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Regret becoming a step-mother

(14 Posts)
Jacko80 Wed 06-Jul-11 16:18:48

DH and I married 18 months ago. We bought a 3 bedroomed house specifically so that DS could have a room of his own and his DD (13) could have a bedroom to herself when she visited on alternative weekends. However 2 months after moving into the house DH broke the news to me that he'd agreed to have DSD here permanantly. I got no say in this whatsoever but what could I do? I could hardly say no. But as soon as the ball got rolling all the arguments started. She insisted on having DS's room as it's bigger than hers. I said no yet I find out that behind my back DH had told her he would "work on it as she should have the bigger room being the girl". So we argued over that and I told him there was no way I was chucking DS out of the room he'd decorated himself (some of it with his own money). DH said I was being unfair and a drama queen. This is where it all started. We have a rota where everyone that lives with us takes a turn at washing up. DSD refused to take part and DH said it was no big deal. I said it WAS a big deal as DS was having to do it and so should she. DH "had a word" with her and she said she wouldn't do it unless he bought her protective gloves hmm so guess who kept forgetting to buy protective gloves? In the end I reluctantly bought some and she still made excuses as to why she couldn't wash up. She does nothing, she doesn't get out of bed until 1-2pm weekends and then moans that there is nothing in for her to eat, this results in DH scrambling for pans etc and cooking her whatever he can find despite the fact that DS has been told he can have a sandwich or nothing. The kids have set bed times yet he creaps into hers and tells her to "just be quiet" and she can stay up until whatever time she wants. He said she should have more pocket money than DS as DS gets maintanance off his dad (which pays for school things, clothes etc, not luxuries!) I disagreed as the maintanance gets paid to me, DS doesn't see it yet I find out he's doubled her pocket money behind my back. Everything revolves around her, days out, holidays, what we eat, he even allowed her to buy a kitten even though we'd discussed it and I had said no (as I don't like cats and we can't afford more pets). I was so angry I took it straight to a cat rescue place which resulted in a tantrum from hell, doors slamming, screaming, OTT crying, pleas of "I'm going to kill myself!" etc hmm and DH turned to me and said "there, you happy now??" shock yet DH happily told DS he couldn't have a Gecko.

I am so angry and fed up with it all, I resent her so much it's like she's just stormed in here and turned my whole world upside down. DS hates her, I can't stand being around her yet deep down I know DH is the problem and he is the one doing this. Does it get any better? am I likely to "win" on this one or should I just throw in the towel and file for divorce??

feckwit Wed 06-Jul-11 16:21:39

The problem isn't your stepdaughter, it is your husband.

He is allowing her to manipulate situations and is not treating the children equally. If he can't agree to the same set of rules for your son and his daughter, I would leave.

barleymow Wed 06-Jul-11 16:47:54

Blimey - how on earth did he just announce to you that your DSD was moving in after you were already married and sharing your joint home? (or more importantly get away with it) ??? There is nothing wrong with your DSD. Only with your husband. You need a serious chat/ or couples counselling to learn to parent as a team. Good luck, you have my sympathies

catsmother Wed 06-Jul-11 17:44:24

Forgive my language but your husband is an irresponsible, selfish, stupid, arrogant, disloyal, disrespectful fuckwit. His behaviour is absolutely disgraceful - to both you and your son, and, if only he knew it, for his daughter too as she'll grow (if she hasn't already) into a manipulative spoilt little madam. Quite obviously he's out to prove that his child is "better" than your child which is pathetic.

Obviously, as individuals, your respective children are THE most important to you, but outwardly, living together as a family you just can't have a situation where only one child is forever the golden favoured one. You just can't. Your son will become more and more unhappy, and you will go mad with anger and resentment.

