Advice needed please (this is long, sorry)

jess3March 3, 2010

I have 3 SK's SD13, SD12, SS10 that I care very much about. I have been married a lil over 6Mo and we all seemed to be getting more comfortable with our new situation. I have no kids of my own so having 3 kids in my house for long periods of time has been something very different for me. We play games, go to the park, bake, do crafts all sorts of things that are fun and we can spend time together. I actually look forward to our wkends with them. I thought everything was going good for the most part.

So, about a month ago I had noticed some odd behavior form the SD12. I had not been feeling good and was in my room laying down watching TV alot of that wkend. My DH and kids were getting ready to play hide n go seek in the dark so I was moving a few things so not to get broken and I was taking my lil dog in the room with me so they were not in the way. SD12 comes in breakfast room asking where I was as I was walking into breakfast room. I noticed she had a blanket in her arms. DH asked her what she needed she said "oh i was going to sufficate her" then looked at the knives on the counter and said "oh baby I should just use a knife". DH just said "now we dont say things like that" and they went on to play the game. Needless to say I did not have much to do with her the rest of the wkend.

I talked to DH about it, he tried to say oh she's just a kid. I told him that was not normal for a kid to say those kinds of threatning things. He said he would talk to her.

The wednesday after that he had a talk with her. She broke down crying saying she is still having a hard time with divorce and dad being remarried all of which we totaly understand. Then she said that she thinks that I dont like her. This is where I got upset because she and I have had alot of fun together. It was a week later that the SD13 told DH the same thing. Then this wkend SS.

This is very upsetting because I have done evrything I can to play with them, spend time doing things that we all interact, make special dinners,ect. Since all of this has happend DH and I are not getting along well. He has alot of guilt and is trying to choreograph what I do and say to his kids "to make them think I like them" when I do like them and have done nothing for them to think otherwise. They were in counciling but thier mom didnt want them to go anymore. DH met with her to over kids schedules ect. and she has agreed they need to go back.

So my questions to you ladies is'

Do I quit trying so hard?

Should I have a sit down talk with them?

Is there anything that I can do personally to help or fix this?

Has anyone else been thru this?

Everyone told me is was going to be rough but I had no idea.

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jess, So sorry you are going through this. Unfortunatly, it is definitely par for the course so to the degree you can don't take it personally.

I think most of the SM's on this board have been through some variation of this. Your skids may genuinely like you but still have deeply mixed feelings about the divorce. So mixed that they feel disloyal to their mother for liking you. I went through that with my skids, SD now 36 in particular years ago. It took a long time for her to feel ok about liking me without it being an act of disloyalty to her mother.

I'm a believer on pulling back when you are doing a lot for those who don't appreciate it. But, in your case, if you do, they may resent that as well. What does DH say about it all? What relationship if any do you have with BM? Is she OK with the remarriage? If she is that is great for you. If she is not than watch out. Best course with those kids is to keep things light and don't expect too much. They may like you but don't know how to handle those feelings since you represent the permanent end of their old family.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 10:58AM
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Here's my take -- The SKids are at a rough stage, both age-wise and divorce-stage-wise, so they are likely to be hurting. Therefore, lashing out (like SD12's dumb comments) are pretty typical childish responses, so try not to read too much into them.

It sounds like your husband did a good job rooting out the core problem -- They are having trouble adjusting to the divorce and new marriage, and they think you don't like them. No Rocket Science there. Those thoughts are really, really normal. And also totally believable, since they've no doubt heard as many StepMom horror stories as the next kid.

I'd suggest you have a brief talk with them as a group. Admit that having kids around is still a bit strange for you (but you like it!) and that you imaging having you around must be strange for them too, and that you hope in time, they can learn to like it too. (It's obvious, certainly, but sometimes just saying it can relieve some of the pressure and awkwardness.) If you can come up with a genuine compliment or two for each kid, that might also help.

Next, when you're with them, give yourself an internal pep talk. Internally say to yourself (about the kids) "I like you!, you're great, I'm having fun, I'm glad you're here." If you can think these thoughts, they'll telegraph through -- honestly.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 1:23PM
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I agree with Sweeby but wanted to add on that your situation is even more delicate due to the timing, weren't you guys dating while Dad was still married? I think issues are going to run much deeper in these kind of situations and things are going to magically smooth over within a couple of years, especially with the girls age.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 1:31PM
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Agree with Sweeby too. Didn't note the overlap on your marriage and the old marriage. If there is one, that is probably part of their ambivalence as well like Nivea said. Of course, if DH and BM were separated while the divorce was being finalized legally while already over physically or functionally, that may be clear to you, DH and BM but not so much to his kids.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 2:55PM
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Thanks for all the advice. I'm glad to hear that their behavior is not completely out of the ordinary. The internal pep talk is a great idea. I will be giving that a try. I know I have been a lil wierd around them since all of this came about, even with DH.

As for the overlapping, yes that does add extra problems to an already difficult situation. I know they still have alot of anger torwards me.

For them to think that I dont like them was just shocking to me. They destroy my house for the entire weekend with stuff everywhere, I never say a word. i might mention to DH that "hey they need to pick up some of their stuff" because he just wont say anything until Sunday about 30mins till time to take them home. But I never get on them about things that aggrivate me. They come to me when they are hungry, need motrin, looking for something,ect. I try very hard to make them happy anything I can do for them.

I know, I should not take it personal. I would've never thoght that kids could hurt my feeling so much. i can handle them not liking me. I expected that. and I think they do like me for who I am its just the situation and the loyalty to their mom that keeps them from getting to close.

Again thanks for all the great advice. If there is more out there I will take. As you can tell by my long posts that this is really bothering me.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 3:27PM
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"I think they do like me for who I am its just the situation and the loyalty to their mom that keeps them from getting to close."

Forget Mom for a second...what about loyalty to themselves? They can like you a lot personally but they might not be able to verbally say "I like you, but I don't like what you did to me and I am very angry about it." And to top it off, to see their Dad, they have to see you as well.

Most people say if a relationship is not positive, avoid that person. Or take steps such as enforcing boundaries so that they can stop having that negative effect on you. These kids can't place boundaries with you, they were at the mercy of you and their Dad and have no choice about visiting/not visiting or how much you can hurt them. It's hard enough to trust someone but when they broke your trust before you even met them...

It's not to say you're a bad person but it probably doesn't bring a whole lot of positives on a personal level for them, even though they like you. One moment they may be able to ask you to help them, give you a nice compliment but the next they may remember what it is you actually represent in their lives and how you came about entering it.

And I'm not totally discounting that they aren't upset for their Mom or have conflicting loyalties as ALL stepfamilies face, this adds another layer. Like how one stole from you (you stole from her) etc. If you weren't here, they wouldn't have had to go through that hurt etc.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 3:49PM
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& they may not be "sharing" their actual feelings with their dad;

if you were in their boots, what would you say to your dad when he confronted you with your ugly comments?

"I hate her, I wish you'd never laid eyes on her, if she were dead, you'd move back in with mom & us"?

nah, you'd burst into tears & say you thought she didn't like you.

Dad needs to reaffirm that he loves them, didn't get a divorce from them, that you had nothing to do with the divorce (only if true; kids can smell a lie better than grown-ups), & that you love them & enjoy them & think the world of them, *& that you will never come between them & him*.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 4:10PM
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Geese -- The Other Woman drama...

It's absolutely not so simple anymore, and as Nivea said -- Kids have their own sense of ethics also. It may not be just out of loyalty to Mom. They gave Dad a plausible reason, but there may be many, many more below the surface that they're not comfortable voicing. And your comments about the way they destroy your home and not voicing your aggrevations sound like things are not quite as rosy as they sounded in your oroginal post.

"I think they do like me for who I am its just the situation and the loyalty to their mom that keeps them from getting to close."

'The situation' is actually a Really Big Deal.
And unless the kids can get over 'The Situation', then 'You the Person' don't stand a chance.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 5:58PM
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I did not read all posts so sorry if I repeat something. This situation is hard on kids and they are going to have a lot of mixed emotions. Then throw in the fact that they are all preteens or just becoming teens and their lives are complicated by that. It is normal for kids that age to feel like some people do not like them and feel unsure of themselves. And your dh wanting to make sure they feel liked by you is normal too. He does not want to see his kids feeling like you dislike them.

I have 2 sd's and a ss. At me and dh's wedding all of the kids were included in the wedding party. My younger sd actually cried at our wedding because she came to the realization that her parents were over. Even though her mom had been living with another man since the day she left my dh and even though she had another child by that man then sd still had not totally understood that her parents were done. When me and dh were dating she told me a few times that she wished her parents would get back together and tried telling me that could happen if I would just date her moms bf! LOL

If I were you I would just continue doing nice things for the kids and doing fun things with them when they visit. Tell them how much you enjoy their visits and do little things to show them you making their favorite foods. Maybe plan some special things where you and dh get some one on one time with each of the kids occasionally. Maybe you take one kid somewhere while dh hangs out with the other two. Next time dh takes one of the kids to do something while you hang out with the other two. Make them all feel important and special by giving them that bonding time with each of you.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 10:27AM
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those are the same children who piled snow on your car so you cannot go to work. people thought it was funny. i was 100% right, it was not a prank or a joke, they angry at you and their dad.

you might play with them or do things for them but they are angry.

i think it is a big mistake to marry that fast, they know you are the cause of the divorce and they are hurt and angry, it is lose lose situation for everyone. why did you rush to marry?

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 8:19PM
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they were not separated, he cheated on his wife with jess and then left his wife for her and kids knew. they didn't even want to meet her for a long time and since then they showed how angry they are. this is just one incident among many others...

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 8:21PM
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FD, oh, thanks for the clarification. Yep, no doubt that's a big part of the skids feelings.

When I met DH he was separted and was completing his divorce property settlements, alimony, CS negotiations. My skids boycotted our wedding in Jamaica for which their expenses would have been paid and our large reception back in LA. No surprise, their absence was highly visible, it was embarrassing and DH's feelings were deeply hurt. We had been married over 6 months before they deigned to visit our house. They replayed that behavior when DS was born 5-6 years later. No hospital visit, dragged themselves to see him a month later only after being promised a lobster dinner for my birthday which is a month after DS's. They were nice enough to bring a Gift with Purchase dept. store bear, you now, the kind that comes with perfume? Except they didn't bring the perfume?

Well, later, well in to our marriage my SD revealed that the skids, BM and her family had suspected ME of being The Other Woman, a homewrecker. Really BM represented the situation to her family that way. Only emerging from the shadows once the divorce was legally done. This was at least 6 years later into our marriage when SD finally revealed this to me! I was furious, DH confronted BM at a family event in front of the skids and others about BM misrepresenting our relationship and she recanted in front of the group. So I've been on the receiving end of not so hidden resentments as a suspected Other Woman.

If you were The Other Woman you really will have to give it lots of time. Maybe forever. If like me, you weren't but were suspected, maybe a clearing of the air will help. DH carried that ball PUBLICLY and it made a huge difference. SD and I started becoming more genuinely friendly after that.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 11:49AM
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In March 2009 kids refused to meet jess and counselor advised to take their relationship slow and do not force children to meet her. jess and DH didn't listen and rushed to marry. Come march 2010 and she expects some miracle, they haven't even met her a year ago.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 3:30PM
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Thanks LAmo. We do have difficult situation that we are all trying to deal with.

As I see it stepmoms that were not the other woman still have alot of the same issues. We had a talk withthem, funny thing is their main gripe was that I work o the Saturdays that we have them. I really thought hey would enjoy me being gone. Kids are unpredictable I guess but I never expected that. They also complained that I am closer to my best friends lil girl than I am with them so that tells me that they want a closer relationship with me than I thought. I have kept my distance because thats what I thought they would want. Our talk was very effective for us all. I'm glad we can at least talk and they feel they can voice want they feel about certain things.

FD: i am not sure where I ever said I expected a miracle. Read the subject line ADVICE NEEDED not miracle.
Thanks for keeping such good tabs on my post tho. You seem to be the one that knows everything on this forum.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 7:21PM
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Here's a link showing the various threads jess has started as well as the ones she's participated in;
sorry I don't know how to sort so that only hers appear.

(See, other people can search too!)

& I know this is picky, but a grown woman using the word "lil" instead of little is just irritating.

Here is a link that might be useful: Jess3 ongoing probs

    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 8:11PM
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no i don't know everything but i was here for awhile and remember you being very critical of your SKs before you even got to know them. i also think it is somewhat convenient to omit important information that explains SK's attitude.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 8:13PM
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my favorite comment by jess is that gay women are men trapped in women's bodies LOL and the other is that because their mother is lesbian, she could not teach her girls how to be ladies. LOL and when she saw her, she knew she must be attracted to women LOL I know so many gay people and by looking at them i cannot possibly even guess who they are attracted to. such stereotyping...i find it all so bizarre that anything else she says about SKs does not sound credible to me. plus too may contradictions.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 10:32PM
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My favorites about Jess, are combining how she was involved with her DH when he was still married to previous wife and complains about how much child support and alimony he pays (which is basically saying he has a lot of money). So she gets involved with rich married guy, and now complains about the child support/alimony he pays. As these kids hit puberty they will likely not forget that dad was invovled with her while he was married.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 8:20AM
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Just an observation, but if Jess works on the Saturday the Sks are there, it would appear she does it so to avoid being around the kids. Her DH owns his firm and she runs his office (her own words via Dec post).

My hunch these kids are not stupid, to their eyes at least they see that Jess does not care for being around them much. Post of how the kids eat her out of house and home, trash her house, play games in the dark so Jess must run gather up breakables and hide the dog....and then there's the time spent baking and crafting when time together is actually spent in a likely attempt to make 'proper ladies' out of the girls.

--"Then she said that she thinks that I dont like her. This is where I got upset because she and I have had alot of fun together."--

What did you say and/or do when the part came you got 'upset'?

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 8:52AM
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WOW, you all are so judgemental. I dont work at the firm on Saturdays, just so you know. I will leave it to you to "make up what I do" instead of telling.

