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Feel like I am not coping very well

(9 Posts)
alwaystryingtobeafriend Mon 24-Nov-14 09:57:01

I dont want to get into too much detail so will start with basics.
I have 2 DSC Girl(10) and boy (8).
I have been with DP for 3 years and lived with him for 1yr almost.
He left his exW as she was seeing other men behind his back. I met him and his kids at a new year party 3 years ago and met kids as his girlfriend after about 3 months.
Recently we have had problems with DSD's hygeine and her attitude (none of whcih have really changed despite trying anything to enagage her and make her feel like part of the family here.)
For a while I felt like DSS was a wee bit behind on doing certain things but after reading replies to my post on this i accept this is just how he is.

The problem I am having at the monet is DPs exW and his kids. exW likes to kick off anytime she gets a chance and to be fair to her so would I if I got told the stories she gets told. You see DSD likes to go back to her mums and give her a run down of the previous nights events or weekends events. But she only gives half a story which paints me and/or DP in a bad light. I dont know if mum is intrerrogating her or if this informatiuon is volunteered. But DSD and DSS never speak to me or DP about their mum.

This totally frustrates me because I am doing my absolute best at being stepmum. I dont have my own kids so I am totally blind at this even after 3 years.

I try to speak to DP about it but he gets all defensive of his kids(and rightly so) when I tell him how I feel or what I think of them.

I try to love his kids as much as I can but I feel like they are making it really difficult for me. I feel like I am walking on eggshells everytime they are here incase I do anything that goes back to mum and can cause an arguement. I cant or shouldn't live like that in my own home.

I am really reluctant to do anything with them now. I hate the thought of spending money on them as its never good enough. No gratitude is given or they act like they deserve it. DP says he understands where i am coming from and tells me not to speak to kids if it bothers me so much but how is that actually helping the situation???

Also, he tels me to not speak to kids then when DSS footbal training nights come he ants DSD to stay withme and its a proper event if I refuse.

Sorry this all so long winded I just need to get it off my chest.

Flame me if you want I dont care. But I honestly feel like giving up on this whole entire relationship if something doesnt change soon.

Cupcakes123 Mon 24-Nov-14 10:18:15

No advice really but I'm in a similar situation, I really really really want nothing more than a good relationship with my DSC but blimey it's hard work sometimes.
Not helped by their mum and her huge spoon stirring everything up and saying things to them to make DP and I Iook bad.
Other peoples kids are hard work, I expect to be flamed for that too but they are. Especially when they have zero respect for you and your trying your hardest.

Wine is your answer. Buckets of it wink

alwaystryingtobeafriend Mon 24-Nov-14 10:45:16

haha cupcakes. I'm just glad I am not alone. I don't think its bad saying other peoples kids are hard work. Def no flaming from me thats for sure. I agree 100%.

Why do the ex's make it difficult?? I mean one weekend we were sent over wet and dirty clothes to be washed / dried and worn taht weekend. She works part time and at nights (the nights we have the kids so she has all day. I dont understand her mentality at all. I cant help but feel she is grilling the kids eevry day after they have been with us. I feel sorry for the kids as they seem to be a part in her games she tries to play. but then I get frustrated because DP does nothing about it (not that it would make a difference) I also then get frustrated at the kids for telling her half baked stories to make us look bad. DSD is smart for a 10 yr old an I think she knows what she is doing which makes me more infuriated. I think I am struggling to like this wee girl just now.

FunkyBoldRibena Mon 24-Nov-14 10:55:33

*Also, he tels me to not speak to kids then when DSS footbal training nights come he ants DSD to stay withme and its a proper event if I refuse.

Sorry, you look after his daughter and are not allowed to speak to her? But if you refuse to do his bidding he starts on at you?

What are you supposed to do? Sit in silence?

