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AIBU?

To leave, step dad/DD

172 replies

pissedoff19 · 21/11/2019 10:19

Sorry this is a bit long! Name changed for this.


My DD 12 and my partner of 5 years don't get on, well they can be the best of friends then at each others throats 20minutes later, this has always been a bit of a issue but it's getting worse.


OH can be very moody and talks to people like they are shit on the bottom of his shoe, half the time I honestly don't think he realises. I must tell him on a daily basis to watch his shitty tone, not just to DD but to everyone. He can be very much on her back about little things, making a huge deal about things like, leaving a light on, been too loud etc, things that just happen when you have DC, where I am so much more laid back as a parent and feel these are non issues in the grand scheme of things, or if they need a reminder to do it gently rather than have a go. I want to get on with my children, not be that shitty parent constantly shouting at their kids.


DD can talk the same way back to him though, usually they are as bad as each other, but my argument is, she is the child, he is the adult/parent, and she's obviously learnt it from somewhere! She is also going through the thick of puberty so I expect some mood/lip from her and I can happily chalk it up to that, him on the other hand blows up about it.


Last night, it all blew up because she gave him some lip about going to bed (I was sorting out ill DS so don't know exactly what happened) usual argument from a kid in my eyes, well he kicked off big time, snatched a book she was reading out of her hands and told her to fuck off, DD is left in tears, shout him to come take over with DS and I can sort DD. He came in with a face of thunder telling me he's had enough and he's leaving us all, I flipped and kicked him out of the house. He's gone to his mum, within 30 mins I'm having messages saying he's sorry and I'm right.


I'm sick to fuck of all of this, when we all get on its great, I love him to bits and I know he loves us, but there's always this issue in the background, I always feel on edge when that the next argument it's going to start, it can be ok for months then blow up. I can only see it getting worse when DD is older and the inevitable teenage mood swings/problems start.
DS is still a toddler but I can see it been the same with him and all I can see is a life time of playing referee.

Is this just the way step parenting is? I never got on with my step dad, and friends I've spoken to have said the same. But this isn't sitting right with me and I feel like I am damaging my children letting this go on.

OP posts:
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Whatsername7 · 21/11/2019 18:33

Id kick my dh out if he treated my dds like that. He is their dad, but he'd still be gone in a heartbeat.

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Slappadabass · 21/11/2019 18:40

He has been kicked out, He's back at his mum's after work today. He isn't coming back. I'm sick of it, I'm exhausted by it, so tired of playing referee all the time and trying to stop any arguments in their tracks, I can't keep doing it, it's not fair on me, DD or DS.


Ive spoken to him for a few minutes, told him all the reasons why this isn't right, teaching DD that it's ok for a man to treat you like shit, it's going to affect her self esteem etc etc. He agrees, he's sorry, he doesn't know why he can't handle the stress, he tries but he still snaps.


I'm just to tired to discuss it with him though, I'm sick of going round in circles. I honestly don't see how it can ever change.

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Whatsername7 · 21/11/2019 18:46

You are right in your actions. Give yourself some time and space to digest everything. Consider family therapy. You all, dd included, need to talk through everything and move forward. You have ds, so he will still be in yours and your dds lives. Relate or similar might help you to establish some healthy boundaries going forwards.

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Techway · 21/11/2019 18:48

The "stress" he is feeling comes from his sense of entitlement and sense of power. In his mind if he says jump, she should do it. She made a perfectly reasonable request, to wait for you, and he was highly unreasonable.

A really useful book is The verbally abusive relationship by Patricia Evans which discusses the power balance.

He has to challenge his thinking as that leads to his behaviour. He is giving himself permission to act like this.
Is he ever abusive to you? I suspect if not he will be, if she left home or the power shifted in your relationship.

Can he change? The jury is out on this..often the entitlement is so ingrained that it can't change. See Lundys book.

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Slappadabass · 21/11/2019 19:06

I just think if a relationship requires therapy what the point, it's obviously broken. I don't know if going to the extent of therapy is sending a good message to DD either. I don't want her having therapy at the age of 12 just so I can keep my relationship, that doesn't sit right with me.


