Resenting husband for enabling disrespectful step kids

postergirlJanuary 5, 2010

Does anyone else find themselves resenting thier husbands? I am starting to really resent my husband for enabling his kids. They walk all over him at think they are in charge of our home and our personal lives even though they have homes and families of thier own. My husband is like an ostrich, he sticks his head in the sand and disenvows any knowledge of what is going on. Outside of this one fault, he is a very kind hearted, patient and gentle man. I love him, but my life has become H-E double hockey sticks since we married. I draw lines with my own adult kids and they understand that there are boundries. His children are entitled, selfish, grown adults who feel it is thier job to run our home. I avoid them at all costs even if I have to find something else to do if they are coming over. I resent this, but I am tired of talking to my husband who is just like talking to a wall. I don't really resent the kids that much because I feel like thier father has taught them to treat him (and subsequently me) this way.

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I'm not sure from what little you posted exactly what the kids ar doing. I assume they are not telling you what to eat, wear, and what you can or can not on a daily basis.

Are they just there all the time? Balancing your checkbooks and telling you what you can spend money on? Borrowing money? Telling you where or when you can vacation? Yeah, I'm stretching here, but I'm trying to see what it is that you are resenting so much and what dad is allowing to to get away with. And you're right on that point, if dad is allowing/encouraging whatever it is, dad is the guilty party here.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2010 at 11:40AM
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excatly, agree with justmetoo, just be more specific, I had specific issue with SO when his DD28 insisted we spend every vacation with her, due to SO limited vacation days we ended up never ever having any vacation time unless his adult DD is with us. This was a specific issue that i asked help for. But you didn't say what is exact issue with SKs. We can't advice anything unelss we know what do they do?

    Bookmark   January 5, 2010 at 11:56AM
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OK. Here's the thing. We are in our 50's. He has 4 grown children, I have 2 grown children. He is in construction. He is the family guy to call when you have any type of Fix-it problem. This is fine but it has become an expectation and not appreciated. For instance last weekend we decided to go to a matinee movie. We shut our phones off because we were at a movie. We were available via cell on the way to and from the movie. However, for about 2hrs and 20 minutes we were enjoying a film. When we got home his 25 yr old son who lives with us and goes to college met us at the door. "Where have you been" he demanded. Then he went on to tell us his sister had bought a burglar alarm and was trying to reach us to get in installed and that we had better call her back. My husband who is passive aggressive said OK and proceded to not call her back because that is what he does when he doesn't want to do something. I disagree with this because I think he should just tell them if he doesn't feel comfortable doing something. Then on Sunday SS came in and wanted to know if we called SD. Dad said "no not yet". SS called SD and said very arrogantly "hey, did dad call you back?, well I have him here right now and he WILL talk to you" and handed the phone to his dad. I was very insulted by SS treating his dad like a child but bit my tongue as I was not directed at me. I found myself seathing over it the rest of the day. It makes me resent my husband because he does not draw lines with his kids. He should have called SD back and told her he didn't feel comfortable installing a burglar alarm in a rented house. He had good reasons, it requires a permit, landlord approval and an appropriate license. My husband only does work he is licensed to do or he could loose his license. It is understandable and he should have explained it to her. He also should have explained to his son that his arrogant and disrespectful tone is unbecoming and will not be tolerated. This is one example of many. I could go on but I think this gives you the picture. I spoke to SS 2 days later after I calmed down. I told him that his dad might not have a problem with that behavior but that I found it disrespectful to his dad and hurtful to me. I also told him that I would never allow my grown children to speak to his father or to me that way. Glad I got it off my chest but I still feel resentful to my husband that I always have to be the "hammer". I have tried over and over again to explain to my husband that he shouldn't be afraid to speak to his kids. That when he avoids telling them something they think of him as incompetent but if he would just speak directly to them they would understand his reasoning and if they didn't agree at least they would know why he wasn't doing something. I am constantly put in the position of explaining or denying and explaining things. This does not help my relationship with his kids as they see it as if I boss him around. I do not. I never tell him what to do. However, I can understand how it would look that way. I used to wonder why such a nice, caring, Christian, harworking man would have been divorced so many times. Now I know. I don't want to be the next marital casualty, men like this don't grow on trees. I have to change my tactic somehow. My husband gets defensive if I try to talk about it so disengaging and going to future movies with my mom instead of him is tempting; but I know it won't fix the problem.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2010 at 11:42AM
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I'm sorry I can't offer advice except to say I feel your pain. This is exaclty how SS30 talks and treats my DH & also about the same as he reacts. Only it goes so far as him defending him no matter how the behavior. It's awful , but according to him his kids are perfect. So much so that I was pushed out of our home since SS was so "uncomfortable" having me there.

Best of luck to you, I don't even know what to say except I'm sorry. I thought my situation was kind of extreme but I guess not.


    Bookmark   January 6, 2010 at 4:59PM
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You have a DH problem and he has a child problem. You are not slaves to these kids, especially since they are adults.

