I'm new here as well. I have a 12 year old step-son (will be 13 next month) and my wife and I have diagnosed him as ODD. We got a book titled "10 Days to a Less Defiant Child." It's like someone was in our home writing things down because I can identify with it all. My problem is that I antagonize him because he gets on my nerves. My prior military background doesn't help because I'm used to instant willing obedience to orders...He came into my life when he was 5. His dad was having trouble with alcohol at the time and we moved from CA to Texas to start our life after we got married. By all my wife's accounts he was a difficult baby, and his uncle exhibited the same behaviors that he has. She said he could just walk into a room and the mood got gloomy. Our two children who are 4 (son) and 2(girl) are seemingly normal; slept through the night from 6 weeks on. I know they make me more predjudice against her son and I show favoritism.
He did go back and live with his dad, which lasted a year. When his dad started dating, and eventually married this woman, she really befriended him. (They also now have a 4 year old daughter) The Christmas/summer visits were part of the problem because they spoiled him every chance they got. It gave him an attitude that he was better than us. I finished college and make good money, my wife stays home with the little ones and has not really worked since late 2004. And I don't feel like I should spend money on something that I get so little in return for (bad investment). Anyway we got to a point in early 2006 where he was threatening to go live with his dad all the time and we finally called him and he agreed that his son should live with him. The first six months were blissful. They got him a cell phone (what 11 year old doesn't need one?) and anything else he wanted. He came to visit us that Christmas and was talking to his step-mom like every 5 minutes and texting her. It made my wife sick. He finally blew up because I wouldn't let him buy a cheap camera at Toys R Us because he hadn't opened his gifts from his dad yet and I wanted him to wait and get a good one that would last. He called his dad and asked if he could change his flight, ready to come home, etc, etc. The bliss lasted another month before the real boy starts to shine through and he could no longer maintain the facade. They hadn't been in touch with us since Christmas, mainly because I started an e-mail 'urinary olimpiad' about who got to claim him on their taxes. But we got an e-mail not long before school was out that said he was coming back and didn't want to live there any more. I figured it would last about that long because dad can't cope. My wife knows how to get what she wants out of him, but I'm too **** stubborn (although I've read that you gain power by giving up power, just hard to apply in real life). They also mailed all his things back in a box, even framed certificates and pictures. I got the impression that they don't want him back!
I'm to a point now that I've had my fill of his BS. And I know that it isn't his fault that his brain is wired wrong but he just doesn't get it. He taunts me and calls me retard (he's the one with 3 F's), tells me to shut up when he doesn't get his way. I started popping him and getting physical but he still doesn't get the pain association. Never has. It's very hard for me to give up power because he thinks we're equals and just can't fathom why life is so unfair.
My wife told me this morning that it isn't fair to either one of us to keep in this situation. I have no intention of splitting up MY family because of him. He says all the time that I hate him and asks me to admit it. I won't do that even though my feelings for him are far from love. I guess we need to see a doctor to get a plan to deal with this before I completely lose it, or my wife moves out. I think she'd go and leave the two of us together at this point. He always has to have the last word and thinks he's not wrong.