This might be a long one....
I will start with some background info because I have never posted on this forum before. I have been married to dh for 2 years now. I have a son(9) and a daughter(17) from my first marriage. (13 years of mental, and occasionally, physical torture.) He has a daughter(13) from his first marriage. We have a daughter(3)together.
We have a pretty solid relationship as far as it goes. (compared to others I know) He gets along with my family great, including my really odd birth father. He is great with our daughter, and other than some griping about the usual teenage foolishness, great with my daughter. He babies his daughter most of the time. She isn't required to follow the rules in our home as strictly as my son. My daughter doesn't live with us. She is getting her own place. She is independent to a fault. (A little too much like her mother. LOL.) His daughter lives with her mother. My son lives with us full time. His father was involved with him for a while, but as time goes on he is less and less. At first I shared custody with his father. About a year ago, my ex decided it was too much work to get his son on a regular basis. In fact, the last weekend he was supposed to get him, he never showed and never called. He is a passive aggressive man who has serious control issues.
Here is the mess. My dh is really hard on my son. I try to keep things fair with my son and his daughter. The 3 year old is expected to behave just as the other children are. He constantly grounds him for weeks at a time from tv, computer, and other things. My son is very wrapped up in these things. I know this doesn't sound too drastic, but try dealing with any kind of family activity that your child can't participate in for, oh about 6 or 7 weeks. We used to do family movie and pizza night every Sat when we have all of the kids. I can't do that now because my son can't participate in anything. My dh will sit and watch my son, as opposed to the tv, to catch him glimpsing at the tv so he can ground him for another week. Where as I cannot even ground his daughter for one day when she leaves her room a disaster zone. Another thing my son is forbidden to do and grounded for. I try not to baby my son, but the problem is that he listens to me. When I hear dh talk about him, it is like a different kid- with horns! I don't know if I am getting too worked up about it, but I think that the kids should all have rules and that the punishment should fit the crime. I am getting to the point where I just don't know what to do. Talking to dh is just not getting anywhere.
Please, does anyone have any ideas about how to deal with this?