Dear Ask Ashlee,
I can’t believe I am even writing this but I am too embarrassed to say it out loud and I feel like people would judge me way too harshly if they knew the truth. So here it is; I love my husband and I love our family, everyone except his 9 year old son! I cannot stand this little boy with every fiber in my body! He is annoying, rude, has a smart mouth, no respect and lacks discipline, shall I continue? If I wasn't married to his father, I'd swear Satan was his daddy! What makes it worse is me being in the position to have to fake the love I have for him. When he comes to the house on the weekends, I try my very best to have little contact with him and my husband is starting to see right through it. We have one child together and he says he can tell I treat the two differently. I don’t want to hurt my husband but I don’t want to be the kind of wife who doesn’t love her step child. Any advice would help. Thanks
Mom of One
Dear Mom of One,
So here’s the thing, you have to stop pretending and lying to your husband. Let’s start there. You can be honest with him, without making him feel like you hate his child. You listed the things about him you don’t like; he’s annoying, rude, lacks discipline and a host of other things, but why? Is he dealing with sibling jealousy? Is he hurt that you replaced his mother? Does he feel like he’s being replaced, or maybe that his dad is less accessible because he is with you now? Or worse, is he going through a trauma somewhere else that you are unaware of? Kids are affected by things differently and on so many different levels. When you’re talking to your husband, help him see what you’ve noticed and come up with a solution together as his parents. You have no control over what happens at his mother’s house but at your home, you can create boundaries, rules, and create an environment of love and peace at your house for yourself and the whole family. If you are unknowingly projecting your dislike for your bonus son onto him, and his father can see it, I promise you that this young man can feel it. As you are raising your children, you will learn that there is a sense of patience that you have to develop with them and in order for you two to build a real relationship, you have to set that standard and be patient. I’m not saying you have to tolerate mess, but I am saying you have to enforce respect and love and love for both him and you. Your husband loves you, and he loves his son. Figure this out together. I hope this helps!
Love & Light,