I have to agree with PP. See if she will agree with joint counseling or if you can do sessions with the same therapist and work towards joint counseling. If she thinks your relationship is the main cause, then it is in her mind. You will need to keep an open mind during this trying time and try to see things from her perspective. Hopefully she will try to see it from yours as well, but remember, she is still immature even though she is looking more and more adult every day, she is still years away from being mentally mature. She craves freedom, but also wants rules and structure from you.
I really do hope she will agree to joint counseling because it will allow her to voice herself to a nonjudgmental third party, though it might be good for her to have a couple of sessions with her therapist first, but definitely let the therapist know you are open to a joint session to help her through this troublesome time. Remember, she is become and adult, dealing with changing hormones, stress in school, relationship and probably feeling a pressure to succeed. It's really a lot and she is showing that she isn't equipped to handle it all. Be there, be supportive of her and don't be judgmental of her. Be open to change within reason. you are still the parent and need to set certain boundaries, but there are some areas you can bend for her.View Thread
Scary. it worked. Seriously, I looked everywhere before we went away for the weekend. This morning i found it on the end table - where i have looked several times. I ended up unplugging the appleTV before we left because i had packed the iPod up and it was in the car.View Thread
Sorry so late getting back to this one - we were out of town. Some 'men' out there do not like the kids from previous relationships. They see them as a threat because it's a link back to another man, a reminder that their 'woman' was with someone else. This is why they say the non-father boyfriend is one of the biggest hazards in a young child's life. You see so many stories in the news where the boyfriend has killed or harmed the girlfriend's child - probably because he has no vested attachment to that child and subconciously sees at as a rival of the mother's affection. These are men who are unable to control those primal urges. Look in nature and when a new dominant male takes over a wolf pack, pride of lions, etc the first thing he does is kill the offspring off his predecessor. as humans we should be able to look past that and there are many men who make wonderful stepfathers (my BIL is one who is actually a better father than the dirtbag sperm donor who once he found out SIL was remarrying asked when her new husband would be adopting the boy - he was only concerned about not having to be on the hook for any more child support).
It does sound like it is an issue on both sides. I'm sure the stepfather wishes the young man would hurry up and get out of his house so that he no longer has that reminder of the past/competition for his affection.
Seriously though, my cousin almost never spoke to her stepfather. We would visit up there for about 2 weeks at a time, and other than passing on a message about dinner being ready or some other instance where her mother told her to tell him something (or him telling us he wanted the TV), there was just a handful of words spoken between them. We generally just ended up avoiding him and spending most of the time together at our grandparents' house where we wouldn't have to see him.
Unless they both decide to be adult and apologize (which male pride will keep them from doing unless there is some sort of intervention where they are forced to sit down at the table and communicate the source of their disfunction), I wouldn't hold my breath.
The son probably has some resentment about his mother 'replacing' his father. If you've not watched the movie 'Parenthood' I think it does a good job showing the range of personality types you get in people. The young teen boy of the divorced mother does a great job showing how easy it is to retreat from family.
There's not likely anything you can do. If your aunt isn't willing to push both parties to change, they won't. and even if she does, it's no guarantee that both sides would want to come to a more normal relationship. i can understand how it seems odd to you, but to them it has become normal.View Thread
Not a suggestion, but my cousin never really got along with her stepfather. She never knew her real father. I think she was around 10-12 when her mother remarried. To be honest, he was never very fatherly with her.
Honestly, since the young man is in college, not sure there's much to be done about it. The mother could suggest family counseling to see if maybe they can reach a point where the son is civil with the stepfather and can at least survive going to dinner as a family, but so much time has passed and he might be too resistant to change. Part of it depends on the stepfather, too. The best time for counseling would have been early on, but it's never too late if everyone is open to change. Perhaps even just the mother and son going together first and bringing the stepfather in later if at all.
Sounds like the divorce/separation from the father really affected this young man and he never learned how to deal with those feelings in a constructive manner and bottles them up until they burst. it really does sound like your cousin and his mother need to be able to talk in a non-confrontational way where she really listens to his concerns about her changing relationship. Some children really do not handle their parents breaking up well at all and they need help navigating their emotions.View Thread