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Old 03-17-2011, 08:13 PM   #1
ciws14
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Default 18 Year Old Step Son & mother issues

I married a girl whom had son that was 4 when we got together. He has never had a relationship with his biological father and I tried my best to fill in the gaps. My step son would try and try, but his dad would reject him. His mother and I decided it would be best to back off for awhile as his dad had (4) other kids by (2) other women and was pretty occupied.

Long story short, I did my best to help raise him as best I knew. I petitioned for legal guardianship of him in case anything ever happened and they couldn't reach my wife. It was difficult as my father died when I was 21 so I didn't really have anybody to get suggestions from. My wife has (3) brother's but nobody talks to each other. Very strange family to say the least. So I did the best I could. He was great having him grow up and look up to me and I grew as much as he did I think. From day one, my wife would keep certain things quiet between my step son and her. If he got a bad grade, she would keep it from me, a letter from school, etc.

This continued to happen over the years and the past couple of years has really spiraled. At first he wanted an ear ring which I was against until he was 18. I am very conservative that way and did not care for ear rings on a child. My wife and I went round and round about it for hours just to find out that she took him the night before and took him to get the ear ring put in. I was not so happy to say the least. Not only for her getting him the ear ring, but for letting us argue about it for a couple of hours knowing that it was already done.

Soon after that, my Step son's behavior began to decline. He would seldom talk to me unless he needed money or something done to his car, etc. His attitude changed. The rules we set forth when he got his car was that he was supposed to get a job to help pay for the gas, insurance and things related to the car. He drug his feet in getting the job and racked up over $1000 in car insurance and repairs that I had to pay for as he had no money. And once again, my wife stood between us and took his side.

My wife had an extensive collection of antique coins from around the world and one day, while in my gun safe, I noticed things had been rearranged. Not only are my firearms in a locked safe, but all the firing pins are removed and trigger locks are on all the guns. The guns had been shifted around, but more importantly, the coin containers were moved. Some how they had figured out a way to get into my vault and they took almost all her coins and ran down to the local pawn shop to sell them. Him and his friends then went on a shopping spree. We had cornered both his friends and him about it and they quickly fessed up. Problem was the pawn store would not release the coins back to us without a police report. I then found out my step son had a fake ID that he used to sell the coins. So if we filed a police report, they would have arrested him. This did cross my mind as possibly a viable form a punishment, but as usual, my wife jumped in.

A couple months after that, him and his friends decided to steal an Android phone from a local YMCA they had a membership at. What they didn't realize is that phone are easily tracked and the police quickly caught up with it. My step son lied and lied about being involved at all and he blamed his friends for all of and said he had nothing to do with it. I noticed before he bought some items from Craigslist, so I called him over and told him to log into his Craigslist account. He fiddled a bit and finally did and low and behold, there was an ad for an Android phone. So we called the police and explained the situation and went to the station where he was interviewed. The charges were subsequently dropped and they returned the phone to the owner. All the time my wife believed him and was convinced with was everybody's else doing it and not him. When she found out that it was him, she was more pissed at the guy for leaving the phone laying around then she was for her kid stealing it!!!

About 9 months went by and he was staying up the road at a friends house that he stayed at alot. I was awoken by knocking at my door at 3am. It was his friends and they had been crying. They said he had a siezure and an ambulance was on the way. I flew out of the house and drove over there to see my kid in a major seizure as the EMT's secured him. The rushed him to the hospital and I went up to his friend and his parents said they found a package of must have had smoked some of that synthetic marijuana. My step son had a very bad reaction to it and his body began shutting down. He pulled through thank god to some good doctors and completely recovered. We had grounded him for a long time after that as his friends parents did the same to their kids.

He turned 18 in January and we agreed to up his curfew to midnight as long as he behaved. I was up early one Saturday morning and hear my wife's phone beeping with a new text message. I picked it up to see who it was from and it was from my step son. As I read I was shocked to see he spent the night with a buddy and they had been drinking so they decided to stay there till morning. I am happy they had brains enough for that. When I confronted my wife about it, she again saw nothing wrong with it. She told me he let her know they were going to be drinking over there and she didn't see the big deal. We got into a huge fight about that and are still reeling from that. We began talking about it again tonight and I found out that this has happened at least (5) other times.

What am I missing here? Should I not be as pissed off as I am? Alcohol and drug addiction run strong in her family. Alcohol problems run in my family as well, so I do not push my luck. A (6) pack of beer with last 9 months in this house and have to be thrown out. I do not keep alcohol here as I do not want the temptation to anybody who comes over. I can't hardly be pissed at my Step son as him mother has pretty much welcomed this behavior, but I'm at wits end with my wife's stupidity. We have been trying for a child of our own for months now and now I'm thinking if I really want to bring a child into this world with her. I am at a loss right now as to what to do. Any suggestions? Am I over reacting???

p.s. Sorry about the long, rambling post...
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:56 PM   #2
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Default Re: 18 Year Old Step Son & mother issues

First of all, kudos for you for being there and doing your best to replace something for this boy. Weather he knows it or not, he appreciates it but probably won't look at it like that for a long time. I was raised by a step father, i know my dad, but he was barely there, ever. He sent child support checks, gifts for occasions, really that was about it.