I asked for advice from other stepmoms, This is a stepfamily forum, not mothers that have been left by their husbunds, or SO's that wouldnt marry them and I get nothing but judgement. Maybe you should judge yourself.

None of you have all the information needed to come up with such observations. So ladies enjoy your bashing seems as if thats all you are capapble of.

Maybe I should have said "I hate my stepkids" then I would have actually recieved some good advice and ideas.
The way people jump on one factor out of a whole situation is just unreal. You can see alot more with an open mind.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 11:55AM
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--"None of you have all the information needed to come up with such observations. So ladies enjoy your bashing seems as if thats all you are capapble of."--

I did not bash, Jess. My 'observation' and statement I made were based directedly on what you've said/told us over the course of your posting. The only info I have is the info you've given us. If we don't have 'the infomation needed' than how do you expect anyone to 'advise' you?

I asked a simple question. It was asked in order to try to gain additional infomation. How'd you react? What'd you do/say? If you want advice on whether or not we 'think' the reaction may be somehow 'feeding' the problem between the kids and yourself or was indeed a postive solution solving reaction, than you have to give us 'the information needed'. Otherwise, just what are you asking for? What would you hope to gain from any advice that is not based on the information you do give?

And for the record, Jess, I'm going on 30 years in my second marriage. Obviously I'm not so closed minded that I was not able to handle bringing two families together and making it work.

Actually the question of 'what did you say/do when you became upset' was not an off the wall too judgemental thing to ask if after the upset/reaction, you have two more stepkids following suit and bolting.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 12:58PM
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Justmetoo: My post was not refering your question at all. I'm sorry if it came across that way.

My DH is the one that told me that she thought I did not like her. So my reaction was not in front of kids at all, they were already home. DH and I talked about it and that was it, there was no bad mouthing or acting out. So my reaction in no way was feeding the problem between the kids and I.

When I asked them what I have done to make them feel that way they said 1) because they were not my kids so they assumed I did not like them 2) I only work on the Saturdays they are with us.

Yes they do think that I am trying to get away from them however, that is not true.
I explained that I have worked evry other saturday for 10yrs now. I only work 4hrs and I leave before they get up. When I get home I make lunch, them we go do an activity. It had nothing to do with them. I do enjoy them most of the time. I do not have kids so sometimes when they are fighting and screaming like kids do I go outside, or bedroom, something to get away from the noise. I do not discipline them, that is for their dad to do.

I know all of you think I'm this terrible person that had an affair with a married man and thats all you can see.
I agree that was not the right thing to do. But i can not change the past I can only try to make the future better for all of us. I am a good person and the only one I have to answer to for my sins is God.

I have been reading post on here for a while now and I think there are alot of ladies that have experience with stepkids and I appriciate the advice they are able to give.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 3:17PM
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I'd rather be known as a mother whose husband left her than a woman who slept with a married man. But heah, thats just me.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 3:19PM
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KK: Point was that you are not in a stepfamily. How can you give advice regarding stepkids?

You only responded to my post to bash me

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 4:42PM
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"I know all of you think I'm this terrible person that had an affair with a married man and thats all you can see."

I'm not going to say you're a terrible person based just on this one action. That's not a good thing to have done -- you know that -- but like everyone else, I've also done some things I'm not proud of. If that's all anyone knew of me -- or even if that was one of the first things -- they wouldn't have a very good impression of me either... But no person can be summed up by one act.

What many people have said or are trying to say is that for the kids, knowing you had a relationship with their father before their parents' marriage ended IS one of the only things they know about you. It was also one of the first. Certainly one of the biggest. I know you have to be tired of hearing it, but it simply can't be ignored or discounted. Yeah, there's some judging going on, and it isn't pretty or kind. But the stuff you're hearing here is pretty tame compared to what those kids are probably feeling.

In other words, that one fact, that one act, figures very prominently in their impressions of you, in all of them. Everything you do is filtered through that lense. If they consider you a 'homewrecker' they are likely to punish you:

- If you're nice to them, you're trying to buy them off; but if you're not, you're an evil witch.
- If you stay home while they're there, you're always butting in and they never get to see just their dad; but if you leave, you can't even stand to be in the same house with them.
- If you discipline them, you're a horrible meanie; but if you don't, you're scared to correct them or don't care what they do.
- If you say something, it's none of your business; but if you don't, you think they're invisible and can't wait 'til they leave.
- If you make their favorite foods, you're trying to brown-nose them; but if you don't, you can't cook.
- If you clean up after them, you're nosing around in their stuff; but if you don't, you're a lazy freeloading slob.

It doesn't sound like they're being awful to you, so maybe there is hope. But I also suspect they're not being completely honest. I mean come on... "We don't think she likes us..." is just so politically correct. That's the kind of thing you say to a Dad when you don't feel like you can really scream "Why did you leave our Mom to be with this - this -- this argh!?"

If meeting you did break up their parent's marriage, you've got a long hard road ahead of you. But if you didn't, you husband needs to step forward and say so -- clearly, and unambiguously.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 4:45PM
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Sweeby, I am not certain kids view it quite that simple, as did OW break up parents marriage or not? I think some kids think, this is a person who was part of my parents breaking up. And as they get older (based on age as described), these issues become harder. I think many kids wish their parents did not break up, and anyone who had a hand in it is viewed less than positively.

Jess, you made a point of mentioning how my X left me. If you think that is relevant, fine.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 4:49PM
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That does clarify, the Saturdays. I doubt just being gone a few hours (part of it while they're sleeping) is enough by itself to be the root. Combine it though with the heading outside by yourself and the seeking protection from them by going to your room, and yeah, the kids view sees you dodging them.

Time for a major talk with DH. Where are the house rules? Fighting and screaming and games that require darkness and movning things and likely running and/or sqeezing into tight corners. DH and you need to decide what is okay and what is not and lay out the house rules. Even parents of single unit families have rules and behavior expectations.

Board games, fine. Movie night, fine, Wii or similar vid game, great. Hide n seek, not so okay. Outdoor games belong outside or in large basements/family rooms where things are safe and prepared for the activity.

Trashing the house and not picking up after themselves? Not okay. Step kids or bio kids need to learn to respect their surroundings and clean up their own messes. These are things DH should be expecting out of his children whether there was a you or not. Again, part of house rules. And these are not little children/toddlers that can not be expected to pick up their toys, laundry, whatever.

There is alot going on under you're learning in your mid thirties to deal with kids for the first time in your home, the kids are dealing with life upsets, anger at you, at dad, at anything and everything because their life and their way of it has ceased to exist. It's a big adjustment for all. There is no simple fix, no timeline.

These children might go years and never really accept you with open arms and love in their hearts. But you knew that going in. Now you need to work at clear communication with them that I mean discussing issues that pertain to you and them directly. Maybe the next kiddie fight/screaming match and you feel the need to escape , ask one of them to go out and walk with you and have simple convo "so how is school going? what is that book about you're doing that report on?". Just little things that says to them that you're aware and interested in what's going on in their lifes.

Some of my favorite memories of my stepson as a child and teen, now in his early 40s, were those walks together. No one else there to distract attention, just he and I. One on one getting to know each other and sharing thoughts, ideas, problems, happy highlights from each others daily life.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 4:53PM
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I must be a horrible SM.... I Work sunday nights ... when the kids come home from mom's house ... so I don't have to hear all the whiney Bull$h!t from the weekend ... who got more stuff, who stayed up later, who got extra cake, who didn't do their homework, who didn't shower, .... you bet I run like heck out the door at 4pm knowing they will be home any minute!!! complaining about something that has nothing to do with me!!!! and guess what I am not there to hear it or care about it.

Granted if you are the OW ... you will have to overcome that with the kids ... it can be done but you will have a long road ahead of you .... and yes if mom encourages and dad does not discourage this behavior it will continue for a very long time ....

Good luck finding that middle road.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 5:16PM
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Sweeby: Thats exactly how I feel. No matter what I do its not going to be the right thing. They are not awful to me at least to my face. I agree with you that them saying they dont think I like them was because they did'nt feel they could say what they really felt. I talked to DH about it and he just has his head in the sand about it. Their mom is supposed to get them back to the councilor so hopefully they can voice their true feelings with her.

My DH has explained to them that I was not the reason thier marriage broke up.They had been having alot of problems for some time. He does not feel he can give much detail because of their age and he does not want to speak bad about their mom.

Thanks for the positive feedback. I appriciate the insight.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 11:16AM
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Glad I could clrify the Saturday's. I know thats how they see it. I tried to let them know that was not the case at all. Not sure if they believed it though.

I have talked to DH about house rules. He agrees to them, then whe kids are there its like we never discussed anything. The kids have never been taught to pick up after themselves. They dont know to hang the towel up to let it dry. I do expect them to do these things and for DH to enforce it but its been 8 months now and they are still the same as the first month. He just says oh they are kids when they get older they will learn. I know DH is the problem he is not consistant at all with rules. When I say something he does it for them. I'm not sure how they are at their moms, but I know there are alot of thing they need direction with.

I like the idea of taking one of them with me on that walk.
I will for sure give that a try. Sounds like a good way to get that one on one time.

Thanks so much for the understanding and great advice.

Pseudo MOm: I dont think that makes you a bad stepmom. Maybe just a smart one. LOL.
I appriciate the encouragement.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 11:34AM
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"Don't try too hard. Most kids want to like the adults in their parents life and want those people to like them too. It may not happen right away, but being yourself, not coming on too strong and being consistant and fun will bring them around in the end."

this was advice given to you a year ago by Silversword and it's still great advice now. You are expecting or hoping for WAY too much from these kids. I'm not saying they are right as I have been on the receiving end on the animosity of skids. Or that they are being fair because really, in my view, it was the actions of the DAD who brought things to where they are. He was the one married to their mother. BUT, your role in the break up of the original marriage isn't just going to conviniently fade away since you will probably always symbolize that to them. It's really Dad's fault but they love Dad not you.

Take it easy on yourself and them. No more apologies or that kind of emotional outreach. That gives them more grist to mill about you. What did Henry Ford say, "never apologize. Do better." Just be nice, be yourself, set boundaries as they have set with you. Understand that they are pissed! At you, more than Dad. Although he is the real villain here.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 12:33PM
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LAMOM, I think that was Henry Ford II who said that "never complain, never explain" when involved in a traffic incident and had a woman not his wife with him. So appropro advice to Jess. Maybe the motto of Philanderers-R-Us.

I dont disagre that it was ALSO Dad's fault, BUT Jess knew or should have known what she doing. She does not deserve a free ride. Any woman who knowingly has an affair with a married man with kids has shown she does not have the kid's best interest at heart.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 1:12PM
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"He does not feel he can give much detail because of their age and he does not want to speak bad about their mom."

like saying that she's a man in a woman's body & she can't teach her girls to be "ladies"?

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 5:23PM
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EXACTLY Silvia! I said it on an internet forum not to the kids.
Let me guess that makes me a horrible stepmom.

This is a place to vent and say the things we would never tell our Skids. Are you forgetting this is a forum. Do you honestly think I told a 10yr 12yr & 13yr old I think their mom is lesbian and is a man in a womans body.

Get real. Move on to another thread.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 5:41PM
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"Get real" is advice that works both ways.

You had an affair with a married man,
you badmouth his children's *mother*, &
you whine because the children don't like you.

& you think that the children don't pick up on your attitude that their mother is somehow not...the right sort...& that *you* (the person who, looks like, took their dad away from their mom & who looks down her nose at their mom) are the one to teach them to be "ladies"???

I guess maybe you need to...
Get real & move on.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 5:50PM
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gays are just attracted to people of their own gender, they are not trapped in anything. they just live their lives like all of us. they are certainly the same ladies or gentlemen as everyone else. apearance, or dress, or folding your towels does not make one a lady. honorable behavior makes one a lady/gentleman. i don't think you qualify to teach them anything.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 5:52PM
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Jess, from your original post - "Everyone told me is was going to be rough but I had no idea."

The same people are now telling you stuff you just don't want to hear. There is no magical solution. No one here can tell you what to say or do to get the kids to like you their next weekend over.

All three have told their Dad they don't like you. All three know that you and their Dad were involved before the divorce. There's just no way getting around that or forcing people to have feelings/opinions according to what you wish they had.

Yours is not a typical stepfamily situation.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 5:59PM
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Really Sylvia: YOU have no idea how "my attitude is". I do not badmouth their mother. That post was a year ago. I show nothing but respect for their mother. So unless you are in our home to see these things you are assuming things that are untrue. There is nothing wrong with showing girls how to take care of their hair, nails, skin ect. They enjoy our mani/pedi days. I guess that makes terrible for taking them or showing them those things right? Whining? If you will reread my OP you will see that I was asking for Advice because they think I dont like them. I have recieved some good positive advice & tips which is exactly what I asked for. Thank you to those ladies.

FD: I know what gays are. I have some close friends that are gay. They are wonderful people and I am greatful to have them in my like. Transgender maybe is the correct term. I'm not that good with the terminoligy for these things. However she is not and does not look like an avergae evryday woman. That is an observation only. My opinion. Ther are girls and should know proper edictae at the very least. Am I qualified to teach them? I dont think that is for you to decide.

Nivea; I am not looking for magic. Just suggestions from other woman that have been in a stepfamily and have had some challanges that may have good ideas. ll three have told their dad that " I dont like them" the is what I had issues with. I know that dont like me, and I know why. I dont need anyone to tell me that.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 10:13AM
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Jess, just be really careful in your grooming/beauty parties that you don't cross boundries or make the girls feel they are inferior so you're 'fixing' them. No saying you are or have, but it's a line you must be very careful with.

If they see your nails done and ask to try it out on their own, great (as long as dad does not have a problem with it) but never do it in a way that the girls think you are fixing them because you think their fingers/toes don't measure up to what 'you' think they should.

Same with hair. It's important they keep it clean, but remember it's not up to you to pick style choices for them. And again, don't ever give them the impression that you're taking them to the beauty shop to 'fix' them.

