Avatar universal

Step Parenting/Is there something I am doing wrong?

Just to give a bit of background my husband and me have been together for 15yrs, married 8yrs. He has two kids from another women who came before me. Our little girl who is 18, and has a mind of her own. Then their is our 14 yr old son, who is still learning, and has  the biggest heart. Based on the numbers you can probably tell that I came into their lives before my son was born.

Their mom has always hated me, and when the relationship first got started she tried everything to get my husband to go back to her. Even though they were toxic for each other. They both are strong headed, dominant people who get angry easily (Just not a good mix). At that time I had told him that if he was going to leave me to leave me for her because I could understand that. It shocked him. He said it would never work between him and her and that he could never spend his life with her. So, I stayed with him.

It has been 15yrs since then and she has a man that she has been with for a while. I have grown close to the kids and truly feel like they are my own. I still know their is boundaries though and I always ensure to include their father in every decision regarding the kids. We never had any of our own, for a couple of reasons. But deep down my main reason was something their mom said stuck in my head. She once told my husband that she would ensure that if we had our own kids that both of theirs would know dad loves our kids more then them, because he stuck with them. Hearing that broke my heart, because I grew up with a mean and unloving step family. I never wanted to make them feel unloved by their dad. So, I decided they were the only kids I needed.

So, now you know the history. Last Aug we  bought an Xbox for our son. We created him his own account and placed our Pay pal account on the profile so that he could use the free subscriptions that came with it. The deal we made with him when we did all this was that he was not to give out the password to the account or to buy anything without permission. This weekend he broke our trust two purchases were made on our account totaling 50 dollars. He says his cousin did it because he gave him the password. The money for me is not the issue, as much as the fact he broke our trust. My husband wants him to learn from this and understand that he will have to earn back our trust. That is my feeling as well. My husband tried talking to the mom and she said well that is what ya get, you shouldnt have given him the account information.

Today, our son sends me a message asking about the charges, and saying his tia wants to know what they were for because his cousin is who made them. We were on our way to work, and my husband told me to call him and let him know that we were not worried about the charges but that he needed to learn from his mistake. My son's attitude was a I didnt learn anything, and I dont know why this is on me. I told him that he broke our trust and now he will not have access to a few things and that he needs to earn it back. That he was going to have to have child protection back on his accounts. He said fine whatever, and I still dont get why it is on me. I then told him that it is because he went against his word and did what he had said he wouldnt. He didnt respond so i told him, that i was going to tell his dad if he didnt learn from his mistake because he needs to understand what he did wrong. That I wasnt mad but hurt because he broke our trust.

After this conversation his mom called and jumped my case for hurting his self esteem. She went on to say that I had no right to tell him that the account was going to be in child mode. I want my son to learn from his mistake, and to learn that trust is earned and not owed to him. Am I wrong for how I am handling this? Is there something to what she is saying?

I remember when I broke my parents trust I was treated like a child. That was at age 17. They took all my rights from me, and I was grounded from so many things. I didnt even ground him I just told him that the Xbox was going to be placed in Child mode until we knew we could trust him, and that he would not have access to our Vudu account. I told him Dad was going to talk to him when he came over, and that he wants to ensure he learned from his mistake. I dont know it is on my mind because I love those kids and she makes me feel like I am hurting them and not helping to build them up. What are your thoughts?
5 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
Avatar universal
UPDATE EVERYONE: Got to see my son the first time since this all happened. I gave him back the VUDU information and told him to please keep his word and not give out the password. He is treating me a certain way because of his mom, but nothing that wont fade away again. It was almost like he was forcing himself to act that way toward me at times. Kind of funny, but kind of hurt too.

As for their mom, she hadnt tried to get in touch with us at all, until this week. The only reason she did this week was she needed money. My husband is still very upset with how she acted and decided not to respond to her. The money was for his daughters graduation stuff. He did communicate with his daughter, and gave her some to help out with the stuff.

