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Problem with husband's son from prior marriage
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Problem with husband's son from prior marriage

I am hoping someone will have dealt with a similar situation...

My husband's 19 year old son from a previous marriage barely speaks to my husband. It is a LONG story but he blames me for his father leaving his mother. Nothing I would say to him is going to change that and his viewpoint is completely valid from his point of view (and I would never share with him what I know about his mother: his father should have filed for divorce the first time he left her back when "M" was a baby. There is a reason his father has custody of "M"'s sister (now 10, she was almost 7 when they split up).

When "M" found out my husband and I got married, he told his father that he was dead to him and didn't talk to him for many months. They saw each other in person in January and things went okay but nothing since then. The son lives in another state. When my husband calls him he gets voicemail and leaves a message but his son never returns the call. If we text his phone and ask him to call to talk to his sister, he will but usualy he says "Hi I've got to go" if my husband gets on the phone.

Anyway, we are now expecting a child and my husband is afraid to tell his son. Everyone else in the family knows, but those I have talked to I have asked not the tell "M" because I feel that if he finds out from someone other than his father he will be even more upset than he will be anyway. I want my husband to talk to him soon...and suggested that he emphasize that "M" will have another little brother or sister....rather than saying Chis and I are expecting a baby.

Any suggestions from anyone?
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This is a bad situation for all involved, but I think the more you "tip toe" around your step-son, the worse it will be.  He's an adult and should be able to accept what has happened and if not, then he needs to seek help.  Often in situations like this, the more you reach out to someone....the more they pull away. I think once the son realizes that your lives are going to go on...with or without him, he will come around.  I think it's time to tell him that you understand how he feels and will respect his wishes and not persue him any longer.  Tell him he is always welcome in your home, and he should remain in contact with his little sister.  You can't make him want a relationship, nor can you keep worrying about how things are going to affect him, he's a man now, it's time to grow up.  The son is enjoying the "chase" and it's time for tough love from your husband.  I'm not taking this lightly, but it's time he stop blaming the wrong people and accept what is.  Don't expect "M" to be happy about the baby or even consider accepting it as a brother or sister. Your husband needs to let him know he is loved, and always welcome and is part of the family, but it's totally his decision as to how much he wants to participate as a member of it, and you both will respect what he chooses to do.  I hope your husband isn't carrying any guilt, this boy has learned to play the game and get everyone to "tip toe" around his wishes.  It's not all about him, it's about a family that he has the opportunity to be a part of.  I feel so bad for you being blamed and caught in the middle, it's sad.  Everyone truly needs to stop catering to his whims, so he can have some time to think about all of this and maybe see the light.  The sooner this happens, the sooner he can accept what has happened.  I think he blames you only because he finds it hard to blame one of his parents and accept that one (or both) of them were in the wrong.  This should be such a happy time for all of you and not clouded by this 19 year old man stomping his feet because life isn't how he wants it.  I hope this helps, and I wish you and your husband all the best.  Take care.
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Avatar_f_tn
This is a bad situation for all involved, but I think the more you "tip toe" around your step-son, the worse it will be.  He's an adult and should be able to accept what has happened and if not, then he needs to seek help.  Often in situations like this, the more you reach out to someone....the more they pull away. I think once the son realizes that your lives are going to go on...with or without him, he will come around.  I think it's time to tell him that you understand how he feels and will respect his wishes and not persue him any longer.  Tell him he is always welcome in your home, and he should remain in contact with his little sister.  You can't make him want a relationship, nor can you keep worrying about how things are going to affect him, he's a man now, it's time to grow up.  The son is enjoying the "chase" and it's time for tough love from your husband.  I'm not taking this lightly, but it's time he stop blaming the wrong people and accept what is.  Don't expect "M" to be happy about the baby or even consider accepting it as a brother or sister. Your husband needs to let him know he is loved, and always welcome and is part of the family, but it's totally his decision as to how much he wants to participate as a member of it, and you both will respect what he chooses to do.  I hope your husband isn't carrying any guilt, this boy has learned to play the game and get everyone to "tip toe" around his wishes.  It's not all about him, it's about a family that he has the opportunity to be a part of.  I feel so bad for you being blamed and caught in the middle, it's sad.  Everyone truly needs to stop catering to his whims, so he can have some time to think about all of this and maybe see the light.  The sooner this happens, the sooner he can accept what has happened.  I think he blames you only because he finds it hard to blame one of his parents and accept that one (or both) of them were in the wrong.  This should be such a happy time for all of you and not clouded by this 19 year old man stomping his feet because life isn't how he wants it.  I hope this helps, and I wish you and your husband all the best.  Take care.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you. I think my husband is giving him space...it is me that wants my husband to reach out more. Maybe my husband is right :) I just don't like the idea of someone directing that kind of anger at my unborn child. It is one thing for him to hate me...different when it is an innocent child.

