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'AITA for not letting my step-son stay at our house when he should be with his mom?' UPDATED

'AITA for not letting my step-son stay at our house when he should be with his mom?' UPDATED


"Am I wrong for not letting my husband's son stay at our house when he should be with his mother?"

False_Negotiation_92 writes:

My (30F) husband (49M) and his ex-wife (40s) have joint custody of their son (11M) He stays with his mother from Monday to Thursday and with us from Thursday nights to Monday mornings.

And that has worked perfectly for years but now he wants to break that agreement and stay with us more days a week, and if he had wanted to stay with us for more days a few months ago I would have gladly accepted but not now.

He had a complete change in his behavior in the last few months and honestly, and although it sounds bad, I can't stand him, and I'm not the only one, his sister (19F) can't stand him either. He is rude, dirty, and treats his younger sisters like shit and my husband no longer knows what to do or what to say to make him change that attitude.

Last Monday he came to our house after school, even though he shouldn't have, and decided he wanted to stay here all week. According to him, his mother let him stay, but it turns out that she never asked my husband if he could stay here, but we let him stay anyway and it was hell.

We have three-year-old twins and recently we had another set of twins (they are one month old) and the house of course is chaos. We have a person who helps us with the cleaning and my husband's daughter helps us with the children and we pay her and everything is much easier, but since his son is here, no type of help is enough for us.

He messes things up in the kitchen every five minutes and leaves everything a mess, he doesn't pick up his clothes off the floor, he plays games on his Playstation with the volume really high, and the worst of all is that whenever he has the opportunity he treats his sisters really bad, and it seems that he enjoys making them cry.

I used to love having him at home because he was a really sweet boy, but I don't know what happened and now he is a different person and every time he comes home I count the days until he leaves because I can't stand him anymore.

The last time he came to our house my daughters were in the living room watching cartoons and he turned the television off and on until they started crying. That day I had a horrible day, my husband had to stay longer at work, his daughter wasn't at home and I had to be alone all day with the children,

and I had a really hard time getting the girls to sit and watch TV for at least five minutes so I could sit and have coffee while the babies took a nap. But I couldn't even do that because I had to calm them down so they would stop crying.

They stopped crying and after twenty minutes he began to tell them that he was going to take our dog, whom they adore, to his mother's house, and that they wouldn't see him again and that ended in another crying fit that he didn't even witness because when I appeared in the living room he went to his room laughing.

That same night I spoke to my husband and told him that I don't want him to stay here the days he has to stay with his mother because he drives me crazy. Fortunately he understood because he also struggles with his bad behavior and doesn't know what else to do to change it.

He talked to his ex-wife and told her that their son is not behaving appropriately every time he comes here and that things are getting difficult and that until he changes his attitude he cannot stay here whenever he wants, and she got furious and of course she blames me.

I'm so tired that sometimes I wish I had never met my husband and thought it was a good idea to marry someone with children. I don't want to end up hating him because we are family and we will always be, that's why I think that until he changes his attitude we have to respect visiting days. Am I wrong for that?

Edit: We tried to take him to therapy but he doesn't want to, we talked to his mom and she doesn't want him to go to therapy either so we can't force him. We tried to find out what is happening and, as I said in a comment, the only drastic change he suffered was that he is no longer the only boy in the family because I had twin boys.

Of course he says that this is stupid and that he doesn't care, but his change began when he found out that they would be boys.

What do you think? Is she wrong?

Commenters weighed in:

Unopened_Can_: I don't blame you for feeling that way. Have you tried talking to someone about his behavior? Of it's a recent change maybe he's going through something. I would also have a meeting with your husband and the ex to talk about the kid and re-discuss visitation days so you can have more time to focus on your kids

OP responds: We spoke to a therapist and told him that it would be good to talk to her, but he didn't like the idea and told his mom that he doesn't want to go to therapy because he's not crazy, and sadly she thinks the same way and we can't force him, so I don't know what else to do.

PalpitationTricky204: Yta, it's called parenting start disciplining him, he will only do what you all allow him to do. Also he is a kid he doesn't not run the household.

OP responds: I tried to discipline him within the limits I have for being his stepmother but he doesn't even listen to me. The last time he was playing online games with the volume really high I tried to take his Playstation away and he went crazy and started yelling at me that I'm not his mom and that I have no right to tell him what to do.

And honestly I'm so tired with my four children that I don't have the strength to try to educate him.

Yiayiamary said: Where is your husband/his father??? He should be parenting. And he should back you up when the son says you can’t tell him what to do.