No he's never been abusive to me at all, obviously we have argued and there's been the odd time it's resulted in a big argument, but it's never gotten out of hand, never anything more than shouting, he's never laid a finger on me. Other than this issue we hardly ever argue, honestly if it didn't keep coming back to this our life's together would be great.

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messolini9 · 21/11/2019 19:13

I don't want her having therapy at the age of 12 just so I can keep my relationship, that doesn't sit right with me.

You are an absolute darling of a mum Slappadabass.

Plus - if DP were actually committed to changing his behaviours, instead of acting out (daily) & merely apologising for it, he'd have suggested therapy for himself by now.
The fact that he hasn't means that even if you went for it, all the hard work & facilitating would still be down to you, while he pays lip service.

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lookatthebabypenguin · 21/11/2019 19:19

Abuse is about power and control. Holding power over another person and controlling their life and decisions. Not violence or nasty words, although obviously it can include those acts.

He is causing you to constantly walk on eggshells. He makes promises to get you to overlook his behaviour and allow him back so he can continue doing the same.

That is being abusive towards you.

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bluebella4 · 21/11/2019 19:23

Do you see therapy as a bad thing?

Things can be fixed. It depends how badly he wants to fix it.
He probably doesn't know how to fix it. Therapy gives him the tools and techniques to deal with whatever is happening. Something is pushing his behaviour. You say you get on most of time so there must be a root (to his anger) somwhere. You also say you love him. Nothing wrong with getting things all out on the table (in a sense) and sorting through.
Although, my suggestion; therapy, then discuss what you do next.

Look for a good therapist!

I've been to therapy for many reasons. My own behaviour, my own anger etc. But also for a chance to of load. Nothing was wrong but I was just trying to figure out something I couldn't make a discussion about- 3 sessions sorted it.
It's not all doom. It's very enlightening.

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Whatsername7 · 21/11/2019 19:24

I didn't mean therapy to save the relationship. I meant to move forward seperately. She might struggle with tbe new circumstances. She might blame herself or worry about seeing him when he comes to visit with ds. It might cause tensions between her and ds in the future. Relate might help with that. A friend of mine has gone through family therapy whilst divorcing her dh and has said it has been really helpful for her and the kids.

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lookatthebabypenguin · 21/11/2019 19:25

It's irrelevant whether or not he's ever laid a finger on you. Non-physical abuse can have more devastating consequences than physical abuse. Especially for children.

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lookatthebabypenguin · 21/11/2019 19:29

bluebella4

Unless you went to therapy to address your inability to refrain from abusing children your positive experiences of therapy are not relevant.

Why are you so intent on encouraging the op to bring a man who has been abusing her daughter back into their lives? It's reprehensible.

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Lunde · 21/11/2019 19:32

You have done the right thing breaking up with him. He needs to deal with his own issues and get over himself.

I still don't know why he went in to her bedroom other than to stir up trouble and be controlling. You DD was in her room, sitting quietly reading - she was not causing any difficulty. Most parents would be delighted if their 12 year olds went to bed so easily. There was no "cheek" or "lip" until he went into her bedroom to find fault and cause an argument.

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LimeRedBanana · 21/11/2019 19:35

@bluebella4 - stop, please.

Your therapy, for your personal, individual issues, is completely irrelevant to this thread, and this group/family dynamic.

The OP owes this man nothing, compared with what she owes her own daughter. Why are you encouraging her to put up with this? Confused

This could not be more bang on the money:

"I don't want her having therapy at the age of 12 just so I can keep my relationship, that doesn't sit right with me."

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Slappadabass · 21/11/2019 19:42

I don't see therapy as a bad thing at all, I think it can do amazing things for people. If he went to therapy himself and dealt with his issues alone and learnt some coping mechanisms then maybe I could find a way to move on from this, but it would have to be separate from us, honestly, having my child in therapy because of my choice of man isn't a option for me.

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IdiotInDisguise · 21/11/2019 19:51

12 years old can be very nasty at times, I have a friend whose teenage girl is rude, aggressive and violent and even have told us, her mother’s friends, that she will kill her mother if she finds a boyfriend.

I know some people allow their kids to be like that thinking it is just a phase but it is always important to consider all factors before splitting a family, because although many people think second/blended families are substandard families that should not exist, the truth is that for your younger child this is not a “blended” family but his first and only family.

