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Help - hate my step son(107 Posts)
I've been looking at some of the posts on here and was inspired to ask you for some advice. I'm having real problems coping with my feelings towards my step son. I've been with my partner for about 18 months. We married quickly - 10 months into the relationship. Quick I know, but I've known this man and his son for years. I'm really close with his family, having been on holiday with them etc for many years. I got on fine with my step son before we were together, and even when we first got married, but now I'm having real problems. I hate weekends, I hate him coming here to stay. He's always questioning everything, butting into conversations and generaly being annoying. I've spoken to my other half about this and he just says to tell him off, but I really want to smack him, which I would never do, but it bothers me that the urge is there. He's not particulary untidy, he can be disrepectful at times, but I suppose that's normal for any 11 year old. I've tried everything to bond with him, taking him out for the day, playing games with him, but I just don't want to be around him any more. My husband works nights, so sleeps on a Sunday afternoon, which leaves me with him. I find anything and everything to distance myself from him. I know that he's not stupid and has probably picked up on the fact that I don't like him, which leaves me feeling so ashamed of myself for feeling like this. I just don't know where to go next. I can't stand him hugging me or trying to sit next to me. He makes my flesh crawl. This is really hard to admit, but I hate him. I even took a job at weekends so I wouldn't have to be at home. That jobs finished now, so I'm back at home at weekends, and I dread them. Has anyone got any ideas as to how I can change my thinking about this? I've tried talking to my other half, but he just doesn't get it.
Thanks in advance for any advice!!
Only 11 years old and hated by an adult entrusted to look after him -
What's changed since before you were married?
He questions everything because he's 11. That's his job.
He interrupts because he's 11 - also his job. Your job is to gently teach him not to interrupt and wait his turn to speak - big deal?!
You really want to smack him but you never will - good. But how about changing your mind-set to, I really want to care for him and I will!
He makes your flesh crawl? Why? Because he's showing affection for an adult he trusts or at least, he's making an effort to love an adult he has in his life, whether he likes it or not. He's a bigger person than you at the moment.
Frankly, you don't deserve him. Stop dwelling on your own precious feelings and start thinking about his.
He's an 11 year old boy. All the things you're talking about are normal 11 yr old boy things. He knows that you don't like him. I feel so, so sorry for him. No wonder your dh doesn't get it - you're talking about his son in such a terrible way. This is a child, and the son of your husband.
What has happened to change the way you feel about him?
Gosh. Everything Doodlez said really.
Talk of hating a child makes me feel very uncomfortable and I don't think you are going to get many positive responses. I would be furious if my dp spoke about my dd like that, infact I think it would mark the end of our relationship.
But being positive can you find something the two of you can do together so you can start to build a positive relationship.
I have an 11 year old son, and they can be bloody hard work at times. They do butt into conversations and question things - it's part of the process of becoming an adult. You almost certainly did the same at 11. But it's a phase that passes. By the time he's 13 you may well be grateful for any scrap of conversation you getfrom him.
Firstly, you say that he's probably picked up on your feelings, but also that he tries to hug you. So he's obviously trying very hard to change your feelings, which implies that he thinks you're a nice person - and credit to you for trying, taking him out etc.
No one can make you like someone. But stop trying to get your DH to understand - he won't, ever, because you're talking about his son. And I can't imagine you're going to do yourself any favours telling him quite how you feel - no one wants to hear that their child is disliked. So all you can do is pretend. As he matures and develops you may discover one day that he's an interesting person - in the meantime, keep pretending.
Why have your feelings suddenly changed? he sounds like he's being a normal 11 Year old to me.
Am particularly at "he makes my flesh crawl" when he hugs you or sits next to you?
And yes he probably has picked up on how you feel, and the fact that you were fine with him before is a bit baffling tbh.
Has he done anything really bad to make you change toward him?
I don't understand from what you've said why you dislike him so much. From your post it sounds like the issues rest with you, so what is the problem? Did you think he wouldn't be about so much once you were married or something?
Good on you for admitting it - that takes real guts, esp. on here! We've had real problems with our eldest (also now 11), which we've seen a child psych. for and are currently waiting for a place on an anger management course for him. The thing is, most of the time I know he's lovely, but the hideous behaviour has made it very, very difficult at times for me to like him and not resent him for what he does to family life and to his sister and brother. You don't have that maternal bond (iykwim), so I can imagine it must be even harder for you to overcome these feelings. I know that spending 'quality time' (euch, hate that expression!) doing something special outside the home with him has really helped, just the 2 of us. At times it's been hard to want to do that, but I wonder if it might help drawing a mental line under what's gone on before and start afresh by setting aside some time for the 2 of you to go out - cinema, juice and buns, golf driving range, whatever floats your boat. I'm sure he'll have lots of suggestions.
Hopefully you'll get some other suggestions as well - good luck.
do you have any other children?
he sounds like a normal 11 year old, i have a 10 year old son, and yes ,he can be challenging,not always minding his manners and challenge things
it sounds more like you resent the fact you are spending moe time with him than your Dh,but the plain truth is, you are the adult,and when you married your DH, you took on the role as a step mum
there is nothing you have described that would justify your sudden hatred,i was expecting a post detailing violence/aggresion/stealing , you know,something really destructive
i think you need to take a long hard look at yourself,and why you feel like this, as you are the adult here and need to deal with this
if he knows you find him hatefu and that he makes your skin crawl, your relationship will never recover
but Paolosgirl there is nothing to suggest in the post that the boys behaviour is that bad.
