My first post - need advice!
I've been lurking here for awhile, looking for answers or advice and generally just finding comfort and hope in the fact that even though it feels like it, I'm not alone in what I'm going through. This is my first post, and while I can't put my whole story here at once (I'm sure there must be a length limit on here!), I'll start with this issue:
First, DH and I have been together for 3.5 yrs, living as a family for 1.5 & married for 3 months. I have 3 children from a previous marriage (DD 10, DS 8 & DD 5)- my ex and I share joint custody and have a good co-parenting relationship. DH has a son/ 12 from a previous relationship, and we have him full time- BM picks him up from school 1-2 days/wk for a few hours and gets him every other weekend.
The problem is that SS lies constantly, about anything and everything. I know every kid tells white lies sometimes, but these are things you don't need to lie about. And then when you question him he'll start switching stories and then start saying I don't know.., But I thought.., I think.., I'm confused ..and so on and start looking like he's going to cry (which is the biggest manipulation, I swear.)A few examples- I ask how much homework he has, he says a couple of questions. I tell him to get it done, as we are all going somewhere. DH goes in 15min later to see if he's done, comes out and tells me he actually has math problems #6-20 evens. Nothing is said to him about telling me he had "a couple of questions". We tell him to pack it up and he can finish at where we're going (a family member's house). Finally at 8ish DH tells him to finish it up, and he's at it for 30mins. I look over to see if he needs help, and it turns out he had the whole page to do 1-26, all of it. Again nothing is said over lying about it. Why lie?
Another good example, and the catalyst for this- When SS takes his socks off, he takes them off inside out into a ball. I cannot stand this - putting them right side out again is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me, the feel of the fabric on my nails or something. This has been an ongoing issue- I have asked SS repeatedly not to do this, and even used analogies he could understand (he's kind of a germaphobe). I even tried boycotting folding his socks- maybe making him do it would drive it home, but I caught DH helping him sort them, so it kind of took away my authority on it. I finally put my foot down, got a box and put all his socks in it as they were washed. My thinking was eventually he would run out of socks, ask me and I would talk to him about it and have him fold them - a plan I let DH know about. Well weeks have gone by and nothing. Last week I get curious, look in his drawers and no socks. So what is he wearing I wonder? The dirty socks are all my DS, he's only 8 and a lot smaller than SS, but I'm thinking SS is stretching out DS's socks and wearing them. This is confirmed when a few days ago DS says to me "I think SS is wearing my socks". So last night BM drops him off and we tell him about the basket of his socks and ask him what socks he's been wearing. He says he's been wearing socks for 2 days in a row. I say yes but I purposely had yours in a box, your drawer was empty last week and I know you've been wearing DS's - why not just ask me? He denies wearing DS's socks, which is a lie because I saw them in his basket when DS wasn't even here, and then says that he grabs a pair from BM's. But I know this isn't true either, bc all the dirty socks are DS's. He then says he thought maybe all his socks were at BM's, I say how is this possible when you only sleep there 4 nights out of the month? He is still denying everything, and I just don't get it- IT'S SOCKS!!! Who cares? I thought it was more funny than anything, but when he starts lying about socks it sent me over the edge. He gets the basket and goes into his room and DH goes in there and is talking to him and I can hear him denying and I went right in there and said what needed to be said. That I'm tired of the lying and its ridiculous to lie period but especially about things that don't matter. I told him I'm fed up with it, that I feel like if I asked him if the sky was blue he would lie about it and I just don't get it and I'm tired of it. He starts with the big eyes and "But I thought.." and I just walked out. So DH comes out a minute later and is MAD AT ME! For actually saying something for once. We are still not talking.
Now, I know his BM lies a lot - she'll pull stuff out of the air and spin a story - that's a longer note than this one, trust me. So I get that he's maybe learned this behavior and maybe doesn't even realize he does it, which sometimes I think he doesn't. Like I'll ask him a question and you can see anxiety come over him, like instead of telling me the answer he's trying to come up with "the right thing to say". I've actually sat down with him and tried talking to him about it, like why he does it and what can we do to change it. I suggested taking time to think before answering - I think maybe he talks faster than his brain works or something, but it just doesn't change. This is the hard thing, I don't know if its always on purpose, and I feel bad pointing it out. Mainly I'm tired of feeling like a bad guy, because it happens so much and I'm the one trying to deal with it. I'm tired of dealing with it, and I'm tired of being mad about it, but I can't just let it happen either. I feel like I don't even want to talk to the kid anymore, I don't believe anything he says and feel like I have to investigate everything. This is especially rough because I would never tolerate this kind of behavior from DD's or DS.
This is happening at least 2-3 days a week, and I would just appreciate any advice I can get. Maybe I'm missing something, or there's something I need to try? The resentment I feel is starting to take over way too much of my thoughts.