Saturday, April 1, 2023
HomeRelationship AdvicePretty sure you’re all going to tell me this is above Reddits...

Pretty sure you’re all going to tell me this is above Reddits pay grade.

I (38f) have been married to my husband (40m) for a little over a year. I waited for him. I had 3 guys propose to me before him and I never said yes. I swore I would only get married one time. He came into my life and I fell so hard. He was everything I wanted and he was so sweet and loving.
He has a son (9m) and my husband’s ex left when his son was 1 yr old and refused to see her child. She went and filed to terminate her parental rights and then 2 days later filed for full custody. They battled in court and eventually settled in a shared parenting plan with my husband being the residential parent. She shows up when she feels like it. She alternates between obsessive “mommy dearest” and dropping off the planet with no contact for months. Needless to say my stepson has issues.
When I meet my husband we moved fast. I was so in love. I was stupid. We got married. I became full time mom to a boy who hates women and a husband who doesn’t seem to be very fond of them either. I feel duped. I swear he married me to have a nanny/bangmaid.
I used to be fun and happy. I’m smart. I would have been a great wife to the right man.
My stepson is cruel. If you’ve ever seen the movie “we need to talk about Kevin,” I have never related to a movie more. The only difference, my SS is much more obvious in his hatred and my husband is somehow more oblivious. This child hits me, kicks me and verbally abuses me on a daily basis. My husband makes excuses. When I am in public with him strangers feel the need to step in and tell him to stop treating me this way. But when he does it in front of my husband, he excuses it and generally turns the blame on me.
When his behavior is out of control at school, they call me. I’m the one who got him in counseling. I’m the one who got him into a good psychiatrist. I’m the one that does his homework with him, even when he throws things at me and hits me and it takes hours to do something that should have taken 15 minutes.
But in my husband’s eyes. I’m not doing enough. Recently, my SS punched me at a family event. When I asked my husband to correct him, his response was, “he’s doing it to you. Why should it be on me to fix it?”
I want to leave but I feel stuck. I know that if I go, my SS loses any chance of getting the help he needs. I’m seriously afraid he’s going to grow up to be a serial killer. He almost killed our dog and I swear if I leave and see him on the news someday I’ll feel responsible. Most of my family refuses to let my SS come around anymore because he hurt their pets or they’ve seen what I see. They say they are scared for me but they quit talking to me and I don’t have anyone left.
I love my husband. I don’t think he is a bad person. I think he is overwhelmed by how out of control his child is and the only way he can deal is to deny the problem and shift blame. When we occasionally get time alone together we never fight.
But, I’m tired. I’m hurt. I don’t laugh anymore. I don’t enjoy anything anymore. I feel alone. I feel my husband only married me so he wouldn’t have to deal with his son’s behavior.
I don’t know what to do. I am home alone for the first time in months. I am drunk and decided to try Reddit. Does anyone have any advice for me? Help, please.

View Reddit by PurpleAndHurtfulView Source



  1. That’s pretty rough.

    I think you know what you need to do, but you seem to want permission to do it.

    So here ya go: I grant you permission to walk away from this mess and get your life back. Your husband is a shit father and husband and is making no attempt to fix the situation. Your stepson has problems you cannot fix and aren’t responsible to fix. Do yourself a favor and don’t waste another minute turning yourself inside out and upside down for these two.

  2. >I feel duped. I swear he married me to have a nanny/bangmaid.
    >I want to leave but I feel stuck. I know that if I go, my SS loses any chance of getting the help he needs.

    First, as they tell you on airplanes, put your own oxygen mask on before trying to help others. You are not obligated to help this kid or his father at your own expense. You are both morally and ethically clear to pack-up and leave without giving either of them a second thought. If the kid becomes a serial killer, that’s on his father, not you.

    Second, if you absolutely feel the need to help this kid, you need to insist on immediate professional help, including family therapy with the father. If the father won’t participate, then there is NOTHING you can do because you are, in fact his nanny/bangmaid, nothing more, nothing less.

    My advice, pack your bags and get out NOW. The husband misrepresented himself and his situation. He definitely misrepresented the son. You are under no obligation to stay and torture yourself on behalf of these people, no matter how messed up the kid is, especially if the father isn’t trying to help the kid. RUN before the kid decides to take a more extreme approach to dealing with you.

  3. >I don’t think he is a bad person

    That’s very charitable. His son is in “We need to talk about Kevin” phases of disturbing behaviour and Daddy dearest is doing sod all about it. You can play it off as denial but when other family members are scared of a 9 year old and worried about him hurting their pets… that’s big problems. And it’s HIS problem that he’s putting on you.

    You’re not responsible for any of that by the way. You’ve done the best you can and you don’t have to stay around for more misery. It can be tempting to try and stay and fix things, like an obligation as if you’ve got the super powers to make things right. But in reality, you’re just making yourself more miserable. It’s ok to walk away.

