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    Old 06-28-2008, 11:14 PM   #1
    jinx2418
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    Problem with husband and son

    Ok. I am married and have a son, who is not my husband's biologically, but he did adopt him. Both my son and husband wanted the relationship. My husband used to be so wonderful with my son, and now, there are problems emerging.

    My son has ADHD, is emotional, and already has major baggage for an 8 year old. He's by no means perfect, he can be quite naughty when he wants to be. But, he also has ADHD and some, very few, some, behaviors come along with it!

    My husband joined the army after our getting married and has since changed. He's no longer the fun-loving, sweet talking, horsing around, making jokes dad my son and I remember. My husband is stressed out from work, and I understand that, but I feel like he takes it out on my son. He's so quick to notice something wrong my son does, but does not acknowledge the good. Also, he ignores my son completely at times, not always, but at times. They used to bond over playing video games, but now my husband just wants to play by himself.

    We have talked NUMEROUS times about this and I have told him that I WILL choose my son over him if necessary, but that I really don't want to do so. I love my husband and I know he loves my son, but you just can't feel it! I've talked to him so many times and each time he says things will change. They do for a few days or a week, but then it's right back to it. And I don't like the tone in my husband's voice when he scolds my son at all! I'm trying to step back and let my husband be a dad, but I don't like the things he's doing and he knows it! Yet, it happens!

    I am worried for my relationship, but also for my son. I just don't know what to do to get my husband to understand that he is pushing my son further away and instead of respecting him, my son fears his dad. He never physically does anything to my son, but emotionally... my son is really forgiving now, but one day he won't be.

    I know communication is important and trust me, I've been communicating. It's like my husband is just not listening!! Had to vent!

     
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    Old 06-29-2008, 01:11 AM   #2
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    Re: Problem with husband and son

    Is there any way you can get some parent coaching/mediation over this? Your husband sounds like a decent man, but may not have the skills to deal with an older child. Young kids are easy, but are more of a challenge as they get older. This is even more so if there is, as you put it, 'baggage'. He may be simply out of his depth and the job doesn't sound like it is helping. It may be that this situation can be turned around, but I also agree that your child needs to come first. Do not throw the baby out with the bathwater here, your man may lack super parenting skills but still love his son, and nobody ever had perfect parents.

     
    Old 06-29-2008, 01:48 AM   #3
    jinx2418
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    Re: Problem with husband and son

    Yes seraph, you are right. He is a good man and I think he just doesn't know how to deal with him and they do get harder as they grow!! Even I have moments when.... well!! He is in the army, which makes it very hard for him to ever have a chance to go to a therapy session, though that's what I am looking for. I have to call the local clinic here since we just moved and make an appointment for therapy, for all of us! And as you said, none of us have perfect parents and even I am far from perfect with my own son. It's that motherly instinct kicking in! But I do believe there is hope. We just need to learn what it is to do because nothing we are doing, and we've tried everything, is working with this boy!!

     
    Old 06-29-2008, 08:50 AM   #4
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    Re: Problem with husband and son

    Ok, you say that both wanted the relationship, so that means that you son knows that your husband is not his biological father. How old was he when you married this man?

    I think you are doing your best by letting your husband be a dad, but there's one particular thing that has called my attention in your post: you say "my" son. You never say "our" son. But funny thing, you say "his dad". If the relationship was accepted, perhaps at this point the boy should be the child of you both. Or am I missing something here? In this case, as a surrogate father, I think your husband has some rights in terms of educating and guiding "his" son, perhaps just as much as you have.

    How does the boy behave towards him? Respectful? Your husband may be wrong in some of his scoldings, but his toughness may be due to his professional stress or to the boy's reaction. Does he answer back? Did he ever say "you aren't my real dad" or something? Or perhaps you and your husband have different ideas on child education. You must find some common ground here, maybe both of you will have to step back a little.

