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I can't take my step son much longer...

Posted by singerstepmommytobe (My Page) on
Wed, Nov 25, 09 at 17:11

I don't even know how much longer I'll continue my relationship with my fiance because of his 6 year old son. (FYI, I have no children of my own)
When we first met, his son spent half his time at his mothers. Well then his mom decided to drop out of the picture- no support, she MAYBE sees the kid 2-3 days a month now, yada yada.
Then, my fiance got depressed and left me compensating for him, the house and the child. I ended up being the care taker, discipliner, home maker- WHILE working my own full time job, volunteering and going to school full time. Eventually my fiance got on medication and got himself and son into therapy. Then my fiance started picking up more of the slack at home- HELPING to clean and discipline. Things were getting better.
Then the kids "mom" decided that although she was ok with me taking care of, paying for, doing homework with, taking the boy to doctor appointments, paying medical bills, taking the kid to school, arranging play-dates, bathing her son, etc., she didn't like the fact that her son and I were developing a happier relationship together. So she told the kid that I'm the reason she and my fiance broke up (I MET my fiance after their divorce had been filed- SHE was the one whom had an affiar), that the kid should hate me and that I am not ANY kind of a parent to him. (I never told the kid to call me mom, he is 6 and although sometimes he's slipped I always corrected it by saying "I'm not your mommy, but I'm your (my name here)" because I didn't want him to feel pushed away but I never tried to take over the "mom" title, even though I've acted like one when she was off having sex with married men.)
Sorry for the rant but anyhow, after that the kid has gone nuts. He has ADHD, ODD, separation anxiety and a learning disability. All of which I was cool handeling (and even helping to approve according to his school and doctors)until he started at me directly. Now he tells me "He's happy when I'm sad" and that "he wants me to leave." He has even been getting physically violent with me and my dog- he has complete anger meltdowns nearly constantly- the mother won't let him go on medication despite the advice of the kids teacher, special ed teacher, speach therapist, the IEP's, his therapist and his phychologist.
Everything is just BLAH...
I love my fiance but his kid just makes me want to leave and never look back. It's hard to look at the kid right now, even. The kid's mother is a narcissist- I mean, who abandons their 4 year old and then denys them medication? Who physically threatens the women stepping up to the plate for their kid when they're too busy "having fun" even when the women asks for nothing in return except to be treated civilly? (Yes there was a police report made and I NEVER asked her for anything other than that- I never even asked the kid for anything more than that)(BTW, whether you are for or against meds, yes some kids are too easilly categorized for them but this kid sincerely needs them and we didn't just go with the first doctor to tell us that, we'e had many opinions whom all agreed.)
I just don't know what to do. At this point, the kid's father has to do everything for the kid now because I can't be left alone with him without him totally abusing me. I realize the child is young and I'm NOT saying this is his fault or that I hate him, but I have talked to his doctors and teachers and every other parent I know and I've run out of options to work with, and that's no way to live. We've tried counting to 3, taking away toys, taking away dessert, not allowing friends over, no use of the computer (he has kids games on there), making charts, using an egg timer to get him going in the mornings, making stuff into games to see who can get ready the fastest, we've tried positive reinforcement only, the nurtured heart approach, I've written authors and life coaches, etc...
It puts my fiance under the stress of TRUELY being a single parent, the kid as seemingly hopeless, the ex as foul as ever, and me feeling like I'm failing both of them plus my own needs.
Any others out there have anything to say? Support, suggestions? I'm exasperated. Thank you.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: I can't take my step son much longer...

I would get out. You're right, this is no way to live!

You're not married to this man. You don't have to live your life with such awful stress.

It would be one thing if this were a situation where the BM were dead, or truly 100% out of the picture, if it were a situation in which you and your fiance were equal parents with equal rights/responsibilities. BUT you're not even a SM! At the end of the day, you have VERY little input as to what to do to help this child emotionally. You can't put him on medication, you probably can't talk to his doctors, you can't go to counseling sessions with him, etc. YOU HAVE NO SAY.

