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I hate my boyfriend's son

Published on August 9, 2012 by scriptingginger

I love my boyfriend dearly. Problem is he and his ex wife have been competing to be the favorite parent to their son. In the process they have spoiled their son ROTTEN. Because neither want to be the 'bad guy' no one ever tells this kid no. He is 15 now and a complete BRAT. I understand that it isn't the son's fault. Unfortunately, it doesn't change the fact that I can't stand to be around him. I've tried talking to my boyfriend about disciplining his son once in a while but he doesn't think he is doing anything wrong. Should I stay with a man (we've been talking marriage lately) if I HATE his son?


Dear Ginger

Go date somewhere else. If you don't like this boy now, you will like him less once you're married. It's not fair to the boy that you're angry with him. You're angry with the wrong person. The one you should be angry at, is your boyfriend because he's the one indulging his son. I understand that it's easier to be angry at the boy because if you're angry with your boyfriend, wisdom dictates that you get rid of him and since you don't want to get rid of him, you have to be angry at the boy but your anger is misguided.

Your boyfriend will not change the way he raises him and you know it because you talk to your boyfriend about his boy and he does nothing about it because to him there is nothing wrong. Once you're married to your boyfriend - second marriages have a higher rate of divorce, especially if there are children involved - you are going to be angrier with your boyfriend because since he feels guilty about the divorce, he'll be doing whatever he can to be closer to his boy. Whatever you'll say, won't matter/

Then one day you will get up in the morning and you may see his boy living in your house as an adult man. Who do you think is going to leave that house if push comes to shove? Yes, you guessed right: you. Do yourself a favor and go date somewhere else, where there is less complications. Love is not everything. I have a friend who divorced her then husband over his children, she said: "it's the old story, honeys come and go but children are forever. No matter what I say, his children will always come up first". Wishing you luck.

Great questions, tough dynamics. There's no easy answer. Your boyfriend's son will always be his son. You definitely don't want to be the person who makes a dad choose his girlfriend over his son. That said, it sounds like you have some very valid concerns. Is your boyfriend willing to go to a parenting class with you? Perhaps talking with him and taking the angle of "I've never parented and need some input on a few things so that I can be a good stepmom and we can be on the same page" would be a good way to get your boyfriend and you in front of a neutral party who can give you both some good, practical tips on how to handle specific behaviors in his son.

You and your boyfriend definitely need to chat about basic expectations and ground rules for what is expected of his son if you two are to get married. For example, when he stays with you two, is it okay for him to just leave the table without clearing his plate or is it expected of him to help with dishes, etc? These are little things, but they need to be sorted out before you get married. There needs to be a discussion between the three of you as well if there is going to be a change in their dynamic so that his son sees that you two are now a team, but that you want his input in the discussion. Your boyfriend and you need to be on the same page or the son will just see you as the "evil stepmother" and that's not a win:win.

What kind of kiddo is he? Motivated, good grades, attends school? Or, lazy, lacks motivation? The son could be depressed as well and struggling with the divorce. Or, he could be longing for some positive attention/quality time from adults instead of "buying" his love. If you are committed to staying with your boyfriend, try building trust with this young man. The more he trusts you, the stronger your relationship gets. The stronger the relationship you have, the more you can influence him to change his behavior. As hard as it is to tolerate him, he may just be a hurting little boy who is confused and needs love. Role-modeling respect and trust is crucial.
Good luck! Keep me posted, I will be curious how this plays out.