I have the stepson from hell

July 22, 2020

Dear Pastor,

I am 25 and currently in a committed relationship; all we have left to do is to get married. My spouse is 35 and we have three children between us.

I have a four-year-old daughter, he has a 10-year-old son, and we have a four-month-old boy together.

I love his 10-year-old son, but he doesn't love me. I used to think that maybe I was overreacting or going crazy, until other family members and friends started witnessing what I have to deal with.

The boy's biological mother does not care about him and everyone knows that, including his father. I figured it out after my spouse let me hear a phone conversation with her, and then I witnessed it with my own eyes.

I decided to be the best stepmother I could be to this boy. My mother started to feel like I was treating him better than my daughter. The first time he visited us he was still living with his mother.

He came to our apartment with no shoes, improperly dressed, and poor hygiene. His dad was extremely upset, but I took a day off from work and took him to get everything for the time he would be staying with us.

I have done many things for him, including getting all his legal documents processed, starting and opening a fund, and assisting him for his return to school. I am taking good care of his child. I took him to the doctor because he was not in good health.

I never used his father's money. I used my own money and sacrificed multiple days off from work.

I try to let him visit as often as school would allow him, because a blind man could see that he was suffering while living with his mother.

I told his dad to start preparing to take him permanently from his mother because the cycle has to stop.

When the coronavirus came to Jamaica and schools closed down, we had the perfect opportunity to move him in, because we were waiting for summer break to do it.

Here is where the trouble started. After the first two weeks, he realised that his dad was serious about him staying with us, and that's when his demons came out.

He talks back disrespectfully, he doesn't listen, he destroys things. He keeps the house untidy, he steals, he lies, and is a trouble to the neighbours.

I have tried to address the matter with my spouse several times, but it's like talking to a brick wall. It got much worse after our son was born.

My stepson got so comfortable behaving badly that he stopped limiting it to just me, but never while his dad was around. After talking to him about urinating on the bathroom floor one morning, he threatened to drown my son.

I told his dad about it and again, nothing was said or done. Every time anyone tries to correct him about something, he turns around and does something horrible out of spite.

I caught him pouring salt into my nephew's food and told him that was wrong. He told his dad that I starved him all day, and I found faeces on my bath towel the next morning.

We argue constantly because of this child, and nothing gets done about it. I even used my phone to video him one day and played it for his dad to see what I was talking about, and still nothing.

This child has started to gloat to everyone about the situation. He told people that he can do anything he wants because his father loves him and won't discipline him.

I am at the point where I am contemplating about just packing up my stuff and leaving, because my spouse refuses to address this issue or listen to any of our friends or family members who make similar complaints.

I have so much I could tell you, but I am going to leave it right here. I await your response.

B.P.

Dear B.P.,

Insist that your spouse take this boy for counselling. But the bottom line is, he should not be living in the same house with you. He is grossly disrespectful.

Perhaps his mother talked to him and has encouraged him to be disrespectful to you. You have to give him back to his mother. Let your spouse do so without delay.

She is receiving monthly support from your husband for him. Therefore, it is her responsibility to take care of him. He should not be allowed to abuse you in any way, and he is setting a very bad example to the other children.

Pastor

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