Step children with differing values

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-18-2003
Step children with differing values
2
Wed, 06-18-2003 - 3:18pm
I have been with bf for over a year now, we are both 46 and both have been divorced for about 8 years. I have 4 children 2 in their 20's out of college and on their own, one 18 graduating from hs this year and starting college in the fall and one who is 16 and will be a junior in hs next year. All of my sons are doing good, the 2 at home have part time jobs, bought their own vehicles, do good in school and want to get a good education so they can have good enjoyable jobs and make a nice life. BF has 3 children, a daughter 25, a son 19 and a son 16. The 2 oldest both quit hs - daughter works cleaning hotel rooms, 19 yr old son does nothing, no job, no school, he had a job in an auto parts store,got fired after 3 weeks for stealing from the cash register. 16 yr. old son goes to school, but does not have a drivers permi and no interest in getting one, no desire for a part time job. BF badly wants to get married, I love him and would like to marry him as well, his two sons currently live with him in bf's house, I am worried that if I marry him his kids will be a source of contention. BF seems to not care that 19 yr old son doesn't work, go to school, or do anything all day, every day - he doesn't drive either, he took the test to get his drivers permit 3 times and failed each time so gave up. I have always valued hard work, bf is a hard worker, I have encouraged my sons to work hard and do something you enjoy. My theory has been, you have to work the rest of your life, get an education so you can do something you enjoy and make decent money. His kids seem to care less. I don't want to have kids to support (grown or otherwise) the rest of my life and am afraid that is what will happen if I marry bf.

Any thoughts on how this may play out?
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-18-2003 - 10:05pm
I think you are right. You will end up supporting them if you marry your BF. I would hold off on marriage and just continue to see where the relationship will go. All of the kids are old enough to see that once you've done the marriage thing that it may be okay not to remarry. The differences in the values that the kids have learned will slowly tear at your marriage to the point where it won't be worth continuing. Keep pointing that out to your BF so that he can hopefully learn more from you in terms of what you are doing right with your kids so he can teach his. You should not have to do that via marriage. Being a positive role model in your BF's kids lives can be done without remarrying. Remarriage might be a better option once the kids have graduated and are shown the door, permanently, by BF. Self-sufficiency isn't learned when you are living at home with no education and no interest in bettering yourself. Just my honest opinion. It's called tough love.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-18-2003
Thu, 06-19-2003 - 9:36pm
Thanks for your input. Last night bf came over for the night, I told him I had something very difficult to talk to him about. I was not sure how he would take what I had to say, which was basically what I said in my message about his children not being self sufficient and that I did not want to spend the rest of my life supporting able bodied kids who were old enough to be out on their own. In the past whenever I said anything about his kids he would get very defensive. I told him we had to be able to talk about tough things or we would not stand a chance in marriage. He told me last night that he had allready told his 19 yr old son that he had to get a job and get out on his own. Bf told me that his two older kids would not live with us now or ever. This made me feel much better, not only that he said he would not have us support them, but the fact that we could talk about it without anger or defensiveness. I am feeling very optimistic about the relationship.