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Disappointed with life as a stepmother

(28 Posts)
Addy2018 Tue 05-Jun-18 12:42:39

When I met my husband I had no idea what being with a man who had kids was like. I had been in a long term relationship prior to this with a man who did not have children and who was always available to me. I was heartbroken when that relationship ended. I took time to myself and then met my husband two years later. Initially he was a fun loving guy. He spoke about his two kids who are now DSS 10, DSD 8 ( this was 4 years ago). When I met his children everything was great. Although he has an awful relationship with their mother. At first I was a neutral party and then a few months into dating I got pregnant with my first baby. I felt such excitement but at the same time I felt such disappointment knowing that it was not his first or even second time. His ex wife became very jealous and would constantly try to cause grief in our life. My preganany became very stressful. When our daughter was born we were thrilled. We took her home from the hospital and things were great with the three of us. DH shares 50/50 custody so within a few days his kids were at our house. Loud, disrespectful, making messes and expecting everything to be cleaned up for them. Slamming doors. Two weeks later their mother dropped them off with pinkeye without a word.
I have tried with both of them. I’ve tried to help with homework, be there for sports, be kind and I always make dinner and pack lunches but with the lack of appreciation I am now completely discouraged. His kids now love our daughter. My problem is with him too. He does not discipline them. He says one thing and does another. I am just so disappointed in this dynamic. Basically we didn’t plan to be a family. I didn’t know what I was getting in to. I got pregnant while on birth control and I just feel so sad that this is how I have to raise my daughter. I am tired of dealing with the drama his ex tries to stir up. I’m exhausted and my stomach turns when his children come here. I used to Have a great career and now am a SAHM until she goes to preschool. The thing that has really pushed me now is I am in my thirties and want to eventually have another baby to give my daughter a full blooded sibling. DH says one day he wants to, the next he doesn’t. I am at the point where I don’t even want one with him. So now I am most likely going to suck it up. Not have another baby. Stay here because I don’t want to uproot my daughter and share custody.
If anyone has any advice I would appreciate it.

Livedandlearned Tue 05-Jun-18 12:47:10

I would go. Uproot baby while she is too young to know any different.

Picture yourself in five years, ten. Is it where you want to be?

His ex won't go away and his kids, well they are kids and if he doesn't discipline them they won't be disciplined.

It's not easy being a step mum in a good situation let alone yours.

ScurfyTwiglet Tue 05-Jun-18 12:53:07

I'm afraid I don't have any advice, just wanted to say I'm in almost exactly the same situation and I empathise very strongly with everything you have said. There's not a minute of the day I don't have tight sicky knots in my tummy or tears in my eyes or both. I just stay strong for my baby.

Addy2018 Tue 05-Jun-18 20:20:55

Thank you. I’m sorry you’re going through this too. I really hope we find some relief and happiness.

Addy2018 Tue 05-Jun-18 20:22:54

Thank you for your advice. I can’t imagine dealing with this in five or ten years. I’m also struggling with not seeing my daughter every day and night. I really appreciate your post. I have so much to think about.

Wdigin2this Tue 05-Jun-18 22:15:45

The dynamic will probably change, many times...and not necessarily for the better. If you really feel you can't cope with his life and DC, you should seriously think about getting out now, whilst your baby is young enough not to be badly affected by it!

NauticalStripe Tue 05-Jun-18 23:09:37

I am in a similar situation and it's awful.

DP has a child 7 and when we got together I got pregnant one year in to the relationship despite being on contraception. Since this EXW has fully ramped up the crazy and I'm stuck between do I stay in this situation and put up with this crap forever, or uproot and leave another child in the same situation. You have my full sympathy. Our life and relationship is great, but the strain of her puts a lot of pressure on.

HollowTalk Tue 05-Jun-18 23:14:50

Realistically, he's got enough on his plate with his two badly behaved older children; he's not going to fight to have your baby for a large part of the week. It just won't happen.

I'd get out now. I couldn't stand to be in that kind of environment and I sure as hell wouldn't bring up my child there, either.

Bananasinpyjamas11 Tue 05-Jun-18 23:24:05

You are young enough to start again, and if I were you I would. Unless you do feel that you really love him, that there could be a reasonable equilibrium in the house eventually with step kids?

Personally I now would never go with a man who had 50/50 or more custody ever again. Not unless the Ex was lovely. It’s too much! If the kids really adapt then fine, but often don’t, and rarely if Ex manipulates and holds a grudge.

I had this for years with a baby too and I think it had a detrimental affect on me. I’m getting out.

Addy2018 Tue 05-Jun-18 23:51:32

Thanks to everyone of you for your responses. I am sorry for those who are going through the same thing. It’s too difficult.
I have so much to think about and I appreciate everyone taking their time to give me some advice/share their stories.
If only we could turn back the clock sometimes...
Thanks again

SemperIdem Tue 05-Jun-18 23:59:54

Well, you seem to have closed your eyes to the reality of being a stepmother, to be honest. That is likely to be the basis of most of your unhappiness, you have had a baby with a man you don’t know that well who already has children. You resent that, as per your op.

He can’t erase his older children or their difficult mother. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t love your daughter together.

If you are unhappy and don’t believe the relationship will ever be any different, then you should leave.

Don’t bank on a man who has already seen a relatisohop involving children fail and sought contact to not do the same again though.

LessOfaMess Wed 06-Jun-18 00:15:05

You say " we didn't plan to be a family" but you married this man knowing he had two children... did you think you'd just see them on high days and holidays?
When you married your husband you became a family and I'm sorry he didn't discipline them effectively but maybe that's a conversation you and your husband need to have together. Maybe sit down and create some house rules and agree to follow through? Your OP doesn't suggest you've done this.