You bever want the girls to think/feel that nothing about them is right. Or if they'd just do this or that they'd be better, prettier, more lady like whatever. They won't thank you for it and you'll make them feel as if there's something 'wrong' with them ( kinda like, ya don't 'like' them this way but you'll like them after you 'fix' them maybe).

Also the boundries are something that must be watched and respected. My sister and her daughter can at times forget they must ask the 'mommy' (me) if they can do something to DD10's hair. The niece is a hair pro and likes to do my daughter's hair. But if she tried to do or actually did something besides the usual monthly trim and curling and temp styling it I'd come down like bad on ugly on her for it. Kinda like 'my kid, my decision, thanks but my daughter and I will mutually agree on what is done to her hair'. We're in the process right now of debating highlights for DD10's hair, but I'd be livid if daughter came home from a visit and I found it just done without my knowledge, permission and input.

I'm sure you already know all this but just in case, a gentle reminder to watch what and how you take something involving the girls on to yourself.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 10:55AM
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"The kids have never been taught to pick up after themselves. They dont know to hang the towel up to let it dry. I do expect them to do these things and for DH to enforce it but its been 8 months now and they are still the same as the first month. He just says oh they are kids when they get older they will learn. I know DH is the problem he is not consistant at all with rules"

Not trying to hijack, but this is what I'm trying to avoid with my whole "hot cocoa" situation. DD is 7 and she ALWAYS hangs the towel because it is a rule in our house.

On the gay issue, I personally feel some people are gay, and some people are "men" or "women" trapped in the opposite body. Transgender is not the correct term for it. I've met some really bull-dykish women who were as straight as I am, and some really feminine women who wouldn't give a man the time of day.

That said, I agree it's probably not a good idea for you to bring the subject of their mother's sexuality up with her daughters. If they ask, you should probably ask what they know/think, and then how they feel about it, and pretty much say nothing more than "God made us all in His image, and we are all different and that's ok" or something to that effect.

As for the cheating or not cheating... you didn't cheat if you weren't married. Your DH cheated. You were out of integrity, for sure. You made your bed when the sheets were still warm so to speak. But it was for him to detangle prior to moving on with you, and he didn't. Too bad you didn't have the foresight to step back until he was free and clear.

And now what? Because it's already been done. I think your DH needs to "man-up" and tell his daughters that it is HIS fault, not yours, that HIS marriage to their mother overlapped his marriage to you. He needs to make that very clear. Realize it's probably easier for them to hate you than either their mother or father, and you will get the brunt of their anger for a long time. If you can disassociate your self from that, realize where it is coming from, and be a rock for them, you will come out smelling better, so to speak.

Perhaps being honest yourself. Tell them that had you to do it over again you realize a lot of pain could have been avoided if you had not been in the picture when the marriage was having issues, and that you can see that it would be very confusing for them.

I would probably hate you too. It's a lot easier than hating my dad. You will probably work for years and years to build this relationship with them. It will be hard. And you're the only one who will know if it was worth it. We all make mistakes. Yours happened to have three young girls attached to it. Hormones... etc... will only make this harder in the years to come. I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 11:03AM
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I have been very careful to make sure they do not feel like I 'm trying to fix them. There is nothing wrong with them. I go regularly and sometime it falls on a day that we have them. They asked to go the first time so since then I have asked them if they would like to go with me if I see it will fall on our day. It gives us time together, and we usually go to lunch and have fun. It also give DH and SS10 some guy time. I only let them get their hair styled (curled, flat iron, updo) I/they would never have their hair cut and they dont get highlights or anything like that. Their mom takes them to a lady they have gone to since they were little. I would not want anybody cutting my kids hair without permission or anything else. I have cleard the mani/pedi and styling with both mom and dad. My mom was the same way. One of her friends was a stylist, she cut & highlighted my hair when I was 12. My mom came un glued on both of us. I learned a good lesson that day.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 11:35AM
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Silver, you say - "I think your DH needs to "man-up" and tell his daughters that it is HIS fault, not yours, that HIS marriage to their mother overlapped his marriage to you. He needs to make that very clear"

I agree dad was at fault, but how can OP also not be at fault? Are you suggesting teaching young girls that they are not responsible for their own sexual activity (rape excluded obviously)? That it is OK to sleep with married man. I do not agree with that.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 12:48PM
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Nope. I'm not advocating sexual abdication for young women.

It's not ok to have sexual intercourse or inappropriate contact with someone who has entered into a monogamous relationship with another person. Those behaviors tell me a lot about the character and strength of a person. It's poor judgment, it's rude, and it's tacky.

BUT. While it may be all of those things, the onus lies with the person who entered into the contract. The married person is the one responsible for their marriage. It is up to the married person to responsibly manage their contract.

OP made bad choices and she will now have to live with the repercussions. She can be faulted for making bad decisions and she should admit to that too. But Dad chose to fool around with another woman while he was married to the mother of his children. He's the cheater. Not OP. To lay the blame on the OP is very very convenient. After all, she is not blood related, and to make her the scapegoat would be very easy. After all, were she not there, mommy and daddy would still be living in their castle happily ever after, right? And they'd still be the little princesses?

Nope. Dad's a cheater and a liar. Stepmom was out of integrity and was a contributor to the instability of the lives of the children. I don't know how Mom contributed to this mess but I'm sure she had her hand to play as well. The adults need to come clean and accept responsibility for their actions.

It's not ok to have inappropriate contact with someone who is in a committed relationship, married or not. The biggest reason is that if he'll do it with you, he'll do it to you. (cheat, that is). It all goes back to "do unto others". It makes a woman get a bad reputation and is a poor start to a relationship. There's a good lesson here for the girls.

But there is a reason the person sitting in the car doesn't get the same jail time as the person who goes in and commits the crime. It's a lesser offense. Yep. You still have a record. You still have to do community service. But the person who walks into the liquor store with the gun is the real robber.

Just don't get in the car in the first place. You'll save yourself a lot of grief.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 1:25PM
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I think both people were wrong. Adultery is not something you can engage in by yourself, unlike robbing a liquor store. As to who is worse, don't know the facts. My Xs SO propositioned him for years before he was unfaithful.

But in any event the kids will likely still see their dad as their dad. I know my DD does. But just as you say that OW owes no duty of loyalty to the man's loyalty, the kids owe no duty of loyalty to her.

And I hope you are not blaming mom for dad's infidelity.

So do you still think dad should tell the kids it was "HIS fault, not yours"? Do you think they'ld buy it - I dont.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 1:53PM
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Both were wrong. And adultery is a one-person system, unless both people are married to other people.

Doesn't matter what trashy whore propositions my husband, if he is weak enough to go for her, it's his fault, not hers. She's just acting in character. I didn't marry her, I didn't take vows with her. She is nothing. It is my husband who is at fault for breaking his promise.

The kids owe her nothing. They need to be baseline respectful as she is the wife of their father, nothing else. They do not have to like her, or do things with her, or involve her in their lives whatsoever. And kids should still see dad as dad. That's who he is. People make mistakes. Hopefully he can tell them in such a way that they all can learn from those mistakes. As a daughter of a father I can say little girls forgive their daddies pretty readily. And, it's very convenient and easier to shift the blame to some other woman so daddy can remain our king. Daddy needs to make sure it's understood that he was the one with the power to start/stop/continue/reverse this situation and he made this choice. And now EVERYONE has to live with it. It's a good lesson on how one person affects the lives of others. It's a good lesson on selfish behavior.

I'm not blaming mom for dad being unfaithful. I'm saying if everyone were to be completely honest I'd imagine everyone had a part in the dissolution of the marriage. Doesn't mean it's true. After all, none of us, including OP, will ever know the TRUTH of Dad and Bio-Mom's marriage. That is for them to know and each will only have one side anyway.

I'm sorry your ex's new woman was circling for ages before pouncing. He had lots of time then to make the lines clear and stand up for his integrity, his personal commitments, his character. He obviously didn't. He made a choice (unless she has him blackmailed/coerced into being with her, in which case her crime is greater than simply being an accomplice to adultery). I personally think it has little to do with the "wronged" person in the marriage. The adulterer is a fool, a liar, a thief who is unable to clean up one mess before moving on to another. It's one of the worst character flaws out there, IMO. So no, I don't blame you KKNY for your part in your divorce. I can only look to my own divorce and see how I contributed to it's demise. I was not gathering the wood, splitting the tender, wadding the newspaper, striking the match. But I sure huffed and puffed in the direction of the fire enough to make sure it burned. I was an accomplice in the dissolution of my marriage. I accept responsibility for my part, and it feels so good not to blame him, blame her, blame blame blame.

Yes, I still think dad should make it very clear that he was the one who broke his vows. OP didn't force him to under duress, he is a big boy who chose to break his promise to his wife. If OP hadn't been there, chances are he'd do it with someone else at some other date.

It's not OP's fault his marriage broke up and he committed adultery. It is her fault that he did it WITH HER.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 2:14PM
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I don't think you say it wasnt OPs fault, you just dont know. Btw, adultery can be committed by a single person, at least in the books I looked.

adul·ter·y (É-dÅ­l'tÉ-rç, -trç)
n. pl. a·dul·ter·ies
Voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a partner other than the lawful spouse.

[Middle English, from Old French adultere, from Latin adulterium, from adulter, adulterer; see adulterate.]

Word Origin & History


"voluntary violation of the marriage bed," c.1300, avoutrie, from O.Fr. avoutrie, aoulterie, noun of condition from avoutre/aoutre, from L. adulterare "to corrupt" (see adulteration). Modern spelling, with the re-inserted -d-, is from early 15c. (see ad-). Classified as single adultery (with an unmarried person) and double adultery (with a married person). O.E. word was ¿wbryce "breach of law(ful marriage)." Adultery Dune in Arizona corresponds to Navajo sei adilehe "adultery sand" and was where illicit lovers met privately.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 2:41PM
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Silver, I agree with you 100%. However, it is possible for the kids to already know this and still behave the way they are.

I think people in general will forgive their father/mother more readily than anyone else. They had a bond with their father before Jess. It's like the bank theory. Dad already had a positive balance before the divorce happened. Jess started out not just negative but made a huge withdrawal. No matter how much Dad stresses he was the one who broke vows and technically cheated, they don't have a bond with her, there is nothing on a personal level with them with Jess to form a positive relationship.

Yes, technically Dad cheated, it's Dads fault. No, Jess is not some horrible woman that needs the scarlett letter branded on her. But there is no getting around this, people who were affected by the situation are going to have their own opinions and technicals rarely ever enter in to emotional situations.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 2:44PM
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Totally agree Nivea. Bank analogy is a good one. I'm just saying in order for Jess not to get ALL the blame (which would be tempting for anyone to do) Dad needs to admit his part as well. IMO, that's the only way to move forward out of this giant mess.

KKNY, I think that's semantics. In New York, it's adultry if one or both of the parties has a living spouse, but only for the person who is actually married. In North Carolina it's just if the two people aren't married, regardless if they are married to someone else. In Minnesota it's only if a woman lies with someone other than her husband, and the man she is with is also an adulterer even if he is not married. Religions play a part in it too... Adultery in traditional Judaism applies equally to both parties, but it only applied in situations where the woman is married (Lev. 20:10).


I think everyone understands that my feeling that she's not the adultress, he is, is not common law and is only my feeling on the subject.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 3:33PM
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Silver, you said orignally - "I think your DH needs to "man-up" and tell his daughters that it is HIS fault, not yours, that HIS marriage to their mother overlapped his marriage to you. He needs to make that very clear"

You seem to be flip-flopping between saying it is NOT her fault and saying dad needs to "admit his part." I agree they were both at fault.

I doubt that no matter what he says, words alone are going to be "the only way to move forward out of this giant mess".

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 3:57PM
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So KKNY what do you suggest jess do?

Wear a sign everytime the kids come over ... I am the wh0r3 who slept with your dad?

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 4:30PM
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transgender is a very incorrect term jess when refering to gay people. These are like apples and oranges, completelly different thing. You clearly have internet since you are posting here, just do some research. You seem not to know anything about it yet you are making judgements.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 4:41PM
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That's about what I am popping in to say/ask?

Come on KKNY. We're sitting here on the edges of our chairs waiting to hear what 'advice' you have. Rather wasting time debating 'fault'. Fact is it happened. We have a SM and three kids that have to at least get along 4 to 8 days a month now. What is going to move them forward?

I have no idea the timeline of your divorce, KKNY, and/or what all was occuring and how much your DD knew at the time and how long it's been since your divorce.

How old was your daughter and how it you handle telling her what was going on? How have you helped her deal with the outfall of the divorce and the fact her father did and does whatever it is/was he did/does?

I'm not bashing/judging, I'm asking. You're one of the few here currently posting on the forum that had TOW. Just maybe you could be helpful if you're willing to cease the debate of 'fault' and fill us in on how advice and/or suggestions to make things easier for these children.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 4:42PM
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how could you possibly teach girls any values or how to be ladies if you sleep with married men, of course you don't qualify. mani/pedi is not making you a lady

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 4:44PM
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Psuedo, I dont think she needs to wear that sign -- my guess the kids already know. Others advised her to go slow on marriage. She didnt. I just disagree with SS telling Jess that dad has to take all the weight on this -- it probably wouldnt work anyway.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 4:44PM
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I personally think that there is no advice could be given because it is lose/lose situation. everything just went wrong from the beginning, first adultery, then rushing kids into this, then marriage.

of course over time kids might calm down or as they get older not to visit dad as much, or whatever might happen but it will never be normal.

what could be done in a short run, well maybe not hiding in a room when they come over, maybe not work those days, maybe stop all these hair/nails/toes and fingers ordeal and let mom take care of it. or maybe back off and let dad spend time with his kids. it just all started wrong from the beginning and i am not sure if it could be fixed no matter what you do.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 4:59PM
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FD, I am pretty sure I can not stay hidden in my room for almost 3 days. Did you read my post or just read what you wanted to? I do alot for them when they are there that would be difficult if I was hiding 24/7 while they are there. I have worked those days for over 10yrs I am not going to stop now. I think they need time with their dad and they only get about 4hrs of me not being there. Would'nt you want your DD to have time with her Dad on the EOW visit or would you want the mean unqualified whore of a stepmom with the them whole time? As for the mani/pedi's they go because they want to. I do not drag them kicking and screaming to the salon. So if I stop the fun things that we do together, that is going to help us bond. REALLY???? Geez if I did'nt take them you accuse me of leaving them out. BTW mom does not do those things or they probably would'nt go with me they would wait and go with her would'nt you think.

