Number of kids: 3
Ages of kids: 7, 17, 20
Problem: I have 2 girls age 7 & 17 my husband has 1 son age 20. The rules are different for his kids versus mine. His son can have over anyone at anytime for however long he wants but my kids can't. His son can eat and drink in his room but mine can't. He only has to clean his room when I can't stand to smell it any longer but mine have to keep their's clean. I don't know how to make my husband see how tired of this I am getting. He doesn't believe he lets his son walk all over him and treat him like dirt but it is true. He is disrespectful, lazy & inconsiderate but nobody cares except me. I discuss everything that is going on with my kids with my husband but he won't. We have been married only 2 months but we have been best friends for 15 years and dated 4 years. He is a wonderful person but very blind to his son's actions. My husband says this is my house too, but I don't have any say so where his son is involved.
Solution submitted by Bridget: I had almost the same problems you do. My Stepdaughter is 19. She could break every rule that was ever set and her Dad would say, she must not have understood what he meant. However, if our children or any of his other children broke a rule there would be heck to pay. It got to a point where I would avoid coming home if I knew she was there. All I can say to you is try to wait it out if you can. Your stepson is 20 and will probably on his own shortly. Its like that song, will what your feeling now matter 100 years from now. Not much of a solution, I know. Just a little side note: Within the past few weeks, my husband has begun to realize all of the lies and manipulation tactics his daughter has used, and has said that she will move out within two weeks.
Another solution submitted by Rita from Brownsville, TX: Hi, Sorry I have no solution- BUT, I do have that exact problem. My husband and I have 2 children together, and he has one son before us (10). My husband most of the year is a hard working, caring, flexible yet strict father. But, when his son arrives, the rules change. Dinner is not necessarily a family affair and most of the time our housekeepers have to fix a separate meal for his son who only eats cereal and take out. We have gone to restaurants and step son will demand something from another restaurant, and my husband will get it. My husband and I have full time jobs (he is an attorney, and I am an administrator in the Health care profession and full time graduate student). Our home is flexible, but structured. Dinner together, meals on the weekends together. Everything changes, though, when my stepson arrives. Junk food, take out and candy bars from convenience stores for meals--?? How does a parent overcome the guilt? I'm beginning to feel the solution is me and my children leave for six weeks every summer, so they don't pick up awful habits????