Did they get in the habit of your DH being Johnny On the Spot when they were younger, the divorce was fresher, and he was playing Disneyland Dad (or in his case, Bob the Builder Dad) and now they still expect that?

My husband allowed a lot of disrespect to be aimed toward me by his adult kids for years because he didn't know how to be in the middle and was afraid to make them mad at him. I absolutely hated that phase and it made me dislike the skids. But, what I had then was a HUSBAND problem. Things have improved but only after a lot of drama and hurt feelings. Things still aren't really right, just better.

It's your DH that you need to talk to about this.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2010 at 5:03PM
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Oh, my. I'm rather surprised dad has not ran and hid from all of you. You all have having a power struggle over how and what dad should do and be.

I think you hit it yourself when your second post suggest you should disengage. You can't 'fix' it because it is not yours to 'fix', and what I see from your postings is you resent your husband because you can't respect him and you can't respect him because he is not respecting himself.

It's an issue that dad has to do for himself, but you can't make him, and no, you should not be the 'hammer'. You are double talking also and therefore my suggestion is to stand back, review, and yeah, change your tactic.

You're saying to us that you don't tell DH what to do and in the next breath tell us how you have told him and told how what to say, think, do, handle.

Dh has seem serious issues in dealing with his kids, but you can't do it for him nor badger him into doing it the way *you* want him too. The 25 year old was indeed wrong to do the phone business, the daughter was indeed wrong to expect dad to drop everything and come running at her beck and call, but dad has to be the one who is either pointing this out to them or ignoring them. Not you.

You know, DH is defensive when you try to "talk" to him about things and likly because you really are not discussing it with him, you are telling him how it should be, what he should do, say, blah blah.

You can't change what DH does not want changed. I will assume that dad and kids pretty much had this same relationship and the manner it is long before you came into the scene. What was it that drew you to this gentleman and his family that is different now than it was then? I bet DH was the same then as he is now only now it is intolerable to you because it didn't change after marriage or get 'fixed' just because you insisted it should.

Okay, best advice I can see is counseling for you, your husband, and the two of you together if your DH is willing.

Good luck to you, you're living waaaaayyy to stressfully, go see that movie with your mom and relax a bit, and think about what you can do to really help make the situation better. Lecturing the Dh, correcting the adult kids as if they were small children, none of this is working and it does not seem to be appreciated by any of them (DH/kids).

    Bookmark   January 6, 2010 at 5:27PM
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Unfortunately you can not make your husband stand up for himself. And when you do it then you become the bad guy to his kids. I know it is hard to watch, but maybe you should just leave it alone. If he wants to let his kids run him then you can not stop it. All you can do is watch the train wreck. If his kids demands interfere with your plans then stand up to him for yourself. Don't say things like "well because of your kids we can't go" etc. Word it more like "we had plans and I do not appreciate them being cancelled".

Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 7, 2010 at 9:54AM
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It seems to me that adult children of divorced parents are mostly manipulative. When we recognize it for what "it is" it's can be easier to handle.

Justmetoo hit the nail on the head:
" ... you resent your husband because you can't respect him and you can't respect him because he is not respecting himself."

Obviously your husband has some healing to do, but it has to be on his time - not yours. In the meantime, it sounds like you're enjoying your time together (ie: going to the movies etc.) Why not embrace those times, embrace your husband and let him deal with his adult kids on his terms.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2010 at 9:38PM
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"It seems to me that adult children of divorced parents are mostly manipulative".

I know plenty of adults whose parents are divorced and they are not manipulative at all, in fact many members of this forum come from broken families yet they don't appear to be manipulative. it is stereotyping.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2010 at 9:44PM
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Would you still call it stereotyping if I rephrase the statement by adding the word "young."

"It seems to me that young adult children of divorced parents are mostly manipulative".

    Bookmark   January 7, 2010 at 10:29PM
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still stereotyping and generalization, I know plenty of young adults from divorced families and they are not manipulative. what you said is no different from: blacks are mostly xyz, Jews are mostly xyz, all men are xyz, all. it would be more reasonable to say: some young adults, or young adults that you happen to know are manipulative.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2010 at 7:03PM
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Here's the thing finedreams ... the words "It seems to me" declares this is my opinion. And it does seem to me that young adult children of divorced parents are manipulative.

As a matter of fact, you seem to have been manipulated by an adult child of divorced parents ...

" ...his DD28 insisted we spend every vacation with her, due to SO limited vacation days we ended up never ever having any vacation time unless his adult DD is with us."

Cut me some slack. ::GEESH::

    Bookmark   January 8, 2010 at 8:49PM
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of course there are adults young or not of divorced parents or in intact families who are manipulative, but those are specific adults that I know or you know, not in general. Like it would be wrong to say that SMs mostly hate their SKs just because some do.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2010 at 9:03PM
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It's wrong to take "postergirls" post and minimize her situation because you don't like my opinion and feel the need to correct me.

