What to do when stepson is a jerk to his father?

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-15-2008
What to do when stepson is a jerk to his father?
Thu, 11-07-2013 - 11:41am

Hello all,  Here is some backgound:  My H divorced his exw over 11 years ago.  It was her decision at the time.  They have 4 grown children together.  The oldest son had already moved out when they divorced.  He has a fabulous relationship with his father and myself, is married to a lovely girl, has one child and a baby on the way.  The exw took the other three children, at the time of the D, and moved to FL to be with her AP (they broke up shortly after).  My H found a job as close as he could and moved one state away.  According to their D decree the exw was supposed to pay for and send the 3 children to visit their father routinely.  That never happened.  My H stayed in contact and saw his kids as often as he could (on his own dime), paid child support on time, etc.  One of their issues when they were married was they disagreed on how to raise the kids.  She wanted to be "friends" with the kids and let them roam free and do whatever they wanted and my H wanted to set boundaries and "parent" them.  This made my H be the "bad guy" most of the time.

Fast forward to now.  The kids are all grown and married.  The two middle children are girls.  They made very bad choices in marriage.  The oldest daughter's H is a felon, has numerous drug convictions and is in and out of her two children's lives--our two grandchildren.  She still lives by her mother but has contact with her father (my H) and is back in school working for her RN--good for her!

The next daughter is a single parent of a little boy, his father moved out of state, they share custody but have never divorced.  She has contact with her dad off and on but is a nice girl.  We are hoping for the best with her.

The youngest boy just recently married his highschool sweetheart, he is now 24.  He met this girl when he was 14 and she was 13. They never dated anyone else. (This is long before me)  My H has always had issues with their relationship believing they were too young when they started "dating" but he has been supportive with the wedding.  This boy is a momma's boy, we really don't know what his mom has been telling him over the years but he has been distant to has father for far longer than I have been around so i don't know what past issues are.  Since I have met my H until now the boy rarely calls or communicates unless he wants money from his father.  He called him and acted like everything was fine when we took all the kids on a trip to the Keys and before his wedding (we paid for a rehersal dinner and other things) and around Christmas (just in time for gifts) (By the way the three younger children never say thankyou for anything)  He and his new wife have always been ok to me when they are around me.

The newlyweds live in a apartment with the exw--I think that is wierd but whatever.  As long as I have been with my H I have never seen him do anything that would make his son resent him.  My H calls him, sends cards and gifts and tries over and over to communicate with him and create a relationship but his son doesn't answer or rejects him over and over (unless the kid wants something).  The only way my H finds out anything about his son's life it is through facebook.  The son blocked him on facebook for years and just before the wedding he "friended" his father again.  The son's sisters give their father the excuse "Son is busy in his new job" but he posts constantly about going out partying or going to sporting events... We both know that is an excuse, it only takes a minute to call his father.

 I can see my H's pain but I am powerless to do anything to help.  Have any of you gone through this and what did you do?  I think the kid is a jerk, but I would never say so to my H his father.  It is interesting how the oldest son has turned out to be a loving father, husband and son and was raised in a home with rules and "parented",  while the younger ones who were taken hundreds of miles from their father and raised so differently have struggled with poor choices and attitudes.  My H now regrets allowing his exw to take the kids so far away (the judge told him he could make her stay with the kids in the same community).  At the time he believed it would add more difficulty to what the kids were already dealing with.

Any input on how to deal with this would be great!