Then this weekend was suppose to be our weekend with the kids but no one not even the kids let us know anything. Then when we asked they said they couldnt come because mom was taking them to a play (she always makes plans on our weekends without letting him know). Anyhow we said ok, but Saturday morning got hit with four text from his little girl stating that we were suppose to get them. After a bit of debating we decided to go get them. On the way This women texted Was it Yall weekend? Nobody never know anything anymore bc of lack of communication. I was proud of my husband because all he did was respond on the way to get them. He didnt play into another fight with her over the fact that it is not just our job to communicate. Although still a bit upset because he only didnt play into it because he doesnt want to communicate with her anymore.

Anyways, I guess as the kids get older they will make their own decisions. It sucks though because they are with their mom more often and they are learning alot from her. I just can hope they realize how unhappy she is and that her attitude has alot to do with it.
Helpful - 0
495284 tn?1333894042
Does the mother drink?
Helpful - 0
Not that we know of. She just seems extremely unhappy with life.
973741 tn?1342342773
Little late to the discussion but thought I'd chime in.  Whoa, mom of a 14 year old boy and a 16 year old boy.  It's a wild ride. and what happened between 14 and 16 still baffles me!  Prepare. lol  My sons are sweet, mama's boys in a way.  Well, my 16 year old was. But now?  He is dramatically asserting his independence. He comes back to me and is my babe again but spends an awful lot of time being separate and frankly, difficult.  Sigh. I mean, I can't tell you how often I practice deep breathing exercises to keep myself under control on the daily.  I say to prepare because this is a very normal thing.  Boys will start to want to be independent and the way they do it often is uncomfortable for parents.  Normal.  Expected. Maybe good for us all (I will be much less sad when my son leaves for college with the way he has acted the past couple of months, ha ha).  The way I look at it and I have an older sister that has raised two sons that are now college age and out of college, successfully is that I'm guiding.  They are changing rapidly and some of the changes are hard.  But I am there to guide through it.  Not control it. Not control who they are or who they become. But to be there to keep them somewhat on track. (as in not committing crimes, flunking out of school, and moving toward future complete independence of me).

So, I am saying this because your son is going to begin to go through things that will really confound and frustrate you. And even hurt your feelings deeply.  I try very hard to not take it personally.  But I'm human. But we have to try as we parent.  He will play his mom against you.  Expect it. She has her own hang ups with all that has transpired and how she sees things from her point of view and frankly, will be dealing with her own difficulties with him so being the 'good guy' when mad at you may give her a boost emotionally, sad to say.  Don't get too emotionally wrapped up in it.

He screwed up giving a password. That happens. He got carried away with x box. Oh my gosh, it happens.  And being grounded is part of growing up.  I ground my kids.  The important thing is to have an end point.  Not an indefinite, you will be on a kid's account . . .without saying for 2 weeks, 3 weeks or the month.  State how long. Then a new password issued and a second chance.  Let him have the chance to learn the lesson.  :>)  And then move on to show you he has.  We have  a rule in place regarding A. grades.  My kids have to have their grades above a certain point to play at all.  That's a win win because the bar is high.  Heck, they deserve gaming time if they have an A in every class (A- doesn't work, has to be an A, so 94% or better).  My sons take hard classes and something can happen as I track grades. They may sporadically drop.  But they know the deal. It has to be at 94% or better in progress book or no game time.  I'm firm on it. And the second rule is that if the fight over it?  Gone. Everyone loses privileges. So, they work it out quietly now.  ha ha.  Anyway, my sons have friends who get grounded all the time and mine do as well.

Here is something a friend of my son's mom did that I love. Her son will not monitor his phone which is their hot button.  They expect him to be responsible with it and answer texts or calls from them.  (they are at work, he is at home.  Answer your phone if they call is the expectation).  A few other things that they listed.  So, they (his parents) took the game controllers without saying anything (after his getting in trouble for the same things before this). When he realized they were gone (the controllers), he asked where they were. His parents said he can have them back after he figures out what the problem is that got them taken and writes out his solution to overcoming said problem.  lol  They got a whole list of issues their son thought he might have with them and solutions!  He got the controller back after 2 weeks.  

