No consequences for bad behavior

by Fay

I am in my sixteenth month of my third marriage and desperately want to salvage this relationship as it will definitely be my last.

I have three grown and married children, all living out of state. When I relocated and moved in, my husband had a twenty-nine year old, a seventeen year old, a fourteen year old and a disabled sixty-six year old uncle whom he was in the process of finding a nursing home for, living here with us. My husband has seven children total, ages thirty-one to fifteen and teaches emotionally disturbed children. He is a wonderful father and teacher. So what's my problem, you ask?

He told me before marriage that he was a Christian and all of his children; even the prodigal were practicing Christians as well. I was so amazed that he had accomplished this single-handedly.

I asked him how long he'd been divorced and he told me two years, but not before great struggle to save his twenty-seven year marriage. He also told me that he'd been married three times and I would be his forth (first time with a true Christian woman). I had been divorced for nine years and never thought I'd ever marry again. Then I was shown a true Christian with values, moral and ethics that matched my own.

I found out a few months ago that although he'd been divorced for two years, his ex-wife who was unfaithful on more than one occasion, had been sleeping on and off with him and he had actually proposed marriage again to his ex-wife one month prior to marrying me. I did not live in the same state at the time and we communicated by phone and email, so I was unaware. This revelation was very difficult for me to handle, as I not only did I not want to enter into a non-Christian marriage (and there was no pre-marital sex), I certainly did not want another failed marriage.

My husband’s seventeen year old, smoked cigarettes, pot and drank beer and hard liquor. The pot and the alcohol were not consumed in our presence, but he did imbibe in both behind his own locked bedroom door and outside the house. He asked his dad if his girlfriend could stay the night because she lived about seventy miles away. I said absolutely not; his dad said yes on the condition one slept on the couch in his bedroom and the other in the bed.

On another occasion, he brought this underage girlfriend into our home so drunk she could not stand on her own and I spent the whole night cleaning up her vomit, washing linens/blankets and changing her, bathing her and repeating the process several times. My husband and I then had to notify the girl’s mother the following day to inform her of what had happened.

I had spoken with my husband about the consequences he intended to implement following such behavior; such as taking the car keys because his son was also drunk and behind the wheel of a car. I am a retired flight paramedic and have seen more than my share of the devastation caused by these actions. My husband’s response was, my son is almost eighteen and nothing can be done about it now.

The kids all have their own bedrooms/bathroom upstairs and our bedroom and bathroom is downstairs. They never learned to make a bed, hang or fold clothes, clean a toilet or bathtub and our entire upper level could make an episode on Hoarders, as there is literally no way to safely walk up there. My husband and I keep the lower level neat, clean and orderly without any assistance or offer of help from any of them.

My husband’s view on this topic is ‘out-of-sight, out-of-mind.’ I cannot live under the clutter and filth, so my husband and I cleaned for an entire weekend, went up and down the stairs and hauled truckloads to the city dump.

We did all this, after my husband having had surgery on both his ankles for severe arthritis in the same year because he didn’t want to ask his own kids to help. Of course, they’re all a bit angry with me, including dad because I am the one who insisted and am trying to make sure they maintain their rooms. It is becoming a major struggle and not worth the headache and discord between the family.

The defiant teen, now an eighteen year old, has moved out with his girlfriend (of course, she’s pregnant) and they’ve broken up once because he continues to drink, do every drug he can get his hands on and has moved up to dealing drugs out of his apartment. He never completed high school, as my husband had little control over him and never insisted.

In the meantime, the now fifteen year old has also been smoking cigarettes, pot and drinking when he is allowed, almost every weekend to visit his mother and brother in another town. He readily admitted this to us and his dad simply says don’t do it again. I have since found cigarette butts put out in pop cans, bottles and closets of his bedroom on two more occasions.

My husband believes everything his son says, over anything I’ve seen firsthand. This son also skipped school and ran away from home because he feels the rules are too strict. Keeping things picked up and bringing glasses back downstairs is too much to bear.

I ask again, what are the consequences for such bad behavior like removing his bedroom door to take away some privacy even though we never go upstairs and my husband’s answer this time was, I believe in natural consequences, i.e.,: he got blisters on his feet from running away, a headache from drinking and smoking, and maybe he’ll buy a drug test to check on things occasionally.

Even though he attends the same Alternative school where his dad teaches and where only 6-days are allotted per semester sickness, his dad lets him take several personal days as well. There is never any homework at this school and classes are only six hours a day. It’s hard for me to believe that education is set aside simply because his son doesn’t like school and cannot bring himself to make them do that, which they do not like.

Back to the eighteen year who has since lost his apartment, been charged with possession and drugs/alcohol while driving, and then went into a drug induced psychosis. We picked him up after he’d wandered into two churches and no telling where else, scared the people enough into calling the police.

The police released him into his dad’s care and he was brought home. He had taken so many drugs he didn’t sleep for a week, was hospitalized twice, had to be watched constantly and was so paranoid throughout that I became the devil instead of the caretaker. A week I shall never forget. With the drugs out of his system he still has to take medicine for his Bi-polar, which I was not informed of until after marriage.

Currently I am being alienated from dad and his children because I had the audacity to suggest discipline. My husband is constantly on his cell phone talking with all of them daily, sometimes several times to the same son (even when he’s calling one of them in the same house).

Of course these calls are private, which means he’s has to leave the room we’re sharing or going outside. This privacy was insisted upon by his children, grown or not, and my husband honors this wish.

I am fed up, but still fighting as a Christian to honor my vows to my husband and to God……I need more than prayer, as this is affecting my health and yet one more thing for my husband to complain about.

~ Losing Ground Fast

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