Blended Family Issues

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

My husband and i have been together for 4 years. i have a 19 yo daughter and he has a 19 yo son. the son was primarily living with his mother until he graduated from high school at such time, he moved in full time with us. ever since he has moved in there have been issues. he lies, he has stolen pills from my bathroom and he went through my purse and stole more pills from me. i wanted him out. my husband didn’t. i told him he needed to move back in with his mother to get help. finally, my husband went along with it. during the time he was gone, my husband resented me every second his son was not there. he was gone for a month and i suggested the son to come stay the night one night so that i could start to build back trust in him. my husband took that as he could move back in and he moved back in. a few months later, we catch him in more lies and now something has happened where i feel he has violated my daughter’s privacy by going into her room. not sure of his reason for entering her room (which he denies), but the only conclusion i can come to is that he was masturbating in there. i’m not sure but that is what my gut tells me. i don’t know what to do anymore. i don’t feel safe in my own home. my husband put a lock with key on my daughter’s door and i don’t think that is anyway anyone should have to live. i don’t want his son living with us anymore, however, i know my husband will not go for that and if he does agree to have him move out, he will resent me. if anyone could offer any advice, it would be greatly appreciated.

A: Thank you for writing us with this important question about blended families. Your husband’s denial of his son’s problem needs to be front and center in your relationship. It’s not okay for you, and you don’t have to live this way. It is clear that his son has problems that are going untreated and diminishing family life.

It is important to know that you must continually standup speaking out that you do not want to live this way. I highly recommend couples counseling so a professional can help you both work toward a resolution. The counselor can help your husband understand that his effort to help his son is alienating his wife and stepdaughter. Getting a professional to help you through these issues is important.

I would also recommend during this time that you find an individual therapist for yourself. It sounds like this has been going on for a while, and that your husband doesn’t understand how devastating this this is for you. You may need to have an individual therapist in your corner as you work through the details of coping during couples therapy. The find help tab at the top of the page will help you locate someone in your area.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 2 Jun 2014

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2014). Blended Family Issues. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/06/02/blended-family-issues/