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So resentful of dh's ex

(17 Posts)
Slipslidingaway Mon 19-Nov-12 20:20:14

I need some wise words if any of you have time. I'm really scared that me and dh are on the way to splitting up and underpinning it is my growing resentment of his ex dp and dare I say it, possibly, his 2 dc. We have been together for 4 years and married for 2. I have an 11 yo ds from previous relationship and we have an 18 mo ds. I have 2 dsc (girl and boy) and they live with us 50% of time. To be honest I'm knackered and low: I work in a stressful job (3 days pw); ds2 is a dreadful sleeper and has always been quite demanding (though gorgeous and funny with it); ds1 is a stroppy pre-teen and is also trying to deal with the fall-out of his real dad moving abroad (so he too can be a handful). Meanwhile, dh has chronic back pain and tends to be grumpy and morose 90% of time (problem is I'm not sure if it's his back or me that makes him miserable). Dsc are great, I adore my dsd and am really fond of dss (though more complex relationship as ds1 and him argue).
Despite the fact that I love my step-children, I feel so resentful and jealous of the freedom their mum has (ie half the week to do as she chooses) whilst I have a massive family for half the week (4 kids) with all the extras that entails (endless washing, cooking, cleaning, shopping, refereeing between arguments etc). We never go out together and our lives revolve around the kids really. Problem is that dh will NOT hear a word against ex dp, so I feel like I'm just a bitter cow. Tonight i suggested (meanly probably) that she could do the kids (my dsc) washing as I was sick of putting three loads on per day; dh was scornful of me, like I'm the evil step mum, when in fact I'm so sad, tired and lonely.
Last week dh and i had a massive argument because kids' mum had witnessed an argument between my ds1 and dss on skype (she was on holiday in las Vegas) and had then bollocked my son and blamed it on him (ie dss was the wronged, innocent one). I was livid as I care for her dc fairly and squarely and treat all the kids the same when they are here. The fall out has been that I am now feeling resentful (don't want to do their washing for example) and I know am being immature - it's not the kids fault but i just wish their dad would support me! Problem is they are not just ex's but business partners...
Sorry. Rant. I'm not sure what I want to hear.

Incrediblemeee Mon 19-Nov-12 21:34:44

Hi, this is my first reply ever, but I have just scored a small victory and would like to share this with you. I have 1 ds aged 14 and 2 dsc aged 12 (boy)and 15(girl). Although dh pays huge amounts on child support incl private schooling we used to feed them on two weekdays and every second week, spend weeks of holiday time with them etc... BM tended to dump them on us until I protested. Now they come one weekday, stay overnight, and of course weekends. Up to now I did everything, shopping, cooking for five, doing their laundry. Needless to say we do not have large amounts of money to spend but ex and her kids literally rolling in it. I was not only overworked but deeply resentful as no gratitude whatsoever, never a thank you for anything. So I stopped being a fool, all the kids do own laundry, dh has told them to thank me for cooking meals, which they do grudgingly. Ds has become more independent and less of a brat too! They have to Hoover own rooms, help setting table, dishwasher duties, etc. all done under protest but done! I'm proud of my ds because he took to it fairly and keeps his room relatively tidy. Dsd a pig... Luckily has own room so I close door on mess. No longer pickup after her. DISENGAGE, let dh take on chores for his kids, he will soon tire! Respect yourself or no one else will. Do not wait for change, make it happen, don't bother discussing, will fall on deaf ears! Look after yourself first, and good luck!

AmberLeaf Mon 19-Nov-12 21:55:06

OP you sound lovely, but your DH is the problem, he isn't pulling his weight is he?

Maybe he could wash his childrens clothes?

HKnight Mon 19-Nov-12 23:50:50

OP, you are not a slave. You are not superhuman, tell your DH if either he or the children don't start helping out then you might have a nervous breakdown and leave. If he doesn't listen, maybe you and your 2 children could go spend a few days with relatives and let them see how much you do for them and how hard it is? Good luck xxx

Slipslidingaway Tue 20-Nov-12 06:35:33

Thank you. It's so hard as dh thinks my moans about washing are trivial. His response is you only work 3 days per week. He is a lovely man but he honestly can't see what the big issue is. I think I will let him do his own washing plus kids and see if that lessens the load.
Being a step parent is very very tough. I respect dh so much for being devoted to his kids but I am just expected to be super human in managing so that their lives aren't disrupted. If I do complain I am just the wicked step mum! But I'm just tired ....

