Her Husband Yells At Her and Calls Her Names When She Disciplines Her Step Son: Two T-Squares

Lobster with crabs and mermaids

Dear Elsa,

My stepson was 8 years old when my husband abandoned him after divorcing his mother. My husband realizes the damage he did to his son. You see, his son is 15 years old and has had emotional issues. I helped both father and son discuss the hurt and forget the past.

My stepson’s biological mother did not discipline him and he ran away from his Mom’s home. My stepson moved in with us and lived with us for a year until we got full custody. As a stepmom, my relationship with his son is good. Occasionally, my stepson disrespects us and does not obey the rules of the house. His father does not discipline his son – I usually do.

When I try to communicate to my stepson the wrong he has done, my husband does not support me. My question is: What should I do when my husband yells, argues, shouts, calls me names, when I am trying to discipline his son. And more important, what should I do when my husband exhibits this behavior in the presence of his son?

United States

Dear Stepmom,

It sounds like you have your hands full and it also sounds as if you like it that way. It seems you are very devoted and responsible to this family and I admire that. However, your husband is abusing you and to be honest, I think this is your number one problem.

Because your stepson is 15 years old! And a lot of kids have a lot of problems at that age. But it sounds like you’ve come into his life and he’s responding favorably to your care and concern, and your mature approach. So his prognosis seems pretty optimistic to me, where as your husband… well there is no excuse or rhyme or reason for him to yelling at you and calling you names. It’s got to stop. And I don’t care if his son is there to witness or not. That it irrelevant. The way he is treating you is not okay, period!

See I care about you. You are taking care of them, but who is taking care of you? Think about it.

But aside from that, it’s very clear you want to be where you’re at. So in support of that, I think your next step is to focus on your husband’s abusive behaviors. And as far as how you are going to deal with this, I don’t think I can design something superior to what you can come up with on your own. Because just look at your record with this family! It’s stout.

So I feel the best way I can support you is to tell you you’re doing a good thing and that it is admirable. Because astrologically, your chart is very challenging. And I don’t think you are going to be able to go anywhere else and have it any easier and I bet you agree with me. So just keep doing what you’re doing. But please turn your focus from your stepson to your husband, and don’t be afraid to call a battered woman’s shelter for support, information or advice. Or to get a counselor! Because you’re under a good deal of stress with these two, and everything you can do for yourself will help – not just yourself but everyone involved.

Good luck.


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Her Husband Yells At Her and Calls Her Names When She Disciplines Her Step Son: Two T-Squares — 2 Comments

  1. First of all, thank you for trying to be such a consciencious stepmom. There are far too many parents (whether bio or other) in today’s society who would appear apathetic. Still, I agree with Elsa as well as have another point. You are of course the victim of abuse (the 1st time, thereafter you become a participant)and I hope that you’ll take her advice in that regard under some serious consideration. Through great personal difficulty and the advice of professionals it’s been suggested to me that the biological parent should nearly always be the primary disciplinarian. It would seem from your post that your husband is lacking in this area, though. Is there any possiblity he would be amenable to parenting classes and or couple’s counseling? As long as you continue to take the lead i’m not certain that he will find the innner motivation to be the parent which it would appear you desire him to be. Again, this is a tough situation and I commend you for trying to be such a healthy influence in this child’s life 🙂

  2. Indeed, your husband sounds like he needs some disciplining himself! And support too, though I think you should not be the only one providing that. Good luck, and thanks for taking care of your stepson.

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