KK: I would like to hear how you handled your situation with your DD. I do think you could be helpful.I have no insight at all from that perspective. Did you tell her exactly what happened with TOW?

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 5:20PM
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DD spends virtually no time with Dads SO, this was true even before DD went to college. DD spends no time alone with Dads SO. Even if they were to marry, this woman will just progress from being Dads SO to Dads Wife.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 5:25PM
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KK, I'm not flip-flopping. If a man is going to cheat on his wife, is that the fault of the woman with whom he is cheating?

Not saying Jess is blameless, just saying that it's Dad's fault he didn't honor his marriage, not Jess' fault. Jess slept with a married man and then married him once he got divorced and now she has to sleep in the bed she made.

Jess was out of integrity, Dad is the one who wrecked his marriage. Until Dad admits that to kids, it will be Jess' fault that Mommy and Daddy aren't married anymore because her bank is overdrawn while Dad's is still reasonably full. Great analogy. Until then they will put all the blame on Jess because that is the easy way out.

Jess will need to come clean with the kids in her own way, in due time. But they're dad's kids. He needs to lead the way on this one.

"Fact is it happened. We have a SM and three kids that have to at least get along 4 to 8 days a month now. "

Yep. It happened. For better or worse, this is their family drama now and hopefully they can all come to terms with it and move forward.

I say, keep doing what you can to make these children feel safe and comfortable and that they can talk to the members of their family. Don't talk to them about their parents sexuality. You've already been a party to giving them too much information, IMO. The stigma of "mistress/whore" will probably never go away, until perhaps they are old enough to understand or forgive.

Ladies, we don't know what stages the Dad and Bio were on when Jess came in the picture. The difference between wriggling in like a worm in a perfectly good apple and coming upon a marriage in it's death throes is to be considered. I wouldn't touch a man going through a divorce or "considering" a divorce with a ten foot pole, but that's just me. I don't need the drama.

I don't judge you Jess. I don't think you made a very good decision, but we're all just living our lives and making mistakes. God knows, I've made more than my share. Now what are you going to do to make it better?

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 6:04PM
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SS, first you say dad should say not jess' fault.

I think this approach is better. "Fact is it happened. We have a SM and three kids that have to at least get along 4 to 8 days a month now. "

I would suggest dad refer to SM by "jess" and not SM. For now, they should just accept she is Dads wife. I would also not use the word respect -- that has different connotations. I would suggest dad say, gently, we should all treat each other with civility. We dont have to like each other.

baby steps

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 6:24PM
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I stand by what I said. It's MY OPINION that it's DAD's fault that HE broke HIS marriage vows. Not Jess' fault. SHE is at fault for sleeping with a married man, yes, and she will pay dearly for that transgression. But the kids need to know Dad takes full responsibility for ruining his own marriage.

No marriage can be ruined by TOW or TOM unless the MARRIED person is in agreement.

I agree, Jess should use her name rather than SM. And Jess should respect her stepchildren as well. If civil would work better, by all means.

Be respectful of one another.
Be civil to one another.

Yep. Sounds good to me.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 6:38PM
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So dad should wear the sign?

I am the Adulter who slept with Jess...
we knew it was wrong and did it anyway
We are both at fault.

Please continue to love me because I am your father but you can treat my wife like crap because she helped me betray my marriage to your wonderful saintly mother.

how's that work?

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 7:06PM
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How are you going to fit all of that on the sign?

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 7:39PM
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jess you didn't read my post. i said it does not matter if you hide or if you don't hide, it is all doomed. not to say that two of you can't have decent marriage (until something goes wrong and he finds someone else) but with these kids it is just no winning here. of course no one should wear any signs and eventually kids might forgive and so on, but it will always be tainted. it is nothing to do with your actions now, you can take them places and be very nice to them, it sounds like you are trying, but it is too messed up to ever be normal.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 7:49PM
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The children should not be asked to be respectful of the SM. They should be asked to be civil.

Def. of Respect

a particular, detail, or point (usually prec. by in): to differ in some respect.
2.relation or reference: inquiries with respect to a route.
3.esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability: I have great respect for her judgment.
4.deference to a right, privilege, privileged position, or someone or something considered to have certain rights or privileges; proper acceptance or courtesy; acknowledgment: respect for a suspect's right to counsel; to show respect for the flag; respect for the elderly.
5.the condition of being esteemed or honored: to be held in respect.

SM does not deserve to be respected. How Dad deals with this is his problem.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 8:22PM
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What silversword said.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 8:31PM
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ouch. I just re-read Dinner with Future SK's.

Sweeby gave great insight, I think, and pretty much backs up what I've been saying. The ball is in Dad's court. If he doesn't provide the backbone, this group does not have a chance of becoming a family.

Below is Sweeby's post...But before I re-post (I think it was SUCH good advice/insight) I must ask:

Is Bio-Mom a lesbian? Does anyone think this might be just a little smidgen of a reason why Dad was having sex with other women? Like I said, everyone plays a part. I rest my case.

"Now Jess3 -- Your guy set you up to fail. I'm not saying he did it on purpose, but he surely did it. There's NO WAY his kids were going to be happy about your going with them to dinner (and no doubt that he knew this), and rather than prepare them and help you, he took the coward's way out and said nothing, leaving you and his children to bear the brunt of it. He selfishly took the coward's way out and chose to make them and you miserable for a few hours to save himself a few minutes of discomfort.

Now go back a few years to when he and his Ex were still married, and their marriage wasn't working for him. Rather than confront her with his feelings and try to improve their marriage, he took the coward's way out and started a new relationship with another woman. He selfishly took the coward's way out and chose to betray his family and make his wife and children miserable for years to meet his own needs for intimacy and save himself a few hours of discomfort.

Now back to more recent history after his daughter took your earrings. He had a nice gentle little talk with her, but then he took the coward's way out and didn't punish her for stealing them. He selfishly took the coward's way out and let things slide rather than putting up with her sulking or pouting for a few hours.

I don't know about you, but I'm beginning to see a pattern here, and it isn't a pretty one.
This guy may be good-looking, sexy and funny, but he doesn't seem to have much in the way of character, and that, to me, is the kiss of death.

Save yourself a life of misery and cut your losses.
You can do better than this guy."

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 8:38PM
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I like word civil. Everyone should be civil. It is also good skill to learn for being successful in life. These kids will need to learn to be civil with colleagues whom they didn't necessarily chose to work with.

Same here, they didn't choose SM, and they have no options, so they must treat her with civility. Saying things like we want to kill her is not very civil. They should not be mean or verbally abusive.

But i totally agree that they absolutely do not have to be respectful. They have nothing to respect SM for in this particular situation. Not to say that it might not change, but not now. This is not a typical stepfamily.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 8:38PM
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But when one looks at it (stepfamilies) no matter how they started, few are ever 'normal' and trouble free.

Jess might have found herself in similar situation with kids blaming/disliking her even if she had not been seeing their married father but instead meet him 3 days after the finalization of his divorce.

How many posts here rattle on about the hardships of blended families? Lots, this is the stepfamily forum. We've heard stories of many issues that face SMs here. Divorce and remarriage is not an easy thing for any of the parties involved, both adult and children.

In a perfect world we'd all find just the right partner, marry, have kids if we want them and live happily ever after...but we live in the 'real' world. $hit happens. And when it does, all we can do is try and deal with what has occurred and move forward.

I suppose we could next debate whether or not parents should ever remarry, but that will not be real productive on a forum full of stepparents and would serve no real purpose but to cause a board war and spill personal opinions/feelings left and right.

Jess asked for advice and she has received some. She knows things will never be perfect, but I think what she is now aiming for is ways to best help the children. KKNY suggested the kids not call her anything but "Jess", and I think that is a good suggestion. For now at least and maybe for years to come she'll be "Jess" their dad's new wife.

But that does not mean they all can't strive for a civil existance for the days/hours they share together. She'll going to be a part of their life as long as they continue to visit their father's home and Jess continues to be married to dad and also living there.

If the kids want to go to the beauty shop with Jess. Great. If not, no big deal, they can stay with dad. They should not be forced, but on the other hand, if they want to go they should not be discouraged from doing so.

I'm still trying to get pass the no house rules and the kids while learn later thing. These kids are 10,11 and 12. If they are not expected by dad to learn these things (finally, should have been sooner) the next thing we'll hear is dad squeal he has a house full of helpless teenagers. Seriously, these kids are old enough to be spending nights at friends homes soon if not already. Does dad really want to send an untaught 12 year old to a friends house that does not have some manners and respect for other people's property? Should they go over to friends and not help clean up messes they made or put away items they got out?

It's all part of being civil and civilized. We don't have to expect loving each other, nor even liking each other, no big group family hugs. But learning to co-exist while spending time together should be a reachable goal.

Oh, and Jess, I'd make a mental list of things dad can and should do to be helpful around the house for when the kids visit him , talk to him about it, and I'd expect him to follow it. You're not the housemaid, nanny during these weekends. Work a bit on the DH and some of the little annoying things about the kids might take care of themselves aka the trashed house, the no help getting things done/ready ect. I don't see some of this as the kids so much as the father.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 9:01PM
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'Does anyone think this might be just a little smidgen of a reason why Dad was having sex with other women?"

Does it matter why he cheated? If she is a lesbian and he knew, then it would be a good reason to get divorce, not a good reason to sleep around.

But it seems that jess just said mom looks manly so she must be a man in woman's body, it also sounds like an excuse for his cheating.

And really it is not relevant to the situation.

My colleague's exhusband told the whole family (including their children)that he had an affair because his wife couldn't cook. (well she truly cannot cook), nice try...

But then again assuming she is a lesbian because she is rough looking is pretty silly. Most lesbians don't look any different.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 9:03PM
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I agree that an outfit does not a lesbian make. The reference was to her living with her "new friend"... so to come out and find a girlfriend within months of your husband cheating on you???

Sounds to me like Mom and Dad both had some emotional cheating issues. Like I said, there's always more to the story.

DAD = Wrong for not cleaning up one mess before starting another.

Jess = Wrong for getting involved with a man who did not clean up his first mess.

MOM = who the heck knows...

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 9:34PM
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So if I took a roommate and dress like Hillary Clinton, Bill cheating is my fault? I dont think so.

It is amazing to me how some people DEMAND accountability and responsbility on the part of stepkids (the nerve of DAD for not punishing stepkids for taking my jewelry -- when they didnt even know I was living there and didnt know who jewelry belonged to), but DEMAND that SM is accorded no fault for having affair.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 9:39PM
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Hillary bashing now?? LOL. I don't think she looks like a lesbian at all (eyes rolling).

Who is demanding?

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 9:44PM
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I am not bashing Hillary, I happen to like her. I am just making the point that wearing pantsuits is no excuse for a man cheating.

Who is demanding -- Psuedo's sarcastic comments and your " think your DH needs to "man-up" and tell his daughters that it is HIS fault, not yours" - NOT YOURS

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 9:47PM
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In her very first post jess said that when she saw mom she figured she must be attracted to women because she looks manly. It sounds that she was just angry last year and was saying all this to save her face. She is not mentioning it anymore, maybe for a reason.

I don't understand how it is even matter. Kids don't like jess, and there is tension, mom could be a swinger for all we know, what difference does it make. Kids clearly love mom and dad no matter what, not so much jess. that's how it works.

hahahah KKNY oh that's too funny. silvers, you didn't get it, no bashing, If KK dress up like Hillary (I like her too BTW but gotta "like" those suits) and took up a roommate then her ex would say he had an excuse to cheat. hahahah On the other hand if someone has a wife acting looking like Sara Palin then yes it is a legitimate excuse to cheat. hahahahahah Too funny.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 10:05PM
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Actually, there was reference over 9 months ago regarding Mom's apparent lesbian tendancies.

Posted by jess3 (My Page) on Tue, Jun 16, 09 at 15:41
"...Once we are married is the only way I can stay. Their mother is not allowed to have her love intrest sleep over. The kids think its just moms new best friend."

Nothing was said about clothes that I saw. I don't think ex had excuse to cheat. I'm just saying, if mom has a girlfriend so quick, perhaps there is more to the story than just "bad old dad cheating". Sounds like there were quite a few issues, even more reason to steer clear!

I'm the ex-wife of a cheating jerk. There is no love lost for me for those who cheat, male or female.

KKNY, all I'm saying is it's dad's fault that he wrecked his marriage. We can't blame that on TOW. He's responsible for his breaking his vows, not her. Like I said, if it wasn't her, it would have been someone else.

"I think your DH needs to "man-up" and tell his daughters that it is HIS fault, not yours, that HIS marriage to their mother overlapped his marriage to you."

I stand by that. He had the power to say, you know, Jess, I like you a lot, and I'm married. I made a commitment, and I'm sticking to it. Hopefully we can be friends, and maybe someday in the future we can pursue this. But right now I have my kids to think of, and I value them and the quality of their lives and if we were ever together I would want there to be a good relationship between you. (if there were problems, which it seems there were) he should have said that even though he was having problems, he LOVED JESS too much to get her involved in his nasty business. That's me speaking as a woman. Speaking as a child of parents who dated, he probably should have followed Dr. Laura's advice and just not dated until his girls are adults. Speaking as an exwife of a cheating jerk, I'd have a couple of choice words for him and his little skank who couldn't see that there was more to life than her need to get my husband in bed. Speaking as a mother, I'd probably never speak to Jess ever for messing with my girls lives.

