I've been living with DP for just over 2 years now. I have 2 dc and he has 2 dc, that stay EOW and a couple of nights during the week.
It's never been easy, but it seems to be getting harder - I've tried talking to him about the issues, but he never understands. He always gets the wrong end of the stick, or makes the discussion about something else entirely. I don't feel heard. I'm pretty sure he thinks I totally overreact about everything that happens.
I had a big talk with him last night, at his request, after an incident where dsd opened my post as she was expecting something that I'd ordered for her. She lets herself in after school with a key when she stays here - and had assumed (rightly, on this occasion), that my package was the item she'd been waiting for. It sounds so trivial on the surface, but that sort of thing isn't acceptable to me, and I would have said exactly the same to my own dd.
Anyway.... so we discussed how I was feeling - I explained as best I could - I feel like I'm running out of time (I'm quite old ) and I spend an awful lot of what I have left, pissed off and unhappy. I want things to change.
He just doesn't get me. He thinks I make a big deal out of stuff that's unimportant... TO HIM, of course.
Plans change week to week, almost every week. EXW treats us like childminders whenever the fancy takes her, and DP nearly always says yes - obviously he wants to see his dc as much as possible, which I completely understand. But as a consequence, the plans I have for when the SDC aren't with us, are completely buggered.
I feel like my dc needs come secondary to the needs of his dc - or more importantly, the needs of EXW. She is in control of my life, and I absolutely hate it.
But nothing ever changes. He won't stand up to her, doesn't discipline his kids, yadda yadda. And everything is left to me.
Has anyone any advice for me? I'm at my wits end tbh, and I'm seriously thinking of ending it. I love him to bits, he's a good, decent man, and we're great together - but this extra stuff is slowly killing it.
I totally understand. And these aren't small things, they really aren't...For example, you are entitled to privacy and respect for your things. It sounds like there are issues about appropriate boundaries, and these are a HUGE deal, even if they tend to show up 'in the detail', they make up the fabric of everyday life and can have an enormous impact on how you feel in your own home.
Have you two had any sort of counseling at all? I found that while it sometimes felt a bit useless, it actually did help in one really significant way, which is that it finally flipped some kind of switch for DH. It was like he needed to have things said (by me and by him) in front of a third, objective, person before he could really hear how it sounded. It didn't solve our problems but it did help DH see the problem, and that is when things started to really change for us.
I don't know if my opinion would help much - my instinct is to say GET OUT!! or, do you have to live together? DH and I had counselling and it helped me (as for Brdgrl) for a third party to point out that DSD's mother should not be calling the shots in the way she was. It also helped that DH's family pointed out same but ultimately DH's relationship with his ex was fairly set in stone and he continued to move heaven and earth (and me) to accomodate DSD and her mothers wishes - however unreasonable. This was more or less the theme of our relationship til DSD grew up and took up the baton of her mothers behaviour but with bells on to the point that continuing a relationship with her was impossible. So DH no longer sees her but still grovels to her by text for her forgiveness (for being the terrible father that her mother insisted he was ) anyway, much as I do love my dh it's a side to him I wish I didn't know, my experience is that your DP's attitude/behaviour is very hard to change.
There are no boundaries here, and it needs sorting sooner, rather than later. OP I wish you forbearance and luck and sanity, in the process!
Many combined families have this difficulty, these power struggles but over time, it can become so wearing to the point where, relationships break down, again. I don't know the actual numbers but second marriage break down is very common and often, the collective "kids" are a huge part of that.
I love my DH but, I have watched, over the years, how his daughter has walked all over him and reduced him to crawling/begging her to visit us (she dislikes me, or rather her "daddy" having another woman in his life) and frankly, whilst at first, I understood his dilemma/need to keep the lines of communication open I am now starting to lose respect for the man.
I met SD when she was 12. She's now 21. She is still the petulant, foot stamping little girl who wants daddy to do her bidding. He (in this scenario) cannot and so she refuses contact. And on it goes, year in year out. He cannot see it but, she is emotionally abusing him and I find it hard to sympathise with his weakness. He is a good man. A strong person but, he seems to enjoy his dd taking up the "you are a wicked parent for abandoning your children, to love another woman" banner, which his ExW can no longer present to him, because they have no contact. Please note ExW's affair ended their marriage
Run, OP. Or put your foot down. Be aware, it will probably never be any different, though.
If it is effecting you and your dc and you will not lose any thing sounds like you need to make a break - he will never change his priorities they may get worse. I know mine has - he needs to listen to you as you are both in this relationship