I'm Done Trying To Fix Him


Well-Known Member
After some months of spying and tattling on the behavior of my stepson to his biological parents (my wife and her ex-husband), I have realized it's a lose-lose situation for me. They will do nothing and he is not my legal or, frankly, moral responsibility.

Stepson is cutting school, not just a class here and there but entire days of school. He is failing or nearly failing every class. He's a junior, has no goals or plans. Very intelligent, but not able to cope with responsibility of any kind. His dad, with whom he lives, is in denial and minimizes the whole situation. My wife is estranged from this child, he won't take her calls, let alone see her. It's been almost one year.

Stepson posts online about drinking and drug use. At my insistence, my wife and I gave his father the information. His father says there's no way stepson is actually doing these things, that it's just teenage bravado and that if stepson were smoking weed and drinking hard liquor "he'd know." Father then went and triangulated my younger stepson, with whom we are building a relationship anew after he too chose estrangement from us for a while. Father told stepson that I was "spying" on the older child and stepson interrogated my wife and I about this when we saw him the other day. Father denies doing any of this. But the father cannot be trusted, he is a sick man and he wants to be his children's friend rather than a parent. He would probably lie for stepson if he killed somebody.

It is a tragedy but there is nothing I can do about it. I struggle with codependency and controlling others overtly and covertly. I cannot sacrifice my own serenity and peace of mind. So I am letting go. Everyone in this situation has their own higher power and whoever that is, doesn't need me getting in the way.

I am posting this here not only to get feedback but also to look at later when I feel compelled to snoop some more. I need to be done....he is not my kid, it isn't my business, and I can't do anything about this train wreck of a situation.


Well-Known Member
I feel badly for you. You were trying to help and both parents didn't pay attention. And now father wants youngest stepson to dislike you too. Hey, you are right to step back. It's for their sakes as well as yours. They need to learn the lessons on their own. You can't change anyone except yourself. Let them deal with it, even if you have to gnash your teeth and turn away. You will only get blamed and nothing will change with stepson. I am sorry.


Well-Known Member
Unfortunately, you can't help someone who refuses the help, and being the step-parent really puts you as the odd person out, speaking from my experience during my first marriage. I was always on the short end of the stick, and whatever I did was not the right thing to do. If I tried to help, if I didn't try to help...but Husband 1.0 wouldn't/couldn't step up and take care of business, so I tried...and then I left. I'm not saying that's what you should do, but please do be sure to take care of you in the event that this all comes crashing down on your head.

I'm sorry. I hope things work out for you.