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Anyone got to breaking point but managed to repair Step Family?!

(17 Posts)
K888 Tue 11-Aug-15 19:21:55

Hi, Posted on here a couple of months ago, am at breaking point with step family and still a bit lost as to how to go forward!

My OH is 'giving me space' by staying with friends - he feels resentful that he can't act as he would if he were single regarding his 4 daughters. This is his main issue with me. We have a 2 year old DC and I have one older DS. I've tried in so many ways to be SM for last 5 years, had 2 resident with me, others every weekend. But all of them still have no care or interest in me or my DS - although they do go to cinema together - they just 'stick together', back each other up, and for weeks now barely even talk to me in the house. They are much more open with each other.

They tolerate me, and resident 18 year old DSD went to her mums and avoided me for last few months and told me to 'stay out of anything' regarding setting limits/asking her not to be rude. My OH sided with her completely.

I feel like I try on my side - for example cooking them exactly what they like, letting them use computers all hours (but set limits with my own) as their Dad feels that is his business with them, washing their clothes - making sure they have time with their Dad etc etc.

I finally spilled out to OH how tough it felt being SM, how excluded I felt, that I didn't blame them it was just hard. He hardly ever suggests time together with me. It is his house and I feel like I will never be a part of it (house will go to DSDs, no provision for me, refuses to discuss pensions).

I hoped some time would mean we really talked about him and me being stronger as a couple, but all he wants to talk about is how he is finding it hard to compromise at all with his kids - setting limits etc.

I spent a week with him and all DSDs on holiday last week, I initiated it as a way of just extending an olive branch to all and organised days out etc, we had an okay time but still a big 'detachment' from OH and DSDs to me, didn't feel any closer. OH just talked about wanting to spend time with 'his girls and our son' and no real interest in us when we got back - not even for an evening out. I get the growing feeling that his girls, who of course know that he is not living at the house, and my OH are becoming a defensive unit when it is me and him that need time together.

I feel like it is a crucial time - we are on the verge of splitting up and I just feel like all the effort is coming from me, help!!! Anyone else got any advice?

Wheelsonthebus123 Tue 11-Aug-15 21:11:17

Are you married to their Dad? If not it sounds like you've basically moved into their Dad's house and seem to think that he should therefore disinherit his own flesh and blood in favour of you by giving you the house which it sounds like he owned and pre you. Or is it just his 'half' of the house going to step daughters? Have you made your own pension provisions prior to meeting your OH? If not not sure why you think you should rely on his to make up for the fact you haven't made any provision. Can't imagine why your stepdaughters would be wary of you..... Also if I were the stepdaughters I'd probably be a bit confused as to why it was my Dad moving out temporarily and not you.

K888 Tue 11-Aug-15 21:25:56

Wheelsonthebus123... No I don't think he should disinherit his daughters, I didn't say that. I've lived here 5 years, when I worked (before our son was born) I paid into the house. I now am a full-time mum to our toddler child. I have also cared for his daughters full-time for the last 5 years. I don't want any of the house and have never asked for this - just a provision to be made (like held in trust for his daughters) for say a couple of years in the will so that I wouldn't be homeless. Didn't seem like an awful thing to ask.

And as to why he is moving out temporarily? I have moved out previously for a few weeks with our baby son and my older son - it was impossible - I have no family near (he has) and I am taking care of the kids. So that is why.

K888 Tue 11-Aug-15 21:28:29

And for pensions, I have worked all of my life until we had our son together - had built up some pension but now we both want me to be able to care for our son as much as possible so I won't be going back full-time for some years (part-time as soon as school starts) - and the pension I've built won't be enough on it's own.

MsColouring Tue 11-Aug-15 21:33:42

I think that is a bit harsh wheels... If you are committed enough to someone to move in then you should be committed enough to discuss pensions etc. It is not a case of disinheriting his flesh and blood - just ensuring that everyone is covered.

OP - you seem to be in a very tough predicament. I think you are hoping for something that isn't going to happen. You should be able to work as a team when setting boundaries, his time with his girls is important but time with you are your kids should be too. I do think it is particularly important with stepfamilies that the couple have time together to help them stay strong.

I'm sorry things seem so bleak for you - I wish I could say something more encouraging. You may need to prepare for the worst (or a new start if you want to think of it more positively).

K888 Tue 11-Aug-15 21:40:45

MsColouring... thanks for that. Re reading this even I find it a bit bleak!!! :-( I have tried so hard!

Maybe83 Tue 11-Aug-15 21:44:53

You clearly missed the part were the op stated she is also mother to his child.

When I gave up my home and moved into my dh house we agreed on our financial set up, my dd will receive a share of his house and his son a share of my life insurance policy with with our joint dd. Our money is joint and spent on the benefit all the children as and when they need it irrespective of his mine or ours.

That's what happens when you start a family together you have a responsibility to each other. My dd lost the security she had previously to me entering into the relationship my dh recognises that.

