Hello and Help!!
I am new to this site and hoping that you all can give me some imput and help. I have been with my husband for 6 years. We have been married for 4 years. He has an 8 year old son from a previous marriage and I have a 12 year old son from a previous marriage. When we got together our kids were 2 and 6. Our boys have pretty much grown up together and think of eachother as brothers. They get along well for the most part.
My problem is the way my husband babies my stepson. We have custody of my stepson and he rarely sees his biological mother because she is unstable, not mentally but just in lifestyle. She is always living places with utilities shut off for non-payment, then hopping between friends and with family members, or with guys my husband does not want his son exposed to.
Anyways when my stepson was 2 and 3 I could understand the babying. But, when my stepson was 5 and my husband had to carry him through stores because he refused to walk or sit in a cart I began speaking up. My stepson would act like he was a baby over everything. He did not want to sleep in his own bed and would cry till my husband went and layed down with him. Then if he woke up during the night and my husband was not in the room he would sit up in his bed and scream till the whole house woke up! My husband actually started sleeping in a twin bed with my stepson until I had enough and told him it had to change.
If my stepson did not like dinner he would cry and my husband would prepare a seperate meal. If my stepson did not want to go to bed my husband would make up an excuse to let the kids stay up later. If my stepson did not want to go to the store he'd cry and my husband would try sending me by myself. It got crazy. I would voice my opinion and my husband would make excuses for my stepson. I would point out that when my son was a little older than that and we were together he never saw my son do those things because they are not normal for that age. My husband would get defensive and we would fight over it.
Around that same time my husband got a promotion at work that required him to work a different shift, so then we were on opposite work shifts. My stepsons behavior while he was just with me was so different than his behavior when my husband was around. This just reinforced to me that my stepson was acting like a baby because he knew my husband would allow it. So when my husband and I would be home at the same time my stepson would go back to being a baby and when I pointed it out to my husband that he could act differently it turned to an argument and my husband being defensive.
Fastforward a few years till now and the behaviors have not changed. I am a stay at home mom now to the boys because I got layed off last year. Financially we are ok so we agreed for me to stay home because of all the running around involved in the kids activities and homework, etc. since my husband works afternoons currently. It was too much on me to do all the kid stuff on my own every night as well as do my job all day and paperwork and such in the evening. Plus I am a clean freak so I have to have the house organized and clean all the time and my husband tried to help but I ended up going behind all he did and fixing it. IT was all driving me insane.
Anyways My stepson is now 8 years old and still cries over everything and has daddy eating out of the palm of his hand. On my husbands days off my stepson makes them miserable. It turns into it all being about him. He cries constantly and my son and I are ignored while my husband practically jumps thru hoops to please my stepson. When my husband is at work my stepson behaves for me! When he does not he gets consequences. He does not cry or argue about consequences to me. But when my husband is at home my stepson will cry about any punishments I gave him, like no television or video games. Or he will know that I grounded him from it and he will go ask daddy if he can do those things and won't mention that he is grounded from them. When I bring up that he is grounded my husband says he did not know and I point out that stepson did and he should be grounded longer for trying that scam, but my husband says he is sure stepson just forgot! My husband is constantly making excuses for him and even tries to tell me I am being too strict.
What really kills me about it is that my husband has a different set of expectations for my son. At 8 years old if my son did any of the things my stepson does my husband would not stand for it, well neither would I to be honest. But the point is that he has no issues with his son doing it. My son is too talkative at times and will just ramble on with question after question. My husband will get to the point where he will tell my son that he is talking too much. But when my stepson does the same thing it apparently does not seem to bother my husband because he does not tell my stepson he talks too much. When I point out these inequalities to my husband he tries to tell me there is an age difference or he gets defensive and it turns into an argument. I am just at a loss.
Recently we were on vacation with my grandparents and my stepson threw so many tantrums my grandma spoke up and yelled at him a few times! My grandma is the most tolerant woman I know and never reprimanded me as a child nor has she ever reprimanded my son. Of course my husband did not utter a word about that. My family and friends all see the difference in my stepsons behaviors with my husband not around vs. when he is around. And to be honest my son behaves so much better than my stepson, but my husband picks at things my son does instead of looking at his own child. I end up getting defensive and stepping in a lot on that. We try not to disagree in front of the boys, but it does happen. Not too long ago my stepson was acting up and I said something to him. He began crying and daddy came to the rescue. When my husband was not facing me but my stepson was my stepson actually smirked at me and stuck out his tongue! When I called him on that my husband was embarassed and actually yelled at him and sent him to his room. But that is the problem, my stepson knows what he is doing and how to manipulate his dad. And then my husband either sides with my stepson or overreacts because he is so mad he has to react at all.
I just don't know what to do anymore about it. I find myself starting to resent my stepson for it, but I know it is my husband who I should resent. This has been going on for years and just getting worse. I love my husband and don't want to divorce over this but things have to change. We discuss it all the time and it never changes. Sometimes my husband seems like he gets it and feels bad and he will try to put his foot down with my stepson, but then it never lasts. Even my son talks to me in private about the way my stepson acts. He says all the crying gets on his nerves! I just can not handle an 8 year old running our home!!