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Step children are ruining my life.

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 

I have been married to my husband for 5 years. I have three children, and he has three children. All young adults, the problem is  I'm so jealous of the girls and daughter in law. I see my husband always handing out money to them to take trips, buys them a new cars,etc... I work and help support two out of the three of my children, with no help from there Father at all. My husband will and has helped me out when I was in a bine. But, I can't help feel jealous. I have moved out and have my boys with me. I still have a relationship with my Husband, but it's hard. I don't spend alot of time with him now, and it seems when I try to he's children always needs something and their I go to the back of the line. I'm soooo hurt. My Husband feel's like I'm trying to keep him away from his children, and I feel I need to be more important in my Husband's life.

HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

post #2 of 36

I'm sorry you're feeling left out.  hug2.gif  It is hard, given the little information in your post, to imagine that putting his children first is a bad thing.

 

Do you and your husband have separate finances?  That seems odd to me.  My mother and step-father have been together for just over 30 years now, and when they first moved in together, they each had one ten year old girl (she and I are like 4 mos apart in age).  Whenever either of us kids has needed help financially, it just comes out of their joint money.  I'm sure they talk about it and make decisions about stuff like that together, but my guess is that if either of them really wants to help their own kid out, the other is not going to say no.  From 10 to 15, I lived at home and they obviously "supported" me financially.  She as living with her mother in another state then, so she didn't cost them anything.  But the money that took care of my needs was their joint money and there was no "your kid's getting more than my kid from anybody."  Now my step-sister is living at home for a couple of years while she's working on a degree.  I know that my parents are feeling a bit of a crunch taking care of her, and my step-father hasn't worked for years.  My mother is working and supporting them all.  But as far as I know, there's no friction about that.  They each want to do what they can for their kids and nobody is going to start yelling that it's unfair.  They are in it together.  

 

Is he giving his daughters extravagant gifts while you're struggling?  

post #3 of 36
Thread Starter 

Our finances are very much seperate. I pay my bills and (kids stuff) and he pays his. We never combined our money ever. He's youngest is 22 (girl) mine is 17 (boy). I hate being around both his girls, because it usually consist of all what they need from him. I sitting there thinking "Hello what about the things I want." I have a good paying job and don't need his money to pay anything for me, but the option would be nice. I'll call myself middle age, but sooner or later I want someone to take care of me. We did sign a pre-n. We've been seperate since the I DO. Now I'm leaving seperate from him, for that fact that when the decided to come visit, which includes at least 2 to 3 times a week I can leave. Last night was bad, we fought on the phone for hours. I was planning on a quite evening at his house alone, when I got a call from him (on my way home from work 2 hour drive there and back) that his daughter in law was coming to town with his two year old grandchild. He ask me to go and meet them at a restraunt for dinner. I BLEW. I feel that whatever our plans are, he will always stop what he is doing and run to them.

 

So sick of this

post #4 of 36

Wow, I am so sorry to hear that! I would definetly recommend a marriage counselor! Because, honestly it doesn't sound as if you two are equals. And, it also sounds like he doesn't understand that his other behalf such as yourself should be number one  create a happy loving bond. Have you thought about this???

 

I think if he provided you with the love and attention you needed you wouldn't feel so jealous... But, it also sounds to me like he is an enabler instead of showing his own children how to properly take care of themselves...

post #5 of 36
Thread Starter 

I want to be heard!!!!!!!!!!!! I want to stand on the highest mountain and scream I AM YOUR WIFE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love my kids with all my heart, and would and do, do everything for them. But I know when enough is enough. It's hard for me to say NO to my kids, buts its way harder for him when it comes to his. I really feel the need to vent today, and thanks to all that is listening (reading). I really know its time for me to move on, it's just hard because we still love each other very much. But we have been having the same issues since day one, and it seems like it only got worst. We tried the counslor deal but it never work for us.

post #6 of 36

It doesn't sound, from what you posted, like you have much of a marriage going on. How long have you been married?

 

Living separately, separate finances and a disregard for each others needs or feelings would be stressful to any marriage.

