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23 Apr 2006

STEP PARENT
Hi there. I am 42yrs old and have been married to my husband for 7 yrs. We've both been married before, but I have no children of my own. My two step-sons (now aged 21&22) have been living with us since our marriage. Their mother lives in another province. I have always got on very well with my step-sons - we are buddies, but for the past 2 yrs the youngest one has been "disruptive". They are both good guys, but he has no direction (he has a full time job), is untidy in appearance, very disorganised, and often forgets his chores. I am very organised and neat, and this drives me crazy. I really want to get on well with him again, but he makes it very difficult. He doesn't have many friends, doesn't 'share stuff", and is aloof. I've tried my best to make him feel special, but he shuts everyone out. Their mom has a drinking problem and he has been badly affected, but I've tried to be there for him. My home is their friend's home, and under the circumstances we have a good home life. The eldest son is so different, he is a ray of sunshine and so easy to get on with, so it's hard not to compare them - which I know is wrong. My husband is supportive, appreciative and understanding of what I do for his sons, but we do argue about his youngest son's attitude quite often. Sometimes he backs me up, but other times he defends him - which is natural. Sometimes I feel resentful and wish they would move out, just so that I can have peace, quiet, privacy and a normal married life. One part of me loves having a "family", but the other part of me wants my life back. Am I being too difficult and uncaring? I really love both boys and wonder if I'm being unreasonable in expecting certain things from this young chap. Am I also being a "wicked witch" for wanting my home and privacy back? Any thoughts and comments would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Hello J,
Sounds like part of the problme may be that you're wanting the youngest son to BE a different person from who he is, which might be as realistic as it would be to want his sunny brother to be persistently gloomy. It's not unreasonable to hope for both boys to move out and set up their own homes --- is there any particular reason why they have not chosen to do so ? I fully agree with Tango
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