My 16yo stepson hates me

Elise - posted on 11/16/2015 ( 1 mom has responded )

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I am 34yo and have no children of my own, so I'm a first-time parent to teenage boys and the learning curve is steep. My stepsons, ages 16 and 17, moved in with me and their father this past spring when we learned of the abusive environment in the house they lived in with their mother and her boyfriend. They have had a rough time the past several years with their mother caring more about her romantic relationships and allowing her boyfriend to verbally and physically abuse both boys. The 17yo and I have developed a great relationship and he even tells me that I am his 'mom' rather than 'stepmom.' The 16yo and I have experienced some rocky times in our relationship. Sometimes we get along great, but if he doesn't get his way then he throws temper tantrums of epic proportions. There are only two triggers for this behavior: his grades and his girlfriend. I was raised in a home where school came first, and we were always expected to have all A's, maybe a few B's, but I realize that I can't impose this standard on the boys. All me and his father expect is that they have no grades lower than a C. He has been receiving multiple D's and F's since the beginning of the school year and has not completed several assignments, and we have had to ground him a few times (a week, maybe two) from going out with friends until he brings his grades up, and this is where the problem with the girlfriend comes in. She lives an hour away in another state so they do not get to see each other often in person, but they FaceTime ALL THE TIME. They are terrifyingly co-dependent, bordering on outright obsession. When she is not allowed to visit because he is grounded then he takes it out on me, calling me a "f***ing b**ch" who is trying to "ruin his life." He says that it isn't fair that he can't do whatever he wants to, whenever he wants to, and that he has to see her because he will die without her, and they cry together for hours on FaceTime when this happens. He told me tonight that I have turned his father into a "p*ssy," simply because his father agrees with the expectations for school and that he and his girlfriend are in an unhealthy relationship in terms of co-dependence. When I talk to my my husband about the complete lack of respect from his son, he tells me to ignore it. Sometimes I'm able to, but other times the 16yo will make personally hurtful attacks (e.g. my weight, that I deserved to be beaten as a child, etc) and it is nearly impossible to ignore some of these. I don't know what to do. I love the family we have, and life is great for the most part, with the exception of his hostility toward me. I want us to have a better relationship more than anything, and it breaks my heart to hear the vitriolic words he throws my way. Any advice is greatly appreciated!

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Nicole - posted on 11/16/2015

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Wow that is rough, especially since your husband chooses to ignore this behavior which it sounds like is beyond disrespectful to you. I am sure he is trying to push the limits since he is in a new environment and probably harbors hostility from the experience he has had in his mothers house. However your husband should be setting limits and expectations with him so this behavior is not reinforced. It sounds like you really care about the boys and that you are trying to do what is right for them. They are lucky to have you.

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