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No Idea Where To Go From Here

Community Member
I have been with my husband for 7 years, married for nearly 5. I have no kids but he has two , 9 yr old boy and 16 yr old girl. I have always had a great relationship with the girl, typical teenager lazy issues but overall a really good relationship. The boy I have always had trouble connecting with but have really made an effort to help with schooling as he struggles also socially he is awkward and finds it hard to make friends. My husbands first marriage was very volatile and the boy probably saw things that most kids never get exposed to but I have found over the past year his behaviour is very disrespectful to me. Long story short his mother is very much a narcissist of the worst king - I have spent $1000 in the last four months on dealing with the kids nits issues the mother just turns a blind eye to the problem because that will cost her money to fix and she needs botox. I have spent countless hours up at his school helping in reading class, organised and hosted birthday parties , drive to sport each fortnight when we have the kids, bought him reading books when the school advised he was behind in reading.He has issues which have been flagged by the school and have asked to send him to a counsellor. But neither the mum or dad (my husband) will send him and I don't understand why they wont help him. My husband just constantly spends money on him never makes him tidy his room or eat proper meals. Makes like really hard for me when I am trying to help him learn about proper eating and behaviour. This has always been a sticking point for my husband and I to the point now where we are on the verge of divorcing because of his spoilt brat. I always thought it would be his ex wife that broke us up well I was wrong. My husband this morning has said "I don't like the way you treat X" which is just b***!! My husband never catches up with friends, is always angry and hasn't been intimate with me for weeks which is not normal. He doesn't think he has anything wrong with him. I am so stuck as to what to do.I have told him if he wants a divorce to tell me don't string me along but he just sticks his head in the sand. I just don't know what to do but I know I cant live like that. I am too young to live in this misery forever!!!
3 Replies 3

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Shelly77 and welcome to Beyondblue.

You have a lot of emotions going on there about various people in your life. From what l gather, your husband is causing you the most angst which in turn affects the relationship you have with your step son. Obviously, your husband has a parental responsibility to address his son's issues, and he is hand balling this to you. You have been and still are generous and giving of your time, so both his ex and your husband are accepting that you can carry the load. I feel it's time to get all parties on the same page and communicate the issues and your concerns for you are not the only adult responsible. By accepting the role, you have set a precedent and being taken advantage of. Of course, l need to hear both sides to under the full story, so my commentary is solely on what you have provided.

In relation to your step son, due to his age and circumstances, children only act out when they are hurt or have not been guided by parents on the right and wrongs of life. I am not insinuating that you are to blame here, but if your husband nor is ex-wife are addressing behavioural issues, etc as they are the biological parents, the child will have little chance to develop good behaviour.

So for your mental health and that of the child, all adults need to talk this one out. Like l said it is not your sole responsibility.

Concerning your marriage, have you asked him to go to counselling together? Relationships Australia offer some great options to get things out in the open and deal with the issues that you have around intimacy and connection. Google them for details.

I do hope l have been of some help Shelly. Please write back and let me know how things are going. We want to hear from you.


Hi Shelley welcome

I can't add much to the wise words Camela gave. Great advice there.

Step parenting is tough, done it twice myself.

You have to remind yourself that this child is not a brat, he is the result (as you claim) of parents not concerned with his schooling and behaviour. None of that is his fault. Also your standards for same are clearly not the standards the natural parents have.

That creates a problem. Your husband would feel under pressure to do things your way. The child is damned if you don't involve yourself and you are damned if you do.

Following my experiences as a step parent I concluded, the best line to take is to act like a doting grandparent to the children and leave all discipline to the parents. Otherwise your marriage will strain.

Hence its a tough gig. But you won't change anyone.

Tony WK

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hey Shelly77,

I am sorry to hear about what you're going through with your husband and his children. Being a step-parent is hard, I can imagine. I have a step mum and a step dad, as well as a number of step siblings, and particularly in the beginning, accepting that these people are now part of your everyday life is a big change, and it can bring out stressful and rash behaviour in some.

I somewhat agree with what Carmela has said. I do thing that sitting down with your husband and his ex-wife is ideally the best way to deal with this situation, however by the sounds of it they may not be willing to do that, so I think you need to first just calmly express your concerns to your husband and perhaps suggest that he has a talk with his ex-wife about their child's well-being.