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Am I being unreasonable? Stepson is 'bragging' among other things about mother's 'wealthy' fiancee'

(17 Posts)
Warbler30 Mon 29-Aug-16 16:57:06

Hello everyone! This is my first post here. I haven't reached out for advice online regarding step-parenting before, so I'm not quite sure if I'm following all the forum rules (please forgive me!). I should mention that I live in the US, so I apologize for my spelling and colloquialisms in advance!

I suppose I should begin by saying my husband and I have been married for nearly 2 years. Both our second marriages. I have no children, he has 2 from his first marriage. His daughter is of age and does not come around at all.

His son is a young teen and with us 50% of the time. I have never had an issue with his mother, but my husband has said she treated him very badly during their marriage. To keep things short, he stated that no amount of money he could make would satisfy her, and she always has to one-up everyone.

My husband and I currently live in a townhouse (attached flat) and are moving to a circa 1910 single family home in three days. We are so excited to get out of the townhouse and couldn't be happier about the move. My stepson seems excited as well.

His mother is also moving in with her attorney fiancee' and they are building an addition on to his large home. My stepson has been saying things like "I'm getting my own master bedroom with attached bathroom and a Queen size bed", and "I'm really excited because Future Stepdad is really rich and because we're moving in he can just build a whole new master bedroom"

He has also told me that he has been telling his friends these things, about how Future Stepdad is "really rich and has a huge TV and lots of really nice stuff".

The straw that broke the camel's back for me, though, was him talking to his mother on the phone and then coming back downstairs and asking for photos of our new house to be sent to his phone. Just before the phone call, my husband was asking if he wanted to see photos of the house, and he was disinterested.

I asked him why he suddenly wanted photos sent to his phone, when he was completely disinterested 5 minutes previously. He didn't have an answer for me, and I (sadly) snapped and said "it sounds to me like you don't want the pictures for yourself, it sounds like your mother wants to see them".

I felt at the time that she wanted to make fun of our new, small home, because she is 'so much better off now' with her new future husband as a rich attorney, because of what my stepson has said.

I feel like with my stepson's bragging of late, she is making it very well known that Future Stepdad is wealthy and that it is so wonderful that they get all the luxurious things she's always wanted. I just guess I feel insecure about it, because I feel like she would have nothing but malicious things to say about our new home. I know my stepson wouldn't know if that were true, but I just felt uncomfortable letting her see photos of our new home, when we aren't privy to see photos of her new home.

I don't know what you'd think about this? Am I being ridiculous in feeling insecure about all of this? I can't help but feel as though she is trying to intimidate us, or create an air of superiority.

Thank you!

CRazzyyAce Mon 29-Aug-16 20:06:48

Your making a meal out of nothing. Your DSS is just excited, you were out of order to disrespect his mother like that to him that was disgraceful and makes me question why the DSD won't come round

MajesticSeaFlapFlap Mon 29-Aug-16 20:08:52

Honestly you sound more obsessed with all the cash and differences then he does

lookluv Mon 29-Aug-16 20:36:52

You need to grow up and ignore what she is doing.

Your DSS is allowed to be excited.

Dozer Mon 29-Aug-16 20:42:12

Ideally DSS shouldn't be so focused on material stuff, but he's a young teen in a material world!

Your comment about the photos and his mother was bang out of order and you should apologise to him.

So what if your H's ex or her H or indeed anyone sees the photos and think or say negative things about your new home? Doesn't actually matter.

Weird and sad that your H's daughter doesn't visit, that's a huge deal.

CannotEvenDeal Tue 30-Aug-16 08:41:32

I'm going to go against the grain here.

Ok, it's not ideal that you snapped and you have acknowledged that, however I don't find it disgraceful given that it seems as though you were right.

His mother should not be using her son to fish for information/photos imo.

Bananasinpyjamas1 Tue 30-Aug-16 09:06:19

I do think that teenagers are a bit clueless, and it does no harm to remind them that these actions do affect other people. However if you can take charge of the situation and be humerous about it next time? Or even say, look I'm sorry if I was a little blunt, but we'd really like to feel that our own move was a bit exciting too, perhaps don't rub the fact your mums boyfriend has tonnes of cash in our faces?!

