Gransnet forums


Jealousy of Stepson

(36 Posts)
bytheway Tue 19-Jun-18 18:50:45

I really need some advice as this situation is causing me a lot of jealousy, insecurity and misery and I don't know how to deal with it.

DH and I have 4 adult sons (2 each) One of my stepsons - Lets call him G - moved back to our home town with his 2 children following the breakdown of his marriage.

DH has always had a very close relationship with this boy but I hate him. Over the years he has caused more worry than the other 3 put together (and then some).

But that's by the by. He split up with his wife a year ago as she had an affair, We all felt heartily sorry for him and provided a shoulder to cry on (as you do) through his tantrums and vitriol about her. However, 3 months ago we found out that he has a 2 year old daughter that none of us knew about - and yes that means he too was having an affair whilst married.

We also know he has not provided for this child either emotionally or financially, which really hurts me as my son's father never supported them and this has bought back bad memories for me.

He lies to everyone, usually to make himself look or sound 'big' (we all he know he lies and joke about it but no-one will challenge him)

All of these things and more have caused me so much heartache that i told my DH i did not want a relationship with him anymore and stated my reasons why. DH agreed with everything i said and said whilst he understood how i felt and agreed with my reasoning, he is the boy's father and could not take that stance.

However, G rings DH every day and they chat on like best pals and I feel really jealous. I feel like DH doesn't support me and it makes me miserable, i have even thought about getting divorced so i will be out of the situation, but not sure if that's my twisted head playing with me.

I don't have any close friends to talk to and although i can talk to one of my sister's she has had quite a sheltered adulthood and i don't think she would understand.

So I'd really appreciate any words of advice or help even if you think i need a kick up the bum !

agnurse Tue 19-Jun-18 18:55:22

It's your choice not to have a relationship with G, but that doesn't obligate your DH not to have a relationship with him. Yes, G has been irresponsible. Yes, he should provide for his child. But that's his business. Not yours.

G is an adult. So is your DH. You don't have the right to dictate what their relationships should be.

If this is really bothering you, you might consider speaking with a licensed therapist. I'm not saying you're mentally ill, but it might be helpful for you to speak to someone about how to get over the anger.

bytheway Tue 19-Jun-18 19:00:14

Thanks Agnurse for your candidness. I do know i have mental health problems and I think you may be right about seeing a therapist, Again i appreciate your candour.

Luckygirl Tue 19-Jun-18 19:26:59

It does sound as though your DH has understood where you are coming from; and he has asked for your to understand his point of view on it. He is not telling you you are talking rubbish, but, as far as I can see, respecting your stance and the reasons for it, but reserving the right to keep up contact with his son.

I do not think this is a ground for considering divorce. I am assuming there are other more serious problems that make you think of such a drastic step.

It is sometimes hard to get things in proportion when something begins to grate on you, and it looms larger in your mind than perhaps it warrants.

I do agree that it might help you to find and impartial professional in real life with whom you can discuss the situation.

Good luck with all this.

crazyH Tue 19-Jun-18 21:13:26

Bytheway, I am on the other side of the fence, so to speak. When my husband (now ex) left me for this other woman, she did not want him to have any contact with his children. She did her best to keep him away, and fool that he was, he did, much to my sorrow, because I could see the hurt in my children's eyes, esp the youngest because he was still in school then.
Years have passed, my children have kids of their own and are in touch with their Dad. All is hunky dory now, but I cannot forgive him (and her) for treating my kids so badly. I really have to give my children credit for bearing no grudge against their father. I am the bitter.
Anyway, I think you should not come between your DH and his son. It's really not nice.....Father and son should have a relationship, even though G sounds a bit of an axxxxxxe...good luck !

bytheway Tue 19-Jun-18 21:28:11

Thanks Crazy, I would never come between them, not ever, it’s my jealousy I need to deal with and I want to deal with it correctly, not cause more hurt and upset to others.

sodapop Tue 19-Jun-18 21:45:55

Not a good situation to be in bytheway I can understand your feelings. Even though G is is not behaving well you need to let your husband support his son. Some of your feelings seem rooted in the past so perhaps you could get some help to address that.
Good luck

M0nica Tue 19-Jun-18 22:11:24

Bytheway you are being remarkable objective in being able to see that the problem lies with you rather than your DH and his son. I wish more people posting problems on GN could be so clear sighted.

