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Please just tell me it gets easier, please

(43 Posts)
Iloveprettythings Sun 15-Jan-17 23:34:01

Hi Sorry. Bad evening.
I don't really want to put why because I think a load of abuse that those of us who struggle with step parenting often get will probably push me over the edge. But I have argued AGAIN tonight over OH's kids

Does it ever get easier? Do you ever start to enjoy having your step children stay?

I feel so uptight/anxious/unrelaxed when they are here.

fallenempires Mon 16-Jan-17 10:12:30

What age are the children and how long have you been together with your DP?

AnneLovesGilbert Mon 16-Jan-17 14:10:38

Lots of us here who will listen/read patiently and try to help. The usual numpties may or may not join in ranting but give the rest of us a chance OP smile

Is the argument the same one you've had before? Take a step back - is it a big one or a small one? Are you and your DP on the same page? Is there a way forward or is it all just too much at the moment and you need to take a deep breath?

Away from the argument, are there things about the DSC that make you happy, even teeny tiny little things? Do you know what would make life easier?

gingina Mon 16-Jan-17 15:16:37

It's hard to say with such a lack of information but I could have written your post myself a few years ago!!
It did get easier for me (although I still struggle at times) but only because my DP was able to work with me and improve things. If he hadn't I don't think we'd be together today!

reallyanotherone Mon 16-Jan-17 15:22:13

Yes it does.

Now dsc is old enough to make their own arrangements they can just pop by and stay whenever they want. If it's not convenient it doesn't matter, we can leave a key. It's nice having them over as they're really good with my kids, we can go out for a break while dsc entertains them etc.

Dh is still getting hell off his ex for not paying maintenance any more though. I think she thought she'd get it for life hmm Dsc is at Uni and splits holidays between us and ex.

Iloveprettythings Mon 16-Jan-17 22:40:09

Sorry for lack of information last night. I still feel cautious but.. basically I have just gone back to work full time after maternity leave (literally this week). I am finding it really tough and the adjustment is more difficult than I thought it would be. My OH has invited my 3 step kids to say for an extra night this week and as pathetic as it sounds the thought of it is making me anxious and I am dreading it. I know I will get flamed. But at the moment I don't feel up to it and I don't want them staying over. Before I get ripped to shreds, please think that whether you understand these feelings or not, they are my feelings and I can't just switch it off because how I feel isn't the 'right' thing.

PitilessYank Mon 16-Jan-17 22:49:42

The first few weeks back at work after maternity leave are a tender time, for sure. I can understand why you might be feeling touchy about unexpected schedule changes.

Wdigin2this Mon 16-Jan-17 23:26:35

Did he make that arrangement without speaking to you first? If so, the best thing you can do, is grit your teeth, get through it, but then pick a good time and just say....it's nice for the DSC to have an extra day with us, but it would have been better if we talked about it, and maybe done it next week when I'm not so tired from work, and can enjoy them more.
Other than that, if you're going to stay in this relationship, you need to fake it until you make it with his kids, and that's not as terrible as it sounds! I'm on to the DSGC stage now....and it's easier because things that bothered me about DSC, (even though they were grown when I met them) I just let go over my head now!
Deep breaths, pick your battles and try to let as much go as you can! Good luck!

BillyDaveysDaughter Tue 17-Jan-17 00:24:41

I am a stepmum too...and I had all those feelings and more when I first met my DH and his kids were 1, 4 and 6.

It's now 19 years later and yes, it definitely gets easier! There are still plenty of dramas and arguments now they are adults with their own opinions and their mother is a poisonous manipulative liar, but that's another story...

My best advice to you is to stop fighting against it. I don't mean literally, I just mean give up on that huge internal struggle you are having. It is normal to feel resentful, awkward, out of sorts, anxious, unsettled when they're with you (quite apart from just having had your own child too, which I never had) - it will never go away completely in my own experience, so just roll with it - don't resist it or try to analyse it or try to make it go away, just feel those feelings, accept them and then let them go. As someone said...fake it till you make it!

I set my own mental rules for myself; his children ALWAYS came first, at the expense of my own feelings (not of your own child of course, that's different - you'll have to find a balance there!) I would never, ever, put my disappointment or fear or frustration before the well-being or welfare of his children, and I would never make him choose. Their relationship with their father was paramount and more important than mine with him, I would never stand in its way.

