Do I ??

(48 Posts)
Tappergirl Sun 20-Jul-14 23:20:15

Give up my husband who I really do love to bits, or give up our life together because he chooses his teens over me??

HilariousInHindsight Sun 20-Jul-14 23:21:11

Depends why the teens need him, how old they are and how your relationship is otherwise?

Sulis Sun 20-Jul-14 23:23:03

I'd be chuffed to bits to have a partner who has his priorities right. Children should come before partners.

Tappergirl Sun 20-Jul-14 23:26:17

Nearly 19 and 17. They live with us. I am at end of mega stress level

Tappergirl Sun 20-Jul-14 23:29:24

Sulis that is wrong. I am his wife

Ledkr Sun 20-Jul-14 23:31:55

My kids come befire my dh, before anyone actually.
I hope dh feels the sane.

brdgrl Sun 20-Jul-14 23:33:16

Tapper, you are quite right, you are his wife and he should recognize that and put you and him as a unit at the head of the family, not allow the children/young adults to run the show.
I know you have been struggling since they moved in. Have things changed at all for the better? Slow progress you can work with - but a DH who refuses to acknowledge, let alone work to solve, the problems, I'm not sure you can.
I think he has had time, and notice, to change his behaviour. If he hasn't at least been trying to do that, you need to cut your losses. It is making you so unhappy, and the only person who can change the situation is your DH.

Sulis Mon 21-Jul-14 08:32:39

Tapper, I am not wrong, actually. You are. His children are still at a vulnerable time in their lives and their father should absolutely put them first. If you can't cope with that, that's then your problem and you should take your toxicity away and leave or, as the adult in this situation, do the mature thing and deal with whatever issues you have that are making you so selfish about his love and time instead of supporting him to be there for his children. Do you have children yourself? Would you want their father putting his new wife before them?

Tappergirl Mon 21-Jul-14 08:38:22

Sulus you don't have the knowledge of 10 years of history, so I am happy to disregard your toxic message.

purpleroses Mon 21-Jul-14 09:23:13

If you've managed 10 years, how much longer will it be til they leave home? If you really can't cope, what about a temporary period apart, with a view to rebuilding things once the DSC have built lives of their own a bit better?

Nobody should come "above" anyone else in a family. If you're pulled more than one way you judge the needs against each other - Eg the need to have you parent/partner with you at A&E probably comes above the need to have a lift home from work. And everyone deserves some special time with their partner/parent/child.

But as a partner you deserve to have the status of one of the adults in the household - a say in making the rules, determining what money is spent on, etc in a way that the DSC should not do. If that's not the role you're able to have, I can see why you'd struggle.

If it came to a "who would you save first from a burning building?", I'd have to be honest and say I'd save my DC, ahead of my DH (or DSC) but that doesn't alter the fact that my DH is my partner and together we are the adults of our family and make the decisions jointly (in theory at least!) My DC have to respect that that gives him some authority over them.

Tappergirl Mon 21-Jul-14 09:49:49

Purple, I haven't needed to manage 10 years of full-time step parenting. We, as a couple, have been together nearly 10 years, married for 5.5 years, and have had the SCs fulltime for 1.5 years. I managed as a part-time SM, as they got to the age anyway when they didn't want to come and stay with us that often.

Since having to house them full-time, as late teens, our lives have been turned upside down, and I find it very difficult to cope, as I have never had children myself, and of course teens can be difficult to parent, even when they are your own, as I witness from every angle, whether that is on this board, or by talking to my friends.

DH has not helped, and makes me feel like an outsider most of the time. We have had one week of "being on the same page", but that page was turned yesterday. He continually refuses to acknowledge the difficulties I face and endure on a daily basis. He says I have changed and actually said this morning "well go on and start divorce proceedings then". He does not comprehend that I see that he has changed also, and actually has become very childish and petulant.

I understand that he has to put the needs of his children before most things, but one of them is now an adult and off to Uni soon, the other is nearly an adult (although he is so damn lazy that it drives to me to despair).

He chose me to be his wife when the kids did not live with us, and actually he was happy not to have the full time commitment (said in a nice way as he has always been a good father). Now I feel that I am left out in the cold, and do not have a future with him. I do not want to walk away but do not see any other alternative as I am so depressed and unhappy. Whatever I say is wrong and he makes me feel like the bad cop infront of the kids, so I seem to be in a lose lose situation.

Fragglewump Mon 21-Jul-14 10:01:54

But if they are 19 and 17 they will be leaving home soon. Then you and dh can go and live in Spain??

needaholidaynow Mon 21-Jul-14 10:26:21

Hi Tapper, How come they came to live with you full time at such a late stage?