    Also, the kid may be showing disturbing behaviour but he’s 9. There’s a lot of years ahead for change and many influences to change that, peer group being the least of it. Real life tends not to imitate Hollywood. Additionally, where did he get the woman hating from? Not just his Mum so maybe “we need to talk about Daddy dearest.”

    You say you would’ve “made a great wife for the right man” as if that’s somehow in the past, as if this is now your lot in life. I don’t think you should value yourself on how much you make someone else happy. You’re allowed to live your life the way you want, you’re allowed to be happy just as you without defining your worth by other people.


    A similarly drunk redditor.

  4. OP why do you love this man? What does he provide for you as a partner? Does it outweigh everything you’re describing here, because it should.

    You deserve so much better than someone who has washed his hands clean of their parental and husbandly duties and is leaving you to drown.

  5. this is above YOUR pay grade.

    i’m scared for you. please leave. my immediate thought was that this sounds like a situation where the kid ends up murdering the step mom.

    his child has problems. his child needs serious help, and he is making it worst just letting him be a complete demon with no consequences.

    please leave like immediately. you’ve already paid your debt. there’s nothing else you can do to help him.

  6. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Your stepson is a little monster because his father is a big monster, he just has a better veneer.

    Your husband doesn’t love you. You will be completely isolated and abused if you stay.

    Leave and be happy. Being alone can offer so much peace and freedom.

  7. Besides the obvious of getting out of there and never looking back.. What happens if you just do nothing? Is the kid following you around and kicking you or was it the result of trying to discipline him? What happens if you turn a blind eye and let your husband do 100% of the parenting. If kid burns down the house, he burns down the house and you stay somewhere else. Your husband needs to get involved, but he’s comfortable letting you do whatever you’re doing. Why not just stop?

  8. First, you are an angel in this world. Second, please please secure your own mask. Report this child’s name to every school/law/government organization that is trained to act.

    I am so sorry. You can’t cover this grenade, love.

  9. I’m not sure what country you’re in but I’m in Australia and work with children like this everyday as a Behaviour Support practitioner and I can tell you with 100000% certainty that unless every single member of the family is on board and basically smothering the child with the same boundaries, support and techniques you will NEVER see a change in behaviour.

    Every single person in this child’s life needs to be working on the same plan and basically have a “script” on how to respond to these behaviours.

    It’s too much to expect that you’ll be able to fix this alone, especially as you’re still in the rapport building phase with this child who sounds deeply traumatised.

    If you’re in Australia – Get him on the NDIS and get a Behaviour Support Practitioner, counsellor, and occupational therapist for him.

  10. He’s going to hurt the dog then you, get out with the dog. It’s irresponsible that a pet would even be in the same house as a person who’s known to hurt pets. You’re allowing yourself and dog you took responsibility over to get hurt by this person. You need to get out not only for yourself but for everyone within the household. If you’re not there maybe this will be the push your husband needs to get his kid help. You leaving them might be a wake up call your husband needs. You’re not helping anything by staying, one could argue that you’re enabling it by staying and allowing yourself to be his victim.

    I’m sorry this is happening to you but please get out now. Don’t give warning just take your stuff and the dog. If you give a warning he might escalate the abuse.

  11. Has he been given a diagnosis? It sounds like Oppositional Defiant Disorder at an absolute minimum, but from the physical aggression you have described I think a diagnosis of Conduct Disorder is probably warranted. Antisocial Personality Disorder can’t be diagnosed before 18, but a fairly high proportion of kids with Conduct Disorder go on to receive the diagnosis, and those who don’t are still highly likely to continue to have emotional and behavioural problems throughout their life.

    I am a psychologist and used to work as a behaviour support practitioner, working with children with behavioural issues. Even with less severe behaviours it usually takes a significant commitment from the family to fix, and it doesn’t sound like your husband will be able or willing to pull that off. While I think it is important to not write a kid off this early, in this setting—speaking anonymously via Reddit to someone who has the option of escaping—I am going to be blunt.

    With behaviours of this severity, in the circumstances you have described, I wouldn’t count on things getting much better even with more dedication on your partner’s part. It may be possible to reduce the more overt aggressive behaviours, but he will probably remain cruel, unempathetic and deceitful. Far greater improvements can be achieved if his behaviours are occurring after experiencing severe trauma, like growing up with physically abusive parents, being shuffled between relatives, surrounded by drug use, going in and out of foster care etc. But if he was raised in fairly stable circumstances, with his unreliable mother being the most significant source of trauma that can be identified, then I am far less optimistic.

    If you’ve only been with him for a little over a year my advice is to get out of there asap. At this point you can still very justifiably say that he isn’t your responsibility.

