Stepfamily problems, please give advice

abandmeDecember 17, 2013

Here is the problems....I have been a single Mom with twin girls, age 15 and my fiance has 2 daughters, from a divorce, ages 15 and 11.
We have been together 3 years, and have put the marriage off until whenever because of finances and family problems. My fiance, Josh, started off our relationship spending time with me and my girls and going to our activities. Now, he is not participating with my girls at all, financially or emotionally. Some things have recently changed, his daughters have a new stepdad in their life that lives with their Mom. Josh lives with me and my kids full time.
When I had asked him to spend time with us, he didn't bring up and complain about it not being fair to his daughters. Now that is all he does when I say anything about him spending time with us. He has asked me to not go to one of my girls games, but go to my stepdaughters game instead. He now wants to split all the home and away games. I do go to all of my girls games, because I'm their mother and they don't have 3 other people to show up like my stepdaughters do. If I go to more of their games, then my girls will have no one. Is that fair?
He says he wants me to step up with his daughters even more, however I feel like he is not stepping up with mine in any way. Whatever his gives to mine, he wants me to in turn give to his daughters.
His daughters have a mother and a father as well as a new stepdad. My daughters have me and Josh, and Josh is not acting in any form or fashion as a stepdad to my girls at all. He is like missing in action.
I try to make a point about him living with us, just like his daughters have a stepdad living with them. They get to do fun things and spend quality time with their new stepdad and they don't have to share that time with my girls. If Josh lives with us full time, why are we not be allowed to do fun things and spend quality time with their stepdad, without him throwing out there, "well, this isn't fair to my girls"?
I've waited a long time to find a happy ending for us and for my girls to have a stepdad that cares for them and spends time with them and financially helps them, even if its not 50% because Josh does pay child support so he brings in less in our household to contribute.
I feel like I'm to make the ultimate sacrifice to give and do more for his girls and then my girls get nothing. It makes me feel resentful and I am wanting to call the marriage off and ask him to move out. I feel as if he can't contribute when he's with us most of the time, then why are we together? If he is always going to have daddy issues with his girls and always seem to punish mine because of his current situation. The mother has full custody and he only sees them on weekends, and I'm with them also every weekend, unless my girls have something the same weekend then we have to split up.
I have been a single mother for years, and I don't want to let my girls down because sometimes I feel they only have me, but I'm in a relationship with someone that chooses to not be there because he feels guilty about his kids, in some form or fashion.
Please give me some advice on what I should do. How I can make him understand my point of view, why is he and his kids always the victims, and don't me and my kids deserve what he wants for his daughters?
I'm very unhappy and I'm beginning to resent him. I need to know if anyone can understand where I'm coming from and where he's coming from and how can we meet in the middle somehow to where I feel as if he is a stepdad to my children, financially and emotionally as well.

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The main thing I want to say to you is that your first obligation is to your daughters. If all they have is you, then be there for them all the time as I'm sure you are. Be everything to them because they're already 15 and in the blink of an eye, they'll be out on their own. These next few years are crucial (I have 3 grown daughters) so make them count. Focus on them 100% and I'm sorry to say but your boyfriend has to come second. Seems like you're 2nd in his life anyway. And I think he has other issues with his ex, his ex remarrying, etc. Whatever it is, it's not your problem, your only concern needs to be your daughters. And maybe in 3 years, when your daughters are in college or when they're on their own, you and your boyfriend can focus on your relationship. In the meantime, don't worry about where he wants you to be and his daughters, your obligation is to your daughters, period.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 2:22PM
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what Karen said.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 5:00PM
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"I feel like I'm to make the ultimate sacrifice to give and do more for his girls and then my girls get nothing. It makes me feel resentful and I am wanting to call the marriage off and ask him to move out. I feel as if he can't contribute when he's with us most of the time, then why are we together? If he is always going to have daddy issues with his girls and always seem to punish mine because of his current situation."
You need to make this clear to him. It's even more unacceptable of him to behave like this if you're carrying more than half of the household expenses.

If he won't step up to the plate, then if you want to continue with the relationship but not the resentment, ask him to move out and date as the occasion suits you both. Then he can get on with giving his full attention to his daughters, you can give your full attention to yours, neither of you will have this in your face as it were, and you can simply enjoy your chosen time together.

When your respective daughters are independent of you, then you can revisit the living together thing. In the meantime, as Karen says, your daughters need you and not having you will have a huge impact on them and on your relationship with them in the future.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 11:41PM
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I agree with the previous posts. Your daughters are your priority. Always. Never let anyone else take your time from them. Never! They will be out of high school soon; please give them all the time you can.
I also agree, it's time to have the BF move out. If you still want a relationship with him, fine. Fit him in as you find time. Right now, he is taking your emotional energy, your money, your time... All this you need for your daughters. Kick him out! Do you really want to allow your BF to negatively affect your relationship with your children? Come on, kick him out.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 7:49AM
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Sounds to me like your boyfriend is feeling guilty because he is unable to spend as much time with his own girls as he does with you and your girls, and his way of coping is to put the pressure on you to spend more time with him and his girls. Your first priority is your girls just as his first priority should be his girls. My husband feels guilty when we go and do something and his son is not able to come and I have to remind him that it's not possible to include his son on everything we do or everywhere we go because he is not with us 100% of the time. There have been times that we've gone on weekend get aways and trips to waterparks and we were unable to take his son, but that his son does those same types of things with his Mom and stepdad... The best thing we can do is try our best to include him on everything we can. That's the necessary evil when it comes to divorce..
Maybe you and Josh could benefit from a counselor who can hopefully help get you both on the right path.
Make a point to include his daughters in as many family outings as possible and if it doesn't interfere with your daughters' game go and cheer his daughters on at a couple of their games. Try to plan something with your girls and his girls and you.. Like a girls outing. Let him know that his girls are an important part of your family unit too. Good luck, I know it's not easy.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 7:35PM
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The guilt thing is terrible and so difficult to overcome. I've been dealing with it for almost six years with my fiance and have decided to put my foot down.

You can't change how he feels but you can be clear with him regarding how his actions are making you feel and what you need in order for this to work. Marrying him will most likely make things worse and as the others have said, you need to take care of yourself and your kids.

It doesn't sound like he has your best interests at heart, and he wants what he feels is best for his kids even if it's at your expense (and your kids). It's so hard to break this cycle and my only advice, which I'm also taking, is to move on. It really doesn't change... sorry

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 12:39PM
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Sounds like his guilt and I'm afraid the double standards again. You are not wrong, you need to be there for your kids especially if no one else is and so should he, on as many occasions as he can. He is there for his girls, as are their mother and step-dad.

After all he has made a comittment to you and them by living with you... It needs some follow through by him! It seems there are so many mothers/stepmothers/comitted girlfriends who are stuck in this cycle with partners who see only their needs and those of their biological children. Living separately doesn't sound like such a bad idea sadly.......

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 5:11AM
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