Should I give up?(12 Posts)
My step son stays regularly and is sixteen. I've known him 8 years. He is quiet, a bit sullen, friendless, plays computer games and watches TV.... All he wants is an exclusive relationship with his dad. He is chatty with his dad and they do lots together. When I'm around he ignores me utterly, not even saying hello. He's spent whole weekends without actually speaking to me. I try to go out, stay out of his way, work in the garden etc, but I feel like an unwanted stranger in my own home. My DH does try, and has tried talking with my step son, but nothing has ever changed. It puts a strain on our relationship and I'm unhappy whenever the boy is here.... Shall I give up trying and just stay out of his way, give him what he wants, maybe stay with friend ? I do that some of the time. Eg they're going on holiday together and I'm staying with my sister when he's next here.
I have similar with my dss but he is younger. I flipped a few weeks ago and told dss, dp and dss mum that I will not be disrespected in my home and that if it carried on I would refuse to have dss here when his dad wasn't here. So you have the patience of a saint in my book!
What has your dh said is dss answer when tackled?
Well done for continuing. If it makes it any better, natural DC can behave like this too.
I'd try not to worry about it and see this as time you can do what you want. Be civilised but fundamentally chilled. He may get over it, become more civilised as he grows up. Don't take it as specifically personal. He would behave like this to anyone in your position.
Sit tight in terms of not letting him push you out if the house, but work in your priorities. Don't expect him to join in.
I really identify with this too. Two of my step daughters only talked to me when she wanted something - otherwise ignored. (14 and 18).
I took each of them away on a short break and did a few activities with them - things they really liked and didn't involve having to chat a lot - that really helped temporarily but for me it just went back to being ignored. But worth trying!
I think in a way yes you should take a big step back - but sounds like you have already. He's entitled to one to one Dad time - but IMO his Dad should have a little chat and say he needs to make an effort. Even tell him yourself that it makes you feel crap - that you understand you are not necessarily going to be best buddies but there shouldn't be a horrible atmosphere.
Mind you - I tried this with 18 year old - asking her to say 'Hello' and she screamed that I wasn't her mother and left to live with her mothers the next day and hasn't been back since - after living with her for 5 years and had only just days before looked after her when she was ill.
It has practically broken my relationship - my OH has moved out and doesn't understand. But what can I do - as a step mum we are flesh and blood - we have feelings - we are not invisible.
It's sad but also helpful to know I'm not alone. He never shouts, he simply ignores me. And DH has tried and is really clear about what's going on. But he loves us both. It saddens me that ultimately his son will stop coming because of his hatred of me. He has told people ... Who have then told me.... How much he hates me. In my opinion it's about control. He wants his dad to himself like when he was little. Thanks for your support. He's just gone off chatting merrily to his dad, but failed as usual to acknowledge I existed! The worst time is when we are here on our own. There's a simmering hatred as he lurks watching me or if I'm lucky, he skulks in his room! I cook and clean clothes or run him about whilst he hates me. Sigh. I am sad that I love his dad but can't love him, and what I really want is for him to refuse to come again.
Ps k888 I'm sorry, I really hope your relationship is repairable. A child should not be able to destroy a good relationship. Just as a step parent should not destroy a parent and child relationship
Why on earth are you running about someone who doesn't acknowledge your existence?
At 16 he is more that old enough to understand that you just don't act like that, he doesn't have to like you but that doesn't mean he gets to be rude, civil is fine.
I wouldn't be doing anything for him, I tell my 12 and 9yo that if they can't be civil then they don't get the added benefits of me doing stuff for them.
It's not personal. The boy would hate you whoever you were. Don't cook or launder for him unless it's absolutely no inconvenience. His dad can do it! Or you can show the boy how to care for himself.
If you imagine the boy to be someone beyond your responsibility, especially in terms of developing his manners or deciding what he must do next, then you will be free to do as you please. Go out, take a bath, view the city parks/art gallery/book shops or have friends round. Spend money on yourself if you've got it.
Can you open your mind to forgive the sullen teen for being confused and nasty, and plough on as if it's water off a ducks back? He won't be a teen forever. He wants to be with his dad and the situation isnt ideal. Who knows, your relationship with big lad might warm up. It takes two to tango and you can't force it, but you can be there in the wings if he wants to try to connect
Him accepting you warmly might be beyond him at the moment, as if it's a rejection of his mum (maybe) or a jealousy of Dad's attention, or because he's a selfish teen who's self centredness means he would treat anyone he wants to this way. One day he might be able to see how it is for his step mum and more likely for his Dad.
All you can do is your best. Smile even when your heart is breaking, and do your own thing. It will become the new norm.
You might find they want you to be involved with them a little more if you start looking like there's no power struggle of passive tormentor and injured adult.
Fake it to make it. And try to be kind to yourself. It will brighten your mood if you compensate for the boy's passive aggression by treating yourself nicely, the way we all deserve to be treated.
He cares less about the situation that is intolerable to you and is muddling through without as much angst as you, even if he does mouth off to others. His dad probably is at a loss about knowing how to help, otherwise he would have put his foot down tot he rudeness earlier.
Start a mission to try to say something nice and brief to the lad each day, with a smile, and then get on with your own thing. You can pave the way for when he matures and he might soften.
Absolutely agree with Don't.
Also find displacement for your rage, take it out eg by excessive, digging the garden, painting.
Stay removed, don't let him drag you in.
That way your partner will feels less under threat and dss will find it harder to drive a wedge between you. Counter intuitive.
And never take this personally. This is not about you as a person. The nearest it would get to is that would be if it were about you as a mythical person if he has been filled with shit. It us about a situation and a teenage grieving maturing process.
Re Morselover Thanks - and good luck to you too. I totally agree, a child shouldn't have the power to break up a relationship - you are not getting in the way of their relationship after all.
If your partner can see it is hard on you, can understand and will not let it shake his faith in your relationship then at least you have that.
And I also never had the shouting (well rarely) - more of the ignoring. That is much harder to deal with, I feel, than a kid shouting - at least there is an open honesty there and it is clear what they feel. Ignoring is pretty insidious.
I hope you can take care of yourself - hopefully it will not last forever - don't deny yourself a good moan to someone you can't keep it pent up - and hopefully your SS has to grow up sometime and make his own life.
I wonder if you doing stuff for him has caused this lack of respect
I've always been very clear - dp does stuff for dss, he does his laundry, not me, he sorts out his school stuff, he takes him places, dp cooks when we have dss here. That's the default. I will do stuff if required and if asked, but I don't go round looking for dss' dirty laundry etc.
I wouldn't be on your own with him, where is DH going that dss is left with you? Tell him not to, or to take dss with him or drop him at a friend's, you definitely shouldn't have to do things in the face of this sullen behaviour. And you certainly shouldn't have to go out!
And DH should be stepping up and picking up the behaviour every single time. If he's been like this for eight years it may be too late though.
Hatred is quite a strong emotion. Why would he hate you? If it was me, my priority would be to try to understand what would lead him to feeling so strongly about me. No point in trying to bridge a gap if you don't know why it is there in the first place.
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