There has been times that I have felt it was my dd and I on one side, him on the other. My dd can be challenging to say the least. But he tends to judge her by his sons standards and when ss was my dd age my ss lived pretty much time with his mam. My dh wasn't dealing with day to day parenting. When I pointed this out he agreed and we have sat down agreed house rules, we discuss problems or plans for the children. He s very supportive of me.

It sounds so sad I would be hurt and questioning the future as well op.

What does your dp think about the possibility of having to live separately to your joint child?

One of the things dh and agreed was we never want to have to parent separately again. We know how difficult it is and the challenges it's brought our older children and we don't want that for our youngest. That's been a big driver for us during difficult times to stop and really focus on resolving differences we have.

K888 Tue 11-Aug-15 21:59:25

Maybe... thanks. I was on a reasonable full-time wage before I had our son and gave this up - our young son seems to have mild special needs too which is one of the reason I'm not back to work like I did with my older son. It's good to hear that you and your DH discuss problems and support each other. My OH has always been super defensive, although in time has come around to a few things.

The reason we have stuck it out so far has been our son together - my OH would be pretty devastated and I have bought up one child as a single parent and not in a rush to do it all again. However, it is like as long as I'm here in the house he'll let any resentment or rudeness from his DSDs go unnoticed - to the point where I had to have a big argument last year where I told him how much his older DSD puts down my older son - and that it was only me who intervened and he needed to step up - not letting any child be bullied!

Maybe83 Tue 11-Aug-15 22:14:46

I understand I was a single mother for 8 years to dd and it was hard not something I want to do again if I can help it but that taught me there's worse things than being alone. I never felt worse than in my relationship with dd father and I wouldn't stay in marriage if It ever got that bad.

From the week after we got married we have had one problem after another as in if it could go wrong it has, death, financial problems, nearly losing our home ill health you name it we have probably had it. Plus the day to day of having children. It really was just constant pressure and stress.

Time together has been so important for us. We do try to prioritise it now as much as you can with 3 children.

Have you considered counselling. Last year after i had our dd things were very bad and some days I think both of us wondered would we make it. We really do love each other though and managed to pull it back our selves but I was considering relationship counselling we just seemed so out of sync with each other.

K888 Tue 11-Aug-15 23:51:54

Thanks again Maybe - wow you had it hard! Amazing that you both got through it, it would probably have pulled apart most couples so I'm in admiration that you got through it so well.

I suggested counselling too, but OH not quite as keen for some reason. He keeps putting it off.

Maybe83 Wed 12-Aug-15 00:26:43

We do joke after everything that's happened if we go to bed still kind of liking each other we haven't done to bad that day.

Well how about booking to go your self? I ve gone a few times in my life if I have needed help to process things sometimes it helps to get it out cry a bit and focus on a plan.

K888 Wed 12-Aug-15 15:00:19

Good idea, think I will do that - go for counselling myself, thanks.

HormonalHeap Wed 12-Aug-15 19:14:33

The 'mine and yours' pattern is only too familiar to me. My dh and I have been together 9 years, but he still acts like a single parent when it comes to his adult 'children', making financial decisions without having the courtesy to let me know. This is not me being resentful of money as he is generous to my children too.

Your oh knows that he runs the risk of not living with the child you have together, yet isn't willing to invest in your relationship by putting aside time for you, that's what I can't understand. I'm not advising you to do this but can't help wondering if his stance would be the same given an ultimatum.

ImperialBlether Wed 12-Aug-15 19:31:43

I think your partner knows damn well that if he went for counselling he'd be asked why he lets his children put you and your son down. He wouldn't have an answer, so he prefers not to put himself in that situation.

K888 Wed 12-Aug-15 20:33:12

HormonalHeap - yes it's like we are all to be a family as long as I don't expect to be acknowledged/active part of that role. My DSD who is avoiding me got her Results today - she did OK - it was me (and her Dad) who showed her on the computer how to think about her choices for Uni/College, me who talked to her Maths teacher. Yet my OH is round at her mum's where she have moved (who did nothing to help her) - like I was never a major part in her life.

Imperial - thanks - yes if we'd talked frankly and openly over the last 2 years we wouldn't be in this position. I think I'm going to counselling just for me.

Toofatforazipwire Wed 12-Aug-15 20:58:22

k888 I don't think your asking too much at all. It sounds really tough.

If there were no DSC and you moved in with your dp and had a child I'm sure lots of posters would be telling you to get in the mortgage, set provisions especially since you have paid in to the house.

I live in my DP house and we are remortgaging and I'm going on it as I'm not leaving this relationship with nothing after giving up work myself to care for our dd.

I'd start focusing on what you and your son need and work backwards from there. If he is unbudging with that then I'd have to go.

I think he is treating you like a bystander in in his life and the way your getting treated of them all must be so isolating flowers

K888 Wed 12-Aug-15 21:16:36

Toofatforazipwire - I like your advice about starting with what me and our son need and working backwards from there.

I have never asked to be part of the mortgage - and my partner has always said how generous I am to him and how little I ask from him - but I am deeply sad that I'm not even considered financially.

A big part of me would rather leave and build my own life/house so that I'd have something stable for both my children that does feel like all of ours - better than sidelined as I am now. I'm sure I'm capable - I've done it before!

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