how to love my stepson

Tasha - posted on 04/23/2015 ( 14 moms have responded )

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I married my husband in 2011. He had three children prior to marriage. The oldest two have always disliked me but the son was ok. He was even in our wedding. The problem is my husband doesn't know if the son is actually his. They share simular traits but not the same last name. The mother wasn't sure if the son was his because she was with two other men. The son would come and stay for weekends until he asked to stay for the school year. I told the mother in order for that to happen I needed temporary guardianship, and permanent records to register in school. She didn't like it, child proceeded to lie and I ended up the bad person. Well I have two children and the son wants back in. I'm not comfortable and he is calling. I want to first know if the boy is his son but my husband won't find out. The son keeps calling and I really don't want him here until his mother agrees to in writing because I need that security. ....am I wrong

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Tasha - posted on 04/23/2015

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Their is no documentation with him being parent. I work in education so because I don't know how mom might act I want to be proactive and have written permission before he visits. But that would require dad and mom talking. ..which he says they don't do

Raye - posted on 04/23/2015

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If your husband won't communicate with the mother, and he won't step in to do the right thing, then just refuse to take on that responsibility. He should not pass it all off on you. As I said, not your circus, not your monkey. Tell him you will support his decision to bring the boy into the house, but you can't do things alone. He needs to be the main one to: speak with the mother, enforce the rules, dish out the punishments, etc. If he wants to be the father of this boy, then he needs to BE A FATHER. If he's not up to the task, then he should not agree to have the boy in the house.

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Tasha - posted on 04/23/2015

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Raye thanks. Hindsight is 20/20...when you realize the baggage that comes in certain relationships you think again. But leaving is not as easy when the children you have together love their father and he is a great father to them.

Raye - posted on 04/23/2015

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Well, this is unfolding like layers of an onion... tears and all. Your husband was unfaithful? And he won't go to counseling? Tasha, Tasha, Tasha. I don't even know what to say at this point. You have your work cut out for you. Sounds like your husband just wants to avoid his problems, instead of facing them. You really can't fix this all on your own. I would leave his ass, but I realize not everyone is like me. So, it's hard for me to try and look at it from another perspective, to offer constructive advice.

Tasha - posted on 04/23/2015

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I've suggested that and he wont. My husband will talk to me now bc of another situation we had(infidelity) which is one of my reasons for insecurity with son

Raye - posted on 04/23/2015

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It sounds like the boy has had a tough childhood, and is probably justified to be jealous of your kids that seem to have a life so much better than his. How old is he? Maybe he needs to get into counseling to cope with his issues (maybe your husband does too).

Tasha - posted on 04/23/2015

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He has expressed resentment towards my children and all that they get. This is my first marriage and these are my parents first grandchildren. My mother did try to treat my husbands son as her own but he didn't receive it well

Raye - posted on 04/23/2015

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Then I would say no. The son should not live with you for the school year. I would say you should allow some visitation, because your husband is the only father this kid knows, and it would not be fair to cut him off completely.

You are not wrong for believing that a paternity test should be taken and having some proof of your husband's responsibility to the child. As I mentioned before, for medical emergencies, schooling, and such, only a legal parent or guardian can make decisions that affect the child. But if that's completely out of the question, then a request for temporary guardianship (to be granted to your husband) is not out of line.

Parents should be concerned about the safety and best interests of their children. Which brings me back to your words: "ensure my children's safety with this now teenager". What concerns do you have with the boy and your kids?

Raye - posted on 04/23/2015

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There are times when I watch my step-kids, or I take one to one activity and my husband takes the other to another activity. You have to be able to deal with the child one-on-one sometimes. But it should not be the norm for you to be the only one there with him. You didn't answer my questions about custody, so I will assume at this point there's nothing that says that your husband is the father. And in that case, both of you are only like babysitters in the eyes of the law. Neither of you have any legal standing to care for this child properly. That needs to be remedied. And your husband needs to take a more active role in parenting the boy. Because, in most states that I know about, the step-parent still has no legal standing with the stepkids. So, again, it falls to the mother and your husband to get things sorted out and being the primary people raising the child.

Tasha - posted on 04/23/2015

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He actually lives with his mother. She takes care of him. She does have three other children but has moved around a lot. There is no criticism taKen. at the beginning of our relationship I did love him like my own, but that offended his mother and age told me he wasn't mine then wouldn't didn't want him talking to me. After that battle, my children were born abd none of them wanted anything to do with him. Now that he has additional financial concerns they want me to fund it. ..

Laura - posted on 04/23/2015

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Regardless of what many believe, love is a choice. I think if you start acting like he is your son you will be fine. Personally, I would be so hurt if my spouse demanded I make him get a paternity test to prove this child is his son. Your husband loves him and in his mind, there is no distinction. Some people aren't cut out to be step parents because they don't have that capacity for love. I am not criticizing you but I am not sure you will be a good stepmother to this child. I do think you're wrong, this boy needs a mother figure. His own mother sounds extremely flighty (sleeps around, has no responsibility for him). You could be the one to rescue this child and show him the love he so desperately needs. Please don't turn him away. Your husband will resent you in the long run.

I wish I lived closer, I would take this boy in.

Tasha - posted on 04/23/2015

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Point taken. But my husband doesn't communicate at all with the wife. All insurance and medical info is in my name as well as house, and everything else. I've never tried to be mom and my kids are my blessing, but with so much happening and his son bwing so different, how do I ensure my children's safety with this now teenager?

Raye - posted on 04/23/2015

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Being a father is more than blood. If your husband has accepted this boy as his kid, then treat him as such. He has been the father this whole time, so really why should a DNA test make a difference. You could sneak and get samples for one of the mail-order DNA tests, and you would be the bad guy for destroying their family if it came back that he's not the dad. Don't think you would be the hero if it came back he IS the dad. They may be relieved, but you would have gone behind his back and it would be a breach of trust.

As far as guardianship, I see your point if the boy will be living with you, but not sure it's necessary. Did your husband sign the birth certificate or sign an affidavit stating he's the father? Does the mother and your husband have custody and visitation arrangements through the court, or only their personal agreements? If there's nothing in writing that says he has responsibility for the boy, then (for the boy to live with you) temporary guardianship should be given to *your husband*, NOT YOU. This would be a legal protection for the boy should he need medical attention or some other major decision needs to be made before the mother can be reached.

YOU really should not be having much to do with the mother at all. Most communication should be between her and your husband. Even if the boy is your husband's natural child, you are still not his mother. He already has one of those, so you don't need to fill those shoes. You be the mother of your kids. I am a step-mom, myself, and have always thought of my role in the kids' lives more in line with an aunt or grandparent... part of the family, but not directly responsible for how the child will be raised. I support my husband's decisions and love his kids. I try to help teach them and guide them according to my husband's rules and beliefs. But I don't try to be their mother. As a step-parent I sometimes have the luxury of stepping back out of a situation and allowing my husband and the bio mom to work things out. It's not my circus, not my monkeys.

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