My husband and I both have come from long term relationships before our relationship together. We both brought children into our present blended family, as well as having our own baby together.
Keeping The Peace at Home
The problem is his two boys, ages 8 and 11, align together, and bully my son. The boys don’t feel they have to listen to me. My husband is working a lot of the time, so isn’t around to do much of the disciplining. They live with their mom, and come visit on a regular basis every other weekend.
We have two 8 year olds! One is mine, one is his. The two 8 year old boys, have become so competitive! His 8 year old and 11 year old are used to being together on their own terms. Adjusting into a new sibling group with a stepmom has been hard.
My child gets ganged up on, and bullied or left out. He seems to be depressed a lot of the time. My heart breaks to see the bullying by the other brother team.
Because they are with us part time, I have a hard time correcting or shifting this behavior. I cringe when there are visits from his kids coming up. I dread them.
Here is a Solution
Yes, I bet it is a difficult to hold family space and have fun satisfying connection with his boys, with the bullying. There are under currents of emotions potentially not getting addressed. I can see jealousy, and maybe fear of being abandoned creeping up, and of course it would!
His 2 boys have lost their full time dad, they watched the shifting of their parents in relationship- it fell apart. What could happen between dad and children? Will dad love the new family more than his 2 sons? What would it take to be happy?
Having a sense of belonging, some security in their own relationships within the family structure, being able to talk about their experience is all important. Just as you would talk about the changes in a family after a death, it is necessary to talk about the changes, the shifts, grief and loss after a divorce. Sharing this process brings you closer together again.
Talking about behavior, how the children and you as a couple are experiencing yourselves as a new family all helps. Boundaries of safe respectful, behaviors, need to be put into place. Plan how you can work together to create the family life you all want. If you feel that a private session with a family counselor could help get things out in the open, that can do wonders.
Check around to see if someone neutral would be open to discussing the situation. There are many therapists who could be very helpful.
Helpful Advice From Jimmy Evans, Karen Evans, Ron Deal