I will say that I do not think it is fair for your husband to put you in the middle of dealing with his wife because he can't handle her and the he won't keep a phone excuse.  That's not fair to you, sweetie, or appropriate to do to his ex either.  I would have none of that if I were her either.  My expectation would be he learn to deal with her calmly rather than expecting you to take the heat.  :>)
Helpful - 0
I understand boys will be boys, and we were not punishing him indefinably, I just wanted to let him have that talk with his father when he came over which is what I told him.

As for my husband placing me in the middle, and the not having a phone being an excuse. Its not what it seems. My husband never has got along with his ex (not ex wife). That is why he didnt stay with her. A few years back they both agreed to only call each other in case of emergency's and other wise the kids were old enough to communicate with dad on their own. They could let us know when the best time to pick them up was, and what was going on in school, and all the smaller things. She didnt keep to the deal though and would call him non stop over the smallest of things and it always turned into an argument. Then just last year she asked him to tell his mom everything he needed and that all communication would be done through her. He agreed and went with it, but three months later the children's mom went against the agreement again for the smallest reasons. Honestly she wants it to be her way or no way.

My husband and me went through somethings that led to him not wanting a phone anymore. In addition he has expressed that he doesnt want a phone for his own reasons and is willing to give his work number to family and others for Emergency situations during work hours. If it is anything else he ask that they call after work. He did the same for her, but she called his work phone nonstop causing his boss to almost take the privilege away because it was distracting to the work place. She got a new phone one day, and asked for the number and that is when he told her no, and explained why. He then went on to tell her that she could always call me or his mom in case of Emergency and we could get a hold of him.

His mom recently said that she is starting to realize how hard it is to handle the child's mom. Well, either way she not my concern anymore. He told me to no longer be nice and pick up for her, nor text her back. His mom will be who she will have to get a hold of moving forward, during his work hours. Just wish we dont have to be that way.
207091 tn?1337709493
Okay, so first, I was a step parent for awhile, and it's HARD.

You need to remove yourself from dealing with the mother. That is not your job. That is your husband's job. The best thing you can do, though, is make friends with her. Don't discuss the kids, or your husband, but become friends with her. You have her kids, at least part time, and of course, she is threatened by your presence. Show her she doesn't need to be.

Your husband is the disciplinarian. These are his kids. Yes, you've helped raise them, and love them, and have probably taken care of them when they were sick, and you are an adult in the home that they need to respect, but the discipline needs to come from your husband. It's awesome that you agree with the approach he takes, but he should be the one talking to his son, and his ex wife, and probably the aunt.

You are playing the long game here, so to speak. Most of what you do is showing by example, and hoping they get it. If their mom has them most of the time, you can just do what you can do.

What your son did isn't that unusual. My nephew just spent over $200 on iTunes for crap for his video games because his mother let him have the password. He's 14. He doesn't have the ability to see around corners yet to see the full consequences of his behavior. This is a $50 mistake that he can learn from. I don't think it's catastrophic, and I think putting it on child mode is perfectly acceptable.

Your "little girl" is an adult now, legally. I don't know if she's still in high school, but she's at an age where she is feeling very grown up, like she knows everything about everything while knowing nothing about anything yet. I was an absolute terror at 18. She'll grow out of it, though it may take a few years.

You've been together with your man for 15 years, and his son with his ex is 14. Does that mean he cheated on her with you? At the very least, she was barely pregnant when he left her and met you. It's no wonder she resents you, even if you had nothing to do with it.

It's also a shame that something she said played even a small role in you not having kids.