Why does he make your skin crawl? Have you children of your own?
Can you make Sunday afternoons more fun? Go to the cinema or take him bowling. Even better let him invite his mates over and you could have some space.
I was (and still am) a stepchild and it's horrible to feel rejected. Poor little kid.
I'd choose my words more carefully IIWU, otherwise what you say makes you sound immature, selfish and cold. I'm sure you are none of these things.
You don't hate HIM - you hate the situation. You want to be cuddling up to your DH on the sofa, not his 11-year-old son. That's totally understandable.
Why don't you see if the times DSS comes to visit can be changed? After all he should be spending quality time with his dad, no?
This is a very strong reaction against a child who doesn't seem to be that badly behaved from what you are saying.
Does he come to stay every weekend? If he does maybe you are feeling the lack of private time at the weekend. Is it possible for him to go back home earlier on Sunday, as his dad is asleep anyway, maybe you could take him and use the time to get to know him better.
I really think you need to do a few things things.
1 hide how you feel about this boy both from him and your dh as much as possible
2 Get some therapy (you may have to pay for this) as you will need to talk about this to someone or it will eat away at your relationship. There must be a reason that you feel this strongly and that it has only started recently. From what you say, this boy's behaviour does not warrant this reaction so it must be coming from your issues - you need to deal with them.
3 Spend some 1 on 1 time with him but at the same time try and arrange the odd weekend where he doesn't come, Maybe your dh could take him out for the day on some weekends but not have him stay with you overnight. This will give you a bit of space and may help you to resent him less.
You can't help how you feel but you can choose how you behave.
Teameric - I think you're focusing on what I said about my son's bad behaviour rather than the feelings that I often have towards him - which seem more aligned to the OP - and how I go about trying to overcome them.
I agree with the others on here who have talked about the importance of your feelings towards him, and how you should hide them or pretend otherwise. Hard to do, I know.
I really do not think its constructive to to kick the OP around like she is shit. She is asking for help here!
How many of the shitty posts comdemning the OP came from current step parents?
It would help you, your relatinship with your husband and the wellbeing of the 11-year old boy (who will of course be aware of how you feel yes) if you engage honestly in therapy.
ElenorRigby - if my post is one of the ones you are describing as "shitty" (in your opinion), I am not a step-parent. I am a step-daughter.
Do you hate your ds - or do you hate it that he takes up every weekend?
Do you have any children of your own?
I have been in DSS's life for over 10 years, since he was 9 years old. I read the OP and thought, I have never ever felt like that about him, and thank goodness I know that to be the truth. It can be enormously frustating being a step-parent, I agree, but I personally think the OP's feelingss run deeper than just being a tad irritated.
Boop, do you have your own children? Is your step-son with you every weekend? You have been with your DH such a short time, I bet you just want the opportunity to have him to yourself sometimes - to have those Saturday evenings to yourself, long Sunday morning lie-ins, etc.. Until my DSS became an adult, he was with us every weekend. Without fail. And that could be bloody difficult, epecially as I didn't have my own DC at that time. However, what it did do was make me see what a wonderful father DH is.
None of this is your DSS's fault you know, and you are perhaps directing your anger and frustration in the wrong direction, at the wrong person. Talk to your DH, but not about how your DSS is pissing you off. Instead, make some suggestions about how his time with his son could be better spent - it just seems daft if DSS is at your house if he can't see his father. Try and knock this on the head if you can. At the same time, get your DH to spend some 'quality time' with his son, just the two of them doing a weekly activity together. That should give you some time to yourself. And then, make sure you and your DH spend some time together, alone, doing something special. Perhaps eventually, you can start to do something together with your DSS, and hopefully connect with him a little more.
I am afraid to say that it is mostly down to you (with help from your DH) to make it work. Your DSS hasn't asked for any of this, and he probably just wants to spend some time with his Dad.
I'm new to this site and can't believe some of the posts I've been reading. The OP was being very honest and was seeking help. As women, we should be holding together and offering constructive help - not dismissing someone's feelings and suggesting that they "don't deserve him". We all find ourselves in difficult situations from time to time and it's during such moments when we need warmth and empathy from others. Yes, I feel "poor boy" too because he hasn't chosen this situation but my empathy is with the OP too. She's clearly wanting to change this situation so full marks to her for coming on the site to bare her soul to us all. Who knows what else is happening for this boy - what is his relationship with his mother like, for example? How can we all be so quick to judge?
Fortunately, there are some very positive posters for this thread so I hope that the OP takes some heart and realises that she's not alone in her experience.
My DH is a step parent to my 13 year old son and my ex's wife is also a step parent to my 13 year old son - we've all muddled our way through similar feelings at various times. Allowing him to take the lead with activities and encouraging him to invite his friends over is wonderful advice. As is the advice to get some counselling (even short-term) - it can be quite helpful to bounce ideas off someone who's positive and empathic.
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