My words stand regardless ...
"It seems to me that young adult children of divorced parents are mostly manipulative".

    Bookmark   January 9, 2010 at 12:41AM
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well i have to say i have been looking on the internet for days trying to find someone with a story even close to mine... most of what i see is people writing giving the advice of how i should deal with the level of disrespect commming from an adult skid because of the delecate situation... i would like someone to help me figure out how to at least talk to her no matter the outcome. I really think that it can get worse but hopeing for a " meet in the middle" kind of ending..

She is 18 .. soon to be 19 and moved in with her father after living with mom in a diff state, after some very clever manuvers on her part , she came for a visit and then refused to get on a plane to go home by thowing a tantrum at 14 in the airport to the point they told her dad she can not fly in that state ... so she got to stay, got away from mom and rules , her stepdad who she said was so mean to her she couldent stand it... but according to her big sister they got along great... so anyway her ather and i have been dateing off and on for about 6 years now.. not your typical relationship, but everything was good.. with her i think the crap started when her older sister came to live there as well.. i also have 2 childern young, 6 and 11 now , she blames me for everything, her dad was looking so hard for a new start in life after his 2nd marriage ended, i have to say he made some horrible choices when it came to handling her living here, ne missed her growing up, got sooo used to her dad being the cool dad they visit, and miss when they were apart. now she is not only disrespectful twards her dad , but has started writing hate letters to us both because she cant talk to us... this has been going on for mo. He did not take me to Christmas dinner at his parents house because she said she wanted it to be just familey no otsiders, and she would walk out if a came... so he did not take me and she brought her boyfriend and then spoke no more then 5 words to him all night... now before you think i have made this happen... i did only what i had to to be there for her, him , her sister, my childern.. most of what she writes is about her dad , and his bad choices, he gave up everything in order to have her move up here, a job, dropped out of parimedic school , off the fire dept, and even turned down promotions in the military to keep her the the same school.... he told her he has created a busy life for himself because it was just him, but she insisted this is the life she wanted.. now claimes he was not there for her... was a bad role model, and now that she does not NEED us to do everything for her, she is being horrible to the both of us. The grandparents much rather sweep it all under the rug, cant believe there sweet little grandaughter is acting in this manner and want to know what it is her father did to upset her so much.. In my family we would sit around the table and have it out.. open conversation, be able to defend stories told by one another, let the truth come out... this is what i would like to do , i dont want to spend 5 more years with someone that is going to only resent our relationship further down the road because his daughter who has her own life is controling his, my kids rely on him , he is a good rolemodel for them, better then their own dad, who when he has time visits and pretends to give a hoot when it matters. I know this is a sap story, but im tired of being the excuss when she needs an outlit, someone needs to find out what is really going on whith her, and if im going to ruin our relationship being in his life then at least i want to be able to defend myself againt the things she says about me, my BF , my children, and if we get past all this I dont want to have to explain myself or for him to have to stick up for me against his family because of 1 persons misguided opion of her " horrible life" that has been in reality filled with love and a silver spoon and plater. so do i keep being a doorstop ?? or do i push for a sit down?? resolve ( at least try) or let it play out and let her disrespect her father and I. Children need to know that a parent is a parent, its just hard for him because he has made it ok for them to treat him anyway they plaese in fear of upseting them and worried about the relationship souring , but they are not childern anymore , and need to be talked to like an adult... i dont know .. im rambling... help!!!!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 1:17PM
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I feel for you for the situation you are in. Blended families are rarely easy (shucks, even biological families are complex). May I suggest that you try to take a step back, and assess the situation for what it is. What makes you happy in the relationship? What makes you unhappy? Are you and your partner willing to work through the issues (kids grow and leave). What do you really want....make sure your basic needs are being met. All relationships go through hard times, no pressure, no diamonds. I try to see the good...after all, its the good times that led you to where you are. If the situation seems unresolveable over the long-term, you have a decision to make. Only you have the key to that decision. We are on here to support you regardless!

Please note, I have been on here long enough to see a pattern of toxic users. Try not to take to heart what sylviatexas or EmmaR offer for advice. I believe they are genuine, but they appear to be man-haters that only see black and white. Take it at face value, they often have good points. Just know we all don't see things that way, there's a million shades of gray :)

Good luck, follow your heart.

:) Bess

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 9:51PM
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Wow Bess, isn't it great you have a "one size fits all" answer that also includes a slam of other posters?

Butterfly, I think you need to have a discussion with your partner. He needs to know you are not faring well under the current system and you need to decide (and tell him) if a continuation of this will prompt you to break off the relationship. Certainly if no changes are made by either of you then things won't change.

Your partner needs to decide if he wants to stay with you in a happy relationship, and start calling his daughter on her poor behaviour, or if he wants to be a lonely doormat for her.

Whether he is a good role model for your children is immaterial, his daughter is not one (and they must surely see her mistreating her Dad and getting away with it) and living with a stressed, unhappy parent is also not good for them.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 1:41AM
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