DH afraid to discipline kids.Used up and disrespected

unbelieved4everJuly 20, 2010

I am so glad I found this forum. Now I have proof that I know I am not crazy or imagining things! Sorry this is rambling and disjointed.Things are just spilling out.I posted a couple of comments but I seriously need some feedback before I just give up on everything for good.I am alone with my problems and DH has had his head in the sand ever since I've known him. I really thought I could help him with his kids. He is a good man. As you know in this forum, it doesn't mean he is a good parent figure.Also just would not make decisions, didn't know how and didn't want to deal with bills,appts,school, etc. I know that a lot of the SF situations and problems are blamed on the SM but there seems to be an epidemic of the fathers not taking responsibility for their kids-esp. custodial ones! We have a blended family-when we met he had a 10 yr old DS,a 6 yr old DD,I had a 3 yr old DS and we had a DS in 1990. A real blended family! We have been together for 22 years and the kids lived with us. Skids BM a drug addict would show up sporadically and take them rarely. She had been seeing them more before I came along-(She abandoned her kids and my DH when her son was 5 and daughter was 1). I was appalled at the situation these kids were in when with their BM- Needless to say,they had serious issues, esp SS.Tried to talk DH into getting prof. help since he was singled out by school authorities before we met and then again right after we met for anger, stealing and lying issues. DH refused to get him help. In meantime Skids were bullying my son and have always ganged up on him. My mother helped by living with us at times( She started getting sick so I was taking care of her also.) and coming over after school. My DS from first marriage was in the Gifted and Talented program since 2nd grade and did not get into trouble until he was 15 and started using drugs. I took him to counseling. His father left state when he was six and he never saw him again. The first eight years of our relationship was spent having to watch out for SS esp. with my son and his half-brother.My own DS paid for this cuz I didn't get to spend as much time with him and he wanted to be part of their little world, but always has and always will be on the outside.They constantly made fun of him at the dinner table, but never each other. When they had been with their BM they would come home and laugh at the dinner table about SS smashing cars,taking 4 yr old cousin to vandalize empty trailer, etc....My DH wouldn't say a word or would laugh with them! OMG! Their own grandmother on BM side would call me about the Skids being left alone with no clothes and nothing to eat. I went to get them and my life was threatened by BMs boyfriend. Stood my ground and talked BM into letting me take the kids. BM would call them and talk to them like a friend about her boyfriends and problems-totally inappropriate and damaging! BM would show up at midnight to get kids- just a nightmare! I would deal with her cuz DH wouldn't. I have taken care of these kids while working full-time, throwing the Birthday parties,helping with homework, chauffeur, maid,cook,babysitter not to mention being the head of my family-keeping the brothers and sisters together- all holidays at my house. My family saw them more then DHs and BMs families combined. The stress of DH ignoring kids behavior and not believing me when any of our kids were doing something that needed to be addressed has been devastating.I know in my heart I should have left when I knew how bad it was-about 19 years ago- I didn't want my sons not to have a father-so stupid! He always had to be the good guy. SD was of course, a daddys girl and got away with the most. Had become very manipulative,sneaky and vindictive. She has always tried to keep up appearances in being the perfect daughter but I knew what was going on right away. She is still doing this and has always tried to be DHs "wife". DH finally admitted that she had been shunning me and trying to turn family against me.I am being shunned by them and their SOs and my own older DS. My SD stopped shunning him when his wife got pregnant. He just doesn't see how she uses people. DS and wife have no other married friends. She has always been jealous of me even though I did so much for her. She has never appreciated anything and believes shes entitled to it. She wants to run the family and I am so tired of DH being in denial. I dread seeing her, but mostly I resent my DH so much that we are basically just roommates, but not in his mind. He does not get it!I am trapped because of my health.This marriage has changed me into someone I dont know and I want myself and my dignity back! Depression is bad now. I stopped taking care of everything and now I am of no use to them. Until I can get out, I need help in talking to kids and DH about the situation. Or not? How do I disengage from them with our own youngest DS at home? He knows there are problems, but we don't fight or talk about the other kids in front of him. They talk to him about me and DH. I don't want to be around them but my own older DS wife is having my first bio grandchild. I am and feel used up and just can't let them treat me like crap anymore.Anyone else having these problems with SDs and DHs in denial?