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BigFatLiar · 21/11/2019 20:41

Best sticking with your kids for now. Afraid I suspect you're best putting relationships on hold till after they leave home. By the sound of it you risk anyone you introduce being portrayed as an abusive dick just now when the inevitable clashes occur. Have men friends if you want just don't look for permanence or relationships with the children. She's kicking against the traces, you may be able to handle it you'd be doing a partner an injustice introducing him to this environment.

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WarrenNicole · 21/11/2019 20:45

I don’t know how I’d fare in a situation where I had no authority in my own home to the point where I could not even ask a child to switch a light off or to pick up their clothes. It sounds like this has been the dynamic for some quite some time - maybe your OH has just had enough? If he has never behaved towards your DD like this before, it certainly sounds like he has just snapped.

How is your DD generally? Does she follow instructions from adults at school okay?

It seems like everyone has been really quick to label your OH abusive. I don’t see it. Being a step parent is hard and yes, he is the adult, but it does sound like you have perhaps allowed your DD to treat him with a level of disrespect that you would not tolerate towards a teacher or her grandparents, for example.

As another poster said, only you will know how bad your OH’s behaviour towards your daughter really is. You do also need to consider your DS in all of this.

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WarrenNicole · 21/11/2019 20:53

Another poster said that your OH was using power and control to abuse you, but I don’t believe your OH has any power or control in this situation at all! You’ve just said that you kicked him out. But you said earlier that the house was his. You are not married, you can’t just kick someone out of their own home!

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messolini9 · 21/11/2019 21:23

If he has never behaved towards your DD like this before, it certainly sounds like he has just snapped.
DP behaves moodily daily.
He has to be corrected for his arsey tome by OP daily.
He has had several outbursts like this.
He hasn't just snapped.

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messolini9 · 21/11/2019 21:23

aaaargh TONE not tome!

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WarrenNicole · 21/11/2019 21:37

Yes, well I suppose if I was being “corrected” daily, having no voice, being forced to accept constant disrespect because I was “the adult” and ultimately being kicked out of my own home, I can see why the OP’s OH might be moody. To be honest, the man sounds fucking miserable.

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messolini9 · 21/11/2019 21:54

But of you were being 'corrected' daily because you were a moody bastard who constantly 'talks to people they they were shit on your shoe', - & I am sure you are not! - you would deserve the correction. You'd also be responsible for some very poor role modelling & example setting to a child.

In this last "fuck off" instance, the DP had no need to go into a 12 year old's bedroom, who was reasonably asking to not switch her reading light off until mum was finished putting her brother to bed, & in 2 minutes flat had created a situation which simply did not need to happen, ripped the book out of her hand, & totally lost his temper, then whinged about getting no respect.

How is a 12 year old meant to respect that kind of behaviour, especially if she has witnessed it for 5 years? How is it going to make her easy & tractable with him? His entire attitude is no way to deal with a kid, let alone one who is becoming a teenager.

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WhereYouLeftIt · 21/11/2019 22:17

"I don't want her having therapy at the age of 12 just so I can keep my relationship, that doesn't sit right with me."
And that's an example of why you're a great mum, and a damned fine human. Don't ever think of yourself as a fuck-up again! Don't you dare! Flowers

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bluebella4 · 21/11/2019 22:50

Oops sorry didn't mean to come across like I'm forcing therapy. I was replying to her post. I automatically replied rather reading on down.

Buuut no I don't think she should stay if he is absive. Especially emotionally!
But I also think there is more to it. I don't automatically shoot someone down because they have reacted the way her partner did- I would believe he has his own shit and he's not dealing with it the right way!
Also, she has done the right thing in putting him out. I suggested therapy because she said she loved him and they do get along most of the time. No its not her job to fix him. So walk away.. simple! But I'm not going bash him.

I believe he needs help (if he wants it) not people ripping into him cause he fucked up (massively)

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CustomerCervixDepartment · 21/11/2019 23:09

You protect your child and keep any future boyfriends separate to your kids, you can still have boyfriends, but don’t make your kids live it’s any more shit males who damage them. No need to analyse and assessor boyfriends words/texts/abuse cycle, just discard him and keep him away from your poor daughter.

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