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Step-children/ex are ruining marriage

(51 Posts)
lolliest Wed 17-Nov-10 19:56:43

Short version: Married 3 years, together for 9 and one son aged 1 year.
Husband divorced before I met him and has 2 children (16 & 13). Moved to other side of country so husband could be near these children 5 years ago.
Tried to be a good stepmother but have had near on 11 years of bullying/abuse from ex-wife and children. Now at the end of my tether after another load of abuse from 13 year old. Really don't think I can take anymore.
I love my husband more then anything but hate living here now, the children steal from me and I feel like my home is not my home anymore. I want to move back to my family and friends but my husband has his job up here.
Just can't stop crying

Mummiehunnie Wed 17-Nov-10 20:00:08

I don't think you can blame others for your failing marriage or unhappiness at your choices, ie choosing a man with an ex wife and children, or choosing to move a distance away to be near his children away from your people.

How sad that you tried to be a good stepmother and feel that you can't do it anymore.

It sounds to me as if you are all in an unhappy situation, a situation the children involved and probably the ex wife (not sure how they split) did not choose, you did though!

FreudianSlimmery Wed 17-Nov-10 20:01:04

Oh how awful for you what is DH's view on their behaviour?

2rebecca Wed 17-Nov-10 20:17:56

The husband sounds the problem here. Why is he letting his children abuse you? I wouldn't let my teenage kids abuse anyone, especially not their stepfather, and I don't think my ex would let them abuse his partner.
Your bloke is your problem I'm afraid for not stamping on this when it started.

lolliest Wed 17-Nov-10 20:18:53

He get's upset and angry with them too especially when they steal from us. But when he calls to tell them off they shout abuse at him too and refuse to see him for a while. He then misses them and calls them up to come round and nothing more is said until next time.

Mummiehunnie - I don't have a failing marriage - that is why this is so bad. Perhaps if I did I would be able to get up and go instead of crying all the time and taking more and more abuse! My husband and his ex split because she had countless affairs - this was before he even met me!

jonesy71 Wed 17-Nov-10 20:20:49

Mummiehunnie what's with the (not sure how they split) got to do with it ? Lolliest has already said he was divorced before they met.

When anyone 'chooses' to be with a man with an exW and children' they can only imagine what that might mean. Should all men with a broken marriage and non-resident children automatically be off limits if you expect to be happy with him?

Lolliest obviously loves her husband and has gone to some lengths to make it work for everyone and it's been very tough for her.

How very narrow minded and judgmental of you to insinuate this is sorry situation is her 'choice'.

nancydrewrocked Wed 17-Nov-10 20:20:53

mummiehunnie the OP has a right to expect to be treated with respect by the step children and certainly not to be stolen from and abused.

Difficult relationships with you own children can cause terrible difficulties for marriages so I can only imagine how much worse it must be when it is your step children.

What does your DH say about the situation?

NonnoMum Wed 17-Nov-10 20:21:24

What type of abuse did the 13 year old give you? How often are they in your house? Why are you having any contact with your DH's exW?

Sorry to ask so many questions, but just trying to see the bigger picture...

Mummiehunnie Wed 17-Nov-10 20:24:11

you said your marriage was failing due to your dh ex wife and his children in the thread title!

I don't really want to hear about how wonderful your husband is, and how horrible his wife is type stuff personally, scapegoating your problems and hurting children will not make your failing marriage work, you need to look at yourself and your husband for the reasons you are unhappy in your marriage!

so he gets upset and angry at his children and rings them up to have a go at them for steeling, then they should back... it sounds like the problem is with your husband to me.... let me guess his wife then has a go at him for being mean to the children when he rings them up and abuses them and upsets them...

why on earth did you bring a baby into the mess you all created with the older children, you are both failing and probably with the ex wife also at parenting the older children and no doubt adding the baby into the mix with a failing unhappy family will only have made it worse!

band aid babies don't work they make things worse!

i wish you well looking at yourself x

Mummiehunnie Wed 17-Nov-10 20:25:16

Jones, if you get with a man with children and an ex wife, only a fool would expect an easy ride!

lolliest Wed 17-Nov-10 20:26:00

I think I need to tell husband I want to move away. I think it may do us all good.

Then perhaps SC will come to see him because they want to see him and not because they are bored or want something.

