Well, I didn't entirely give up, but I'm close. Really close. I know that in the end the answers can only come from me. I just need to vent. I told my story on this board a few days ago, but here it is again in brief. My boyfriend and I have been together 2 1/2 years. He has a son who is almost 11 who lives with him full-time. The mom is not in the picture, she does more harm than good -- history of alcoholism, drug use, and possibly mental illness. She never sees him. I've called the boy "Johnny", but there's something about that I don't like, so I'll just call him "B." He currently takes 40 mg of Straterra for ADHD. The kid has severe behavioral issues -- responds "no" to everything, refuses to cooperate, oppositional, challenges authority, has no friends, does poorly in school, has chronic problems at school (had the police called on him last year for physically assaulting a teacher), refuses to do school work, cries a lot, has anger issues, manipulates to get his way, lies, always seems miserable. Dad has no mental health or substance abuse history other than a diagnosis of ADHD as a kid (I sometimes wonder if that was truly accurate). The issue I have is more with his father, my boyfriend, than it is with B. This kid has basically run his own life his WHOLE life. Dad just lets him do it. He gets sick of the arguing and fighting, so he eventually just caves and lets B have his way. If he's asked to do something, the response is "no" or "you do it" or "I don't want to." My boyfriend either just forces him to his room or an all-out war ensues trying to get B to do what he was told. The result is screaming, yelling, crying and eventually a kid that is reduced to an emotional train-wreck. Dad just doesn't know how to deal with this kid. B has no limits or boundaries, he does what he wants -- comes and goes as he pleases, does what he feels like doing, listens when he feels like it, even chooses where he lives! When he gets sick of Dad, he runs to Grandma and Grandpa's down the street. When he gets bored there, he comes back to Dad. And so on. When I came into the picture, I immediately saw that this kid had severe issues. But the relationship was new -- I didn't feel it was my place to get involved. Probably wrong, but at the time it was what I thought was right. I have no children myself. In August of this year boyfriend and I started talking about marriage and that's when things with me changed. I knew that I could not marry this man with such a screwed up, out of control child. I told my boyfriend he needed to start dealing with his kid's issues. That started with a visit to the pediatrician, who upped his Straterra more than double the original dose. This didn't help -- in fact, B seems worse now. The pediatrician followed visits to the counselor, who he's seen since age 4 but never consistently. The counseling has not helped, either -- behavior charts, "talking it out," it has done nothing. I finally told Dad B needs more and convinced him to have a neuropsychologist evaluation done to find out what's REALLY going on. The counselor said this week she now thinks B is bipolar but I won't be convinced until the testing is done. That happens in December. Meanwhile, Dad goes on about the business of doing NOTHING with his son. If anything gets done, I have to do it. I have gotten so frustrated with B's behavior lately that I can hardly stand him sometimes. Dad knows this and now looks for me being "unfair" to B. For example, Dad took away B's computer and TV from his room. All fine and good, but now B just dominates the living room TV! I asked him the other night to turn it off so we could have a little quiet. Dad jumped all over me, telling me B "wasn't doing anything" and that I was too harsh. He told me B has nothing else to do so we can't take TV away, too. I responded, what's the point of taking his bedroom TV away. The point should be to LOSE the privilege, not move it to another room! Everything to do with B is tearing his dad and I apart. He just doesn't get it! He's not a bad person, he just has no idea about how to be consistent or set limits or enforce rules or be an authority figure. I try to do the right things and lately just get shot down for it. This is hard for me...I don't have kids, but I have an extremely close relationship with my sister's three kids. They are model children (not perfect, but really neat kids) and their mom is amazing. She nurtures and develops her kids and is just a wonderful parent. Their dad is, too, but she is at the heart of it all. I see what she does and it works! These kids are awesome, I love them so much and am so proud of them. And so I try doing for B what my sister does with her kids. But Dad just doesn't "get it." He doesn't get that parenting involves so much more than just providing a home and clothes and food. He loves his son, there's no doubt about that, but he doesn't know what to do beyond that. We don't live together but I spend way more time at my boyfriend's house than my own. Yesterday I came home, told him I couldn't handle it anymore. I don't want to abandon this kid or the relationship. But I can't do it all. I feel like if anything gets done with B, I'm the one who has to do it. There is no "united front" with my boyfriend and I, he undermines me and doesn't even realize it. He's consistent when he feels like it. He just seems to be clueless when it comes to parenting. I'm not the expert, I'm not saying that. I just have better "common sense." Maybe there is no such thing as using common sense with a disturbed kid, I don't know. All I know is my life is crumbling down around me and I'm ready to just bail. I don't want to. I just don't know what else to do. I didn't give birth to this child. He's not my flesh and blood. He treats me like ****. But I'm the only one who seems to know what's good for him. And I'm the "bad" one, the one who is "mean" to poor little B. I'm truly not mean at all, I try giving this kid the structure and parenting he so desperately needs! But all it does is make me the bad guy. If I don't follow up and stay involved, Dad will go back to how things were, I'm sure of it. B will end up a very troubled and messed up kid and then adult. He'll have to deal with me abandoning him, too. I don't want to do that to him. But I don't want my life destroyed by this kid and his clueless father, either. I'm constantly stressed out and upset. Life is not fun anymore, it's just a matter of getting through the day...waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop. I am resentful and frustrated and don't like this person I've become. I'm worn out and sick of it. Thanks for letting me vent.