I have been engaged to a man for 5 years. I will not get married until his son quits making life so hard. He is disrespectful to all authority, and flunks school. Any suggestions?

Lorri - posted on 02/02/2012 ( 15 moms have responded )

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I have been with the love of my life for 6 years and engaged for 5. I will not marry him until his son quits making life so hard on our relationship, which in turn, stresses me out to the max! My fiancee's son is 15 years old, and has no respect for any kind of authority. He is constantly getting in trouble in school, and at home. He has already served a probation sentence. He does his homework, but instead of turning it in, he throws it in the bottom of his locker and takes a zero for the work. He does this with the homework I have stayed up until 10pm to help him with. I feel like I am losing my mind. I just want to know if there is anyone else who has gone threw this. I have tried so many different things but nothing has worked. After 6 years, I am mentally tired. Any suggestions?

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Sarah - posted on 02/02/2012

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No offense, but how would you feel if your fiancee refused to marry you because your child was difficult? Really, I feel that is parenthood. It has it's ups and downs at every age. Stop looking at the son as "his" but instead as "our" son. When you enter into a step-parent role, you ARE a parent, just as much as his father. I fear for you if you continue to put off your marriage until the son stops "making life hard" that you will never get married, and you and your partner will grow to resent each other. I also don't necessarily think whether you marry or not will change your stepson. Maybe you all need to go see a counselor together to work on your problems.

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Morgan - posted on 02/02/2012

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Not a problem Lorri. I'm glad that I could help you feel more settled and at ease.



Things in life will always get worse, it doesn't matter what you do. In the same way, they will always get better.



Send me a message and I'll give you my email if you want (or Facebook). We can always keep in touch for if you need someone to talk to or to listen as you get frustrated. It's always helpful to have that one person that doesn't judge and can understand what's happening.

Lorri - posted on 02/02/2012

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Hi Morgan! I will set down with my future hubby and see if we can set a date for us to get married. And of course I will implement the kids. Are you kidding, the girls will never let me hear the end of it. Lol... And I do truly love him. I guess I was afraid of making things worse, I have tried everything that I knew to do to make it better. But to no avail. I try to keep the lines of communication open for everyone in the home.

I may get back on here tomorrow and let you know how things are going and how things are being implemented.

Once again, thank you so much for all your help today.

I hope you have a good evening and God bless you!

Katherine - posted on 02/02/2012

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Morgan I never said I would divorce my husband because of his son. I love my husband way too much to allow that to happpen. I do believe its death do us part. not son.

Which means that Lorri just needs to get married adn live her life. The boy will make his own fake.

Lorri - posted on 02/02/2012

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That's ok Katherine. I just didn't want to put too much out there without getting my feet wet first. I have never posted anything like this before. I am new to the sight, just didn't know what to do. Hope you have a good evening! :0)

Morgan - posted on 02/02/2012

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Only you know your situation best.



Honestly in my own beliefs, if you have made it this far with everything that has gone on, then marriage shouldn't affect anything. If both of you are in it for the long haul then the only thing it would do is change the idea of 'lets break up or take a break' to 'lets divorce or separate'. To me, marriage shouldn't wait on anything because if you're in love, then you will stay that way and marriage will make you work harder to keep it.



Having said that, marriage itself can put stress on the situation, that's why I say you know your situation best. There's no real way to tell or have someone be able to tell if marriage itself and the idea of being forever bound together is something that will stress your relationship. Noone will know until it's too late, but for me, marriage has made my hub and I work even harder at staying together.



If you do get married, involve all the kids a bit and be aware if the son gets agitated or upset through the process. I wouldn't stop it if he does, but perhaps being aware of it and react to it appropriate will stop it from progressing.



@ Katheline-I disagree. I would stay with my husband even if he had a son that came after me. Loving my husband would require me to love the thing that came from him and carries his blood.

Evenmoreso, regardless of the age of the kid, he is a kid and it sounds like this has been ongoing since he was 9 or 10. This means there are underlying issues that the child can't control, thus it's not his fault. Appropriate resources should help the child overcome whatever issues there are. I'd much rather stay with the man i love more then anything in the world (excluding my kid) and at the same time help this disturbed child become a functioning well for society adult (as much as possible) the just say fuck it and start over. And if the kid ends up screwed up, then I still get the man I want and need.

