Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Stepfather

disappointed father

Salamalykum

The question I have is as follows: I have a 19 year old son who has issues with his stepfather.  I recently been married for 2 months. For many years has only been me and my 2 boys. The oldest had been man of house for years. Recently my new husband reprimanded my youngest son. My oldest felt he was to harsh in how he spoke because he was told his brother began to cry. Then my oldest approached his stepfather and said he needed to speak with him. Long story short this escalated from a discussion to a issue for 3 weeks now. My husband feels my son disrespected him by asking to speak with him. Finally my husband approached situation again then my son states he's not his family.  Now my husband and son have issues. What to do? My son won't address the issue again and my husband says he's through with my son. It's causing a strain on our marriage that is only 3 months long now. Do I side with my husband or try and let the two work it out. We also live in separate homes which was part of the initial arrangement upon getting married due to our situation.  How can this be fixed?

boystawfiq

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12 Responses »

  1. Assalaamualaykum boystawfiq,

    Thank you so much for writing in. You are facing and understandably difficult challenge and I pray that Allah (swt) blesses and eases things for you and your wonderful new family very soon. I myself am a stepdaughter and believe I can give you some advice.

    I believe open communication is very important in any family, but in a stepfamily, it may be even more key. However, things sometimes need to be handled more sensitively in stepfamilies because good-intentions can often be overlooked and feelings hurt easily. You should not feel bad about this, but rather, encouraged...Allah has blessed you with this test and will also help you through it every step of the way.

    Your son was genuinely concerned and protective of his younger brother, and wanting to look out for his well being....thus standing up for him. Your husband is wanting to play the father role as best he can, I believe, and establish a sense of authority with your sons. But these things take time...sometimes quite a lot of time. So your husband would do well to remember that it may take your sons awhile to warm up to him.

    Your husband probably is just trying to fit in as best he can with his new family but needs to take a step back and remember that respect may have to be earned through slowly-developed acquaintance and friendship rather than rule-setting and authoritative gestures, particularly if both of your sons are well out of childhood. The rewards that would come with that kind of a relationship would be great.

    Maybe all of you should just start off slow doing little trips to the park or mall together as a family, just getting to know each other, and not put so much pressure on assuming a father-role right away....just be PEOPLE, rather than stepparent and sons. Learn more about each other's personalities, interests, and goals as this information flows out naturally over time, rather than in any rushed manner. Be supportive of each other and smile, even if it doesn't feel natural right away.

    I would talk to your husband separately and encourage him to not give up so easily with your eldest son, as he is such an important part of your life. Explain your son's naturally protective feelings towards his younger brother and that his approaching your husband about it was nothing personal toward him, but rather, an effort to communicate his own feelings towards his brother. I would encourage him to try approaching your oldest son on his own sometime when the two of them are alone, and ask your son how he is doing, how his day is going, and if there is anything new going on with him, all with a smile. Encourage him to offer his ear and let your son know that he would love to be his friend and that he can talk to him about anything. Maybe even talk sports, if that interests both of them.

    InshaAllah things will smooth over soon and turn out for the best.

    Hugs,

    Nor

    • Nor, As-salamu alaykum. You were very active on this website in 2016 and I'm glad to see that you are back. You always give intelligent and wise advice ma-sha-Allah. Keep it up.

      In addition to your excellent comments, I would add that the husband needs to surrender his ego in this matter. A parent's authority over their children must always be tempered with love, understanding and humility as well. I attended this great lecture in which the sheikh reminded us that a man who tries to rule over his family like a dictator over a country will lose the love and respect of his children. We have to approach our children with compassion. We have to - as Nor commented - become their friends as well as their parents.

      The eldest son has been man of the house for some time now. He will naturally be resentful of someone else coming into the house and supplanting that position. At 19 he's not a child anymore. The new husband should think of the son more like a younger brother than a child. Learn each other's personalities and needs before trying to fulfill expected roles. Nor explained some of this better than I can, ma-sha-Allah.

      Wael
      IslamicAnswers.com Editor

      • Wallaykumasalaam Brother Wael,

        Thank you for your kind words and encouragement! They mean a lot. I am struggling with an illness among other difficulties but hope to be back here as much as possible to continue to advise. Thank you for creating this website and for writing the article "Allah's Plan for You and Me." I have read it over and over again and it has helped me tremendously. May Allah reward you with peace and great happiness.

        Best,

        Nor

  2. Salam boystawfiq,

    One last thing...I would talk to your eldest son and explain to him that your husband is part of his family now, and therefore deserves a good effort at a warm welcome from all of you, including him, and that he himself is important to your husband. Inshallah he will understand and feel better, as he sounds like a mature good boy.

    Best and Hugs,

    Nor

  3. Why your sons don't stay with their biological father .As per Islam their biological father is supposed to bear their expenses and control them if required .By default kids don't like their step father/step mom in most of cases .I think your new husband should not try to control them as that will back fire .He should not try to change them as they will rebel ..My good wishes for you for new marriage .

  4. Asalamualaikum
    I am an 18 year old boy
    My father had past away last year and my mother remarried after her iddah
    She did not inform me as her eldest and did i in secret
    I did not accept beacause i felt betrayed because i felt as if if she had disscussed i could have guided her in a better way
    Not its been almost a year to her marriage and she does not talk to me or her other children much
    She only sticks around for him
    And the stepfather also said he would beat me up for not talking to him or giving him the same respect of my father
    I would like to know what to do
    Please this is my only hope left i do not know what to do and i have extreme depression because of this

    • Assalaamualaykum Maaz,

      I'm sorry to hear about your father's passing and the fact that your mother seems more distant to you now. May Allah grant your family peace.

      I would definitely talk to your mother and share your concerns. Perhaps she is unaware of how little time she is giving you now, and just needs to be reminded that you still need her. She may also be feeling that you are 18 and can handle yourself now, so through communicating your needs to her, she'll be made aware that she is still very important to you.

      You can also share with her about your stepfather's threats of abuse, as this is entirely inappropriate and needs to be addressed.

      Before you do that, I would pray the Salah Al-Hajah, the 2-rakah "prayer for a need," sharing with Allah your sorrow and imploring his help. I sincerely hope you find peace in your family. My thoughts are with you.

      Best,

      Nor

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