I think the best way forward is to seek some form of one-to-one counselling to help you look at the situation in a wider context and discuss it with someone who can be equally objective

crazyH Tue 19-Jun-18 22:24:32

Sorry Bytheway, I went off track. I can see why you're jealous....I would be too.

Take Monica's advice.....

phoenix Tue 19-Jun-18 23:07:40

Difficult situation, but this jumped out at me from your op:

DH has always had a very close relationship with this boy but I hate him

If you do hate (and that is a very strong word, rather than "dislike" etc) him, then where do you go from here?

Smileless2012 Wed 20-Jun-18 08:38:25

IMO you've taken the first and very courageous step of posting here about your feelings toward G bytheway and that's a positive move on your part.

I agree that perhaps some professional help may be of use to you. For your DH to have listened with understanding about your feelings for me, demonstrates that he's not blind to his son's faults but as his dad, of course he wants to be there for him.

Like crazy I too am on the other side of this problem. We have been estranged from our son and only GC for more than 5 years due his wife's intense dislike of us, and me in particular.

It was good to read in a later post that you'd never desire to become between them.

Some form of therapy may not necessarily resolve your dislike of G but help you to keep your feelings in perspective.

I wish you wellflowers.

Coconut Wed 20-Jun-18 09:35:14

It says a lot for your husband that he accepts your views on his son, and you have not had a big argument about it. So he is respecting your feelings, and I think that you must do the same with him. When a parent cuts an AC out of their life for whatever reason, it must cause immeasurable pain. Don’t be within earshot when they chat on the phone, and yes get some help so that you can just come to terms with the situation.

cassandra264 Wed 20-Jun-18 10:23:26

Can your DH not find a (mutually agreed with you) time and place to chat to his son when you are not around? And does it have to be every day?

I have friends who speak on the phone to their adult children every day - and others like myself who have a long phone catch up every week with each of theirs at a pre-arranged time - when we know we will not be interrupted! It's whatever works best for you and yours.

Patticake123 Wed 20-Jun-18 10:35:11

What an unfortunate situation and I fully understand your feelings of anger and jealousy. One way forward for you could be to engross yourself in something you really enjoy and whenever your husband is chatting to his son, you disappear and ‘do your own thing’. This may help to distract you.

ajanela Wed 20-Jun-18 10:39:39

I was angry at my GS's father about the way he behaved and understood why my daughter left him. My DH didn't seem to side with us and kept in friendly contact the him. But as he explained he want our GS to know his father and over the years this has worked out, the father was behaved better because of my DH's influence, he comes to our house to pick up his son when we are caring for him. My husband was always friendly, I usually kept out of the way.

Now my DH can see his faults more and I am polite and greet him, my GS enjoys time with his father, which would not have happened without our help. So in the end I agree with my DH, everything has worked out better for my GS who is the important person in all this and he at least knows his father and I can be polite for a few minutes.

mabon1 Wed 20-Jun-18 10:41:00

Don't have anything to do with him

SoleParentFamily Wed 20-Jun-18 10:44:34

If your husband felt pressured not to see his son because you don't like him, I think it would cause unnecessary problems between you. So, don't create trouble for yourself. It is better in the long run if you can try to just grin and bear it. Parental love is unconditional and it sounds like your husband knows this son is difficult but wants to stand by him anyway. I understand all your feelings as I've had them. My son sees his father after his father walked out on us just after his birth. I just have to put up with it, but it did take some getting used to and plenty of angry, jealous feelings.... Best of luck to you.

rizlett Wed 20-Jun-18 11:22:52

Usually if we are feeling very strong difficult emotions then 90% of that is from unresolved issues from the past.

I admire your honesty bytheway - I've had stepchildren I hated and spent a lot of time dealing with the root of my feelings which was nothing to do with the adult children at all but all to do with the child in me that felt abandoned by my father.

It's ok to hate someone - that's just the way you feel and accepting our feelings is a way forward but learning to let these go can be more difficult. I found EFT helped. There are plenty of youtube videos to explore more.

icanhandthemback Wed 20-Jun-18 11:59:59

As a step-Mum I sort of understand your feelings of angst about your relationship, I find it harder to understand your feelings of jealousy. Regardless, I don't think any right thinking adult should get in the way with a parent/child relationship unless it is damaging for either of them.
Jealousy is a terribly destructive emotion for all involved so I would urge you to get some help to resolve that particular issue. I think if you did that, everything would fall into place and you could all be a lot happier.

