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SS read our messages.(90 Posts)
Okay, I'm feeling brave so going to post here. I know how much of a hard time stepmoms get on here, but I genuinely think I would feel this way of it was my own child.
We are a blended family. I have 2 DD 15 & 12 and shared daughter 3 years old. Then there is DHs son age 10 with us pretty Much 50:50. There are ups and downs but we rub along okay. Usual stuff with difference in age etc.
Anyway, SS10 made a joke the other day to his dad. It was about something off urban dictionary and a direct result of having read DH text messages from me. SS didn't try to hide it, in fact he was open in referencing what he had read. Thing is, this message was sent probably about 8-10 weeks ago so SS has blatantly read our private messages. He asked to borrow his dads phone to use google and then has gone on and read all of our messages going back at least this far. I am livid! As a large blended family and with Different needs, DH and I barely get any time together and intimacy is rare (a whole other thread on the sleep forum 😫). One of the only things we have is our private messages and SS has blatantly violated this. I just can't forgive it. He absolutely knows better. DH has said that as he hasn't explicitly told him Not to read our private messages then he didn't know not to. I completely disagree and this causing me huge issues. I'm literally so mad about SS behaviour (he has likely shared other elements with his mum and grandma etc) and DH attitude towards it. I can't get past it. I know for a fact if one of my children HD done this they would feel the consequences. DH is just blasé about it. Am I wrong to be so mad about it?!
Oof. Yikes. I'd be feeling all the same things and wanting DH to come down like a ton of bricks on SS.
I think 10 is old enough to know not to read your messages and your DH should speak to SS about this. I would be annoyed too.
Your Dh is blatantly and unashamedly defending his son even though he knows he shouldn’t be. I would be more angry at dh than the 10yo to be honest.
Thanks for the replies. I think my husbands dismissive attitude is making me more angry. I have no idea how far back he went, but certainly would have been reading for a good half
Hour even just to get to the urban dictionary link (it was a link to duck butter, a new phrase I learned on Mumsnet that made me howl with laughter 😂). I don't know how to get past it with either of them. I feel Violated. Like I can't even have anything private. I share my life, family and home with all the kids and all I want is a little bit of privacy. It's knowing that he will be taking to his mum/grandma/brothers about our private life also that riles me. He absolutely knew when he did it it was wrong. But he felt so untouchable that he blatantly admitted and gloated about it. And he has got away without a word. Not a single word. I don't feel Like I can message my own husband now without a filter that he will read it. And maybe pass it on.
I would be fuming too , is he the type of child that would be repeating the messages to his mum do you think ? Your DH definitely needs to address this , surely he is annoyed with him !
oh god id be going nuclear at my DH. I would expect him to punish his son, he needs to set boundaries now !
He would definitely repeat to others. And DH is really not bothered. Can't see why I am even annoyed but said he will mention something to him. TBH I am equally mad with both of them. SS for doing it and DH for not giving a shit. I am trying to carry on as normal (we are on a family holiday at the moment) but every time I think about it I get the rage inside. I just can't fathom what SS was thinking to do it, and then gloat. Or DH to just dismiss it.
I think it is worse also that DH is very private with his phone. I never get sight of it, super encrypted password etc. I am his wife and I couldn't read his messages. Or borrow his phone to go on google! What does that say about my relationship. His 10'yr old son is trusted more than his wife. And even when he proves he can't be trusted it is a non event. I'm pretty sure if I read his messages it would be WW3!
I know how you feel, the same has happened to me. DP has many devices all linked to his account and happily shares them with his DCs to play on.
I wasn’t aware of this early on in our relationship so would send him saucy messages etc then one day he told me that his ex had referenced a private joke we share, obviously one of the DCs had read it and told her.
He’s since got them their own tech so they don’t need to use his, but it certainly put me off texting anything risqué for a while. His loss, as I know he likes to receive them!
In your shoes I’d back right off from anything but run of the mill “we need milk” texts and if he wonders why then tell him you don’t feel comfortable talking intimately with his son!
He’s obviously one of those parents who’s afraid to set boundaries in case the kid votes with their feet. I’d be furious too.
Something like this is not something your husband should have to explain to his son and it's wrong he is excusing his behaviour.
I would be angry too if my own children read my personal messages to anyone let alone my husband, this is simple manners that should be taught to our children.
Speak to your husband again and tell him that this is basic manners and not exclusive to his son, you wouldn't allow your other children to do this either.
It is a violation and he is a child, he can certainly repeat things to others and it's all wrong.
The boy needs a talking to and some repercussions for this so he can learn. I sincerely hope your husband wakes up and realises this is terrible behaviour.
Good luck OP, it must be tough being a step parent, I imagine even when you try and do right it's still wrong in the eyes of everyone else.
Best wishes to you!
I can't get past it
Bit overdramatic OP, you're going to have to - he's a child.
I don't think you can be mad with your step son over this. I have taught my children about phone use, message privacy etc. Your husband clearly hasn't because he isn't bothered. I would be cross if my children did this because I've taught them not to.
I would be absolutely raging at your husband though, if he doesn't teach his child boundaries on phones, there should be absolutely nothing on there inappropriate for him to read or see. This doesn't seem to be the case. He would be where I'd direct my anger.
