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Completely at the end of my tether! Fed up and never want to be a SM every again!

(51 Posts)
Bananasinpyjamas1 Tue 26-Apr-16 13:06:58

Apologies for the exclamation marks and frustration!

I went to counseling - took me 3 years to get DP there - yesterday. I just want to leave. My experience of being a SM has been totally demoralizing.

I have two children, one with DP, and yet every single thing seems like a battle. He still hasn't divorce, citing 'tax' reasons, (he's sorted finances/kids in a legal separation agreement). I haven't asked for much in 6 years.

Voicing that I wanted one step child to not be mean to my son resulted in her never coming to my house when I'm there. Wanting DP to divorce was another.

I don't think I'm unreasonable in these things. I just seem to be the scapegoat for everybody. I thought that we were getting somewhere!

Andsoitbegins88 Tue 26-Apr-16 14:29:28

I can feel your frustration bananas I'm sorry for you. I'm not sure how getting a divorce could have an adverse tax implication but I'm no tax expert!

I actually left my DP recently, I'm back now but it seems to be the wake up call he needed. 6 years and no divorce, being played like a puppet by the stbxw with a huge amount of toxic behaviour seemingly the norm. He's under no illusions that I'll leave for good if that doesn't get any better but I really hope he takes control and sorts it out for good.

Is the counseling something you'll do together for a while or did you DP just go with you the once? You're not unreasonable at all and I hope the counseling can help your DP see that flowers

Bananasinpyjamas1 Tue 26-Apr-16 14:42:55

Thanks andso - I'm just so miserable today! :-(. Sounds like your DP only began to see sense when you showed him directly what it would be like apart. How annoying is that?!

I've suggested counseling for the last 3 years, and we went to our first session yesterday. I just feel like I've been in so much baggage I could drown! I've got a son from a previous relationship, but I've not bought any additional problems... (Well he does leave smelly socks around... :-/)

Andsoitbegins88 Tue 26-Apr-16 15:07:52

SO annoying! I haven't made any secret of the fact that I'm struggling with the situation as it is so why does it take me finding the courage to leave before action happens?! I'm not holding my breath, though...!

Hopefully the regular counseling can help him see more clearly without you having to pack your bags for him to realise!

NZmonkey Tue 26-Apr-16 19:49:15

Sorry to hear your having such a hard time bananas flowers

Bananasinpyjamas1 Tue 26-Apr-16 20:43:17

Thanks Andso (hope that your DPs change is long lasting... ) and NZ

It just seems like it is never ending! Sigh. sad

Emeralda Tue 26-Apr-16 21:51:14

Bananas, I don't know if you've been for counselling before but IME it can make you feel worse before you feel better. It stirs up stuff. It doesn't mean it won't have a good outcome in the end. flowers to you in the meantime. Stick with it if it feels like the right thing to do and if you're comfortable talking to that counsellor, and see where it goes.

Bananasinpyjamas1 Tue 26-Apr-16 22:17:43

Thanks Emeralda. I've never been to counseling before. I feel like I've been shoveled all the bad stuff that no one from his first family wants to blame each other for, that it's just been too much on me.

HormonalHeap Tue 26-Apr-16 23:03:01

So sorry Bananas. I think you're brave going to counselling, but I don't think you have a choice.

I think the 'tax' reason is bollocks. Some things are more important than money and this should be one of them, especially as you have a child together! I may be completely off the mark here but do you think your dp's refusing to marry you as he's scared of upsetting his dsd?

This is going to take all your strength...

Bananasinpyjamas1 Wed 27-Apr-16 10:39:39

Thanks Hormonal - yes I do wonder what the hell is holding him back. It's just one of many issues though, so if he is refusing on this one... It just seems that a lot of the time we are fine and happy, but my DP then sees one of his kids or has some flack off of his Ex and it's like he backs off completely from our relationship.

AnneLovesGilbert Wed 27-Apr-16 11:51:23

Oh bananas how difficult and I'm so sorry you're having a shit time. Sending big unmumsnetty hugs to you x

Do you know what you need to make life feel better? Your DP getting divorced would be a start. Some sort of commitment from him that you're his life and his future.

