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Blended family creating marriage problems(278 Posts)
No idea where to start but looking for advice please...
Am married and dh and I have a 2 year old ds. We both work full-time and have no family living close to us (my parents live 2-3 hour train trip away whilst my DH’s parents are abroad). I have 3 dsc- 18 year old DSd currently away at uni, 16 year old DSd and 9 year old ds. Until about 1.5 months ago, the Dsc were living with their mother and would come to us eow. We live in a one level 3 bed flat.
Dh and his ex had a very acrimonious divorce (FYI I was not the ow) and this has continued in the 7 years since. She also managed to alienate my dsc against us to the point where my relationship with them has never progressed beyond civilities.
Dh has paid everything for ex wife and kids since the divorce - rent, food school fees bills etc. Ex wife refuses to work and contribute.
This summer the ex went away to her country of origin whilst dsc staying with grandparent. In the meantime, dh tells her that he cannot afford time finance her100 Pb any more and that she needs to get a job and contribute.
She was supposed to take kids back in September but then dh receives a phone call from her saying she is stuck there and can he take the kids full time now?
Since then, her phone calls to kids are sporadic. We don’t know when and if she is ever coming back. DSs refuses to speak with her and wets bed regularly.
In the meantime, our marriage is deteriorating fast....my husband rushes around after his kids 24 7, and has no time for me. We barely speak and when we do it’s about the kids. We haven’t had sex for 3 months. Weekends are spent with us both taking it in turns for him to care for dsc and ds and have become the worst part of the week.
I feel like a room mate to my husband and that my wishes are disregarded constantly. I feel like I’m stuck in a pressure cooker situation at home and can’t breathe due to lack of space. Whenever I talk about this my dh accuses me of ranting and just goes elsewhere in the flat. We can’t talk privately as his kids are always around. To be fair, I never wanted to have his kids 24 7 as I could for see the issues this would cause in my marriage. He promised that they would’ve to family for school holidays but has now backed out of this saying he felt under duress.....I cannot see any respite as the ex w shows no signs of ever returning and apparently has not even asked to see kids during school hols. I have taken to roaming around shopping centres on a weekend afternoon just to get out of the flat...
My dh ds and I are suppose to be going away for a few days to the new forest in the next week or so. This was booked before we knew the situation re dsc and has already been changed once due to it clashing with dss school football match (which never happened in the end). I am looking forward to it as an opportunity to reconnect with dh and have some time away, but he does not seem keen and has not even told dss that we are going (we have a full time nanny who will be looking after ds and dsd)!
This is just a snapshot of the situation but too long to go into in detail. Can anyone help with suggestions as to how to deal with this scenario? I’m angry at my dh but I don’t want to split up with him over this issue. Btw. I have mentioned buying a bigger flat house but he less keen, saying that the dsd will be going to uni in 2 years so why should we bother...
Your step-kids have been dumped by their mum.
Can you imagine how they feel?
You need to be supporting your husband and then, because you knew they existed when you got together.
Sit them all down, have a chat. But a bigger house and concentrate on making them feel welcome.
Blimey. Where do you think a 9 year old abandoned by his mother should be living?
Just read what you put @user1484986087
You sound terribly selfish, all about you isn't it?
To be fair, I never wanted to have his kids 24 7 as I could for see the issues this would cause in my marriage. He promised that they would’ve to family for school holidays but has now backed out of this saying he felt under duress....
They're his children! What did you expect would happen? Their mother dumped them and now he has to have them full time because he is their other parent and they are his children, these are the facts and there are no other options. Do you honestly expect him to dump them elsewhere for the school holidays to give you a break? This is his home and his children should be with him there. Him ending up with them full time was always a possibility. WTF is wrong with you that you don't see this? If you cannot cope with this changed scenario then you must end the relationship but make no mistake that he is doing the absolute right thing here and will have no responsibility for the break up of your relationship.
Objectively I can see this is a hard transition for you and you’re having a hard time coming to terms with it, but my heart breaks for the children. Being abandoned by their mum and unwanted at their dad’s house. Just sit for a minute and feel the despair they must be feeling. Poor kids.
You had a child with someone with 3 kids! That’s a a lot of baggage. You made a rod for your own back and will always be second place to his children.
Why havent you added the stepchildren onto your break? These poor children have just been dumped by ther mother and now the dads planning on doing the same for a few days? What's wrong with you!
Your partner may be feeling as trapped and stressed as you appear to be. His children must be really struggling, so I can understand why he can only think of them at the moment since you have a nanny, is a regular weekly date night a possibility? Perhaps that could help you reconnect, without the children feeling even more abandoned. Family counselling may be appropriate for your family, if that’s something you’d all engage with.
You seem to really resent them and your dh for stepping up as a parent. Take a step back and review, you have the opportunity to establish a better relationship with the dsc, especially youngest. Yes your dh time is no longer exclusively yours and ds' but these are his half siblings.
You should leave to be honest. It would be better for the stepkids if you weren't there. It's bad enough their Mum has abandoned them without you being resentful of their existence.
You can’t just go on the break and leave the step kids at home! Either you all need to go or none of you do - it would be slightly different if they weren’t living with you full time but as they are this is now the situation and you need to treat everyone the same.
I feel very sorry for the step kids in this situation.
Especially the 9year old. Are you seriously going to have a break with your child and that little boys dad and leave him at home? Ah well it's OK the nanny can have him, his mum doesn't want him and now sure as hell his dad and stepmother dont.
