“My wife and stepson don’t respect me”

Me and my wife have been together for 8 years, married for just over 3. She has a 10-year-old son from a previous relationship.

When we first got together, all was great. My stepson loved and enjoyed being around me, so we got engaged.

However, slowly over the years, my wife has left a lot of things to me in terms of housework, cooking and tidying our flat, doesn’t speak to me with an awful lot of respect, and is very often short with me when the situation really doesn’t call for it (I think of myself as a nice guy who doesn’t like confrontation).

The knock-on effect of the way she is has also caused my stepson to lack any sort of respect for me and treat me like dirt. If I try to stand up to him, my wife will just undermine my authority by visibly criticizing my parenting skills in front of him, to the point where I now walk out of the room if I can see he’s doing something he shouldn’t, because I know that if I react, then I will have my authority undermined again (when I do try to discipline him all I get is her moaning that we should stop arguing, rather than standing by what I have to say).

Plus, since we were first together (when I had savings and was doing pretty well in my life and was a confident person), I’ve slowly got into debt trying to keep up with the life my wife would like us to have. She has bad credit history going back to when she was a single parent and before, so I am the only one who can borrow etc. I’m always really good with my money, but I know it’s going to get to a stage where not even I can keep up.

In the 8 years since we first got together, I’ve gone from a confident, ambitious, fun loving person who regularly met up with my friends, into a negative, depressed, resentful person who would rather be on his own.

I now regularly pine for my single days (whereas I used to want to be in a relationship with someone really badly), when I could do what I wanted and what I worked for was my own. I feel guilty for feeling like that but can’t help it.

I’m at the stage where I honestly think we would all be better off (including my stepson) if I just moved out. I would be willing to support them both (my wife does work but doesn’t make as much as me) but can’t feel like I can be around them anymore.

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One thought on ““My wife and stepson don’t respect me”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I think it’s time for marriage counseling. You may want to consider a trial separation too. Try the marriage counseling first.

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