How are you and your two DC? Are you happy with your DP's relationship with both of them? Can you take a step back from all the crap and focus on you and your own DC and what you all need for a happy life?

You've been through so much with your "blended" family and I admire everything you've done with them all, for them, for your DP, but you sound like you're really struggling right now and apart from letting it all out here - which you should do, not least because you're always so kind, helpful, supportive to the rest of us! - you need to work out what small steps you can take to make life a bit better.

Do you want to talk it through? I'm here.

Bananasinpyjamas1 Wed 27-Apr-16 18:14:17

Thanks so much Anne - it made me feel a whole lot better reading your post.

I would just like my DP to a) divorce; b) stop letting his kids or ex get between us, in whichever form that may take (which might be for the him the painful reality that if step kids/ex protest or ignore me - that is their problem, not mine) and c) built a future together and just enjoy our lives.

At the moment DP is saying our relationship is beyond 'repair' but unable to say what (his usual stance when he just backs off because of some bad feeling somewhere). I'm going to save the wine until the weekend, then go and have time off from everybody!

NZmonkey Thu 28-Apr-16 07:57:03

Bananas I agree with what Anne has said in that you have been through a lot and done so much for your family and always are so helpful too others and supportive of them on here. Your posts on here have really helped me over the last two years. I really hope your DP realises how wonderful you are and makes every effort to make you happy. wine flowers

OnceMoreIntoTheBleach Thu 28-Apr-16 11:55:03

Bananas your advice has helped me in the past. So sorry to hear you are struggling at the moment thanks

Taking yourself off is a good idea. Maybe they will stop taking you for granted when they experience a bit of time without you.

Can you talk to the exW? I've had trouble with SC bullying mine recently. I told them in no uncertain terms that it was shameful behaviour. Luckily my DP backed me up. Importantly, so has their DM.

This I think (hope!) will help greatly. I believe that previously, the SCs have resisted my input solely on grounds that they think my values don't match their own parents' values, but now they can see that they do, there's nowhere for them to run for 'comfort' when I pull them up on bad behaviour.

Their DM spoke with them about it and seems to think her words will have had an impact. I am very hopeful, because it would mean the end of the road for me and DP if his kids can't be trusted to treat me and mine with kindness and respect. That would be so sad, as there are no such issues between me and DP. Kids are the only sticking point these days. All other issues and teething problems between the two of us are sorted and stable, so if hate to throw it all away. BUT I will not put my kids into a house or school situation with SCs who intimidate or belittle them.

Bananasinpyjamas1 Thu 28-Apr-16 12:53:37

NZ Thanks a lot. I felt a bit emotional getting your responses. Am grateful for sympathies, although I can take criticism if I've been unfair (I hope!) It can sometimes feel quite lonely surrounded by step family that don't really see me as a person.

Oncemore thanks so much for your thoughtful words too. I'm really glad that you were able to tackle your SCs behavior all as a team. That is fantastic and must have been tricky for you to bring up. But you did and have protected not only your own kids, but your relationship, and helped your SCs greatly too. So good.

I think the ship has sailed on my step kids, the younger two are absolutely fine with me, the eldest mostly fine too. DSD2 is fine with me too, but completely unaware that her actions really hurt me and my son, and DP still feels that I somehow made things difficult for her. This is because I always intervened if she was mean to my son, DP never did. Sometimes it was fine. But she would regularly get in a hump and me and my son always bore the brunt of it, at aged 18 she had another phase of completely ignoring me and my son, so I had a word with her and asked her to at least be civil and say hello to us. She left the house and went to live with her mums! DP and her mum all blamed me. If I tried to say why, they all totally ignored me.

OnceMoreIntoTheBleach Thu 28-Apr-16 13:33:18

Grrrrr I feel for you. The crucial benefit for me is that I managed to get DP to see it for himself, and now he's on board and he can convey things to their DM also.

