Ask Amy: I’m Upset My Stepson Took My Husband on a ‘Bachelor Party’ to Vegas

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Dear Amy: My husband was irritable, tense, angry and mainly took it out on me and our 16 year old son.

I confided in my 39 year old stepson (my husband’s son) and let him know that I was concerned about his father regarding stress and potentially some depression issues. I mentioned that we weren’t getting along well and suggested that maybe the son could give his father a break and get him away from the stress of the family business. The getaway ended with a trip to Vegas that included drinking, gambling and, of course, strip joints. Of course, this put a bigger wedge in our marriage.

Would it be appropriate to let my stepson know how hurt I am, since he coordinated the “bachelor’s trip”, or have I learned a painful lesson?

Embossed: Your intentions were good, but the key mistake you made was sharing your marital problems with your husband’s son. Confiding concerns about stress and possible depression is one thing, but confiding in children (regardless of age) about deeply personal relationship issues between parents is tricky. This knowledge can divide their loyalties or, in your case, cause a son to align with his father and allow him to do so. So, were you embarrassed when the son chose to take his dad for a blowout in Vegas, rather than a stress-relieving yoga retreat in the woods? It was unrealistic of you to expect a different result.

Your husband is unhappy. He doesn’t treat you and your son well. His problem has returned home, and you and he should seek marriage counseling immediately. Couples counseling doesn’t always repair relationships, but it does make communication easier and creates pathways to behave differently. And sometimes, counseling sessions can uncover unresolvable issues that lead couples to decide to separate.

My instinct is that your husband may be considering leaving the marriage; he forces the problem by treating you badly, which is a cowardly – ​​but common – way of transferring unhappiness onto family members.

Dear Amy: I am a stay-at-home mother of a 9 year old daughter. She’s, well, she’s awesome. She is generally well behaved and as an only child I try hard to give her lots of experiences with other children. We have a cool “attic” room in our house with low sloping ceilings. We’ve set it up as a sort of play space and we also store suitcases and extra bedding there.

Last week we invited “Sophie” to come over on a Saturday for a playdate. I set up the playroom with craft supplies and snacks. Both girls were there for most of the afternoon and seemed to be having a great time. After bringing Sophie home, I walked into the bedroom and it was a disaster. Suitcases were open, bedding and food were scattered everywhere. I was completely shocked. This is absolutely not how our daughter would treat our home.

Now I don’t know if I should call Sophie’s mother to let her know how destructive her daughter was, or if I would welcome this child into our home again. Your advice?

Frustrated: Never, ever leave two 9-year-olds alone for several hours in a room full of temptations, because they will imagine, conspire, and create their own world filled with scattered bedding, snacks, and general chaos. A child doesn’t play that way. Two children do it. They exchange ideas, make up stories about being orphans on a camping trip, and things tend to go wrong.

My first tip is to leave snacks out of the playroom. This way, every now and then you will pop your head in and invite them into the kitchen to take a break from their play. This will allow you to see what they are doing and marvel at their creations or correct them.

“Sophie” may have inspired this destruction, but it could very well have come from your child, who has decided to push her boundaries when it comes to wellness (perhaps to show off). Your daughter has to do the cleaning, which is part of the hosting responsibility.

Dear Amy:Stress” was a divorced mother who didn’t like her ex-husband showing up to school games and events on “his” days. I appreciated your response and would just like to add a reminder: the children did not divorce, the parents did.

Drive: Every divorced parent should post this wisdom on their refrigerator. THANKS!

© 2024 by Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency.

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