If he wasn't prepared to discuss all this objectively, maybe with the help of a counsellor, then I don't see you have any real choice except to separate, because the favouritism is so blatant and so nasty. To try and turf DS out of his room, the room that had been decorated for him in all good faith, because suddenly the goalposts move in regard to SD, is actually very spiteful. Your H is also completely undermining YOU by actively encouraging his child to break the house rules. All this clandestine whispering and advice on how to "get away" with things is effectively saying to his daughter that you, as the other adult in the house, are irrelevant .... that your rules are stupid and so on. Am getting more and more angry on your behalf as I'm typing this. Your H is a complete knob, he really is. There is NO justification for how he's being, none at all.

pengymum Wed 06-Jul-11 17:54:04

As above!
File for divorce and don't under any circumstance get pregnant with his child - you have seen what he is like and he won't get better. He is an adult and he should be talking to you not scheming with his DD. There is no excuse for this behaviour from him towards you. Thank your lucky stars that you have found this out before it was too late and you had a child together. As it is you should get what you put into the house back and start afresh with your DS. He doesn't need this type of role model does he! Good luck.
I can't believe he got her a cat when you had said no to it and he had refused your son a pet. Children must be treated equally, there is no excuse in my eyes for people who don't.

brdgrl Wed 06-Jul-11 18:53:45

just chiming in, complete agreement with the above posters... maybe couples counselling could help, but if DH doesn't wise up and quick, you are in a lot of trouble.

SingingTunelessly Wed 06-Jul-11 19:29:56

Can I just ask, have you and DH actually sat down just the two of you and talked this through properly and thoroughly? If you have and this is still the situation then honestly no it will not get better. The trantruming 13yo will become a trantruming 23yo. Being a parent can be tough at times, being a step-parent is off the scale.

nenevomito Wed 06-Jul-11 20:53:39

Hmm - I suspect that your DH is stuck in Disney Dad mode. If DSD has decided to come and live with him, he'll be at pains to show her how good it is living with him.

As per the other posters, its not your DSD's fault. Even in non-blended families if you have one parent undermining the other then you will end up with this situation.

Difficult though it is, you need to talk to him about it. My serious advice is to not bring up DSDs behaviour as he will go into major Daddy Lion mode protecting his cub at all costs.

Make a list of...
The times where he has undermined you.
The times where he has treated DS differently to DSD

This will help you get it clear in your head. Explain as calmly as you can that him undermining you doesn't help your relationship or DSD in the long run. Also make it clear about how he is turning it into an "Us" (him and DSD) and "Them" (you and DS) when it should be about "Us" the couple, with two children who are secure in their relationship with both of you and both children have clear boundaries.

Him undermining you is disrespectful, but you are not the first SM to find yourself in this situation. Were here if you need us!

mdoodledoo Wed 06-Jul-11 22:20:18

Agree with BabyHeave 100%.

The boundaries are really really messed up from what you describe - and both children will suffer in the end. There's inequality with regard to the children, but it also does not sound although this is an equal husband and wife relationship - your opinions, wants and needs are being stomped on and that's going to damage you too. There needs to be a lot of honest communication between you and your DH for this to turn around. Good luck.

mdoodledoo Wed 06-Jul-11 22:23:39

PS - it's no bloody wonder that you're regretting becoming a StepMum, but things can be different, you, your DS and even your DH and your DSD (because it can't be a nice situation for them either, despite your DH being the cause) do not have to live with the current situation.

Lorenz Thu 07-Jul-11 07:15:19

If ever I get tempted to enter another relationship with kids - I'm going to read these threads to bring me to my senses.

theredhen Thu 07-Jul-11 08:00:15

Sounds like he's the child here, not DSD!

NotActuallyAMum Fri 08-Jul-11 10:41:34

Aside from the (rather huge I know) fact that I don't have children, I could have written this OP almost word for word a few years ago

Jacko I can't add anything to what's already been said except that I strongly recommend that you show your H (sorry but I refuse to call him 'D'H) this thread, and make sure he reads every single word

In our case, to cut a very long story short, for months and months she wrapped him round her little finger and demanded (and of course got!) everything on earth, in very much the same way you have described. Eventually though, even he snapped, sat her down and told her it had got to stop. She knew he meant it. I was absolutely amazed, I honestly never thought he'd ever say a crossed word to her

Within 10 minutes she smashed her room up, told us both how much she hated us and never wanted to see us again then got on the phone to her Mum telling (not asking, you understand...) her to fetch her

3 months later they moved away. DH hasn't seen her since, this was 4 years ago. We don't even know where they live. Still paying CSA though, even though she's officially an adult!

theredhen Fri 08-Jul-11 11:26:20

This is the trouble notactually, because NRP can't put down firm boundaries because of their own insecurities, the kids end up feeling so let down when the NRP finally does try to actually parent the kids rather than "babysit" them. In your case it was too late for your DSD. Plenty of NRP have opportunities to bring up their kids properly and with consisent and clear boundaries and so many choose not to.

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