My Fiance's son disrespects me...

Peggy - posted on 07/23/2010 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I am getting married at the end of August to a WONDERFUL man. I have a 16 yr old son, and a 6 & 8 yr old daughter. My kids adore him. My girls call him daddy and my son is excited that he is going to have a step-dad as i have never been married before. The problem is my fiance's son. He disrespects me at all costs every chance he gets. My kids and I are in counseling as my last relationship prior to my fiance was VERY abuse. I have asked the counselors how to handle the situation and have tried every suggestion and nothing works. I have a set of house rules that are posted in my house...my kids are pretty good at following them but bottom line is that they know that if the rules are broken there is a consquence for thier actions based on the severity of the rule that was broken. my fiance and I have talked about the disregard that his son has for these house rules as well as the disrespect but always has an excuse for his son..."well he didn't think it didn't apply to him"..."He lives with his mother so he isn't used to rules"...It isn't like i am asking the kid to do extrodinary things...they are simple things....i.e. Take shoes off when you come in door...no eating and drinking in living room when little ones are up...pick up after yourself...respect mom & dad...etc. I have never once made my fiance pick between his son or me and i never would. My parents were divorced and my mom had boyfriends when i was his son's age but if i ever disrespected them I was told that was wrong. I have told his son that I know that i am not his mother but i am an adult and i do expect respect...he laughed at me...his dad did nothing...what i don't get here is that my fiance is VERY good with my kids...we have the same discipline ideas...he is very active in their counseling, school, etc. But every other weekend when he has his son...discipline isn't in his vocabulary....it is always something that my kids cause his son to do...I know i only have about 3 years left and that is what keeps me hanging on and i sometime think that my 16 yr old maybe an example but i am beginning to wonder...I hate when my girls come to me and ask why his son didn't have a consquence for something that they have received consquences for...Can anyone help me please....

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Krista - posted on 07/23/2010

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The problem isn't the kid -- it's your fiance. A lot of times when guys share custody, they don't want to discipline the kid, because they don't want to "ruin" the short time that they have together. And if the mother doesn't have rules, then that doesn't help.

I would say it's time to sit down with the fiance and have a serious, serious talk (or bring him to the counselor with you, if needs be.)

Regardless of his relationship with you, that boy HAS to learn that when he is in someone else's home, he is required to follow their rules. It does not matter if it's your house or a stranger's house -- it is socially unacceptable to go into someone else's home and flout their house rules. And your fiance is doing a MAJOR disservice to his kid by not teaching him basic respect for other people -- this is the type of thing that can carry through as an adult and make things very difficult for him in social settings. So unless your fiance wants his kid to grow up to be the type of socially stunted jerk who doesn't know how to conduct himself in social settings, then he'd better wake the hell up and start teaching his kid those skills.

Jodi - posted on 07/23/2010

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Been down that road. Still battle it occasionally. Krista is absolutely correct, the problem is your fiance. I have a blended family, and my step-son has VERY different rules at his mother's house. It has taken me a long time, but he understands now that the rules apply to everyone in this house. Honestly, it doesn't work when there are one set of rules for one kid, and another set of rules for the rest (well there kind of are, because it is all age dependent too sometimes). Your fiance needs to understand this, and as Krista said, if it means getting him to the counsellor, then do it.

Louise - posted on 07/23/2010

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I agree with Krista your fiance is frightened of upsetting his sons feelings by making him stick to the house rules. Sit down with your fiance and tell him how the other kids are feeling and that he is enpowering his son to carry on like this. I know your finance will feel like he is inbetween a rock and a hard place but at some point he has got to take control. For the sanity of the family all kids should be treated the same. Maybe try a family night where you all sit down together and talk things through. It amy help your fiance if he hears it from your children how confused they are about the relationship between him and his son and them.

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Peggy - posted on 07/25/2010

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I have tried to tell him several times that even though his son is 15 he doesn't have a choice in whether he comes to dad's or not yet. It was never that way when i was younger. If you had plans with mom, dad, or anyone else in the family that trumped everything else that I did. Again, I am told that he doesn't feel like he has control when he does...I am hoping the by him attending a few of my counseling session with me it will make his see that he is a good dad and that he does have control and options.

