What do you wish DP would understand....(28 Posts)
I'm a step mum to my partners 2 children, we also have one of our own.
How do other people cope with a partner who isn't a step parent? I find it a great challenge trying to get my DP to understand how tough it can be being a step mum.
What do other people find tough about being a partner and a step parent?
Mine is step dad to my two so he knows.
However our attitudes are different. If my kids are rude I pull them up on it. He lets his away with murder. So for me it's more about him understanding how hard it is with a hostile sc who is rude and sly and tells lies but he can't see it. Where as he can see my kids faults (as can I, I'm not a Disney parent)
Mine is a step parent too, but my son is pretty open hearted towards him. For a long time I think that worked against me, he couldn't see why it might be difficult for me, because it was too hard to see that a couple of his own kids have not been accepting, and just downright mean. He'd say 'I don't have a problem' so why should I. Lately my son challenged him quite a bit and suddenly he realised being a step parent wasn't easy!
My DH is not an SP. He has no idea. He says he even struggles to get his imagination round it. I have just given him The Step Parents' Parachute to read but not sure he has picked it up. And that's part of the problem, I guess. How much do they really want to understand what it's like for us.
Mostly, I'd like him to understand that Disney parenting is like junk food. It may be a quick win but ultimately just doesn't do anyone any good.
I'd like him to see all DSD's manipulation for what it is, and not fall for it every time. Because even when he says he can see it, he still goes along with it
And like Meridian, I'd like him to see that doing Disney isn't doing his daughter any favours, and that actually he's just encouraging her to treat him with as much disrespect as her mother did/does
And finally, sadly, I'd like him to realise that every time he caves in and goes along with what she wants, particularly when that has an impact on me or our DS, or the time he gets to spend with us, some of the strength in our marriage melts quietly away
Meridian and Peach, could have written your posts myself!
I wish my DP would wake up and protect our relationship for once. The resentful kids will have their own relationships and lives soon, but our one will be a wreck if he keeps being manipulated by them.
I wish my DP would start behaving like DSD was his child as opposed to 'our' child
and leaving me to do everything for her
3phase I know exactly what you mean with that one! That coupled with making arrangements to have his child when he won't actually be here, without discussing it with me first seeing as I will be the one actually looking after his child!
mascara ah, the "access by proxy" situation! Used on drive me mad. I could never see the point of access taking place in DH's absence (DH pretended not to understand). DH's comment used to be "but it makes no difference to you whether DSS is here or not ......"
Oh but it does make a difference. Looking after an extra child does make a difference and changes the dynamics a lot. My DH has learned to ask me first if the arrangements will be changing to different/extra days will be ok with me.
He is working these next 3 days and I have specifically asked that his child isn't here these next 3 days as I am busy, have plans, and I just want to spend a bit of time with my children before Christmas when his child will be here.
His ex is working too and I just don't like to be seen as automatic childcare provider, which is what has happened in the past.
DH worked long hours, and the access arrangements he negotiated simply weren't practical. So (before DH met me) he'd simply drop DSS off at home, then go back to work, which seemed pointless, but DH/the ex/DSS all seemed to think that satisfactory access was taking place, even if DH/DSS weren't spending time together.
Once I met DH, there were times when I felt I saw more of DSS than DH did. But everyone else thought it was all fine (?) and I was out-numbered.
Even though I don't have children of my own, I resented DSS being deposited with me, when DH was working, just to tick the 'access is taking place' box.
That arrangement does sound like it was pretty pointless. And just because you're now here it doesn't mean it now makes sense.
Not only that, but you have your own life as well. When you get with someone with children, it's nothing like the commitment you make towards your own children. My life revolves around my children because I'm their mum. So it's unfair to expect you to plan your life around your DSS- because you're not his mum.
Mascara and petal - I hear you! Drove me mad. In my case, it was Ex wife who only worked a few hours, who used to dump kids whenever she liked with DP, without asking. Youngest was 8 years old. When I dared to say no, as DP worked long hours, me at home, ExW went mental, saying 'the kids were old enough to look after themselves and it was their house'. She was resident parent receiving maintenance.