It's not over, we have a different set of problems now they're grown up, but it's not as difficult as it was when they were little. There is one slight downside to my backseat approach, and that's that we are not affectionate with one another. I am a bit of a cold fish, I'm not tactile and don't do physical contact, but with the children it was my fear of being rejected when they were small that prevented me from hugging, cuddling or kissing them (I did with the youngest when she was a toddler of course, but not once she didn't need carrying or dressing or soothing anymore). I never got over that and even now, there is only one of them I can hug without the fear of him pulling a face or moving away. And it's sad because now they're grown, and the eldest has some MH problems, I am really yearning to hold him and comfort him, but I think he'd die of shock. sad

But that's ok. Their relationship with their father is the main thing, and they have that with or without me.

How you are going to handle this AND factor in your own child, I really don't know. You will need two sets of rules, and you're going to have to be exceedingly flexible! I wish you luck. flowers

heidiwine Tue 17-Jan-17 07:16:43

I'm another one who thinks it gets easier too.
Easier for two reasons:
1) they get older and are a bit more understanding of all the other stuff that's going on (very sadly for everyone in my case they know when their mum is being unkind/dishonest/selfish/manipulative and although it's never mentioned we have an unspoken understanding now that they're older).
2) you get better at managing all the emotions. I have found this really hard work as I didn't think that disengaging was the right thing to do. I just tell myself that everything passes and I remind myself that my partners children need stability and consistency more than anything else and that by being here for them I'm giving them that, I used to hope that they'd recognise what I do for them either now or later but I don't even hope for that anymore.

Sadly I can't have children of my own but I think that having your own child could make things (temporarily) more challenging as there's so much emotion for everyone (all of it based in love though - for the baby, for you, for your step children, for your partner, for their dad (and their Mum (in the children's case)).

You can get through this. It got so much easier for me. I used to dread DPs children coming (I'll be honest and say it was mostly one of them not all). She's 15 now and in the past year our relationship has really deepened. She loves me (I never thought she would) and I think it's because I've always (like the previous poster said) put her first, never forced her dad to choose and (at times) picked up the slack for her Mum.

I'm rambling but it has got better for me. I really hope it does for you. Try to find some peace with your situation and things will improve.

Lunar1 Tue 17-Jan-17 13:15:54

Are you expected to run around after them, cook, clean etc or does he take care of all their needs while they are there?

MumOfTwoMasterOfNone Tue 17-Jan-17 14:24:43

Awww OP. I've just returned to work from my 2nd mat leave. After my first return (2 years in April), I was a wreck. DPs C every other weekend, my house was a tip, I was totally unsupported and unappreciated by a partner who worked away and I felt utterly broken.

DPs C actively dislike me, their mother creates so many problems/arguments and DP didn't want to upset her as she controls access, their Dad Disney parents them, it was awful. He spent money that we didn't have (I pay all the bills) and if I tried to point this out, I was unreasonable and jealous. I HATED visits, DP and my relationship went from total love to total hate and took a long while to recover.

It's got better, but maybe not in the way you're hoping to hear. I hoped that the situation would get better, that I'd have some respect from DP while they were here and SC but it wasn't to be. It got worse and I just wasn't strong enough to deal with the nastiness from his children or his ex.

I've completely withdrawn from the situation as I think I was close to a breakdown and it took it to get that bad before DP would even discuss anything. I genuinely wanted to split as I couldn't take anymore and I told him that and it was the only way out I could see.

I don't see DPs C at all anymore and I can't tell you how much better my life is. I don't know if it's a temporary or permanent thing but I really needed the break. I had a toddler, now a baby and now full time work and a long commute, a DP who still works away often and it's really hard without all the crap that comes two children who hate you and resent your existence, come with 'messages from mummy' etc.

DP still sees his children and gets better 'quality' time with them and it is a shame as our DC lose out on precious little time they have with him and they don't have a relationship with their half-siblings, which I agonised over for a while. For us, for now, it was the only way forward we could see though.

I hope you're ok OP. I know what a tough time it is without all the other things going on. You need to look after yourself, definitely something I forget to do! flowers

howtodowills Tue 17-Jan-17 17:09:18

mumoftwo how do you manage to not see them? I would LOVE to never have to see one of DPs kids ever again but I do want him to have a relationship with them. Where does he go to see them? Do you have separate houses?

We have a 3mth old together and I am on the brink of leaving as I am so miserable and anxious whenever his kids are here. (Sorry to hijack thread - watching with interest though)

fallenempires Tue 17-Jan-17 17:37:00

I'm curious too & I speak as a RP.How on earth has your relationship survived?
howtodo that sounds awful,you have my sympathy.Is it worth starting your own thread?
Ilove how are you feeling?

howtodowills Tue 17-Jan-17 17:38:44

Yes - I need to - I just don't know where to start. It's such a mess!

fallenempires Tue 17-Jan-17 17:45:15

howto I can imagine & it's more upsetting & frustrating when you can't seem able to resolve it.

sadandanxious Tue 17-Jan-17 18:03:45

Thank you so much for writing this thread. I really struggle with how I feel.

