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Angelwings999
Angelwings999 asks:
Q:

My husband is bullying my son (his step son). We also have 2 sons together, he is amazing with them. I need advice? Should I leave him?

I have been married for 10 years and with my husband for 12 . After OUR first son was born he started bullying my son who is his step son. It has been going on for close to four years. I know this sounds awful but as I now have 2 sons with him it's been very difficult to make a decision that will benefit all three of my boys. He is amazing and loving towards his own boys but makes my sons life very difficult and my son is finding it unbearable at times. He is now 14. The abuse consists of asking my son to do things a very stern (attitude behind the tone of his voice) way. I then jump in and go nuts and say "what's with your attitude" how about a please or thank you in there. He is NEVER nice.  Just what HE always expects! He NEVER praises him unless asked to by me and even then it's very brief and dry. I have all these talks with him about it, he is fine for a day or so (FAKE) and then it all starts again. My other two boys adore their dad and why wouldn't they as he is great with them. I am at the end of my tether and don't sleep well due to the constant wondering about how leaving him will help one of us but not the other two who are 7 and 4. He has refused counseling and says he is only treating him like this as he wants him to grow up to be strong and self sufficient. My son has a very loving nature especially towards me and his little brothers. He always cuddles and kisses them. He is never in trouble and is making good grades at school. What's up with my husband?
In Topics: Parenting / Our Family, Discipline and behavior challenges, Blended families
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Feb 22, 2012
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What the Expert Says:

You're certainly in a tough position, because -- like you said -- it's easier said than done to just leave your husband when you have two other children with him.  However, it has to be so difficult to watch him treat your oldest son differently.  We're sorry you're going through this, but you sound like you're doing a really good job.  You're telling your husband what you expect of him, and you're succeeding in encouraging him to say some nice things to your son.  That's definitely a victory!

Perhaps his different attitude towards your oldest son does have something to do with his age.  Some parents might be noticeably sterner with their teenage kids than with their younger kids, even if the teenager hasn't done anything to deserve it.  Also, some parents just might find it easier to get along with a littler kid than a bigger one.  After the kids have outgrown playtime, some parents might not know what else to do with them or how to talk to them.

If your husband refuses counseling (which is a good idea, by the way,) perhaps you and your son could benefit from counseling?  A counselor could help you both process the feelings you have about your husband's behavior, and a counselor can give you tips on how to handle the situation at home.

Good luck!

MKM, Counselor
Boys Town National Hotline
1-800-448-3000
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Gookers
Feb 12, 2012
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Best Answer!

what's this?
from a fellow member
You need to have a serious talk with him alone again. If he is bulling your son that is totally not okay. He should respect your son as he does his own. If he isn't respecting your son that's him not respecting part of you since that is YOUR son and not respecting you because he is not being considerate and doing what you asked. I wouldn't leave him unless you feel like that is the right thing to do. I don't know the whole story, but in my own personal opinion I would really consider it because I know if i had a son that was getting bullied by my husband and my husband wasn't listening to me (for four years!) I would be furious! And your other two kids are at the perfect age that they wouldn't get that hurt...trust me on that for i know... if they get any older it really hurts and sucks even more if their parents split up. If the bulling gets worse, even more severe, and your husband does not listen to you (still) when you tell him to stop bulling your son you need to do something fast. I hope I was some help to you and your son sounds amazing with you and your other sons. I give him lots of credit and tell him I told you to tell him he is not alone and God is with him....he and you (as well as your husband and other sons) are both in my prayers. God bless and good-luck!