    You probably know that ADHD is possibly linked to gluten and dairy intolerance. Have you checked on this before?

    I don't think therapy is a must, but perhaps in your case, family therapy would be in order. I suppose that your husband is "suffering" from not being able to say things, to talk about his personal needs. You say he is not listening, but are you listening to him? To a certain extent, there's too much focus on the boy, and this somehow makes him feel as if he were playing the second fiddle.

     
    Old 06-29-2008, 10:41 AM   #5
    jinx2418
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    Re: Problem with husband and son

    OK pendulum, yes, OUR son knows that he is not the biological father. I say my, because he is my son, he is our son, he is his son, he is her son...it's just a pronoun... don't take it so seriously! Whoa! Also, I've been a single parent mostly and it's just habit. I don't just pass my kid off to any old guy who wants to say that he loves us. Thats how you get hurt. We have been apart for a while and so, I am the only one there, so I say, my son. I'm learning to start saying our, ok? And yes, my focus in on our son because he is what's important. Yes, our marriage is important, but our son's health and metal well being means a lot to me. And I think my husband has rights too and yes, I do listen to him. Where is all this coming from? Man... my husband and I talk all the time about our son, us and the future of our relationship. And yes, I do listen to what he says and then we talk to the boy about everything. However, when I ask him to do something, he doesn't do it. He doesn't make any changes. I'm not asking him to be another person, I'm asking him to pay more attention to OUR son. Noah can sit there for minutes and talk to his dad and NOTHING!! Sometimes I know my husband is tired but really, is it ok to just ignore a child? I have told him this more than 6 times, and NOTHING, so what else am I supposed to say but he is not listening. I hear what he tells me about our son. Sometimes when my husband wants to play with our son, he pushes his dad away. So this hurts my husband. I'm sorry, but children learn by example and conditioning. If you get pushed away enough, you start pushing that person away so YOU don't get rejected anymore. Our son feels rejected by his father, words from his mouth, and so he just says he doesn't want to because he doesn't believe that my husband really wants to play with him, because normally he doesn't. He's an 8 year old, he has to learn not to do that. My husband doesn't like it, so we are trying to resolve the issue. We all talk, communication is important in our family. No, he never tells him that he's not his dad, because he doesn't think that way. Noah was 3 when I met my husband. His bio dad never paid him any attention, and Noah chose not to have him as his father, he wanted my husband as his father and asked if he would be. My husband said yes, and that's how it happened.

    A child is a precious gift and as a parent, your job is to protect that gift. I will not allow any more men to hurt him. I don't think my husband is doing so intentionally, we all need to learn to be parents. With every year comes new challenges and trials. I know my husband is his father, I know he loves him and needs time to grow into this role. My husband has been gone from 2006-2007. So we had some adjusting to do to get used to each other again and living as a family. I am all for sticking this marriage out. I love my husband, he loves me, loves our son, our son loves his dad, he loves me, we all love each other. But I have learned already sadly that sometimes as sad as it sounds, love is not enough. I will not stand by and have our son's emotional health damaged. Nor do I want to emotionally damage my husband. However, I am a parent and my first concern is and will always be Noah. I will not let Noah think that he means less to me than his dad. And I am trying not to let his dad think that he is not important to me at all. I am trying my best with a difficult situation and I really didn't appreciate your tone in your response. Nor do I appreciate you saying that my husband is suffering. I understand that you may be trying to help, but you really don't know our family and can't tell much just from a few lines. Also, I know about ADHD, I am a special education teacher and I take the time to look into all things that affect Noah. We have already checked on his diet and everything is fine. Adjustments were made and he is doing much better.

    I believe therapy is necessary not because we are a screwed up family as you might want to suggest, but because in these sessions, they help the parents with techniques to manage and cope with certain ADHD behaviors. Also, the professional teaches the child how to react properly in stressful situations and way to deal with the feelings they have in a more appropriate social manner. I believe you can't just medicate an ADHD child or change his diet. That doesn't work for everyone. He needs real life skills to help him get through the rough days in his life so he doesn't get in AS much trouble.