How old is your daughter? I'm glad your step children now love her. And as you say in your op you feed them and help them with their homework, Why aren't they fawning at your feet? Because children sense when you dislike them and your OP screams I resent these children coming in and disrupting the life of my precious baby. Slamming doors... how dare they?!

I know that may not be your inner feelings but for your step children they have seen their dad remarried and come in to the home with a new baby and they want to be validated and shown they are still loved, still valuable and still important. If they don't feel that they will act out to try to get attention. Any attention, good or bad. Just attention.

Why not suggest to your husband that he takes the older two out for some quality time for a day. Go for a walk, feed the ducks, talk. Play silly buggers at the park.

I'm sorry if I come across as blunt and brutal, I don't mean to be. I just see some kids who maybe need a bit of reassurance and validation

Addy2018 Wed 06-Jun-18 03:28:15

By “we didn’t plan to be a family” I meant that we had never discussed having children or our future. There was no family planning. I also have tried everything including house rules. I’ve tried eveything. And when they are around I make them comfortable. I am just started to become very unhappy with it all because of the lack of appreciation and the increase in disrespect. Are you a step mother? Just wondering because I know many woman who are not and many who are and it takes being in a situation like this to truly understand how it feels and was away at you

Addy2018 Wed 06-Jun-18 03:28:46

Eats away at you*

Movablefeast Wed 06-Jun-18 03:44:09

Addy I think you should have a heart to heart with your husband and let him know the current situation could break up your family (for him, again). I would take mutual responsibility and invest in an experienced couples counselor who can help you work through all theses issues regarding discipline and building relationships with his older children. He must not accept anyone, adult or child, disrespecting you or he risks you losing all disrespect for him. It is important you acknowledge your own responsibility to constantly work on your relationship with all the children.

Don't walk unless he absolutely refuses to do counseling together. And give it time for what you learn in counseling to really change the dynamics. You have a lot of good here, don"t throw it away too fast.

LapsedHumanist Wed 06-Jun-18 03:53:18

I’m sorry it’s so difficult. Any variant if the blended family can be tough.

But aren’t you potentially just asking any potential new partner to be in a similar position to the one you are in now? I.e. with someone who already has a child with someone else, who might share custody. The exact details might not be the same (unplanned pregnancy, may sbehaving children) but the fuzzy lines and overlapping patterns of who’s related to who will be the same.

You say you want another child. What if your new partner wants two or more children and you only want another one? Will you be more or less accommodating than your current partner if your new partner longs for more than one child.

If you long for another child, would you feel it necessary at some point to accept a new partner who already has children but wants just one more? In which case, things have become even more complicated.

You need to be careful you’re not just putting someone else in your current unhappy space in your stead. You’d just be putting someone in your cage so you can escape it yourself. That often doesn’t work out well.

And I would be wary of pushing any blame onto your stepchildren. Whoever’s fault this situation is, if it is anyone’s fault, it’s really not their’s.

However difficult you are finding this set-up as an adult (who went into it with some choice, even if it went forward more rapidly than you planned) you can bet that they are finding it even more difficult as small children who had no say in the matter and much less understanding of the adult dynamics at play.

It might help to use your own unhappiness to have insight into how they are feeling and their behaviour. I’m not saying that will change the actual facts of the matter, but it might orientate you better to your step-children and make your situation bearable. How would you feel, if, in a few year’s time, your new partner was call your child difficult or badly behaved because they were unhappy with a complicated home life, or found it difficult to adjust to new step-siblings? Your future situation might not be that different from your current set-up if you go down this road, you might just have a slightly different role/position in it.

How will living apart from her father and step-siblings affect

LapsedHumanist Wed 06-Jun-18 03:57:15

(Sorry posted too soon)
...your child? Might this cause her difficulties done the road, make her unsettled or difficult?

I don’t think this is a situation where you can solve everything by just moving on. You have a child. Your partner will always be your child’s father. You can’t change that job st by moving on, and that will bring complications.

J4nice Wed 06-Jun-18 04:00:26

It sounds like your unhappy do what the stereophobics sang and walk away

J4nice Wed 06-Jun-18 04:01:18

I didn't read the original post becauae it was to long. Sorry

ElChan03 Wed 06-Jun-18 10:05:20

LapsedHumanist has a very valid point there

Addy2018 Wed 06-Jun-18 12:04:45

Thank you Lapsedhumanist and Moveablefeast. You both have excellent points. You definitely helped.

TacoLover Wed 06-Jun-18 12:40:07

I hate the phrase 'full blooded sibling' I know what you mean by it but it just sounds horrible.

Addy2018 Wed 06-Jun-18 14:31:17

I know it sounds horrible. I have a half sister so I really do know. My daughter is 2 and only has someone to play with half of the time and the other half she’s wondering where her siblings went. It’s sad.

Movablefeast Wed 06-Jun-18 14:48:41

If you decide on counseling meet with a few practitioners until you both find someone you think is a good fit. Make sure they are well qualified and experienced.

Bananasinpyjamas11 Wed 06-Jun-18 17:58:18

To any poster saying ‘what did you expect’ and ‘he already has a family get used to it and be more compassionate’ - I’d say try it!

Only you will know Addy - but often a separated family has a lot of dysfunctional, unworkable dynamics that as a SM not only are you being set up to fail, but try and make it more workable and you will be attacked and blamed on top of it all!

Being more compassionate, or getting used to it does ZERO to make it better. Shutting up about it is also not a great long term option.

In my books an antagonistic Ex, distant kids, and a Disney Dad with 50% or more contact is unworkable for a SM. Very sad but true.

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