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In-laws and Step children problems

(28 Posts)
Nina61 Wed 12-Feb-14 22:58:07

In 2007 my husband and I got together, but ended after 14 months. He went back to his family as he felt his daughter needed him (age 14 at the time). He then spent the next 2 years telling me he had made a mistake and still loved me. Eventually, he left home and I took him back. We married last year. His son (22) wanted no contact and has remained the same. His daughter (now nearly 19) has always been welcome at my house, but is very difficult, has always been spoilt, very demanding and upsets a lot of people. She also spent all of last year putting vile things about me on Twitter, then comes to the house as if nothing has happened. Since Christmas I refuse all contact now, because the atmosphere is so bad. Even my husband admits he doesn't know how to speak up for himself when she is rude and demanding. Two weeks ago, his eldest sister asked to come and meet me - she came from Lancashire, was pleasant to start with, then spent the evening slating me - she said I have taken the childrens father from them (he sees them twice a week, but they are grown up!). My husband did not stick up for me as he is scared of her. My husbands parents live round the corner and have not acknowledged me at all, nor have his other 2 sisters! This is fine, but when they ring him, they purposely leave me out of visits etc. He said his whole life was controlled by overbearing Mother, sisters, then wife and daughter. The only rows we have, are because of them. He is such a softie and they walk all over him. How do I cope??

Doha Wed 12-Feb-14 23:02:27

Was your DH married when you first got together??

lunar1 Wed 12-Feb-14 23:10:08

By going back to his family do you mean parents or wife and children?

DCRbye Thu 13-Feb-14 00:33:45

hmm...same questions as the above posters, but I will say this to you.

If your love your husband, suck it up and get on with his kids. No matter how they treat you.

Being nice to a spoiled daughter might hurt you...but it's a fraction of the pain that would come to your DH if his kids fall out of his life because of you.

ladyquinoa Thu 13-Feb-14 01:09:04

I think you have to bend over backwards and be ultra nice to the kids whatever happens. Also don't bother with his other relatives. Yes stay polite but always keep your distance and ignore personal attacks. Don't respond, stay calm and considerate and lovely. Rise above things. Your DH should do the same. He has more power then he thinks though. Every time they are rude to you, he needs to go no contact with his sisters for a specific length of time (without telling them). Repeat this as often as needed till they understand that rudeness equals withdrawal. This method had been very effective with people I know.

ladyquinoa Thu 13-Feb-14 01:15:00

Hopefully it's something they all will come to terms with in x many years but I actually think you have quite a lucky escape by not going along on visits etc.

Is there any hobby or interest you could take up with the kids? Build your own relationship with them. Can you read up about parenting teens? It's easy for them to lay all the blame at your feet.

ladyquinoa Thu 13-Feb-14 01:16:30

I think you have to bend over backwards and be ultra nice to the kids whatever happens. Also don't bother with his other relatives. Yes stay polite but always keep your distance and ignore personal attacks. Don't respond, stay calm and considerate and lovely. Rise above things. Your DH should do the same. He has more power then he thinks though. Every time they are rude to you, he needs to go no contact with his sisters for a specific length of time (without telling them). Repeat this as often as needed till they understand that rudeness equals withdrawal. This method had been very effective with people I know.

ladyquinoa Thu 13-Feb-14 01:18:51

I also think its totally unacceptable that DHs sister slated you off and he said nothing. He needs to ring her and tell her it's unacceptable to do that, you are a team and she is going to drive him away with her behaviour.

MistressDeeCee Thu 13-Feb-14 01:28:08

If DH is a softie with no backbone none of the above suggested to you will work, OP - because his family will just land on him whenever they choose and he isn't assertive enough to stop them. Nor is he assertive enough to stick up for you, the woman he married. You're between a rock & deep blue sea with his children - who, I might add, are adults themselves actually. You could bend over backwards being nice all you like, they could still be rude to you. I don't believe they have any right to do this whatsoever - remember, you matter too. But they'll continue to be rude as dad says nothing...for how long? the next 5? 10? 20 years?. To keep the peace, just be polite to his children. Respond to rudeness with politeness then just go into another room, if need be. As for the rest of his family - if theyre ignoring you, then you ignore them. You were somebody before you married him, and you are somebody now. Don't stand for being minimised and belittled and turned into a scapegoat on the whim of others, just because you had the gall to marry a man. Some families, honest to god you're better off when they DON'T speak to you, as the upbringing and family style is truly appalling.

Nina61 Thu 13-Feb-14 22:43:17

Thanks for all comments and advice - I do love my husband very much. I wasn't the cause of his marriage breakup, they had lived separate lives in the same house for about 10 years, for the sake of the kids. When he left, the ex-wife said she was relieved he had gone but would take him for every penny he had (which she has done, being awarded £1,000 a month spousal maintenance until she retires, she's 50 now). I think my biggest issue is with his daughter - I was so open to her being in my home for 2 years, putting up with her whining and abusing her father, whilst he retreated into himself until she had gone!! He has never disciplined her (he was at sea for long periods of time whilst she was growing up), in fact I don't think she has ever been disciplined by anyone. I have my own daughters of 30 and 18 and they were totally shocked by her appalling behaviour.