I'd like fathers of daughters to switch off the 'guilt button' that the darling princesses are so good at pressing!
My dh is a step parent but we are nc with my children's birth dads so they see him as daddy and he sees them as his kids. He doesn't understand what having 'the-ex' forever in your life hanging over like a dark cloud can be like.
sometimes his ex thinks I'm wonderful (well I make a good babysitter anyway) other times I'm the devil. Only 6 months ago she screamed down the phone at him about how I am nothing to sdd, I am not her family, and never will be (we've been married for almost 4years) and sdd should never be left with me when dh is not there (obviously we will ignore the every Saturday she asked me to have her when she was single and working weekends. Oh and the 2 months after this rant she dropped her off at mine so she could go to bloody tescos!). The hard thing is sdd hears all this and she adores her mummy (as se should) so sometimes we get on really well and others she is so cold towards me and will go the whole weekend and not say one word to me. Sometimes dh says I'm being cold and off with sdd but it is so hard to show a child love to have her walk out of a room every time you walk into it. I know I'm the adult and she's just a child but why build yourself up to rejection every fortnight? That's not easy. I am always here for sdd and will always treat her equally to my children but I'm not going to go out of my way either as I know when I'm not wanted. He doesn't have this with my children, as i would always demand my children to treat him with respect as he is an important adult figure in their lives. I know I'm not sdd' smother and never will be, but I am an important adult helping to raise her and should be treated with the same respect as grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers etc. Not like a verbal punch bag who gets picked up and dropped back down depending on the weather.
Sorry that was a bit of a long rant. Needed to get it off my chest obviously
Ah bananas I totally hear you!
Because dh is a stepparent I think he expects me to have the same feelings and relationship to sdd as he does to my children even though the dynamics are completely different.
I don't see how its any harder than being a resident step parent. My DH does far more hands on with DSS than his own dad due to him living us aswell as looking after DS. We don't get the fun bits of going out all the time like EX does with DS ( hes a disney dad) his DW still does her own thing aswell as joining in activties with them but she still has the freedom she does as does the exduring the week when he hasnt got him.I suppose it depends on if he expects you to adopt a mother like role and be involved all the time.
Sunbeam how do you know your ex's DW does her own thing? Do you think she shouldn't be able to because her husband has a child?
Not undermining your feelings at all, but being a parent living with a step-parent is really hard too and is a position that can be difficult for a step-parent to understand too, mainly the feeling of being stuck in between people you both love dearly but don't feel the same about each other.
I've been all three at some stage of my life, a child of divorced parents, a step-mum for a few years and now the wife of a man who doesn't have children and is step-dad to mine, and I can definitely that each of them come with its own difficulties and heartbreak and the only thing that brings all three together is compromise.
Jamtart that sounds very, very hard. You can't just be a verbal punch bag, how dare their mother treat you like that! Some people are very controlling, DPs ExW also told her kids not to listen to me, that I wasn't their mother etc, kids went cold and rejected me. It's beyond cruel. But yes wish my DP could see how I was being pushed out, rather than lamely standing at the sidelines saying 'I'm caught'.
Bananas, your DP was probably fully aware you were being pushed out, but it's easier for him to stand impotently on the sidelines rather than confront his ex. Ex wives seem to have a ridiculous amount of power in these situations.
Petal you are probably right. I think DP is just grateful ExW isn't turning her anger on him. I've been close to throwing in the towel even though we have a child together as I'm worn out with being a punch bag for everyone. I've told DP it's up to him to step up and protect our relationship but he's feeling guilty for even having a relationship.
Is horrible isn't it?
Dh is too scared to confront ex in case she stops contact as we couldn't afford the legal fees to go to court. It sometimes feels as though he puts the ex's happiness before mine. I have thrown out in the past that I could just as easily become his ex as well, I love him, but that doesn't mean our relationship is guarrenteed
Short term thinking on DPs part there jamtart! It's us that are their future. If they start prioritising better.
Jamtart I totally agree with what you say. They fear so much about upsetting their ex but seem to take our feelings for granted
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