Don't know if I can go on like this anymore

goosie77

Hi ladies, I'm new here, I have been looking for somewhere to voice my frustrations as a stepmother and stumbled across this place. Hope its OK that my first post here is a 'heavy' one.

I am having a very hard time with the whole stepmother gig lately. I willingly went into this relationship with my husband, knowing he had two children and a semi-unstable ex in the picture. When we met, I didn't want kids, and honestly, I didn't really like kids all that much anyways.

We started dating, and everything was wonderful. He waited about 7 months for me to meet the kids, and I wish he hadn't. In that 7 months, I got to know life with HIM and him alone, fall in love, etc. I wasn't able to really see what I was getting into until deep feelings had formed between us. And even when I did meet the kids, he didn't have them all that often, so I didn't get to see any of the 'negatives' of having them around.

We got engaged, and his ex flipped out. To the point where she went on 6 months of stress leave before and after our wedding. We had to warn her that if she showed up at our wedding, she'd be arrested. She decided to drag my husband to court, hired a lawyer and everything, trying to get full custody and move 1000 miles away. She lost, and we won everything we wanted, including joint custody and limiting her from going anywhere outside of the city with the kids, perfect.

Since all the drama has ensued, however, I find myself having an exceedingly difficult time with the kids. I wonder if I'm projecting my hatred for their mother onto the kids, I don't know. The older child is OK, though tends to be sullen and disobedient, but I do like him well enough, and treat him well. The youngest is a whiny spoiled extention of her mother, and she drives me up the wall. I tell myself to be patient, and keep in mind, this is a child, but I just can't bring myself to like her all that much. I am not mean to either kid, ever, but I just don't have any sort of bond with them, and really, I don't care either. I know I SHOULD care, but I don't.

It doesn't help that now, I'm thinking maybe it would be nice to have a child with my husband. He is onboard, and actually pressures me to 'make a decision' because he's never really had a family with his existing kids, and says he'd love to have a child with me. But I can't wrap my head around making a child with a man who has these 2 kids already... with HER.

I find this is consuming a lot of my thoughts, each and every day. I am truly unhappy, and growing angry and resentful inside, because of the kids. I don't know why my feelings are changing, from "the kids are no big deal" to me hating the weekends we have with them. I hate that their existance is ruining the life that I could have had otherwise. I hate that I have to think of them in planning my own future. I hate that I have to deal with their mother for the next 10 years or more until they're adults. I hate that I'm having these thoughts, but I just can't stop myself. I feel like a monster, having these thoughts of resenting the kids and feeling like they've ruined my life, the life I COULD have had, because its not their fault. I know all this, but I can't help it.

I love my husband so much, and wish we could have a happy life together and share all the things a husband and wife should. But I'm honestly starting to wonder if I should just move on, though it would kill me, because I can't deal with his kids.

Has anyone else ever felt this way? How did you come to terms with it, what did you do, are there any ways of me coping with this without ending my marriage?

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mattie_gt

Welcome goosie. I don't know about the others, but yes, I sometimes I feel resentment. It can cost a lot of money that someone wouldn't normally be spending (attorney fees, spousal support), and consume a lot of time that you naturally want to spend with your husband (a big court case must have taken a huge amount of time, attention and money). I would hope that most step-parents don't normally begrudge time and attention spent directly for the children (child support and custodial periods), but it is very frustrating to feel that money and any free time is being sucked into a black hole of attorney costs, court preparation and such.

But, I think that ex-wives and/or step-kids often tend to be made into a scapegoat for other problems. I'm not saying that no problem exists but that they are rarely the cause of all problems. I wonder if there are some underlying minor disagreements between you and your husband which tend to flare up around issues involving his kids or his ex? They can be such a flash point, but any underlying issues will never go away even if they weren't there. For example, so many posters have husbands who constantly hand over money to irresponsible adult children. I think that even if the kids didn't exist, that kind of generous man would likely be the kind who was "loaning" money to his ne'er do well brother-in-law - the problem would still be there, just with a different face on it.

If you are currently feeling resentful when the kids are around, I think you need to step (ha! bad pun) back a bit. If they are with DH for a weekend, make plans with friends or at the spa for one day. I tend to feel a lot better if I get periodic breaks from being "step-mom" so that I can just be myself for a while, and everyone is better off when I'm more relaxed and happier rather than just slogging through the motions.

Have you been to counseling? That would be good too. I think sometimes there is this incredible pressure on step-mothers in particular, some of it self-imposed, to be absolutely perfect. Can you imagine a step-dad worrying that he treats his step-kids very nicely, pays attention to their lives, supports their activities... but perhaps his bond with them isn't strong enough? Half the bio-dads I know wouldn't worry about that! I think holding feelings of resentment inside is what tends to make it fester; talking to a counselor should help.

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goosie77

Thanks for your reply mattie.

The legal issues actually didn't cost us anything per se, as I took care of all the paperwork and counselled my husband on what to say and do in court, etc, and we still beat her inept lawyer. DH missed about 8 days of work though, and it was horribly stressful, as you can imagine. I don't begrudge my husband any of the time he spends with the kids, as I'm really independant so I enjoy having my own time if he's going out with them, or whatnot. But he often wants me there ALL.THE.TIME, because he wants us to be a family soooo desperately. I went out this past Sunday for 3 hours, and he got pretty upset that I wasn't spending time with him and the kids. I tend to make plans for a few hours on one of the days of our 'kids' weekend for myself, so I don't go crazy, but he hates it and just wants me THERE. But I find it so difficult.

I DO resent the money he has to pay for support though. It's a large sum of money, and we know the ex spends a portion of it on herself, going to concerts while his son wears rags. Luckily he doesn't have spousal support or alimony.

I haven't been to counselling to help me deal with the issues. I went to see a counsellor once, as my husband and I were having other issues, which are since resolved, but I didn't like the counsellor. Maybe I should try another one... its covered under my benefits through work.

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mattie_gt

"But he often wants me there ALL.THE.TIME, because he wants us to be a family soooo desperately." I was wondering if that were the case! Sometimes I think all men are idiots. No doubt he is blissfully picturing you all going out together as some happy family; meanwhile, you are incredibly stressed because you're not their mother, you can't speak up and correct them if they do something you feel inappropriate (I bet DH tells you you can though!), and you are basically tagging along like some kind of fourth wheel, trying to do some weird balancing act between wonderful wife and super step-mom. This situation is awkward for you and uncomfortable for your step-kids; only Dad remains in happy ignorance. (This is coming from experiences as a step-child on both sides and a step-mother.)

So here's my advice. Do something with one or both of your sKids without DH. It's really hard to bond with a step-parent if they are constantly with their spouse (your parent). Maybe tell DH that he can take one of the kids for a few hours of private Daddy time and thus you'll have the other during that time. Make your own plans and you get to be the adult in charge. I never had anything but a very superficial relationship with either of my step-parents until I spent time alone with them - it's just too hard for anyone to reveal their true personality while they are walking on eggshells in the shadow of their spouse, and they both came across as some kind of Stepford Step-parent until I spent time with them alone, and got to know who they really were.

In return, then you get a few hours of time by yourself. DH can't think you're not trying to get along with his kids because you just spent time with one. But you are not really used to being around kids that much yet and so you deserve a little break afterward. I really think that that would help to build a relationship with your sKids, and it's worth trying.

Try another counselor if it's covered. I know people who went through four or five before they found one they liked.

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ulrike1

Welcome! You will probably get some negative feedback from non-stepparents, but don't worry. What you're experiencing right now is very normal, and you are totally doing the right thing to be cognizant of your feelings and examining your choices at this early stage.

One question--how old are you? Is your "biological clock" an issue in terms of whether you will have children in this family? If you still have nice young eggs, then don't rush into it, even though at this stage of a marriage, our girl hormones are usually pressuring us big time, ha. You are so right that once you have a baby with your DH, this family (including BM) is your forever family, no matter what you decide about the marriage.

That said, stepfamily experts estimate that it takes an average of seven years for the relationship/love between stepparents and stepchildren to fully develop. And though your DH is understandably eager for you to adore his children just like he does (and perhaps BECAUSE he does), that is unrealistic for you AND for the kids.

There are some really good books out there about stepfamily building, if you don't feel that counseling is the way you want to go just now. And your DH might listen to "experts" over you.

One thing to get over right now is his idea that you should always be there when he has the kids. Here is one thing to try: remind him that the children are just getting to know you, and they need some "daddy time" where they don't feel like you are usurping their place. That will probably sit better with him than you saying "They are driving me NUTS and I need some time away from them!" Even though that is understandbly true.

Many stepmothers are in the same position as you, of having been active participants in the court battle. But that doesn't mean that you can't back off now some.

Really, Goosie, as starry eyed in love as we are in the beginning, the first few years of any marriage are something of a "trial period." Dealing with another woman plunked right in the middle of our marriage can be excruciatingly painful. How you and DH deal with it makes all the difference. If you feel supported and protected, it can bring you together rather than tearing you apart. So let your DH know what you need.

One more thing I would tell every person just beginning in a stepfamily, especially if they are thinking of bearing children into the family. Look to the future. Those strange children whom you don't know and who may have all sorts of characteristics that are alien to you will, if all goes well, become more and more "family" to you. They will start to pick up characteristics from YOU; though it is not biology, cultural inheritance can be powerful too. So don't worry if you don't feel bonded yet, and don't let your DH lay a guilt trip on you about it.

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goosie77

Thank you ulrike. I am 33, but DH just turned 40. I never, ever wanted children before (my own I mean). I am not really a 'kids' person per se. But a small part of me lately has been wondering what it would be like, which scares the hell out of me.

I've gone so far as to ask DH to not tell me what is going on with BM and her B.S. so I won't get angrier. But when she does something sh!tty, which is exceedingly common, he has nobody to vent to, so I hear it. I try to back off so I can try to focus on ME and not get drawn into drama, but it seems I can't. And then the kids come over, and he's trying to force his 'perfect family' ideal on me, and I hate it. I thought, eventually, I'd come to care about the kids, but it just isn't happening, and I can feel myself wanting to pull away more and more.

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silversword

"The youngest is a whiny spoiled extention of her mother, and she drives me up the wall."

"But he often wants me there ALL.THE.TIME, because he wants us to be a family soooo desperately."

LOL. You're normal!!! You know what's worse than recognizing someone else's irritating behaviors in a child? Recognizing your own... As much as SD acting like her mom annoys me, realizing my DD has my same irritating habits is 2x more frustrating because I KNOW where she got them and as it is said, the things that irritate a person most about someone else are traits they wish they didn't have themselves.

So the self-indulgent narcissistic money-flaunting one-uppedness that SD displays (all handed down from BM!) are less irritating than the fingernail biting, zoning out, bullheadedness, cocky, know-it-all traits DD gets from me. :)

The only advice I can give you on this subject is to remember that they are little sponges and leave as much good stuff out as you can for them to suck up and make "theirs". It will happen, and you will like them more and more as a result.

On the second topic... DH and his "perfect instant family"... my DH always wants me to be with him and SD when she is here. I finally (after nearly 5 years) am saying "no, why don't the two of you go off without me, I'll meet you later and we'll _____________ as a family". I know as a SD myself that dads and kids need alone time even if SM is the best/most fun/interesting person around. Knowingly or unwittingly (I'll go with the latter) he is using you as a kind of buffer. Women, I think, inherently try to make things easier on everyone, which makes his job easier.

Make sure that by making it easier on him you aren't making it harder on you and the kids.

Big hugs, it's hard but it's worth it, IMO. I look at my SD and am amazed at how much she is like my DH even though she doesn't live with us.

Some might come down on me for saying this, but these kids are a perfect way to "test" DH's parenting skills and for the two of you to make sure you're on the same page with discipline, etc. Have you talked to DH about older Skid's sullenness and younger skid's whining? What does he say about it?

Because, believe me, stepparents and bio parents do not have the monopoly on arguing about what to do about kid's behavior. Bio parents have the same challenges with each other, even if they are married.

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sylviatexas1

Welcome, goosie.

The control your husband exerts over you concerns me.

*Nobody* should expect/demand anyone else to "be there all the time";
even the army gives people time off!

Keeping someone close at hand isolates that person, & isolation is one of the first things an abuser does;
are you still seeing your friends & family?

& even if you try your best & give up every bit of personal time, the day will come when you can't be there, & that will be seized as evidence that you aren't "on board", that you failed, that you never loved him, never accepted the kids, don't want to be a mother (one of my personal faves), etc.

& you'll be defending yourself, which is always a losing proposition.

& the pressure to have a child?

It sounds like you've been financially independent yourself, & that's a big problem for controlers;
they'll do anything in this world to break you down & make you dependent on them.

Once you have that child, you'll be completely tamed;
you'll need him financially & you won't dare rock the boat.

The fact that you've made at least two 180-degree turns in your views, even in your identity, since you got involved with this guy troubles me.

You were independent, &
you didn't want children.

Now your life is totally dependent on husband's needs & wishes & demands, & you have responsibility for 2 children & are considering a 3rd.

You hate the way you are living,
yet you keep on doing it.

If this guy loved you, he'd worry more about your happiness & much much much less about how what he can get out of you.

I wish you the best.

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parent_of_one

It is understandably stressful especially if you do not have your own children. My SO's kids are grown and are somewhat out of the house, but I still find it stressful.