I think Sweeby said it right. He took the easy way out. I feel sorry for Jess. She followed her *ahem* heart? pants? and it's not going well. But I feel more sorry for the girls.

And BTW, I don't think Hillary is a lesbian. Simply dressing in pantsuits is not an indicator. And yes, I think she had her own role to play in Bill's indescretions. He was just moron enough to get caught. She stayed cause she liked the power. JMO, like the rest of the drivel I post on here. LOL.

I don't think Jess did the right thing. But she made her choice. Now how can we make it better?

Is it possible?

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 10:35PM
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I dont feel sorry for Jess. She is an adult, she made her own decisions. I feel sorry for the girls. Other people suggested she take it slower with her DH. She wouldnt. I made my suggestions, but frankly dont have a lot of hope But telling to dad to tell the girls it was all his fault -- I doubt that will help. I doubt they will buy it. I am not saying he should have waited for the girls to be adult, but he should have waited till he was divorced. You blame the fatehr for not waiting -- why couldnt Jess wait?

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 10:45PM
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KKNY "You blame the fatehr for not waiting -- why couldnt Jess wait?"

I do:

"Speaking as an exwife of a cheating jerk, I'd have a couple of choice words for him and his little skank who couldn't see that there was more to life than her need to get my husband in bed. "

Yep. I agree KKNY. But now what?

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 10:50PM
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This is what I said -

SS, first you say dad should say not jess' fault.
I think this approach is better. "Fact is it happened. We have a SM and three kids that have to at least get along 4 to 8 days a month now. "

I would suggest dad refer to SM by "jess" and not SM. For now, they should just accept she is Dads wife. I would also not use the word respect -- that has different connotations. I would suggest dad say, gently, we should all treat each other with civility. We dont have to like each other.

baby steps

I wouldnt expect things to get great for a long time if at all.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 6:03AM
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i think the whole problem is not as much cheating as what followed, she rushed to buy a house to move in with him before it was even appropriate, rushed into marriage.

If kids did not even know her in March, to get married in summer is inappropriate and unacceptable.

My daughter is a grown woman but I would not show her disrespect by marrying a man she does not even know, I would make sure she gets to know him.

Dad and jess showed no consideration and

no respect to his children and now they'll pay the price. If mom is a lesbian does not matter, it does not change disrespectful and selfish behavior of dad and jess. and that cannot be corrected. It is already done.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 6:34AM
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when my ex left his common law wife of 10 years (they have a son together)for TOW, my DD was 20 and she was very upset for her brother and embarrassed for her dad's actions, my exMIL became physically ill over it.

now things are well but not so much in the beginning for everyone involved-I posted before how DD's brother refused to talk to dad, now things are fine but who knows what emotional damage is done to a child. It is not a good way to leave a marriage/relationship this way at all.

I remember DD saying "poor A_, what an awful thing my dad did to my brother".

saying all that ex's new wife is very pleasant, I do like her a lot. His ex was not that great and their relationship was not that wonderful. But that's besides the point. we are talking about children here. jess might be wonderful and his ex might be a lesbian, but who cares.

we are talking about children here.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 6:51AM
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I'm concerned for the children when the next big whammie hits them.

Right now the kids are focused on Jess the TOW, because they know about that part. But how are they going to feel and react when they learn BM was also cheating and instead of being open about it (like Dad and Jess are facing) lied and hid it from them all the while BM is tossing stones at Dad and Jess.

From one of Jess's first postings:

--"Thier mother has brainwashed them and keeps them from thier dad when she can. She decided to tell them all about him having an affair and things that young kids really dont need to know. She was willing to let him have a girlfriend as long as it did not affect her financial or social life".--

And then this one that was already brought out above:

--""...Once we are married is the only way I can stay. Their mother is not allowed to have her love intrest sleep over. The kids think its just moms new best friend." --

It appears very much that BM and Dad had some weird agreement in the 'marriage' and were , at least for the last years of their union, married in name only. This of course does not excuse and/or justify the Jess part of it in any way. What are these kids going to do/feel when they find out that while Dad was romping around with Jess and divorcing BM for Jess, and 'poor' BM is moaning 'Dad cheated on me and dumped me for another woman' as well as telling the kids all about how 'bad' Daddy is and acted, that Mommy had her own partner and was fine with it.

I think these kids are going to feel double betrayed of the whole situation. I can't imagine how these kids will respond to their BM , not because she's gay, but because they were lead to think of Jess as evil and the 'fault' all the while the kids were thinking BM's partner right under their nose was just a simple new best friend. Somebody who they could be encouraged to like, spend time with and likely be worthy of their respect.

Yeah, these kids are going to be messed up for a long long time.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 8:46AM
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Justmetoo, I'm so glad you caught that too. I've been looking for that reference because I kept going back to the "there's more to this story than just TOW and Cheating Dad".

I've learned that although many marriages are the standard arrangement, there are quite a few where the husband and wife have arrangements most people do not know about or understand and when it all falls apart it's difficult to see all the intricacies.

It doesn't excuse Jess, she should have known better than to get involved. But many young women fall for the same trap. "we're married in name only, we were going to get divorced soon anyway, she has her lover, I have you". That's why I feel a little sorry for her. She will be the one to get the stigma, just like when we were in high school. The boys could sleep around and be called studs, but if a girl did, she was a slut.

Dad and mom really made a big mess of their family, and Jess didn't have the good sense or smarts or consideration for the kids to stay the heck out until the dust settled. And she'll pay the price. No need for us to rake her over the coals now. At least she's trying to find help on what to do about it now.

I agree with you Justme, this is a major double betrayal, compounded with all the issues that come up when a parent is gay. We can all say it doesn't matter to us, and society in general is more accepting now but it's still not considered "normal" enough for it to be not an issue at all. It's a lot to take in and these kids will be dealing with the fallout for a long time.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 9:42AM
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ladies, everyone noticed that, but we do not know if it is true. mom isn't posting here, jess does. we have no ways of knowing if mom cheated, or it is just assumption. of course it is bad if both parents are messed up but we have no ways of knowing what mom does or doesn't do.

KK's ex's girlfriend told KK's daughter that her mother cheated too, well it is clearly a lie. dishonest people often accuse others to save their face. who knows what trully happened.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 11:10AM
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Finedreams, did you forget your coffee again this morning? Because you just made me LOL so sudden that I spilt mine reading your post.

While I understand what you were trying to say, the way you posted your reasoning/justification for dismissal, was totally naive, and that's not like you.

I wish you'd of used a nameless example, as I hate mentioning a real person in replying, but seriously, you just told us we're getting only one side of a story by poster and that might be a lie. Then you back it up with an example of another poster here who we are only hearing one side of a story from and hold the example as solid proof that anything and everything ever stated is 100% truthful and accurate.


I am certainly not questioning the named person you gave as being honest, I have no reason to think exactly what she tells us about herself/her situation is truthful. But to say Jess may be lying because she's a dishonest person and so and so case is 'clearly a lie' because so and so said so here, is hysterical.

And no, don't jump all over me because I'm not saying I don't believe the exampled person you gave, I'm saying you're reasoning to justify was extremely far reached.

Sure, we don't REALLY know anything about any of us except for what we post, so how do we selective choose which ones we KNOW are telling the 100% truth on any given situation...I mean afterall, only one side of that situation is posting here and all.

Anyway, all that said, do you really think I should have less concern for these kids because somebody might be lying? All I can go on is what OP is telling us or what any OP tells us, these are the facts of any posting presented here. We're not a court of law, wwe don't get to call in witnesses nor rebuttals.

You made me laugh this morning , finedreams, I'm doing some major headache work online today and I likely really needed a good laugh and to smile right about now. Now off to get a fresh cup of coffee for me.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 11:51AM
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geez, I need to get that coffee. I mean to write 'not truthful'. "....situation is truthful" correct to say "....situation is not truthful"

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 11:58AM
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We don't know the truth. All we can go off of is that Jess wants to make the relationship better. Really we've gone off on a completely different track. Honestly, I'm a little concerned about the young girl with the blanket/smothering knife/killing aspect. That sounds strange and disturbed and scary.

All other aspects aside, it's great that Jess wants to make a relationship better. No matter that she's a big part of why it's messed up in the first place.

Enjoy your coffee :) (if that's what you're truly going to drink. After all, who knows what's true around here!)

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 12:10PM
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It appears very much that BM and Dad had some weird agreement in the 'marriage' and were , at least for the last years of their union, married in name only.

Not to nitpick, but even if they were no longer sexually involved or romantically in love, that does not mean they were married "in name only". If they were living together as friends and partners, running a household together, and raising a family together in a relatively happy and healthy environment, then they were married, period. Even if they were not "in love", even if either or both of them were having affairs. (I wont say cheating, because if they were both on board with it, then it wasnt cheating). Perhaps not a marriage I would choose to be in, but most definitely a marriage. The kids, in particular, probably considered it a "real" marriage.

None of that is to say Jess and her DH need to be condemned as horrible people here ever after. My point is just that, as it relates to her (and his) dealings with the kids, diminishing their parents marriage (and, by extension their own family life) by saying "oh, it wasnt a real marriage anyway" may not be the bestest idea in the whole wide world.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 12:13PM
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I've thought it was pretty common with affairs that the other woman/man is told that it is ok because the other spouse is cheating as well. I mean, that's like the standard excuse. Or the spouses aren't doing it, so it's ok to look elsewhere.

No, I don't think Jess is lying but imo I don't trust people involved in affairs to actually even know the truth. Unless Mom has gone to Jess to say this stuff, I'm not buying it. Dad (from Jess's own words) has not been truthful to her, Mom or the kids.

In either case, I can't find even a remote reason why this would be Jess's concern. I think it was a way to justify poor behavior and is a "reason" to tell yourself what you did was somehow ok. Of course, Jess is not a bad person, she doesn't need branding. But her relationship with her husband and his children isn't going to be based on Moms prior (if any) in discretions. What Jess did, Dad did, Mom did are all totally seperate creatures.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 12:18PM
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"I've thought it was pretty common with affairs that the other woman/man is told that it is ok because the other spouse is cheating as well. I mean, that's like the standard excuse" - I think there's also the my wife and I are seperated (which could mean she is at work, or at her sick mothers), my marriage is dead (since I met you sweety), and the famous one my wife doesnt understand (doesnt understand what -- why I want to sleep with someone else).

"Of course, Jess is not a bad person" - well I agree with no branding, but not certain how you define bad. Because if some people call stepkids bad for wining, sleeping with a married man would seem to me to rate "bad". But thats just me.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 1:10PM
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I agree KKNY... that is common. You should have heard some of the excuses my EX came up with. It was ALLLL my fault that he cheated. Majority of our "married-friends" believed him too. LOL. Losers.

I agree with your scale of whining = bad then cheating = badder... but to compare a kid who whines to an adult who does something they know is wrong is just silly IMO. Bad choice. Not bad person.

Jess? Are you still in here? (echo - echo - echo)

If you are, I think we've decided you made bad choices and were a bad girl and may never be able to fully fix this and you majorly screwed with the lives of innocent children.

That being said, I think you've admitted you screwed up and now want to fix it.

Here's my advice, for what it's worth:
Don't let DH pin this on you. You did it together.
Don't try to be the girls friend or SM or buddy or anything. Strive to make a harmonious, conflict/stress free environment for them.
Don't talk about their mother. At all. Unless they bring her up, in which case speak neutrally or as positive as possible.
Don't talk about your relationship with their dad. Let him do that.


Be positive. kids are resilient and if you and the other adults are stable they will hopefully be stable too.
Spend one-on-one time with each of them. Get to know them as individuals.
Consider deeply your intentions/motivations in this drama. Consider counseling for yourself and find out what made you insecure enough to feel you needed to jump the gun on this relationship. It's not healthy, IMO.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 1:47PM
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Silver, Yes I am still in here. I have just been reading the debate going on (not wanting to interrupt).I appriciate everything you said and agree. I did make a bad choice and regret it very much. I have told the kids this. Not that it makes it better. I am living the natural consequences of my actions everyday. I know I can not fix this situation. I don't try to be anything to them exept what they want be to be. If they ask for help with homework or projects I am glad to help. If there is anything they need they know I will be there to do whatever it is. I let them come to me. I ask about their day, and activities, I go watch them play ball, dance, soccer. Thank you so much for all the positives. We married so quickly because I sold my house (my brother moved back with my parents because he just couldn't do on his own) I got an offer on my house that was to good to pass up. It was not even on the market yet. Probably not the best reason but in this market I was not going to say no. I culd have rented an apt. but I have 2 little dogs and they need a yard, too much stuff to cram in a tiny space, ect. We had already bought the house together so it seemed like the logical thing to do at the time. Again I appriciate your concern for the kids and our relationship with them. I will take your advice and put it to use I am trying to better the situation and thats all I can do.

FD & KK: You can believe whatever you choose. Makes not one bit a difference to me. That does not change my current situation. You can have you opinions that is your right. I dont have to agree and I don't. For the record: DH nor I would never tell his kids their mother had an affair or anything else about her. Thats her business. She is their mother and we respect her as such.

I can't change the past, I can only try to improve our future.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 2:59PM
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Question: Has BM told kids any news about live-in girlfriend? To the best of your knowledge were DH and BM living a marriage of convenience where they each had other lovers? Have you and BM been able to become civil yet?

IMO, that is a very crucial step to this working, is the adults being mature enough to be civil for the sake of the kids. I'd say respectful, but... lol!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 3:39PM
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First, the girlfriend does not live there just sleep over sometimes. That is what we are told. To the best of my knowlege it was a marriage of convenience about the last couple of years. They had been to counciling a couple times that I know of. They had seperate lives but lived in the same house. I know how silly that sounds but thats how it was.
As for BM & I we do not communicate. She will ask the kids things about me that she wants to know. I have over heard them talking to her and can tell she is asking certain things about me. DH asked her before we got married if she wanted to meet with us so that she could ask questions or get to know me a bit because I would be living in the same house when her kids were there. I would want to know the person that my kids are spending time with. But she did not want to do that. Said she was not ready. I can aslo understand that. We are not ugly to each other we just do not talk. We have stood next to eaxh other at events and never said a word. A little awkward though. I put her picture in the girls room so they would feel a little bit better. they miss her alot when they are there so I thought that might help. They were appriciative.