    Thank you for your help sir, but can you please not make assumptions about us!! I would appreciate it! I really don't mean to offend you, but I felt offended!! I'm not trying to argue or be rude, just making my feelings known. Thanks for understanding.

    Last edited by jinx2418; 06-29-2008 at 10:50 AM. Reason: too stern

     
    Old 06-29-2008, 10:57 AM   #6
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    Re: Problem with husband and son

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jinx2418 View Post
    ...

    Thank you for your help, but please, don't make assumptions about my family based on a few lines.
    From your post I can only gather I haven't helped in any way. But that is all right. Often we say "foolish" or impertinent things on this board, too. It's because we are trying to turn the scales, open eyes, whatever. I am sorry I have made those assumptions. In fact they were meant to be read rather as questions (notice how often I say "perhaps" etc). I have not meant to offend or insult anyone. I was just trying to interpret the situation in the light of what you brought. I was probably totally wrong, but I could have been right somewhere. Forgive me. I will delete my previous post if you think this is adequate. I should have known better.

    Last edited by pendulum; 06-29-2008 at 11:05 AM.

     
    Old 06-29-2008, 11:25 AM   #7
    jinx2418
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    Re: Problem with husband and son

    I appreciate your apology and sincereness. I understand that you were only trying to help and perhaps make me think about some issues that might have been occurring. There is no need to delete your post as it could help someone else one day. And I guess no new information that I didn't really consider before, but again, thank you for trying to help out. That's what these boards are and I guess at the moment I am a bit tired and stressed too! All's good? Friends? I hope so. Sometimes it's good to have our thoughts challenged. Makes you think again about your situation.

     
    Old 06-29-2008, 12:29 PM   #8
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    Re: Problem with husband and son

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jinx2418 View Post
    ... All's good? Friends? ...
    Yes, of course, friends.

     
    Old 06-29-2008, 12:52 PM   #9
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    Re: Problem with husband and son

    girl, i don't want to comment on here....for we have shined some light on this subject before. i just want to let u know that i'm here if you want to talk. just remember, that you can't attack anyone on the board. u can get banned. as pendelum mentioned, he was just trying to "assume" help. be careful dear, these boards are helpful...don't abuse. love you!

     
    Old 06-29-2008, 01:50 PM   #10
    jinx2418
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    Re: Problem with husband and son

    Yes, I really wasn't trying to attack anyone. honestly I wasn't. I guess I felt defensive for a minute, you know, it's my husband and our son. I may complain, but I love them and I think I phrased it all wrong. I think, what I meant to say is I want to make them both happy, but I can't. I don't know how to make them both happy and that's what I desire most, is for my whole family to be happy. I just wish I knew I could do that! I know everyone will never be totally happy, but at least, harmonious... no crazy arguing over stupid things, acknowledgment, respect, civilizedness, and those sort of things. I want us to be able to co-exist.

    I guess I was just venting to the world. Thanks everyone for being so understanding as I too, am learning!!

     
    Old 06-30-2008, 09:04 PM   #11
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    Re: Problem with husband and son

    I really do wish I had some great advice that might help out here, as I know from experience how tough this can be. I posted because I wanted to comment on your dedication to your son. It's admirable. I hope that you never do have to make a choice between your husband and your son, but I do so admire you for standing up for that and telling your husband up front what that choice would mean. Any person who would pick a partner over their child or allow that child to be abused in my book is not fit to be a parent. I always told men who I dated that my son and I were a package deal.....take me...take my son.....