OP responded: Trying to find a way to know what is happening to him and how to help him, he is a present father for all his children. He told him many times that he should respect me and listen to me but he completely ignored him.

Francie1966 said: There is no way that your husband is a present father for all his children. When was the last time your husband took a day & spent it with his oldest son? Talking & yelling isn't what this child needs. He needs his dad to spend some 1:1 time with him. Going to a ball game or a movie or whatever the child enjoys would go a long way. Do you not understand puberty?

God help you when you have 4 kids going through puberty & the teenage years at the same time.

OP responds: Every Saturday he goes to play soccer with my husband and their children, and he takes him to piano lessons on Tuesdays. Apart from that he spends a lot of time with his dad when he is at home, he offers to help him cook, he likes to go running with him, they spend a lot of time together.

My husband never stopped paying attention to him to pay attention to his younger siblings, it never was, nor will it be, like that.


I am exhausted reading all of this and I do not have young children. The elephant in the room is that this kid feels adrift in the family. His sister is too much older to have much of a connection.

Being a male on or shortly into puberty, he could be really at the point where he wants his Dad, not as much out of jealousy which is there, but needing him for guidance and talks about this time of life. Just as he needs his Dad more , wham the first set of twins then wham a second set ???

He would not be out of hand in feeling like your new family is stealing valuable Dad time away from him. First, you guys need to make sure he is getting enough Dad time and part of it can be used to making sure his room is clean and things picked up before some fun time. Next, he does need a therapist meeting between him and his Dad so he can express how he is feeling about the new army of kids.....

Two days after her original post, OP shared this update:

First of all, I want to clarify that I do love my stepson, a post of a few paragraphs doesn't describe our relationship in any way. I'm just used to calling him "my husband's son" because I had a lot of problems in the past with his mother because she didn't like me calling him that, because that confused him and during his first years he tried many times to call me mom.

Another thing I want to clarify is that my stepdaughter doesn't raise my children, she only babysits them from time to time for a few hours and we pay her, so that she has her own money and doesn't have to work while she's in college.

As for my stepson, he came to stay here these days and once again made my life hell. I started baking cookies with the girls and asked him if he wanted to help us and he accepted, but when I left the hot cookie plate on the counter he took the hand of one of his sisters and placed her on the hot plate, and of course he burned her.

And listen, I know it was my fault for leaving it near the kids but he shouldn't have done that. After that they sat down to watch a movie and drink milk and cookies in the living room and he cut about 4 cm of one of the girls' hair as a joke.

I scolded him and he said it was unintentional, that he was just joking and that he didn't really want to cut her hair. That same day my husband and I cut off his internet access and confiscated his electronics and had a talk with him for the thousandth time.

And all he said was that he hates his siblings because they are going to replace him, that his mother told him that, that my husband stopped taking him to soccer practice because he wants to spend time with his new children.

And that is not like that, my husband stopped taking him to soccer practice because he got a promotion and works longer shifts, and he knows it because my husband told him, and because that's why he takes him to his piano lessons even when he's with his mom, but he believed his mom and he's been acting like a demon ever since.

My husband is an incredible father to all his children and works hard to give everything to ALL of them, he pays for his daughter's apartment and her studies, and every Saturday he takes her to lunch at her favorite restaurant to have some time alone.

On Saturday nights he goes to play soccer with his son and his friends and their children, and as I said before, he takes him to his piano lessons, then they go to dinner and he takes him to his mother's house. They also used to go fishing every weekend but that's something his mother didn't like so my husband had to stop doing it.

I never intervened in their relationship, because I had no relationship with my father, and I didn't want his children to go through the same thing. So I always supported him spending time with them and I would never do anything to harm their relationship, and I admit that maybe this time I acted in an exaggerated way but I was desperate.

I don't even sleep more than one hour a day and yet I have to function all day and take care of two newborns, two toddlers, and a preteen who now hates me.

We can't even afford a full-time nanny to help me because as I said above, my husband is the one who pays for his daughter's studies, because a few months ago we found out that his ex wife was using the money that was for her studies, and if I had known that before I would never have gotten pregnant a second time, I clarify that for those who judged me for choosing to be a mother again.

My stepson will be without electronics or internet for a month and will start therapy next week even though his mother doesn't want to. And of course from now on he won't be unsupervised with his siblings either, which makes my life more difficult, yet I accepted it because I just want this mess to be solved.

My husband is talking to his lawyer to see if he can get more days with his son and we are waiting for his lawyer to tell him how to proceed legally. That's all.

Sources: Reddit
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