Nina61 Thu 13-Feb-14 22:52:46

Doha - yes he was married when we were first together.
Lunar1 - he went back to his wife.
MistressDeeCee - you are spot on ,that's just how I feel, thank you x

PaulaFletch14 Thu 13-Feb-14 22:57:17

I disagree I don't think you should bend over backwards and be ultra nice to his kids whatever. They are old enough to know how to behave

PatriciaHolm Thu 13-Feb-14 22:59:26

As far as his family and children are concerned, you are the witch who stole their father/husband. There really isn't much you can do about that as you were genuinely the other woman, and I don't believe for one minute his marriage was truly over when you got together I'm afraid and his family clearly don't.

Obviously he bears the guilt for this too but they aren't blaming him. They are blaming you and unless he steps up, there really isn't anything you can do. Nothing you say is going to change their minds I'm afraid.

Nina61 Fri 14-Feb-14 07:51:18

PaulFletch14 - thank you, I totally agree.
PatriciaHolm - his marriage was very much over - I have had that conversation with the ex wife and friends who all say the same!
Yes I agree I am the other woman, but all he did was seek happiness after years of misery. He was going to leave even if I didn't take him back as he already had a property to move into back in our home village (btw we were in school together so our home town is the same) - family live in Wales.

nkf Fri 14-Feb-14 07:56:04

He'd have to be diamond crusted for me to bother. Old softie is just a cop out. Who needs this kind of mess?

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 14-Feb-14 07:58:31

I think this man has treated you abysmally frankly. Ditching you on the say-so of a spoilt teen for a couple of years should have told you all you needed to know. You are last on his list of priorities and I'm amazed that you tolerate it.

pussycatdoll Fri 14-Feb-14 08:03:51

What on earth happened at the actual wedding ?! Did anyone speak ?
Your dh has made a catalogue of errors & now has spoilt adults to deal with who act how they want sad
I'd just hope that as they get older they'll lose the bitterness they feel although I doubt it

diddl Fri 14-Feb-14 08:33:01

He doesn't sound worth the bother tbh.

CookieDoughKid Fri 14-Feb-14 08:41:38

I think you should point out their behaviour is rude and unacceptable in your own house. That will make them feel small and unashamed even if on the outside they will display anger to you. Its how immature children behave when they tantrum because they have lost control. I have no solution for your dh because it looks like he will refuse to change just to keep seeing his children. I don't. think I could live with such discord myself and would question if he really is the man for me.

MistressDeeCee Fri 14-Feb-14 11:22:22

my husband admits he doesn't know how to speak up for himself when she is rude and demanding

Your DH needs assertiveness training. It does happen that some people are very, very fearful of confrontation. If he cant be bothered to address this then IMO he's not worth bothering with as you'll have years of misery ahead.

No point addressing his daughter - she's an adult and fully aware of the distress/misery she's causing and she doesn't give a shit. End of story on that one.

As for your SIL being involved - that definitely says to me your DH has confrontation issues or his sister being so nosey & involved would have been nipped in the bud.

Ultimately your DH wont want to alienate his family. Even if he did this for your sake, it doesn't bode well for a happy relationship between the two of you; he'll be fretting. On the other hand you should be able to get on with your marriage in relative peace and not have upset and turmoil to deal with. Only you know whether your marriage/DH is worth the ongoing stress of all this. An ultimatum has to come from somewhere. It really is a catch 22 situation..good luck with it all sorting out

Dahlen Fri 14-Feb-14 12:17:28

I don't think your DH is capable of having a mutually beneficial relationship at this moment in time.

I have no idea what went on in his previous marriage or its breakdown, but he seems to be carrying a lot of guilt that he doesn't seem to know how to deal with. It's a very unproductive emotion. It usually just sabotages everything.

It's possible that a lot of counselling and assertiveness training might help him stop taking the path of least resistance (which is always going to make you bottom of the pile), but TBH why would you hang around waiting for that to yield results when there's no guarantee it would?

A relationship in which your right to respect and consideration always come second to his XWs whims and DC's shows of oneupmanship is not a relationship.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 14-Feb-14 13:17:59

"why would you hang around waiting for that to yield results "

I suspect the OP has invested so much time & emotion in this that they feel obliged to stick around hoping it pays off eventually. They set the bar really low in the early years and it just keeps getting lower...

Pigsmummy Fri 14-Feb-14 14:50:03

To be fair your step children didn't have a good relationship with their father before, then add leaving home and remarrying into the mix of course it's worse. I would encourage your DH to look long and hard at his relationship with them and what/how he could do to try to make it better. If need be how to become more assertive. The way that you feel about his marriage to their mother will be very different to theirs.

You need to sit back and watch, going no contact and refusing the children into your home isn't going to help anyone.

ageofgrandillusion Fri 14-Feb-14 15:20:45

He sounds like a thoroughly pointless wet fart does this bloke and it is fairly obvious which side of the man/mouse equation he falls into.

lunar1 Fri 14-Feb-14 17:13:46

Your husband has provided a very unstable and miserable life for his children. They are bitter and it is easier to blame you. You were the ow in their eyes, you were there before he left the first time and you were the one he ran back to when he left again.

He hasn't made any attempt to do things with sensitivity at any point. Both times he left his wife and children for you. They will never forgive or respect either of you and that is their right.

It is easier to take it all out on you rather than their dad, he needs to step up and take responsibility but he seems to find it easier to let you carry that burden. He is basically using you to shoulder the burden that he has created. If you weren't around he would have to face up to his choices, while ever you are there he can let it all be take out on you.

You have one life and have spent 7 years of it on hold waiting for this man to treat you right. Leave and build your own life, surround yourself with friends and a partner who like and love you for who you are, rather than by people who can only view you as the ow who wrecked a family.

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