When DD22 comes to visit I am all excited but i am anxious before SDs' visits because it means messy house, SO cooking for them day and night 3 meals a day getting stressed, SDs canceling plans or not making plans and us sitting around pleasing them 24/7 or waiting for them to commit to activities, SO getting depressed, YSD taking my stuff and ruining it etc They are nice and I do like them but the whole experience is more stressful than happy. I can imagine how stressful the whole thing would be if they were here half the time...

I think you should give it time and hope for the best. I don't think you should be there with them all the time, it is unnecessary. Spend time with them and then go do your own stuff.

there is one thing in your post that I do not understand
"He is onboard, and actually pressures me to 'make a decision' because he's never really had a family with his existing kids, and says he'd love to have a child with me."

he does have a family with his existing children, they are a family (if he does not think of them as a family then it is very sad), he can have more kids with you but he still has a family with his kids. that's how I see it

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sylviatexas1

good catch, parent of one.

Why was he not in the children's lives before you came along, & what does he expect to happen to them when he has another child?

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parent_of_one

sylvia, they have joint custody so dad is in kids lives, maybe i am missing something here....

My ex has 3 kids, he is involved dad with all of them but was NCP for our DD22 and she lived with me and had visitations with him.

I would be terrified if he told his wife that he never had family with existing DD and that's why he wanted more kids with her. even my crazy ex would not say such thing, I know he would not.

if my SO said he had no family with his existing kids, i would lose all respect for him. He still has family with them!

maybe OP meant something else...

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lovehadley

I think the guy simply meant he would like to have the experience of having his child live with him full time. That's a normal, understandable desire. I doubt he meant his kids are not his family---just that it's not *ideal* and he is sad that he misses out on time with his kids half the time.

I know DH feels that way about SS---like he is missing half of his childhood. :(

I wouldn't rake the guy over the coals for wanting to have a child with his wife. It's not (IMO) that different from me, at some point, wanting to have a baby with my husband. I long to expeirence childbirth/labor/parenting WITH a partner. When I had DD, I was pregnant alone, delivered alone, etc. I wouldn't TRADE HER for the world--but still long for the more *typical* experience.

Does that make sense?

OP, I can 100% relate to you. My DH and I have been together for nearly seven years---lived together for four now--married for two. His son is 8 and lives with us half the time.

BM is unstable, crazy, drinker, etc. She, too, threatened to show up at our wedding---said she was going to throw diapers filled with pooop at me when I walked down the aisle.

Trust me---I understand! And I think the resentment directed at the kids is misdirected but understandable, nonetheless. I've had it myself!

I will second whoever said that you should try to spend time alone with your SKs. I find SS so much more fun to be around when DH is not around! LOL. It's just b/c SS relates to ME more like a parent then, and it changes the dynamic. It allows us to develop our own relationship. I think THAT has helped me more than anything, just spending lots of time with SS by myself; well, my DD (also 8) is with us, too.

I really would urge you and DH to get into SF counseling. Marriage alone is a lot of work--and when it's a SF situation, it's a lot more complicated and intricate than most can understand. Until you've lived it, you really just don't know. I would really try to find a counselor who specializes in blended families.

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parent_of_one

I do agree it is normal to want more children, of course it is. If we would be younger, we would certainly have more children, at least one more. I don't think anyone here is judging OP or her DH for wanting children..Did anyone say anything?

I just don't understand the comment not having a family with existing kids, it sounds unkind. What if DH and goosie have kids and it does not work out and they split, would he say he has no family with that kid too?

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goosie77

Thank you all.

First off, sylviatexas- my husband does not control me. He wants me there when the kids are there, full time, but I have mu own life, friends, family, and career. And that certainly isn't going to change, for ANY one. I did do a 180 on the kids thing, largely because what I had been doing before, in NOT dating men who had kids, wasn't working. I found a kind, loving and intelligent man and decided to give it a try, thinking maybe his kids would be a good thing because I didn't ever want my own child before, but perhaps his having kids would be a 'bonus' that would make my life better, in a sense, as I'd get to experience a family of sorts without making my own.

He has never outright SAID that he doesn't have a 'family' with his kids. However, as lovehadley pointed out, he would like to experience raising a child with a wife, within a marriage, fulltime etc. He has always been as involved in his kids' life as his ex has allowed him to be, which was very very minimally for a very long time. SS is 8 and my husband has never once spent a Christmas with his kids, because of her. Now we have legal joint custody so that will change, her days of manipulating the situation and using the kids to hurt him because he doesn't want to BE with her, are over. So really, having two children that you are prevented from seeing, who you can't spend time with, holidays with, have any say in raising, isn't much of a 'family' except literally. He would like to have a child with his wife, raise a child together, see the first steps, first words etc that he didn't get with his existing kids. The 'pressure' on me to make a decision comes largely with his age (40) and mine (33) - I don't want us to be much older, having a child, and neither does he.

Just trying to clarify. He is not an abuser, controller, nor a deadbeat dad. He loves his kids to death and cries when we have to send them home to their mother.

I just feel like a horrible person for not being able to just throw myself into this stepmom thing, and enjoy it. Both his brothers have stepkids, and them and their wives seem to have it so easy and be so happy. I can't do it, or at least, I haven't been able to. I owe it to him, and to the kids, but I can't get past my feelings of unhappiness and resentment at the very situation itself, even though I know in my mind that *I* put myself here. I'm just so conflicted.

I broached this topic last night with my husband, and he blew up. He was upset, saying that I told him that I could deal with it. And I did, a long time ago, before we got married. I thought I could, but its getting harder and harder. Today he is calmer and says he wants to talk tonight and that he loves me and wants to make everything work. I'm hoping our conversation goes well. He just doesn't see my point of view, as they are his kids, he loves them to death, so can't understand why I don't, or can't. He's never ever been with anyone with a child before me, so he doesn't get it.

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silversword

"He's never ever been with anyone with a child before me, so he doesn't get it."

It's very different if you're already a parent.

"I just feel like a horrible person for not being able to just throw myself into this stepmom thing, and enjoy it. Both his brothers have stepkids, and them and their wives seem to have it so easy and be so happy. "

Appearances can be deceiving. Don't feel like a horrible person, I think this is normal. Better to acknowledge how you really feel.

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ulrike1

Hi Goosie. As I mentioned in my first post, there are some posters here who have an agenda that isn't about being a stepparent; take their comments with a grain of salt if you can. (It can actually be helpful, because as a stepmother you'll face a certain amount of discrimination in real life--helps you see what you're up against.)

I'll say again, and hope it's helpful and not discouraging: what you are experiencing is absolutely classic! If anything, it's even predictable. Parents do have rose-colored glasses. It's so hard for them to see that their own feelings about their kids are singular to them. And those feelings are to an extent a good thing! No human infant would survive if parents didn't have blinders on to how annoying and demanding they are, ha!

My experience is that one of the biggest challenges for second wives of men with children is to overcome their new mate's defensiveness as regards the kids. This can be tremendously destructive to the new marriage, more than the intrusion of the ex-spouse, more than money, more than any antics the children pull as they test the new marriage (and most do). The first time a stepchild says something rude or hurtful to a new wife, or destroys an item of property, or pulls the wife's beloved dog's tail, and the father says NOTHING about it, or, worse, denies it happened, that marriage suffers a blow. And, perhaps more importantly, the child itself suffers the "gift" of too much power over adults that can warp his or her social development. So defensiveness is something that the new couple MUST overcome.

And why do I focus on second wives and not second spouses in general? I do think that for the most part our culture puts different expectations on women. For example, in your post you said "Both his brothers have stepkids, and them and their wives seem to have it so easy and be so happy." The kids are their wives' children, right? There just isn't that expectation that a man will immediately love the children and suddenly want to do all the parenting tasks. In addition, there's such a variety of maternal leanings in women. Some love to be around babies and take care of small children; others don't until their own hormones when they have a baby kick in and give them a hand, ha!

It sounds like your DH expected you to step right in and be his children's mother. You can acknowledge his disappointment while still gently letting him know that his expectations were missing the part where becoming a stepfamily is a process, and not a super fast one, and not always easy.

And one more thing. You are a newlywed. It is no doubt hard for you, even though you understand it, when your husband cries as the children leave. For a new spouse, spending time alone and focused with our beloved is so precious. So even though we understand on one level that they are sad their children are leaving, it can still feel tremendously rejecting to have them cry to be only with you. Don't know if that's an issue for you, but it was for me! And I had children too who were leaving.

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silversword

"So even though we understand on one level that they are sad their children are leaving..."

It's also understandable if you are feeling relieved that the children are leaving! It doesn't make you a bad person!

I feel relieved when DD goes to her dad's house... like a giddy kid who just got let out for summer "I can eat popcorn for dinner and stay up all night watching adult TV!". Two days later I'm in her bedroom reassuring her stuffed animals that she'll be home soon and I miss her too, rabbit!

And my DH missed out on years of his daughter's everyday life. I know he misses that. I know her dad probably feels the same way. It's understandable to want another kid so that they can be there on a daily basis.

For those who ask "what if this marriage fails too"... well, don't we all just hope it won't. There are no guarantees, right? And you can't live your life as if it will end at any time.

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parent_of_one

goosie, I cry pretty much hysterical every time DD leaves (I see her only 2-3 times a year now and it is not easy). My SO is not crying when DD leaves, I mean he is not excited but he is not devastated. But he knows why i cry because he is sad when his DDs leave. I think it is very understandable. maybe because we both have kids...

When SDs leave, he is extremelly sad, while i am not. I am not jumping happy up and down but I never cried. SD28 is crying every time, last time SO went to visit by himself (I was working)he said she cried so bad in airport that he was almost late for his flight.

What i am trying to say, it is silly to expect anyone else to feel the same way parents and kids feel towards each other.

You cannot be as attached to his kids as he is or wanting to spend every minute with his kids. When DD visits, there are plenty of things i want to do with just her, i don't need SO attached to my hip when she visits. Your DH needs to understand that you cannot possibly feel the same way, why woudl he even expect.

maybe it is man's thing. SO wants to do everything together when SDs visit. When DD visits I absolutelly want my own time with her.

I think maybe if you do have your own child with him, it is going to change because you would understand more about parenting.

As about having family with exisiting kids and building memories, they are still young, he still has time to compensate for years not being there. It is never too late. he can have kids with you but still create a family with his children. he missed holidays, well he has more holidays to look forward to.

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sylviatexas1

I didn't mean to offend, goosie;
I've seen a lot, & I've been through a lot, & some of the phrases you used in your original post ring a lot of alarm bells.

"he blew up. He was upset, saying that I told him that I could deal with it. And I did, a long time ago, before we got married. I thought I could, but its getting harder and harder. Today he is calmer and says he wants to talk tonight and that he loves me and wants to make everything work."

You haven't been married very long, you're involved in someone else's very demanding & difficult scenario, & he blew up at you & put you on the defensive, & now you're feeling guilty because you can't leap tall buildings at a single bound.

The way I always heard, marriage is a two-way street;
you take each other on as partners & each of you has the other one's back.

I do not see that he has your back or even gets the concept.

& a blow-up followed by an apology, maybe even flowers or other gifts, & a renewed promise to make it better is part of the cycle.

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goosie77

Thanks everyone so much again.

Ulrike- no, I don't take any issue with DH crying when the kids leave, as though I'm upset that he's alone with me, that has never crossed my mind, actually. I know he's crying at the 'loss' of his kids and his missing them, and not because he's stuck with me (haha). So that's not an issue. And honestly, silversword is right, I DO feel relieved when they leave, I feel like I can get back to ME again, focus on myself and my husband and not have to take care of these little people that aren't mine.

My husband has been through a lot of hurt- his parents divorced, his father left his children, he never had true family growing up as his mother kicked him out of the house, then was comitted to an asylum for a while, and his two brother reject him almost constantly due to jealousy (he's successful whereas his brothers struggle and are almost alcoholics). He got involved with his ex, he relied on her for stability I suppose, then she cheated while pregnant with their son. He's been through so much, and all he's ever wanted is family. That WORD alone means so much to me, he's said he's always dreamed of getting married (I am his first marriage) and how it would be, etc. I think he wants me to fit his 'mold' in a way, be a perfect wife, love his kids like he loves them, and create an ideal that he has never lived. But I don't fit well into molds, in fact I resist things and people's 'expectations' of me to a large degree. I know this about myself, yet I am conflicted about WHY I can't just accept these kids and make my husband happy and live happily ever after, like 'normal' people do. I want normal, and I'll never have 'normal' within the confines of this marriage, with stepkids, I don't think. And I hate that.

Thanks again for everyone's advice and perspectives. In a way I wish I had found this forum a loooooong time ago, so I could have known how difficult this all would possibly be. Maybe my life would be different now. Not that I have regrets about marrying my husband, who I love dearly, but I just wonder if this is what was best for me.

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silversword

"WHY I can't just accept these kids and make my husband happy and live happily ever after, like 'normal' people do. I want normal, and I'll never have 'normal' within the confines of this marriage, with stepkids, I don't think. And I hate that."

Oh Goosie!!!

No one lives "happily ever after!!!!" There is no "normal". And if there is, usually someone ends up getting cancer or falling off a cliff.

You can't create anything for anyone. Feeling sorry for your DH won't help. My DH had a very hard childhood too. I can't fix that for him. I have had my trials, he can't fix that for me. What we can do is be sensitive toward one another and realize some things are more important than others. What are the triggers? How do we work around them?