Katherine - posted on 02/02/2012

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No honestly I would not stay if a 15 yr old was hitting me and being like that when you are there for him . I am sorry. I hope I didnt hurt your feelings You are going through alot and dont need to feel bad.

Lorri - posted on 02/02/2012

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I am in the US. I believe that I can get him evaluated while he is in school. I think for the past 5 years he has been dealing with abandonment issues because of his mother. And because I am the closest thing to a mother, he takes aggression out on me, but still does not give him the right to hit me.

I am taking small notes from your response to my post. And I am going to implement them ASAP! It is nice to know that there is someone to who I can turn and get some advice on what I should do. I am already am feeling better. It helps to know I am no longer alone. I really felt like things were really spiralling out of control.

I am still afraid of setting a wedding date. The main reason why is because I am afraid of this mess making a mess in our marriage. I am wanting to get this settled before we say,"I do". Is that wrong?

Morgan - posted on 02/02/2012

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Are you in the US? If so, ask his school for an evaluation for emotional disability (ED). They may call it different things depending where you're at. DES/DDD doesn't recognize ED, but you can still contact them and get a case manager for an at risk teen. They will give you one (Be persistent) and that person will give your resources to allow you to get help for him, as well as your family as a whole. Make sure you follow up and keep on them. If you're not in the US, contact the school and doctor about similar resources.



I think that you need to sit down and really talk with him and the family together about the issues. Logic and honesty can be key components in helping your family bond and grow. Ask him upfront and honestly about why he acts or does things the way he does. Be specific and allow others in the family to chime in. Letting him know that you all do care and love him, but are hurt by him may be important. Especially knowing he's hurting those around him can really make him take a second look at himself.



Counseling may not need to be just for his mother issues. HE may have other underlying issues that need help. I knew a girl who was very similar to this, except she didn't hit anyone, but she did have major meltdowns. She was seen for counseling, prescribed meds (which did help), and finally it was found that some of the causes were things like what I mentioned above like the teachers' looks, large groups of kids, etc. Counselors will help with finding all the issues and helping him to be able to confront those issues directly.



Try to be proactive about hitting as well as any other behaviors. See below for that.



Sometimes you need to let him slip and fall a little bit, before you can pick him up. My sister in law is 16 and managed to fail her freshman year partially and all sophomore year. Instead of letting her repeat-they had her drop out of school, take the GED test and were planning to get her into community college. Their thought process was that instead of a leg down, she'll have a leg up with college. That was August 2011. Now it's Feb and there's no GED, no school, and no college. They should have let her repeat it and given support, rather then teaching her that it's okay to screw up, the parents will fix it.



So as far as the issues. If he responds really well to getting things he wants (most kids do), then set up your lives around that motto. Some ideas are below but ensure that you follow them with strict guidelines for your family and ensure that he gets what he needs from you.

Make rules and natural consequences. Involve your entire family in making the rules, consequences, and rewards. Talk about everyones' feeling when certain behaviors are seen. (hitting makes you scared, scares your daughters etc). If doesn't make sense that if he hits you, he gets grounded for a day. If it's severe enough to warrant it, get the police involved and have them take him to jail. DO NOT stop them if you go that far. That will teach him that he can do whatever and you will protect him. If he hits you, but it's not severe (you still might want to consider jail), ensure there's a consequence in place that will make him second guess himself next time he thinks to hit anyone. If he's failing classes, then he can't hang out with friends, if he's not turning in homework, then he will have to go to tutoring, etc. Make sure the rules are family rules. It shouldn't say he will, but we will do our homework, we will be nice, we will not hit. Don't make too many-just the important ones. Doing this with the whole family involved will allow the daughters to learn and hopefully him to be less of an influence. make sure the girls are adhering to the rules and consequences as well. Lastly, put up a reward system. Just as some kids get allowance for doing chores, allow him to get stuff for being respectful. Make sure that it's attainable, preferably in a short amount of time. Giving him a ticket every hour or day he goes without breaking a rule and for every 13 tickets a new CD or whatever will give him a leg up. Try to see if he'll take rewards that aren't so materialistic. Does he like to do a specific activity or see a sport? Maybe spend alone time or family time that's particularly rare. Ask him-he can help set this up. Make sure he gets it and you are never late.