Kelina - posted on 07/24/2010

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How was his relationship with hos dad before you came into the picture? you can only lead a horse to water you can't make him drink, but I think it would be good for your fiance to plan something just him and his son once a month at least when he is at your house. I know you say he's got better things todo, but chances are this is a defence mechanism. That way, if dad cancels, it doesn't hurt as much, and he also doesn't have to try to develop a relationship with his dad. In other words, he is reinforcing his own idea that dad is replacing him with a newer better family. He shouldn't be given the option for whether or not to do that outing with his dad. That's part of being a family.
The thing is, your consequences aren't overly limited with his son, only extended groundings would not work. things, like not allowing him to go out, not allowing him on the computer for the rest of the weekend are still viable options. (My dad was remarried to my step-monster who wasted no time in punishing me) Maybe your fiance should try a little less harder. His son is 16 and pulling away. He needs to know that his dad is there for him and loves him, but the harder your fiance tries, the harder he is going to get pushed away. He will come back when he is ready.

Peggy - posted on 07/24/2010

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I understand what you are saying but I don't know that I totally agree with rules not applying because he isn't part of the family...My fiance has been living with us for alittle over a year and half...house rules that are in place are just simple common sense and courtesies that every child should have. His son is a part of this family...he spends every other weekend here when his dad has him...however when his dad plans to do something with him (i.e. just the two of them) his son has better things to do...it is the same when we plan to do family things. I have encouraged my fiance to keep trying but again he is feeling like he lost control and influence when he left the house.

No his son will not be attending the counseling sessions...It will just be my fiance and I....that is what was recommended by my counselor.

I don't feel that his son feel as if he is forgotten...that is actually of the contrary...my fiance tries to call him during the week and he won't call him back...he tries to send him text message as it seems that is how teeanages communicate and he won't send a text message back. It isn't that my fiance isn't trying because he is... my fiance has admitted that he feels like he doesn't have any control or influence on how his child is raised.

My girls understand that while the rules are even across the board there are some that are different than their brother's because he is older...i.e bedtime...the things that my kids are complaining about are things that apply to everyone...i.e. no arguing with mom & dad, not touching other peoples things...they get reprimanded for these things and get consquences however when my fiance's son does these things...nothing happens...that is where my issue is cuz then my girls think they can get away with it too...obviously our consquences are limited with his son but there are still options and he should be told what he did wrong and that the next time it happens "x" is going to happen. Just as it is with ALL my kids.

JuLeah - posted on 07/24/2010

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Your future husband does not wish to see the problem. You future son does not want things to change between him and his dad. He lives with his mom, but knows his dad is there, waiting, loving him.

Now his dad will be playing with, spending time with three other kids - including a son to replace him.

Of course this boy wants you to leave.

Your kids will need to understand that it takes time to blend families and sometimes the rules won't seem fair, or even apply to this boy, as he is not really a part of your family yet.

Dad and son need time alone like it use to be. This kid needs to know he won't be forgotten because the new kids have shown up.

Will your husband and his son attend a counseling session with you?

Your husband might feel a lot of guilt about his boy? Maybe his weekends of no rules are his way of making up for that?

It can take years to blend a family, so hang on. Remember, 'bad' behvaior is most always the result of fear.

Krista - posted on 07/24/2010

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Fantastic news! I hope that the counselling helps. From your point of view, I think it is probably best if you position it as what is best for the boy, so that your fiance doesn't think you don't like his kid. What is best for the child is to be taught boundaries, and to be taught how to behave around other people. Your fiance may think that he has no influence on him, but he does.

I hope things work out -- please keep us posted.

Peggy - posted on 07/24/2010

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I have had a chance to talk with my fiance and he is willing to attending counseling sessions...which under the circumstances I feel it is best as when his son is brought up it is not always a calm conversation...he gets very defensive and refuses to see things the way that my kids and I do...I agree with you all...he is the issue here but he won't parent him because he feels as if he has not influence on him anymore since he only sees him twice a month...I told him that he was wrong...i brought up him going to counseling with me and he is all for it...Thanks for all the advice and assuring me that I wasn't the bad parent here...I do what i can for my kids but I think that things should be fair across the board regardless if you leave here or not...but was starting to think that was the wrong way of thinking.

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