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Wow, with a few decades of history, it's really hard to offer any advice.

I think the first thing is to deal with your depression. Talk to your doctor or naturopath about healthy choices that can help you with your mood (eg - nutrition, exercise, B vitamins - or, if you think it's too bad for that to help, antidepressant medications). Then do something that makes you take notice of yourself and feel good about YOU - take a weekend away with a friend at the spa, start a new hobby, get a sassy haircut.
Maybe that will remind you that you deserve to be treated well and give you the confidence to make it a requirement.

When you talk to DH and/or the kids, make sure you're using "I statements" and keeping it relevant to the current situation.
It's OK to say "We have a long pattern of [undesirable relationship attribute]," but make sure you use an example from the past 6 months, not from when the kid was 13.

Try to find simple and concrete actions that everyone could do to help with the problem.
Saying "I want to be treated with respect" isn't very helpful for getting a disrespectful person to change their ways... But maybe saying something like this would be more helpful, "I would prefer that if you have a gripe with me, you approach me directly to resolve it instead of talking to others first. If you're not comfortable speaking in person, then phone or an email is fine too."

When it comes to your DH, I don't think you'll have a lot of success in saying "Look, Hunny, your daughter is a selfish beeyatch, so stop defending her and make her treat me properly."
I think you'll have more success in saying "Now that most of the kids are out of the house and on with their own lives, I think you and I should do some rebuilding on our own relationship. Being an empty nest and negotiating the landmines of an adult blended family is different that the situation we were in until the kids moved out. Let's make a weekly date night to focus on each other and our relationship. Remember how we used to love [activity - eg playing cribbage, making dinner together, going to movies]? Let's pick that back up again!"
Maybe a reminder that he is in a relationship with you is what DH needs. Maybe not? I don't know.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 5:58PM
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Hmm. Yes this hits home for me.
What has worked for me is extreme.
I have completely removed s-kids from
My life over the past year.
My life has become much more peaceful.
It bothers Dh but I just can't be around people that use me & treat Me like crap anymore. He allowed it to happen & continue and so has no one to blame for the outcome but himself. He is not happy about it, but I am insistent that he respect my decision if he wishes to be married to me.

My son & I were treated much the
Same as you for a long time. I still am married to DH, but
No longer consider his adult children my family. They are his
Kids and nothing to me anymore. But again, our situation was
Extreme so you need to decide how long you're willing to be
Treated so shoddy. Took me a long time to get there. Feel for you. Some stepfamilies just never blend. It's unfortunate, but even more so to lose yourself over it.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 6:20PM
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I can identify with a lot of what you wrote. My skids are adults, I have never had a great relationship with them, one of them has been better than the other but basically it's been tough sledding. I also have a child who is 7 who they basically either shun or treat as an afterthought.

Luckily, I have never had to live them and constantly count my lucky stars on that.
Like Cat, I look at my DH's kids, especially his son and grandchildren as non-family. It continues to hurt my heart that they don't have any genuine love for my son, their little 1/2 brother, but after many frustrating years I just see it for how it is.

Let them go. Let the years wasted on them go too. Focus on doing good things for yourself and rebuilding with your husband. You might be surprised, my DH finally told me that he preferred that I DID NOT pursue relationships with his kids and grandkids because the issues and fissures just can't be resolved. Your DH may feel the same deep down. I don't think these husband/fathers are completely in denial, I think they just don't know what to do with these kinds of problems between their kids and spouses,

Number 1, do good things for yourself. If you don't who will, your skids? Let them go and since you can, let the relationships go where they will without effort from you.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 8:30PM
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