Angela1961 Wed 20-Jun-18 12:07:30

Yes to all of the above. He has his life and you have yours. You can choose to have very little contact but acknowledge your husband is his father so wants/and has involvement. For the sake of your husband be civil if ever an occasion arises that you meet, but tell your husband you do not wise to know if the comings and goings of his son's life. Try not to have jealously about their relationship as you have chosen not to have any input in it.Use the time of the telephone call to do something, wipe down in the kitchen,wash your hair or take a stroll around the garden - anything.

HunnyBunny Wed 20-Jun-18 12:33:43

I have the same problem. It used to be that I would discuss the shortcomings of my stepson with DH but it never went down well and more often than not, even though DH could understand where I was coming from,he still didn’t like to hear it. Like you, stepson would ring and there they would be, DH and stepson chatting happily and I would get the rage! I really couldn’t cope with it after all the stepson had done and said. (We had some horrible times with him). I,too, contemplated divorce so that I could be ‘free’ of it all.

Then I learned how to disengage.
Any time stepson rang, I would leave the room to do something. Sort out dishes, clean bathroom, anything at all!
When DH would tell me anything about stepsons life, I would just say ‘oh, that’s good/nice’ whatever.
I don’t ask about him at all anymore.
I realised that I was part of the problem. I was allowing myself to get involved too much. I backed right off.
Left DH to deal with stepson.

It wasn’t easy. Takes a lot of practise. But eventually you realise how peaceful your life with DH becomes.
And I don’t want to divorce him anymore!

Jaycee5 Wed 20-Jun-18 12:43:41

Can you leave the room when he is on the phone with his son? If you can get engrossed in something in another room you might be able to stop focusing on it.
You really have to disassociate yourself from the conversation because, by your own choice and as a matter of fact, it is not really anything to do with you so why listen? He is not choosing your son over you. He is choosing you both. Most time presumably is with you but that time is for his son. You might even find that he will end the call sooner if he starts wondering where you are.

Pebbles77 Wed 20-Jun-18 12:50:28

It’s all very well your husband continuing supporting his son but ... this son sounds toxic and it is going to put untold pressure on you both
Yes of course you are jealous ... he is an adult child and really needs to get some professional help ... even your husband cannot “fix” all that is happening to his son .... I feel for your predicament .... support yes but don’t let your stepson rule the roost which really he is beginning to do ... your relationship with your husband is important too ! ... fight for it ... I’m sorry but this son sounds like he needs a kick up the bottom ... your husband is pandering to him and enabling his behaviour ... he son needs to get help outside and get a life ....

Pebbles77 Wed 20-Jun-18 12:53:36

Btw is need a therapist if all this was going on in our house ....your husband needs to take you out and away for the night and cherish you for goodness sake ! ... sorry but Marriage is so important .... don’t let anything ruin it .... offer help yes but there is only so much you can do

Eloethan Wed 20-Jun-18 13:05:47

bytheway However badly a son or daughter has behaved - and I agree with you, he has behaved very underhandedly - most parents do not cut them out of their lives.

It sounds like your husband's son has some psychological/emotional issues - he certainly doesn't sound very mature or well balanced. Be that as it may, I can quite understand why you feel the way you do - I suspect I would feel similarly. I can also understand why you find his constant phone calls a challenge.

As others have said, though, your husband seems to respect and understand your point of view and accept the stance you are taking. Surely it demonstrates what a responsible and decent man he is to want to support his son, despite his many failings and the problems he has caused? I don't mean that he should constantly be accommodating his son's wishes and demands (eg if he asks for money or expects your husband to drop everything to sort out any problems he's got) but just being available to talk to him.

People sometimes feel overwhelmed by the hatred and resentment they are feeling and then feel guilty, which makes things even worse, so you should try not to beat yourself up about the way you feel. However, as this is making you so unhappy and seems to be affecting your feelings towards your husband also, perhaps, as other posters have suggested, talking it over with a counsellor and letting out all that hurt and anger would help.