Hello, so glad to have found this forum, hopeful that I will be able to find some valuable tools and some moral support. I'm a 34 year-old mother of five raising my children in a blended family. My husband is 37 and is the father of my youngest two children. My husband has never been a very good stepdad nor husband nor father to our children. He isn't awful and can be very sweet and loving and generous, he is just lazy and puts precious little effort into anyone else. He's very self-centered and apathetic. He has never liked my son much because from the time he was little (we started dating when my son was 5) he was always a challenge behaviorally. He rarely has overt conflicts with my son, but as the years go by he's been developing more and more of a distaste for him to the point where he doesn't even want to be around him most of the time. I understand because I feel the same way sometimes because my son is NOT a pleasant child. However I have unconditional love for my son, even when I don't like him, and my husband does not. My oldest son is a month away from being 13. He has always been a challenge and from the time he could walk and talk has pushed the limits as to his boundaries, refused discipline or accountability, etc. etc. At the time I just thought this was how all kids were. Nothing is good enough for him, he's very entitled and negative and angry. This is a kid who if we spent 3 HOURS at McDonald's playland still had a massive tantrum when it was time to leave. At the time I just thought it was because he was young and immature--he could not stand being told "no." If he wanted something it had to be "NOW." If we were to go on a special trip he would be angry about not being able to do every special thing, every ride, get more souvenirs, eat more food, whatever. When I got him a cell phone he was upset that it wasn't an iphone, or that it didn't have mobile data, or that it has parental controls. For some reason he is completely entitled and resents that he just doesn't have EVERYTHING. He breaks rules indiscriminately and without regard for the needs or wants of others. From things as small as being gluttonous with food or snacks to taking money or belongings with some excuse that he feels entitled to them, he just does whatever he wants. If something hasn't been explicitly stated as a rule he will not exercise any judgment or compassion as to doing or not doing it--he get a THRILL in finding these "loopholes." I wish I could think of any examples, but he will do incredibly audacious reckless things that I would never consent to if he were to ask me then say, "You never said I couldn't do that." He causes senseless damage to property for no reason, just because he's "bored." He also breaks rules that have been explicitly stated, like when I told him never to light any fires in the house after I saw he had been burning candles, he then burned a hole in my carpet lighting a smoke bomb in the house and was extremely angry and resentful for getting in trouble for it because "nobody cares about a couple little holes in the carpet." He is extremely intelligent but has no love of learning. He has struggled in school since 1st grade because he won't do assignments, or rushes through things, or doesn't study or complete homework. The only thing that matters to him is hanging out with his friends or "screen time" so I have to have an exhaustive system of rewards and incentives to keep him from completely blowing off school. He has been in trouble year after year, teacher after teacher. He desperately wants to switch schools because his BFF goes to a school across town, but every year he hates school and hates his classmates and thinks everyone year after year is just pinning him as this bad kid for no reason...when it's ALWAYS his behavior that's at the root. He has zero insight and zero accountability. Things are always someone else's fault. His father is an actively drinking alcoholic who makes excuses left and right for his behavior. About a year ago he got caught shoplifting and I was almost relieved. Just two weeks ago he took my husband's Xbox from our home to his dad's home because he was grounded from screen time here. My husband was furious and almost called the police. This week he was allowed to spend the night at a friend's house and drank himself into a stupor after somehow being allowed access to alcohol. I had my ringer off and woke up to 21 missed calls including my drunken ex screaming at me to "answer your f****ing phone" after which he apparently went and picked our son up (hopefully not driving, because he already has two DUIs) and has had him there since. My husband is threatening to leave me because he is done with my son's behavior. I honestly hate having my son around over 50% of the time he is in my home. He's rude, antagonistic, ungrateful, disruptive, and completely untrustworthy. I feel like I have to pick my battles with my son the disapproving scorn of my husband is palpable. My husband thinks I just need to punish him into oblivion. (My husband wants my son, as long as he lives here until he's 18 years old, to just never be allowed out of his room.) I am incredibly resentful at this kid who is screwing up the life I have worked so hard to build for myself. I started therapy with him and initially he was very open-minded but after his idiot dad told him what a waste of time therapy is and that strangers shouldn't hear your problems blah blah blah then my son stopped going with me. The last time he went I almost literally had to DRAG him into the therapist's office (he wanted me to PAY him to go). And it doesn't help much because he just nods/yawns/doesn't participate. (At least it helps me. I have a great therapist.) Bio dad is also incredibly resistant to the notion of taking medications. Abnormally INSANELY resistant. Scientologist-like. Like I halfway think he would take our son and flee the country rather than let him take medications. I don't think my son meets the criteria for ADD but I do think he needs something to help with impulse control and to slow him down or something because he almost comes across as manic...grandiose, entitled, no respect for boundaries, intrusive, loud and prattling...I actually had to sit him separately from the rest of the family at meals for awhile because he wouldn't stop talking in an extremely disruptive antagonistic manner and "torking off" my four year-old for fun. It's like he isn't happy or fulfilled unless he's making waves. After this latest ticket for underage drinking I called our local department of human services and self-reported for help because I am honestly at the point where I am feeling suicidal and homicidal over this situation. Please don't judge me for this because I am afraid to tell anyone, even my therapist because I don't want to be committed or something. I would never act on any urges to hurt myself or my son. I am just so full of rage at my son for putting me through this and at my husband for wanting me to choose between him (and my youngest two kids, by proxy) and my son. I have not done anything to deserve this. I'm also in recovery for alcohol and pill addiction myself (four years clean) and feel incredibly close to relapsing. As my son is at very high risk for severe addiction problems I have had the conversation about drugs and alcohol with him and his siblings regularly for years now and he still chose to drink himself to oblivion at 12 years old. I can't keep him from doing these things yet I am still morally and legally responsible for his behavior for many more years. Years that are almost certainly going to end up in the destruction of my marriage and possibly my sanity. I have two other kids with my ex who are no problems at all. My second son is very kind, gentle, sweet, helpful, and introverted. My daughter is a wonderful girl who treats everyone with kindness and respect. I have no idea why my oldest behaves in this awful manner. People always look at the parent like they've done something wrong and I honestly have no idea what I could have done to have a child turn out this way, especially when all my other kids are just fine. My therapist constantly reiterates to me that there may be nothing I can do about him and not to feel guilty or responsible for his behavior. And I have learned to let that go somewhat but society still holds you to it. At this point I don't know what to do. I came completely unhinged at my ex after his rude messages on my phone when my son was take to the ER drunk, and instead of being a good example or the voice of reason in the situation I completely lost it. I'm ashamed, I haven't seen or talked to my son since all this happened, I'm scared to death, and I'm worried for the future of my family. There is no peace as long as he's in my household and as much as I want to kick my husband to the curb for being the audacious ass that he is, I love my husband and he is a great provider and I don't want to destroy the chance for my youngest children to maintain a nuclear family. Anyway sorry to ramble, but that's us in a nutshell. Thanks so much for listening.