I would consider leaving because I don't see things getting better and I only see them getting worse. I'm sorry if that sounds harsh, and it's terrible for this little guy because it sounds like YOU are his best advocate. But you cannot throw your own life down the toilet. Well--you CAN--but you shouldn't IMO.


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RE: I can't take my step son much longer...

sounds like you have not one, not two, but three millstones around your neck, & will have them until you exit the whirlwind or go down trying.

so, as a friend of mine used to tell me,
"Dang, Baby, that just don't work. Stop doing that & do something that works."

I wish you the best.


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RE: I can't take my step son much longer...

I can't help but think how confused this little boy must feel.First of all you are not his stepmom and if and when you do leave this situation he will be even more confused.I think you have tried to do the "right" thing but remember he is not your son and you are not married to his dad.I know that sounds harsh but you probably should not be part of a childs life if you are not in it for the long haul.


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RE: I can't take my step son much longer...

I feel sorry for the boy ... I feel sorry for the Dad and I feel sorry for you.
A wise man once told me we have three choices in life situations ...

1) Totally and completely ACCEPT the situation as it is.

2) Change yourself

3) Get Out

Get a piece of paper and put a line down the middle.
On one side, write down all the positive things about your fiance' and your life together. On the other side, write down all the negative things about your fiance' and your life together. Don't rush the list making - it may take a day or two. When you're finished, whichever list is the longest should be the way you lean in your decision making. This method has always helped me see things more clearly. Hope it helps you too.


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RE: I can't take my step son much longer...

That "T" chart is a good tool...
when the decision is between 2 positives or 2 negatives of approximately the same value.

but when one item on the "negative" side is "this relationship will ruin my life & maybe kill me", the "positives" don't make any difference.


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RE: I can't take my step son much longer...

Thank you everyone for you input. I greatly appreciate it. Olliedee- I completely understand what you're saying, and I wouldn't have gotten as involved as I have, except that when you get engaged and live together and start planning a wedding you DO think you're in for "the long haul"
lol.
At this point, SUPPOSIDLY (due to a court date between my fiance and the boy's mother) the little guy SHOULD be starting meds in December. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they will help things some, and am aware that I will have to give them time to work, to figure out the right medication and levels are, but I have decided that if the meds (again once at the correct type and level) don't change things, that I will have to move on. I just couldn't move on until I felt I'd given it my all and I don't think I WILL feel that way until we see what the medications can do.
Thanks again everyone.


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RE: I can't take my step son much longer...

You're putting too much responsibility on this little boy's shoulders,.

Meds *will not* make him stop saying "I'm happy when you're sad".

As long as his mother is training him to do it & his father isn't putting a stop to it, you're going to keep hearing it, & expecting anything else will bring you misery & nothing else.


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RE: I can't take my step son much longer...

singerstepmommmy,

This boy is 6 with an 18 wheeler load of problems and issues not the least being his parents, including your fiance. Your fiance got depressed and checked out? When you have kids, the luxury of being depressed and checking out for any extended period of time just isn't yours anymore. Whoops, I meant a good parent. Sounds sarcastic but he got an opportunity to check you out in the jobs he and BM should have been playing. Don't think he didn't understand what was happening, despite his and hers depression.

Marry this man and you are marrying the boy, the BM, the psychologists etc. What you did not say in your post is Do You Love This Child? You have gone far and beyond what you needed to do as a GF although it sounds like someone needed to step in. But, is that what you want for between the now 12 (if you are lucky when he reaches 18 he'll be independent) and X, more realistically, years of your life? All of this is separate from the stress it will put on you and your fiance/husband plus general, garden variety stressors.

Do you want your own biological kids? Trust me, when you have your own, you won't be as emotionally available or interested in this kid's drama unless you love him for real and deeply. The BM's on this board will back me up on this one.