    I wish you all the best!
    Mileena

     
    Old 07-02-2008, 12:30 AM   #12
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    Re: Problem with husband and son

    I wanted to say thank you Mileena for supporting my decision to support my child. I guess I get bothered even more because I told my husband the day he asked me out that I had a son. He said, "and"? I tried so hard to keep him away because I had just lost another man who said he loved my son and me and my son really liked him. I didn't want to go through that again. So I fought to stay single and tried to tell my hsuband that he didn't know what he was getting himself into. I felt so bad at the time because he was 21 and I was 24. I knew a part of him wasn't ready to be a father. He was a great father back then though. He still is, but he's just so stressed and is having a hard time dealing with his emotions and our son at the same time. But I feel like I gave him a chance to leave while he could and he decided to stay, so he should know what he got himself into and he should be ok with it!

    I know he loves us, I think he is just stressed and our son is no angel, so I understand that he can make you very upset. I just wish they could both be happy and survive a day together without me around. I'm so scared to leave noah with his dad because I fear his dad won't take care of him properly and that they will fight all day long!

    Oh well, the troubles of marrriage and kids! Thanks again though mileena for your support. That means a lot to me!

     
    Old 07-04-2008, 04:45 PM   #13
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    Re: Problem with husband and son

    hi jinx i was just reading some of your posts and i feel so sad that you are going through all this. i had my first son before i got married and just like you i married somebody else all i wanted was for him to accept wayne as he promised me he would(i was only 18) things were never great but i went and had 2 children thinking that if i had his children things would get easier GUESS WHAT they got worse for the sake of my other 2 sons i stuck with it for 10yrs and then i had enough coz he was a crap dad even to them. my mam used to always say the only reason he wanted children was to prove he was a man.but your husband loves YOUR son and i really hope things work out for ye alland i believe your right to put your son first thats what i should have done. but i was always afraid of doing it on my own which i ended up doing eventually

     
    Old 07-05-2008, 09:54 AM   #14
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    Re: Problem with husband and son

    Thanks for the support ryan. It is hard, but they are trying. My husband has been trying hard these past few days. I love him really. He is good in the fact that he knows and he tries, but sometimes he just forgets and can't take it nd he doesn't understand the feelings MY(LOL) son has!! No, he is our son, but I tell you, underneath it all, he is my son! If my husband ever left me, or I left him, there is not doubt as to where he would go!! But, I'm trying not to let that happen!! They both love each other, which is good, they just need to learn to understand each other. I think thats really the bottom line for any relationship... understanding who the other person is, dealing with it, accepting it, and loving them for it. otherwise, why be in a relationship with them? It's not like as parents we have a choice though, and as you said in your other post, we try to shape our kids the best we can, but things can often go array!! All we can hope is that what we taught them made a difference and those roots pull them back to where they belong!!

    But I have hope... we all love each other and I am hoping that we can all learn to accept that we are who we are and love each other for it anyway! That's what parenting is all about!

     
    Old 07-07-2008, 01:12 PM   #15
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    Re: Problem with husband and son

    Sweetie,
    i just want to let you know that nothing is wrong with your son: many kids nowadays have ADD or ADHD. They mostly over grow this, or even if not - they learn how to deal with this condition.
    And seems your husband is a good man. But it's so hard to adjust to a child; don't get upset I said this, I mean well. But when kids are young it's much easier to deal with them, when they grow up they need time to learn to love them, to learn how to be a father... I tell you the truth: I love kids in general to pieces. But when I came to my brother's house and spent 24 hours in his house, I almost want to jump from 4th floor only because I did not know how to handle his little 4 years old boy who also has AHDH and very active lovebale little boy. And I love him a lot!!!

    I needed more time too. So give him some space, give him some time. Work with your sone explaining to him that dad loves you, he just tired right now and eventually everything will be OK.
    Don't ask your hubby why and when? He does not know this himself - it will come. Believe or not a lot depends on how you will manage the whole process, try to be careful ; not easy to be in between 2 of them, but don't blame your husband for not doing what you feel needs to be done. It has to come from heart and eventually it will,just give it a time.

    Best of luck to all of you!

     
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