I've never talked to my stepson except on the rare occasion when I have answered the phone when he calls to talk to his sister and then it is "Hello?" "Is "A" there?" "Yes, hold on." that is the full extent of our conversation :) I sent him a friend request/message once on Facebook and he didn't respond to me...but that is when he told his father he was dead to him.

I had hoped things would improve. When they saw each other in January, "M" and his mom were on the road moving from Wisconsin to Texas. At that time his son said he considered moving here with us instead but didn't think he mom would want to live here (I thought it was interesting that he thought he and mom could move in here?). Based on that, I think he knows he is welcome here...

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Avatar_f_tn
I think your husband is right.  By giving his son some space, he will also give him time to sort thru everything and accept what is.  I wouldn't like for someone to direct that kind of anger towards my child either, but at this point I think the more you try to make him want to be a part of the family, the more he will pull away.  He knows he is welcome and that's all you can do at this time, the rest is up to him.  He's being very disrespectful to his father and it doesn't sound like he deserves this, so why should he continue to put himself out there only to be hurt?  I hope things turn around for all of you, but it will take sometime.
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Avatar_f_tn
Well since his son seems to prefer communication via Facebook...my hubby sent him a message about some of the news he has posted and M responded. Today hubby asked him what he would think of a brother and/or sister...I will be happy if his reply is only mildly negative...something along the lines of "Aren't you a little old for that?"....I don't expect him to throw a party or anything...

Wish us luck! :)
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Avatar_f_tn
I do wish you luck, and I also think with time this will resolve itself.  Best wishes.
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285927_tn?1380802356
He is 19? He does not live at home? I would quit kissing his butt and live your life. Be polite and nice but dont eat his crap when he is rude. Life will teach him soon enuff what the truth is. Usually when he experiences it firsthand.
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1650191_tn?1301537561
Hi!

It is apparent that children and divorce are tricky issues. However, I think it's time that your husband take a firm stand as a father and talk to his son. Things should be clarified before your baby is born because this can complicate things further. I wish you all the best :)
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973741_tn?1342346373
Hm.  I guess you could say I have dealt with the situation . . but from the other side.  I was actually 18 when my parents split and 19 when his new wife became pregnant.  

Let me tell you how a 19 year old feels-------- while they are technically they are adults, they are kids inside.  They still long for that feeling they had when they were 10 years old that they were so important to their parents that they would do anything for them.  That they were the center of mom and dad's universe.  That the way they feel inside would matter more than anything to their parents.  That is what they desperately want.  No, it doesn't make sense as one can legitimately say they should be past that------  but the emotional wounds a child (whether they have passed the age of consent or not) feels from their parents break up is real.  It lasts a life time.  It can affect their adult relationships with significant others that they themselves have.  Their emotions are real and matter.

I get the sense that you believe this too.  I admire how you speak of your step son.  It is not full of anger for how he is treating his father or you which many would display.  I think it is an easy out to say he is an adult and he should get over this.  It is so much deeper than this.  Over the years in my profession, I can't tell you how many full adults------ some even elderly . . .that were trying to get over what happened between their parents and the aftermath of their break up.  It is so hard.  And as I said, I've been there myself.  Painful.

My father did the wrong thing when it came to this situation.  His idea was for us to be a happy family.  Okay, I'm a parent now and in my 40's, I get that.  But . . . it was not reality.  What I wanted was for Dad to love me and make it clear he loved me SEPERATE  from his new wife and new child.  Your husband should "court" his boy.  Try to set up some things to do just the two of them.  Take him to a ball game, out to dinner, spend quality time with him.  He may not be receptive right away------  but a constant presence of saying "I love you.  I care about you.  You matter to me." will win him over eventually.  

And what you can do from your position is just be supportive of your husband having this relationship with his firstborn son.  And be there with a smile on your face waiting for him to return home.  And if his son ever comes to your home, be friendly and kind to him.

Look at him like he is a lost 5 year old boy.  Because that is what he is inside.  He's having emotional difficulty dealing with how life has turned out.  Treat that with kid gloves.  I disagree with those who say be firm, strong with this boy.  It will make him move on and never come back.  He needs to have a soft place with your husband and you to emotionally heal and grow.  And honestly, lots depends on it.  How he treats his future wife, whether he can sustain a long term relationship himself, etc.  are riding on his healing.  

I wish you luck with your baby.  I think you will be a terrific mother. You are showing the clear signs of a caring person in the way you wrote your post here.  That is essential to being a great step parent as well as parent.  good luck
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