or my family's emotional expense.

There's only two solutions to a situation like this: leave, run as fast as you can if your husband or wife won't do anything about it. Or, remove the step-children from your life (as the step-parent) COMPLETELY, and let your spouse deal with them on different turf. I can't see any other way, particularly if they're adults.

lucky you my stepson is 19... no job.... still in high school... barley passing... problem to do chores.... his bedroom looks like it needs aid from FEMA... very disrespectful to his mom... I cant take it anymore.... I need help too !!!! atleast he has a job...or even goes thru jobs.... my stepson is yet to find one ever.... I want to throw him out... but my wife (his mother) wont let me ..... this kid is destroying my happiness...

Hi to all, I found this page while looking up songs about freeloaders! Lol....my story is pretty much like everyone else's....I've been married for 15 years. We have 3 children together and hubby has a son who's now 21. He had a rough life growing up, mother moved and hubby didn't know where his son was for 9 years. She calls up one day, apparently she could get ahold of him somehow all that time, but she calls up...having trouble with the dea. Hubby went and got sS that night...we live in indiana, she was in Virginia! Well for years he wud tell hubby's family all the cruel things I wud do, the unfairness, the I don't like him cards, etc. I tried, and tried, and tried. I was the bad guy...every time he came back...yeah, a lot of back and forth...I wanna go home...I don't wanna be here...and it was easier and easier to let him go with the turmoil he caused. My hubby knows how he is, sees it, but we always welcomed him back with open arms. Turns out he was pulling this in virginia too. Now he's 21, he asked to come home...he was about to be homeless...we couldn't say no. He brought his girlfriend, now both have no jobs 2 months in, neither past a 10th grade education, neither trying for GED, neither trying for drivers licenses...they run through the house, break stuff, torment the other kids...who are now 12, 14, and 15. The other kids wanted them back here so bad...now want them to go to. They do nothing to help...not even their own laundry. They have on occasion did a few things to help, but only when they hear we're sick of it. And now, I've come to find out, he's starting the talking about me again crap behind my back...not only to mother and sister in laws, but to my own kids! My boys are sleeping in the dining room so they can have their own room....he's on probation, but don't pay his fees. We've went extremely in debt, had our 60" tv broke, amongst other things...not only by them, but the younger ones too....it's just chaos here...has been since they moved in. I work 6 days a week, 2 shifts, hubby works too, my father just passed away in April, my son found him on his bathroom floor. Things were already hectic, but now....it's ridiculous! I've been saying I'm going to move and that I can't take it...hubby says he's going to say something, but he hasn't yet. Family lays the guilt trip on my hubby...but there's only so much a person can take. I don't want to leave either, but I'm done being he bad guy, the wicked step mother, the b****. If I ask him to look for a job, he yells at me, or gets pissed. Oh and the gf....she was teaching my daughter, her friend, and a 6 year old how to twerk, saying this music brings the hooker dance out of her! Then proceeded to dance for my sons when her fb, my ss, was out mowing lawns with his aunt. She stole from the store within a week of moving in, and just meeting me....she won't do anything, and keeps going into my daughters room when she even posted signs for her stay out when she's at school. I could go on for days, but this is how my sS story is....

Enough is enough. Tomorrow I'm having a talk with everyone...setting a move out day for sS and his gf...and if they don't go, I will. I'm done!

After reading all this it just confirms that my situation will never get better. Been married for 20 years, husband is 14 years older. His adult children are 51 and 52. They live in a home we are paying mortgage on. They are supposed to pay $250/month each for rent. THEY NEVER PAY. We always make this payment. All my husband will say is that he’s not going to put t hem out and he’s not going to lose that house. They know this is a constant source of problem in our marriage and still nothing. They both have productive jobs making good money and still refuse to pay rent, taxes or water bill on that house. He often complains about the money I spend knowing that we have that house payment. I am fully employed making a great salary. He is finally retired, well deserved he worked the same job for 35 years. They won’t even buy him a decent birthday present. Really infuriates me, but they are not the problem, he is.