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Additional Answers (14)

bonzaibuddy
bonzaibuddy writes:
If he can't treat them as equals he does not need to be around him. Your son will develop issues from this, don't sacrifice your son, he & your other children need to come first in your life.
> 60 days ago

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jennybiesecker
jennybiesec... writes:
sounds like your husband has some issues going on and maybe seeking some thereapy together as a family would help.. if he doesnt want to change i would kick him to the curb. your son doesnt deserve to be treated that way.
> 60 days ago

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Yvette_Z
Yvette_Z writes:
Wow!  This has got to be tough on not only you and your son who is being bullied, but also on his brothers, and I sincerely feel for all of you.  You need to have another heart-to-heart talk with your husband.  I would start off by telling him that you love him and "All" of your children, and that it hurts your heart to see and hear him treat your son (I would use his name, instead) like he does.  Remind him that when he took you as his wife, he also took your son, and that you fully expected him to treat him no different than if he were his own.  (Keep your tone non-accusatory and level.)  Remind him that boys and young men need good male rolemodels and whether he knows it or not, every action he takes is being observed by all of your boys.  I whole-heartedly feel that only a man can teach a boy how to be a man, and your husband should be the first example of a good man for ALL of your boys!  Hopefully, you husband will see the light and start being the father that your son needs.  Also, I would recommend counseling for your son, as well.  He needs to know that the treatment that he has received is not his fault and that it is no way to treat others, especially those whom are supposed to look to your for love and guidance.  You and your family are in my thoughts.
> 60 days ago

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mfranc
mfranc writes:
It seems that your husband sees your son as "the target child", you need to insist that he goes to counseling.  A couple of weeks ago in GA,  a stepfather shot his stepson to death, I'm not saying your husband would do that but don't let it escalate.  Your son is heading into his prime teenage years and we all know teenagers don't always listen and/or obey you, the problem will only get worse if not resolved asap.
> 60 days ago

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Wendy4145
Wendy4145 writes:
Yes.  Anyone who doesn't love you enough to be good to your child (their stepson) is bad, bad news for you both.  Your child will thank you for getting him OUT of your life.  I speak from Exp.
> 60 days ago

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Cuba1221
Cuba1221 , Parent writes:
As I read this I kinda see myself in here. I have threatened to leave my husband and I've been in the same situation. I think that a sit down with both him and your son is needed. Your son should express how he feels to your husband and I think the way your husband responds to this will give you your answer. I think it also stems from the fact that he is not the real father. It may be strange for him raising someone elses son and that is why his behavior has been like this, but it is NOT fair to your son because your husband knew when he met you, that you were a package deal. I wish you all the best of
luck but I really dont think its fair to your son to feel like the outsider or the "stepson".
> 60 days ago

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Kurt.Psych
Kurt.Psych writes:
tell him straight up in his face if you keep acting immature and not complying with my wishes to treat my son better then there's the door. 4 years sounds like alot more then a problem, with clearly no solution insight besides leaving him. You cant let somebody whether you love them or not to walk all over you like his doormat. And if I was your 14 year old son there would be more problems then just waiting for you two to settle it out. When he matures more into adulthood and hes still under your roof with your husband, it could get violent. So stop having to "deal" with his attitude and give him the ultimatum.
> 60 days ago

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kazandra
kazandra writes:
he dosen t accept that the older  child  is  not  his
> 60 days ago

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New-Mahogany
New-Mahogany writes:
I would say yes. leave him. he shouldn't do that. It is just wrong that he treats the other two right
> 60 days ago

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julieyan
julieyan writes:
Hi. My name is Julie and i am living the exact same conditions. Please. When you say that you will leave a good father for one person, listen that child is as important as the two others. Your priority are ALL of YOUR children. Not one, not two but ALL. Your husband is a grown man. What he does to YOUR child, will shatter him for the rest of his life. There are no good excuses for staying in this relationship. Your child should be main and foremost priority and concern. If your husband loved you that much and cared for the family you share, he would treat your first born the same way. Put yourself in your child's shoes. This child feels betrayed everyday by his mother who doesn't choose to do the right thing. He feels he is not as good as his siblings. How cruel and inconsiderate is that? For one? What you mean is for all. Don't think for a single minute that the two others don't see it because you are fooling yourself if that is your perception. Your child is for sure your priority. No matter the cost.