I agree we all need to be civil and we are I guess, we just dont talk. If she needs me to pick up kids somewhere she will text DH then he tells me so it works. I dont think we will ever communicate but we reaaly dont need to. Thats DH & BM business to take care of IMO.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 4:14PM
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justmetoo, I am nothing but naive. I highly doubt that a mother would be making stuff up about her own daughter, especially about her own daughter ran home terribly upset after she got in an argument with dad's GF over the issue. Do you trully think that KKNY would make stuff up about her daughter?

I don't think it is the same as a cheater making stuff about his ex to save his face, or cheater's GF making stuff up about his ex. I mean seriously if you think it is the same thing then you are naive, not me. KKNY does not come across as a person who lies about her own child. Give me a break.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 4:19PM
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how do you know she and her GF are intimatelly involved, not like it matters, but how do you possibly know? Unless you saw them making out, you have no ways of knowing.

if like you said before mom agreed for dad to have a GF as long as bills are paid (see march 2009) then why not talking to you now. i suspect that statement about her agreeing for him to have a GF as long as bills are paid is not entirelly truthful.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 4:30PM
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"well I agree with no branding, but not certain how you define bad. Because if some people call stepkids bad for wining, sleeping with a married man would seem to me to rate "bad". But thats just me."

KK, I think people can make bad decisions (or a string of them) and still be a good person. I also think people who end up being the other woman due so because of low self esteem or previous trauma. I'm not saying they are not at fault for their own choices but I think obviously they are not in a healthier mindframe. And I don't think telling them they are the scum of the earth is going to help that, I have a feeling they already think of themselves that way.

I think in your sitch though that TOW was very deliberate in that she targeted your husband for $$/status from what I gater. I don't think most OW/OM are quite that calculating.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 4:51PM
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feel better now, finedreams?

You chose to use a real person in your example, not me. All I did was call you on using a silly example to further a point you seemed to wanna make.

You said --"but we do not know if it is true. mom isn't posting here, jess does"-- and I replied that we get only one side of every story presented here. If we're going to base our opinions and responses according to those guidelines in judging a post, then we really have no clue who says anything here that's 'true' or not. If we're going to use those guidelines, why bother to post under anything Jess posts? It's all a lie, right?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 4:54PM
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That's good that they have a picture of her in their room. I have a picture of my ex in my dd's room.... I put it on the wall where I can't see it when I walk in the room though, LOL.

My ex doesn't talk to my DH very often either, but they are civil on the phone and even jovial at times. It was not like that in the beginning, because even though my ex was cheating on me for YEARS and I didn't know... he thought my DH was TOM and treated him as such. Well, it took years for me to get a divorce, and once I found out my ex was a liar I was over him completely. We had just been "roommates" pretty much for over a year, so for me, when I got 100% confirmation, it was over. Of course to lots of people who weren't involved it looked like I moved on pretty quick but when the wound has been cauterized over a year before it didn't feel like it was moving quick to me. I'd been mentally, physically, emotionally divorced from him for ages.

My poor DH got the brunt of it. We should have waited longer, in retrospect. But I felt like I could do whatever I wanted, my ex did, and I felt pretty bitter that he was then trying to rake me over the coals. And my DH and I waited years to marry, too, so I guess that makes it a little different.

So maybe I'm projecting a little, because I know what it's like for people to just assume the other person is TOM or TOW when really there's a lot more to the story.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 4:58PM
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Silver, it may have been over for you, but it may not have been over for your kids. Kids deserve a decent time to grieve over the breakup of their family.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 5:11PM
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How do you mean justmetoo? I feel fine, ate too much for lunch though, but I don't remember saying I didn't feel well.

As about who says what, of course everyone might be lying but if someone says they witnessed something i have no reason not to trust. yet if they say that someone else possibly saw someone else possibly doing something that look like something else, then i do not have any reason to believe it truly happened.

If my DD says she saw their neighbor, i believe she did. yet if she says her classmate heard from her cousin that she saw someone who possibly looked like their neighbour from a far, then i have no reason to even pay attention to it.

I see no reason to believe that just because jess thinks mom looks manly she is a cheater. Or just because the guy, who himself is a cheater, says that some woman staying over at ex's house is her girlfriend whom she had an affair with just because he thinks that. I don't see any reason to believe. If jess would tell me that mom confessed that to her or at least to children and this information came out, then i would believe until then this is what all cheaters say: excuses.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 6:24PM
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jess truly was TOW because she said mom was OK with dad having a GF as long as dad pays bills. ha, too funny. even if it is true, how is it OK for the kids?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 6:30PM
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You're right KKNY. And my DD also deserved not to have a daddy who was gone ALL THE TIME b'cause he was cheating on Mommy and all the other drama he inflicted on our family that I will not go into. My daughter didn't deserve a lot. I shielded her from so much I can't even begin to describe. And I did such a good job that she still thinks her dad is a saint. Even though he did his best to drag my name through the mud I took the higher ground. So yes, I lost a lot of friends. Yes, I got branded with bad names, yes, I moved from my hometown because he would not leave and he was violent and aggressive and doing all sorts of horrible things to himself and to me.

I didn't move a new man in right away. I didn't even see him when she was with me, which was ALL the time since I didn't allow her dad to come near either one of us for months due to his actions. But I'm from a small town. Word travels fast.

So if you want me to be made out as the bad person because I didn't allow my DD a proper "grieving time", go ahead. My dd deserved a lot more than he gave her, and by the time I figured out what was going on the damage was done. She's lucky she was too little to remember what he did, his dramas, his actions. I shielded her from a lot. I was young, and innocent, and wanted to believe him, and I was under a lot of stress and the threat of losing everything. I came out smelling like a rose, and my dd is one of the most well-adjusted kids you'd ever meet.

So don't EVEN get on your high horse with me about my daughter and what she needed. What she needed was a healthy mom. What she needed was a healthy home. She didn't need time to "grieve" she needed normalcy and stability. She doesn't even remember her dad and I together. Thank God. She doesn't remember that all the "things" she has at her dad's house, I built for her. That her hope chest was made by me. That her room was decorated by me. That the house was picked out and bought and decorated and the gardens and flowerbeds were created by me. She doesn't remember anything.

Honestly, you just made me sick.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 11:17PM
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--"1) The divorce clearly states that no love interest of the same or oppisite sex is to stay the night while the children are present unless they are married"--

Well, like I said, we don't get to call witnesses nor view any documentation to verify exact wording of legal document, but even though the posted about BM did not tell me directly nor share any confessions to me, I have no reason to discredit the fact that whether you, I or the neighbor can prove something, the lawyers drawing up the divorce decree thought it an issue to include 'same or opposite sex'. It is not standard wording in all divorce decrees.

And FYI, finedreams, I did not ever in any of my posting say I thought or think a female wearing a suit or dressing in any certain way would mean the form of dress pertains to sexual habits. Got it. Nor do I or did I say or think that lookly 'manly' would state a 'cheater'. But it does not matter what *I* think or what *you* think, when it is stated in decree it does leave open the impression that one or both of the parties may have or may in the future have sexual relations with a same sex, it's not my call to assume Jess is lying and/or making excuses over it.

Sure, you can come back and squeal but, but, but, she's a cheater, therefore has no ethics and morals blah blah blah. You can come back and claim she lied about what the statements are in DH's divorce papers. But if that's the case of how you really think, why in the world are you wasting so much time in a thread except to air your personal view and opinions of cheaters and TOW. If that's what you'd like to do, start your own thread on the subject and debate all you please, this one is suppose to be about Jess getting some advice on helping her stepkids deal with the situation they've found themselves in.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 8:29AM
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" why in the world are you wasting so much time in a thread except to air your personal view and opinions of cheaters and TOW. If that's what you'd like to do, start your own thread on the subject and debate all you please, this one is suppose to be about Jess getting some advice on helping her stepkids deal with the situation they've found themselves in. "


    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 9:14AM
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My DH has a female cousin who went through kind of a similar situation. She was in a very unhappy, long marriage, there were kids, young adults by the end of it. Her husband had affairs, some pretty openly from what I've been told. In turn, she had an lengthy affair with a slightly younger man. Your basic stud people thought, good looking, on the lookout for a sugar mama.

The husband died unexpectedly from a heart attack. Soon, REALLY SOON to a lot of the onlookers, family and friends her affair with TOM went public and within a year or so of her husband's death they married. Her kids were adults but of course, they resented him. Told her and anyone who would listen that he married her for her money from her dead husband. All of the relatives tsk tsked about it. But it became clear to everyone that the former Other Man loved her, made her happy which her husband didn't and was there to stay. They saw that he was a better husband than her first husband ever tried to be. That didn't make him or her right or their affair right. BUT, he won over the entire family, immediate and extended because they saw that he was loving towards her, committed and despite being TOM, is a really nice guy.

He is accepted now by the family. He did it by just being friendly, not pushing for closeness and being loving to his wife, the mother. I think the best course is to be yourself, be friendly but not pushy , allow them to get to know you while not forcing anything. If they show you disrespect, then your DH needs to handle that since he engaged in the affair with you and is now married to you. Civility as recommended above is a good start but not enough. They need to see your husband stand by you.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 12:56AM
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Now that's advice!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 1:39AM
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Don't go hanging on your DH in a bikini or anything like that with those skids around. Sounds silly but the more sexual you are the more they will be reminded of the affair. Comportment, respect, civility, friendliness without pushiness and your husband backing you up. Those are the keys.

If your husband, their dad, is leaving you hanging in the wind with his kids, you have a different problem. He was right there in the mix.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 3:06AM
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justmetoo, you should not be that concerned why I post and what i post, you know, take or leave it. why does it bother you what i post?

I and others gave jess plenty of advice, she does not want anyone's advice. she got great advice last year from me to not rush into this marriage, she didn't listen. I suggested she acts like their friend not dad's lover, she did not listen.

she continues not listening now about backing off, not criticizing Sks and trying to change them etc.

so far she did not use any of the advice offered by anyone neither me nor you nor anyone else.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 4:49PM
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Finedreams, I agree with what you posted today.

In some ways that seems the nature of internet forums - people will post in many different forums and in many different ways until they find someone who will give them the advice they want. I think it is human nature to a certain extent to want to be proved "right" by anyone at all.

I think it is unfortunate that Jess doesn't think this is what she is doing, but maybe many of us would be the same.

Jess, from looking at the threads you have started here on GW, it does seem like you post a question about a situation, read and respond to much of the advice given, go off and do exactly what most people warned you about doing, then come back and start another thread about the new, worse situation that you created by ignoring the warnings and ask for advice on how to fix it or prevent more problems. You read and respond in writing to the new warnings and advice and then go off once more to do whatever you felt like doing (moving in with you DH, getting married before the children were ready, trying to turn the girls into "ladies", etc) with no regard for the consequences.

I really think that your impulsivity is getting in the way of your happiness. I could be misreading your posts but it seems like you don't often look at the "big picture" when deciding on a course of action. Instead you are doing a lot of life altering things because it seems like a good idea at the time.

You have over and over received a lot of good advice on this forum. Re-read the latest ones from lamom. Take them to heart. Plan out what that kind of behaviour will look like. Plan out how to say things that will not overstep the bounds of these fragile relationships. Try not to remind the children of your affair with their father. Don't just "wing it" in the moment. These kids deserve better than that. If you want this marriage to last, you have to be really careful not to compound the missteps you made by being TOW.

Good luck to all of you.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 7:10PM
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Bingo, mary.

I knew there must be other people out there who see it the same way. until jess stops blaming others and trying to change others and stops making impulsive decisions, nothing is going to change.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 8:16PM
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Thank you lamom. Thats is great advice. Darn, I really love that bikini. LOL. I know what you mean. Thats what I try to do. They know I love their dad and try to be a good wife to him. They dont understand it. If I fix his plate, or get him a drink, or just some of the lil things you do for your loved ones, they ask why are you doing that for him? They are not used to that. When he does those little things for me they dont say anything.

About him backing me up. We have talked about that lately. He thinks he is but the way he does ends up making me look like the bad guy. EXAMPLE: The SS10 always wants to wear shorts in the winter, even to church. I do not like for him to. His mother lets him but I dont. This is the only thing that I make a stink about. Well and going outside with wet hair. Anyway, he will put them on and tell his dad thats all he has to wear. Dad believes him, I walk in see him in shorts, I ask why he is wearing shorts, he said he does not have any pants. BS he has several different pairs in his closet. So, DH makes him change, all the while all teh kids are mad at me because they know I am the one that said something. Its stuff like that. I dont not allow them to wear shorts or sweats to church. Their mom does so I am the bad guy.

I just want him to say no in the beginning without me saying anything. he knows the kid has clothes that stay at our house, he just either does not care or does not pay attention. I'm not sure which. He said he going to work on that and the house rules.

Question: He wants me to make a list, and he will make sure the kids do those things. Do any of you think I should actually do this. I am not comfortable doing this at all. I think it should be common sense about what they need to do and not do. Any suggestions about the list.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 11:25AM
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1. What are your intentions about the shorts in church? I'm of the opinion that God doesn't care what you wear. I'd let it go. If Dad is ok with his son wearing a batman cape and spiderman pjs to church...well...

2. I'm gonna go with a big fat NO on the making a list. Common sense or not, you have not established a strong enough connection with them yet to be the main enforcer. I'm sure Dad does want you to do this... yet another way he is passing the buck. Sorry dude, you need to parent your own kids. And if he doesn't do it to your liking, that's a strong indicator of how different your parenting styles are and something that should be made a mental note of in case you are considering having kids with this man.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 11:45AM
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I agree that God does not care what you wear. But when it's 20-30 degrees outside shorts are not a good idea. At least if they were anything but gym shorts it would be so bad. But shorts in the freezing temps i just don't agree with.