  12. The next time he assaults you, contact whomever the juvenile intake officer is. If his father refuses to step in, you need assistance from someone who won’t tolerate his terrible and abusive behavior.

  13. Advice? Get a divorce.

    It’s not your responsibility to fix your step-son and your husband seems to be an example for him to follow.

    That thing about getting married once is dumb. Of course everyone gets married hoping it’s forever, but you cannot build your own jail just because you don’t want to divorce. That’s not logical argument.

    His son is 9. Can you imagine in 3 or 4 years? Or how about when he is a teenager? He is going to beat you up or kill you. And I hope you don’t want bio kids because a baby is not going to be safe and this AH is going to get 50% custody.

  14. I had a situation somewhat related to this and what finally hit me was hearing this – “You can’t fix what you didn’t break.” It is not so much that this is above Reddit’s pay grade as it’s above YOUR pay grade. What your husband is allowing is abuse, and you need to get out, not just for your sake, but for your stepson’s. Every day he sees it’s okay to treat you this way, it just further confirms what women are for.

    I hope you find strength to leave.

  15. Advice for your relationship: that guy is trash.
    The reason his kid is behaving this way isn’t just his mother. It’s his father neglect too

    Kids keep acting up (begin aroung 6yo) to find the limits. They need theblimits. Without them, they feel like no one is their for them. Here, daddy dearest doesn’t put up any limits, so the kid is abandoned both by his mol and his dad. And the Dad doesn’t protect his son from being emotionaly abused by his mom. That’s sad.

    I think the only way for the kid to actually improve is solo therapy AND family therapy. But i think that therapy with just his dad won’t do cause the dad has checked out. And i think it could work out with the 3 of you in the end, but it’s still gonna take a lot of time, maybe it will even help the dad realize the issue and see therapy on his own. But really this is a long shot. And don’t start therapy as a family with the son if you’re thinking of living because this abandon will break him even more

  16. You say if you leave your SS loses any chance at getting the help he needs but in the time you’ve been there you haven’t managed to move towards that goal. Your presence is not keeping him in check. Your leaving would not harm him any more than he already is but it would save you. It is worth it. Leave.

  17. That child is not your responsibility. That child was never your responsibility.

    What you were doing was an act of charity, not obligation.

    Put it this way: if you donate money to help a child who has cancer, and that child still goes on to die from it, you did not murder them, and it’s naive to pretend otherwise. Charity is a very noble, and admirable goal, but it doesn’t grant miracles.

    Nothing you’ve done has worked. At this point, you need to accept that there is nothing more you can do.

    > I don’t think he is a bad person.

    I’m sorry, but you have to accept this: he is.

    He’s a bad person. He’s abusive. He’s an abuse enabler.

    This is HIS fault. This child is HIS responsibility. He is taking advantage of you. This is not fair.

    I’m sorry, but you can’t just wave a magic wand and fix this. Stop setting yourself on fire to keep others warm. It’s gonna burn you out and they will remain cold because they can’t be bothered to build their own shelter. Let them freeze.

    Cut them out. Divorce your husband. Block them on every single level of contact. Move to a quiet place far, far away from where you are and never think of them ever again.

    They are not your problem.

  18. I think the time has come to really really consider what’s important to you, your mental health, your physical health, the rest of your life and whether you want to take initiative and get it back, whether that’s by talking to your husband seriously and explaining that your on the brink of divorce and that things need to change, or continue to take care of someone who doesn’t care about you, with someone who doesn’t care about you. Communicate, your still young there’s endless possibilities

  19. Get out.

    Not in the same situation as you, but I was also duped into marriage by a man who misrepresented himself. My husband made “an executive decision” (his words) to have a child and chose not to use our method of bc without consulting me prior to getting married. I was feeling my age, in love, and wanted a baby anyways, so I didn’t see it as the red flag it was. We got married when I was 8 months pregnant. Right after our daughter was born, he fell down a rabbit hole of drunkenness. I then found out the man has been a drug addict since he was 14, and was basically holding it together/covering it up until he felt I was well and truly trapped and couldn’t leave.

    I empathize with you- I felt that same loss of self for a long time. Like you, I had rejected multiple other men prior, holding out for the right one. I owned my own home. I had done everything right. And then, my life, my self worth, everything was destroyed because I fell in love with the wrong man. I made the decision to leave him 6 months ago and I am just now starting to feel like a human being again.

    It’s hard now, and it will be hard for a long time. I have moments where I still struggle with feelings of guilt for “abandoning him.” But I’m happy again. You will be too, once you get out.

    Best of luck!

  20. No, stop making excuses for your husband being a shitty dad and a shitty husband. The kid is his responsibility not yours! Leave and divorce his ass. Life is too short to stay in an abusive and neglectful relationship.

