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February 12th, 2006, 05:38 AM
TulipDawn's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Vicenza, Italy
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Ok, I'm having a really big problem here - one that could cost me my marriage.

I have a 10year old son. Dh and I met when he was 7, married when he was 8 (6 months later).

The problem is dh is trying to "mold" him into being like him but there are just certain things he does that is causing us to fight. For example, he doesn't talk to me before yelling at Derrick. He will ground him for a week because he didn't make his bed but will let him slide if he is late coming in. I try to explain to him (this is my belief, please let me know if I'm wrong) that he came a likttle to late in Derrick's life to be a hardcore "father". He can still teach him things, mentor him, be a role model, etc but when it comes to punishment WE need to do it together.

DH has a temper...with a very short fuse. Derrick still isn't used to it and being 10 he's going through that stage where he complains about things, doing his homeowrk, chores etc. Plus, Derrick has had to adjust to having a baby brother and the fact he will never have a true "brother" - he mentioned that a couple weeks ago.

Last night, dh walked out because I didn't support him while he was yelling at Derrick. He had Derrick crying upstairs in the bathroom because Derrick was bein a kid (complaining about having to do things). When dh saw me coming up he tried to shield Derrick from me and seeing that he was crying.

We talked last night but it's still going to be an ongoing thing. I suggested that we see a family counsoler(sp?) to learn how to handle Derrick as a couple. He looked at me like he was crazy.

Does anyone have advice on how to talk to dh? Any good books out there we can read? I just don't want this to ruin our marriage.

Thank you in advance.
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February 12th, 2006, 09:03 AM
dingledine's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Seattle Area
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Hey girl,

As I think you know, our situations are pretty similar in several ways. Two boys about the same age, two DH's that came into the picture later, to start with.

MY DH and I just went out to dinner last night and we talked about a similiar issue.
I find it is best to talk about these kinds of things when the situation is NOT confrontational. My DH will yell at my son also when things are stressful, give him a spank, they are such opposite personalities also. I have a hard time stepping down and letting him take control of the situation.

It is important for two parents to make a united front. I think your family should see couseling, sometimes having an outside opinion can be helpful. About the complaining, sure kids do it, but if a kid is doing it a lot (matter of opinion), it can be nervewracking. Plus, being a military guy, he may expect more than a "typical" DH. As for the bedmaking, it sounds like a bit much, but I tend to be a slob, and if that is a rule, it should be stuck to, any rule. Idealy, being consistant should come naturally, it sure doesn't for me.

I don't think it is too late for him to step in as a disciplinarian. Do you ask your DH before you can correct, punish, scold your DS? Because that is what it would mean to REALLy do it together. Yeah, I would LOVE for my DH to say "I need to talk to Matthew about soandso. What do you think?" It ain't gonna happen though, sometimes things like complaining/sass need to be dealt with right away. I need to step back and let him do his magic. I may not like the tears and feel protective or that he has gone overboard, but usually he knows what he is doing. Men have that extra push that kids seem to need.

I had a step dad (2 actually), and for them to step in when I was bad, (I was ages 11-19) was reinforcing. I know this post may come off as though I am "not on your side", but that would mean that I am not on my own side either. I am just trying to make some suggestions.

I hope you two can figure something out. I don't have any books to recommend, I know our counselor recommended a book for step parents, I think it was called stepparenting. He never took the time to read it though.

Most of all though: You can call me if you ever want to talk about this more, I feel like I had to be so selective in the examples that I gave and that I couldn't really sympathize as much as I really do! Sometimes I just wanna take my DH over my knee! I hope when your guy comes back that you two can talk a bit and work something o ut.

Man this is LONG!

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February 15th, 2006, 02:01 PM
~Katie~'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 15,110
Oh, man. I have a 9yr old and a 6yr old from a past relationship. Your house sounded like mine a couple of weeks ago. It was really bad. I am pregnant and we have a daughter. I was going to leave with 3 kids and one on the way with not a dime to my name cause I was so uspset. I just told him that he is going to have to be alot better to my kids or I was going to have to leave, I grew up with step dads like that and I was not putting my kids through it. He has a son who we have not seen in 2yrs but when we did get him I treated him like he was my son. I told him that, I treated his child like he was my own and I expected him to treat mine the same way. But, if it had gotten worse, I don't want to get divorced, I had thought about seeing a someone and then as a family seeing them. It took me to get reallyangry before he listened to me. Plus bringing up that he grew up with a step dad who treated him badly.
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February 15th, 2006, 02:14 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Utah
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I will start by introducing myself.. My name is Karen and I have been married to my husband for the last 2 1/2 years. We have been living in the same house with our kids for 3 1/2 years and been dating for almost 5 years. He has a son, just turned 16 and a daughter that just turned 14. I have a daughter that is 13 and a daughter that is 11. Plus we are expecting another in August. All of the kids live with us.

I will just throw my two cents in here, we have a great family... Don't get me wrong... Great... not perfect. We have never been to family counseling but certainly wouldn't hesistate to do so if we felt it was necessary. I think what the spouses in a mixed family need to realize is that they cannot be a "parent" regardless of how long they have been in the child's life. They will only add resentment.

With our children, I am home far more than my husband, although we both work, I don't work near the hours that he does and am home shortly after the kids all get home from school. We have daily chores that are known about beforehand... I do have the authority to ask all the kids if they have done their chores, homework and if their rooms are semi-clean.

If they however do something wrong... he does not punish my kids and I do not punish his. If they do something wrong... that is bigger than just a confrontation, we sit down and discuss it before approaching the kids, then we have a meeting with them together.

Not sure if that is what would work in every instance, but our kids get along great and they all feel like they are treated equally, there is never any competition and neither parent is blamed for being "mean" Hope that helps.
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