Do yourself, the boy and really, your fiance a favor...back out of the problems and be more of an observer for a while. I'm not recomending a break-up just a look see. Sounds like your fiance has had his look see. See if the situation fits with your set of values, right vs.wrong without you making it so. Not sure how old you are but we are talking a LONG stretch with a 6 year old.


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RE: I can't take my step son much longer...

lamom, not to sidetrack here, but unless you're qualified a remark like "When you have kids, the luxury of being depressed and checking out for any extended period of time just isn't yours anymore. Whoops, I meant a good parent... Don't think he didn't understand what was happening, despite his and hers depression", is out of bounds and offensive to those who may need help dealing with different types and levels of depression.

While I know you meant well, depression and reaching out and needing help does not make one a bad parent nor necessarily one who just choses to 'check out' and let somebody else take over their routine duties and daily lives, depression can be complex. I doubt a accurate in depth opinion of what happened to the OP's BF can be analyzed from what little was stated in OP and to make light of it and brush it away....

I don't disagree with the rest of your posting, but the initial paragraph I would not feel right leaving unchallenged in it's simplicity to those who face and struggle to cope with depression. The important thing is this BF recognized he had a problem and moved forward and sought out the help he needed. He deserves a bit of credit for that.


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RE: I can't take my step son much longer...

justmetoo,

I would challenge OP's opinion of the depression unless it reflects a clinical opinion. Lots of people hide from their responsibilities in "depression." I recognize that it can be a major , debilitating disorder which doesn't change the fact that there is a six year old involved whose needs are more important.

And I stand by my thought that "checking out" on raising your kids is a luxury you give up when you decide to have them. Although we hear and read a lot about irresponsible parents and parenting here, that doesn't change their fundamental responsibility. And yes, I do believe that it trumps the feelings of the moment.

If this man is handicapped by his depression, then he should give up the management of his children to competent others. Not dump them on OP, the fiance. The comment on his and her depression comes from what OP said about the BM and her own SO. Sorry, won't back down on this one.


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RE: I can't take my step son much longer...

Lamom, you're changing what you actually first stated by now enacting that the OP was dumped on against her will. That is not at all what was stated. Obviously BF 'checked out' leaving his charge in the hands of his GF who appears to be very competent. Until her present misgivings of the situation, where does it say this was all against her will? Or that child was not in competent hands by a willing partner?

Had the OP not been there and willing to take over I would then assume other actions would have been taken.

Refusing to standback from what you stated does not change the fact that you downplayed and took assumptions onto the situation. Do you know what would have occurred if no willing partner (OP) would have been lving in the home to bounce right in and take charge? NO you don't. OP seems to have been quite happy playing 'mommy in charge'. She did not pack up and leave did she? Call in CPS?

You're not a dr., lamom, don't play one. Where in my posting did I say to dump on a person would be okay just cause a parent is unable? Where did I say that a child should not be retained in competent hands if parent is struggling? Why do you assume that this BF did anything irresponsible by having his live-in willing GF tend to his child/home. Key word here, lamom, is competent and willing. I didn't hear OP state at the time of 'check out' she was forced to do anything against her will.


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RE: I can't take my step son much longer...

much better for a child to be cared for by a loving person in a familiar environment with no disruption of their normal life than for their father to "give up the management of his children to competent others".

Good grief.


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RE: I can't take my step son much longer...

justmetoo,

"Do you know what would have occurred if no willing partner (OP) would have been lving in the home to bounce right in and take charge? NO you don't. OP seems to have been quite happy playing 'mommy in charge'. She did not pack up and leave did she? Call in CPS?"

Well, OP is saying that she is tired of "playing mommy in charge" now! I don't think I said or implied that she was forced in any way. She stepped up while they stepped out. Dad is back, in therapy on meds, good for him.

I'm not playing doctor at all. OP called them depressed. OP's SO did something about it. If I sounded disparaging about their mutual depressions (ok, I did sound disparaging) assuming that they are genuinely suffering from clinical depression, I should not have done. You're right, I'm not a doctor. Didn't mean to sound like one.

