Exhausted by the turmoil
I have 5 children that do not get along with, nor do they like my husband (their SF). 3 of them are teenage girls, and this in itself is difficult, but they are extremely good kids overall...exceptional students, athletes, parents and teachers compliment them. Etc., but obviously they are not perfect.. There have been times where they have talked back to both of us, been very hard on the furniture, left their clothes lying around, whined and complained, talked too loud, clogged the toilet, eaten dessert without permission, taken our toiletries or towels out of our bathroom..all normal kid things in my opinion. He is basically irritated if they are in the room. My husband is extremely disciplinary, authoritative, orderly, and has never left discipline to me despite my requests. He accuses me of being overly permissive. I disagree, however, I certainly have a less rigid expectation. We have been married for 6 years, but the past year has been almost unbearable between our fights, and the drama with he kids. He has called them little clowns, morons, and when he doesn't like their behavior, he says angrily "are you stupid?", and mutters things under his breath like, "i'd like to break some necks around here". I am angry and sad, and he will not agree to family counseling as he says it's my problem and the kids problem. Wth a slow build of anger, one night I really lost my temper and pushed him. he left for 3 nights, and told me to call him when the kids and I got our acts together. He came back, we agreed to work on things, and I worked to be more structured and orderly in the household, but it always ends up back at square 1... I do not parent in his authoritative style, nor do I require enough from the children in his opinion. There is no laughter or tenderness ever between he and the older 3, and they are now angry with me. I work full time, and I'm exhausted by all of this. My ex has told the kids that my husband is a very bad man, and they shouldn't listen to him. I am trying to mediate and have had discussions about our issues with both the kids and my husband, but I feel as though we are just going around in circles, and I want to get off this vicious circle. Any suggestions?