If you give the kids time, eventually they will grow on you. Kids have a way of doing that. I would plan things with them that you can do without DH, just an hour or so... go out for a picnic, throw a ball, play a game. REALLY try to interact with them on their level. Then let DH take them out on his own so you can have "me time". Then plan a family outing/dinner/movie, something all of you can do together.

You did marry him. What to do now is work on strengthening relationships and setting boundaries. EVERY mother has to set boundaries. Even if it's just closing the bathroom door.

LMAO... anyone else pee with the door open for years? Afraid of the slightest whatever that would occur. Speed-peeing? And then the day that you felt comfortable closing the door, and the look on their little face? Mommy! you closed the door! And then the bedroom door, and then the "not right now, I'm reading/taking a bath/sitting on the floor counting to 10".

Goosie, I wonder all sorts of stuff. If I'm being a good mother. If I were a good mother if my kid would drive me this crazy. If I'm scarring her for life. WHY I couldn't make it work with my Ex because having a Sdad and SD are HARD (I know why, but I get a little irrational), that I blew my chance for a happy, nuclear family because I just don't want more kids... so now DD will be only child and I have scarred her for life.

Maybe she should be in a better school. Maybe I should have bought her that ________. Maybe I'm scarring her by not buying her a new bike until she actually learns to ride the old one. Maybe baby.

You know what matters? That you're willing to try. And only you know if that's true or not. I am willing to try from the bottom of my heart. Even though both my SD and DD drive me crazy. Even though DH and I have extremely conflicting views on how to raise them sometimes. Even though EX and I have conflicting views and we have three parents in the pot, and then my parents want to get involved too.

You sound very stable, and introspective. Just keep telling yourself the truth, and once you know it, tell your DH calmly. Remember parents are not always rational about their kids. I have had to eat more crow where DH is concerned, and when I do I make sure to do it in front of DD. And I've told her, hey, I defended your bad behavior, and that was wrong of me. Now I need to apologize to DH. And I do. So that she knows we are on the same page.

((hugs))

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ashley1979

Silver, you made me cry! That was an EXCELLENT and encouraging post! Even for me who should be a pro at this SM thing by now!

I feel all those same things you do! I hate it for DH that he has never been able to "raise" either one of his kids. I hate it for DS that he's an only child. And I hate it for me that, as much as I wish, the relationship between DH, DS and I is never going to be the same as if DH were DS's bio-father. I even sometimes hate it that I don't have the stones that BM does to just kick out one "dad" and replace him with another and still sleep at night.

Goosie, I totally understand the "family" thing your DH is talking about. My DH has 2 kids by 2 different mothers; one was a college fling and one he actually married. The college fling got married and made the new guy be the "dad", even though DH was still involved. SD's mom divorced him when SD was 5. She is now 15. He was always very involved with her (up until 2 years ago), but he didn't get to raise her.

DH told me once that he would love to know what it feels like to have an "all-together" family. And I can understand that because he grew up with his "father" not being his biological father and having a baby brother who was the favorite (and still is) because he was the father's only bio-child.

We aren't planning to have more kids. I'm not sure I want to complicate another life with 3 half-siblings who live in 3 different states. I also don't know if I want to complicate OUR family situation even more. I don't want anyone to feel guilty or jealous or (pick your favorite step-family emotion).

But sometimes it seems so unfair to DH that he has never really been able to be the amazing father I know he on a full-time basis. It makes me so sad to think that he views fatherhood as nothing more than a detached family member. No matter how much he tries to be a part of his kids' lives, he's still nothing more to him than Christmas, birthday, and wedding gifts.

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parent_of_one

sometimes we just have to accept what we have (or don't have) and say serenity prayer.

As about not raising/raising kids, my SO stayed in bad marriage because he knew the best he could get would be joined custody and mom would bring a loser in SDs" lives (she did but luckily they weren't minors), so he waited until kids are grown but she left for TOM anyways.

But now he realizes that he wasted years of his life on keeping something what was not salvageable.

SD28 told me that their marriage was horrible as far as she can remember and when it ended she felt a relief. So neither of the kids really needed his sacrifice.

But who knows? Can't change the past. It is what it is. Who knows who is better off someone who settles for not raising his kids or who makes sacrifices so he can raise them full time? Who really knows what's better? and what is the point, we'll never know because we only have what we have, no "ifs"

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silversword

Ashley: I even sometimes hate it that I don't have the stones that BM does to just kick out one "dad" and replace him with another and still sleep at night.

OMG. I have the same feeling. BM "replaced" DH and has another baby. They're not together now, but when they were and SD would say "my dad" and DH would say, "what" and SD would say "I mean my other dad"....heartbreak.

I CONSTANTLY worry if I am doing the right thing by DD. If DH is good influence. And then, really, I know that he is a good person, and wants to do right by DD and tries his hardest. And that even bio-parents make mistakes.

BUT BUT BUT.... I want perfection!!! Where's my "happily forever after???" LOL while I'm COL *crying out loud...

My heart breaks for your DH and for my DH. To never get the chance to raise their daughters. And my heart breaks for my DD's father, even though I felt at the time I had to get pretty far away in order to keep her and I from his insanity. I still feel for the guy.

And it is unfair. DH is nothing more than a pocketbook. BM makes sure SD knows if DH is not willing to support their extravagant lifestyle. Well, more extravagant than ours anyway... We lead a pretty simple life, but we have a lot more than many our age. We are very fortunate, and at least BM is not insane to the degree that the rest of you are dealing with. Our BM is a narcissistic wench who is all about image, but she feeds, clothes, and cares for SD very well.

God bless the woman :)... and keep her far away from me!!

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yabber

I can relate as well. I've been with my partner for 6 yrs and my SD's are now 12 and 14. Their BM resents me big time and it has not gotten any better over the years. If anything it got worse. Anyway, I used to get on fabulous with the skids, even though BM always tried to poison them against me. It never seemed to affect them much.
Now that they're a bit older, to my surprise, her poison has started to take hold a bit. This is a big setback for me and I hate to admit it but I do resent them at times because of it. But I don't have a struggle as to what to do about all this, stay or leave, or anything like that. I love my FDH, I love our life,I'm not going anywhere and I'll do my absolute best to keep a good relationship with the skids.

I like the suggestions of the other posters about how to work on getting to know/ bond with your skids.

Also, as others already said, it's ok to take some time for yourself when the skids are with you guys, this is something that your DH needs to learn to understand and accept. He can't have it all his way, you need to find a compromise. That is a fair demand isn't it? I've started to work on the weekends recently, not so much because we need the money, but more because I'm in a better mood if I get a break from it all. Sometimes the mood is tense, and to hang around each other can make me cranky. So for me to step out for half a day and get away is a good thing. When I'm in a better mood and I keep my battery charged, everybody benefits, right? My FDH does understand this though, which makes it easier. But that doesn't mean he's happy about it, he'd rather I'd be home, and the skids always ask what time I come home as well. So it's not that the situation is that awful that I need to get out, even in the best of circumstances a stepfamily is still challenging and I've learned to go with what works. I do a 4hr shift on Sat and Sun, it's a bonus that we have a bit more money, FDH spends some time alone with the skids, it's a good solution.

What also helps me is to keep the following in mind: I'm not their mother, I don't need to be their substitute mom when they're with us (as much as BM thinks I want to 'take over'). Just changing that mind set brings relief in itself for me. I'm still trying to be a good role model, a loving adult, a nice person to be around, etc etc and I certainly look after them when they're with us, but I don't need to 'play mom'. The parenting is up to FDH. This comes with advantages too, like allowing yourself to back off and not be over-involved, which is easier if you feel this resentment. I try and stay out of the disciplining part (bedtimes, reminding to brush teeth, putting on sunscreen, chewing food without putting everyone else off theirs ;-) cleaning their room or putting laundry in basket. All those things, I have a desire for it to be a certain way, DH and I talk about it when kids are not with us, but ultimately it's up to him and I've learned to butt out. And if something does annoy me, I'll try and keep a lid on it till we are alone to discuss it. Because of course I have a say in how we live as a 'family' under our roof, and it's up to FDH and me to come up with a plan we both can live with. But, FDH will be the one to enforce this with the girls, not my job.

At the end of the day I still get moody at times, and nobody's perfect, but if you decide to stay you have to try different things to make this work for you.

And keep coming here for ideas :-)

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silversword

"When I'm in a better mood and I keep my battery charged, everybody benefits, right?"

Well said, Yabber. And you're right. I don't consider myself "stepmom" as much as I consider myself to be "auntie". Someone who cares, someone who will protect, someone who is trying to be a good example.

I told SD last time, because she was saying how hard it was to have divorced parents: "SD, my parents were divorced, and I'm divorced from DD's dad. I know how it feels to have a broken family and feel conflicted loyalties. I love your dad, and I love you, and I love our family and I am happy in our life, but for your sake I wish your mamma and daddy were still married."

She looked at me like spiders were crawling out of my nose, and said, "you do?" When I reiterated it, she looked at me and a huge weight fell off her shoulders. I could see it fall. Her whole face opened up. I had validated her needs, and her family.

Because it's true. I wish for her that her mama and dad were still married. I wish my mama and dad were still married. (I know they'd both be miserable, but the little girl in me? Well....) I wish I were still married to X.... (well, not really... But....)

But here we are. Like Lilo and Stitch... "this is our family, it's small, and it's broken, but we love each other".

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goosie77

Thank you again so much everyone.

DH and I talked again last night, and I told him pretty much everything I said on here, no holds barred, all or nothing. He said he was very hurt, especially when I admitted that I really don't like his daughter, and I have left him very confused, I suppose. He says its not fair to leave him 'hanging', hoping I can work on this and make peace with everything, hoping I don't wake up 6 months from now deciding I want out. I told him he's absolutely right, it's not fair, I wish I didn't feel this way, and I can't guarantee that I WON'T want to bail 6 months from now.

He said quite a few times that I just don't get it because I'm not a parent. That pissed me off. I told him HE doesn't get it because he IS. He can't see how I possibly couldn't adore his kids, he said "they're just innocent children, and good kids, how could you not like them"? I told him about my resentment, etc and how I'm likely directing some of my hatred for their mother onto them in a way. Which I know is not right or fair, but I just can't help it sometimes.

I want to be able to work this out, I really do. Several of you suggested me spending time with the kids, doing stuff with them without DH, and I may do that, see if it helps. I wouldn't mind that with SS, its SD that I realllly don't want to spend much time with. But in order to get past this, I'll force myself to do it.

I really appreciate every one of you for trying to help, and for not making me feel like a monster for just not finding this easy. Thank you all.

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silversword

"When we met, I didn't want kids, and honestly, I didn't really like kids all that much anyways."

Did you tell him when you met that you didn't want kids, didn't like kids? If so, you can go back to that conversation for reference. He NEVER should have married a woman who didn't like kids if he had kids. You guys should have dated until the kids were adults, then married if that was what you still wanted to do. By token, you should have thought of this too.

You DON'T get it because you are NOT a parent. I totally agree!!

And, vice versa, as you said. Parents are blind to their own children. And protective. And rightfully so.

Directing hatred onto children based on their parents is W R O N G. It's abusive and it's never ok. That said, I know the feelings come up and I know they can be hard to manage. I experience them too, especially with my own DD when she comes back from her bio-dad's house....ohhhh.... it's hard! But you have to. There just is no other option. It's not the kids fault, and you are the adult. Sorry to be harsh, but that's how I feel. You are normal. You are not a monster. But you have to keep your emotions in check, or you need to remove yourself from the lives of these children.

How old are the kids?

It's understandable that you would be more comfortable with one or the other, but you should be able to find something you could share with each of them individually.

You do not have to cater to their bad habits though. One benefit to being one on one is that you can let them know your standards for behavior.

Example: SD is whiny, right? When she whines, look her in the eye and tell her, calmly, that you don't respond well to whining. It's the BEHAVIOR you don't like, not the child.... right???? I get silly sometimes... with DD.... because I can't stand whining. So I will say "aaaahhhhh.... whining makes me crrraaazzzyyyyy!!!!" (insert crazy face and hopping around) It makes me want to say "no movies, no popcorn... and I really want those things. Can you help me so I don't have to say no???"

Get down to their level, but keep your standards. Kids know that at Grandma's they don't jump on the couch, or at uncle's they don't wear shoes in the house, or or or...

Make a list of acceptable behavior/non acceptable behavior. Role play in your mind. Write down your responses if necessary.

Kids (and I know I will get raked over the coals for this one :).... Kids are like dogs. You have to train them. Like dogs, making them cower will not make them into the kind of friend you want around. They need absolutely to know that you are in charge, that you will treat them fair, and that you want to have fun with them. They are also remarkably adaptable and resilient.

Does SD like to paint nails? Perhaps you could buy a couple fun colors and have a nail painting party, just you two.

SD: "I don't liiikkkeee that color"
You: "oh my gosh! my whine-o-meter is being set off... I think I might explode, quick, hide behind the couch!"

You: "I'm sorry, did you say something? When people whine I have this problem with my hearing. Can you repeat yourself please?"

You: "If we're not having fun, let's stop. I don't like playing with someone when one of us isn't having fun. Is there something else we can do?" (and then when she doesn't want to stop, tell her that when she whines it's an indicator to you that she is unhappy, and does she want to try again?)