You are the reason stepmothers get a hard time.
I appreciate it's a big change but they are his kids. Would you expect him to dump of your child in the future?
Did you not think about this when you married someone with 3 kids? You have a DS with him. So he has 4 kids who should be treated equally.
The kids have been abandoned by their Mum and you're pissed off you haven't had sex & might need to compromise on the trip to the New Forest 🥺
Sorry but you sound really self absorbed. Presumably ex has been busy running about after the 3DC the last few years - on her own while DH was spending time with you...
Well this must be an extremely difficult situation for everyone involved.
I can honestly see where you are coming from, going from seeing his children 2 days out of 14 to living with them 24/7 must be a huge upset to your normal family life and it will take a lot of adjustment.
However I agree with pp that the kids especially the 9yo will be really struggling with being abandoned by their mother and you do need to have a bit of compassion.
Are the kids currently getting counselling/ support of that kind? If not you need to look into that ASAP. And you need to really start trying to form a bond with them, they are part of your and your DS's family not just your DH's.
I don't think the lack of bond can be blamed entirely on his ex. It's been years of regular contact they have seen enough if you to know for themselves if the things she's been saying are true or not, maybe you've been holding back for some reason?
Make it clear to DH that you need a bigger house, it's not an option it's a necessity for everyone's mental health.
As for the holiday I can see why your DH is reluctant to leave his DC they will probably worry he won't come back like their mother.
If you really need the break then could you take a friend instead and plan a holiday with DH when things are more settled?
I do understand how difficult it is having DSC coming into your home in traumatic circumstances, it's a huge change for the whole family but them not being there isn't an option so you have to woman up and find a way to make it work, a strong routine worked for us, we worked a weekly break into it for both of us even if it was just a couple of hours.
Suggest he takes the DC all out for a half day next weekend so you can actually relax in your own home. I think it will help.
Please remember this isn't just about you though, your DH will be struggling too as will all of the DC.
your dh is going to prioritise his children over you any day of the week. They’ve been abandoned by their mum!
If You can’t get your head and heart around supporting them all I would seriously reconsider leaving him.
If you suddenly develop empathy and kindness and a new found love for your her husband being the best dad he can be, then maybe put yourself on the back burner and help. I suspect the walking about shopping centres have been noticed and I don’t doubt your dh will not be interested in forking our for a bigger home if you are being a crap stepmother. He won’t be blind to his marriage being on the rocks.
When I married dh I knew full well if anything happened to his ex, then dss would move in with us. That the EOW could easily change. And it did for a period of time and he lived here with us, and I wasn’t a bitch about it.
You were a fool for thinking that possibility could never happen.
I doubt the ex alienated them against you, you appear to have managed that by yourself.
The mother said she was “stuck there” and calls are now sporadic. Has she been forced to stay? Is it possible she’s been put into an arranged marriage?
Your DH needed to step up and look after his kids full time as the mother did for 7 years. It doesn’t surprise me that it’s acrimonious between them given he left when youngest was 2 years old. I really feel for the 9 year old in particular but all children have lost their stability and are now unwelcome.
Practically speaking you & DH need a bigger house.
So a 16 and a nine year old have moved in with you. They are very unhappy. You are hiding from them.
Yes it is up to this dad to parent them, but you also have a moral responsibility to help them through this very difficult time.
I think you need to grow up. They need love and stability, not a bitter step mum running away with her little prince.
It s9unds like family counselling would help.
Just read that back, from the perspective of an abandoned nine year old boy. It's really upsetting.
I do understand that your whole life has changed very quickly and that is difficult to cope with. The step kids lives have also changed and the poor guys will also be struggling with rejection.
Get them some counselling. Take them on your holiday and work on bonding and all being together. Step up!
And don’t be so cruel as to take on child on holiday and leave the others with the nanny. They have been though enough.
Time to channel your inner earth mother and take on these children as if they were your own. Ie really embrace and love them. That's the only logical way you can carry on in this relationship. They need you! Time to step up and be the mum they deserve.
I'm so sorry your family has found itself in this mess. The mother is a total cow for doing this because she's lost her meal ticket. No wonder her children are upset.
None of this is your fault but you have to find a way through the situation. our DH also has to compromise. If you leave him, as some have suggested (foolishly imo) then you create another child without a father in his life. That isn't fair on your baby.
Your DH has to make time for his youngest child and his wife. I see nothing wrong with you having a few days away. It will give you chance to talk and formulate a plan going forward. At the moment you are all just dealing with things as they happen.
Your DH needs to timetable time with each of his children. It's your job to support him through these rough waters. But he has to remember he's married and you need his time as well. As does your child.
It's going to be tricky. The DSCs have discovered they were only a meal ticket to their mother. That's very hard for them to come to terms with.
@666onmyhead she is not their mum though. They have one who has decided to fuck off and leave them which is extremely selfish. Everyone seems to have missed that fact as of course the mum can never do any wrong.
I get where you're coming from OP - this is a massive life change for you. As a step mum myself I know that I could be in the same situation one day, but I hope I'm not. You just hope that both parents step up to take responsibility for parenting their kids. But it does seem like you have to make the best of it for the kids sake.
Sit your husband down and talk about how you can make this work better for everybody. It's early days and it's bound to be difficult, but I'm sure that with a bit of help and understanding from all concerned, the situation will improve.
* But he has to remember he's married and you need his time as well.*
There must be something rather pathetic about a grown adult that can't take a back seat at a time like this.