I guess I'm not a very good stepmom

surfwifeJanuary 30, 2012

We have been together since Oct 2006, married since Aug 2008. Together we have a blended family of my girls 15 and 17 and his boy 17 and girl 18. My son is 23 but doesn't live with us. And my 17 has only lived with us off and on because she didn't want to live under our roof with our rules. I say "our" because I always include their stepdad in every decision with my kids. I have always told my girls that he is my husband and your step father and they will treat him with the same respect and dignity that they treat me. I have always believed that in our home we are two parents of 4 teens. If they are rude to him he has the right to call them out on it and hand down discipline if he chooses and I will support him unconditionally.

Now, he on the other hand, drew a line in the sand. I was not to interject into any serious conversations and put in my two cents in... well, I have tried for our entire marriage to respect that wish... but when his kids are dropping the f-bomb in the house, which I hate cussing, I said they owe me 25 cents, he gave me "the look".. like I was being ridiculous. They have no boundaries. I have asked him to sit with me and make house rules that apply to all kids, never done.

His daughter rules the roost. She lies, steals, pitches fits when she cannot get what she wants. She manipulates her Dad to the N-th degree. I admit I stepped over the line as a parent when her boyfriend was in tears in my kitchen and asked if she has been cheating on him... I told the truth. She was. She always does to her boyfriends. Her Dad knows she has no moral compass but all he does is turn a blind eye. He has said a few words to her but I'm sorry, if she was my daughter, I would have had her tell the boyfriend the truth in front of me and let him make the decision if he wanted to stay her boyfriend. So anyway, my husband has not forgiven me. He is so disgusted I would say anything.

She is a recovering bulimic and has been diagnosed with an addictive personality. Over a year ago, on Thanksgiving, she came home around midnight and I was up with her Aunt, she bee lined for the kitchen, I blurted out "kitchen's closed".. it just came out, maybe it was because at dinner and earlier she had been rude to me on purpose, she told her bro this. I was mad I guess. I also didn't agree with the therapist that said let her binge, I know it wasn't my place to go against it, but I said it, I can't take it back and her Dad still to this day is angry over it. She is a lot better but still uses it as a tool on her dad whenever he tries to discipline her, she will say she has to go to the bathroom... so he backs off and she gets to go out or do whatever it was she had planned.

She and her brother have been caught by me and their Dad smoking pot and drinking.... no punishment. I did look in their rooms and found pot before this, told their Dad I do not want drugs in our home and my daughter and I live here too. But its like it doesn't matter. My daughter hardly ever comes out of her room when she gets home from school. She doesn't want to be around them.

My question, don't I have rights? Am I being mental? I have asked since the beginning that they stay with their Mom while he was out of town, since they always call him to do stuff when he's not the one home responsible for them, and I have no say so...

In a nut shell, I feel like the Nanny. I am fortunate I could stay home. I have always been the transporter, cook, maid you name it, I love them like my own but I am not allowed to hand down a consequence when I have been treated rudely or ignored when they do not do the chores I ask. They know they can get away with it. They know about the "line" and use it. I am the odd man out along with my daughter.

Now, he wanted me to move out and I did the day after Christmas! He said he has warned me for over 3 years not to step over this line but I continue to... I do not want to end my marriage, I love so many things about all of them but I have never felt it really was a blended family, more like two families living under the same roof. They are thrilled I'm gone because they come and go... basically Lord of the Flies.

Any and all advice other than divorce. I tried to honor his wishes but when you see kids heading down the wrong road, how can you say nothing?

Thanks so much, I tried to keep it simple but there are so many more incidents that have lead up to this...

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"So anyway, my husband has not forgiven me. He is so disgusted I would say anything"

I would have a HUGE problem if my husband had that attitude about infidelity. No, his daughter is not married but cheating is cheating and he has raised a child with no moral compass, so it isn't surprising that he would get upset that you "ratted her out". I would have a problem being married to someone like that... how much can you trust a guy that is not only allowing his daughter to cheat, but that gets upset you allowed or caused her to get caught. He should have a problem with it but he doesn't. I know you don't want to hear anyone say divorce & if that's not an option... I guess the only other advice I can give is to focus on YOUR kids & ignore what he does with his kids. When they screw up, do not help him solve the problems he's creating (or allowing them to create). You cannot change him and his kids are nearly grown so there is no changing that.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 1:12PM
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"I have never felt it really was a blended family, more like two families living under the same roof."
You're right, it's not a family. I think in order for a blended family to be successful there has to be one set of rules for everyone in the house. The two parents should come to an agreement on these rules and apply to them ALL kids the same.