From this and your other posts, you seem very eager to please and that's great, but do you ever put yourself first? I can only go on a few posts of the few things you share on here, but make sure you make a stand for yourself, too. Others are important, but you matter, too.
Helpful - 0
Thanks for the support. Going to work up this post to answer your questions. He didnt cheat on her, and didnt even know she was pregnant when he got with me. There is alot behind their story. Keeping it short. They were never married, tried living together after his daughter was born but never saw eye to eye. She was very demanding even back then, and my husband doesnt like being told what to do plus he is demanding himself (not a good mix).

His son came into play when he was kicked out a girlfriends house, and his parents didnt allow him to move back in. Approximately 2 months before we meant. My husband needed a place to stay and was drunk. He went to her apartment to see his daughter, and things went from their. The next morning, she woke him up with I have been dealing with your daughter on my own for 3 yrs get up and change her diaper.He said he realized he made a mistake and walked on her, without saying a word.

Anyhow fast forward to 6 months later. He hadnt talked to her or seen her. At this point him and me are talking and have started to develop a relationship and had been for the past 4 months. She calls him at work to let him know she is pregnant again and is unsure who the father is. She told him it was either him or two other guys. She was about 6 months along when he even found out. I wouldnt call that barely pregnant.

As for my little girl I see what you are saying but I still worry she told us straight out she knows she is to much like her mom. Her mom has such a mean streak, and I dont want her being that way. I know she is better then that but it is like she feels she has to be mean to establish herself as a women. It is just sad.

On to the main focus of this message. I get what you saying about the discipline but I was raised different and my husband and me both see it different. I was raised with two step families and then my moms family. I never knew my real dad. My mom always told me it takes a village to raise a child and that the adult who is around or involved in the situation is who is in charge. In other words if I upset my Grandparents because I did something at their house, then they would be the ones who disciplined me. My mom told me that she would only take my side if the other adult was truly in the wrong, and never otherwise. My husband and me feel the same way.

In addition the mom has a live in boyfriend, and we know he disciplines the kids. My husband wont say nothing though, because he gets this boyfriend is their second dad and he wants the best for them too. The kids have tried to get my husband upset over how their step dad disciplines them, and he hears the story out, and usually it leads to. Well, he asked you to do something, it sounds like he told you several times, and you didnt do it...you need to listen to him and not give him attitude just like you wouldnt your mom and me. Their mom though I cant say anything to the kids, even along the lines of get well, without her feeling like she has to protect them from me or something.

I tried being friends when I first got involved with him, and even a couple of times after that. She was always trying to start trouble between him and me. I would talk to her and she would spin my words into lies and change the story. She even told his parents that I had a knife when we went to court for child support hearing for his son. The true story is he was carrying it because we were on the bus at the time. So friends I doubt that will happen. My husband is making an effort to make friends with her man though LOL.

Last of all and it should have been the first thing. I know I need to put myself first but that is hard to get to do. My husband is very supportive though and knows how much I deal with. He has tried to help me get to put myself first a couple of times, but it never fails something else always takes priority. Between a bi-polar mom, my little girl having cancer, my husband having seizures, and my work...My family and my work are a full time job. Luckily we have gotten back in church and for at least an hour on Sundays and an hour Monday through Friday (my lunch) I get time to recollect myself.
Okay, your last paragraph - how do you even have time to breathe? You have so much on your plate. :(

It's so not the point of your question, but please make sure that even if it's only 10 min a day, you take time to just breathe, or do something just for you, just because you love it.

It does take a village, but I still think your husband needs to be dealing with his ex, even if you are doing the discipline. You have enough going on without dealing with her, too. Maybe your husband making friends with her man will help.

I understand the story now about the history, and I'm sorry that I misunderstood. :(
You are fine. LOL!!! To be honest I have a lot on my plate but my husband and me take time every night to watch a movie or show and to relax. I never dealt with her that often in the past. The only reason that has recently changed is the stuff going on with our daughter. See my husband doesnt have a phone, and I can contact him when needed on his work phone. So if anything comes up the way we have handled it, is she calls my cell phone (my husband and me share it but while at work its on me), then I contact him. So, on that day my little girl had Chemo the day before (2nd time, 10 more to go). I saw that she was calling and wanted to ensure everything was ok, instead she laid into me.

