August 22, 2010,
D.B. asks from Arlee, MT on August 21, 2010
Trouble with My Oldest Son and His Step Father
I have three beautiful sons from a previous marriage and am having serious issues with my son's behavior toward his step father as well as issues with his step father dealing with my oldest son. I'm caught in the middle of my son being disrespectful toward us and I don't like the way my husband reacts to my oldest son. Any suggestions?
So What Happened?™
Thank you so much for your input. I have been stuck between my son acting up as well as my husband and it is not easy telling a grown man he is out of line. I will stand my ground with both of them and treat them accordingly. I feel like a referee between them but if that is what it takes, then so be it. Thanks again.
R.J. answers from Seattle on August 21, 2010
I have that issue with my son and his bio-father. It's not a popular stance (the whole united front thing), but I just call them as I see them. When my son is out of line I say so, and when my husband is out of line I also say so. And when they're BOTH out of line, I also say so. I hate it, but I'm married to a toddler who doesn't care about childhood development, age appropriate behavior, or restraint (aka, being the ADULT in a situation).
If you're lucky enough to be married to someone who listens and respects you, I would talk with your husband in private so that you don't have to call them as you see them, because his behavior will change.
My H gets mad at me for not backing him up, but I REFUSE to back him up when he's wrong. Only children and pets can be abandoned. Everyone else can take care of themselves. If my H doesn't like being told that his tone was hurtful and uncalled for, he could STOP saying things in a nasty tone of voice. But my son is a CHILD, it's my responsibility to look out for his best interest and to TEACH him. I will not abandon my child just to keep my H from having his feelings hurt.
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J.B. answers from Atlanta on August 21, 2010
All I can say is that you need to seriously listen to your son and watch how your husband acts toward him. He didn't ask for that "father" and if you don't like the way he deals with your oldest son, and you CHOSE him -imagine how your son feels. NOTHING is worth losing or harming your relationship with your child. There are lots of counseling programs to address this type of problem. I would seek one immediately.
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L.M. answers from Dover on August 22, 2010
I think it is partially due to too much testoterone! My husband and son LOVE each other (we've been together since my son was 3 and he is now 18). They can really but heads and sometimes I can't tell which one is the child. Depending on the situation, you may need to back your hubby (as far as rules and action) but also let him know that you don't agree with his actions/attitude either. It is a hard spot to be in...caught between being his mom and his wife but your first responsibility is to protect your child (if necessary).
M.C. answers from Salt Lake City on August 22, 2010
I would talk to your husband in private about what each of your expectations are for your son and how you will both handle the situtation when those expectations are not met. I'm a stepdaughter as well as a stepmom so I can see the situation from both sides. If you "call it as you see it" with your husband in front of your son it will tell him that he can also "attack" your husband. When your son is around you need to support your husband and show him lots of respect and love so that your son sees that even though this man may not be his dad, he is your husband and needs to be shown respect for that reason.
I would also talk to your son in private and let him know what is expected of him. Let him know that he is not allowed to talk to or treat your husband in a disrespectful manner just like it isn't acceptable to act that way towards you. Let them both know that you love them both, but that you won't tolerate being in the middle since it puts a strain on your relationship with both of them.
I'm sorry you are stuck in the middle as I know that is never a fun place to be.