I know this is an old post, but curious where you ended up. This is so similar to the last 6 years of my life. My ss and his father, now my ex husband were always focused on their friendship instead of being a father. My ss would be a complete *** to me, treated me like a door mat and I would get absolute no support from my ex. I think anyone in this situation should run like hell. Worst job of my life being a step mom to a manipulative, lying, bi-polar, mood disorder, bad student, bad mannered, and both bio parents enabling him to death. He is now 20 and running his own life, but his goal of dividing us is complete, so he is happy.

I have a teenager still recovering from being uprooted and is very angry with how his life was affected because of ss selfishness and sf not doing anything to control the situation.

I don't think very many blended families actual work. It's a lot of work and no rewards. I tried over and over to get my ss healthy and happy, all to no avail. Due to the lack of support, we parted ways with no love for each other.

Now, to the funny part that makes me laugh. This was both of our 2nd marriages. Our divorce will be final shortly and he is engaged to a woman with 5 kids and this will be both their 3rd marriage. LOL Better him than I!

Been there, done that. my conclusion is that many blended families don't work and never will. My step kids constantly argued with me and after 7 years my wife refused to back me up anymore and actually started blaming me for all of our problems. When councilors would told her she needed to do things differently she said they were crazy and kept doing the same things over and over, expecting different results - it doesn't work. I finally got fed up and told her I would stay out of their arguments as long as our daughter was not hurt or things did not get damaged, and if that happened I was going to call the police and charge the kids and her and insist they be arrested. I walked away from her emotionally and refused all forms of intimacy with her, after all why would I be intimate with my enemy. I told her if she wanted to save our marriage she had to change the way she was doing things. Our marriage got worse, but my hands were tied. The two boys left to live with their dad our third year of marriage. The older girl went to her dad's to "take care of him" (even though he didn't near it) when she turned 14 and the youngest left five years later (at 16) to live with a friend.

Things did not improve with my step kids until their mom got cancer and died (18 months from first diagnosis). They saw how I treated them and cared about their having closure in the way she was "buried". She had chosen cremation, but the kids wanted to see her buried, so I chose to bury her. It was a harsh lessen for them, but if not for that my marriage was doomed and I was prepare to divorce my wife after our daughter turned 18. After 15 1/2 years of marriage, my wife was dead and I had a 14 year old daughter to finish raising. She's 21 now and turned out good. The two younger step kids (girls) and I have a decent relationship now and I help them when they need it.

The chances are that you cannot save your marriage and as long as your husband continues to enable his kids to be abusive, things will keep getting worse. They're grown up, I would suggest you don't allow them at your home unless they treat you with respect and and maybe even divorce your no-good husband.

Loss and pain such as divorce can be hard to deal with and many people.e are mentally and emotionally scarrewd and can affect what they do and say. Yes I am not a mother(I should hjope not) but I have best wishes for the future of your relationships:) xx

Your step-son is going to take advantage of the situation,he deams he has been put apon by the parental discord and is using you and your partner to get back at.You and your partner must act in unison and use tough love by saying to him that untill he learns to pull his weight then he is no longer welcome at your home or out with your family.

My stepson, is yet another useless *****. I met him when he was 4, he became a teenager and suddenly, he was making my marriage difficult and unbearable. He left school in grade 8 and numerous inventions to talk to him to stay in school failed. I was treating him the same way as his 3 other brothers, but according to his mom, my wife, I didn't like him. In April 2012 I couldn't handle it no more and asked for a divorce, which she agreed upon. She told me to change my attitude towards him and maybe we could try again. I was then living with my 2 younger boys. Well I didn't, but a year later she came back to us. He's 23 now and he came back with her, still full of crap and playing his mom with the guilt game. Well I recently threw him out, he don't want to work and now that he has 1, don't pay the rent in full and don't buy his own toiletries. Needless to say, my relatinship that was booming with my ex, is also over. But I refuse to let him dictate my happiness. I have 2 minors I'm raising and I need to teach them right from wrong and with him around, it was going to be a daunting task. Twice he wrecked my love life and my ex just don't see it. I'm sorry to say it, but I mean it, I HATE THAT USELESS brat

