Is anybody else having stepfather Issues? Am I crazy for feeling this way?

So Frustrated - posted on 07/13/2012 ( 1 mom has responded )

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Hi All,

I really need some input on my situation. I have been with my husband for seven years, but only married for four and we have three boys total. I have two and he has one. Our family was blended when our older boys were both 16, now 22 and my youngest was 5, now 13. We were fortunate because the kids got along great and the meshing of the siblings went well. However, the ideas of child rearing didn't go so well.

I was always a stickler for a clean house and I always believed in teaching boys to cook and clean for themselves as you would daughters so they would be self sufficient, if need be, my husband didn't raise his son the same. The problems began with dishes being left in his room with caked food on them for days on end, several empty Coke cans all over the place, dirty silverware under his desk, clothers knee high on the floor, etc. I would ask my husband to talk to him about it, but he wouldn't. He would always say, "Well you have to realize this was our life before you and it's hard to change it". I realized that; however, I didn't think asking him to take dishes from his room into the kitchen when finished was asking too much. Because he didn't mention it to him (later found out because he was afraid of damaging their relationship) one thing lead to another and of course a huge argument had to take place before he would say anything at all and then it was, "Can you do this so she will get off of my back". Not exactly in those words, but it definitely gave that sort of tone. A week later the dishes would start piling up again. We went round and round about it for a year or so until we had an argument one day with his son there and my husband said, "Well if I buy him his own dishes then can he have them in his room?" At that point I realized I was fighting a losing battle and if I continued someone would be murdered. I also realized that my relationship with my husband was important to me and I didn't want to damage it any further than I already had by nagging and arguing all the time so I decided to bite my tongue and keep it moving, thinking to myself only a couple of years to go. Now the oldest boys are both gone (big sigh of relief).

To my surprise, the man that didn't expect anything from his own son by way of household chores or anything else now expects the world from my youngest son. His expectations are extremely high and he watches him like a hawk. Everything he does he doesn't do right and everthing he doesn't do he tells him things like, "All I expect you to do is try". I'm confused. Where did these high standards come from? Am I missing something?

The last 3 years have been miserable. He nags him to death. He calls his name at least 10-20 per day asking him questions like, "Weren't you told to.........?" When I bring it to my husband's attention he becomes defensive and says, "Well how come you didn't say anything?"

I often remind him of how our lives were when his son was a part of it and he says well yeah I was afraid he would go and live with his Mom that's why I never made him do anything. Or yeah that was because I was afraid of damaging our relationship because it was just him and I for so long. Or the classic, "That was different".

I am at my wits end. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

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Brittany - posted on 07/13/2012

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..I'd say he thought you were right all along, and probably honestly was scared to damage his relationship with his son.

If you think he is being overly hard with your youngest - sit down with him and set rules of exactly what it is you two expect of him. Both promise not to go outside the boundaries of this and not to harass in ensuring he fulfills any more than his list of chores.

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