 

Was separate finances part of the pre-n? What were your expectations in this area when you got married? Is he more wealthy than you?

 

His kids aren't the problem. Your relationship is the problem. If he chooses to help them but neglects you that isn't right. I'm sure you wouldn't want him to cut his kids off, just that you want to be valued and cared for too, right? hug.gif

 

 

post #7 of 36
Thread Starter 

My husband and I have been married for 5 years. My husband has a great paying job with other income as well. We get alone very well, as long as his kids stay away. This is pretty much how our life was when we were still living together, and what really gets my goat: If I cook Sunday lunch my children will be there timely to eat. His will roll in around 5 or 6 in the evening, and his son and daughter in law with their baby will show up around 8 at night. They eat and usually stay until midnight or even later. I have to get up super early in the morning to usually drive 2 hours to work, work and 2 hours home. I'm an early bird and like to be in bed by 9 and sleeping by 10. My husband stays up late, so it doesnt bother him that they are there, and he doesnt understand why it bothers me. If they ask us to babysit, they usually show up 3 to 4 hours later than expected to pick him up. and yes, my husband is okay with this. these are 27 and 29 year olds. not children.

 

post #8 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Funny Face View Post

His kids aren't the problem. Your relationship is the problem.
This is dead on. I'd suggest you stop focusing on what his kids are doing and start focusing on your relationship. It's not about the kids at all. It's about him being your partner.

For example, if you have to go to bed early because you need to be up early for work, it is disrespectful for him to have ANYONE over until past your bedtime. You see, it's him who is choosing to let guests stay late, it's not just about the guests. Of course his kids are going to act like that--he's not standing up for you and making them act any different. Because he's not showing you respect, they aren't either. But that is partly a reflection of him.

If they come asking for money or gifts and he can afford them, that's fine. If he's not doing anything nice for you and that's something you'd like, too, then that is a separate issue. Can you talk to him about your needs to have your bedtime respected and to have him give you gifts, too?

A marriage counselor would really be able to help you two talk this stuff through, if it didn't work before then you need to try a different one. And you need to be willing to have an open mind. Right now I get that you're angry, but you seem to be aiming it at the kids more than at its true source: your marriage.
post #9 of 36
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice, and it is being taken into consideration. I read everything to my husband tonight, and truly think he realizes how I feel. Something it takes a total stranger and by stander to help out, and think that is what has happen tonight. ....... Guess we will see. Just know I deserive better in life, and if this dosent help I have to move on.

post #10 of 36

Yeah, I just have to sort of echo what everyone else has already said...the problem here isn't your husbands kids, it's your marriage. To be honest...the situation you've described doesn't make any sense to me and isn't a way I would ever live. I'm not even talking about the ways in which his children get on your nerves...that sounds like cultural and lifestyle differences to me. Staying up late, being late a lot and stuff....some people live like that. *I* don't...but some people do and if that has always worked for the dad, you can't very well blame the kids for behavior they probably learned from him!

 

You signed a pre-nup....your finances are completely separate...you work to pay your bills and he works to pay his...I don't know. That's just ooky to me....it all seems really splintered and like the point of things is for you to be two separate units, working in the same space, instead of one unit made up of two people, living in a love space of mutual commitment and support.

 

But I understand that you are in a different phase of life, have both been through divorce, etc....I get that there is a lot of water under the bridge and that your life experience might change the way a marriage is set up...but I can't imagine having a marriage where the finances are completely separate like that.

 

I'm getting a really "separate" vibe...like you are two people, living two lives that crash into each other sometimes. I hope you can fix this and start getting what you need from this marriage. What you described doesn't seem very sustaining.