Wow! I thought I would find some advice or solution to my step children problem but I have discovered there is none. I have to just get the word out to other "would be victims" no matter how strong a person you are (which I always have been) it has been the most regrettable decision I made. That being said, we also a an 8 yr old daughter together who I love more than anything in this world. I have only put with all the family drama because I want her to be raised with her father. I have been with my husband for 12 yrs. He has (3) sons who were 9, and twins 14 and a daughter who was 4. Fast forward now twins 26, both of which have been in and out of jail for drugs, dui, etc. One son is in jail right now! Their mother has been in and out of jail for drugs and arson for setting fire to hers mothers home! It's not what you might think... they were raised in an upscale home and community getting everything and every opportunity money could buy. The reason they are lazy is because they had a housekeeper cleaning up after them and no one made them do anything for money. It was all just handed to them. Now the mother has tried getting her life back together and I was always cordial with her, however now that the daughter is (15) she wants a closer relationship her mom and has decided that she doesn't have to listen to me. Keep in mind all the children have lived with us all along. I have raised her since she was (4) while her mom was busy with men, drugs and oh yeah... jail! Soooo long story short the daughter and friends discovered twitter and well so did I. The things these kids were saying would shock most parents to discover their "little darlings" would say. Wait it gets better... imagine my shock when I read my stepdaughters post "one day I'm gonna bet the s**t out of my stepmom" What!? Why me? What did I ever do to deserve this? The answer is simple: no good deed goes unpunished. Apparently, me telling her to clean her room and her bathroom, yes, she has her own bathroom, makes me the "bad person" and her mom who left her in a car alone at night while she was doing drugs in some guys house is the "cool mom". Needless to say, this has all put a strain on my relationship whith my husband. He doesn't even tell me anymore when the (2) 26 year olds who live with grandparents get in trouble. He is so stressed out, he is not the same person I married. The boys don't seem to care about the stress this has put on my husband. His legacy is being destroyed. There is hope in the (22) yr old son. He has a job and his own apartment struggling the same as I did when I was his age to make ends meet. So, I guess my life is not the way I envisioned it would be when I was in college and making a career for myself. Now, my sole focus is sheilding my (8) yr old daughter from all the drama and making sure she has a good upbringing. I guess now that I think about it... I AM STRONG! So, I guess the answer is we have to live with the decision we make and DO NOT miss the opportunity to warn others so they won't make the same mistake!

My partner has a "stepson" from a marriage that ended 20 years ago-he is not even his biological son! He never adopted him and his mother supposedly didn't care about him so my partner felt guilty. This ex-stepson is 28 now-he was arrested for heroin recently-of course nothing is his fault-it was the police etc. We battled so much about this that we are now separated, trying to reunite. The biggest problem for me is that this isn't even his son. I also have 2 sons of my own-my 32 year old is doing well, finishing school, and is a great dad. My kids father was a mental case that abandoned them when they were 11 and 14-so all they have is me. My 28 year old is not doing so well, low level job, didn't finish college (yet) and he is extremely intelligent. My partner started to criticize my 28 yr. old son harshly because of these issues and comparing the 2. Meanwhile his son was a drug addict who stole from us for years. He is supposedly 60 days clean-and if so I don't begrudge him that but I am so sick of the major role he has in our lives. His own mother doesn't want to hear from him. He calls his stepfather all of the time to get money and to make it worse he works for him. He is the most manipulative, arrogant, stupid person but my partner has a blind spot for him. He remembers him as a blond child who played hockey. I believe everyone deserves another chance-but this guy, beyond being an addict, is a thief and had his last chance thousands of chances ago (no exageration). What I do now, is avoid the subject of him. He is such a parasite, he is constantly looking for large amounts of cash that he blows and lives the lowest of lifestyles. I believe that I, my sons and my family should come first but my partner just can't see the codependent role this guy has in his life. My only hope is that he will go away but so far no luck with that. Sorry this may not seem like I am responding to the story but my point is that a person in a committed relationship needs to put their partner first and also undertsand how we feel about our own children (they are part of us). I have found that I really want this relationship to work so we are taking some time apart. I found myself wishing the stepson would go to jail just to be rid of him and because he deserves it. Now I take a different approach-believe in God or karma-justice will come eventually...just remain calm and non-judgemental and see if the results are different. Good luck.

