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I married my wife two years ago and she has an 12 year old son from a previous marriage. I have 10 year old from a previous marriage. The kids have had their differences in adjusting as my son always wanted a step brother but her son has had the hardest time accepting it all. He is now ok with me and seems to be great when its just the 3 of us but when my son comes around he is very stand offish with him, doesnt want to be in the same space as him, he is rude to him and it shows his presence bugs him. I have talked to his mom my boy has cried over how he is treated but she is more concerened as to what is going on with her son thats making him act this way which i understand to a certain degree but shouldnt certain treatment just not be allowed/tolerated? I mean it feels like if he doesnt like being there she will cater to his feelings and divorce me becasue we end up fighting to those levels about it. His dad keeps telling him we are not his family, that my son is not his brother. When my son wants nothing but to feel part of them. My heart really is hurting in this and i feel if it was my son being rude and acting this way i would have stopped him in his tracks with this behavior. I get being patient and helping them adjust best we can but no one should feel they dont like them, specially in your own home. I hate he comes home to such a tense enviornment all the time when he always looks foward to seeing them but my wife and her son just dont care to engage with him or know him in any way. I

And on the other side of this i have a much better relationship with her son, i look for ways to bond with him and make him comfortable, i play and include him in everything. I truly try to make it equal for both boys. She rarely ever talks to my son unless its to correct him about something. Sure she is cordial and polite to him but just treats him no more than that. No connection, no motherly love or care. Please help i love her very much but this is hurting me alot. i dont want my son to grow up thinkiing this kind of household is ok as he was raised veru differently.

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Answers (12)

Wow, a very hard thing you are going thru. I think
The problem is your wife, she needs to lead her son by example and be loving and kind to your son. She may not be able to do it, in which case you may need to seperate as your son should come first.

 I couldn’t agree with this more! My wife says he never wanted a step brother or for her to get remarried so I have to be patient with him as he adjust to it. But I feel like it’s been 2 years of this and we are good and loving to him but my son ends up being the one hurting for the rejection.
helpful (0) 
 Her son will never change so there is no point waiting around. I say this from experience coming from a ‘joined’ family. You can love the new wife all you like, but you are ultimately putting your son second and his happiness too. You will never get the connection back with your son and it could ruin him watching you put her first.
Honestly I don’t say this to sound harsh but without letting on my story (I worry about people identifying me through too much information)
I’ve experienced all of this, and the person in my family could have been a different person (I believe) if they weren’t treated the way you described your wife treating your son.
If she really loved you she would change before letting you walk out that door but either way you need to put him first and show him he is worth of being put first by his own father

helpful (4) 
 To the OP... i think you already know what has to happen but you are stuck between the love for your son and the love for your wife.... Its so important that you show your son that he comes first, whatever happens, if your wife and you are suppose to be together you will figure it out, but if you leave your son as a 2nd or 3rd priority he will never get over it for his entire life and it will affect his children and their children and so forth.... Its hard to walk away from a woman you love but there are many woman, but you only have one son. Good luck, and all the best ❤️
helpful (2) 
 ^^typo:... ‘and you only have....’
helpful (0) 

I would recommend moving house. Stay together with your partner as you said the love is there but to put it simply, there is no respect for your or your son. Find yourself a little unit to rent and live there when your son is with you. When your wife & step son pull their selfish little heads in, then you may consider moving back in and transitioning your lives again. My heart breaks for your son and how excluded and hurt he must feel every single time he goes to your house. Step up friend and put your baby first x
Good luck

 I strongly agree with this advice. Heart broken for your son too
helpful (1) 
 I agree with this too.
helpful (0) 

All you can do is work on it. Try family counseling. Have a family meeting and lay it all out. Do more as a family unit. Kid swap for a day and send her off to do something with your son they can bond over.

 Great idea about kid swap!
helpful (1) 

He is 12, and he has had to deal with a lot, of course he isn't happy. He has had no say in this, and doesn't want to share his space or life with either of you. He can't make you leave, so he will make life difficult. 12 year olds aren't known for seeing situations from others perspectives, he probably won't think oh as long as my mum is happy I will put up with it. I would sit down and talk to him about he feels, maybe ask for a compromise like your son not being there too often, or your son not being allowed in his room. Just something so he doesn't feel powerless in the situation. Blended families are difficult and often don't work, you each have a child that you want to be happy and that can make it tricky. Mum can see her son is unhappy so of course she is going to take his side, it's not that she doesn't care about you or your son, it's just that she loves her son, and the relationship with you and your son doesn't come close to how she feels about her child (the same as you feel about your son). Just as your son is your priority her son is hers, so as someone suggested maybe move out so you can escape and your son isn't made to feel uncomfortable, and take the blending of the families much slower and at the kids pace. Is very different from having a relationship before you have children, as you aren't her priority and that can lead to resentment.

 I agree. I also think that it is not wife’s fault per say. I have three children and the oldest can be quite stand-off ish and difficult with the loving and kind middle one and this is normal sibling rivalry. We work hard in this, they play really well a lot of the time, but what you described she guilty of. It’s hard
helpful (1) 

I was in a similar situation, my kids really resent my partners child, and it just didn't work. My kids are my priority and my partner now has his access weekends at his parents place. You can't expect her to choose your sons happiness over her son, so you going elsewhere when your son is there might work.

Ohhh parenting issues are so tricky is mixed families. I sometimes get so angry at my husband if he says something about my kids, I think well they were here first, and if you don't like it you can leave!
Its not a helpful attitude to have, I think you just get more protective over your own children.
However, the son is entering teen years and this may be a new phase he's going through (with the attitude), but also he might be really jealous of sharing his mum with other people too!
Maybe you can do some 1:1 with your son so he feels really loved by you? I really don't know how to address the issue with your wife though! Good luck! Messy

 I was going to suggest your wife and son do something one on one that they both enjoy. Maybe a bike ride trip to the library even an outing to get donuts.
helpful (1) 

Unfortunately you cannot makes a person like another and there may be no reasons for your wife’s son’s dislike of your son. Neither of these boys have any say in becoming step brothers, and if there is no relationship there, then you cant do anything . However, in time your step son might soften. Change can take a lot of Time, and those pre teen hormones don’t help. However, rudeness should not be tolerated and it’s up to your wife to enforce that.

To be brutally honest, my children always come first, over anyone, including their dad. And their dad and I have the strongest most living relationship, something I never imagined could exist. He feels the same.
So she'll go AWOL from your marriage if she ain't feeling it. Try to do stuff together. Go camping, fishing, do family things away from your home and the rest will follow. And the kids dad is right. But you are step-family.