For the telling stories, I had that. I remember my OH on the phone 8 years ago whilst his ex complained that I had been mean and he said 'how did she know what Funky said if she didn't hear her then? How is asking her if she needs a tissue mean?' [Step daughter pretending she hadn't heard me, ongoing issue so I stopped talking to her. Wouldn't come for food as couldn't hear me. Wouldn't answer me if I asked her a question. Now 17 yrs old and hopefully off to uni next Sept.].

I just had to do my own thing and leave him to deal with her.

alwaystryingtobeafriend Mon 24-Nov-14 11:00:11

Exactly Funky. Its like he forgets what he says.

I'm not the type to sit and let things go on without saying anything which doesnt help. But when i refuse to watch DSD its a fault. i dont love his kids etc. I try to explain why I dont want to but then he goes in a huff and plays the 'you don't love my kids act'

What to do!!!

HesNotAMessiah Mon 24-Nov-14 11:32:20

It's not easy is it?

You can't do anything about the ex, just carry on doing what you both think is for the best for the kids.

Your DP does need to step up and have a chat with DSD though. It's not fair to play the kids off against the parent and this is effectively what the ex is doing. Although it may seem it's driven by DSD, she's doing it to get approval from the ex.

Your DP needs to respond to the ex factually and calmly. Simply fill in the blanks to the story, and if the ex says DSD is upset about anything just say you will talk to her about it and apologise if there has been a misunderstanding.

And possibly start having those conversations with DSD about how it's ok to tell you if she's got a problem with anything. I don't mean be soft on her, I just mean open up a channel of communication. Sounds like you have been trying on that front.

I think DP's really struggle to understand how different being a step parent is from being a biological parent. I had screaming matches with mine over it, part of the problem is understanding what your role is, or can be, and the other part is communicating that to your DP so that they truly understand.

FunkyBoldRibena Mon 24-Nov-14 11:32:53

Tell him to grow up and he can't have it both ways. Use his prior words to explain the ridiculous situation he is putting you in. And if he doesn't defend you to his ex then maybe just maybe they need to sort their own kids out amongst themselves.

alwaystryingtobeafriend Mon 24-Nov-14 23:52:42

its just a nightmare. Dp does defend me to his ex and puts her right. It just frustrates me that he cant decide how he wants me to be or what he wants me to do. I need him to guide me sometimes and i just feel out my depth and a bit unsupported. I wish he could see things from my perspective.

I am still so frustrated and dunno how to deal/cope. Xx

thebluehen Tue 25-Nov-14 01:42:48

The "tale telling" and "not being good enough" sounds very familiar.

My dsc are all at secondary school age or older now.

For years I had teen dsd1 telling me and her dad "she didn't want to get involved" if he ever tried to talk to her about her mum or a situation that had arisen. (Dp ex used to regularly stop contact with younger dsc). Yet I know it was dsd1 who was telling her mum all the stuff that was causing the problems. hmm

Like you, I have really tried but you can't help but become resentful of the kids when you feel that they're spies in the camp. I have offered lifts which have been accepted but my driving and car criticised every time. I have organised days out (something they have never done with mum) and had nothing but moaning. We have bought expensive birthday and Christmas presents to literally have the kids not say a word of thanks. I have done all their laundry and been criticised etc etc

The only memories of any fun family times dsd1 has,that she talks about are from before dp and his ex split up when she was 10, she's now 18. We have done so many "firsts" with her but she never even acknowledges them.

After 6.5 years, I have sadly come to expect it and don't have the sort of relationship I would have liked with most of my step children. Dsd2 is the exception. grin

I have not been perfect and I admit to being downright hurt and upset and equally frustrated that I couldn't grow a thicker skin.

I do have an understanding of what makes it happen. I honestly believe the kids are insecure and unhealthily over protective of their mother who plays the victim role very well. I also believe their dad being constantly scared of losing contact with his kids has encouraged some poor parenting from him.

Only you can decide if you can detach and live with it. But the detachment needs to be on your terms not when it only suits your dp!

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