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War of wills between DH and my son (his ss). HELP

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi , I am asking advice for my partner , he´s stepdad to my 4 older kids , father to our mutual daughter .

My oldest son loves him , no problems there , my youngest son (age 10) is fine with him except for the occasional father-son disagreement , and my older daughter is really Daddy´s girl . Now , my second son on the other hand is making things hard for him , wherever and whenever he can . My partner really is trying , but my  little , 12-year-old monster is making life hard for him every chance he gets . My DH is a softie and insecure , and he really wants to do a good job and my son , who has the same strong personality as me , really feeds on that . 

We had a very hard life for a long time and my partner is trying to make it as good for us as possible , but DS disobeys and badmouthes him , makes him feel stupid and unwanted every chance he gets .

We try to be consistent , we stick together on the rules , but it´s soooo hard sometimes , on everybody and on our relationship . I love my man and I love my son , but I feel like a referee sometimes , like being pulled in two directions . 

Oh , their father is completely out of the picture , he got killed in Irak , when my daughter was just born , so my DH is the only father figure , they´ve ever really known .

HELP , how do you handle the dynamics with a pre-teen ????

post #2 of 9

12 can be a really hard age anyway without any other issues. How does your 12 year DS treat everyone else? Is your DH the only one he is rude to? How long has your DH been part of the family? Have you told you DS that he can like or dislike whomever he wants, but he can't be rude to people? If the marriage is new sometimes it's hard or scary to accept a new adult as a family member. If you've been remarried for awhile or the disrespect is new it could just be because your DS is 12.


My DDs are 5 and 24. I didn't get remarried until my oldest was 16. She was already having issues related to her age. Some kids just have a really hard time being a preteen or teen. Sometimes counseling helps.  

post #3 of 9

I was awful to my stepdad at that age, he was consistent and firm but with no hitting or yelling.  My Mom took on the biggest stuff, but really it was the age and he was an easy target.  We are now very close as adults.  Good luck to your DH. 

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

My son likes to tease the younger siblings as well , always wants to be the boss .

And he does things to them , that he hinks , is funny , except when they do it back to him , with me he is not so bad , because he knows , I won´t put up with it .

My partner and I have been living together for about 2 years now , however , the kids have known him as a friend for about 4 years , we wanted them to get used to him , before we would tell them , that we are dating  .

I think , the biggest problem is , that we had it rough many times before , not between the kids and I , but life and we really had to stick together , which we did and since my oldest is 100% handicapped , my now 12-year-old kind of took of the role of "man in the house" .

Maybge that is one reason , he does not want to give up his role , but how do I put up with it ?

I feel sorry for my man , he is such a sweet guy and he tries soooo hard to give the kids a father figure they never had before .

post #5 of 9

Could he be thinking that dp is trying to replace his father?  Perhaps dp should make it clear that he in no way wants to replace the father, but that he does care about ds.  Have dp and ds have some time alone together, maybe get him to teach ds some things.  Whatever dp is good at and ds is interested in.  Get them some "man time" and let them start building a relationship that is clearly set as dp being an ally, not a father to ds. 

post #6 of 9

His behavior is unacceptable regardless of his age.  He needs to respect his stepdad even if he doesn't like him. Also, being a middle child is a battle-zone already so there's a lot of psychology mixed into this one.  He needs to see that the other siblings get more attention when they interact positively with the step dad and that negative actions = no attention.  So, when he is rude or negative, you can discipline him, and then do something with the step dad and the other kids that is fun to reinforce that positive actions = better relationship.

post #7 of 9

Oooh I don't agree with that at all. Doing something "fun" with everyone but him is only going to make things worse.  Also I strongly feel that shunning is cruel and never called for. Now, if everyone is doing something fun together and he starts being rude, then yes, he needs to go sit it out for a while until he can be civil. But to discipline him and THEN all do something fun that excludes him is only going to bring a world of trouble more than they already have.


I think a huge part of it is the age though. I totally agree with a pp who said you need to make it very clear to him that he can dislike your DH if that is how he feels but the rudeness is not okay.

post #8 of 9

Has anyone talked to the boy to see what's going on with him?

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

There have been many times , when we have all had family meetings . He has always said , that he doesn´t have anything against my partner .

I think , the biggest problem is , we used to have to depend on each other so much , with everything that was going on , so he was almost like the "man of the house" and I believe , that he doesn´t want to give that position up .

He is a very strong-willed person and also very selfish in many ways , as difficult as that is to admit for me as his mother , but he really is .

Plus , my hubby is really trying to do a good job and he can probably feel that . I keep telling my partner , that you can be the best parent in the world , if tthose little rats don´t cooperate , that´s it winky.gif.

His father has been out of the picture for many years , I don´t even think , he remembers him . He died , when he was 5 and he spent a long time before that on duty in Irak , so I don´t think , that´s the problem , either .

Maybe he is afraid , that if he gets too attached to my new partner , he gets hurt , if he loses him , too ? (Just a thought , that just popped in my head )


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