Hi, My name is Susie and I am the stepmom (to be) of a 12 y/o and an 18 y/o - both boys. It has been a very difficult road for me as I also have an 11 y/o difficult child (another boy!)
I met my SO when his 18 y/o was about 10 years old. We have been living together for the last 3 years. My SO has been having FULL CUSTODY of his boys since they were very young. Their mom was not so great...
He has done a wonderful job getting this far with them, but now the problems are beginning.
I feel it is harder for me because I am the "step-monster". It seems as if the 12 y/o does things on purpose-just to get on my nerves. I truly believe that. He will do just the opposite or nothing at all (mostly) when he knows very well what the rules are and what we expect. Of course it is worse when his "dad" is not home. He is the quiet, sneaky type of child who I am having a hard time dealing with.
As far as the 18 y/o? Huh, he has been given very little responsibility up to this point by his dad. This bothers me terribly. I have tried to discuss this with my SO, but nothing has changed yet. Sleeps til noon or so-then goes and does as he pleases. I have to leave notes for him to do certain things (and not a lot) because I feel his dad should be enforcing the duties, etc. I don't know if his dad feels "guilty" about what happened with the divorce between him and their mom but it is a BIG problem with me. I believe in responsibility being given to children. That is the only way they will learn and mature.
The 18 y.o. has already-streaked his hair blonde-gotten his ear pierced on both sides plus one in upper part of ear (which became badly infected -HA!) so needless to say he "will never put another one there"-we'll see. Then I find out the other day that he has a "tongue" piercing!! That blew me away. His dad is sooooo disappointed in him, but yet doesn't do anything about it.
Why do I stay? Well, my difficult child gives SO lots of trouble, too. In a different way, though.
But my SO is the most wonderful man I have ever met. He treats me great and is a very loving man. I have a lot of respect for him being a single dad and all. He has helped me through terrible times with my difficult child-I probably would not be here without his suppport!!
Well, I hope this is what you are looking for.. edit away if needed. E-mail me if I messed up or something. Thanks for letting me share my stepchildren story...
Susie/30/FE/Louisiana, divorced for last 9 years; now engaged to Arlan who has full custody of his children (two boys: C-12 yrs and A.J.-18yrs old) REASON I'M HERE: Bobby (my difficult child)Adhd,Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD),Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD),odd?depressed,etc...Need all the help and support I can get!!!
[This message has been edited by susiearnernurse (edited 08-27-99).]
Your situation sounds so much like mine...only my SOs difficult child has brought his father to his breaking point...I was there a long time ago. SO's oldest who lives with us is 13...then he has an 11 y/o and I have an 8 y/o. My 8 y/o is difficult child 2...only not quite as bad. I believe that difficult child 1's behavior rubs off on her which influences her to be more difficult child than my easy child!
Anyway, ur difficult child sounds to me like he's doing alot of "normal" things...believe it or not, the piercing is normal right now among these older teens...even kids into their 20s! I have a sister who is 20 and she's doing it all too and she's a easy child...
I whole heartedly agree with you about the responsibility though. And, from one step monster to another...I think you really need to have ur SO's backing on that. You enforcing it on your own may not yield the results you hope for.
I wish you all the best and hang in there. Your ability to cope with and interact with your step children is something ur SO see, and one of the things that he loves about you. ((hugs))