Post # 17
Good parenting means providing a united front to the child. It’s how they develop a sense of safety and security.
Your DH has set up the reverse dynamic: it’s them vs you. He’s doing some terrible role modeling for his
som re how to treat women and denying him the security of firm limits.
Family therapy has to happen here. You and Dh need help getting on the same page, if that’s even possible.
I’m afraid I don’t see any other option than to pack your bags and go, if DH won’t do family therapy. This will only get worse as junior gets bigger and more physically intimidating.
Post # 18
Look up the theory of ‘love and logic’… Basically, in that situation, if you had to clean up after the kid, then the next time he wants to do something like go to a friends, you would say “oh sorry about your luck, I’m too tired to drive you anywhere bc I spent so much time cleaning up after you”….there are a ton of helpful teaching/parenting tips. As far as DH, maybe write him a letter explaining your feelings? Or remind him that he did choose u in his life so he needs to follow through with the relationship the two of u have, not just push u to the side
Post # 19
Can I just say, from a stepchild.
If my stepmom had handled the situation like you, I would have gleefully rubbed my hands together with an evil laugh and known from that point on I didn’t have to do anymore chores.
Luckily, my dad forced me to respect my stepmother. I didn’t want her around at first, but my dad told me to listen to her, and if I refused, I’d be in trouble. It didn’t take long for me to figure out that if I wanted to avoid chores I had to run away to mommy’s house.
Which I did for a little bit, but there really is something calming and nice about having a place and things to do in the family. My mom did every chore. I never did anything, but I also felt very alone there and completely unwanted.
You need to tell your husband the only way your step-son is going to respect you is if Dad makes him. At his age, it’s not going to be easy, and it may never work, but I’m sure when he’s old enough, he’ll look back and be like, “man, I was a little douche-monkey. I wish I had done xyz when I had the chance.”
Post # 20
@julies1949: I agree with all of this. Don’t let your stepson or your DH treat you like this.
Post # 21
Geeze. I am sorry. I would talk to him when it is not the heat of the moment and come to some agreement or rules about the house. I also would not pick up after the son. That is a really tough position to be in and it is obviously affecting your work/ daily life. Also, working it out in texts sounds dreadful. I hope you two are able to agree on some ground rules and what happens if they are not followed, etc. Raising kids is tough, so you two have to be on the same page. Him not being willing to budge, however, sounds like an unacceptable approach. Try to find some compromise about how you will deal with these things together in the future. Also, try not to argue in front of the son, especially about him, or he will feel a strange sense of power, and not in a good way.
Post # 22
Call his bluff. It’s absolutely not okay to speak to your wife that way. If that’s how he wants to react during a disagreement, then leave. Pack your things, leave, and don’t tell him. If he comes after you groveling and apologizing for speaking to you that way, work it out. If he doesn’t, start protecting your assets and get in touch with an attorney.
Post # 23
@Ellegee: +1 leave if you can….save that money for xmas and find a place to live. That threat will only go so far. If it is his house then leave if it is your house then kick his as to the curb. Stand up for yourself!!!!!
Post # 24
Next time he doesn’t clean up after his pets, find them a new home.
Next time your DH shows you the door, pack your bags and leave.
Post # 25
I agree with the others, the door comment is out of line, not sure if that was a part of the heated argument that got out of control and was not actually meant, but you really have to learn how to fight fair. Keep in mind, it’s probably been him and his son for a while and you are the newcomer and you can’t win, just the way it is., which will make anything that goes wrong a little harder. I think when things are calmer, you should establish some ground rules for debates and arguments w/the fi, you should let him know how bad this hurts and how unfair it is and how poor of an example he is showing his son… who also needs to see that people disagree and have bouts of arguements, but don’t just give up or kick the other person out. Make sure he knows you are only trying to help the child to become a better person, having responsibilities and help contribute to the family, by helping in doing his own chores, which is important in establishing normalcy and core. I think you need to let your fi know that you are all in this together and it takes everyone’s pitching in and understanding and forgiveness, the door should never be an optioin, marriage is forever and it’s important that not only the 2 of you understand that but that the child sees this in action, forgiveness and understanding and patience. Good luck, that’s tough.