Hi everyone, I am a man and I know where you are all coming from I have a stepson that is now 19 years old and boy what a useless adult ss this has turned out to be, lazy a mouth that you wouldnt believe when things dont go his way or he is told what to do he will get mouthy with his mom, school drop out since 16!! no ged nothing , has had 2 years since being 17 to get his driving license does not work go to school NOTHING and he hasnt even taken his written dmv test!! what a waster, says he wants a job YEH!! easy to say to his mom ,does not hit the pavement to look for work think he has filled 1 application in 2 years, has a baby now 2 who mostly lives with her mom that works , everything about him got me soooo angry and a mom my wife who tryed a little to put her foot down but its all back to norm with his lazy ***.
Anyhow I left months ago as i could not stand this lazy pot smoker who talks like a ghetto hood any longer , still see my wife but dont know how that will work out as I can never really see this ss really letting go of her teat!! its so hard when a single parent brings up a kid and has to play both mommy and daddy , and as a step dad to adult step kids it is extremely difficult to deal with when you have step kids like this , if he was mines his ultimatum would be get up in the morning look propely for a job get your license or GET OUT and find your own place No one pays my way he is an adult no one owes him anything.

I understand what you are going through-your stepson sounds like he needs mental health counseling. It may be hard for your wife to feel like she has to choose between the 2 of you. I hope your relationship works out-someday, somehow this stepson will move on and get a life of his own. he is young so there is hope. good luck.

OMG... I will not start with all ins and outs... but a few simple facts. My partner is 30 years older than me but we are madly in love, he has divorced his wife (not for me btw) and he is rich :)))...good comb u would think...not... I now live in this 7 bedroom amazing house with park like garden... with his daughter and her two children and her partner living in the cottage 40 yards away and his son and his girlfriend living with us. Now me and my partner have a three year old between us. His ex wife has got everything-house, car etc. she live two miles away :))). Great-she has got a life and her kids out of it too :)...Nice... Now me and my partners kids never had a cross word... but it is only because i just swallowed a lot of rubbish when i would have been right to just say--OUT!!! So... the daughter comes in and out when she wants to- no warnings! She also BORROWS anything...without asking, of course...The sons friends do too :). Oh and his son runs a business from this house too... So privacy...what is it??? No boundaries at all...and my partner thinks we are so lucky to have this amazing no arguments relationship with his kids (thanks to ME) that he thinks i should keep picj=king and tidying after them and just be nice... We will move in the next 18 months for that reason only-his kids... But with him expecting me to just 'swallow'everything I do not think I will last... It is just never ending.. the waiting bit ...

There are no easy answers. I'm in the same situation with my husband and his sons. The only difference for me is that the kids have moved out, and over my dead body will either of them EVER move back in. Told my husband next time one of them wants to come home and he okays it, they're all getting a place of their own. I think the bottom line is that our husbands are not confident enough to believe that if their kids fall down and hit pavement that they'll be strong enough to get back up, so they keep throwing mattresses under them. At some point we've all kissed asphalt....that's what we needed so we could learn.

Oh my goodness, this is so depressing. So many people with the same problem but no answers. And quite honestly now I'm really beginning to think that the only hope is to leave. I so do not want to start over at 47 years old but I truly don't know how much more I can take. My 32 yr. old stepson is even making up lies to try and make his father mad at me. I was feeling guilty for believing he was trying to break up our marriage until I read all of this, now I'm in shock at how many other people have the same problems, and somehow we are all labeled as the bad ones, and jealous of our husband's own child.

What I really don't get is what makes these fathers like this and having these abnormal relationships with their sons. I know my children are not perfect but my goodness I can get in their face when I need to and flat out tell them when they do something stupid. Bad thing is, my SS has 2 children he's not taking care of either and my husband won't even say anything to him about that. He really is a chronic liar and I am going insane.

In effort to offer a little something here, I did find a book I think I may read. It's called "Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children by Allison Bottke. The exerpt looks like it could be helpful if I can get my husband to read it.

Wow and all this time I thought it was just me!