I 100% agree about the list. Its more for him than them. I already know we are different in parenting. I will be more strict i'm sure. We do plan on having a child but that will be down the road a few years or more.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 12:38PM
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I am not comfortable doing this at all. I think it should be common sense about what they need to do and not do.

If you want them to follow your rules at your house it is your responsibility to explain the rules very clearly (probably several times). Don't expect them to read your mind or absorb your version of common sense.

Common sense is not common and much of it is not sensible (not going outside with wet hair? What is that about?). Take a look around you. Many people will disagree with you on what is and is not "common sense". Many will agree on some issues and disagree on others. That is okay. There is not one best version of common sense. You certainly don't get to decide what is and what is not the best kind of "common sense".

Probably even where you live there are people who think it okay to wear shorts in winter, or shorts/sweats/jeans to church or okay to go outside with wet hair (it does not cause colds!). Most of those things vary from culture to culture and community to community and even person to person. None of them is a moral or even a health issue.

You may disapprove of people who do those things and that is your right. You can have your own standards but the point is do not expect others to share those standards unless you explain and teach them. These are your personal preferences, not rules of the universe that your DH and your SKs should somehow understand and agree with.

If those things are important to you, be prepared to put them down on paper where all the world can see exactly what you expect. Be prepared to explain and defend them if necessary. It is what grown ups do.

If you refuse to be clear it will not benefit you or them. They will continue to not meet your (unstated) expectations, you will continue to be annoyed by their lack of "common sense", your DH will continue to be caught in the middle trying to get you to tolerate each other, the SKs get to see continued discomfort between you and their father and have the defense that you seem to be making these rules up as you go along so how can they be expected to know what you want from them.

The down side of making the list is that you will have to explain why your rules are your rules. That may make you uncomfortable but try and see it as a good thing. It gives you the opportunity to think through what matters to you and why. If you change your "rules" in the face of good arguments from the SKs or your DH, that shows how flexible and open to new ideas you are. You get to say "Wow, thanks, I hadn't looked at it like that before. You guys are sure smart. So I''ll bend on that one."

Making the list also forces you to seriously think about what is important to you and get all those ideas in one place. In several of your threads you have declared something like what you said in this last post. This is the only thing that I make a stink about. Well and going outside with wet hair. This pattern of adding in unrelated rules or preferences as an afterthought may be limited to this forum or it may seem to your SKs that that is how you operate all the time. Making a list will prevent that from happening as much.

You are just one person in your new family, not the big boss. You don't get to set all the rules for everyone based on what you prefer. Having SKs who go out with wet hair is something you may have to bend on even if you don't like it. Tough. Adapt. They have to adapt to having you in their lives and they don't get to set rules for you so that you don't embarrass them. Why should you get to decide how they dress or if they have wet hair when they go out?

You cannot control everything yet you keep trying. Pick your battles. Only chose to fight over things that matter ie life, health or morality threatening issues. All the other stuff is just what you prefer. Don't risk the relationship just to prove you are the boss. Is that the battlefield you want your relationship to die on? If not, don't go there.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 12:59PM
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I agree with Silver that parenting should be DHs job but Jess has not allowed that to happen. She disagrees with DH's standards and continues to try and impose her own. She has done this over and over saying things like "just this one issue" but she keeps finding new circumstances and new issues.

If she is going to keep imposing her standards on these kids, then she owes it to the kids and DH to be explicit about what her rules are and to limit herself to just the ones on her list. No fair coming up with new rules every time she finds them all in a new situation. And her rules are not "common sense" things that the kids should understand; so far many or most of the ones she has mentioned are her preferences, not some universal rules that are based on moral or life preserving or health protecting bases. Even wearing shorts in 20 or 30 degree weather is not health threatening. Silly, yes. Worth fighting about, no unless church is outdoors and lasts 8 hours. Jess is just trying to impose her preferences, her ideas of what is appropriate on her SKs and IMHO it will backfire just as it has for the past year.

If you keep doing what you have always done, you will always get what you have always gotten. If there is no change, there is no change (to paraphrase someone smarter than me).

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 1:40PM
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I think that many people (including me!) before they had kids, would think, Oh, I would never let my kid do that. And before they became teens, said to themselves oh, my kid wont be allowed to do that. And then guess what, the years go by, and things look different to you when they are your kids.

I think only the bioparents should set rules. Yes, you should talk it out first with DH and if things effect you (like dirty dishes get washed and put in sink) then that is is a legitimate rule, but otherwise, then it should be up to dad. You may at times enforce rules, but if I were you, I would try to avoid being put in that position. It will only create more stress on you.

As to your own kids having different rules, there would be such a big age difference, of course they will have different rules. I doubt a 2-3 YO will compare himself to his half siblings, or say well you let HB do this at my age.. He may regard them, particulalry the older one as more like an aunt.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 1:47PM
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Oh, Jess, remember 'fixing' the children is a no-no. The shorts and/or sweats at church rate right up there with styling their hair or doing their nails.

Can you see that? You're telling them they must be 'fixed' before you can take them to church. 'I must fix you, again cause "I" don't like you the way you are'...

Does it matter if SS goes to church in sweats to anybody else but you? Best stick to the kind of agreement that says as long as he is clean and neat (whether in dress pants or sweats) face and hands are clean and hair is brushed and no body parts (other than bottom part of legs type thing) are exposed, he's dressed and ready to go. Trust me on this, God won't bellow out 'stop the service, _____ has shorts on'.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 3:48PM
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Marysdottir: I think you need to start at the beginning of this thread. You have twisted everything. I cant help but think yiu have only read the last few post since it has over 100 responses.
There are no house rules. That was the subject of a previous post.
I dont let my DH parent his kids. You are way out of bounds on this, now you are making things up out of no where.

My point of the shorts story was the boy was lying to his dad. DH does not want him to wear th shorts or sweats either. My DH knew he had pants/jeans to wear. For whatever reason he just said okay. Thats not backing me up. We spent alot of money on nice clothes for them to keep at our house so they would have nice clothes for church and other events that required appropriate attire. As far as the rules I'm pretty sure that would not make my list or be a "universal rule". Again go back read the thread before you start giving advice because you are way off here.

Justmetoo: I do not think its appropriate to wear shorts in he winter. I dont think its in he same catagory as hair/nails/toes. They enjoy doing that. Again they can go or stay makes no difference to me. I dont see it as fixing them at all. Its a fight to get them to take a shower before we go anywhere like church,dinner,ect. So thats right there wih the shorts. I do understand what yiu are saying though.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 4:20PM
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Jess, I not only read this entire thread, I took the advice of several other posters here and went back and read all your threads and posts on GW. (I've been sick with too much time on my hands this past week! But I wanted to understand what you were talking about.)

I did say to Silver that parenting should be your DHs job but that you dont let that happen. I can see that I was not clear there.

I did not mean that you stop him from parenting. I meant that you don't let him make all the rules about the children, you don't let him be the only person who decides what is and is not appropriate for them. That is what I should have said. You have spoken in some of your posts about the children not living up to your expectations about cleanliness, care of your items, respect for your items, hygiene, dress, manners, etc. Those expectations are what I am referring to when when I talk about the rules you try to impose.

I am sorry that I misspoke in that way but your posts show that you have been trying to impose your standards on these children. You are, of course, free to do that. You have been doing that. You are paying the price for it. If that is what you want, then keep it up.

If you want something else, then you need to change. But as I said above, you don't think that you are doing anything wrong when you impulsively add new expectations onto the children. Maybe you are right. Maybe I am reading in your posts things you didn't mean to say or meant another way. I hope that is the case because otherwise it looks to me like the animosity your SD expressed in the OP might be just the beginning. I really hope I'm wrong and, as you point out, I may be.

If that is the case, so be it. I can live with it because it isn't my family. I just hope that you care enough about your DH and his kids and are open minded enough to at least consider the possibility that you might be contributing to the problem.

I hope that this works out well for you all.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 4:58PM
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One of the colossal mistakes I made with my SS was trying to impose my standards, values and world view on him. It completely bombed.

I bought clothes for him, tried to introduce him to my friends kids his age (he had very few friends as a teen), gave him money for interview clothes (as he got older), dished out a lot of unsolicited advice, he took all the goods and resented it. I helped him to get an interview with a company he SAID he wanted to work for and never called my contact back much to my embarrassment. I tried to fix him and he hated me for it. BM too. DON'T DO IT. Not only does it not work, all you'll get is resentment and problems.

Unless those skids are doing something really dangerous or unhealthy let them do it or let your husband handle it. If your SS wearing shorts to church in winter bothers you, bite your tongue, be glad he goes to church and if he's embarrassing you then go to another service or another church. Apply that thinking to EVERYTHING. When your kids come along THEN you get to raise them your way.

And, anything their mom let's them do is almost impossible to fight so don't try. If it's unacceptable to you then send them home to her.

Be smart.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 5:46PM
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another prof of you not listening to anything what people say.

you should not be making any lists at all. and you should not monitor what children are wearing. you are facing enough problems already.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 7:03PM
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"My point of the shorts story was the boy was lying to his dad."

LOL. It's the cocoa again!!!

Ok. I'd run with this, and believe you, except for this...
"events that required appropriate attire"
"At least if they were anything but gym shorts it would be so bad. But shorts in the freezing temps i just don't agree with"

So it is more than the lying. It's shorts in freezing temperatures, and not only that (because shorts would be ok if they weren't gym shorts), they aren't what you consider "appropriate shorts".

Give it up Jess. You have your opinions on what is appropriate, what is ok, etc. If your DH doesn't agree, that's his call. Unless he asks for your input you are along for the ride, not driving the bus. He doesn't need to be "backing you up" because you don't have a leg to stand on. There is no "supporting" you in your arbitrary decisions regarding clothing choices or anything else of little consequence.

Hard to swallow probably.

Drop it. Drop it. Drop it.

"I think that many people (including me!) before they had kids, would think, Oh, I would never let my kid do that. And before they became teens, said to themselves oh, my kid wont be allowed to do that. And then guess what, the years go by, and things look different to you when they are your kids. "

Well said KKNY. It's good advice Jess. I thought parents were awful if their kids had stained clothing, or messy hair, or acted out in public, or did a bazillion things. And then I became a mother. And you know what? Sometimes the kid is gonna have a grape popsicle running down their shirt and you just changed the kid for the nth time and you don't have another shirt what?? (well, I'll tell you. 1/2 dozen women who have never had kids will be standing around.... tsk tsk tsk, look at that neglectful mother!!! LOL)

One thing I learned is that kids run hotter than adults. Most babies are overdressed and overheating. So my little angel who has no coat on may get some shocked looks, and I may get some mean glares for letting her out without a jacket. Like Mary said, wet hair and the cold do not cause illness. Go ahead and glare. I know I'm a good mom.

We're giving you advice. Doesn't mean you have to take it. Leave the clothes, etc. to Dad. If you can't handle a mismatched kid in stained clothing dragging a ratty blanket, get off the bus. Stop grabbing the steering wheel, cause the whole family's goin' in the ditch with you.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 10:30AM
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I'm one of the 1/2 dozen. LOL I dont have kids, I think it makes me look like a bad mom, like i dont take care of them. Strangers dont know I'm not their mom. They used to pull the "thats all we brought" so they had to wear the shorts or sweats. That was another thread.
DH said that he doesnt like them wearimg the shorts ot sweats to church either. We were in agreement with that, so I thought. SS did lie and DH did nothing about it. He through me under that bus in my opinion. He had to know there were pants/jeans in closet for church.I know leave the clothes. Half the time I think they do it because they know it bugs me.

Whats your thoughts on the cleaning up after themselves, ect.?
Am I expected to be the maid?
Should DH not make them do these things. Granted he will make them pick up their trash out of their rooms about 30mins before they leave but thats it. Do I have a legitiment gripe with that. Its really gross to pick up the smelly wash cloths out of the corner of the tub.
I am not making a list. DH has common sense as to what picking up after yourself is he just will not enforce it.

Mary with the common sense comment I meant DH not the kids in this post and the previous. Again you took they completly wrong.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 11:13AM
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"DH said that he doesnt like them wearimg the shorts ot sweats to church either."

Either he's lying about caring, or (more likely IMO, from everything else you've written) he's not willing to stand up and be the bad guy himself when you're available to take the fall. Look at all of the other instances where Hubby has taken the easy way out and let you hang...

"SS did lie and DH did nothing about it. He through me under that bus in my opinion."

Oh - see? You see it too...

"DH has common sense as to what picking up after yourself is he just will not enforce it."

Yup -- More of the same...

So -- You get to be 'the bad guy' for the rest of your life.
And don't expect that to change if you have kids of your own.
You still get to be the 'bad cop'.
Every time.
Every kid.

The only difference is that your own bio-kids won't hate you for it.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 11:35AM
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LOL, silversword. Little one a handful of weeks ago had a dr. appointment for meds and blood work on a school morning. I left her dressed with just her coat to put on while I went out to warm the car and clear the windows.

So we arrive at dr. take off her coat to get weighed and four stops of dribbled toothpaste across her top. Nurse says 'oh, I see you brought some extra breakfast'. Daughter replied, 'no, that must be toothpaste, I checked my face before running out and thought I should double brush my teeth again but Mom yelled in to hurry up the car was ready and we'd be late'.

Instead of the lunch out with daughter before taking her to afternoon classes, we ended up swinging by Target for a cheap (but clean) tee and only enough time to grab a (gasp) happy meal for her to shove in and arrived at school as bell for class was ringing.

Whe I picked DD10 up after school and got home, she took her coat off and I saw she had a drop of mustard from the lunch meal on her clean tee having to juggle lunch in the car. LOL. Oh well, both tops came spot free starting out.

I suppose Jess could just walk fast and sit in a different pew so nobody knew the unappropriate kid/s came with her. LOL.