Tappergirl Mon 21-Jul-14 10:31:42

Fraggle, Spain is not on my agenda thankfully, bit flippant of you to say that....they are 18 and 16, nearly 19 and 17, as I have already said, one of them hopes to get the grades to go to uni, the boy is with us for at least 2 more years whilst he goes to 6th form (and sits on his xbox for hours on end, without the slightest intention of getting a job)

Needaholiday, we had no choice but to rehome them as their mother disowned them due to her mental instability. We were between a rock and a hard place....

BrunoBrookesDinedAlone Mon 21-Jul-14 10:39:14

If you are the person who has posted before about the intolerable situation in your home, and the way in which your DH has constantly let down not only you but also his children by his complete failure to be anything other than a Disney toy sitting endlessly on the fence instead of an adult working hard, alongside you as the other adult in the house, to create a secure integrated home - then yes, you should have left a long time ago.

Not because of your stepchildren, but because your DH is a useless, spineless arse.

Tappergirl Mon 21-Jul-14 10:51:49

Great Bruno, perhaps I will give you his email address so you can tell him yourself. Perhaps he will listen to you.....

needaholidaynow Mon 21-Jul-14 10:52:20

Ah right. So you really had no choice but to take them in full time really did you. Sorry I was of the assumption it was to do with them no longer being a cash source. Well as they are young adults they should be taking on some sort of responsibility for themselves:
Lifts- Your partner (or you) shouldn't be running them here there and everywhere. Have they heard if buses?
Chores- They should help out around the house
Money- They cant expect your partner (or you) to fund them forever, so they need to start finding jobs now.
Space- They should give you and your partner time together. They are 19 and 17, not 6 and 4 so don't need to be clinging on to daddy all the time.

I mustn't have been a normal teenager because all of the above applied to me. I didn't expect lifts, I didn't expect money and I worked whilst going to college, I helped around the house, and I also left my dad and his partner to it as I had a life of my own.

thebluehen Mon 21-Jul-14 11:24:21

You have my sympathy. Step teens tend to get treated differently in my opinion.

Needaholiday sums it up very well.

You are just as important as the kids but it's a different sort of important. You deserve to be treated with respect in your own home.

Any decent parent puts their kids first by teaching them right from wrong.

Sounds like no one is coming "first" except for your partner who is putting his wants (to not upset his kids) before the needs if his wife and "children".

syllabub1 Mon 21-Jul-14 11:50:44

You have my every sympathy, my DSC do not live with us full time but DH and I have had similar problems in the past when it was like he was working against me, rather than with me to resolve problems.

Have you thought about relationship counselling? We've found it a huge help. In the past we weren't communicating properly, I would complain about the children so he'd get defensive and stick up for them and therefore not want to listen to what I was saying or really want to resolve things. Sometimes he'd nod and agree and say he'd do this and that but then nothing would change.

Couples counselling helped us to learn how to listen to each other, how to say things to make the other person listen and how to come to compromises. I'm not saying we never have issues any more but we've learnt to deal with them better.

I agree with you, you are his wife and the two of you should be sticking together and resolving problems together. Our counsellor helped us to see that our relationship (not the person, but the relationship) is the most important thing because when that fails it is the children who get damaged by it. No matter how old they are they just need a stable home and a secure couple who are always there for them and set a good is example to them is what they need.

btw I think it is only reasonable to insist that the younger child gets a part time job. Just refuse to give him any money, he'll soon get a job. That's what my mum did after about a week of me being on hols after finishing my exams - told me she wouldn't be giving me any more money, within days i had a job and she has never ever given me a penny since.

Sounds like they've probably had a rough time with their mum being ill though and your DH doesn't want to cause any upset?

Elizabeth120914 Mon 21-Jul-14 12:29:00

What a horrible situation to be in.. I can't imagine. I don't think I could stand it at all.

Of course you should be equally important to your OH it's ridiculous to think otherwise you have been together ten years and your feelings should matter to him as much as his kids on a day to day basis.

He sounds like mine who digs his heels in which is infuriating, maybe he thinks u don't mean it?

I think I'd have to call his bluff it's no life being miserable all the time and like an outsider in your own home no one deserves that.

MostWicked Mon 21-Jul-14 13:07:14

we had no choice but to rehome them as their mother disowned them due to her mental instability

Then they really do need their dad more than ever.

You need to see if you can get some help to better work together and get some stronger ground rules in place at home.

brdgrl Mon 21-Jul-14 13:34:03

we had no choice but to rehome them as their mother disowned them due to her mental instability
Yes, as mostwicked says, that situation means that the kids really do need some support and stability. Your DH needs to think about what that really means...I agree with mostwicked's second sentence too - ground rules are part of that. If he is coping with this turbulent time in the kids' lives by just letting them 'drift' and do as they please, he really isn't doing them any favours. Stability and clear boundaries won't just make life better for you and your DH - they would be recommended by most professionals, I think, for the teens as well. Will your DH take professional advice?
Has any counselling been happening? For him or for the kids?