Slipslidingaway Tue 20-Nov-12 06:40:16

Incredibleme , well done. Disengage is good advice. I think being a dogsbody is so often cloaked in terms of being a good mum. It's crap.

NorthernNobody Tue 20-Nov-12 06:42:21

I think this issue could arise regardless of your 'step' aspect.

In my marriage I was the down trodden working slave. Led by their father I had two sullen teens who abused that (why wouldn't they!) and a young DC. I was exhausted and resented the world and his wife

It's your DH that is the issue here. Don't bounce it onto anyone else.

EMS23 Tue 20-Nov-12 06:48:27

I agree with Northern - the problem is not necessarily a step issue, although I do sympathise as I've definitely resented DH's ex perceived freedom etc..

You don't need to be a dogsbody but I don't think disengaging from your DSC's care is the way forward. Compromise has got to be the way forward.

Could you make a list of all that needs to get done, call a family meeting with DH and all DC's and get a rota worked out? Tough shit if they don't like it, your house, your rules.
DH needs to agree though obviously because you need to avoid a them and us situation in your own home.

talkingnonsense Tue 20-Nov-12 06:50:45

Be ill. Go away and leave him with all four children- go to your mum/ sister- whoever could realistically be looking after you. Then discuss on your return! If he's coped well- how fab, you can carry on! If not, sorted.

glasscompletelybroken Tue 20-Nov-12 08:32:54

This is not just about the washing though is it?

Your DH appears to be more supportive of his exP than he is of you. It's not her fault that you have other children so when her kids are with her you still don't have freedom, whereas she has half the week off. However you are doing all the work at home (while he's working with her?) and when you complain he "won't hear a word against her". Thats bound to cause resentment.

Not sure what you can do. Sorting out help with the chores will make you less tired but you have other issues which are harder to solve.

AThingInYourLife Tue 20-Nov-12 08:42:23

I'm not surprised you want to leave him. You seem to have married one of those men who seeks out a replacement dogsbody so he doesn't have to look after his own children.

Just think - soon you could have the life his ex has and he'll have to find some other woman to look after his family.

purpleroses Tue 20-Nov-12 09:27:10

You're tired, overworked and underappreciated. But I don't think.that's really the ex's fault. She has her DCs half the time just like your DP does. And it's not her job to do her kids laundry when they're with their Dad. Either your DP needs to pull his weight a bit more or the older 3 kids could take on more - eg sort the clean laundry and put it all away.

AThingInYourLife Tue 20-Nov-12 09:35:48

"Either your DP needs to pull his weight a bit more or the older 3 kids could take on more - eg sort the clean laundry and put it all away."

Both of those things need to happen.

OwlLady Tue 20-Nov-12 09:47:59

I agree that this is a problem with your husband, he needs to be helping you with the children and housework. Having four children, even for half of the week is a full time job regardless of housework. I actually feel quite angry on your behalf that he has said you only work 3 days a week hmm and the tiredness of no sleep, rushing about, burning the candle at both ends is enough to make anyone feel resentful sad His ex was completely out of order too and he could have a quiet word without making it into such a big deal

Lasvegas Tue 20-Nov-12 13:28:57

Like incredible, i too disengaged. My DH ex wife has not worked since her kids were born 16 yrs ago. DH gives her more maintenance that CSA say he should and she is re-married, so she doesn't need to work. I work full time with a long commute and our own child to look after. I used to do the cleaning and cooking and shopping for food for steps. While DH watched TV or played on wi! I stopped about 4 years ago and now DH looks after his kids as he should do. I got steps a separate washing basket.

Slipslidingaway Tue 20-Nov-12 18:46:25

Thanks so much for all your support - I really didn't expect anyone to respond. Lots of wisdom to take on board (some uncomfortable for me - glasscompletely that made my stomach lurch because I think it hits the nail on the head of the cause of my resentment). And yes, owl, I may only work 3 days but a full time job is squeezed into those days (both work and home).
Seems general consensus is trouble lies with dh ... Need to think about how to tackle rationally (hard when I'm so dog eared).

3littlefrogs Tue 20-Nov-12 18:54:15

Can you book some leave from work and go away for a couple of weeks with your youngest?

Leave DH to organise everything for the other 3. How does he get on with your 11 year old?

The 3 older DC definitely need to be doing chores and helping with the washing.

My DC did all their own washing from the age of about 12. They were also responsible for cleaning and tidying their own rooms, loading and unloading the dishwasher, clearing the table etc.

Shopping and cooking was shared between the adults in the house.

Your DH is the problem.

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