Of course, these are solutions for the under 8 set. I'm not much for older than that age because I haven't gotten there yet!!!

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lovehadley

LOL, I always tell my two kids (bio DD(8) and SS(8) that I can't understand them because I don't speak Whinese.

Cracks them up AND usually gets rid of the whiny voice.

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adriel

Goosie, I have very similar feelings. When I got into a relationship with my bf (we haven't gotten married yet, but we live together) I didn't want to have kids either, and I was actually happy that I get a pair of grown kids for "free"..:-))

Unfortunately their BM is totally crazy and the relationship with her is extremely tense as we are in the middle of a custody battle right now, which has been going on for almost 2 years now! I have been very much involved in the custody battle, giving my bf all the support, but it has been a lot of stress for me, especially to face all those BM lies, kids being brainwashed and telling everybody how they hate being with us, and all the problems caused by the fact that BM is refusing to co-parent. It very much affected my relationship towards kids. As well as the fact that even though we spend a lot of time and effort to help them, once they go back to BM they forget everything. Very frustrating.

My bf and I had a great time being together without kids, but once kids were over it became very stressful for me. My bf wanted me to be there with them all the time, to be a "happy family". And I honestly hated it. I started to think that I really do not deserve all this trouble, I was very unhappy. On top of it my biological clock went on, and seeing how little influence I have on his kids I started to want my own so we could really have a little happy family. My bf is a fantastic father, but unfortunately he doesn't want to have more kids.

Anyway I decided that I need to step back. I withdrew myself from all the custody battle, I keep myself away from BMs emails, conversations, anything what made me upset. It quite helps. I'll see how long this is going to last. I am counting years until kids are adults (only 6 more to go) and hopefully BM will be out of the picture. Though I have a feeling that it is too naive to hope for that.

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seekergal

My husbands kids were older when we married, so this isn't my area of knowledge, but I have been to sites where there are stepmothers saying quite frankly, that they don't "LIKE" there stepkids - and they are OK with it!

You didn't say you didn't like your stepkids, but it sounds more like the SITUATION is causing you stress, then this is transfered onto your feelings for the kids. This is understandable! Below is an article I found once, that might help you see that you are not alone.

http://ezinearticles.com/?My-Step-Children---I-Feel-Guilty-But-I-Do-Not-Like-Them&id=4367274

Every "expert" I have heard says that the SM is not to be put into the position of being the "babysitter/caregiver/discipliner" or "buffer" between a father and his biological children. They are his children and he is responsible for them. Expecting you to help him fulfill an "ideal fantasy" he has of re-creating a 'happy/perfect' family is not fair to you. Taking time away for yourself sounds like a good idea. If you husband gets upset, that is his issue, not yours. Counseling does sound like a good idea.

Bringing a new child into this situation at this time might not be the wisest idea. After you and your husband have dealt with some unresolved issues, it would be a better time.

Others that have posted above sound wise and have a lot of good insight and good advice. Hope it has helped you feel not alone in your situation.

Take care and good luck.

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goosie77

Sorry everyone, I didn't think anyone was still replying to this LOL

I am in noooooo way ready to even think about a child of my own, no worries there. The thought of it as a possibility (or not) crosses my mind regularly, but never to the point of wanting to make it happen, as there are so many other variables.

It is definitely a difficult situation, and I don't like it, even though I put myself here. I'm trying to get more involved with the kids, especially his son, as he has a lot of issues (reading issues, development issues). We spent some 'family time' together the 4 of us last weekend, and it was nice. His daughter was well behaved, and I found her more tolerable. I do like his son, I'm on the fence about his daughter, but I'm willing to work at it.

I am feeling more optimistic lately, now that I've voiced all my concerns to my husband. I know it wasn't wasy for him to hear how I feel, that I don't really like his daughter, and hate the situation, etc, and we fought about it and more for a week, but we're working together to make it work now.

It's not an ideal situation, by far. Its not the life I would have chosen for myself. But I'm going to try to put the work in to make it as good as I can.

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stepup

Goosie, I feel your pain honey. When it is only my new husband, myself and my children, life is smooth. No problems at all. When my manipulative SS enters the picture, it is really, really hard. I have daydreamed of it just being us and SS staying with his mother, out of sight out of mind. He is 18 now and bascially comes in and out of the picture whenever he wants and his dad flows with it. I feel guilty for disliking him so much, I honestly do. Not for SS sake, he is horrid, but for my husbands sake. It hurts him so much. He still sees his son as the cute little chubby, curly haired boy he once new. I never knew that child. I only know what is here and now. A selfish, hurtful "adult". I'm afraid I cannot offer any sage advice. I am living a sad story myself right now...But I feel ya sister!

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george82

I'm at this point too, recently married and wife has 4 kids, they openly express that they don't like me... or even hate me (all teens). I known/dated this girl for about 2 years b4 getting married... the kids are recking my attitude, when the arguments start my pulse starts racing and I end up with panic attacks.

In the course of all this, I'm finding that my feelings for my wife have greatly diminished, In the begining, I couldnt believe that I found someone like her... and now I'm regretting my choices. the oldest 2 have moved out and will have nothing to do with me. I find this to be very hard on me.

I've been cordual, friendly, helpful and fair... I'm to the point that I'm ready to tell them the hate and dislike goes both ways. And I'm ready for some time away from my wife... I'm finding the relationship to not be worth the pain in the butt attitudes of the kids.

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hm55

Goosie, granted this post is 5 years old, I ran across it accidently. Your post summed everything up that I'm feeling. I hope you'be found peace in your situation.

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ssarah613

I just stumbled across this thread, i FEEL THE SAME WAY. I'm moving on, it was a tough decision, but i have to do it. I wonder what goosie did, an update on how things turned out would be nice to hear?

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hm55

I was wondering the same thing! It's refreshing to know you're not alone. :)

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sla_j

Ssarah613, I'm hoping you get this comment! I'd love to talk to you. I'm currently at a breaking point where I need to commit to staying with my husband and stepson or leave. Hope to hear from you!!

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frustratedsm

I swear this could almost be my life! I have been a stepmom for the past four years and I'm not sure I can do it any longer but I do love my spouse. I have two SDs (7 and 9). Lots of instability with bio mom and we have kids every other week. I just try to survive the weeks we have them and rebuild strength on the off weeks. I never planned on having kids and I'm very independent. I was married for 18 years, met current spouse at divorce time and we were off and running. I was emotionally vulnerable then and agreed to move in together way too early and have been trying my best to make things work but my spouse wants that happy fantasy when we're all four together and I just can't do that much. I try to focus on quality time versus quantity but that doesn't seem to be good enough. I do help out but I don't do everything. I don't like a lot of the kids behavior and I end up being the main disciplinarian and boundary setter too which is exhausting. We lived in my house but sold it last year and own a bigger house together. I thought it would help having more space for everyone but I don't think it has. I love my spouse but I just don't care about these kids that deeply. I don't know that I will ever. And every other week feels like a lot to me. I honestly don't know when to throw in the towel? Now??? I love this person. I'm afraid to be alone probably too though. Be lonely at least. I'm really struggling. When do you know you can't do this anymore? I mean it's not all bad. But it's always been a struggle. I do see a therapist every week which is helpful. But I feel like I'm at a cross roads filled with regrets and I don't know which way to go.

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hm55

I believe when you are completely indifferent about the situation it is time to walk away. That granted is just my opinion. We tried marriage counseling over our situation. Funny thing is our therapist was on the other side of this. She left her husband, had one son, and married another man. She could relate to my husbands side, which helped put things into perspective a lot of times. It's not easy and the struggle is so real. Unless you've been in the position, you can't relate. People will judge and point fingers. I believe blending families is one of the hardest things I've done, besides parenting my own children. There are support groups on FB- however, be careful. I was apart of one, and all they promoted was leaving the other person. Find one that can be supportive of your thoughts and promote growth, even if that means leaving. Most importantly Hang in there!! :)

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frustratedsm

Thanks HM55 for your comments. I'm trying to hang in there and work things out with a therapist on my own as my spouse doesn't see the value in therapy as much as I do (we've gone before but it was like pulling teeth). I really love my spouse, but I hate this situation and that's where I'm perplexed. I mean this situation isn't going to change though. He wants the kids to be at our center when they are with us and I just try to tolerate it. It feels confining and burdensome when they are here. I'm afraid the answer is to leave but I don't want to fail at another relationship. I'm never going to be stepmom of the year and my spouse wants me heavily involved. I get resented for withdrawing. This is so hard and I'm so depressed by it all. I guess the silver lining is I'm losing weight since I have no appetite. Ha. Sigh.... Not sure the right answer. Wish I had a crystal ball.

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frustratedsm

Do you mind if I ask, Hm55, if you're still together? I think part of this is that I got into this relationship way too soon after my last one dissolved and I've been trying to find ways to make it work and it probably isn't going to. I don't really want to raise kids at least not 50% of the time and my spouse wants the kids as much as possible and to have them be the center of what we all do when they are with us. I just don't have it in me yet to do that and it's been 4 years. When and why would that change.

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hm55

We are still together.If you're interested, I can share my situation, it's a bit more unique than yours. However, everything you say, I can completely relate to. I have the same withdrawing tendencies. I debated divorce and even told him. I would vent to everyone that would listen, and that did not help. (None of them had been in the situation before, so, I felt anything anyone said was not valid) I don't know if you're able to email/message on this site.... Other than this board, I haven't really used this site much.

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frustratedsm

I guess I struggle with is this the right life for me? I love my spouse but I never planned on having kids and certainly not raising someone else's kids. These aren't even my spouse's biological kids to add another layer of complication. I'm not sure how to answer that question. Is it worth all the drama or leave and start over alone. That's a bit scary to me.

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reception87

Hi frustrated...I am just curious to see if you found therapy to be helpful for offloading/discussing your feelings? How are the sessions conducted?

I am at my wits end and don't know how to deal with how I feel about my partner's daughter, I can relate to so much written in ALL of these posts and it is really scary as I am at breaking point and needing to make a decision about how or if I want to continue my relationship! The resentment and the negative emotions toward her (even though she is lovely most of the time) are just overtaking my spirit and I can't seem to get my head around it all, that we will be sharing custody for the next decade and having the BM around...I don't know if I have got "what it takes"!! I feel jealousy that she (SD) takes him away from time with me every weekend, as we hardly see each other due to work commitments! We do spend time together but I get quite bored and withdraw, my interactions are becoming less and less, as she is at the demanding and trying 3.5 year old stage, and obviously has NO discipline at home with BM..( which adds to my frustration, just like when BM sends over winter PJ's in her bag and its the middle of Summer for crying out loud!!!!!!) It is such a hard situation, tricky, sensitive, frustrating and becoming worse as I am becoming depressed and confused at times, infuriated and rage-ful, don't want to leave him, but can't imagine staying either. It is the crossroads and I have no idea what avenue to take, it is such an awful, isolating, heart-wrenching feeling.

I am thinking therapy might be the next step for me, to see if I can start seeing and feeling from different perspectives, because I am in knots and can't move past the toxic at the moment :-( Thanks for listening.

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frustratedsm

Hi, reception87! I don't think I would've survived this long without therapy honestly. It's what keeps me sane. I usually just chat and try to work on root of things and/or figure out best way to communicate/take care of my needs. We tried a bit of joint counseling but my spouse thinks it's kind of a waste to be honest which has been frustrating at times. But all I can do is control my behavior so I go myself. Make sure you find a therapist that you like and feel comfortable with too. Don't feel bad if you have to shop around. And I get all the feelings you mentioned in your post. I mean my step kids aren't always horrible. But they're noisy and messy and all the things that kids are and I could care less honestly. I mean I jut didn't plan on raising kids so this has been harder than I thought to adjust to and I don't know if I can keep doing it. I mean we have them 50% of the time. Holy hell! And my friends try to put an optimistic spin on it (even though they all say they could not do what I'm doing) and say "well it should get better the older they get?" Seriously, um, we have the hormonal emotional teen years next, god help me! Sorry not trying to be a downer but I am in a difficult place. Keep going in this with someone I love, who is a good person or leave for the hope of some better unknown?? Where is that damn crystal ball!!

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frustratedsm

Sorry I should say that the things that have helped me most have been therapy, trying to have honest communciation with my spouse whether they like it or not, and disengagement from the situation.

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Bluebell66

Frustratedsm, I am also a step-mom [of a 20 year old], and have been for almost 12 years now. He lived with us full time before he went off to college, and I was never expected to be the boundary setter and main disciplinarian. I mainly considered myself to be the other responsible adult in the house, but left all the parenting to my husband. Perhaps you can come up with a similar arrangement?

I'm curious, though....you said you never wanted kids and never wanted to raise kids. Did you guys discuss this before you got married? If so, I'm surprised you are taking on so much of the day-to-day parenting. If you are going to stay, I think you need to find a way to get out from under some or all of the parenting.

In my mind, it's only going to get harder as the kids get older. Being kids, they will challenge you more, which is typical no matter what, but because you are the step-mom, it adds a layer of complexity that your husband won't understand and will become even more frustrating for you.

Also, regarding "the hope of some better unknown" - I don't think it's so unknown. Sure, you can't know if you'll meet someone new. But I'd rather be by myself the rest of my life than be in a difficult situation with other people.