Previously I felt like you - invisible among the step family. I managed to get DP to see it with his own eyes through blood sweat and tears! He denied it at first. Deviousness of SC behaviour made sure it was subtle. But I kept pointing it out and made sure DP would trust me in what I said. It wasn't easy but he started to see it and then came on board with tackling it.

Their DM and GM still failed to think anything bad of their special snowflakes for a time and that made me angry and frustrated, and my and DPs efforts were largely futile because of outside influences giving SCs the impression they were blameless = all aggro must be because I am now on the scene.

But this outright bullying recently has opened everyone's eyes, thank goodness.

Maybe with your SCs being older there is an end in sight?

It sounds like your biggest hurdle is your DP though.

Can you show him some passages from stepmonster book? There's a section that talks about how the SM can been seen as the cause of all trouble just because she is the one who can see it/ points it out.

I showed that to me DP. Seemed to help him see things clearer.

coffeeisnectar Thu 28-Apr-16 14:26:12

I'm so sorry you are going through this. You've given me good advice about my own problems which have been similar. Although DP's divorce is waiting to be finalised (absolute) and that's not been an issue, the problems with his youngest dc are similar to those you have with your DSC.

I just don't think that your dp understands how it feels to be put so far down the list of priorities and maybe you do need to take a massive step back (or away) and let him find out what life on his own will be like. God knows I've felt like that many times.

Bananasinpyjamas1 Thu 28-Apr-16 14:40:28

Oncemore Thanks - that does sound very similar to mine. Except that my DP and their Mum were particularly defensive about their kids. So I ended up doing a kind of dance where I'd tackle things in a roundabout way, e.g. Take my son out to get time alone with him. His younger ones were always fine. I guess in a way I felt a bit bullied subtly by all of them. I dared to ask his Ex to just give me a warning if she dropped the kids to mine unexpectedly on one of her days, she subjected me to a tirade!

I found the step monster book and just thought 'wow'! I'm not mad! I tried to show it to DP but he took it badly. DP is a closed book about his first family.

coffee thanks too! I am very sad but I'm starting to think that us living apart for a very long time, a year at least, or breaking up, are going to be the only options. It's a continual struggle and I'm always second best here.

OnceMoreIntoTheBleach Thu 28-Apr-16 15:24:29

I remember stumbling on this post when I was at a low point ( before finding stepmonster) and it gave me a lot of fighting spirit

https://kimberlyharding.wordpress.com/2012/02/03/pulling-rank-on-my-stepdaughter-the-protective-stance-of-stepparents/

Don't know if it will help or if you are past the point of fighting but her words at the end about not letting a hold derail her needs and relationship really helped me to stand up for my own self in the step-world thanks

OnceMoreIntoTheBleach Thu 28-Apr-16 15:25:39

*child, not hold

Bananasinpyjamas1 Thu 28-Apr-16 16:21:45

Once many thanks once again! Will immediately read. Have 2 hours free from children now so time to reflect a little.

OnceMoreIntoTheBleach Sat 30-Apr-16 08:45:44

How's it going bananas? Hope you're ok flowers

Bananasinpyjamas1 Sat 30-Apr-16 14:03:45

Once Thanks so much. chocolate It's still a bit sticky, a lot of it is that my DP has been dragging his heels about us because of doubts, a lot of which were planted some time ago by his first family. It's interesting, as during counseling he was challenged on these and for the first time admitted he was wrong.

I've said I'm no longer going to be a second class relationship. I worry that I've taken too much without being supported by my DP and any turnaround from him may well be too late. But I'll keep going to the sessions. At the moment he's going away for a while to give us a break. sad

Emeralda Sat 30-Apr-16 22:09:03

flowers to you, Bananas. Is the counselling going to be on hold while he's away?

Bananasinpyjamas1 Sat 30-Apr-16 23:15:53

Thanks emerelda. Counseling will be on hold while he is away. Might not be a bad thing, just to digest things.

I wish we'd had some kind of Step family wise mentor or mediator in previous years! Someone who could parachute in when needed, give some perspective! We have the trickiest, most complicated balance of all! Yet zero support or guidance.

The poor counselor looked practically goggled at the amount of family issues we had faced! I imagine that is true of many a SM...

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