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aguing in front of steps?

Posted by caphillsm (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 11, 10 at 10:13

Are there any previous threads anyone can point to that discusses arguing in front of step children. DH and I dont argue much, but eveyone does now and then. I have been careful never to do that in front of his kids. It MORTIFIES me. I feel embarrassed. He doesnt seem that concerned and doesnt really understand how I am feeling.

I am sure this is my problem. I am convinced that they will "go tell BM" and that just frosts me to no end.

I know that us working through something is a way of showing them how a couple can relate effectively. but believe me, when its happening, it sure doesnt feel that way. I only have one instance of this to point to, and I'm still not over it. I am convinved SS1 now views me differently.

Again, I know I need to get over it. Any threads on this anyone can point to?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: aguing in front of steps?

I don't know what others do but DH and I have argued when SS8 is here. We don't argue right in front of him (while he is standing there) because it seems ill-mannered to do that in front of anyone, and I'm talking more about bickering than any kind of screaming door-slamming fight. SS8 is very sensitive and will pick up that there is some disagreement; if we try to hide it from him completely we fear that he'd overplay it in his mind and make it out to be much more than it really was.

For any serious disagreement (the kind that might deteriorate into tears, raised voices, etc.) we wait until he is nowhere around, as in, physically out of the house. He's got some security issues and doesn't need to overhear some stupid comment made in anger that he'll take completely out of context.

We really don't argue all the time- this makes it sound that way! :)

I couldn't care less if SS told BM. Her opinion of me, DH, or my marriage is a matter of complete indifference to me. Considering that DH and BM are divorced I wasn't planning on taking marital advice from her anyway.

Speaking as a step-daughter with both parents remarried, a regular argument or disagreement (of the non-violent, non-screaming sort) between parents and step-parents never fazed me. I had brothers - I was well aware that one can fight with family and still love them! :)

RE: aguing in front of steps?

Thank you, Mattie. Its your last paragraph that I really appreciated....I was wondering whether it even fazes them at all. And I am referring to bickering...non-violent, non-screaming, maybe "heated words" and some eyeball rolling.

And yes, who cares what BM thinks. I just feel a sense of wanting privacy when it comes to her knowing anything about our life as a couple.

I also guess that teen boys tend not to share those kinds of stories anyway.

RE: aguing in front of steps?

Caphill, I can sympathize with this. If you are like me, there may be a component of this where you are a little uptight (like me) and don't like an audience when you're trying to have a private conversation, no matter who it is (like me). If I'm wrong, please forgive.

I try to think of those situations as a teaching moment, a moment to be a good role model and show that disagreements are normal and can be worked out, but I was raised to be private and it seems undignified for them to be involved in our private disputes just because they happen to be within earshot. FDH and I have different tolerances for chances of them "overhearing" (i.e. he always thinks they can't hear - hello! They are kids and we live in a 2 bedroom apartment, what planet are you on!?)

There is also a frustrating component of me not having my own children and sometimes being in the awkward position of feeling like a third child when THEY have a dispute with their dad and I should stay out of it.

RE: aguing in front of steps?

I completely understand your feelings caphillsm, I do not like to argue in front of ANYONE. I feel like it makes us look stupid. DH doesn't feel the same way. I used to get really upset about it and try to shut him up right away by giving him "the look" or kicking his foot under a table. And then it would drive me crazy when he would broadcast that I was doing that!! I finally had to sit him down and tell him that I do not like to argue in front of people and when I do those things I am giving him signals to please stop and we can have the argument (or discussion) later in private.

I also never want my skids to go back to their bm and tell her that we argue a lot or anything, as stupid as it may seem that I would care what she thought.

RE: aguing in front of steps?

I think there is something to be said for children, steps or not, seeing their parents disagree and effectively work through said disagreement.

DH and I argue occasionally in front of or around the kids, but I am talking about minor stuff---like, should we run to grocery store before the pool or on the way home, is DH ever going to look at the wonky headlight on my car, etc. THAT kind of stuff.

I know what you mean about reporting to BM, though. SS used to do that all the time--when he was little, like 4 or 5--and it drove mE bonkers. He'd say something, usually casually to her and she would take it all out of context and flip out.

Like one time---he and DD (they were six) were at my mom's house swimming. SS walked into the bathroom---door closed, mind you--and saw my mom changing. mom is au naturel down there, if you know what I mean. SS was shocked and my poor mother was really embarrassed---she told me what had happened.

Ok, well SS goes home and tells his mom that he saw my mom naked. This was back in BM's ranting, drinking days and she WIGGED out--called DH raging about how my mom was a nudist and she was sick and creepy for walking around naked, totally inappropriate, etc.

It was INSANE. DH tried to explain it had been SS walking into the bathrooom, heck, even SS tried to tell his mom that---but when she gets like that, there is no stopping her.

We've had incidences like that over and over, all these stupid things that get twisted and blown out of proportion b/c SS makes a comment to his mom.

But you know what?


RE: aguing in front of steps?

We were about to embark on a 7 hour drive in the car. SS1 was behind us (playing with video games of course) DH made an irritating comment and I replied that I could drop them at the nearest airport if it would be easier to fly home (then I could drive in peace with the dog!) So he said, in a heated tone "This is my car too, you know!"

I know it sounds so stupid but he made me feel 10 years old and I was royally embarassed in front of SS1. I didnt even turn around to look at him, we all just drove in silence (although SS1 put his earbuds in and played games!)

At the next rest stop, DH apologized. I'm still sort of mad about it.

I am not comfortable exchanging "words" in front of ANYONE, much less the skids! I feel like my position has been lessened somehow. I actually think I may be avoiding SS1 now as a result. A teen boy likely isnt thinking about this, right?

RE: aguing in front of steps?

Actually, caphillsm, I liked my SM much more when, a year or two after their marriage, she started making the occasional snide comment or flippant remark to my father. My father could be, to put it mildly, a complete ass and I thought that SM was a doormat when she just suffered in silence. SS just may have a new respect for you for standing up for yourself.

SKs telling BM?

I think it is better to avoid arguments in front of the kids/stepkids. But it is not always doable. Nobody is perfect. As long as no name calling or screaming going on.

As about BM...and SKs telling her... My SO's ex is such an a$$, she passed out drunk at SD's rehearsal dinner and wedding reception, and her BF fell drunk on the dancing floor and dragged innocent bystander with him at the reception in front of everyone. Last Christmas BM and her BF went to swingers retreat- yeap it was not a secret. They went there while BM's father was dying (she knew he is dying) so SDs were with dying grandpa dealing with hospital, hospice and such. These are just few examples of BM's "classy" lifestyle.

I think even if my SO and I would argue in front of SDs and scream in each other faces, we still will look classier than BM and her BF. hahaha I doubt they have anything shocking to tell BM about us.

I think yours and DH's comments to each other are not a big deal and SS couldn't care less. I wouldn't worry. It is normal. Not like you called each other names or anything.

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