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frustratedsm

Thanks for your comments, Bluebell66. I appreciate your perspective. I take on so much of the discipline piece because my spouse is pretty much a light weight in that area. I mean he's not good at setting limits and being consistent with the kids and for me that's easy to do. And I also recognize the importance of it for them but he's too worried that they will not like it at our house and choose to not come eventually. So it's frautrating but they would run wild particularly the youngest one who is pretty defiant at times. But I agree, I need to get out from under it if I'm to survive in this.

I think we also need to get back on joint counseling and figure out (again) how to operate in the same page. My spouse gets so focused on kid stuff the week they are here that he plays catch up with life on the off weeks. I think it's easy for him to forget about my needs and our relationships' needs. Plus just the fantasy thinking that we're supposed to be this perfect foursome that I get inserted into. I'm not optimistic and I feel like we've been here before. He hates therapy and is a very black and white thinker. I know the world is very gray which always makes it interesting.

Also, I feel like what I can give and do isn't enough because it's not 50% of the parenting. But I think I've given a lot that others wouldn't (opened my home, share our current one, contribute $ to their care, take them to school, etc.). I told him I think his expectations aren't reasonable and he said he felt that they were "relative". Whatever that means. Hate feeling such ambivalence in my relationship about where I'm at and not knowing where to go from here.

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gbauer48

Yes, I have felt that way. Every thought you shared I have felt, and then some. I ended up having kids with my husband, but if we hadn't, I'm not sure how I would have fared. I think some people are cut out to be stepparents and others aren't. Perhaps you and I belong in the latter camp? You can (and should) force yourself to treat them well and you can perhaps work toward developing a bond of some kind, but I'm not sure you can force love. Best of luck to you.

p.s. My stepson is now grown and we get along fine. You could say we've found our rhythm.

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naes_now

Hi I'm in a similar situation. I have been this girls step mom for almost 8 years. It hasn't got better only worst. I keep telling myself she is 18 now and is going to college this summer but now i'm afraid she will live with us. It is bad enough the way she treated me at 15 now she is an adult and just last week showed me once again the disrespect she has for me. I love my husband but seeing the way he deals/ or doesn't deal with her is making me hate him. I'm afraid even if she leaves it may be to late for us.

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frustratedsm

Sorry to hear naes_now. I understand your feelings. My step kids are much younger and we've got a ways to go. I'm not sure we'll make it. This is thermoset difficult thing I think I've ever dealt with. Trying to figure out if staying is worth the cost of the aggravation, etc. Last week my spouse was made ate because there was not enough balance between the good times and bad times with the older daughter. I'm the one that enforces the rules and we had one particularly challenging night. But I'm sorry the kid is difficult and my spouse was at his limits with her too but I was the problem because when he is out of patience I'm supposed to kick in and have the patience for her. Wth? he said I don't even enjoy being with them and I pointed out that he doesn't 100% of the time either. These kids can be a challenge. I think he is projecting a lot of his feelings on me about how he feels. It's not fair. This stuff sucks.

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chelsea_ann_brown1

I am so happy I found this post today. I am struggling so hard with these same issues and I don't know what to do or where to turn. I feel like a monster. We have an added layer of complication in our situation though. Boyfriend and I have known each other 10 years and dated on and off throughout the years. Two years ago, we had been barely seeing each other but back home (I was in MN at the time, now we both live in CO) he got a woman pregnant. I cut off all communication to him. They had a son, get married for the kid. Things fall apart, they are divorcing. He and I reconnected just 7 short months ago. At first we were just friends as I told him I wasn't interested in dating him after everything that happened. Welp, we decided to jump in and try it again (ugh x2) and things were SO perfect at first. I wasn't introduced to his son until about 2 months in, which was still early for me (and against BM wishes), but those first two months we spent almost every waking second together. We built our little bubble life together. Just me and him, no kids, no stress, nothing. We took weekend trips, we went to nice dinners, we stayed out late, everything a "normal" childless couple does. Then suddenly everything changed with his son was in the picture.

I have never really been interested in having kids, and he knows this. His child was also a surprise baby. He is in the military so he is away a lot and sees his son when he can. Recently, we moved in together and things were fine. He sees his son after work some days and every other weekend, but I don't see his son a lot. He lives 70 miles south of our apartment with his mom. I see him once every couple weeks for 2-3 hours at a time. I don't know how to interact with him. I can't connect/bond with a 2 year old in just two hours a week. I resent BM so much for giving boyfriend things I can't (first I do, first child) - that I know I project my resentment onto his son and it's not right. But I can't help it. I feel like such a monster but I don't know how to tell him this without him thinking I hate his child. I don't hate his son, I just don't know how to cope. He expected us to have this instantaneous bond and me to immediately know how to love a 2 year old (I have literally, literally zero experience with children) and when I remind him of that, he just simply says "you just have to do it." OK. Great. That doesn't help. Like it was mentioned before, I don't get it because I'm not a parent and he doesn't get it because he IS a parent. I'm so afraid of failing him as a potential step mom, which I clearly already am.

I am frustrated and I can't make boyfriend understand why. He will think I'm such a monster for these feelings. It's coming to a breaking point in our relationship (reminder, we are still only about 6 months in...) and he's frustrated that I haven't bonded more with his son. He wants to move the 70 miles south to be closer to his son and I know that's the right thing to do. But it's pretty much an ultimatum of "come with me or this relationship won't work"... and I am willing to move away from my current comfort zone if it means his life will be better and we can spend more time with his son... but I just need him to understand that it's going to take time and to lower his expectations of how this bonding process works. That it's hard. But I can't find the right words. He feels like everything I say is an excuse. I know he is frustrated with me as a parent but I am frustrated with him as a partner. There is zero understanding and empathy from his side. I don't know how to get through to him - if I even CAN get through to him.

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colleenoz

Frustratedsm, you should try family counselling and couples counselling. You and your spouse need to be on the same page. At the same time, you should disengage from being the rule enforcer. If your spouse wants the rules enforced on his daughter then it's up to him to enforce them. Your being the enforcer is only going to result in everyone resenting you, as you are finding.

Chelsea, if I was your mom, I would tell you that you should view your BF moving closer to his son as the natural ending to a rocky relationship that is unlikely to improve. You say yourself that it was on-again, off-again for years, he hooked up with someone else and married her, then he breaks up with her and comes back to you. Your first instincts to keep apart from him were probably justified, because also as you say, now you resent that you won't be "first" with him on a numbers of things- and that's not going to change, ever. While it's nice your BF wants to spend time with his son, he's being somewhat insensitive to your needs regarding this, and doesn't seem to get that going at this process full tilt is unlikely to result in the bonded relationship he wants you to have with his son. It's just going to end in a whole lot of resentment on both sides (and not good for the little one involved either). Cut him loose and move on before you both get to that point.

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frustratedsm

Honestly, we've been to counseling a little anyway, my spouse isn't too big on it. I go myself though every week trying to figure it all out. I have to say that I think I just hate being a stepmom. I don't wNt to raise someone else's kids. We have them every other week and it's a lot. If it was less I could probably tolerate it. But I think this is too much for me and I'm just tired of feeling bad about it. I had a major emotional meltdown/cry fest tellingly husband all of my fears and worries, etc. he doesn't know what to say. He loves being a parent and wants us to be this happy foursome. I think I'm just not cut out for it and although I love him, minus having the kids less which I would never ask him to do I don't see any other way to fix this other than to divorce. I hate that. I love him. But I just can't keep doing this. Half my life is fine than other half of very trying. Being alone scares the hell out if me but I think I can't keep clinging to this hoping it changes. I don't see it getting better or easier as these kids get older and hit the teen years. I wish we would've moved slower in our relationship and lived apart while we figured this all out. I think that put too much pressure on things. Doesn't matter now, there's no going back. I hate to loss this wonderful person that I love do much but I just can't keep doing this. I think I'm slipping into depression and I just can't keep doing this. Maybe I'll be okay but being alone scares the hell out of me. I don't know what the right thing is anymore.

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colleenoz

I understand that being alone can be scary, but isn't being depressed and miserable scarier? If there is no prospect of things changing, and you've reached the end of your rope, then scary or not, I think it's time to cut your losses and move on. There is no point in spending any more of your life so unhappy if it's always going to be so.

Who knows, if you're open to a new relationship you just might find a better fit. But please don't take the first comer just because you don't want to be alone, remember what happened this time when you didn't move slowly enough and iron out the wrinkles before you made the big jump.

I wish you well.

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cacocobird

Being alone can be difficult, but not nearly as hard as remaining in an extremely stressful situation. You only have one life, and spending half of it being miserable isn't good for you or the kid.

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frustratedsm

I struggle because I love this man so much. He is generous and kind. I'm afraid I won't find someone like him again. I'm an introvert so I don't have some huge personal network. I'm going to ask to go to counseling again with him. I don't know if that will fix anything because I hate being a stepmom when it comes down to it. I just don't get any personal joy out of it. My husband doesn't understand. I say they don't feel like some extension of me or my next generation. They're just kids in my life. He gets offended. Says it can't be about biology because he's not biologically related to them and he forgot feel like I do. Wtf. He's pressing this fantasy of us being this happy foursome and it makes me feel trapped and like I should feel a certain way. Also his kids are s challenge. He overcompensates and I think projects a lot of feelings on me about how he feels deep down. Sigh. But one on one him and I are fine. The kids create a lot of drama. This stuff sucks.

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colleenoz

>> He's pressing this fantasy of us being this happy foursome and it makes me feel trapped and like I should feel a certain way.<< This is _not_ "generous and kind", if he knows that's how you feel.

>>I'm afraid I won't find someone like him again.<< Sorry, but, so what? You may find someone better. You may not. But unless things change, you're guaranteed to be miserable. It _is_ possible to be alone and happy. Even alone and not miserable is an improvement.

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frustratedsm

I think all my life I've been afraid of being lonely. Just always wanted to find one person and share my life with them. Guess that was a fantasy. I have been in bed for the last two days avoiding the world. Tonight the kids come and we have them for an alsmot three week stint do to a schedule change. I just can't keep living up to this expectation that I'm supposed to be at the same place and have same level of feelings for these kids that my spouse does. Makes me feel like I'm a failure and there is something wrong with me and I know there isn't. I don't expect him to want his kids less but he also overcompensates and has more to learn about balance. I don't believe that the top priority is the four of us. It should be the two of us. I'm tired of being tired and drained and feeling bad.

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sylviatexas1

Yes, "finding one person & sharing your life with them" is a fantasy, when it excludes day-to-day life, & it sounds like the fantasy is what you'rpining for.

"It should e the two of us."

No.

It never was going to be "the two of us".

The guy has children, & you knew it before you married him.

Lonely isn't the worst way to be.

A person who "makes me feel like I'm a failure and here is something wrong with me" is not partner/spouse material; in fact, he's dangerous, to your mental health, your emotional health, & your physical health & safety.

Once you've reached the point of staying in bed for 2 days to "avoid the world" (him), you know he isn't the one for you.

I'm so sorry.

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cacocobird

i know it's hard to give up, it takes two people to work on problems. You are trying to do it all yourself. it's time to walk away.

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frustratedsm

I think I'm so afraid of being alone and lonely. I have never really been on my own and it scares the heck out me. I'm really depressed worrying about what's the right thing to do. I'm tired of making mistakes, moving too fast with decisions (getting married, selling my house). Sometimes it's hard to know what the right path is.

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aidalyn

I know this is a late response, but I know exactly how goosie feels. I see myself feeling the same way 14 years ago when I first met my stepdaughter at 4 years old. My husband is PERFECT. His daughter was a handful and still is at 18. Fast forward 14 years, if I had to do it over again, I will never become a step parent- NEVER AGAIN!

I know I sound like the evil step mom, but trust me, being step parent is just that, they just "step" all over you. I have a son with my husband and he is my little love bug-my stepdaughter is so mean and bossy to him I can't stand it. I am counting down the days she moves out! I hope a soon-to-be stepmom reads this, it's not too late to change your mind! Step parenting SUCKS

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frustratedsm

Stepparenting is the hardest thing I've ever done in my 40+ years of living. Been teetering all year long with considering divorce.

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cacocobird

Maybe try a trial separation first, and see how that goes. Hopefully you will learn that there are lots of thing that are worse than being alone.

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frustratedsm

Has anyone ever tried a trial separation here? Just wondering how that's worked out for anyone. It is something I've considered, but seems obviously expensive. But I suppose divorce isn't cheap either.

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rabrahams_0

Hi Goosie. I see that this post was put up quite a white back and was wondering what did you end up deciding to do and where are you at in your life right now.

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frustratedsm

I think it's time for a divorce.

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Diamond Miller

I feel the same exact way a goodie 77. Step kid girls don't even try to give any effort they just want their dad all to themselves

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cacocobird

When I left my husband, it was supposed to a trial separation. After only a week I felt so much better that I knew I would never go back. Until I stood back a little, I hadn't realized how awful things had been. He begged, and we went for counseling for a while. It didn't work at all. I went from a five-bedroom house with a pool to sharing a one bedroom apartment with my daughter. And I was so happy. Don't waste your life being miserable -- in the long run, it's not worth it.

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carolinebradac

Oh my dear Goosie. You are not alone. I completely know what you mean, and feel exactly the same. The resentment doesn't go away. I remember having a similar conversation with my husband where I told him that I wanted to have kids with him, but it wasn't fair to ME to bring my dream of kids and a family into a chaotic situation.

