Disrespect from Stepson
Question: Good Morning, First, Thank you for this service.
My 16 stepson is very disrespectful and feels like he does not have to listen to me.
The other day, I entered me and my husbands room, and my stepson was getting ready to take a shower in our bathroom (he daily takes a shower in the bathroom that my husband readied for him as he did not want to abide by the main bathroom rules as far as leaving all his items behind). I asked my stepson to go and use one of the other bathrooms as I was getting ready to clean up in my room and that I was not properly dressed. He told me to go put some clothes on, I asked again for him to leave my room, he advised that he can take a shower anywhere he wanted in this house. I attempted move him to the side to cut the water off and he pushed me and told me not to put my hands on him. I called my husband to come home immediately before this scene got out of hand. He stayed in the bathroom a few minutes longer and then went to his room cussing and fussing.
His dad who is a big part of the problem in not requiring that his son respect me arrived. He called his son into our room and asked what happen, his son would not elaborate on too many things that transpired, I asked him a specific question and he stated that he wasn’t saying nothing and that he was not on my side.
I pointed my finger in his face advising him that he had no choice while in this house but to follow my directions specifically since this is my room. He tried to punch me and a short fight ensued, my husband broke it up immediately taking his son to his room. They left for awhile to talk or allow my stepson to manipulate the situation with lies… My stepson was taken to his grandmother’s house where he can do whatever he wants and returned home the next day.
Upon his return I attempted to issue a discipline that I thought would fit by advising him that he could not use any of the electronics in his room till mid-week and that he needed time to really think about what he did.
My husband had a fit, and wanted me to give him the items back that would make his electronics work that I had unplugged. My husband tried to explain that he dealt with it. I advised my husband that he tried to physically hurt me and that this was very serious and that I needed to deal with it because my stepson needed to understand that I was disciplining him and that he has to listen if not respect me. My stepson has said such things to me like “you don’t run shit in this house” and “you don’t run nothing” etc.
BACKGROUND: My husband and his son lived in this house about 4 years by themselves before I married my husband and me and my now 10 year old daughter moved in. My stepson stays in his room 98 percent of time on the computer, phone and TV. He doesn’t talk to me, my daughter and has very little to say to his father. How if possible at this point do I get him to respect me without the backing of his father. HELP! Our marriage is going down hill because of this, and this is not the environment that I want my child to live in.
You are not going to like my answer however, I am not here to tell you what you want to hear.
#1. Your problem is not with your step son it is with your husband. You and he need to seek counseling immediately. It is his job to discipline his son not yours. Stop doing so.
#2. It was you who escalated the situation to becoming physical when you reached passed him to turn of the shower. What you could have done was called your husband or altered your schedule and then let your husband know that you don’t want him showering in your bathroom. Not because you don’t have rights, just because you are the adult and need to act like one rather than engaging with a rebellious, moody teen in a power struggle.
#3. Why would you want to continue to expose your daughter to a household where it doesn’t sound like you are respected by either your husband or your step son? Do you want her to model who she chooses for a mate after this scenario?
#4. If you choose to make this work there is only one way to do so. SEEK COUNSELING NOW.
Step families are tough to build under the best of circumstances. These circumstances are very challenging. You all four need appropriate boundaries. You need to realize that you moved into an already existing family and cannot take over or take hostages. This is why I suggest Family Counseling. You need a professional to guide the family blending process. Most likely your step son is full of resentment about you moving into his home. Whether you agree or not he needs to express his feelings in an appropriate manner and sounds like he will need assistance learning how to do so.
I suspect your daughter will need the same guidance.
M Kay Keller