But seriously, Jess, it does go with 'no fixing' the kids. The most you can do with the SKs if the outfits really bother you would be to have dad take the kids shopping for going out to dinner and church clothes. Let them pick out what they like that dad approves of and the kids like and will wear and have the clothes clean and hanging up to pick from on church days. If on Sunday morning the kids still grab for their shorts and sweats, sew your mouth shut, it's not up to you to 'fix' them. Kinda like a horse, you can lead it to water, but ya can't make it drink. You didn't raise they kids and by their tenn/preteen ages they have already fallen set and comfortable in their clothing taste. You can hope for a change and/or a broadening of likes and dislikes but if you force them or fight them, you'll lose.

I bet there are shorts out there that are kid cool yet parent/step friendly paired with kid cool tops that could be agreeable to all. But if you're set on 'fixing' them and yours is the appropriate way and the one and only appropriate way you're waging a battle you'll regret.

32 degrees this morning and DD went to school in denim capri legging, if she freezes her little legs at recess this morning, oh well. She'll survive. And so will I. I've seen some kids (these are 2-8 graders) get out of cars in the mornings with mid leg shorts on all winter even with a foot of snow and zero degrees (they don't go out for recess under 20 degrees or lots of snow as kids would be kids and have snow ball fights and/or get soaking wet rolling in the snow). Yeah, those mid leg shorts look pretty silly teamed with winter coats, but, hey, kid cool is kid cool.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 11:41AM
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When I said 'list' on up above I said and meant mental list for you to discuss with DH.

Yeah, over the years I've made a written 'contract' with my now DD29 then teen. But that was way different than what I was suggesting here.

You're not a maid or nanny, so I think it is perfectly okay to discuss with DH what is your 'job' and responsibilty and what is his 'job' and responsibilty on the kid weekends. If DH really does not want kids having to pick up after themselves and/or help out say at getting dinner on the table for 5 people, then in my book, DH can do and help himself. These are his kids. If his kids trash the bath and don't pick up and he does not want to make it an issue, then he can go in after and straighten it up, carry wet towels to laundry or where and whatever.

Same as setting the table, if getting things out of the fridge well you're grabbing the meatloaf (examples only) out of the oven. Trash in the living room, again if he does not want to make kids clean up after themselves then he'd should be cleaning up after them as the weekend progresses. Trash in kids room, ignore it, you have little business in their rooms while they are visiting. After visit, before they leave if DH makes them clean it up, great, if not, DH can clean it, carry out trash, put entertainment items away ect. Just my 2 cents. Grown men are not helpless and grown men who have their children over for the weekend can not expect stepmom to be their maid especially if he has chosen not to teach them to do it themselves.

Around my house we have what is called 'daddy duty' .

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 12:11PM
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"Mary with the common sense comment I meant DH not the kids in this post and the previous. Again you took they completly wrong."

Yeah. Some of that might be because I'm just generally dense but some can be because on these forums participants can only respond to the words used by a poster.

You had said: He wants me to make a list, and he will make sure the kids do those things. Do any of you think I should actually do this. I am not comfortable doing this at all. I think it should be common sense about what they need to do and not do. It was not clear to me that you meant that it should be common sense only for your DH. I thought you meant for people generally, including the kids. I find that people who use the phrase "common sense" are usually referring to some body of knowledge that they think people of a culture share among them. I didn't know that when you use the term "common sense" you mean a body of knowledge shared by you and your DH but not the children. Now I know.

It doesn't change anything that I wrote, though. The problem is you are still expecting someone to read your mind only this time it is your DH. He is supposed to know and agree with all of yours ideas of what is and is not common sense. My comments in earlier posts still apply. We all have different ideas about common sense. It is not very "common".

"DH said that he doesnt like them wearimg the shorts ot sweats to church either."

I got that.

Lots of parents would prefer their kids do things that for a variety of reasons they decide not to implement. We might prefer our kids not wear sweats or shorts to church, just as your DH does, but we choose not to force the issue. We do not implement that as a rule.

Your DH agrees with you about what might be best but agreeing doesn't mean he has to impose that new standard on the kids. See posts above by Silver and Justmetoo among others.

For various reasons parents do not always implement really good ideas with their kids. That is their right. The parent gets to weigh out the variables and decide if, on balance, something is worth doing. That is what your DH is doing.

He did not throw you under the bus. You keep doing that yourself. EXAMPLE: The SS10 always wants to wear shorts in the winter, even to church. I do not like for him to. His mother lets him but I dont. This is the only thing that I make a stink about. Well and going outside with wet hair.

Stop making "a stink" about anything and you wont find yourself under that bus..

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 1:18PM
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Problem is Jess, you have a lot of expectations. That in itself isn't wrong, but you have a family who has an already established set of "rules" and you seem to think your input should be valued.

No, you shouldn't be their maid. And if it bugs you that much, you can go ahead and bug DH. (good luck with that)

You got a "ready made family".

I'm trying really hard to give you decent advice, but I just feel like you're not getting the point.

1. you hooked up with a guy who was already "on the hook" with another woman, his legal wife.
2. you established a relationship with him while he was not "on his own" and therefore was not "himself".
3. you bought a house with him before you could legally sleep in that house with him. (just plain weird, but that's just my opinion)
4. you expect his kids to live by your rules a scant year after you met them and just a few months after moving in with them (because that's what you did. I don't care whose name is on the lease/mortgage).
5. although your dh apparently was willing to leave his wife for you, he's not willing to enforce your rules for his children.
6. Basically, honey, you moved in with a stranger. A bunch of strangers.
7. Kids are entitled (OMG, did she actually say that???) to live in their parents home even if it is part time and to think of that home as theirs. I don't care who you are, you can be kicked to the curb. The kids are there to stay for the duration. They were there first.
8. If their dad is not willing to enforce "your" rules, you need to SERIOUSLY evaluate what made you think you could co-parent with this man.

Honestly Jess, I don't know for an instant what you were thinking. I hope you do.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 1:38PM
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I pushed about houserules above, and I standby that normal houserules should be in place. But I guess what is included as 'rules' might be debated between different houses.

Kids are not allowed to run and jump (play basketball from main floor to wastebasket on staircase) in our home. Don't care if they are my kids, his kids, our kids or the neighbor kids. My houserule is that kids can not treat our home as an outdoor playground.

I also have a hangup over little kids fingerpainting on our walls. It's not allowed, not even if the picture is super pretty and it took them 10 minutes to do it while I went down to run a load of laundry. Nope, teens do not get to drive nails the sized for building barns in our walls to hang their favorite idol of the month.I don't care how hot the guy is. I don't care if BM/neighbor mom lets so and so do it at some other house, houserules at THIS house say no-no-no.

Tossing food left from a kids plate across round to try and make a 'score' with the trash or the sink disposal? Nope, houserule says, don't even think about it. Banana peel under the couch? No way, I know where your room is and I will come looking for you to properly dispose of rotting garbage.

But that's me. I have houserules. But most of them are similar if not the exact same as I assume other parents have in other homes. To me, these are simple rules of behavior meant for the good of our living environment and respect for others in the home.

Guess houserules would depend on home to home and parent/step to kid.

If houserule at Jess's is going to be 'kids must do and wear only what Jess finds appropriate' , well then houserules will be a bust at Jess's house. Houserules to me are not set based on one person's view of appropriate vs everybodies else's points of view. To me, those types of issues are not houserules, they are personal rules which in my opinion have to be discussed and mutually understand and accepted by all members in household.

A list for DH that Jess writes up and DH then makes kids follow to me is not the same as what I meant when I brought up houserules. I believe Jess was talkking about screaming yelling matches and hide n seek in the dark in the breakfast room when I spoke about lack of house rules.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 2:24PM
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those are exactly he type of rules I want. Wearing shorts is not a rule. That would not make my list. Not that I am going to make one. I do bug DH sometimes it works sometimes it does not. The screaming & slamming doors is 2 major rules I would like. DH is going to have to make a list or maybe we all can. I'm not sure but I know if I do I will be bad guy once again. My expectations are that they take care of others property, and their own video games, game systems, the expensive items. They have their own rooms and bathroom to trash they dont need the rest of the house. This is their home to and they should be taught to take care of their things. Maybe Iam just weird and picky.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 3:43PM
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"Half the time I think they do it because they know it bugs me."

exactly, they don't like you so your rulesmeans nothing to them.

yet instead of building relaitonship with them you make more silly rules and they like you even less. so far everything you do is a receipe for disaster.

and truly I am yet to hear anything positive about these chidlren, like nothing at all.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 4:51PM
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The SS10 always wants to wear shorts in the winter .... His mother lets him but I dont.

Wearing shorts is not a rule. That would not make my list.

Jess, this is called a contradiction. You said things that are mutually exclusive. Either something is a rule or it is not. If you don't let him do something, that means that you have a rule against it.

Why are you trying to insist on things that are so unimportant to you that you say they are not rules? How can the kids tell what is a rule and what isn't? Is the wet hair thing a rule or not? You said it was. Did you mean that? How does anyone know? Do you know?

You are all over the map in your posts. I hope that in your real life with these kids you don't backtrack and deny and deflect like you do here.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 5:25PM
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Jess, everyone here, biomoms, step moms, stepkids et al including me, a SM, has said the same thing in different ways. I was a little nicer above but you need to put your BIG EARS On. Like I tell my 7 year old, Be a good listener!!!

Butt out of trying to manage those skids. Keep your house rules to safety and basic respect. If they can't live up to those then they can't be with you and DH. Other than that, turn the other cheek! Yesterday, my friend and her daughter stopped by, DS7's room looked like the earthquake hit it but I just apologized to her and let it go. Bigger fish to fry.

Let their daddy and mommy teach them right now. You just work on being accepted. Maybe I should have boiled down the story about my DH's cousin and her Other Man who got married and he was finally accepted...he was loving to her and it showed, he stayed out of the kids way and business, he looked good but not ho'ish and bided his time. And it took some time, as in a few years.

If they are screaming and slamming doors, I'm with you, it's unacceptable. Let your husband, their daddy, be the heavy. Just don't write any lists. He asked for a list, are you kidding me?! Tell him what flys and what doesn't with you and keep your complaints limited, short, important and clear. Meaning, don't include the church shorts. These are His Kids you are talking about. If he can't/won't do it, that's a different thread.

When I married my DH I did not have a child and didn't really understand parenthood. KKNY (for once) is right, most people THINK they know what they will do when they have kids but until they do, don't know. All of us here know this so it does not make you a bad SM. Not at all. Just recognize what you are being told, girlfriend.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 5:51PM
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There might be a bit of denial here, Jess, in just how you do come across to the kids and/or why you want certain rules or ways.

Remember, I can only go on what you tell us, but I'll assume you are attending the same church you have been attending all along (pre-sks). Yet you tell us:

--"I think it makes me look like a bad mom, like i dont take care of them. Strangers dont know I'm not their mom".--

This confuses me. The people at your church know you, they know the kids are not yours. Yet the SKs must not wear shorts because you think it inappropriate and makes you look like a bad mom. Remember, you're not their mother, and you can't fix other people's children. Is your goal to take the SKs to church for worship or to show them off as little trophies?

If these people are truly strangers, than who cares what they think of you and your 'pretend' kids?

You can't impose yourself on these kids, and you've got to let up on trying to give the appearence of 'the perfect family' on outings. It's stressing you all out and you're not winning the kids over. Is it worth having 'show' kids if in reality the kids hate you for it? Do you really want the kids to continue hating you just so you can impress strangers? If what strangers think of you is more important than building a relationship with these kids, nothing is going to get better or change. Best just order carry out pizza than subject the family to a dinner out that is uncomfortable and nobody enjoys.

House rule, don't slam doors? I could live with that one. I have a 'please don't slam doors', it's not followed regular but mine don't do it to annoy me. Had one (the now DS33) slam the storm door once and broke the glass and he was barefoot. He stood there frozen until DH came and brought him some shoes and helped him clean it up.

I don't like screaming/shouting matches either. I let them work out their own differences within reason, but they gotta take it down to the familyroom or outside. I've found the screaming/shouting matches dry up pretty fast when the neighbors gather on their porches to see what all the fuss is about.

You need to find a happy middle ground that all can live with and go from there. My DS33 asked me once "Mom, did you just make up that rule? I dont' remember that being a rule before" And he was right, and we then (he and I) discussed that 'new rule'that suddenly popped up out of nowhere and sent it back.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 5:54PM
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Justmetoo, that's the point I was trying to make. Thank you.

Jess, people will look at you and judge your parenting. It's something parents learn, and learn to laugh about. Those who are judging haven't walked a mile in your SS's shorts in winter, LOL!

It was my whole point about the popsicle shirt. The parents who are looking at you, commenting "why don't you care enough about that kid to put a clean shirt on him" don't know beans about kids. Otherwise they would understand, this is the third shirt this morning and even the most prepared mommy can't carry a wardrobe on her back just so he is *perfect* all day.... oh yeahh.... and he's wearing his Superman underoos OUTSIDE his shorts because this week, he is Superman.

My dd has absolutely amazingly colorful taste in clothes, and going out with her can be a trial. Most of the time, I chalk it up to independence.... but sometimes going out in public with a kid in bright orange striped pants, a green flowered shirt, purple shoes, pink socks, teal blue jacket... well. Especially if she wants to put the tu-tu on over it.

I've found heading people off at the pass helps too. BEFORE they can say anything, say, "isn't it amazing how impervious he is to the cold!" I say stuff like "isn't it great.... she dresses herself ALL BY HERSELF" LOL. My dd feels like a superstar, and the other person smiles.

DIFFUSE. Put the fire out. It's not your battle.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 9:32AM
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I give. I understand let them wear what they choose.

I talked to DH about the houe rules, slamming doors, screaming, those things. Comon ground is all I want. Sounds great. We are going to try some new things I hope they will be positive to our household.
Thanks again

    Bookmark   March 18, 2010 at 4:57PM
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