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My husband raised a boy as his own, but now he is 19 I don't want him included in our family!

Tagged as: Big Questions, Family, Troubled relationships, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (6 January 2018) 12 Answers - (Newest, 22 January 2018)
A female United Kingdom age 36-40, anonymous writes:


Just need a bit of husband met a woman who already had a child 17 years ago. My husband then helped bring him up, however when this child become 13/14 he came into a lot of trouble and trouble has followed him since. Oliver now lives elsewhere as he is 19 and we continue to support him when he is in trouble, but I now have a baby and have to protect her. Oliver sees my husband as a Dad, which I have never and won’t ever try and stop, but I can’t handle the trouble anymore and want to protect my baby. I don’t want to invite him to our parties or family events because he just has attitude with everyone and is so rude. He is a good kid at times, works hard but all I get is abuse when we try and help. I don’t want to sound evil, but I just don’t want it anymore. How can I sort this?

Thank you

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (22 January 2018):

Just to give you all an update which is good news. The young man in question is wanting to move out into his own place, to which myself and my husband are supporting him in doing so and buying furniture for him.

Thank you to the kind people who didn’t judge us - we are a loving family who want to do right, but this man has takhis toll on us. We also have 3 other children (2 step children and 1 bio) so we need to protect them as well.

Happy new year.

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A female reader, 02DuszJ United Kingdom +, writes (10 January 2018):

02DuszJ agony auntI agree with the last anon poster. Him being associated with you may bring criminals to your door. I would make this clear to your husband that your family are the thing you'll protect first and foremost. I would tell my husband to meet him elsewhere away from the house and me. He does need a father figure and I wouldn't want him to give up on Oliver. But you need to put your family first.. I live on edge of East London in UK and there is a lot of gang crime between teenagers. You can't turn on the news without someone being reported stabbed/shot/ attacked with acid. There are some lunatics out there and I would protect my child. Your husband should understand this.. good luck

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (9 January 2018):

Do not be so hard on the letter writer people.You really have no idea what is going on with this boy.The father should have gotten him help when he was a as an adult they cannot force him into treatment.My nephew is a herion addict.We all gave him many and out of prison..even jumped off a bridge.We had to separate ourselfs from him...we were sick of being robbed..lied to and the very violent outbursts.My neighbors son was in a gang.There was a drive by shooting at their house.Another neighbor had all her windows blown out because of her daughter being with a guy in a gang.Thease were all middle class families in great neighborhoods.If the kid is like this it is best not to enable him.It would then make alot of sense to keep the baby far away from him as she can.The baby always comes first.If dad must see the son he can away from the home but if he enables this behavior it would be best for the dad and the son to stop contact altogether.The son will never ever hit rock bottom with people who enable him all the time..I saw that first hand with my nephew.

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A female reader, Andie's Thoughts United Kingdom + , writes (9 January 2018):

Andie's Thoughts agony auntOP, no wonder the boy is screwed up! His mum is awful, his biological dad is who knows where, the only dad he's ever known (your husband) is essentially disowning him as family and encouraging him to find a stranger (sperm donor).... very few people his age would still be well-balanced after that.

I know he's trouble, but it's not a surprise, with the family he's had. Will you and your husband give up on your baby if they turn out like him? If not, your husband shouldn't give up on him either, as you can't pick and choose when someone is your child - based on how much trouble they're in.

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A female reader, Andie's Thoughts United Kingdom + , writes (8 January 2018):

Andie's Thoughts agony auntThing is, OP, he is still a boy in a young man's body. He is lost and confused. He is trying to find his way in the world and it's not easy.

We all lose jobs, so that's not something you should hold against him, unless he can't hold one down at all.

Drugs often become an addiction, which requires more than willpower to overcome and is a lifelong battle.

He hasn't harmed your baby, it seems, so I wouldn't use protection as the reason. If your baby was 6+ years old I'd agree, though, as it's about influence.

Please don't give up on him yet. The more you distance yourselves, the more he'll flounder or "drown" in his issues and then hope really will be lost.

Go to a counsellor with his father (just the two of you) and discuss it all. Ask them for ways to cope, as well as things you could both try to improve the situation and communication with his son.

Attitude and swearing is an issue, but it's minor compared to drugs and illegal activity. Prioritise, but don't turn him into the enemy, or you will cause dire consequences and seal his fate for the next few years.

Allow him into your home when he's sober and respectful - don't let him in, if he isn't. Allow him supervised visits with his sibling (albeit not by blood), but don't make him feel like he's being supervised. Treat him like a young adult - not a child who can get away with things, but not an adult who should know better either. He will make mistakes, but we all do.

