Hi all! I'm new here and in desperate need of advice! My fiance and I have been together 1 1/2 years. He has no children and has been divorced for 8 years. My 13 year-old son has always had issues with disrespect & he has ADHD, takes meds for it & goes for counseling. He lives 50/50 with myself and his dad. We plan on doing a trial move in together to see how it goes. My fiance claims he wont marry me yet until my son starts respecting him. My son is well aware that he is partially to blame for my fiance's reluctance to get married. I know my man loves me, but is getting advice from his friends that it will never work with my son, he's too much of a handful. I know my son loves him, but has real issues with respecting him. My fiance has tried but will not commit fully until my child's behavior changes. I dont want to lose this man, but the back and forth is so hard on the kids. I have a 10 year-old girl who is an absolute angel. Please advise!
Thanks for your reply. He does try to involve my son, but my son hates sports! So it gets tricky trying to find things he's interested in. My fiance has a hard time dealing with my sons rude comments & takes it way too personally, although he does not accept it. I wonder if my son feels threatened by me being with another "man"?
Well, I think your fiance is being very honest with you. I think you should be honest with yourself here. Your first priority and responsibility is to create a home for your kids that has as little stress involved in it as possible. Whether your son is right or wrong, he is having an issue with this man. ADHD or not, this is not uncommon for kids and especially boys of that tender early age of 13 (he's a newbie teen) with a new man in mom's life. It is actually kind of classic. And with the disorder your son has, it then will be even more difficult. I do not think you can snap your fingers, beg, discipline, etc. this boy to grow sweet, accepting and welcoming to your fiance. You need to look at the situation AS IT IS now (which is almost worst case scenario . . . you do realize that some of the toughest years are about to happen in which kids can get in REAL trouble)--- rather than dreaming it will change, your fiance is saying he doesn't want to live like that. Rats. I know that hurts------ but it is the reality of the situation.
I do agree with Margypops that he may feel threatened. I also think that working on his 'respect issues' is something that you and his father must do.
Blending a family is really hard work. Sometimes it will work and sometimes it just won't. I don't know about this situation----- but I do think your fiance sounds like a man that sees peace in the home as important. He may feel as well that it is unfair for him to disrupt this boy's peace as well.
Could you not date your boyfriend for 5 years and marry and live together after your son leaves for college?
Anyway, this is hard. The only other thing I'd offer is to get some good reading material on ADHD for your fiance to read so he can understand that an adhd child doesn't respond the way (often) as other kids do. If he understands the disorder better, he may be able handle how he deals with things differently. And your son may grow to respect him for that. It also must be noted that due to your son's disorder, he is more fragile emotionally. ADHD kids deal with different stress than your average kid--- they often feel overwhelmed anyway and have sadness in their lives as they cope with the disorder. Keep that in mind as well for your son.
I don't think it's fair to pin your whole relationship on your son. When you have children you can't take everything they say or do personally. They don't mean half of what they say. Do you even mean everything you say? If he wants to marry you he is taking your son into his family and heart too. There shouldn't be any strings attached. we don't just dump our kids out the front door the second they make us angry because we still love them no matter what.
Lots of good advice from all. I do want to add that as someone who has not only been monitoring the ADHD forum for years, but also spent years teaching 13/14 year olds - this behavior is kind of normal.
I don't know when the disrespecting is going on. But as the meds start to wear off - so do the filters. Kids will do and say things before they actually have the time to filter out its not a good thing to do. Also, by the time he gets home, the stress of the day has built up, and its gotta be released. Many families report that the child is much worse at home then at school because the kid is trying so hard to fit in at school that when they get home - they blow up. Sports really help here, by the way.
And of course, he is 13. Disrespect is a learned behavior. He has gotten away with it somewhere. It is now a learned behavior that can be changed, but it takes time and effort to do so. Its even harder to do so if the filters are not in place.
Long story short, as specialmon said - your fiance (and maybe you) need to get more information about ADHD and how to work with it. A couple of sites worth checking out:
And, I always recommend the book, "The ADD/ ADHD Answer book," by Susan Ashley, for all of its info. Hope this also helps.
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