Post # 26
As a new stepmom, I think there are some things that are very important in this situation (PPs have covered some of this already):
1. expectations about who will parent and how they will do so needs to be clearly discussed and agreed on ahead of time, before situations arise. Once there is agreement between the two of you, he needs to know that he needs to respect that and support you. You are not going to continue to live in a situation where you are 2nd class.
2. you need to make it clear to your husband that if his son isn’t going to do his chores, then he (the husband) needs to do them. You are not going to do them. Period. And don’t cave.
3. you need to take your own responsibility for this dynamic. Why did you do the chores for him? Why did you need to remind him twice, and still without effect? This already shows that he doesn’t listen to you. (and perhaps not just you). When you’ve said something to a child, they need to know that you mean what you say, or there will be clear consequences.
4. You need to very clearly and very firmly have a conversation with your husband about conflict and communication. If a parter EVER said “there’s the door”, they would be watching my back as I went through it. That is emotional blackmail and you need to put your foot down now or look forward to a life of that kind of behavior. Is this HIS house? Does he pay the mortgage? Is your name on the mortgage?
You are in a very tough situation and I really hope you can work this through with your husband and your stepson. You just need to decide where your power is in this, and what you’re willing to tolerate.
Post # 27
We got in a fight about it and he basically told me “there’s the door”…actually, those were his exact words.
I’m still hurt that every time we have a fight his resolution is basically “if you don’t like it, pack your $%!&”
“There’s the door?” That is absolutely inexcusable. Show him with your actions that he cannot speak to you like that.
I would not put up with that for one nano-second. The first time I heard those words, I would be out the door with my bags so fast, he would not know what hit him.
Even if I didn’t have family or friends to run to — even if I didn’t have $40 for a budget motel room for the night. I would sleep in my car before I would spend one night under the same roof with a man who would say that to me.
Don’t let him throw those kinds of words at you. Do not for one minute put up with that trash, or he will keep dishing it out for years like some sort of threat, or double dare.
Walk out that door. If he really loves you, he will follow you and promise to change and bring you back home to work things out.
If he DOESN’T follow you and try to make amends — then he doesn’t love you enough, and you have your answer.
I’m sorry you’re dealing with this!
Post # 28
I am completely appalled at your stepson’s and husband’s behavior. I would call his bluff and leave him until he apologizes and commits to treating you with more respect, as well as demanding his son respect you. If he doesn’t take care of his pet. Boom. Pets are GONE. Find a loving home for them. No threats or ultimatums. Words don’t mean anything to kids if there are no actions behind them. They respond to actions, not words. Don’t nag him or remind him to do his chores. If he respected you and knew you meant business, he wouldn’t forget to do them or refuse to do them. Just make sure there are consequences when he doesn’t do them. Don’t yell, argue or let him know he’s hurt you. Just casually and calmly say,”It’s a shame that you didn’t clean the sinks and make your bed today. Otherwise, you would be allowed to play video games and to go to Mike’s house to play.” He will learn REAL fast that he’s not getting to you….and that HE is the one who is missing out and he’s only hurting himself. Make sure that your husband is on board with this too. If you say “no” and your husband goes behind your back and says “yes,” the kid will learn to resent you and that he can do whatever he wants because “dad” will always give in to him.
I work with expulsion students and this is classic behavior from a lot of my “kids.” The parents never say no to them and they think they can do whatever they want. Let me tell you, YOU NEED TO NIP THIS IN THE BUD NOW. I deal with 17 year olds whom get kicked out for fighting, cursing at teachers, lying, bad grades, etc. and the parents do NOTHING. As long as there are no consequences for actions, this kid will grow up to think he can do whatever he wants. I mean why wouldn’t they when there are no repercussions or any sort of discipline? Please, for your sake, stand up for yourself and refuse to be treated like this. It isn’t acceptable or healthy.
Post # 29
Maybe I have less patience, but I would not take this disrespect towards you by your DH, which I think is a larger problem than your stepson’s behavior. If my DH ever talked like that to me more than once, I would leave and not come back. That is not the way to be in a relationship and he is treating you badly and setting that example for his son.
He needs to be on your side and honor the commitment of you marriage rather than viewing your union as something temporary and trying to push you to do everything his way.
Post # 30
If my SO said “there’s the door” to me like that I think I might just use that door.
If you’re not going to use the door then maybe marriage counseling would help. He needs to learn that ultimatums like that are not acceptable, and that if he wants you to be the kid’s stepmother that he has to give you the authority and back you up.