If it's any consolation, my DS step mum is loaded and her house is amazing, he always prefers to take his mates there. It does hurt, she isn't that nice but he fawns on her because of this, but I keep my mouth firmly shut.

JenLindleyShitMom Tue 30-Aug-16 09:14:45

Honestly you sound more obsessed with all the cash and differences then he does


Grow up. Why is this bothering you? He is an excited teen. Teens brag. Give him no reaction and he'll soon get bored. So what if ex's fiancé is richer than yours. Plenty of people are. Ignore the bragging. The novelty will wear off for him soon.

Bananasinpyjamas1 Tue 30-Aug-16 09:19:55

I don't know, I kind of identify with this. Ignoring isn't always helpful. But then getting tense and making it a 'thing' isn't great either.

I would say something, but make it light and joking, take the mickey a bit about how amazingly rich the Ex is, so you get the message across that yes, you are both a little sick of the bragging! But in a kind, funny way.

MyWineTime Tue 30-Aug-16 10:05:36

This is all in your head!
You have no idea what his mother was thinking and what does it even matter what she thinks of your new house? Were you buying it for yourself or to impress them?
Apologise to your DSS.

paxillin Fri 02-Sep-16 16:49:56

What dss probably really wants is mum and dad being together, under one roof, and with him. I'd ignore the bragging, he is just trying to make himself feel better about a situation he did not chose.

You can have a good relationship with stepchildren, it can all go swimmingly well, but almost no child wants a stepmum or stepdad, however rich or lovely they may be. I am a stepmum, too, it is hard.

His mum might want to snoop, but try to ignore this, she will always know more about you than an ExW without children would ever know. Marrying somebody with kids means "inheriting" an Ex.

CannotEvenDeal Fri 02-Sep-16 17:18:52

no child wants a stepmum or stepdad

Speak for yourself!

What an absolutely ridiculous take on this thread

paxillin Fri 02-Sep-16 17:45:30

I see you cut out the "almost" thus changing the meaning, CannotEvenDeal.

Unless there is abuse, almost all children want to be with their parents and don't want a new stepdad. So this boy's brag might be a way to feel better about it. No need for OP to feel insecure about it.

If it was any different, the step parenting topic on mn would be deserted.

CannotEvenDeal Fri 02-Sep-16 19:19:34

Apologies! I genuinely missed that smile

paxillin Fri 02-Sep-16 19:27:55

I think it boils down to the terribly underrated task of stepparenting. You often start off unwanted, have to negotiate like an UN diplomat, look after kids you didn't know from birth and to top it off there is either an ExW/H to have contact with or (worse) the ExW/H left the kids in the lurch.

SoTheySentMeA Fri 02-Sep-16 20:06:05

FFS the unsupportive comments on this thread are so typical of the Step-parent ingredients topic. Nothing a step parent says or does is right.

Warbler, you are not unreasonable for being irritated by DSS constantly bragging and, if he's comparing that must extremely aggravating. Where you were unreasonable was to make the comment out loud to DSS about his mother. You will need to apologise for that but also let DSS know how he is making you feel. Its not the worst thing in the world for teenagers to know that their words affect other people and that they should think before they speak.

swingofthings Sun 04-Sep-16 09:57:43

Come on, we all know how common it is for an ex who was left hurt in the breakdown of a relationship to want to show that they came out of it better off.

Whatever your husband has been telling you about his ex, you can quite assure that at least 50% has been distorted/selective/untrue. That's how it goes. So for all you know, she was left crying for hours, feeling abandoned, battered, scared and lost. Her finding her rich husband and bragging about is her saying 'look, you did me a favour after all'.

Who cares!!! You're with the man you love and he is much happier with you than he was with her, so surely it's a winner for everyone? You picked him with the knowledge (I assume) that he wasn't massively rich, so you haven't been deceived.

As for your SS, tell him that he is incredibly lucky because he gets to enjoy both material wealth AND the wealth of sharing the richness of a family who is united and who share a deep love. Both are special and should be valued in its own right. Many rich kids who have to share their lives with parents who are deeply unhappy would give all their comfort to share their lives with loving parents.

And let's not forget that we never know what is around the corner. One day we have it all and make others envious, the next you have nothing and en up depending on people's emotional support.

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