14 years ago I married a man with a son from a prior marriage whose mother was a real wack job! I embraced that child accepted him completly my husband was a great father always paid support when he was laid off I always made sure support was paid in 2002 the wack job up and moved out of state long story short I stood by my man and fought to keep his son. Here with him a stable environment the courts agreed with us and we got full custody that ended up being the biggest mistake I could have ever made I should have let him go.... He is always the center of conflict in my home 23 still living under my roof! Does nothing around the house a lying lazy ***! My husband does not support me in any issues I have suffered a stroke at 43 I feel is due to the stress I had between work and my unhappy home life situation, when I try to talk to my husband it just ends up in an argument and me hurting again when my husband tells me I should leave! Well this anniversary you may get what you want but then my income stops upon my death I hope you and your lazy *** son figure out how to pay the bills I have contemplated my own death many of times trust me this is not something I take lightly as I do have an 11 year old son as well and I don't want to hurt him but the way things are at the housei often wonder if it won't really be the best for him in the long run

to Wiwdead: Please do not be so hard on yourself. You took a chance in caring about a troubled child (your stepson) and it did not work out the way you thought. PLEASE do not do anything drastic like taking your own life. Think of your son. He needs you and loves you. Your energy and focus should be on him to ensure he grows up to make the right choices. He will turn into a fine young man with you by his side and someday you will reap the rewards of your love and devotion to your son. I have a friend whose wife recently took her own life and left behind two sons, 16, and 13 and a daughter who is 8. Believe me if you can imagine looking into the eyes of those children at their mother's wake you would not give suicide a second thought. You were granted a gift by having your son. Cherish him and do what you need to do to provide him with the best chance in this world. If you want to talk live, please let me know. Thank you for coming here and sharing!

Please think of what your suicide would do to your son-it is devestating. It is a forever decision and nothing is worth it. Divorce is not the end of the world-it is hard but it may be the only answer.

Why does everyone stay in a hopeless situation? If the husband or wife doesnt care how their children live then it's time to break free of the torture! I cant see waisting my life away with someone who doesnt stand up to their children! And if it's the house or whatever he has that your waiting for when he dies you may have a very long time of torture waiting for something you may never get! Set yourself free and be happy

I am so sad to read all of these stories, but they have opened my eyes.

I found this site, looking for support in my decision to stay with my husband, but reading all of these posts, I just want to tell everyone to leave, why stay in a situation where you are being treated so poorly?

By removing myself and seeing all of your situations from an "outsiders" point-of-view, I see my situation all the more clearly. I am finished pleading with my husband, setting deadlines, that whoosh by and trying to give respect to his two grown children, one of which lives with us, just to be treated poorly. I am leaving within the next month. It would be sooner, but I've got to pack and find a new place.

Thanks for opening my eyes everyone! Good luck, all!

I left my husband eight years ago after watching his son destroy our home, our lives I had always hoped once this child matured things would change. I thought that once I left ...things would change. They never change..they never will and I have lived seperately from my husband for many years with no hope in sight. Once a parent creates a dysfunctional relationship with a child..it rarely changes. The only change can come from us. The only solution for me was to leave but their relationship went on and they became more deeply co-dependent. I will always be on the outside looking in. I will be moving on with life and letting go. I'm just sorry I wasted eight years.

I have to ask: why do you stay. I am having issues with my 29 year old stepson living with. He is unempolyed and stays in bed all day. This is not how I raised my children and would never put up with it from them. My man doesn't seem to have a problem with the way things are but, I do. I am no longer happy ay home and don't want to be here. Think it's time for me to move out. I love my man and I know he loves me but, a relation takes more than love to work. I don't to to end our relationship, I just think it would be better if we didn't live together anymore. He can deal with his son, and I can be happy at home.

You have the same plan I had. I love my husband and do not want to lose him, but I love myself too and I have come to realize that if I leave, but remain married, I am losing not only him, but any chance I may have at happiness.

Has anyone out there moved out, but remained married and had it work out okay in the long-run?