Yes you can forgive it, of course you can. Would you not forgive it if it was one of your own DC? Be livid, sure, I would be too, but to decide you won’t forgive him? Really. Come on. There needs to be consequences, he is no longer allowed access to anyone else’s phone or unsupervised access to any shared/family tablets etc. And I would possibly be insisting on a screen and gadget ban for a time period. Your DH has to take the lead on this and show DSs how angry he is.
Wait until your own DC start going through your phone. Shit happens just laugh it off.
I'd be pretty fucking mad at both SS and DH in those circumstances and they would both know it.
For the SS, I would honestly let him know that he had violated your boundaries and that you had lost trust and respect for him as a result.
For the husband I would reiterate that sentiment and also be clear that by minimising your feelings about private communications between the two of you, he's actually devaluing your relationship. If there is no safe space for you to share intimate thoughts, then you won't feel comfortable sharing them and your relationship will erode. I know it seems small but it could actually turn out to be a dealbreaker.
I don't think it's over dramatic to say she can't get past it. I wouldn't be able to either, because the kid has no contrition.
Maybe he genuinely doesn't realise that he's done wrong. The device was handed to him with no discussion about restrictions. I remember that feeling of shock/ horror as a child of getting into trouble for something which I didn't realise was wrong. Your DH needs to speak to him about privacy and explain why what he's done is so bad. I understand why you feel angry but do you really not see a way to forgive him and move forward from this?
I'd only text your DH in a business like manner from now on. Very formal and if he questioned it, I'd tell him why.
It was wrong of SS to do this...but now you know what you can text...as your DH isn't bothered by it.
As i mentioned we are currently on holiday. All of this happened last week and I feel it is unfair on SS to bring it up now. It should have been dealt with at the time by DH. SS is unaware of my feelings about this. It's me that is trying to deal with them. I understand what PP are saying about him not knowing as he wasn't told, but honestly. This is a smart ten year old, he knew despite not being explicitly told. He hasn't been told not to throw his little sister off the balcony or eat dog shit, but he knows not to do these things. He asked to use google, he wasn't handed the device with no restrictions. He abused the privilege and had no repercussions at all.
To the poster who said wait till my kids do it. Something similar happened a few years ago, they shared information with my ex that was out of bounds. And they.knew when they did it,
Despite not being explicitly told. I saw it as a massive breach if trust. They were reprimanded and held accountable. And no I haven't forgiven them. It is still used as a yardstick for how angry I was and for how wrong they are. I'm not oblivious to children having flaws. But this has got me. He has tested a boundary and it wasn't there. I don't feel
Like I have anywhere to go. He listens to conversations, he is never away from his dads side when with us. So the only piece of me and him was our private messaging. Our jokes that only we know. He is now fully aware of them and referenced it too. So we have nothing left. I don't think it is dramatic to be unforgiving of such action. And yes DH is just as bad for his reaction. I feel like this is one time DH should have really been mad and protected me. And our relationship. But he didn't give a shit and it didn't matter to him. I suppose that's my real problem.
I think you have a dh problem, you said yourself ss was resting the boundaries and there were none made clear by dh. I can understand why ss read messages-I probably would on my mum’s phone!! But I would also take the requisite bollocking on the chin after and know not to do it again.
Sounds like there are other issues simmering away under the surface.
Perhaps after your holiday it might be time to bring them out for an airing.
I'm pretty sure if I read his messages it would be WW3!
I think you should make it WW3 now.
When you get back from holidays wait until you are alone and then explode at your dh. What the living hell was he thinking that YOUR private messages to him are fair game for a 10 year old? What the living hell was he thinking when he had an opportunity to be a proper parent to his son and explain to him how out of bounds it was for him to read your messages and he failed to do so?
Also I would absolutely refuse to message or text him again. Ever.
He has failed you and he has failed his son. Probably a lazy man who couldn't be arsed actually parenting his child or defending his wife because .... just let it go and it will all work out. really unattractive.
Dh clearly isn't so provided you feel able I would sit both dh and ss down and say I know you went through private messages. This isn't acceptable and I've lost respect for you. Explain about privacy and how you wouldn't go through his things. Say you expect it not to be repeated and leave it.
Your a blended family. So it's reasonable to set boundaries
I hear you OP.
I've had the same with my DSD. I've had to change the passwords on all of my devices and start locking our filing cabinets. I'd feel / do exactly the same if it was my DC.
Tricky because DSD has been in trouble for online bullying so we do periodically go through all of her messages. Usually when she's asleep though and she's not aware. She's 13.
Feels like a double standard.
I seriously doubt he didn't realise it was inappropriate. As someone that was still in school in the early days of smartphones, I can tell you that reading someone's messages and spreading jokes and rumours about what's in them is very likely to be a common playground jape. It's things like that being perceived as funny that led to naked pictures of teenage girls in my school being shared around without her consent, and absolutely is something that should be disciplined before it gets that far, even setting OPs personal embarrassment aside.
On a personal level, you have welcomed a child that isn't yours into your home and it is that child's father's responsibility to ensure he respects your personal boundaries. He has massively let you down here and as others have said, if I were you I would insist on gadget restrictions and/or sit them both down yourself.