Number of kids: 2
Ages of kids: 6 & 12
Problem: I have been married for 7 1/2 yrs, I am 44, she is 32. I have a 12 yr. old son through a previous marriage. I gained custody of him only 1 & 1/2 years ago. My ex-wife is alcoholic and was also physically abusive to my son. Yolanda (my current wife & I) have a six year old son together. My wife spoils the six yr old and mistreats the 12 yr old. She has never really delved into my 12 yr old son to learn or find out about him and his good qualities. She neither knows or understands him. When there is a problem between the boys, she 99% of the time faults the older son without getting enough information about what happened with the boys. She takes everything personal, she even provokes him to anger then gets mad when he objects or defends himself, calling it disrespect. I end up talking up for him and standing up to her. I know that she does not realize how boys are and how they grow up together. She has now turned the boys disagreements into a personal vendetta against the 12 yr old . She is in a constant state of hovering over the little one and always uptight or angry with the 12 yr old . (The little one is learning to be quite good at manipulation. This has been going on now for about 4 yrs. during which I have gently and patiently tried to let her know that my son needed a little love and affection from her at least once in a while, to show that she cares for him not just to discipline or harass him. She takes no advice, and even though I would buy books on step parenting and leave them laying around she will not read them or seek counseling . I am becoming very angry, and yet I know she loves me (she will be nice to me, and mean to him).
Solution submitted by KJ from Philly, PA: If i did not know better, I would think you were my husband. My child is 5 and step son is 14. Same situation, He says i pick on my stepson. My step son has learnt how to play us against each other. Do you ever stick up for your wife? Do you chastise your wife in front of your son? Is she allowed to pick a punishment for things he does while you are not present? Do you compensate your son extra for her starting with him? This are some of the things that my husband does to me.
Counseling helps but a united front is better. It gets worse when the child gets to be a teenager with an attitude.
I wish u luck as do i wish it to myself. Spend some time with just your wife and the 6yo child. IT HELPS ( maybe when your son stays at a friends house.)
That is what i like too, (sometimes), just to be with my husband and my daughter once in awhile, alone. It makes step parenting easier. Just try to get your wife and son to like each other, you can't MAKE a person love someone. Remember, she did not fall in love and marry him, she married you. Hopefully she and he will tolerate each other at worst, for your sake. Tell them BOTH how you feel and what u expect from both of them.
Another solution submitted by Mom42 from South Bend, IN: It sounds like your current wife needs counseling. I would also suggest family counseling. Especially for your son, who first had an alcoholic mother and now a step mother that is always angry and blaming him. She has to have other issues that she needs to deal with, otherwise she would not be mistreating him. Please get counseling, soon.
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