Julie
> 60 days ago

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loriemomof3
loriemomof3 writes:
I was is the same boat been married to my husband for 8 years got together when my older son was 11 . I have 2 kids by him they are 6 and 7 who he is a wonderful dad too. and a son that is not his who is now 18 . My husband would do the same exact thing to my older son as your is doing and let me tell you things only got worse my son has such low selfesteem and feels why should he do anything cause nothing he does is good enough .as my son got older it was turning violent  my son and husband were angeryer as the yeas went on . And its gonna take a toll on your marriage .I did everything possiable to try and fix everything big mastake your husband has to want to form a good bond with you son before anything will change if he won't form a bond then call it quits now before your older son gets to wrecked and your younger 2 resent your  older boy .it will happen . My husband would not change felt why should he and kept blaming my older son and me. conciling only worked for so long for us before it happened again. So now iam recently going throught a not so bad divorce . All 3 kids live with me the 2 younder ones are so much happy. And my oldest is doing wonderful he is now done with school has a good job and the best part of it all I can finally see my older son smile all the time when I haven seen a smile on him in years . But I do have to say always stick by your children side . Iam sure you love your husband and I still love mine till this day but you children only have 1chance of having a good childhood so make it the best for them. Hope this helps . Iam sending lots of prayers for you and your family. Its a tought thing
> 60 days ago

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ASloane700
ASloane700 , Parent, Teacher writes:
Whether your husband goes to counseling or not, you need to get your son there ASAP...he's being abused!!  This will eventually create an issue for your oldest child and unless you do something about it, your child will have emotional problems that will not go away unless he's treated by a professional.  I hope that your husband reconsiders and goes for treatment as well to find out why he has this animosity towards your son, but if he doesn't, by all means, run to the nearest mental health professional before your child turns to drugs or alcohol to cope with the abuse he's enduring at the hands of your husband.  I pray that your home becomes a healthier one for yourself as well as your son!
> 60 days ago

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Momblake
Momblake writes:
I am answering you with the worst case scenario.  This happened to me.  I let it go on and on and now I am really paying for it in The worst way.  My older son is now , or would be 25.  And my husband and my son together is 14.  My older son was killed the Saturday before Mother's Day two years ago.  I like you thought I was doing good playing mediator and trying to make things work and do the Christian thing and stay with him.  Now that my son is gone I feel so bad that I let this go on on his life and not only am I having to deal with grief of my sweet son who until the day he was killed respected and was very cordial to,his step dad who even at 23 he didn't treat him well. He always had some kind of resentment towards him.  And yes I did all the counseling but somewhere it all failed so along with grief counseling I am having to deal with forgiving not only his murderer but also the horrific resentment I have toward my husband.  I can not even go home to the house we lived in with him for 23 years.  It is killing me and I feel guilty everyday because of it.  And my younger son just as sweet. Is having trouble understanding it all.  Keep me in your prayers and I will keep you in mine and this could help if you share my story with your husband because it doesn't make me feel any better but now my husband is having terrible guilt from everything and when I tell him about all the times we talked and tried to get him not to do this he acts clueless. It's really bad do not let your situation continue any longer than you have to your son is at a critical age and you are who he depends on God gives them to us to protect and take care of as mothers and you best do it or you will be so sorry you only get one of that particular son. Be Blessed and keep praying.
> 60 days ago

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lmsb28
lmsb28 writes:
Hi my name is laura..im 28 and have 4 kids.. I have 2 kids from my last partner and have 2 kids with my partner now. All my kids call him dad and dont think any different and adore him.. but my partner treats my eldest different.  Bullies him.. nothing is good enough. . Puts him down all the time. Same as you I would have a good talk with him and a few days later back to the same old thing again. I just dont no what to do its very hard. My son is only 9 and he is a bright lovely boy looking for his dad to love him.. I want to leave him but I just feel so bad for my other kids.. my daughter how is not his she is 8 and he gets on great with her.. why is that I dont no.. I need help..
34 days ago

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