post #11 of 36
Thread Starter 

I just don't understand this Step-Family thing. I guess I was okay with it in the beginning, just because I thought that how it all worked. Meaning the finance thing. I knew going into this we live in a community property state, and everything we had going into the marriage was separate. So signing the pre-n wasn' t a big deal. But over the years it's become heart ache. The house that we live in (him only now) is his, not mine. It was his parents home, so as comfortable as he and his children feels in it I hate it. I keep telling him lets get our own home, where we can make our own memories in. That house is mermories of his first wife and family, not mine. He thinks about, but it hasen't happen yet. Please someone tell me is this how most step-familes live?????????? I don't like the fact of putting our money together, because I see all what he pays for his daughter. HOUSE NOTE, CAR NOTE, CAR INSURANCE, UTLITY BILLS, COLLEDGE, GAS, FOOD, CLOTHES, AND LOTS OF EXTRA'S. But for sure we would keep that part seprate.I have a wonderful Sister and Brother in law that keeps telling me this is wrong. My Brother in law tells me I should quit my job and let him take care of u like he dose his daughter. That he should be paying all my bills. But I don't know why I feel that wouldn't be right.

post #12 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by amicrazy View Post

I just don't understand this Step-Family thing. I guess I was okay with it in the beginning, just because I thought that how it all worked. Meaning the finance thing. I knew going into this we live in a community property state, and everything we had going into the marriage was separate. So signing the pre-n wasn' t a big deal. But over the years it's become heart ache. The house that we live in (him only now) is his, not mine. It was his parents home, so as comfortable as he and his children feels in it I hate it. I keep telling him lets get our own home, where we can make our own memories in. That house is mermories of his first wife and family, not mine. He thinks about, but it hasen't happen yet. Please someone tell me is this how most step-familes live?????????? I don't like the fact of putting our money together, because I see all what he pays for his daughter. HOUSE NOTE, CAR NOTE, CAR INSURANCE, UTLITY BILLS, COLLEDGE, GAS, FOOD, CLOTHES, AND LOTS OF EXTRA'S. But for sure we would keep that part seprate.I have a wonderful Sister and Brother in law that keeps telling me this is wrong. My Brother in law tells me I should quit my job and let him take care of u like he dose his daughter. That he should be paying all my bills. But I don't know why I feel that wouldn't be right.


You're correct, it wouldn't be right....it would be stupid. Please, forgive my usage of the word "stupid"...I really don't like using that word...but it's the only one I can think of that really fits how truly silly that idea would be.

 

In my mind, the only reason I know this situation is going to turn out okay for you, is BECAUSE you have a job and are/can continue to paying your own way. Look, your marriage is not in a good place. This doesn't sound normal for me....it may very well be perfectly okay for someone else...but the point isn't whether or not some people live this way perfectly comfortable, whether or not it's "normal" - the point is, it's not working for YOU.

 

There needs to be a shift here. He's going to have to give in and let go of some things...and I have a feeling you are going to have to let go of a lot, too. But somehow, you're going to have to decide WHAT it is you need, CLEARLY communicate that to him and create a PLAN for actually implementing change in your life. If you can do that and he can meet you in a place of respect and true commitment to your relationship and you can do the same.

 

If he can't do that...or you can't...and this is going to continue to be a relationship that drains you and breaks your heart. Well. Then thank goodness you've got a job and can pay your own way. See what I'm saying?

 

If you were to quit your job and "let him take care of you"....you wouldn't be raising yourself to the status of a wife, which is what you seem desperate (and rightfully so!) to do. You'd be demoting yourself to "needy daughter who needs daddy to give her gas money and crap" status. Yeah...not cute, not what you're looking for. Works for some ladies, they are true equals and lovingly respected partners in the marriage and they are at home, with no income and their husband pays for everything while they run the household. It's a tough job...I know, because that's my set up. I control the finances, run the affairs of the house and take care of the children and everything..and my husband works his butt off. But with you guys being where you are, with the jealousy you feel toward the kids, etc....that is not something that would work (possibly ever?) in your marriage and CERTAINLY isn't the next step from here. You know? The step after "separate and get a new apartment alone because I don't know if this is going to work out for me" is not "move back in and quit my job".

 

I bet you could make this work...if the both of you can be completely honest with yourselves, with each other and if you can stick to a plan and respect each others needs. You've got a real shot.