I have been a step parent with my eight year olds dad, and am again. Me and my boyfriend (four years together) talk a lot about this with the ours and yours kid thing. The bottom line, in my opinion is going to sound sad but i keep seeing it true over and over again. We made an agreement two years ago, that respect is an absolute with our kids towards each other, but when it comes to who makes the decisions, disciplines and does the primary communication with our kids, is only the primary parent. We have had some conflicts, but we always talk it out calmly later.

The lack of a primary parent being in a childs life, no matter how good of a supplement you have been, creates problems, you carry a sort of empty spot around with you for a long time. No matter how much you love this boy, he will see you as the parent that isn't actually his parent. The break down in you and your wifes communication over all of this is not something to be ignored, and it certainly isn't right. While i may call all the shots with my own kid, and him with his, we still communicate with each other about it. The bottom line though is we have agreed that as they get older we may handle some things differently, and that is okay.

The battle of "it is my kid i get to make the decisions" is such a sensitive spot, it very rarely bends. THAT is a battle that is rarely won. My mother actually put my step father as a teenager in more charge of me than her, resentment and bitterness is all it created. To this day i do not consider him my father, i respect his love for my mother, i tolerate him, but i honestly don't like him much.

I realize this is obviously a very emotional and delicate issue, and you are dealing with a kid (well he is legally an adult now actually), that is showing signs of spiraling out of control a bit. I understand the fear, but kids in college at 19 and 20 aren't doing anything much different. (i'm actually 35 and at a university surrounded by this age group..lol)

The siezure thing is scary, completely. I'm sorry your going through this.

I think the bottom line is (from my opinion on a short story about a long relationship) is deciding calmly between you and your wife if this chasm of communication loss between you can be repaired. If it comes down to a choose your way or how she wants to have a relationship with her son? you will probably lose. so i suppose you ask yourself, our we just too different to bring another child into the world?

hope that helped. I'm sure some very experienced and brilliant other people will be in here shortly to help further.

P.S. I read this to my boyfriend, he says:

From your position and the kid that you love and have raised since he was four, tell your wife and the boy that no matter what you do i'll be here for you if things get really tough, you can't push your ideals and agendas on this. It will help them both feel that they are safe to come to you in need, and to communicate. Very simple, but very effective rather than dissecting how to fix things, when it comes to a mother and HER son, you be as open as possible to being there to help them through it when they need it the most. Your never going to be that dad he has been searching for, you can't replace that, but you can be his friend.

Last edited by artistinspired; 03-17-2011 at 10:03 PM..
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Old 03-18-2011, 12:06 AM   #3
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Default Re: 18 Year Old Step Son & mother issues

tough one... well let me just say this first...theres gotta be some respect for u as a parent. im sure u know this....if u feel strong about something and she does too...and then she lets him do it b/c she doesnt mind, thats gonna lead to some major "disrespect" issues between u and ur stepson. hes gonna see that mom gives him his way and so hes just not gonna respect ur desiisions sooner or later. but the thing is..theres gotta be some compromise between u and ur wife. take the piercing for example.... in my opinion it shouldnt just be one person makin the decision. its gotta be both coming to a conclusion. hes just bein a typical teenager going through his phases. its a normal thing lol. but i think a reality check is in need here esp. with her. i get that most moms favour there sons...but in the end its just encouragin the bad behaviour + makin u look like "the bad guy".... talk it out w her
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Old 03-18-2011, 07:04 AM   #4
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Default Re: 18 Year Old Step Son & mother issues

i guess i'll be not much of a help here... but you mentioned such things as... school grades, an earring... how they had to hide that from you? maybe if you had been more flexible about such insignificant things, you could have earned more respect? well, that's just my opinion.

anyway, at 18 you can help him pack his luggage and let him go. he's not a child anymore.
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Old 03-18-2011, 01:08 PM   #5
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Default Re: 18 Year Old Step Son & mother issues

I'm going to completely disagree with TabascoNatalie. I wouldn't say that any parent who considers poor grades and an earring insignificant is a bad parent. People can have different values and still be good parents. But the significant thing is to hold true to your values and to be consistent.

I don't think the drug abuse, stealing, lying, and general downward spiral are a result of the mom and son not respecting the father. I would say they are more the result of the inconsistency and enabling behavior of the mother. She created a culture of deceipt.

Children NEED limits. They crave them. They need to know that they are not in control of their ultimate environment. They want to believe that their guardians have power of those things. They will fight for control, but if they actually believe they have it, they become frightened and angry. They trust no one. They respect no one.
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Old 03-18-2011, 02:41 PM   #6
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Default Re: 18 Year Old Step Son & mother issues

I don't think your overreacting ciws14, your step son's had some serious near misses. I think you've earned the right to be counted and included in decisions that effect him.

Maybe you can convince your wife to go to family counseling with you. You can express yourself in a safe and controlled environment with someone who shouldn't be judgmental.

I think I'd also be concerned with raising another child with her as you say, will she act the same with the next one.
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Old 03-22-2011, 02:00 AM   #7
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Default Re: 18 Year Old Step Son & mother issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by MomoJA View Post
I don't think the drug abuse, stealing, lying, and general downward spiral are a result of the mom and son not respecting the father. I would say they are more the result of the inconsistency and enabling behavior of the mother. She created a culture of deceipt.
^^^ That ^^^.
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