My Stepson Doesn’t Want to Come to Our House Because It’s “Boring” and I Feel So Bad For My Fiancé

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"My fiance and I have been together for 2 years. We have 4 kids from previous relationships. I have a 2 yr old girl he has 3. Girl 10 boy 12 and boy 13 Well the 13 year old boy just started telling us he doesn’t wanna come to our house every other weekend bc its boring and he hates country life. I feel so so bad for my fiance… he pays so much support a month for the kids, and his oldest has only been here 4 times in 9 months. It’s ridiculous. I told my fiance put his foot down with him this time about coming and it has escalated to the oldest saying he’s thinking about wanting his dad to sign him over!! How ridiculous is that?! Ladies, I’m at a loss. I don’t know what to do to support my fiance through this. He actually just went to go for full custody and I told him I would support any decision he would make, but that I would need more help w 4 kids full time instead of just my 2 yr old. The oldest son is also saying things in text like, I don’t want to come bc now I feel like you will hurt me [just bc kids are smart asses and they know about cps and stuff] how wrong is that?! I’ve never even seen my fiance raise a hand to his kids since I’ve been with him, and hardly ever fusses at them for things, and the audacity of him pulling some shit like this is crazy to me. My fiance just got his divorced finalized in May. The other 2 kids love it with us and wish they could live with us but the oldest is giving us such a hard time, especially now throwing in things that could literally get us in trouble [even if it’s not true] just bc he’s being a brat and doesn’t wanna come. What do we do??"

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The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.

"Talk to him… ask why he’s being like that. It’s most likely just him being a kid, would rather stay close to home so he can see friends, etc. but try to talk to him. I would tell him that ultimately it’s his choice to come over, but you guys enjoy him there. Make sure to make him feel heard and supported."

"Not to be rude but if he’s doesn’t want to come then he doesn’t want to come. He’s 13, a judge would take his wants into consideration anyway. You will both only push him further away by taking his mum to court and putting your “foot down” He’s not a baby anymore!"

"It seems to me he is having problems coping with transition. Sit him down and talk to him. Maybe talk to Mom and see if he’s acting the same with her. I’m sure he is. He needs counseling. Sounds like hes testing Dad. He needs to know where he stands in the family. God bless."

"I agree with April, he very well could be having issues with coping as you did say the divorce is still fairly recent on being finalized and has only been to your home 4 times in 9 months. I would agree on needing to do therapy and not just individual therapy but also family therapy. Dealing with parents getting divorced after being together for his whole life pretty much to then not having that and dad moving on a new woman in his dads life its a lot for a kid to take in, plus 13 is officially a teen there’s a lot going on there plus with covid going on in the world its taken a toll on everyone. But individual therapy would give him the chance to speak freely alone but family therapy would be good for everyone to safely express how everyone feels about everything in a safe space. It gets easier with time I know I’ve been there and going through it again first with my own son with his transition of my fiance being in the picture he has a hard time trusting men after his dad leaving when he was little and not being consistent with his visits so a new man comes into moms life hes going to butt heads because he’s use to feeling like the man around the house. To now dealing with my step daughter and her transition a year ago to go from being with her mom to us having sole custody of her and her no longer being dads only child with us having a baby of our own a year ago as well its been a battle for things to fall into place and get back on track and for her to adjust to our structure and routines and covid definitely hasn’t helped that any."

"I’d wager a guess that he’s really hurt still about his dad divorcing. He sounds like he might be lashing out at his dad from the hurt the separation may have caused. Sadly in your position, you’re basically the worst person ever, as it likely feels like (for him) you’re ‘replacing’ his mom. Might not be a bad idea to have his dad talk to him about that, calmly and with extreme empathy. Perhaps making your place a little more exciting for a 13 year old wouldn’t hurt too. If he doesn’t like country life, and enjoys technology more, (games etc.) try playing them with him. Kids, even young teens enjoy when people actually ask them about their interests, it shows that you care, and you’re not so bad. Maybe ask if you take interest in his stuff, and he shows you things, you could show him things about country life too. Best of luck"

"Don’t try to force him. He’s 13. He’s old enough to know where he wants to be. If he’s not happy at your house then leave him be with his mom.
I’ve never forced my son to stay at my house, or stay at hid dads because of that, aside from when he was really small. && that’s why. He may be a child but he knows where he wants to be & where he wants to spend his time. & there’s times he’s wanted to stay with his dad longer, & yeah it sucks, but he’s capable of making that decision. That boys school, friends, his life is there. I hated being made to go to dad’s when i didn’t want too. It was boring as all hell, i had no friends around, it just sucked. Maybe he can just pick him up for a few hours and take him out instead of making him come stay over."

"#1 in most states child support and visitation are separate #2 why doesn’t he try taking him out and doing things with him instead of making him come to the house and be bored I used to be that girl who went from the city to the country and it is boring #3 we are definitely not getting the full picture here if he’s going for full custody there’s more than the kids not visiting going on because that’s not a reason to go get full custody and forcing a child especially at 13 14 15 years old to do visitation and what not it’s going to cause them to resent their dad and they’re not going to want anything to do with their dad as they get older"

"Make it fun for him and buy him a playstation for him to have a few hours a day to play, also I think its a bit harsh trying to get full custody as you cnt just want to take kids away from their mother, it’s not on dont do that, the kids will grow up and hate you for it"

"I’m only here to say that child support has nothing to do with visitation. Just because you feel your fiancé, (whom you’ve only been with for two years yourself), “pays so much money” in child support, doesn’t automatically obligate the child to go stay at his fathers house. He’s not paying for the child’s time. He’s paying his portion of the responsibilities/necessities for their children’s needs."

"Children are human beings, not property. Listen to what he wants, and respect it. Or attempt to change whatever you’re doing wrong. If he’s bored make things interesting. His visits are not solely for his father, but for him as well."

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