Honestly, that was a turning point for me. Realizing that it really wasn't fair to me. I had to stick up for myself and create my own reality.

I agree with cacocobird. Even though your quality of lifestyle may decrease, stepping back, creating that space to breathe makes so much difference. In my situation, the mom ended up getting primary custody of my stepdaughter. Honestly, even though I care for my stepdaughter, it was one of the best things that could have happened. Suddenly there was so much clarity for me about what was going on and how my life had been rather hi-jacked by my husband's kids.

Step parenting is nobody's dream. I really don't recommend it to anyone.

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frustratedsm

I keep trying to make this work. We've had some big conversations. He's fine living two separate lives because his kids are his number 1 priority so he said he is fine with things. He also wants to move to the other side of town (less than 10 miles away) to be closer to where his kids live in an apartment with their mom. We've been through that before as she's moved out of state once and now back in state but is in her third location. Each time he's wanted to move but I said we can't chase her. Now he thinks this time she's gonna stay put so he doesn't want to drive so far (seriously less than 10 miles - we have neighbors that do school of choice and do a similar or longer drive). We just bought the house we are in two years ago because it was in a central location. Did I mention my brother in laws family just moved into our basement for two months. Sigh

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colleenoz

Oh dear, frustratedsm. It sounds like your DH is always going to bend over backwards to accommodate his family and previous family without giving a thought to you or your convenience or preferences. Personally I don't see why you're trying to make this work because I don't think you can unless you just roll over and say "Yes dear" to everything your DH wants.

So this time I'd say, "Yes dear, feel free to sell our home, you can take your half and move anywhere you please, and I'll do the same."

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Kim Aves

I agree. You don't want a 3-way marriage, do you? DH and his ex- are parents, but they are not a couple nor are they husband and wife. There is a difference. And, it is not a kids vs. SM deal at all. No more than it is a kids vs. BM deal. Those are two completely different relationships.

Unfortunately, it doesn't help that society in general tends to think DH and his ex- are still supposed to hang out together at events and act like a couple, even though DH and his ex- divorced years ago, and DH and SM may have been married for 15 years, for example. None of this helps anyone. What it does is creates confusion, and promotes feelings of animosity towards the step-parent that he/she is intruding and in the way of the one and only "real" family. I can't tell you, for instance, how many SMs are not permitted to be with or sit with their husbands at a SK's wedding, for example. This is incredibly asinine that a married couple cannot be together at a wedding!, yet society seems to think that this is okay. No wonder everyone goes around thinking that SMs are lesser human beings.

Nonetheless, head-in-the-sand DHs aren't going to start putting their foot down about "my wife is my wife is my wife, so I expect her to be treated by ALL as my wife" anytime soon. Since that is not going to happen, SMs need to start saying, NO, or, as colleenoz pointed out above, start saying Yes to moving on.

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frustratedsm

Well, I've officially said yes to moving on. We are separating and I'm in the process of buying my own house and selling our current one. We aren't divorcing at this point, but I don't really see it working out in two households with his attitude about thins and unwillingness to work things out so that will be the next step most likely, but in the meantime I feel really linerated and good about my path because it's my path and it doesn't involve all his chaos and drama. Thanks for of the advice.

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cacocobird

I think you are doing the right thing.

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colleenoz

I agree with cacocobird. I am glad you have found a path you are happy with.

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frustratedsm

Thanks, it took a long time to get here and it wasn't easy, but I feel like I'm making the right decision for myself. I appreciate this forum as a place to help me get there.

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maleficentcld

My boyfriend and I spent the past year getting to know each other, and his 6 year old son was rarely around. Now over the past month, his son has spent every single weekend with us. I don't understand why he's with us every weekend. He was never married to his ex so there are no designated times for him to be with his father. I feel bad for admitting this, but this whole scenario is getting on my nerves. He basically gets together with his ex and they decide where their son will be from week to week. I have no control or say over it. I go from a job Monday-Friday that is barely tolerable to having to play step mom all weekend. I don't live with my boyfriend. We are not engaged. I feel like he's asking a lot of me to spend every weekend with his son. Plus, it irritates me that his ex and him are the ones deciding what my weekends are going to consist of. For whatever reasons, my boyfriend has no door on his bedroom. I told him I am uncomfortable having sex when his son is spending the night because of this reason. He did not care. He acted as if I were crazy and way off base for expressing my discomfort with this. So I feel our sex life now suffers and my boyfriend doesn't seem to care. I am so tired of this relationship. I'm 44 years old. I don't want to deal with young step children and annoying ex's at this point in my life.

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colleenoz

As I said on your other post, time to move on. Why are you wasting time on a relationship you're not happy with and is unlikely to change? You don't even have the disincentive of having to physically move. Wish the BF well and tell him to lose your number.

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beentheredonehat

@Goosie77 I so relate to your situation. Not sure how it ended up for you, but I really feel stuck, not knowing what to do. Sigh...

My situation is quite alike and I can also relate to some other cases I've read on comments.

I also spent 7-8 months getting to know my partner before meeting his 2 kids. The kids love me and like me so much, they are affectional when I'm around and Thou I don't like kids and never wanted kids at all we get along quite easily. But I just hate and dislike having a conditionated life because of them. I feel so selfish. But My partner's ex is always changing her weekends with kids affecting us, and my boyfriend does not care about it as kids are his priority. Which I understand. When we are with them I don't know if this is the life I want for me. Actually I've always disliked the idea of 'married with kids' and here you see me... I love my boyfriend so much, cannot think of a better half but damn it! Those kids were just an extra I never ever wanted. Another issue is parenting and education, I cannot stand his parenting style as he seems to be all the time compensating kidz for divorce and they keep claiming attention by crying and constantly complaining that There are times where I really feel like screaming! However I treat them lovingly and with respect but sometimes I don't know if I do it just because of because I don't want to accept and recognize that I don't care about them and that they really get me tired and bother me with their whiny personality.

i just don't know what to do, we have discuss it so many times how I feel ( trying to express my feeling without hurting his) bu I don't know how else to approach the discussion with him.

My biggest fear is that I would never bond with these kids that like me, love me and accept me but that I cannot stand for two hours in a row.

Not sure if anybody will reply back, but I did need to share my feelings.

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cacocobird

Step parenting is very hard, and you may or may not bond with them.

You need to look at what kind of life you really want, now and for the future. It seems to me that this just isn't it. Maybe its time to get out of it.


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colleenoz

I agree with cacaobird. You already admit that life with children is not what you want and that the current arrangement (which will not change) of uncertainty as to time spent with the children (who your condire whiny and needy) makes you unhappy. This is not the relationship for you. Move on, or everyone will end up miserable.

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ssarah613

Wow, i forgot all about this and just stumbled on this thread. Geuss i can update, i moved the hell on and we have shared custody with a very amicable relationship.

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cateyesbrown

I think unless you have kids of your own it is hard to be a step-parent. I am dating someone who has a child and he has joint custody. He feels so bad about his divorce that he over compensates by giving his son everything he wants and buying him stuff all the time. We recently took a trip together for a week and realize afterwards, being a step-mom is not for me. I thought I loved kids but maybe I would feel differently if I had my own. I love my boyfriend but I am not sure if it is strong enough to handle the spoiled child and baby mama drama that is attached to it.

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tajgi33

Maybe you should look at things from the kids' perspective for once. They didn't ask you to come into their lives. You chose to. And since you chose to, then maybe you should have gotten to know the kids first before agreeing to marry their father. They didn't ask to be brought into this situation either and I'm quite sure they don't know how to deal with it at all. You agreed to marry this man and then decided I don't really like his kids and now want to complicate things further by adding another child into the mix. You're playing the role of a selfish brat yourself. I'm the victim of a stepmother like you. FYI Kids pick up on people who genuinely like them..of course you are projecting your hatred of the mom on them. And what exactly do you hate her for? Has she done anything to YOU personally? She's angry bc her ex moved on..so what? What does her getting back at him have to do with you? It affects his ability to provide for you correct? If you really cared about anyone else in this scenario you would seek family counseling to see how you could bring the family together not spew hateful rhetoric about the children or their mom.

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Kim Aves

"She's angry bc her ex moved on..so what? What does her getting back at him have to do with you?" Answer: Plenty. SM is married to this man, and some other woman has her talons out for him with a vengeance. Surely you recognize that if you are in a relationship with someone, any hatred, angst, manipulation, stalking, whatever, directed at that person is going to affect all in the household, including spouse (SM) and any children/ SKs?

Tafgi33, I'm not going to comment much further, because you have a right to your opinion and not everything you said is without merit. But that line is way out of line.

Also, yes, SM chose to marry DH knowing he had children from a previous relationship. However, that is pretty much it. There is very little info. out there for any SM to know what she may be getting into, and step relationships can vary widely. And, becoming a SM certainly doesn't mean you lie down and let your husband, BM and SKs walk all over you. SM is married to dad and her main role is as dad's wife. Perhaps the term dad's wife should be used instead of SM. It more accurately reflects the role.

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tajgi33

That question is what does that have to do with the kids. That also comes with the territory. No one goes into a new relationship with a divorced man with kids not knowing there will be a certain amount of hatred on the other female's part. That in and of itself is another type of stress thst you'd have to choose to deal with or not as well. I didn't say she should lie down and take anything. I said she should have taken time to get to know the kids before jumping into this. making a comment like I hate the little girl is ok? Then get out! How is that going to change without at least going to counseling to try and amend the problem. I'm not way out of line bc getting into this marriage was a choice she made. The ex wife took him for as much as she could...Who can't see that see that coming Bc it sounds like they weren't divorced before moving forward with their relationship. I could be wrong but this man was fresh out of a relationship it sounds like. When did the kids have a chance to adjust to the new situation? Did the ex wife have a chance as well? All the hatred directed at her is coming because the break up was still fresh. The onus was on her and him to make the decision to wait. Just speculating, but make no mistake I don't agree with allowing anyone (including kids) to interfere with a home especially when children are involved. My so what was because it has no bearing on how you should treat or feel about the kids. If you can't separate the two then again that's something that should've been discussed before marriage. And no dad's wife is not her main job. She stepped in automatically as dad's wife and stepmother. That's part of the problem. Too many SM think that their role is just to be the wife. How does that work when he's got kids he loves in the household? You didn't just marry a man you married all that comes with him and if you find you can't or don't want to deal with that then DON'T. When you became a wife and then had kids you became a mother in addition to a wife you don't just play the wife bc it's your main role bc the kids suffer.

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tajgi33

Also please understand that the issue is not just her. It's also the husband. He needs to set boundaries as well. He won't be able to make up for her jealousy of the little girl. That is something she'll have to seek counseling for. But st the same time he can set aside time for his kids and time for his wife. There is very little she can do about the ex wife taking him through a financial burden, all she can do is wait it out and support him. In the meantime find a way to let the kids know that you are not their enemy. Do what you can to understand how they may be feeling and go to a family counselor so that your feelings don't get in the way of how you treat them. No one said it would be easy but honestly if you feel like you hate his daughter (which research says is jealousy of the love he has for her) then you need to re-evaluate your feelings as well. Don't feel insecure bc he loves his daughter bc it doesn't mean he loves you any less. It's a different kind of love. She doesn't replace you in any way. He has the ability to love you both. The little girl may not understand that but you as an adult should.

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colleenoz

Sorry tajgi33, I can't agree with many of your statements.

Some women prefer to see themselves in the role of Dad's wife, because ex-wife makes everyone's life miserable if she tries to be a SM. We've had regular posters here (who were ex-wives) who did just that, and basically stated, new wife shouldn't dare try to play the role of SM.

Some ex-wives (many, from the sound of posters here) will give the new wife hell even if the new relationship stated years after the divorce. It has nothing to do with not coping due to the break up still being fresh and everything to do with "because I can".

And I would say from posts here that very, very few SMs dislike their SDs because of "jealousy of the love [Dad] has for her". IMO it's more a case of daughter being jealous of SM and/or being egged on by ex-wife to be uncooperative and snotty.

Yes, Dad should set boundaries, but too few do in the interests of not rocking the boat.

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Karen Peltier

tajigi, yep. You are oozing the stereotype that it is all SM's fault. Where are you even getting stmts. like this from, "No one goes into a new relationship with a divorced man with kids not knowing there will be a certain amount of hatred on the other female's part." What!? Was the breakup fresh? Who knows. I wouldn't make that assumption. She didn't even meet the kids for seven months, which most, including many professionals would say, is ideal. I'm always amazed at how everyone always THINKS they know better than a SM, even if they have never been a SM or don't have much experience as one.

I'm not sure what you are assuming here. Any hatred a mother has will more than likely be carried onto her children. She hates cheddar cheese, her kids hate cheddar cheese. She hates dad, the children hate dad. She hates SM, the children hate SM, and so on. You are correct, however, that dad should be the one setting boundaries. But as colleenoz said above, if dad is going to act like a pansy, then this more or less forces SM to be the bad guy.

Here is the real issue: The problem is when SMs are routinely expected to sacrifice, compromise, and make room in their lives (and even wallets) for someone else's children. For the most part, society expects them to just keep the home spotless, kiss everyone's butt and stay out of the way. Just put up and shut up. . . for years and years. Children that they had no role in creating or in developing have regular visits in their homes for EOW to full-time. SMs do not get an equal voice in their own home, because they are told over and over that these are kids who didn't ask for this. But, is it ever a good idea for a household to revolve around children's wants, needs and desires above all else? No.

