Being a stepparent is a challenging role to step into on its own. It’s even harder when your husband always defends his son every time there is a disagreement between you. Feeling like your husband and his son are united against you can make you feel unwanted and unloved.
You want to build bonds within your family, not be made to feel like an intruder or enemy. When your husband is always backing his child against you, it can create an unhealthy bond between them. It’s a recipe for disaster. If your husband refuses to believe your side of the story, he will undermine your authority and reinforce disrespectful behavior from your stepson.
Why is Your Husband Defending His Son?
Check your own behavior before taking offense. Have you ever even been a parent before? Does your stepson have a valid point about the situations and issues that are affecting your relationship? Examine your actions and reactions, decide whether you have been kind and considerate when dealing with him. Maybe you have been too tough on him.
Try to avoid conflict and don’t sweat the small stuff. If you are being too demanding and harsh, loosen the reigns. Maybe you need to lighten up and try to enjoy your time with your stepson more, rather than driving the wedge further between you.
Having a good relationship with your husband is key. Communicating and working on these issues is the only way to get through them. His favoritism of his son over you can cause resentment, sadness, and anger. You don’t want to feel like your opinions will constantly be hushed, you want to be trusted.
Parenting together has to be done on common ground. Consistency, loyalty, and trust should be strong between you and your husband. The two of you should stand united and support each other instead of having conflict over your son’s behavior.
Seeds of disrespect are sown when your son and your husband form an alliance against you. Your stepson sees that he can get past you easily and will probably continue to ignore your requests and opinions. Your husband is enabling disrespectful behavior when he always sides with your stepson against you.
Your stepson may play you and your spouse against one another. He may be casting you in a bad light or exaggerating details when he talks about you with his father. You need to get your husband to realize that the way his son is behaving toward you is inappropriate and unacceptable. Your husband should make it clear to your stepson that he should be treating you appropriately, with kindness and respect.
Be Kind and Communicate Your Feelings About Your Husband Defending His Son
Sometimes children view their stepparent as the enemy. It’s not uncommon for stepchildren to take out their frustration on a stepparent. Having a new person come into his dad’s life might be making your stepson feel out of place or uncomfortable.
He needs to see that you love his father very much and care for him as well. You only want to be happy and form stronger bonds with your stepson. He already has formed deep bonds and strong loyalty with his natural parents. Maybe your stepson will start to feel like you are on his side too as he learns more about you and begins to trust you. Be a role model, show him love and kindness even when he makes it difficult.
Come together in marriage and make sure your bond comes above the rest. He has chosen to spend his life with you, he should be fair when it comes to conflicts between you and his son. Your preferences shouldn’t be taking a back seat to what your stepson wants.
You are a blended family, but a family. Everyone should have to compromise to make things work in the household. You can expect some ill will from your stepson at first, but he should come around over time. Be patient, but let your husband know that you feel silenced and singled out. Find ways to keep the discipline consistent so your stepson sees you and his father on a united front.
Your husband may be afraid to discipline his son appropriately out of guilt or fear. He may feel guilty about the way their family had to split apart and try to compensate by spoiling his stepson. He has to work through these fears and feelings so he can realize that raising his son to listen and follow the rules is best.
Letting his son get away with bad things now will get worse and worse. He will end up having no regard for other adults in charge or of the rules if he knows his dad will always back him up. It’s not ok to reinforce or ignore his negative behavior, things will eventually spiral out of control. Your husband may be afraid of pushing his son away if he puts his foot down but it has to be done.
Talk as a Family and Try Doing Things Differently
Talk to your husband and stepson together. Let them know how you’re feeling. Reassure your stepson that you know how important his relationship with his father is and that you don’t want to mess with that. He may be happy to know that you respect what they have and don’t want to interfere with that. Let both of them know that you just want to have fun as a family and avoid friction and conflict. Talk to your stepson about the issues that seem to be making waves between the two of you and ways you can both avoid the conflict.
For example, if your stepson is constantly leaving his dirty clothes everywhere and you’re tired of picking up after him, remind him where the dirty clothes baskets are. If he has been given time and doesn’t pick up, ask him to put his dirty clothes in the basket. You might be ignored or get a rude comment.
This is disrespectful and unacceptable. If your husband dismisses the problem as no big deal and doesn’t make him listen to you, your stepson will never pick up his things, ever. You cannot allow your authority as an adult to be undermined. Let your husband start picking up the clothes, even if it’s driving you mad, don’t touch them, and eventually, he will see your point. You aren’t being the bad guy, you’re being sensible and teaching him some responsibility.
Encourage the two of them to spend some alone time together more often so they don’t feel like you’re interfering with their relationship. Give yourself some peace while they enjoy each other one-on-one. Your stepson might be missing doing certain things that the two of them used to do alone when you weren’t around.
He might feel like you being there has invaded his time with his father. Encouraging their independent activities will show him that you want him to enjoy time with his dad and that you have no problem staying behind for certain things.
Be a friend and get to know your stepson well. Try not to play a big role in his discipline. If something needs to be addressed, let your husband handle it and avoid the conflict. You don’t want him to think you are a mean stepparent or that you don’t like him. Be as kind and respectful as possible and take a step back from these situations.
Don’t let him have that kind of power over you. Remove yourself from the situation when your stepson gets out of hand and let your husband handle the disciplinarian role. Talk about your concerns and be as patient and loving as possible. Things will get better with time.
The important thing to remember when your husband is always defending his son is to not take it personally. Don’t forget this is his flesh and blood, it’s only natural for him to instinctively side with his son.