Lastly lastly lastly, give him positive praise. He turns in one set of homework-who cares that he hasn't turned in the other billion sets, GREAT JOB SON for turning in that homework. Be specific in the praise as to what he's doing. He responds appropriately to being angry, walks away, holds his tongue, whatever-(after the fact as not to agitate him), thank you for walking away when you were angry. That was such a good choice and made me very happy.



And for any behavior-it will almost always get worst before it gets better. Just be strict and push him along and it'll be okay. Oh and set a date to get married. Change yourselves and allow that to help shape and change him. :)

Lorri - posted on 02/02/2012

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Hi Morgan! Thank you and I have asked him why he doesn't do turn his work in at school. He just has one of those don't care kind of attitudes. And I am looking into counseling for him. I have been the only postive female figuere in his life. His mother left him at 6 months old and pops in and out of his life until recently, she hasn't been around for quite some time. So I know counseling can do him good. But what should I do if he hits me again? He is as tall as I am and weighs more than me? I tried talking to him about things and he is cold and rude. Unless he wants something. I am not going to give up the love of my life, it just gets really hard. Yesterday, I checked on getting him tutoring for some classes in school. Because if he continues on the path he is on now, he is going to have to repeat the year.

Another problem I have is him influencing my two daughters. Sometimes I just do not know where to turn.

Thank you for listening.

Morgan - posted on 02/02/2012

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Have you looked into getting his counseling or seeking other services for being emotionally disabled? It sounds a lot like someone who has some underlying mental (not depression, anxiety, but EMOTIONAL) issues that can be benefitted by counseling, possible medication, and life style changes.



The homework thing is a dead giveaway that he's not disrespectful to authority and to you-if it was, he wouldn't put so much effort into it. Find out WHY he is not turning it in. I guarantee you that it's not because he doesn't care, hates your or his teachers or the like. There can be issues such as when he turns it in-are there people who make snide remarks about it, does he have to stand up and walk around a certain person or a large group of people, does the teacher give him looks? All of these things may be a valid issue or it may be that he feels that these things are happening-even if they really aren't and this is causing issues.



As far as the marriage thing-you're letting your step-son have authority over your marriage and your life. This causes you and your spouse pain and can cause your two (separately or together) to have certain reactions or responses that can cause him to respond negatively. Evenmoreso-if he knows that you are postponing your marriage because of him (which i'm sure he does), you can create a line of guilt in him that makes his actions worse and makes it hard for him to try to act in a respectful way. On the opposite side, he could be acting that way to purposely stop you from marrying his dad. You have to remember that is his dad and if he doesn't want his mom 100% out of the picture (which he may feel by your marrying the dad), then he will do whatever he can to stop you. A good clue of this is when his behaviors started and how he honestly feels about your relationship to the dad. Talking to him about it might help you to understand it better.

Lorri - posted on 02/02/2012

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I know it is a packaged deal, if I wasn't a caring person, then I would have left a long time ago. I am still here after he has hit me, so please do not even think that . I have been more than active in this child's life. I just do not know what to do anymore. Because I do not know how much more to take. Would you still put up with a child hitting you?

Katherine - posted on 02/02/2012

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You know I have a step son who behaves identical to the 15 yr old boy. I choose to be active in his life and find ways to help him deal with his issues. I didnt tell My husband that I was to divorce him over his sons behavior. I dont see how that is helpful or caring on your part for wanting to be apart of this mans life. Its a packaged deal. You might never see any results from trying to be there for his son but atleast you are there. The boy is merely acting out for attention due to something going on in his life. Instead of being like this Help to understand what is going on.

I completely understand what you are going through however,its a choice to either bail on this relationship over a troubled child or be there to support him and the boy through this.

I know how challenging it can be to wake up wondering what is he going to do today, Who is going to call me tosay about him. I take it day by day and be as positive as one can be.

I m sorry I dont mean to come off mean or bitchy.

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