 

post #13 of 36
Thread Starter 

I truly feel if I would quite my job, I don't know if I would trust him to "take care of me". I know I wouldn't quit anyway I love my job. I don't understand why I put up with this, guess it's the way he sweet talks. He truly promises me he's gunna: Sign over half the house to me, or I'm going to start looking for a new house for us. So far it's all been talk. He's claim is he wants to retire in the next 5 to 7 years and travel. He don't want a note. So then I say you bought your daughter a house and have a note. He's says that because I was tired of paying rent and its an investment. HAHA not for my future maybe for his kids. I am well capable of supporting my self and don't need his money. Christmas is coming, I'll buy my kids present, he'll buy his kids. I'll have Christmas at my house. and he with his. IT GOING TO BE A TOUGH CHRISTMAS, BUT READY TO MAKE THE CHANGE FOR THE NEW YEAR

post #14 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by amicrazy View Post

I truly feel if I would quite my job, I don't know if I would trust him to "take care of me". I know I wouldn't quit anyway I love my job. I don't understand why I put up with this, guess it's the way he sweet talks. He truly promises me he's gunna: Sign over half the house to me, or I'm going to start looking for a new house for us. So far it's all been talk. He's claim is he wants to retire in the next 5 to 7 years and travel. He don't want a note. So then I say you bought your daughter a house and have a note. He's says that because I was tired of paying rent and its an investment. HAHA not for my future maybe for his kids. I am well capable of supporting my self and don't need his money. Christmas is coming, I'll buy my kids present, he'll buy his kids. I'll have Christmas at my house. and he with his. IT GOING TO BE A TOUGH CHRISTMAS, BUT READY TO MAKE THE CHANGE FOR THE NEW YEAR



Well it sounds like you are truly trying to get to the bottom of this and that's good. Looking at this with honest eyes is important. You need to examine the ways in which jealousy have grown to deep resentment and the ways in which that resentment have warped your view of this relationship. Try really hard to look at this from all angles and be fair about your behavior and his and then come up with a list....not of things that you see as being wrong...but of needs you want to have met, things you want to be true of this relationship.

 

I have a hard time with being mad with you about his buying things for his kids...even a house! I mean, YIKES, obviously....but you guys went into this with a firm understanding from a financial aspect. Everything was to be separate. You are to do with your money what you please. He is to do with his money what he pleases. It's kind of hard to push him to stop doing that when you so clearly hammered things out that way from the very beginning, you know? You could ask him to shift certain things, but if the guy enjoys giving money to his kids (which he seems to, he seems to like or at least not mind taking care of them) the you're going to be hard pressed I think, to get him to change that habit. Would it help if he spent more lavishly on gifts, etc for you? Or is it about watching him throw money at his children and never seeing it back...like you'd rather see him saving it for retirement, etc?

 

Do you want to build a financial future, like retirement and the like, with this man? Is that what you mean when you talk about an investment in a house is not really an investment for you? You need to really decide, in a kind of serious way here, what you really want....because what you said you wanted, this super separate lifestyle, is not doing it for you and I think you have a shot (if he really loves and TRULY wants to be with you and see you happy and if your needs are reasonable) of getting him to agree to some lifestyle changes...but I don't think you'll ever get another shot at it, you know? You kind of want to change some of the most basic things about your relationship, things you agreed upon going in....a relationship is always shifting and flexing as needs shift and flex, but be careful about agreeing to things and then wanting completely different things a few years down the line. That works for smaller things and even medium things in a relationship...but when you're talking about the BASICS, the underlying principles and the whole lifestyle...well, you just want to make sure that you're not getting yourself in a situation where you agree to something that really suits HIM and isn't "YOU" at all....you know? It kinds of seems like that's what has happened.

 

It would be like if you married a professional wind surfer and you were like "YEAH windsurfing WOOHOOO!!" and then five years later you were like "dude, you're always at the beach and it makes me feel lonely. I need you to spend more time with me and make me feel like I'm AS important as windsurfing"  - asking to be made a priority, telling your partner you're lonely...these are super valid things, they need to be addressed, he needs to make you feel as important as windsurfing....but past a certain point, you have to recognize that you entered into the relationship with a clear understanding of what "the deal" was...and you need to respect that he has made lifestyle choices that you said were alright with you, you know??

