Step Son is killing my marriage!
I will try to keep this brief. This could become a long story, and I am writing out of desperation for some advice that will help.
My husband and I have only been together for just coming up on 3 years. We have been married since April of 07. I was about 3 months pregnant when we were married, a surprise that came into our life, but nonethless, the surprise that became the light of our lives.
We have 2 other children; my daughter is 14 (today) and his son is 13 (also today). My daughter is a great kid, good grades in school, helps around the house without asking, is there for me when I need her. I have had to raise her by myself for most of her life, so we are very close and she has alot of respect for me. His son, in a nutshell, has issues. His mom had him medicated for about 4 or 5 years. She carted him to doctor after doctor until one finally gave him medication. I know she is the exwife, so please dont' misconstrue me saying this because of that. But she is not very intelligent and I do not agree with her parenting (nor do I agree with medicating children) AT ALL. She also has 2 other young children both under the age of 10 that are on the same kind of medication. when I met my husband, he was on 7 pills a day. just about a year and a half ago, his regimine was changed (again becuase according to her nothing ever works) to 4 pills a day. one, primarily a sleeping pill.
My husband, up until this summer, did not have any custodial rights to his son, so could not fight any decisions to be made as far as this medication was concerned. The only way to do this, was to have him live with us. Of course, i want the boy to grow up and have the advantage of good parenting, but I can't deny that I have always had my reservations because I almost foresaw the events that have begun to unfold.
He came to live with us on a whim at the beginning of May. He thew a huge fit at his Mom's and she called late on a sunday...almost midnight--and said she couldn't take it anymore. Against my feelings, he went out to get him...gave him his way again. We agreed that he would move in over the summer after school. we did not live close to his school at all, so taking him there would not be an option. BUT because that is how the events unfolded, that's what happened. my husband had to take him 25 minutes one way out of his way every day to school and then go to work. I still shake my head when i think about that.
over the summer we had numerous issues...even when he was on the medication he was constantly breaking the rules, being mean to kids in the neighborhood, being rude to me and my daughter, and even his Dad. My husband didn't seem to priortize getting him off the meds. we were paying $150 for these pills a month with no child support; all a waste, because they weren't helping? finally, we were able to wean him off the sleeping pill. Then, it took about 6 weeks, but he has been off all medication for about 6 weeks now.
Of course, we did expect to have him develop a few more issues after the medication was removed. This is really the first time in many years that he is experiencing what it is like to be sober. these medications were controlled substances, that when even given to adults, note to handle with care. He has wanted to move back in with his Mom (because she will put him back on the meds rather than deal with him. give him a video game and he'll be OK), he fights us constantly about everything. Homework, minimal chores, following rules. he's rude and says he hates us, acts like a 7 year old most of the time. I honestly believe that because of the way his Mom has raised him, she has hindered his emotional development and he really does have the mind of a 7 year old.
i just didn't think it would take this long...nor did I think it would take this much of a toll on our relationship. The huge problem isn't really so much my step son, as it is the difference in mine and my husband's parenting style. i used to think that it was an advantage having 2 different points of view. now i see how wrong i was.
he is pretty laid back, and doesn't have much structure or follow through. this is of course, in my opinion. if you ask him, that is not how he is. He is to the point that he feels that i think that everything he does (and his son does) is wrong, and that i will never be happy. He says I rule with an iron fist, and that you can't even kick a wounded dog constantly if you expect it to grow. My steps son's mom did everything for the boy...cleaned his room, folded his clothes, made his food--EVERTYHING. i have been training my daughter and preparing her for life since she could walk, so i just don't get that. HE agrees that this is the main reason that he acts the way he does, so why doesn't he agree that being hard on him--some true TOUGH LOVE is what he needs?
He says that he is tired of me taking the issues that his son has out on him. I confess that I do. I have huge mounting frustration that just never goes away and I don't know what to do. even as I am writing this, I don't even know if this can be repaired. I am tired of every day being drama filled....over an hour every day of bull[filtered word] talking and talking and reasoning and sometimes yelling and scolding and it's just crazy!! I wanted to send him to boarding school and my husband is mortified that i would think such a thing. he said that he would rather us live in separate houses. i said "well, next time he really does punch you in the face, you tell me how you feel."
I know we need counseling, but money is an issue. Our insurance is terrible and doesn't have mental health coverage. My step son sees the school counselor a couple of times a week, but has now gotten to the point that he is trying to abuse it (to get out of class) and we have to monitor it.
My husband has tried reasoning and many many different approaches to try to control him. even my tough love approach, but he doesnt' follow through with it, how i feel he should. My problem is, things have gotten so bad for me personally that I just can't find right in the boy. Grant it, in my defense, it is hard for him to do anything and i mean anything on a consistent basis. the only thing he has follow through on is doign the complete opposite of what we ask. I have been harboring alot of hidden resentment that he is the cause of my failing marriage. I just really don't want him here anymore. his mom will not take him back, if that tells you anything. Her marriage was on the rocks, and now they are doing great!!!!
How do i develop that maternal love that can forgive and forget. I just never developed a bond with him and now i fear that it is too late. I will admit that some of that may be my fault, but how do i deal with all of this [filtered word] when everything is hitting the fan and i know it's not all my fault?? i knew i was in for a challenge, but honestly, I didn't think it was going to be this bad. This is almost as hard as dealing with an abusive husband. it's even started to affect the mood of of 14 month old son. he is a very intuitive child and can feel the damage that all of this is doing.
My daughter said to me the other day "mom, you must really love him. If i were you, I would have already picked my kids up and moved. this stuff is just crazy. It's abusive in a different way."
and she's right. but now my husband resents me and just doesnt' care. he says it doesn't change his feelings for me, but the talk of boarding school has changed him. i can feel it. i want to know what he would do if he were in my shoes? I told him that if my daughter ever caused this much turmoil in our family, i would make the same decision. not forever, just enough to make a drastic change.
I just don't know where all the love has gone. He doesn't see that ever since his son moved in, our house is no longer a home. we don't even have a sex life anymore because I am so stressed out that is the last thing on my mind. I am emotionally dead right now. I am numb and only remember feeling this numb shortly before I left my daughter's dad.
someone please help. i am desperate and lost and do not know what to do...if there is anything left that i can do.