She is considering marrying this man which means also becoming a stepmother to the 6 year old boy. A boy that she might have grown to love if this episode was handled differently. He has ADD, ADHD, ODD (the worst) etc etc. OK, he is hard to handle. She has seen how the parents, including her SO, will use her as a stopgap for themselves. That's what I'm pointing out.


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RE: I can't take my step son much longer...

Frankly, lamom, if I, in a new relationship with a man who is depressed and a child who has multi problems and knowing this from the basic get-go, I wold have right then rethought my situation, ended the relationship and hightailed it for the next fish in the sea.

That's not what I took issue with. What I took issue with was when you implied by your original posting with your indication that a person with depression 'choses' and went on with the 'whoop' good parent bit. Depression is not a choice. It's not a luxury that one can choose or decide to not undergo. It does not make them a bad parent. What would perhaps turn them into a bad parent would be when they fail to realize/except the disorder and seek help. In this case the gentleman did. He acknowledged he had a problem and sought out help which in his case included medications and theraphy.

So many people either don't know what is happening, fail to acknowledge and seek out or plain are too embarassed to seek out help. What I took issue with here was when you appeared, by your wording, to indicate depression was something one could chose to not have and that if you did have depression, well, whoop, were not a good parent. And with your next posting you indicate with implying a person should think about not having the luxury of chosing prior to having children. My jaw dropped. I was really wondering if you did indeed realize that depression can and does strike at anytime and sometimes it's long after one has already had children.

I think my objections had nothing to do with OP's case, but rather the simplicity you seemed to be applying to depression and it's extreme complex tangle with all that can go with it. I was pointing out depression is not something one choses to have, the choice comes with how the affected person deals with it. It's not a choice to suddenly one day wakeup and 'check out' , but it is a choice to stay there and not deal with it.

As far as the OP, as I stated in this posting, I would not have stayed in this relationship and became as involved as she has, that was never my point of any of my posting in this thread.

I wish the OP well, she has a serious decision to make, she's hung in there much longer than I would have, and I hope she thinks long and hard for what is best for her, her life and her own needs.


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RE: I can't take my step son much longer...

justmetoo,

At the risk of having a time wasting virtual argument, you can pick your jaw up from the floor. What I said and what I meant was when you have kids you relinquish the right to the "luxury" of spending too much time in or on an ailment that precludes you from being a responsible parent. Assuming you have some control of intact mental faculties and it sounds as though OP's fiance did and does. Responsiblility to kids includes recognizing that you can't take care of them. If you are sick, physically or mentally, then to the degree you can you need to make accomodations for your child/children.

Yeah, OP was a convinient, go to person for her fiance. He was very lucky!! She's tired of it, the responsiblity is not hers. The kid is acting like he is tired of it too. Dad's better, seeing a therapist and taking his meds. Good.


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RE: I can't take my step son much longer...

No, Baby, you're wrong.

*Nobody* "relinquishes the luxury" of a medical problem.
Nobody wants that "luxury".

Medical problems, conditions, illnesses *happen*.

Do you think cancer, diabetes, car accidents, & getting laid off from your job are "luxuries" too?

What would have to happen to a person for you to think that they really have to have help with their responsibilities?

Is death a "luxury" too?


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sorry I hit the wrong key

meant to delete the first sentence, since it sounded too personal when I read it on "preview", but I hit the wrong button.

sorry.


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RE: I can't take my step son much longer...

No Sylvia and all,

I don't think any of those things are luxuries. I think I did not express myself well on this point. None of those things are luxuries. I reacted to OP's comments on the depression and maybe I filtered them the wrong way.

Genuine illnesses, financial, emotional and mental reverses are not luxuries at all. Even when kids are involved. That's not what I meant but after the feedback and reading again I see that I was not really thoughtful in my comments.

I'm sorry.


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