 

I hope you are able to push through this with him. I can tell that you're unhappy...I can tell that what you want is a close family, to live in a place that is your home, together....to share your lives more and feel connected. It makes me sad that you are struggling...having someone you love, who loves you back, and being lonely and feeling misunderstood and unheard at the same time is so damned frustrating honey. :(

 

Just be so clear in your mind, be so honest with yourself about your disappointments and needs.....and communicate in a positive way about what you need and where you want to go from here. Dissolve all the things that have happened in the past, let go of resentment and paint a positive picture of what a bright future looks like. This is not a time to give examples of negatives...forget about the things that you don't like and try to focus on what you WOULD like to see in your relationship. It sounds like he wants to hear it and I hope that means he is going to be serious about trying to meet you in the middle and start being more serious about this relationship sustaining the two of you TOGETHER.

 

post #15 of 36

Honestly? Your stepchildren are NOT ruining your life. Your jealousy of your husband's relationship with them is. You will never get him to turn his back on them for you - anymore than he could get you to do that with your kids. So the two of you need to find a reasonable compromise, as suggested by several posters here.

post #16 of 36

My FIL's new wife felt the same way. She wanted my SIL out and finally at 25 she moved out. I think she felt that since all their kids were grown it was time to live as adults and enjoy life together which was hard to do with her step daughter always around. At 25 she should have been paying her own bills and taking care of herself but FIL felt so much guilt about time lost when he was in the Navy that I really think he had a hard time with it. I can see how it could be a little overwhelming. Taking care of Kids is one thing, taking care of an adult is another. They did pull their money together and that could have been the biggest issue. Good luck sorting this through. I think you need to go home and assert some alone time. He is your husband and her father. You wouldn't have gotten married if neither of you didn't expect some sort of real relationship that didn't always include adult children.

post #17 of 36
Thread Starter 

It just seems like we can never just be alone, without his phone going off all the time. I'm sorry we are both getting up in age and just want to spend alone time with him. Is that selfish? I love my children with all my heart, but I've given,helped,encouraged,love you name it I did for my children. Now I want to start living for me, enjoying my life with my husband. Just this weekend my husband and I went to his Christmas party. On the way his daughter calls (to ask for something), get to the party daughter in law text to see if he could babysit the next day. It made me sooo mad, we just can't do anything with out someone needing him for something. Sat. night I slept at his house, was planning on spending the day with him. He wakes up and starts to cook lunch, then says I sure hope my kids can come eat. I said really you just can't spend any alone time with me, then I left. He calls when I got home, and after explaining to him why I got mad then he got it. But to me it should come natural, for him to think...... great me and my wife can snuggle all day by ourselves. But nooooooo

post #18 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by amicrazy View Post

It just seems like we can never just be alone, without his phone going off all the time. I'm sorry we are both getting up in age and just want to spend alone time with him. Is that selfish? I love my children with all my heart, but I've given,helped,encouraged,love you name it I did for my children. Now I want to start living for me, enjoying my life with my husband. Just this weekend my husband and I went to his Christmas party. On the way his daughter calls (to ask for something), get to the party daughter in law text to see if he could babysit the next day. It made me sooo mad, we just can't do anything with out someone needing him for something. Sat. night I slept at his house, was planning on spending the day with him. He wakes up and starts to cook lunch, then says I sure hope my kids can come eat. I said really you just can't spend any alone time with me, then I left. He calls when I got home, and after explaining to him why I got mad then he got it. But to me it should come natural, for him to think...... great me and my wife can snuggle all day by ourselves. But nooooooo

 

 

Yeah but honey....you left (probably all huffy, right? You can admit it!! :) ) and he didn't "get it" until you got home and he called (chased after you) and was "no no, what's wrong" - and THAT'S when you explained it to him in a way that helped him understand your view point?? I totally get the need for time to cool down...but lady, you need to start acting like the intelligent woman that you are and address things when they come up, in a low key sort of way. When you're married, you don't leave or throw a fit and THEN explain how you feel. Let me give you examples of how you can help him feel like he's got a strong, confident, loving wife on his arm...instead of a jealous, whining girl (I say that SO gently):

 

Scene: You two are in the car, he is getting texts from his kids.

