Too quiet step-father makes my children feel disliked

MissBunBunSeptember 15, 2002

I have been married to my husband for 4 years. I have 2 children (now aged 15 and 13)who live with us. He has 3 children who live with their mother in the same town (2 in college now and one is 12). He considers his children perfect (they are "A" students, musical and athletic). My children and I consider his children errogant, rude and back-biting. he does not see these qualities. But, we sure do. My children are good but average children. Rarely do they talk-back or act rude. My problem comes from the fact that my husband is too quiet. He rarely talks to my kids. The dinner table is silent, except my children and I talk. He does not say "hello" or "goodbye". He ignores them totally. He is naturely a quiet guy, friend have trouble talking to him too. He has always treated me like gold, but I'm starting to see that he has always tried to possess me. He wants me all to himself. He's tried to separate me from my kids for the past 4 years. He chooses activities in which the children are not able to come with us. He wants me to watch TV with him at night, but the kids do not feel comfortable watching with us because he makes them feel unwelcome. He hides cookies and food from them. He often walks in the room they are in and makes a heavy discussed sigh and leaves. I asked him how he has helped my kids in the past 4 years. He said he avoids them so he does not get irritated with them. I asked, "Why are they rude to you, are they bad kids?" He said "No, they are good kids, they are just loud and that irritates me." My 13 year old son just moved in with his Dad (2 hours away). I can't help but blame my husband and his rude children. My daughter is talking about how much she dislikes him, because she feels like he is trying to separate us. I have talked to him and I have started spending every night with my daughter. I feel no connection to him any more. I feel he has made life difficult for my kids. Since this all started he still does not talk to the kids. He had to call me at work to tell me that "I asked Paige how her first day of school was". He has not said a word to her before that or since. He is socially an idiot. He does not know what to say. I have tried to help him. But, his disablily is becoming mine. I just want to hibernate with my kids and tell them how sorry I am for marrying him.

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I understand how you feel totally, My husband is exactly the same as yours,my daughter is 16 and hates him for what he has done to her. Its breaks my heart when he ignores and belittles her.

For me it has made my feelings for him change, today I have taken the step and I am seeing a solicitor (I am from England) to get this man out of my daughters and my life for good. I really feel for you and your kids and I think that if you still love him you need to spell it out to him either he accepts and respects your kids or its over.

My husband is so nice to his two sons when they stay that it makes me sick to hear him, that is really the only time he will speak to my daughter. I really think you need to talk to him about this, because your kids will resent you, I know because my daughter has told me that she feels like that towards me at times.

I wish you all the best


    Bookmark   September 16, 2002 at 5:05AM
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MissBunBun, I am sorry for what you are going through. Have you tried counseling? It might help if you tried individual counseling so that you can get some validation for your feelings and then ask him to join you. I know this doesn't always work, but even if he will not go, it would be a great help to you. Good luck, I will keep you in my prayers.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2002 at 8:31AM
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Was he like this before you got married? How did he act around your children then? I lived with a similar situation until I moved out a few years ago - my stepdad would get insanely jealous if my mother and I even wanted to go out for coffee, or she wanted to spend time with girl friends of hers. She decided she would go anyway, and that he would have to get over it. She still loves him, but obviously wishes that he would grow up. He's very insecure and immature, for someone who's approaching 71 years old.

I remember reaching a breaking point with my mother where I just thought I was going to lose it if he didn't just leave us alone for a little bit. That, I think, made her realize that what he was doing to our relationship. Slowly he has realized that just because she wants to spend time with her daughter or a friend that it doesn't reflect negatively on him.

My SD was always comparing me to his other five children, too, who were much older than I. Because they didn't go to college, I shouldn't go; because they didn't do this, I shouldn't, etc. I decided I wasn't going to let him hold me back or compare me to other people.

As far as you husband - have you talked to him? Confronted him about his behavior? (aside from just asking about your kids) Just say, "What is your problem?!" and seek counseling. And even if he decides not to go with you, maybe it will give you the confidence to stand up to this person and make an important decision about your relationship.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2002 at 9:18AM
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OMG! I just HAD to post to this one. You sound as if you are telling MY story! I posted my own question a couple weeks ago regarding the same type of man. I can tell you from first hand experience that this guy is not going to change. If anything things will only get worse from this point on. I know that's hard to hear and not what you want to hear. I've been there. I too was wishing for advice or some magic potion to make him 'see' what he was doing. I blamed myself, I hated the way he treated my kids. I let it go on for way to long. I kept hoping and wishing that one day I'd wake up and things would be different. I did finally wake up but looking back I know I should have gotten out a long time ago.
Sweetie... for YOUR sake and YOUR KIDS, GET OUT of that situation. Start now preparing to move on with your life. I can tell you that it's only going to get worse. I'm speaking from experience here. I finally did something about my situation. I filed for divorce (yesterday) and he moved out. I can't even express the calm and the peace I feel with him out of the house. My children simply glowed this morning. It's only going to get better for us I just feel it. Granted it's going to be tough financially but hey.. it's worth it to have that man out of our house. Above all else, don't blame yourself. The best thing you can do for your children is show them that no human being has to settle for that type of behavior. It's simply unacceptable. I made up so many excuses over the years for my husbands behavior. Always telling the children just to stay quiet and out of his way when he was home. We were prisoners to his paycheck. So scared that we couldnt make it without him. But I reached the point to where I wasn't scared of that anymore. It scared me more to think about what he was doing to my children's mental well being. I tried everything to get my husband to see what he was doing. He was so deep in denial that he would never admit to being the problem or even having a problem. It was 'all the kids fault' and my fault because he had no interactions with the kids. I'm talking... This man wold walk right past us on his way out of the house or into the house and not even look in our direction. He didn't even acknowledge our existance!! I never understood how he could not even speak. I thought how rude!
Well, it's his loss. I hope the silence in his new place is killing him. Meanwhile my house is filled with laughter. It feels like we've come out of a long winter. Even the sunshine is brighter today. If you'd like to email me you may do so at If I can do anything to help you, even if it's just listening please email me. I know first hand how difficult that type of situation can be. I know what it feels like to have your heart torn out day after day wishing,hoping and praying for even the slightest glimpse of hope that something is going to change. The sad truth is... men like these never change. I'll keep you in my prayers and hope that you'll email me.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2002 at 12:36PM
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I'm a remarried man and live with a 9-year old stepdaughter and my wife, just 3 of us. We've lived together for about 3 years now. I am quite surprised that I do see some similiar things have been happening in our family as well. Frankly, I do feel insecure and alienated when my SD and wife are spending time together too much. I shouldn't feel that way, but I do and I can't help feeling that way. I even think that my SD is trying to alienate me from "them". My first reaction is to keep quiet and ignore them - just like what many of you said about their husband. But you know what? You would do the same thing if you are in the reverse situation. Well, not all but most of you. I haven't talked to my wife about "my problem" yet, but I think I will tonight. Maybe I might even have to go see a counselor...

    Bookmark   September 18, 2002 at 6:55PM
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Is your husband a quiet man by nature? My fiance' is the type that sometimes just doesn't feel like talking. It's taken a lot or time to get used to it and even now sometimes I think he's mad or something and he's not. His step father is the same way. He won't really talk or speak up unless it's necessary. In fact, FIL pretty much keeps his mouth shut about eveything and does as he's told just to not start a fight or something. MIL says he talks openly with her about stuff but may not with anyone else. It's only been a few months or maybe a year now that my fiance' says he'll open up and talk honestly with him. It's just his nature...Could this be part of the problem? Maybe he's not good with communicating with others, especially kids? Good luck to you.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2002 at 10:20PM
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