Husband has always said we will move down south once youngest starts at uni, but that is still 4-5 years away. That's another 4-5 years of abuse for me!

mjinhiding Wed 17-Nov-10 20:27:30

Message withdrawn

colditz Wed 17-Nov-10 20:28:14

Can you disappear when his children visit? leave him with the baby and vanish to a friend's for a weekend, or your mum's? you'd get a break, and he'd get a lesson.

nancydrewrocked Wed 17-Nov-10 20:30:17

mummie seriously what is your problem? You appear to be projecting and sound very bitter.

Whilst it is true the OP ought to look at the way in which her DH deals with the problems that exist, all relationships are impacted by external influences.

mjinhiding Wed 17-Nov-10 20:31:27

Message withdrawn

lolliest Wed 17-Nov-10 20:32:39

Mummiehunnie - I am going to ignore your comments about my son - please do not respond again. .
Nannomum - we have the children every weekend (sometimes Friday-Monday) and have done since they were little. Now they are older they don't come every weekend as have sleepovers etc.
I don't have much contact with the ex-wife so much now - it was worse when I first moved up here and just before we got married - it's now just the odd abusive phone call over things the children tell her I've said - which I always just hang up on.

The abuse from the children is by phone and email and usually following an episode, such as when I catch them stealing/lying. They spend every summer holiday with us and have their own rooms in our house and we have really tried to make this as much a home for them as their mum's.

mjinhiding Wed 17-Nov-10 20:36:37

Message withdrawn

NonnoMum Wed 17-Nov-10 20:40:49

How do you catch them stealing/lying?

For example, have you asked a teenager something like, "Have you done all your homework?" and they mumble, "Er, yeah" to which you reply, "You lie, you lie, I've hidden your geography book in my handbag and you should have completed the project on the River Ganges, you fecking lying cah" (for example)

or did you happen to be in the shopping centre when you saw an old lady being mugged by a teenager in a hoodie, and you recognised the shoe laces as belonging to your DSC ?
Or did they help themselves to the Pringles?

(This sounds like I'm being flippant, but just trying to get the extent of it...)

tb Wed 17-Nov-10 20:40:54

It might be extreme, or it might not be, but you could always report the stealing to the police. It might get their mother to see it rather more seriously.

FreudianSlimmery Wed 17-Nov-10 20:43:37

Utter rubbish mummiehunnie nobody chooses who they fall in love with for a start!

OP has been very unlucky - not all stepfamilies are rife with problems. I fail to see how it's her fault just for falling for a man with a past.

elastamum Wed 17-Nov-10 20:44:36

Poor you..I think this is awful and not a problem you can solve alone. None of us would accept this behaviour from our own children and you H needs to support you in presenting a united front and spelling out what is unacceptable behaviour and the consequences of this.

Mj's approach is probably the only practical one here. You H must tackle the behaviour head on and accept the consequences.

lolliest Wed 17-Nov-10 20:44:48

I'll find the item in their bag, or hidden in their room. I know they steal from their mother too because she has rang me to look for a DVD that I found in the 13 year old's room and this weekend she rang my husband to ask if the 13 year old had her bag - she did and was told to return it later that day. Involved husband driving 13 year old home to return the bag!
Then there are the things that 'go missing' -money, clothes, make-up etc

NonnoMum Wed 17-Nov-10 20:55:50

Calm down. You are labelling these children when they might have just borrowed their mum's weekend bag.

You need to get some family counselling. All of you.

prettyfly1 Wed 17-Nov-10 20:58:03

lolliest this will sound awful but I know SOOOOOO many teens who do that - it isnt right but they dont understand ownership in the same way and whilst you have the right to be angry please dont take it personally.

Mummiehunnie perhaps you might like to change your name. Mummievinegar perhaps. How utterly unhelpful and presumptive and it is attitudes like yours that make step parenting so difficult.

Lolliest is there anyone in rl you can talk to - what sort of support network have you got, or interests and activities outside the home that can at least bring you some relief - I found this incredibly helpful. Also feel free to join us on step parents.

saffy85 Wed 17-Nov-10 21:01:01

As someone who's dad buggered off and married someone else when I was 5 and shut me and my sister out of the whole thing, I will freely admit I was bloody angry and my god I let my dad and SM know about it.

That said, OP you have a right to be treated with respect and I think after an 11 year long relationship with your DH it's about time his DC got over any anger they might have had.

Your DH needs to make a stand for you both and hammer it home that abuse, theft and all the rest you are subjected to are not allowed under your roof. It can't be that hard can it? They are definately old enough to know this behaviour is unacceptable and are most likely only treating you like an emotional punching bag because they get away with it. Call their bluff. Tell them anymore of their shitty behaviour and they aren't welcome. Don't mean to be harsh, but quite frankly it should have been nipped in the bud from the start.

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