  21. Your SS is not your responsibility. You have taken him on as your pet project and have left yourself at his mercy as a result. Your husband treats your concerns with disdain. “Why should it be on me to fix it?” tells us that he is completely disconnected from both you and his son. He doesn’t have your back. Your are the help without a wage.

    How did you get here? How did you allow yourself to be used and abused by your SO and his son? Were you abused as child so that you believe you deserve no better? You do not treat yourself any better than they do. If your best friend was in your shoes, what would you say to them?

    You would tell your besty to run. And then get therapy to sort out why she 1) takes on the sole responsibility for a child that fights her every inch of the way and 2) thinks that an SO that ignores her wellbeing (not to mention his son’s) is desirable? If the boy gave any indication he wanted your help, I might be on your side but he doesn’t want you in his life and forcing yourself on him will make it worse. You need to get out and get your head back on straight. You are being abused, emotionally by your SO, and physically by SS. And you think this will get better somehow. It won’t.

  22. If you don’t leave, you run the chance of being his first victim. I know you probably want to be the hero & “save” him, but without his dad’s buy in, there is little chance this will have the favorable outcome you envision.

    I can’t find it, but there is another post where the stepson stabbed the stepmom.

  23. ‘ I want to leave but I feel stuck. I know that if I go, my SS loses any chance of getting the help he needs. I’m seriously afraid he’s going to grow up to be a serial killer. He almost killed our dog and I swear if I leave and see him on the news someday I’ll feel responsible.’

    Right well first of all, this is *not* your responsibility and you cannot stop him being what he will become. You seem to think that he is this way because of his mother, but the picture you paint of his father suggests it’s him that’s the problem and he is just copying his father. Maybe his ex wife behaved the way she did for a very good reason? That doesn’t seem to have crossed your mind.

    It’s easy for me to say but take your dog and get the hell out of there before you have a breakdown and lose what sense of self you have

    You cannot save this child.

  24. Hi OP, please understand this is not your problem to fix. It seems like your trying to tough it out to prove to yourself marrying your husband was not a mistake. “Love” is not enough. Your post remind me of a woman who had the exact same problem and shared it on Reddit. Her stepson was 19, would physically and verbally abuse her, stole her cat and took it to a kill shelter and she stuck it out for years ! The problems got sooo bad that her stepson eventually stabbed her. Her husband was mad at her for filing a police report and never did anything to protect her from his kid. She finally woke up and left them. The stepson made an attempt on his fathers next girlfriends life and eventually took his own.

    I know you say you’d feel guilty if you see him on the news one day but there’s a real possibility it’ll be you on the news instead. With you also having zero support system, it’s time to hang it up, your tried your damndest. You matter too!

  25. Why are you taking so long to divorce this self absorbed husband that is only using you. Letting his son abuse you in front of his eyes says what he thinks of you. Your nothing but trash he will throw out when you are all used up. You deserve someone who loves you and not themself.

  26. ..are you me? I was in an incredibly similar situation. Ended up leaving 2 months before the wedding because he started to self harm and telling the school I was doing it to him. Plus my ex became hyper religious and began to preach at me when I’d complain
    I would reccomend running before
    1) he really hurts you.
    2) something happens that gets cps investigating you.
    I get that it’s hard. I’m sure you feel responsible for the kid since both of his parents are letting him down. As a person who also had a sad childhood I guess I got over involved from the begining. But that’s not a good reason to stay in a dangerous situation where you’re a unpaid nanny who no one respects. I dealt with alot of guilt after leaving…therapy helped

  27. I’m in a nearly identical situation except I am the father of a son who resents my new wife. We’ve been married for 11 years now and my son is 18.

    It has been a strain on our marriage at times, but here’s the deal. My wife comes first, and as the father I have to defend my wife. Your husband needs to be intervening and handling the bulk of discipline.

    As a stepmom, I believe that you have to focus on building the relationship first before discipline will be effective coming from you. I have a ton of respect for you because stepmom is one of the hardest most ungrateful jobs out there. Before making up your mind, I would lay out the ground rules with him and see what happens.

  28. See an attorney and get the divorce process rolling. Find a place to move to and keep it private. Have your friends & family support your actions & emotions.

  29. You are an incredibly sweet human. You need to take your life back. You have done way way more than enough but you are now losing yourself. You need to finally put you first. Also please understand who your husband showed you in the beginning was not the real him. It was all a show to get you to fall. Someone else mentioned and I absolutely agree please look up love bombing. It feels absolutely amazing when it’s happening you feel like the luckiest person in the world. But it is all absolutely fake and it is so damn hard to get your heart to let go of those feelings. But you need to because it was not real. Your husband doesn’t love you or even respect you. If he did he would never ever allow you to be treated this way. He also completely sucks as a father but that is on him and him alone. Please find yourself a therapist so you can start breaking down all of this and gain the strength to walk away.

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