Billy this bit in particular is very reassuring:
* It is normal to feel resentful, awkward, out of sorts, anxious, unsettled when they're with you*

OP how are you feeling today?

user1467976192 Tue 17-Jan-17 18:13:15

Brave of you to post this.. prepare for the bashing. It's step children weekend at my house too this weekend.

i feel unsettled it's hard as both have autism.
My partners mother will rock up at some point uninvited and do everything in her power to push me out.

HereWeGoAgain1MoreTime Tue 17-Jan-17 19:28:31

I would love to be able to tell you that it's gets better but I seriously do not believe it ever does. I'm five years in with a sd with low functioning autism (non verbal), she's now 19 but this will never get any better, week in, week out there is absolute no relief. My dh is just taking his dd home for the evening but she'll be back Friday & I'll be back to hiding away upstairs or avoiding being at home at all costs. I absolutely adore my dh but everything else is just too much sometimes. Sometimes I REALLY miss my previous life!

HereWeGoAgain1MoreTime Tue 17-Jan-17 19:35:21

I would love to be able to tell you that it's gets better but I seriously do not believe it ever does. I'm five years in with a sd with low functioning autism (non verbal), she's now 19 but this will never get any better, week in, week out there is absolute no relief. My dh is just taking his dd home for the evening but she'll be back Friday & I'll be back to hiding away upstairs or avoiding being at home at all costs. I absolutely adore my dh but everything else is just too much sometimes. Sometimes I REALLY miss my previous life!

WheresEeyoresTail Tue 17-Jan-17 20:23:21

Watching with interest...
Iloveprettythings we sound as if we are walking in the same shoes!

MumOfTwoMasterOfNone Tue 17-Jan-17 22:13:08

They live around a 1-2 hour drive away depending on traffic and as his ex won't share the driving, he takes them out for the day near where they live and visits nearby family sometimes.

howto I was the same way. I'd always managed to hide my feelings from his kids, but the last time we had them I was losing my ability. I had a new baby, a toddler, we were running round ferrying kids when I was recovering from childbirth because his ex will do NOTHING despite hardly working with two school age children who got taxis to school and taking cash in hand jobs so it doesn't affect her benefits (I digress!) she sends them in dirty clothes with no coats, knowing that we'll have to buy new ones and that they'll be returned to her and meaning we spend every other bloody weekend buying clothes, shoes and coats with money we don't have, when we know for a fact she has a LOT of savings hidden away (she pleads poverty and everyone in DPs and her family subsidise her. DP is now thankfully wise to it after his DC told him just how much they had in their bank accounts which she's hiding from HMRC. It's tens of thousands and she has just deposited over £20k).

We were basically broke and I put up with so much abuse, arguments, whining, ridiculous demands etc just couldn't take anymore. We never have time for each other and it has been a massive strain. My DP had always dismissed everything I said before but he eventually realised how bad it had got and agreed that it was the only way forward. If we didn't have our DC, we wouldn't be together. We love each other very much but it's been such a horrid, challenging time that if I didn't have the tie of children I would have walked, as would he. Like the PP, I was in a vulnerable situation with very young DC as well which probably makes it feel worse but also means you feel much less able to walk away.

I honestly don't know how we're still together. We'll probably end up one of the statistics of failed relationships with children from previous relationships, but I can honestly say I've tried for my kids. I would NEVER contemplate this situation if I had my time again.

Everyone's situation is different. Like others have said, it's got better for them so there is hope. I don't hold grudges, I'm not generally bitter but I was starting to feel that way and it was taking over my life. Letting it go was the best thing I could have done for my sanity.

Iloveprettythings Tue 17-Jan-17 22:19:07

I can't express how happy I am with all of your responses. So often you feel like the nastiest bitch alive for having feelings like this and it feels as if no one understands. And more than happy for any hijacking!
To make things worse I have been unwell for 2 days and am dreading it even more.
I can handle visits when they just come for the day. But hate them staying over. Even visits are not enjoyable for me.

Iloveprettythings Tue 17-Jan-17 22:23:11

And a few questions I didn't answer. I have been with OH for 6 years. Kids are 8, 10 and 12.
In reference to whether he asked me about them staying. We did talk about maybe them staying in the week at some point a while ago but no dates or nights were discussed, it was just a general conversation.

Iloveprettythings Tue 17-Jan-17 22:26:46

I feel like he expects me to worship them like he does and be so excited when they come to stay. I don't think I will ever feel like that. There is a lot of history regarding the start of our relationship which I think has caused me to not be able to bond properly too.

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