Yes - we lived separate more than together for the first 7 years of our marriage! All because of that kid of his and that we could not agree (also related to husband's addiction issues at the same time making it impossible) but we eventually re-married...and SS is NOT in the picture of OUR family. Husband sees his son separately regularly without us because we STILL cant come to any agreement on the subject. Its' the only way we could move forward for OUR 2 daughters to have a "normal" family life with a mom and dad who want to be together. Outsiders could NEVER understand how this works but it does.

I have a 22 year old step-son. Rude, liar, thief, druggie, alcoholic. Swears worse than a sailor. Has threatened to throw a small pot of boiling water in my face once. Calls me an f'ing *****. Tells his dad to f off, or f you, f'ing idiot, so on and so on. Steals money or anything worth money from us or his brother to sell for drugs. Gullible as hell. Thinks he knows something about everything, then when he starts talking he ends up looking like an idiot. May possibly be Fetal Alcohol, don't know how to get him diagnosed, but he probably wouldn't go anyway.<br />
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He used to live his mom and step-dad, but they kicked him out when he turned 18, due to all the damage he has caused in their apartment. Also done damage in our home too. Scares our pets, then laughs.<br />
<br />
I'm too the point now where almost every day I think about leaving. But when I think that, it hurts like hell because I do love my spouse.<br />
<br />
There is absolutely no where for this boy to go. His mom won't let him back for more than one night. He won't go to a shelter. Won't go for counseling. Won't listen.<br />
<br />
Every time I think about it I want to cry. The worst part. I have bipolar (manic-depressant), along with anxiety and panic attacks. Wow, can he ever trigger me. Lost my voice for a week, just this month, after a big yelling match between him and myself.<br />
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I know this board is mostly for ranting, and every one of us is hoping someone will come along and be able to give us an idea that just might work.<br />
<br />
Is there anyone out there with any ideas. I am in Ontario, Canada

It doesn't matter that he doesn't have a place to go. That needs to be HIS problem, not YOURS. Maybe a week or two out on the streets with no help, no food, no nothing will wake his sorry arse up. It's not your concern that your stepson WON'T go somewhere. Truth is, he says that because he doesn't HAVE to go. I'm fighting this very battle with my husband right now....he always wants to provide his son with a safety net. No. These kids need to know what the pavement tastes like so they'll be motivated not to ever taste it again.

Wow! I am not alone. I finally married my husband one year ago this month, thinking after nine years of dating his kids wouldn't be a problem (both boys 20 & 22 yrs old). I was wrong. The holidays were a disaster - neither SS bought their dad a gift or anyone else after they were showered with some nice things. The total lack of respect for their dad amazes me. The oldest is a pig & lives in filth, the youngest helps out somewhat, but he doesn't have a job, a license, a GED, or a clue. He just plays video games all day long. The oldest has a job at a pizza place and comes and goes as he pleases, leaving a pile of trash in his wake. I avoid talking to both of them because when I do try to ask them to clean up or take garbage out, I get the whole attitude crap with my request. I told my sweet, ineffectual husband who has raised them since they were 7 & 9, (deadbeat mom), that he has two months to straighten them out or I will have to leave for my sanity. I glossed over the gory details because I just get mad all over again. My husband won't or can't make them do anything and I also think he is afraid of their wrath when thwarted. I have no savings and work 50 a week to help maintain the household. I would rather live under a bridge then deal with those two spoiled rotten brats.