 

What you did: You huffed and probably rolled your eyes or silently brimmed over with rage all the rest of the way there.

 

What you should try next time: Gently pushing the phone down, as he is done reading his text and putting it down anyway, into the center console instead of his pocket. SIMULTANEOUSLY...plant a warm kiss on his cheek or lips...and say to him "You know what I want, for the rest of the night? I want you and me, to go to this party and feel connected and flirty and sexy and then later I want to go home and enjoy a quiet house :hint hint look: I'm enjoying my time so much with you, let's not let any more interruptions butt in!" - you could even throw in "Tell her we'll definitely babysit tomorrow...but you're mine the rest of the night" or a "hey, answer that text and then let's leave the phone in the car!" -  let me explain.

 

^that really is what you want...you want to go to the party and have a fun, flirty time with him and then go home and cuddle and smooch or whatever. But instead of making it into a fight, or nagging him, you're connecting with him in a way which totally catches him off guard (because it's not the same old "you never, blah blah" and gains his positive attention(physical touch goes a LONG way toward instantly turning complete focus to what you're doing/saying)...and then  --this is the important part--- you are expressing, in no uncertain terms, exactly what you want from him....and you're doing it with the language of a WOMAN...a WIFE...instead of a jealous child with a sister who gets all the attention or whatever. Don't squeal "daddy daddy, how come you never drop everything for ME like that, how come blah blah blah" - and take this shit up a level. You are not a kid, on the floor with the other kids, fighting for this mans attention. Grab his attention with positive means and then hold onto it by being engaged and positively present.

 

If you want to have a good time at the party, let the other stuff melt away from your mind and have a good time. If you're too angry to have a good time, don't go. But don't go to the party and stay pissed but not say anything to him and then later on blame him for your not having a good time when you really could have put a stop to his getting text messages every other minute if you had asserted yourself and made it clear that you wanted him all to yourself for the night.

 

When you do that, not only does it let him know what you want and not only are you asserting your position as his wife (and, therefore, someone who has the RIGHT to say "that's enough with the texting, it's not an emergency, the rest of the night, you're mine!") but you're also sending him the message in terms that men tend to respond better to, that you really, really dig him and want him and desire his full attention.

 

Scene: You're making breakfast and he says "Man, I hope my kids can come eat"

 

What you did: Got huffy and pissed, probably were still pissed from last night, weren't you? Then, you left, even though the plan was for you to stay, which is what you wanted. You drove home and then, after he called you, explained yourself and he said "ooohhh" and understood....but you were at your house...and he, at his.

 

Something to try next time: He says "man, I hope my kids can come eat" - you say "Hey, how about I get you for lunch and we'll think of something fun to make for dinner with everybody...pizza or something the little ones can get their hands dirty with!" - you could even add "I've been dying to have some alone time and I know we just had an overnight but what can I say, I need to be spoiled with attention sometimes!" -  Again, do this while making some warm action....caressing his arm, kissing his cheek, hugging him from behind - so that you're TELLING him you want more time with him RIGHT NOW...AND you're reinforcing that expressed desire with physical touch, which, again, many people respond to.

 

 

 

You want connectedness and you want to be heard. Sooooo, connect with him and express yourself in positive terms. It really sounds like he is receptive, but you need to get a couple of things straight:

 

1. IT really, truly sounds to me like you are holding on to jealousy, resentment and bitterness and that a lot of what you do and say has a thin coating of that on top of it. That's going to get in the way of your communication and make it hard for him to really understand what you're saying.

 

Don't spend all your time thinking "If this relationship would change, I'd stop being so angry all the time" - and start LIVING: "I'm going to let go of the past and stop being angry all the time, so that I have a better shot at changing this relationship."

 

Change starts with you, because you're the one who is unhappy here. He doesn't have a drinking problem, he doesn't cheat on you with women....he's REALLY lousy at picking up on your ques, spoils his children and is more comfortable with a more separated lifestyle than you are. <---- None of these is really a deep character flaw.

