raising a stepchild/stepson, who's mother deceased

MarG - posted on 01/13/2016 ( 6 moms have responded )

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I have been married to my husband since August 2014. My husband is actually raising a boy who is actually not his biological son. My husband used to be married to this boy but they divorced over 14 years ago. My husband and his ex-wife had 2 kids together who are now adults. After their divorce she had 2 other sons with 2 other different men. My husbands ex-wife passed away while DWI at that time, my husband being the sweet caring man that he is, took on this boy, who at the time was only 1 year old, since no one knew who the biological father was, and my husband had babysat this boy at times, and the boy only knew my husband in a male role.

The night of the death of the ex-wife/mother of the boy, she had actually asked my husband to go along with her and her friend as their designated driver; however, my husband not really a drinking man, said no.

Since the death of the ex-wife/the boy's mother, my husband has raised his two kids, now adults and this one boy by himself. He never remarried until 2014 when I came into the picture.

Although my husband will not admit it, I believe that my husband has let guilt get in the way of raising this boy, now my stepson. My stepson up until the time that I came into the picture, did not have structure, responsibilities, accountability, or discipline. He is now 10 years old and spoiled to the point that all he had to do was cry and my husband would feel sorry for him and he would get away with everything.

It has been 1 1/2 years since we met and then got married, yes we married in 2 months, and we have had nothing but trouble with this son. Trouble in school as to a lack of effort of doing his school work and home work, as well as his behavior. This is the second year going through all of this at school. This year, his report cards have been F's in all classes. No joke! He has been sent to Deans office a number of times, and talk about me receiving emails from his on his behavior and lack of effort.

He doesn't respect me nor my husband. Takes things for granted and has this sense of entitlement. Does not say thank you to me for his Christmas gifts or anything for that matter. When I first met this boy, he began to destroy my personal property and furniture at my house, and the first time I caught him, my husband said "if I tell him anything, he will cry".

This is what I am dealing with. I raised my 2 sons who are now 26 and 30, so I know what it is to raise boys. The problems and issues we have with this kid, I can honestly say that I never experienced with my sons.

We have taken away all his electronic usage, etc. but still nothing phases him. I do not believe in rewarding bad behavior or bad grades, so we even cancelled the family vacation.

Does anyone have any ideas as to how to deal with this? I'm exhausted and ...........

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MarG - posted on 01/14/2016

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We have strict him from all of his likes... As to the family vacation it was going to be Disney World and that would have been more of a treat for my son than anyone else. I don't believe in rewarding, unless you have earned it. I'd rather spend time at home as a family than treating him like that, after him not making an effort at school.

Dove - posted on 01/14/2016

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Um... that's why she ASKED about guardianship. You could simply have said 'yes, he has legal guardianship'....

A child having issues can be a HUGE strain on a marriage. If I was having issues w/ my child and the counselor said they had no idea... I would keep looking until there was someone that would help.

If your husband is finally agreeing that consequences are needed for the behavior... that's a good step. What do you mean no one can make him do anything? He's 10... strip his room of everything other than his bed, a few outfits, and books... and he can sit his butt in that room other than for meals, bathroom breaks, and school until he complies w/ whatever it is that he needs to do. If your husband will not stay firm on consequences... nothing will ever improve though.

I wouldn't have cancelled a family vacation. Time together bonding as a family would probably help for everyone.

MarG - posted on 01/14/2016

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Evelyn, I never said that we didn't have guardianship, in fact I never mentioned anything about guardianship.

My point was that, that's the kind of man my husband is, that he would take on someone elses' child and raise him, than for that child to go into a foster system. Yes, the child's maternal grandmother is aware of this as well. In fact, she never fought for this boy, so the boy being half-brother to my husband's 2 biological kids (same mother different father), my husband decided to raise this boy.

Ev - posted on 01/13/2016

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What I do not understand is how this man is raising a child legally not his and legally able to do so for so long? Does he have guardianship?

MarG - posted on 01/13/2016

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I know that was really soon to marry my husband. This is my 2nd marriage. My first marriage I dated my ex-husband for 5 years to the date we got married, and you think you know a person just because you date them that long?? No!

My husband now, I knew that although his son was spoiled, that my husband is the type of man with a heart of gold, to take on a kid who isn't even his with the mother being gone and raising him on his own, and doesn't drink, is very domesticated, hard worker and great provider, I can go on and on.

The only issue we have in our marriage is this son. NOTHING else. My husband has been realizing now what his son is, however, stills reacts on that guilt.

Yes I knew the destruction part of my son, however, I also figured that God placed me in this boys life for a reason.

We have attended counseling but no help. In fact, we stopped going to counseling because the counselor said about my son "I have nothing" "I don't know what to say". So we stopped. Only thru counseling my husband now agrees with structure, responsibilities, and accountability. Getting my son to do these things are a totally different story.

Dove - posted on 01/13/2016

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Why did you marry this man after only 2 months if the first time you met his son he was destroying your property? Not that that REALLY matters at this point, but it seems as if you were pretty aware of the disastrous situation you were joining.

It sounds like the three of you would greatly benefit from some serious family counseling and individual counseling as well.

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