In a marriage where kids from the past relationships are involved, it’s always better for both partners to make sure they are okay with each other’s kids.

An internet user asked, “Am I a jerk for not allowing my stepson (12M) to live with us?”. We need your opinion on the matter.


childhood, technology and family concept - little kids with tablet pc computer and smartphones in bed at home
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The Original Poster, OP has two boys (10M and 5M), and she’s getting married in the next few weeks to her boyfriend who has a 12-year-old son from a previous relationship.

OP’s future husband’s son asked his dad if he could come live with them after they get married because he wants to experience a genuine family dynamic with his parents and siblings, given that his biological parents never married anyone else.

“My husband is on board with this idea, believing it would contribute positively to the boy’s personal growth.”, says OP.

OP’s Reservations

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OP expressed to her husband that she has reservations about having him live with them, based on observations during the weekends he spends at their place.

OP’s Two Main Concerns

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Firstly, OP’s husband’s son appears to have a strained relationship with OP’s younger son. He rarely includes him in activities unless she specifically prompts him to do so.

When OP asks him to assist the younger boy, such as accompanying him to the bathroom, he does so with obvious reluctance.

Secondly, OP’s son displays an excessive competitive streak towards her older son. He consistently aims to outperform him and even taunts him when he succeeds.

OP finds this overly competitive atmosphere uncomfortable. OP desires her children to grow up in a nurturing and supportive environment.

OP’s Most Significant Concern

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The third and most significant concern is his academic and behavioral performance. OP’s boyfriend has informed her that his son has been struggling academically and has faced minor behavioral challenges.

OP is concerned about his potential negative influence on his children, particularly her older son.

OP’s Final Thoughts

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“My husband dismisses these concerns as typical for his age, believing that with our guidance, his son could improve.

I sought advice from my mother, and she disagrees with me, asserting that providing a united family environment could greatly benefit my stepson. Both of them label my reasons as unreasonable. Am I a jerk?”, asks OP.

Some More Context

angry kid
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OP later edited the post and added the following information:

“Many people didn’t quite catch the bathroom example I provided.

Let’s say we’re at a park, I can’t let my 5-year-old go to the bathroom alone. So, I might have my stepson accompany him for safety reasons.

It’s the kind of thing an older child should do for a younger one.”

You’re Absolutely The Jerk

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“You’re the jerk – You’re marrying his father so you should start considering his child as your son as well.

If your eldest son (10M) started displaying all these behaviors then surely you wouldn’t just kick him out and give up on him.

I would get your BF onboard with ways to deal with the behaviors that you’re not happy with.”

Feeling Sad For Him

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“You’re the jerk. Seems like this child would greatly benefit from the family dynamic he seeks.

Clearly, he likes your sons enough to want to live with them and wants to be able to consider them his family. This makes me feel really sad for him.”

What An Awful Person You Are!

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“You’re the jerk. Your husband should really reconsider marrying you. His son is trying to make an effort and you’re denying it for your own self interest.

His kid only comes on weekends and is probably anxious and just making an effort to fit in. What an awful person you are!”

Just Admit It!

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“You’re the jerk. Just admit it, you don’t like him.

You make a bunch of reasons you don’t want him to live with you, and you prop your children up as angels.

He’s 7 years older than your youngest, he probably has differing hobbies and doesn’t want to be your son’s personal babysitter in a restroom.

You’re his mom, figure that out. You don’t even try to comprehend that most of his issues are because he’s never had a full family, and he’s asking for that.

You better wise up before your future husband sees that he can accept your children, but you can’t accept his.”

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