Don't give in, but don't give up.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (8 January 2018):

Thank you for all your advice.

My husband used to see this young man as his son, but over the years, my husband has tried to encourage Oliver to seek help from his biological father, which has ended disastrously, but now my husband doesn’t feel the bond with him, but has told me he will always be there to give advice when needed. However recently, my husband has to go to court again to give evidence over Oliver’s real Mum, which is going to have massive implications for us (Mum is a nasty person who thrives off causing problems, like Oliver) and we both tho this will have a detrimental effect on our baby because Mum will then start making accusations as she has done in the past to Social Services etc.

Last year, there were a group of youths on my parents in law roof trying to get to Oliver because of drugs. My parents in law kindly took him in and raised him from 13.

There could also be a child that he has had, but won’t take responsibility. Again, we tried to advise, but we were both told to mind our own business.

Thank again for letting me rant.

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A male reader, Denizen United Kingdom +, writes (8 January 2018):

Denizen agony auntI agree with Honeypie, there definitely are limits. If your husband wants to maintain his connection with his son, and that would be natural no matter how bad he seems, then perhaps it should be outside your family.

Nineteen is very young and there is time for him to change. If he can get in a job he likes, or at least doesn't hate, then it can all change. He may well need to change the friends he runs with now. Young people urge each other on and bad ways become the norm' because they aren't perceived as bad. I never thought I would be saying this but the armed forces has been the making of many a youngster. I suppose there is fat chance of him joining though.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (7 January 2018):

Honeypie agony auntI think you have to talk to your partner and see where he actually stands on this issue.

I don't blame you for not wanting this around your little family any more. We ALL have limits.

If your partner still wants to be there for the kid, well then maybe it needs to be "outside" of the family.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (7 January 2018):

Chi Girl

Thank you for your response, but I think you have the wrong idea and concluded that I just don’t like him without knowing the facts, which is endless. Drugs, drama, attitude, swearing, - he hasn’t spoken to his own mum for years and we have treated him the same as our own, but we are both now tired of it all. My parents in law have suffered stress including strokes because of all the drama. So please, I am not merely getting in the way of this relationship, I want to protect my baby and my husband now feels enough is enough. When he was a teenager, we kept on giving him the chance after being expelled from 2 schools and loosing a job, being involved in illegal activities etc, thinking it would all come right, but it hasn’t.

I know have to bring this drama into work (work with children). Things won’t ever change with this boy and I want to protect my family. I have done all I can.

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A female reader, chigirl Norway +, writes (7 January 2018):

chigirl agony auntCan you tell us how the baby is taking any harm in this? You mention twice that you need to protect the baby, but I don't see in your description how the baby is at all influenced or in harms way here. It sounds more like you simply do not like this 19-year old and use your baby as an excuse. Perhaps because of the baby, you are just too tired to handle the drama that this 19-year old brings with him. But just be honest about that, then, and don't make up excuses. Just be honest, that's my advice. Tell your husband you are exhausted with the baby and need and want more peace around you. So that's why you no longer wish to associate yourself with this teenage boy.

But, dont' fool yourself. Don't say you would never stand in the way of their dad/son relationship, when you're going against it in this manner. Again, be honest. If you refuse to associate with this boy, and you don't want him invited etc. then you ARE standing in the way of their relationship as you will be forcing your husband to choose between you and him. So open your eyes to the consequences of your actions and think long and hard about what matters the most here. And then just be honest about it. There is no right or wrong in this, as far as I see, as long as you are being honest.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (7 January 2018):

You can't. Not the way you'd like to, to make it go away.

Your husband sees him as his son. Period.

You don't give any details on what kind of trouble he's making. Could he be ADHD?

Have you (your husband) taken him to a therapist?

You cannot just ignore him. You cannot on the other hand tolerate unacceptable behavior.

I'd try talking to my husband, make sure that we are on the same page and then talk to the young man.

Remember he was there first and maybe he sees you as an impostor who wants to squeeze him out of his father's life and replace him with a REAL child.

I'd definitely offer to find him a good therapist. Or if money is a problem, some sort of counseling.

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A male reader, Denizen United Kingdom +, writes (7 January 2018):

Denizen agony auntThis is a problem you inherited when you married. You can't pretend it isn't there. The son is still young and if treated well should eventually respond to the family's kindness to him. You have given little idea of what trouble he brings. Remember that people are the way life has taught them to be.

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