Hi, not sure if this will help, but I am in a similar situation to you, although married and living together since the summer. I am in the unfortunate situation where I am possibly leaving DH, despite being pg with his child (no idea how I will afford this, or manage to bring up the baby alone but that is another matter). We have 2 children each, and, although it was not so obvious until we were married and had moved in together, have very different ideas on discipline and what constitutes acceptable behaviour. Result is, my children are being exposed to constant rudeness amongst other things, and really shocking language. DH is not particularly fussed at all but it is a HUGE problem for me. We have had issues also, with my two feeling that everything is "unfair" as the DSSs seemingly get away with so much more behaviour wise. Today really clarified my thoughts - one of the DSSs said "fuck you" to my DS, and later on the other DSS used the phrase "dick muncher" in a squabble. This kind of language is beyond acceptable for me, and something which I cannot allow my children to be exposed to any longer. DH still refuses to adapt his parenting style. (My DCs are 8 and 7, his are 10 and 8)
Sorry, that was a huge waffle, but really, I think that there are never going to be workable strategies to ignore and detach. It is not just you who will be/is being affected, but your DCs as well. I really wish that I had realised what a problem this was going to be before we married, bought a house together, and conceived our child. My advice would be to have a really in depth chat with your DP about all of this before you move too much further forwards with the relationship. Long term, as I have found, it is very difficult for all of the children to adapt and bond as a family when they have grown up with very different sets of boundaries, and, of course, it is also going to be difficult for you and your DP.
You say you are living apart at the moment so I take it the end goal is to be living together? If so it may be an idea to try and find some middle ground when it comes to discipline and perhaps to start to 'share' the parenting. I know my DH would find it incredibly difficult to have no say whatsoever in the discipline of my children when he moved in with us although the children were young and it was a gradual process.
What are the ages of the children?
Have the 2 of you spoken about the things you find most important in regards to DC behaviour?
It would probably be best to try and collate your parenting styles now if you do plan to live together-I can't imagine how a household would run smoothly with 2 sets of DC following 2 different sets of rules
I have kids and my partner has kids - we have been together for some time and live separately at the moment. I tend to parent mine and let him parent his (ie, in discipline) I'm happy to care/nurture for all (ie, food,bathtimes) but I feel its up to the blood parent to discipline their own children and mostly this works out. We each have our kids 24/7 so neither get any child free time then at weekends we are all together. However, occasionally I will have all kids and so we will he and when we are responsible for all we discipline as necessary as i think issues should be dealt with at the time. Does this seem a reasonable approach?
It seems to mostly work, however, my gripe is I'm generally stricter with mine and his get away with more - though don't get me wrong he isnt a disney dad, I think sometimes he doesn't see/hear whats going on and sometimes he's just had enough! Sometimes I really have to bite my tongue to certain behaviour, ie, bad manners, rudeness, language etc - can anyone give me strategies to ignore and detach!'
Don't get me wrong most of the time they're good kids, its just they haven't been brought up by me with my rules!