Hi All,<br />
<br />
I am glad that I started this blog as I can see that there are so many people out there in the same situation! IT is truly sad that there are so many troubled kids out there. But worse, is that it would seem that the parents of these kids (our stepkids) are incapable of standing up and being a parent for fear of alienating these kids out of guilt. We the step-parents are thrown into a hopeless situation with little training or preparation on how to deal with these step kids or our spouses for that matter. I think that counseling may help them, but the question is, should we attend? or stay out of it. I doh't know anymore. My ss just up and freaked out and quit his job of 6 years last week. Of course, this threw our household into turmoil as my husband was targeted as the cause of it. My ss claims that my husband "traumatized" him as a youth by divorcing his mom and he is unable to cope with anything. He started yelling at work because he was supposed to report for work at 8 a.m. and didn't show up til 10 a.m. When his boss questioned him, he stated he was being micro-managed and quit. My hubby was so distraught and called me to vent. Of course, I said what a stupid ***. Now he can't even get unemployment. My hubby says I have nothing but "hate in my heart" for him and that if I loved him, I would stop being so judgemental about his son. sigh.... I give up. This ss is 27 years old. I don't think this will ever end. This "kid" will continue to be a source of conflict in my marriage forever. I give up. I don't hate my ss, I am just sick to death of him and his antics. Oh - did I mention that we went away for a 4 day camping trip with my dogs and my ss and hubby arranged to have my ss stop over to "take care of the house"? Without asking me. Mind you, my ss NEVER comes to my house when I am there for anything -- holidays, birthdays nothing. BUT he can come over when I am not there & WATCH my house? Turns out he slept there & invited 4 or 5 frineds over to use my pool and lord knows what else. I found out my seeing them on FB via pics in my pool, etc. I wAS FURIOUS! My hubby & I argued for 2 weeks that his son is completely trustworthy and I was ungrateful because he helped us out by watching a house (that was empty). So you see -- it NEVER ends.

OMFG! Wow...Im glad you started it too...I could totally see my husband doing this and me being just as furious, and him defending it just like you describe! SS is not welcome at our house EVER and never comes around if I'M there...total disrespect toward ME which is completely allowed by my husband (cant stand that). But as long as SS stays out of the picture, it's like our lives are as perfect and normal as can be, and everything I ever wanted. Just every holiday and milestone, that kid seems to find a way to ruin everything (thru my husband of course) but since nothing I do can fix my husband's guilt, I give up. So my SS is turning 18 and support is ending soon...so I had all this "hope" that he might get a life and get out of ours?? But this blog is sort of shooting that down. This is never going to get better is it? God help me. For some dumb reason I had all this hope around the 18th bday? I dont know why? I'd gotten rid of this kid (mostly) for the last 10 years basically...as in he doesnt come to our house or anything. But will he ever get a life and do something productive with himself? Or will he just stay a loser forever? What a disaster.

Ladies i can truly understand your situations, am a man in the same place, 2 ss, one is 28 and the other is 32 and STILL LIVE AT HOME, i had kids of my own by then in first marriage. Don't know how or what to do any more. Love her but just cant deal with dead beat, drug addicts.

Hi All,

I am glad that I started this blog as I can see that there are so many people out there in the same situation! IT is truly sad that there are so many troubled kids out there. But worse, is that it would seem that the parents of these kids (our stepkids) are incapable of standing up and being a parent for fear of alienating these kids out of guilt. We the step-parents are thrown into a hopeless situation with little training or preparation on how to deal with these step kids or our spouses for that matter. I think that counseling may help them, but the question is, should we attend? or stay out of it. I doh't know anymore. My ss just up and freaked out and quit his job of 6 years last week. Of course, this threw our household into turmoil as my husband was targeted as the cause of it. My ss claims that my husband "traumatized" him as a youth by divorcing his mom and he is unable to cope with anything. He started yelling at work because he was supposed to report for work at 8 a.m. and didn't show up til 10 a.m. When his boss questioned him, he stated he was being micro-managed and quit. My hubby was so distraught and called me to vent. Of course, I said what a stupid ***. Now he can't even get unemployment. My hubby says I have nothing but "hate in my heart" for him and that if I loved him, I would stop being so judgemental about his son. sigh.... I give up. This ss is 27 years old. I don't think this will ever end. This "kid" will continue to be a source of conflict in my marriage forever. I give up. I don't hate my ss, I am just sick to death of him and his antics. Oh - did I mention that we went away for a 4 day camping trip with my dogs and my ss and hubby arranged to have my ss stop over to "take care of the house"? Without asking me. Mind you, my ss NEVER comes to my house when I am there for anything -- holidays, birthdays nothing. BUT he can come over when I am not there &amp; WATCH my house? Turns out he slept there &amp; invited 4 or 5 frineds over to use my pool and lord knows what else. I found out my seeing them on FB via pics in my pool, etc. I wAS FURIOUS! My hubby &amp; I argued for 2 weeks that his son is completely trustworthy and I was ungrateful because he helped us out by watching a house (that was empty). So you see -- it NEVER ends.