 

2. You need to let go of the fact that he spends a lot of time with his kids. If you don't like his kids or are so angry that you can't see past the resentment that you've built up, this relationship is not going to work for you, because you are never going to get him to stop seeing his kids so much and helping them with babysitting all the time. You're just not. Frankly, I'd look at you sideways for trying. These grandkids are so blessed to have a grandpa like this. You need to let go of this anger and replace:

 

No, don't invite them over, spend time with me.......with......Hey, let's go jump in the car and spend the afternoon doing xyz, and on the way back we;ll pick up xyz from our favorite pizza joint and then everyone can come over and we'll watch a movie, I heard that "xyz kid film" is really fun for parents as well as adults - or something like that.

 

You're going to have to come to a place where you can assert yourself in positive ways while at the same time, respecting his wishes to be very present in his kids lives. It wierds me out that he spends so much money on these kids...but it totally makes me dig this guy that he's always thinking about his kids and grandkids. Instead of feeling dread when he says "hey, my daughter is dropping the kids off in the morning" - use it as an opportunity to spend more time with him! "Hey, I heard the elephant at the zoo had a baby...wouldn't it be a blast to take the kids there for the day!?" - seriously. THat's speaking this dudes language. He loves his kids, he loves his grandkids...DO THAT WITH HIM. If you make it a point to carve out time to do things HE loves AS WELL AS things that YOU love (being alone with him)....I think you will find this all so much easier.

 

 

You need to start speaking his language. Don't nag him AWAY from his family....assert yourself effectively and carve out "mama and papa bear time" while being enthusiastic about time with his kids, too. If you lead by example and start positively asserting your space as a married couple, he WILL fall into line.

 

In the beginning of this thread, I really thought that you and your DH wanted different things. But now I see that was wrong. You want all the same things that he not only wants, but has illustrated he CAN'T DO WITHOUT....FAMILY. You want to be a famly with him. He's got a really strong family situation going on. You've got to jump in like you belong, because you do, he picked you just as you picked him....and you need to start shifting the culture of this family to include a "mama bear" again. I'm not telling you to start being all mommy-ish to his kids...I'm telling you to act like you belong there and support the family system (which sounds really tight knit and supportive) and find out where you fit in it.

 

If you play tug-o-war and try to rip him further from his family....you will lose. There is absolutely no question in my mind about that. Be more involved in his existing family circle...and involve him more with your boys, too...and watch these two families start to form one.

 

Nothing is worse than resentment. I've been there before. My husband and I went through a weird thing where he was kind of depressed and spent way too much time on the computer. It took me a loooooot of nagging and whining until I could hear my own voice. I was saying "PAY ATTENTION TO ME, SPEND TIME WITH ME!!!" - but my face was hard and mean, my voice was scratchy and sharp with anger and my body language was cold and shooting. My words were saying "come closer" but absolutely everything else about me was whining, angry, hard and cold and saying "go away, I hate you".

 

What really helped, was letting go of the past and treating each moment like it was a fresh, new one. You can't be mad at someone for messing up in the past. The past is gone, along with their opportunity to make it right. Address what is happening NOW. If you want a fresh start with him, well, you need to erase the hate and start sending positive, clear messages to him. I have a feeling that half the time you don't even get around to actually clearly expressing what you want him to do.

 

Don't expect him to read your mind...nothing is going to be "clear" to him...meaning, all these things you are mad that he ust doesn't "get"....stop doing that. From here on out, while you guys are getting things back on track....I want you to positively, clearly and calmly express - in CLEAR and SIMPLE terms - your exact expectations....and you just watch what a difference that makes.

 

I know where you're coming from. After my second childs birth, I swear, I could have walked out of this house he did such a horrible job taking care of me. I cried, I wailed....he said "please, what should I do, tell me what to do!!??" and I was like "F-you for not getting it...you suck!!" (basic attitude) and that's how it went. I realize now, of course, that a lot of it was hormonal...but how unfair was that? I wasn't getting what I needed....so I got mad at him for not meeting my needs....and all I needed to do, was tell him what those needs were.