I also think it's important to remember that this - we had no choice but to rehome them as their mother disowned them due to her mental instability - doesn't just mean that more understanding is needed for the teens. You have had two young adults come to live with you - young adults who might reasonably be expected to have some issues of anger, insecurity, and confusion. Your DH has got to recognise the impact of that on you, too, and to take steps to make that very, very tough situation easier for you. I don't envy him, either, because it is an enormous job and he must feel overwhelmed too - but it is his job. It's not enough to say (as I am sure you have heard 100 times) "the kids need extra understanding and support" - as one of the caregivers for these presumably 'troubled' teens, you need to be accounted for as well. Your life has been turned upside-down by their arrival. Nobody's fault. What is he going to do to make it work?

catsmother Mon 21-Jul-14 13:37:24

In absolute fairness to those who've responded, Tapper's opening post was so extremely brief it didn't really explain her situation at all. However, it never fails to bemuse me how the anti-stepmother brigade immediately leap on what is, after all, a very general remark without stopping to consider for a second that someone who's posted such a short and to the point comment on the stepparenting board almost certainly did so with a significant back story.

IIRC, Tapper has described what sounds like an intolerable position in previous posts, where her DH isn't "putting his children first" in the way most of us would think of but allowing them to behave with complete disregard and a lack of respect towards his wife, i.e. the other adult in the home. Any time she objects she's verbally attacked and again, without searching for her posts, it struck me (if she's the same poster) that she's been relegated to some sort of household appliance there only to service the "needs" (wants) of the rest of them .... what she thinks, how she actually feels .... that's all now irrelevant.

As others have said, and as ever, this is yet another DH problem - although I do think, regardless of the sorry circumstances that have brought these kids into the OP's home full time, that at their respective ages these kids are old enough to show some basic manners. They too are also responsible for trying to ensure that everyone can live together - it's not as simple as letting them have their own way - and that being the only way the OP's DH accepts.

I agree counselling may be useful as a last ditch attempt to sort this out. I appreciate the DH is probably acutely aware that there is now literally nowhere else for his kids to go and of course he'll be concerned about what they've been through - but to my mind, that makes it even more imperative that he works at thrashing out a way of living which accommodates everyone and is also best for everyone (allowing your teen to laze about perpetually will do him no good at all ...). And therefore, I don't understand why he's been so quick to dismiss his wife's feelings - the kids matter, but so does she, and he is the link between her and them. It seems as if he's concentrating all his efforts on making them feel "good" but leaving his wife to sink or swim - with an attitude of, in effect, if you don't like it you can get out. Where is he working with her over this ?? It must be hugely horribly hurtful and in her position, I'd be bewildered at his approach.

So yes, by all means try counselling if only to convince yourself that at least you've done all you can to try and sort this situation out. But no-one would blame you if you decided to cut your losses and get out either. Although it's a hard thing - and this is something counselling might also help with - you may have to face up to the fact that the man you thought you knew wasn't really him if that makes sense ? Sometimes, it takes a crisis for people to show their true colours.

Fragglewump Mon 21-Jul-14 13:43:34

Op as a step mother myself I sometimes feel like I count down how many more times my dcs will come to visit! Sorry it you felt my comment was flippant. It just feels that you are close to getting your lives back. I don't know your backstory but several others do and seem to think your dh is a bit of a knob. Maybe your life ( and theirs?) would be better if you split.

brdgrl Mon 21-Jul-14 13:59:02

I can see why leaving the relationship would be an even harder decision for OP than for some of the rest of us, actually. She had a relationship that worked well for so long, and now is - quite suddenly - at breaking point. While DH and I have ups and downs, the DSC have always been a consistent point (for better and worse). Although it probably sounds worse than I mean it, I never had a "honeymoon period" with my DH, once we moved in together that was my life, preteen/teen DSC 24/7! I think when OP is weighing up whether to stay or go, those 9 (I think?) years of a very good marriage must be pretty compelling entries in the "stay" column...it's not like advising someone in a new-ish relationship with a father of kids, IYSWIM.

I wonder how many happy marriages have been put through the wringer by, say, the need to move in an aging MIL. It seems to me quite a comparable situation, but one that gets a bit more understanding.

It is easy to say that anyone marrying an NRP has to consider the possibility of something happening and the kids becoming full-time residents - but the idea of that and the reality must be very different, especially since when OP began her relationship, the kids would have been young children, not upset teenagers.

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