Then, kids become older or adults, and no one expects even basic courtesy or consideration for dad's wife. No one suggests that these growing or now-grown children make peace, or develop better life skills and learn. Nope. They are justified with their anger or bitterness over SM "taking" their dad from them, even though SM and dad didn't get together for some time after the divorce. Why? Because the focus was on acting like the divorce never occurred vs. the focus being on accepting and moving on.

Counseling may help for SM, if anything for her to know what she is really looking at and for her to learn coping skills. But, if BM is carrying on like a deserted banshee months to years after the divorce, no amount of counseling will rid SM of this burden, because SM is not the one with the problem. SKs are not the problem, either. But, SKs will be far more damaged by a BM who continues to rehash and hate and refuses to move on, then they would ever be by an unhappy SM.

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tajgi33

First of all you're assuming I'm not. Who told you I wasn't a stepmother? & yes I did state that I was assuming and speculating that he was fresh out of an old relationship. No one said it was her fault!! I specifically stated that if you are entering into a new relationship of course there are things you must anticipate. To think otherwise is just naïveté. It's the reality of the situation.. just because you hate the mom DOES NOT mean your hatred translates to the kids and if it does then what's the point?? Please read carefully before making your own assumptions. I'm also a stepdaughter with a stepmother with all those issues. I've never disrespected her but bc of her jealousy of my mom and my relationship with my dad she despised and mistreated me. I can definitely speak from the heart and say you're doing the kid no favors by staying. Leave if you can't love them or attempt to fix your feelings before stepping in.

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tajgi33

Also counseling did not include the ex wife in my statement. I was speaking in terms of the stepmother and her nuclear family. I simply stated you should get to know the kids beforehand and the situation before committing to it. If you can't deal with the kids beforehand what makes you think getting married would make it any better? And guess what? Regular moms sacrifice EVERYDAY!! Single moms even more so. It comes with the territory. Kids take up a LOT time and money so I'm not sure what it is you think people expect from a stepmother that they don't expect from the original. Please don't talk about how difficult it is to be one as of its not different to be a mother as it is. The problem is many stepmothers deem it a burden when it's not their birth children. When was the last time you heard a mom resent the amount of money and time their kids impose on their dad? So because you didn't birth them they are not entitled to be spoiled by their dads? Really?? How would you feel if someone treated you that way when You were a kid?? Would you care what reason they gave you? Or would you accept the fact that she didn't like you because she doesn't like your mom? Then complains every time your dad spent money on you? Like really? Look at life through the kids eyes and try to understand how THEY are feeling bc at the end of the day No this relationship is not only about you and your happily ever after with your man. Again if you think so then don't bother.

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Kim Aves

I think you need to let this go tajgi33. It is clear you have little clue what you are talking about. You need to do your research. This stmt., "Get to know the kids beforehand and the situation before committing to it." It is not uncommon for all to be okay with everyone, no problems, and just like what happened with goosie above, as soon as some type of further commitment or engagement between dad and SM occurs, things very quickly change. You can get along with SKs and even BM just fine, and then seemingly out of the blue, poof!

And this comment, "I'm not sure what it is you think people expect from a stepmother that they don't expect from the original." Geesh. Pls. reread collenoz's comments above. Most people expect SMs to be family servants, without any love or appreciation or recognition in return. And, many BMs sure as H- don't want SM even remotely trying to act like a mom. Many SMs never receive any thanks, hugs, gifts, nor cards. Meanwhile, SM is expected is cook and clean and wipe bloody noises and so on. Mothers get love and unconditional love. Many times what SMs get in return is resentment, although this is not always the case.

Tajgi33, I'm sorry you had a bad relationship with your SM. And, there definitely are bad SMs out there. Just like there are bad aunts, uncles, dads and moms, there can be bad SMs too. Certainly. BUT, don't group us all together and stereotype us. And don't make assumptions about all SMs based on your one experience, and, I know this is hard, but your dad is not a victim in this, by any means. Unfortunately, he may even try to make it look like SM is the bad guy. But, dad is an adult and free to make whatever decisions he chooses.

Being a SM is a much more complicated case than pretty much anyone realizes, other than a SM. Mom and dad divorce, and issues are going to arise from that divorce. Then, SM or step-dad enters the picture, and they make way too convenient of a scapegoat--much easier to go after non-blood then the true instigators of the offense, so to speak. Way too easy to claim if something isn't going your way that jealous or evil SM is to blame, and in some cases, that may be true. But, in most cases, SM is getting thrown under the bus and put in a position where she can never win. SM acts like a mom, she is resented by BM and SKs. SM doesn't act like a mom, she is resented by DH and SKs. SM marries dad thinking he is her husband and expecting to be treated like his wife, and yet even years later she can't assume that she is going to be seated next to her husband at a wedding or permitted to be in any pictures. Ridiculous.

Divorce is clearly a hell for the kids. I get that. But mom and dad chose to divorce. That was their choice. SM married her husband thinking she was getting a husband and bonus children. And, that does happen sometimes. But, sometimes, manipulative, controlling BM and weak, enabling DH means step hell for all.

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tajgi33

Right no clue...I'm a child of a stepmother who felt this way and acted this way. You can't get any closer than that. So instead of shunning decent advice try it. I also work with kids in these situations so how about you stop questioning my knowledge and try listening to the other side. No one said anything was perfect but understand the kids don't change like that so that assumption is as asinine as any other argument...and yeah I have done my research...PLENTY of it because of the situation I was in and the need for answers as to why and how these situations occur. Please don't assume anything before asking. As for your comment about a wedding issue..that's not the same as what I was commenting on. I was speaking specifically to the young lady who said the daughter is a brat and she hated her. I said don't go into a marriage if you feel that way about the kids. That is all. The fact that anyone has a problem with that is exactly the problem.

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colleenoz

No, tajgi33, what you did was to extrapolate your own experience to make an "all stepmothers" statement. This is called "the assumption of mediocrity" where one assumes that what we experience personally must be the same for everyone. Clearly this cannot be the case, if you stop to think it through.

While many step relationships are unhappy, not all are. And they can change. When my mother remarried I was in my mid teens. I resented the hell out of my step Dad telling me what to do. Then I grew up. When I married, step Dad walked me down the aisle, at my request. After my mother died, I was the one who visited step Dad, helped him, got him into a nursing home when he needed it, ran his errands, organised his funeral and executed his will.

So, your experience is not necessarily going to be the norm for everyone.

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tajgi33

Please.. if you've read ANY of the posts in their entirety you'd have seen that THAT was the point from the start. And which is it you want research or not? I clearly stated that I have been a stepchild with a stepmother with that attitude. Again please read carefully before coming for me. I'm not perpetuating anything. Don't hate the child and marry the man. And DONT put words in my mouth. Every situation is different and maybe if you didn't see yourself in her situation then maybe you would understand what I'm saying. SHE is perpetuating the stereotype. I merely responded because I care about the KIDS. Don't make judgments because I've been in my children's shoes and can sympathize. Maybe you can't sympathize because you can only see things from your point of view.

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tajgi33

Btw I made some of those comments you made earlier..

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tajgi33

And as for me looking inward...please get a grip. You don't come into a child's life and then claim the child is the reason for your unhappiness. I don't have a problem sweetie. I didn't post that I hated the child I merely suggested you stop thinking about yourself and think about the kids. You want to defend something that's indefensible. Maybe you should do some research. I'm not suffering from anything at all except frustration that people can be mad bc someone is sticking up for kids who have no say in what their parents do and then have to suffer the consequences of living with someone who doesn't love them. You don't need to dish out any advice to me bc I wasn't looking for any. I help kids because it's my grace to do so. And in all this noise all you hear is blame the stepmother...I will blame anyone who comes into a kid's life willingly and disrupts their right to grow up happy because the new person doesn't like them.

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Kim Aves

I'm done, because I'm beginning to question your age and experience. No one is mad at your for sticking up for kids. They are mad at you because you posted really odd stuff like, "No one goes into a new relationship with a divorced man with kids not knowing there will be a certain amount of hatred on the other female's part," and "I'm the victim of a stepmother like you," and "You didn't birth them they are not entitled to be spoiled by their dads? Really?? Or would you accept the fact that she didn't like you because she doesn't like your mom? Then complains every time your dad spent money on you?," and more.

All of this sounds like someone who is grinding their own personal axe and is maybe confused.

By the way, BMs often have difficulty with their own children and may even claim to want to ship them off sometimes or go so far as to state that they hate this or that regarding the child. It doesn't make them Evil BMs and Goosie's stmts. above don't make her Evil SM, disrupting a kid's right to grow up happy..

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tajgi33

Right so you marry someone who has an ex and you don't expect there to be hate from the other woman? In this day and age?? Maybe you're not understanding my use of that word is used to describe jealousy, envy..and to any degree.. Nobody called her evil so again please stop putting words in my mouth. Here maybe this may help you since my response is too "childish" for you. https://www.familyeducation.com/life/blended-families/combined-family 

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Kim Aves

Please. Stop this! No, I don't expect there to be hate from his -ex. I agree there may be. But, I don't expect it. I expect everyone to behave like an adult and behave civilly. Why in the H- would I expect hate from this man's ex- when they divorced years ago? What I would expect is for her to have moved on by then, possibly even now being married herself.


OK, I click on that link and I get this: "This page doesn't exist," although it does say Sandbox Network, Inc. Sandbox Network is an SNS-based global community of young entrepreneurs. Hmm. . . . Would I be a be.atch for saying I rest my case.

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tajgi33

And FYI you're absolutely right. When she claimed she hated the little girl it certainly triggered something in me because I know the kind of life they are all headed for. I mean does it really sound like a healthy situation for all involved?? So yeah sometimes your life experiences can shape how you see things, but don't discount the fact that she said she hated the little girl and if I know what it's like to be brought up on that type of situation which is almost uncanny to my own personal situation, you better believe I'm going to encourage her to run the other way. And maybe I ought to question your maturity with comments like even some BM wish they could get rid of their kids...Really? And speaking of axes to grind..I have yet to call the BMa saint but you keep wanting grind that axe..I mean honestly it sounds like that touched a nerve with you. I'm sure the BM is no saint putting everyone through this bc of her resentment, and that's extremely common...even without a new woman in the picture. That's where you miss my point. What is NOT normal is putting yourself in a situation so toxic in addition to admitting not liking the kids.

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Ariel Anderson

At no point did goosie77 say she hated the little girl. Goosie77 said: I hate that their existence is ruining the life that I could have had otherwise. I hate that I have to think of them in planning my own future. I hate that I have to deal with their mother for the next 10 years or more until they're adults. I hate that I'm having these thoughts.


Colleenoz is right. You are projecting. Just like Goosie77 is wondering if she is projecting her hatred for their mother onto the kids.

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cacocobird

When my ex remarried, I got along very well with his new wife. My daughter did too. My emphasis was always putting my daughter first -- why create stress? We both moved on, and the divorce was a good decision.

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frustratedsm

Well, I've been in my own house now since August and we're still married. I'm still adjusting to living on my own for the most part. We talk everyday, but only spend a few nights together a week with a sleep over usually at least every Saturday night (with kids too if it is a kid week). I feel more at peace because there is way less chaos in my life, but I have had to adjust to feelings of loneliness at times. It's definitely an adjustment. I actually have more patience with the kids, etc and I think we're in a good place for us. It makes me sad there this is where our marriage is at, but I think there was no other option. I'm not sure if we stay married in the future. We still have struggles with the kids being the center on my husband's universe and me not feeling like a priority. The holidays stir things up for sure. I'm not sure where we go or what the future holds. I know my husband will not change and I have to decide if I want what he gives and offers me. That's my life at this point. It's less chaotic and calmer but an adjustment to living in my own and what path do I take long term.

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cacocobird

Good for you! More peace and being in a better place are both good. It does take time to adjust, but you've made good progress.

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frustratedsm

Thanks. 2017 hasn't been an easy year. I'm hoping 2018 holds more peace and clarity. As I said I'm still not sure where our marriage goes from here. My husband wants to stay married but I'm not sure it's all enough for me. Time will tell I guess. I did find the book "The Language of Letting Go" by Melody Beattie which I have found helpful. I still don't have all of the answers, but I do think I've made progress.

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annedodrill

I’ve been married to my wonderful husband for 30 years — a second marriage for both of us, 4 kids between us. We decided early on to surround ourselves with people who support our marriage and let go of the unhealthy relationships, because they are just that — unhealthy. And that includes one of our 4 children, who began our journey as an angry, resentful 18-Year-old and chose to remain as such to this day. The rest of our family is benefitting from the peace and joy that comes to those who choose to make the effort to ensure it all works.

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dbernal7537

Goosie I COMPLETELY 100% understand what you are feeling! I have been a step mom for 3 years now. I NEVER wanted kids of my own. I also have Adult ADD. I have become so overwhelmed mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually that I am at a breaking point.

Yes, I knew my partner had 2 kids 12 and 15 at the time (now 15 and 19). Yes, it was my choice to continue on. Yes, I take full responsibility for my choice to continue. My problem comes in with the fact I work with kids and LOVE doing it, but living with kids, especially these 2 lazy, disrespectful, ungrateful things...oh that is a whole other ball game.

