Prob­lem­atic grown step­sons

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - An­nie Lane

As I un­der­stood it, your pri­mary job as a spouse is to re­spect, pro­tect and sup­port your spouse in all things, to al­ways be truth­ful and never ask the other to do any­thing that you your­self would not do. How­ever, all of the afore­men­tioned be­comes moot, it seems, when it comes to get­ting mar­ried later in life to a spouse with grown chil­dren.

Be­fore we mar­ried, we de­cided my wife’s domi­cile would be where we would live. I’ve been here as her hus­band since De­cem­ber 2004. I feel as though within th­ese walls, we’re equal (even if she does have a larger in­come), and I think I do my best to be my best, most of the time. I do, how­ever, re­sent the fact that her sons are able to do as they wish with­out re­gard for us.

Re­cently, with­out any re­course, her el­dest son be­gan to yell at me. He told me to shut up and not even look at him. I some­how ended up be­ing the one at fault. I feel as though he should have been shown the side­walk.

On an­other oc­ca­sion, I “for­got my place” and told an­other of my wife’s sons how rude I thought it was for him to blow his nose (rather loudly, I might add) in the same room as his mother while she was on the phone with a client.

His re­sponse? “That was where the tis­sues were.”

This same son, a self-pro­claimed mama’s boy, has re­cently de­cided to call me ex­ple­tives and tell me I’m worth­less.

Be­cause I now refuse to be at “her home” dur­ing any fam­ily gath­er­ings, it’s as­sumed that I hate her chil­dren, when in fact I just don’t like be­ing dis­re­spected any more than any­one else does. I find my­self an­gry with my wife for not stand­ing with me on the right side. At this point, I don’t want to spend hol­i­days in a com­pro­mis­ing sit­u­a­tion, even though that would mean not spend­ing them with her. — Mar­ried My Wife, Not Their Mother and Them

Ac­tu­ally, you did marry them, too, in a way. When com­mit­ting to a life with some­one who has chil­dren from a pre­vi­ous mar­riage, you have to em­brace the fam­ily as your own.

That said, I agree with you that your step­sons have said and done rep­re­hen­si­ble things. Your wife shouldn’t have al­lowed them to speak to you that way. She needs to step up and me­di­ate.

You have to do your part, too. Set aside your pride and let go of past re­sent­ments. If you want a happy mar­riage, you have no choice but to rec­on­cile with them. No mat­ter how foul their mouths, they will al­ways be your wife’s baby boys. She will never choose you over them — and it wouldn’t be fair to ask her to.

This is in re­sponse to “Dis­ap­pointed Dude,” who didn’t like his dates “snoop­ing.”

Read­ing his email? Not OK. But Googling him and his friends? Ab­so­lutely! That’s fair game.

I’m a re­tired child pro­tec­tive so­cial worker, and I would en­cour­age all the girls I worked with to do this. It’s a safety is­sue.

Not ev­ery­one is who he says he is. Too many girls and women are not cau­tious enough about whom they are dat­ing. They could end up used, abused and even worse.

Maybe “Dude” could con­sider dis­cussing this is­sue with the wo­man he is see­ing. To­gether, they could look up his on­line pro­file, and she could learn about friends and rel­a­tives from his past. If he had a daugh­ter, I bet he would look up ev­ery man she dated! — Seen More Than I

Want

I agree with you that your step­sons have said and done rep­re­hen­si­ble things.

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