My 16 Year-old Stepson Hates Me

Question: Dear Luise: I met my husband 8 years ago and we married 7 years ago. I am 8 years younger.  When we married he had an 8 year-old son. They have had a rocky relationship from the start. The mother has always played his son against his father. His son and I have had problems since his dad and I got married. His mother hates me for some reason and has filled his head with hatred towards me. I have spent the last 8 years bending over backwards trying to get his son to accept/like me. He is 16 now and nothing has changed. When he is with us (which isn’t much, only when he wants something) he is polite, but then he tells everyone how much his mom and him hate me. I have never done anything to him or his mother to hate me so. It has now gotten to the point where I am tired and emotionally worn out and hurt from continued rejection. My husband and I have talked and we feel like the only solution is to tell him that if he feels that way about me then he is not welcome in our home. We have a son who is 6 now and I don’t want my son around a person who hates me so much, I don’t want that hatred influencing him. What is your advice for me? H.

Answer: Dear H.: I doubt I would bar him from your home if he is polite when he is there but I would put him on probation. Tell him (together) that you are no longer going to let anyone pass on his insults, so he might as well stop making them. Let him know that you are fully aware of his hate campaign and done with it. Finished.

Then stop anyone who starts gossiping and make it clear that you are no longer going to triangulate with anyone…(that’s the he said/she said stuff) and stick to it. Also let your stepson know that bad-mouthing you to your 6 year old is off-limits as well and that he will be barred from your home permanently, should he ever do that.

He is just a reflection of his mother…mirroring her unfounded and probably jealousy-based hatred. When you said “I do,” being a door matt didn’t come with it. Blessings, Luise

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