Never in my life have I seen 2 as bad as this. Mind you they are pretty good kids in the sense that they are not out running around at all hours causing trouble or getting involved with police, doing drugs or any of that. Well at least the 15 year old son isn't and him and I for the most part get along well. But the 19 year old girl, we are like oil and water. They have no discipline. So as a step parent I wasn't going to let them talk to me or my partner any old way, lay around and do nothing but leave a mess for me to clean, or anything like that. I had to lay down the law, which I NEVER wantes to do and shouldn't have been left to do that, EVER! I am not going to allow a child to be a product of this house with those attributes. They are going to be respectful, helpful, and do something in life.

It's been 3 years now and my ADD symptoms are so bad that I have had to seperate rooms from my partner cause even breathing during sleep wakes me and I am up all night to go work the next day. I am also on the verge of leaving.

The 19 year old daughter left for 1 semester of college after graduating H.S. with a 1.860 gpa, starting on academic probation, finishing semester with a 2.0 gpa. Now she is back for the summer just in time for the bad energy to leave the house and just when I was starting to get regulated. What she has brought back is all this horrible negativity, more laziness, and disrespect. I'm about to lose my relationship because my partner doesn't see it or want to admit it and allows her to do whatever. She will always be around and well I refuse to live in such a horrible negative space. So I think my decision to leave to get my PhD was just made up.

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frustratedsm

Thought it was time for an update. It’s been about a year now since my spouse and I sold our house and moved into two separate houses on opposite sides of town. He moved to be close to kid activities and to try and manage his ex. We’re still married (barely) and have been trying to figure out our new routine. His ex said she wanted to keep the kids in same schools but move to next town over (again less than 10 miles away) because it was cheaper. Long story short, my husband decided to buy a house that is essentially a triplex and have him live on one side, ex in the other and kids in the middle. This is some crazy shit (excuse the language). His family all think it’s crazy but no one will say anything, I have spoken up about it and he is proceeding. I know this man loves me, but he just really can’t see past this crazy situation. This is so unhealthy for all parties involved. He thinks he is doing the right thing because they stay in the same schools (ex has had them moving around and changing schools every couple of year) and that he will be on site all the time with crazy ex. I feel confident that this will not end well. Neither parent can say no to these kids and now they are all back together stewing in the same pot. Seems the ex wife has won and we have come full circle with them essentially back together. I just don’t see the point with this and I’m so sad about that.

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colleenoz

Oh dear, I'm so sorry. It sounds like it's time to cut this guy loose. He may love you but sometimes love isn't enough when the person who loves is so dysfunctional.

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Karen Peltier

Sorry to hear! The reality is no mom or dad has any right to be marrying someone else if they are still THAT involved/ enmeshed with their ex-. It just is not right nor fair to ANYONE. It shows you the way some try to manipulate their divorce into having their cake and eating it too. I'm not saying most divorced parents are this way, because they are not. But, yes, some are.

Yes, his child is his child, but I’m sure like every other woman, you married your DH assuming that you would be his wife, his only wife, and his #1 wife. You need to be his #1 wife. There is no polygamy in the US; no sister wives. There is just serial monogamy, and whomever is wife at the current time, is wife. His ex- is his ex. Unless you believe in polygamy, every wife in the US is #1 wife.

But since you are now living away from him, you have time to selfcare and set your priorities how you see fit. The time spent alone will help focus you in the direction you want to take your life. The will allow you to draw on your own natural proactive boundaries instead of continually reacting to negative stimuli. Take care of you first.

I’m sure being gaslighted for months and years in this relationship has taken its toll. Google or bing the term Chronic PTSD. Here is a link below. This may explain much of what you are feeling, or at least some of it. Try to see your situation for what it really is and see a counselor for yourself so you can healthily make whatever decisions you need to make and take care of YOU. Link: https://www.beautyafterbruises.org/what-is-cptsd/

Any wife wants to and deserves to be on equal footing with her DH, and not just some family's be.atch.

BTW, DH is not choosing to put his child first in this situation, but rather he is choosing to put himself first; as in, he would rather do what he alone sees as easiest. No child benefits from a ½-a$$ divorce or bird-nest parenting or whatever you want to call it. All that does is cause confusion for all, and it allows the parents to screw others (literally and figurately) while they get to play pretend, as in they get to pretend to still be married “for the children’s sake.” What it really is is wanting to have your cake and eat it too. Meanwhile, everyone else is expected to settle for scraps.

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Roberta Burple

Sounds awkward for you. ((((((((((((hugs))))))))))))) Now you have to decide what you will and will not tolerate!

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frustratedsm

Thanks all. This is a place I never thought I would be, but none of this ever was. I agree this is all about him getting what he wants. I don’t even think he views it that way. He thinks he’s providing “stability” for his kids because his ex was considering moving to the next town over (she moves a lot), but really it’s all just crazy. Right now I am just taking care of me and still adjusting to this new life in my own house. But I don’t see how this works out in this scenario. This is reality TV level stuff. And I don’t need all this. It’s already been so much.

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frustratedsm

And I do see a therapist although I might need a different one to help me move the rest of this forward in what I need to do in my life. I’ve been working a lot this past year in dealing with codependency and such which has been good for me. I’ve been scared to be on my own, but I’m learning how to tackle that so yes, I’m trying to practice self care and take care of me (that’s what got me to buy my own house) and now I’m getting myself ready for the next difficult step. I agree that sometimes love isn’t enough. I’ve been struggling with that one, but he is so dysfunctional and he won’t see a therapist. But I can’t control that, I can only control me and my actions.

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frustratedsm

I’ve been really doing a lot of thinking. I think I’m going to file for divorce. I just can’t keep doing this. I’m so sad and depressed. So scary starting over. I know I’ll survive this but sometimes it doesn’t feel like it. But love isn’t enough. I am settling for scraps here and I want more than that. Maybe I’ll be alone for the rest of my life and that makes me feel so lonely but I don’t think there is any other option.

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colleenoz

Good for you! Don’t be afraid of being “alone”, there’s a big difference between being “alone” and being “lonely”. Live your life as _you_ want to, go out where and when you want, do whatever _you_ want to do , eat what and when you want to...the possibilities are endless! Don’t think of this as a scary step down, think of it as opening the door to freedom and better things. Attitude is the key.

And further down the track, if you meet someone else you fancy, be very picky - you deserve someone who has your best interests at heart. No man is better than a bad man, so be selective :-)

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Kim Aves

Amen to that: "No man is better than a bad man." You are better off by yourself than with the wrong person. He is the wrong person for you because he cannot divorce himself from his ex-. On paper, he may be divorced, but via his actions, he is not. No woman or man should ever be put in the position where they are expected to settle for scraps and give up their soul and happiness for someone else's paper divorce. Marriage was and is meant to be a 2-way and not a 3-way.

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frustratedsm

I think the thing about divorce and all of this is that I really don’t think I will be able to trust anyone again. I mean I just won’t believe them when they say they love me, etc. I know I’m better off alone than allowing someone to not treat me right and that’s fine I’m adjusting to that way of life as I’ve been living alone the last year, but I still would like to share my life with someone. I know there are good people out there. I think I’ll be very gun shy for a long time after this. I’m working on fixing me, getting myself in a good place where I’m not codependent and feel like I need to be with someone. Does anyone have any tips to share on what helped them out? I would appreciate it.

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Olivia

Hi,

I am new to this forum but reading everyone's comments made me feel so much better about the way I feel. I have been with my fiance for 11 years since his son was 2 years old. His ex is a psychopath, she has tried to kill herself multiple times in front of the child and suffers from bipolar and depression. We have been to court multiple times and everytime her family swoops in to protect her and the child says he wants to stay with his mom. We just got finished wasting $6k on an attorney for family court because she broke up with her boyfriend, went out drinking and got a dwi and then told the cops she was going to kill herself so she spent the weekend handcuffed to a hospital bed. She has manipulated her son into thinking that everything is his father's fault. He is now 13 years old and just called up my fiance to tell him he doesnt want to talk to him or see him anymore, and my fiance is beside himself. We have done so much, he is such a wonderful father, he never says a bad word about his ex to his child and has done everything to try to make up for the stress his mother puts him through and this is how he is repaid. I have spent the past 11 years giving up my weekends to have his son here, we sold our house last year to buy a house in his school district because she couldn't find am apartment I'm the district. We have gone above and beyond, I just can't take anymore. Now I have to see all of the pain my fiance is going through and there is nothing I can do. I feel helpless and deep down in side I'm happy to get a break. I just feel like I have never had a life with my fiance that didn't involve his son and his ex and now I could possibly have a chance but he is so broken over his son. I feel horrible saying this but I dont care if he doesnt come over anymore on the weekends the only reason I care is because it hurts my fiance so badly. I also fear how it will be when his son decides to come back around because I am angry for what he has done to his father and have a lot of resentment. Sometimes I feel like just giving up.

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Karen Peltier

Olivia, it may be better if you start a new post or thread with your question. It can so easily get buried here. But, there are a couple of things I'd advise you: First of all, take care of yourself. It is far too easy with all of the bickering that goes on, and can go on for years, with a divorce involving children, for a SM to either be completely forgotten about or to drop to the bottom of everyones' lists, and this includes your own SO or husband.

Secondly, remember as an SO, your main role is to support your SO. That's it. You don't have to get involved in all of the grisly battles and details and court actions of a nasty divorce or custody battle. That is not your responsibility, and it is especially not your responsibility financially. That is your SO's. You cannot change bio-mom. No one can. And it is a given that a mom who has given birth can be a drug-addicted ho, literally, and she will still be thought of as a loving and fair mother, especially by the court system. Don't ask me why. It doesn't make much sense if the child's welfare is supposed to be the #1 concern. And, that needs to change, but for now it is just the way it is. Meanwhile, dad, and especially SM, can be doing everything they can for that child, and they can still be thought of as co-conspirators who are trying to separate a kind, loving mom! and her little one. How dare they!?

So, since you have probably spent close to 11 years falling to the bottom of just about alls priority lists, I'd suggest you focus on you and possibly redirecting your focus or life. See a counselor, alone, and try to come to some conclusions about whether or not you want to stay in this relationship. I'm not saying leave your fiancé or to not support him. If you chose, you can still do that while you try to find out things for yourself on your own. Just take care that you don't lose yourself in all of this. It is time to learn to let the chips fall where they may in reference to battles that are not yours to fight.

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alammy

Goodie,

If I could do it all over again, I would never want to have a blended family. There are way too many problems that arise, Jealousy, resentment, anger, Its just not worth it. Things never get better they just get worse. I would get out of the marriage If I were you, you will be much happier in the long run. Good luck!!

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carolinebradac

How are you doing, frustratedsm? I went through something very similar and just wanted to check on you!!! I wasn't willing to settle for scraps EITHER!!! :-) Let us know.

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HU-855770941

I am going through very similar. Was very involved with the Kids ,tried so hard was there with them and for them constantly with no appreciation. Bio mom fed them with hatred for years starting when they were so very little :( and it worked. They want to love me I can tell they struggle sometimes there's no reason not to I do everything with and for them however being fed hatred works over time and now no appreciation, no respect ( have been taught they dont have to ) from very spoiled rotten kids and hubby as well so I have decided to disengage and will try this. Completely. It's not my responsibility and I will be involved where I am wanted and needed and that's it period. If I still cant do it I will be leaving it's a horrible life I did expect hard times but really was nieve to believe we would work together through it

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C H

Omg do you leave near Chicago lol let's have coffee... I seriously know what your going through 100%. I FEEL alone alot 10 years in and I feel my self thinking I'm ready to call it quits. So Difference here is have 2 step kids who have always lived with us mom is a crazy person who has 2 or more other kids all with different fathers.... not to mention dont pay anything.... anyway.. but we have a child together also. So I stay mainly for her. The step kids have always called me mom. Till she got involved when it was convient. Since then the 2 have been horrible with school, cleanliness, behavior.. so frustrating. I unfourtunetly have not come to terms yet but dont know how much longer I can put my life on hold doing someone elses job. To summarize when I met my husband I was working 2 jobs and in the middle of nursing school well 6 months in figured was more cost effective for me to stay home with kids while he worked and so that's what I did did not relize it would be my future for the next 10 years......

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HU-677566708

I am with all of you. Same situation for me. Most of our fights are because of the ex and his inability to deal with her or the situation. Saying I hate the ex is an understatement as everything started with her alienating my bf. She even went as far as to get protection orders against us for no reason. She is married with a new kid and still calls my bf every 2 to 3 months wanting him back. I am starting to resent him and his daughter. Am struggling to deal and get over it. Please help....

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colleenoz

Hon, you really only have two choices, stay or go.

If you stay, things will either stay the same (possibly even get worse) if you do nothing, or they will improve- but since the impetus for improvement is unlikely in the extreme to come from either your BF or his ex, you are going to need to get up on your hind legs and insist: Either we get counselling and fix this, or I walk. And don't back down.

Or, which ultimately is easier, you move on to a happier life.

You need to sit down and have a good think- what is the likelihood that this situation will improve? Am I willing to put in the work that will be needed? Is this guy really worth that? Is _he_ willing to change? -Because if he isn't, all bets are off and you may as well call it quits now.

No one ever said, Wow, I'm so glad I stayed in that miserable relationship for so many years that I could instead have been on my own and stress free, and possibly even found a happy relationship. So don't hang around waiting for things to get better on their own, either get working on making them better or give it up as a bad joke and get on with living.


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