My husband and me have discussed this. We still havent found a great resolution but I think moving forward I am going to pick up and hear what she is wanting. If it is anything other then can you get a hold of Ruben, because... , then I am going to polite say I get off at 5 you can talk to my husband about this and hang up. I hate that it is that way, because I am open to a friendship/relationship with her, but even his parents have said they have come to realize she likes the drama and tries to cause it.

One of the nurses I work with told me it is "Golden Uterus Syndrome" I thought she was joking. But it is a real condition and after reading on it...that is what this women has. Thanks for the advice.
I would suggest you get your husband a phone. Inexpensive ones are available if cost is the issue.
The reason he doesnt want a phone is long one. No time for it. Besides that he wouldnt be able to have the phone on him at his job anyhow. I contact him through the work number or his bosses number. They know me and know that I only call when urgent or truly need to talk. He is worried about giving her the number because the last time he did that she would call for things that could wait until he was off of work. My kids are teenagers and have phones so it was at one point if they needed something they needed to reach out on their own. That changed when my little girl got dxs. She didnt always feel up to calling or texting us to let us know what was going on so mom started up again. My husband talked about asking her to text a quick message when things are needed but she refuses to do it. She says she hates text and doesnt get why he doesnt want to talk.

When he had a phone of his own even. If he didnt pick up for her she would call my phone non-stop then his parents telling them we were ignoring her. Truth was we were at work and just couldnt pick up right then. He would make his boss give him a second to call her back and he would find out it was to ask about two weekends from the date she was calling. My husband honestly cant handle her either, and every time they talk the fighting is worse. She puts him down and threatens to take the kids. His mom was suppose to be the middle person for them after the last huge fight they had. Yet she refuses to call her unless she has a way to talk bad about us. I think it is all just a game for this women.
134578 tn?1642048000
He's 14? He knows what he did, and that there will be consequences. Don't let his mother call and rile you up or make you feel guilty. You're giving the boy a chance to earn your trust back, that will build him up more than you giving in when he breaks the rules that sound pretty clear in the first place. Don't give the mom a lot of power in this argument or he will pretty fast learn to play her against you.

That said, this is your husband's conversation to have, with both the boy and with the ex. It sounds like the two of you are on the same page, let him go say what is what. His ex is going to hear it better from him and believe it is final more as well, as is his son.
Helpful - 0
Thanks, yeah over these 15 yrs it has been hard because to be honest she doesnt take it from him either. She will tell my husband how horrible of a father he is and knock him down every chance she gets when he disagrees with her. It is a hard situation because I feel like she is not letting my son learn to be independent and he needs that. He needs to know his actions will have consequences and that trust is earned.

My little girl to. She is 18 so not so little anymore, and she is letting go of her first job at an old folk home because a women mistaken her for being pregnant. My little girl also was almost bumped into by a women at an HEB and she asked her dad if he would have got into it with the women over that (Right in front of the women). At church she gave gave attitude to a women who had walked up to hand her a prayer and some scripture on a piece of paper she thought would help her. My husband has had a talk with her about her attitude, but her mom justifies it and says that she is defending herself and watching out for herself. I just hate being stuck and no way to teach them right from wrong.

I know it is hard on them to hear they are right at home but wrong with us. Any suggestions on how to ensure we get through to them?
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Relationships Community

Top Relationships Answerers
13167 tn?1327194124
Austin, TX
3060903 tn?1398565123
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
How do you keep things safer between the sheets? We explore your options.
Can HIV be transmitted through this sexual activity? Dr. Jose Gonzalez-Garcia answers this commonly-asked question.
Herpes sores blister, then burst, scab and heal.
Herpes spreads by oral, vaginal and anal sex.
STIs are the most common cause of genital sores.
Condoms are the most effective way to prevent HIV and STDs.