It sounds like in this situation what's good for the goose is not good for the gander. While you have no problem with your husband correcting your kids, he has a problem with you correcting his.

When the two of you discussed getting married, did you discuss family rules and how discipline would be handled?

If not, I doubt there's anything you can do to save your marriage and why would you? Sounds like your husband has reached his limit. He's already kicked you out because he said he's warned you for three years not to interfere with his kids but you continue to do so, your daughter is suffering as well, she stays in her room all evening when she gets home from school.
And it seems you are stressed out seeing your husband's kids heading down the wrong path. Why subject yourself to more stress?

I think you are better off without him and his family. Your husband seems fine with his kids behavior, so why would you subject yourself and your kids to more of the same?

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 3:11PM
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I guess that's what I am trying to decide also, why not move on. Poster does not want divorce, but husband booted her out of house with the wording of 'I've warned you for three years'.

I could not live with this 'my way or the highway' attitude and there was no mention of marriage counseling or any 'what can WE do togtether to make this marriage work'...just a 'I warned you, now get out'.

Sounds like husband has already made up his mind that divorce and no more family of any kind with you is what he wants. Why would you want to even consider going back and staying in this type of relationship? What besides divorce do you think your options are? Has he even asked you to come back? If so, under what conditions?

You have a traveling husband, who removed you from his home and his children's lifes (he obviously has his and teens needs covered, no matter how poorly, and feels no need to work on his marriage)...pretty much sounds like he has no desire to go back to being a family and has moved on.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 3:48PM
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The only people who ever spoke to me using the phrase, "I warned you..." were my parents. If my spouse were to scold me and speak to me like I was a child, especially when he won't speak to his own children like that, I would be so gone.

You aren't happy and your self-esteem sounds like it took a hit as evident in the title of your thread. More importantly, your daughter is unhappy. She sequestering herself to her room when she returns home from school and that can't be what you truly want for her. You are setting an example for her of how to behave in a relationship. I think standing up for your beliefs and maintaining your self respect (just saying your DH isn't respectful) is the best example you could give to her.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 5:38PM
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Gerina, Was just going to say the same thing, I warned you??? Doest sound like a partnership, more like a dictatorship. And he asked you to move out??? That is really sad. Agree with all other posters, WHY do you want to get back together? Sounds like you re afraid of him and you dont get an opinion. I couldnt live that way.I think you should rethink your position Surf. Sorry not what you want to hear....

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 5:58PM
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Thanks so much... you are all right about this! I just needed to hear that what I did wasn't wrong by telling this young man the truth, busting them whenever they pull the wool over his eyes, and all the other stuff...

Thank you for letting me know... its not me. That is a one phrase I have said to him... "it can't always be me.." I am not a perfect step when I was there but I would of stood in front of a train. I have told my kids I have two rules... I AM THE ONLY FRIEND YOU HAVE... (when it goes down your friends will ditch you and if its serious trouble, they probably won't visit you in jail) And the second rule I'M NOT YOUR FRIEND! I am your parent.

You all are absolutely right. If he wants me it will be on my terms.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 9:08PM
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Your husband not only wants you to have no say in his childrens disipline. But he also Expects you to Lie for them.(daughter cheating!)... Whoa your lucky he did ask you to leave. this is no life for you and sounds like your daughter had no life there either..

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 12:09AM
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Surfwife, it's obvious from the outside that your (I hope soon to be ex) DH's family is a club that you will never gain full membership into. Rather you get to be the skivvy, running around doing all the work and putting up with their carp. Now you've been ejected from the club.
IMO opinion, say "Woo hoo! I've dodged a bullet!" and take your daughter and go off to live a happier and untroubled life.
PS Thank you on behalf of the boyfriend you enlightened, he's lucky he asked you and not Dad who apparently condones anything from his kids. Wonder how that will work for him once he has to start bailing them out?

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 8:13AM
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