 

Your needs are not being met. You think that your needs are completely clear and that he should just "get it"...but you've been trying that and it's not working...so start telling him, on the spot, what you need and how you need it. Nice and easy, no nagging, let go of the anger and the hurt of the past and forge new roads, taking more responsibility for making sure he KNOWS what you need.

 

Right now, he doesn't know what you need. So you can't very well hate the guys guts for not giving it to you. Right??

 

 

I really believe you guys can come through this. It really sounds like you want all the same things. He loves his family. You love yours. You want him to love YOU as his family...so be family. Make a big, blended, happy family with him! <3

 

not edited, sorry.

 

 


Edited by BroodyWoodsgal - 12/12/11 at 3:36pm
post #19 of 36

It's  been my observation that there are people out there that feel their children (especially in divorce situations) come first above everything else, even themselves. Those people are going to be pissed when I say I don't think that's true, but it sounds like your husband does feel that way. His daughters come first and nothing else matters in the end. I dated someone like that and it was horrible. I'm not saying kids wants and needs should come last or parents should go out partying every weekend and not spend time with their kids, but relationships need to be nurtured because in the end, the kids suffer anyway if mom and dad are not doing well. You need to sit down and talk about this with your husband. If he likes to read there are books on blended families out there that talk about this, otherwise, you need to see if he will seriously start considering you his priority and start acting that way immediately. If not, it sounds like the relationship will never work. I'm sorry. Either way, it does not sound like it is his kids' fault. He has raised them this way and it's probably all they know.

post #20 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by PixieAlly View Post

It's  been my observation that there are people out there that feel their children (especially in divorce situations) come first above everything else, even themselves. Those people are going to be pissed when I say I don't think that's true, but it sounds like your husband does feel that way. His daughters come first and nothing else matters in the end. I dated someone like that and it was horrible. I'm not saying kids wants and needs should come last or parents should go out partying every weekend and not spend time with their kids, but relationships need to be nurtured because in the end, the kids suffer anyway if mom and dad are not doing well. You need to sit down and talk about this with your husband. If he likes to read there are books on blended families out there that talk about this, otherwise, you need to see if he will seriously start considering you his priority and start acting that way immediately. If not, it sounds like the relationship will never work. I'm sorry. Either way, it does not sound like it is his kids' fault. He has raised them this way and it's probably all they know.



I think you're right, that a lot of people feel this way.....but I happen to see a situation like this panning out in my own circle right now. Same thing: Two people, in their mid fifties, grown kids and a couple of really tiny grandkids.

 

The element I'm seeing that seems to create this dynamic, is the person who spends SO much time with the kids and grandkids, is so used to being alone that it's hard to re-align the family unit to have another adult/spouse back in the picture.

 

When divorce tears two people apart...the time spent with each parent, becomes all about the kids. The healthy element of a couple sharing time alone and supporting a healthy relationship and then, on top of that, as a couple, spending time with the kids to create a harmonious family, shifts, and it becomes single parent on kids.

 

I think a lot of people who are a little older and more set in their ways, who have been divorced for a while, are out of the habit of having that other adult relationship that serves as the most important, solid "rock like" relationship...with everything else being carried around by that strong relationship. It can be hard to get back in the habit of having a "mama and papa bear" on top and all the babies underneath, having their needs met, definitely, but not at the expense of the relationship that holds the family together, the MARRIAGE relationship.

 

So, a conscious effort has to be made, to shift that again...and I think it can be really hard. The situation in my circle was really bumpy at first. Both people had been divorced for SO long. But slowly, this has really come around...and the two of them are getting used to having that close partnership again...and having everything else come after that. It's hard. It has to be deliberate. But it's really normal for a dad, especially with daughters, to become REALLY bad at having a lady in his life, because after the mama bear is out of the dynamic, the daughters can become the "most important ladies" in a mans life...over the years, that can create some really out of whack dynamics. If the OP wants to take another crack at this, she's gotta reopen the position she wants to fill, that was closed off so long ago and simply ceased to exist in the family dynamic.

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